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Hackable City: Providence

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I have touched on hackability design as part of design noir in the past. Applying the concepts of tanparency in government, open source economic development and a slew of others ideas seems promising.


Unfortunately what we have all the experience with is similar to the Microsoft Kinnect debacle.


Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper–resistant.

—Microsoft’s Kinect Gets Hacked


So -- long story short -- Microsoft is against people hacking Kinnect ...until they are though leaders uncovering profit centers Microsoft never thought of ...then Microsoft is (poof) open by design.


Dragged kicking and screaming is not what I am talking about.


A hackable city initiative might find impediments to economic growth and either route around them or remove them. A hack might be a mashup of government data, policy changes, regulation and compliance stremlining and private and public funding.

Edited by DCrx

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Great topic, DCrx. It's always been the case that cooperation gets much more done than trying to do everything yourself. Of course there is the question of how a business would try to monetize a given activity. I think the relative healths of Open Source activities versus Microsoft shows that the traditional view espoused by Microsoft iw much weaker than it used to be.


The interconnectedness of vast crowds now means that cooperation can be much more powerful. Of course it takes much more thinking to keep it simple enough so that people can hack effectively. However that effort is repaid many times over by the contributions of the crowd.

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