Racing to Solve Problems

Best App Concepts Broadband Medicine Transform Your Community App Help for AP Tests Latest Electronic Systems and Devices Cyberspace Student Safety Marketing Reach

What Problem Would You Solve for Tomorrow?

(NAPSI)—Students and teachers in public schools are racing to solve problems that can exist in many communities across the country—such as water pollution and street safety—and they’re doing it with $2 million on the line. The nationwide Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest is helping students engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through community-based learning-by taking topics out of traditional classroom settings and exploring, in a hands—on way, how they address issues that affect their lives.

To enter, visit by October 31st.

From the applicant pool, 255 state finalists will be selected, then 51 state winners (representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C.) will be announced. Fifteen national finalists will present their projects to judges, and five grand-prize winners will be selected by public online voters, judges and Samsung employees.

In total, approximately $2 million in prizes will be given throughout the competition. To learn more, visit

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Contest Offers Cash Prizes To School Teams With Best App Concepts

(NAPSI)—A national competition now in its third year is challenging teams of middle- and high-school students to develop concepts for mobile apps that can solve a school or community problem.

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge will award eight Best in Nation teams cash grants of $20,000 to support STEM programs at their schools, and tablets for each team member. Winners also will learn how to turn their concepts into working mobile apps. The deadline for submission is Nov. 24, 2014; winners will be named in January 2015.

To enter the challenge, student teams, working with a faculty advisor, identify a problem and propose a mobile app concept to address it. No coding experience or mobile devices are needed. A panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators will judge the app concepts. Prior winning apps enable the vision-impaired to navigate inside buildings independently; simulate chemistry experiments for classrooms that can’t afford supplies; help reduce CO2 emissions through conservation education, and more. Contest rules, registration and additional in_formation are available at

The App Challenge was launched in 2012 by the Verizon Foundation in partnership with the Technology Student Association, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Mobile Learning @ The Media Lab, and Samsung Telecommunications America. It’s open to teams from all public, private and parochial middle and high schools. Best in State winners will compete at the region level, and 24 Best in Region winners will vie for the Best in Nation awards.

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“See Me” Medicine

(NAPSI)—These days, there’s more to medicine than meets the eye. It’s true, physicians rely heavily on what they can see to diagnose and treat the patients in their care. From inspecting a wound, to studying X-ray imagery, to watching someone react to different stimuli in a physical examination, doctors use visual examinations as a critical component in understanding the state of a patient’s health.

New On The Medicine Scene

Today, however, physicians also rely on being able to communicate and exchange visual information, even when a patient or a colleague isn’t physically present. High-speed broadband and Ethernet-based networks support easy sharing of large medical image files and videoconferencing for remote health care visits and virtual collaboration. As in so many industries, broadband has been transformative in health care. Visual media—high-resolution imagery and video—have become fundamental tools in the evolving medical field.

In the U.S., cable companies are the primary source of residential high-speed broadband connections and, after delivering TV for more than half a century, cable operators are also experts in delivering video. This expertise extends not only to homes across the country but to businesses, including health care facilities nationwide.

Consider These Examples

Charter Communications recently worked with Oregon Health Network to complete an 87-mile fiber network running from Grants Pass, Oregon to Crescent City, California. This broadband pipeline will let technicians send a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) X-ray from Oregon to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City in less than a second.

A rural health clinic in Oklahoma uses cable services from Cox Communications to support videoconferencing with health specialists in Oklahoma City. A stroke victim was the first patient to benefit from the system.

Time Warner Cable delivers video offerings to health care facilities, including access to training and patient education, through its video-on-demand service, indicating that there’s growing need for health care-specific video delivery.

As the medical industry increasingly depends not only on broadband but on high-resolution imagery and video, cable companies are expected to become more important allies in patient care. The trend is likely to accelerate in the months and years ahead.

Learn More

For more information, visit the Healthcare section of

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Frontier Communications, DISH Team Up To Support Revitalization Of Small Cities With America’s Best Communities Contest

More Than $10 Million Will Support Innovation And Growth In
Rural Communities Over Three Years

(NAPSI)—Frontier Communications (NADAQ: FTR) and DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH) have launched America’s Best Communities, a $10 million prize competition to stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities and towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint.

