Talking Digital Strategy

Talking Digital Strategy

Rachel Haot, the state's chief digital officer, discussed how the New York government wants to work more with innovators and bring more broadband to the public.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Peer-to-Peer Learning Platform

A Peer-to-Peer Learning Platform

Avi Singer, CEO, said the Showd.me platform lets employees find coworkers with the expertise they need to help them with training and completing tasks.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Wearable Social Network

A Wearable Social Network

Mike Juliano, CEO of Think You, said youWare uses QR codes on bracelets that others can scan with the youPass app to get contact information.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Creatively Capturing Content

Creatively Capturing Content

CEO Michele Spiezia said Bespoke Atelier's in-app browser lets people discover, save, and organize visual content from the Web into "books" they can share with others.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Comparing Notes on Investment Strategies

Comparing Notes on Investment Strategies

Hart Lambur, a founder of Openfolio, said the platform lets people compare their investment strategy performance with their peers---without revealing how much money they have.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

From Chatting to Snacking

From Chatting to Snacking

Hack of the Month: Sam Agnew presented Hungrybot, which lets groups of people in a chatroom order food together.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Keeping Parents Involved in Schooling

Keeping Parents Involved in Schooling

Co-founders Miriam Altman (l) and Alexandra Meis (r) said Kinvolved can keep parents more informed of what is happening with their kids at school.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Bringing Contacts Together

Bringing Contacts Together

Steven Greenwood, an alumnus presenter, showed how his app Brewster brings contact info from across multiple social networks together into your smartphone's address book.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

More than a Close-up

More than a Close-up

Wirewax, said CEO Steve Callanan, developed a tool that can tag people and objects that appear in digital videos and create overlays of information to make the content more interactive.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Digital Tipping for Street Musicians

Digital Tipping for Street Musicians

Founder Cecilia Pagkalinawan said appLOUD lets people post short online videos to highlight street musicians and help these performers collect more tips from their fans.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Making Bitcoin Simple

Making Bitcoin Simple

COO Ilya Subkhankulov said Celery is an online wallet for buying, selling, and storing bitcoins and other digital currency.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Last night, Rachel Haot returned to the New York Tech Meetup stage for the first time since becoming Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chief digital officer and deputy secretary of technology.

Before the evening’s scheduled monthly demos of technology and ideas began (see slideshow above), Haot talked up ways Cuomo’s administration wants to collaborate more with the innovation community.

Making plans to connect more of the populace to data and the Web is a common theme among politicos of late. The usual talking point is that folks with limited or no means to use such resources are at a disadvantage, and may fall further behind. “There’s still a million New Yorkers who do not have access to high-speed broadband, and that’s unacceptable,” Haot said. In the coming months, she said, the state would reveal plans to address the disparity, but she offered no details.

Moves to close this “digital divide” are already underway in New York City, where Haot previously worked. Last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced plans with Qualcomm and others to turn payphones across the city into free, public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Haot served as chief digital officer in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, pushing various technology initiatives in the city. After his final term ended, she joined Cuomo’s administration. In September, de Blasio appointed Minerva Tantoco as New York City’s chief technology officer.

In her current role, Haot and her staff work on policies and programs to modernize the state government. One of those efforts, she said, which at first glance may seem minor, was updating the administration’s website, NY.gov.

The site, Haot said, had not seen a tangible change since 1998. It got a redesign two weeks ago, making it easier to navigate and more compatible with mobile devices.

Aside from aesthetic changes, Haot said the state is also eager to see more companies use its open data, made available through the Open.NY.gov portal. She said Campuscrime.ny.gov, which launched Tuesday, is an example of public data, collected on crimes committed on college campuses in the state, being used to better inform the community. Haot also talked up the Start-Up NY program, which gives tax breaks for 10 years to companies that move to or expand in certain areas.

The state wants to build up technology education among residents, Haot said, to get them better prepared for jobs in the growing technology industries. “We need to make sure everyone knows the technologies that are underlying the companies you are building,” she said.

The state’s Smart Schools Bond Act, she said, will provide $2 billion towards outfitting schools with equipment to put more students on the path toward technology jobs. One hurdle that must be cleared, Haot said, is getting more classrooms connected. “There are more than 500 schools, many of them in New York City, that do not have high-speed broadband access,” she said.

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  • John Lamica

     “There’s still a million New Yorkers who do not have access to high-speed broadband, and that’s unacceptable,”  yeah we know, half the time nygov can’t figure out who does and doesn’t with their useless multimillion dollar maps. Every year they tell us that it’s going to get better and after all this time and money broadband has not moved one inch closer to the millions of us without it