Government

New Public Spaces 2: Practical Design Guidelines

Last post, I discussed how governments, especially state and local, should be thinking differently about the ways they engage online with the people they serve. » Read more

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Lawrence Lessig's new journey (part two)

I think I was as surprised as anyone when I heard that Larry Lessig was stepping away from Creative Commons. It seemed like a sudden change of direction, because Lessig has been a vocal advocate for freedom and choice for so many years. But as I hear Lessig describe his journey from Creative Commons to Change Congress, I’m reminded of Daniel Okrent’s history of the prohibition movement in the United States, "Last Call". » Read more

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Mil-OSS working group 2 wrap-up

Openness in the military is coming of-age, as was evident to the attendees at the 2nd Military Open Source Software (Mil-OSS) working group held August 3-5 in Arlington, Virginia. This grassroots gathering of practitioners in the art/science of creating military capabilities was unique in its inclusive atmosphere of government civilians, military uniformed (and retired) personnel, government contractors, and university academics. All gathered with one goal: » Read more

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Spook developer speaks! An interview with Matthew Burton

I had a chance to talk with Matthew Burton, the former intelligence analyst turned open source cause celebre who just launched a tool that helps frame and understand arguments with imperfect evidence. It's based on method called Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH), which has been around for quite some time. Matthew and his friend Josh Knowles, though, have a tool that allows the ACH method to be used by multiple participants simultaneously. It's fascinating stuff, so I'm grateful that he took the time to talk with me.

On a personal note: I'm delighted to see that Matthew is a fellow emdash enthusiast, as you'll see below.

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Lawrence Lessig’s new journey (part one)

Maybe you’ve heard of Lawrence Lessig. Maybe as Larry Lessig. Then again, maybe you haven’t. But perhaps you’ve heard of free culture as a movement or Creative Commons or DRM, or copyright law. How about freedom? » Read more

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Planning ahead for a new breed of "public" spaces

Think about a public space. Maybe it’s a park, or a public library, but some physical space owned by government. We have different expectations about public spaces, and our freedoms in them, compared to private spaces.

Think about a place where civic happenings go on, where dialogue and delivery of services occur. What comes to mind for me is the (maybe nostalgic) notion of a bustling city hall. People go there to interact with government and each other, and accomplish something. In theory, at least.

Now, imagine this public space is virtual. » Read more

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Trust, transparency, and WikiLeaks: Who gets to have control?

Speaking at the Pentagon on WikiLeaks' disclosure of thousands of classified documents, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates used the word "trust" fourteen times. » Read more

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Who had the first government open source policy?

Brian Purchia of Burson-Marsteller has a post over on GovFresh about the value of open source to unions. His argument pivots on cost-savings. I think you could make a more expansive argument that includes risk mitigation and innovation, but describing the advantage to unions is an interesting angle I hadn’t seen before. » Read more

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Lockheed Martin goes open source, people freak out.

I was really pleased to read the announcement that Lockheed Martin’s social networking platform, EurekaStreams, was released as an open source project today. Lockheed is a very conservative company, and while they’re happy to use open source internally and on projects for their customers, this is their first experiment with actually running a project themselves. » Read more

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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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