Techie Transformations | Tech | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It
Favorite

Techie Transformations 

Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont Tech Jam

Burlington has lots of nicknames: Queen City, BTV and “The People’s Republic of Burlington,” come to mind. On Tuesday, October 15, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger called a press conference to announce another one he really hopes will catch on: New England’s Gigabit City.

The moniker refers to the speed at which Burlington Telecom’s fiber-optic network can transmit data. A typical internet connection is measured in megabits; most broadband users probably operate at speeds between two and 20 MB per second. A gigabit is 1000 megabits. In other words, Burlington Telecom can provide users with an unusually fast connection.

For years, the story about BT has been about its financial problems and mismanagement; now the city is hoping to shift that conversation to show off what the network can actually do.

“We think it’s time to move forward with this conversation,” Weinberger told the crowd of 50 or so gathered for the announcement at Dealer.com.

The city is getting help from a national initiative called US Ignite, which has chosen Burlington as one of its partners. The nonprofit promotes and provides operational resources for a growing number of cities with super-fast fiber networks, such as Chattanooga, Tenn., and Kansas City, Kan.

US Ignite executive director William Wallace joined Weinberger at the press conference. He said the group selected Burlington because of its fiber network and the presence of institutions such as Champlain College and the University of Vermont that could help spur the development of applications that take advantage of the city’s gigabit connection.

Weinberger and Wallace will explain more about US Ignite, and what it could mean for Burlington, at the 7th annual Vermont Tech Jam, this Friday and Saturday at Burlington’s Memorial Auditorium. Seven Days organizes this free job fair and tech expo with the Vermont Technology Alliance. The city of Burlington is sponsoring the event, in part to highlight its newly announced US Ignite connection.

This Tech Issue of Seven Days is also timed to coincide with the Jam. Every year we use this opportunity to explore the technological tools and trends that are transforming Vermont — for better and for worse.

In the “Local Matters” section, digital media manager Tyler Machado talks with Vermont’s social-media-savvy state police, who invite you to follow them — on Twitter. Staff writer Kathryn Flagg reports on recent efforts to open up governmental data for civic hacking projects. In some cases, those efforts require big changes to legacy computing systems.

Upgrades can be risky. In “Code Blew”, Ken Picard investigates some of the ways in which the state has failed on the IT front; the architects of Vermont Health Connect might have done that research before they started building.

Though state government has seen its share of high-profile IT setbacks, there are a number of Vermont-based niche technology companies succeeding in big ways on a national and even international level. Seven Days staffers spoke with seven of them in “Only in Vermont”.

On a smaller scale, assistant arts editor Megan James profiles Lisabeth and David Sewell McCann, two atypical techie entrepreneurs, in “Storytellers Who Sparkle”. The “media-cautious” Charlotte couple is wary of digital media and its effects on their children, but they love a good story. Their subscription-based, online audio storytelling service has spawned one of the top kids podcasts on iTunes.

The Sewell McCanns would fit right in at StoryhackVT — Vermont’s first-ever digital storytelling competition kicks off at the Tech Jam on Saturday morning.

So would Bina48, aka “the world’s most social robot,” whose story is straight out of science fiction. You can read all about her in this week’s cover story or chat her up yourself at the Tech Jam on Saturday, October 19; she and her caretaker, Bruce Duncan, will be speaking at 1 p.m. on the 242 Main Stage. Find more information about their presentation, along with a complete Tech Jam schedule and a list of its 80-plus exhibitors, in the 24-page guide at the center of the issue and at techjamvt.com.

And stop by the Tech Jam. It may just change the way you think about Burlington — and Vermont.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Social Sentinel, Burlington Code Academy and Maureen McElaney Win Awards at 12th Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont's Top Innovators Honored at Tech Jam 2018

    Social Sentinel, a Burlington-based company that identifies threatening content on social media, was among the winners of the 2018 Tech Jam awards, presented last Friday at the 12th Vermont Tech Jam. The prizes, given annually by the Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days, recognize leaders in the state's tech ecosystem. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy day at the free career and tech expo organized by Seven Days and presented by Vermont Works. Representatives from more than 50 companies and colleges talked with hundreds of attendees who walked the expo floor. Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance, said he talked with job seekers from across Vermont and outside the state at the event, "including someone, suitcase in hand, who visited from North Carolina."
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees HR, helps manage Seven Days' digital staff and oversees its parenting publication, Kids VT. In 2018, she designed and administered a statewide youth civics project, the... more

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Tech

  • Tech Heavyweight Tan Le to Discuss Brain-Computer Interfaces at UVM
  • Tech Heavyweight Tan Le to Visit UVM

    • Oct 29, 2018
  • Social Sentinel, Burlington Code Academy and Maureen McElaney Win Awards at 12th Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont's Top Innovators Honored at Tech Jam 2018

    Social Sentinel, a Burlington-based company that identifies threatening content on social media, was among the winners of the 2018 Tech Jam awards, presented last Friday at the 12th Vermont Tech Jam. The prizes, given annually by the Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days, recognize leaders in the state's tech ecosystem. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy day at the free career and tech expo organized by Seven Days and presented by Vermont Works. Representatives from more than 50 companies and colleges talked with hundreds of attendees who walked the expo floor. Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance, said he talked with job seekers from across Vermont and outside the state at the event, "including someone, suitcase in hand, who visited from North Carolina."
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • More »

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation