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US Federal Government Launches Data.gov

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the selective-reporting dept.

Government 109

Elastic Vapor writes "I'm happy to announce that the US Federal Government earlier today launched the new Data.Gov website. The primary goal of Data.Gov is to improve access to Federal data and expand creative use of those data beyond the walls of government by encouraging innovative ideas (e.g., web applications). Data.gov strives to make government more transparent and is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. The openness derived from Data.gov will strengthen the Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government." I hope the data reported will be impartially selected, honestly gathered, clearly explained, and perfectly accurate. Perhaps they could start with inspiration from the Concord Coalition's National Debt Counter.

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Uh-oh, here we go.... (2, Funny)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042785)

www.data.gov gets slashdotted in 3...2...1...

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042845)

Slashdot isn't really that powerful anymore.

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043555)

www.data.gov gets slashdotted in 3...2...1...

But it isn't! Haven't looked at much of it but that's the first thing they got right. :)

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043889)

Openness or Control? I see it as a fail... You can probably get everything you need on google anyways... Unless it can tell me how to make millions and not pay taxes like the crooks in washington then its of no value

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (3, Insightful)

skarphace (812333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28046123)

Openness or Control? I see it as a fail... You can probably get everything you need on google anyways... Unless it can tell me how to make millions and not pay taxes like the crooks in washington then its of no value

There's a couple problems with your 'thoughts.' First, you assume everything's already on the Web. That's totally false. Second, you neglect to realize what you can do with machine readable data. Instead of trying to build hackish page scrapers, you can now use various APIs and get bulk data dumps(depending on what the agency offers). Data.gov is freaking huge. Anyone that plays around with governmental data knows the power that this site will bring.

The only problem I see with it so far is that it's just a portal for the most part. It's a nice way to get at all the agencies' data in one spot but so far, as of this writing, it's nothing to rave about.

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28048091)

How I wish we could get something like this in Australia. You have more luck getting blood from a stone than getting data out of the federal and state agencies here. They protect their own interests and taxpayer funded data acquisition.

I generate a lot of visualisations on raw data and they all love it. But does that mean they give me the newer or full datasets? Fuck no. And you can see them making up excuses in meetings as the dodge it.

I hope that one day our government learns from what the US is doing. I love crunching large volumes of data, manipulating and displaying in what is hopefully providing new insight to those who can formulate the patterns. Currently we live in the dark ages.

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (1)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044031)

The days of getting slashdotted are over! Slashdot does not have enough traffic to do that anymore :-)

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28044203)

I'd be surprised if ./ had less absolute traffic than it did five years ago. More likely, server and network hardware and software advancements have just significantly surpassed any growth in the ./ audience.

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045493)

Says who?

Re:Uh-oh, here we go.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28046463)

Yes. It seems like there is much less activity since the "politics" section was removed. Amazingly, this occurred right after Obama replaced Bush...

Department of Homeland Security (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042795)

Search for "millimeter"

0 results found

Also not found: CIA, NSA, NASA, Project Bluebook

Re:Department of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042829)

Search for "millimeter"

0 results found

Also not found: CIA, NSA, NASA, Project Bluebook

Or MK-ULTRA if you want to get an idea of what sort of people these are and what sort of goals they have.

Re:Department of Homeland Security (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043021)

Search for "millimeter"

0 results found

Also not found: CIA, NSA, NASA, Project Bluebook

I did the same search and my name came up in the National Genitalia Census ;)

Re:Department of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043865)

Was it found in the 'People suffering from micropenis disorder' registry?

Re:Department of Homeland Security (3, Funny)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043257)

Try "0.039 inch".

Re:Department of Homeland Security (1)

ViennaSt (1138481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043857)

Search for everything selected and... [data.gov]

A total of 27 results comes up. At least they got this database there for future use. Now all they need to do it create a part in the stimulus bill to hire all those newly graduated psychology degree holders to preform data entry.

Re:Department of Homeland Security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28044817)

Millimeter?

Not only did you not find it with DHS, you won't find it with NASA either.

Re:Department of Homeland Security (1)

slarrg (931336) | more than 5 years ago | (#28047583)

And... where's the TSA Porn?

I'll finally be able to know (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042797)

what you did last summer, free of charge.

