Stopped by Amazon Day-1 for a quick tour and a banana!

Got a chance to swing by Amazon Day-1 to say hi to a few friends.


And if you are going to ask, we did NOT meet in the new Amazon Spheres.


However, I did see the famous Banana stand – It’s totes real!!!!!

Aside from their new drone delivery (Amazon Air), there was lots of discussion on the new Amazon HQ2 location.

Yo Jeff, I got some ideas.


Special thanks to Suz and G-crew for the quick tour and banana.


Now, about that Amazon Fire thingy…

@rusnivek

First looks at my #Spectacles From #SnapChat Part-1

Here’s my first observation with SnapChat’s #Spectacles

They are big. Here’s a comparison from my Spectacles vs an ordinary pair of Oakley Holbrook sunglasses.


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Obv featuring an Engine and a Squad.

Yeah yeah, I know they are now called Snap, but I believe if you reference “Snap” this is what most everyone thinks.

More tomorrow peeps.

@rusnivek

 

I tried Facebook Live and learned this #SMEM #LESM #HCSM #PIO Safety-PIO-SM-16-002

Did some Facebook Live today w/ Denver International Airport’s Exercise Program Coordinator Ashlee Herring.


Fun stuff esp since we recorded it in Terminal A. (Totally in the airport wild!)

Found out a few things about Facebook Live:

1. First off, the viewing screen is square. That does make it difficult since most TV stations and broadcast media are doing things in landscape mode and want to fill the entire screen. Also, I doubt your TV at home is square right?

2. Turn off cell service. An inbound phone call (like I got one at 6:23). The phone call will stop the broadcast and force you to restart the broadcast. Basically, looks like a hiccup in the video.

3. No matter the environment, an external mic is necessity. Ambient noise would have overtaken the native iPhone mic being used.
4. Questions that were asked in real time would be hard to see from on-camera subjects. If we had a stand, it would have been easier to read questions and respond to them.


5. Also brings me to the next point about “liking” comments that people have added. I barely could do that w/ my fat fingers on the iPhone screen (far right). So perhaps another person behind the camera to Marshall the comments and engage w/ participants.

6. If there were any, I couldn’t see the real-time floating emoticons.

7. Because of the size issue, maybe consider using an iPad for Facebook Live broadcast. Tiny screen on iPhone 6 does not allow for much room for tap error. #FatFingers

8. Without the ability to add hyperlinks in the video, I was relegated to using paper flags created from chopsticks to identify audience questions. This could prove challenging because we often want to drive our audiences to a website, blog, or other reference info.

9. A solid platform or tripod is a necessity for a camera. Despite your cool guy Otterbox case being heavier, it will not stand up to the lightest breeze (reference my previous periscope fail due to high winds).

10. Front facing lighting on subjects is a necessity. Even though the airport has SO much light, we obviously we’re too dark. Think of othe complexities in a nighttime broadcast or challenging weather. Those kinds of environments will force you to be a solid tech guy carrying around a lighting package.

11. Remote actuation doesn’t work so my Bluetooth remote starter will not actuate (or turn off) Facebook Live. Perhaps this is a feature that Facebook is working on in the next update, but at this time, you have to awkwardly push push button to stop live broadcast.

12. In the beginning of the broadcast, you need to allow for some time for people to join in and get acclimated to the newer platform. Similar to a cconference call, people need to get situated. I know it’s Facebook, but it’s still different for those who are watching/participating.

13. Sadly, it had a similar feeling to conference call.

14. Unsure if any hashtags would have helped as I was not looking for more audience members. But I assume Facebook’s lack of # use will not be a driving force of users who search Facebook for hashtags to watch live videos.

15. I did not turn on Facebook’s location – but I doubt people at Denver International Airport would have watched it since we were only talking not “breaking news” or “emergency updates” right?

16. Similar to live on-scene broadcasts, you are going to have to do a mic/sound check. We found our mic to be a bit hot and maybe dual lapel mics would have worked better for sound.

17. For those PIOs who are thinking about going this route, you definitely need an opener and a closer to help acclimate those who join late.

18. I am not sure how Facebook is going to make their live broadcast 508 compliant.

19. Facebook Live ATE UP MY BATTERY!!!! I had to plug my iPhone into an external battery pack so that I could keep broadcasting. Plug in before you start broadcasting.

20. WiFi. I was specifically testing it on Airport WiFi to see if public WAPs would hold signal enough for a broadcast. According to some of your feedback, it seeems to be intermittent cutouts and audio drops. That’s not good for a formal speech. Perhaps a consistent WiFi connection or at least a solid 4G LTE.


