Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tricorder X Prize Contest Targets Mobile Diagnostics

Salvatore Salamone


Contest participants must develop a mobile solution that can diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board-certified physicians.
Contest participants must develop a mobile solution that can diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board-certified physicians.

The 23rd century crew of the original “Star Trek” had access to impressive technology, including the communicator, transporter and the tricorder. Smartphones already deliver communicator-like functions today. And scientists have transported tiny amounts of matter. But the tricorder has remained a work of fiction.

A new X Prize competition aims to change that. Earlier this month, the X Prize Foundation and Qualcomm announced a $10 million contest to develop a remote diagnostic tool. Dubbed the Tricorder X Prize, the contest challenges participants to “develop a mobile solution that can diagnose patients better than or equal to a panel of board-certified physicians.”

To achieve diagnostic capabilities that can beat physicians, the goal is to combine advancements in expert systems, medical point-of-care systems, wireless sensors, medical imaging and microfluidics.

The exact specifications for what will constitute a “successful” entry are currently under development. Details are expected to be finalized and made available next year.

Initial discussions about the contest have suggested there might be a tiered prize structure. For example, there may be a smaller award in the $1 million range for a device that can perform a specific test. Or the contest might require an accurate—and fast—diagnosis of a particular disease or diseases.

Part of the thought behind the contest is to drive technology development to extend the reach of health information and services to more people. According to contest organizers, “This prize will bring understandable, easily accessible health information and metrics to consumers on their mobile devices, pointing them to earlier actions for care.”

Previous attempts to replicate tricorder functionality have leveraged a bevy of technologies, including wireless communications and diagnostic tools. The X Prize contest challenges contestants to push the envelope.

To that end, the collaboration between the X Prize Foundation and Qualcomm is expected to bring together experts in technology usability, wireless sensors, cloud computing and mobile health to accelerate the convergence of these fields. The winning tool will enable consumers in any location to quickly and effectively assess health conditions, determine if they need professional help, and answer the question, "What do I do next?"

Naturally, a contest like this will garner great promotional benefits from its association with “Star Trek.” Organizers further solidified that connection by getting the ultimate endorsement: "It is great to see two amazing organizations—the X Prize Foundation and Qualcomm—bring the technology of “Star Trek” to life and make the tricorder a reality for people everywhere," Eugene Wesley "Rod" Roddenberry Jr., son of “Star Trek” creator, Gene Roddenberry, said in a statement.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today is Towel Day. Don't forget your towel!

 Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001). On that day, fans around the universe proudly carry a towel in his honour.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Micro-Camera Delivers Clear Picture at a Low Cost

  • The device could transform health care, auto manufacturing and government.A disposable camera the size of a grain of salt soon could be as much a part of the operating room toolkit as the traditional scalpel.
    Called the NanEye, this tiny device eventually could wend its way into cameras, traffic lights, military equipment and a host of other items designed to protect, communicate and conduct surveillance. Developed by Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) in Berlin, Germany, in partnership with AWAIBA of Portugal and with the support of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena, Germany, the micro-camera has a lens that is 1 by 1 by 1.5 millimeters—just large enough to be seen by the naked eye.
    The NanEye micro-camera (Source: AWAIBA)
    The NanEye is inexpensive to make, so low-cost in fact that it is viewed as disposable, which changes the way in which medical facilities, researchers and others can use the device. In fact, Fraunhofer Institute originally developed the micro-camera in conjunction with AWAIBA, which manufactures digital camera sensors, for use in medical endoscopes in order to more easily and clearly view all internal areas of the human body.
    An endoscope consists of a camera at the end of a tube, which contains a wire that transmits an image of a patient's organs to a computer. Doctors use the tube to manipulate the camera through parts of the body, such as the gastrointestinal tract. Typically, an endoscope device costs about $25,000, and must therefore be sterilized and reused, further increasing the cost of maintaining the equipment. An endoscopy, which generally takes 20 minutes to 60 minutes, costs each patient between $800 and $2,000, according to Buzzle.com.
    The micro-camera, slated to become available in 2012, will allow health care facilities to reduce the cost of the procedure and do more procedures each day due to reduced time allocated to cleaning the equipment.
    And the small device could extend well beyond the reaches of the human body. In fact, the micro-camera's low cost, coupled with its small size, is encouraging the developers to consider other markets such as the automotive industry, where car makers could use the small cameras to replace side-view mirrors, and government, where agencies could use the tiny cameras for surveillance and national security.
    The design works because Fraunhofer researchers allowed connections to occur on the back of the sensor, not on the side, meaning a wafer of lenses could be mounted and electrically wired to the sensor wafer and the stack could be broken into 28,000 devices. In the past, a wafer would be chopped into 28,000 single sensors and lenses then would be attached. As a result of the new design, each micro-camera is much smaller for a lower cost, delivering a resolution of 250 by 250 pixels at a frame rate of 44 per second.
     

