beckyh | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by beckyh

Affordable Care Act and Political Speculation

In expectation of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I've been looking at predictions, public poll stats and listening to commentary full of speculation. These have been hard to miss, reading the news in the last week. In this blog post, I look at a few methods for speculation – public opinion polls, opinion pieces, and InTrade.

Lessons from Lockpicking: Perfect security is a myth; nonfiction is the new security

"You never pick a lock you don't own or that you haven't been given explicit permission from the owner to pick. Number 2, don't pick locks in use because locks can break when you pick them."
- Schuyler Towne, competitive lock picker and professional security researcher
Schuyler's introduction to lockpicking video

What is the myth of perfect security?
Schuyler Towne spoke to us in April (live blog post about Schuyler's civic lunch talk: about the idea of perfect security that existed until the early 1700s while locks were unbreakable. Early tests for the strength of a lock included leaving a lockpicker with a lock for 30 days and allowing that person any tool or tactic to try to break the lock. Only locks that survived these kinds of tests went on to use and because of these tests, locks were trusted.

Vinay Bhargava - Citizens Fighting Corruption: Roles and Challenges for Civic Media

Liveblogged in collaboration with natematias

Citizens Fighting Corruption: Roles and Challenges for Civic Media View more PowerPoint from civicmedia

Today at the Center for Civic Media, Dr Vinay Bhargava is speaking about what it means for citizens to fight corruption. Dr Bhargava has decades of experience in the World Bank, most recently focusing on anti-corruption in Southeast Asia. He is also chief technical advisor and board member at the anti-corruption NGO Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) that funds anti-corruption initiatives internationally.

Workshopping NewsJack with Press Pass TV

Members of Press Pass TV (Press Pass, and members of the Center for Civic Media met last week for a codesign workshop to explore using NewJack in the Press Pass Respect in Reporting (RIP) campaign that seeks to establish new standards among journalists writing about violence.

Press Pass describes the RIP campaign: “When facts are missed or people are misrepresented, families, neighbors and community spend time and energy needed to grieve and move forward instead fighting to preserve the memories of their loved ones and restore their reputations. And when irrelevant information like addresses and hospitals are reported, innocent lives are put at risk. At Press Pass TV, we believe in the unlimited power of media to awaken individuals, create dialogue across race, religious and ethnic lines and empower communities to shape their own destiny. The Respect in Reporting campaign is an opportunity for news outlets to partner with communities to shape a more just and equitable future for all of the neighborhoods that they serve.”