Smart Parking is Here

Parking! Definitely a challenge in large cities and even here in Ithaca. Smart parking systems are optimizing parking availability as this article from Microsoft discusses. Locally, we're a fan of the ParkMobile app which makes parking in downtown, Collegetown, and on the Cornell campus a breeze.  

With some cities dedicating more than a third of their real estate to parking, you’d think it would generally be pretty easy to find a parking spot.  But did you ever notice how that never seems to be the case? Especially when you’re in a rush. In fact, 30% of all traffic in city cores is estimated to consist of people looking for a parking spot.  Imagine how much less traffic there would be if we could remove almost of a third of the cars from downtown areas.

It’s no wonder that city governments consider parking infrastructure and policies whenever they look to improve their local transportation. Getting drivers off the road and into parking spaces without causing traffic delays has the potential for greater impact than adding an entire new road lane. The challenge is to find ways of optimizing parking infrastructure without negatively impacting citizens or traffic.

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Managing Physical & Digital Security While Traveling

Whether you're traveling for business or leisure this summer, chances are that as a small business owner or other professional, you'll be working on your trip. But with unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and the potential for physical theft, among other risks, there are several steps you need to take to ensure security issues don't interrupt your productivity.

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Four tips for smart business trips

Say the word “travel,” and images of Caribbean paradises and exotic, fun-filled adventures come to mind. But say the words “business travel,” and a whole different set of scenarios come up: losing time during the journey, lost or delayed luggage, poor internet connections. One study listed these items—and flight delays on top of it all—as some of the top stress triggers for business travelers [1].

Yes, business travel is often stressful. But it doesn’t always have to be. Before you next head out of the office, ask yourself the four questions below. A few simple preparations can help turn a stress-filled experience into one that’s much closer to stress-free.

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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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Safely Using Airport Wi-Fi

 (Editors Note:  Although this is written with Norton by Symantec products in mind, the tips are valid and important. Enjoy your trip!)

Heading out of town to visit relatives during the Holidays is as traditional as turkey dinners, electronic gifts, mistletoe, and snowmen. But what many people do not look forward to is the hustle, bustle, and time-consuming activity of actually heading into, through, and out of airports. This year, more than ever, millions of travelers will be using the public Wi-Fi systems available at municipal and International airports around the world. You may be one of them. With your handheld device, your laptop, or your tablet computer, you’ll be checking on your flights, sending out email, or maybe even working on that report that you promised your boss by January 3rd. But how safe is the airport’s wireless security?  How do you protect yourself – and your private information - from identity theft, fraud, and other cybercrimes? 

Airports are high on the list of having “rampant phony Wi-Fi hot spots” created by phishers and other criminals, according to a recent study. This means that when you’re travelling and using the Internet at an airport, your personal information (including user names, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.) are passing through the air unprotected and is perfect prey for cyber-crooks. Experts cite a number of reasons for this serious breach, including the cost of securing a public area as large as an airport. In fact, as city and state budgets get slashed during the current economic climate, even the Federal government has trouble finding funds for adequate Internet security at airports.  The result is that airports have become a perfect breeding ground for professional and amateur jerks trying to rip you off in some way.

There are a few things you can do in advance and at the airport to minimize your risk.  Here are some tips to help you keep your holiday travel safe and secure:

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