Hope springs eternal (5, Insightful)

gammygator (820041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042865)

"I hope the data reported will be impartially selected, honestly gathered, clearly explained, and perfectly accurate."

Good luck with that, this is the government we're talking about...

data.gov, or.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28042975)

data.gov, or... the Ministry of Truth?!?!

(okay, this post has no meaningful content, I admit it :P)

Re:Hope springs eternal (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043095)

Good luck with that, this is the government we're talking about...

Yeah, I think sarcasm was his point. Personally I don't get it. Nobody's perfect, but I trust .gov data more than from private companies almost any day.

Re:Hope springs eternal (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 5 years ago | (#28048405)

Yeah, because government agencies have no reason to manipulate data. We certainly have seen no evidence of costs being wildly underestimated when an agency is trying to get approval for a new program.

Do you know that states hire consultants to identify ways to change their operations so that they can manipulate certain metrics that result in more federal funding? This is a fake example, but if the feds give states more money if they have a welfare fraud rate less than 10%, then the state will a) increase efforts to sign up more welfare recipients (increase the denominator) and b) reduce fraud detection mechanisms to the bare minimum required by fed guidelines (decrease the numerator).

Most people trust the government over the private sector because their bosses are in the private sector and they have no real working experience with their government.

Re:Hope springs eternal (1)

Ezrymyrh (1554969) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043241)

Cue the Jedi mind trick, "This is not the data you are looking for"

Re:Hope springs eternal (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043327)

He misses the point with his naivety, but you miss it with your cynicism. The data will still be incredibly useful, even if they're trying to game it, or sloppily collecting it, or if they're putting it up in an obscure, unorganized format.

A broad enough dataset can be used to determine things well beyond it's intended scope.

Re:Hope springs eternal (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043553)

A broad enough dataset can be used to determine things well beyond it's intended scope.

Indeed, any regular reader of slashdot (or even better, any reader of RISKS Digest [wikipedia.org] ) should be well aware of that.
Here's one example we all should remember:

http://consumerist.com/345219/researches-claim-to-reverse-netflixs-anonymization [consumerist.com]

Re:Hope springs eternal (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044045)

Heh, that was exactly what I was thinking of.

The thing is, there is no way that they could really sanitize it without making it obviously worthless. You could try and seed it against certain types of analysis, but you can only do that for big obvious targets. Any target where you're coming at it obliquely...I don't see how they could do it.

That would be like trying to alter a dictionary to prevent someone from writing a certain novel.

Re:Hope springs eternal (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045699)

Hey, I was being cynical, too (hence the link to the Concord Coalition ;)). But I agree with you -- no matter *how* bad it is (and I hope that much of it won't be bad at all), it will be useful for the very reason you name.

timothy

Re:Hope springs eternal (1)

really_irish_man (1559155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045833)

lies, damn lies and data.gov!

Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (5, Interesting)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042921)

Let's get some of this data into Wolfram Alpha. Then we query things and get simple charts and graphs that will scare the living hell out of the average tax payer. "Annual cost of tank treads"... "total corporate welfare"...

Who Needs Wolfram Alpha?: +1, Helpful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043179)

Just ask former Soviet soldiers [youtube.com] .

Yours In Socialism,
Kilgore Trout

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043337)

So take free information and stick it into something that will try to claim copyright on it and any presentation thereof. That is convoluted. At least you can look at the pie charts yourself, just don't show them to anyone else.

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044305)

So take free information and stick it into something that will try to claim copyright on it and any presentation thereof. That is convoluted. At least you can look at the pie charts yourself, just don't show them to anyone else.

I was just inferring that Wolfram should crawl the data, not hold it.

So I would I have to attribute Wolfram if I published any charts garnered from Alpha? Holy crap that's so unbelievably unjust. You freetards are insane.

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045513)

Would you please go back to 4chan, and troll there? Or brush up your character and behavior for a world a bit more real and non-anonymous?
Protip: Using a word that ends in "-tards", makes you look like an idiot. But it still pales in comparison to combining it with the word "free".

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28046671)

Would you please go back to 4chan, and troll there? Or brush up your character and behavior for a world a bit more real and non-anonymous?
Protip: Using a word that ends in "-tards", makes you look like an idiot. But it still pales in comparison to combining it with the word "free".

