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The Benefits of a Transparent Publishing Calendar

Why would an editor let go of publishing power and give the master calendar over to a group of trusted people? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. But we did it. And it works. And this is another example of the power of open source.

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Does Your Local Government Promote Meaningful Citizen Engagement?

In a previous post I discussed how Faith Gordon requested the City Council in Lackawanna, NY to make available to the public copies of the entire Council meeting agenda not just a summary.

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Code for America Opens 2013 Application Period

Does your city need to solve a big civic problem? Cities across the United States can now submit their Code for America applications for 2013. Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle have just wrapped up their 2011 projects. We're eager to see what happens in Austin, Detroit, Chicago, Honolulu, Macon, New Orleans,...

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The New MPL

Last week the Mozilla Foundation released version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License. Immediately recognized as a free software license by the Free Software Foundation and approved as an Open Source license by the Open Source Initiative, MPL 2.0 is a well-crafted modern license that ought to be considered by...

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A Manifesto for Efficient IT Infrastructure Management

If you are using a spreadsheet to track your data center equipment inventory, then take a moment and read this post. You might want to consider using something else that can actually track your assets. From where I sit, many IT managers grossly underestimate the efforts in this process. Imagine your staff is ordering equipment for your data center and it's going right to the storeroom, not just without being deployed, but also without being inventoried. Then it sits there, depreciating in value and collecting dust. This is just one of the horror stories I've heard in the field. For the company this was happening to it was ultimately discovered that, in just a six week period, it had accumulated more than $700,000 in depreciation costs for assets that were not being used. Sponsor The key thing to remember is managing is different than documenting. Documenting is gathering the data, and if the vehicle for this documentation is spreadsheets that is often where the process stops (if it happened at all). In my experience, even with great spreadsheet records, each time there is a change planned to the data center a comparison of the real infrastructure and the infrastructure records is made, just to be "sure" - that is hardly management! Case in point: one company I spoke with had a smaller data center of about 80 racks. They were keeping records in an MS Access database and were convinced the records were accurate. They were more diligent than most, running monthly checks to ensure the data was correct. However, the checks were being done based on paper printouts of...

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