Mark Drapeau on “Government 2.0: The Midlife Crisis”

My buddy Mark Drapeau has got a pretty solid article in ReadWrite Web entitled “Government 2.0: The Midlife Crisis.”

Government 2.0 has reached its midlife crisis. Despite some leadership from influential individuals on using social software in government, there is still in many cases a disconnect between authorities issuing directives and ground troops carrying them out. In some corridors of Washington, this impervious middle section of government is jokingly referred to as “the clay layer,” the layer through which no light shall pass. Resistant to change and adhering strictly to doctrine even when nonsensical, people in the clay layer can halt progress. Despite their intentions and being in a strategic position, they often stop the progress being called for.

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Is that a book in your pocket? No, it’s my iPhone.

So… in addition to reading the NY Times on my iPhone, I recently downloaded the Amazon Kindle app for the iPhone, bought a book, and have begun reading on that.

Much to my surprise, it was quite enjoyable. It was like any other reading type experience that I had had. The book was good so I just flipped right through it.

It felt nice that I could have so many books in the palm of my hand. I didn’t have to worry about lugging them around with me in my bag.

After 20 minutes of reading, my eyes didn’t feel strained. They felt fine.

Battery consumption concerns me. It feels like because, when you’re reading, you always have the screen going that I’m going to kill the battery. I haven’t gotten a feeling for that yet so I’ll check back in.

Have you tried it out at all? What do you think?

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Congrats to DC’s Vivek Kundra on Being Named the Federal CIO

Wanted to send a hearty congrats to DC’s very own Vivek Kundra. He’s been named by President Obama to the post of Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO).

He also will be charged with using technology to lower the cost of government operations and making government data more accessible to citizens, two things he championed as the District’s chief technology officer.

Definitely wish him the best of luck!!!!  Hopefully he’ll really be able to cut through the BS and get some stuff done.

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NY Times iPhone App Offline Support is Awesome!! Works Perfectly.

I take the subway to work everyday. During that time period, I’m completely without mobile reception. I have an iPhone and AT&T and that doesn’t work in the subway tunnels.

So I was kind of excited when the NY Times announced that they were adding offline support for their iPhone app. I tried it on the subway today and it worked perfectly.

Now, I wish that Apple would add offline capability to the iPhone version of Safari so that I could do this with just a normal mobile Web site.

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“Entrepreneurs are the fertile soil for job growth and recovery.”

The CEO and Founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman had a pretty interesting Op-Ed in yesterday’s Washington Post, entitled “Let Our Start-Ups Bail Us Out”, with a follow-up today in TechCrunch.

He promotes the idea that if we want to pull out of the current economic times that we’re in we need to incentivize small business, make it easy for them to innovate, and inevitably create brand new powerhouses which employ a lot of people.

Here’s a pretty cool chunk from the WaPo op-ed:

To translate the stimulus into sustainable growth, we need incentives for business innovators.

Entrepreneurs are the fertile soil for job growth and recovery. Small companies represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, Commerce Department data show. They pay nearly 45 percent of U.S. private payroll and have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the past decade.

Consider a few start-ups from the past century: Microsoft, MTV, CNN, FedEx, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Burger King. Each opened during a period of economic downturn. Today, these brands employ hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. We need to prepare for the next Burger King. By empowering individuals and small businesses, an innovation stimulus can help germinate stable industry players for the long term.

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New Mac Mini = Justin Gets Rid of Comcast Cable… Finally!

So… everyone is talking about a potential new Mac Mini. This is definitely something that I’d love to see happen. This is a computer that hasn’t been updated by Apple in a long time.

I’d love to take a new Mac Mini, load it with something like Boxee, hook that up to my television, and once and for all DUMP COMCAST CABLE.

It’s kind of funny because a few months worth of my cable bill would pay for the Mac Mini, if it stays along it’s current pricing lines.

What do you guys think? Would you do it?

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WaPo on Road Bumps for the White House Tech Team

Interesting story yesterday in the Washington Post about some of the road bumps that the White House Tech team was facing…

The team that ran the most technologically advanced presidential campaign in modern history is finding it difficult to adapt that model to government., envisioned as the primary vehicle for President Obama to communicate with the online masses, has been overwhelmed by challenges that staffers did not foresee and technological problems they have yet to solve.

Obama, for example, would like to send out mass e-mail updates on presidential initiatives, but the White House does not have the technology in place to do so. The same goes for text messaging, another campaign staple.

Beyond the technological upgrades needed to enable text broadcasts, there are security and privacy rules to sort out involving the collection of cellphone numbers, according to Obama aides, who acknowledge being caught off guard by the strictures of government bureaucracy.

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