A number of government agencies are circumventing open public records access via fees or “National Security. The result is that we get to pay twice, or more (collection and management of information along with overlapping distribution costs). Here are some examples:
- “subscription”: Access Dane
- The state’s highest court will now decide a landmark public records case involving access to aerial reconnaissance photographs and maps of Greenwich, CT. The town maintains the images in a tightly kept database known as a geographic information system, which a judge declared to be public records last December. The Connecticut Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear the town’s appeal of that ruling, expediting the case by leap-frogging the state Appellate Court. The move virtually coincides with the third anniversary of the initial complaint in the case, which Greenwich resident and computer consultant Stephen Whitaker filed with the state Freedom Information Commission after the town denied his request for an electronic copy of the entire database for security and privacy reasons.”
The Greenwich case is absurd. We (taxpayers) pay for all of this…. Via Slashdot.
Email Mayor Dave (mayor at madison dot com ) and County Exec Kathleen Falk (falk at co.dane.wi.us) and let them know your thoughts on taxpayer funded public records access.
Most importantly, support the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Protect your electronic rights.
Steven Walters summarizes a variety of viewpoints on the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute’s recent study on state government spending (7.7% above the national average). The real crunch (and why the spending battles continue at the local and state level): Wisconsin’s income is 2.8% below the national average. [75K PDF]
This problem will not improve until our economy is increasingly based on high growth, valued added businesses. Wisconsin’s above average government spending was supported for decades by the state’s now declining manufacturing base. This change, which will take many years, requires an open mind, a willingness to avoid coddling and subsidizing declining industries, rethinking government spending (consolidating services and making sure the services we provide make sense in the 21st century) and doing everything we can to encourage business formation. It also requires economic and political leadership, which is, in my view, is generally lacking. (see this national example where the NAB has successfully kept public spectrum for TV stations). Note that TV viewer numbers are declining…..
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s latest budget caps the property tax increase @ 2%
Jayson Blair, who brought down the NY Times Howell Raines comments on Rathergate:
It?s really sad to see what?s happening to Dan Rather and CBS, and no one knows like me what its like to lose their credibility. I would give anything to have it back. If I could turn back time, I would.
The fact that no members of the Main Stream Media (MSM) contacted Blair for comments speaks volumes.
[F]or one moment, I’d like you to perform an exercise in selective attention. Forget every other consideration even though they’re fair and important considerations and see if you can acknowledge that a world in which everyone has free access to every work of creativity in the world is a better world. Imagine your children could listen to any song ever created anywhere. What a blessing that would be!
…We publish stuff that gets its meaning and its reality by being read, viewed or heard. An unpublished novel is about as meaningful and real as an imaginary novel. It needs its readers to be. But readers aren’t passive consumers. We reimagine the book, we complete the vision of the book. Readers appropriate works, make them their own. Listeners and viewers, too. In making a work public, artists enter into partnership with their audience. The work succeeds insofar as the audience makes it their own, takes it up, understands it within their own unpredictable circumstances. It leaves the artist’s hands and enters our lives. And that’s not a betrayal of the work. That’s its success. It succeeds insofar as we hum it, quote it, appropriate it so thoroughly that we no longer remember where the phrase came from. That’s artistic success, although it’s a branding failure.
Via Boing Boing
Related: Cory Doctorow’s recent anti-DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) speech to Microsoft is now available in a PDF file:
In this transcript of a speech he gave at Microsoft’s campus, Cory explains why DRM doesn’t work, why DRM is bad for society, bad for business, bad for artists, and a bad move for Microsoft.
Related 2: I recently emailed Dave Black, General Manager of the UW’s excellent WSUM radio station, complementing him on their “Student Section” sports talk show. I liked the fact that these student broadcasters, unlike many in the local sports media, are not ‘homers” with respect to UW Football. I also urged him to post their shows online in a iPod friendly mp3 format. Note his comments on the restrictions that the Hollywood paid for DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) places on their ability to share locally produced shows. The right solution? Cut deals with local artists/clubs and route around the outage.
What a pleasure to hear your kind words. Glad you enjoy the show, it is one of my favorites.
I have forwarded your email to our sports director, Joe Haas. He will take it up with our webmaster to see how feasible. As you may or may not know, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act makes archiving on a site difficult when it includes any musical content (e.g., the songs they play during the breaks). We will do the best we can under the circumstances.
All the best and please keep listening,
University of Wisconsin-Madison
602 State St #205
Madison, WI 53703
608-262-9542 (no sales calls, please)
gm at wsum.wisc.edu
visit our alumni organization at http://www.wsumfriends.org/
Yet another example of the “best law money can buy approach” is before the Senate: the Leahy/Hatch sponsored Induce Act. I recently emailed Senator Kohl to express my opposition to this bill. His reply was not great. Let him know what you think. Russ Feingold and Tim Michels should also know what you think.
The US DOT’s Air Travel Consumer Report (300K PDF) summarizes quality of services issues for national frequent flyers. The Dane County Regional Airport reported the following for July, 2004:
- on time arrivals: 66.5%
- on time departures 79.6%
In a related note, former American Airlines CEO Bob Crandall discussed the industry’s woes and announced his new air taxi service (Pogo) during a speech yesterday at the Wings Club.
I believe “Pogo” type services will be the rule, over time, particularily for short routes.
Or – why we should stop protecting the incumbent telcos (SBC)
The $3 billion dollar budget at Bell Laboratories did not include a single project addressing the use of data networks to transport voice when VocalTec Communications released InternetPhone in February 1995. As of 2004, every project at the post-divestiture AT&T Labs and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs reflects the reality of voice over Internet Protocol. Every major incumbent carrier, and the largest cable television providers, in the United States has announced a VoIP program. And even as some upstart carriers have used VoIP to lower telephony prices dramatically, even more radical innovators threaten to lower the cost of a phone call to zero?to make it free.
The VoIP insurrection over the last decade marks a milestone in communication history no less dramatic than the arrival of the telephone in 1876. We know data networks and packetized voice will displace the long standing pre-1995 world rooted in Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. It remains uncertain whether telecom’s incumbent carriers and equipment makers will continue to dominate or even survive as the information technology industry absorbs voice as a simple application of the Internet.
The first statewide renewable energy referendum, which would require utilities in CO to purchase a percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, getting to 10 percent by 2015. Via Boing Boing.