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    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by seanl 25 May 2018
      RT @seanl Chrome isn't a web browser. It's a tentacle of Google that takes over your computer, spies on you, and controls everything you see.
    • New note by bobjonkman 25 May 2018
      Must have been someone else. The only static website generator I've used is a text editor :-) There's a bunch of #WordPress installations I maintain, and I run a MediaWiki instance. Neither qualifies as "static"... / @mcscx2 @steckhalter
    • New note by bobjonkman 22 May 2018
      In addition to SMTP there's !XMPP and #IRC, but you're right, they don't have mainstream adoption (unless you consider the bastardized versions produced by Cisco and Slack)
    • Favorite 22 May 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by wolf480pl: @jerry @rysiek @Aaron I have a feeling that right now, SMTP has the biggest adoption of all federated messagning protocols, and the second place is far far behind. Of all the new communication protocols I've seen recently, they're either popular, or federated, not both. And trying to get your new […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by arx 21 May 2018
      RT @arx I don't get it... this #efail / #gpg / #pgp / #smime thing is all over German media (e.g. here: http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/e-mail-verschluesselung-101.html) even though it is totally irrelevant for 99% of people, as almost no one is using PGP encryption for his/her mails anyways and the few that do will most likely have disabled […]
    • Favorite 21 May 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by arx: I don't get it... this #efail / #gpg / #pgp / #smime thing is all over German media (e.g. here: http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/e-mail-verschluesselung-101.html) even though it is totally irrelevant for 99% of people, as almost no one is using PGP encryption for his/her mails anyways and the few that do will most […]
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      bobjonkman favorited something by fdroidorg: There is now a beta version of #OsmAnd 3.0 on #fdroid. Please test if you feel up to it.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by fdroidorg 21 May 2018
      RT @fdroidorg There is now a beta version of #OsmAnd 3.0 on #fdroid. Please test if you feel up to it.
    • Favorite 20 May 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by beni: @lohang I always tried to get people to stop using html in email. Never worked with Outlook users. I don't think deactivating encryption is much of a solution. It's like getting rid of your car because you just learned that it could be stolen.
    • Favorite 20 May 2018
      bobjonkman favorited something by beni: @lohang how about "don't use html email".

At the Canadian Open Data Experience event, 14 January 2015

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 18th January 2015

Open Data logo

Open Data

On Wednesday, 14 January 2015 I registered for the Canadian Open Data Experience event called “Economic Potential of Open Data”. Speakers were to be Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board; James Moore, Minister of Industry; and Ray Sharma, creator of the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE).

Before the presentations started Tony Clement was off in a side office, unavailable for networking, and he left immediately after his presentation. James Moore was not present at all. For an Open Data event that promotes Open Government, it was a bit disappointing not to have access to the government ministers responsible for openness.

Here are some of the notes I took during the speakers’ presentations. My comments are indicated (like this).

Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board:
  • Tony Clement referred to January 2014’s CODE event as the “first Open Data hackathon” in Canada (yet Open Data Waterloo Region has been holding Open Data Hackathons and CodeFest events since 2011)
  • CODE hackathon had 900 participants, with the spotlight on the business value of Open Data
  • “Electric Sheep” was the winner of the hackathon
  • Tony Clement and James Moore are making this road trip to announce 20 — 22 February 2015 as the CODE2015 Hackathon
  • Dates intentionally chosen to coincide with the International Open Data Hackathon; hopes to have international coexistence
  • There will be cash prizes for the top three apps created during the CODE hackathon
  • Tony Clement gave some words of praise to the Canadian government, saying that Open Data allows Canada to “compete with the world”.
Ray Sharma, creator of Canadian Open Data Experience:
  • Weather and GPS are commercially successful applications of Open Data
  • National competition had 930 participants
  • Ray Sharma talked of the “power of the crowd”, mentioning Litebox, WordPress, Kickstarter and Goldcorp
  • The economic potential of Open Data is like an iceberg — most of it is below the surface
  • There will be three hubs participating in the CODE2015 hackathon: Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal
  • The 2nd Generation of apps will use Open Data and Private Data, e.g. Zillo
Lan Nguyen, Deputy CIO for City of Toronto:
  • Toronto Open Data started in 2009 (although I remember Toronto setting up a blank Open Data web page after the Smart Cities conference in 2006)
  • Open Data is part of Toronto’s Open Government
  • There’s a long list of Open Datasets — Petabytes!
  • Unexpected benefits: silos of ownership; “See, Click, Fix” received 3,000 requests!
  • Commercialization of Toronto Open Data
  • Availability of budget and Council data
  • Transparent, engage citizens
  • Able to understand the outcome of Open Data
  • Liability, risk?
  • Open Data is available to everyone; it is Social Justice
  • Crowd sourcing: Encourage commercialization; partner with educational institutions
  • Next plan: Open Dashboard — reports from different stakeholders
  • Open Data is a powerful driver for Open Government
Devin Tu, founder of Map Your Property:
  • Idea for Map Your Property came from the fact that California has a single portal for geodata
  • MYP aggregates multiple datasets
  • Reports are made available in Microsoft .docx format and maps are exported as .pdf files (Oh great, Open Data in proprietary, non-consumable formats)
  • Benefits of Open Data: Entrepreneurs go to those places where there is Open Data
  • It is expensive to do business in places that don’t have Open Data!
Ryan Doherty, co-founder of IAmSick.ca:
  • Goal of IAmSick.ca: Reduce Emergency Room wait times
  • Integrated datasets? (speaking with Ryan Doherty after the presentation, I learned that much data was collected manually)
  • User tracking provides estimated wait times (are users aware their use of IAmSick.ca is being tracked? What information on users is retained? This could be a privacy leak nightmare waiting to happen. Speaking with Ryan Doherty afterwards, he assured me there was no medical information about users collected)
  • Improving business — efficiency in care delivery was apparent later

I found the focus on business interests and the competitive aspects of the CODE2015 hackathon a bit disconcerting. A cynic would say business is using $40,000 prize money in a competition as cheap bait to attract programmers to work for 24 hours straight. At 900 participants, that works out to paying only about $2.00/hour per programmer. And only four teams split the prize money, so most programmers go completely unpaid.

Still, CODE2015 only has three competitive hackathons on a weekend where the International Open Data Day holds hundreds of cooperative hackathons.

I hope OpenDataWR holds an event this year — the ones in 2013 and 2014 were fun, productive for some, and educational for all.

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