Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Technology, The District

DC Fall Foliage Gets Digitized & Meaningful

If you’re like me, you’re in love with infographics because they take spreadsheets, lists, tables and large amounts of data and make them meaningful, useful and sometimes – when done right – beautiful. Case and point are two interactive infographics created by Casey Trees that are a leaf peepers dream.

The first infographic, which for me is the more useful of the two, suggests DC routes leaf peepers should take for maximum fall color viewing. On hover over, users are given the route’s length, walk or drive recommendations, number of colored trees along the route, types of trees along the route and expected level of color users will see.Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 10.36.32 AM

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Business and Money, Special Events, Technology, The Daily Feed

Your #DCWeek 2012 Primer

Photo courtesy of TechCocktail
Tech Cocktail’s DC Mixer @ DCWeek | 11.10.11
courtesy of TechCocktail

This past weekend the 2012 Digital Capital Week kicked off here in Washington. For those that aren’t familiar with DCWeek, it is the city’s annual festival organized by the folks at iStrategyLabs and Tech Cocktail that focuses on many different sections of the tech scene. Anchored by keynote speeches on Wednesday and a conference Thursday at the Artisphere, the week also includes a multitude of hackathons, presentations, meet-ups, networking events, and parties. Lots of parties.

If you are a badge holder or just someone looking for some cool events to hit up, here are a few items that caught my eye as I combed through the DCWeek schedule:

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News, Technology

Dear Virginia & Maryland: We Need Your Help

Photo courtesy of theqspeaks
Occupy DC – Soapbox
courtesy of theqspeaks

Good morning, everyone. This post is specifically for Virginia and Maryland readers today, which means it’s sorta the opposite of what we strive for here at We Love DC, but for reasons that will become clear in a minute, we need your help, and all our friends that live in the District can’t help us the way that you can.

You’re going to see a lot on the Internet today, if you haven’t already, about a bill in front of Congress called SOPA or PIPA, depending on if they’re talking about the bill in the House or the Senate. It’s a pretty bad bill. Sure, its heart is in the right place, trying to stop online piracy, but the way they’ve chosen to go about doing it is pretty well awful. They’re going after a fly with a sledgehammer, and frankly, it’s just not going to work to stop piracy.

If you’ve got a second today, could you call your Congressperson and Senators and let them know it’s not cool to break the Internet?

In our environment here, we use some pretty cool tools to bring you all the news, including sites that open themselves up to host content, like Flickr, and YouTube, and other related sites. These are sites that could be paralyzed under SOPA and PIPA, and replacement companies couldn’t be created because it would require an army of lawyers just to get started.

Don’t take our word for it, see what Google has to say, or learn more about the blackout today, and then call your congresspeople.

It just takes a second to call Congress, and you don’t even have to get worked up. Just call their office, tell them your name and that you live in their District or State, and then just say, “I oppose SOPA and PIPA, and I don’t think you should vote for them.” Remember you’re talking with volunteers, and be nice, but do give them a call.

And, if you’re feeling a bit brave, or a bit cheesed off, ask for some voting rights for your friends in the District?


DC-CAN adds 100-Gbit links to their services

Photo courtesy of dsearls
courtesy of dsearls

One of the difficult parts of the digital divide, the part that few have been able to begin to posit solutions for, is home delivery of fast internet connectivity to neighborhoods where the income level is low. Most of the big network providers push their high bandwidth solutions to upper-middle and upper income neighborhoods, so they can finance the high cost of building fast data networks, and poorer neighborhoods are left to whatever facilities are available, often meaning that some neighborhoods get much less bang for their buck.

DC-CAN, the DC Community Access Network, is looking to bridge some of that divide by providing “middle mile” service to other ISPs for reasonable costs, allowing them to serve high speed needs cheaply in neighborhoods where that service just isn’t available. The first of those links to neighborhoods east of the river went live yesterday, (as an aside, this story at GigaOm misses much of the point of this kind of network, which is sorta sad) adding in a 100-Gigabit core link, the first of a series of core links th;at will spread throughout the city eventually, but beginning in Ward 8.

How fast is 100-Gigabit? Well, consider that the fastest common home broadband package in DC is 50 megabit, and costs around $100/mo, you could power 2,000 of those connections with just one of these core links.  Consider that most of these connections are really just burstable limits, and you could safely oversubscribe them, or limit service to 20 megabit, and you get a picture for just how many options you’ve got and what this will mean for ISPs. What will mean for consumers East of the River? It’s not very clear, yet.

