In January, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced the start of a Smart Communities program that will work with community-based organizations to educate residents in five underserved neighborhoods about technology and connect them with the city's human services.

It is funded by the locally based MacArthur Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corp., the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp., and Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP.