City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 9, No. 10||October, 2010|
wa broadband input
On 10/19, 1-4 PM at Delridge Community Center (4501 Delridge Way SW, Seattle), the State Dept of Information Service's Broadband Program and Dept of Commerce are conducting a workshop to get input on buseinesses and community services (e.g., schools, hospitals, nonprofits, etc.) needs and uses for boardband. The info will be used to inform state policy and investments. They will aslo share infor about broadband program activites, grants, received by the state and potential opportunities for futuere funding. The Washington State University Extension and Communities Connect Network are co-sponsors of this workshop. For questions and to RSVP, contact Alisha Reitan or call 360-902-1981. http://broadband.dis.wa.gov/
The new Living Voters Guide gives voters a chance to see Washington's November ballot initiatives, weigh in pro or con, and talk positions with others. This innovative crowdsourcing project is an activity of the Engage project at University of Washington and the Seattle City Club, funded by the National Science Foundation. Try it, share it, and comment on it.rainier beach lab closes
As the City moves forward with rebuilding the Rainier Beach Community Center, the computer lab there has closed for now. The lab at Rainier Community Center is filling the gap until a replacement lab opens in the new facility. Several other labs in the area offer open lab and classes. These include: Southeast Senior Center, East African Community Services at New Holly, and Horn of Africa Services. See also a list of all southeast labslibrary gift
An anonymous donor has pledged $500,000 to The Seattle Public Library Foundation if it can raise a matching amount through community contributions. The foundation has kicked off a "Help Us Make $1 Million for the Library" campaign to reach the goal. The gift came when the 2010 mid-year cuts to The Seattle Public Library's budget were announced. The foundation's goal is to raise $500,000 to match the gift by December 31, 2010, so it can make those dollars available for use by the library in 2011. Once raised, the money will be used to buy more books and resources and support free public programming. To donate or find out more, contact the foundation Office at (206) 386-4130, or foundation.spl.org, or go here.new seattle.gov!
The new and improved Seattle.gov launches on October 13. Over the past few months, the Citywide Web Team has been working with the Mayor's Office to design a brand new look for the Seattle.gov homepage and top-level portal. The new, streamlined design, which will debut the second week in October, is the first major update to the homepage/portal since 2005. The redesign is the first of several new features the CWT will launch this fall, including my.seattle.gov a customizable, iGoogle-like interface into Seattle.gov; and Seattle Speaks Online which will allow constituents and City officials to ask questions, get answers and discuss issues in an open, online forum.budget hearings
The Mayor presented his budget to City Council on September 27. The Council will hold three public hearings so people can hear about the budget, give testimony and ask questions:
Wednesday, October 13
Tuesday, October 26
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 discussing local issues with Mayor Mike McGinn. On Wednesday, October 13, 7:00 p.m. call (206) 684-8821 and talk to the mayor live. If you can't call then, call (206) 684-8821 at any time and leave a message or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send us your questions on Seattle Channel's Facebook and Twitter accounts. Don't miss this opportunity to dialogue with City Hall's CEO!
fed grant to aid washington access centers
Thousands of low-income families in Washington State will benefit from a $4.1 million federal Broadband Technology Opportunity Program Public Computing Center (PCC) grant awarded the Communities Connect Network and EdLab Group. The grant will increase and enhance computers available at 39 sites in seven counties, as well as adding a variety of assistive technology, software and video conferencing. The project is a unique partnership between community tech centers, libraries, the justice system and workforce development agencies.
The Northwest Justice Project will help increase online content and training in the use of WashingtonLawHelp.org. The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County will help enhance the quality of job training at the centers. The University of Washington Information School will lead the project evaluation. The project includes capacity-building training and a new web portal to help PCCs meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
The importance of this project as a national model was highlighted in a joint Department of Commerce / National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) press conference with reknowned legal expert Prof. Lawrence Tribe, now with the Department of Justice. Karen Manuel of Communities Connect network and Edlab Group led the writing of the grant with David Keyes from the City of Seattle.
It comes at a critical time for many organizations and families suffering from the economic crisis. See the joint Department of Commerce and Department of Justice press conference. For more about the project and the participating sites, visit the Communities Connect Network. Also see the EdLab Group and NTIA.creative technology classes at yesler lab
In 2003, Peter Gruenbaum started a series of creative technology classes at the Yesler Community Technology Center, teaching youth about 3D modeling, Augmented Reality, databases, and computer game programming. "When I first came to teach at Yesler," said Gruenbaum, "I had no idea what kids from East African families would be like. What I found was that they were friendly, interesting to talk to, and completely at ease with technology."
