Small Business Employment, Pay and Hours Worked Grew in November

Some rosy year-end news as the research shows some progress in the employment arena… More Than 830,000 Jobs Added Since March 2010.  Intuit Inc. today issued its monthly Small Business Employment and Revenue Indexes. Here are topline results from each of the reports:

Small Business Employment Index

  • U.S. small businesses added 30,000 new jobs in November, an increase of 0.15 percent, making for more than 830,000 jobs added since March 2010.
  • Small business employees saw a 0.3 percent increase in monthly compensation, with average monthly pay reaching $2,775, up $9 from October.
  • Hourly employees worked an average of 109.5 hours in November, up 18 minutes, or 0.3 percent, from October’s revised figure.

These findings come from the monthly Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Employment Index and are based on data from Intuit Online Payroll and QuickBooks Online Payroll, covering the period from Oct. 24 – Nov. 23

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A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2

NASA Computer Model Provides a New Portrait of Carbon Dioxide – An exciting and amazing new dataviz from NASA – this new, ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. The Nature Run simulation was run on the NASA Center for Climate Simulation’s Discover supercomputer cluster at Goddard Space Flight Center. The simulation produced nearly four petabytes (million billion bytes) of data and required 75 days of dedicated computation to complete. Source: NASA


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Week-end Reading – GISuser Popular Article Recap

A few of the latest, trending topics on GISuser and popular articles and news items from the past week:

Census Bureau Celebrates 25th Anniversary of TIGER
Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) database – the first nationwide digital map of roads, boundaries and water – was initially created for the 1990 Census to modernize the once-a-decade head count.

Census Tiger data is 25

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Get Happy! 10 Cities With the Happiest Workers

Employees in the Bay Area have a lot to smile about, according to a report from career website Glassdoor. San Jose tops the list of cities with the most satisfied employees for the second year in a row, followed by San Francisco in the number two spot. It’s not surprising, said Glassdoor community expert Scott Dobroski, because the tech sector reigns in this region.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.01.54 AM

Read more via

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Google Maps Looks at Thanksgiving Travel Trends and Headaches

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with it comes some HUGE traffic and travel headaches. Using historical data and trends, Google has shared some details of the worst travel times and days. According to the research Wednesday is the worst Thanksgiving traffic day for most cities, with Saturday the worst day to return.

worst days to travel

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Tip – Shoot Photos From Your smartphone Like a Pro

If you’ve followed me over the years then you likely know that I really luv mobile photography… yet no, I refuse to call any of my work or myself a photographer, iphoneographer, AndroidOgrapher etc… heck, we’re all photographers in my mind!

But, there’s some great way to enhance your photo taking skills and the tricks are quite simple. Check out this very cool video with some simple tricks that will WOW yourself and your fiends… happy snapping!

Thanks to Lipstiq for the tips


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A Smartwatch and a Phone for Just $199 from Burg

Some WAY cool technology here just in time for the holidays – the Burg smartwatch/smartphone! Priced at only $199, the “Dick Tracy”-like BURG 12 smartwatch functions as a standalone phone, with the ability to make and receive calls and texts without connecting to a smartphone.  It offers all the basic functions of a smartphone – phone calls, text, music, video, camera, calendar, contact lists, voice recording, etc… Available from WalMart, The BURG 12 functions as a standalone phone utilizing any GSM SIM card.  BURG includes a SIM card with $25 prepaid talk and text.

Burg smartwatch phone
It offers all the basic functions of a smartphone – phone calls, text, music, video, camera, calendar, contact lists, voice recording, etc

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Explorer for ArcGIS on Android, coming soon!

Found this little nugget via Twitter (@ChrisLeSueur) and courtesy of Jeff Shaner @jeffshaner and the ArcGIS mobile team… yep, Explorer for ArcGIS on Android, coming soon! According to details of the release on the ArcGIS blog… “Explorer for ArcGIS on Android is a native app and has a look and feel that will be familiar to Android users. Like our other Explorer for ArcGIS apps on iOS and Mac OS X this app was created for everyone, it is intuitive and easy to use…no special training is required to us the app.” See more on the Esri blog

The Beta is open although this is a private Beta

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Dangerous by Design 2014 spotlights pedestrian safety with Fatalities Map

From Smart Growth America… In 2012, pedestrians accounted for nearly 15 percent of all traffic deaths, up 6 percent from 2011 and representing a five-year high. More than half of all pedestrian fatalities occur on arterials, and over 60 percent of these tragedies occur on roads with speed limits of 40 mph or higher. These roads were not planned or designed for more than speeding traffic – Dangerous by Design 2014 spotlights the issue of pedestrian safety and the factors that make walking dangerous—and identifies the tools and practices available to put an end to the decades-long neglect of pedestrian safety.

Dangerous by Design 2014 spotlights pedestrian safety with Fatalities Map

In addition to a fatalities map, the group has also made available National spotlights and detailed State and regional Data – the full PDF report is also available

Search the Dangerous by Design fatalities map, 2014


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10 Cool, New Things About SketchUp 2015

This week at the annual Trimble Dimensions conference in Vegas, the company officially released the latest update to SketchUp, the awesome 3D modeling environment. the following are just 10 of the new features and functionality awaiting users:

  • 64-bit Support:  In addition to continued support for 32-bit systems, SketchUp Pro 2015 is available in a 64-bit version for Windows and Mac.
  • IFC Import:  In addition to export, SketchUp Pro users can now share models between Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools and apply industry standard types that stay with the model as it travels with SketchUp 2015’s new IFC file import.

    sketchup 2015

  • Ruby API and Extension Warehouse Enhancements:  A variety of improvements to SketchUp’s Ruby API
  • Faster Core:  Models render faster with core modeling performance improvements
  • Professional Drafting:  Using SketchUp’s LayOut 2D drawing and documentation tool, users can manage drawings more easily and display more data from their information models
  • Modeling Tools:  With the addition of a 3-point Arc tool, users can now draw arced edges four different ways.
  • Expanded 3D Warehouse
  • SketchUp Pro 2015 also supports 3D CAD and BIM services
  • download starts with a 30-day trial of Pro features
  • 2015 Pro licenses can be used on a Mac or a PC

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Report Shows Rapid and Widespread Adoption of Open Data By Governments #opengov

Socrata ( has announced the launch of the Socrata 2014 Open Data Benchmark Reportdesigned to measure and report public-sector use of open data in the United States.  The report reveals that an increasing number of public-sector organizations have embraced open data as a way to boost visibility into government decision-making and performance.

“This benchmark study clearly and dramatically confirms what we’ve been seeing during the past few years – open data adoption and usage is exploding in governments all over the world,” says Kevin Merritt, Founder and CEO of Socrata. “Open data has gone mainstream. It’s a viral movement that’s now unstoppable. And, as the lifeblood of connected global networks, it’s improving the lives of people on just about every continent.”

Source: Socrata

Socrata’s New 2014 Benchmark Report

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Antares Rocket Explodes on Lift Off – suffers a catastrophic anomaly!

A tragic and sudden end to the Antares Rocket for NASA today as the launch went sideways, so to speak, and the rocket exploded shortly after launch.

This from the CBC…  The 14-storey rocket, built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp (@OrbitalSciences), bolted off its seaside launch pad at the Wallops Flight Facility at 6:22 p.m. ET carrying a Cygnus cargo ship for the International Space Station. It exploded seconds later. It “suffered a catastrophic anomaly” shortly after lift off, according to a NASA statement.

Tuesday’s planned flight was to be the third of eight under the company’s $1.9 billion US contract with NASA. Outfitted with a new, more powerful upper-stage engine, the Antares rocket launched on Tuesday carried a Cygnus spacecraft packed with more than 2,200 kilograms of supplies, science experiments and equipment, a 15 per cent increase over previous missions.

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