Abhijeet Chavan is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.
An article in the Los Angeles Times takes a look at how local and national government agencies around the world are increasing adopting Open Source Software (OSS). (See: "Developing Nations See Linux as a Savior From Microsoft's Grip
" [Reg. reqd], Los Angeles Time, page A4, Aug 9th, 2004) . According to the article:
"Government-driven movements to shift to free or low-cost software ï¿½ fed by security, economic and ideological concerns -- threaten to dent Microsoft's ambitions. In fact, government officials the world over, from local authorities in Austria's capital to high-ranking national bureaucrats in India, are increasingly moving from proprietary software such as Microsoft's to open-source products."
Monday, August 9, 2004 - 11:03pm PDT
Washington, DC - in our nation's capital, blogging about a New York Times article about Los Angeles. Isn't technology wonderful?
The Times almost never gets LA right. They cover it like an alien planet, populated by strange, non-New Yorkers who also seem kinda hip (so what's up with that?). Usually, every NYT story about LA begins with the same implicit lead sentence that their coverage of Japan used to: "These freakin' people, you wouldn't believe what they're up to now."
And then comes this
Monday, August 9, 2004 - 9:13am PDT
The Planning and Regulatory Services Online project [PARSOL
], a local e-government initiative in the U.K. has developed a new XML schema for monitoring land use.
[The PARSOL schema] has been designed to provide a standard for planning application monitoring data (used to monitor land use against local and national plans and policies). This schema will be used for the exchange of data at a local, regional and national level...The information covers both residential (housing) and industrial (employment) information gathered from planning application, inspections and reviews.
Friday, August 6, 2004 - 8:51am PDT
I missed this
story in Variety this weekend. It's about movie theaters in downtown Los Angeles as the latest strategy to "revitalize" the neighborhood where my fellow blogger Chris and I used to drive late, late at night when we were kids, to view the postapocalyptic emptiness of it all.
A salient bit:
Almost a century has passed since Hollywood staged its biggest premieres in the urban heart of Los Angeles. But tonight's preem of DreamWorks and Paramount's "Collateral" at the 2,000-seat Orpheum Theater could be a turning point for the opulent movie palaces along South Broadway.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 10:28am PDT
Although Zamora, Spain was the first city in the world to implement a true city-wide WiFI network, it appears that Grand Haven, Michigan has become the first city in the United States to implement a city-wide WiFi broadband network.
From the press release
"As the first WiFi city in America, Grand Haven has truly lived up to its name in the Internet era, as we now allow anyone anywhere to connect to the Internet and roam the city and waterways in a completely secure computing environment," Mayor Bergman said. "The city-wide WiFi service provided by Ottawa Wireless is already enhancing the quality of life for residents and tourists and enabling the city to provide new services."
Sunday, August 1, 2004 - 8:47am PDT
Thanks to my friend Noah Shachtman at Defense Tech
, now I know about Transportation Futuristics
, an ongoing exhibit up the street from me at the University of California at Berkeley. It's chock-full of pictures like this one:
All kinds of wacky transport concepts that never, you should pardon the expression, got anywhere.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 6:29pm PDT
Where can I buy one?
Bill Mitchell's Smart Cities group at the MIT's Media Lab has joined forces with architect Frank Gehry and General Motors to design and build a concept car that attempts to tackle urban sprawl.
The article is reported in this week's AutoWeek magazine "M.I.T. lab searches for intelligent life in the fast lane"
Thursday, July 22, 2004 - 7:38am PDT
in the UK Guardian
(via Arts & Letters Daily
) takes a wonderfully suspicious look at the "Bilbao Effect," named after the explosion in interest and tourism Bilbao, Spain got when it build Frank Gehry's Guggenheim
. Regular readers of this blog (all six of you) may have noted some slight skepticism on my part as to the fundamental aesthetic qualities of Mr.
Monday, July 19, 2004 - 3:11pm PDT
I don't really have anything to say about this
CNN.com story except damn!
It's gotta hurt to look out at all the bigger, more popular cities, having all the fun and getting all the hottest sister cities, hosting all the coolest awards shows.
Now officials in some cities and states are looking to reverse the trend -- by marketing themselves as hip places to live and giving college graduates a reason to stay.
In Michigan, [Governor Jennifer] Granholm has launched the "Cool Cities" initiative, a grants program that she insists is more about economic development than just bringing "lattes and bookstores and nightclubs" to her state.
Saugatuck, where residents are renovating an old pie factory into a center for the arts, was among the first to receive one of the state's $100,000 grants.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - 6:27pm PDT
I recently downloaded and played around with a neat 3D modeling tool called Sketchup
. @Last Software's SketchUp is a 3D modeling package intended to be used by architects and designers who need to quickly outline 3D ideas, but don't care for the difficulty of a CAD program, or the advanced features of a high-end 3D modeler.
SketchUp's toolset is fairly simple, offering a Photoshop-like, two-column tool palette. SketchUp has also a very helpful grid guidance system, with multiple colors to guide you through the 3D orientation plans.
Friday, July 9, 2004 - 9:50pm PDT