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EXCLUSIVE: Uber Hires Former Congressional Hopeful To Run Their Political Operation in New York


Uber is on something of an acquisition spree in New York, but it doesn’t involve companies. Instead, l’enfant terrible of ride-sharing is acquiring people, and a specific type of people—those with government experience. Last week, the Daily News reported that the company had hired Matthew Wing, the former press secretary to Gov. Cuomo. And now Betabeat has learned that Uber has tapped another politically minded pro, Michael Allegretti, to be Director of Public Policy for New York. Mr. Allegretti will start next week with three goals: managing political relationships in New York, analyzing policy proposals and doing community-level hearts and minds work to “work Uber into the civic fabric of the city.”

“I’ve been watching Uber and the broader sharing economy for the better part of four years,” Mr. Allegretti told Betabeat, “and I think it represents the absolute best in tech, innovations, and the power of competition to improve services.” Read More


TechCrunch Eyes the Intersection of Tech and Politics With CrunchGov


Saying it seeks to help politicians “become better listeners” and make techies effective citizens, TechCrunch today announced the launch of CrunchGov.

In an introductory post, CrunchGov creator Greg Ferenstein explained that the new site will include a political leaderboard grading politicians on how they vote on tech and a “legislative database of technology policy.” That database will contain bills under congressional review and names of both the politicians who clearly understand the intersection of technology and policy and those who don’t have a clue.

CrunchGov’s tech-related report cards for politicos will rank legislators with “transparent criteria” that merge the political and the technical. Read More

Survey Says

Wifi Names Are the New Rude Post-Its and Political Bumper Stickers

We don't know who Sharptooth is, but he isn't well-liked.

The august and proper BBC News has taken a look at a new and lurking scourge found in thickly settled neighborhoods throughout the world: passive-aggressive wifi names.

Many wifi users stick with something simple, like “Home” or the name of their router (“NETGEAR01″), but wifi networks in some neighborhoods reveal a world of what the BBC aptly terms “bite-sized self-expression.”

The BBC reports that these expressions may be used to embarrass or complain about the neighbors: Read More

Political Animals

Meet the Tech Nerds Trying to Get Mitt Romney (and Others) Elected

Canvassing means no AC. (Photo: flickr.com/labor2008

Now, what does this sound like to you?

One recent morning, 14 job candidates filed into his fourth-floor office in Alexandria, Virginia, where a wiffle ball net is stowed in the lobby and a pirate flag hangs in the conference room. How many might he hire? “Fourteen, if we like them all,” he said.

If you guessed “a venture-backed consumer Internet startup,” you are incorrect. (Thanks for playing; better luck next time.) Read More


Manhattan D.A. Joins Task Force to Combat Internet Crimes Against Children

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. (Getty)

A famous poet once stated that April is the cruelest month, but he probably didn’t even know that April is “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.” It’s kind of terrible that we as the human species need an entire month to remind each other not to hurt kids. But luckily, the Manhattan D.A. is coming to the rescue.

In order to fight against the proliferation of  violent and sexual crimes against children on the Internet, the Department of Justice has assembled a task force that will work to combat these crimes; today, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced that it will be joining the thousands of law enforcement officials on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program. Read More