Proprietary Lock Out
(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- 8/24/16
What to do with those dead PlattInfo kiosks? Their screens -- designed to display points of interest in downtown -- remain blank. A recent paint job conceals the rust.
The kiosks have spent more time being dead than alive. After thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent there should be a way for Plattsburgh City to kickstart them back to life.
So just bring in someone to fix or update the computer system. No, forget that. Proprietary blocks that option.
Local software engineer Jesse Feiler was hired by the city to write the source code. In the deal he struck with the city all his work is proprietary.
The city boondoggle boys didn't realize that proprietary meant only one person, the code's creator, can touch it. If the city wants to update the system it has to work with Feiler -- obviously for additional payment.
The city should've paid for open source code and bought the license for its use. That way it could modify the system as needed.
I've emailed Jesse Feiler to get his part of the story. Two emails, no response.
In the meantime the boondoggle boys are just itching to get their hands on that $10 million grant awarded by New York State.
Maybe they could update the kiosks with some of that money. Just rip off the tops and gut the interiors to convert them into planters with flowers to spruce up downtown.
At least flowers can be replanted. They aren't proprietary.