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Tim Lordan
Executive Director Internet Education Foundation / Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee / / Net Safety Tips On The Go. Lives and works in Washington, District of Columbia
Executive Director Internet Education Foundation / Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee / / Net Safety Tips On The Go. Lives and works in Washington, District of Columbia

Tim's posts

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Last year I vented ( ) about how inexplicably horrible ski resort maps and trail maps were. Was it copyright? Incompetence? It seemed like ski trail maps were the last stronghold resisting the disruption of the Internet age. +Google Maps must have been listening because they just posted on the trail maps for 100 ski areas in North America here . Finally!! Great progress. 

But, they didn't include a trail map for +Squaw Valley Ski Resort. In my earlier rant on 11/7/2011 I noted that "even a resort like Squaw Valley, which on any given weekend has the world's top Internet innovators skiing its slopes, has a sub-par Web site. Couldn't Squaw pioneer ski maps to allow Silicon Valley visitors to mashup their skiing and partying data?" Sigh. Maybe we'll get a Squaw Map for next season. 

Thanks, +Google Maps 

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My good friend +Larry Magid asked me if I were in the running to be Pope today. I responded that I would through my hat in the ring since technically there is no canonical law that precludes me from being Pope. I am under 80 years old. The law also requires that I have reached the age of reason and I am not a heretic. Done (arguably). And the little matter of celibacy? Apparently there is a long list of Popes throughout the ages who have been less than celibate before and during pontificate [Search: Wikipedia // Popes // Sexually Active // if you don't believe me.] I have as a good a shot as anyone at becoming Pope!

But while arguing my many qualifications to Larry I started to ask my self who might be a better Pontiff than me. Who would I like to see as Pope? And it struck me that perhaps the Dalai Lama would make a fun Pope. I think he can make the case that he's reached the age of reason. He's not a heretic -- he can't be. The Dalai Lama and Pope John Paul were like BFFs. PJP would never hangout with a heretic.

Another plus is that Dalai Lama can bring his own wardrobe to the job. Though, will the saffron maroon robes clash with the red loafers? Whatevs. He'd probably prefer his sandals over the Prada's anyway -- very Jesus. And as far as I know the Dalai Lama is not involved in any sex scandals -- a definite plus this time around in the Conclave. 

And what about the 80 year old age limit? I quickly looked that up and the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born in 1935. So he's only 77 years old -- just squeaking in under the octogenary wire. BUT WAIT! Tenzin Gyatso may have been delivered from his mother 77 years ago but is he really 78 years old? According to Tibetan tradition Tenzin is the reincarnation of a long line or Dalai Lamas, which could make him centuries if not millennia old, thus disqualifying him from the papacy. I'd have to research this a bit more but I think the Conclave would give him a pass on this one. He could argue that he technically was 77 years old, regardless of the eternal nature of his soul. Combined with the lack of a sex scandal, I think that would sell. 

So, I officially withdraw my hat from the Conclave ring in lieu of his holiness the Dalai Lama. I believe he'd make a great Pope!

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House Passes Resolution to Challenge America’s Youth To Code in Nationwide STEM Competition

I was so pleased that Congress took a moment yesterday to actually vote in favor of the House Resolution 77 paving the way for a nationwide youth app competition. Our release is below and +Larry Magid has a post up about the competition as does Google Public Policy's blog. 

February 26th, 2013
Internet Education Foundation Applauds the Passage of House Resolution 77 Paving The Way for Annual Congressional App Challenge

WASHINGTON, DC – The Internet Education Foundation commends the House for passing the “Academic Competition Resolution of 2013.” The Resolution creates an annual academic competition in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and paves the way for the first-ever “app” competition fostered by Congress. IEF applauds Rep. Candice Miller and Rep. Robert Brady for sponsoring this important resolution and Rep. Cantor and Rep. Pelosi for their leadership and support.

Over the past year IEF staff have worked tirelessly with the co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, to urge the creation of a Congressional App Challenge. Both co-chairs rose in support of the Congressional App Challenge as a step in the right direction to the future of jobs in America and its competitiveness globally. Our efforts were aided by a steering committee of app competition experts representing Google, Blackberry, AT&T, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Motorola Mobility.

“One after another Members from both sides of the aisle rose in support of the STEM education Resolution during a break in the sequester debate,” said IEF Executive Director Tim Lordan. He added, “I was heartened to see a group of technology leaders in Congress act to invest in the future of American jobs and of the economy: young STEM-educated constituents.”

