Monday, May 15, 2006

Bonds, Bush, or Bill White?

This evening I was forced to prioritize my attention:

  1. I could get on a conference call with Houston mayor Bill White and other H-Town blogheads regarding the municipal wi-fi plan for the city;
  2. I could watch the Giants and Barry Bonds take on the Astros in Minute Maid Park;
  3. ... or I could watch the Pretzledint talk about militarizing the nation's southern border.

I opted to join the conference call and put the ballgame on, volume muted. Michael Garfield of the High-Tech Texan hosted, and Mayor White was joined on the call by Richard Lewis, the city's chief information officer (an interview with Lewis on Houston's wireless initiative can be found here).

I'm going to leave the eyelid-drooping details to those who do that sort of thing better than I ever intend to (see linkage at the end). Let me summarize the half-hour by simply saying that I was disappointed with both the quality and quantity of the information dispensed. There were about a dozen of us on the call, from the left, the right, and neither (allegedly). The questions were, for the most part, supercilious and the answers conveyed nearly nothing of informational value.

Apparently when the bid proposals are submitted (tomorrow is the deadline) then someone will know more about how this effort is going to proceed, but it likely won't be anyone except Richard Lewis and Bill White and a few others at City Hall. Nothing about cost was discussed because the bids aren't in; apparently it will be a couple of years before anything can be rolled out; it will be a public/private initiative, blahblahblah.

There was lots of pontificating about having the most elite network in the United States, about not exacerbating the 'digital divide' between those of means and those without, and more crap like that.

Speaking of crap, this fellow provided us a first-inning update on the Giants home run not hit by Barry Bonds.

Anybody watch what the President said? Or the cacophony of talking heads post-speech? I sure didn't have the stomach for that, and the baseball game turned into a Giant rout -- 8-0 -- when I turned it off.

All in all, I should have gone to bed early.

Some serious analysis of tonight's call can be found here, here (but not until tomorrow), a bit of conservative snarling in advance of the call here, and a nice pre- and post-call post from Dwight at the Chronic here.

Update: the neoconservative who masquerades behind an Indian (or is it Pakistani?) pseudonym adds something worthwhile. Presumably the organizers of the call, Wythe and Kuffner, will add something later.

Update II: Matt at Houstonist has a cool picture of a coffee can all wired up. I hope this isn't the actual technology that is supposed to last a decade.

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