NY Attorney General's Office Wants Techies

NY Attorney General's Office Wants Techies

Lacey Keller, director of research and analytics, said her team is looking for more recruits.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Getting Coding into More Classrooms

Getting Coding into More Classrooms

Code/Interactive's program director Tom O'Connell introduced the teams of high schoolers who developed software under the nonprofit's programs, which bring computer science to more schools.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

C/I Demo: Teen's Hope

C/I Demo: Teen's Hope

Getting student's advice from career experts and finding opportunities to shadow professionals on the job is at the heart of the Teen's Hope website, which the team believes can help youths make more informed choices about the future.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

C/I Demo: Protect & Swerve

C/I Demo: Protect & Swerve

The team behind Protect & Swerve, an app that lets people post video of police brutality, also presented at Social Media Week New York.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Keeping Track of Misconduct

Keeping Track of Misconduct

The Protect & Swerve app lets people geotag incidents of police abuse .

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

C/I Demo: Lend a Hand

C/I Demo: Lend a Hand

The Lend a Hand team developed platform to help students earn money for college while performing community service.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Haot Has a New Gig

Haot Has a New Gig

Rachel Haot, now managing director with incubator 1776, came by to talk about the upcoming 1776 Challenge Cup. Haot was previously chief digital officer for the state, and held a similar role in New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

An Alternative to Ads to Support Web Content

An Alternative to Ads to Support Web Content

Atri is an experiment to create another way to support Web content. Cody Cowan (l) and Matt Mankins (r) said users of Atri put $10 each month into an account. Sites that earn their attention online receive a bit of that money.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Smart Ring for Personal Safety

A Smart Ring for Personal Safety

CEO Kat Alexander said SIREN, a wearable personal alarm, emits a 114 decibel blast to deter would-be attackers.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Rings Are Just the Start

Rings Are Just the Start

The SIREN ring was designed as a means of protection that can be activated quickly and focus its alarm blast at an assailant. Smaller, second generation models are in the works, said Kat Alexander. The technology can also be incorporated into other devices, she said.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

An App That Finds Foods to Suit Tastes

An App That Finds Foods to Suit Tastes

The Ingredient1 app, said CEO Taryn Fixel, can help people make healthier choices about their food, such as being mindful of allergies and other dietary needs.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Hack of the Month: Parking Oracle

Hack of the Month: Parking Oracle

Eugene Chung said the image processing and machine learning in Parking Oracle is used to decipher parking signs that may list confusing rules.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Orthotics Meet Mobile

Orthotics Meet Mobile

Kegan Schouwen, CEO of SOLS, demoed her company's app for capturing the dimensions of someone's feet to create custom orthotics.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Virtual Foot Forward

Virtual Foot Forward

With the images and info that the app captures, a virtual representation of a person's feet can be generated, and then used with 3D printing to produce custom SOLS orthotics.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Race Cars Combined with Science

Race Cars Combined with Science

RaceYa CEO Abigail Edgecliffe-Johnson said her company's radio controlled cars can help teach and encourage kids to learn about science and engineering.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

STEM Lessons Under the Hood

STEM Lessons Under the Hood

Students learn as they build and customize RaceYa cars.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

It seems there was no escaping talk of government Tuesday night even at the New York Tech Meetup—but at least the focus was on how to make technology work rather than dysfunctional politics.

The demos at the monthly gathering included three teams of high schoolers who created apps and websites under the Code/Interactive program, software that uses machine learning to understand parking signs, several presenters from January’s NYTM Women’s Demo Night, and SOLS CEO Kegan Schouwenburg literally putting her best foot forward (see slideshow.)

A crew from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office also came out to present a website intended to increase transparency in government. Nick Suplina, senior advisor and special counsel to Schneiderman, said the attorney general’s staff uses technology and data to protect New Yorkers from mortgage scams, public corruption, and other bad actors. Suplina and Lacey Keller, director of research and analytics, said their NYOpenGovernment.com is a means to see who is behind some of the wheeling and dealing in state government.

It was the latest effort by the AG’s office to connect with the New York tech scene. Last September, Schneiderman himself paid a visit to Civic Hall in New York for meet-and-greet with the innovation community here.

With NYOpenGovernment.com, Suplina said, the intent is to make the state government more accountable. The site lets people see where campaign contributions have gone, as well as payments made by political campaigns to other organizations—including to the New York Yankees.

“It aggregates from a number of different state data sources,” Suplina said. Prior to the website launch, such information was scattered across disparate agency sites.

Keller said NYOpenGovernment is also a way to see the lobbying activity on legislation that makes the rounds in Albany. “Before this, nowhere in New York State could you search for a bill and see exactly who lobbied on it,” she said.

For instance, the site showed that a lobbyist for the so-called “No Tiger Selfies” bill passed last year works largely for the Humane Society, Keller said. (That particular legislation was created to curb the trend of people taking “selfie” pictures with tigers.) The site also displays every bill each lobbyist has gone to bat for.

In addition to legislation, she said the site can be used to look up information on state contracts.

The New York AG’s office may have other ideas in mind for the data and analytics it has access to—if it can attract more tech talent. “My team is hiring,” Keller said.