Feeds

Osborne to SAVE ECONOMY with help from Media 2.0 websluts

Open data mashups, that's exactly what UK needs

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Analysis Since the Tories came to power courtesy of a Coalition deal with the Lib Dems in May 2010, two words continue to be bounced around the walls of Whitehall: open and transparency.

Later today, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will detail his painful plans to grow Britain's deflated economy. His autumn statement to the House of Commons follows on from an OECD report on Monday that said it expected UK output to continue to fall in the final three months of this year and the first quarter of 2012, prompting fears of a double-dip recession.

Number 11's occupant will doubtless want to be drowning out concerns expressed by the economy's worrywarts. And what better way to do that, the argument from within the Cabinet Office goes at least, than to open up some more datasets to British citizens.

Apparently Blighty is about to become the open data centre of the world and citizens in their frayed trousers and greying shirts should be upstanding and proud.

The chancellor will reveal the latest chapter in this, er, success story that plants the Silicon Roundabout in the middle of the government's Media2.0Websluts-will-save-us-all-parade by promising to make travel easier, healthcare better and to bring about jobs growth. How will all this happen, you might wonder? Why, by opening up more public sector data, of course.

Here's a quick rundown of what The Register understands taxpayers should expect to hear from Osborne at lunchtime today.

Code, boy, as if your life depended on it the Met Office

Investment in medical research and in digital technology is incoming and, as Prime Minister David Cameron made clear earlier this month, the government is placing large bets on Silicon Roundabout, which means Downing Street eventually wants to see East London produce a Skype or even an Apple.

What this appears to boil down to is a startup developing apps that make use of those lovely datasets that Osborne is about to set "free".

Who knows, the Silicon Roundabout could yet give birth to a company that Microsoft might eventually want to buy. Or, more ambitiously, the very same "tech hub" could debut a fondleslab powerhouse of which none other than Steve Jobs RIP would be envious.

Data from the Met Office and the Land Registry, it's hoped, will lead the way.

In essence, some of our data is being offloaded to the private sector to help boost the frankly dire economy. Osborne's mantra actually appears to be: "There's an app for that".

It might be argued that the chancellor is being deadly strategic with his plans. Medical research could be improved via this method, courtesy of what the Cabinet Office is describing as a "world-first data service".

There are also plans to improve business logistics and commuting by introducing realtime monitoring of trains and buses on almost every road in the UK.

All well and good, perhaps. But an internet veteran is required to do a lot of the hand-holding with the 600 or so hairdressers, bars and actual startups that now occupy the Silicon Roundabout.

It would seem those same outfits won't be getting their hands on the very grown up healthcare datasets to be released by the government, which we are assured contain "detailed" yet "anonymised information on patients".

For now, Osborne and co wants Tech City - as Whitehall prefers to call it - to concentrate on the weather, house prices and transport to help kickstart the economy. Some of that data will be released under free licence terms, while others will need to be unlocked by developers who first agree to the "conditions" laid out in the Open Government Licence under commercial re-use.

Stay tuned. We'll have more for you later today. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.