Open Data Policy Guidelines – Sunlight Foundation

To move forward in grappling with those questions, we’ve created this series of Guidelines for Open Data Policies. We intend this more as a “living document” than as model legislation — a menu of options for what can be contained within an open data policy. It provides sample provisional language packed with detailed explanations and use cases, drawn heavily from the important work of our peers in the transparency and open government space.

via Open Data Policy Guidelines – Sunlight Foundation.

The actual guidelines are at

Microsoft Word is cumbersome, inefficient, and obsolete. It’s time for it to die.

Stories would come in over the fax machine. If the printout was clear enough, and if our giant flatbed scanner was in the mood, someone would scan the pages in, a text-recognition program would decipher the letters, and we would comb the resulting electronic file for nonsense and typos. If the scanner wasnt in the mood, we would prop up the hard copy beside a computer and retype the whole thing. …Nowadays, I get the same feeling of dread when I open an email to see a Microsoft Word document attached. Time and effort are about to be wasted cleaning up someones archaic habits. A Word file is the story-fax of the early 21st century: cumbersome, inefficient, and a relic of obsolete assumptions about technology. Its time to give up on Word.

via Microsoft Word is cumbersome, inefficient, and obsolete. It’s time for it to die. – Slate Magazine.

Hunter raised the issue of filtering again with [head librarian] Wofford and stated that she thought the filtering of the websites she sought to view was improper and the classification of Native American cultural and religious history and practices as the “occult” and “criminal skills” was misleading and derogatory.

Wofford responded that it was up to the filtering system which websites library patrons could view and that she only allows people to view blocked websites if it pertains to their job, if they are writing a paper, or if she determined that they otherwise have a legitimate reason to view the content.

via Library computers can block porn—but Wicca? ACLU says no.

I am glad that’s not my head librarian.

Expand the Use of Food Stamps?

Some anti-hunger advocates would like to make it easier for them to use food stamps, by relaxing rules forbidding their use to buy fast food.

What would be wrong with giving people the right to use their food stamps at fast-food places? What do we know about the nutritional habits of the program’s recipients?

via Expand the Use of Food Stamps? – Room for Debate –

The comments (early) make me doubt the capacity for rational thought in the NYT readers.

The Hidden Costs of Higher Ed

It’s not just the economy’s fault: even as they publicize lavish financial aid packages, colleges and universities are making it harder for average American families to afford higher education, while making it easier for the wealthy.

via The Hidden Costs of Higher Ed –

Mr. Bernstein makes a point, but provides no suggestion about how a university can reduce the opportunity cost of the funding of the college education.

The only visible solutions to making access equal and lest costly for the non-wealthy are to stop allowing credit card payments, or eliminate the fees.

Eliminating the fees costs the institution 3 percent in reduced revenue. Not a viable solution.

Who gets to bear the cost of the education? Here in Arizona the people certainly won’t.

A Shabby Crusade in Wisconsin – Editorial

The latest technique used by conservatives to silence liberal academics is to demand copies of e-mails and other documents. Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia tried it last year with a climate-change scientist, and now the Wisconsin Republican Party is doing it to a distinguished historian who dared to criticize the state’s new union-busting law. These demands not only abuse academic freedom, but make the instigators look like petty and medieval inquisitors.

via A Shabby Crusade in Wisconsin –