Science & Technology
Loebsack Statement on President Obama’s Broadband Announcement PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 16 January 2015 09:20

Cedar Falls, IA – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today as he traveled with President Obama to Cedar Falls for his announcement on his plans to provide more Americans with access to fast and affordable broadband. Loebsack was recently named to the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over broadband issues.

“The future of economic development in Iowa and across the country depends, in large part, on access to the internet and specifically broadband. I have met with many small businesses, farmers, and rural telecommunication companies who have stressed the importance of expanding high speed internet to rural areas. Broadband also gives small and rural schools the power to vastly expand their educational options, providing students with a cutting-edge 21st Century education regardless of geography. Today’s announcement is a necessary step for rural economic development, education, job growth, businesses, farmers, and families

“I was pleased to join President Obama today as he laid out his plan to make sure Iowans and others in rural areas are not left behind. Expanding broadband for all Iowans is critical so that this economic development tool is available for everyone, regardless of where they live.”


50 Volunteers needed for January 24th Robotics Tournament and upcoming deadlines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Pat Barnes   
Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:23

50+ volunteers are currently being sought to support the Saturday, January 24, 2015

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics League Championship being held at Davenport West High School.


Feel free to forward this to others interested in volunteering!

Are you looking for a way to share your skills, talents, passion having fun and positively impact the lives of 250+ students age 12-18 in our community?

50+ volunteers are currently being sought to support the Saturday, 24Jan15 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics League Championship being held at Davenport West High School. 26 FTC Teams from the Quad City and Dubuque regions will be competing to qualify for the State Championship.  Link to Pictures from 2014 Quad City FTC Qualifier

No previous experience or technical background is required for many of the volunteer positions with training available. Positions are available for adults and students in college & high school. Applications for volunteering will continue to be accepted until we fill all of the posted positions.  Volunteers will be provided food, beverages, and a great experience supporting our local youth!

To volunteer,  you need to submit your on-line application with your contact

information and you can prioritize the volunteer roles you are interested in supporting. If you have not volunteered previously, you will need to create an account.  For others that have volunteered, you can log-in and select the 24Jan15 event and roles you want to support.

In order be assigned to a volunteer position, you will need to pass the background check which occurs when you apply as part of FIRST's new  Youth Protection Program.
Note: you are not required to provide your social security number and there is no cost for the background check to you.

Link to Apply to Volunteer at 24Jan15 FTC with FIRST VIMS (Volunteer Information & Management System)

You will receive an e-mail when you have been assigned to a role.

If you have any questions regarding volunteering at the 24Jan15 FTC event, please let me know.

Best Regards,

Pat Barnes
Executive Director Emeritus 
Quad City Engineering and Science Council (QCESC) 
Office:  (309) 765-3629 ; website:

Other Upcoming Deadline Reminders:

  • 23Jan15 Deadline - QCESC scholarship applications for Quad City area high school students planning to enrolled in major in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are being accepted until 23Jan15. Last year, the QCESC awarded 15 scholarships totally $24,000.  Link to Further Information
  • 30Jan15 Deadline - QCESC is accepting applications for the its annual awards including STEM Teacher of the Year, Junior & Senior Engineer & Scientist of the Year (4 total), and Lifetime Achievement Award.  The awards will be announced at the 26Feb15 QCESC Banquet which will be held at John Deere's World Headquarters in Moline.  Link to Further Info on Awards

Pre-Register for STEM Teachers and Educators Night Out Event January 14th PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by QCESC   
Friday, 02 January 2015 09:08

Join us STEM Teachers/Educators Night Out Event


This free event will include free pop/pizza provided by QCESC, a review of major STEM events calendar, an overview of host school's STEM program, and input from other schools attending the meeting. This is a great networking opportunity for sharing STEM successes and learning.

