Tag Archives: New York City

Community Broadband Hearing at Columbia University on Dec. 11

UPDATE: This is a Community Broadband Hearing by Columbia University, not an FCC Field Hearing. Sorry for the confusion!

Friend Bruce Lincoln, Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Engineering’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Community Engagement, sent us an invite for a Community Broadband Hearing taking place next Friday, December 11 at Columbia. I’m planning to attend, and suggest those of you that fill the different roles outlined below attend as well.

If you are planning on attending, leave a comment so we can find you!

It is important that members of the local community have an opportunity to participate in the National Broadband Planning process which is currently underway in Washington.

Toward that end, I invite you to participate in an FCC Field Hearing on Friday, December 11, 2009 at Columbia University in New York. The meeting will be held in Davis Auditorium from 8:45 am until noon.

The field hearing will bring together policymakers, elected officials, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, anchor institutions, public agencies, broadband providers, foundations, community-based organizations and community leaders, academicians, and researchers. Together we will share thoughts on how collectively we can ensure all New Yorkers have access to broadband and the educational, economic and social opportunities it can provide.

I hope you will be able to attend as a representative of your organization or constituency. To fully understand the importance of broadband access from all points of view, your participation is vital. The agenda includes a “community visioning session” where you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with the group.

You can confirm your attendance via e-mail to bl2317@columbia.edu.

Agenda

Friday, December 11, 2009
Davis Auditorium, Columbia University
8 am-noon

8:00 Registration and Breakfast
8:45 Welcome (Bruce Lincoln, Columbia Engineering)
8:50 Opening Remarks (Dean, Feniosky Pena-Mora, Columbia Engineering)
9:00 “An Overview of the New York State Broadband Vision and Strategy” (Edward Reinfurt, Executive Director, New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, NYSTAR)
9:30 “Vision of New York City’s Broadband Future” (Gale Brewer, Chair, Committee on Technology and Government, New York City Council)
9:40 Short Break
9:45 Practitioners Panel Session
10:15 Audience Q&A
10:30 Community Visioning Session
11:30 Wrap-up
12:00 Adjournment

Municipal Vaporware: Why NYC's Data Mine is A Data Dump

This morning, Mayor Mike Bloomberg unveiled New York City’s long-awaited Big Apps contest. Big Apps seeks to promote the Internet industry in the Big Apple (it’s sponsored by the New York City Economic Development Corporation) and make local government more transparent.

I’ve been following the evolution of open data initiatives at the municipal level for about a year now, and was really hoping that New York was going to set the bar for future efforts across the country. It doesn’t. In fact it’s hard to understand why some notable local tech superstars like investors Fred Wilson and John Borthwick would sign on to such a lame effort.

First of all, the prize structure doesn’t make sense. First prize is $5,000 and dinner with Bloomie himself. No commitment to fund, adopt, promote or license the app for citywide use. People that build city apps want to engage the public and the investor community, not the city’s political elite. I bet they’d rather have dinner with Andrew Raisej.

Second, despite the fact that the project is primarily aimed at stimulating new business development (it’s coming from the econ dev folks) the rules require all entrants to grant the city a one-year license to distribute the app freely. So anyone thinking of building a paid iPhone app, you’re shit out of luck.

Finally, and most importantly, the NYC Data Mine that is supposed to be the raw materials for these apps, is more of an NYC Data Dump than anything else. Browsing through the 100+ datasets posted this afternoon to the city’s site, you see that about half are just boundary shapefiles easily downloaded or licensed through existing channels. The other half are a dog’s breakfast of static datasets (New! Updated monthly!) in every format from Excel to Access to (gag!) SAS. Hello, people, its 2009. API+XML FTW! Just to take one example, I can’t wait to see what fascinating mashups stem from the historic release of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ list of licensed electronic shops. Because what the world is really lacking is more information about the location of electronics retailers. What this Data Dump looks like is the collected attachments received in reponse to the poor bureaucrat who had to twist every department’s arms for one dataset, so the city could say every department contributed.

As someone who’s spent time brainstorming with government agencies about open data ecosystems, I’m saddened to see that the city has engineered this program for maximum political impact, minimal risk and mediocre innovation. It’s municipal vaporware.

p.s. Guys, you forgot to include the website URL in your press release.

p.p.s The one cool thing they did was used Challenge Post to host the site. Thanks BetaWorks!

Another Great Video of Local Kids Using Free Wi-Fi in the Playground

Here’s some more videos from the new CDSC Hotspot in Clinton Hill:

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/tliPDpSiR30&hl=en&fs=1&

Continue reading Another Great Video of Local Kids Using Free Wi-Fi in the Playground

Photos and a Video from our Clinton Hill Hotspot Launch

One of the reasons why we build free Wi-Fi hotspots is the impact it has on local communities. Our Clinton Hill Hotspot is no different — check out the great photos of kids surfing the internet. We’ve even found some budding TV stars in the 2 kids who were interviewed!

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/UhH236vYL9o&hl=en&fs=1&

IMG_0034

photo 3

More photos after the break…
Continue reading Photos and a Video from our Clinton Hill Hotspot Launch

NYCwireless Launches New Hotspot in Clinton Hill For Brooklyn's Underserved Children

We are very proud to announce the launch of our newest hotspot in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The hotspot is a collaboration between Child Development Support Corp (CDSC), HARLOWTOWN and NYCwireless.

On Friday, July 31, 2009 at 11:00 AM at the Playground at the corner of Classon Ave and Lafayette Avenues in Clinton Hill, there will be a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the hotspot, and we’d like to invite all press members and any NYCwireless member to come out and support the hotspot.

Contact:
Joe Plotkin
NYCwireless
212.982.9800 x9797

Marcia Rowe-Riddick
Executive Director, CDSC
718.398.2050 x8401

Free Wireless Internet For Brooklyn’s Underserved Children

Wi-Fi Hotspot launch set for 11:00 AM on Friday, July 31, 2009

BROOKLYN, NY, July 21, 2009 — NYC’s premier free Wi-Fi installation in a low-income community park, in a groundbreaking collaboration between a neighborhood service organization, Child Development Support Corp (CDSC), and private capital, HARLOWTOWN, will be launched at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 31, 2009 at Brooklyn’s Classon Playground.

The Classon Playground Hotspot represents a stunning triumph of community action to deliver a public service essential in the 21st century: high-speed connection to the Internet, the gateway to the information economy. The 2008 Diamond Report, commissioned by New York City Council, concluded that a majority of the City’s low-income residents, including many children, remain without broadband Internet access and computer skills.

CDSC and HARLOWTOWN, in conjunction with NYCwireless and TECH MEDIA, will provide free Wi-Fi and literacy classes to an underserved Central Brooklyn community. “We felt strongly that our kids needed this now,” said CDSC Executive Director Marcia Rowe-Riddick, “We hope that this partnership may serve as a model for other organizations to bring Wi-Fi and computer literacy into their communities without waiting for government funding or support.”

The Wi-Fi HOTSPOT is at Classon Playground, on the corner of Classon and Lafayette Avenues, flanked by the 88th Precinct Stationhouse to the North, Lafayette Gardens Houses to the East, and the Community Partnership Charter School to the West.

About Child Development Support Corp

CDSC, a 501(c)(3), was created in 1969 to address the needs of low-income and underserved communities of Central Brooklyn. During the late seventies, the organization began preventive and foster care programs to counter the ravages of the drug and gun epidemics in the lives of the families it served. Today, CDSC provides a full range of social service programs for children and families in Community Boards 2, 3, 8, and 16.

About HARLOWTOWN

HARLOWTOWN is a private NGO that sponsors community projects in Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as furnishing legal services to the needy and to not-for-profit organizations in the US and across the globe.

About NYCwireless

NYCwireless (http://www.nycwireless.net) is a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless Internet access in New York City and surrounding areas. NYCwireless, founded in 2001, is an all-volunteer organization with many active members in the New York metropolitan area, across the United States of America, and around the world. In partnership with city parks organizations, business improvement districts and local non-profit organizations, NYCwireless has built free, public wireless Hotspots at Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Wagner Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jackson Square Park, Union Square Park (in partnership with commercial wireless Internet provider TowerStream), Stuyvesant Cove Park (the first fully solar powered hotspot in New York), Tompkins Square Park, Bowling Green Park, City Hall Park, the South Street Seaport, the Winter Garden, the Atrium at 60 Wall Street, Stone Street, Wall Street Park, and the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, among others. In addition, NYCwireless worked with Community Access to build free wireless networks in three NYCHA-licensed affordable housing residences. NYCwireless also served as a member of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee.