Thursday, November 12, 2015

Webinars, Nov. 17-19, Patent and Trademark Searching for Business Owners

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are offering a free three-day webinar series next week to help business owners, inventors, entrepreneurs, and start-ups understand the value of conducting proper prior patent and trademark searches. The webinars will cover:
  • What are patents and trademarks?
  • What are the benefits of patent and trademark searching?
  • What are some of the strategies for conducting a search?
  • What are some of the factors to consider when you conduct a search?
Webinar Topics, USPTO Speakers, and Access Information:

Day 1 – November 17, 1 p.m. ET – Patent Searching – Gwen Blackwell
Join online at
Event number: 995 336 700 Event password: 12345
Join audio conference only: Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 Access code: 995 336 700
Day 2 - November 18, 1 p.m. ET – Trademark Searching – Catherine Cain
Join online at
Event number: 995 724 657 Event password: 12345
Join audio conference only: Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 Access code: 995 724 657
________________________________________ Day 3 – November 19, 1 p.m. ET – General Town Hall Q&A Session – Anthony Knight and Scott Baldwin
Join online at
Event number: 991 047 950 Event password: 12345
Join audio conference only: Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 Access code: 991 047 950

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

According to a November 10, 2015 blog post, The United States Department of the Treasury in November 2015 launched to seek user input on the design changes to the site to be completed in 2017. Although, mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, is currently functioning and provides access to information on how tax dollars are spent, the beta site allows the American public a chance to review, test, and provide feedback about what changes should be made to the site.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans History Sites

As we thank veterans for their service on Veteran's Day, sometimes it's hard to imagine what they went through. Several sites make that imagining easier. The most comprehensive site is the Veterans History Project from the Library of Congress. It makes available personal narratives, correspondence and visual materials of American war veterans from World War I beginning in 1914 through the Iraq War, 2003-2011. Sites concentrating on specific wars also exist. For World War II, the Atlantic Magazine has created a stunning photo gallery including military and civilian photos, while the University of Miami has made available WWII posters encouraging support of the war effort. Texas Tech University has created the Vietnam Center and Archive which includes photographs, slides, maps, periodicals, audio, moving images, and books related to the Vietnam War, Indochina, and the impact of the war on the United States and Southeast Asia.

Monday, October 26, 2015

International Comparisons of the Quality of Life for the Aging

The Global AgeWatch Index has released it 2015 international report comparing quality of life in older age in different countries. The Index is supported by a global advisory panel of more than 40 independent experts in aging, health, social protection and human development and provides data for informed decisions about aging. Coming in at number 9, the United States was surpassed by Japan (8), Iceland (7), the Netherlands (6), Canada (5), Germany (4), Sweden (3), Norway (2), and Switzerland (1).

New Medicaid and Affordable Health Care Act Reports - General Accounting Office

Close to the 3rd enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace which begins Nov. 1, 2015, the General Accounting office has released four new pertinent reports:

Friday, October 02, 2015

October is National Employment Disability Awareness Month


This year is the 70th anniversary of NDEAM (National Disability Employment Awareness Month) and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). See the Department of Labor's interactive timeline to learn more about other important events in disability employment history.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

DoD Releases Fiscal Year 2014 Defense Spending by State Report

From a September 28, 2015 DoD Press Release:

The Defense Spending by State Fiscal Year 2014 report examines U.S. defense spending in FY 2014, at the state and local levels, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

According to the budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2015, national defense spending is expected to decline 28 percent from FY 2011 to 2019 in real terms, after increasing by more than 65 percent from FY 2000 to 2010. Sequestration went into effect in March 2013 and required across-the-board cuts to defense and non-defense programs from FY 2013 to 2021. Over this period, defense spending will be reduced by a total of $454 billion.

The impact of these cuts depends in part on the number of defense personnel and amount of defense contract revenue in each state and region. This report highlights factors, such as the regional expenditures from military bases or private contractors, which can be used to evaluate each state's potential exposure to projected declines in defense spending.

View the FY2014 Defense Spending by State Report - Part 1 of 2.

View the FY2014 Defense Spending by State Report - Part 2 of 2.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

FCC Plans Open Source Accessibility Platform

According to an August 20, 2015 press release, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will "offer an open source video access platform that will enable Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have a speech disability to communicate directly with federal agencies and businesses in American Sign Language (ASL)."

The press release describes the system as follows:

The platform will provide open source applications for mobile and desktop operating systems which – along with direct video calling – will allow for text and high-quality voice communications. In addition, the FCC will provide applications that relay service users can download on their smartphones or desktops in order to communicate directly with agency representatives. An ASL-user will be able to click on who they want to talk to and the call will be connected directly to a customer service center staffed by, most commonly, another person who is deaf or hard of hearing who is fluent in ASL. The Commission plans to roll out a beta version later this year with final release schedule for spring of 2016.

The FCC’s platform will provide the basic building blocks that are common to any IP-based application. The platform also will establish a set of interoperability standards to be used by today’s two-way video communications providers, ensuring seamless usability while maintaining freedom of choice for all ASL users. Giving applications developers open access to source code will enable them to provide apps with easy interoperability for those receiving calls.

Under the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC has become a leader in using "interactive video to allow deaf and hard of hearing callers direct access to ASL consumer support." Other agencies such as the Small Business Administration, the Census Bureau, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the City of New York are already following or planning to follow the FCC's example.