I think it's very good description for frothy-mouthed free software types. Would it be better if I called you guys louts or imbeciles or something? I am a very sensitive soul, so I just want to make sure that I am being as clear and accurate as possible and not stepping on anyones' toes.

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (1)

LEMONedIScream (1111839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28046953)

I think it's very good description for frothy-mouthed free software types.

Who is a "frothy-mouthed free software type"? Someone who uses it? Someone who releases software under a free license? Someone who advocates the use of free software? Someone who advocates that all software should be free?

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 5 years ago | (#28047463)

Who is a "frothy-mouthed free software type"? Someone who uses it? Someone who releases software under a free license? Someone who advocates the use of free software? Someone who advocates that all software should be free?

I would say it's the sort of person who attacks anyone who points out its countless shortcomings- not as a philosophy but as more implementation specific things. It's the sort of person who says that Ubuntu 9.04 is JUST AS GOOD as Mac OS X or Windows 7, completely ignoring any problems or usability pitfalls that might be present and attempting to silence anyone who says otherwise. They're the type of person who believe that anything that is "free" is always better than something proprietary, no matter how shoddy, inconsistent, and unusable it might be and pushes that belief on others. Or the type of person who mentally blocks out all the time they spend or spent on forums and IRC figuring out how to get the most basic things working in linux but then tell other people that it's all "just works". They're the people who say that monolithic kernels are better than microkernels only because Linux was never capable of implementing one. They consider things like X and gdb "advanced". It's the self-congratulating attitude that rewards mediocrity and keeps the quality bar low in the F/OSS world.

Zealots, basically. I consider myself software agnostic. I hold all software to the same standard and have no sympathy for free software failures, since they push it as a complete product. I have strong views on end user product quality.

More clear?

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28046783)

If he was really from 4chan he would have called them "freefags". Apparently you need to gb2/gaia/.

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043967)

Hear hear!

Re:Stick it in Wolfram Alpha (2, Informative)

modestmelody (1220424) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044555)

One of the best tools I've found online for going through government data is the IPEDS (Integrated Post-Secondary Data System), which allows you to mine for some pretty interesting and specific information that's reported to the Department of Education by all post-secondary institutions. The ability to work with this common data collected by the government anyway makes my own research far easier.

Wolfram|Alpha mining sets like these would just take the whole process one step further by allowing non-expert users access using plain language searches. I'm all for it.

People want accountability from their government, but I think many of those same people a) Don't understand how to read through thousands of pages of complex collected data b) Assume the government knows how to do (a) well, and c) Are often too lazy to do (a) and based on (b) thinks it should just be laid out there in pretty pictures just because they thought that information was important in the moment. This is precisely where a tool like Wolfram|Alpha could be quite useful.

Now if only Wolfram would list their sources and be far more clear about how a data set was collected and interpreted, then we'd really be able to get to work.

Mostly empty (1)

Rgb465 (325668) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042925)

There doesn't appear to be much data indexed yet, just data that has been publicly available for years.
Patent data? Check
Storm data? Check

Yawn. Call me when the FBI starts uploading data.

Re:Mostly empty (1)

system1111 (1527561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043561)

If anything this is more about accessibility. I once had to do a project working with archived data from NOAA. A site like this would have saved me a lot of time.. As with anything give it time and it will hopefully get better.. Either that or wither and die in a new administration =P

Now renamed (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042937)

Hacked Data dot com. Coming to an Identity Theft near you!

Limited but good potential (2, Interesting)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043019)

So far I see only 47 datasets available(is that the best you can do US Gov't?!?!) but the best thing about this site is that it serves as an official directory to myriad data sources. Higher visibility of that data to the general public may encourage more citizens to ask for this kind of data for their areas of interest or for their jurisdictions. So overall this is a good thing. The only thing I wish they would do is provide a forum/mailing list where data consuming developers can coordinate their tools to process this data. I expressed more about this idea here: http://www.thenationaldialogue.org/ideas/grow-a-development-data-analysis-community [thenationaldialogue.org]

Re:Limited but good potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043503)

So far I see only 47 datasets available(is that the best you can do US Gov't?!?!)

Well, the site only just went up.

