Monday, October 28, 2013

Core Values Part 2 - Get Stuff Done: The Newmind Hallmark

Earlier this year we held our summer company party. At that party we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. This is the second article of our Core Values series, written by Newminder Luke about the Newmind Group core value. Enjoy!

The cardinal Newmind value is Get Stuff Done.  GSD.  It’s blunt, and it speaks for itself.  There’s no explanatory paragraph on why Newmind thinks Getting Stuff Done is important, because Newminders define it ourselves.  We’re proud of the incredible work ethic we all have, and we have fun feeding off each other.  We might recognize our teammates’ GSD prowess with impromptu high fives, group email shout-outs (sometimes triggering hilarious .gif memes),  or nominations for the Hustle Board.  Hustle Board?  On the giant, 12 foot whiteboard that sprawls across a wall at Newmind HQ,  that’s the prestigious spot in the corner reserved for the Newminder that recently went above and beyond.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Core Values Part 1 - This is an Awesome Blog Post

Earlier this year we held our summer company party. At that party we take time to recognize team members that best personify the 5 Core Values of Newmind Group. Those 5 core values are: Be Awesome, Get Stuff Done, Make Things Better, Make Mistakes, Rest and Reflect. As we get closer to the end of this year we’re going to showcase those Newminders and their stories as only best they could, in their own words. Enjoy!

Hi, I’m Ben. I was rated highest for the 'Be Awesome' core value. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it is a big deal.

I am awesome in large part to my exuberant hilariousness (second only to my sincere humility.) Everyone, of course,  is awesome in different ways. There are ways to be awesome besides God-given natural talent. I have compiled some ways to exude awesomeness in your life.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chromebooks Update [October 2013]

Notable new features include:
  • New Chromebooks!! Check out the HP Chromebook 11 & Acer C720
  • Admin Updates - Regulate automatic reboots
  • Share Docs, Slides and Drawings with people who do not have a Google Account
  • Chrome OS Update - The Stable channel has been updated to 30.0.1599.101
Full release notes below...

2 New Chromebooks

Introducing the HP Chromebook 11 & Acer C720
HP Chromebook 11 Acer C720
  • 0.69 inches thin and 2.3 lbs
  • USB micro charger
  • 176-degree viewing angles
  • No Sharp edges
  • 0.75 inches thin and 2.76 lbs
  • Boots up in less than 7 seconds
  • Up to 8.5 hours of use
  • 11.6” display
For full specs and release timelines click the link below to get in touch with a Newmind Chromebooks team member.

Get the new Chromebooks

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Preparing for a Backup solution

Server crash...Data corruption...Virus attack...Coffee spill over a laptop…Phone dropped down a sewer drain...

In the normal day-to-day, hopefully these won't be very common. In reality, the average organization will experience one of these more than twice a year, giving credence to the need for quality reliable backup or business continuity. But this post is not about what backup service to go with, instead what information you’ll need to help evaluate which solution will work best, thus making it easier to deploy.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Student's BYOD Experiment

I am a technophile. I like technology, the latest gadgets, trends, software, and everything else. This is to be expected, as I’ve grown up in the age of digital media, smartphones, and the internet. I use technology everywhere, however, I recently noticed a technology black hole in my life: School. It seems backwards that in a time when more and more teens have a smartphone or a mobile device, the places where teens spend the majority of their time have not embraced this trend. A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in March of 2013 found that 37% of teens age 12-17 within the US own a smartphone. That amounts to a lot of untapped potential for educators with smartphones alone.

Don’t get me wrong, schools do have technology integration. However, many times technology is under-utilized in the classroom. I’ll use the school that I attend as an example. We have computer labs, Google Apps for Education, and an online grade viewing program. However, the IT infrastructure is aging and inadequate at times. My school is working to remedy the problem by creating a program where every student has an iPad to use for class, allow for easier access to materials, and other digital learning tools. This program has worked well but at the moment it is only available for several grade levels. The program will begin rolling out in our high school within the year, but many teachers are beginning to take the jump to digital learning early.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Build IT Together Detroit Wrap Up

Thank you to all who joined us at Grand Circus in Detroit for Build IT Together on October 1, 2013. We're happy to say it was a success with over 20 different companies' CIOs, and Technology Directors coming together to share experiences and collaborate on emerging trends and ever present needs. Congratulations to Eric Spicer, of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, and Jeff Schefke, of City of Oak Park, who won themselves a Nexus 7 tablet and Samsung 303 Chromebook, respectively. We have already received great feedback and look forward to being involved with future collaboration events.

Philip MacKethan of
University Liggett School testing Google Glass
We all gathered at Grand Circus early Tuesday morning and were able to experience brand new technology including Google Glass & a Double Robotics robot. It was fun to see attendees' reactions to wearing Google Glass, trying out the voice commands and hear the discussions about use-cases for the new form factor. Many discussed practical applications of the device in their environment, from streaming technical specs and hands-free information look-up to training videos for new employees. When it came to the Double robot, the ability to interact with a space and group over long distances seemed to be the most valuable feature.

Getting to Know Each Other

Build IT Together opened with a unique survey allowing attendees to anonymously compare their current IT environment to the rest of the group. This allowed everyone to reflect on areas of improvement, while simultaneously providing connections to others at the event with which to network and learn from. Those in small companies were able to compare their current setup with that of a mid-sized company and glean insights for how to scale. Larger companies were able to see what helped smaller companies remain nimble.

Technology Infrastructure Benchmarking

We're building an IT Assessment Tool to help your organization benchmark your technology infrastructure against industry trends.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Google Apps Updates [October 2013]

Announcement - Gmail Outage Explanation

On September 23rd, many Gmail users were receiving messages slowly, and some of their attachments were unavailable. The message delivery delays were triggered by a dual network failure, where 2 redundant networks failed. Google has assured us they are taking steps to ensure sufficient network capacity, including backup capacity for Gmail, even in the event of a rare dual network failure. Even including this event, Gmail remains well above 99.9% available, and we intend to keep it that way!

Notable new features include:
  • Monitor user logins, storage consumption and apps usage with the Admin SDK
  • Quickoffice Acquired - Share & edit files with people that heaven't made the switch to Google Docs.
  • Real-time data in BigQuery -using new API calls, you can stream & query real-time data. 
  • 4 New Google Form Customizations
Full release notes below...

Protect your Google Apps with e-archiving

Archive and retain emails and chats according to your policies, preventing inadvertent deletions.
  • Ensure compliance
  • Be prepared for audits
  • Prevent deletion
  • and more...