Across the US, 31 communities have joined forces to make the dream of fast, affordable, and reliable gigabit-speed broadband a local reality. The Next Century Cities program, launched this week, hopes to defeat the forces holding broadband back. The 31 inaugural signatories are: Read the rest
Gmoke writes, "My City Gardens is up and running for the season. We're a local yard sharing website that connects gardeners, mentors, and people with access to space, to neighbors who want to roll up their sleeves and dig in. If you have extra space in your yard you'd like help cultivating, need a gardening plot this summer or are willing to lend gardening advise to your neighbors, please sign up!" Read the rest
Amanda writes, "Danger!awesome is an open-access laser cutting, laser engraving, and 3D printing workshop in the heart of Cambridge, tucked right between MIT and Harvard. Our mission is to democratize access and training to rapid prototyping resources, long reserved for academic institutions and multi-million dollar R&D labs. We want to teach anyone and everyone how to make, customize, and invent. Read the rest
Jonathan Zittrain writes, "Ad hoc mesh networking has been developed to enable free and censorship-resistant communications in places like Egypt and Syria. (The New America Foundation's Commotion project is an example of that kind of network.)
Less explored has been this kind of networking for public safety purposes, such during attacks or natural disasters. In this article, former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and I explain why it'd be a good idea to develop these kinds of networks, and sketch out how they might work."
Former FCC Chairman: Let’s Test an Emergency Ad Hoc Network in Boston Read the rest
“We were there like that. We do this day in, day out. This is what we do. We went over and when I put that [infrared camera] on the boat, I was actually shocked that not only did I see there was a heat source, but I got a perfect human silhouette. That doesn’t happen that much.” Read more at the Boston Globe. Read the rest
The body of 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi was "pulled from the water off India Point Park in Rhode Island," reports USA Today. Sunil was the student mistakenly linked to the Boston bombings by users on Reddit. "It was not immediately clear when Tripathi, who was last seen March 15, died," nor has a cause of death been determined. Read the rest
"Law enforcement agencies regularly turn to sites like Websleuths.com to help crack cold cases. Maybe there’s hope for Reddit," writes Tim Murphy in a piece at Mother Jones.
Read the rest
Redditors have, for years, worked to use the resources of crowds as a force for good. There's an entire subreddit dedicated to Redditors ordering pizzas for families and raising money for surgeries. But Boston represents a reality check. Can Reddit harness its greatest asset—the tireless brainstorming of millions—while reining in the speculative impulse that makes the site tick? And even if Reddit could solve crimes, would it be worth it?
HuffPo profiles Cheryl Fiandaca, the bureau chief of public information for the Boston police department, a former attorney and television journalist. The @Boston_Police's "CAPTURED!" tweet was retweeted about 143,000 times. Read the rest
In a move absolutely no one expected because things like this never happen after high-profile incidents of mass violence, Russian President Vladimir Putin today "urged closer cooperation between other countries' security services after the Boston Marathon bombings," reports CNN, Said Putin, "If we combine our efforts, we will not suffer blows like that." [CNN.com] Read the rest
James Surowiecki in the New Yorker:
After Reddit’s attempt to find the Boston Marathon bombers turned into a major failure (for which Reddit’s general manager Erik Martin publicly apologized Monday), the over-all conclusion seems to be that the whole experiment was misguided from the start, and that the Redditors’ inability to identify the Tsarnaev brothers demonstrates the futility of using an online crowd of amateur sleuths to help with a criminal investigation. Or, as the Times’s Nick Bilton put it, “It looks as if the theory of the ‘wisdom of crowds’ doesn’t apply to terrorist manhunts.” That proposition may be true. But Reddit’s failure isn’t evidence for it.
Read the rest: "Reddit and the Marathon Bombers: The Wise Way to Crowdsource a Manhunt" [newyorker.com] Read the rest
At Wired News' Danger Room, Spencer Ackerman's feature on the technology and crowdsourcing dynamics that allowed law enforcement to identify the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing so rapidly. "Hiding in plain sight was an ocean of data, from torrents of photography to cell-tower information to locals’ memories, waiting to be exploited." [Wired.com] Read the rest
Writes Spencer Ackerman at Wired's Danger Room: A “weapon of mass destruction” is "a very broad category under federal law. Grenades, mines, missiles and rockets all apply. So do homemade bombs of the sort Tsarnaev allegedly constructed." Read the rest
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged in a criminal complaint over the bombing of the Boston Marathon. He appeared before a federal magistrate who came to his bedside at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He nodded affirmatively in response to questions, but spoke only one word: "no," after the magistrate asked him if he could afford a lawyer. The New York Times has the transcript. After much controversy, it's good to see that he was read his Miranda Rights. [NYTimes.com] And here's the FBI affidavit. [chicagotribune.com] Read the rest
The New York Times has a beautiful interactive feature with audio narratives from "some of the people seen near the finish line." What is most striking about the interactive design: as you scroll down the page to listen to each story, you see where each person was in the still image from NBC's broadcast of the race. Powerful. Here's how the Times put it together. Read the rest
Responding to claims from the mother of the two Boston bombing suspects, the FBI said today it had not been tracking her oldest son, nor had the bureau spoken with him last week after the deadly marathon bombing. The only communication the FBI claims to have ever had with Tamerlan Tsarnaev "was an interview agents conducted with him in 2011 at the urging of a foreign government, since identified as Russia." [CNN.com] Read the rest
Over at Buzzfeed, Rosie Gray seems pretty sure deceased bombing suspect Tamarlan Tsarnaev may well be responsible for a triple homicide. Based on Instagram comments and tweets. Seems legit. Read the rest