West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle online http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Fri, 09 Oct 2015 16:44:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 West Seattle Comcast outage: Seaview, Morgan trouble http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-comcast-outage-seaview-morgan-trouble-tonight/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-comcast-outage-seaview-morgan-trouble-tonight/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 06:38:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324685 11:38 PM: If you’ve been having trouble with Comcast service tonight in Seaview or Morgan Junction – it’s not just you. We’ve heard from people via all our channels with problems in those areas. Since Comcast itself doesn’t have a publicly accessible official outage map so far as we can tell, it’s important that you call to report it if you’re affected … let us know what you hear back in terms of a fix. While this doesn’t seem to be as widespread as the infamous June 1st outage, this is the largest number of reports we’ve received since that one.

7:51 AM: Some have theirs back, as noted in comments below. At least one person says on Twitter that theirs came back – then went away again.

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WSB site note: Early-early-morning downtimes for tech upgrades http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/wsb-site-note-early-early-morning-downtimes-for-tech-upgrades/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/wsb-site-note-early-early-morning-downtimes-for-tech-upgrades/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 06:36:52 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320494 Quick note – if you happen to find WSB inaccessible at some point in the next few early-early mornings – we’re expecting a bit of after-midnight downtime for technical upgrades. Our 24/7 news commitment continues regardless, so if any breaking news happens during those downtimes, you’ll find info on our social-media channels, primarily Facebook and Twitter. Thanks, and sorry in advance for the inconvenience!

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Are you on the list? Seattle Public Library has 200 more borrowable wi-fi hotspots http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/are-you-on-the-list-seattle-public-library-has-200-more-borrowable-wi-fi-hotspots/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/are-you-on-the-list-seattle-public-library-has-200-more-borrowable-wi-fi-hotspots/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 03:29:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318257 When we and others published the first announcement of wi-fi hotspots available to borrow from the Seattle Public Library, a long waiting list developed quickly – WSB reader Diane was on it and chronicled the wait. Now, with another grant, SPL has more than doubled the number available, as announced today:

Thanks to an additional $80,000 grant from Google, The Seattle Public Library has added 200 more Wi-Fi hotspots for Library patrons to check out. The devices provide patrons with free, mobile broadband Internet service for three weeks.

The Library used an initial grant from Google to buy 150 hotspots and launched the lending program on May 18. In the first week, nearly 1,000 patrons placed holds on the devices.

“Clearly, even in a high-tech city like Seattle, there is a huge need for additional broadband access,” said Marcellus Turner, Seattle’s city librarian. “These devices help close the digital divide for Seattle residents who live on low incomes.”

Some Library patrons had requested more devices after the initial launch. The Library now lends a total of 326 devices and librarians use another 24 hotspots during outreach programming.

Many patrons believe the Wi-Fi hotspots provide an exciting new spin on the public library system’s foundational service – ensuring equal access to information for all.

“This is the coolest thing ever,” one user commented. “Kudos to The Seattle Public
Library for carrying a traditional mission of libraries into the Internet age.”

The Seattle Public Library is the first public library in the United States to make
the hotspots available to all its cardholders. For more information, call the Library 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

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Speaking of broadband: See what the city’s ‘municipal broadband’ feasibility study says http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/speaking-of-broadband-see-what-the-citys-municipal-broadband-feasibility-study-says/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/speaking-of-broadband-see-what-the-citys-municipal-broadband-feasibility-study-says/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2015 18:23:01 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=312927 We were just talking about broadband options – sort of. Here’s more to consider: Could the city offer it as a municipal utility? The $180,000 study commissioned to look at that question is now out. Here’s the city announcement:

The City of Seattle today released the City of Seattle Fiber-to-the-Premises Feasibility Study, a feasibility study originally commissioned in December 2014 as part of Mayor Ed Murray’s three-part broadband internet strategy.

Read the report here.

And read toplines ahead in the rest of the news release:

“Broadband internet service is a necessity in the 21st century but many Seattle residents don’t have equal access,” said Michael Mattmiller, Chief Technology Officer for the City of Seattle. “This report builds on past studies and take a comprehensive look at whether the City could provide universal broadband service in today’s landscape that is affordable, competitive and equally accessible to everyone.”

In the study, the consultant examined the feasibility of a municipal broadband delivery model, focusing on:

· Reviewing the financial feasibility of constructing and operating a municipal broadband network in Seattle;

· Evaluating the services and applications that are most likely to be utilized over a high-capacity data network; and

· Analyzing current market conditions to gauge consumer interest in a broadband service and the current offerings in the market place.

Less than estimated in previous studies, the report estimates a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) build out to cost $480 – $665 million. To cover these costs, market penetration at monthly service charge of $75 would need to exceed 40 percent, higher than the take rates achieved by any other municipal broadband utility in the country.

