May 02, 2013
New land development rules adopted by Houston City Council now provide residents with additional tools to help maintain their neighborhood's established character. The City of Houston Planning and Development Department (P&D) is hosting a series of meetings throughout Houston in May and June 2013, to explain the new tools and your neighborhood's eligibility for utilizing them. (These new rules are related to adoption of amendments to Chapter 42 of the Code of Ordinances.)
The new tools are designed to:
To find a meeting location near you, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/docs_pdfs/pres_neighb_meetings.pdf.
For the complete text of Chapter 42 including the changes, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/DevelopRegs/dev_regs_links.html. Any questions contact Kevin Calfee at Kevin.Calfee@HoustonTX.gov or 713.837.7701.
To learn more about P&D, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/planning.
The City of Houston will host a 24-hour "Open Innovation Hackathon" on Friday, May 17, beginning at 7 p.m. - Saturday, May 18, ending at 7 p.m. Bring your ideas and expertise and come on down.
The event will kick-off on Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. and continue until 7 a.m. at Start Houston, 1121 Delano Street, Houston 77003. On Saturday, May 18, from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. the event will be held at the Houston Technology Center, 410 Pierce Street, Houston 77002.
A hackathon is a day-long event in which software developers, web designers and data analysts collaborate intensively on data and software projects. Over 24 hours, Houston's "civic hackers" will pitch ideas, form teams and develop innovative new websites, mobile apps and insightful data visualizations to address community and city problems.
The Houston Open Data Initiative, is a program that puts public city data in the hands of citizens. The open data originating from dozens of city systems will be critical for the civic hackers in using technology to build tech solutions that solve city problems.
While Houston's Open Data Initiative is modeled after programs in Austin, New York, San Francisco and Palo Alto, California, Houston will also include a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) educational outreach component designed to teach children across the city about career options.
The city encourages a strong turnout from citizens, corporate participants and members of Houston's technology communities. There are already 15 teams and over 50 additional individuals registered.
The City of Houston Information Technology Services (HITS) wants to inform the public how to recognize and avoid phishing, which is an attempt to acquire information such as user names, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.
When using email, it is difficult to know with whom you are communicating. Scammers will utilize this uncertainty to pose as legitimate businesses, organizations or individuals and gain the trust of users. If scammers are able to gain the trust of victims, they can leverage this trust to convince victims to willingly give up information or click on malicious links or attachments. To gain user trust, scammers will appear like legitimate businesses or organizations, by spoofing the email address, creating a fake website with legitimate logos and even providing phone numbers as well as illegitimate customer service centers operated by the scammers.
Being mindful and observant can help you defend against scammers' deceptions by being prepared and proactive. Visit http://www.houstontx.gov/citizensnet/esn-2013april.pdf for details on how to avoid becoming a potential victim of computer crimes through online scams.
To learn more about HITS, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/hits.
The City of Houston and CenterPoint Energy would like to remind Houstonians that CenterPoint contractors may come through your neighborhood to trim branches from utility lines. However, from time to time people do impersonate City of Houston or CenterPoint contractors or employees or law enforcement personnel in order to gain access to someone's home. Here are some important safety tips to avoid becoming the victim of an impersonator: