Computers

Old Computer Run Like New

Wireless Alerts Benefits Learn IT Skills Quickly Mobility in Your Business Internet at Home iBirth Home Delivery Broadband: Student Success

Breathe New Life Into Your Old PC For Free

(NAPSI)—If your PC is slow when you run games, applications and your browser, there’s good news. You can easily breathe new life into your old PC for free, and avoid spending hundreds of dollars on a new one.

Baidu PC Faster is designed to clean up your computer, manage updates and boost your Internet speed with a single click of a mouse.

Clear Cache and Junk Files

Over time, a computer gets filled with things that can slow it down. Whenever you use your computer, little bits of code accumulate and take up disk space. Baidu PC Faster cleans it all instantly.

Optimize Your Start-up Items

Every time your computer starts up, it has a long list of things to do, like turn on your Internet connection, open system services and get your computer ready to work.

With Baidu PC Faster, it’s easy to clear out unnecessary start-up items and save minutes each time you boot up.

Tune Up Your Web Browser

Everyone needs fast Internet! With an optimization tool like Baidu PC Faster, you can clean out the clutter and adware your computer doesn’t need, and browse the Web as quickly as you did when your PC was new.

To learn more about making your computer run like new, visit www.pcfaster.com/go/.

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Promoting the Benefits of Wireless Alerts

(NAPSI)—People may be surprised to learn that an emergency alert can be sent to their mobile phones, providing them with the life-saving information they need during an emergency.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are emergency messages sent by local authorized government authorities through wireless carriers’ networks. The alerts include a special tone and vibration and indicate the action that individuals should take. Types of alerts include extreme weather such as hurricane, tornado or flash flood warnings; AMBER alerts; and presidential alerts.

“FEMA wants the public to know about Wireless Emergency Alerts before they receive an alert during an emergency,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Alerts are delivered to mobile phones by the National Weather Service and other agencies to urge affected populations to take actions that can save lives in the critical moments before a disaster.”

The Ready Campaign

The Ad Council and Ready Campaign are working together to promote public awareness of WEAs through Public Service Announcements. The PSAs were part of Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 25-May 31), 2014, the annual effort by FEMA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Hurricane Center to inform the public about hurricane hazards and provide knowledge that can be used to prepare and take action and are timely throughout the year.

Lifesaving Potential

The PSAs highlight the potentially lifesaving role of WEAs when facing natural disasters, as well as other emergencies. The English radio, TV and digital PSAs direct audiences to Ready. gov/alerts for more information. The Spanish radio, TV and digital PSAs direct audiences to Listo. gov/alertas. Watch and listen for the PSAs on TV and radio or find them online at Ready.gov/alerts to familiarize yourself with how a WEA sounds and appears on your phone.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.Ready.gov or follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter @ReadyGov.

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Learn IT Skills Quickly And Easily

(NAPSI)—A great, fun and lucrative career may be at your fingertips...if, that is, your fingers are on a computer keyboard, tablet or mobile device. More than 600,000 IT positions are currently open with employers across the country. These jobs—with good starting pay, benefits and opportunities for advancement—are often easier to get for people with professional certifications such as CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+.

One way to get certified is with the help of CompTIA CertMaster, a new tool that makes learning IT skills easier, more accessible and more effective.

Individuals who’ve used this form of learning have demonstrated 80 percent knowledge retention after 12 months, compared to less than 5 percent retention after traditional learning methods. Additionally, users of this form of learning have experienced a 50 to 75 percent decrease in training and study time to reach competency in the subject matter.

CompTIA CertMaster is an online, confidence-based learning solution that helps you learn and retain information more effectively so you are prepared to take and pass the certification exams that form the foundation of an IT career. The program is useful for anyone interested in building IT skills, from students and beginners to experienced IT pros, because CompTIA CertMaster is tailored to each individual’s unique learning pace, style and prior knowledge.

How It Works

The program combines key principles in neurobiology, cognitive psychology, data analytics and game study to help users master—not just memorize—the knowledge they need to pass an exam and perform at a high level in the IT workforce.

The tutorial taps into feelings of progression, risk, achievement and curiosity, immersing you in a positive feedback loop. This encourages you to learn from your mistakes and, ideally, keeps you “playing” and learning.

The Benefits

The immediate benefit of the CompTIA CertMaster software—passing a certification exam—can be the best first step you can take to launch or advance a career in information technology. Industry research consistently shows that a significant majority of hiring executives believe it’s important to test and certify after training to confirm knowledge gains.

CompTIA CertMaster is available from CompTIA, the leading nonprofit trade association for the IT industry, for individuals, schools, training providers, HR and IT departments, government agencies and many other organizations. The software is accessible from a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone, allowing users to easily switch between devices without impacting their study experience.

