The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) now has its on blog, "a place where you can learn about and have real input into the policymaking process as it relates to science and technology."
The Obama administration broke new ground by appointing a Chief Information Officer (See: CIO2.0 - White House Names "First Federal Chief Information Officer). Now, President Obama has appointed Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra to serve as the nation's first Chief Technology Officer.
One of the things we worry about at FGI is how technology that could be opening up information access is too often used to reduce access. Amazon.com's Kindle e-book reader is a completely proprietary device. You can't buy a "Kindle" book and loan it or re-sell it or give it away or read it on any device except on one Kindle. Amazon even charges you to convert PDFs into the Kindle format (or so I have heard). It also has a nice feature that allows text to be vocalized -- great for the blind, but not a replacement for audiobook performances read by professionals. But the Author's Guild sees this as a threat and Amazon, while claiming (rightly, I think) that the feature is legal, is nevertheless willing to disable text-to-speech on a title-by-title basis at the rightsholder's request.
Caving into bullies (aka, here we go again), Lawrence Lessig, February 28, 2009.
The 2009 edition of the Horizon Report is now available:
- The Horizon Report, 2009 edition, the New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI).
Background: NMC Releases 2009 Horizon Report, by NMC, January 20th, 2009.
The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the NMC’s Horizon Project, a research-oriented effort that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative expression within higher education. A collaboration between the NMC and ELI, the 2009 Horizon Report is the sixth in the annual series....
In defining the six selected areas for 2009 — mobile devices, cloud computing, geo-everything, the personal web, semantic-aware applications, and smart objects — the project tapped into an ongoing discussion among knowledgeable individuals in business, industry, and education, as well as published resources, current research and practice, and the expertise of the NMC and ELI communities.
A new group called the TIGR (Technology, Innovation and Government Reform) Team has been started by the Obama Administration. A recent article in Government Technology states that this group "is dedicated to fostering innovation within government." A link is provided to the YouTube video in which Vivek Kundra, the CTO of Washignton, D.C., and a member of the TIGR group discusses how this innovation would help to improve the efficiency of government programs.
CNN reports that the Army Experience Center located in the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia is using video games to attract new recruits. It is a 14,500 square foot facility that has 60 computers which offers virtual reality games for the youth. This new marketing strategy has been employed to educate the general public about the careers available in the Army.
Vivek Kundra, the Chief Technology Officer of Washington, D.C., has adopted an uncommon approach for conducting the daily operations of the District's 86 agencies. YouTube is used to post information regarding the bidding process for city contracts. He and other DC government employees use Google Apps as a collaboration tool and for sharing information. Kundra believes that it encourages government transparency and improves government services. The Washington Post article mentioned that he may be a potential candidate for the new position of Federal Chief Technology Officer, which Obama intends to establish.
Are you wondering who President-elect Barack Obama will appoint as the country's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO)? Want to voice your opinion on what their top priorities should be?
Then check out ObamaCTO.org and have your say! The website enables you to create an account, post your idea, comment on other ideas, and vote up to 10 times to help rank the ideas posted.
I've noticed some of the ideas posted may not relate to what a CTO might do or be in charge of, but maybe those will get ranked out! Or maybe they could be potential priorities in the future. Who knows? What are some responsibilities of this future CTO? Well, I wish I could tell you, but the "agenda" for Technology page, including information about a CTO, is "not available right now" according to the change.gov website. Oh, the irony!
But the Obama/Biden campaign website has some information still up on this issue of technology and a CTO where they state that:
Obama will appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.
Tip o' the hat to BoingBoing.net for posting about this new website.
Ok, Mr. President...fulfill your technological promises! I am very excited about some of his proposals, especially in regards to government information transparency and access.
Mashable.com posted "A Final Look at Presidential Technology Policy" earlier this week and they had this to say about Obama vs. McCain's plans:
Rather than focusing on anti-trust and and subsidies, as Barack Obama intends to do, what would be better would be focusing on creating an environment where corporate taxes were lowered, and other tax incentives were emphasized for start-ups who focus on better information infrastructure. Senator McCain’s tax plan is moderately favorable towards this theory, though it is likely simply a coincidence convenient to this argument rather than a well thought out technology policy.
When it comes to the basics, both presidential candidates are generally on the right track, and are generally in agreement as well. I’ve outlined above where they differ, though, and I think history has shown that Barack Obama’s desired policy directions would be more detrimental to innovation and growth for the tech sector.
Interesting that they believe Obama's desired policies may be detrimental to technology. I'm not well versed enough on the issues of Broadband/Anti-trust & subsidies to know whether or not I agree. What do you think?
Mashable also has a great blog post on "Government 2.0: The Presidential Transition". I agree with the author's sentiment that the new President must look to the needs of the entire nation, and we need to giver our input too.
...citizens should be engaged in the transition process,...In an increasingly fragmented media and information society, that level of engagement requires more than a press release and newspaper coverage. It means full multimedia engagement using blogging, speeches, informal gatherings, mobile technologies, podcasts, online video, and widgets. The outreach should also use social tools that allow bidirectional conversation, increasing citizen participation and interest in government.
This is being webcast right now (Oct 30, 2008, 12:30 PM EST)
Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Reed Hundt Debate the Candidates' Tech Agendas
"Join us as two top presidential campaign advisers debate these specific issues and describe the candidates' respective visions for maximizing technological innovation and access."
Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Douglas Holtz-Eakin is unable to participate in today's event, and the McCain campaign will not be sending an alternate spokesperson. The event will proceed as scheduled with Reed Hundt representing the Obama campaign.