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Mónica Guzmán

Stories at the intersection of tech and life from a boldly connected city.

Category: Conversation
June 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Not as techie as we think: Hacking growth in the Central District

We like to say Seattle is a tech-fueled entrepreneurial city. David Harris wants to make that true in one of the places it’s not. “I’m really excited about this,” he said, stopping on the sidewalk near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Jackson Street in the Central District. He had walked us…

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Comments | More in Column, Conversation, Seattle, Social

April 19, 2014 at 9:33 PM

Using a phone when you can’t hear or speak? Here’s who makes it possible

Priya May has been the voice of hundreds. “You have a customer using sign language contacting you with the Purple VRS system,” May, 31, spoke into a headset to the man who picked up at Seattle’s MOD Pizza. “I’ll be interpreting this call for you, OK?” “Sure,” the man said, kind of delighted, and from May’s…

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Comments | More in Column, Conversation, People, Seattle

December 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Seattle team wins world’s largest media scavenger hunt

Well what do you know. They did it. The Vatican Cameos won GISHWHES, the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. From the contest’s characteristically long-winded announcement: And the champion, the numero uno team, the victor, the bee’s knees, the best of the best, the creme de la creme, the big cheese, the least sane…

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November 2, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Four digital divides: Where do you stand?

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Maybe you’ve heard of the “digital divide.”

It’s a term coined in the ’90s to refer to the mostly socioeconomic gap between people who can access information technologies and those who can’t. The concept gave thinkers and policymakers a grasp on a new problem: For more people to prosper, the digital divide would need to be closed.

I’ve been thinking about digital divides a lot lately, but rarely in this traditional sense. Tech has come a long way in 20 years, and it’s raised all kinds of sticky new issues. It’s made me think: If we take a fresh look at what divides us in our use of tech, we might get a better grip on whether we’re headed somewhere we want to be.

So here goes: I think there are four digital divides that matter. As we consider them, ask yourself: Where am i on these divides? And do they all demand to be resolved, or in some ways, protected?

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Comments | More in Code, Column, Conversation, Education, Identity, People, Privacy, Security, Tech Devotion

April 20, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Lesson from the manhunt: We’re all journalists now

"View from my house...crazy." Watertown resident Shawna England's photo of the manhunt got 13,000+ retweets on Twitter.

“View from my house…crazy.” Watertown resident Shawna England’s tweeted photo of the Boston manhunt was one of the most shared images early Friday.

Thursday night, after dark, monsters moved in Boston.

Friday morning, we woke to a terrifying thing. A policeman killed, another wounded and others threatened. A proud city on lockdown. A dangerous young man on the loose.

And something — the ground upon which we build our knowledge — had made another shift.

Not everyone felt it. But if you were one of the hundreds of thousands across the country caught mind and heart in the moment, maybe you did.

News is not just something we check every now and then. It’s not just a job, for some people, or an interest, for others. What goes on in our world and how we come to understand it tells us more than we know about who we are and how we’re connected. There are facts and reports and updates. Those are the bones. But there is also feeling, reaction, emotion. That’s the blood.

And it’s pumping.

News became a little less of an industry and a little more of a living, breathing organism Thursday night. It’s not a new direction. For more than a decade now, ever since anyone with a thought and an Internet connection could so easily provoke his species, news has become less controlled. More vulnerable. More, well, human.

It has not, though, become easy. In fact, news demands more from us now than ever.

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Comments | More in Conversation, Disruption, Social

October 27, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Seattle library fact check experiment risky, but valuable

Nine Seattle librarians are doing something tough, unprecedented and very risky.

They’re fact-checking politics.

It’s happening on livingvotersguide.org, the impressively thoughtful forum where Washington residents are helping each other decide how they’re going to vote on this year’s ballot initiatives, including hot-button measures on approving same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana.

When someone makes a claim another user wants verified, that user can submit it for a fact check. That’s where the librarians come in.

Thoughtfully. Carefully. But not at all quietly.

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