Abhijeet Chavan is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.
An article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press features some interesting approaches
to enhancing a city's WiFi infrastructure. (Via Slashdot
"WazTempe, a Tempe, Ariz.-based wireless-Internet pro-vider that is turning the city into one big Wi-Fi hot spot, has come up with a clever way to plug gaps in its network: golf carts equipped as Wi-Fi repeaters. The Waz Mobile Units transmit in a roughly one-mile radius and can integrate with the rest of the city's wireless "mesh" infrastructure."
Monday, November 1, 2004 - 9:06am PST
Several colleagues have forwarded me this recent letter from CommunityViz
, which suggests:
"The software will in the near future be made available at little or no cost. (This offering will include Scenario 360 v2.1 and later, and SiteBuilder 3D for CommunityViz.) We are in the process of exploring the logistics of this exciting new mode of distribution."
Saturday, October 30, 2004 - 8:10am PDT
I was interested to read inSetting sites on Section 508
about an accessibility tool built into Windows XP:
"There is a decent screen magnifier in Windows XP, which also includes a text-to-speech tool called Narrator. It is pretty limited and is only available in English, but it provides a useful tool in Notepad, Wordpad, Control Panel and Internet Explorer, as well as the Windows desktop and Windows setup."
You can launch Narrator easily by pressing the Windows logo key and the U key, which also lets you start and stop the tool.
Thursday, October 28, 2004 - 10:13am PDT
Remember when interactive television was dead? Time-Warner's Full Service Television experiment in Florida in the 1990s was a failure -- people hated it. Something about how the set-top boxes sucked, I think. So the concept went away, fading like CD-ROMs before the onslaught of the Internet.
At least, that seems to be what the New York Times remembers
. Here's the part I'm talking about:
The Microsoft Home is more like a concept car, a design to dream about. Microsoft has imagined a dream house before: 10 years ago the company unveiled its first such demonstration home. At the time Microsoft's designers were intrigued by interactive television, a technology that never became the next big thing.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 4:32pm PDT
Okay, I get it. Cities are getting wireless data connectivity. Here's
CNN.com on the subject. Salient bits:
One of only a handful of cities in the nation to try it, Chaska -- just southwest of Minneapolis -- plans to have most of the city's 15 square miles Wi-Fi operational by the end of October.
"We firmly believe that the Internet is going to be just as much a part of everybody's future as the telephone or electricity is and we want to make sure that everybody has equal access to it," says Bradley Mayer, Chaska's information systems manager. "We wanted to ensure there was some sort of broadband activity that could be affordable by our residents."
Monday, October 18, 2004 - 1:42pm PDT
A financial program running on Linux is helping Stanislaw County, CA, save money
"The Linux server now in use by the county helps manage its finances...employees who track the county's money log on to the server through a Web browser...Because there's only one program for the server instead of hundreds of copies for each computer at employees' workstations, the county also saves money on software licensing..."
Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 2:15pm PDT
The Internet can be a great way to supplement public meetings and get more people to participate in registering their opinions and preferences for planning alternatives. (Of course there are equity issues but that's a discussion for another piece.)
The image below is an example of a question asked on the online visual preference survey used by Midtown Columbus Georgia. Results from the survey, gathered both in public meetings and online, are being used as a foundation for guiding the future planning recommendations for Midtown Columbus.
Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 1:37pm PDT
To understand why cities matter in the presidential election, take a look at this map I cribbed from USA Today's
coverage of the 2000 campaign, and how it ended:
Red = Republican, George W. Bush.
Blue = Democrat, Al Gore
See where the blue is? Cities. One of the ways the Democrats lost the last election was in what's called GOTV -- Get Out The Vote. They weren't able to get enough urbanites (which is an electoral euphemism for minorities and the poor) to the polls.
Friday, October 8, 2004 - 5:33pm PDT
Just work with me on this. It has a point at the end.
Earlier this week, my dad -- former lefty activist, retired Los Angeles Unified School District technocrat -- sent me the following e-mail:
When I take Tucker [his English Setter] for a walk along the dirt path next to the country club, and back down the other side of the street, I see that folks leave their dog poop on the ground. I made a couple of suggestions to the Tarzana Homeowners Assoc. and, now, have been invited to make a Dog Poop Presentation to the executive board of said organization.
I mention this to make you aware of what could happen to you when you get old. I've gone from saving the world, to saving LAUSD to saving a few blocks from poop. I know that all politics are local, but this is ridiculous.
Friday, October 8, 2004 - 5:03pm PDT
Many state and federal governments around the world are increasingly turning to open source software
for e-government solutions. According to Sun Microsystems Inc. chairman Scott McNealy, a state and local government that bases an e-government portal on open source is building a "custom jalopy
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 12:52pm PDT