The Real Menace

Trying to understand the Google memo guy; WikiLeaks betrayed their mission—and their supporters; and more.


  • Paul Lewis profiles James Damore, the Google memo guy, for The Guardian, covering everything from his autism, his feminist, data scientist girlfriend, and the books and films that have shaped his worldview.

  • Yesterday the FCC voted to do away with rules that prevented one company from easily securing a monopoly or near-monopoly on media outlets in a city or region, Brian Fung reports for The Washington Post.

  • Since The Atlantic revealed that WikiLeaks had been advising the Trump campaign, former WikiLeaks supporters and collaborators have been sharing their dismay and disappointment, Robert Mackey reports for The Intercept. “While WikiLeaks has undoubtedly facilitated the release of information that is both true and important, it is Assange’s Trump-like willingness to traffic in such unsubstantiated rumors, conspiracy theories, and innuendo not supported by evidence that undermines his claim to be a disinterested publisher, not a political operative,” Mackey writes.

    “This is the real tragedy and menace of the public and private collaboration of WikiLeaks with Trump,” he adds “An organization with a sterling reputation for providing the public with accurate information about secret government and corporate activities was used to launder conspiracy theories that helped elect a racist, sexual predator president of the United States.”

  • This is civic tech: The city of San Antonio is launching a civic innovation program that pairs local companies with city agencies and work with them to address a specific challenge, Samantha Ehlinger reports for the San Antonio Express-News.

  • Yesterday, a group of 54 scientists and engineers sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security strongly recommending against the use of AI for immigrant vetting, Tristan Greene reports for The Next Web.

  • Internet of Shit: Andy Greenberg reports for Wired that the surveillance camera meant to help monitor deliveries through Amazon Key’s service can be disabled using a simple program run from any computer in range of the wi-fi.

  • Ethan Zuckerman introduces the social media aggregator Gobo, which puts you in control of the filters that deliver content from friends, family, and news and media orgs.

  • Slip of the hand: The official Pentagon Twitter account accidentally retweeted a user calling Roy Moore to step down, Al Franken to resign…and Donald Trump to resign, Wesley Morgan reports for Politico. The retweet was quickly deleted.

  • Apply: New Media Ventures is looking for an investment associate to help accelerate progressive innovation. Learn more here.

  • Have a civic startup? Check out the Startup in Residence program, where you can respond to a challenge put forward by one of 12 city governments. The deadline to apply for the program is December 10. Learn more here.