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Honolulu Tops 2011 Digital Cities Survey

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the high-tech-luau dept.

Government 35

First time accepted submitter folsomfella writes "The 11th annual survey spotlights the municipalities that best show how information and communication technology are used to enhance public service. The top 10 cities are selected in four different population categories and judged on the criteria of enterprise applicability or impact across multiple program areas, measurable progress from the prior year, hard dollar savings or soft dollar benefits as a result of technology use, innovation and a demonstration of effective collaboration."

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Honolulu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37939940)

The top 10 cities are selected in four different population categories and judged on the criteria of enterprise applicability or impact across multiple program areas, measurable progress from the prior year, hard dollar savings or soft dollar benefits as a result of technology use, proximity to totally awesome waves, innovation and a demonstration of effective collaboration.

Well no wonder...

Re:Honolulu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37941576)

list is bullshit, texas, the most backwards state in the USA is on theere like 4 times

I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37939970)

Then again, everyone I've ever known that's lived in Hawaii has said that it was ridiculous expensive to live there...

Re:I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (4, Interesting)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940190)

Everything is expensive as it's either shipped in or flown in. It's a very liberal state and as such, taxes are quite high so that doesn't help either. Hawaii was gorgeous and incredible to visit, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there.

As an aside, Honolulu is a beautiful city on the surface, at least for the first block or two in from the ocean. Though the city is full of drug dealers/users, hookers and bums/homeless, all of which are conspicuously plentiful even in the beachfront/resort area right on the water. This did not detract from enjoying my vacation for the few days I was staying in Honolulu but the particularly aggressive hookers were annoying when out at night. Strangely the bums were not aggressive or rude as they are in every New England or east coast city I've been in. On a side note, if I ever failed completely at life and became a homeless bum, I would find my way to Honolulu. Bums seem to live alright lives in an amazingly beautiful and temperate area. At sunset they swarm the beaches and put up hammocks and cots to sleep in the open salty air.

Re:I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (2)

Boycott BMG (1147385) | more than 2 years ago | (#37944020)

As a current resident of Honolulu, I have to respond to some of this.

First taxes are not very high compared to mainland states. According to the Tax Foundation Hawaii has the 30th highest taxes in the nation (out of 50 obviously). http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/topic/24.html [taxfoundation.org]

Second, there are a lot of homeless in Hawaii. The primary cause of this is high home prices. A home in a "bad" neighborhood will cost $300k-600k, in a "good" neighborhood they go from $500k-$900k, and in the "rich" neighborhoods they are ridiculous. Unfortunately, we live on an island, so there is a limited amount of land. Couple that with regulations that prohibit apartment buildings in a lot of places because they would "ruin the view", and one economic downturn has the effect of generating a lot of homeless.

Re:I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37944276)

I live in Honolulu and the only place the drug dealers and hookers hang out is in the tourist area. Maybe that says something about the people visiting and not the city.

Also, the taxes are not that high.

You should only talk about things you know about.

Re:I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949824)

Sorry if I didn't accurately describe everything. This was just my perspective from staying in Hawaii for about two weeks and working my way across Maui, the Big Island, and Oahu. I saw a bit of everything from the cities/tourist traps to the countryside, drove the Hanna Highway, and saw a fair amount of "backwoods" type areas. It was several years ago so sorry if things have changed or I don't recall 100%, just mentioning the things that jumped out at me while I was there or that I have read.

Re:I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37947422)

Aloha!

I want to know if they included the entire city of Honolulu (technically the whole island of Oahu), all of the urban south shore (aka Honolulu side), or just what locals call Honolulu (exclude Manao, Pearl City, etc). The North Shore (especially Waihole to Haleiwa) is very much country and I wouldn't expect much in terms of high tech there - except perhaps around BYUH in Laie.

Re:I wish we had free city-wide wifi here... (1)

DigiTechGuy (1747636) | more than 2 years ago | (#37949790)

I'm sure they did not include the whole insland or anything outside of the "city" area of Honolulu and tourist trap area. When I made my way around the rest of the island much of it was very rural, spread out countryside. One thing I found interesting, not just on Oahu but also the Big Island and Maui in particular was that there are abandoned cars everywhere. It appeared to me, an outside only on the islands for a bit shy of two weeks, that whenever people used up or wore out a car they just ditched it on the side of a road farther from the built up areas. This struck me as odd, as I would imagine, being islands, scrap metal recyclers would be present and these abandoned cars would have more value than on the mainland where you can get $200-$400 typically for a whole or gutted vehicle depending on weight and how much desirables (metal) you left vs undesirables (interior, gas tank, oil, etc.) you left in it.

