David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 6/10/2003; 1:19:18 PM.



Friday, May 09, 2003

Idaho has developed a Public Safety WiFi network that covers the 60 square mile area in and around Post Falls.  The system uses Orinoco outdoor routers and 802.11 access points.  We need to review what they accomplished to see if there is anything that we can learn as we implement the Utah Wireless Integrated Network.

In a recent example highlighting the value of wireless connectivity in patrol cars, a Utah officer pulled over a green minivan with a child kidnapper almost immediately after accessing an amber alert initiated from Minnesota on his laptop.

Ceristar has announced a new wired "smart" community in American Fork, Utah.  Fiber connections (using a Wave7Optics solution) will provide over 300 cable channels, VoIP phone service, video on-demand, games on-demand, as well as 8-15 Mbps of internet service.

11:48:16 AM    comment []

In a recent article in varBusiness, NASCIO sounds like a club for complaining about declining budgets.  Then, in another article that claims state CIOs are gaining clout, Jeff Schwartz argues that CIOs can use budget shortages to gain leverage with vendors.  The real challenge is that governments are not always as good as they could or should be at delivering efficiencies through technology and then communicating that with state legislatures who appropriate the money.  I think more legislatures are beginning to see the silos that exist, but feel that it is the responsibility of executive branch agencies to fix that by working together more cooperatively without fully grasping how much the appropriations process and career service restrictions contribute to these silos.

The Utah Technology Commission has suggested a list of interim technology study items, in addition to those passed in the Master Study Resolution.  The list includes:

  • Biomedical Engineering Licenses
  • Broadband Service
  • Do Not Call lists
  • Electronic Waste Recycling
  • Internet Privacy
  • State Information Technology Services
  • Security

I could suggest a log more, but these will probably keep them pretty busy.  I would like them to review major initiatives like the Utah Wireless Integrated Network and enterprise online licensing, and then provide constructive feedback.  We need legislators to understand the value of these initiatives and collaborate to solve the budget issues.

11:31:35 AM    comment []

More columnists are turning to officially sanctioned blogs as a way to publish their thoughts.  Add Daniel Weintraub to the list.  Weintraub, who writes for the Sacramento Bee, began his blog (called the California Insider) last month and writes about issues of policy and politic.  He explains why he is blogging in addition to writing his regular columns.

Meanwhile, the debate continues at UEN concerning the value of organizational blogging.  Jim Stewart says that participants in their panel discussion felt that blogging was pointless unless what you had to say was dynamic and unique.  After maintaining a weblog for 11 months, I must agree with Jim; blogging develops a sense of community and stimulates creative thought.  And Rich Finlinson adds this important thought:

Blogging is a worthwhile endeavor in self-expression even if the only reader is the blog writer. Thinking through topics, research, writing, editing, proofing, publishing -- the process may be as important or more imporant than what you actually write.

One of the challenges is that many of the more interesting rewards of blogs are not realized during the first week or month of the blogs life.  Unfortunately, a large number of experimenters have already dropped out by then.

10:56:03 AM    comment []

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