USIgnite2014: Day 3: Advice for Communities: Lessons in Engaging Developers

Advice for Communities: Lessons in Engaging Developers panel, with:

  • Andrew Hyder, Code for America
  • Aaron Deacon, KC Digital Drive
  • Bradley Holt, Civic Cloud
  • Lindsey Frost Cleary, Gigabit Community Fund at Mozilla

How are you doing outreach and gigabit evangelism in your community?
Asking what are your problems and how can we use a Gig to solve them?
Code for America; Gigabit advocacy: we identified an app for our community.
Code for America’s National Day of Civic Hacking around June 1. There’s likely a CfA brigade in your City.
We hosted CfA, now Mozilla Gigabit Community, now a connected model hybrid. Many organizations in Kansas City is building a locus, bring disciplines together. Billion Bits: started as hackathon, realization shared that there’s a developer gap for gigabit networks. They’re building for current environment. One Million Cups (Kauffman) community builder.

It’s difficult to mandate across schools, but there are a few like one in a school or one in a library), trying to work with those who are interested. We work with other hive learning communities.

Lots of start-up activities, how do they fit in with Hive and others?
Lindsey: others are interested in supporting each other. CfA has been incredible in connecting with others, organizing.

We’re smallest CfA Brigade, everyone is a civic hacker, all skillsets welcome.

Recruiting support from political and outside areas? Mayor’s office toured, got it. Secrets to get them in? We focus on where we can get traction. We have a network of about 60 people, perhaps 80-100 people have participated. That sounds about average. We want that across the nation. Hackathons on community-building purpose, not by technology. Open Oakland meets every Tuesday in City Hall, making decisions on local policy, contrast with Chicago, 50 people every day a week to build apps.

If someone here is interested, find a local brigade, but what if they don’t find one? At a Google event, Code for Mountain View was being born. We’ll officially give support to groups. Many of important civic apps are data- and database based. If you offer a meet-up, they will come (usually).

Existing developer groups is a good place for recruitment. How do you interface with them? Ecosystem gaps: people focus on what they know. We’re working now on inventory of user groups, different calendars. When we have an event, there’s not a good way to access them all. What are their needs from community perspective, others that don’t interface with community at all–research needed to get a better understanding, build cross-group lists.

Leadership councils? There’s not really councils or locus, needs to be one. Sometimes we need to be the leaders, it’s a lot of work (surveys, research, community management tasks, etc.). It’s the people with specific interests that need support to help them move the energy forward.

Community economic development planning? There is a need for more systematic approach. Bring stakeholders to the table. It’s tough to convince people, new program developments for recruiting people to the community.

What role does the University play, and what needs? Burlington: the local universities do offer support. Universities can offer space–that’s one of the challenges. Lots of potential in universities, student groups for example need to be student run but they fall off with turnover. Computer science: a lot of our work is based on CS but students aren’t always thinking about gigabit environments. Sector expertise is also helpful, especially in leadership roles.


USIgnite2014: Day 3: Advanced Wireless: Untethering Your Gig


Jonathan Wagner, Big Bang. Back in 2009, number of connected devices exceeded # of people using them. Today: 8.5B, in 2020 there will be 212B devices. How are we going to find developers for these? Big Bang is a platform to connect devices: custom software and robotics firmware, cloud service to tie all together. Allows devices to discover each other and interact. LEGO Mindstorms EV3 bricks, Wi-Fi connected, no host required (good for students). Software is open source, is non-destructive to robots. Dashboard telemetry and control, can program in javascript. Going to Raspberry Pi, Arduino, adding low latency video streaming, and code sharing.

Augmented Reality Tools for Improved Training of First Responders

Jeremy Cooperstock, McGill University. Last year in Chicago, this group showed video streaming tools for rapid assessment and response. There are apps for emergency assistance, but won’t work for firefighters who need their hands to work. Hands free, heads up display of current position, temp warnings, text warnings, visual assist, with real-time communications relay to main coordination points, and recording sessions. Responder can switch between two views: heads-up display with temp, text alerts, beacons for other responders. Other view: overhead schematic of building with breadcrumb path and other alerts. Coordinator sees multiple views with overhead. Demo with firefighter. Continuing work.


Bob: What’s a gigabit good for? Makes things much easier. If we had a trainer at your door every day, you’d work out. Connecting fitness trainers with clients. Demo with Fitnet – everybody in audience did a little Fitnet demo exercise. Woo, move those bodies. Trainers need high uplink capacity, consumer needs high download speeds–every 5 minutes is 10 gigabytes. Latency: distributed clock synchronization–multiple iPads sync’d within milliseconds. Remote participant moved in a coordinated manner. Currently they’re looking for neighborhood communities. Now available on iPhones.

Interactive Interface for Remote Physical Therapy

Marge Skubic and Prasad Calyam, University of Missouri. Physical therapy as a service for remote patients. They use Connect for included facilities, including depth camera and video conferencing, sensing. Early detection of health changes (before people know) produce better health outcomes at lower costs. Patient view and therapist view (with voice commands) both have split screen. Demo from two locations. Network performance: instrumentation of overlapping signals, network analytics with active and passive measurements.

SeaCat: SDN End-to-End Application Containment

Kobus Van der Merwe and team. Everything is networked and increasingly mobile, including healthcare. People want to use devices for many purposes, but shared devices; families use and download malware, a problem. Current approaches are inadequate. Requirements and regulations vary across relevant areas. Their approach: combine SDN and applications as inter-domain SDN interaction tie-in as semi-trusted, with sensitive data in special containers. Different threat model: concerns include unauthorized access or data leakage, resource guarantees, denial of service. Architecture: linux containers, move retular apps into default containers, minimize trusted computing base to only SeaCat trusted daemon to create new containers and management of endpoints. Similar for enterprise network containments. Status and plans: working prototype, focus on access to electronic health records (but broader applications), exploring taking it beyond prototype.


USIgnite2014: Day 3: Interview with Gigi Sohn, FCC

Announcement by Bithika Khargharia, Extreme Networks and US Ignite partnership: SDN Innovation Challenge. Remote medical is only one compelling use case, need low latency programmable networks that orchestrates and manages networks at various levels between Platform APIs and Network Infrastructure. Ideas welcome by Sept. 10, Pitch Oct. 20, Finalists announced Oct. 31, Implement starting Dec. 3, Demo and Award Ceremony next June 23.

Announcement by Gabriel Sidhom, Orange Silicon Valley: Orange GigaStudio: create a gigabit testbed in San Francisco for the startup and tech community to explore high bandwidth apps and foster innovation in immersive technology. July 31: Gigabit Spotlight, Fall 2014 Hackathons and other activities.


Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch interviewer.

Alex: Your experience at the FCC? Gigi: exceeding my expectations. I’m a lawyer, having worked at Public Knowledge (advocacy). This is my first turn, is intense. Mergers, open Internet, broadcaster’s spectrum. I’m enjoying it.

Alex: Net Neutrality? Gigi: last time FCC tried to adopt new rules was 2010, recent work struck down by a court. National attention is because Internet has become central to their lives, they want fast, robust, and affordable Internet. Mergers create anxiety. I’ve talked to the protesters. Lots of anxiety over consolidation. It’s exciting that people care so deeply about what we do.

Alex: John Oliver’s video, calling him a dingo. Mismatch about public perception about Chairman Wheeler. Gigi: superficial look at Wheeler’s resume to say “he was a lobbiest.” He has a wider variety of experience on both sides. He’s a history buff, and knows about disruptive technologies. He’s really independent-minded, didn’t need this job. We share same values. He believes in being open. Want this to be a responsive office.

Alex: tension around the term “net neutrality?” Gigi: what should the scope of this term be? Should only apply to last mile. Comments from the public: we ask if it should include different things. What John Oliver video got wrong: intimated that there were rules in place that Chairman was taking away. We’re proposing rules. Lots of misinformation about process and substance of procedures. Open Internet rules apply to last mile, but should it extend to interconnection points? Traffic exchange points? Peering specifically. People don’t want prioritization of last mile. Title II of Telecom Act, vs Section 706 — this is where the debate is.

Alex: Is it possible for paid prioritization to coexist? Gigi: we don’t know yet. May be some that we like. Heart monitors, sign language data. My feeling is that those are not the kind of things people worry about; they worry about their services. Everything is up for grabs.

Differences of opinion about what our legal authority should be. There are lots of variations of gray. Big questions, comments for no paid prioritization in the commercial sense, lack of competition in last mile.

