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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

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.


We Are Dead Stars

We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
~Joni Mitchell

Michelle Thaller: “How can you sum up human existence? It turns out it’s really pretty simple.


Bratt Area Techies To Meet May 21

The Brattleboro Area Techies will meet May 21st, 5:30pm at the Estey Millworks Building in Brattleboro. The meeting will be at #118-201 Birge Street in Brattleboro.

Everyone is invited who works with, or is interested in, technology in the Brattleboro area, from makers to programmers to artists.

We’ll meet at Estey Millworks, a huge, mostly empty building behind the Estey Organ factory. This is one of the better options we’ve seen in town for a possible community makerspace. The building has three 4000 sq foot floors, power, heat, a spray booth, freight elevator, views, and a loading dock. Right now a two-person custom furniture company, esteymillwork.com, is the only tenant. They are interested in filling up the building somehow with other maker-type folk.


Brattleboro Solar Summer Campaign Promotes Local Power

Brattleboro homeowners, business owners, landlords, and renters who are interested in going solar will now have even more incentive. Local nonprofits, solar companies, and a credit union are teaming up to launch Brattleboro Solar Summer, a program to assist residents in choosing locally generated solar power.

The campaign will run from May 1 – September 30, 2015, with the goal of increasing the overall number of solar electric installations and the total solar capacity in Brattleboro. The campaign aims to have at least 100 Brattleboro residents and businesses install solar arrays or purchase solar capacity from community solar arrays.


Entergy Will Be Allowed to Shrink EPZ

On March 2, 2015, the NRC Commissioners voted to allow VY to shrink it's Emergency Panning Zone (EPZ) from 10 miles down to the site boundary in ~Arpil 2016. This will eliminate >2 milllion emergency planning dollars per year that Entergy currently provides to Vermont and will allow Entegy to futher reduce site staff at that time.

Link to document

I haven't seen an offical Vermont response yet.


FCC Vote Opens Opportunities

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. In ordinary speak, this is Net Neutrality. It eliminates threats of a multi-tiered system, where certain bandwidth costs more than other bandwidth depending on what you want to access.

The actual rules will be published in the near future, but the impact is a good one for anyone who has, or is wanting to start, a site on the internet. Your site will remain as accessible as all others.


iBrattleboro Poll

Brattleboro is considering a second sidewalk snowplow. That snowplow