Brigitte Daniel’s Got a Plan to Get Young Women of Color Into Technology

Photo | Twitter

Brigitte Daniel |  photo via  Twitter

Like the Trayvon Martin story before it, what happened in Ferguson two weeks ago has had a continued news presence in part because of social media. In the moments that followed the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown, users took to Twitter to report on and discuss what happened. They have started and maintained a nationwide online conversation.

Much has been written about the democratizing power of Twitter and the influential power of so-called Black Twitter; according to a Pew study, 22 percent of African Americans who are online are on Twitter despite representing a dismal 2 percent of its workforce, as indicated by a diversity report released by Twitter last month.

This imbalance does not go unnoticed by those in the field.

“If we are the highest consumers [of these technologies], why aren’t we creating them?” asks Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president of Fort Washington-based Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc., a minority-owned, family-based cable operator serving the greater Philadelphia area for over 30 years.

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2014 Philadelphia Geek Awards

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Excitement reigned on the sidewalk outside The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University on Saturday night as the 4th Annual Philadelphia Geek Awards got underway. Guests, nominees, and presenters walked the red carpet and posed for photographers before heading into the museum to enjoy the the 90-minute cocktail reception held among the many fascinating exhibits in the museum including full sized dinosaurs, fossils, live butterflies and animal dioramas. Some 400 guests were dressed in “Geek Chic” and ready to party.

The Academy staff was also circulating with live snakes, owls, lizards, and bugs, and many people — including yours truly — took #Selfies to share with the world on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (#PhillyGeekAwards). Then the moment arrived when Geekadelphia co-founder Eric Smith and editor Mikey Ilagan opened up the ceremony with witty banter and gracious appreciation of the sold-out crowd.

Throughout the 90-minute ceremony, awards were given and the audience was entertained by the humor of the presenters and winners. Those geeks are smart and funny. The after-party was held at North Bowl, and was well attended. Many of the ladies told me they were excited to take off the heels and slip into some comfortable bowling shoes.

More photos and full list of winners from the 2014 Philly Geek Awards after the jump »

PPA Hopes to Let You Pay for Parking With Your Cell Phone

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is hoping to allow you to pay for parking with your cell phone by next summer. Well, “hopefully,” a spokesperson says.

The technology is already in place in cities near Philadelphia, including Allentown and Camden. The PPA actually posted a request for information (RFI) about pay-by-cell parking, but has since said the RFI “will be revised and re-posted at later date.”

Fortunately, the the actual RFI is still on the PPA’s site (PDF). It’s pretty standard stuff. The PPA is (was?) simply looking to “explore available options with currently marketed services utilized by various government entities for Pay-by-Cell solutions.”

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Local Architect Publishes Adorable Children’s eBook Series

Winthrop Little, star of Wayne, New Jersey's Jeffrey Martin's children's eBook series, "The Memoirs of Winthrop Little."

Winthrop Little, star of Wayne, Pennsylvania’s Jeffrey Martin’s children’s eBook series, “The Memoirs of Winthrop Little.”

The Memoirs of Winthrop Little is an interactive children’ book series app dreamt up by Wayne resident and architect Jeffrey Martin.

The story is written by an adorable teddy bear named Winthrop Little, and it just so happens to serve as a valuable learning tool for tots. It teaches young readers common life values (sharing, kindness, teamwork) while showing them a good time with a slew of interactive features, like moving photos, sidebars with additional facts about Winthrop’s life and personality and more.

“I love to read and I noticed over the past several years how the whole demeanor of books has changed,” Martin says. “I thought, ‘gee, if the future of books is going to be electronic, we’re really missing out on something.’”

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Homefront Video Game Set in Scary, Future Philadelphia

German video game company Crytek has revealed that the next installment of its video game series Homefront: The Revolution will be set in a future, post-apocalyptic Philadelphia, a city that, according to gaming blog Kotaku Core, is “dotted with encampments of Korean occupying forces to be photographed with smartphone cameras and disrupted with guns and explosives.” More on the Philly angle from Kotaku Core:

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SEPTA’s New Payment Technology Will Be Called SEPTA Key

Lots of new developments coming out of SEPTA these days. There’s the new 24-hour SEPTA service that debuts on June 15th. There’s the covert text-to-911 plan in the works for riders who see something bad happening on SEPTA. And then there’s the New Payment Technology, which will be called SEPTA Key.

septa-key-NPT-new-payment-technologySEPTA won’t confirm that’s the name, but a quick search of the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database reveals a recent trademark on “SEPTA Key” with the logo pictured here. (That, and one SEPTA higher-up let it slip during a conversation.)

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Drexel Prof. Makes Philly Art Museum App

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Mary Jo Grdina, an associate clinical professor in Drexel’s School of Education, has created a new iPad app that seeks to prove that “physics principles can be found everywhere, even [at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.] A description of “Physics in Art” from developers:

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