Study: Telecommuting can lower office costs, attract better talent

Telecommuting isn’t the trend of the future – it’s a reality for an increasing number of organizations and employees. If your business or nonprofit is considering the potential benefits of telecommuting, you may want to consider the following tech tips to support your telecommuting employees.

Adobe Flash vulnerability continues to plague Microsoft Office users

Microsoft Office users may find an unpleasant surprise lurking in the form of an infected, remotely embedded Adobe Flash Player bug. Recently Microsoft announced it would block future content that is embedded with Adobe Flash, Shockwave, and even their own Silverlight platform from Office 365 by January 2019. Microsoft cited that malware authors have been exploiting systems through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with embedded content.

Participate in Sinu's Nonprofit Tech Survey by July 1

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Sinu is conducting a survey of nonprofit employees, board members and volunteers to gather data about nonprofits and their technology. The survey should only take about 5-10 minutes. From the aggregated data, we will develop a free report, The State of Nonprofit Technology: An Insiders Perspective. We believe this report will not only help other nonprofits better plan for and utilize technology, but will also help companies like Sinu who support nonprofits with their IT.

We will only use the information in aggregate and will keep an organization's specific information anonymous. We will also automatically include qualified nonprofits into a random drawing for a $500 donation for those who fill out the survey by July 1, 2018.  Sorry, current Sinu clients can fill out the survey but are not qualified to win the $500 donation. See official contest rules.

If you are a nonprofit, please share your knowledge so we can serve nonprofits better! If you know of a nonprofit, please share this link to the survey with them! 

Take the survey today! Click here to get started!

Unwanted Profiles Pop Up in iOS Devices, Inviting Spam and Malware

Provisioning Profiles are unwanted inboxes, profiles and apps appearing in iOS devices and to date, users are having difficulty deleting these unwanted items on their phones. Concerned that this was some sort of malware, we did a bit of research to learn more about these embedded provisioning profiles. This article outlines what we discovered.

EU online privacy rules prompt sweeping changes in US

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Strava and Soundcloud are among the major online companies that announced plans to update their terms and conditions to comply with a new privacy law out of the European Union (EU). How will the new regulations work?

What is AR and how can it help my business?

Augmented reality (AR), the lesser known cousin to virtual reality (VR) that became famous – or infamous – for creating Pokemon Go zombies, is rapidly expanding into business applications, however, there is a big difference between the two, especially when considering their business applications.

Tribeca Film Festival explores tech with virtual reality, immersive screenings

 DRAW ME CLOSE, a 2017 Tribeca Storyscapes selection. Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival.

DRAW ME CLOSE, a 2017 Tribeca Storyscapes selection. Photo credit: Tribeca Film Festival.

 

From virtual reality experiments to social media misadventures, the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival tackled technology as a key theme, winning high marks for its ambition and scope. 

The 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) welcomed visitors for the first time into Tribeca Cinema360, a VR theater featuring four curated screening programs of 360-degree mobile content. The new VR theater and the TFF programming brought a futuristic vibe to lower Manhattan during its 11-day run in late April.

The festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 in the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

One of the first festivals to champion virtual reality “as a dynamic form of storytelling,” this year’s installment included 33 innovative virtual reality exhibitions and experiences.

Forbes found that several offerings delved into the metaphysical, reporting that a post-apocalyptic vision anchored several of the festival’s virtual reality projects.

“From coming-of-age dramas such as ‘Battlescar’ that tells the story of a Puerto Rican runaway, to ‘Campfire Creepers,’ a VR look at sadistic camp counselors, the Festival curated a number of rich pieces.”

“But perhaps one of the most compelling items to come out of the Festival, in terms of technology, was a provocative talk that was part of the IBM salon series during the TFF,” Forbes reported. “Entitled ‘Blockchain: Can Blockchain Breed Blockbusters?’ the panel included such professionals as Mitzi Peirone writer/director “Braid,” the first-ever feature funded entirely by cryptocurrency, and CTO for IBM’s Media and Entertainment industry Peter Guglielmino, where they discussed the disruptive power of blockchain as applied directly to the business of filmmaking and the entire industry.”

Other programming created virtual worlds where viewers could swim with sharks (“Into the Now”), care for a baby elephant (“My Africa”) or experience first hand the bombing raid of a town square (“Hero”), reported press materials for the Tribeca Film Festival.

