• Code for America at City Hall
    Code for America at City Hall
  • Seattle Channel Studio
    Seattle Channel Studio
  • Video Playback
    Video Playback

Center for Digital Government names 2014 Digital Cities Survey winners

Re-posted from the Center for Digital Government:

Center for Digital Government Names 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners
Cities with Best Practices in Public Sector Information and Communications Technology Honored

DIgCit_Wnr14_RGBe.Republic’s Center for Digital Government (The Center) today announced the top-ranked cities in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey.

In its 14th year, the annual survey is part of the Center’s Digital Communities Program, which focuses on collaboration among cities, counties and regions. Open to all U.S. cities, this year’s survey questions targeted which initiatives cities were most proud of in the areas of citizen engagement, policy, operations, and technology and data.

The top-ranked cities in their population categories – Los Angeles; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Avondale, Ariz.; and Dublin, Ohio – provided financial transparency, city performance measurement dashboards, and citizen feedback on city initiatives. They also made improvements in their infrastructure, open-data architecture, security levels and collaboration efforts, providing cost savings and enhanced services. Learn more about their accomplishments here.

“This year’s Digital Cities’ winners brought about impressive change across all aspects of government by leveraging information technology investments to expand open government, citizen participation and shared services,” said Todd Sander, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Government. “Winning cities spanned the nation, indicating a trend that more and more cities are making it a priority that digital government be easier to access, navigate and interact with.”

The top 10 ranked cities will be honored at a special awards ceremony during the National League of Cities’ annual conference in Austin on November 20th.

The Center for Digital Government thanks this year’s survey underwriters: AT&T, Laserfiche, McAfee and Sprint.

Congratulations to the 2014 Digital Cities Survey Winners:

250,000 or more population:

  • 1st City of Los Angeles, CA
  • 2nd City of Kansas City, MO
  • 2nd City of Seattle, WA
  • 3rd City of Jacksonville, FL
  • 3rd Louisville Metro Government, KY
  • 4th City of Philadelphia, PA

For more information, visit http://www.digitalcommunities.com/survey/cities/?year=2014.

The specific Seattle blurb is found in Government Technology magazine:

Seattle has a full slate of initiatives under way intended to strengthen government operations and engage citizens. Internally, the city is centralizing technology services, which includes consolidating multiple data centers and developing coordinated IT policies. The mayor’s IT Subcommittee – comprising the deputy mayor, city CTO and six city department heads – was creating in July to oversee the effort. Externally, Seattle makes extensive use of interactive technology like social media – through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr – and mapping of crime statistics to build closer bonds between residents and its police force. A Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the mayor and city council on issues like community connectivity, e-government services and access to technology. Seattle also has multiple programs to promote technology use throughout the city, including a Technology Matching Fund that provides matching grants as large as $20,000 for community technology projects.

 

City of Seattle hires Chief Information Security Officer

Bryant Bradbury, CISO

Bryant Bradbury, CISO

The City of Seattle’s Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller today announced the hire of Bryant Bradbury as the citywide Chief Information Security Officer.

“The Chief Information Security Officer is a very important role for the city, ensuring a secure computing environment that enables City staff to serve the public,” said Mattmiller. “Bryant has proven himself while serving in the role on an acting basis for the past year. His skills and knowledge are well-suited to continuing to serve the city in this role.”

“I’m honored to continue my work in information security at the City,” said Bradbury. “It’s my privilege to work in the Department of Information Technology as we realize innovations and keep information security and privacy at the forefront of the work we do as a city.”

Bradbury joined the Department of Information Technology in March 2013 as the Deputy Chief Information Security Officer. His work history in technology spans over 25 years, including private sector service in the insurance, commercial software, airline and air cargo industries and in public service starting with the City’s Fleets & Facilities Department in 2007.

DoIT manages creation and enforcement of policy, threat and vulnerability management, monitoring, incident response, and security-related compliance activities for the City. The Chief Information Security Officer position was created to oversee the citywide strategic efforts to properly protect the City’s information technology systems and the data associated with it.

