Yesterday Google announced that Kansas City, Kansas, would be the first city to participate in the Google Fiber project. The Google Fiber project seeks to bring 1-gigabit internet access to every house.
Google will have to reach an agreement with the Unified Board of Commissioners, but when that is completed they will work to roll out access to 50,000 to 500,000 residents of Kansas City, Kansas, at a competitive price.
I couldn’t be happier for the residents of Kansas City, Kansas. I worked for a year at the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, and it is a place with great citizens and great workers. Kansas City was hit pretty hard by the end of the industrial boom, and the city has never really recovered. I think Google Fiber will give them a leg up on other cities in attracting new businesses and great residents. I am extremely proud that Mayor Joe Reardon and the staff at the Unified Government won this project for their citizens.
But clearly today’s information technology has the effect of disintermediating. It breaks down hierarchies. It breaks down monopolies. That’s got to be good for the individual, and it must be bad for dictatorships.
“What if we could help your city work better, just by using your smartphone?”
-Biz Stone, Twitter Co-Founder
“What if city hall spoke with citizens the way citizens speak with each other?”
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Co-Founder
Code for America is announcing their call for 2012 Fellows. The Code for America Fellowship Program connects web developers and entrepreneurs with communities and cities in need. They strive to make government more open, efficient, and responsive, through the use of new technologies. And all the while, they provide leadership training and career support.
You can find out more about Code for America here. And you can apply for the Fellowship Program here.
In our last interview, [Former US Senator Evan] Bayh complained of the poor opinion the public had of him and his [Senate] colleagues. “They look at us like we’re worse than used-car salesmen.” Yes. They do. And this is why.
This is what I love about Android: the customization and the community.
Here I’m running a customized Honeycomb theme (here) for a community built ROM (Liberty, here) that runs on the open source Android operating system on the Motorola Droid 2. I’ve customized it with icons, a different launcher (LauncherPlus Pro), and a weather/time widget from an HTC version of Android. I’ve completely customized the look (and functionality) of the home screen.
Community ROMs (versions of Android, basically) introduce new and great features, while fixing bugs. I don’t have to worry about not getting an updated version of Android software on my Droid 2, because I know that other community members will release ROMs with the features.
And if I don’t like something, I can fix it on my own. That’s open source.