So proud to have played some small part in getting this amazing opportunity to our county.

ATLANTIS is an official selection for IndieCade!

Atlantis, the game I’ve been working on with my professor, Clay Ewing, and classmate, Franklin Zhang, (as NERDlab) has been named an Official Selection for IndieCade, the largest independent games festival in the world. Yeah, we’re really excited.

When an explosion breaches the Atlantis walls, residents of the underwater city must evacuate, snag resources and then defend themselves and fight off others. The games require players to tap, swipe, tilt and blow to compete against the clock, one-versus-one, and then as small teams. 

Atlantis is a series of massively multiplayer local mini-games united through a narrative. It’s designed for a large group of people to play on a single cinema screen using their phones as controllers. So far, three levels are completed, and we plan to build at least three more. We’ve packed a lot of different mechanics into the game, both for how players interact with the controller (phone) and for actual gameplay. 

We’re excited about where Atlantis is headed, we’re also psyched to see what other people might do with the idea and the tools we’ve made. Both Atlantis and the NERDlab controller (available on the App Store and Google Play) are open-source projects, built using OpenFrameworks. We’re working to make the NERDlab server and controller a bit more plug-and-play so that game designers and developers can use the tools to make their own games too. 

Visualizing the county budget, getting to work on open data policy

codeformia put together a very rudimentary budget visualization in advance of Mayor Gimenez’s social media town hall this week:


The response from the public has been very positive, and more important, we have been promised a more complete and granular set of budget data to make a more meaningful visualization.

The mayor also went on the record during the town hall supporting open data:

This is an important moment for our dedicated brigade of civic hackers, as we work toward policy change that would make data in the county and in municipalities open by default. We’re thrilled that in just over a year of work, we could bring this issue to the attention of so many elected officials and show Miami-Dade residents why it matters that local government data is transparent, accessible and free.



Welcome to the Hackers of Miami!

In the coming weeks we’ll showcase the incredible “Hackers” that are defining the future landscape of Miami, the United States, and the rest of the globe.Our Hackers are individuals that design, create, and implement innovative answers to…


Gentle Brain by Eugene Krivoruchko is “an interactive piece about the fleeting nature of digital pleasures.”  It is written in Processing and brought to the browser with processingjs.  See the code here. Finding the work in a news feed makes the piece all the more compelling.



Our Civic Hacking Brigade is always open to inviting those with ideas on how to create ease in communication with citizens and government. This week, we were joined by a like-minded group, the Cortadito Computer Club (CCC). The name is a play off the Hombrew Computer Club which started in Silicon…

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

Joan Didion, commencement address at University of California, Riverside, 1975.

Check out this great NPR collection of the best commencement speeches.


Every Monday, Code for Miami meets at the Lab Miami at 7pm to talk civic hacking and eat some pizza. However this past week stood out from the ordinary Monday routine. We had a very special guest, Commissioner Juan C Zapata, visit our group. We also got to hear from one of our members,

Lorraine Hansberry’s Likes and Hates, April 1, 1960

#PDF14 Recap: Save the Internet/The Internet Saves


Hanging with some of the Google Social Impact Team and PDF fellows at a dinner before the forum.

I spent the weekend in NYC as a Google fellow at Personal Democracy Forum. The theme of the forum was Save the Internet/The Internet Saves, and we spent two days thinking, learning and exchanging ideas and experiences about many facets of that proposition. How might people protect their personal data while governments make data more accessible and open? How might we make the Internet more welcoming and safe for all people? How might online networks become more engaged in offline democracy? How might we use the power of networks to protect the networks themselves?

Historically speaking, these questions aren’t exactly novel. Every great shift in our society and its governance has been closely tied to how we communicate — written words led to written laws and written rights, presses led to representative power and protections of expression, image-centric mass media led to civil rights, etc. Each change has carried its share of metaphorical and literal bloodshed as well. Thanks to the Internet, our communication and our identities are more specific and more networked than ever. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this Internet thing is still pretty new and is fundamentally a mish-mash of duct-taped software. We’re still deep in the middle of figuring out what it all means for society. 

There is a very old motto "festina lente," roughly “make haste slowly,” that kept circling around my brain at PDF. Rapid progress is necessary, but it requires diligence. The friction is especially apparent in the juxtaposition of intelligence surveillance with the open government movement, two broadly explored topics at PDF. As part of our government is exploiting ignorance (and afore-linked man-made disasters) of Internet security to gather data about citizens, other parts of our government are exposing more data than ever before to be more accountable to citizens. (It’s essential also to remember that government is itself a messy human network, not a monolith.) We are indeed making haste, but often too quickly to protect individuals or our collective interests. These collisions push us closer to a considered understanding of how to move forward as individuals and as a democratic society in a digitally networked age.

I am hopeful. At PDF, I met smart, active people working to improve access, to make government more responsive to citizens, to educate people on how to protect themselves online, to make a better Internet and to engage online communities for offline action. I am working alongside them on these issues in my communities too. Perhaps I am too optimistic, but I turn to history as a guide here too. As long as people have fought for equality, justice and freedom, society has progressed toward these ideals. The Internet is now both our battleground and our agent in this fight. That’s why net neutrality, privacy and open government are so critically linked though they seem on the surface to be at odds. An accessible Internet, where people may communicate freely and efficiently, is our best check against tyranny and offers our best opportunity to make our world more just and free. We have to save it to save ourselves.

Many thanks to the Google Social Impact Team for enabling me to attend PDF as a fellow, and to everyone who took the time to share their ideas and their work at the forum. Check out what happened at and on Twitter (hashtag #PDF14).