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Getty Images Makes Its Pictures Free to Use

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 23, 2014 - 10:30am
Getty Images, the premiere collection of professional quality photos on the Internet, has for years charged licensing fees to those who wanted access to its extensive portfolio, but that is changing.
In a surprise move, Getty Images is freeing up around 35 million photos from its collection spanning over a hundred years so that websites and bloggers can post them without getting smacked in the face by a lawsuit. These images will not contain a watermark, though people who post them will need to use Getty's Embedded Viewer tool and abide by the company's Terms of Use. Acknowledging that its images have been widely pirated on the Web for years by users merely right-clicking on photos, Getty says the purpose of the program is to find new revenue streams for the photographers and the company.                 Because the metadata remains with the image, users can click back to Getty Images for more information on the image or photographer or to license the image for other purposes. However, one cannot help but wonder whether this change will have a positive or negative effect on the company’s success. It's a real risk for the company, since it's easy to screenshot the new versions for those looking to get an unlicensed version on their hands.
Getty is a name most associate with photography and photojournalism. For them to change their business model so substantially comes as a bit of a shocker. For more on Getty Images’ changes, read  Getty Images Removes Watermarks
Categories: News from others

Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 22, 2014 - 9:51am
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation recognizes 304 major U.S. employers as its 2014 "Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality".

The list of top rated businesses has grown exponentially from 13 to over 300 since the report’s first launch in 2002. For twelve years, HRC has been working with Corporate America to maintain and establish best practice for LGBT inclusion, and this gathering of over 240 executives from top Fortune-ranked business, leading law firms, and other major employers reflects the absolute best in corporate leadership on LGBT equality. These are businesses that haven’t been waiting for legal mandates, but rather have extended equitable health insurance benefits to LGBT employees and their families, establishing a the new standard of truly inclusive employer-provided benefits, adding transgender inclusive health care coverage. This elite group of companies spans all industries, from manufacturing to banking, as well as all geographies.

Companies receiving the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” distinction scored 100 percent on the HRC Foundation’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index, the national survey of Corporate America’s treatment of LGBT workers. The CEI considers non-discrimination policies, equitable benefits, diversity training and other internal resources for LGBT workers, as well as external support for LGBT consumers and job seekers. The 2014 Corporate Equality Index report is available at

For a 100 percent in the 2016 Corporate Equality Index report, businesses must additionally:

· Have sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections explicitly included in all of its operations, both within the US and global operations.

· Require US contractors to abide by companies’ existing inclusive non-discrimination policy.

· Implement internal requirements prohibiting company/ law firm philanthropic giving to non-religious organizations that have a written policy of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/ or gender identity.
Categories: News from others

Prepare, Respond and Recover...yep, there's an App for that....but...

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 21, 2014 - 1:55pm
I strolled through the paths of the web wilderness to cull some of my favorite lists of prepare, respond and recover apps for crisis and disaster management… say…but what about...?
But What About …No Cell Service?“Anyone that’s been through a natural disaster realizes cell service is often times one of the 1st things to go! Sometimes having good cell service is tough enough, so why would you bother downloading apps to your phone if a disaster is going to wipe them out?Well, a lot of these apps once downloaded do not need to be connected to the internet or have cell service to run them. Many are informational apps and will still be able to show you how to do CPR, act as a flashlight, or pull-up important documents as long as they have battery power.”source: ( )
Of course, you can’t count on cellular, Wi-Fi service or power to charge your batteries during a disaster, but even a partially charged phone may be able to show you how to do CPR, act as a flashlight or give you access to your insurance documents.

Get Your Go-Bag Ready-(For more on this topic see our previous blog post (3/28/18))

If you don't have a go-bag, make one now. Be sure to buy a handful of cheap, disposable backup batteries for mobile devices and throw them in your bag. Check out for what else an emergency kit should contain. Keep it packed and ready.  Here are some apps to help you before, during and after the next disaster. 
(more after the jump)

source: (
StopDisaster iPhone® $1.99Knowing what to do in a disaster and knowing how to prepare for one are priceless. Well, $1.99. That's what you'll pay for StopDisaster, an iPhone app that helps walk you through preparedness checklists for hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards and other natural disasters. It'll help you build an emergency kit, get your documents in order and store your emergency phone numbers, ready to dial.For Android® users, a similar app called Disaster Readiness Guide costs $1.29.

Dropbox Android and iPhone, Free (limited version)You may intend to grab your laptop when the earth shakes, but what if you can't? If you have copies of your important files stored in a Dropbox account, you should be able to access them even if your computer doesn't make it out.Essentially, Dropbox is cloud storage. Install the program on your PC or Mac, upload files to your folder and they should be instantly available on all your other computers. And with the app, your files should be found on your mobile devices as well. Don't have network access? Don't worry. If you categorized your important files with a star, you should still be able to get them on your smartphone.