Additional findings include:

· The study found that the most feasible approach to constructing and operating a successful municipal broadband utility would be through a joint venture, where the City would work with a partner to create a service that allows the City to maintain its status as a technology leader and provide equity to the public.

· The study looked into the impacts that service price changes, even as minimal as $5, would make on customer subscriber rate and city finances. With a smaller customer base or prices below a $75 monthly charge, financials deteriorate quickly and the City is exposed to significant potential losses. With a proposed service price increase of just $10, raising it to $85 per month, the study found customer interest fell significantly, also exposing the city to substantial risk.

· Incumbents and competitors are moving into the market, offering high-speed and gigabit service to increasing number of customers.

· More than 80 percent of respondents indicated that internet is an essential service, while 30 percent indicated that it is affordable.

Mayor Murray unveiled his three-step broadband approach in June 2014, which he has worked on continuously in that time to reduce regulatory barriers, explore public/private partnerships and examine municipal broadband. Read more here.

The City’s broadband study was performed by CTC Technology & Energy, an independent communications and engineering consulting firm with more than 25 years of experience. CTC was paid $180,000 to complete the study.

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UPDATE: Comcast Internet trouble in West Seattle (and beyond)? No, it wasn’t just you http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/comcast-internet-trouble-no-its-not-just-you/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/comcast-internet-trouble-no-its-not-just-you/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 02:37:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=312095 7:37 PM: No official word from Comcast yet, but its Internet service seems to be having some trouble, not just in West Seattle but elsewhere in the metro area, and in the Bay Area too. We started hearing about it via Twitter a short time ago and it seemed widespread enough to mention here. Also via Twitter, you can see the Comcast support account responding to messages from users.

10:09 PM: Readers report service returning to normal – see comments – and @ComcastWA on Twitter also reported areas “coming back up.” No explanation from Comcast of what went wrong (aside from acknowledgment of what users had reported, that it was a DNS issue).

11:34 PM: GeekWire quotes Comcast as saying its people are “working through a root cause analysis to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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Free Seattle Public Library wi-fi – without being at a branch http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/free-seattle-public-library-wi-fi-without-being-at-a-branch/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/free-seattle-public-library-wi-fi-without-being-at-a-branch/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 23:58:24 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=310837 If you need broadband wi-fi at home or work or school … the library can help. Seattle Public Library unveiled SPL Hotspot today – a program through which you can check out a wi-fi hotspot and use it for up to three weeks. A grant from Google got the library system 150 of the mobile hotspots – you need your own computer to use them, but by midsummer, the system’s getting 75 hotspot-bundled laptops available for checkout too. Here’s how the program works.

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West Seattle Crime Watch: Local resident reports ripoff via router http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/west-seattle-crime-watch-local-resident-reports-ripoff-via-router/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/west-seattle-crime-watch-local-resident-reports-ripoff-via-router/#comments Fri, 08 May 2015 17:56:04 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=309550 A Belvidere resident was hit by a “sophisticated identity theft” that she describes as resulting from “an easily overlooked risk,” and wrote this to warn you about it:

Sometime around the end of April, someone hacked into my wireless router and stole my name, address, WDL#, and SS#. I’ve since discovered that wireless routers have two passwords – one for the wireless signal (which I had locked down), but also one for the router admin itself. The router comes from the factory with a standard login/password, and no instructions for changing it. This is something I overlooked, and this is how the thief got in.

I was first alerted to the theft when I received an email receipt from a store in University Village for a large purchase I didn’t make, on a card I haven’t used in years. I called the store, and they fortunately remembered the woman who made the purchase, and were able to provide a description – a white woman, age 30-35, with long blond hair (not a description of me). She had a WDL ID with her photo and my name and address.

I of course immediately checked my credit reports and set up fraud alerts, and discovered that over a dozen inquiries had been made with my name, and several new cards opened.

It turns out the thief also had a plan to collect the new credit cards and statements. The thief put a vacation hold on my mail at the post office on California & Oregon (using her fake ID), saying she would be back May 15 to pick up the mail. Sure enough, when I figured this out & got my mail restarted, there were the new credit cards and statements.

With further investigation, I discovered that my identity had been used in Puyallup and Everett to open store credit accounts, and that the thief was using a prepaid cell phone purchased in Everett. I also received an alert that my complete information (plus passport # & medical ID #) was for sale on a black-market website.

I’ve filed reports with both the police and postal service investigators.

Just want to emphasize this was a complex and local theft – to get into my router, the thief had to physically be close to my house. Then of course they visited the WS post office, and shopped at nearby shopping centers. Everyone, please check your wireless router admin login and secure it! If you find your information has been compromised, do report it to the police and let them know you’re aware of my case so they can put it all together. I was told the police cannot investigate this kind of fraud without more evidence, more thefts, or a higher amount of actual monetary loss.

