The Pulse: Citizens League Issues Scan

"The Pulse", the Citizens League issue scan looks at topics of interest to members of the Citizens League (www.citizensleague.net)

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Saturday, July 06, 2002
 
Post-Secondary Education. Nearly one in three of Minnesota's entering public post-secondary students need remedial classes. USA Today reported in the July 5, 2002 "Around the Nation" section that 31.7% of Minnesota's graduating class of 2000 going on to post-secondary education needed at least one remedial course down from 32.1% for the class of 1999. One in three is a damning number if high school graduation is held up as a basic assurance of core skills. (57)

Friday, July 05, 2002
 
The Economy. Technology: High Speed Internet's Last Mile to the Home. For a good chunk of the last decade a major question in telecommunications policy has been how to get broadband, high speed internet access, directly to the home or the last mile from high speed switching equipment. The cost of this last mile and who pays for it has been a barrier to moving ahead on broadband Internet access and the US has been surpassed by Korea on to the home broadband access. In the current issue of the Scientific American one solution to that last 100,000 to 500,000 dollar problem of the last mile is reviewed: an infrared laser system. You may find the entire article at: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=0008069E-808A-1D06-8E49809EC588EEDF&catID=2 (56)

Wednesday, July 03, 2002
 
Public Services. Travel Information: You Talking to Me? The Minnesota Department of Transportation has launched the Traveler Information Service with advanced voice recognition technology. You speak what you want in response to questions and do not need to be pushing buttons to select choices. This voice recognition technology is showing up to 80% cost savings over staffed lines and has a very high accuracy rate. On the front end of an e-government service, it can be very helpful in reducing the so-called digital divide if all you need for access is a regular or mobile telephone line. Voice recognition systems have been completed for all major European languages as well as Mandarin and Cantonese. Soon we may all be saying: "Open the pod bay door HAL." The website for the Minnesota Department of Transportation is at: www.511mn.org. (55)

Tuesday, July 02, 2002
 
Public Services. Office and Management Unveils Wasteful Spending Suggestion Box. On July 1, 2002 the Office of Management and Budget added a feature to their page for citizens to suggest wasteful spending and to suggest ways to get better value for public spending. The site gives previous examples of suggestions and changes that have been made based on these suggestion. The site is at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/reform/index.html. (54)

Sunday, June 30, 2002
 
Public Services. e-Government. "Huge potential to develop online public services." So reads the page two headline for an article by Ghazali Darman from The New Straits Times, June 19, 2002 published in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The article touted e-government as a powerful means to transform public service delivery by empowering individual citizens, creating seamless government, generating efficiencies and creating new models of service delivery. One of the great promises of e-government is connecting services across government departments to provide a convenient and coherent face to citizens. Minnesota could use a jump start from media attention on this critical development in public servces. The New Straits Times newspaper webpage is at: http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/NST/ (53)