I N S I D E
Mark your calendar!
Free community resource event for Seattle's new residents. It features information, demonstrations and workshops on how to access the broad array of city services, programs and resources available to our growing multi-cultural community. For more information, contact Beau Fong, (206) 233-7022.
The City of Seattle recently approved a ten year renewal of the franchise agreement with Comcast, which covers most of the city. The agreement extends free Internet service to community technology centers and non-profits, includes discounts for seniors and low income residents, and provides funding for more local arts programming on the Seattle Channel. The agreements with Comcast also support youth involvement in civic issues, replace equipment at the Seattle Channel, and support the Seattle Community Access Network (SCAN). For more information, go here.
The City of Seattle has issued a Request for Interest (RFI) seeking private partners to join the City in creating a competitive fiber to the premises (FTTP) broadband network serving the City, its citizens, businesses and institutions. Such a network would offer very high bi-directional bandwidth, deliver integrated voice, video and data services and would eventually serve the entire City.
"A state of the art technology infrastructure is vital to taking Seattle into the future," said Mayor Greg Nickels. "We are looking for a partner who has the vision and ability to join us in this exciting endeavor."
Seattle offers a dynamic market for expanding communications systems. An interactive fiber to the premises broadband network would support applications and services to meet the ongoing information, communications and entertainment needs of a large variety of customer bases and serve as a platform for continuing innovation.
"I'm convinced broadband is the wave of the future and that Seattle will be in the forefront of this new technology," said City Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Energy & Technology Committee. "It offers an opportunity for all of us to become part of a global city."
The City would bring to the partnership an array of physical assets and other resources to support development of a citywide broadband network, including more than 350 miles of existing fiber to utility poles. Seattle also offers a tech savvy population of "early adopters." Some 83 percent of residents have a home computer, and 91 percent of those have Internet access; more than 60 percent of Seattleites subscribe to high speed Internet access, compared to the national average of 40 percent. In 2005 Seattle was named America's most Internet literate city, and Sperling's Best Places and Microsoft recently named Seattle as the top video gaming city in the country.
A volunteer citizen Task Force on Telecommunications Innovation, convened in 2004 by Mayor Nickels and the Seattle City Council, determined that fiber would be necessary to deliver the bandwidth necessary for future advanced services. The Task Force recommended that the City take steps now to ensure that its bandwidth needs will be met. The Task Force report and recommendations are found here.
Responses to the RFI are due by 3:00 p.m., July 7. See more here.
Bright displays about Ethiopian foods, history and leaders lined the walls of Yesler Community Center on May 27 for the Techno Mobile Multimedia Project graduation ceremony. The students and families of the Ethiopian Community Mutual Association had a lot to celebrate. In addition to the display boards, students have also finished videos and powerpoint presentations about their history, culture and community issues.
The Ethio Techno Mobile Multimedia Project for youth was funded by the City of Seattle Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund in 2005. The program has been successful in providing technology and civic-engagement training for Ethiopian youth. Students were also taught at a facility at North Seattle Community College and the Rainier Vista Technology Learning Center. Assaye Abunie coordinated the program. Jillian Rood of the Seattle Community Access Network (SCAN) has provided assistance with the video projects.
This program is seen by the community as a critical one for teaching youth leadership, cultural identity and language preservation. Members of the Ethiopian Community are working towards establishing their own community center building and spoke of their vision of including technology and youth programs in an Ethiopian Community Center.
Free cable broadband Internet service is available for organizations providing technology training to community members. The free service is offered in the Comcast service delivery area and within the Seattle city limits, based on the City’s cable franchise agreement. 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.
did you know?
The Municipal Court has installed a wireless access point in the Jury Assembly Room. This access will allow jurors who bring their laptops to access the Internet.
Ellen Earth, 54, community activist and respected leader in the community technology field in the Seattle area, died May 14 at Harborview of complications of brain cancer.
As a single parent, Ellen got her first computer through the Powerful Schools and Seattle Community Network's (SCN) Computer Giveaway program. She got involved with the community technology movement and became an outstanding volunteer with the Giveaway project and SCN. As she built her own skills, she became a teacher of others, which lead to positions as computer learning lab coordinator at Rainier Beach and later, at South Park Community Centers. While there, she promoted collaboration among centers that evolved into the RecTech coalition. Ellen was also a founding board member of the Puget Sound Alliance for Community Technology (PSACT). Sandra Mears of PSACT captured Ellen's commitment and determination in describing her as "a feisty lightening rod not only for community technology, but for social justice."
Ellen's work in the community center labs afforded her an opportunity to focus on workforce training with South Seattle Community College, first at New Holly and then on the campus where she found a new home in 2005 as Career and Employment Specialist in the WorkSource Center on March 22, 2005.
Prior to her development as a passionate and effective technology instructor, Ellen had been an institutional chef and instructor at Renton Technical College for five years, and a founding instructor in the FARESTART Program, where she created the original FARESTART curriculum.
Ellen will be sorely missed. She began as a learner, became an enthusiastic helper, grew skills as a technician and instructor, and developed into a community technology professional in order to help others. She sat on many boards, including SCN, the faculty senate at SSCC, PSACT and others, and her work had a massive impact on the success of community technology in Seattle.
