City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 10, No. 10||October, 2011|
get online week 2011
Is happening now! Visit our Get Online page for the latest dates and times of workshops and open houses happening at your neighborhood computer centers October 3 - 8. If you are already connected - great! Take advantage of this week by helping your friends or neighbors who may be having trouble accessing computers and online resources. Contact Vicky Yuki by email or phone at (206) 233-7877 for more information.harrell honored
Seattle Councilmember Bruce Harrell has been honored as NATOA's 2011 Community Broadband Visionary of the Year. He received the award for his work with the Great Student Initiative and championing a partnership between the City and the private sector to provide low-cost, high-speed Internet access, hardware, and software for low-income students in the Seattle Public School district. The Great Student Initiative could help approximately 16,000 students who would qualify for the $9.95 monthly service, $149.99 computer and computer training. Councilmember Harrell believes that it is critical that the City engage in programs like this to help Seattle students succeed and be prepared in a global economy. Congratulations Councilmember Harrell!
more nat'l recognition
In keeping with its long tradition of excellent public affairs programming, the Seattle Channel has again had their programming judged as amongst the best productions across the country! The awards were given at the 26th Annual Government Programming Awards, presented by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). NATOA awards recognize excellence in broadcast, cable, multimedia and electronic programming produced by local government agencies. Categories cover a variety of programming including community events, documentary, public affairs and public service, interview/talk show, performing arts, sports, election coverage and children?s issues.
The Seattle Channel came home with a total of 27 awards, including eight first place awards! Among the shows honored for excellence are Seattle's City Inside Out, Art Zone, Community Stories and City Stream. To view Seattle Channel programming, watch Channel 21 or visit their website.
Seattle.gov has been named the country's best city web portal by the Center for Digital Government. This is the third time since 2001 that Seattle.gov has won first place for Best of the Web (BOW). See more here.
Data.seattle.gov was also named a Digital Government Achievement winner in the Government-to-citizen category.
perez named to
Seattle's Office of Cable Communications would like to extend congratulations to our own Tony Perez on his appointment to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Diversity Committee. Tony has been appointed to serve on the FCC's Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age. As a committee member, he will advise the FCC regarding policies and practices that will enhance diversity in telecommunications and related industries.
In his role as Seattle's director of cable communications, Tony has been a leading contributor to The Seattle Broadband Initiative and the vision of advancing broadband technology throughout Seattle for all citizens. His FCC appointment is well deserved. Tony is also the president-elect of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA). Go Tony!
WAVE Broadband has applied to purchase Broadstripe's Seattle cable franchise. The franchise transfer must first be reviewed and approved by the Seattle City Council and Mayor, to ensure that WAVE Broadband has the financial and technical capability to fulfill all of the franchise requirements. The review process will include a public hearing on the transfer request, which is expected to be held in early November.
For current news and documents related to the Broadstripe/WAVE Cable Franchise transfer, including information on the public hearing schedule, visit the Office of Cable Communications Franchise Transfer page. Questions regarding the transfer process can be directed to the Office of Cable Communications at (206) 684-8498 or submitted via on-line comment form here.
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, October 19, at 7 p.m. for Ask the Mayor. Call (206) 681-8821 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 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!
Hunger, Government Apps and Video Contests: See what challenge contests the federal government has out for new applications and video. October 21 is the deadline for a video contest on What Will You do to End Childhood Hunger.
Students take a green stance with social media. Article linked from FutureGov.asia.
How broadband helps make cities smarter. Video from a recent Broadband Breakfast Club presentation.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.
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.
|city awards tmf grants for 2011
The City is awarding $320,000 in technology grants to 23 community projects to close the digital divide and increase public engagement.
These projects will reach thousands of residents with employment training, homework help, STEM education, community safety, and health information online. Participants will be gaining skills in using social media, assistive technologies, audio and video production, and digital storytelling, in addition to basic computer and Internet skills.
City Council Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee recommended funding these projects on September 8. View the Council discussion of the projects here. For descriptions of the projects, go here. For a map of the grantee organizations, go here.
Mayor McGinn celebrates with the community groups receiving 2011 awards here. Watch the video.day of caring again a success
On Friday, September 16, there was a flurry of activity at the Jefferson Terrace, Denny Terrace, and STAR computer learning centers in celebration of United Way of King County's Day of Caring. A team of approximately 15 volunteers from Microsoft, led by Claudio Pacciarini, split into teams of two and fanned out to provide technical assistance to individual residents. Each team spent approximately an hour and a half with each resident, assisting with everything from from computer upgrades and antivirus installation, to working on flash downgrades to allow a resident to view videos on an old Macbook.
Dorene Cornwell, STAR of Seattle Advisory Board member, was a happy recipient of volunteer technical assistance and remarked, "I specifically received some very valuable and efficient help about a number of small problems that have been vexing me. With help from Samir and Jen, I got to the point where I know I need to contact Freedom Scientific but at least I am clear what I need to ask them about. I really appreciate the time savings of having someone with the knowledge at their fingertips to help me sort out my problems."
David Matthews, the City's Deputy Chief Information Security Officer and Derrick Hall of the City of Seattle's Department of Information Technology provided security training and one-on-one support to residents who were waiting for their technical assistance appointments.
