City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 11, No. 11||November, 2012|
get online week
Mark your calendars for Get Online Week 2012! Visit your neighborhood public computing center December 3 through 8, for workshops and resources. Workshops such as how to set up a home wireless network, home computer and Internet safety, and what to look for in a new/refurbished computer, netbook, tablet or smartphone, will be offered at many of these centers. You can also stop in for a class on creating greeting cards, connecting with family through Skype or how to navigate the web. There will be over 20 participating centers throughout Seattle opening their doors for you!
For more information about Get Online Week, participating centers, or if your center is interested in being a part of this great week of community building and education, visit the Get Online Week Portal or contact Vicky Yuki at 206-233-7877 or by email.
taf's new home
The Technology Access Foundation (TAF) has a new home in White Center: the Bethaday Community Learning Space (BCLS). The BCLS, located at 605 SW 108th Street, Seattle, will allow TAF to:
For more information about the Technology Access Foundation, opportunties to partner and ways you can support TAF, visit their website.yesler youth
Be sure to catch the Yesler Terrace Summer Youth Media Program Exhibition, featuring photography and video documenting the history and inception of Yesler Terrace, Seattle's first public housing community, and the redevelopment efforts being undertaken now. This is a collaborative project with RecTech, the Multimedia Resources and Training Institute, Youth in Focus and Seattle University. Visit the Vachon Gallery in the Fine Arts Building at Seattle University to view the exhibit created by youth living in the Yesler Terrace community. The exhibit runs through November 30.
The project was a partnership between Yesler Community Center's technology learning lab, Youth in Focus, Seattle University's Fine Arts Department, and the Multimedia Resource and Training Institute (MMRTI). The project trained 13 youth over the summer.
Here is a list of new cable modem sites:
Y @ Cascade People Center
Each will soon have a public terminal.
Over the past 17 years, the City of Seattle, along with approximately 20 other government agencies, worked as a fiber partnership to build 500 miles of fiber optic cabling throughout the City. While much of the fiber network is used by the partnership agencies, the network has excess capacity in some locations which Mayor McGinn and the City Council hope can be used to increase high-speed networking options in Seattle.
In August, the Council authorized the City to enter into agreements with private entities for using its excess fiber (see Ordinance 123931). Last month, Mayor McGinn released a request for information (RFI# DIT 120124) to seek private parties who would be interested in using the City's excess fiber network capacity for providing high speed internet services and increasing competition among service providers.
There is an order of priority of intended use that the City will consider when reviewing responses to the RFI. The first priority is for providing fiber to the home to at least 100,000 households/businesses in Seattle with an open architecture. Other priorities include providing low cost internet service to low income housing facilities, improving public safety, lowering the cost of City utilities, and other priorities found in the RFI online here.
If you haven't been watching The Seattle Channel, then you've been missing award-winning programming created right here in and about our own City. With shows like City Inside Out, Art Zone, Community Stories, Ask the Mayor, Council Conversations, and City Stream, the Seattle Channel has again been honored as a national leader receiving the Excellence in Government Programming award at NATOA's 27th Annual Government Programming Awards. The Seattle Channel received a total of 34 awards, including 10 first place awards. Keeping current on City arts, culture and politics is easy with the rich variety of programs offered by the Seattle Channel. Judge for yourself; watch Channel 21 or visit their website here
join the helping
Helping Link provides educational, social and cultural programs, including computer instruction and access, to empower and support Vietnamese immigrants and refugees. Helping Link is currently seeking new board members, especially individuals with experience in and commitment to technology access and education. Volunteers are also welcome as computer instructors and tutors. To learn more, go here or contact Minh-Duc Nguyen at (206) 781-4246 or email@example.com.
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, November 28, 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
desc grant making a difference
The Downtown Emergency Service Center helps chronically homeless adults gain the skills they need in order to obtain and maintain employment, providing them with economic well-being, productivity and self-accomplishment.
Case managers and volunteers work with each client to address issues holding them back, like chronic homelessness, no high school diploma, mental illness, disability, and/or chemical dependency. DESC also works with employers within the community, such as Metropolitan Improvement District and Princess Tours, who are willing to work with and employ DESC clients, helping them achieve job longevity and success.
With support from the TMF in 2011, DESC has been able to take great strides in eliminating existing barriers that prevent homeless adults from securing and retaining livable wage jobs and stable, affordable housing. DESC was able to update the computer labs at the 216 Drop-In Center. Clients enrolled in their Connections program produced up-to-date resumes, cover letters, master applications and search for jobs online and master interview skills. Through the course of the grant, DESC helped more than 1400 clients.
