Recent Technology Articles

What sort of tech-tools do online activists need?

by Sunny Hundal     January 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm

The recent focus on disability campaigners has raised a long-standing issue that needs proper discussion with its own blog-post.

As emails were going around on the campaign to protect disability benefits, various people asked for simple tools that I’ve seen developed and used in the past for campaigning.

And yet, there seems to be no resource for activists who aren’t very tech savvy to grab, adapt and use fairly straight-forward activist tools.
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Revealed: how much the govt e-petitions site costs taxpayers

by Guest     August 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm

contribution by Andrew Tindall

After the rocky launch of the government’s new epetitions website, I started to wonder just how much was spent moving over to this system from the petitions on the old number 10 site.

In order to get this information, I shot off a freedom of information request to the cabinet office on July 28th.

Today I finally got my response.
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What difference did the Fukushima disaster make to attitudes towards nuclear energy?

by Guest     August 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

contribution by Climate Sock

With an event as prominent as the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the media tend to assume that the public have been paying attention, and that public opinion must have undergone a dramatic shift.

Sometimes this is fair. The MPs’ expenses scandal did capture public attention and brought attitudes towards politicians even lower than they had been before. But other high-profile media stories, like the UEA email release (aka ‘climategate’), came and went without having all that much impact on public opinion. In the UK and US at least, Fukushima is looking like the latter kind of story.
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Amnesty shows how ‘clicktivism’ can work too

by Robert Sharp     May 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Some good news: Eynulla Fatullayev has been released in Azerbaijan. I reported last month on the demonstrations I have attended on his behalf.

An immediate tweet discussion of the news caught my eye. From @dontgetfooled

Wow. So “clicktivism” can work after all?

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The information architecture behind False Economy and the cuts data

by Clifford Singer     April 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

As part of a project to make available to programmer data on the government’s cuts – called APIs Against the Cuts – Sunny asked me write on the information architecture behind the False Economy website.

False Economy was built using the ExpressionEngine CMS – which has also been used by 38 Degrees, the Obama campaign and A List Apart among others. It’s built with PHP and uses a MySQL database.

False Economy crowd-sources information about:
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The government wants to control what you see online

by Guest     April 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

contribution by Peter Bradwell

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, this week confirmed that he is discussing a voluntary website blocking scheme with Internet Service Providers and copyright lobbyists.

There are plenty of reasons why so many people think this is a bad idea and why it won’t work.
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Ten web tools beyond Twitter and Facebook activists should consider

by Guest     January 23, 2011 at 10:20 am

contribution by Sean Gittins

Though social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs are the foundations upon which much online activism is anchored, the evolving demands of campaigns require activists to develop and expand upon this base.

And there are many such tools to help you, even if they appear daunting at first. Here are some websites and explanations on what they can offer activists to gather information.
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How could UKuncut deal with attempts at sabotage?

by Guest     January 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

contribution by Tim Hardy

PR companies are bringing in “big guns” to protect their clients from UK Uncut and as part of their strategy they plan to use “threat detection” software.

This is an interesting development. By tweeting we are always visible and we make our networks of influence visible. Our meetings are in public, coordinated by hashtags that let people find us.
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Pornblocking – why it would have killed me

by Guest     December 21, 2010 at 11:00 am

contribution by Charlie Owen

The Conservative MP Claire Perry, representing the good constituency of Devizes, Wiltshire, recently suggested the introduction of a Great Porn Filter. Minister Ed Vaizey now says he is seriously considering a voluntary version.

This stalwart piece of software would patrol the borders of our great nation, letting in only the most virtuous, the most pure, the most clean of web traffic.

With the filter in place Britain might rid itself of the terrible addicition to pornography that has brought it to its knees (so to speak) and which has led to all the problems that we now face: student debt, benefit cuts and snow over our noble runways.
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Vodafone: the sequel

by Paul Cotterill     November 21, 2010 at 9:43 am

Being old, I’m not a great one for the latest techie news, but this story did interest me.

It seems that mobile network providers, including our friends at Vodafone, are very upset at the news that Apple have come up with its own integrated SIM card which will allow it to bypass the range of providers in Europe…
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