City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 11, No. 6||June, 2012|
Washington State agencies have just posted geospatial data for the public and for developers. This is a first because it integrates the state’s existing Geospatial Portal with live, streamed, content from WA-GeoServices using ArcGIS On-Line. Collectively, the state GIS community is making available upwards of 100+ map based services.information security
The City of Seattle's Office of Information Security has a new Facebook page. Here is where you can find information about security issues that concern them most. "Like" them here.think tank
Seattle’s Cable Office Director Tony Perez, is serving as chair of the new Think Tank NATOA, comprised of local officials from around the United States who work on broadband issues. The group’s mission is to bring together national colleagues who face differing state laws and ranges of authority, to determine the core principles that underlie NATOA's work on behalf of local governments and communities. Think Tank NATOA plans to tackle questions such as:
For more information on the work of NATOA or Think Tank NATOA, contact Tony Perez or call (206) 386-0070.comcast rate
hike july 1
Comcast has announced new pricing for their video, Internet and phone services effective July 1, 2012. The increases range from $3-$5 for most services, but there are some more substantial increases ($15-$20) for Limited Double Play and Triple Play Value Bundle packages. To get an idea of how the cost for your services will change, look here for the Comcast Price Information notice.
There will also be a new charge of $1.99/month for each new Digital Adapter Additional Outlet Service subscribed to on or after July 1, 2012 by customers with Digital Starter and above video services.
All Comcast customers should be receiving a message with the monthly billing statement notifying them of these upcoming rate changes. If you have questions on how the new pricing will impact your cable bill, contact Comcast at (800) 266-2278 or online at Comcast Customer Central.
Note: Under federal law the City of Seattle is prevented from regulating cable rates except for the price of basic cable, installation and some rental charges.l.i.n.k.a.g.e
#Seattle/Centric features social media, tech and entertainment news from Seattle individuals, agencies and organizations working in new media.
Tips for designing icons for web maps. Designer / cartographer Saman Bemel Benrud talks about the unique challenges presented when designing icons for maps. Also available here are open source icons to use.
Planning for Stronger Local Democracy toolkit created by the National League of Cities as part of their democratic governance project.
Jack Straw Production SoundPages features radio and podcasts including Radio Sonarchy, Green Acre Radio, live performances, artist readings, and more. Check it out!
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, June 27, 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!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.
accessibility camp wins
Audio loops, making the Xbox Kinnect an assistive tool, tactile maps for public spaces, iPhone optical character recognition, and shapes vs. colors in web design were just a few topics of the great exchange at the second Accessibility Camp Seattle, held at Seattle Public Library June 2 and 3. The open conference brought disability software developers, advocates, assistive technology users and others to learn and work on tools and digital inclusion strategies. The conference was sponsored by library, Microsoft Accessibility, Speak to Me, UW Do-IT, LiveScribe Education and TechSmith. See more on their Facebook or Twitter at @a11ysea and on the conference web site, here.
use your skills in new city budget simulation
The City of Seattle launched an online budget simulation to help residents better understand City budget challenges. This simulation is part of the City's commitment to make the budget process more transparent and accessible to the public. The web-based application gives users the opportunity to address the constraints and tradeoffs facing city policymakers as they balance the budget. The mayor and Council have the most discretion over operating expenditures associated with the General Fund, which pays for services such as police, fire, parks and libraries. By law, the City must adopt balanced budgets.
"This budget simulation is a new way for the City to engage the public as we address a projected $32 million shortfall," said McGinn. "This builds on our efforts to make government accessible to everyone, like launching data.seattle.gov, streamlining our website and holding town halls across the city. It's a challenge to put together a budget that reflects Seattle's values. I look forward to seeing how residents use this tool to simulate that challenge."
The tool, located at www.seattle.gov/budgetsimulation, simulates a challenging process that takes several months to complete each year. The simulation is further complicated by a couple of situational updates, just like in the real world. Good luck!
national broadband report
The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition and the NTIA hosted a national conference in DC a couple weeks ago. Materials from this conference are available on a wiki by clicking on the agenda items here.
There was quite a range of presentations. In a Measuring Broadband Adoption workshop, Karen Mossberger presented a 2011 study of Chicago that found smart phone only users are more likely to use Internet to get info or apply for job. Mobile only users have more skills than those with no personal access, but less than those with home broadband. The study also found that neighborhood context matters for technology disparities, and may exacerbate existing inequalities in access to jobs, health care and more. See conference presentations here.
The conference also provided an opportunity for GigU and Connect2Compete to share their plans. GigU is investing in fiber initiatives around universities and Connect2Compete is rolling out a national ad campaign next year to encourage broadband awareness along with a program to provide low cost Internet and education resources to families with school lunch eligible children. C2C will also be publishing a directory of public computing centers.
evergreen apps opens july 9
startup weekend winners announced
The Evergreen Apps Challenge is open to people who live, work or study in Washington State. More than 10 prizes totaling over $75,000 are available for award winning apps based on their quality, implementation, and potential impact on WA state, King County and Seattle residents and visitors.
"After seeing what ten great teams could accomplish over the course of a weekend, I am very excited to see what the public will generate in the next five months for the Evergreen Apps Contest," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. "We hope the awards give the Startup Weekend Gov teams incentive to keep going and encourage even more people to participate in this inclusive apps challenge."
Congratulations to the winners of the Government Start Up Weekend. The Challenge is a partnership between Seattle, King County, and Washington State, part of Startup Weekend GOV. The winners are:
1st place (tie):
The challenge will officially open on July 9, 2012, and close on September 6, 2012. Further details and requirements for entry will be announced in the coming weeks here.
Don’t sign in. Many of Google’s services – most notably search, YouTube and Maps – don’t require you to sign in to use them. If you’re not logged in, via Gmail or Google+, for example, Google doesn’t know who you are and can’t add data to your profile.
Remove your Google search history. Deleting your history will not prevent Google from using the information internally. But it will limit the amount of time that it’s fully accessible. After 18 months, the data will become anonymous again and won’t be used as part of your profile.
Clear your YouTube history.
Clear your browsing history on Google Chrome.
Gmail Chat. When you start a chat with someone, you can make the conversation “off the record.” Off-the-record chats will not be stored in your chat history or the history of the person with whom you’re talking. All chats with that person will remain off the record until you change the status.
And finally, one that he doesn't mention: Use the incognito browsing option in the Chrome browser.
For more security tips, check out the techtalk blog.
Non profits can receive 4G Modems and Hotspots access at a discount working with Mobile Beacon, a national nonprofit for wireless service, which has partnered with Clearwire. Service per month is only $10 plus the cost of whichever equipment you get.
More information here.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.
Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums
Neighborhood Matching Fund - Large Project Fund
Neighborhood and Community Arts
Application due date: October 24
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.