This doesn’t solve a pair of problems, and the solutions to those problems aren’t even close to clear yet: this isn’t last mile coverage, you still need to find someone to connect the actual houses and create the actual service, including run billing systems and do installation, and that’s not something that just happens overnight; and how do we make good computers cheap enough, but useful enough, to make these more common fixtures in homes all over the city that currently lack any connectivity or method for getting connected.

“This is more smoke and mirrors,” said Nikki Peele of Congress Heights on the Rise, when I talked with her by phone this morning. “I’d much rather have seen this money spent on a slower WiFi network that blankets the area than something that’s just going to benefit outside ISPs,” she continued.

This is a great looking network, for sure, but what it will mean for actual citizens of the District is a long ways in the future, and definitely far from clear.

We had hoped to have some word from DC-CAN, but no response was available at the publish time of this article.

Fashionable DC, Technology

Geek2Chic Celebrates High-Tech Fashion – For a Good Cause

DC Week 2011: Geek 2 Chic

If you came to the Geek 2 Chic fashion event – where men from the world of technology are dressed up and sent down a runway – expecting amazing makeovers before your eyes, you might be disappointed. After all, many of the amateur models at this charity fundraiser were hardly pocket-protector-sporting hopeless cases when they arrived at the Chevy Chase Bloomingdale’s store on Tuesday. Instead, as hostess Angie Goff mentioned as they strutted confidently along, several of these gentlemen had been previously named to lists like The Hill’s Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill.
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Adventures, Business and Money, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Special Events, Technology, The Daily Feed

ESPN Zone Arcade Game Auction

Photo courtesy of
‘ESPN Zone’
courtesy of ‘darkensiva’

Via Thrillist this morning, the now-closed ESPN Zone is auctioning off pretty much all of their arcade games and the going prices aren’t bad. Knowing the WeLoveDC audience, I figured there would be some of you out there interested in getting your gaming hands on some of these classics. Aside from the games, the auction includes lighting, furniture and industrial kitchen equipment from the Zone, so if you’re in need of an ice cream machine or a heavy duty deep fryer this is your auction.

If I lived in a group house, I would totally be ALL over my housemates to chip in and buy one of these beauties. Personally, I’m partial to the Trophy Hunting (Bear & Moose) and the Super Shot games, but I’m sure the Slapshot Hockey and Washington Redskins Football Throwing game will be big fan favorites as well.

Technology, The Daily Feed

Recycle those old hazards this weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘Car Bumper in Recycling Bin’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

If you’ve been holding on to some hazardous waste, or just have some old electronics that you don’t want to just put in the landfill, this is your weekend. DC DPW is accepting household hazardous waste and e-cycling materials for free this Saturday from 8 until 3 at the Fort Totten Transfer Station (not the metro station, but nearby).  Here’s what you can bring:

Acceptable household hazardous waste items include acids, aerosols, antifreeze, batteries, cleaning chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, stains, varnish, fertilizer, pesticides, automobile fluids, and lighter fluid.  Acceptable e-cyclables include audio/visual equipment, CD Rom drives and CDs/DVDs, cell phones, computers and monitors, fax and copy machines, pagers, power supplies, printers, TVs, VCRs and tapes, and video games and software.

In addition, there will be free shredding services available for up to 5 20″x14″x14″ boxes of personal documents. Business documents are a no-go.

Fort Totten Transfer Station
4900 John McCormack Drive Northeast
Washington D.C., District of Columbia 20011

Technology, The Daily Feed

AT&T Announces LTE expansion to DC in November

Photo courtesy of
‘Man on Cellular Tower!’
courtesy of ‘TheBusyBrain’

AT&T announced this morning that it will bring its next-generation LTE service to the DC area beginning in early November, along with a pair of Android-based LTE phones. The phones are the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid, both of which can use the new LTE service, which can achieve speeds of up to 42mbps (or, about as good as the fastest residential cable or fiber service), but tend to average about 25mbps (still, pretty darned fast) in tests made in the Houston market this September, which would be about 2-3 times as fast as their “4G” HSPA+ network.

Both Sprint and Verizon already have true 4G networks in the DC area, with Sprint’s available on the WiMax standard, and Verizon’s on the LTE standard.  Confused yet? Yeah, me too. There’s a good guide from friend-of-We Love DC Dan Rowinski from earlier this year if you want to wade through it, but what it means is faster data service for smartphone and computer users in the DC area, as soon as there are devices to handle it.

