Zack Exley/Eli Pariser from MoveOn.org just gave a fantastic keynote at SXSW, describing the happy accident that gave rise to the best new toolsuite for organizing and sustaining Internet-based activism. Here are my running notes:
Before the war, we did a candlelight vigil in defiance of the war. You could come and punch in your ZIP and set up a location where the vigil would take place, then told our members to go and find your local vigil. We did 6500 vigils all over the world. 500k people showed up. When you signed up, it told you that there were others signed up to attend your local vigil, so you owouldn't be the only one.
Eli: This all came together in five days -- 500,000 people mobilized in five days. A vigil every 20 blocks for the whole length of Manhattan.
There are more political ways of doing this. We asked people to hold house parties and show a movie against the war, and people opened up their homes to have strangers come in and see this film. We heard from people in small midwestern towns who thought they were the lone anti-war people in their town, but the site showed them that there were dozens more who felt the same way.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]