Given my love for tahini, it’s only natural that I would find some elaborate ways to use it. Figuring out this inimitable cocktail was a multi-step process, and I had to experiment before it was ready to be shared with the world. When I make drinks for myself, I’m not nearly as discerning as when I want to share them. And I’m definitely not a pro putting drinks on a menu and serving them to customers. However, after learning about a fundamental, classic cocktail ingredient and experimenting with a few variations, I was ready to put this to the test.


“Done, Enjoy buddy :)))” What would you think if you got that message? Maybe it’s a friend or coworker who just did you a favor? Not this time. In this case, it’s more like a sinister warning from a Stephen King novel. This is the menacing message that appears in the command line of computers affected by the RobbinHood ransomware attack, which targeted Baltimore, MD in May 2019. The result: 10,000 PCs and servers frozen, 200 real estate transactions stalled, public health systems compromised, and city utility billing systems malfunctioning. …


Right now, as you’ve probably figured out, huge amounts of data is being collected about every conceivable topic. From interactions between people to scientific data, everyone wants to track something. Organizations, researchers, companies, and governments are creating new tools to meet their data needs. While much of the collected information collected is proprietary or private, many teams leave their results open.

There is a growing call for more of this accesible information from the open data movement. You may have seen progress already from sources like the US government (www.data.gov) and the UK government, (www.data.gov.uk). Across the web there are…


This guide is meant for hungry Westerners who would like to dive further into bowls of hummus. This guide was written by a fellow Westerner who has eaten quite a lot of hummus at some very well-liked places in the Middle East. While hummus has spread worldwide and is eaten regularly in the Mid-East region, it originates more specifically from the Levant. The Levant covers the areas known today as Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria, and parts of southern Turkey.

The first section is the guide to hummus, it begins with a basic recipe that is easy to make and…


Unfortunately, we’re always going to have roadblocks in implementing new technology. Being held accountable is one of them. If you’re trying to meet mission goals and do good using new technology, you’ll need to make sure your cyber tools limit potential harm. Issues like privacy, bias, access, data protection, and disclosure are some of the key factors in making sure that AI and personal data is used properly. Improper development in these key areas, or simply ignoring them, can mean that your product is putting constituents, beneficiaries, members, and even stakeholders at risk.

It’s critical to meet a high standard…


Are you wondering how you can use chat applications to connect more easily with your audiences? Do you think automating messages could help? If you haven’t thought about using a chatbot, it might be time to look into it. If you have thought about it, read on to see some examples of chatbots that have a real impact.

By now you’ve used Facebook for communications. It’s also likely that you have great mix of communications tools to increase awareness, engage donors, or organize supporters. Maybe you take requests from your Facebook business page and using the Messenger app. …


FBI Director Comey’s Testimony, 3 May 2017

During FBI Director Jim Comey’s testimony yesterday, he was asked point blank about vetting refugees in the US. The answer glossed over most of the process. His response to Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) covered only the FBI’s use of the US intelligence community. In reality, this is a multi-step process that involves the United Nations, State Department, and Department of Homeland Security. The process can take up to 2 years, even before a refugee reaches US soil. And the US isn’t bearing the brunt of the crisis. Europe is commanding a global effort to accommodate refugees and asylum seekers.

Digitizing…


Open Government Partnership Toolbox

Using technology to improve democracy has long been a goal of activists, technologists, and citizens alike. Today there are hundreds of tools for both government offices and citizens. Offices use them to improve governance and increase participation. Citizens use them to organize and even create new democratic systems. Whatever your needs are, there’s an application out there for you.

Leading the charge is the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Launched in 2011, the OGP includes over 75 member countries. Governments, together with civil society organizations, are working to advance their goals. Their mission is to make governance more open, accountable, and…


Photo by USIP

Convene, connect, build, and inspire. These are the four core principles behind the PeaceTech Lab developed by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The Lab, located in Washington, DC is designed to guide new projects that use technology to promote peace. Programs use technology tools, media, and data for peacebuilding.

Peacetech uses data on human dynamics and sentiment, which the Lab refers to as “the DNA of conflict” to manage conflict. The Lab has programs which include tech exchanges, multimedia content, and data tools. These programs have already reached Afghanistan and Colombia to help prevent violence. Recently they also…


What is data science and how can data scientists work with your organization? For many organizations, there are a lot of data resources available. Whether it’s your internal member or donor information, program statistics, or open data provided by outside sources. But using that data to its full potential can be a challenge. And many organizations don’t know where to start.

In short, data science is the analysis of data to extract insights and trends. …

Elliot TG

Recommendations for public interest technology, digital products, and home cooking.

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