IEF coordinates the work of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, which supports the goals of the Congressional Internet Caucus. The ICAC does not support or oppose any policy agenda; however, it shares the concern of most Americans that our students are falling behind in many areas of STEM education. We look forward to working with Congress and the Committee on House Administration to support this competition going forward. During his floor statements, Internet Caucus co-chair Goodlatte said, “This competition will motivate our young people to further pursue programming and other technology related educational opportunities. It will also enable them to showcase their programming skills on a national stage while at the same time promoting the value of STEM education and careers.”

Co-chair Eshoo said, “Building on the success of the Congressional Arts Competition, which for more than 30 years has recognized and encouraged artistic talent among our nation’s youth, an apps competition will foster interest in STEM education, which is just what our country needs to prepare for the future.”

The Internet Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and policymakers about the potential of a decentralized global Internet to promote communications, commerce and democracy. Its board members ensure the balance of the organization’s efforts and consist of public interest groups, corporations, and associations representative of the diversity of the Internet community.

Leonard Hyman
(202) 638-4370 x129 

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Thrilled to have +Danny Weitzner return to our board. And looking forward to having Rodney Petersen from +EDUCAUSE on our balanced board of directors. Great folks.

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I am truly discouraged again today at the lack of depth in Internet policy reporting, even by pubs like the @NYTimes(perhaps especially). This article about privacy and Do Not Track today claims that the Do Not Track idea, or giving consumers a machine readable mechanism to express their privacy preferences, "originated in 2011 at Mozilla." Seriously? Even a cursory search for Do Not Track or browser extensions to express privacy preferences would have gone back to a 2007 FTC workshop on privacy where a number of groups floated the idea of Do Not Track. A few minutes of research would have unearthed the decade long effort to create P3P by the W3C and others starting in the mid-90s. This is really superficial reporting. By suggesting the entire history of Do Not Track began one year ago the New York Times fails to capture the hard work that many engineers, privacy advocates and industry leaders have put into providing better mechanisms to consumers to express their privacy preferences for over 15 years. Can tech reporters please research these issues better? I realize in the age of Twitter the pressure to get product out the door is enormous. But these are weighty issues and they deserve a modicum of research. Please. 

Oh, and when you refer to Sir +Tim Berners-Lee I don't care if you fail to include his honorific title but can you give the man more credit than saying he was simply "one of the engineers who designed the WWW"? It's like saying that George Washington is one of the colonists who protested taxes.  

Again, these are important issues, folks. 

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*“This is the start of the Internet right here,” President Obama says pointing to a shelve in the Oval Office.* 

I found this tidbit interesting in this month's #VanityFair piece about President Obama. The President says the only initial Oval Office redecoration they did was fill the shelves with historical patents -- one of which was Morse's telegraph patent. Vanity Fair excerpt below:

“When I’m in Washington I spend half my time in this place,” the president says of the Oval Office. “It’s surprisingly comfortable.” Obama didn’t make many changes to the room. “We came in when the economy was tanking and our first priority wasn’t redecorating.” One thing he did do early on, though, was to fill the shelves with the original applications for several famous patents and patent models. “They had a bunch of plates in there,” he says, of prior administrations. “I’m not a dish guy.” Obama points to the 1849 patent model of Samuel Morse’s first telegraph: “This is the start of the Internet right here,” he tells Lewis.

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Friends & Colleagues in San Francisco

Please help us welcome Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill to a unique, downtown San Francisco townhall-style event at +Hattery on Wednesday, September 19.

Commissioner Julie Brill is visiting the West Coast to engage developers, startups, consumers and counsels for input on the issues that the Federal Trade Commission is addressing in the near and long term. Come and ask questions and provide feedback on the issues that Ms. Brill is working on including: consumer privacy (kids, mobile, financial), advertising rules, financial fraud & ID theft, facial recognition, cybersecurity and more. This San Francisco event will duplicate the State of the Net West event townhall meeting with Commissioner Brill at Santa Clara Law School on Thursday morning.

The FTC is the leading U.S. agency dealing with online privacy, security and consumer protection. Recently the FTC entered into privacy consent orders with Google, Facebook and Twitter. Just last month the FTC assessed a record fine against Google for alleged privacy violations. Facebook recently settled charges with the Commission over its privacy policy. Just this year the FTC called for legislation to regulate data brokers its "Report on Protecting Consumer Privacy." It is actively working on privacy in the mobile space and so-called "Do Not Track" browser implementations. It recently proposed new privacy rules for children.

We look forward to welcoming Commissioner Brill to San Francisco, and also hearing your views on these issues and others.

Wednesday, September 19 at 4:00 pm
Hattery Labs, 414 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA
Light refreshments will be served following. 

To Register: Email and let us know if you plan to attend. The event is complimentary, but registration is requested.

This event is hosted as part of the State of the Net West series hosted collaboratively by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee and the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University Law School.
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