City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 9, No. 1||January, 2010|
grant funds available
The City of Seattle Department of Information Technology is now accepting applications for the Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund. Deadline is March 8. More information, application and workshop dates are available here.nsc closures
In order to minimize the impacts to the 2010 budget for vital programs and staffing, the City of Seattle has instituted ten days of furlough to all City departments. The City’s free Public Access Terminals located in Neighborhood Services Centers (NSC) throughout Seattle will be closed the following days in January, February and March: Tuesday, January 19; Tuesday, February 16; and Monday, March 15. There are also seven additional days when the City’s Neighborhood Service Centers will be closing during April, June, July, August, September, October and December. Please visit the Department of Neighborhoods for these scheduled days.
While these centers are closed, you can still access free computers and Internet at the Seattle Parks and Recreation RecTech Computer Centers and the Seattle Public Library branches. Go here for the locations, including addresses and phone numbers, and hours of operation of places you can visit for free computer access.stimulus guidelines
The National Telecommuni-cations Infrastructure Administration is working to release the next set of guidelines for broadband grant applications. They just launched a national site to match potential applicants. Yes, matchmaking for broadband! Washington State, where the Department of Info Services is administering broadband initiatives; has contracted for state mapping of connectivity; is planning a broadband summit for late March; workshops on mapping; and an online portal for reporting users’ broadband speed.harrell's ten tech initiatives
Councilmember Bruce Harrell has identified ten technology initiatives for his 2010 workplan. See the ten points and stay tuned. One of the items, the availability of more City data online, is well on its way to implementation by the Department of Information Technology and also supports Mayor McGinn’s goal of more open government.it's tax time
Public access computer labs can play a valuable role in helping residents get refunds and get through the process. Using the resources below can save residents the cost of commercial tax filing centers and still get refunds quickly back to families. These sites help low and moderate income residents understand and file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit.
King County Tax Prep help
I CanEfile I-CAN! E-file can help you prepare and file your taxes online for free. There is no income limit to use I-CAN! E-file. Users answer simple questions on each screen and then print completed tax returns. Start here.follow the mayor oaxaca music
Community Stories: To Give and Receive features Zapotec artist Fulgencio Lazo bringing his generation's affirmation of art and culture via the Fiesta de Santa Rosa de Lima to the growing Oaxacan community in Seattle. The musical group La Banda Gozona, a multi-ethnic group of musicians, plays the traditional music of Oaxaca. See it on the Seattle Channel here.l.i.n.k.a.g.e
Microsoft Translator Put in a web page or text. It's not perfect, but does auto recognize languages.
United Nations Schoolbus The United Nations Cyberschoolbus is a website about global issues and the UN, for students ages 5-18 and their teachers.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.
Don't miss Ask the Mayor on the Seattle Channel. It's a Q&A show featuring host C.R. Douglas and callers in local issues discussion with Mayor Mike McGinn. Next taping is December 8, 7:00 p.m. Email your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org/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.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.
community tech grantees make a difference
In 2009, fifteen 2008-2009 Technology Matching Fund grantees completed a varied slate of technology literacy and access projects. The City’s original investment of $175,000 was leveraged by $295,000 in community match from the grantees. These projects improved the lives of many Seattleites, including 293 youth, 479 immigrants and refugees, and 100 seniors. Reaching more than 3,254 residents in total, the projects provided technology training and access programs to enhance residents’ employment, education and life skills.
Here are a few examples of what our grant partners accomplished: Somali immigrants created resumes and applied for jobs on Craigslist; Ethiopian youth filmed a documentary about bullying in school; West Seattle teens developed media projects and registered thirty people to vote; Lao immigrants with no computer access at home found services online at their Community Center; at-risk youth in the Central district blogged at the Hip Hop Leadership Conference; and seniors in an Assisted Living facility used computers to help improve their memory functions.
Following are some quotes from the grantees, illustrating the impact of City funding:
UW Women’s Center
"We have seen an increase of women and men participating in tour Re-Entry Program due to the depressive state of the economy. Re-Entry students have come to the Center to look for everything from jobs, scholarships, and financial aid, to childcare and housing."
