From Saturday, February 23rd to Monday, February 26th, the National Governors Association held its Annual Winter Meeting in Washington DC which focused on clean energy and what Governors can do to help make”green” in the U.S. a reality.Current NGA Chair, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced his initiative, Securing a Clean Energy Future , at the 2007 Summer meeting in Traverse City. According to Gov. Pawlenty, “Governors and states are stepping forward to lead an energy revolution that will ‘Americanize’ our energy production in order to improve our national security, our economic well-being and our quality of life.”Although the topic is different, his comment made me think of last year’s winter meeting which focused on AZ Governor Napolitano’s platform of innovation and competitiveness and where Cisco’s CEO, John Chambers, shared his views on how states can compete more effectively in the global economy by promoting innovation. Read More »
Yesterday a large percentage of us who work in the Province of Ontario celebrated a day off with the first ever statutory holiday in honour of families. The third Monday in February was recently designated as Family Day. So what does this have to do with high tech? Lots. A break from routine allows for a little more contemplation on life. At risk of sounding melodramatic, it’s truly amazing how technology has eased the ability to remain connected with family who are out of state or even country. It wasn’t long ago that academics and psychologists fretted over email and how it was going to kill interpersonal communications. Admittedly, I initially fell into that school of thought. But compared to sitting down, writing a letter, finding a stamp, and then posting a letter -- email is lot less painful. It’s that simplicity that leads to its pervasiveness and frequency. We’ve moved a long way since those early days of simple messages to the point where seniors in their 70s & 80s, who are still challenged by TV and cable remotes, can attach photos and forward documents. If my own tech challenged parents can do this, then it’s truly a pervasive technology!!!Now the next wave has become entrenched -- video. While email is a great way to stay in contact with family, it just doesn’t convey the nuance, humour, or sarcasm that real-time sight and sound convey. It’s that live video interaction that will increase the frequency and ease at which families communicate. Not many predicted pervasiveness of video in the mid 1990s, but I haven’t seen any recent articles from those who predicted the demise of human interaction via email. Maybe they’d be up for a Telepresence session to discuss?
EUROPE -- A step forward has been taken in the transition to the larger internet address space, IPv6, this week with news that computers can now find each other without having to use the old IPv4 addressing system at all.This has been exercising policy makers for some time as you can see from the policy section of the very helpful IPv6 Task Force website, though it’s interesting to note that much of this work is now a few years old. The European Commission has been very active in this area and supports a European IPv6 Task Force. It will be interesting to see how governmental activity ramps up again on this issue over the next couple of years as we get closer to full implementation.
The benefits in economic growth, productivity, competitiveness, social inclusion, good government that the power of information and communications technology (ICT) could create are demanding high policy initiatives (Digital Agendas or Digital Strategies) to increase the adoption of ICT and network connectivity.In order to remain competitive developed and developing countries around the world that understand the benefits of ICT are looking on ways to outperforms its peers and get closer to their respective inspirational peers on broadband penetration and ICT sector contribution to GDP. Read More »
The US transition to all-digital television broadcasting is ramping up quickly. For consumers, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has launched its program to hand out coupons for the purchase of set top converter boxes. Some 30 boxes have been certificated under the program, and will be appearing on store shelves soon -- over the next 4-6 weeks. Consumer education programs are also shifting in to high gear as well, beginning February 17, 2008 — one year ahead of the DTV transition date of February 17, 2009. Soon, consumers will see public service announcements about the transition, as well as a host of materials in newspapers and magazines. Read More »