Valley Bargain Book: Tech Talk And Innovation

Tech Talk And Innovation

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Common tech hurdles when starting a small business

(BPT) - Entrepreneurs love a challenge. But when starting a small business, there’s one challenge that can prove especially difficult: technology. Savvy business owners know they need the right technology to compete in today’s market. But the price can be prohibitive, and many business owners just aren’t familiar with all the different infrastructure, systems and software they need to be successful. Thankfully, having deep pockets isn’t the only solution to your tech problems. Here are some of the most common technology challenges small businesses face and how you can overcome them.

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Recent Headlines

Thursday 11/14/2019
4 Ways to Protect Yourself From ID Theft This Holiday Season
Posted: November 14, 2019

(StatePoint) ‘Tis the season for holiday shopping. When making purchases online, be sure to protect yourself from becoming a victim of identity theft -- it’s more common than you may think.

Sunday 11/10/2019
Vast majority of Americans lose sleep to binge-watch TV
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - A new survey from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found that 88% of U.S. adults admitted to losing sleep due to staying up late to watch multiple episodes of a TV show or streaming series — and this number jumps to 95% when looking at 18- to 44-year-olds.

Saturday 11/09/2019
Delivering Connectivity to Deserving and Underserved Consumers
Posted: November 09, 2019

(StatePoint) With wireless connectivity, the possibilities are endless. Wireless empowers consumers to learn, connect and find their way, strengthens economies and keeps communities healthy and safe. Unfortunately, when it comes to high-speed internet access, there are millions of people that lack connectivity and accessibility.

Thursday 11/07/2019
5 carbon monoxide safety tips
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Along with the cold temperatures, snow and ice, winter also brings unpredictable dangers, including the threat of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, CO poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisonings in the U.S. Referred to as the “silent killer,” CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can only be detected with a CO alarm.

Monday 11/04/2019
How a scholarship opportunity preps students for their future
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs available, but there will only be 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills needed to apply for those jobs. Furthermore, although computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree in school — with only a small percentage of those students from underserved backgrounds. To discover the untapped talent among today’s high school and college students, scholarship opportunities are needed to provide the encouragement and the financial means for more students to pursue careers in computer science.

Thursday 10/31/2019
How to harness emerging technology for small-business success
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Whatever your small or medium-sized business (SMB), chances are you’re dependent on increasingly advanced technology — or wish to use more sophisticated technology. Recent advances have been numerous and head-spinning, sometimes making it hard to keep up. The truth is, harnessing emerging technologies effectively may be exactly what takes your business to the next level, ensuring success in today’s rapidly evolving, competitive business landscape. If you aren't using one of these emerging technologies in your business yet, it's likely that your business would benefit from doing so in the near future.

Wednesday 10/30/2019
Boost your business through global expansion
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The holiday season is the year’s busiest time for retail and e-commerce sales worldwide. Year-end holiday sales surpass one-fourth of all sales for the year, for the majority of businesses around the world. As these businesses gear up for this year’s peak selling season, they grapple with more challenges — and opportunities — than ever before. According to a new Visa Global Merchant eCommerce Study (GME Study), more than half of the e-commerce executives or business owners surveyed (52%) considered increased competition from other retailers to be their biggest hurdle in achieving their revenue goals during the peak holiday season.

Tuesday 10/29/2019
Which apps help employees most? 3 tips for growing businesses
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - For many businesses in our increasingly technical world, future success will depend on how well they can take advantage of digital tools such as apps.

Who are the most dangerous celebrities to search for online?
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - From TV shows to movies, theater and more, everyone has favorite celebrities. You probably have spent time online searching to find out more about what these celebrities are up to and their most recent projects. While there are endless options to feed your need for celebrity news, the problem is some of these sites are run by cybercriminals waiting to install malware to those who visit in an attempt to steal personal information and passwords.

Monday 10/28/2019
5 do’s and don’ts to keep your identity safe from hackers
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Resourceful thieves and cybercriminals continue to find new ways to hack U.S. consumers’ sensitive personal information. Dumpster diving, stolen or lost wallets and mail fraud should still be concerns, but the digital age of tablets, smartphones, PCs and Wi-Fi networks leaves people more vulnerable than ever.

Is your small business throwing money away because of outdated PCs?
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - If you’re running a small business, chances are your budget is tight. You may consider buying new PCs a luxury you can’t afford, at least not right now. But if your employees are working on computers that are five years old or older, this could actually be costing you serious money.

Why your small business needs PCs built for business
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Whether your business is growing or needs a computer upgrade, you may feel overwhelmed by the choices in today’s marketplace. Because many small businesses are budget-conscious, you might think you’re saving money by opting for the least expensive PCs on the market, designed for the general consumer, and/or by waiting to upgrade as long as possible.

