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Tag Archive: Google

Preparing for the Worst

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I should say up front that Google's been a great friend to Sunlight: they've helped support our contests, they've sent us phones and Summer of Code students to help our Android development efforts, and when I visited their DC offices a couple of weeks ago they let me eat as much candy as I wanted.

Still, I'd be lying if I said the incredible scope of their success didn't make me a little uneasy. We use Google Apps for our work email, for instance, and YouTube is essential to our video production efforts. We're as dependent as anyone else on Google for search, both as a tool and a source of traffic. I know we're not the only ones to be a bit unnerved at being so reliant on the goodwill of a private enterprise -- and of course over the past few weeks, other voices expressing those concerns have become significantly louder.

So, while we're looking forward to continuing to work with Google, it would be irresponsible for us not to prepare for the unthinkable. I'm happy to say that we've taken the necessary precautions, and today the future seems a bit less uncertain:

Of course, what happens after we run through our 1000 free hours is anyone's guess.

(Many thanks to Pierre Huggins of Rox Chox & Blox Woodworking for lending his awesome fabrication capabilities to this ridiculous project (and to our own sysadmin extraordinaire, Tim, for finding Pierre via HacDC)

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Google requests AdWords service be exempted from FEC rule

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Google has asked the Federal Elections Commission for an exemption from rules requiring disclaimers on campaign ads generated by its AdWords service. The marketing tool provided by Google sells tailored ads that only appear when someone has searched for designated keywords. The ads are small—only 95 characters in all—and only paid for when an internet user clicks on them. 

Because of the abbreviated nature of the ads, Google has asked it be granted a pass under the “small items” exception the FEC applies to other mediums such as text messages and bumper stickers. 

In the request written to ...

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Civic Hackers for Haiti

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The systems and information infrastructure that the entire network of relief requires for a place like Haiti, however, is also something that often needs building and supporting in times of disaster, and "civic hackers" as we often refer to them are answering the call.

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