At recent launch events in small towns across the country, including Dallas, Pa.; Charleston, W. Va.; Terre Haute, Ind.; Troy, Ohio; Newberg, Ore.; and Minden, Nev., Frontier and DISH emphasized their commitment to supporting sustained economic success for rural communities, many of which have faced tough times in recent years.

America’s Best Communities will help address the need for growth, they said, by identifying and investing in innovative ideas that small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies. The winning ideas then become available as a road map for growth for all rural communities across the United States.

“This contest is designed to challenge a community’s brightest and most innovative thinkers to develop meaningful strategies and plans that will transform their town or city,” said Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO of Frontier Communications. “Whether ideas come from an individual or a group, visionaries in a community can effect powerful transformations. And the $10 million in support from Frontier and DISH is just the tip of the iceberg. As businesses join together to support their local community through the America’s Best Communities contest, there will be a multiplier effect that will expand the size and impact of the prize. Frontier is offering qualified applicants the resources they need to be their own agents for positive change.”

“DISH got its start serving remote areas of Colorado, so we understand the innovation and entrepreneurialism that spring forth from America’s smaller communities,” said DISH CEO Joe Clayton. “Every small community has a story to tell and we want to help create an opportunity for the best ideas that lead to thriving communities to be identified and shared.”

America’s Best Communities is a multistage, three-year contest that provides $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop growth and revitalization plans, and $6 million in prize money to the top three communities. Municipalities with populations of 9,500 to 80,000 and located within Frontier’s 27-state footprint are eligible to apply. Those with populations less than 9,500 are encouraged to join forces and collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.

Communities must apply by January 12, 2015 to qualify. Judges will then select up to 50 qualified applicants in February 2015, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to develop their plans and proposals. These communities will then have seven months to leverage resources and track progress, submitting their final proposals in September 2015.

Up to 15 semifinalists will be selected in November 2015, and will attend America’s Best Communities summit in January 2016 to present their proposals. In early 2016, eight finalists will be selected and will be awarded $100,000 each. The prize money awarded to the eight finalists will be used to implement the communities’ plans and bring them to life, while sharing their stories—and successes—along the way.

The America’s Best Communities top three competition winners—those with the most innovative, effective proposals—will be awarded $6 million in grand prizes in October 2017.

More detailed information on eligibility and how communities can apply can be found at

“Frontier is committed to the small cities and towns we serve, and one of the best ways to demonstrate that is through our new America’s Best Communities prize competition,” Wilderotter said. “We’re excited to see which ideas rise to the top and how they will help not only an applicant’s local community grow and thrive, but how the proposals can benefit all communities across America.”

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New App Helps Students Prep For AP Tests

(NAPSI)—There’s good news for students preparing for Advanced Placement (AP) exams. One of the most popular study systems now lets students create their own customized study plans—and get daily assignments delivered right to their mobile device.

The last decade has seen significant changes in the way high school students study and prepare for exams, particularly in the technology they use. Increasingly, tablets and other mobile digital devices are what students use to access information, so it makes sense that a study program designed to meet students’ needs would use the technology they prefer.

That is why McGraw-Hill Education has introduced the unique new AP Planner app. This digital tool enables students to decide what study topics to focus on, and then create their own personal day-by-day study plan. The app helps students structure their study, organize their time (particularly important if they’re taking multiple AP tests)-and it even delivers daily assignments on their mobile devices. This ground-breaking app is being introduced for all of the best-selling guides in the publisher’s signature AP study series: 5 Steps to a 5 on the Advanced Placement Examinations. It works on iPhone, iPad and Android™ devices.

Each subject-specific course guide in the 5 Steps to a 5 series is structured around a five-step success plan that differentiates the system from other guides. In the first step, students are encouraged to develop a study plan, using either the AP Planner app or one of three ready-made plans designed for students with varying study styles. The second step is concerned with building knowledge, the third and fourth steps focus on honing test-taking skills and strategies, and the fifth step is designed to foster the confidence that students need to ace the tests.