Technology, The Daily Feed

Social Media for Statehood: Tweet Protest tomorrow


Mayor Gray announced via his Twitter account plans for a virtual march on Facebook and Twitter and other social networks tomorrow morning at 8:28am. His inspiration for the odd time comes from the 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28th by Martin Luther King Jr.  Mayor Gray wants people to tweet:

Dr. King said “now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.” I demand full democracy for DC residents!

If you use a twitter client like TweetDeck or HootSuite, you can schedule this in advance, or you can use a service like Future Tweets to do it.

There’s no question DC is on the short of the representation stick, so get out and help raise awareness to the city’s unique plight.

Talkin' Transit, Technology, The Features, We Green DC, WMATA

Mastering Metrobus, or, S.T.R.E.A.M. (SmarTrip Rules Everything Around Me)

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

I’ve been participating in the Zipcar Low Car Diet challenge this month, and something that I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten more transit-dependent is that a lot of intelligent, resourceful people are completely confounded by any bus that’s not the Circulator. If their destination is not close to a Metrorail stop, they drive to it. I humbly submit that this is completely ridiculous; the bus is just not that hard.

However, it IS true that Metrobus lacks the navigational simplicity that Metrorail has. The Metro map gives you a nice sense of the finite nature of Metrorail: there are only 5 lines, and they’re, well, lines; they go to all the stops in order one way, and they go back along the same stops the other way. That’s it. Have you seen the full Metrobus system map? It’s a freaking mess. It’s not even one map; they had to split it into three.

So with the goal of making it all a little less daunting for the novice Metrobus-rider, here are a few things you need to know: Continue reading


Parkmobile’s Parking App: Not so bad, but not great

Parking Meters with Parkmobile

When it was announced earlier this year that DDOT would be accepting mobile payments through Parkmobile, I was pretty excited. I spend a lot of my time driving around DC, and while I was often parking on the street, I was often stopping at the bank  for a couple rolls of quarters.  By the end of the week, when I was running out, I’d often ration my quarters and find myself the winner of a shiny blue parking ticket from DCDPW.

Parkmobile picked up a pair of zones in the early pilot programs in neighborhoods that I found myself in regularly, and I was primarily using their call-in service to handle my parking. When they went citywide, I downloaded their iPhone app, which was both great, and not-so-great all at once.

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Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Media, Music, People, Technology, The District

Sick DC Time-Lapse

If the above doesn’t work for you here’s a direct link to the District 1.5 : HDR Time-lapse from Drew Geraci.

Via the power of the interwebs, I stumbled across this awesome HDR time-lapse by Drew Geraci. The shots were taken over a 3 day period, during which Geraci was stopped 9 times by the National Parks Service and 3 times by DC Metro police;  post-production (rendering, editing, etc.) took Geraci only 1 day. This is the photogs first full scale production time-lapse using the new HDR technique that he’s developed from his own personal photography experience.

Personally, I’m loving the locations selected; they really capture the heart of this city. Whoever said that DC is a sleepy town clearly needs to see this as the locations selected, be they thoroughfares, monuments or sites, are packed with pedestrian and vehicular activity. In the 3 plus minute long video, we’re taken on a whirlwind trip around DC through saturated hi-def quality of the shots and kickass crescendoing musical accompaniment. Tre cool.

News, Technology, The Daily Feed

Can please get a .dc domain now?

Photo courtesy of
‘MicroLink Modem 56K’
courtesy of ‘Markusram’

Late yesterday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the concept of the generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) which will open up a fairly wide landscape of domain suffixes like .com and .org to new members.  While the number of Top Level Domains have expanded in recent years, the .dc suffix is still entirely unclaimed.

It could be a boon for the District to pickup the .dc gTLD to use for area businesses to highlight their work in the District, either to DC residents, or as proof they are a locally operating business. I know that we would happily pay for welove.dc, and I suspect that the various tour companies that operate tours to the area would make the investment if it was tied to some sort of competitive advantage.

It would be incredibly important for the DC OCTO to move quickly, though, as I suspect that they won’t be the only ones looking to be the registrar for that gTLD, and to lose control of that resource would be a pretty significant failure. Let’s get on it, OCTO, we’ll help you if we can.

Fun & Games, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, Technology, The Features

DJ ReOffender: A Beat Refinery DJ

Pictured: Shea "DJ ReOffender" Mulcahy // Photo by Rachel Levitin

While a lot of us were off at the beach, visiting family, or at weddings this Memorial Day Weekend, Shea “DJ ReOffender” Mulcahy was busy turning a hobby into a professional freelance career.