Flashlight by Rik for iPhoneBrightest Flashlight Free for AndroidFreeThese apps, which turn your phone into a flashlight, are getting more powerful as smartphone cameras add LED flashbulbs. If the power goes out, a flashlight app can be invaluable. No more rummaging around for a flashlight — and batteries — in those first confusing moments. Keep in mind, however, that your phone's battery should be fully charged when you use flashlight apps, and these apps also can result in high battery drain.

ICE Standard-  Program "In Case of Emergency" (Label them “ICE”) contacts into your cell phone so emergency personnel can contact those people for you if you are unable to use your phone. Let your ICE contacts know that they are programmed into your phone and inform them of any medical issues or other special needs you may have. The app provides first-responders and emergency room personnel with your up-to-date address and photo identification, medical information, blood type, insurance info, and emergency contacts.
Hurricane Tracker iPhone $1.99When a hurricane is approaching, you don't want a storm-tracker map from three hours ago; you need the latest official maps, data and projections. This hurricane-tracking app is for serious weather junkies and people who want the most accurate information as they make decisions.For Android, try the free Hurricane Software app.
Life360 Android and iPhone, FreeEveryone can agree on the top priority in a disaster: finding your family. These days, most of your family members probably carry a personal tracking device in the form of their smartphone. Life360 should show you where they are — right now — on a map. The family GPS tracking system should help you find your loved ones, get safety alerts to them or call for help with the tap of a button. It also provides neighborhood safety monitoring.
Facebook for iPhone FreeFacebook for Android FreeTwitter for iPhone FreeTwitter for Android FreeIn a crisis, social media can turn from gossip lines to possible lifelines. Whether your friends and family are safe or in danger, they could be posting about it on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, you'll know about some local businesses that are open after a storm or other natural disaster.Public agencies, also post updates on Twitter. Consider following the National Hurricane Center, FEMA and your local transit agency and police department.
5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite-  iPhone, FreeScanner Radio app - Android - Free During a disaster, everyone hears rumors. What's really going on? The answer might be found on police band radio, which you can pick up using this free app. This isn't talk radio; it's an unfiltered feed of cops, firefighters and other public-safety officers. It shouldn’t be your only news source, but it could be worth listening in.

MotionX GPS Drive iPhone, 99 centsIf you have an iPhone, MotionX GPS Drive is the cheapest and most popular way to guide you out of town on an unfamiliar route. The software even should work without a cellular signal if you plan ahead and download and cache maps.For help with your local traffic and commutes, Android and iPhone users might consider the Waze app, too. This app provides free navigation and connects you to your local driving community alerting you of existing travel hazards and traffic conditions.

GasBuddy Android and iPhone, FreeGas prices may be high, but they're not likely to vary by a dollar or more among stations. That could change during a crisis. GasBuddy uses your GPS to display up-to-the-minute gas prices near you.

Hands-Only CPR Android and iPhone, FreeTo treat an adult suffering from cardiac arrest, the American Heart Association recommends hands-only CPR. No more mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But you still have to do it right. The official Hands-Only CPR app walks you through the two-step checklist: Call 911, then start chest compressions. A brief video shows you what to do.For $1.99, the American Heart Association's Pocket First Aid & CPR includes the same CPR information along with first aid advice for all sorts of situations.

American Red Cross: Shelter View iPhone, FreeWhen a hurricane or earthquake drives people from their homes, the American Red Cross steps in to provide shelter. That's great as long as you know how to find the shelter. American Red Cross: Shelter View directs you to the sites.Currently, this app is not available for Android, but you can still go online to search for a Red Cross shelter.

Red Panic Button ($3; iOSAndroid). If you find yourself in danger — whether stranded, injured or attacked — your smartphone could be a lifeline. Red Panic Button is your one-touch emergency beacon. Just tap the Red Panic Button, and an alert will be sent to your list of preset emergency contacts via email, text message and Twitter if you choose. Included in the alerts are your exact GPS coordinates and a Google Maps link.

Disaster Readiness ($2, iOS; $1.50, Android). In the event of a large-scale disaster, telecommunications infrastructure could be severely damaged. There's no telling whether you'll be able to access the Internet.That's why Disaster Readiness could be crucial to your survival. This downloadable emergency preparedness guide can be accessed offline. It contains more than 175,000 reference guides on how to respond to any disaster including wildfires, flash floods and terrorist attacks.
iTriage (Free; iOSAndroid). Illness and injury can strike just as fast and unexpectedly as any natural disaster. If you can't quickly determine the severity of your condition or where you can get medical treatment, your odds of survival could decrease.That's why two emergency room doctors developed iTriage. You can search medical symptoms and learn about potential causes. It will also tell you the nearest medical facilities and provide turn-by-turn directions and ER wait times.iTriage includes emergency hotlines for instant advice from nurses and doctors. There's even a feature to save important personal information such as allergies, medical history and current medications.