To make sure the study system stays current when it comes to curriculum and test information, all guides in the series are updated yearly. The latest versions with the AP Planner app are available for AP courses starting in fall 2014.

To access the app, search for McGraw-Hill Education AP Planner App in the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android™.

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Technology Key For SMBs Facing New World Of Work

(NAPSI)—For small- and midsize-business (SMB) owners, time is a precious commodity. They need to get more done with less time and fewer resources than bigger companies. The good news is, SMBs have access to affordable yet powerful technology that can make a big difference in their ability to get things done from anywhere.

In particular, cloud technology gives business owners and their employees access to e-mail, documents and business tools from wherever they are, helping them stay productive on virtually any device. Cloud-based productivity solutions allow sole proprietors and smaller businesses to be nimble without the traditional cost and complexity of big IT.

The cloud allows employees to better collaborate in real time across multiple locations, providing access to business e-mail and documents from the office or the road. In fact, research has proven that cloud services are an essential ingredient for efficiently growing a modern business.

The Boston Consulting Group recently published the results of a survey that revealed a big shift in the way SMBs work from just three years ago. Workers are no longer confined to desks or offices, and the tools that enable these modern work-on-the-go arrangements have been shown to have a direct impact on SMBs’ bottom line—increasing revenue by as much as 15 percent compared to SMBs that don’t use these technologies.

Newer cloud options allow SMBs to mix and match features based on specific needs and evolve with the business based on factors such as growth or seasonality. They also alleviate the fear of spending funds on soon-to-be-obsolete technology.

Here are a few tips to get started with new technology:

• Evaluate your business needs—Whether you’re a start-up needing to connect employees on the road or a growing business seeking a competitive edge, the right tools can help increase productivity.

• Move to the cloud—Microsoft recently announced new Office 365 plans for SMBs, which offer Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as e-mail, Web conferencing, and collaboration tools. The easy setup and 24/7 technical support allow owners to pay only for what they use.

• Find a partner—Working with an IT expert is one of the best ways to ensure technology delivers the most value. Tools like Pinpoint can help business owners connect with a partner with the needed skills and expertise.

Learn more at

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Diligence Is Key For Student Safety In Cyberspace

(NAPSI)—If you’re like many people, you’ve asked yourself: “Who would want to hack me? There are a lot more lucrative targets out there for cyberthieves, right?”

That’s just the kind of easy attitude that cyberthieves are looking to take advantage of—people who are lackadaisical about online security and careless with such hardware as cell phones, tablets and laptops.

“Hackers love it when they hear that someone thinks they can fly under the ‘security radar’,” said Ron Woerner, director of Bellevue University’s cybersecurity programs. “That’s the exact person they want to go after because they’re complacent or not caring about their cybersafety.”

Students, running among classes, jobs, social activities and family obligations, can be easy targets. There are a few simple rules and guidelines that can help keep students safe in the cyberworld.

“If you take a lot of these basic steps, it goes a long way,” Woerner said. “We see a lot of students who are technology users but don’t really understand how the technology works.”

• Under lock and key—Or if you like it, you should have put a password on it. Or better yet, use multifactor authentication. “Many online sites are now providing multifactor authentication. This allows users to easily secure their accounts with the standby password [something you know] tied to a second factor: something you have [a physical token, chip, fob or phone], something you are [your voice or fingerprint] or somewhere you are [your home location],” Woerner said. “Adding this second factor provides you with added security and will save you the hassle of having to change your password when the security is invariably breached on the site.”

• Look both ways before crossing—or connecting-Free Wi-Fi may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread, but there are some vulnerabilities that come with it. The network might expose your information to other users or data-gathering software may be built right into the network. Using a virtual private network can help guard against such breaches. There are a lot of free VPN services available including CyberGhost VPN and VPNBook.

