O'Connell / Donation transparency 8-17-2013 / Saturday, August 17th, 2013

Site update: most of my content these days is on Twitter and MyFDL, with occasional posts on the Horn. I am reviving this site, however. I have cleared out a lot of spam that accumulated and will be working to update it shortly. First will be an update on my Chicago trip, and then I will to post about A Burner Lexicon.

As I said, I flew to Chicago in early August. The miles were donated to me. Other donations:

  • $130.00 in donations
  • $80.99 returned to me for the defective iMac top case assembly.
  • $10.60 returned for a defective USB cable, via GroupOn.

Plus $87.65 left over.

My expenses included:

  • $39.99 for a new top case assembly … which also turned out to be defective (missing parts). This is being returned.
  • $177.53 for a confirmed working used top case assembly and installation at an Apple repair shop.
  • $9.54 for another USB cable via GroupOn.
  • $35.83 CLEAR Hotspot payment
  • $10.61 to ship the first broken top case assembly back (the other seller has paid returns).
  • At least $85 in travel expenses just getting to & from airport, getting around Chicago, travel supplies, etc. which…

more than cover the amount I had set aside from donations.

really appreciate everyone’s donations which made it possible to cover the NoALEC protests in Chicago as well as get updates on the city’s political prisoners. I also now have a working laptop — though it’s aging, it should get me through some time until I can save up for a new one.

 - Donate with WePay

O'Connell / Donation transparency 7-27-2013 / Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Reminder: most of my content these days is on Twitter and MyFDL, with occasional posts on the Horn. But I have plans for this site including a revival of A Burner Lexicon.

This post is about donations to my WePay account. I had $89.66 set aside from last month. I also received $80 in cash donations and $40 in new WePay donations. I’ve spent the following: :

  • $35.00 for assorted USB cables, purchased in stores & on GroupOn. I’ve also spent a lot of my own money on cables recently. I finally have ‘enough’ — this is somehow a big expense for a gonzo journalist today.
  • $80.99 on a new keyboard and trackpade assembly for my 15″ MacBook Pro. This is an aftermarket part & I will still have to pay about $100 to have it installed when it comes in.
  • $5.00 for Android Software (Plume for reliable Twitter posting)
  • $1.02 in WePay fees

Total: $122.01

I’ve set aside the remaining $87.65 for upcoming expenses of which there will be several. I need to renew my Clear hotspot for another month, and will have to pay to install the new keyboard when it arrives next week. I’m also traveling to Chicago next month to cover protests against ALEC and expect travel expenses (food, travel within Chicago, etc).

 - Donate with WePay

O'Connell / Donation Transparency 6-28-2013 / Friday, June 28th, 2013

Well, for those of you who have been eagerly awaiting a new update to this website this may not satisfy you — most of my content these days is on Twitter and MyFDL, with occasional posts on the Horn. I’ll see about putting up some fun content here again in the near future.

This post is about donations to my WePay account. Since Feb 16, 2013 when I received my first ever donation, I’ve received $140.00 in donations. Here’s how I’ve spent that money so far:

  • $14.97 for a shockingly overpriced USB cable in an emergency on the day of Wendy Davis’ filibuster.
  • $34.00 to pay a discounted fee for the month of high speed service on my CLEAR hotspot. I can share this service with @ChristopherDiDo and others, & we won’t be so dependent on the Capitol WiFi.
  • $1.37 in WePay fees

Total: 48.97

I’ve set aside the remaining $89.66 for upcoming expenses incurred while covering the continuing battle against Governor Perry’s War on Women (and democracy) in Texas. I also plan to cover Restore the 4th events.

 - Donate with WePay

O'Connell / My SXSW Preview (on Firedoglake) / Friday, March 8th, 2013

Aaron Swartz

An open Aaron Swartz Town Hall on Friday night may be one of the highlights of SXSW Interactive 2013.

I’ll be covering SXSW Interactive for Firedoglake over the next 5 days. My coverage will focus on the intersection of technology and politics. Here’s my preview with selected highlights from the conference:

SXSW Interactive is world-renowned as a place where startup companies strike the deals that make them successful, where cutting edge mobile apps are launched, and where corporations come to master the use of new technologies.

None of that really interests me, to be honest — there are countless websites where you can learn the latest corporate news about where the venture capital is flying.

Instead, I want to look at what these technologies mean for our future at the intersection of tech and politics. It’s almost trite to point out how fast our world is changing but it’s true nonetheless. Innovative, disruptive technologies are altering how we communicate, socialize, organize, how we keep and share secrets. During chaotic times, there are always some who celebrate how new ideas will save our world and others who decry how they’ll bring about our doom. The truth is almost always somewhere in between — new technologies change us. Humanity is still evolving, sometimes quite quickly, and to pretend we’re still (or should be) the same as our plains-dwelling ancestors strikes me as misguided and naive.

Of course, we must go into the future with our eyes open. New technologies bring new dangers, and sometimes those dangers only become apparent when we ask who is in control. The answers are rarely simple — modern mobile and camera technologies increase the ease of government surveillance, but also create the possibility of citizen sousveillance. I want to know what’s coming, not so we can try to stuff the genies back in their bottles, but so we can liberate their wishes for the people, not just the powerful.

Read more on Bytegeist.

I also wrote about some bad news for Tweetdeck that Twitter announced early this week, perhaps hoping to fly under the radar behind the SXSW buzz:

This news, while disappointing, is probably not shocking to many that follow social media. All companies including Adobe itself are moving away from the AIR platform for application development, and though that version of the software was once the most feature rich it had gone without an update in a long time.

But more so, many who worked in social media dreaded the acquisition of Tweetdeck by Twitter. Predictably,  the mobile versions have languished. For a long time, a fork of the project called Tweakdeck was a better choice on Android, but it also is out of date. All current versions are lacking in key features of the original Tweetdeck. Bugs linger in the Mac & PC versions long after being fixed on the Web. It’s hard not to agree with TechCrunch that “Given the clear focus on the web apps, it may just be a matter of time before the native apps will also get the ax.”

Read more on Bytegeist.