Monday, November 26, 2012

High Tech Meets Smart

Chattanooga, a neighbor to the north, has installed gigabit fiber supplying high speed internet to 170,000 residential and commercial customers. This is touted as a great catalyst for innovation and is expected to attract well-educated young professionals to an already attractive city.

This is the kind of futuristic thinking that may well earn them the title of "Smartest City".

Certainly Dunwoody has helped make their case. It's newly released "GIS" system is based on a deprecated technology, a decision that can only be explained using the "hammer" analogy. When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail, and the hammers swung by these fools is "Microsoft". This technology is not well supported on non-Microsoft platforms and even Microsoft does not support this technology on their latest smart phones.

It gets better. The other side of the Silverlight coin is media streaming, as Silverlight was designed as Microsoft's answer to Adobe's Flash technology. The City spent our money on a Silverlight based system to stream council meetings replacing a service provided by one of the councilmen on his own time and on his own dime. To be better the City's system must be cheaper, more reliable, get video posted sooner and most importantly be accessible on more platforms. It consistently under-performs in all categories.

Transparency in government is essential and transparency requires accessibility. When no technology provides accessibility to 100% of  your clients it is much smarter to choose a technology in ascendancy over one in decline.