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  • October 06, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    The death of Steve Jobs has inspired reflection nationwide. I spoke, this afternoon, with RISD President John Maeda, who has done plenty of thinking about technology and design - and Jobs's special place at their intersection. The interview is edited and condensed.

    WHAT DOES THE DEATH OF STEVE JOBS HIGHLIGHT FOR THE REST OF US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN? I think it's making us think what design is all about.

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  • August 24, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Well, if you think Google is evil, you have reason to be pleased with your home state today. Rhode Island US Attorney Peter Neronha has announced a mammoth settlement with the search engine. The company will forfeit $500 million after profiting from ads that prompted US consumers to illegally import prescription drugs. From the ProJo:

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  • June 20, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    As first reported in the Phoenix, Netroots Nation - an annual conference of influential liberal bloggers - will be coming to Providence next summer.

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse made it official with an announcement at this year's Netroots Nation in Minneapolis over the weekend.

    This is good for Providence: a small economic infusion, some election-year atttention, bold-faced names, and a little bump for a city attempting to build a reputation as a high-tech hub.

  • June 01, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    Netroots Nation, the annual confab of progressive bloggers, has become a sort of whistlestop for left-leaning politicians. In 2007, all the major Democratic candidates for president participated in a lively debate at the event, then known as the YearlyKos Conference. Since then, figures like Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have made the pilgrimage.

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  • March 16, 2011
    By David Scharfenberg

    As Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announces the city's designation as one of IBM's "Smarter Cities" and plans to develop a computerized land management system to help spur growth in the Jewelry District (or Knowledge District), it may be worth another look at a piece that appeared in last week's Phoenix on Brown University's Chris Bull.

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  • September 03, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    My cover story in this week's Phoenix on cyber security quotes Congressman Jim Langevin, who has been a leading voice on the issue in the House. But another member of the Rhode Island delegation - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - is also active on the issue. He co-authored a recent op-ed for CNN, with Senators Barbara Mikulski and Olympia Snowe, on the topic.

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  • September 02, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    I've got a piece in today's Phoenix on the daunting challenge of cybersecurity. Experts say our power grid, financial systems, and telecommunications are vulnerable to hackers. And erecting a comprehensive defense is a near impossibility: intruders need find only one weak point to break in and do damage.

    The local angle is Congressman Jim Langevin's heavy involvement in the issue.

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  • April 21, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    As I'll note in my cover story this week, Rhode Island's 2010 gubernatorial race will probably be the state's first test of a post-Obama, technology driven politics. Sure, candidates for local and statewide office have posted web sites and made use of a little Facebook now and again. But no Rhode Island pol has truly harnessed the web as an organizing tool.

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  • February 06, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    What is Twitter?

    While keeping an open mind, I'm not yet sold on this form of new media.

    But Clive Thompson had a great NYTM article on the subject a while back.

    This is the paradox of ambient awareness. Each little update — each individual bit of social information — is insignificant on its own, even supremely mundane.

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  • February 05, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

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    The small but growing IT-digital media sector centered around Providence has been one of the bright spots in the local economy. But to what extent can it help the Ocean State to overcome its perennial economic also-ran status?

    Marion Davis takes on the topic in this week's Phoenix:

    Sara Czyzewicz earned a computer science degree at Rhode Island College and a new-media certificate from imedia, proved her Web design skills at the Westin Providence and a local firm — and then promptly left the state, as have thousands of ambitious 20-somethings have before her.

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  • February 03, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    Sara Streeter sends word:

    WHO:
    Christopher Penn, founder of PodCamp Boston
    Nathan Hutnak, Executive Director of Free Geek Providence
    Brian Alves, Vice President of AIGA
    Michelle Riggen-Ransom, Communications Director of BatchBlue

    WHAT:
    technology conference for people new to technology

    WHEN:
    9am-2pm February 8, 2009 (Sunday)







    Read More

  • January 26, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    Social-networking and other forms of new media played an important role in the Obama campaign. The NYT today looks at what might be ahead for the "Obama movement," or what it calls a YouTube presidency:

    His aides — including his campaign manager — have created a group, Organizing for America, to redirect the campaign machinery in the service of broad changes in health care and environmental and fiscal policy.

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  • January 06, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    Big quantities of red ink will remain the focus when the General Assembly resumes business this afternoon, but there's some good news to be found beyond the anticipated election of the first female Senate president, not to mention the first Asian-American leader of a Rhode Island community.

    The folks at Advocacy Solutions sent this out this list as part of a recent holiday greeting:

    Read More

  • January 03, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    The brightest minds in media have yet to figure out a way to sustain journalism deep into the Internet age.

    With an op-ed in today's ProJo, Joel Brinkley offers this concept:

    When the [newspaper Web] sites were considered technological curiosities, there was no thought of charging people to use them.

    Read More

  • December 18, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A few odds and ends . . .

    -- Ed Fitzpatrick and yours truly write about the push in RI for the National Popular Vote.

    During the Monday evening fundraiser, New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg, a one-time speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, described the Electoral College approach as highly flawed, since it divides the 50 states into "battlegrounds" and "spectators" during presidential elections.

    Read More

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