GotoAID($5; iOS). For many people, the first response to an emergency is panic. In a chaotic situation, it's easy to lose focus. But focus is imperative in the first moments of a crisis.GotoAID is a simple, clean app to guide you through medical emergencies and disasters in the crucial early stages. You'll find first-aid procedures and videos for humans and pets. There are also guides for disaster readiness and tools and checklists to help prepare you for the worst.This app also stores emergency numbers and helps locate relief centers. GotoAID also has a Morse Code generator and an Emergency Pulse beacon.
source: ( )
USA Army survival guide
FEMA by E-View: “Receive 30-second ASL videos with news & events for the Deaf along with emergency alerts that vibrate and flash on your Smart Phone!” 
"You never know when you might come across an emergency situation and need help. Having apps that can help you reach out for assistance in any diversity always come in handy. There is an app called SOS Stay Safe 
 that my family uses in case any of us is stuck in any unwanted scenario. SOS Stay Safe  “Is a powerful personal safety application that empowers you against acts of violence, and helps summon aid in an emergency. It lets you send out SOS alerts to friends and family quickly, as soon as you sense danger. The alert is triggered by shaking the device using a customizable shake limit. SOS – Stay Safe! is useful in a wide range of dangerous scenarios ranging from sexual harassment to heart failure.” 
source:( )
Don't forget to download an App from your major insurance providersSome others:Urban Survival skills everyone needs to know:

Other apps for Apple products :“In case of Crisis” include In case of crisis: corp, govt, hotel , education. )
Other apps for Android products :
Do You have some other gems, some Apps that we all need to have? Please share your thoughts with us now. Thanks. 

Categories: News from others

The Secrets of Great Client Relationships

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 21, 2014 - 10:30am
Why does anybody swap suppliers? Sometimes it’s because there is a cheaper alternative but mostly it isn’t. Would you swap dentists because a cheaper one set up next door? This is very unlikely. In reality people keep the status quo and only move on for a reason and in most cases whether they stay or go is up to you.
Here are three of the most popular causes for client departures: 

-“Perceived indifference”: The client thinks you don’t care anymore even though you do. They feel neglected and can only look back with wistful fondness to the days when you were courting them and couldn’t do enough for them. They just want to be loved and cared for but sadly you’re just not hitting the spot any more.

-Poor quality: You simply aren’t delivering the quality they expect for the money they’re paying and because of point 1 above you don’t even know it. Regardless of the product or service you offer great quality is the best form of protection you can get.

-Knock-out deals: One of your competitors has a brain-wave and comes up with a new and innovative product that totally blows your client away. Sometimes this innovation can lower the price but keep the quality; sometimes the price is irrelevant.
If you would like to learn how to become better at improving or maintaining client relationships, please read: The Secrets of Great Client Relationships 
Categories: News from others

Blog Series - Affordable Care Act - Appeals

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 21, 2014 - 8:00am
Now that Open Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act is actually over, the appeal process has started.  Appeals can occur for many reasons, including eligibility, enrollment post-open enrollment,  lowering costs and increasing savings, and more.  The articles below from government agencies can help answer any questions you may have about your right to appeal.  Also provided is detailed information and forms to help you go through the appeal process.

Can I appeal a Marketplace decision? (

Appealing Health Plan Decisions (US Department of Health and Human Services)

The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight - External Appeals (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

Categories: News from others

Maria Contreras-Sweet is new SBA Administrator

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 19, 2014 - 10:57am
This month, Maria Contreras-Sweet joined SBA as the next Administrator. Learn more about this champion for American entrepreneurs who understands what it means to start a small business, and who has a proven track record of helping other small businesses succeed.
Categories: News from others

Top 5 Small Business Administration Resources for Veterans

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 18, 2014 - 9:05am
These U.S. Small Business Administration resource partners have almost 1,500 locations across the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico to help veterans who want to start their own business or grow an existing business. All partners can advise veterans on small business loans and provide training and support on a wide variety of challenges small business owners face, from access to capital to marketing.

They include Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), which provide a vast array of technical assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. SBDCs foster local and regional economic development through job creation and retention. SBDC clients receive free, extensive, one-on-one, long-term professional business advising, low-cost training and other specialized services.

More information from SBA.
Categories: News from others

Reference for Business: Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd ed.

Research Network Blog of NYS SBDC - April 17, 2014 - 9:58am
"The Encyclopedia of Small Business is a comprehensive and easily accessible reference source for entrepreneurs that demand practical information that can be applied to their own business. Small business owners can browse over the 600 articles that detail information about financial planning, market analysis, sales, business plans, tax planning, human resource issues and more.

"The Business Biographies are a superb tool for biographical information of industry leaders worldwide. We have over 600 in-depth essays that cover each individual's biographical information, career paths, achievements, leadership strategies and management styles.

"The Business Plans section is composed of actual business plans written by entrepreneurs in North America who are seeking financing for their business. This is a great resource for anybody needing examples on how to structure, compose, and write their own business plans.

"Finally, the Encyclopedia of American Industries is a comprehensive guide to industries in every realm of American business. We cover 459 manufacturing industries, and have over 500 essays about non-manufacturing and service industries."

The bad news about this source is that the latter three sections are quite dated, c. 2002.

The good news is that the articles are largely still general enough to be applicable. And the histories are still interesting, up to when they end.

Categories: News from others

December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm