How to get Sametime Video Chat in SmartCloud


The maintenance window is over and SmartCloud Sametime chat now includes audio and video.  Some details to know:
First, the feature is accessible only via a browser or via the mobile app.  It is not available in the Notes embedded client (yet).  Also, all parties in the chat must be logged into SmartCloud. That makes sense. If they weren’t, you couldn’t chat with them either.
Once logged into https://collabserv.com website, logged into Sametime, open your contacts list.  You will see two new icons available, but they have a red box with a star in it.  That means you need to install the plugin.

Sametime Contacts screen with new video icon

Sametime Contacts screen with new video icon

Just click the icon and it will take you through the process of installing. The first time I tried to install, I got some weird errors, but later I tried installing on a different computer and had no problems.  I expect they found something wasn’t quite right after the maintenance and quickly fixed it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they go through a few challenges as they fine tune the service now that it is available to the entire community.  But it is certainly working!

SmartCloud Sametime Video Chat window

SmartCloud Sametime Video Chat window

New easy way to get your IBM software downloads via SmartCloud!


OK, you’ve seen my article giving a detailed review about how bad Passport Advantage website was for many years.  It took awhile to get fixed.  But for the most part, much of that has improved dramatically since – and at least partially because of – that article.  But downloads are still a bit of a pain.  That is, until now!

If you subscribe to SmartCloud Notes, you can get to your downloads in Passport Advantage directly from the Apps – Downloads and Setup menu.  It’s almost as good as the days before IBM, when it was just Lotus.  This feature is exposed only to SmartCloud administrators, as it should be.

There are many more features about to be released, but I was asked not to publish them in social media just yet.  Yeah, right. like giving your teenager the keys to the camaro on a Friday night and telling him to drive slow.  It seems every month there are new features surprising us in SmartCloud.  Cloud is really the wrong word.  It is such a breath of fresh air to see such dynamic, rapid deployment of software.  I have seen so many features that I personally suggested, getting deployed so quickly and frequently, you would think I was the Product Manager.  But why would IBM hire me when I already do the job for free?

OK, so I won’t break my oath to be quiet about the new features.  I will let IBM do that: https://apps.na.collabservtest.lotus.com/help/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.cloud.whatsnew.doc%2Fll_wn_whats_new.html

Webcast on Latest progress on IBM Mail Next


Don’t miss the upcoming webcast showing the latest news on IBM Mail Next.  Register here:  https://ibm.biz/BdFES3

Personally I’m interested in the Notes web plugin and how this may make its way into SmartCloud.

Bothell City Council exposed for avoiding due process to build a new $47 Million City Hall without a Public Vote


If you live in the City of Bothell, you will definitely be interested in watching what happened at the City Council meeting on May 20th

It is long, but you need to watch the first 20 minutes and again at about time stamp 2:54:00.
After watching it I am certain you will be motivated enough to visit the next City Council meeting in person and let them know how you feel about what they are planning to do with your money.   The next meeting is Tuesday, June 3rd at 6:00 PM at City Hall.

In summary: First, they are planning on spending $47 Million on a brand new city hall building.  Without a public vote and, as you can see in this video, without even spending an extra hour to review the 200 page document after getting the final price quote.

They already spent about $1 Million to get a design for it. Now they are discussing moving forward to close on a deal to pay Vulcan Real Estate to build this new city hall.  The new building will be 66,000 square feet versus the current 11,000 square foot building.  While we may need new facilities, do we really need something 6 times larger?  They don’t even know what to do with the 4th floor.  It will be vacant!  Do we need to build a brand new facility when there is ample suitable real estate readily available at a much lower cost?  Are there other things of a higher priority that we should be spending our money on first?

Of course, if you were a council member and received campaign funds from Vulcan Real Estate to help get elected to Bothell City Council, then I suppose you would be pushing very hard to award Vulcan this $50,000,000 deal.  Fortunately we have due process that should protect us from conflicts of interest like this, yes? Well apparently not this time.  Normally when the city is considering spending such a huge capital outlay, they put it to a vote by the public as will be the case for the other big item they are planning: a $42 Million bond measure they are going to ask for in the fall to pay for “parks and roads improvements”. Why? because we won’t have enough money after they buy this new city hall.  But that’s another story.

