technology

Austin
10:38 am
Thu February 16, 2012

What Can Code for America Do for Austin?

An image of Adopt a Hydrant, an app where citizens can volunteer to maintain important city infrastructure.
Image courtesy adoptahydrant.org

Technology is an increasingly inseparable part of everyone’s life. A recent report noted the number of mobile devices on Planet Earth will exceed its population by the end of the year.

But how can people and governments use this change for good? (It’s got to be for more than playing with disgruntled virtual birds, right?) Code for America may have some answers.

Three Code for America volunteers came to City Hall yesterday:  Joe Merante, Emily Wright Moore, and Aurelio Tinio. What is Code for America? It’s “a new kind of public service,” Tinio told the City Council’s Emerging Technology and Telecommunications Committee. Essentially, Code for America fellows work with citizens and governments in select cities to develop civic-minded applications. The organization describes its apps’ features on its website:

1) They are web applications – think Facebook, Yelp, Zillow, or Picnik; 2) They will enable cities to connect with their constituents in ways that reduce administrative costs and engage citizens more effectively; 3) They support the move toward transparency and collaboration; 4) and finally, they are shareable – which means that an application built for one city can be used by any other city.

Read more
Transportation
4:02 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Cap Metro Goes Mobile, But Not In Real Time

Capital Metro is rolling out new signage with QR codes. But real time bus information won't be ready until 2014.
Photo by Wells Dunbar, KUT News

New signs are in place at Capital Metro bus stops around town. But instead of a list of times, they feature an identification number for that specific stop, and information on how to learn more about the next bus arrival. The signs include a quick response (QR) code , which people can scan with their smartphones to open a mobile website containing upcoming arrival times for that individual spot.

It’s a technological step forward for Capital Metro, which is in the process of installing site-specific signs at each of its 2,700 bus stops around Austin.

However, the times Capital Metro displays are the set, static times the transportation agency displays in their schedule books. Real-time information on bus arrivals and departures are still some two years away, the agency says.

Read more
Austin
4:55 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Austin: Good Place for Jobs, Great Place for Techies

Austin salaries rank well among U.S. cities, with tech salaries leading the pack.
Huma Munir, KUT News

A wealth of employment and salary data for the Austin region has just been released, and it confirms Austin has become a high-tech capital.

Read more
Austin
2:11 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Austin Tech Firm Convio Acquired by Competitor

Convio, a firm that sells software tailored to non-profits, was purchased by a competitor today.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/mydigitalslrcamera

Austin based tech firm Convio – which sells fundraising and outreach software to non-profits (including KUT) – has agreed to be purchased by South Carolina-based Blackbaud, a competitor that sells similar software.

The agreement was announced today on Blackbaud’s website. In a press release, the company wrote “The acquisition of Convio will combine the two companies’ strengths to accomplish a common mission – making multi-channel supporter engagement a reality – at a faster pace than either company could achieve on its own.”

Read more
Arts and Culture
4:50 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

The Panopticon Shot Bar: SceneTap Uses Cameras to Survey Nightlife

Smartphone app SceneTap uses cameras and facial recognition software to assess the male-to-female ratio in Austin nightclubs.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/mrjoro

So this is the way we live now: a new mobile application is coming to Austin that rates bars. But instead of relying on user-submitted data like Yelp, it has a network of cameras in participating nightclubs feeding real time information on a club’s capacity and demographics.

That’s the idea behind SceneTap, launching across several Austin bars this Friday.

Read more
Business
11:34 am
Wed June 22, 2011

Austin Will Be Test Market For Mobile Phone Payments

The three largest cellular carriers in the United States are going to pilot near-field mobile phone technology in Austin next year, according to a statement released yesterday. The review aggregator TopTenReviews.com posted the promotional video above, which offers a decent explanation of the technology.

Read more
obituary
12:22 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

LBJ School Internet Policy Expert Gary Chapman Dies Suddenly At 58

Image courtesy LBJ School of Public Affairs

The LBJ School of Public Affairs is reporting that senior lecturer Gary Chapman died of an apparent heart attack yesterday during a kayaking trip in Guatemala.

Read more
Business
11:09 am
Thu December 9, 2010

New Report Says 10 Percent Of Austin Works For Tech Industry

Image courtesy Andy http://www.flickr.com/photos/atmtx/

A report examining the nation's "top 60" high tech cities says Austin has 65,400 tech sector jobs. The Cybercities 2010 report was released yesterday by the TechAmerica Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of a large technology trade association.

Read more
Austin
3:22 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

City Measuring Austin's Tech Savviness With Paper Survey

Austin is known as a high tech hub, but not everyone in the city can afford a laptop. Local officials want to measure that digital divide.
Image courtesy stetted http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunlitrain/

The City of Austin is sending out 15,000 surveys to randomly selected people across town to find out what kind of technology they use.

The survey is not available online, only as a paper questionnaire, so that the results won't skew towards people with home internet access.

Read more
business
5:31 pm
Thu November 18, 2010

Gowalla On Disney Partnership: "We're not about coupons"

These are some of the pins that Gowalla users will be able to collect when they check in at Disney locations.
Image courtesy Gowalla

Austin-based Gowalla announced this morning that it's teaming up with Disney Parks to create a bunch of unique Disney themed locations for the social networking service.

Gowalla is an app that runs on smartphones and allows people to "check in" when they visit any location, from a restaurant, to a park, to a long line at a movie theater. Anyone can create locations, but some are custom made by Gowalla and have their own unique symbol. Checking in earns you a stamp on your virtual Gowalla passport.  Users can also earn pins and various other digital rewards.

KUT News called Gowalla today to talk about the new deal. We spoke with Andy Ellwood, their director of business development.

Read more

Pages