Government 2.0

White House Hires Ex-Googler To Fix Hideous Government Websites

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 12.35.16 PM

It doesn’t take a star UX designer to see that United States’ government and state websites are atrocious. No, it really only takes a quick visit to Florida’s official webpage to see that our national web presence is in serious need of an overhaul.

To that end, the White House announced yesterday that they’ve established the United States Digital Service to rehabilitate the government’s websites, the New York Times reports. The team lead is Mikey Dickerson, the man who was brought in to save Healthcare.gov after its complete release-date meltdown and subsequent troubles. Read More

Jesus died for our selfies

White House Might Ban Selfies With Obama

This shall henceforth be known as The Last Selfie. (Screengrab: Twitter)

The White House is mulling a selfie ban so that President Barack Obama will never accidentally end up in a Samsung ad again.

Here’s the back story: Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz tweeted a seemingly innocuous selfie with the prez last Tuesday, the New York Daily News reports. It appeared to be spontaneous and charming — until the White House realized Mr. Ortiz has a deal with Samsung that includes PR photo ops like the Obama selfie. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Another Zynga Exec Bids Adieu

Another rainy day in NYC. (Photo: wired New York)

Zynga has lost another exec. The struggling company’s chief game designer Brian Reynolds has resigned. [VentureBeat]

Sorry, Facebook: Twitter is now the fastest-growing social platform in the world. No data yet on who owns the universe, though. [GlobalWebIndex]

Netflix wants to become the next HBO. So, lots of shows with gratuitous nudity and cursing just ‘cuz, “It’s premium cable, man.” [The Verge]

McDonald’s is the new study hall. Hey, it’s not like the library has french fries. [Wall Street Journal]

Startup visas may soon become a thing after the President endorsed them in a recent speech. But what about all those lawless seafaring incubators? [Huffington Post]

Linkages

Booting Up: ‘So Snobby We’re Above Snobbery’ Edition

The morning after the first snow. (Photo: Flickr/tomasfano)

The CEO’s of AppNexus and LocalResponse we’re always besties. [PandoDaily]

Alexia Tsotsis breaks down what exactly rubs Valley-ites so wrong about Start-Ups: Silicon Valley: “We’re so snobby we’re above snobbery.” [TechCrunch]

Who convinced President Obama to convene with the forever alones on Reddit? His crack team of data crunchers, of course. [Time]

Even a superstorm can’t break the internet. [AllThingsD]

We didn’t see the Fail Whale once during election night, even as tweets poured by. Twitter VP of infrastructure ops Mazen Rawashdeh credits the company’s stellar performance with its backend overhaul from Ruby to Java. [Twitter Blog]

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

White House Admits it Was Targeted by Hackers

Screenshot from http://zone-h.org/archive

In response to a right wing website’s allegation they sustained a cyber attack from Chinese hackers, the White House has admitted to Politico that the attack occurred. However, the Obama Administration insists no data was stolen and classified systems were not compromised.

An unnamed official told Politico that the attempted hack was essentially an isolated incident in which a staffer received an email carrying a malware attachment. To be clear, everything is cool now and rogue Chinese hackers won’t be taking control of the suitcase containing nuclear launch codes any time soon: Read More

Politicking

Obama Donors Turn Out for Star Tech Staffers

Backstage with Obama

With the GOP nominee (mostly) squared away, the general election is just getting warmed up. That, of course, means that it’s now fundraising time–and the Obama administration is deploying a rather novel strategy to attract donors. The Atlantic reports that, at an event tonight in Brooklyn, the star attraction will be neither a movie star nor a rock and roller, but rather two of the campaign’s technology staffers. Geek chic, Washington-style. Read More