The effects of Connections programming are noticeable, especially in clients like "Joe Smith." When Joe arrived at Connections, he had recently lost his job and his unemployment compensation had quickly run out. Fortunately, he was a skilled welder and with a Connections focus, guidance and accessible computer lab, he was able to find work quickly. However, with most of his paychecks being spent on hotel stays, he lacked the ability to stabilize his housing situation. He returned to Connections, this time in search of financial guidance. He and his case manager created an action plan that included DESC's free overnight shelter service, a monthly budget, savings account, and they set a date for when Joe could start looking for stable housing with his case manager. Within two months, and with only a couple of setbacks, Joe was a proud resident of his own apartment.
Case managers, volunteers and access to technology all made this process a bit smoother for Joe and many other folks with similar stories. For more information on this project, contact Jen Bliss.digital voice wins
The YTech's Civic Voice Curriculum is a winner! On November 15, six youth programs will be receiving the first Colleen Willoughby Youth Civic Education Awards from the Seattle City Club. The curriculum helps develop the ability of youth to learn to produce digital media, and participate online to connect, collaborate and take action. The curriculum was developed by the YMCA in conjunction with the Puget SoundOff project, supported by the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology with Comcast. Chris Tugwell from the YMCA and David Keyes from the City of Seattle Community Technology Program recently presented the Puget SoundOff and Civic Voice Curriculum at the NCDD conference. You can see their NCDD presentation on Slideshare.youth voices against violence: a call
Youth Voices Against Violence is looking for young people (ages 15-25) to produce a five-minute or less audio piece demonstrating the urgent need for youth violence awareness. Multiple persons can apply as a team but only one grant will be awarded. What they are looking for: documentary/interviews; autobiographical/personal essay; skits/dialogue; spoken Word/poetry; music; or a combination of all styles.
Judges will choose one Grand Prize Project to receive a grant award of $500. This first place audio piece will be featured prominently on Puget SoundOff and TabuTalk.org as well as published locally. Two Awards of Excellence will each receive a grant award of $250 and will be featured online. The contest deadline is Friday November 30, and contest details can be found here.
understanding cable bill taxes
Look at your monthly cable bill and you are likely to find several line items of taxes and fees. Have you ever wondered what they were for? Below is a list of the typical taxes/fees/surcharges you are likely to see on your bill, and a description of each. The types of taxes/fees/surcharges you have on your bill will depend upon what types of services you have and where you receive your services. Other helpful information about your Cable bill can be found at cable service provider websites, Comcast and Wave Broadband. If you have questions about your bill that aren't answered by your service provider, contact Seattle's Office of Cable Communications via their website or call (206) 684-8498.
Franchise Fees: A local fee cable operators are required to pay as 'rent' for using of public rights of way as a path to route the cables and wires necessary to provide their cable television services. The franchise fee is remitted to the local government where the cable operator holds a franchise. This rent for using public rights of way is a cost of doing business for cable operators, but federal law allows them to pass these fees on to subscribers as a separate billing line item. Depending on your cable operator, this fee may be called a "Franchise Fee" or "Access Fee."
Franchise related costs: A surcharge imposed by cable providers as a cost-recovery for costs they incur related to their franchise contract with local governments. These funds collected are kept by the cable operator; they are not turned over to the local government.
FCC Regulatory Fee:U.S. statute requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to "assess and collect" fees to recover the costs of its enforcement activities, policy and rulemaking activities, user information services, and international activities. The FCC Regulatory Fee covers the costs of these types of FCC oversight activities for the cable industry. Depending on your cable operator, this fee may be called an "FCC Fee," "FCC Mandated Fee," or "Regulatory Fee."
Public, Educational, and Governmental Access (PEG) Fee: A local fee required as part of a cable operator's negotiated franchise agreement. It is remitted to the local government to enable members of the public, accredited educational institutions, and government to produce their own programming and televise it to a mass audience. Depending on your cable operator, this fee may also be called an "Eg Fee."
Seattle TV Station Fee or Retransmission Fee: A fee cable operators pay to local broadcast stations for the right to retransmit the local broadcast signals to cable customers. Most cable operators cover these business costs with rate increases, but some are now choosing to list the cost as a separate billing line item, to give customers visibility on the nature of the increased costs.
State Sales Tax: This is State sales tax paid by the subscriber on the services purchased from cable operators.
