In Adam's spirit of "tweaking" fellow bloggers, (Hi All) I'd like to emphasize Adam's last point - "Is it still a utility if no one utilizes it?" For all of the talk about municipal wireless, particularly in my hometown of Philadelphia, I've always been concerned about the ultimate use of the investment despite the fact I agree that anti-municipal broadband laws are detrimental to the flexibility of any City to serve their population. I'm reminded of an interview posted on Muniwireless Blog Post
Jun 23, 2005   By Scott Page
Mostly I'm posting this just to maliciously tweak my fellow blogger Charles Kaylor. Hi, Charles! It seems that not everybody wants free WiFi downtown. At least, not everybody in Orlando, Florida, which according to the Orlando Sentinel is cranking down the valve on the urban teat. Or something.Sunday marked the last day of a pilot program that allowed those in certain downtown "hot spots" to access the Internet free of charge. Blog Post
Jun 21, 2005   By
Less a cool application and more of an example of the power of information put in the hands of neighborhood groups. The Philadelphia Inquirer a month or two back put together this interactive map showing the frequency of shootings in the City (which Charlie's map reminded me of). Illustrated like a topographical map, many neighborhoods reacted quite strongly to the information. The unfortunate trends, represented and placed on the front page, has further inhibited any ability to market specific neighborhoods as improving and/or attractive places to live. Blog Post
Jun 7, 2005   By Scott Page
BBC reports that government agencies and state-run enterprises in Brazil are switching from Microsoft Windows to open source alternatives. According to a source cited in the story, the primary motivation is economics. The Brazilian government estimates it could save $120m a year by switching and is considering making the use of open source software compulsory for government. Blog Post
Jun 6, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan
This article, How Linux Could Overthrow Microsoft, in MIT's Technology Review caught me off-guard. The article is a fascinating overview of the open source and proprietary software models. It appears to be well-researched and written, and makes a compelling case for open source:...For all its flaws, the open-source model has powerful advantages. The deepest and also most interesting of these advantages is that, to put it grossly, open source takes the bullshit out of software. Blog Post
May 18, 2005   By Chris Steins
American Planning AssociationExecutive Director Paul Farmer testifies before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Federalism and The Census that public investment based on unreliable data and analysis may constitute a hidden tax in the form of higher costs for infrastructure. Farmer's compelling testimony (PDF, 150KB) is based on his role as CEO of the APA Blog Post
May 17, 2005   By Chris Steins
Google's new mapping feature is getting a lot of (deserved) attention for its easy access to satellite imagery (thanks to Google's judicious purchase of satellite mapping company Keyhole). Microsoft tried much the same thing when it set up TerraServer, but Google's version is easier and more fun to use. That probably doesn't surprise you. Anyway, here's another cool Google Map application: Sprol Blog Post
May 12, 2005   By
One of the best travelogues of pictures i've seen. Escape Route provides a unique method for organizing and viewing photos. The site also offers dphoto - a kind of ophoto with pizazz. This is one step away from what could be a great application for organizing and documenting change at the scale of a neighborhood, city and region. Blog Post
May 9, 2005   By Scott Page
One of students was kind enough to forward this to me. The Cool Space Locater is designed to match innovative and creative firms to spaces that may not traditionally appeal to businesses looking for office space. I could have used this in Philadelphia when I really needed office space that wasn't overpriced nor in Center City. The only resource we really had was Craig's list as there are few coordinated resources for finding office spaces for rent - particularly small, non-traditional spaces. Blog Post
May 5, 2005   By Scott Page
Broadband Reports reports on CNET's national map which offers a state-by-state summary of developing fiber or Wi-Fi projects, and the legal barriers states are are facing in implementing these projects. From a CNET article Blog Post
May 3, 2005   By Chris Steins