Thursday, March 31, 2005

City Hall Update: Cable

The $12/month “life-line” package from Adelphia has been activated! I was very encouraged to learn that Ken Zavana was able to get the service for his mother after over a year of searching for a low-cost cable alternative with my office.

Along with councilmembers Wendy Greuel and Jack Weiss, I introduced a motion to have the city transition where possible to open source software. “Open source” is a movement in the creation of software that allows all users to view the programming code and make changes; the best changes are incorporated into a version that users can download, usually for free. Other state, local and national governments from Brazil to Austin, TX have experimented with open source software, which can be more innovative, more flexible and more secure than proprietary software—and have a lower price tag. The story made national news on NPR and in the technology trade press, as well as igniting comment on blogs and on tech websites.

Speaking of Open Source, many of you may be familiar with the Firefox browser, which allows you to search multiple sources from its multiple-engine search window. I asked the Los Angeles Public Library to provide a browser search engine. The result is not available from yet but is making it available.