Government

Patching democracy with open data

America held its first billion-dollar political race in 2008 – DVR use soared (no surprise there). A new lineup of over-produced ads and under-researched hit pieces have yet to hit primetime, and accountability advocates are already worried about November. » Read more

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Jeremy Allison and Terri Molini on Open Source for America and change in Washington

Jeremy Allison of Google and Terri Molini of Initmarketing, both presenting on behalf of Open Source for America (OSFA), joined us for the first Open Your World Forum.  OSFA is organized to advocate for open source technology use in the US Federal government, and represents  well over a thousand members, including tech industry leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academic research institutions. » Read more

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Larry Lessig takes on Washington

I had the opportunity to sit down with Larry Lessig last week.  Co-founder of Creative Commons, law professor, author, and copyright guru, Lessig is a visionary of law and technology policy.

In the FLOSS community, Lessig is best known for his book Free Culture and work on copyright policy. In his view, attitudes towards copyright started to change when we saw kids and grandmothers sued for file sharing. Lessig has never argued for abolishment of copyright, but he has always argued that there needs to be balancea more permissive society that allows artists to reserve the rights they need, while allowing others to remix and improve without fear of prosecution.

But two years ago, Lessig moved away from the copyright field to invest more time researching institutional corruption and citizen-funded elections. » Read more

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Open Economics: Inspiring confidence through transparency

Market confidence is a valuable commodity in tough economic times. And governments will try just about anything to inspire some.  Recapitalization--bailouts--for struggling sectors is one approach.  Another (less deficit-inducing) solution seeks to inspire confidence through a sizable dose of transparency. Bank stress tests are beginning to figure prominently in the later effort.  Stress tests measure how well financial institutions perform under financial "what if" scenarios.  » Read more

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Graham Taylor and Karsten Gerloff on free software/open source in Europe

Graham Taylor of OpenForum Europe (OFE) and  Karsten Gerloff of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) cite standardization policy as the principal battleground for free software & open source communities in Europe.  As Taylor observes, “We [OFE] identified that 90% of the public sector had lost their choice about freely choosing the next step [of software procurement], using all proprietary technologies.”   » Read more

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A new and better Open Source Initiative

When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There's no doubt that we need OSI - but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help. » Read more

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Report Card on Federal Openness

Open Source for America (OSFA) has announced a report card scoring the openness  of federal  agencies and departments!  Today marks the six-month anniversary of the Obama Administration's Open Government Directive, a big step towards greater transparency, collaboration, and participation in government.
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Where's my bus? Open data enables real-time route info for Boston riders

At Gov 2.0 Expo last week, Joshua Robin, the Director of Innovation and Special Projects at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, described how MassDOT was inspired by the simple concept of open data modeled by the National Weather Service.

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Spreading the dandelions: Open Your World recap

Thank you to all who joined us for the first Open Your World forum yesterday, and a special thanks to our speakers. We hope you all learned something new to apply to your lives. » Read more

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Open Your World forum: Thanks for coming

That image isn't quite true anymore. It was today, but now it's over. But if you missed it, you can still register here and view the archives. We'll tell you more tomorrow.

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