Summer success at the Eritrean community

erit2The Eritrean Community In Seattle and Vicinity, ECSV, has been serving Eritrean families since 1983.  Located in the Central District the organization has served as a bridge to help  Eritrean refugees and immigrants to adjust to the culture of their new home here in the United States.

With a $15,000 grant from the Technology Matching Fund, ECSV provided a much needed upgrade to their aging computer lab.  Five new computers and an air conditioner to beat the heat allowed the Technology Learning Center to launch in June with classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.  Computer Instructor Teshome Mesgun, has since helped over 50 adults learn basic and professional computer skills and provided Tigrinya language training (GEEZ).

Volunteers and Board members have been key to making the new Technology Learning Center a reality.  They have contributed more than 265 hours of volunteer effort in coordinating and promoting the lab.    Classes filled after they spread the word about the computer lab at key public events, such as graduations, wedding and picnics.  They continue to build awareness about what Technology Learning Center can offer through flyers and other channels.  For more information on the project, contact Kiflemariam Sequar at nkdmit@yahoo.com.

Big-Brained Superheroes Club rocks Yesler CC

tmfHave you ever wondered how computers think? Kids at the Yesler Community Center learning about this and more through workshops hosted by the Big-Brained Superheros Club (BBS), a group whose mission is to tap into the hidden strengths that all young people have through the exploration of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). With support from the Technology Matching Fund, the Big Brained Superheros Club offers workshops on digital logic and electronics. While most kids spend ample time on Facebook, Twitter, and multiplayer web games, many of them have no idea how the machine they use every day actually works.  BBS volunteers teach youth how a computer “thinks” by  providing hands-on learning opportunities to build circuits and logic gates. Their circuit lab is modeled after the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio Circuit Boards. Youth attend regular BBS club meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting by reciting the club oath.  They also attend Superhacker Saturdays to prepare for the workshops.   For more information on the project contact Meredith Wenger,   or visit the Big Brained Superhero blog and Facebook page.

23 projects receive Tech Matching Funds

2014 TMF GranteesMayor Murray and the Seattle City Council today announced the 23 organizations that will receive a total of $320,000 in Technology Matching Funds from the City of Seattle. The awardees passed unanimously out of committee. Watch the video here.
“While access to technology has increased for many, there is still a significant gap in the access to and use of technology in Seattle,” said Mayor Murray. “Technology skills are necessary for success in the 21st century and these funds play a critical role in preparing our residents.”

“These funds play an important role in leveling the playing field. They help our must vulnerable residents use technology in innovative and meaningful ways, including seniors, at risk youth, homeless women and children, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee.

The money will support projects throughout the city to ensure all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies. These projects were selected from Seattle’s Technology Advisory Board from more than 67 applicants and will contribute a projected $685,711 in community matching resources, more than double the City’s investment.

The funds will support greater digital equity in Seattle. Several projects will help Seattle build a diverse technology workforce, by providing STEM education programs for youth of color and computer and applications training to immigrants and low-income adults.  Other programs will help seniors and people with disabilities better engage using a variety of tools, including tablets, touch screens and social media. The projects will also enable greater electronic civic participation for many disadvantaged residents.

The 2014 Technology Matching Fund award recipients include:

  • Ballard NW Senior Center
  • Casa Latina
  • North Seattle Family Center/ Children’s Home Society of WA
  • Denny Terrace Computer Lab
  • Elizabeth Gregory Home
  • Filipino Community of Seattle
  • Helping Link
  • Hilltop House
  • Lao Women Association of Washington
  • Literacy Source
  • North Seattle Boys & Girls Club
  • Northaven Retirement and Assisted Living
  • Open Doors for Multicultural Families/STAR Center at Center Park
  • Ross Manor Computer Lab
  • Seattle Neighborhood Coalition
  • Solid Ground Sand Point Housing Campus
  • Somali Community Services of Seattle
  • South Park Area Redevelopment Center
  • The Jefferson Terrace Computer Lab Committee
  • University of Washington Women’s Center
  • Vietnamese Friendship Association
  • Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH)
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle – Y @ Cascade People’s Center.

For more information and a map of Technology Matching Fund awardees go here.

 

Online Safety for College-Bound Kids

8 online safety rules for college-bound kids

Previous generations didn’t need to have “the digital talk” but in a world where what goes online stays online, it’s essential.

1. The Internet is forever – Think about future employers, including those coveted summer internships Don’t post anything online, including inappropriate photos, which would make a future employer think twice about hiring you. Good judgment is something employers look for, show that you have it.

2. Don’t add your address to your Facebook profile – Keep your address private. Anyone who needs your address can get it from you directly.

3. Don’t broadcast your location – Go ahead and check-in at your favorite coffee place and post photos of you and friends at a concert. Just do it sparingly. People don’t need to know where you are all the time or when your dorm room or apartment might be empty.

4. Don’t “friend” people you don’t know – Be choosy when it comes to friending people on social media. Just because someone sends you a friend request doesn’t mean you have to accept it—especially if you have no idea who they are.

5. Guard your social security number – Your social security number is a winning lottery ticket to a fraudster. It is the key to stealing your identity and taking over your accounts. Keep your social security card locked away in a safe place. Memorize the number so you can minimize using the card itself. Question anyone who asks for your social security card. Employers, banks, credit card companies and the department of motor vehicles are some of the few legitimate entities who may need your social security number. Never give it out online or in email.

6. Don’t use the same password everywhere – All your accounts need a password, but not the same one. Consider using an all-in-one password manager. If you choose this option make sure that you log out of the service when not in use. Get in the habit of locking your computer and shutting it off at night.

7. Beware of emails phishing for personal information – Be very wary of any email with a link that asks you to disclose your credit card details, username, password or social security number. These emails can look official but no bank, or other legitimate business, should email asking for this information.

8. Be Wi-Fi savvy and safe – Free Wi-Fi at coffee shops, libraries and restaurants make these great places to hang out and study. However, free comes at the cost of security. Unsecured networks create the risk of identity theft and other personal information being stolen. Make sure sites you visit use encryption software (website addresses start with https:// and usually display a lock in the browser address bar) to block identity thieves when using public Wi-Fi. Additionally, be careful to avoid using mobile apps that require credit card data or personal information on public Wi-Fi as there is no visible indicator of whether the app uses encryption. In general it’s best to conduct sensitive transactions on a secured private network or through your phone’s data network rather than public Wi-Fi.

Get Online Seattle provides online job resources & tools

 sealth_pantone285_horizontal

 

 

NEWS RELEASE

Get Online Seattle provides online job resources and tools

SEATTLE (July 17, 2014) The City of Seattle has launched Get Online: Jobs & the Internet, an online toolbox for residents who are new to job searching on the web. The Seattle.gov/getonline web site and print materials provide information to help understand and manage your online presence, use the right tools for your job search, and tips for making job connections both on and offline.

Get Online Seattle education materials also promote options for affordable home Internet and locations with free access to computers and the Internet.

“Using the Internet is critical to finding and applying for jobs,” says Michael Mattmiller, Acting Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle. “This campaign is part of our effort to advance digital equity – ensuring all Seattleites have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies.”

Jobs & the Internet is the second topic of the ongoing Get Online Seattle campaign to provide residents with the necessary skills to navigate the Internet, find content relevant to their needs, and access affordable Internet. The first topic focused on health resources, including what to look for in a reputable health site and what sites to avoid. The next Get Online Seattle campaign, to be launched in October, will focus on learning and education resources.

Visit www.seattle.gov/getonline for more information about the jobs campaign, resources and tips for use. Posters and leaflets are also available via the web site or by calling 206-233-7877.

The Get Online Seattle: Jobs & the Internet campaign is run by the City of Seattle’s Community Technology Program in partnership with the City’s Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board, Seattle Public Library, Seattle Goodwill, and YWCA Works.

The City of Seattle’s Department of Information Technology’s Community Technology Program works to ensure all residents have the opportunity to access online city services and get online for civic and cultural participation, education, and employment. For more information, visit http://www.seattle.gov/tech/.

###

Contact Vicky Yuki at vicky.yuki@seattle.gov or 206-233-7877 for more information

Email Do’s and Don’ts

Overview

Email has become one of the primary ways we communicate in our personal and professional lives. However, we can often be our own worst enemy when using it. In this newsletter, we will explain the most common mistakes people make and how you can avoid them in your day-to-day lives.

Autocomplete

Autocomplete is a common feature that is found in most email clients. As you type the name of the person you want to email, your email software automatically selects their email address for you. This way, you do not have to remember the email addresses of all your contacts, just the recipient’s name. The problem with autocomplete comes when you have contacts that share similar names. It is very easy for autocomplete to select the wrong email address for you. For example, you may intend to send an email with all of your organization’s financial information to “Fred Smith,” your coworker in accounting. Instead, autocomplete selects “Fred Johnson,” your neighbor. As a result, you end up sending sensitive information to unauthorized people. To protect yourself against this, always double check the name and the email address before you hit send.

CC / BCC

Most email clients have two options besides the “To” field: Cc and Bcc. “Cc” stands for “Carbon copy,” which means you want to keep people copied and informed. “Bcc” means “Blind carbon copy.” It is similar to Cc, but no one can see the people you have Bcc’ed. Both of these options can get you into trouble. When someone sends you an email and has Cc’ed people on it, you have to decide if you want to reply to just the sender or reply to everyone that was included on the Cc. If your reply is sensitive, you may want to reply only to the sender. If that is the case, be sure you do not use the “Reply All” option, which will include everyone. A Bcc presents a different problem.. When sending a sensitive email, you may want to copy someone privately using Bcc, such as your boss. However, if your boss responds using “Reply All,” all of the recipients will know that your boss was secretly Bcc’d on your original email.

Distribution lists

Distribution lists are a collection of email addresses represented by a single email address, sometimes called a mail list or a group name. For example, you may have a distribution list with the email address group@example.com. When you send an email to that address, the message gets sent to everyone in the group, which could be hundreds or thousands of people. Be very careful what you send to a distribution list, since so many people may receive that message. In addition, be very careful when replying to someone’s email on a distribution list. You may only intend to reply to the individual sender, but if you hit “Reply All,” you will have included the entire distribution list. This means that hundreds (if not thousands) of people will be able to read your private email. Another problem with autocomplete is that it could select a distribution list instead of a single recipient. Your intent may be to email only a single person, such as your coworker Carl at carl@example.com, but autocomplete might accidently send it to a distribution list you subscribed to about cars.

Emotion

Never send an email when you are emotionally charged. An email written in an emotional state could cause you harm in the future, perhaps even costing you a friendship or a job. Instead, take a moment and calmly organize your thoughts. If you have to vent your frustration, open your email client, make sure it is not addressed to anyone and type exactly what you feel like saying, then when you are done, get up and walk away from your computer, perhaps make yourself a cup of tea. When you come back, delete the email and start over again. Even better, pick up the phone and talk to the person, as it can be difficult to determine tone and intent with just an email.

Email does not have an ‘undo’ button. Whenever you send an email, slow down for a moment and double check what you are sending and to whom before hitting the send button.

Privacy

Finally, remember that traditional email has few privacy protections. Anyone who gains access to your email can read your messages. In addition, unlike a phone call or personal conversation, you no longer have control over an email once you send it. Your email can easily be forwarded to others, posted on public forums and may remain accessible on the Internet forever. If you have something truly private to communicate, pick up the phone. It is also important to remember that email can be used as legal evidence in many countries. Finally, if you are using your work computer for sending email, keep in mind that your employer may have the right to monitor and read your email. If you use your work computer to access your personal email account, this could include your personal email. Check with your supervisor if you have questions about email privacy at work.

http://www.securingthehuman.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-201407_en.pdf

Youth get robots rockin’ in Seattle’s 98118

NewHolly youth with their robotics creations

NewHolly youth with their robotics creations

Written by Beryl Fernandes, Ph.D., a member of CTTAB, and an urban planning/management consultant.

Contagious! That’s the children’s enthusiasm and excitement at programming and watching their robots follow intended or unintended pre-programmed directions. Claps and screams of delight get everyone’s attention when a team’s robot makes the circuit flawlessly. Uncontainable!

One of the most diverse zip codes in the country according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the youth of this robotics program defy often-held myths about them. Enrolled in a 10-week STEAM Lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program at the Filipino Community of Seattle, young women and men, ages 6-16, from more than a dozen ethnic backgrounds, learn math, take apart computers, re-build them, build robots, and program the “bots” to follow directions.

Funded by City of Seattle’s Technology Matching Fund, the program requires repeated testing, trial and error. Students learn to “fail fast and fail often” – one of life’s many lessons imparted by their esteemed volunteer STEAM Lab Program Director, Jon Madamba. An electrical engineer and computer consultant, Jon asserts with exuberance, that each youth has everything it takes “to become our next generation of leaders.”  He wants them, “empowered to positively impact their families’ trajectory no matter what obstacles they face in life.  The STEAM Labs provide access and equality to build confidence as future innovators.”

Supported by other volunteer instructors and mentors, these youth prove they thrive in this challenging, nurturing environment. East African Community Services (a STEAM Lab partner), Executive Director Faisal Jama wants to provide exposure for all youth, but girls in particular, demystify it, and make it a career option. Students use a drag ‘n drop program and casually refer to robot components – the brick, brain, motors, legs, ultra sonic sensors, and color sensors.

Tim Leavitt, a volunteer instructor, says the labs provide real-world use of math, science and technology learned in school, by applying them to practical problem-solving. A 6-year old girl said she had the most fun building and testing the robot. A 7-year old boy was confident he could re-program a robot to do anything. A parent commented on teamwork in this program, where every child chooses a role such as programmer, project manager, builder, inventory, etc. Another parent liked the confidence gained from the kid-teaching-kid component. One parent asked her 10-year old daughter if she could clean up her room that fast, and the girl replied, “No, but I can program a robot to do it!” A mentor beamed, saying he loved seeing kids’ faces light up. “They are inventors!” he exclaimed.

Have a scam-free vacation!

Heading out of town? Make sure you come back with a nice post-vacation glow and not a case of identity theft. Here are some things you can do to lessen the chances you’ll be a victim.

Limit what you carry. Take only the ID, credit cards, and debit cards you need. Leave your Social Security card at home. If you’ve got a Medicare card, make a copy to carry and blot out all but the last four digits on it.

Know the deal with public Wi-FiMany cafés, hotels, airports, and other public places offer wireless networks — or Wi-Fi — you can use to get online. Two things to remember:

  • Wi-Fi hotspots often aren’t secure. If you connect to a public Wi-Fi network and send information through websites or mobile apps, the info might be accessed by someone it’s not meant for. If you use a public Wi-Fi network, send information only to sites that are fully encrypted (here’s how to tell), and avoid using apps that require personal or financial information. Researchers have found many mobile apps don’t encrypt information properly.
  • That Wi-Fi network might not belong to the hotel or airport. Scammers sometimes set up their own “free networks” with names similar to or the same as the real ones. Check to make sure you’re using the authorized network before you connect.

Protect your smartphone. Use a password or pin, and report a stolen smartphone — first to local law enforcement authorities, and then to your wireless provider. In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the major wireless service providers have a stolen phone database that lets them know a phone was stolen and allows remote “bricking” so the phone can’t be activated on a wireless network without your permission. Find tips specific to your operating system with the FCC Smartphone Security Checker at fcc.gov.

ATMs and gas stations — especially in tourist areas — may have skimming devices. Scammers use cameras, keypad overlays, and skimming devices — like a realistic-looking card reader placed over the factory-installed card reader on an ATM or gas pump — to capture the information from your card’s magnetic strip without your knowledge and get your PIN. The FBI offers tips to avoid being scammed by a skimmer.

Watch that laptop. If you travel with a laptop, keep a close eye on it — especially through the shuffle of airport security — and consider carrying it in something less obvious than a laptop case. A minor distraction in an airport or hotel is all it takes for a laptop to vanish. At the hotel, store your laptop in the safe in your room. If that’s not an option, keep your laptop attached to a security cable in your room and consider hanging the “do not disturb” sign on your door.

Still, despite your best efforts to protect it, your identity may be stolen while you’re traveling. Here’s what you can do.

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/scam-free-vacation