'Local Taxes' may be comprised of a variety of taxes and fees. To find out which are being applied to your specific bill, contact your cable provider.
Utility Tax: In Seattle, this is a local tax on all businesses (including the City of Seattle), engaged in or carrying on a telephone business, drainage and wastewater system, or cable television system; or in the business of selling, brokering, or furnishing gas, water, electricity, or steam heat; or the business of collecting solid waste.
Telephone Service Taxes/Fees: If you purchase telephone services from your cable provider, you may see some of these types of taxes/fees on your bill, or they may be included in a roll-up 'State and Local taxes' category. Contact your cable provider for more details on what taxes/fees are being applied to your specific services.
USF (Universal Service Fund): A Federal surcharge which supports the Universal Service Fund (USF). The USF helps provide affordable telecommunications services to rural, isolated, and high-cost areas; low-income residential subscribers; schools and libraries; and rural health care programs. Congress mandates that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers choose to pass their contribution costs on to their customers in the form of a line item. Depending on your cable operator, this fee may be called the "Federal Universal Service Fee" or "Universal Connectivity Fee" or "Carrier Universal Service Charge."
911 Fee: A fee imposed by local governments to help pay for community 911 emergency telephone communication systems.
TTY (Telecommunications Relay): A charge which helps pay for the relay center which transmits and translates calls for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired people. Depending on your cable operator, this fee may be called "Hearing Impaired Surcharge," "TTY Fee," or "Telecommunications Relay Fee."
Regulatory Recovery Fee: This is usually a combination of several different local, state and federal fees/surcharges which cable operators pay as a cost of doing business. The Federal Communications Commission allows companies to recover these costs from subscribers, which companies can do by including them in the price of monthly service or listing them as a separate billing line item. Below are fees typically included in this billing item.
State Lifeline Surcharge: A surcharge for funding "Lifeline" programs, which are state-run programs to lower the cost of residential telephone service for persons who meet certain income guidelines, have a disability, or are at least 65 years of age.
State Telecom Relay Service: A charge to help pay for the relay center which transmits and translates calls for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired people.
City Utility User's Tax: This is local tax on businesses engaged in or carrying on utility businesses, which includes a telephone business.
Federal Cost Recovery Fee: Similar to the "FCC Regulatory Fee" imposed on cable television services; this is a federal fee to recover the costs of FCC oversight activities for the telecommunications industry.
There are many benefits to adopting cloud services: more mobility, reduced cost, and more storage, to name a few. So how secure is "the cloud?" What if your vendor goes out of business? Jim Lynch, co-director of TechSoup's GreenTech program offers some answers to these questions. You can also read the full 2012 TechSoup Global Cloud Computing Survey results and see if your organization's concerns and/or level of engagement is on par with the world at large.t.e.c.h.t.i.p
Today when you are deciding to purchase a desktop computer you have choices to make, like, how much RAM to get, how big of hard drive do I need, how fast of a computer do I want, even if I should buy a Mac or PC.
You may also be thinking about the physical size of your computer as well. Most manufactures are building systems today called "all in one". These systems allow your computers, DVD Drive, Hard Drive, Monitor, and all other features to be crammed in a slightly bigger case than your monitor. This is useful if you're trying to save space, however, it is important to note that you may end up sacrificing computing power and expandability.
If you plan to buy a computer to mostly surf the Internet and use it for educational purposes an all in one would be a great way to go. However, if you plan to use it for video or audio editing, I would suggest getting a standard computer.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.d.o.l.l.a.r.s
Youth Arts Programs Arts education helps teens become creative critical thinkers. Youth Arts is an annual funding program that makes a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the City. These programs give young people a chance to shine, to express themselves and to develop positive goals for the future. Youth Arts prioritizes youth or communities with limited or no access to the arts. Funding awards range up to $10,000.
America's Media Makers
Development and Production grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH encourages projects that feature multiple formats to engage the public in the exploration of humanities ideas. Proposed projects might include complementary components that expand or deepen the audience's understanding of a subject: for example, museum exhibitions, book/film discussion programs, or other formats that enhance the programs' humanities content, engage audiences in new ways, and expand the distribution of programs.
Look at the last million tweets on a world map in real time. Description and direct link from Mashable.
Powerpoint tips, design guidelines and template for TV (though they're good tips for any venue!) From our friends at UWTV.
School technology awareness night for parents: Here's what Northdale, Mnnesota did.
Science is Rock and Roll: "My Robot is Better Than Your Robot" Will.i.am and other pop and rock stars speak up for science.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.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
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