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1/25/2013
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White House Plans National Hacking Day

Feds invite technology-oriented citizens to use IT to improve their communities.

IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: 10 Towns Raise Tech IQs
IBM Smarter Cities Challenge: 10 Towns Raise Tech IQs
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The White House is inviting software developers, technologists and entrepreneurs to participate in a first-time National Day of Civic Hacking, which will take place in more than two dozen cities across the country.

The goal of the event, which will occur June 1 and 2, is to use open government data to create applications that serve the public and local communities. Event organizers seek to spark collaboration among government agencies, the public and startup companies.

"This is an opportunity for citizens in every town and city across the nation to roll up their sleeves, get involved and work together to improve our society by cultivating an ecosystem for innovation and change," wrote Brian Forde, senior advisor to the U.S. CTO for mobile and data innovation, and Nicholas Skytland, program manager of NASA's Open Innovation Program, in a blog post announcing the event.

[ Can crowdsourcing and computers work together? Read Crowdsourced Work Made Cheaper With Qurk. ]

NASA, the Department of Labor and the Census Bureau will participate by providing challenges to assembled hackers. The event is modeled after Innovations Endeavor's "Super Happy Block Party" hackathons and will be held in conjunction with meetings hosted by Code for America and Random Hacks of Kindness. City, state and other federal agencies are encouraged to get involved.

Civic hacking get-togethers are scheduled for Boston, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Event organizers aspire to hold meetings in all states and U.S. territories. The event website, hackforchange.org, provides a list of participating cities.

The National Day of Civic Hacking is the latest in a series of open-data and software development events sponsored by the federal government. Uncle Sam has hosted "datapaloozas" for energy, health, public safety and education, and the U.S. Agency for International Development held an event called Hacking for Hunger. In addition, federal agencies have offered dozens of tech challenges, many with cash prizes, via the Challenge.gov site.

InformationWeek's 2013 Government IT Innovators program will feature the most innovative government IT organizations in the 2013 InformationWeek 500 issue and on InformationWeek.com. Does your organization have what it takes? The nomination period for 2013 Government IT Innovators closes April 12.

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Darkpr0fit
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Darkpr0fit,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/26/2013 | 8:27:46 PM
re: White House Plans National Hacking Day
Good thing NASA was mentioned instead of the NSA. NSA and hacking don't mix.
John Foley
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John Foley,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/25/2013 | 8:16:22 PM
re: White House Plans National Hacking Day
This is an interesting idea. I would rather have a bunch of volunteers put their heads together and create new apps than pay a government contractor a few million to do the same with a 12-month turnaround. But it bears watching to see just how much in the way of truly useful software comes out of this effort. I've marked my calendar for the New York hackathon and will report back on how it goes.
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