City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 11, No. 7||July, 2012|
new cttab members
Beryl Fernandes, a longtime Seattle resident with four generations of family now in the City, was appointed to CTTAB, the City of Seattle?s Community Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board in March. She was introduced to computers on the UW's mainframes, learning FORTRAN programming at the Computer Science Department. Looking for more human interaction and less re-typing decks of computer punch cards she gravitated away from computer science towards sustainable community development and human-computer interaction. Through her academic research and consulting business, she aims to help public agencies, nonprofit organizations and businesses analyze the feasibility, ramifications and impacts of the introduction of new technologies within the socio-economic and cultural context of the communities for which they are planned. She now chairs CTTAB's Seattle Channel Committee and is a member of the Digital Inclusion and Access Committee.
Ben Krokower is a technology entrepreneur in Seattle, who has owned a small software consulting business for the past six years called Upwards Technologies. They specialize in providing web site and database consulting for local non-profit and political organizations. He especially focuses on working with individuals and organizations that support the goals of causes and candidates that move our city and state forward for equality, diversity and fairness. Ben serves on the Broadband and Get Online Week/Community Capacity Building committees as part of his work on CTTAB. Before being appointed, Ben had attended meetings for over a year demonstrating his personal commitment to CTTAB's work. (No photo available.)grants flyer
The city of Seattle has a wide variety of funding programs that can help you make Seattle a great place to live, work, and play. There are funds to support physical enhancements, the arts, youth, technology, community-organizing, and environmental projects in the community. An updated version of the City of Seattle grants portal flyer to use for distribution at your presentations, meetings, Mayor's town halls, etc., is now available here.seattle voices
with eric liu
Will Poole, an independent social technologist and former Microsoft VP, talks with host Eric Liu about his work to deliver computers to the developing world and help close the digital divide. Poole is co-chair of NComputing, Inc., an award-winning desktop virtualization startup that has shipped more than three million units, 75 percent of which are deployed in schools around the world. A lead partner at Social Venture Partners Seattle, Poole is also the co-founder of Pengala Learning, a company focused on building learning technology; and Volt Boats, developer of the first hybrid human/electric-powered kayak. Watch it online now!
City of Seattle Streetlight repair report and tracker: This page shows all the streetlights the City is working on and the expected time for repairs. You can also report broken streetlights from here so the City can get them fixed.
Creating Sparklines mini graphs in an Excel chart: making little graphs within your spreadsheet.
How Artificial Intelligence will change our relationship with technology, from the BBC tech news.
Engaging Cocoa growers in Ghana through text messaging: This is one program run by the non-profit World Education organization. They have a grant from Alcatel-Lucent to do digital inclusion, and also offer a number of downloadable resources on teaching adult literacy. COCOA growers texting project link.
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, July 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!sub/unsub
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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.c.a.l.e.n.d.a.r
|social media training in the int'l district
Seattle Chinatown International District PDA is looking for ways to help local merchants thrive. With $20,000 in support from the City's Technology Matching Fund, the SCIDpda has begun educating local businesses on social media. The SCIDpda developed workshops with One Media Venture, a Seattle based-media and production company, on the basics of why social media is important and how neighborhood businesses can start using different social media platforms to improve economic growth and development.
In March, five local businesses attended "Intro to Social Media" and "Facebook and Twitter Basics" training. Participants received a step-by-step tutorial on how to set-up Facebook and Twitter accounts in English and Chinese. The businesses, including 705 Lofts, were able to set-up their new Facebook and Twitter business accounts.
Getting small businesses to embrace social media is not without its challenges. Language is often a barrier. Businesses also find it hard to keep up with the ongoing demands of maintaining their online presence. To help with the language fluency issues, the SCIDpda has identified a group of students from the Asian Student Association at North Seattle Community College that are fluent in Vietnamese, and will concentrate their assistance to businesses in the Little Saigon sector of the International District.
The SCIDpda has also learned that it is important to introduce social media in a way that is not overwhelming. The Community College students will work with the businesses to create videos to post on YouTube and their own websites and blogs. Volunteers will also continue to work with businesses to address their concerns.
For more information on the project contact Allison Iguchi at (206) 838-9266.15 organizations awarded 2012 boost grants
The Department of Information Technology has awarded the 2012 Communities Online Boost grant to 15 Seattle organizations. After a very competitive review process, the following organizations were selected to receive the 2012 Boost Grants:
In 2011, the Department of Information Technology created a grant opportunity for community and neighborhood groups seeking to "boost" their online presence - the Communities Online Boost Grant. Funds of up to $1000 per organization were used to help enhance the use of online tools for community building and civic engagement. Read a short description of the 2012 Boost grantee projects here.channel changes: broadstripe/wave alert
On July 17, WAVE will be upgrading video services, providing Seattle Broadstripe customers with access to over 60 new channels. The additional channels are being added by converting some analog channels to a digital version. This change will require some customers to now have a digital converter to view the following channels:
KCTS-Plus: Channel 18
Will I be impacted by this? Possibly. If you are a WAVE/Broadstripe customer with an older television and you subscribe to limited basic or basic cable service.
What should I do if this impacts me? Contact WAVE/Broadstripe at (800) 829-2225. Under its franchise with the City, WAVE/Broadstripe has agreed to ensure all subscribers have the necessary equipment to view these channels in the new digital format.
WAVE's upgrades will also be changing the following channel numbers:
KCTS V-me: Channel 711 changes to 88
For additional information on any of these upcoming changes, please contact WAVE/Broadstripe directly at (800) 829-2225. If you have any difficulty with WAVE/Broadstripe as a result of these changes, you can contact the City's Office of Cable Communications for assistance at (206) 684-8498.promoting video through social media
Do you or your organization have a video that needs to be seen? Social media is one of the most effective ways to let people know about it. Social media has become a global force that changes how people receive and exchange information. But you can waste a lot of time with social media if you don't know how to use it.
The Multimedia Resource and Training Institute (MMRTI) is presenting a free, two-session class in July on how to effectively use social media to promote video. This class is for both non-profit organizations and individuals, and is especially meant for people whose voices are not often heard through video: people of color, women, immigrants, young people, etc. The first session has passed, but you can still make it to the second session if you register now.
Saturday, July 21, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Part 2: Creating Social Media Content that Engages, taught by Tracey Warren. Anyone can post content to Facebook or Twitter, but the content that gets people to respond by liking, commenting, retweeting, etc., is what will effectively get people?s attention. This class covers how to engage your audience to discuss your video and create visibility, as well as how to reach beyond YouTube to other video platforms.
To register, write to Assaye Abunie. The class is free, but spaces are limited.kalispel tribal court uses video conferencing
The Kalispel Tribe held a celebration and tour of their tribal court videoconferencing system. This system and additional public computers have been installed through the Communities Connect Network Project grant from the federal Recovery Act Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and was a goal of the state JusticeNet group. Tribal Business Council Chair Glen Nenema and tribe and court representatives welcomed Sheila Collins from the Governor's Office, State Rep. John McCoy and others. Evin Olson has installed a large monitor, an e-machine with Skype, and links it to the court's audio system. This has enabled video arraignments from remote jails and saved transportation and time. An add-on to Skype can record the video conference. Presiding Judge Tom Tremaine says this video system has helped them immensely and is just the beginning of applications for the court and tribe. As their broadband increases, this will also boost quality of the conferencing. See more on this event at the Communities Connect Network site.seattle proposes excess fiber leasing
The Seattle City Council is considering legislation that could help increase broadband access for businesses and residents, and encourage innovative uses. The City of Seattle has more than 500 miles of fiber that we've already paid for, and there is unused capacity. The new ordinance proposed by the Mayor and Department of Information Technology would allow the City to negotiate with private partners to lease that excess fiber. One goal is better service in neighborhoods that have poor quality service right now. Because fiber is already there, partners could avoid some installation costs, making it easier for businesses to invest in digital infrastructure. See the proposed ordinance and the discussion of this at the June 20 City Council committee meeting. Also see Seattle's technology advisory board letter [PDF] on this.
No, it is not the stuff you eat. Fiber, aka Fiber Optics, is a long thin strand of glass that sends data back and forth as light signals. This glass is smaller than a stand of hair and a typical network cable can host hundreds to thousands of cables. Because Fiber uses light, there are no real limits on how much data can be sent. Your main limitation is how pure the glass is that is sending the signal.
Types of network connections today:
The twisted pair, also known as Ethernet Cables or CatX, have a maximum speed of 1 GB/s and a maximum distance of 100 meters (300 feet).
Coaxial, commonly used with Cable TV providers, have a maximum speed of 343.04 Mbit/s/Down and 122.88 Mbit/s/Up, with a maximum distance of 300 Meters (1000 feet).
Fiber, also known as fibre or Fiber Optics, currently have no limits. Limits are based on the hardware you use. Maximum distance: Multimode 2 Kilometers (1.2 miles); Single mode 80 Kilometers (50 miles).
Cable Providers use multiple network channels to provide faster speeds. The type of hardware you use may slow down your equipment speeds, typically your internet source will be the slowest point of your network.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.d.o.l.l.a.r.s
Smart Ventures Supports activities that encourage innovation and widen cultural participation, particularly by individuals, organizations and communities that may not be served by the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs' other funding programs. Awards range from $500 to $1,000. Program is open to individuals, organizations or neighborhood groups.
Application due date: None. Offered monthly.
Small Sparks Fund Provides funds of up to $1000 to support community members in becoming civically engaged. Projects must demonstrate a capacity to build a stronger and healthier community and:
Application due date: None. Offered monthly.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.