Alex: Google Fiber, community broadband? Gigi: Chairman believes that communities should decide for themselves. We can’t preempt states, but we have localities that want to build out, including to areas that are unserved by incumbents, who come to us. Community brodadband has been mischaracterized. Lafayette and Chattanooga already had untility companies so it wasn’t a big stretch. But to bring another provider in to build for a community is also often prohibited.

Alex: Challenges on the horizon? Gigi: more visits from localities interested in this. Universal Service Fund, access to services generally, digital divide.

Alex: Chairman proposed $1B to help get kids on the net. Wi-Fi, why now? Gigi: e–rate program started in 1996 to fund schools and libraries. 18 years, no changes. Same should be for e-rate: he wants it to go to broadband, not pagers and email. We visited a classroom where each student had a chromebook. It’s abundantly clear that Wi-Fi is needed. He wants to reform the system to make sure that e-rate funds go further: group funds for better buying, more effective spending. Also make system less burdensome to applicants–make applying online. With these ideas, we can save $1B in next few years. Pushback to raise cap on e-rate funds from $2.4B yearly, but we want to reform the system before putting more funds in. Chairman knows how to read a spreadsheet.

Alex: less comments on spectrum auction? Gigi: tell stories about dropped 911 calls that couldn’t go through because of lack of spectrum. Hasn’t been done in incentive auction process. We need to make sure broadcasters give their spectrum back–bigger carriers have figured out that scarcity is more valuable. Can’t make calls from many buildings.

Alex: Five years, still at FCC? Gigi: no idea.


USIgnite2014: Day 2: Sector Networking and Roundtable Discussions

Who else is working in your sector? Group discussions.

  • Public safety
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Clean energy
  • Healthcare
  • Education and Workforce Development


Lead: Tom Eppenberger, Kaiser Permante Research


Question re: putting equipment in remote location and network to be able to collect data that is actionable. Fitnet is looking to put tablets in, using advanced wireless to collect data. Sprint is a natural fit because they’re headquartered in Kansas City. Testing 4G hotspot, working pretty well. SciWynet is interesting, NSF funded. Eldercare monitoring is fixed in home, using regular networks; also a set up as a living laboratory with fiber network. Tomorrow they’ll show an interactive interface for remote physical therapy, private homes that have Google fiber. Network requirements in eldercare: regular networks carry data to their server, also instant alerts sent back. Legal matters and privacy data is limited (by law?); they use what people have (e.g., SMTP). The higher level of data gives more info (of course).

Question: HIPPA compliance, yes is required, also webtracks(?) for immunizations and other compliance requirements by Hospitals.

Bragging right: HIPPA (core thing), by covered entity, who is collecting health data–if data is shared, notification requirements getting faster. Not good consistency about what HIPPA compliant is. Tele-housecalls app is running on Amazon, wasn’t possible last year but now is as reserved instances. Headed in a good direction. General best standards? Groups working on this? Is very local. Data at rest is not officially a HIPPA requirement, but it’s good practice.

Research and human protection: large scale identification of de-identified still may not be anonymized enough. Differs across institutions. Who is going to be the entity taking liability? So many people involved. Users of software: most of cases, someone loses a laptop or otherwise by employees. Hospital, covered entity, carries the insurance for that. But hospital goes to vendor for assurances, less concern because “it’s cloud based,” people getting used to the idea that data is moving around. In Kansas City, most of the data is hosted locally. Kaiser: looking at cost, mobility of data. IT risk players and all say yes, but lawyers have historical precedent about dealing with historical perspectives and concerns. Who runs the business, lawyers or doctors?

Public best practices and standards? Unlikely, because of legacy agreements, who signs (Kansas City is the State of KS) and being subject to state rules, non-profit vs for profits vs research institutions.

Where is the comity between organizations? not automatic acceptance but given weight, special rules to their organizations, IRB vs compliance. That exists but not perfectly yet in IRB. Reciprocal referral agreement, loose agreement that one group takes lead and communicates changes and updates. Four to five institutions on board, another 4 or 5 coming along. Research approval vs HIPPA. Technology compliance? It’s not enough to “be HIPPA compliant” — seven pages of requirements in eldercare case. Will healthcare community share their requirements? Have they been shown as complaint with larger hospital standards. Vendors may have already deployed for other institutions, but “our team” may not be satisfied with that, other priorities. Checklist or process that multiple providers could agree to might be possible.