What Your “Algorithmic Citizenship” Says About Your Web Habits

Forget passport stamps, browser plugin Citizen-Ex determines your online nationality to show how the internet really works.

image via citizen ex

Despite all the time we spend online, many—if not most—of us are woefully underinformed when it comes to the internet’s basic structure. What, for example, do we mean when we say we’re “visiting” a website? Can browsing the internet cause us to cross physical international boundaries, simply by clicking our way from site to site? How does our nationality affect the way we experience cyberspace, and, in turn, the way cyberspace regards us as users?

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Announcing #100StartsWith1: 100 Little Ways to Change Your World in 100 Days

Changing your world is easier than you think. #100StartsWith1

Here at GOOD, we talk a lot about how important it is to be a global citizen—locally rooted, globally connected, inspired to make positive change. We’re also fully aware that “making the world a better place” sounds like a really big challenge.

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500 Years Later, Portugal Offers Citizenship to Descendants of Expelled Jews

Portugal welcomes back the Sephardic Jews it drove out in 1492 as part of the Inquisition.

King Manuel I, responsible for expelling tens of thousands of Jews from Portugal. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1492 King Manuel of Portugal, in an effort to forge stronger ties with Spain, drove out tens of thousands of Sephardic Jews, many of whom had settled there after being expelled from Spain during the Inquisition. Now, more than 500 years later, Portugal will grant citizenship to their ancestors. The Portuguese parliament is finally implementing a law it endorsed back in 2013 to give dual citizenship to anyone who can prove descendence from the Sephardic Jewish victims of the Portuguese inquisition.

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Permaculturalists and a Buddhist Monk Are Walking the Keystone XL Pipeline

The construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s southern leg is underway in Oklahoma and Texas. Depending on your worldview, extracting oil is...

The construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s southern leg is underway in Oklahoma and Texas. Depending on your worldview, extracting oil is either a boon for jobs and industry, or it’s the most potent symbol of ecocide within industrial culture. Those who believe most strongly that climate change and freedom from oil are of the utmost concern for national security and energy independence have been putting their bodies and freedom on the line to blockade the building of the pipeline. Many others, whose lives are presently supported by the extraction of crude oil and natural gas in North America have been hard at work lobbying our government officials to permit the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and to even charge these peaceful, but persistent activists as terrorists.

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National Parks Fuel Local Economies, So Why Are We Slashing Their Budget?

It's summertime—that magical time of year when the weather's warm, school's out, energy is high, and Mother Nature is tempting you to get away...

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If you've taken the subway in New York recently, you've surely seen the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's new slogan: "Improving, non-stop."
In that spirt, the MTA has been making an admirable effort to make riders' lives better by embracing new technology. More than 30 stations now have WiFi available (and cell service coming too!), and there are plans to get the remaining stations wired within the next five years.
More connectivity also means more opportunity for creative apps to improve the transit system. These, the MTA decided to crowdsource.
Enter the MTA App Quest Hackathon, held this past weekend in Brooklyn. Seventeen applicants competed for $10,000 in prizes, and a bunch of creative ideas came out of the competition.
The first-place winner was SubCulture.FM, an app to help bring buskers—the musicians who perform in subway stations for tips—out from the underground. It's really pretty awesome. You can look at a map of the city, click on specific stations, and see the name and bio of the artists performing there. You can then listen to a demo of the music and even purchase the single. You can also browse a directory of artists to find where someone is playing.
The second-place prize went to an app called MTA Sheriff, which allows riders to send reports about current conditions or concerns on the train. And in third place was Accessway, a transit app for the visually impaired. Check out the full list of app ideas from the hackathon.
Needless to say, New Yorkers have their own ideas about how to improve the city's transit system. Here are a few, from AM New York:
Josh Oswald and Reed Jackson, who run the MTA Twitter parody account @FakeMTA:
"My dream app would be a voice-changing app that makes everything you say sound like the Stand Clear of The Closing Doors Guy," Oswald said.
"It would of course have no practical use, but it would be great to walk around the city, ordering slices in that guy's voice."
Reed added: "My dream app would be something along the lines of a delay explainer: You type in the train or bus, and it gives you an explanation of why it's so late. 'A jacka -- with a green messenger bag blocked the doors of the fifth car three times in succession.' "
Ben Widdicombe, editor-in-chief of Gilt City: "I want an app that can reserve the seat closest to the door on an empty bench of three seats, like Open Table."
What's the transit app of your dreams?
Join us for our Fix Your Street Challenge on the last Saturday of May. Click here to say you'll Do It and be sure to share stories of transportation innovation all month.\n
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