November 17, 2003

New Government Open Source Initiative

MIT, Harvard, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announce the formation of a loose association of interested U.S. state and local governments to promote sharing of software under open source licenses, including the GPL or Mozilla licenses.

An initial working meeting of the Public Sector Open Source Project will be held on December 9th at MIT and Harvard to form an association. They would like to have as many governments as possible represented and participating. Anyone with inquiries is invited to contact Dan Greenwood, Director of the MIT E-Commerce Architecture Program, at

Read more: Press Release

Posted by Ray Matthews at 02:08 PM | Comments (2)

November 06, 2003

RSS Helps the Dutch Keep Above Water

Harro Ranter, Senior Knowledge Consultant for the Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management is happy to announce that his agency has recently started a RSS news channel. Wide and immediate dissemination of their news is vital since the agency is responsible for mobility policy in the Netherlands and for protection against floods or falling water tables.

The ministry's experimental news feed of news articles (in Dutch) can be read at their VenW News website. The feed is also parsed to a news headlines index page and to their news archive. It is a exemplary model showing how governmental agencies can publish their news to their own site.

We know of at least one other application of RSS in the Dutch government. Minister of Finance, Gerrit Zalm, has kept a business weblog since May.

Posted by Ray Matthews at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2003

Navy Evaluating Blogging Software

Government Computer News reports that the Navy is building a business case for using weblogs for project management. Enterprise blogging software by Traction Software, Inc. called TeamPage was selected for evaluation for being one of the first weblog systems designed for business use.

Weblogs provide for collaboration between experts on an as needed basis and virtually eliminate the need to send correspondence and documents by e-mail. Many aggregation technologies allow you to view multiple blog feeds in a single place. TeamPage, rather, has a permissioning and architectural model with a project based design where articles, comments, labels and links can cross project boundries. A project could be considered a blog - one for the team, one for the core team, one per individual. There is a front page that rolls up content by project, depending on any single individual's read permission.

"So, in the DoD pilot example," says Traction's Jordan Frank, "the core team may login and see a field report in the more public project, but are able to comment on it within a more private space, as necessary (to protect confidential information) or as relevant (to keep their chatter to themselves, if it is not relevant to the team at large - preventing overload.)"

According to Washington Technology, Traction's server-based enterprise software ranges in price from $5,000 per server to $10,000 per server plus $125 per account, depending on features. A single user version runs for about $250.

This Rapid Acquisition Incentive-Net Centricity (RAI-NC) pilot study, funded at $450,000, involves Department of Defense agencies in the Liberty Project (night vision technology). Besides The Office of Naval Research, other participating organizations include the Army Night Vision Lab, Defense Acquisition University, Naval Underwater Warfare Center, Marine Corps, Ford Motor Company, and the New York City Police.

This same software is being used by the Western States Information Network, one of six regional offices of the Justice Department set up to share information with other law enforcement agencies about narcotics dealers and terrorists. This office services 1,200 local law enforcement agencies in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington.

Read more: Traction press release | Government Computer News | Washington Technology | Corante Tech News | BeSpacific | The Network Edge | Ant's Eye View | Radio Free Blogistan | InfoWorld review | Science Daily

Posted by Ray Matthews at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)