Learn More

Visit www.certmaster.com for a free trial or contact certmaster@comptia.org for more information.

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Making The Most Of Mobility In Your Business

(NAPSI)—If you’re like most people in business today, you feel the need to be available 24/7 and “do it all.” This brings a call for more flexibility and the ability to work in a way that best suits our individual style. Mobile technologies are essential to bringing work and home lives together and helping people access files, e-mails and schedules anytime, anywhere, with the touch of a finger.

In particular, small businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on mobile technology, with the National Small Business Association finding that 74 percent of SMBs use smartphones, up nearly 20 points from just three years ago. Customers and employees expect seamless, integrated workflow that won’t be interrupted when employees are working remotely. Providing employees with the right technology to do their jobs both in and out of the office keeps productivity high and drives better business results.

As you look to make your business increasingly mobile, here are a few tips to consider:

Marry digital and print to best meet your business needs. The way that people are accessing content is changing. Some documents that were once kept in hard copy, such as calendars, are now better suited to a smartphone screen. However, the need for printed documents—for things such as client presentations and proofing—is still very much alive. New mobile print technologies—for example, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476—make securely printing on the go from NFC-enabled mobile devices as easy as touching the device to the printer.

Extend business beyond the brick and mortar. Mobile payment technologies such as the Square Card Reader expand the reach of your business and help you engage customers outside your storefront or office. These applications make the shift from paper to plastic much easier for both businesses and consumers. Whether you’re an insurance agent or an artist, you can connect and conduct transactions with your customers whenever and wherever your business takes you.

Be on top of filing, not buried in it. Businesses keep track of countless amounts of paper. Looking for a mislabeled or misfiled document is frustrating and wastes important time and resources. Cloud-based document management solutions, including HP Flow CM or Box, can help small businesses effectively digitize, store and retrieve documents. This makes it easier for employees to quickly access, edit and store important paperwork regardless of where they’re working.

Visit www.hp.com/go/mfp to learn more about easy ways to implement mobile tech in business.

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Students Need Internet At Home

(NAPSI)—As schools increasingly turn to the Internet and new technologies, more and more, students are asked to perform online research, grades and assignments are posted on websites, and communication between teachers and parents and students is done through e-mail. Because of this, it’s increasingly important for families to have access to the Internet at home.

Unfortunately, about 30 percent of Americans, particularly those from low-income communities, are still not connected to the Internet at home. Research shows the main reasons include a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful to daily life, the cost of a home computer and the cost of Internet service.

To combat these barriers, there’s Internet Essentials from Comcast, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It’s connected more than 350,000 families since 2011, or about 1.4 million low-income Americans, to the power of the Internet.

The program offers families with at least one child eligible for the National School Lunch Program in-home Internet for $9.95 a month, the opportunity to buy a computer for less than $150 and access to free digital literacy training.

To help even more families get online, Comcast now offers up to six months of complimentary Internet service for all eligible families that sign up for Internet Essentials through September 20, 2014.

Also new this year to engage more families, there’s an amnesty program. As long as the customer meets all other eligibility criteria, Comcast will offer amnesty for an outstanding bill that’s more than a year old, so the family can now be eligible to connect to Internet Essentials.

Based on customer surveys, 98 percent of families said they signed up for Internet Essentials because their kids need it for school and 83 percent said their child’s school expected that students have online access at home.

Additionally, home Internet gives kids and their parents access to useful online educational activities such as Khan Academy, a nonprofit that provides a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere through www.khanacademy.org.

Learn More

For further information, visit www.InternetEssentials.com or, for Spanish, www.InternetBasico.com.

Educators and third parties can visit www.InternetEssentials.com/Partner. Parents looking to enroll children can call (855) 846-8376 or, for Spanish, (855) 765-6995.

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iBirth—Technology To Consider During Your Hospital Tour

(NAPSI)—As expecting parents, visiting the hospital you plan to have your baby at helps you get familiar with the policies, procedures and technologies available in labor and delivery. Having the time to check out your hospital of choice with an eye toward comfort, safety, support and service can make all the difference in having the birth experience you want.

Hospitals today offer many new technologies and services in labor and delivery you’ll want to ask about during your tour:

Comfort: Some of the best labor and delivery suites offer private rooms with bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, satellite radio, refrigerators, rocking chairs, sofa bed or extra bed for birth coaches. Many hospitals have taken the extra step to offer rooms with cozy, more homelike or hotel-inspired decor and softened lighting to create a more comfortable atmosphere. While most hospitals have adapted to the use of cell phones and tablets, it is important to check the hospital’s personal electronics policy.