Five New Technologies That Will Change Enterprise Computing

    Five New Technologies That Will Change Enterprise Computing
  • These five technologies are the next big things in enterprise computing.
  • This fall will see the adoption and increased widespread use of new technologies that will alter the way enterprise computing is accomplished. Some of these technologies come from the consumer technology side of the business, some are grown from labs, and some are the result of integrating existing technologies. Check out our top five picks for technologies that will change the game in enterprise computing.   
1. Search, the next generation. Google grew into a huge company by capitalizing on melding search with context-specific advertising. The next generation of search will take the contextual idea about 10 steps forward. By combining search, social networking and location awareness, users will be able to add emotional context to search, and advertisers will be able to derive revenues from customer presence rather than customer awareness. The next generation of search is a huge opportunity in which neither Google nor Microsoft nor Yahoo is now in a position of dominance. 

2. A virtual company means more than a garbled conference call. The mobile enterprise? Maybe, but right now the software to build virtual companies is sorely lacking in capabilities and integration. Replicating meetings both formal and informal, real-time sales results, and all of the myriad elements that go into running a real, face-to-face company should be the outcome of the business services available. Right now you can assemble disparate pieces of a business, but the virtualized, mobile enterprise is not yet there. But don't think that lots of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists aren't interested and investing in this area. 

3. Virtualizing all the other stuff. Virtualization has a lot more legs than just cutting down the number of servers in the data center. Servers, storage, networking and client computing from desktops through notebooks and smartphones are all in line for the virtualization makeover. Virtualization management is catching up, but the big management console that lets you know the availability, security and capacity of an entire company full of virtualized devices is still under development. This fall will see those management consoles being introduced by a range of vendors. 

4. Cloud creator. Cloud computing is absolutely the buzzword king of the technology marketplace. But CIOs are still reluctant to turn their company's technology operations over to their Internet connection. Taking the existing business applications and adding cloud services that are always secure and always available is the business opportunity of the moment. Expect to see lots of promises and some actual delivery of these cloud services over the next couple quarters

.5. The X factor. The best thing about technology is that it is always in flux. The technologies that were going to be game-changing (client/server comes to mind immediately) often sputter and die. The technologies that are first discounted (search on the Internet, voice over IP, your college yearbook turning into Facebook) often become the dominant players. Trying to guess the next big thing is what keeps pundits in business. I tend to think that management technologies, including energy management, education management—providing distance learning and measuring achievement—and financial management for both the public and private sectors will be a big deal. But we'll have to see how that develops.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Motivational Moment


    Napoleon Hill's Thought for the Day (graphic)


    No one can keep you down but yourself.

    Have you ever felt that sometimes you are your own worst enemy? We all have moments when, no matter how hard we try, things just don't seem to work out right, when everything goes wrong, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. But, just as you may sometimes be your own worst enemy, you can also be your own best friend. The transition usually occurs when you realize that the only person on earth who can determine your failure or success is you yourself. You may discover your best friend when you develop the maturity and strength of character to accept yourself for the person you are and to take the actions necessary to become the person you wish to be. When you analyze yourself objectively, you can begin to build upon your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. When you do, you will realize that the only person who stands in the way of your success is you.
     
    Permanent link to this post: No one can keep you down but yourself.

    This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Thanks to ID thieves, your child may have more debt than you


    Recent investigations show that kids, even unborn babies, are hotter targets than adults for ID theft, racking up millions in debt before parents even know about it.

    By Ms. Smith 
     
    Did you know that while you may still be considering a name for your precious bundle of joy, someone may have already stolen your unborn babies identity and racked up thousands in debt? Thanks to software which predicts social security numbers, identity thieves can steal a baby's social security number before the child is even born. In fact, if you have or will have any children who were born before June 25, 2011, when was the last time you checked your child's credit report? Ridiculous? Oh yes, but two recent investigations show that children are often the target of ID thieves who use kids' SSNs to buy houses, cars, to open credit card accounts, to secure driver's licenses and to get jobs.
    Richard Power with Carnegie Mellon's CyLab released a report [PDF] about child ID theft based on identity scans of 42,232 children who were age 18 and under. It found of the 4,311 cases involving a stolen SSN, 1,767 were linked to utility service records; 537 of the children's SSNs were found in records dealing with foreclosures, mortgages, deeds and property assessments. 415 of the stolen SSNs were used to secure driver's licenses, and another 235 kids' SSNs were found in vehicle registration records. Those new clean slate SSNs of kids were targeted 51 times more than adults. In some cases, the data showed that a child was affected by more than one type of ID theft.
    While the youngest victim of Cylab's report was only five months old, 303 child victims were under the age of five. If a SSN has a clean history, then an identity thief can attach any name and date of birth to it. 10.2% of the kids in the report had at least one other person using their SSN, but it is also possible for one SSN to appear on more than one credit file, employment report, or criminal history which are all mapped to different names. The largest fraud was committed against a girl, age 17, who had her SSN linked to eight different individuals who opened 42 accounts and racked up $725,000 in debt. A boy, age 14, had a credit history that went back over 10 years and was used to secure a mortgage on a $605,000 house in California, which went into foreclosure. When applying for an internship, another college-age girl found out she was "unemployable" because she did not "own" her SSN.
    The identity thefts were not related to data breaches. According to Power's report, "The primary drivers for such attacks are illegal immigration (e.g., to obtain false IDs for employment), organized crime (e.g., to engage in financial fraud) and friends and family (e.g., to circumvent bad credit ratings, etc.)." The potential impact on your child's future is intense as a stolen identity could destroy or damage your kid's chances for student loans, car loans, acquiring a mobile phone, obtaining a job, or securing a place to live.
    You may not know your child's SSN was stolen until he or she reaches age 18 and applies for credit. In an investigation conducted by the Today Show, a 2-year-old boy had his SSN and identity stolen, racking up thousands in credit card debt and had even declared bankruptcy. A teenager had her ID stolen when she was 3 years old and her credit report showed she owed more than $750,000. It only took a couple days for NBC's Jeff Rossen and the Today Show to hunt down and confront two of her identity thieves who are living free as seen in the video below.
    According to the Today Show, stealing a child's SSN is much easier than you might think. SSNs are code, with the first three digits representing the state for which it was issued while the last six digits represent the approximate date it was issued. With software, ID thieves can predict new SSNs, so that "when your baby gets a new number at the hospital, it may already be stolen."
    Starting in June, the government intends to assign randomized number series to social security numbers which should make the software obsolete that guesses social security numbers. If your child was born before June 25, 2011, however, the software can easily predict those SSNs.
    Here's where it gets even more confusing. You should check if your child has a credit report, but it is not advised by the FTC or the Identity Theft Resource Center for parents to check their children's credit reports on a regular basis. Doing so might cause credit bureaus to create reports which put kids' identities at an even greater risk. You should check a child's credit report by age 16 at least, and it has been suggested to check every three or four years for kids under 16. Powers warned that if your kids are receiving pre-approved credit card or other unsolicited financial offers, it's a sign that they may have an open credit file. Yet if parents opt their child out of pre-approved credit card offers, that can create a credit file for your child. Once created, those files cannot be deleted, but they can be suppressed by contacting each credit bureau. If you think your child's identity has been stolen, the Identity Theft Resource Center explains how to order your child's credit report. It also provides a form that parents can use to send to the three major credit bureaus.
    And you thought you had enough to worry about and keep you busy with your kids now?

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    The BDPA Insider - May 15, 2011



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    The BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to open up the application period for any graduating high school student or current college student interested in the 2011 Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students!

    The purpose of the Lilly/BDPA Scholarship is to recognize outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

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    A Media Event Royale – SEO Target Marketing
    Government 2.0
    TeraGrid ‘11
    “Hacking” Career Day
    BDPA Supports Teacher Appreciation Month
    NBDPA Increases HBCU and Minority Serving Institution (HBCU/MSI) Participation
    BDPA IT Institute – 2011 Enrollment Periods
    Techie Camp
    SiriusXM Satellite Radio Career Opportunities
    Endgame for the World’s Most Wanted?