Residents are eagerly anticipating the 2012 Day of Caring and thank the Microsoft volunteers and City of Seattle's DoIT.
tmf: alliance for people with disabilities
Alliance hopes to increase empowerment and rates of employment for disabled population in King County.
With help from the Bill Wright Technology Matching fund, the Alliance of People with disAbilities invested in a new area of expertise this year, a technology lab. Named the Independence Teaching and Education Computer Lab, it offers many different Assistive Technologies to the Seattle Community.
The lab has new computers, but more importantly fully adjustable furniture, such as a dual-adjustable training workstation, many different types of seating solutions and specialized hardware and software, such as a thermal imager (raises images on sheets of paper) and a new Braille printer. These are exciting and some would say necessary tools for any Independent Living Center. Everything in the lab is purchased with idea that one should alter the demands of the environment to maximize the abilities of the individual. Some devices are necessary for disabilities, while other devices are new to many users and make the difference in getting enough confidence to go back into the workforce or enable them to work without pain. Many participants have had large breaks in employment or possibly entering the workforce after years of illness.
Alliance is located in the zip code where the most people with disabilities live in the state. With the addition of the ITEC Lab, residents can simply request assistance with access to supports in lifestyle training, educational access, and employment preparedness training. "The Community gains a vocal and strong voice for employment and educational preparedness for people with disabilities in the Seattle community at large," said Raymona Baldwin, technology specialist at the Alliance. Baldwin, along with Sean Butterfield, technology specialist, schedule and deploy much of the programming offered.
Baldwin and Butterfield completed a rigorous national certification course on disability accommodation this year, along with programming from the University of Washington's Rehabilitation Science program. Each participant in the iTEC program has an evaluation appropriate for their disability, administered to determine next steps during their time at Alliance. The iTEC department is headed by Mary Beth Lum, manager advocacy and technology. Lucille Walls, MSPH, MSW is executive director of Alliance.
Grant assisted with tech trainings, independent living event.
A series of programming talks were provided as part of the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund. More than 100 participants gained confidence in a number of areas, including social media, digital photography, running personal technology and knowing what reasonable accommodations are related to technology. Participants were inspired to purchase or acquire new technology to further educational or personal goals. Two participants were key in developing the "assisting role," during the Tech Trainings, furthering their ability to point to the events as vocational experience. The trainings gave many the introductions to technology that they needed to be able to join in and be enfranchised.
In May the Alliance of People with disAbilities held a special event for key service providers in the area. Participants were given an insider look at Independent Living Skills training and ITEC Lab. Tours were given of the Alliance ITEC Lab, featuring an inputting station, demonstration of Dragon Naturally Speaking and Screen Readers, iPad technologies for people with mobility disabilities, Portal Gaming Software, and Adjustable Furniture and Specialized Chair Technology.
On the Independent Living side, services included a cooking demonstration and laundry preparation using a combination washer/dryer which is popular for small spaces. The kitchen at Alliance features refrigerator and other devices which should be purchased with Accessibility in mind.
amy hirotaka moves on to ccn project
When I first started working in the Community Technology program as a graduate intern in June of 2009, I had no idea that I'd manage to stick around for more than two years. And I'm so glad it worked out that way! Over the last couple of years, I've learned an enormous amount about the digital divide and using technology to strengthen communities, both from my co-workers and from community members willing to share their struggles and successes with me.
My work on the Seattle Communities Online Project allowed me to work with community and neighborhood groups, which I truly enjoyed. I found great fulfillment in collaborating with community leaders to use online tools and social media to engage people and get things done. I also took great pride in putting together the Neighborhoods on the Net listing of Seattle neighborhood-based blogs, wikis, web sites, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. Working with Vicky Yuki on last year's Get Online event and this year's Boost Grants was a great way to use everything I've learned through Communities Online.
Thank you to David Keyes for being an amazing mentor over the last couple of years, and to Vicky Yuki for being a wonderful partner in Communities Online and the Boost Grants. Thanks also to Delia Burke and Derrick Hall, both great people and coworkers.
For the next year, I'll be working as the Outreach Coordinator for the Communities Connect Network Project. The City of Seattle is a partner on the project, and I'm excited to continue working with many of the same people and groups. If you'd like to contact me or learn more about the project, you can email me at email@example.com
google and yahoo services: spammers' heaven
Because any email arriving from Yahoo or Google Services is considered to be legitimate and useful, spammers take advantage of this bug to spread their malevolent messages.
Chester Wisniewski from Sophos revealed that he has been receiving a lot of spam email from Google Picasa and Yahoo! Groups, all being attempts of hackers to cast "spammy" alerts.
In the case of Google's Picasa, a random account is created which contains text and some attached pictures that are then shared with other members. Because anything coming from the popular picture manager is considered to be harmless, it never ends up in the spam folder and instead floods your inbox with all sorts of scam attempts.
With Yahoo! Groups, the rules allow anyone who owns a group to add members without asking for their permission. After you are unwillingly made part of the group, you have to unsubscribe to stop receiving alerts. Read more here.
Neighborhood & Community Arts (NCA)