"Each year, we're seeing creators push boundaries and explore new ways to tell stories through VR,” said Ingrid Kopp, co-curator of Tribeca Immersive. “As the technology improves, so does the storytelling, and with that we are able to use VR to tackle new issues, experiences and narratives and invite new audiences to experience these projects."

For more about VR, read our article: What is AR and how can it help my business?

(Note: Tribeca Enterprises is a long-time customer of Sinu and we are proud to share the recent national news coverage they have earned for their use of new technologies at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.)

Want better habits? There's an app for that!

The reality is that technology is now central to many of our habit routines. The whole reason we spend so much time fretting about our phones and computers is because technology makes it so easy to develop new, undesirable habits, and there is a growing chorus of voices urge a lifestyle where devices can help cultivate positive habits.

Edge Computing: What is it and why does it matter?

As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands with every new smartphone and Siri device, edge computing becomes a bigger part of the conversation as enterprises begin to deal with the massive data volumes being produced by these devices. Organizations may soon need to decide not just who will provide their data collection and processing services, but also where. This is where Edge computing comes in to play.

How to Safely Recycle Your Old Technology

Whether your city regulates e-waste or not, there are several reasons your organization should recycle your technology. Sensitive data, whether on a laptop, server or smartphone, needs to be completely erased before you resell or recycle your technology. Having a plan for recycling your technology that includes properly disposing of electronics is not only better for the environment, but it can also mitigate the risk of having sensitive data fall into the wrong hands.

Facebook to offer more nonprofit tools in era of ‘meaningful connections’

An estimated 750,000 nonprofits in the U.S. already take advantage of a host of tools on Facebook, such as charitable donations pages and “donate” buttons. These tools are designed to cultivate more meaningful connections and to support more robust fundraising.

How to sidestep phone scams during tax season

When cybercriminals call, they employ an arsenal of tricks and tactics. Now that it’s tax season, Forbes warns that scammers will try to take advantage of tax filers using spoofing and other means to obtain valuable personal data. Hanging up is the safest remedy, but there are other ways to avoid phone scams.

Google’s ambitious plans to use technology to ‘accelerate urban development’

Google has built an online empire by measuring everything. Clicks. GPS coordinates. Visits. Traffic. The company's resource is bits of info on you, which it mines, packages, repackages, repackages again, and then uses to sell you stuff. Now it's taking that data-driven world-building power to the real world. Google is building a city. 

- Wired.com

Be wary of links in Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger has become the latest minefield for unwary computer users, thanks to a new variety of malware that has immerged over the past few months. Even the latest anti-malware and patches cannot prevent every attack. However, there are steps we can all take that can minimize the risk.

Nonprofits encouraged to embrace AI

Artificial Intelligence promises to be an important strategy for nonprofit organizations. It can help engage with more people where they are and in a more meaningful way. Furthermore, voice-fundraising will make it virtually effortless (pun intended) for people to support a cause at the very moment when and where they are moved to give. Some early adopters have already starting using voice-activated technology.

After 30+ years, Excel still #1 office software

In an age where technology continues to change and evolve at an accelerating pace, Excel remains the go-to software for small business and nonprofits decades after it was launched in 1985. It is the most widely utilized office software in the world with an estimated 120 million people using Excel. Its longevity can be attributed, in part, to its adaptability...however a recent insurrection among finance officers stirred up new debate about Excel’s value.

Successful consumer marketing combines digital, face-to-face strategies to make it personal

No matter the age of the customer, it is all about being in a relationship — one that has meaning to both parties. Customers, including the much-desired millennials, crave personal marketing. This lesson is resonating in the age of digital customer relationship management. All customers, including tech-savvy millennials, need more than an email to feel wanted, warns a host of business experts.

Was this the year tech giants grew a conscience?

2017 marks the year that tech giants such as Apple and Facebook began to rethink their responsibilities about how their technology impacts people and society. While 2017 may have been a year of reflection for some tech companies, it was also the year that they were able to gain an even greater foothold into our private lives

How Small Business + Nonprofits Can Benefit from the Gig Economy

In the US, approximately one-third of all workers are freelance, or nearly 54 million people, and that number is expected to grow. Cloud-based platforms are making it easier for small businesses and nonprofits to tap into the gig economy and find the people they need from a global talent pool. For companies who need flexible workers who are willing to work on a project basis, these platforms can be both convenient and cost-effective.