Re:Limited but good potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045175)

This list exists.

http://groups.google.com/group/poliparse?hl=en

Re:Limited but good potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045499)

They don't even list data.gov, yet. Clearly data.gov is a dataset (containing information about government datasets) and should be included.

IIS, once again (3, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043069)

$ curl -i http://data.gov/ [data.gov]
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 18:13:00 GMT
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0

Bah!

Re:IIS, once again (2, Insightful)

Alinabi (464689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044851)

Forget about IIS. Most of the data is in DBF format. DBF!!! How about using some non-proprietary format from this century like, say, XML.

Re:IIS, once again (1)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045713)

What's so proprietary about dbf? It's so ancient, the specs themselves are old... f.i. here's some [clicketyclick.dk] . I'm sure there are many free/oss converters too.

Re:IIS, once again (1)

skarphace (812333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28046223)

What's so proprietary about dbf? It's so ancient, the specs themselves are old... f.i. here's some [clicketyclick.dk] . I'm sure there are many free/oss converters too.

Have you ever tried to work with DBFs with any open source tools out there? It makes me want to break my fingers so I can't type and have an excuse not to mess with it.

Re:IIS, once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28048259)

$ curl -i http://data.gov/ [data.gov]
HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Date: Thu, 21 May 2009 18:13:00 GMT
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0

Bah!

Would you prefer this method? :)

$request=[system.net.httpwebrequest]::create("http://data.gov") ; $request.getresponse() | select-
object {$_.Server}

$_.Server
---------
Microsoft-IIS/6.0

GoogleBot... (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043135)

"More input, more input!"

Like Wolfram (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043197)

Hey! This is as useful as Wolfram Alpha! I bet Wolfram will include these sets in its searches, too. Then instead of returning no results, it will return "Wolfram|Alpha does not know what to do with your input." or maybe "Wolfram|Alpha knows what to do with your input will put it in [list of countries currently in total nighttime]."

They should hire the wallstats ``death and taxes'' (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043201)

poster guy:

http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/ [wallstats.com]

Or at least learn from it and similar presentations.

William

Unbiased opinion? (4, Insightful)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043281)

...committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. The openness derived from Data.gov will strengthen the Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

That sounds like it was written by the Ministry of Truth. No one should ever read something like that without huge warning bells going off.

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043911)

Hmm... that Elastic Vapor guy is from Toronto, Canada. It seems FOREIGNERS are very happy indeed about this new database.

So, how many days until the 10:00 news is crowing that Obama is spending our tax dollars to give American secrets to other countries?

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (1)

frankie (91710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044005)

p.s. Even worse, he's doing it ON THE INTERNET! Just like a CRAIGSLIST call girl!

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (2, Funny)

rpillala (583965) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044275)

Fox was reporting recently that higher fuel efficiency standards put your family's lives on the line. When really it's driving that does that.

So it shouldn't be too long.

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044901)

"Fox was reporting recently that higher fuel efficiency standards put your family's lives on the line. "

While that statement is a bit extreme...it does have some possibilities that way.

To get a car with super low mileage, it will have to be quite small, and light...possibly affecting how it would end up on the wrong side of a crash with another car.

Remember...those old cars, trucks and SUV's aren't going to disappear immediately, they'll be around for decades. And in an accident with a little econo lightweight, well, the new car is gonna get smooshed.

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (1)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045185)

I've been in two accidents, Ford SUV t-bones Dodge Neon into a sign and GM Pickup t-bones Rear end of Dodge Neon. (me in the neon)

In both cases no one had more than bruises. In the first case, both vehicles were totaled (Equal damage). In the second case, we drove away and popped the dent in the plastic back out with a prybar leaving only creases in the paint while the truck was leaving coolant and the front frame was badly damaged.

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28046117)

... GM Pickup t-bones Rear end of Dodge Neon ...

You keep using that word, t-bones; I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28047151)

Remember...those old cars, trucks and SUV's aren't going to disappear immediately, they'll be around for decades. And in an accident with a little econo lightweight, well, the new car is gonna get smooshed.

Obviously the solution is to continue buying huge cars. Right?

Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049027)

"Obviously the solution is to continue buying huge cars. Right?"

Not necessarily....but, I don't think it should be the federal govt. dictating what cars companies can make. Let them come up with all types of cars for all types of tastes, and let the market decide. Thing is...we need to be willing to let a company fail if they can't get it right.....newer ones can start up to take their place. Hell, let them go into bankruptcy, and shed those anchors of labor contracts that are an outdated burden on the US companies keeping them uncompetitive.