THERE WILL BE NO PUBLIC VOTE on spending this $47,000,000 of our tax money, which, when you divide it up among the 33,000 residents  (correction, 39,000 including those annexed earlier this year who were not informed about this measure at the time they agreed to the annexation) within the City of Bothell, amounts to about $1,500 for every man, woman and child in the city.  Since my daughter isn’t paying taxes, I guess I’ll have to cover her share too.  This is crazy.  They haven’t even found where they will get the funding to cover all of the costs of the current project to revitalize downtown.  And now they are talking about spending an additional $50 Million on one building.  AT THE SAME TIME they will ask for a public vote on a bond to raise $42 Million for additional downtown revitalization projects including turning Hwy 527 through the downtown area into a boulevard (bi-directional traffic in the middle with separate one-way streets with parking on either side).  And those improvements won’t even cover the costs to finish the plans for the park at Bothell Landing.
All of this while our road maintenance is already under-funded by somewhere around $70 million and our existing roads are crumbling and without adequate pedestrian access such as this article describing 195th St / Hollyhills Dr behind the Seattle Times building.

The Call to Action is simple:  Attend the next Bothell City Council meeting Tuesday, June 3 at 6:00 PM.  Sign up for the Visitor Comments which come at the beginning of the meeting.  Speak your position.  Stay for the agenda topic where you will be able to voice your opinion further. Make your voice heard.  Remember that you elected them and they work for you.  Be sure to watch the May 20th meeting to fully prepare yourself.

Last meeting Former Mayor Lamb also received a gavel in honor of “amazing service to Bothell”.  Read this article to learn more about the truth of his character.

Request to repair Bothell road and provide pedestrian access to 1000 homes instead of spending $42M on a Boulevard


Open letter to the Bothell City Council and City Manager:

The 1000 households that live in Morningside, Hollyhills, and Pioneer Hills don’t need a wider sidewalk to connect Pop Keeney to the park at Bothell Landing as you are proposing with AB #14-75 to designate Main Street and the multi-way boulevard as parkways at a cost of $42 Million.   What we need is a safe way for our kids to walk or bike from our neighborhoods to the YMCA or the softball and soccer fields in the North Creek business park that are just half a mile away.

While there are many roads within the city that are in great disrepair, I want to bring this one to your attention that is in exceptional need of repairs and improvements.
195th St / NE Hollyhills Dr connects nearly 1000 Bothell homes to the rest of the city.  This road is the only connection between these neighborhoods and the rest of the city for pedestrians and the primary route for all traffic going into Bothell from these neighborhoods.  Specifically, it has two problems:

First, this road is very badly broken and potholed. The roadway is so badly broken it sounds like a gravel road when you drive on it.   It is so deeply cracked that it is now further susceptible to freeze cracking and heaving which is greatly accelerating the destruction of this roadway.

Second, and an even bigger hazard is that there is no sidewalk beside this road one side has no shoulder while what little shoulder there is on the other side is either saturated mud in the winter or overgrown with chest-high weeds and blackberry vines in the summer.  Also there is one section where a jersey barrier forces pedestrians into the right-of-way even if the blackberries and mud do not. This is especially dangerous given the 2 blind curves and that it is on a steep hill.  This is a very popular bike route but with no safe passage for bikes moving slowly up the hill in the lane of traffic and the cracks in the road make it very unsafe for fast-moving bikes going downhill.  See the photos below.  One is of a mother pushing her baby stroller on this road approaching a blind curve.  This is the only route from the Hollyhills, Morningside, and Pioneer Hills neighborhoods into the City of Bothell including access to the YMCA and the 4 ball fields in the North Creek business park at the bottom of the hill.  Today when my daughter and I go the the Y, we have to drive the half mile because there is no sidewalk and no shoulder on Hollyhills Drive behind the Seattle Times building.  The Hollyhills neighborhood is low income neighborhood, so many of those residents don’t even own a car. They don’t have a choice. You can see them risking their lives walking down that road.  Not because they want to, but because they have to. NOTHING has been done to the roads in these neighborhoods for at least 15 years. It is time to spread the wealth.  There are now 39,000 residents in this city. Until you fix what is broken, you don’t need to spend one more dollar on that one square mile of downtown.

Please get this roadway repaired and add a sidewalk and bike lanes.

Dangerous Hollyhills Dr behind Seattle Times building

Dangerous Hollyhills Dr behind Seattle Times building

 

Ditch on one side, blackberries on the other. Runner in the road.

Ditch on one side, blackberries on the other. Runner in the road.

Mother pushing baby stroller on Hollyhills Dr

Mother pushing baby stroller on Hollyhills Dr

Readers, you should watch the May 20th recording of the Bothell City Council, in particular, go to 2:54:00 to hear Council member Tris Samberg put things in perspective on the latest bond proposal.

You may also be interested in reading about our former mayor who is still on the city council and still controlling your money after proving his lack of morality, propriety, and judgement.

Here’s to my friend Tim Tripcony


Tim, your passing is felt around the world, even here in Washington state. Your genius only eclipsed by your humble nature.   So much more I want to say, but I’m without words.

Follow Scott Hooks for more info.

