THE FIRST BITCOIN ATM

It’s hard to take virtual currencies seriously, but when companies start dispensing them from automatic teller machines, we have to take notice.

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AUNT BERTHA HAS INFO ON SOCIAL SERVICES

AuntBertha.com picks up where the government left off, offering information on social services. Type in a zip code and get information on sources for jobs, clothing, housing, health and food programs.

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THE POLITICAL POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA

The use of social media is beginning to seriously influence politics. The recent victory of Uber, a company that makes a taxi-summoning app, is a recent example. WhenWashington,D.C., council members tried to shut it down, the president of Uber fought back on Twitter.

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CO-SPONSOR A BILL IN CONGRESS

“Citizen Cosponsor” is a new Facebook app that lets you “cosponsor” one of six Congressional bills. It’s in the testing phase, so expect more bills later. Republican House Leader Eric Cantor designed it, and is the sponsor for five of the bills. Find it at MajorityLeader.gov/citizens

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THE NUMBERS REPORT

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the federal government throws out around 10,000 computers a week. While the government has made improvements in their throw-away habits, the report said, it noted that federal agencies often provide little assurance that their old computers are disposed of in any useful or environmentally friendly way.

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THE FED TWEETS

The Federal Reserve, that august body known for vague pronouncements on its control of the U.S. money supply, now has a Twitter account. When we last checked, it had almost 15,000 followers.

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FOLLOW THE MONEY IN POLITICS

MapLight.com has a “topics” tab to track federal legislation by issue area, such as “health” or “education.”

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FIND OUT WHAT YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT IS UP TO

OpenStates is an iPhone app that gives you the inside scoop on what your state government is up to. Who’s supporting what bill and how far along it is in the legislative process.

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PARKING IN BASES

“Bases” is a new 99-cent iPhone app that connects you to 160 military bases throughout the U.S. Tap to phone a base, get its address, link to its website or find out what facilities it has like a recreational-vehicle campsite, gym, commissary, and so on. (The RV campsites are handy for military retirees on long drives. Any former Armed Forces personnel can use them.) The iPhone app also works with the iPad or iPod Touch. More info at BasesApp.com.

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MONEY AND POLITICS

Maplight.com follows the money in politics. Recent example: Oil and gas interest groups gave 7.7 times as much money ($6,097 each), to House members who voted “yes” on speeding up construction of a new oil and gas pipeline as they gave to House members who voted “no.” The measure passed the House on July 27.

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