Monday, June 23, 2014

A #hackforchangeSea leftover: homelessness, SDOT front end jottings

still pitching my get me help in my language app

sneakernet information transfer and meeting crosspollination:
Bicycle alliance interest in requests to city to do bike racks
telecom providers also ask SDOT   SOOOOoooo what can be done to move both streams faster?

mental health mental health mental health

signal events
--medical emergencies....

Criteria: get help to individuals or do community measures.

Policy level harder than just data.....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Citations. Blueberry Syrup. Batman

RantWoman is reflecting on a story she heard recently on her public radio station. The story is about publication of doctors' billings through Medicare and about a guy who has created a website to give seniors what they want. RantWoman did not have a writing implement handy when the story aired and the website has some generic name that RantWoman will have trouble fishing for with a search engine.

For amusement RantWoman started by putting one of the takeaway phrases from the story "Make the print really big" into her preferred search engine. As with the find the content in one's own language, one quite frequently would need to know how to make the print big just to read the search engine results, but never mind for now.

The story is, economists, technologists, point-headed bean counters assume that if doctors' billing data is published, PATIENTS will go look for the most efficient doctor. The guy featured in the story found out, by hanging out among all the seniors who dine at IHOP wiht his 4-year-old in a batman suit, that people tend to like their doctors. Plus changing doctors is a big pain. So, no, people are not necessarily motivated by the release of vast oceans of new data.

And the next learning: people want information about procedures they might be facing and choices.

And they want the print Really Big, both on the screen and when things get printed out!

And they really like the blueberry syrup!

Let's hear it for giving people what they want!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Skype instant translation might not save us: #hackforchangeSea followup

RantWoman finally went and read or tried to read the article in Forbes about Skype and machine translation.

RantWoman tried to read in too much of a hurry and got lost in all the content her screen reader sometimes reads that RantWoman does not really care about. Sigh.

RantWoman gets that the demo is in German. RantWoman's command of German runs heavily to Bach choral texts and a smattering of other terminology. RantWoman is in no position to evaluate the Skype demo. RantWoman is also a machine translation skeptic.

Plus, at National Day of Civic hacking, RantWoman was not relaly looking for machine translation vaporware. RantWoman is looking for easy ways for people whose first language is not English to find the professionally translated content that is already out there. Word

But RantWoman had good conversations and appreciated lunch!

RantWoman also rates the serving utensils has greatly improved over another Hackathon from awhile ago.

Upo n further mature consideration, RantWoman is wondering how well relying only on Skype would hold up in domains where there are few speakers of a language and the content even of something like a customer service encounter can be idiosyncratic. If RantWoman is going to wonder about this, perhaps she should go do some research her own darn self.


#openstreetmap Tags from inadvertant use cases

RantWoman has unintentionally and unconventionally been writing use cases about different things to do with disability and getting around for awhile all over another blog,

Possibly topical tags from that blog:

Da Bus


Walkability and Pedestrian Issues

put in search bar:



Saturday, May 3, 2014

Democracy, counted HOW?

RantWoman posts these items witn the intention of also gathering content about different approaches to counting used when some guidance is needed about group sentiment for some kind of public decision.

Assembly publics and the problem of hegemony in consensus decisionmaking

A Wikipedia item about a meeting management approach called Progressive Stack

Urban Shield Program willnot make Boston any safer

Those who know RantWoman will not be surprised to see things posted headed teh direction this piece goes.

However this piece is posted here with an eye to civic hacking / transparency / opportunities for grassroot initiative.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mechanical Turk to end homelessness

Note from March 19 Meetup:

RantWoman does not remember name of guy who wants to pitch at Startup Weekend about some kind of brokering system to plug homeless people into Mechanical Turk.

Maybe RantWoman is misstating the idea but at the moment RantWoman is wondering what sort of human interventions would make this seem doable and interesting to people who are homeless and how this would contribute to a pathway away from homelessness. Who might support people working this way and help them on their path out of homelessness?

RantWoman notes two interesting facts in Seattle:

--There IS a housing option for "chronic inebriates." Anecdotally, many of the people who have gotten placed there, as soon as they had confidence in the stability of the situation, have realized they are interested in treatment and in other steps.

--What interventions that are new and different might cut down the reasons peole cycle in and out of homelessness?

--What would be the increased purchasing power / increased access to housing effects of raising the minimum wage?

--RantWoman notes a conversation from an earlier meetup. RantWoman is part of a worshipping community that houses a SHARE shelter. RantWoman had a conversation with someone else who noted that not every homeless person is digitally excluded. For some homeless people, KEY gear include a laptop, a good raincoat, and some kind of good bag or backpack.

#openstreetmap Use cases: jottings

"I meant to bang out some use cases for different categories of #openstreetmap trips involving people with disabilities, various mobility devices, needs to haul things like groceries or equipment, various transit modes, people new to an area, people very familiar, environment in usual status quo state vs disruptions due to construction... Did not happen yet but would be happy to talk more."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

#openstreetmap notes March 5

Thought questions:
--How might routings based on #openstreetmap use info from Metro accountability center
--Imagine n ontology based on federated data where aps as above use equivalent sources from other jurisdictions where applicable.
--apps might generate routing suggestions with options to drill down and see waht data is included and MAYBE insert urls to add info and recalculate.
--Estimated time interval to travel for chosen configuration of travelers
--Probability of getting there in specified interval.
Notes from March 5 Meetup:

Plenty of interesting stuff even though I don't write code anymore.
Tonight chatted up Al Boss about a report King County does on paper about ACCESS paratransit. Transit Advisory Commission would like most of the time to see only about 10-15 numbers off a report that is UGLY and has acres of numbers in tiny print. Probably also would like to see the current narrative.