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140512170336-24024491-tim-tripcony-you-will-live-on-in-our-hearts

TimTripcony

IBM Connections in the Cloud New Service Update!


So you aren’t a computer geek, but your job involves collaborating with others.  Do you use email?  Maybe share files and other content with people inside and outside your organization?  Maybe at work you bounce between email, calendar, todos, onenote, Sharepoint, Dropbox, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Skype, AIM, Google Apps, Yammer, SurveyMonkey, Yahoo Groups (or some other discussion forum), Google+,  WordPress, LinkedIn.  Then you use email to tell everyone about things like when a task is due or when you have completed one.

You really NEED IBM Connections.  The only company to provide One Single, Seamless Ecosystem to do it all.  Not a piecemeal collection of disparate products.  Not a collection of products thrown together by company acquisitions and then rebranded as if from one company. Gartner even puts IBM’s social software ecosystem at the top of the class.  IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.
And the best way to do this is with their Cloud version.  ASK YOUR IT DIRECTOR OR CFO ABOUT IBM Connections and IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.

By the way, Connections in the Cloud (IBM SmartCloud for Social Business) is getting an update of features that will be available in the on-premises version later this quarter.  Software releases now follow cloud releases.  This trailer is cool:

Check out the IBM Social Software Product Manager, Luis Benitez’ article   for more details including a link to sign up for the webcast to see what’s new in the May update.
See his slideshare post of the new features too.    (Be aware that the second slide in the deck is a link to the video above. Don’t miss the rest of the slides.)
Visit http://collabserv.com for a free trial account.

Helping my friend the best I can. His story will move you.


Brian Steele is my good friend and one of the best managers I have ever worked for.  I remember the day when he quietly explained to me that they had just learned his son Cullen had Pulmonary Hypertension.  I never heard of it before and asked  “Is it bad?”  “Yeah, it’s bad.” he said.  Watch this video and learn Cullen’s story.

At the time Brian mentioned it, I didn’t fully appreciate what it all meant or the impact it would have on him and his family.  Since then I have come to understand much more and to be very thankful for the health of my own daughter.  Please take a moment to learn what this is and share it so that others can be aware of it. Early detection is crucial.  Cullen will need a heart and double lung transplant.  If you find you can help Cullen and his family, please do so at http://www.cota.donorpages.com/PatientOnlineDonation/COTAforCullenS
Follow his story at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/cullensteele
Also, educate your family about organ donation at http://www.organdonor.org

SmartCloud Demonstration at Seattle Technical Forum Meetup, Redmond, WA


If you are a CTO, IT director, computer professional or enthusiast of cloud computing technology, you won’t want to miss out on this meeting of the Seattle Technical Forum meetup group.

There will be 3 presenters at this meeting speaking on the following topics:

- Google Cloud Platform: Top 10 Edition
- Properly securing your cloud infrastructure
- SmartCloud – IBM’s Biggest Little Secret

I will be presenting a demonstration of SmartCloud for Social Business with IBMer David Bell.  This will show off what is sure to be tagged as “The next Facebook”, business style.
You can find the details here.

Even if you can’t attend, you can create a free 60-day trial account at http://collabserv.com

SmartCloud Tip #04: Special considerations for Soft Deletions with MMR


The SmartCloud administration panel has a setting for how long deleted messages are in the trash.  From the administration screen, in the left navigation click on IBM SmartCloud Notes, Click Account Settings…
SmartCloudSoftDeletions

Click Email Management.

SmartCloudSoftDeletions2
This setting overrides the setting in the database properties – advanced tab – soft deletions.
NotesSoftDeletions
However…

If your users are using Managed Mail Replicas (MMR), then they have a local replica and the Notes client will still process soft deletions on that local replica according to the database setting.  So if the database setting is set shorter than what you have in the SmartCloud admin settings, the trash will be emptied locally and then replicated to the server and it will appear as though the server setting isn’t working.

Normally the administrator could change this database setting, but not for mail files in SmartCloud because no one has manager access to the database, not even to the local replica.

To avoid this problem, simply make sure to set the value of the soft deletions database property to something longer than the time you have set in SmartCloud up to 2160 hours (90 days) before you migrate the mail file to SmartCloud. Don’t exceed that as excessively high values create other problems.  Also do this to the mail template you are using for new users.

The beauty of cloud-based software is the speed that updates are deployed and I expect this will change soon.  IBM is working on refinements to managing the soft deletions with MMRs, but it is still best to deal with this pro-actively before migrating.

Read these articles for more tips on preparing mail files for migration to SmartCloud Notes:
SmartCloud Tip #02: Best Practices to get mail files ready to move to SmartCloud
SmartCloud Tip #03: Important Details to Setting the ACL on your Mail Files

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