• No really, lock it up—People generally think of cybercrime as some sort of nefarious software lurking on a website but a lot of it occurs by losing your device. If your phone, tablet or laptop has been stolen, then there goes all the information you’ve stored on it. So keep a watchful eye on your hardware. For those times when you can’t, many devices have a special security slot designed to link with a sturdy cable lock.

• Know when to say when—Don’t be too social on social media. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be a great place to share important life events, but make sure to keep sensitive information off them. Investigate the privacy settings on each site to ensure that only your friends can access your postings. Be cautious when using an app such as Foursquare that might alert prying eyes to when your home or apartment is vacant.

• Install a security suite on all devices—Security software can help you avoid damage or at least keep it to a minimum if you land on a website with evil intent or inadvertently click on a phishing expedition.

These tips should enable you to study safely by making use of tools that are already readily available. Mix in a little common sense and you’re good to go.

Learn More

For more on cybersecurity, visit For information on turning an interest in cybersecurity into a career, visit, call (800) 756-7920 or follow Bellevue University on Twitter @BellevueU.

Note to Editors: Although October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), this article can be of interest to your readers at any time.

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How To Help Your Customers Find You

(NAPSI)—If you’re like many small businesses owners, professionals and entrepreneurs, you know it pays to advertise. But how do you do that effectively?

With digital media added to your marketing options, you now have a host of new opportunities, and new questions. Do online directories, websites, Yahoo, Google and other search engines do a good job reaching your customers? Will Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on really help your business?

The bottom line is that no matter how many digital channels and mediums you have, they won’t be effective without a solid marketing plan. Yet, it’s surprising how many local businesses lack one.

The Problems

Consumer behavior underscores the need for well-run and well-planned marketing. Consider these statistics:

• Over 60 percent of the time, consumers cannot find the information they are looking for on a website and leave; and

• Businesses that nurture their leads (for example, timely follow up with a prospective customer) see up to 45 percent more return on investment (ROI) than those that don’t.

Yet, while local business owners know that it’s important to help increase sales, marketing frequently falls by the wayside. Owners say they lack the time, are confused about what’s available or are suspicious of the results. So they simply don’t prioritize marketing.

A Solution

Fortunately, there is online digital marketing help that simplifies marketing and really makes it work for local business owners. ReachLocal has worked with business owners worldwide for more than a decade to help them reach customers online—and to keep them—using all forms of digital marketing: search engine advertising, Web marketing, display advertising, website design and other services. In fact, ReachLocal has tools proven to help businesses get their message to 98 percent of the places where customers are likely to search, surf and socialize—on the web and on mobile devices. Their expertise, combined with their comprehensive digital marketing systems, convert more leads and help their clients get more customers.

ReachLocal works with owners to understand their goals, such as how many new customers they need. From there, they work together with business owners to create a marketing plan designed to meet their needs and their budget.

The company provides owners with reports and updates on how many leads are coming in and the cost per lead. Not every marketing service does this, but ReachLocal believes its essential in helping business owners understand their marketing dollar return on investment.

How It Works

ReachLocal helps local businesses reach, and add customers in three ways:

1. The first is a strong technology platform that works across all channels to ensure clients are in the optimal digital mediums needed to reach their goals. ReachLocal’s technology constantly monitors channels and it knows where consumers are spending time, or not.

2. Next, the company has the industry’s largest and most experienced group of marketing experts to work hand in hand with clients, provide guidance and make sure they’re getting the best results.

3. Finally, ReachLocal incorporates its more than a decade’s worth of experience and data from tens of thousands of clients and millions of campaigns into each owners’ campaign.

What You Get

ReachLocal can help local businesses get discovered with search engine advertising and search engine optimization, build their brand awareness with display advertising, remind interested prospects of their businesses through search and site retargeting, and build their Web presence with social media and Web marketing.

Once your company has been discovered, ReachLocal focuses on turning leads into customers. Its automated system includes a smart website, lead management software and a powerful mobile app. Your website helps more visitors contact you because it’s designed to increase conversions from channels including phone calls, emails, and online chats.

Learn More

For further information, go to or call (888) 644-1321.

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