Point of this request is for public to monitor ACCESS performance issues, maybe see if Metro is getting handle on high cost / ride and on customer satisfaction issues.
Al suggests getting the numbers into so public can create custom view and doing something else I did not fully track to keep the narrative linakable with each month's numbers. Stay tuned.

This is no big giant global ontology mumblety mumblety  but here's hoping it would be getting the right data into people's hands so the public can act on the information.

Anyway great conversation and followup email already sent to get ball rolling further.

Postscript: here is link to Metro Accountability Center.

Worthwhile just to pick some measures and have human eyes look at for a few months and see what suggests itself.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hack to End Homelessness conversation, March 5

Notes from March 5 meeting at Socrata, Chat with Candace Faber  about Hack to End Homelessness and what rattled out of head on the way home: Please note: these opinions are my own and do not reflect anything one way or another for people I spoke to.

What questions / projects to focus on?
--Big global? Small things with potential for big impact? Long duration or ad-hoc that might or might occur more than once, perhaps with iterative modifications?
--What are topical open data resources and what will open data  tell us about?
--How can info obtainable through open data channels be applied to improve services, time to get different services, efficiency of processes? How can these improvements be achieved even if hack against homelessness folks would not necessarily be permitted access to organizational data or be able to do matching at client level?
--As a policy analysis / problem framing exercise, what all different privacy provisions apply to different streams of  client / customer data
Some big issues:
--privacy / confidentiality: barriers to data sharing.
--client / customer reluctance and options not to share
--fuzzy matches across data sources.
--Think OLAP cube with dimensions by which analysis values can be sliced and diced. That is don't think customer level data

How do we know it works?
--How can info obtainable through open data channels be applied to improve services, time to get different services, efficiency of processes? How can these improvements be achieved even if hack against homelessness folks would not necessarily be permitted access to client level or organizational data?
Does the problem need coding or just people who think like coders?
--story of person who realized that allowing people to complete form online and then print a copy to carry with them visiting different agencies would be valuable: anecdotal comment that dramatically shortened time between enrollment in homelessness program and finding housing.
--how to define ad-hoc analysis variables such as the time interval in the example above?

What might be valuable to service providers whetehr or not there is open data to support:
--tickler lists so staff with direct contact can review with client progress in dealing with multiple agencies and service needs
--OLAP cubes. Did I mention OLAP cubes, analytic datasets for slicing, dicing, summarizing.
--process mapping?
--development of administrative processes to use and manage volunteers with specific skills such as enhancing organizational websites

Example analysis question where open data might generate helpful insights:
--Assume a homelessness / social services agency interacts with transportation system and there are data available about transportation delays daily, hourly... How over periods of weeks or months do things like travel times over key parts of the transportation network, or say overcrowing on key bus routes affect clients' ability to move past milestones associated with their programs?
--Would just thinking through this model yield insights that could be used even if no code ever gets written?
--What would be some dollar figures which with right dimensions added could be monitored as other parts of service delivery system work or get adjusted?

Some links!forum/hubsters-against-homelessness

Monday, March 10, 2014

Just what the world needs: another dang RantWoman blog

This blog is RantWoman's electronic notebook related to participation in technical and open data Meetups and hackathons.

RantWoman aspires to create:
--A place RantWoman can reliably find things she has done previously in a format she is familiar with and does not have to spend a lot of time learning a zillion different interfaces.

--links she can use in other fora when she has more than 1000 characters of something to say.

--tags that are clean and correct use of technical terms rather than the eccentric and idiosyncratic tags used on RantWoman's other blogs, findable through RantWOman's profile.

--clear explanations when RantWoman despite her sincere efforts otherwise winds up creating some off-the-wall eccentric tag after all.

--content that is reasonably comprehensible to an audience that might not care about all the outrageous opinions RantWoman voices in her other blogs.

--technically themed tags for some entries in RantWoman's other blogs.

--concise resources for people RantWoman keeps wanting to introduce to the big bad world of accessibility. RantWoman notes: the aim for this blog is not always global accessibility but sometimes only the accessibility needed for RantWoman to collaborate and contribute.

--A bridge where people whose lived experience qualifies them as subject matter experts can find ways to talk to hackers and coders and people wanting to make a difference.

--Hopefully also a fun and constructive read.

RantWoman, why do you talk about yourself in the third person?
--I don't know. I might figure out how to stop, but sometimes the in-person version manages NOT to say all the things that come into RantWoman's head.
--Sometimes I need plausible deniability when for instance I am collaborating with people under my  own name whom RantWoman would definitely make nervous or in some professional capacity where real names are required.

Why RantWoman?
I am really fond of my given name because I was named after two wonderful women. So I do not want to give it up. However, it is just awkward sometimes.

But don't you worry that "RantWoman" will scare people?
Sometimes. RantWoman is fond of telling people just to cope.

#codeacross #codeacrossSea #HackAgainstHomelessness #a11y