Jefferson Terrace Apartments
Wing Luke Asian Museum
Congratulations to the 2008-2009 Tech Matching Fund grantees for empowering Seattle residents to bridge the technology gap! View all the project descriptions here.winter weather tips
While we were able to avoid another winter storm like last year's, January in Seattle has been known to surprise us with a few inches of unexpected snow or severe rain. Here are some sites you can visit to help prepare should the need arise. Stay alert, stay warm and stay safe.
Snow and severe weather information
stimulus grants is announced
An initial $183 Million in federal stimulus funds will expand broadband access in seventeen states. Washington state will receive a $981,000 grant through the Inland Northwest Community Access Network (TINCAN) to increase broadband adoption through basic and advanced computer skills training, as well as community-based outreach campaigns to highlight the benefits of broadband for vulnerable populations in Spokane. View the full announcement here.c.a.l.e.n.d.a.r
TMF Grant Information Sessions
Wednesday, February 3
Saturday, February 6
The Department of Neighborhoods is hosting workshops to inform and educate community groups on developing Neighborhood Matching Fund large projects fund proposals.
When: Thursday, January 21, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Idealware, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing training, Consumer Reports-style reviews and articles, is offering three online webinars during January. Visit Idealware to register.
Building an Effective Email List
When: Thursday, January 14, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST
Making the Most of Social Networking Sites
When: Thursday, January 21, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST
Comparing Open Source CMS's: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Plone
When: Thursday, January 28, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST
more attacks expected on facebook, twitter
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter can expect more attention from cybercriminals in 2010, according to a new report released recently by McAfee Labs and reported by cnet.com’s Larry Magid Font.
Also at risk are users of Adobe Systems products including Acrobat Reader and Flash. And move over Microsoft; the security firm predicts that Google's Chrome OS will "create another opportunity for malware writers to prey on users."
The company also anticipates smarter and more dangerous Trojans that "follow the money," as well as a "significant trend toward a more distributed and resilient botnet infrastructure that relies much more on peer-to-peer technologies."
David Marcus, McAfee Labs' director of security research and communications, said that he expects "an explosion of Facebook and other services targeted by cybercriminals." In addition to malware like Koobface that spreads among Facebook users' friends list, Marcus expects an increase in rogue Facebook applications.
"When you click 'yes' to 'do you want to allow this application to access your Facebook account,' you're giving that application access to all the data in your Facebook account," he said. Facebook vets the third-party applications that it distributes, but rogue developers are finding other ways to get people to install unauthorized apps. "A lot of the spammers and scammers will send fake Facebook application requests to users' inboxes," he said. Marcus recommends that you only install apps from within Facebook by clicking "browse more applications" in the Facebook application installer."
For more information on this, please see the full article. Make sure that when using and installing any kind of program, you know where it is from and what is really being installed.
what type of internet filter is best?
When choosing an internet filter you should think about the following items:
Internet filters are great to keep users from accessing sites you don’t want them to access from your computers. Most Internet filters would work great when you’re using them at home because you’re managing just the one computer. In a public computer lab, you normally have several computers that you have to maintain. If you are managing fewer than 10 computers, you can use any of the software filtering companies out there, such as Cybersitter or NetNanny or ContentProtect. The cost for these types of software filters cost from $29 - $39 dollars, and they normally have nonprofit and academic discounts.
If, however, you're looking to manage more than 10 computers, or you're trying to save time when it comes to updates, you may look at some hardware or proxy types of options. Proxy solutions would require a server with proxy software installed on it. The problem with the proxy solution is that you might disable other types of access to the Internet; also your initial configuration could take time. With a hardware filter solution, it would filter each piece of traffic from the Internet individually.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.d.o.l.l.a.r.s
Deadline: February 19
Deadline: First day of February, May, August, November
Do Something Grants to promote youth activism.
Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and stay active for consideration for two months after submission.