City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 11, No. 9||September, 2012|
Since 1991, the Community Voice Mail (CVM) program has provided a critical communication link for the homeless in Seattle and beyond, giving people a phone number and voicemail that stays constant, even if they can’t. This summer, CVM changed its name to Springwire to reflect their broader services and reach. They are continuing the Community Voice Mail program while also using their technology and experience to provide additional innovative programs. These include targeted Resource Broadcasting and a Veterans Connect pilot project. The City of Seattle Department of Information Technology awarded Springwire a grant this year to help pilot Digital Documents, which will help the homeless with a way to scan their critical documents and use online cloud storage to manage these documents. Springwire is based in the same building near Seattle Center as Cisco Systems, which has been a long time supporter with funding and technology. Today, Springwire serves more than 50,000 people in 400 cities nationwide! Thanks to Jenn Brandon and the leadership of CVM staff and Board for their vision and work to continue Springwire’s mission of using communications technology to connect people in poverty to the life-changing resources needed to help them survive and thrive in life. Here’s to at least 20 more years!comcast learning center
With help from Al Roker and NBC, Comcast has launched a new and improved learning center as part of their Internet Essentials Program. Content includes job search tips and resources, video tutorials on basic Internet skills and social media, safety info and financial literacy and other resources. Internet Essentials offers $10/month Internet to qualifying families of school lunch eligible students.grantstation
Become a successful grantseeker with GrantStation tools! In September, TechSoup and GrantStation will be presenting a special offer for eligible U.S. nonprofits and public libraries. GrantStation membership provides access to a searchable database of private, corporate, and international grantmakers and federal grant programs. So mark your calendars and get ready to connect to thousands of funding opportunities with a specially discounted membership to GrantStation. The GrantStation promotion begins September 11 at 8 a.m. Pacific time.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.
Teaching 21st Century Skills Outside School. Education Week has a post about programs and the learning values of out-of-school education programs and teaching digital media. Chris Tugwell from the Seattle YMCA is one of those cited in the article. Go Chris!
Mesh Potato and the Village Telco Unit. The Mesh Potato is a wireless mesh phone and broadband service in a box, for about $80. ArsTechnica covers it and how it’s being deployed.
44 Female Founders Every Entrepreneur Should Know Tech entrepreneurs and role models for us all, from Mashable and the Female Founders Series presented by American Express OPEN.
TurboVote As part of Google’s Politics and Elections portal, people can use the TurboVote platform to begin the process of registering to vote, vote by mail and also sign-up for reminders to vote by SMS or email. From the Knight Foundation blog.
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, September 26, 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!archives
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.c.a.l.e.n.d.a.r
touchstones: rainier beach
Touchstones: A Walking Tour of Rainier Beach is a neighborhood project that reveals the history, heritage and people of one of Seattle’s most unique neighborhoods. The inaugural tour will take place during the Rainier Beach Art Walk on Saturday, September 15. Participants should gather at 11:00 a.m. at the Neighborcare Lobby at 9245 Rainier Avenue South for this free, docent led tour.
Rainier Beach is frequently lauded as one of the nation’s most diverse places. By selecting a wide range of locations for the tour, the project organizers were able to highlight what makes the Rainier Beach Neighborhood unique. The 15 locations along the tour include many surprises like an empty parking lot, a Buddhist temple, an urban farm, a donut shop, and an historic rail station. It also includes places you’d expect to see on a neighborhood tour like parks, libraries, community centers, schools and the light rail station. Timely information about the activities hosted in these spaces is meant to encourage even more community participation.
Touchstones combines emerging technologies with the art of storytelling. At each Touchstones site, there is a sticker with a quick response bar code (QR code). During docent led tours, participants can borrow an iPod Touch and access free Wi-Fi to learn about each location. During self-guided tours, participants can use their own smart phones to snap a picture of the QR code, take a self portrait, and send their reflections about the tour to the project organizers. Pictures, videos and memories will be shared on the project website.
Touchstones was made possible through the leadership of neighborhood residents and Seattle organizations. Members of the Touchstones working group included the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, Great City, Rainier Beach Moving Forward and SEED, with support from the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology. As part of the Technology Matching Fund, Feet First partnered up with the Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition to work with the Citizen Journalists of SE Seattle FreedomNet, a group of high school aged youth that created videos about Touchstone locations. Local small business Penniless Projects and Alex Hayden Photography also supported the project.
For more information about the project, please contact Cheryl dos Remedios.
register to vote online
Not registered to vote? You can do it online. If you live in King County, go here to register or update your registration. Facebook also offers an easy way to register to vote. In the Facebook search engine, search for Register to Vote, and follow the instructions.
Applications or updates must be postmarked or submitted no later than the Monday four weeks before Election Day. (RCW 29A.08.140)
If you are not currently registered in Washington state, you can register in person at the King County Elections Office or the King County Voter Registration Annex until the Monday one week before Election Day. (RCW 29A.08.140)
If you are registered to vote but miss the deadline to update your address, you can still vote. Contact the King County Elections Office to obtain a ballot.six hundred voices
Six hundred students will be heard a little better this year, thanks to new software and training provided through the Adobe Youth Voices program. Adobe is greatly expanding their program in Seattle and across the world in areas where Adobe has a corporate presence. Twenty Seattle area schools, community centers and non-profits were selected to receive new project based curriculum, training and a stipend for instructors, software, mentoring, and student materials. Each site will reach at least 30 students during the school year. Reel Grrls is managing the program for Adobe here, and the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology helped them to select participating sites, in part to leverage the City Community Technology program grantees. Reel Grrls recently hosted an exciting kickoff training for instructors at the new SIFF space at Seattle Center. Look for some great videos and visual arts pieces coming from students this year. Their works will be posted on the international AYV site and show during the Seattle International Film Festival. See a full list of the sites and more at TechTalk.seattle.gov.wave/broadstripe internet-only?
check your account
If you are a Wave (formerly Broadstripe) Internet-only customer, read on. This may apply to you.
Under Broadstripe's service packages, customers who wanted Internet-only service were automatically coded to receive limited basic cable television service as well, at no additional cost. However, under Wave's account structure, an Internet-only service option is available and it is not packaged with limited basic cable television service.
During the account transition from Broadstripe to Wave, this difference has resulted in some Broadstripe customers - who only use the Internet service - now also being charged for limited basic cable television service or a "Seattle TV Station Fee."
If you fall into this category and do not want or use the basic cable television service packaged into your original Broadstripe account, contact Wave customer service at (800) 829-2225 and be sure your account is updated to reflect the Internet-only service. It could save you money!comcast digital transition alert
Do you have an older television and subscribe to Comcast’s Limited Basic cable service? Comcast will be making a change that may impact your ability to view certain channels.
The change will result from Comcast making a final switch to having all digital signals, which means converting all remaining analog channels to digital format. After the change, older (non-digital) televisions will no longer be able to view some cable channels (roughly channels 2-30, 72-79, and 95-99) without having a Digital Transport Adapter.
For customers with televisions needing a digital adapter, Comcast will provide up to three (3) digital adaptors at no additional monthly cost. To get the equipment, you need to contact them now or call (877) 634-4434.
For Seattle area cable customers, this digital transition is expected to happen in early 2013. Comcast will alert customers before the change occurs however, using the following methods.
Here is a link to tools and techniques to help organizations prevent and combat common security threats such as malware, phishing scams, privacy breaches, and more, from our friends at Tech Soup. You will find articles, forum threads, news items, and vendor-specific advice for securing your computers and protecting your organization.
By following basic security guidelines, your organization will save time and money by ensuring that resources are spent not on recovering your hard drive or deleting spam, but on your constituents and your mission.
For more security tips, check out the techtalk blog.
In today’s world, our passwords have gotten more complex requiring special characters, being long to very long. These changes all help our data to stay safe and secure. The problem? Remembering what goes where. I find myself often trying to use systems' "forgot password option" to retrieve or create a new password because I don’t remember if the web site has some sort of password policy that changes once every ten minutes or what the password was.
Here are some tips to remembering your password:
Have a strong password in mind for places where you are not the administrator and their password systems don’t change. You will need to know their password policy before you use this password or simply start off with this password and if you're prompted to change, then do one of the next items.
Have a strong password in mind for places where you are not the administrator and their password systems do change. In this, to remember your password use the same thing but change the beginning or end with a number/letter sequence such as “H@ppy0901.” Take the word “happy” and make the first letter capitalized, with the vowels being a special character. then at the end, put in the current month and first day of the month. This covers most strong password needs. You have a capital letter, special character, and numbers and when the password changes it will be a number within the last three months, making it easier to remember.
If you have a password need and you are the administrator, you can follow one of the two above options but make sure your password format is different for systems in which you have admin rights.
Every now and then you will have a system that requires a different style of password requirements, such as it does not support special characters. My suggestion is to use a program like Last Pass to help with remembering your passwords.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.
Very Special Offer from TechSoup and GrantStation
Promotion ends September 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM Pacific Time
Small and Simple Projects Fund Provides funds of up to $20,000 to support groups in building community relationships around a project. Projects must demonstrate a capacity to build a stronger and healthier community and:
Due date: October 8
Neighborhood and Community Arts
Supports groups producing recurring festivals or events that promote arts and cultural participation, build community, and enhance the visibility of neighborhoods through arts and culture. $1,200 awards.
Due date: October 24.