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Sunday, 29 June 2008

Google Reader clips catch up

Sneak preview of iplayer 2.0.
The most important change is that we combined TV and Radio in the same iPlayer interface.
Which will be great for introducing a lot of radio comedy to new audiences and entirely appropriate for the viewing circumstance - via computer or via mobile.

There's a stack of other great user-driven new features in it.

Elizabeth Pisani: Washington has more HIV than Nigeria
In part because Congress has until just a few months ago stood in the way of clean needles for injectors in the city, the capital of the world’s largest economy has HIV rates similar to those in many African countries.
Much web 2.0 isn't accessible but this looks set to rapidly change. Accesify reports that Firefox 3 is "a big accessibility enhancement in the form of WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications) support."

And the RNIB’s Web Access Centre Blog says:

This is an exciting time in the browser area as support for the Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) suite gathers pace in the next generation of browsers. Browsers with support, partial support and planned support for WAI-ARIA include Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3, Opera and Web Kit based browsers including Apple’s Safari.

Leading industry commentator John Battelle declares that with search It's Over. Google Wins.

MP Tom Harris got roasted in the MSM for comments on his blog and Minister and longtime blogger Tom Watson's points to hypocrisy and lack of MSM coverage of that hypocrisy by one of Harris' tormentors - Tory MP Philip Hammond.
If ever there was a time for British bloggers to pick up on a story that the mainstream press have missed/ignored, this is it.
Steve Dale artfully dismisses a CBI claim that Browsing websites costs billions in lost productivity.
I just hope that managers will not use this report as further ammunition to restrict workers from using the web for anything other than browsing their own company’s web site. Let’s not apply 19th century working practices to 21st century workers!
The BarCamp idea just happened in Nairobi!
Fantastic idea posted by Simon Dickson, The power of postcodes.
Postcodes are the country’s greatest example of the Power Of Information. I believe we would unlock significant power if we enshrined postcodes as our key national geography, asking Royal Mail to bequeath them to the nation. All statistical and political geography should be aligned with postcodes, with a commitment not to change them for 10 years, perhaps coinciding with the Census cycle. I don’t care if there are marginally more meaningful statistical boundaries; a flawed system we all understand beats a perfect system nobody understands. Oh, and it’s cheaper too.
Shane McCracken channeling Steve Webb posts that MPs are only just now being allowed to utilise laptops in HofC committee meetings.

Dave Briggs issues Three cheers for Dylan Jeffrey, a civil servant who took part in the debate about ICELE by commenting on his blog in Jeffrey's official capacity.
Of course, this week saw the publication of the guidance for civil servants engaging with the social web. Of the five main points, three were: be credible, be responsive and be a civil servant. Dylan hit all three of these.

Let’s hope other civil servants take note, and that Dylan’s colleagues at CLG thank him for doing this on their behalf.
The guidance has been the subject of much justified, excited comment within egov. It's genesis behind the scenes should be noted for some future history of this period. The actual movers here know who they are and deserve, unfortunately anonymous, thanks. The guidance just needs extending now beyond Whitehall!

John Edwards for CIO examines how new text analytics technology is being deployed in the US to examine customer comments on surveys and e-mail as well as monitor blogs, text messages, online chats, phone calls (through speech-to-text conversion) and social network profiles.
For content management products, Halper notes, text analytics can be a complementary technology; for example, text analytics can help categorize or enrich content, analyze content in a data repository, or improve workflow.

Also, vertical industries, such as the legal industry, are becoming increasingly intrigued by text analytics' ability to add insight to an array of routine business tasks, she says.

Today, many text analytics users believe that the technology provides a useful bridge to help nontechnical staff members get a handle on complex problems without running high-level searches.

"You can have business users who are not analysts really understand 'What are my top 10 problems?' or 'How is this issue trending over time?'" Bodoh says.
All new and early days though.
But while text analytics can rapidly generate vast amounts of deep customer insight, the technology is still far away from becoming an out-of-the-box solution.

"For our purposes, in order to get full value from the application, we will have to train analysts to use the software, invest in tuning the taxonomy to produce more granular analyses and integrate the output...with our enterprise data warehouse so we can use the combined data for even greater customer insight."
Emma Mulqueeny really likes Hazel Blears work on citizen empowerment.
* I can’t precis Ms Blears’ intro, you need to read it then come back for the rest if you need :)
* Bearing in mind that it is based on the GOB Green Paper, you need to know this bit of it: It aims to give citizens the means of participating in decision-making at every level; to clarify the role of Government, both at central and local level; to rebalance power between Parliament and government and give British people a stronger sense of what it means to be British (FWIW: I do not agree with the importance of the second point but hey ho)
* This paper is an action plan covering three areas:
1. Widening and deepening empowerment opportunities locally
2. Supporting and enabling people to take up empowerment opportunities
3. Strengthening local representative democracy
* In Summer 2008 there will be a review of this action plan, with a further plan set out thereafter (I know, I KNOW… these things take time)
One line which leapt out at me was:
Give citizens a greater role in planning
• Build an e-consultation hub: 2007 link every local authority and 2008 open the hub to the general public.
I wonder if this will replace, duplicate or actually means the much-loved, semi-privatised Planning Portal.

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