Wednesday, February 6, 2013

EITC Foundation eyes busy spring

Spring is approaching, which means it's getting to be a busy time for the Eastern Idaho Technical College Foundation.

Everything is prelude to the Great Race for Education in July, the fund-raiser of the year, but here's what's on the plate for the near term:

From Feb. 11 to March 11, you can donate canned food items at any building on campus, where boxes are being put inside the main building entrances. This is happening because Erika Rico, an EITC scholarship recipient, heard the Soup Kitchen on South Boulevard is serving more than 100 meals a day and was in need of donated food. Erika asked to partnered with the foundation to host a food drive.

On Feb. 21, EITC Foundation will host a Greater Idaho Falls Chamber Business After Hours from 5 to 7 p.m. at DB's Steakhouse, 216 First Street. All are welcome to attend this fun evening of appetizers and networking, regardless of Chamber member status.

On April 10, the foundation will hold its annual scholarship ceremony, a special evening where our benefactors and selected students come together to celebrate their collective community achievement. This happens from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Shilo Inn Convention Center.

For more information about EITC and the EITC Foundation, visit http://www.eitc.edu/

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I.F. Advertising Federation awards banquet set for Friday night

The Idaho Falls Advertising Federation is holding its annual Gem Awards Banquet this Friday night at the Idaho Falls Elks Club. Tickets are $40 a person, $70 a couple or $195 for a table of six. To buy tickets online, go to this site: http://ifadfed.wordpress.com/ and then click on the red type that says ‘available here.’ To simply RSVP, contact Lisa Fischbach at (208) 705-7845 and tell her how many you are bringing, then plan on bringing your cash, checkbook or credit card to the door.

Who's afraid of the Smart Grid? Meeting set for Feb. 12 in Idaho Falls

Graphic illustration from www.switched.com
Idaho Falls Power, the Partnership for Science & Technology, the Center for Advanced Energy Studies and the Idaho National Laboratory will be hosting the third of four community meetings Feb. 12 to discuss various aspects of “Smart Grid” technology and what it might mean to eastern Idaho.

Scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies complex, 995 University Boulevard, the meeting is to cover the facts about “Smart Grids” and your health.

The technology, already used in much of the United States, is touted by proponents as the key to energy conservation, reliability and affordability. But if you're prone to suspicion, there are plenty of people on the air and on the Internet with their own ideas.

Was Smart Grid technology responsible for the power outage at the Super Bowl on Sunday? Or could Smart Grid technology have prevented it?

The groups pushing the Smart Grid have been aware of the backlash for some time. "The possible consequences of unfettered access to our personal data concerning energy usage, coupled with the connection of electrical devices to intelligent networks, are a frightening prospect. In short, the future capabilities of the Smart Grid are nothing less than the ability to control and access information from anything that plugs into the electrical grid," wrote Tim Kostyk of Arizona State University in a 2010 article titled, "Smart Meter Paranoia: Could a Simple Toggle Switch or Software Fix Solve It?"

And here's a link to a 2011 story on Switched.com: www.switched.com/2011/02/01/smart-meters-draw-misguided-opposition-from-left-and-right/

Idaho Falls Power has posted pages of information about the Smart Grid, including this section on health concerns: http://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/city/city-departments/idaho-falls-power/smart-grid-main/smart-grid-health-concerns.html.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Webinar on online fraud prevention set for Feb. 12

Don Bush
Online fraud specialist Kount (www.kount.com) is hosting a webinar Feb. 12 from 4 to 5 p.m. on how to boost sales, beat fraud and reduce chargebacks.

Everyone knows fraud hurts online businesses, but stopping fraud can also hurt online businesses.

The rise of card-not-present e-commerce transactions has created a new, sophisticated level of international criminals looking to steal from online companies. Retailers feel forced to impose hard-and-fast rules on which transactions to accept, and from where to accept them. But while this blanket approach stops many fraudulent transactions, but it also blocks many legitimate, honest consumers, hurting sales and damaging your brand.

The webinar, hosted by Don Bush, Kount's marketing vice-president, will review best practices for:
  • Increasing Sales Through Better Fraud Detection
  • Decreasing Fraud Losses While Maximizing Sales
  • Reducing Charge Backs Without Reducing Sales
  • Minimizing the Need for Manual Reviews
  • Why Too Many Rules Can Be Hurting Sales
A case study will focus on CDBaby, the largest online retailer of independent music on the web, and how it implemented a complete fraud protection platform. Doing this, CDBaby saw sales increase by nearly 5 percent within 60 days. The move reduced charge backs and fraud losses by more than 90 percent and allowed the company to expand to new markets without increasing the risk of fraud.
To register, follow this link: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/425797129

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fairpoint Communications sells Idaho properties to Missoula group

FairPoint Communications, Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed the sale of the capital stock of its Idaho-based operations to Blackfoot Telecommunications Group of Missoula, Mont., for approximately $30 million in gross cash proceeds.

FairPoint's Idaho properties, which included Fremont Telecom and Fretel Communications, served more than 5,500 residential and business customers in eastern Idaho. With the sale, Blackfoot stands to expand its base by 25 percent and expand its fiber route miles by 25 percent, bringing its total fiber backbone route miles to 8,500. FairPoint also had a minority interest in Syringa Networks, a fiber network owned by several rural Idaho telcos, which is part of the sale to Blackfoot.

Blackfoot Telecommunications Group traces its origins to the founding of the Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative in 1954 and through its various organizations delivers telecommunications services to more than 20,000 customers in western Montana and Idaho. As a result of the sale, 11 FairPoint employees based in Idaho will be joining the Blackfoot organization.