Hurricanes 2014 - Should we worry?

It's been a very quiet hurricane season so far this year-- right?  Well, not if you live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Over the July 4th weekend, Hurricane Arthur paid a visit to Ocracoke Island, knocking out power for almost three days and washing out one of the busiest tourist weekends of the year. (Editors lament -- We were scheduled to go to Ocracoke that very weekend - well maybe next year!)

With record cool temperatures for parts of the US recently,  it's easy to forget the real dangers and threats associated these storms.

The truth is, now is the best time to prepare for the season ahead. (Remember, "peak hurricane season" runs from mid-August to late October.) Learn the 3.5 reasons to not let your guard down this hurricane season and download the free infographic. 

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Tips for Taking a REAL Vacation

(Editor's Note:  Although our local summer ends with the return of students to Ithaca, this article regarding vacations is still useful.  It's all too easy these days to stay connected which is a blessing and a curse. But it does allow many of us to take vacations at any time of year.)

The rise in mobile tech has made it possible to work remotely—but it's also made it harder to truly disconnect during that much-needed vacations. Just in time for that summer trip, here are some tips for unplugging the right way—before, during, and after your next vacation.
 

  • Set expectations and delegate. Whether it's an out-of-office notification, a calendar notice, or an announcement during a meeting (or all three), tell everyone you'll be away. Work out a detailed plan of action with your manager and coworkers that covers who's to take care of what when you're gone. Remember, if you truly want to unplug it's best not to leave your cell number (in case of emergencies.)

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Secrets to getting more out of your Laptop Battery

With the rise of the notebook PC and tablets, we’ve been able to stay productive, creative and entertained almost anywhere. We’re no longer tethered to our desks or a certain location—that is, until it’s time to recharge.

How we use a notebook and all its features controls how long the battery runs without recharging. Here are a few tips to follow that can help improve overall battery performance —and keep us on the go.

Charge-cycle care
One of the more commonly-known strategies revolves around how often you connect and disconnect the charger. This method also largely depends on the type of battery and notebook model you’re using. Many older notebooks feature nickel-metal batteries, while modern notebooks are built with lithium-ion batteries. For the nickel-metal variety, it can help to completely drain your battery until it shuts down, and then fully recharge it. But doing so for lithium-ion batteries, though, has been known to have a negative effect on battery efficiency.

Strategies for maximizing power based on the charging method vary by battery type. To find out which type of battery you have, shut down your laoptop and release the battery. On the top or bottom of the battery, there should be a “Li-ion” for lithium-ion or “NiMH” or “Ni-Cad” for nickel batteries. Most tablets have Li-ion batteries installed.

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Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks

(Editors Note - Here are some of the basics regarding intellectual property that you may have within your business.. Our good friends Mike Brown and Chris Michaels are local Patent Attorneys in Ithaca.  For more information about intellectual property, checkout their website at: www.bpmlegal.com/)

 

As an entrepreneur or aspiring small business owner, one of the most significant considerations that may come to mind is how to protect your work. What steps should you take to ensure that someone else couldn’t lay claim to what your product or service? Does a patent, copyright or trademark apply? Here’s some clarifying information about patents, copyrights and trademarks and how to protect your intellectual property. 

The U.S. Copyright Office provides a clear distinction between these three types of protection:

  • Patents protect inventions or discoveries
  • Copyright protects original works of authorship
  • Trademarks protect words, phrases, symbols or designs identifying the source of the goods or services of one party that distinguishes them from others

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#hashtags 101

It’s a simple symbol: two lines intersecting two lines. It’s been called the number sign, the pound sign and the hash mark. It’s used for different purposes in linguistics, mathematics and computing. Of course, we’re talking about the # symbol. It’s a simple sign, but one with growing influence.
 
Today, the # symbol is used to create “hashtags” in social media posts on sites like Twitter and Facebook. A hashtag is the # symbol followed by a word or phrase.
 
Hashtags create a system for grouping messages and allow social media users to see content, such as tweets, from people they do not follow. If you search #cats on Twitter, you’ll see cat content from around the world—and there is a lot of it.
 
Exploring topics using hashtags is simple. On Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are clickable—so you just have to select the hashtag within a post to view more about that topic. You can also search using hashtags (as opposed to traditional keywords), but there is a difference between keyword and hashtag queries. A hashtag is usually written without spacing and might not contain normal words. That means searches for “#ILoveCats” and “I love cats” will generate different results.
 
When you use hashtags, you’re more than simply sending a message into a larger pool for others to see; you are joining a conversation. Whether referring to sporting events, political affairs or breaking news, your voice can be heard.

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