How the Latest Cyber Threats May Affect You
Posted: October 28, 2019

(StatePoint) New cyber threat intelligence suggests that while the volume of cyberattacks is trending down slightly, the attacks are becoming more targeted and nefarious. This latest data can help individuals and businesses make sense of current cyber threats and take action.

Wednesday 10/23/2019
AI in agriculture: Helping farmers and creating jobs
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Artificial intelligence is transforming industries, and agriculture is certainly entering a new era thanks to these advancing technologies. AI has the power to help farmers do their jobs more effectively while also creating job opportunities.

Monday 10/21/2019
3 ways to prepare children for jobs of the future
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Today's technology evolves so rapidly, it's impossible to predict what new inventions are coming. How can parents and educators today prepare children for technology and jobs that may not even exist yet? A recent education study by Harris Poll reveals that hands-on, collaborative learning experiences increase children’s confidence and ability to learn new things. The study showed that children worldwide who are confident learning STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) feel more confident about their ability to learn overall. And that confidence translates into a willingness to try new things — an essential trait in education and business, where changes occur at a rapid pace.

Thursday 10/17/2019
Celebrating 50 years of influential projects
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - What were the greatest projects from the last 50 years? The World Wide Web? The moon landing? As 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Project Management Institute, PMI is celebrating by showcasing the 50 most influential projects of the past 50 years in science, technology, social, cultural movements and more.

Monday 10/14/2019
Simple Steps To Declutter Your Phone
Updated: October 16, 2019 - 3:12 am

(NAPSI)—Have you ever scrolled endlessly through your photos on your phone to find that special one you took weeks ago? Or, perhaps you have that one important e-mail that takes forever to find in your inbox?

Sunday 10/13/2019
Understand data usage to get the best deal
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - When it comes to how we use our cellphones, it's especially important to understand data usage. Knowing what consumes your data, and how you use it, will help you recognize whether you’re getting the best deal on your wireless plan.

Thursday 10/10/2019
As business payment fraud skyrockets, are you protected?
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Whether your business is small, medium or large, as an owner you're probably all too familiar with the threats of payment fraud. A proactive approach can make a big difference in reducing your chances of experiencing this common type of fraud, saving you significant time, money and stress.

Wednesday 10/09/2019
New Technology Accesses Small But Mighty Microorganisms
Posted: October 09, 2019

(NewsUSA) - More medicines may be developed faster in the near future, thanks to new technology that harnesses the tiny particles that make drug development possible.

Tuesday 10/08/2019
Want a showstopper master bathroom? 5 criteria to achieve exceptional design
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - When it’s time to renovate your master bathroom, why not set your sights on something bigger and better? Rather than letting the latest fads drive your choices, create a room that holds its breathtaking beauty for years, and never fails to transform your mood each time you cross the threshold. That’s the epitome of showstopping design.

Wednesday 10/02/2019
Why now is the best time to go solar
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - October is National Energy Awareness Month, and you can celebrate by exploring opportunities to create a more energy-efficient, environmentally friendly home. With renewable energy solutions gaining momentum with homeowners, the latest energy technologies are more efficient, affordable and let you take control of your energy needs. Until recently, many homeowners perceived solar power for a single home as too expensive, difficult to install or unsightly. As technology has evolved since the advent of the green energy industry, attitudes have too.

Top cybersecurity threats for small businesses and tips to stay protected
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - As cyberattacks become more sophisticated than ever, small business owners need to take action or face some potentially devastating consequences. Contrary to popular belief, an estimated 43% of all data breaches involve small businesses, not large corporations. Even more alarming, another study found that 60% of small businesses who fell victim to cyberattacks closed their doors within six months. From these two statistics alone, it’s clear the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Monday 09/30/2019
5 Things Everyone Should Know About Consumer DNA Tests
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Millions of people have taken consumer DNA tests and received their results online. In fact, in May of this year, Ancestry® announced it surpassed 15 million members in its global DNA network.

Friday 09/27/2019
4 key resources small businesses need to succeed
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - SPONSORED

Thursday 09/26/2019
Gunnar Peterson Offers Tips to Get Your Hearing in Shape
Updated: November 12, 2019 - 2:45 am

(NewsUSA) - When it comes to getting your body in top shape, Hollywood celebrities and professional athletes have turned to celebrity fitness trainer Gunnar Peterson for three decades.

Wednesday 09/25/2019
New Research Shows Big Opportunities for Small Businesses
Updated: November 05, 2019 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Today's technology has changed the shopping experience. While many of us still enjoy trying on clothes at our favorite department store, we also relish the ability to buy specific and unique items through an e-commerce app, or research product details via our smartphone.

