Open Source Hearing on California Channel today

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Jul 18 2006 - 14:21:40 CDT

I recently switched cable TV providers and picked up the California Channel
(like CSPAN for state gov). I just turned on the TV and saw Joe Hall's
testimony there (almost 3 hrs into the hearing) -- it was the 2-8-06 hearing
we pushed for. This made me wonder how they decide to re-run hearings --
maybe there's a formula. If there's a formula, I wonder what it is. If no
formula, I wonder how this happens to be running at this very moment.

I think it's great material. It's archived here:

http://www.calchannel.com/MEDIA/0208B.asx (starts at 24:45)

There is a very interesting comment by Debra Bowen (at about 3:18:45). For
the most part, I really have to say Debra Bowen has a handle on the issue.
However, she says something that's not quite right here. She says that
vendors are refusing to disclose their code, so the only way to achieve
transparency is through open source. Granted, she is saying this
hypothetically, but who is asking vendors to disclose?

It doesn't matter until the vendors are asked by their customers to
disclose. In a sense, we're all their customers, but let's face it: some
customers rank higher than others. The first order of customer for them is
county government -- especially big counties. State government is important
too. So unless state and/or county government is asking them to disclose,
we really have no data on their willingness to disclose or not.

My point is that state and local government has been too shy in asking for
this. Bowen almost sounds like they would refuse to disclose and leave the
state. This is clearly wrong and we have proven that with the Alameda
County case.

This hearing was great but we need some follow up hearings on this topic.

Alan D.

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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:05 2006

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