City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 10, No. 8||August, 2011|
act on disabilities
July 26 marked the 21st anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s a great time to celebrate and to renew our effort to ensure equity moving forward. Here are some resources we wanted to share this month:
Here are some great voices to be heard now on PugetSoundOff.org.
Cash Your Refund Check by August! Many Broadstripe Internet customers were mailed a check in June 2011, refunding them for an Internet access tax which was incorrectly collected after the tax was discontinued. If you received a check and put it aside, you should know the checks are “VOID after 90 days” from the check date. Be sure to cash yours before the 90 days has expired. For any questions about this Internet tax refund, contact Broadstripe Customer Service at 800-829-2225.
at a glance
Here’s an easy-to-use tool that makes it easy to find information or do business with the City. My.Seattle.Gov lets you create and customize your own Seattle.gov homepage with a variety of widgets – or gadgets – such as City Services, Staff Directory, City Facilities, My Neighborhood Map, and The Buy Line – Bids & Proposals. Sign up for My.Seattle.Gov and add any of these gadgets to your homepage for quick access to information. Other features you can add to your customized homepage include news feeds, events and neighborhood crime statistics.
John Giamberso was just named the new Seattle Channel General Manager, following a national search. He has extensive experience in television production and web streaming, having been both the Operations Manager and Production Manager at the Seattle Channel. Formerly, John was the Station Manager at King County Television. He has been an integral part of the team at Seattle Channel that has built a national reputation with innovative quality programming covering politics, communities and arts.
Have a question for Mayor Mike McGinn? Join the conversation with Seattle Channel host Barry Mitzman as he sits down with the Mayor on Wednesday, August 24, at 7 PM for Ask the Mayor. Call (206) 684-8821 between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. or email your questions. Also, follow their conversation on Twitter or Facebook with the Seattle Channel’s accounts. You can also tweet your question @SeattleChannel 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.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.c.a.l.e.n.d.a.r
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.
groups inspire friendships and creativity
The PROVAIL Assistive Technology lab is bringing people together through technology. Children and adults with disabilities from all over King County are participating in computer groups held in the lab, a pilot project supported by the Technology Matching Fund in 2010. During the 90-minute lab time, participants have an opportunity to meet with a small group comprised of three to six people with various physical and developmental disabilities. Clients learn to maximize their ability to use Assistive Technology to achieve their personal goals, including specialized computers, software, phone equipment, and communications devices, among others.
Specialized adaptive software and hardware such as access switches activated using feet, voice, knees, infared and sip and puff are used in the lab. Even a person who is non-verbal and has no use of his limbs can independently use a computer work station.
But a key benefit of the project has been that the computer groups have developed into a vital social network for many of the participants. Clients come and participate in activities together, strengthening and building new relationships. “The potential for people to grow in so many ways is very evident to me,” according to Francis Olson, director of clinical Services. For more information or to register for a class call 206-363-7303.online boost grants awarded
Last month, the Department of Information Technology created a grant opportunity for community and neighborhood groups seeking to "boost" their online presence - the Online Boost Grant. Funds of up to $1000 per organization will be used to help enhance the use of online tools for community building and civic engagement. The following organizations were awarded Boost Grants:
On July 27 and August 2, representatives from these organizations attended workshops to help them increase their knowledge and capacity around the use of applications like Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Volunteers from the Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, along with City of Seattle technology staff, facilitated valuable discussions about social media and answered questions from grant recipients. Check upcoming editions of Brainstorm for updates about our Boost Grant projects!ccn btop federal b'band stimulus recap
"We are leading the work on Information Equity," Bill Ellis called out to the sixty partners for the kickoff gathering of the Communities Connect Network federal broadband stimulus public computing center project on July 26. Bill, as chair of the EdLab Group Board was joined by computing center project staff and training partners from around the state. Karen Perry, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation U.S. Libraries program drew a line from the national broadband plan goals to those lives being changed as result of the work of the public computing centers. Will Saunders, Director of the Washington State Broadband Office, now part of the Department of Commerce, joined Karen in appreciating the role digital literacy and community access play as critical parts of the strategy necessary to ensure economic opportunity for all Washingtonians. From Kalispell, the Yakama Nation, South Seattle and elsewhere, there was a rich exchange of tech talk, workforce, justice, youth, disabilities access and social media resources. Pictures of the event are posted on the EdLab Group’s Facebook page.new public access television manager
On July 1, 2011, the Seattle Community College District (SCCD) became Seattle’s new Public Access Channel manager, operating public access television as Seattle Community Media.
Besides broadcasting public access programs on Comcast channel 77 and Broadstripe channel 23, Seattle Community Media provides related public access services, such as training in media production and use of equipment, and maintaining equipment necessary for the creation, production, storage, and archiving of video programming. Equipment will be available for producers to use at SCCD’s North Seattle Community College facility, or to borrow for use outside of the facility.
With the change to Seattle Community Media, Seattle ushers in a new model for public access television. The model is based on the belief that advances in digital media production and distribution technologies create new, lower-cost alternatives for community and individual expression. The new model relies less on financial support from the City and supplements traditional television production techniques with new social media technologies.
The Seattle Community College District has many years of television experience from operating its own station called Seattle Community Colleges television (SCCTV), which plays on Comcast Channel 28 and Broadstripe Channel 19.
For more details on the change in Public Access Manager and the City’s contract with SCCD, see Seattle City Council Bill 117204.
Most lab users browse the Internet, write emails and other simple documents needing only 200 to 500 MBs - one-fifth to one-half a GB of RAM - very little CPU processing time and not a lot of hard drive space. Most computers use full featured CPUs utilizing two to four GBs of RAM, lots of hard drive space and generating lots of heat and electricity.
Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server allows administration of one CPU with multiple users accessing its resources. The way this is handled is users have their own monitor, mouse, and keyboards connected, and use the resources of the main CPU. This is similar to Windows Terminal Services, which is a product that has been used in call centers for years, without a bootable device such as a computer.
Using this technology in a computer lab would help save money and time when you’re looking to upgrade your hardware and software. You would only need to upgrade one CPU with any new items and each multipoint terminal would be updated. You may save a little on the first year's costs, but when you’re looking at upgrading in the future you will save a bunch as you only need to purchase one computer.
The downside of using a Windows Multipoint device is if your main hardware goes out you will lose access to all of your computing devices. Although Windows Multipoint could support high resource needs, I would not recommend using it for this. It is good to keep the usage to your browsing, word processing, and other basic computer needs.
This Friday, August 5, 2011, at 12 noon, we will be previewing a working copy of Windows Multipoint at the Yesler Community Center. You are invited to come take a look.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.d.o.l.l.a.r.s
Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) Community Matching Grant
Neighborhood and Community Arts (NCA)
National Center for Family Literacy
Sourcemap is a fascinating and very cool platform for researching, optimizing and sharing supply chains. Their motto: We believe that people have the right to know where things come from and what they are made of. How Networked Nonprofits Use Facebook Smart.ly, from Beth Kantor’s blog - http://www.bethkanter.org/facebook-smartly