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City Council to Engage in Serious Google Talk Today

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Photo by notoriousxl via Flickr

Photo by notoriousxl via Flickr
On the agenda today for the City Council is consideration of a proposal that will "replace the city government's crash-prone e-mail system with a Google-based application," according to the Daily News.The impetus behind what some view as a costly or belated upgrade is the fact that the system they currently use, GroupWise, is often down and unreliable. In fact, Matt Szabo, who serves as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's deputy chief of staff, calls GroupWise, which is administered by Novell, "one of the most antiquated crash prone e-mail systems in the history of humankind," noting for example it was down all weekend and into Monday.

However, some argue that this is not the best move for the City to make, as it serves as more of a costly bandage on a gaping wound and means LA's infrastructure would be the first of its kind to rely on Google's wonderful, but risky, services. An article on CityWatch points to the potential folly of the City in not only not investing in training their staff but also in not making the very pressing issue of communications and connectivity a more organized focus. Among the many points raised: "Missing from this City Council debate over Novell vs. Google is the simple fact that technology is no substitute for vision and skills. Learning to type fast does not make one a great novelist."

The Council will continue to discuss the potential switch to Google services today, which may result on a vote on the matter; GChatting with the Mayor could be just a few million dollars and some new servers away!