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Monday 28 May 2007

Bytes · MS dev roundup - Blogging eGov boost - Wikinomics

  • Etre sums up some of the most interesting recent MS developments:

    · A speech recognition browser (TellMe)
    ...Say the word "Microsoft" and you'll be transported to
    · A 1d barcode scanner (AURA)
    Snap a photo of a normal barcode using your phone, send it to Microsoft and they'll return you the product's info.
    · A 2d barcode scanner and software suite (Windows Live Barcode)
    Snap a photo of a Quick Response Code barcode using your phone, send it to Microsoft and they'll return you the product's info.
    · A mobile image recognition engine (Lincoln)
    A product that allows people to search the internet via their mobile phone camera (for example, users might snap pictures of movie posters or DVD covers to receive movie reviews via the web.
    · An RFID browser (in collaboration with Symbol)
    Technology built into your mobile phone that allows you to scan products with RFID tags and navigate to their associated websites for product information.
    · A colourful 2d barcode
    A new barcode standard, allowing identification of commercial audio-visual works such as motion pictures, video games, broadcasts, digital video recordings and other media.

  • Opera has released a new version with an updated 'speed-dial':
    "Similar to Speed Dial on Opera Mini (a version of Opera designed for mobile phones), where you can quickly access your top 9 bookmarked sites by simply pressing '*' with the bookmark number on the phone keypad (i.e. *1), the desktop browser allows you to use CTRL+1 to CTRL+9 for the top 9 sites. In addition, these bookmarked sites will also be shown in a thumbnail preview on blank tabs. Clicking on the thumbnail preview brings you to the site."

  • Australian eGov Minister Gary Nairn spoke up for blogging at CeBit in Sydney this week:

    An area of web 2.0 technology we are evaluating is Government web-logs or blogs. For example, I may establish an e‑Government blog.

    Blogs offer another means for government to seek feedback from citizens on major programs or topics of interest to Australians.

    Blogs could speed up consultation and enable the Government and other citizens to analyse and debate issues in reasonable detail. This could then lead to more informed policy and program development.

    Blogging could lead to a new era of community interaction – not just between government and citizens – but between citizens.

    For example, Australians in the cities might learn more about life in the bush or on farms – from people that live there.

    Likewise the blogs and other ICT enabled communication tools may allow our rural population feel closer to city dwellers.

    While blogs present much potential we are not waiting to realise this enhanced interaction between citizens and government.

    We have already established pubic [SIC — See. It does say 'pubic' on the Australian Government's website, common typo which is apparently worth $$$$
    ] consultation systems through facilitates public consultation with a range of agencies including:

    * The National Health and Medical Research Council;
    * The Office of the Access Card, and
    * The Office of the Privacy Commission, just to name a few.

    We are making progress!

  • Federal Computer Weekly has an interesting interview with ‘“Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything”’ author Don Tapscott.

    In Neighborhood Knowledge Los Angeles, you’ve got three pillars — business, government and civil society — working together to create something that didn’t exist ...

    .... you’re got a map of Los Angeles that changes as the data changes and communities start to show problems. Groups can intervene before problems grow into crisis situations. This is about delivering services that did not previously exist. We’re in the early days of some really big changes in terms of how we create new services .....

    Search of Neighbourhood Knowledge CA showing LA census data.

    Search of similar UK National Statistics website (it crashed my browser!)

    ... we’ve come up with 18 themes of democracy in the digital economy, and one of them is digital brainstorming. It’s a baby step toward a new model of democracy. By the time you publish this article in May, it will have been publicly announced that one of these sessions will be held in Canada. It’s going to happen in the fall. There will be a three-day discussion among all citizens of Canada. I’m involved in advising them on how to do it ...

    ... the biggest problem is that old paradigms die hard. And the way companies are getting into trouble today is not by moving too fast into mass collaboration. In industry after industry, you can see the old model being eclipsed by the new model. So the stakes are high for governments to somehow find the leadership to bring about similar change.
  • Still with Wikis, the National Archives has launched one called Your Archives. It is a virtual community where people can contribute their content and share their knowledge of archival sources held by The National Archives and by other archives throughout the UK.

  • More on Wikis. Tapscott collaborator Anthony Williams reports that:
    Wharton Business School is teaming up with MIT’s Sloan School of Management to publish the first full-fledged business management book to be written Wiki style. It’s called We Are Smarter Than Me (fall 2007) and the project is spearheaded by Barry Libert, cofounder of and CEO of Shared Insights. Libert hopes he can extend the project to develop a series of wiki-books on management and community. So far 900 people have signed on to be part of the networked book collaboration, but Libert wants up to 2 million potential authors to get involved. Visit the website if you’d like to pitch in.

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