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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013


Science and Technology section

Two Maps - Commuters and Overdoses

Couple of Interesting maps for map and big data lovers:

First up is a visualization of how people commute. Go to the I Like Big Bytes website and set the state and county to Vermont and Windham. You’ll see dots start flying around on the map. You can zoom in, slow things down or speed them up, and adjust the perimeter you are using.

What you’ll see is an animated graphic of showing people going to work and returning home. You’ll also see that the stories of Brattleboro being the hub for Windham County are true, with a rather dramatic shift of people in neighboring towns coming in to Brattleboro to work.

When you are done, go look at a big metropolitan area, such as NY, Boston, or DC.


Zero Energy Now Informational Session

Learn how you can cut energy costs in your home or business by 50% to 100% while taking advantage of up to $7,500 in incentives.

Zero Energy Now is a new, comprehensive energy improvement program, providing efficiency upgrades to your building along with renewable heating (such as heat pumps and biomass), and solar photovoltaics. You can move your home or business toward using zero energy at little or no monthly cost, with energy savings paying for financing. By doing so, you will increase your comfort, cut your carbon emissions, and eventually have virtually no energy costs at all! As an added bonus, up to $7,500 in incentives are available to program participants located in former Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) territory.


Tin Hats

I am prudent enough to protect myself, and sensible enough not to be shamed out of it by scornful mockery. 

At times, ignorant people and paid provocateurs make fun of tin hats. In fact tin hats are obsolete technology — no one talks about them any more — other than to smear those of us who have the good sense to protect ourselves from EMFs, and other electromagnetic dangers. 


Citizen Scientists: Making a World of Difference

Discover how you can observe and monitor the environment in your own backyard!

Almost anyone can be a scientist and help protect our planet – even in their own backyards. Whether someone’s passion is watching hawks, catching butterflies, chasing bugs, or even taking photographs, a workshop Saturday, April 9, in Brattleboro will offer individuals a chance to become a citizen scientist and make a difference in protecting the environment.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and more than a dozen community organizations –governmental and non-profit – will hold a 3-hour workshop showcasing opportunities to get involved with nature and the environment beginning at 9:30 am at the River Garden, 157 Main Street, Brattleboro.


The Occasional Robot Round-Up, Spring 2016 Edition

Time once again to check in with our eventual robot overlords and how they are evolving.

This is prompted by news that Google is hoping to sell off Boston Dynamics, the folks that are building some of the most advanced and scary robots on the planet. Seems that the latest generation have the potential for generating bad press, there are no sellable products in sight, and Google wants to walk away.

Here’s Atlas, one of the more recent human-sized Boston Dynamics creations, walking about, trying to do things, and being abused by technicians. As a commenter pointed out, there will come a time when AI-aware robots will find this video and think about it.


Build A Scalable Startup: Paul Silva, Valley Venture Mentors to Talk about Free Resources (Thursday)

The March Brattleboro Area Tech group meeting will be on March 17th, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, at the River Garden, 157 Main St. Brattleboro, VT. And yes, we'll get to see the newly remodeled River Garden basement.

This month's guest is Paul Silva of Valley Venture Mentors who will give a brief talk about free resources to help you build a scalable startup, with plenty of time for questions.

Anyone working with or interested in technology in the Brattleboro area is welcome to attend.


Thumb Drives Need Labels

Thumb drives and USB sticks are very common. Almost none of them have a space available to write on. 

Thought for the morning: Want to invent something and make some money? Develop a USB drive that has a space for a label, so we can write a note about what's on it. Make it so we can change labels, too, if the contents of the drive change.


Stroll, Technology Group Plan "Tech Salad" Meetup To Explore Business Opportunities

What new business ideas might emerge if a group of local farm and food entrepreneurs explored ideas with a group of local technology experts?

That's what Strolling of the Heifers and the Brattleboro Area Tech group intend to find out at "Tech Salad," a farm-food-tech business workshop on March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden. The goal is of the workshop is to explore opportunities for ways in which these sectors can collaborate and solve problems, including new methods, new markets, new products, and potentially whole new businesses.

Tech Salad is the first of several such workshops planned by Strolling of the Heifers to connect farm and food entrepreneurs with members of various other sectors, as the first phase of Windham Grows, a new Stroll program designed to help launch and grow businesses in the Windham County farm and food sector.


Compelling Speech From Apple

The FBI wants to get inside an iPhone. The owner of the phone was killed in a hail of bullets. Having killed the person with the passcode to the phone, they then instructed the dead person’s employer to try to change the passcode. In doing so, the employer made it more difficult for the FBI to accomplish its goal.

The FBI gets a friendly judge to write an order to the Apple corporation, telling them they must write code to help the FBI break into iPhones. To do so, Apple would need to compromise its security for all customers using the product for legitimate, useful purposes, such as secure banking and communications.

There is certainly a discussion to be had about privacy and security underway, but we might also do well to consider the First Amendment.


Michael Knapp and Green River to host Brattleboro Area Tech meeting February 18

Michael Knapp, CEO of successful Brattleboro computer firm, Green River, will speak at the February 18 meeting of Brattleboro Area Tech. The meeting will take place at 5:30 pm and is hosted by Green River in its offices at 167 Main Street, Suite 103, in Brattleboro.