ReOffender is a self-proclaimed “Man of Music.” When he’s not at his day job, he finds himself singing or at the keyboard writing songs. And him and his iPod? Well forget about it! If you saw him, you’d think they were permanently attached.

“Basically, music is my life. I love that anybody could express themselves through music,” he said. That’s what got him hooked on learning to DJ. Continue reading

History, News, Special Events, Technology, The Daily Feed

Discovery Coming to Udvar-Hazy


In case you missed it, NASA announced today – the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle program and the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight by Russian Yuri Gagarin – that the space shuttle Discovery will make its final home at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center as part of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum collection. The 27 year-old orbiter is the longest-serving shuttle of the retiring space fleet and has flown every type of mission during its career.

It will take a place of honor that is currently occupied by the Enterprise as the original ‘test’ orbiter relocates to its new home at the Intrepid Museum in New York City. The Enterprise has been in place since the opening of the center in 2003.

Discovery flew a total of 39 missions, from satellite deliveries to the Hubble, DoD projects to the Russian space station Mir. It retired after returning to Earth on March 9. The venerable orbiter has spent a total of 365 days in space and  flown a number of special missions, including the 100th shuttle mission in 2000 and was the first shuttle to fly under an African-American commander.

It will be several months before Discovery is delivered to Udvar-Hazy. “An acquisition of this importance happens rarely in the life of a museum,” said Air and Space curator Dr. Valerie Neal. “It is an honor and privilege to welcome Discovery into the national collection, where it will be displayed, preserved, and cared for forever.”

Media, News, Technology, The Daily Feed

EXCLUSIVE: The Red Cross’ Rogue Tweeter Talks To We Love DC

As a social media professional, I fully understand the risks of my job. It is a job that doesn’t end after 5 PM or when you walk out of the office. We remain connected at all times through Blackberry devices or iPhones. Yesterday morning my alarm went off and I rolled over to my bed stand for my iPod Touch. Like most mornings I check Twitter as my body slowly awakens. As I checked my timeline I noticed an odd tweet from my friend Gloria:

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Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Special Events, Technology, The Daily Feed

Engineering Is The Coolest @ The National Building Museum

Photo courtesy of
‘National Building Museum’
courtesy of ‘kimberlyfaye’

What’s an engineer? He’s that guy who wears overalls, that cute stripped hat and shovels coals into the trains engine, right? As Auntie Shrew would say “Wrrrrrrrong!” Engineers are much, much, much more than that. And to find out how engineers and engineering impacts our everyday lives, visit the National Building Museum this Saturday from 10am-4:30pm and celebrate National Engineers Week.

Watch PBS’ Design Squad Nation catapult beach balls across the Great Hall, discover the principles of aerodynamics, operate Lego Robots on the FIRST  Lego League playing field. The event features other hands-on activities like building a “flinker,” an object that neither floats or sinks, design your own parachute drop, test/build handmade watercrafts, and expore a tsunami wave tank.

Technology, The Daily Feed

Charter School gets grant for 700 iPads

Photo courtesy of
‘look at me and my iPad’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

The Business Journal’s Michael Neibauer has the story of a DC Public Charter School that has received a grant for an iPad for each of their students. Each of their 700 students will receive an iPad that they can use in their day-to-day classroom experience.  A little skeptical of the new tablet’s usability in schools? A friend of mine in Scotland has done this project already, having received a private grant to roll out a large number of iPads for elementary and middle school students.

Looking at his early results in regards to what the iPad is doing in his school, it’s hard to not like the potential, but as with everything, the devil is in the implementation.  I wish Friendship PCS the best of luck with this program, if it succeeds in doing what their COO says and puts accessible technology for learning in the hands of every student, then they’ll have achieved where many have failed.

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, Technology, The Daily Feed, The District

Tour Embassy Row on your Cell Phone

Photo courtesy of
‘How Smart is that phone’
courtesy of ‘Photos by Chip Py’

The Woodrow Wilson House has put together a cell phone audio tour of historic Embassy Row. Narrated by Cokie Roberts, the tour gives listeners an inside look at the history and cultural of this fabulous stretch of Northwest DC, where diplomats, historic figures, residents, and most likely many, many spies live and work.

Highlighted sites include: the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, the Residence of the Ambassador of Turkey, The Islamic Center, Charles C. Glover Memorial Bridge and more.

To take the tour, stop by the Woodrow Wilson House to pick up the pocket guide and don’t forget to bring your cell phone! You can also download a free podcast version of the audio tour at