21. Facebook’s adds that followed the video posting were completely off. Facebook apparently gleaned orbs, DIY, recipe, cheesy, and buffalo chicken lasagna. Clearly NOT what we were talking about in the video. Maybe their voice recognition isn’t working quite yet.

Oh well, just a few of my thoughts on one of the initial runs on Facebook Live.

Do you have Facebook Live?

@rusnivek

FireChat – First look 

FireChat – First Look
There has been lots of discussion about mobile message apps using MESH networks. Just like my deployment to Hurricane Katrina/Rita in Louisiana’s Lower 9th Ward, we had no cell service which means no internet. Common in disasters, many startups are looking to bridge that gap using Bluetooth/MESH networking for any type of mobile technology.


MESH networks literally work by using other devices in your general vicinity to relay/transmit data to any available network. Devices can automatically network with each other via flood technique (overwhelming) or routing technique (hardware hoping). To put it into terms that we in government are more used to hearing, this type of networking is considered a mobile ad-hoc network that can operate independently with little or no internet connection.

Some advantages include internet use with at least one actual connection, increasing local networking by locality through mobile hardware, and of course an automatic mobile-to-mobile network.

Some dangers include lack of security, mobile device protection, connection reliability, and as the MESH network grows the more prolonged data delays occur.

Soooooooooooo, just like when ello was released, I downloaded the app and started using it. I engaged with various users over the course of the last 4 weeks. Here’s my notes.

  • GPS data is incorrect. I was in Dallas’ airport and it pegged me in Natchitoches, LA.
  • Bluetooth is another way for MESH networks to communicate but strength of mobile-mobile connections is fleeting/passing in an airport
  • Hyperlinks do work.
  • When you upload a picture, FireChat does NOT give a confirmation message or pop-up that your picture is uploaded (I found this out because I uploaded my picture six times before I realized what was happening). #whoopsies

  • Aaaaand you cannot erase pictures.
  • Users cannot erase comments.
  • Hashtags help users identify topic and discussion.
  • Hashtags are hyperlinked in FireChat to those specific groups.
  • Twitter handles do NOT hyperlink to Twitter accounts
  • Phone numbers hyperlink to phone app (list using xxx-xxx-xxxx). It also works using the xxxxxxxxxx format but it looks cleaner and easier to recite w/ natural “-” breaks.
  • FireChat does not allow cut/paste function.
  • GPS coordinates do not hyperlink to any maps (Apple Maps or Google Maps)
  • USNG does not work either.
  • Refresh rate is slow (when compared to Twitter’s network refreshes faster and is more streaming).
  • In a known dead spot for cell service, MESH network was slow and did not connect to internet.
  • Trolls are rampant and uncontrolled in the main chatroom.
  • Main chatroom has various and NSFW topics.
  • Many users do not identify themselves with a profile picture or descriptor.
  • Many users are using this service as a social network for personal PERSONAL reasons.
  • Bad words are censored on FireChat with “*****”. Unknown what those specific terms are.
  • You can like a comment from others or about yourself. Other users can see that someone has liked the comment/content by the red heart displayed. No amount is quantified. Just one lonely red heart.

If Emergency Management was to use FireChat, designate a specialist to monitor to observe and engage pertinent conversation in main chat room directing them to distinct #group in FireChat.

At this time, I only use FireChat when I’m bored and want to see if they have developed other functionality tools.

Just a few initial thoughts on FireChat.

@rusnivek

My day at the White House #WHSMEM #SURINDC #DisasterTech

The top Emergency Managers from across the country were invited to the White House on Tuesday July 29, 2014 for the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative. I am so fortunate to be invited to this momentous event.

The best-of-the-best Emergency Management officials met with leaders from the technology industry to discuss tools and general methods being used during disasters.

Wait, did you say the White House invited Kevin Sur? Yes. Official invite to the White House. Check!

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#OMG – #Holycow.

The event was coordinated by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and The National Security Council (NSC). This event will bring together technologists, entrepreneurs, and members of the disaster response community to showcase tools that will make a tangible impact in the lives of survivors of large-scale emergencies. The White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative was first launched by the Administration in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to find the most effective ways technology can empower survivors, first responders, and local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal government with critical information and resources.

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Waiting in line to go through security was quite boring, but since I was with all the top Social Media Emergency Management peeps…it was only appropriate for us to take one of these.

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(From L to R) @schuback @sct_r @CherylBle @MaryJoFly @ENeitzel @rusnivek

#WHSMEM #SURINDC #DisasterTech

The morning was filled with 5 different workshops. I was selected to attend the User-Centered Design workshop that was to identify challenges where innovation can improve community preparedness and resilience.

