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posticon macOS 11 Big Sur - A First Look

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Apple released OS X in March of 2001. 19 and a half years later macOS 11 - Big Sur has arrived. Why the new number? The new version heralds a new era for Apple, because it is in the process of abandoning Intel chips for Apple's own M1 chip. And because it is furthering Apple's efforts to make macOS as much like iOS and iPadOS as possible. The word is that you will even be able to run iPhone apps on Macs that use the new Apple chips.

If you expect dramatic changes in a major operating system (OS) update, Big Sur is going to disappoint you. The past few OS upgrades have strived to make the Mac look and feel more like an iPhone or iPad. For the most part that means making the Apple apps look and feel more like phone and pad versions -- apps like Contacts, Messages, Mail, Music, Notes, Find My, and Maps. While I still feel the Mac versions are a bit behind in that regard, they have pretty much succeeded in doing that, touting the new looks, although the programs themselves aren't much different from what they used to be like.

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posticon Best Black Friday Discounts

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Each year Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, and scurry for Black Friday deals the next day. The best discounts are on computer equipment, phones, clothing, and accessories. But shoppers scoop up deals on everything from toys to appliances, jewelry to books. A new Wallethub analysis finds that the best Black Friday deals at retailers can be found aqt JCPenny stores, which has the highest overall discount rate of 56.71% (as compared to the overall average discount rate of 32%.

Another Wallethub analysis finds that New York is the 4th safest state to spend Thanksgiving, after Vermont, Mmaine, and New Hampshire.  if you were planning a trip to New Mexico or South Dakota, forget about it!  They were ranked the least safe of the 50 states.

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posticon TCIDA Approves New Childcare Grant Program

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By Margaret Frank, IAED Print
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The Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA), administered by Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED), recently approved an emergency grant program for use in upgrading childcare facilities to allow for safer operation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funds may also be used by childcare providers to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Four grants, totaling $33,331, were awarded by the TCIDA on November 11, 2020. The grants were awarded to the following childcare providers: Ithaca Community Childcare Center, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Coddington Road Community Center, and Downtown Ithaca Children's Center.

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posticon Tompkins Financial Corporation Hires Mensh, Promotes Catone

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By Madalene Ulrich Print
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tf menchcatoneAurelia Mensh (left) and Amanda Catone Photos by John Reis

Tompkins Financial Corporation has hired Aurelia Mensh as the Human Resources Business Partner. She will report to Bonita Lindberg, SVP Director of Human Resources. Amanda Catone has been promoted to Assistant Branch Manager. She will report to Helen Talty, Community Banking Division Manager.

Mensh, who was previously employed by Naval Nuclear Laboratory, will be responsible for aligning the HR objectives of Tompkins Financial with employees and management in Tompkins affiliates. Additionally, Mensh will formulate partnerships across the HR function to deliver value-added service to Tompkins affiliates' management and employees.

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posticon Pros and Cons of Gaming Revenues

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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gambling1As policymakers consider possible expansion of revenue streams from gaming, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report today on the industry in the state that calls for improvements in finding an appropriate balance between reliance on revenue generated from gaming activities and problem gambling.

"The lottery generates billions of dollars each year for New York," DiNapoli said. "While numbers are down this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Gaming Commission is studying ways to boost revenues going forward. Before expanding gambling, the state must take a closer look at the impacts of casinos and other gaming already in place, as well as the problem of compulsive gambling."

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posticon State Launches Free New Job Skills Online Platform

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By New York State Governor's Office Print
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday that the launch of a new online training platform which will enable unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers weathering the COVID-19 pandemic to learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers at no cost. The new tool will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others.

"The war against COVID-19 is one taking place on multiple fronts, and while we are doing everything we can to protect the health of New Yorkers, we must also take the steps necessary for building back a strong economy," Cuomo said. "This new training platform will be key in this effort by ensuring unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers are not left behind by providing access to the resources and training they need to get back on their feet. Whether it's taking refresher course or learning a new skill, I encourage all New Yorkers in need to consider taking advantage of this free program."

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posticon Statewide Local Sales Tax Collections Decline

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By New York State Comptroller's Office Print
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Local government sales tax revenue declined by 5.2 percent in October compared to the same month last year, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. October's sales tax collections totaled $1.4 billion for counties and cities, or $74.4 million less than in October 2019.

This drop was less severe than previous declines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the spring when collections fell by double-digits. Still, declines in local sales tax collections continue to mount, and overall local government collections in 2020 (January-October) are down nearly $1.6 billion (10.4 percent) compared to the same period in 2019.

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posticon $11 Million to Expand Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Stations

Business | Friday, November 20, 2020 | By NYSERDA Print
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$11 million in Volkswagen settlement funds will be used to build out the state's network of fast charging stations to support wider adoption of electric vehicles. The Direct Current Fast Charger program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to scale up electric vehicle infrastructure in areas of the state where access to fast charging stations is limited, and will also prioritize improving the availability of charging infrastructure in disadvantaged communities.

"New York continues to serve as a national model for reducing greenhouse emissions. As part of our efforts, we must ensure all New Yorkers, no matter where they live or their economic status, have access to the infrastructure required for using electric vehicles," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. "This investment will build the infrastructure necessary for empowering more consumers to choose clean, electric transportation options, while making electric vehicles an accessible option for all New Yorkers."

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