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    There have been thousands of BDPA leaders, members and supporters over the years. Each of them have added value to the organization. It would be difficult to name the 'top 10' of these people when it came to influencing the growth and evolution of our national organization. If asked to create that list ... methinks that I would place Dr. William Bundy on the list.

    Dr. Bundy is a Naval War College Professor and a retired Navy captain.  He was the first African American to rise from the enlisted ranks to command a submarine and the third African American to command a submarine.

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    I have served on a number of nonprofit boards in my time. I have not had a chance to serve on a corporate board in my career. It appears that very few people of color are getting the opportunity to serve on corporate boards.

    At least that is the conclusion reached in the corporate board census by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD). 

    ABD reported a surprising decline in the combined number of seats for women and people of color on the boards of the nation’s leading corporations. The largest decline was among Blacks. This year’s report found that in the Fortune 100 between 2004 and 2010, African Americans lost over 40 board seats while white men increased their presence on corporate boards, adding over 30.

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    Posted by Ricardo Wilkins on 15 May 2011
    I recently decided to start shifting my SharePoint-related posts over to a new blog, instead of here at RixBits.com.  My main concern was that I had [at least] two very different types of content that I was producing at RixBits, and I felt it was time to stop mixing them.  SharePoint, while a very popular topic, certainly has a smaller and more specific audience than many of the other general techie topics I blog about.  I wanted to make sure that anyone coming to RixBits to read about tablet PCs, or about how Apple is overrated, would not be confused when they see a post related to SharePoint team development using InfoPath.  :)

    But as I thought about it a little more, I realized how important the idea of multiple personalities is to social media……

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    by AOL Jobs Contributor, Posted Apr 5th 2011 @ 9:57AM
    You're Unemployable After ...'
    The rest of that sentence is one of those things hiring managers know but won't share -- usually. 
    1. Once you're unemployed more than six months, you're considered pretty much unemployable.
    2. When it comes to getting a job, who you know really does matter
    3. If you're trying to get a job at a specific company, often the best thing to do is to avoid HR entirely.
    4. People assume someone's reading their cover letter.
    5. We will judge you based on your e-mail address.
    6. If you're in your 50s or 60s, don't put the year you graduated on your resume.
    7. There's a myth out there that a resume has to be one page.
    8. I always read resumes from the bottom up. 
    9. Most of us use applicant-tracking systems that scan resumes for key words.
    10. Resumes don't need color to stand out.

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    The rumors were right . Microsoft announced on May 10 that it bought Skype, an Internet communications vendor, for $8.5 billion.

    Instead of trying to mash Skype into an existing Microsoft business division, the company has decided to create a new, separate Skype business division , with Skype CEO Tony Bates as the newly minted President. Bates will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

    In its press release announcing the deal, Microsoft played up the potential synergies between Skype and its own communications offerings, including its Lync VOIP platform, Outlook mail, Messenger instant-messaging, Hotmail Web mail and Xbox Live gaming service.

    Click here for more:

    Please accept our invitation to join us in the City of the Big Shoulders by registering for the 33rd Annual National BDPA Conference, August 3-6, 2011 at the Hilton Chicago.

    Click here to register for the 2011 National BDPA Conference today!

    Hilton Chicago
    720 S. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60603

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    PS: Please share this information with your friends, co-workers, church members, etc so that they can help us pass the word. The key is that we must sh

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    HIPAA-Aware Health Care Professionals Cautious About Social Media

