David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 4/11/2003; 3:53:30 PM.



Monday, March 10, 2003

The International Relations and Security Network (IRSN) has an article on the Bush administration's request for at least five US firms to bid on reconstruction work in Iraq.  The requested work would include reconstruction of electrical grids, some bridges and highways, and provide 550 emergency generators.  Haliburton has already been given a contract for firefighting operations at Iraqi oilfields.  What seems to be shaping up appears a lot like a redo of the Afghanistan conflict and reconstruction.  Can Bush/Blair find an Iraqi Karzai?

Craig Neilson points out that Utah is the 20th state to certify the eSlate electronic voting system.

Governor Leavitt and US Education Secretary Rod Paige announced the creation of the WGU Teachers College today.

This is an excellent summary of web design tips that should be used in creating and maintaining a website, including the use of RSS to maintain fresh content.

10:42:27 AM    comment []

An article in the Independent (via Voxpolitics) says that the Office of the e-Envoy is about to be cut dramatically.  What a shame.  I hope that Alan Mathers will continue his evangelization of eGovernment, regardless of whether he stays with the e-Envoy or moves on to something else.  Alan responds to concerns raised over eGov adoption rates,

That doesn't mean that I don't take ownership of the lack of usage. I do. And I'll work to change that, however the budget round comes out and however many people are in OeE - the vast bulk of the work that OeE needs to do now, having established policies and so on, is influence the decision makers in goverment into doing the right thing.

8:38:45 AM    comment []

Utah elkAn article in NW Fusion discusses a State of Colorado web services app that is used to track 160 domestic elk herds throughout the state.  Some of the elk are suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  The elk is Utah's state animal.  The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been testing for CWD for several years, particularly along the Colorado border and has tested about 1,500 elk.  Recently, a sample from a mature buck north of Vernal, Utah, came back positive.

The [Colorado] Web service uses SOAP and WSDL and includes hooks for UDDI, although that technology is not used currently. It has a Web portal front end that each division uses to access the database through a browser. The front end uses SOAP messages to trigger Web services that make XML-based procedure calls, such as "input data" or "run reports," into a Microsoft SQL database.

A quote from the manager of Colorado's application,

"Government agencies have all this iron sitting around and apps that are 15 years old.  And since the days of decent IT budgets are long past, let's keep this stuff up for a few more years, throw on a little different way we are going to access it, [such as] XML, and keep running. What people need to figure out is that they should consider Web services their gateway."

Web services is a great way to add new functionality to existing applications.  We need more government agencies who understand how to use it.

Utah elk distribution map

7:56:25 AM    comment []

Link to Afghan-WebSaturday morning, I was reading an article by Thomas Barnett entitled, "The Pentagon's New Map."  I was intrigued this morning to open up Phil Windley's weblog and find that he had been reading the same thing.  The article talks about globalization and the dangers found in areas disconnected from it.  Afghanistan has always been among the most disconnected nations which is an example that Barnett points to in creating his hypothesis.  That's why I was interested to see that the Afghans have now staked their claim on a piece of the internet (BBC News).  The internet was banned during the Taleban era and the new regime has just reserved the af top level domain (TLD) name.  According to Mohammed Masoom Stanakzai,

For Afghanistan, this is like reclaiming part of our sovereignty.

That's great.  This is an important step in Afghanistan's journey towards connectedness.  The UNDP in Afghanistan actually has the first active website with the .af domain.

6:54:03 AM    comment []

From the Standard Examiner:

Mayor Tom Waggoner (Clearfield, Utah) said the City Council is supportive of participation in the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) project, but he said the project hasn"t been included in the budget process for 2003-2004, due to fiscal concerns. The first step would be to fund study of the issue. The mayor did not rule out possible consideration of that study in the future.

UTOPIA is a telecommunications infrastructure that would link homes and businesses throughout Utah, thus providing access to voice, video and data service. In the UTOPIA system, the fiber lines would be leased to private businesses for voice, video or data services to participating households in the network.

According to the article (requires free registration), the cost of installing the system in the 18 municipalities who have signed up thus far would be $300 million.  Clearfield and two of its neighbors (Layton and Roy) are among the 18, but with the difficulty that cities are having fiscally, it may be a slow road to China.

6:13:57 AM    comment []

© Copyright 2003 David Fletcher.

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