January 26, 2016

Fortune Magazine Ranks Squirrels Third in List of 2016 Best Workplaces for Technology

We are proud to announce that Squirrels was ranked third by Fortune Magazine in its list of Best Workplaces for Technology 2016. This honor comes one month after Fortune recognized Squirrels as one of the 50 Best Workplaces for Camaraderie.

GreatPlacesToWork_TechThe Great Place to Work Recognition Program compiled this list utilizing feedback from 48,000 employees gathered through its Trust Index Employee Survey. It takes into consideration career-development opportunities, risk-taking, work-life balance, compensation, recognition, transparency, camaraderie and more.

We tend to rely heavily on Apple products, which stems from our roots in Apple development. Upon employment, employees are issued a new MacBook that’s appropriate for their level of work. As an added bonus, employees are provided subsidies to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year.

Flex scheduling, summer holidays, company retreats, paid health insurance and sponsored lunches are just a few of the other great perks that Squirrels provides for its employees.

Squirrels strives to create a healthy company culture and an employee-centric attitude to each of its 36 employees. We consider this recognition a great honor, and we’re excited to continue giving each employee an exceptional working experience.

Check out our complete company ranking and review.

January 20, 2016

Squirrels Developer Tweets 22-Million-Digit Number

Earlier this month, the Squirrels supercomputer verified the largest prime number discovered to date. The prime is unfathomably large at 22,338,618 digits. That’s a number with more than seven million commas!

To showcase just how big the number is, and of course to further programming knowledge, developer Matt Bowen created a Twitter account that is currently tweeting the number.

At a rate of one tweet every 38 seconds, the account will be tweeting for three months. Each tweet contains 100 digits, and in total, the account will send 223,386 tweets. Don’t worry, Bowen isn’t sending the tweets himself. The process is automated.

Check out @LargestPrimeNum on Twitter to see the digits.

Prime Number in Book Form

 

January 19, 2016

Squirrels Supercomputer Verifies Largest Prime Number Ever Discovered

We’re excited to announce that one of our workplace hobbies recently contributed to a monumental discovery in mathematics.

Members of our team began building a supercomputer during summer 2015 as part of our 10% program that allows employees to use 10% of every week to work on projects that help them develop professionally. The supercomputer they built is 2400 times faster than today’s average consumer system, and it’s unofficially ranked as the 182nd most powerful system in the world.

Squirrels Supercomputer

Supercomputers can be used for a number of things, but the team joined their newly created system in a coordinated global effort to find the largest prime number ever discovered—GIMPS.

Big task, right? Months of research, infrastructure enhancements and computing paid off this month when a prime number consisting of 22,338,618 digits was found. That’s a number with more than seven million commas in it. The discovery came after 31 days of non-stop computing on a University of Central Missouri computer volunteered by Dr. Curtis Cooper, a professor at the university.

After Dr. Cooper’s discovery, our supercomputer went on a 55-hour sprint to verify the largest prime number he had discovered. The number is much too large to write out, but it is mathematically represented as 274,207,281-1. Written out, the number would stretch for more than 68 miles. The discovery is included in a rare class of primes known as Mersenne primes and is the first of its kind discovered since 2013. This number is one of only 49 Mersenne primes discovered in more than 500 years.

Squirrels SupercomputerOn a normal consumer computer, the verification would have taken months, but the Squirrels system cut this time to just over two days. The risk of an error in the initial discovery is around 2 in 100, but the verification done by Squirrels on different hardware than Dr. Cooper creates an impossibly small margin of error.

The search for primes is never-ending. There will always be greater and greater primes discovered as hardware and software capabilities continue to improve. However, the technology that is developed in the search for primes can have a huge impact elsewhere, such as protein and enzyme analysis in diseases and cancers.

Our supercomputer project is central to Squirrels’ goal in education to excite students and drive them toward interests in math and science. We plan to contribute to other high-profile research projects and not just continue research with prime numbers.