    • Health care providers want to use social-media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with and market to consumers and patients. They believe responsible use of communication and collaboration tools will be a boon to busy medical professionals.
    • Health care providers want to use social-media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with and market to consumers and patients. They believe responsible use of communication and collaboration tools will be a boon to busy medical professionals.Health care providers that shun social media out of misplaced fears they could be breaking privacy rules are eliminating a resource that helps them differentiate, communicate, and collaborate.
      When ARRA (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) was enacted in 2009, most people focused on the economic stimulus. But the law also included dramatic changes to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), such as increased penalties for violations. There were also new obligations that required health care providers to change existing HIPAA policies and procedures, as well as business associate contracts.
      Fearful that they could unwittingly cross a HIPAA line, some medical professionals avoid social networking entirely, according to Avvo, provider of a free online directory of doctors and lawyers.
      “HIPAA is a well-intentioned, but poorly implemented law that is unnecessarily scaring doctors and keeping them in an unrealistic ‘technology lockdown’,” said Mark Britton, founder and CEO of the Seattle-based company. “We believe passionately that physicians are needlessly hand-tied by HIPAA legalities. We want every working doctor out there to know that there are many appropriate and safe channels through which they can build their profile and reputation on the Web.”
      After all, approximately one-third of Americans who go online to look into their health use social media to find other patients and talk about their conditions, and 36 percent of social-network users evaluate and leverage other peoples' knowledge before they make a medical decision, according to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
      "Social networks hold considerable potential value for health care organizations because they can be used to reach stakeholders, aggregate information and leverage collaboration," said Paul Keckley, executive director of Deloitte Center.
      To assuage health care providers' HIPAA fears, experts recommend that facilities create and publish social-media policies that cover Facebook, Twitter, blogging, YouTube, posting photographs, and all other aspects of social networking.
      “Estimates vary, but about 50 percent of hospitals still block social-media sites, but that number is slowly decreasing. In the past two years, I've talked with many health care organizations who are opening access, but none that are closing it,” said Ed Bennett, director of Web operations at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Bennett provides a list of the hospitals’ published social-media policies.
      Health care organizations also should consult with legal professionals early and often, recommended Dan Hinmon, principal at Hive Strategies, which focuses on guiding hospitals through the social-media maze. Training is critical, too, he said, and health care providers should look over their social media sites daily.
      “Review your social-media platforms at least daily. That helps you respond quickly to the good and bad that comes your way, and helps you build those strong, trusting relationships that can be so powerful,” wrote Hinmon in a blog. “You should remove any posts or comments that violate HIPAA regulations by disclosing protected health information.”
      Consumers and patients want health care providers to use social media as a communications tool. With careful planning and review, the medical community can leverage this effective and affordable resource for marketing and correspondence.
       

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion; creates new business division

    The rumors were right. Microsoft announced on May 10 that it bought Skype, an Internet communications vendor, for $8.5 billion.
    Instead of trying to mash Skype into an existing Microsoft business division, the company has decided to create a new, separate Skype business division, with Skype CEO Tony Bates as the newly minted President. Bates will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
    In its press release announcing the deal, Microsoft played up the potential synergies between Skype and its own communications offerings, including its Lync VOIP platform, Outlook mail, Messenger instant-messaging, Hotmail Web mail and Xbox Live gaming service.
    “Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms,” said the release.
    Microsoft offered no timetable or further details as to when and how it will make Skype available as part of any of its existing product offerings.
    According to earlier reports, Microsoft was bidding against Google and Facebook for Skype. As my colleague Larry Dignan noted, the $8.5 billion Skype purchase price made for one expensive game of keepaway.
    Microsoft and Skype are holding a press conference (hopefully) outlining more particulars of the deal at 11 a.m. ET. There will be a live Webcast (with no follow-up interviews permitted).
    Today’s deal with Skype marks Microsoft’s largest acquisition (dollar-wise) in the history of the company.  For the past couple of years, Microsoft execs seemingly had decided that Microsoft’s history of assimilating successfully its big acquisitions (aQuantive, Danger, AdECN, Bungie, etc.) was not so great, resulting in the company shying away from anything but relatively minor, targeted acquisitions.
    Last night, AllThingsD reported that Microsoft dealmaker Charles Songhurst was key in helping Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer broker the Skype deal. Interestingly, Songhurst also was credited with helping convince the Microsoft brass to call off the Yahoo acquisition.

    Monday, May 09, 2011

    The BDPA Insider - May 8, 2011


     

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    Please share your opinion on my "Why Go Geek?" presentation for the 2011 National Conference.

    Act now! Survey closes May 16th.

    Click here to take the survey

    Hi All,

    In light of the current economic climate, how do you see the job outlook for technology workers in 2012? What is the one thing that technology workers and job seekers must do in order to successfully advance their careers in 2012?

    I’m presenting new developments for “Careers in IT” at the 2011 National BDPA Conference and I’m asking for your input to tailor my PowerPoint presentation.

