public policy

US Supreme Court to hear important patent cases in 2014

public policy

A recent post on the top events ahead in 2014 for reforming abusive patent litigation focused on efforts by State Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission, and US Congress. Let’s now take a look to another field involved in the multi-prong strategy to address patent abuse: the Supreme Court, which is considering a number of important cases. » Read more

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Public policy: The big opportunity for health record data

Public policy: The big opportunity for health record data

A few weeks ago Colin Hansen - a politician in the governing party in British Columbia (BC) - penned an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun entitled Unlocking our data to save lives. It's a paper both the current government and opposition should read, as it is filled with some very promising ideas.

In it, he notes that BC has one of the best collections of health data anywhere in the world and that, data mining these records could yield patterns - like longitudinal adverse affects when drugs are combined or the correlations between diseases - that could save billions as well as improve health care outcomes. » Read more

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How to get your city to pass an open government policy

How to get your city to pass an open government policy

Raleigh, NC—City Council adopts open source policy

Today, the Raleigh City Council passed an Open Source Government Resolution, unanimously, promoting the use of open source software and open data. The resolution includes language that puts open source software on the same playing field as proprietary software in the procurement process. It also establishes an open data catalog to house data available from the city. » Read more

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Transparency for All, Until It Affects Me

A draft executive order from the Obama administration recently surfaced titled “Disclosure of Political Spending by Government Contractors.” If signed and implemented, potential contractors bidding on federal work would be required to disclose contributions and spending two years back. » Read more

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Let's think (and be) bigger about open source and government procurement

Last time I covered two reports assessing a potential move by The Netherlands government toward the use of more open source software. The commonality between the reports, with quite different conclusions, was the focus on cost and cost savings. 

» Read more

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Cost savings in The Netherlands: Now you see it, now you don't

The Open Source Observatory flashed an eye-popping headline last week: “Moving to open source would save [The Netherlands] government one to four billion [euro].”

I had hoped I could do the dirty work of going over the report in fine detail and give you the summary, but there are two problems: first, it’s only in Dutch (I guess the actual problem is I can’t read Dutch), and second, the government took it down.
» Read more

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B Corps: new advancements in a community advancing our communities

B Lab, the organization behind the growing community of B Corporations (companies using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems) or B Corps for short, recently released its 2011 annual report.

The report highlights some interesting progress over the last year, including a 75% increase in the number of certified B Corps, with larger businesses also joining the growing movement.
» Read more

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Which one of these is not like the other? Congressional Research Service and Transparency

"A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both.”

Those were the words of James Madison in 1822, repeated in a letter dated February 25 to Librarian of Congress James Billington. The letter was signed by 38 organizations including the American Library Association, Center for Democracy and Technology, Federation of American Scientists, Sunlight Foundation, and so on.
» Read more

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Lend some code to your local representative

There was a bit of news coming out the European Parliament recently that could be easily overlooked. MEP Indrek Tarand (of Estonia no less), along with some non-MEP partners, started the European Parliament Free Software User Group (EPFSUG).

With goals like “assist people in using Free Software in the European Parliament” and planned sessions like “making your laptop free” it’s largely internal focused and not geared toward policy making. The acronym doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, in English at least, and the website leaves much to be desired, but there’s still something interesting here. » Read more

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Diversifying Saudi Arabia through open source and its university-by-design

Last week I attended the EPIC conference in New York City. One of the more interesting topics came by way of Saudi Arabia. If you haven’t heard of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or KAUST, you’re missing out on one of the grander experiments at the intersection of government, culture, economic development, and academia.   » Read more

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