Over the years, he began dreaming up a story inspired by his work with the Yesler kids. This year, he is collaborating with artist Amanda Kingsley to create a young adult graphic novel called Coiled, where much of the story takes place where it all started: back in the Yesler computer lab.
The story follows a boy named Joshua who is on the trail of his missing mother. In the beginning chapters, Joshua follows a clue to an address in Yesler Terrace, where he befriends a girl from a Somali family and a boy from an Ethiopian family. The three of them end up using the Yesler computer lab to enter a virtual world that the boy thought existed only in his mother's imagination. The story combines elements of science fiction with day-to-day depictions of life in the Yesler lab.
Gruenbaum and Kingsley publish a page of the story once a week, where you can read it free of charge. Gruenbaum continues to teach creative technology classes to youth in Seattle; you can learn more about his projects here.2010 day of caring a success!
United Way Day of Caring is an annual event where volunteers from local businesses give back to their community through acts of service to local non-profit organizations. This year, on September 24, 24 volunteers from Microsoft, Digital Promise and the City of Seattle Department of Information Technology, lent their technology skills to support computer labs at five Seattle-area low-income family communities. These communities (Bryant Manor, Denny Terrace, Jefferson Terrace, STAR Center (Center Park), and Primeau Place) received upgrades to their computers, one-on-one tech support for in-home computers, and information workshops.
City of Seattle Information Security office conducted two Home Computer and Internet Security workshops at Denny Terrace and Jeffereson Terrace. Many residents were surprised at how high their security risks are and how vulnerable their personal information and machines are to attacks. Residents left armed with tips and tools to safeguard their information and committed to being more vigilant when using the Internet.
Volunteers left feeling a sense of pride knowing that their hard and patient work defragging hard drives, installing anti-virus programs, and cleaning up desktops, was well worth the effort. In the words of Monica DeMeulemeester, Microsoft team volunteer coordinator, "People were so excited to have their computer speed improve, even the slightest bit, so that they could watch their homeland TV programs from China, search for jobs, or learn Engish."
Visit United Way for more information on Day of Caring and how you can be involved next year. You can also visit Seattle.gov for information on scheduling a Home Computer and Internet Security workshop and for downloadable resources.s.e.c.u.r.i.t.y
email phishing scam feeds on credit union trust
This report is from Ohio, but we've seen similar scams here and want you to be aware of them. Credit unions are trusted community organizations and the latest victim of a recent phishing scam. Customers in Ohio have reported receiving deceptive emails that appear to be from their credit union and include a request to take a survey that requires they enter personal information.
According to a July, 2010 complaint filed with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, a Columbus woman received an email from her credit union that stated: "You have been randomly selected to take part in this survey to let us know what we are doing well and where we need to do better. In return we will credit $50.00 to your account–Just for your time!."
The email featured the credit union's logo and listed the correct contact information, so the woman clicked on the provided link. The survey prompted her to enter her account number, but she knew her credit union would never ask for this information on the Internet, so she closed the link. If she had proceeded, her financial information would have been in the hands of scammers.
Be skeptical of offers similar to this one. Never enter personal information online when unsure of where it is being sent. People who receive suspicious e-mails are are advised to call their credit union. [From LoanSafe.org by Moe Bedard]
If English is not your primary language, you might wonder if you can get your operating system to support your native language better. New computers with Windows 7 Ultimate or above can be upgraded to support multiple languages, however other operating systems will not support multiple languages. You can, however, make your life a little more easy. Under the "control panel" of your windows operating system you will see an icon called "Regional and Language Options." In this area you can change your language and keyboard settings. This will not change your core operating system or most menus, but might help with certain applications allowing documents to be view better in another language.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.
Deadline:November 15, 2010
Coiled Comics: Definitely check this out! An online weekly comic series by Peter Gruenbaum and Amanda Kingsley. Peter is from SDK Bridge, teaches at area computer learning centers, including Yesler, and is featured in this one. Coiled is the story of Joshua, a boy who is searching for his mother who has mysteriously gone missing. He traces her first to an East African neighborhood of Seattle, and then into a virtual world.
Diagramming conversations: How to handle large conversations online. An interesting set of maps and acase study on handling conversations from Deep Debate.
Seattle Race Conference: Racism and Health Inequities: Eliminating Barriers and Healing Our Communities.
What are Dialogue and Deliberation? Find out on the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation site.sub/unsub
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