STEM Teachers/Educators Night Out Event
Wednesday, January 14th
6:00-8:15 P.M.

at Rivermont Collegiate (1821 Sunset Dr, Bettendorf)


The calendar of major STEM events will be discussed, including:

  • Bridge Building Competition Feb 6-7 @ Putnam Museum
  • Mouse Trap Car Race (Date??) @ Williams Intermediate School, Davenport
  • Trebuchet Competition. Apr 10 (Tentative) @ Bettendorf HS
  • Cardboard Boat Regatta. May 8 (Tentative) @ Bettendorf Lagoon
  • A highlight will be a tour of Rivermont Collegiate and its STEM program.
  • As always we want representatives from the various schools to share their successes and plans for STEM programs in their school.
  • Please come, enjoy the pizza and soda provided by QCESC at 6:00pm and participate in this important QC STEM event.

To attend this free event, the only requirement is that you need to pre-register which only takes a minute using the On-line Google Form. This helps insure we have adequate food and space.


Please forward to other STEM Educators who would be interested in attending!

After-Christmas Tech Help is As Close as the Rock Island Library PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Lisa Lockheart   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 16:25
Rock Island, IL: If you've just received new technology under the tree, the Rock Island Library has a gift for you - a whole series of free classes on how to use that new tablet or smartphone.

The schedule of classes kicks off on the day after Christmas with a drop-in tech help session at the 30/31 Branch. Class offerings then go on to cover the ins and outs of Apple iPads and iPhones, Android tablets and iPhones, Kindle Fire tablets, and how to use the library's OverDrive service to download free eBooks and eAudiobooks to any device.

The schedule of classes and programs is as follows:

Gadgets and More drop-in help sessions at the 30/31 Branch:

  • Dec. 26 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Jan. 2 from 10:00 am to 11:30 am
  • Jan. 12 from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Jan. 15 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm

All Gadgets and More sessions are inside the bookstore at the 30/31 Branch, 3059 30th Street. Participants can bring in their new device and get practical help with learning how to use it. Devices should be charged, with the set-up phase completed.

How to Download eBooks and eAudiobooks classes will be offered:

  • Dec. 30 at 2:00 pm, at the Main Library, 401 19th Street;
  • Jan. 13 at 6:00 pm, at the Southwest Branch, 9010 Ridgewood Road, and
  • Jan. 29 at 2:30 pm, at the Main Library.

The download classes lead attendees through using the library's OverDrive services to check out free eBooks and eAudiobooks. Each session covers all common device types, including personal eReaders, computers, tablets and Mp3 players. Participants should bring their devices.

A Getting to Know Your iPad or Android Tablet class will be offered Dec. 30, at 11:00 am in the Main Library Community Room. The class will cover basic features, tips and settings for users of both Apple-based and Android-based tablet computers and phones. Attendees should bring their devices. Other device-specific classes include:

  • ·         Getting to Know Your Android Tablet or Smartphone : 11:00 am on Jan. 7, Main Library Community Room. This class is for Android users.
  • Getting to Know Your Apple iPad or iPhone: 2:30 pm on Jan. 8, Main Library Community Room. This class is for Apple users.
  • Getting to Know Your Amazon Kindle Fire: 11:00 am on Jan. 9, Main Library Community Room.

The Kindle Fire and the iPad/Android tablet classes will be repeated at the library's Southwest Branch in February. For more details, please see the library's online calendar.

Each device class is free and open to the public, and covers basic functions settings, organizing apps, tips on other uses, and more general information. Attendees should bring their devices along. No registration is necessary.

For more events at Rock Island Public Libraries, visit the library website at, follow the library on Facebook or Twitter, or call 309-732-7323.


Founded in 1872, the Rock Island Public Library serves the area through three locations, which include the Main, 30/31 and Southwest Branches, community outreach efforts, and online opportunities that provide resources to enhance personal achievement and stimulate the imagination.

Cyber-Security Expert Offers 10 Tips to Safeguard Your Information PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 22 December 2014 14:44
By: Gary S. Miliefsky

We’ve all lost our identity at least three times, with more than 930 million records breached, lost or stolen to hackers and cyber criminals, says consumer advocacy non-profit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Why don’t we do all we can to stay safer online?