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Great discussion amongst peers from all over the county including my friend Alicia Johnson (@UrbanAreaAlicia) who highlighted the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management new program SF72.

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My takeaways from the morning workshops? We need to continually evaluate the preparedness efforts in each community as there is no constant. Aside from quantifying preparedness (which is almost virtually impossible), we need to seek alternate ways to better serve our communities including ones who have distinct challenges.

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I have 3 specific items that I need to work on: Community Preparedness Evaluation tool/matrix, a tiered plan to reward “preparedness”, and Preparedness pack program. More on these possible programs later.

After a quick lunch, we headed to the main conference room.

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Before the event started, former FEMA Deputy Director Richard Serino and I were cracking jokes at dinner last night…so he decided to sit behind me and continue to poke fun/make jokes. So since he’s a tech guy, we decided on a #selfie to commemorate our time at the White House.

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If you ever get the chance to meet Rich in real life (IRL)…you should. He’s awesome.

Side note: As we were about to start, all of our mobile devices and cell phones were having small connectivity issues. I think I figured it out first…Marine-1 was inbound to the WH with POTUS for his press briefing on the South Lawn regarding the issues in Gaza.

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Back to our #DisasterTech event!

Senior Advisor to the White House CTO Brian Forde started out the afternoon session.

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And since this was a technology event, it was the US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park who gave the opening remarks. Additionally, the new DHS FEMA Assoc Admininstrator Joe Nimmich gave the keynote speech.

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Numerous Federal agencies and private companies presented their latest tools and apps that have been used. CTO Tony Surma from Microsoft Disaster Response who discussed the information they used from the Boston Bombing.

Side bar: Later in the afternoon, I got a chance to talk one-on-one to the folks from Boston regarding their response. Inspiring stories in the face of adversity…

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VP of Technology Kevin Busque from TaskRabbit and the Director of Public Policy and Civic Partnerships Molly Turner from Airbnb and my friends from San Francisco and Portland.

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Nice work Alicia!

Director of Public Policy and Market Development Padden Murphy from Getround, Technology Lead, NGA readiness, Response, and Recovery Group Raymond Bauer from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA), and Deputy Assistant Secretary William Bryan from the US Department of Energy (DOE) talking about the Lantern Live program.

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Government Partnerships Manager Ryan Mannion, SeeClick Fix, Associate Director for Natural Hazards Dr David Applegate from the US Geological Survey, Associate Division Director Dr. Paul Lemieux from the National Homeland Security Research Center at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), AAAS Fellow on Data and Innovation Dr. Meredith Lee from the US Department of Homeland Security, and Product Manager in Crisis Response and Civic Innovation Nigel Snoad from Google who gave a compelling update on their Crisis Mapping projects which have millions of live hits per minute. Nigel’s presentation was powerful and reminds all of us, hands down, that we need open standard data with every technology platform.

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Following Google was Technology Integration Officer Al Gembara at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) talking about his deployment to the Philippines and then CEO and Founder Yo Yoshida from Appallicious who pulled information from FEMA’s Ready.gov site during disasters for information on what to do.

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National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Karen DeSalvo from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Senior Director Maryfran Tyler from NPR Labs who had a great piece of hardware using preexisting technology for populations with disabilities in alerting using a tablet and a box device that works over radio…yes I said radio. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I think this one might be a must have for all EMs to participate in rolling out to their communities.

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IMHO, I didn’t like presentation given by Chief Information Officer Bryson Koehler from The Weather Channel because it gave the perception that private industry was taking over notification for public safety agencies. Ahem, to be clear, this is the job of the National Weather Service (NWS).

Following was presentations from External Affairs Specialist Kristin Hogan Schildwachter from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, and Developer Evangelist Robert Lackey from Twilio.

Closing out the day, we heard from the Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers from DHS and the Deputy Homeland Security Advisor Rand Beers of the White House National Security Council.

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After these short presentations in the afternoon, we got a chance to talk to each of these companies and see their tech first hand. Overall, I have several favorites from today, but I believe that we as Emergency Management should continue to push for open data sharing and cross-platform compatibility.

Trust me, I get the private sector stuff…all about profit margins and of course making wads of money. After quick meetings with FEMA Administration including Administrator Fugate’s staff, we should continue to share for free what is right for all victims of disaster.

As far as I know, I was the only representative from Ohio to attend and I am truly honored to be invited to the White House to represent these great initiatives.

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Without question, I am excited to be a part of this technology that will no doubt one day save lives before, during, and after a disaster.

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@rusnivek