But that won't happen...that's why the Dems won't let the companies go do the full bankruptcy they need to do...they're too beholden to the labor unions.

Re:Unbiased opinion? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043939)

...what part of it sounds like it's from the Ministry of Truth?

I mean, really. I've worked with data from a myriad of sources and I can guarantee you that the US government supplied data is by far the cleanest, most unbiased stuff out there. (And, no, no one's going to have the resources to estimate national GDP going back a century and a half other than the US government.)

Re:Unbiased opinion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28044075)

Maybe we'll be lucky and the data they provide will be as valuable as our currency! Backed by the full faith of the US Gov't...

Re:Unbiased opinion? (2, Insightful)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044193)

It would be the Ministry of Truth if this organization made sure it was the only supplier and analyzer of this information, rather than allowing it to escape on "the internet".

The data itself could be heavily biased, but since the current data sets seem to be census data and similar sets(taxes, marriage/divorce rates), it doesn't seem to have the aim of a propaganda tool currently.

It could be turned to one to be sure, but if it does provide moderately raw data sets then I'd say it would promote democracy.

Will it change with each new administration? (5, Insightful)

really_irish_man (1559155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043367)

The government is an easy target to pick on, but they do have some really useful sites such as thomas.loc.gov and census.gov. Data.gov is a great concept, my only concern is will it change every time a new president takes office? Just as the various executive orders are issued and rescinded based on who's in power, will they also tinker with what data, data.gov will own?

surely you cant be suggesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045571)

that presidents manipulate government data to support their own ideas. i am shocked, and appalled.

Re:Will it change with each new administration? (1)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28047107)

That's not the real issue. Data.gov and other measures of transparency are really a double edged sword.

On the one hand, they *try* to get government to seem more accountable and transparent. Supposedly, when the government wants to say... bailout a bank, you will have the ability to see that money is going.

On the other hand, it might actually lead to more centralized government in the false belief that we can keep checks on things via this 'transparency'.

Unfortunately, a lot of people... who have never ran anything, seem to have this idea that with the right rules and regulations, you can make any system honest. They always forget those in the centralized body will work for their own benefit as in every society that tried central planning.

So while I welcome any and all transparency in government, including data.gov, I have big reservations about the philosophy of those in government who are pushing for it.

Re:Will it change with each new administration? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28047195)

Not everyone shares your philosophy. Personally, I trust the federal government much more than I would trust state or more local levels of government. There are risks of misgovernance at *any* level, and tearing down the centre just makes civilisation run more bumpily.

Price of Access (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28043831)

They just need your social security number and a major credit card...

Sneaky way to solve the tax crisis?

finally! (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28043845)

A /. post I can USE!

PS: The data you get from the US government is infinitely more reliable than from any other country out there. Need I say: China?

"creative use" (1)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044133)

if they really want "creative use" of government data, they'll release those interrogation photos so we can finally get to work photochoppin'.

I hate wide sites... (0, Troll)

leipold (103074) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044151)

...and this one needs a browser window at least 1024 pixels wide. And if you use large fonts (some of us have bad eyes) the layout breaks.

Three cheers for accessibility!

Couldn't do it. (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044283)

"I hope the data reported will be impartially selected, honestly gathered, clearly explained, and perfectly accurate."

At which point I was glad that the article was essentially over, because I couldn't suspend my disbelieve any longer...that, and I was laughing hysterically.

Timothy (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044343)

I hope the data reported will be impartially selected, honestly gathered, clearly explained, and perfectly accurate.

Sorry, but HA.

webservice? (1)

warrior389 (314070) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044415)

is this just a list of data from other government sites? why no central proxy, web services, atom feeds, or other useful features besides just linking?

Re:webservice? (1)

skarphace (812333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28046493)

is this just a list of data from other government sites? why no central proxy, web services, atom feeds, or other useful features besides just linking?

So far, yes. But it sounds like they will eventually become a clearing house of the data. It's a start.

America is not a Democracy (1)

sglider (648795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044447)

As much as the Left would like for us to be, we are NOT a democracy. We're a constitutional Republic.

Your point is? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044837)

So, apparently, it's not important for the electorate in a republic to have information available, which might help them be better informed voters? Yes, the USA is not a *direct* democracy, but I've always been taught that a republic is a type of democracy.

Re:America is not a Democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045133)

That is why I use the term "Participatory Governments" to include all forms government where citizens are allowed to vote, from Direct Democracies to Republics with elected representatives.

Re:America is not a Democracy (1)

haroldpatterson (1559583) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045669)

As much as the Left would like for us to be, we are NOT a democracy.

A direct democracy? No. We use a form of representative democracy [wikipedia.org] .

We're a constitutional Republic.

And in common American usage of the term Republic just means a form of representative democracy.

Mirror it quick (5, Interesting)

TomRC (231027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044521)

I hope someone will mirror the data there the instant it appears, so when someone in power decides that an inconveniently revealed truth needs to be shoved down the memory hole, a web app will instantly highlight any redacted information.

So many uses (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044589)

It would great if it includes data on legislation and if that data can then be tagged by industries (health care, telecom, etc) impacted by the legislation. The data can then be cross-referenced against campaign contributions, and we can extrapolate who voted on what based on how much money they received in contributions from the effected industries.

It would be great if the contents of political speeches were uploaded, and that data tagged by interest group. The speeches can then be cross-referenced against legislation votes to determine whether or not the politicans are really putting their votes where they say their interests lie.

Vague website name, or vaguest website name? (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28044607)

I just feel like it could be a little more vague. I suggest "thing.it" or possibly "yadayadaya.da".

Re:Vague website name, or vaguest website name? (1)

pwfffff (1517213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045207)

I find it hard to believe that you can't connect the dots between 'government data' and 'data.gov'.

Well, never mind, this IS Slashdot... the 'data' stands for 'data' and the 'gov' stands for 'government'.

HTH

Re:Vague website name, or vaguest website name? (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28049669)

As opposed to all the non-data being posted under the .gov domain?

Casualty log in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28044981)

They should have a detailed casualty log of the total number of people tortured, killed, maimed or injured in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Number of people killed by predator drones, number of people bombed, number of suicide attack victims, number of "drop weapon" cases, etc.

Manifests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045037)

Will it show who was on Air Force One when it buzzed NYC? Hmmmmmmmm?

Change we can believe in? (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045515)

Where's the new era of openness we were promised?

The contrarian view (0)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045685)

The openness derived from Data.gov will strengthen the Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

While I consider openness to be an extremely desirable trait of government, I must question the goals of efficiency and effectiveness. The first examples I think of when I hear the phrase "efficient government" are Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. Until they got obsessed with endless warfare, they were quite efficient governments. They got the trains to run on time! They kept meticulous records of the people they gassed! I hope to God we will never again see such organizational skills in the hands of an evil government/

While efficiency and effectiveness are worthy attributes, they should not be the goal. Instead we should aim for GOOD government. I would much rather have an inefficient good government than an efficient bad government.

Tomorrow's headlines today! (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045887)

Slashdot, 5/22/2009: "1 TB disk stolen from data.gov"

laboratoryofthestates.com (2, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 5 years ago | (#28045925)

Try laboratoryofthestates.com [laboratory...states.com] which I set up after the Feds decided to turn the national IT infrastructure over to India and send guys the guys who built the information industry to go eat out of dumpsters.

I did it on no money and it has more data than data.gov.

Re:laboratoryofthestates.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28048035)

Your website is amazing!!!

Re:laboratoryofthestates.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28049563)

This is really cool but can you explain how it works? Does this [laboratory...states.com] mean that one Arab out of 5 uses cocaine? That seems unlikely...

Maybe my wiretaps will be on there? (1)

zifr (1467429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28046053)

I give it 4 months until data.gov is accidentally connected to everyones wiretaps or the SSA database. ooops. I can see it now [slashdot]320 million social security numbers were posted on wikieleaks after data.gov ....[/slashdot]

I did hear Obama liked Star Trek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28046841)

But is setting up websites about TNG characters the best use of government resources.

Redundant? (1)

gy equals c (1556109) | more than 5 years ago | (#28048993)

Given all the stories of successful hacks into gov't systems, why did we need this again? Seems like people were getting to the data just fine before.
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