According to, more than a quarter of Americans say they lack the information necessary.

So, here it is – everything you need to know to enjoy the shopping experience without losing your privacy and identity or putting your children’s safety at risk:

•  Assume you’ve already been compromised. Whether it's your baby monitor, your SmartTV, the Webcam on your laptop or apps you installed on your smartphone or tablet, your antivirus is not enough protection. It's time to take those devices’ and apps’ privacy policies, and the permissions you grant them, much more seriously.

•  Change your passwords – all of them. Now. And do it as frequently as you can tolerate. Also, if you don't want to change it often, then use any unique characters you can think of, such as a dollar sign ($) or exclamation mark (!), or replace an "oh" with a "zero" (0). This goes a long way in preventing attacks against your password.

•  Turn off wireless and geolocation services. Protect your smartphones and tablets by turning off WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS, except when you need them. That way, if you are at a local coffee shop or in a shopping mall, no one can spy on you using nearby (proximity) hacking attacks and they can’t track where you were and where you are going on your GPS.

•  Assume most of your apps are creepware. Do you really need them? Delete all of the apps you aren't using too often. Replace apps that ask for too many permissions and take advantage of too many of your privacy settings -- like GPS, phone and sms logs, personal identity information – with similar apps that don't.

•  Opt out of sharing your information. Opt out of every advertising network that you can. Visit the National Do Not Call Registry and register your smartphone and home phone numbers at If you use a Google email account and have an Android phone, even with your GPS off, it's tracking your every move. (Log in to and see for yourself.) Go into your smartphone or tablet settings and turn this feature off. In your Android phone, go to Settings, then Location, select Google Location Reporting and set Location History to off. The same holds true for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iTunes. You need to find the location and privacy settings and turn off access under Settings, then Privacy then Location.

•  Your browser is a double agent – keep it clean. It is spying on you for advertisers unless you block and remove cookies and delete the cache frequently. In your web browser settings, delete your history, all cookies and passwords and the cache. You should do this frequently so you don't leave personal information sitting around on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

•  Remove third-party Facebook plugins. Third-party plugins are mini applications designed to eavesdrop on your behavior in Facebook and possibly grab information about your habits within that social network. Some websites you visit will require you to log in using Facebook, and then you have to trust them to connect to your Facebook account. This is very risky. Read their privacy policy and make sure they are a legitimate business before you risk doing this.

•  Only shop on the websites of companies you already trust. If you don't know where the merchant is located, don't shop online there. If they don't have a corporate address or are located in another country, it is risky for you and you may never see the goods you think you purchased. Also, if their shopping cart experience is not an HTTPS browser session, then everything you type in, your name, address and credit card information, is going over the internet unencrypted -- in plain view.

•  Turn off geotagging – your photos are full of information. Twitter and Instagram as well as your iPhone will give away your location. Most people don't realize Twitter and Instagram both use geotagging for everything you send out. Geotagging stores the latitude and longitude of your tweet or image. Pictures you take on an iPhone usually store geotagging information, as well. The less information you give out about where you are located, the safer you are.

•  Don’t use cash or debit cards – use credit cards, wisely. Credit cards allow you to travel with less cash, and if you’re purchasing online, it's safer to give your credit card than your debit card information. The same holds true when you visit your local retail outlet. The reason? If you experience identity theft, credit card laws allow you to keep all of your credit,  with no responsibility during an investigation. With a debit card, your bank can tie up your money in the amount equivalent to the fraudulent transactions for up to 30 days.

About Gary S. Miliefsky

Gary S. Miliefsky is CEO of SnoopWall ( and the inventor of SnoopWall spyware-blocking technology. He is a founding member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and serves on the advisory board of MITRE on the CVE Program, and is a founding board member of the National Information Security Group. He’s also the founder of NetClarity, Inc., an internal intrusion defense company, based on a patented technology he invented.

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