In the Loop
Tactical Tech's IN THE LOOP
In the Loop is our monthly experimental – not really a – newsletter which features highlights from our Twitter feed and updates on what we've been up to at Tactical Tech.
THE BACK ROOM AT TACTICAL TECH
We've had some exciting releases recently and we wanted to be sure you knew about them:
- Drawing by Numbers, our new online resource on visualising evidence, is being updated regularly with new Notes on Data and Design. Just released is Note 2 Data Basics takes it right back to the beginning; helping you to think through and clean up your data.
- Our creative agency, Tactical Studios, have made two videos for Tor (a virtual network providing security and privacy to its users online)
Video by Tor, 2012
- We've been working with two Berlin designers, lots of little wooden sticks and a big table to create a short animation, visualising the 200+ 10 Tactics screenings organised around the world by volunteers. Some photos of the process so far.
- This month will also see the release of 10 Tactics Remixed, a new website with plenty of new examples, ideas and critical discussion about the field of info-activism.
BELARUS: TRAVEL BAN
A travel ban has been imposed on opposition activists and some politicians in Belarus. More about it here.
CHINA: WHEN IS A TELLYTUBBY NOT A TELLYTUBBY?
Chinese users of microblogging sites have been evading censorship by referring to the premier Wen Jiabao as a tellytubby - this enables them to discuss apparent troubles in the leadership without getting caught by keyword filters. More about it here.
UGANDA: THE WHITE SAVIOUR INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?
A viral video campaign aiming to raise awareness of the activities of the Ugandan guerilla leader Joseph Kony has had over 86 million viewings on YouTube. A US agency took the opportunity to help NGOs understand the astonishing reach and impact achieved by this campaign "…simplify your site, stripping down all actions or content that detracts from that core action. Then, focus all of your channels and messages on that one action. Report back progress. Repeat." But Ethan Zuckerman warns against such simplification and argues that a more complex look at the situation "…would look at the numerous community efforts, often led by women, to mediate conflicts and increase stability. It would focus on the efforts to rebuild the economy of northern Uganda, and would recognize the economic consequences of portraying northern Uganda as a war zone."
The Nigerian/American author Teju Cole saw in the campaign a view of the world where "Africa serves as a backdrop for white fantasies of conquest and heroism." Writing in Pambazuka News, Sokari Ekine, unearthed links between the Kony campaign and US right wing evangelical Christians.
ZIMBABWE: GUILTY – OF WATCHING A FILM ON THE ARAB SPRING
Six activists have been fined and given community service sentences for attending a meeting where footage from the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt was being screened. More about it here.
GLOBAL: WHITE HATS, GREY HATS AND BLACK HATS
Interested in the history of hactivism? Want to differentiate between the good guys and the not-so-good guys? Check out this infographic.
GLOBAL: OPEN DATA ON CORPORATIONS AND COMPANIES
At Tactical Tech we love data and the great things that activists can do with it so check out this resource of free and open data on millions of companies and corporations in over 20 countries.
MAPS, MAPS AND MORE MAPS…
If you think the world of online maps begins and ends with Google, then think again. Open Street Maps is a free and adaptable map of the world – read more on Tactical Tech's Drawing by Numbers site. OSM has received some positive coverage for its reach recently. The team at Humanitarian OpenStreetMap have been using it in Haiti, Indonesia and Cote d'Ivoire. In the commercial realm the strength of the platform has been demonstrated by the fact that the location based social networking website Foursquare is now using it.
Maps don't have to be purely functional - free and open resources such as Open Street Maps make it possible for people to create beautiful resources such as these watercolour effect maps.
Map by Stamen Design, 2012
POLITICAL POSTERS FROM THE SYRIAN UPRISING
See them here.
Poster by 3aref 6ari2o (Flickr), 2012
FREE AND OPEN SOURCE… TOYS?
Whilst not strictly an activist tool, these universal adaptors for childrens toys are ingenious and we love the approach of the kits makers - "Release early, often and with rap music. This is Notorious R&D"
Photo by F.A.T Lab, 2012
WHO IS TRACKING YOU ONLINE?
If you're concerned about who is watching you online you might want to try Collusion - an experimental add-on for the Firefox Internet browser - it visualises who is tracking you online. Download and listen to an interview with Mozilla’s Mark Surman.
If you're interested in online privacy look out for a new Tactical Tech project we're launching in April called Me and my Shadow – an interactive website to help advocates understand how online data can be used to trace their activities.
US: LETTER FROM AN ACTIVIST TO HIS GRANDDAUGHTER
This letter from US environmental activist is a personal and powerful call to arms.
GLOBAL/UK: WE ARE MANY, THEY ARE FEW
An interesting piece looking at the history and philosophy of the Occupy movement.
FREEDOM FONE: ITS FOR YOU!
We were delighted to hear that our friends at Freedom Fone have won an award from Index on Censorship. Freedom Fone is free software that creates interactive, voice-based communication services for organisations or bodies seeking to engage with communities across mobile networks.