Here’s what the Federal Trade Commission says about how to protect yourself from what happened to “Belvidere Resident.”

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CenturyLink 1-gig questions? Info session with cupcakes Sunday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/centurylink-1-gig-questions-info-session-with-cupcakes-sunday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/04/centurylink-1-gig-questions-info-session-with-cupcakes-sunday/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 22:01:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=308725

CenturyLink is sponsoring WSB right now to get out the word that its 1 Gig service has arrived in some areas of West Seattle. You’re invited to a special event to find out more about it this Sunday at Cupcake Royale in The Junction:

On Sunday, May 3, CenturyLink is teaming up with Cupcake Royale to celebrate West Seattle becoming a CenturyLink Fiber Lit Community. CenturyLink invites West Seattle residents to celebrate in the sweetest way possible: by enjoying one of Seattle’s best cupcakes for free (cupcakes available while supplies last). To add a cherry on top, you can also enter to win Taylor Swift concert tickets from KISS 106.1!

CenturyLink is excited to meet you and share more about bringing next-generation Internet speeds up to 1 Gig to West Seattle. The CenturyLink team will be at the West Seattle Cupcake Royale location (4556 California Avenue SW) starting at 11 a.m. on May 3. You can sign up to be notified when your address qualifies for speeds up to 1 Gig by visiting centurylink.com/fiber.

One cupcake per person, and unlimited info about CenturyLink service – just drop in any time between 11 am and 3 pm Sunday.

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Fauntleroy Community Association’s new survey is now online http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/fauntleroy-community-associations-new-survey-is-now-online/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/fauntleroy-community-associations-new-survey-is-now-online/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 01:16:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=305511 From the Fauntleroy Community Association:

Do you live between the Arroyos and Morgan Street? Travel through or do business in Fauntleroy? The Fauntleroy Community Association (FCA) wants to hear from you!

The FCA has prepared a new community survey seeking input to identify and rank local issues. The anonymous survey can be accessed through www.fauntleroy.net and then clicking on “FCA Survey.” The survey takes about 5 minutes, and will provide guidance to the FCA Board on where to focus their efforts during the next two years.

The results from the 2013 survey led to the FCA organizing community meetings with city officials to address crime and traffic issues. Dialogues between residents and officials were constructive and resulted in agreed-upon action plans.

Take the survey and help to shape the future of your community!

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Girls Who Code has room for more this summer – but Friday’s the deadline http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/girls-who-code-has-room-for-more-this-summer-but-fridays-the-deadline/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/03/girls-who-code-has-room-for-more-this-summer-but-fridays-the-deadline/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 07:07:06 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=302874 We got a note today from the West Coast regional director of the nonprofit Girls Who Code, looking for more 10th- and 11th-grade girls to apply for a free summer-immersion program. The catch – the deadline is tomorrow (Friday), so hurry!

Due to exponential growth, Girls Who Code is welcoming additional applicants for its 2015 Summer Immersion Program. Girls in 10th and 11th grade have until tomorrow, Friday, March 6th at 11:59 PM PST to submit their applications for Seattle.

Girls Who Code is partnering with Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Expedia, Google, and Microsoft!

Go to girlswhocode.com/applynow to apply now!

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program represents an innovative approach to computer science education, pairing seven weeks of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with engaging, career-focused mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female entrepreneurs and engineers.

Participation is free and no prior CS experience is required, just an interest in learning more about Computer Science in an encouraging environment.

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You can help! West Seattle High School seeking to connect with tech pros for a bit of volunteering http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/you-can-help-west-seattle-high-school-seeking-to-connect-with-tech-pros-for-a-bit-of-volunteering/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/you-can-help-west-seattle-high-school-seeking-to-connect-with-tech-pros-for-a-bit-of-volunteering/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 07:15:40 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=301991

Do you work in tech – software, or engineering? Can you share your expertise with a high-school teacher and her/his students? Read the letter above from West Seattle High School principal Ruth Medsker and see if you might be able to give a bit of time to boost computer science at her school; if you want to find out more about TEALS first, go here.

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Seattle Public Schools tech ‘Town Hall’ set for March 2 @ WSHS http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/seattle-public-schools-tech-town-hall-set-for-march-2-wshs/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/02/seattle-public-schools-tech-town-hall-set-for-march-2-wshs/#comments Thu, 05 Feb 2015 04:14:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=300188 Something to say about tech at school? Here’s your chance:

Seattle Public Schools wants to give everyone an opportunity to provide feedback and input into the district’s Technology Vision process. To accomplish this we are scheduling five “Town Hall” meetings around the District. One in each of the five major regions …

WEST SEATTLE REGION: Monday, March 2, at West Seattle High School cafeteria

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. so that attendees can browse sample results from the Tech Summit. The structured meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Interested individuals who are unable to attend any of the Town Hall meetings are encouraged to submit their vision, ideas, and comments to techvision@seattleschools.org

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Followup: See what Holy Rosary’s Gator-bots did with your help! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/followup-see-what-holy-rosarys-gator-bots-did-with-your-help/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/followup-see-what-holy-rosarys-gator-bots-did-with-your-help/#comments Fri, 16 Jan 2015 05:50:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=298262

One month ago, we published a request for your help with a student research project – Holy Rosary School students were testing a hypothesis about how people learn about new technology. With almost 700 responses to their online survey, as noted the following week, they proceeded to modify their hypothesis, and win an award. Now, the next step – explained by their coaches:

The Holy Rosary Gator-bots will continue their journey this Sunday by participating in the First Lego League semi-finals at Shoreline Community College. Thanks to the West Seattle Blog and their wonderful readers, the Gator-bots received a lot of great ideas on the project portion of the competition asking the question, How can we improve the way people learn about Technology?

The Gator-bots considered different ways they could help people with technology from the readers responses and finally chose to made a website with step-by-step videos. Their first wave of videos are out on the site for your viewing pleasure at yourtekhelp.com. Please take a look, and we encourage you to sign into the guestbook with your comments! The boys have worked long and hard learning about website technology, video creation technology and video production. Words of encouragement are always appreciated!

And if you come out to Shoreline Community College on Sunday to watch the competition, the first 50 people to mention that they saw the Gator-bots on the blog will receive a Gator-bots button!

Thank you WSB and West Seattle. We feel blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Gator-Bot coaches
Brian Christenson
Rise Pyscher
David Redenbaugh

Good luck, Gator-bots!

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West Seattle Hack Night 2.0: Date set – now it’s RSVP time! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-hack-night-2-0-date-set-now-its-rsvp-time/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/01/west-seattle-hack-night-2-0-date-set-now-its-rsvp-time/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 00:23:36 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=297255

(WSB photo, November 2014 West Seattle Hack Night)
Back in November, the first-of-its-kind West Seattle Hack Night drew a bigger-than-expected turnout at WS Office Junction north of Morgan Junction – and now the date’s set for the next one. The announcement comes from OJ co-proprietor Stefan Hansmire:

The Office Junction will be hosting a FREE computer/coder hack night on Wednesday, January 14th from 6:30-9:00. Snacks and beverages provided. The agenda for the evening will be open – with the goal of fielding participants to learn what kind of applications they are working on so that we can tailor a future class with more focus.

You can RSVP now via the Meetup group set up before the November event – go here.

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Most-commented-on WSB stories of 2014: See who said what http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/most-commented-wsb-stories-of-2014-see-who-said-what/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/12/most-commented-wsb-stories-of-2014-see-who-said-what/#comments Thu, 01 Jan 2015 00:32:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=296166 Again this year, we’ve rounded up the year’s most-commented-on WSB stories. These aren’t necessarily the most important stories (many stories are much-read but little-commented), but we always find it an interesting look back; hope you do too!

#11 – 4-mile, 5-hour closure after Highway 99 crash, June 10, 2014 – 121 comments
****Followup note – This much-scrutinized situation was reviewed at City Hall earlier this month; it’s led to changes including more hours of staffing at the city Traffic Management Center.

#10 – SDOT apologies for ‘scumbag hat’ tweet making fun of West Seattle Bridge drivers, May 5, 2014 – 122 comments

#9 – Barton family eviction/protest, July 18, 2014 – 131 comments
****Followup note – Their foreclosure lawsuit is still making its way through the court system at last check.

#8 – West Seattle Health Club officially open, November 4, 2014 – 137 comments

#7 – West Seattle Athletic Club closes; property owner opening WS Health Club, October 25, 2014 – 140 comments
****Followup note on the previous two – The gym’s popular swimming pool has yet to reopen; management says HVAC equipment is still on the way.

#6 – Terrible Beauty closes abruptly, June 9, 2014 – 143 comments
****Followup note – Westside Public House opened in the space last month.

#5 – Transit-funding Proposition 1 voted down, April 22, 2014 – 149 comments
****Follow-up: The same proposal was sent to just Seattle voters in November and passed.

#4 – Helicopter pursuit of LoJack-equipped stolen car leads to suspect’s arrest – January 31, 2014 – 152 comments
****Followup: The man arrested that night, Nicholas Broughton, was sentenced in September to 4+ years in prison.

#3 – Thousands lose power in windstorm, October 25, 2014 – 159 comments

#2 – Bartons removed again, arrested for trespassing, August 15, 2014 – 193 comments

#1 – Trash truck in Arbor Heights blamed for power outage, September 30, 2014 – 230 comments

Want to look even further back? The 2013 WSB list is here; the 2012 list is here; the 2011 list is here. Thank you for all your collaboration and participation again this year – text or call 206-293-6302 any time – and here’s hoping for an exceptional 2015!

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