Profile of Michael Hickins
News & Commentary Posts: 178
Articles by Michael Hickins
posted in October 2009
The news that WhiteHouse.gov relaunched this week running open source Drupal software raised eyebrows and hackles among knee-jerk anti-Obama types and a small cadre of ignorant bloggers.
We've seen how social media like Twitter and Facebook can be used as part of a winning election strategy, but the same tools don't seem to influence elected officials or public policy.
Maybe folks are simply trying to talk themselves out of the recession (which would be a good thing in itself), but it seems like the conversation around cloud computing is shifting from cost-cutting to unleashing innovation.
I knew things had really changed when I came across a homeless man sitting on the ground at Columbus Circle last weekend, panhandling for $15 million to fund an "electronic Democracy project." One thousand dollars would go towards an iBook and $5 for lunch. He wouldn't tell me about his project in detail unless I put up some "serious money," but his request drove home how much has changed in our society since even the recession o
Voting machines and their foibles were catapulted to the top of public consciousness during the 2000 Presidential election, but have gone largely unnoticed in subsequent elections, which is a good thing. The possibility that a widespread glitch could affect a close national election, and the potential for this to undermine democracy, cannot be overstated.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco likes to boast that he can't be covered. Now he says he's the one who'll be doing the covering. Of news.
Much has been made of the premature obituaries for Second Life, but while the virtual world manufactured by Linden Labs has prevailed long beyond its presumed expiration date, the business model seems too arcane and forbidding to inspire many imitators.
CNN.com unveiled a new site design to reporters Thursday that it will launch on Monday that includes more prominent use of video and a radical change in how it incorporates so-called citizen journalism.
The network neutrality forces are trying to make the case that regulations will be good for business -- even for the likes of AT&T and Verizon, which are quite frankly the targets of the Federal Communications Commission's rulemaking proposals.
Identity management, from both national security and personal security standpoints, could well be the next big policy debate we have in the United States.
Prominent tech companies and individuals associated with the creation of the Internet (although not Al Gore) are filling new Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski's inbox with letters in support of his proposed network neutrality rules.
Verizon's recent TV ad comparing its national wireless coverage to that of AT&T's is a double-barreled attack on both AT&T and, by mocking the iPhone's "there's an app for that" slogan, AT&T's partner in smartphone domination, Apple.
My recent post about BadCompany.com, which blacklists customers who claim refunds from their credit card issuer rather than directly from the retailer, raised a number of interesting questions: have any retailers actually signed up for this, how does BadCustomer even get a hold of those names, and isn't it a violation of customer privacy for retailers to revea
Privately-held Twitter has been closely linked to three incidents that we know of in which the Internet service worked closely with official United States agencies. The first was in Iraq, then Iran, and the most recent in Pittsburgh.
How's this for a new customer service angle? If retailers get tired of your returns history, you might be out of luck next time you shop for something online.
Twitter may have to find itself a new business model, if recent numbers are any indication.
Acid-tongued Tweets are eating away at the fabric of our national conversation 140 characters at a time. Meanwhile, regrettably to my mind, "Twitter is emerging as a new and powerful political tool."
It appears that the Federal Communications Commission isn't immune to industry pressure after all.
How much has changed online in the past three years? My family and I just moved to a new apartment, and much of the move was facilitated by aspects of our digital lives that either didn't exist or weren't ubiquitous enough three years ago to have made a difference.
Executives from Cisco, EMC, Dell and Symantec gathered at the United Nations today as a sort of coda to the climate summit held here last week, to talk about the role IT can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reversing catastrophic climate change.
Every time I'm at an airport and I see one of those giant SAP ads claiming that the world's best-run companies run SAP, I wonder how many of the executives those ads are targeting choke on their Dramamine at the reminder of the ungodly implementation cycles, which are matched in gruesomeness only by the dreadful 22 percent maintenance fees charged by the vendor. I wonder if they worry whether they'll lose their jobs over the cost overruns or the fact that the software doesn't allow them to innov
The reputation of crowdsourcing as a way of generating new ideas got a recent boost from the $1 million Netflix prize, which was awarded to a group of people who invented an algorithm for suggesting movies to users of the online movie subscription service.