Support: From physicians using smartphones to monitor patients’ labor and childbirth professionals (doulas, midwives) on staff to having Jacuzzi tubs, birth balls and squat bars available, hospitals offer the people and equipment to support families in their birth experience. Most hospitals offer the option to have the baby room-in with the mother to support bonding, but you will want to know the hospital policies in advance.

Safety: Astonishingly, an estimated 22 percent of all incidences of retained surgical sponges occur in vaginal births, which has the potential for significant health risks to new moms. Today, many hospitals use new sponge detection technology in surgical procedures to prevent retained surgical sponges. The RF Assure Delivery System is the only sponge detection device specifically designed for labor and delivery.

Services: If you plan to breastfeed your baby, check to see if your hospital offers the services of a lactation consultant during your stay. Some hospitals also provide a private refresher on baby care (diaper changing, cord care, bathing, etc.) prior to discharge. Check to see if your hospital allows in-room delivery of meals from local restaurants, a particularly nice option to notorious hospital and cafeteria food.

Knowing your hospital has the latest services and technologies designed to ensure your comfort and safety gives you a lot of confidence in your choice of where you deliver your baby.

For more information, visit www.rfsurg.com.

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Home Delivery Made Simpler

(NAPSI)—Good news for today’s busy families: An increasing number of companies now offer products and services that make shopping more affordable and convenient, using new technologies and home delivery systems to redefine the way people get groceries, rent movies and even shave. These services offer you the peace of mind that you’ll have what you need, before you need it, without having to run another errand or even make a phone call.

Home delivery has become the standard for how Americans buy and receive products. Now, this idea also applies to the home printer. Replacing printer ink is now another chore to permanently cross off the list as ink can be delivered to the doorsteps of users before they run out. Perhaps the best part is this convenient service can actually save you up to 50 percent on ink.

Gone are the late night runs to the store when you run out of printer ink as your favorite procrastinator is finishing a book report due the next morning. With the HP Instant Ink service, your eligible printer tells HP when it’s running low on ink and replacement cartridges are delivered to your door before you run out. Because plans count printed pages and not the amount of ink used, you can print high-quality color photos or black-and-white documents, all for the same cost.

The service works with one of several new HP Instant Ink-enabled printers and uses larger than normal ink cartridges—included in the service is the ink, shipping and cartridge recycling. You can also change or cancel plans online anytime. This efficiency, combined with fewer trips to the store to purchase new cartridges, results in a 60 percent reduction in carbon footprint.

From printing that grade school book report or high school research paper, to last-minute permission slips and everything in between, this can be a simple solution that can save you time, money and headaches.

To learn more or find a retailer close by, visit www.hp.com/go/newinstantink.

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Broadband: Key For Student Success

(NAPSI)—As people who care about education have learned, there’s a good reason teachers are increasingly replacing textbooks with technology and seeking out training to keep up with technology trends.

Consider these facts and figures:

• According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 97 percent of classrooms have one or more computers and 93 percent of those computers have access to the Internet.

• What’s more, some 1.5 million iPads are in use in education settings and that number is constantly growing.

• The small, rural broadband providers of NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association supply some form of broadband service to 96 percent of K through 12 schools in their service areas and 98 percent of public libraries.

• Approximately 75 percent of rural schools receive broadband services through fiber while others use copper (17 percent) and fixed wireless (1 percent). Similarly, nearly 47 percent of public libraries are connected via fiber and several others use copper (38 percent).

• NTCA recently surveyed its members to see which services they were providing to anchor institutions in their communities and found schools are taking an average maximum speed of 435 Mbps down and 62 Mbps up and libraries selected an average of 296 Mbps down and 47 Mbps up.

That is to say, community-based providers offer significant speeds to rural schools and libraries, generally all the speeds they need and more. Rural broadband providers help millions of teachers and their students in the most sparsely populated areas of the country benefit from and share in the prosperity that modern telecommunications technology can bring.

Experts Explain

“NTCA members and other small, rural providers understand the importance of these anchor institutions having access to high-quality broadband service,” said economist Rick Schadelbauer. “Because of the extraordinary efforts made by rural broadband providers, the communities they serve can be more vibrant places to live, work, raise a family and educate children.”

Explains NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield, “Broadband providers play an important role in the success of rural students, thanks to the ongoing support of federal programs like the Universal Service Fund—created to help consumers across the country, especially low-income customers and those in high—cost rural communities, receive affordable telecommunications services-and other loan and grant programs that invest in rural infrastructure.”

Learn More

For further facts about broadband, go to www.ntca.org.

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