Government Did Seize Tech, Albeit A Little Early

gdstAfter three years of Vice President Gore’s cheerleading for a higher tech government, we decided to find out how easy it is to find government material online. After all, those rules and regulations flowing out of government agencies are adding several days a year to our business lives. Wouldn’t you prefer to fill out and file forms online instead of wasting time trying to find them? And while the veep can exhort the federal government, he has little control over the state and local bureaucracies that conceive prodigious amounts of their own material, much like at this site. We set out to get a snapshot of how extensive online support is at all three levels of government.

Leading by Example

One thing to keep in mind about the federal government’s online presence is that most businesspeople need to find information coming out of the executive branch. Congress passes legislation and the courts interpret it, but only the president (through various departments and agencies) actually Read more »

The Python Strikes!

Hot on the heels of my Comdex/Chicago session, at which Python architect Guido van Rossum spoke, version 2.1 of Python shipped, as did Programming Python, 2nd Edition, by Mark Lutz . Of course, Programming Python, 2nd Edition doesn’t cover Python 2.1, only Python 2.0, but that’s life in book publishing when the book’s subject progresses on Internet time.

 

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Python 2.1

I have to say that I’m fascinated by the evolution of this language. Guido and his team are managing to serve a variety of constituencies without introducing incompatibilities.

For instance, as described in the What’s New document, Python 2.1 adds support for the following: Read more »

Taking It All On The Road Is A Page Away

tialrIT’S 11:30 A.M. AN; MY FINGERS ARE FLYING OVER MY laptop computer keyboard. I’m sitting in the cafe car of Amtrak’s Metroliner train, traveling to a client meeting while banging out an article that another client needs by noon. I polish off the final paragraph somewhere around Iselin, New Jersey. Now what?

Your daring and resourceful correspondent pulls a wireless modem card from his trusty computer case. He slaps it into the laptop’s PC Card (formerly PCMCIA) slot and hears the satisfying “bleep” of mutual recognition. I leap into the RadioMail Connection program, type a quick cover note, address it to my client’s Internet e-mail account, and attach the urgent file. “Send,” I click, and send it does, over the ARDIS wireless data network. Moments before the train enters the tunnel leading to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, my article completes its Read more »

What The Heck Was DAML?

damlIt may seem that the last thing the world needs is another Web standard, says Mike Connor of Snarkfest.org, but there is always room for an intelligent addition. A new language known as DAML addresses an important, unmet need- making Web sites understandable to programs and nontraditional browsing devices.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Agent Markup Language is a step Read more »