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Blog Posts by Greg Elin

Wrapping up Open Developer Day

by Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer
November 12, 2010 - 05:12 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:43:]]On Monday, November 11, the FCC successfully held (we think) a first-of-its-kind event in the U.S. federal government! 

FCC Open Developer Day attracted about 100 web developers and other technology professionals to our headquarters building in Washington. We spent a day learning about open data sets and APIs, brainstorming together about how they could be combined to benefit citizens with new apps, and starting coding projects toward those goals.

One focus of FCC Open Developer Day was accessible technology. By facilitating the use of fully-accessible technologies - in line with the FCC’s support for our Accessibility and Innovation Initiative - the FCC is promoting innovation and collaborative problem-solving in the field. One exciting fact: FCC Open Developer Day marked the first time many developers in attendance sat and chatted as a group with others using assistive technologies.

The most valuable take-away from this first foray was the opportunity to build the FCC developer community. The momentum from this event will hopefully help bring the popular activity of Developer Day and "hack-a-thons" to the a federal agency. We were grateful, and a bit surprised, at the number of people who came in from out of town to this event.  It was incredibly exciting to the see the Commission Meeting Room, usually set up for formal hearings and presentations, organized in tables for eight people and laptops plugged into power strips.

Here are some cool things we got from having the event:

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Gearing Up for Open Developer Day

by Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer
November 4, 2010 - 06:03 PM

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Ed. Note: Visit the Open Developer Day wiki for more info.

This coming Monday the commission will play host to a one-of-a-kind event in federal government. We’re calling on coders, programmers and developers of all stripes to join us at FCC headquarters for our first ever Open Developer Day. This will be a rare opportunity for developers in the public and private sectors to join forces. Out of this gathering will come innovations, collaborations, and continued open government partnership.

Central to Monday’s event will be three tracks weaving their way through the day. Equipped with our laptops and the fellowship of sharp friends we’ll be working through accessibility solutions and open APIs; and we’ll host a Free Develop, an open-ended developer free-for-all. FCC tech minds and leadership will open the event, situating our Developer Day within the larger open government movement.

Programmers from the Yahoo! Developer Network will be on hand to demo their tools and provide guidance. They will give an overview of YQL, their query language which allows developers to “access and shape data across the Internet through one simple language, eliminating the need to learn how to call different APIs.” We will also see a demonstration of their YUI Library, a set of “utilities and controls … for building richly interactive web applications.”

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Announcing Open Developer Day at the FCC

by Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer
October 28, 2010 - 01:46 PM

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On Monday, November 8, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission will sponsor an "Open Developer Day" event at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC to promote collaboration between web developers in the public and private sectors.

The goal of Open Developer Day is to further innovation in accessible technologies and foster citizen participation in open government.

Open Developer Day will be a public, single-day event that prioritizes accessibility goals, though other web solutions are also of interest. The event will feature guest engineers from the Yahoo! Developer Network and Yahoo!’s Accessibility teamLab and will have a component addressing the requirements and opportunities in the new "Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act."

Think of Open Developer Day as a digital barn raising where software developers learn new tools and volunteer their skills to prototype and build new web applications together.

Engineers from the Yahoo! Accessibility team Lab and Yahoo! Developer Network will be providing technical instruction for some of their technologies that support working with web-based information and their ongoing work in accessibility.

A priority area is the development of a web application that will serve as a clearing-house of information on accessible information and communication technologies (ICT). The FCC is mandated to create this clearinghouse by a new law called the "Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act," which President Obama signed on October 8, 2010. The clearinghouse is intended to make it as easy as possible for people with disabilities, families, and support professionals to find information about accessible technologies.

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Top Ten Things You Should Know About Filing Comments on the FCC's Data Review

by Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer
August 9, 2010 - 05:36 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:43:height=100,width=71]]Post: FCC Data Innovation Initiative Journal, Day 41, Washington DC. For Comment: Media Bureau MB Docket No. 10-103; Wireline Competition WC Docket No. 10-132; Wireless Telecommunication Bureau WT Docket No 10-131.

Resources: reboot.fcc.gov/data/review

If you've given any thought about data at the FCC and filing comments on the opening round of the FCC's Data Innovation Initiative – the Public Notices of Data Reviews released by the Media, Wireline Competition and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus - this blog post is for you. Initial comments are due this Friday, August 13.

Though the scope of the Public Notices is significant and welcomes comments on any or all of 340 data sets across three bureaus, filing comments does not have to be a major project. You can make a difference with as little as 15 minutes of effort. The following Top Ten Things You Should Know explains why.

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FCC'S Open Data Initiative: A Bit of Background about the FCC's Data

by Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer
July 9, 2010 - 12:11 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:43:height=100,width=70]]Post: FCC Data Innovation Initiative Journal, Day 17, Washington DC.
For Comment: Media Bureau MB Docket No. 10-103; Wireline Competition WC Docket No. 10-132; Wireless Telecommunication Bureau WT Docket No 10-131.
Resources: reboot.fcc.gov/data/review

Last month we announced FCC's Data Innovation Initiative including a new cross-agency data team and initial public review of 340 data sets from the Media, Wireline Competition and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus.

Yesterday, the Commission announced a Notice of Public Rulemaking WC Docket No. 10-141 to consider requiring tariff filers to file using the FCC's existing Electronic Tariff Filing System and to standardize tariff filings to ease review by the public and the FCC.

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FCC's Data Innovation Initiative: Reinvigorating the FCC's Data Assets

by Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer
June 30, 2010 - 12:53 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:43:height=100,width=70]]As part of the FCC reform agenda to improve our fact-based, data-driven decision making, the Media, Wireline Competition, and Wireless Telecommunications bureaus have released simultaneous, identical Public Notices seeking comment on all aspects of how they collect, use, and disseminate data.

Along with Public Notices, we are also publicly announcing a cross-agency data team of Chief Data Officers in the bureaus, a Geographic Information Officer, and a Chief Data Officer for the agency to ensure a better connection between data and sound analysis in policy processes.

These actions are part of the FCC's Data Innovation Initiative publicly launched yesterday. They are the next steps of a journey that began last fall with the Commission's first-ever, agency-wide inventory identifying hundreds of distinct data sets. The Public Notices initiate an iterative process examining all the FCC's current and future data requirements, starting with these three Bureaus.

Yesterday's Public Notices invite you to join us on this journey for the next 45 days as we openly and transparently look closer at, and seek your comments on, nearly 340 data sets managed by the Media, Wireline Competition, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus and consider future needs. Each of the three Bureaus has compiled a working inventory of their respective data collections to make it easier for everyone—not just those who file information year in and year out—to provide us with comments and insights on innovating how the agency collects, uses, analyzes, and shares information.

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