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July 18, 2013 (Tech Committee Meeting)

Setting up Chromebook as a public computer hooked into commons TV

Nolan was initially concerned that the Chromebook wasn't allowing guest logins, but it appears to be. The Chromebook has HDMI, but the TV doesn't. Nolan boggles at the fact that the TV lacks HDMI but has an RS232 port.

Ryan found a $2 HDMI to RCA cable we might use for this purpose, as well as a $40 HDMI to Component connector.

Nolan wonders where tech money will come from. Do we need to bring a $2 expense to the house? We discuss the lack of a tech budget. We can either spend the money and hope we have a surplus, but we're currently under budget for minor maintenance and this might count as a commons improvement.

Action item: Ryan will order the $2 HDMI to RCA cable so we can hook the Chromebook to the TV.

Designing a system for fair, accessible and confidential electronic elections

Mike wonders if we're assuming that the infrastructure operators can be trusted?

Nolan notes that we're already making that assumption.

Ryan: Would electronic voting make it easier to vote?

Nolan: No, but it does enhance fairness since everyone would vote the same way.

Nolan: Estonia just open sourced their system. It may be overkill for us.

Ryan: Might be a good option for board elections where we need to hold elections between houses.

Nolan: This might be the kind of project that individual tech committee members take on based on interest.

Future of the lists, including greater access by those not as connected

Nolan: How do we increase connectivity to the lists by people without access?

Ryan: Get everyone a computer. Possibly approach Discount Electronics about hardware donations or a discount. Perhaps work with marketing/fundraising efforts?

Mike: Businesses might be throwing away computers. How would we find them? Should we talk to people about using computers first?

Ryan: Present them with the ability to get involved and let them decide. Travis is good at teaching people to use computers.

Nolan: Add computers to the list of things to fundraise for.

Nolan: Another issue with mailing lists is time. If people only have ten minutes to designate for electronic communication, we should make it easy for them to read the most important things. Systems like Discourse make it easy to vote up topics such that important ones are more easily noticeable. Maybe we can pilot that in the tech group?

Ryan: Hesitant about multiple communication streams.

Nolan: Discourse would be the only stream, and we'd bridge that to email if we can. It's about making it easier for people who don't want to communicate electronically to notice the most important things.

Action item: Nolan will set up a test Discourse instance for the tech committee to use.

Providing email addresses for those without them

Mike: Not opposed to it, but if people don't have an email address, there is probably a reason. It isn't that no one has offered one.

Ryan: If they don't have an email address, they likely don't have computers or internet access.

Mike: No reason not to give them one, especially if they want to avoid Gmail.

Nolan: I have concerns about this. The business of providing people email addresses is a business, and we have to be aware of a lot more things. We also have to provide support and a bunch of other services we aren't now. Would be better to create a resources wiki page and link people without email addresses to providers.

Providing work ticket system and support for Maintenance

Nolan: Whomever put this on the agenda isn't here, and if we don't know what specific things they need, I don't feel comfortable just doing something without understanding the problems we're solving.

meetings/2013-07-18.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/03 23:35 (external edit)