Microsoft’s Family Filter

For most computer labs that serve visitors under the age of 18, or that just want to keep all the adult content from being viewed in your lab, it is best to have some sort of content filtering on the computers. Microsoft offers free content filtering with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, which can be used by labs or individuals.

For networks that are peer-to-peer, the software is easy to set up. Before installing the software on a domain, make sure each filtered profile has been created on the computer. The best way of doing this is to log in once with each user name. Then log in as administrator and install the program.

Note that you should use the same log in profile for each computer. You will need a Windows Live, Hotmail, MSN, or some other Microsoft account to install.

Go here for instructions on how to set up Family Safety.

May 22nd forum: Seattle, how online are we?

Did you know more people in Seattle own laptops than desktop computers, or that two thirds use Facebook? But it’s not equal across the community.  Join us May 22 6:00-8:00 PM, as the City of Seattle releases its new report on how many in Seattle use smart phones and social media, have interest in high speed services, differences in use, cable customer satisfaction, and how they want to communicate with government and others.

Come hear the results and chime in about what we do with this new knowledge. The forum will be May 22, 6:00-8:00  PM at the Seattle Goodwill, 700 Dearborn Place S., at Rainier Avenue.  This event is being hosted by the City’s technology advisory board and Department of Information Technology.  (Find it on Google Maps.)

Online community building & e-activism resources

Looking for some tips on how to more effectively get people involved in your community work? We’ve posted presentation materials and resources from a workshop on strategies and tools to organize online community building and e-activism. See it on Slideshare. This was presented to neighborhood and community groups by David Keyes and Vicky Yuki of our Community Technology Program, along with Phillip Duggan of Pinehurst Community Council and CTTAB; and Joe Szilagyi, Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and West Seattle Transit Coalition. This was hosted by the Department of Information Technology and Department of Neighborhoods PACE program.

El Centro De La Raza helps seniors and youth get online

DigitalConnectorsIIIWith support from the Tech Matching Fund, El Centro de la Raza has expanded Wi-Fi access in its building on Beacon Hill.   By strategically placing nine routers at key locations throughout the building, they now have seamless Wi-Fi coverage throughout the facility.

This has particularly benefited the 125 seniors who come to El Centro for the Senior Wellness Program.   Many of these seniors are isolated due to age, mobility issues and language and cultural barriers.   El Centro provides hands-on training to the seniors, who are often intimidated by new technologies and computers in general.  Volunteers use Century Link Internet Basics curriculum to teach Windows basics, web browsing and using the Internet safely, accessing information online, sending and receiving e-mail, and using social media including Facebook.  The seniors now have an affordable option to browse the Internet and communicate with friends and family in Latin America and Asia.

The wireless access has also supported the Comcast Digital Connectors Program for 18 youth ages 14-21, for two hours, twice a week.  These workshops are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 PM and support high school age youth to improve their digital literacy and close the digital divide for low-income youth of color.

For more information on the project contact Miguel Maestes at, (206) 957-4650.

FCC chair supports community broadband, limited open Internet

The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, issued an important statement that he intends to work to ensure that local communities have the right to own and operate broadband networks.  The FCC is also seeking comments about open Internet, or net neutrality, and his statement indicates their intent to allow some faster Internet for those who can pay  with guidelines. The proclamation was in a speech to the National Cable Television Association meeting.  Chairman Wheeler became the 31st chairman of the FCC last November.  You can see his speech on You Tube or read the full comments on the FCC web site.

His comments on municipal broadband are a huge win for local governments and communities. Chairman Wheeler commented on the need for competitive local options:

“I understand that the experience with community broadband is mixed, that there have been both successes and failures.  But if municipal governments—the same ones that granted cable franchises—want to pursue it, they shouldn’t be inhibited by state laws.  I have said before, that I believe the FCC has the power – and I intend to exercise that power – to preempt state laws that ban competition from community broadband.” 

The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) applauded FCC Chairman Wheeler for the spotlight he has “shone on the anti-competitive and economically stifling policies at the state level that bar or impede the development of public and public-private broadband networks in 20 states.  In an era when policymakers throughout the country have recognized that robust broadband networks are necessary to ensure the nation’s economic future, it is imperative that local communities, entrepreneurs, and innovators have the opportunity to develop next generation networks at the local level. … The first schools and libraries served over direct fiber connections were served over municipal fiber. The first schools to receive gigabit Internet speeds directly to school buildings were served over municipal fiber.  Municipal fiber networks demonstrated the viability of that technology and of high-speed broadband to homes and businesses long before private companies adopted the technology. … Local governments have long recognized that broadband communications infrastructure serves as the basis for new economic activity and, increasingly, democratic discourse and civic participation.”

Neighborhood Matching Fund Small and Simple Projects Fund

The City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s Small and Simple Project Fund provides funds of up to $25,000 to support groups in building community relationships around a project. Projects must demonstrate a capacity to build a stronger and healthier community and:

  • Provide a public benefit and be free and open to the public.
  • Emphasize self-help, with project ideas initiated, planned and implemented by the community
  • Demonstrate a community match of volunteer labor, donated professional services, donated materials, and/or cash.

Deadline: June 2, 2014 at 5 PM

Seattle’s cable broadband program makes a difference

The Cable Broadband program offers free broadband connections to nonprofit organizations offering free technology access to their clients.  280 organizations have received broadband connections through the City’s franchise agreement with Comcast and WAVE (229 and 51 organizations respectively).

“The cable broadband connection really helps us achieve independence, and also helps our community’s digital divide by giving access to low-income housing refugees and after school homework help,” quoted from a user of the free high speed Internet in the labs.  If your organization is interested in receiving free broadband, please visit our site and submit an application.  You can also contact Derrick Hall by email or at 206-233-5061.