    It’s your opinion that matters. Please take this short 3-minute survey. Survey results will be published on Blacks Gone Geek website.

    Thanks,

    Milt Haynes, Founder
    Blacks Gone Geek

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    BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) has given out over 85 Jesse Bemley Scholarships valued at $154,000 since 1999 to talented high school students with a passion for science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) education. We are proud of all of these young men and women.  

    Titus Thomas is our next Bemley Scholar.

    He is a 3-time participant in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships as a member of two chapters (Northern Virginia and Washington DC).  Titus will use his Bemley Scholarship to defray expenses for attending Bowie State University. He shared his thoughts on BDPA with us:

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    Most of the people that we know are able to 'talk the talk'. Only a handful of folks are able to 'walk the walk'. Zack Garbow is a young man who has walked the walk for many years as the technical coordinator and HSCC instructor with BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter.

    The students that he trained have won the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship in five of the past six years ... and they won the silver medal in that other year! His students have matriculated with over $50,000 in Jesse Bemley Scholarships to educational institutions like Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, Marist College, Rice University, University of Minnesota and Washington University in St. Louis. Zack is truly a remarkable BDPA volunteer who has made a difference in the lives of dozens of our student members.

    We asked Zack to share some of his thoughts on BDPA in our Take Five interview series.

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    BDPA Cleveland chapter has a rich history. In the past few years the chapter has made a concerted effort to teach programming and web development skills to high school students. One of the star pupils has been Alex Tolbert. Alex represented the chapter in the national High School Student Competition (HSCC) championships held in Washington DC (2007), Atlanta (2008) and Raleigh (2009). His team finished as high as 6th place.

    Alex shared his thoughts about BDPA with us:

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    Posted by Ricardo Wilkins on 8 May 2011
    I’ve often said that anyone who doesn’t understand what’s so cool about a tablet PC and a pen is probably someone who’s never used a tablet & pen with Microsoft OneNote.  OneNote lets me store all my handwritten notes in one searchable location, including screenshots, documents, and even audio & video recordings (imagine recording the meeting you’re sitting in, and having OneNote keep track of the point in the audio at which you write each of your notes).  Another way to think about – think Franklin Covey notebook without all the physical paper to keep track of. ; )

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    Published on May 7th, 2011
    Posted by Marty in LinkedInsocial media
    If you’re new to LinkedIn and you’re wondering how to make connections after you’ve filled out your profile, let me suggest an easy approach.

    The first thing you should do is join groups (the Groups link) of interest to you, be they professional, hobby or otherwise. Just make them fit your purpose. LinkedIn allows you to join 50 groups so take the time to max them out.

    As you begin to add groups take some time to look through the membership listing of each for interesting profiles of people you might want to network with. When you find an interesting potential contact send them a connection request. You can use the common group you’re in as the basis for reaching out.

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    by April Gillespie, Catalyst for Everlasting Change
    and Founder/CEO of Starseed Consulting

    In the 21st century, this age of information technology, we are surrounded by gadgets that allow us to stay connected. The question is how much connecting are we really doing?

    With 2,000 friends on Facebook, 800 connections on LinkedIn and 4,000 followers on Twitter, how well are we really connecting with our fellow man?

    The Great Debate has begun. How is technology affecting our relationships in our family life, businesses and with friends?

    About a year ago, a mentor of mine by the name of Jeff Olson spoke on this topic – High Tech vs. High Touch - at a large self improvement conference in Chicago. Jeff Olson is world renown for his best-selling personal development book, The Slight Edge, but he is also a leadership expert, business philosopher, motivational speaker, billionaire entrepreneur and personal development coach to those like Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and more. As a student of the personal development industry I quickly became fascinated by the struggle human beings are enduring today to balance technology and personal relationships.

    Click here for more:

    Please accept our invitation to join us in the City of the Big Shoulders by registering for the 33rd Annual National BDPA Conference, August 3-6, 2011 at the Hilton Chicago.

    Click here to register for the 2011 National BDPA Conference today!

    Hilton Chicago
    720 S. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60603

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     Contact the BDPA Social Networking Team: socialnetworking@bdpa.org

    PS: Please share this information with your friends, co-workers, church members, etc so that they can help us pass the word. The key is that we must share what we know with others so we can all grow and prosper.