Tech & The District » Election Tech the way we see it: insights and musings on technology PR, policy and the District, from H&K’s D.C. Tech Team. Thu, 04 Aug 2011 15:06:44 +0000 en hourly 1 British Generally Pretty Accessible Election 2010 Fri, 07 May 2010 19:31:01 +0000 duncanburns

As I watch from afar the events in Britain, as our party leaders try and settle on a workable coalition, it’s been fascinating in the last month to see how much more accessible politics has become. Not a particularly bold observation (or new), but from thousands of miles away I’ve been able to vote, follow the developments of the campaign, watch the debates (thank you CSPAN 3), find out the fate of friends standing for election (Congratulations Jo Johnson MP!), enjoy the legendary swingometer and enjoy an election party that took place a pleasant 5 hours behind, so no need for a ridiculously late night.

The analysis and insights from news organizations, colleagues and others I trust has brought me into a race that in previous generations I might have had to wait a month or two to know who won. Now it’s just a day or two till the musical chairs is over.

One last thought for our US readers… UK elections last a month from start to finish. That’s it. If one adjusted that by population for the US, a crude adjustment for sure, imagine US elections that ran for “just” five months. Unrealistic, but perhaps something to ponder on a Friday.

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Week in Events: January 12-18, 2009 Mon, 12 Jan 2009 23:01:00 +0000 Sharla Lane In honor of the 44th
President of the United States, this week’s events are politically
charged. A cyber security breakfast chat and an evening at Macy’s
observing a fashion show inspired by Inauguration Day are just two
examples of how Obamarama has taken over the city. If you know of
something else going on that you think should be on this list, feel
free to add it in your comment to this blog.

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Fine Tuning the Tech Market Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:36:00 +0000 Sharla Lane Today,
the Big Three of the auto industry faced Washington, but changes are
reaching far beyond the lines of one business area. Just as the auto
and banking industries have felt the economic crunch, tech companies
from blue chip to Web 2.0 have been appearing in headlines with talk of
mergers, closures and even new business ventures in hopes of riding out
the slump.

Here are a few changes in the tech landscape since Election Day:

what does it all mean? In a thriving economy, companies that may have
had inferior services or products were able to exist and live off the
surplus in capital. Now that funds are limited, consumers are cutting
back spending. Perhaps we can look to lessons learned from the ever
decreasing value of the Big Three in the auto industry and apply them
to the tech space.

we will only get the best of the best mobile service, laptops, and
innovation, including a phase out of poorly crafted Web sites in an
overpopulated Internet space. One result could be leniency in regulation, permitting larger companies to push out competition and raise prices.

Either way, as we approach the holiday season, NPR warned me last week
to not be surprised when I hear an influx of commercials announcing
layaway options rather than in-store credit card offers… so put away
your plastic and start saving those pennies the good ol’ fashioned way!

(Note: H&K works in some parts of the world with Verizon Business, Yahoo!, Microsoft and MGM.)

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Congratulations Mr President-elect! Wed, 05 Nov 2008 20:25:00 +0000 duncanburns After a long race and two eminently capable final choices for the American people, we now know who’s going to be taking over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in January.

Many others have the details on how and why the race was won – and in no small part because of the use of recent online innovations in voter engagement, activation and money-raising. For comprehensive analyses of the race, check out the usual suspects like CNN.

However, for those of us wondering what this all means, the team here at H&K DC has been putting some thought into just that…

We have just published a preview of the President-elect’s agenda – click here to check it out. It includes our sense on what those of us in the tech space need to be thinking about. I’ve included our initial thoughts below.

Advancing Technology:  Creating a Transparent and Connected Democracy

Rarely does anything move as swiftly as technology – especially not governments. The challenge of adopting policies that can keep pace with ever-evolving technological advances is a significant one. Almost all American lawmakers would agree that it is critical to get the laws and regulations governing the development of technology right in order to ensure the nation’s leading role in global innovation and promote a healthy U.S. economy. However, opinions vary on what exactly it would mean to “get it right,” and in the new political environment in the United States, it is safe to say the Democratic Party’s opinions are likely going to be the ones that are enacted into law.

To begin, President-elect Barack Obama has stated his commitment to creating a transparent and connected democracy, in part through opening up the government to citizens and using technology to “reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks.” In essence, Obama is likely to apply some of the technologies he used during his successful campaign to the federal government. Hardware and software companies, along with consultants who can provide expertise to the government on how to achieve those goals, could find business opportunities to share their knowledge and products with the government.

Obama also has said he would create a new position of the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to “ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century.” This demonstrates the importance Obama will place on network safety and cyber security.

Potential business opportunities for technology companies may also exist with other Obama proposals, such as his promotion of health information technology, encouragement to modernize public safety networks with new technologies, and support for “green” technological advances to address energy and environment issues. In particular, a much talked about second economic stimulus package that is likely to be considered in the lame duck session or early in 2009 will almost assuredly contain a big infrastructure and environmental component, and technology companies should find good opportunities to work on that initiative.

However, it is very likely that companies will need to show a commitment to American job creation in their messaging to avoid scrutiny and possible regulation. As you’ll note elsewhere in this report, Obama has made it clear that he will take action to reward those companies that create American jobs and remove any incentives for sending jobs overseas.

Given the speed of movement in the technology industry, the political appointments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Commerce Department of an Obama Administration will be critical

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Week in Events: November 3-9, 2008 Mon, 03 Nov 2008 20:09:00 +0000 duncanburns We’re finally here:  election week.  McCain and Obama duke it out in what may officially be called the last round of a tumultuous campaign year.  The only thing more certain than whom the leading candidates will be casting their vote for come election day is the significance of this defining moment in American politics and technology.  Also look out for:

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