City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 11, No. 1||January, 2012|
seeking tech advisory committee members
Applications being sought through January 29 for two volunteer positions on the City of Seattle Technology Advisory Board. The ten member board helps guide city strategies and investments in our digital future, including broadband deployment and adoption, Seattle Channel and Seattle.gov services, cable tv franchise agreements, Technology Matching Fund grants and efforts to close the digital divide.comcast rate increases
Effective January 1, Comcast has increased rates on their Xfinity Triple Play packages and Xfinity Internet. Triple Play packages are increasing by approximately $10 per month, and Internet service by $2 to $5 per month.
All Comcast customers should have received a message with the monthly billing statement notifying them of the rate changes. If you have questions on how the changes will impact your bill, contact Comcast at (800) 266-2278 or online at Comcast Customer Central.low income?
Comcast and CenturyLink have started programs to provide low-income households with affordable high speed Internet service. The programs, called Comcast Internet Essentials and CenturyLink Internet Basics, allow eligible households to buy Internet service for only $9.95/month (plus tax and fees). They also provide an opportunity to purchase an Internet-ready netbook computer for only $150 and make free Internet training available online, in print, and in person. For more details and a quick comparison of the two programs, check out this overview.youth journalists
SESeattleFreedomNet.org is news covered by youth journalists in the Rainier Beach Neighborhood of Seattle. As their site says, these reporters are “Reclaiming responsibility for the perception of our neighborhood.” Fifteen young journalists were recently honored for their citizen journalism and contributions to the community. Congratulations to Ariel, Christen, Tila, Trevon, Asha, Jequan, CC, Ronald, Patricia, Rojas, Lizeth, Mariah, Sahla, Tyrell, and Ismael. The site features covereage of local meetings where each report includes highlights, most surprising and most controversial things heard. Reporters also text to the Neighbor to Neighbor Newswire.fcc quiets
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently adopted rules that will require commercials to have the same average volume as the programs they accompany. In the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, Congress directed the FCC to establish these rules. They will go into effect on December 13, 2012. See more on the FCC site, including tips for keeping the sound down until the rules take effect.free internet hookups
Free cable broadband Internet service is available for organizations providing technology training to community members. The free service is offered within the Seattle city limits, based on the City's cable franchise agreements with Comcast and Broadstripe (Millennium). For more information and to download a short form to make application, go to our tech web. If you have questions, email Derrick Hall or call (206) 233-5061.
Have a question for Mayor Mike McGinn? Join the conversation with Seattle Channel host Brian Callanan as he sits down with the Mayor on Wednesday, January 25, at 7 PM for Ask the Mayor. Call (206) 681-8821 between 7:00 and 8:00 PM or email your questions. Also, follow their conversation on Twitter or Facebook with the Seattle Channel’s accounts. You can also submit questions through Twitter and Facebook as well.
Follow the Seattle Channel on Twitter.com/SeattleChannel and become a fan of the Seattle Channel on Facebook! Friends and followers get up to the minute info on new programs, behind the scene pictures of shoots and interviews and more!c.a.l.e.n.d.a.r
Back issues of Brainstorm including techtips and linkage are now available in our online archives. Previous TechTips and Linkage are also available. Click to revisit all previous issues.sub/unsub
To subscribe or unsubscribe to Brainstorm, please email us, and we'll add you to our email notification list, or subtract you per your request. If you have ideas for future stories, please let us know and we'll try to accommodate them. We encourage you to visit the City of Seattle's Community Tech pages, seattle.gov/tech.
Each year, millions of dollars from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program go unclaimed by low-income families. The EITC is intended to offset a portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes, thus boosting take-home income. It’s a “refundable” credit, meaning that after it is figured against your tax liability, the IRS sends you any money you’re due.
For 2011 tax returns, the maximum credit is worth up to $5,751 for people with three or more qualifying children, although it’s also available to some taxpayers without children.
This year, there is free tax preparation help available from January 10 to April 17 at several locations. United Way of King County provides quality free tax preparations services at these locations, as well as at other locations throughout King County, for those who make less than $50,000. Go here for additional locations and for more information. Seattle locations are:
Beacon Hill El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Avenue S. 98144; hours: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays (Arabic and Spanish); 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursdays; and 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturdays (Spanish and Chinese). Also open 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays from January 10 to February 24.
Central District Yesler Community Center, 917 E. Yesler Way, 98122; hours: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Thursdays; and 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Saturdays. Also open 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Wednesdays from January 10 to February 24.
Downtown Seattle Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 98104; hours: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mondays (Chinese); 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Tuesdays (Chinese); 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesdays (Chinese and Spanish); 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Thursdays (Chinese); 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturdays (Chinese and Spanish); and 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Sundays (Chinese and Vietnamese).
Lake City Lake City Neighborhood Service Center, 12525 28th Avenue NE, 98125; hours: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays; 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Thursdays (Chinese and Russian); and 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturdays. Also open 5:30 p.m.- 9:oo p.m. Wednesdays from January 10 to February 24.
South Seattle Rainier Community Center, 4600 – 38th Avenue S, 98118; hours: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturdays (Vietnamese); and 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sundays.
White Center YWCA Greenbridge, 9720 – 8th Avenue SW, 98106; hours: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (Spanish); 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fridays (Spanish); and 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturdays (Spanish and Vietnamese).pew: teens and kindness, religion
and civic engagement online
Here are a few links and tidbits from the Pew Internet and American Life Project: 25 percent of online African Americans use Twitter at least occasionally, with 11 percent doing so on a typical day.
The civic and community engagement of religiously active Americans report concludes that Americans who are members of religious groups are just as likely as others to use the Internet, have broadband at home, use cell phones, use text messaging, and use social networking sites and Twitter.discounts on cable, internet, and phone
The Seattle Office of Cable Communications can help Seattle residents obtain discounts on your cable television service. The discount is available to low income seniors, persons with disabilities, and/or residents living in non-Section 8 subsidized housing.
Income requirements apply. Generally, your household income must be less than 70 percent of the Washington State median income. As an example, to be eligible a family of two must have combined household monthly income of less than $3,273. The discount is approximately $4.00 per month. If you are interested in the cable discount, contact Brenda Tate at 206-386-1989.
The cable discount does not apply to Internet or phone service; however, Broadband companies such as Comcast and CenturyLink have Internet discount programs. See our related article in this newsletter titled, "Low Income? $9.95 Internet!
For discounts on your telephone service, you may be eligible under the State of Washington's Telephone Assistance Program (TAP). Adult customers qualify if they receive ongoing cash, food, or medical assistance from DSHS. For more information about TAP eligibility, call 1-888-700-0880 (toll-free).town hall tech and society lectures
Seattle’s Town Hall is presenting a series of lectures on technology, Internet and society issues. Here are couple coming up. Links are to more info on the speakers. See more specifics and past lectures online at here.
Monday, Feb 6, 7:30 p.m. - Rebecca MacKinnon: The Struggle for Internet Freedom.
Wednesday, Feb 8, 7:30 p.m. - Wael Ghonim with Dorothy Parvaz: Inside a Revolution.
Monday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. - Science: George Dyson: Origins of the Digital Universe.
Tickets are $5 at www.brownpapertickets.com or 800/838-3006 and at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m.high speed internet discounts through project endeavor
Project Endeavor is a program that focuses on providing deaf and hard of hearing Americans with access to broadband or high speed internet through discounted internet service plans and internet devices. Project Endeavor also provides an array of training materials and educational resources for deaf and hard of hearing people. Join SWCDHH on Jan. 21st from 1pm-4pm to learn more! Contact SWCDHH by phone at 360-695-3364 or TTY 360-695-9720.
misspelled web sites steal information
One Internet security firm is warning that a botched keystroke while typing an online address can give computer criminals a chance to hijack your system.
San Diego-based Websense, Inc. has identified as many as 2,000 so-called “typosquatters,” which use sites that look identical to legitimate ones to capture personal information, launch malicious computer attacks and initiate online scams.
The Internet domains of some of the nation's most popular retailers, including Best Buy, Walmart and Apple, have been targeted so an errant character could take consumers to fake domains without their knowledge.
Websense, in its report, said that some companies actually buy up domain names with misspellings to protect their customers.
"Kudos go to Amazon, which registered a good number of potential typosquat hosts, including aqmazon.com, amaxzon.com, amzon.com and many more," Websense said in its report. "These are all good hosts registered by Amazon itself, leaving no chance for abuse as long as they remain registered to Amazon."
For more security tips, check out the techtalk blog.
You are able to drag any window to the left or right of your screen and windows 7 will adjust your view of that window to take up one half of your screen size. This is very helpful if you have two windows/documents you need to compare side by side. Note that this will not work if you have split screens active and you drag to the side that passes to your second screen.
You can double click on the top or bottom of a window to maximize the height of that window without affecting the width.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.
Seattle Foundation Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) Small Grants Program Neighbor to Neighbor, The Seattle Foundation's Small Grants Program, will prioritize organizations or programs that are aligned with one or both of the following funding strategies: (1) Increase Civic Engagement and Community Action; and/or (2) Build Community Connections.
2012 Youth Arts Funding Program
Russell Family Foundation
Integrated Job Readiness Training for Immigrant/Refugee Youth & Families Request for Investment
Measuring Teacher Effectiveness: New Gates Foundation funded study reports best practices to measure teacher effectiveness and shows great benefits for students.
ImmigrationLawHelp.org is a new web site to help low-income immigrants find free or low-cost legal help. The web site provides information about more than 900 nonprofit immigration legal services providers in all 50 states.
Bias in apps development: Free the Network is a great post about apps development, Start-Up Weekends, and the challenges of facing bias by people of color who care about developing community applications. Read it.