Supercomputer

Other projects may include protein folding analysis to help find cures for diseases, deep learning algorithms for rapidly identifying cancerous cells in medical images and extremely detailed physics and chemical simulations to identify potential improvements in battery and other technologies.

For more detailed information and photos, read our press release.

January 18, 2016

AirParrot 2.3.2 For Mac and Windows is Available

An update to AirParrot 2 is available! AirParrot now works great with Chromecast Audio devices! AirParrot 2.3.2 corrects some bugs and user reported issues, and it also corrects user-experience issues that prevented AirParrot from working correctly in certain environments.

You can update AirParrot 2 by selecting “Check for Updates” from the AirParrot 2 preferences menu. Additionally, you can download the new version from the AirParrot 2 download page.

Mac 2.3.2 Release Notes:

  •  Improved compatibility with Chromecast audio-only devices
  •  Spotify album art for the current audio track is now loaded from the Spotify API for better reliability
  • Resolved an issue where “select an area” mode was unusable if previous single app mirroring app became unavailable
  • Better support for underscan and per-device audio level adjustments when connected to a Cast device
  • Resolved an issue that caused a black screen on two or more Chromecast mirroring connections
  • Resolved an issue that could cause music track info to become stuck when mirroring to an Apple TV
  • Resolved a hang with the main AirParrot 2 menu on OS X 10.7
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and stability improvements

Windows 2.3.2 Release Notes:

  • Improved compatibility with Chromecast audio-only devices
  • AirParrot 2 now auto-configures the Windows Firewall on installation to allow necessary port traffic
  • Better support for per-device audio level adjustment when connected to a Cast device
  • Resolved an issue with licensing AirParrot 2 on some Windows 10 computers
  • Resolved a crash when switching from Mirroring to Media Streaming
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and stability improvements
January 13, 2016

Win 25 Reflector 2 licenses for your school with our Twitter giveaway

We are giving away 25 Reflector 2 licenses to one lucky school with our first ever #WeWantReflector2 Twitter giveaway! The best part? We’re making it really, REALLY easy to enter.

All you have to do is Tweet a photo of your classroom and include the hashtag #WeWantReflector2 in the Tweet. We will randomly select a winner from the pool of entrants. Hurry, the giveaway ends on January 27.

Don’t have a Twitter account? No problem! Have a fellow educator or student Tweet a photo to enter the #WeWantReflector2 giveaway. We want everyone to have an opportunity to bring Reflector 2 to their school.

Reflector 2 is used in classrooms all around the world. We are honored to be a resource for the global edtech community, and we will continue working to enhance the student learning experience.

Tweet away, friends. Good luck!

#WeWantReflector2

WeWantReflector Twitter

OFFICIAL RULES: Giveaway is open to readers 18 years or older with U.S. or Canada, unless otherwise stated. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

To enter, Tweet a photo of your classroom and include the hashtag #WeWantReflector2 in the Tweet. One entry per person. Multiple entries do not increase the odds of winning. The use of any automated launching or entry software or any other mechanical or electronic means that permits the participant to automatically register and/or enter repeatedly is prohibited and all such entries will be disqualified.

Sweepstakes begins on January 13, 2016 at 9:00am EST and ends on January 27, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.

Entrants will be added to a spreadsheet. One winner will be selected via random number generator and notified by Twitter within 5 days after the entry deadline date. The winning entrant must respond within 5 days or the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.

The winner will receive a key for 25 copies of Reflector 2. The approximate value is $300. 

As a condition of entry into the Giveaway, except where prohibited by law, each entrant and Winner/Winners by accepting a prize grants to Squirrels LLC and respective affiliates, legal representatives, assigns and licensees, an unrestricted right and license to publicize, broadcast, display and/or otherwise use all information submitted as part of the entry, including use the Giveaway entrant’s name, city, state, biographical material, and any other material submitted as part of the entry in any form or media now known or hereafter devised throughout the world in perpetuity for marketing, advertising, and publicity purposes, without additional review, compensation, permission or approval of the Winner/Winners.