US CTO seeks to scale agile thinking and open data across federal government – O’Reilly Radar

Recently I saw a blog post by Eric Ries about the use of lean startup methodologies in Government.

Since I live in a country where wastage in government appears to be the order of the day, I would have been greatly impressed if the government of my country would take great steps towards getting

It would be interesting to see how effective this wil be in the US Government which appears to be more committed to cutting waste than hoping in the future.

Todd Park is looking for Presidential Innovation Fellows to help government work better.

In the 21st century, federal government must go mobile, putting government services and information at the fingertips of citizens, said United States Chief Technology Officer Todd Park in a recent wide-ranging interview. “That’s the first digital government result, outcome, and objective that’s desired.”

To achieve that vision, Park and U.S. chief information officer Steven VanRoekel are working together to improve how the federal government shares data, architects new digital services and collaborates across agencies to reduce costs and increase productivity through smarter use of information technology.

Park, who was chosen by President Obama to be the second CTO of the United States in March, has been (relatively) quiet over the course of his first two months on the job.

Last Wednesday, that changed. Park launched a new Presidential innovation Fellows program, in concert with VanRoekel’s new digital government strategy, at TechCrunch‘s Disrupt conference in New York City. This was followed by another event for a government audience at the Interior Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. Last Friday, he presented his team’s agenda to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

via O’Reilly Radar.

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How to Use Gamification for Better Business Results

Gamification Ethics (by Gabe Zichermann)

Have you ever collected frequent flyer miles, taken pictures of your record MPG in your Toyota Prius, or filled out a complete profile on LinkedIn (because you wanted to reach that 100% on the profile completeness)? If so, you’ve been gamified.

Gamification is the concept of using game design elements in non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging. And it’s growing – M2 research predicts that the gamification market will reach 2.8 billion in direct spending by 2016

How Gamification Works

Gamification works by encouraging users to engage in desired behaviors, by showing a path to mastery, and by taking advantage of our human psychological predisposition to engage in gaming.

Smart marketers use it to increase consumer engagement and influence consumer behavior. In order to achieve this, consumers should be rewarded with virtual items (like points) for specific behavior (e.g. buying something, signing up, using the product, filling out their profile), and those virtual items should offer access to exclusive privileges and rewards, such as levels or prizes.

Read the full article on Kiss Metrics

More Horrors With Blackberry Webworks Development

I just came out of a near 9 hour marathon of trying to figure out what exactly in the world was making my Phonegap ant build for Blackberry to throw a compile error with this message.

[exec] javac: invalid flag: Files\Java\jdk...
[exec] [ERROR] RAPC exception occurred

I wish there was a documentation that had stated you needed to run the scripts with an administrator account, else Java will not work with the Blackberry Webworks Packager.

This would have saved me these wasted hours that could have been used for more productive work.

In any case, I always do my best to take advantage of any situation and see the light in every explosion. So I learnt a few things during the whole torturing experience and I’m glad at least that is over.

The blackberry app now compiles successfully. 🙂

Found This Excellent Twitter Analytics and Visualization Tool

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

After a recent tweet meet, we realised we needed to provide a brief report of the discussion on Twitter.

I did a quick search and came across this tool. Look good and works.

The Archivist

The Archivist was built by Mix Online, an opinionated group of designers and developers at Microsoft.

via Twitter Tools and Twitter Tips Blog.

How Not To Debug A JQuery Mobile App

Here I was thinking I had got a good grasp of JQuery Mobile enough to go ahead and integrate it with CakePHP.

I admit it was a fun thing to see a desktop version automatically scale into a mobile version with only a few lines of code from my previous post.

My mobile development had taken a bold leap forward in terms I couldn’t be less than happy for.

So after getting my hands and head wrapped up around the structure of JQuery mobile, I felt I was in the “common yeah, let’s do this” moment – speaking in the Tony Robins tone here :)…

I loaded up the site in my mobile emulator and straight up it was looking sharp and tidy :).

But then I wanted to be sure it was alright so I loaded in my Samsung Galaxy phone. Okay it still was looking cool and I was about super excited about this.

Finally, I remembered my old Blackberry phone exists. And knowing that most young people around here have the older Blackberry OS5 phones, I decided to give it a shot.

The result was nerve-rending. My wonderful new mobile site loaded alright. Yes, up to only the preloader gif image!

I tweaked headers and disabled all custom scripts. Once it would work and at another try it would just hang up at the preloader.gif image.

 

After almost 6 combined hours of nerve-wrecking pondering, hair-pulling, and knocking my head against the wall I finally decided to try offloading some content from the page.

I removed a bit of this and a bit of that. Each time uploading the new changes, and refreshing my Blackberry phone’s browser. (Yes, I was a bit too lazy to set up a local DNS server that would allow me access my local site from my Blackberry phone…)

Finally, I found it. A simple search form. Eureka!

After removing the form and returning I discovered that without the form the site loaded up pretty good.

To cut the chase, I reduced the size of the form and transferred it to another page. The original form still won’t load properly so I’m yet to find out what part of that form is responsible for giving JQuery mobile  such terrible hiccups.