Friday, October 22, 2004

Bush vs. Kerry: Candidates more alike than different on tech issues

PG: Bush vs. Kerry: Candidates more alike than different on tech issues

I am going to offer strong distinctions next to my opponents on tech issues in 2005. Sadly, some on Grant Street today have been there long enough that I'm not sure that they can even spell email. And for me to point to spelling as a strong suit is fiberglasting. Many on Grant Street need to move to the private sector for a while so the city can retool.

On copyright policy:
Most of my content is put into the public domain. I was one of a few who helped to push Netscape to the Eureka Squared! concept for putting its web browser code (remember the browser wars) into a tar ball into the public domain and to release under a more liberal Mozilla public license. Later, Mozilla changed its license policy. I also pushed for the DSL (Design Science License) years before there was any Stanford based Creative Commons. Now the CC is moving too far back into the corporate sphere with too many options and restrictions.

While the trade group will not comment on either candidate's platform, at least one high-powered member has expressed annoyance with the candidates' silence on tech issues.

Intel Chief Executive Officer Craig Barrett told a crowd of tech workers earlier this week that the country is losing its global competitive edge and that Bush and Kerry, in their debates, virtually ignored the country's declining tech infrastructure.

Pittsburgh has lost its tech advantage. We should have 80 wired senior centers, rec centers and community outlets with cable modems. These factors are part of the city's cable franchise agreement that are now being squandered by Tom Murphy's administration.

We should have the parental dashboard functional for all the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Then parents can check on real-time matters at schools -- like if the kids are in class or not.

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

An example of a program that we should and could be doing in Pittsburgh;

[DO-Consult] I'm a Councillor, Get me out of Here!

This event currently being run for 26 Local Authorities across England and Wales. It is aimed at starting a dialogue between local councillors and young people.

School students and young people at youth groups are given access to a site ( that allows them to ask questions of the participating councillors and to vote for the one they want to win the event. They are encouraged to use the site by teachers keen to cover the citizenship syllabus in new and interesting ways using the teaching materials we provide.

It is now in it's final week - voting finishes on Friday. Access to the site can be found at Your readers should use guest for both username and access code and that will allow them to read what has been said so far on each of the 26 councils.

So far on the event we've had a great response from schools, youth groups and councillors across the country. Thousands of students have registered, we've had over 20,000 visits to the site and over 2,500 questions asked.

But the numbers don't tell the real story. The real story is that Councillors up and down the country are making real connections to young people they wouldn't normally meet. Councillor's answering questions from Special Needs Students in Bexhill; students inviting Councillors to visit their school in Leicester; Councillors guiding excluded teenagers how to start a petition in Cardiff. It is in the detail of the questions and conversation that the real power and benefit of I'm a Councillor... can be found.
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Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, a CMU Community Connection site is as lame as 1984. Anyone home in those ivory towers? We need somebody to care. Holding a rally for a presidential candidate is great, every four years. Schmoozing with Bill Gates is fine too. But each departement, every dorm, every club presents opportunities to put a focus on Pittsburgh and begin to tie the undergraduates to this town in many ways.