Tuesday 09/24/2019
Seven Ways To Make The Right Software Match For Your Business
Updated: September 26, 2019 - 2:52 am

By Claire Alexander, GM at Capterra

5 ways to keep your phone charged longer
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Everyone hates that feeling — you need to do something important on your phone, like using GPS or making a call, and you see the battery inching down toward 0%. And you forgot your charger, or didn’t want to stuff the bulky thing in your bag as you dashed out of the house.

Saturday 09/14/2019
How and Why to Keep Up With the Latest Tech Trends
Posted: September 14, 2019

(StatePoint) Whatever industry you work in and no matter what your role is, it’s possible you have wondered how emerging technologies will affect your job in the years to come or whether you’ll even have to switch careers entirely at some point.

Thursday 09/12/2019
Simplify your kitchen with smart home gadgets
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - As the heart of the home, the kitchen is often the busiest room of the house — a perfect space to install the latest smart home gadgets. With “smart” sidekicks, you can solve kitchen challenges and simplify the overall cooking process.

Wednesday 09/11/2019
Exciting Changes Coming To The Advanced Placement Program
Updated: September 14, 2019 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—The Advanced Placement (AP) Program gives students a chance to experience college-level classes in high school and opens the door to earning college credit before they ever set foot on campus. Students get to dig deeper into subjects they love, while building the skills and confidence they need to succeed in college. There are more statewide and system-wide AP credit policies than ever; over 99 percent of colleges have an AP credit policy in place.

Tuesday 09/10/2019
See Today's Hottest Stars Before They Were Famous [Video]
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

Monday 09/02/2019
Why your clothes dryer is an energy hog and what you can do about it
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - There’s nothing quite as comforting as pulling on your favorite hoodie when it's fresh from the dryer. As much as you love luxuriating in that warmth and softness, you may not be aware just how much energy this beloved appliance burns through in a year. When it comes to energy savings in the laundry room, the dryer has long been an obstacle, and here's why.

Monday 08/26/2019
Technician Education Can Fuel Financial Success
Updated: October 04, 2019 - 2:36 am

(NewsUSA) - It doesn't take a college degree to understand that a four-year education may not be the end-all and be-all it once was, according to a new survey of U.S. high school students. With rising costs for higher education, and the way it equates to a career, more high school students say costs will be a "deciding factor in which college they attend or whether they end up going at all," according to the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit College Savings Foundation.

Thursday 08/22/2019
Smart Factories With A Human Feel
Updated: August 24, 2019 - 2:46 am

(NAPSI)—Future smart factories may look like something out of a science-fiction movie but they’ll also contain a familiar element: people.

Tuesday 08/20/2019
Cybercriminals are targeting the education sector: How to protect your family
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - As children return to school across the country there is a topic not found in textbooks or traditional coursework that parents, guardians and educators should prioritize: smart cybersecurity practices.

Monday 08/19/2019
Searching for a deal on a family wireless plan? Here's what you should know
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Sharing your wireless plan with family members is a great way to save. It eliminates the hassle of multiple bills and lets you benefit from bundled savings offered by your provider. But choosing the right one requires some homework: Family plans today come in all shapes and sizes.

Thursday 08/15/2019
5 ways to elevate your home decor through minimalism
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The latest trends in home decor reveal a desire for a feeling of tranquility and calmness, perhaps as a response to today’s overly busy and distracted lifestyles. From Marie Kondo’s decluttering craze to a return to natural materials in home design, everyone is looking for a way to create a peaceful, less hectic inner space. When it comes to home decor, less is definitely more.

5 Classroom Technologies Making Learning Easy and Fun
Posted: August 15, 2019

(StatePoint) New technologies being introduced into the classroom are making learning easy, fun, and engaging, and are transforming education in the following ways:

Tuesday 08/13/2019
The cost of complacency: How auto-pay can drain your dollars
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - When it comes to managing your monthly bills, it doesn’t get much more convenient than auto-pay. Because this option eliminates missed payments and late fees, it’s easy to see why three-quarters of Americans have opted in, with anywhere between one and seven monthly payments, according to recent survey findings.

However, consumers are also discovering that enlisting in auto-pay isn’t without its financial downsides. The following survey findings from TheZebra.com (an insurance comparison site) show how auto-pay can make consumers complacent.

* Nearly a quarter of people (23%) admit to not paying attention to what’s coming out of their bank accounts. If the result is an overdrawn account or a billing error slipping through, that can prove to be a costly mistake.

* One-third (29%) of respondents confess to forgetting to cancel services linked to autopay after they’ve stopped using the services. A couple prime examples of this are a music streaming service subscription or a gym membership.

* Nearly half of consumers indicate that once auto-pay is set up for their car insurance payments, they never get around to re-evaluating their fees. Considering the market value of our cars depreciates every year, this suggests that many consumers are missing an opportunity to get the best coverage at the best price, as car insurance rates can change daily.

* Finally, by not taking time to evaluate costs or cancel unused services, consumers are paying the price. Some 29% of respondents estimate they’re losing $100 annually, but for high-ticket items like a gym membership, the savings could be in the thousands.

Now that you know the high price you may be paying for the convenience of auto-pay, here are some tips to help you stay in control of your finances.

1. Keep track of your statements. Because money is withdrawn from your account each month, it’s easy to lose track of your spending. Otherwise, if a price hike takes effect or if you end up consuming more services than expected, the consequence can be a higher-than-expected bill. If your bank account lacks the funds to cover it, you’ll end up with an overdraft, which can end up costing you more than any late fee! So when auto-pay takes effect, make sure you review the monthly statements. If you see an additional charge or a price hike take effect, follow up immediately.

2. Research rates at least twice a year. While your service provider may offer excellent service at a great rate, it’s always possible there’s a better deal for you somewhere else. Take time to research and compare the going rates for things like internet service and car insurance — you may be pleasantly surprised. To make sure you follow this step, set up six-month reminders on your phone or calendar and commit yourself to following through. If you end up using the service less often than you planned — or not at all — this reminder can give that much-needed nudge to reevaluate.

3. Take time to fully understand your options. As you know, some service agreements, such as gym memberships and mobile phone contracts, can’t be canceled without penalty — at least, not until you’ve reached a specific end date. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this rule applies to all service agreements. For example, did you know you can switch your car insurance anytime without paying a penalty? It’s true! In fact, once you switch, your old insurer will send you a rebate for the balance, even if time remains on your six- or one-month policy. So go ahead and shop around. If you find a car insurance provider that’s more affordable and provides the coverage you need, you can reap the benefits right away. Just remember, if you do decide to switch, don’t cancel the old policy until the new one is officially in place. Otherwise you might get charged a penalty for the gap in coverage.

How to save on a big bill: Car insurance

Looking for a better price on car insurance? TheZebra.com allows you to see how your current policy stacks up to the rest. The Zebra is the only auto insurance comparison site that shows you all your options side by side, and never sells your data. When you shop around with The Zebra, you can rest assured knowing you won’t get any unwanted calls or emails. Visit www.thezebra.com and see how much you could be saving on car insurance.

You don't have to pay big bucks for the best entertainment [Video]
Updated: November 07, 2019 - 3:38 am

Monday 08/12/2019
More Privacy Choices Are Just A Click Away
Updated: August 14, 2019 - 2:40 am

(NAPSI)—If you’re like most people, changing the settings on your computer or smartphone can be a frustrating experience, full of technological jargon, confusing menus and complicated controls.

Friday 08/09/2019
Protecting you from credit and debit card fraud with artificial intelligence
Updated: September 04, 2019 - 3:19 am

(BPT) - Imagine a thief gets your credit or debit card and decides to go on a shopping spree. The thief tries to buy a flat-screen TV, a new computer and a diamond ring. You have no idea this is happening, until you get a phone call from your bank or an alert from your mobile banking app. How did they know to flag these specific transactions as fraud instead of other things you have purchased?

Wednesday 07/31/2019
Money flip or flop? How to avoid falling for online scams
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Scammers are always cooking up creative new ways to separate people from their money. The sad reality is that it often works. The latest schemes involve so-called "money flipping," and it's showing up in consumers' newsfeeds on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even via text messaging.

Monday 07/29/2019
4 ways to make the most out of your smart garage
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

Sunday 07/28/2019
From silence into sound, cochlear implants change one couple's world
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Caroline and Andreas Schwabe are hearing impaired. Well, only Caroline has hearing loss. Andreas can hear just fine. But, as Andreas says, for a couple, hearing is a "we" thing.

Friday 07/26/2019
How to Keep Your Data Safe in Today’s World
Posted: July 26, 2019

(StatePoint) Is your data secure? Whether you’re a typical consumer gearing up with smart home technology or a business owner with dozens of clients, understanding the latest trends in cybercrime can help you protect what matters.

Wednesday 07/24/2019
New App Makes it Easier to Raise Funds for Your School
Updated: August 23, 2019 - 2:44 am

(NewsUSA) - Gearing up for back-to-school season is no longer just about new backpacks, teacher assignments and school supply lists. For schools, summer is also a reminder that they have their work cut out for them in trying to secure additional funding to provide students with the best possible education.

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