Digital cities where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37939998)

Ah, in the colonies....

Not enough IT Jobs to matter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940012)

Hawaii has a dearth of IT jobs. I left there for Seattle, never looked back.

Re:Not enough IT Jobs to matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940156)

It's not a dearth of jobs, it's an oversupply of people who want to live there.

Re:Not enough IT Jobs to matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940314)

Well considering that I was born and raised in Honolulu, the word dearth definitively applies. Decent jobs are already hard to come by, but the requirements are pretty stiff for IT out there. TS clearance, multi-year experience in esoteric knowledge, college degrees to weed out the self taught etc. The requirements are pretty stiff... I would never recommend to anyone to live there, to expensive, to small, and frankly to boring.

Re:Not enough IT Jobs to matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940530)

to vs. too

What's the downside? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940032)

Free wifi, free public healthcare, beaches, great weather... were it not for the hostility to outsiders, Hawaii would be heaven on Earth.

Re:What's the downside? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940060)

Oh, right, cost too. Duh...

Re:What's the downside? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940184)

If it were a cheap paradise welcome to all, it would be immediately spoiled by everybody moving there. See California.

Re:What's the downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940656)

Yes, like my hometown of San Diego in the state I was born in.

Rich college douchebags from Michigan and Dubai, get the fuck out.
Dumb-fuck Christian military savages from Texas and Mississippi, get the fuck out.
Low-rent H1-B scum Qualcomm hires by the truckfulls, get the fuck out.
Unskilled aspiring bartenders and untalented garage bands from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, get the fuck out.

Anybody who was not born in this state, get the fuck out. We're sick of you polluting our culture and driving our living costs through the roof!
 
  -- Ethanol-fueled

Re:What's the downside? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37943128)

Rich college douchebags from Michigan and Dubai, get the fuck out.

That's an interesting coalition right there...

Dumb-fuck Christian military savages from Texas and Mississippi, get the fuck out.

This does annoy me too. Why conservatives move here is beyond me.

Anybody who was not born in this state, get the fuck out. We're sick of you polluting our culture and driving our living costs through the roof!

Having met people from LA, that's a good thing. Anyway, I'm on my way out, though not because of this post.

Re:What's the downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940148)

It's also somewhat crowded, a lot of traffic, full of tourists, and like you said, pretty costly.

But if you're rich, it's great :-)

Re:What's the downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37941396)

do you live in hawaii? i do and have been called a stupid haole once in 12 years. i heard a lot more 'go home, white boy' back on the east coast.

Re:What's the downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37942208)

I grew up in Hawaii and lived there for 23 years. I've been called "fuckin' haole" more times than I can count. You must not get out much.

Re:What's the downside? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37942778)

Agreed - Raised in Hawaii on the Island of Hawaii and "fuckin' haole" was all to common.

Re:What's the downside? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#37943174)

I was talking about the non-native-hawaiian "I BOUGHT MY LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE! YOU GO AWAY!!!" That is what really irks me, if the ethnic Hawaiians want to carry a grudge, that's stupid but whatever. The mainlanders who transplanted there have absolutely no excuses for anti-outsider attitudes though. I understand tourists can be obnoxious, but you knew what it was like when you moved there. The no trespassing signs on the tiny yards of ugly ranch houses in the suburbs miles from the beach or any hiking trails really seemed ugly to me.

The trail called "stairway to heaven," renovated at great expense to the taxpayers evidently has great views and is one of the best hikes in the US. It also has a guard posted out front to prevent anyone from going into it, as a result of the local neighborhood deciding they didn't want anyone parking on their street. I gather that these were not individuals who would be using the "haole" term either, these were people who made it rich and moved to a beautiful tourist destination, got annoyed with other outsiders, then decided they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

Honolulu Tops 2011 Digital Cities Survey....... (5, Insightful)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940124)

.... in the United States.

Not an unbiased survey, very anti-public wifi (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940248)

The organization that funded this survey is dedicated to promoting interaction between private business and government. So don't expect to see any cities with their own municipal broadband. Only cities with privately provided wifi are welcome.

For government services... (1)

pat_trick (218868) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940532)

...but not for regular residents. Been here since 2004. The free wifi hot spots are primarily concentrated in downtown, and a few other random spots. You can see the network map at http://p2.meraki.com/network/kokuawireless ; I wouldn't call this "municipal" wifi in the slightest, seeing as it doesn't really serve anyone except the businesses that have customers coming in or nearby.

In addition, our primary ISPs, Oceanic Time Warner and Hawaiian Telcom are only now offering speeds of 50 mbps down to residential customers, but only "up to" and only in limited service areas. Not exactly up to par with FIOS services available elsewhere.

Re:For government services... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37940916)

Guess what, FIOS isn't exactly widespread on the mainland either. In Long Beach, California, a relatively large city, across the street from a large state university, Verizon's best offering is a measly 3Mbps DSL. The local cable company has much better speeds, but their pricing is not exactly competitive with FIOS (and why would it be, since FIOS isn't available).

Booming industry... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37940698)

They did it to handle all the birth certificate requests

Kokua Wireless is Not Island-Wide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37943442)

The wireless system noted in TFA is nowhere near an island-wide service. Technically it's not even city-wide. Honolulu city limits stretches from Pearl Harbor to Oahu's eastern-most point (Makapu'u.) In most people's minds, the "city" is just a 5 mile stretch from the business district to the Waikiki/University area, if not just the business district area.

Either way, my experience with Kokua Wireless is only within the business district, maybe 5-7 city blocks. Walk to the state capitol or library just outside of this area, and you'll get no signal.

When I did see it pop up on my phone, half the time it didn't work. Some setup or administration error (It's been a while so I don't remember exactly.) And this was in locations where it did previously work; so to me it felt like it all worked initially years ago, but over time random partners didn't keep up maintenance of their parts of the system.

In recent months I've been seeing Cisco boxes springing up on traffic light poles, presumably support for the upcoming APEC Conference, I don't know if this is a now part of or to later be merged into the Kokua Wireless system. But even then, still far from city-wide based on where I've seen them.

I get better island-wide free WiFi from all the McDonald's and Starbucks locations we have.

Great Place To Live Hard Place To Make A Living (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37943980)

I was born and raised in Hawaii, went from Molokai, to Maui, then to Oahu. Making money is hard there, technical opportunities exist, but they are hard to come by. So in 1999 I moved to Seattle where I got to work on a High Performance Linux cluster, was part in a startup aerospace company, and now find myself doing virtualization in a government entity.

Recently, a former coworker at the State of Hawaii asked me to go to Honolulu and help with a CentOS 3 to CentOS 5 migration, during that time he told about the furloughs they have to endure and how they lost federal funding for new equipment. I really felt bad for them, because they are good people.

If you don’t have to make money (rich, retired, or student), Hawaii is an awesome place to be. But now I just work single job and my wife is a stay at home mom which a far cry from when we both worked a full time job and I even had to take on a 2nd job to make ends meet.

Not a big surprise (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 2 years ago | (#37944848)

Honalulu is unique in that it's very isolated and its distinct native population rather underprivileged, I'm not surprised that free city-wide wifi is provided and done well. However I wouldn't say it's a testament to their skills or benevolence as the distinction may suggest.

An example where a city has gone to great lengths to provide for their residents is the city that hosts the team with the longest waiting list for season tickets in all of professional sports in North America - the reigning NFL champs, the Green Bay Packers. They are by far the smallest city with an NFL team, and it's kept alive because only residents of Green Bay can own shares in the team, and you must own a share to get a season ticket, plus the NFL has a profit-sharing program that supports smaller markets.

In many other cities with free wifi, it's often insufficient and only serves to dissuade businesses from providing wifi to customers. It's always a drag trying to keep in touch in Saskatoon when I'm touring with my band, since the free wifi is only useable at 4AM and the venue doesn't provide wifi.

Been here for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37945094)

Am I the only one in HI who's never heard of Kokua Wireless? Is it such common knowledge that no one thought to tell me about it? :(

Re:Been here for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37945136)

The Kokua Free WiFi has been around for a few years, I heard about it on the news when it first started up. However, as I noted in an earlier post, based on my experience, it's only in the Chinatown to financial district part of town. And last few times I tried to get on, something seemed to be down.

Looking it up right now, it appears they've expanded to more locations, [kokuawireless.com] but I'm a bit skeptical at calling it island-wide.

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