A scholarship honoring Ellen is being established, in coordination with Ti Locke of the Computer Giveaway, at SSCC, to be awarded to women like her who seek to change careers in mid-life. For more information, or to contribute, contact Betsy Hale at SSCC.
Ellen is survived by her partner, Pat Lee, two sons, Kieran and Devin Melroe; her father, Edward Roach; two brothers, Michael J. Roach of Hopkins, Minnesota, and Stephen V. Roach of Deephaven, Minnesota; and three sisters, Mary Severance of Reston, Virginia, Kea Roach of Hawaii, and Susan Roach of Freehold, New Jersey. A memorial service will be held June 6, 4:30 p.m., at South Seattle Community College, Arboretum Rose Garden, near the north parking lot. Driving directions to South Seattle Community College.
The RecTech Coalition has begun the recruitment season for the TechNet JustServe AmeriCorps Team for 2006-2007. Rectech is looking for seven talented individuals to serve their community by implementing the TechNet Program, a program for middle and high school students that uses project-based activities in technology labs to teach innovative violence prevention curriculums. The TechNet Program is located throughout the City at Community Technology Centers located within the Delridge, Garfield, Miller, Rainier, Rainier Beach, South Park and Southwest Community Centers.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a final deadline of July 14. For more information on the positions and how to apply, contact Christina Arcidy at (206) 233-7017 or email her, or visit the Rectech website.
Are you a nonprofit organization seeking funding for a project? Does your group want to form as a nonprofit organization? Are you a new board member to a nonprofit organization? Would you know where to access such information? Why, your public library, of course.
The Downtown Library, 1000 4th Avenue, offers the Fundraising Resource Center, a cooperating collection of the Foundation Center. This reference collection is located on Level 6 in the Business, Government, and Language Studies Department.
Here you will find a core reference collection of Foundation Center publications to assist you in your search for local and national grants, IRS information on private foundation, corporate philanthropy, and information on nonprofit boards and management. A highlight of this collection is the Foundation Directory Online.
Foundation Directory Online is a database that covers about 80,000 grantmakers and about a half million grants. It includes portfolios of foundations, news, publications, and color charts showing grant distribution patterns. There are links to foundation web sites, flexible search options, and daily search tips. Information is updated weekly so you will have access to current information. Previously available only on one cdrom machine, the Foundation Directory online can now be accessed on any public terminal at the Central Library.
The Fundraising Resource Center is available when the Downtown Library is open. Hours are: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p. m., Friday and Saturday; and noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 206.386.4636 or Ask a Question via spl.org.
See it online or on cable. For streaming video or the cable schedule go to seattlechannel.org and search for Community Stories.
Seattle Channel presents Sister Schools. Terry McGill made his first trip to Uganda in 1988. Although he traveled there for a soccer match, he noticed the incredible hardships that Ugandans were facing after 20 years of civil war and a devastating AIDS epidemic. He returned to Seattle and embarked on a creating a program that paired Seattle school children with Ugandan youth, a program that has since sent over 200,000 pounds of gifted supplies to kids in need. Through his work, Terry teaches the importance of giving and charity, and fosters international understanding in children locally and abroad.
ms word trojan alert
There is new malware program making the rounds, disguised as a Microsoft Word document. A Trojan (hidden program) is delivered as a Word document attached to e-mail, and appears to have been sent by a trusted source. Once the attachment is run it installs software that examines the victim's disks for data of value, and sends it back to a command-and-control site on the Internet. This is a new vulnerability, for which Microsoft does not yet have a fix. Currently it is being used to specifically target certain businesses, for the likely theft of intellectual property. Analysis suggests that this is an effort by Chinese attackers to gain access to American business (and possibly military) secrets.
While this malware is currently targeted at specific victim companies, it is likely that it will soon be modified by organized crime, and the variant(s) used to install keystroke loggers, search for financial data or passwords, etc. Further, it will probably take on the self-propagating characteristics of a worm, and attempt to distribute itself further by re-mailing itself to everyone in an address book. This problem is not yet widespread, however it is likely that we experience ill effects as variants emerge.
What you can do.
Post these tips in your center and pass them along.
City of Seattle Youth Arts Program
City of Seattle Neighborhoods Small and Simple Fund
Ben B. Cheney Foundation
GTECH after School Advantage Program
This site provides a Google search of blogs. It's a great way to learning about what topics are being discussed by bloggers.
Pubsub lets you create an RSS feed on whatever topic you want to track. It searches web content in blogs, new releases and newsgroups.
Spaceneedle Web Cam Be a webcam tourist.
Earthcam, an opportunity to think outside the box.
buying a computer
When shopping for a new PC, what you would need to really think about is its intended use. What hardware do you need? Special printers; software, such as Auto CAD, or music or video editing which require a lot of memory, are all considerations. Most users buy the best PC on the market and only use a fraction of the features; or they find out what they really need is not a feature of the computer. Knowing how you will use the PC will help with deciding what to buy.
When purchasing a PC, you should look at minimums on the specifications. Things like how much RAM is needed, how much storage space, for example, are important. Here are some suggested minimums.
It is normally cheaper to buy software with a purchase of a new computer, however there are often free versions of those same types of software online.
It is important to think about monitors as well. You can now purchase a flat screen monitor for under $200.
A complete computer system with a good monitor and basic software can be purchased for under $600. This may take a little shopping around, but it's worth the time.
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.