Green River builds software for sustainability, environmental protection, school improvement, and public health and is thought to be the largest IT development firm in southeastern Vermont..

Michael will speak about the work of Green River, its choice of technologies and his experience running an IT company in Vermont.


Tech Help at Brooks Library

Tech Help is available at Brooks Memorial Library! Cal books half-hour appointments on Mondays between 3-5:00 and 5-6:00.

To book time, contact Cal at (802) 254-5290 x104 or cal@brookslibraryvt.org.

Tech Help with Cal is available every Monday when the library is open. Please note that Brooks Memorial Library is CLOSED for Presidents' Day on Monday 15 February 2016.


Space Shuttle Memories

The Challenger disaster. What memories.

I have a long and odd relationship with the Space Shuttle. Living in Florida in the late 70’s and early 80’s, we were often able to see the shuttle go up even though it was hundreds of miles away on the opposite coast. You could see a trail of smoke trailing a tiny sliver of shininess, and watch the plume arc as the shuttle took off over the Atlantic Ocean.

This was pretty neat for me, having been a space-age kid raised on moon launches and Tang.


Flipshare Users: Can You Help?

I love my Flip video camera, I know Cisco stopped supporting it a couple years ago, but it's been working fine until this week. Flipshare no longer works for me. I'd like to pow- wow with others who have encountered, or better yet, worked through this problem. Anyone out there with a Flip who does not want to give up? Please contact me here or by e mail at info@theresamaggio.com. Thanks. Tego


I Discovered A New Way To Fix A Dripping Faucet

There was a leak from the bathroom sink's cold water tap, which dripped to the floor, making a steady "tick, tick, tick" sound. The drip was intermittent, so I could wipe the water off the floor, and not hear it for awhile but it would always soon begin again.

Every so often, I checked the floor, but seeing no water I put it out of my mind. A couple of days went by with no leak. But then, in a quiet moment, I thought I heard something. I stopped, and listened. Yes, there it was... a faint, "tick, tick, tick." Clearly the two-day reprieve was too good to be true: The leak was back.


Birds and Extinction

    While browsing an old book on birds, published originally in 1897 with several editions through 1916, my attention was caught by a full color plate of the scarlet tanager and I stopped to read the narrative.  The author laments that "the gorgeous coloring has been its snare and destruction.  The densest evergreens could not altogether hide this blazing target for the sportsman's gun, too often fired at the instigation of city milliners...(it) is now only an infrequent splash on our country roads."


Tech Help at Brooks Library

In addition to drop-in hours and as-needed help, 
Brooks Library offers regular weekly and monthly technology support sessions. Appointments are available weekly on Mondays from 3-5 pm with Electronic Services Support Specialist Cal LaFountain.

Drop-in hours are available monthly with Reference Librarian Jeanne Walsh on the First Tuesday and Friday of every month. In addition to direct help from library staff, the library offers free online technology courses, from Computer Basics to advanced applications, via Universal Class, free with your library card.


David Bradbury To Speak About Vermont Seed Capital Fund

David Bradbury, president of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), will speak at the August meeting of Brattleboro Area Tech on Thursday, August 20. The meeting will take place in the Atrium of the Brooks House on Main Street in Brattleboro at 6:00 p.m.

Mr Bradbury will speak about the Vermont Seed Capital Fund and other financing opportunities available to new or growing technology companies in Vermont.

VCET assists technology oriented companies in a number of ways in addition to financing. Plus, it operates incubators for startups at two locations in Burlington and one in Middlebury.


VBike Looking for Electrician/Electrical Engineering Know-How

Hi all,

Some of you might be aware that VBike is in the process of building up a fleet of human/electric-powered hybrid bikes and cargobikes to demonstrate the potential for these vehicles as super-efficient and enjoyable alternatives to automobiles in Vermont. A major focus of VBike is on reengaging our bodies, senses, and emotional connection to the landscape we inhabit. The bicycle is our vehicle for that.

We’re looking for local folks with some expertise in battery technology and electrical engineering to advise us and help with problem solving as we convert our vehicles to e-assist systems. If you have these skills or know of anyone that may fit this description who may be interested in this project, please email us at info@vbikesolutions.org.


Kelly Albrecht To Speak at Brattleboro Area Tech on June 18

Brattleboro Area Tech, a technology networking organization, will spend some time getting to know the Pioneer Valley at its next meeting on Thursday, June 18 at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the Atrium of the Brooks House on Main Street, Brattleboro.

The featured guest will be Northampton’s Kelly Albrecht, founder of a number of IT businesses there, including the Left-click IT consulting firm and Last Call Media, a web development agency. He is also director of the NERD Summit, held each September in the Pioneer Valley.

Mr Albrecht will share his experience organizing technology groups in Massachusetts. His short presentation will be followed by much time for networking.


Galactic Orgy - The Soup of Life

Unbeknownst to science until relatively recently, the ingredients for making the soup of life were brewed elsewhere, not here on Earth. In the beginning of our solar system this “third rock from the sun” was not yet claimed by all living things.It was barren and in upheaval, withstanding violent geologic forces that evolved from a gaseous formation which struggled to solidify itself. Of all the planetary ‘bodies’ in due course that locked into orbital patterns around the immense gravity of the sun, this crusty, molten body assumed a special place in its elliptical orbital radius around this new sun and its recent origin of a complement of planetary complexes.


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