Interesting elsewhere – 1 July 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Schneier on Security: Data at Rest vs. Data in Motion In a way, encryption doesn’t reduce the number of secrets that must be stored securely; it just makes them much smaller.
  • “Send us your comments” says new Transparency Board Public data policy and practice will be clearly driven by the public and businesses who want and use the data, including what data is released when and in what form;
    Public data will be published in reusable, machine-readable form;
    Public data will be released under the same open licence which enables free reuse, including commercial reuse;
    Public data will be available and easy to find through a single easy to use online access point
    Public data will be published using open standards and following the recommendations of the W3C;
    Public data underlying the Government’s own websites will be published in reusable form for others to use;
    Public data will be timely and fine grained;
    Release data quickly, and then republish it in linked data form;
    Public data will be freely available to use in any lawful way;
    Public bodies should actively encourage the re-use of their public data; and
    Public bodies should maintain and publish inventories of their data holdings.
  • Could drastic cuts make the public sector more creative? | Society | The Guardian Perhaps cuts will spark a new era of innovation. But the sheer complexity of simultaneously cutting and transforming services on this scale is bewildering. You are not just changing practically overnight the way you do business (on a shrinking budget), but dealing with a recruitment freeze, a pay cap, demoralised (but highly unionised) workers, widespread public anger and huge political uncertainty. In this context, public servants are hardly likely to feel like helping the government identify ways of saving money. And as the commentator and blogger Steven Toft/Flipchart Rick has pointed out, there are not many public managers out there with experience of managing in reverse gear. Is this scale of cutting possible? Yes. Is it possible to do equitably and sustainably? Let’s just say it’s the biggest public management challenge since the creation of the welfare state and the NHS. Except harder.
  • Data is Not Binary Open data isn’t just about re-broadcasting data, but combining it, re-using it and building upon it. It’s about creating new uses, creating new markets and building credibility into the data as it flows.
  • A little social reportage from the LGComms conference « Curiouscatherine’s Blog And this last point is where I end – because my big surprise from the conference was the lack of digital.  At the risk of repeating myself – I just don’t see how the public sector can continue to increase its communications and engagement without making better use of digital and changing the balance in their channel mix between offline and online.