March 28 , 2017

Squirrels LLC Receives 2017 Smart Culture Award

The Squirrels team was selected by Smart Business Magazine to receive the 2017 Smart Culture Award. Squirrels is part of the first class of 28 honorees to accept this award.

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The 2017 Smart Culture Awards spotlights leading companies in northeast Ohio where culture plays a crucial role in a company’s success. This award recognizes organizations that have developed a culture that bolsters productivity, enhances job satisfaction and provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A great culture can be a sustainable competitive advantage for an organization.

Culture is about more than just employee compensation and benefits, which is why this recognition is a great honor for us. It’s about an organization’s purpose, vision, mission, values, environment and most importantly, its people. We are committed to giving each of our 36 employees an unparalleled professional experience and a family-oriented atmosphere. Our employee-centric culture is something we will always strive to maintain no matter how large our company grows.

Recipients are based on the following criteria:

  1. How the company demonstrates a unique culture where people want to work
  2. Impact of the company’s culture
  3. Active efforts to expand, strengthen and/or foster company culture

Other honorees include:

 This isn’t the first time Squirrels has been recognized for our culture and camaraderie. In 2015, we were among the 50 Best Workplaces for Camaraderie by Fortune Magazine. We were also ranked third on Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces for Technology.

Squirrels is accepting this award on Thursday, April 6, at the Smart Culture Conference. Stay tuned for pictures of the award ceremony and a peek at our feature video shoot.

Check out our About Us page to learn more about Squirrels and our company culture.

March 16 , 2017

AirParrot 2.7 for Mac and Windows is Now Available

A new AirParrot 2 update is now available for all Mac and Windows users. This update adds support for Chromecast Audio devices and the yet-to-be-released tvOS 10.2 update.

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.

AirParrot 2.7 update notes for Mac and Windows users:

  • Added Chromecast Audio Support
  • Added support for tvOS 10.2
  • Added support for Apple TV Device Verification feature
  • Improved reliability on large networks and when changing networks
  • AirParrot 2 mirroring is now recordable by Reflector 2
  • Improved device discovery 
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes and performance improvements
March 16 , 2017

Squirrels Team Showcases New EdTech at CUE and MACUL Conferences

Members of the Squirrels team are attending two regional EdTech conferences this week to demonstrate our new ClassHub technology for educators. 

Our journey takes us to Palm Springs, California, for the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) 2017 National Conference and to Detroit, Michigan, for the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference. This is our first time exhibiting at CUE and second at MACUL. Our team will talk to a combined 12,000 attendees about ClassHub along with some of our longstanding education software.

No conference we attend would be complete without Alpha Squirrel sessions and in-booth presentations. Below is the full list of session details for both CUE and MACUL.

CUE Alpha Squirrel Sessions

Thursday, March 16

Marcia Kish
Key Ingredients to Blended and Personalized Learning
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Santa Rosa, Renaissance

Bill Selak
Post-Apocalyptic Skills for the Classroom: Infusing Real-Life Skills into Instruction
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mojave Learning Center, Renaissance

Friday, March 17

Bill Selak
5 to Adopt, 5 to Abandon: How to Implement CUE’s Short List
1 – 3 p.m.
Posters, Ballroom Foyer, Renaissance

James McCrary
Virtual Reality: Power of Creation & Sharing Using CoSpaces
1:30 – 1:50 p.m.
HUB @ CUE (Exhibit Hall)

Bill Selak
Design Thinking and the Singularity
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Mojave Learning Center, Renaissance

And, don’t forget to catch our friend, Leslie Fisher on Saturday, March 18:
Tools You Can Use Tomorrow
9 – 10 a.m.
Oasis 4, PSCC 

The Web 2.0 You Might Not Know About
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Catalina, Renaissance

CUE In-booth Presentations – How to Make Student Devices Teacher Friendly

Thursday, March 16
9:45 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
12:15 p.m. 

Friday, March 17 
9:45 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
12:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 18
10:15 a.m.
11:30 a.m.

MACUL Alpha Squirrel Sessions

Thursday, March 16

Theresa Stager
Working Smarter, Not Harder: Tech Tools for Administrators
10 a.m.
Room 313B

Innovating and Connecting in Next Generation Schools
4 p.m.
Room 140E

Friday, March 17

Theresa Stager
Global Connections: Breaking Down the Walls of Your Building
10 a.m.
Room 140E

John Phillips
Game Over? A Conversation About What Works and What Doesn’t in Game-Based Learning
11:30 a.m.
Room 142A

Theresa Stager
The Power of Positive Communication
1 p.m.
Room 411A

Stop by booth #654 at CUE or #121 at MACUL to see the Squirrels team! You might even have the opportunity to snag a Squirrels shirt!

March 14 , 2017

How to Stream March Madness to Your Television

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The occasional downside to cord cutting is figuring out how to watch the shows you want to enjoy live on your TV. It’s just a matter of figuring out where to watch and making sure you use the right streaming service.

If you’re here in anticipation of the upcoming March Madness games, you’ll be thrilled to know that there are no shortages of ways for cord cutters to watch every March Madness game on TV. While many of these services will also offer mobile viewing, this article will focus specifically on TV streaming. 

The March Madness App
The March Madness app usually requires a cable login, but if you want to watch the CBS games without being a cable subscriber, you can. Without a login, you get three-hours free for the other games, too. It’s important to note that if you want to watch the CBS games without cable, you usually have to watch on mobile devices or on a computer. Watching on TV generally requires a cable login. However, there are some work-arounds to this.

Using your computer, just go to the March Madness Live site like you would to watch the game. From there, you can wirelessly send the games from yoru computer to your TV using AirParrot software on your computer. AirParrot allows you to wirelessly display your computer screen on a Reflector-enabled device like Amazon Fire TV. You could also use AirParrot to send your computer screen to Apple TV or Chromecast. Note, if you’re looking to try this on your Roku, it won’t work at this time. 

CBS All Access
CBS All Access is another option if you want to watch CBS games on your TV. All Access is $6 a month and 80% of the country receives live stream access. On-demand access is also available. Roku, Chromecast and other streaming devices will work to allow you to watch on your TV. You get a free week trial, too. Of course, you can watch all of these games free with the March Madness app, so this may not even be necessary for you.

PlayStation Vue
The one streaming service to offer all four channels in one place is PlayStation Vue. You can watch using your PS3 or PS4, Roku, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. The base package starts at $30/month and includes CBS (in 80 markets), TNT, truTV and TBS, among other channels. Vue includes mobile restrictions, but that won’t cause a problem with streaming on your home TV. You also have access to a cloud-based DVR to record any games you might miss and a free one-week trial if you’re a new member.

Sling TV
Sling TV offers a couple of different options, but none of them include CBS. You can watch TNT, TBS and truTV with the service, though. You can choose the Sling TV Blue package with 40 channels including these three for $25/month or the Sling TV Orange package with the Comedy Plus Extra package, which also totals $25/month. Whichever you choose, if you’re an Amazon Fire TV user, you can pay $5 more to get access to a DVR. A seven-day trial will kick off your membership and you can watch on TV using all the popular streaming devices like Roku and Chromecast.

DIRECTV NOW
DIRECTV NOW provides access to TNT, TBS and truTV in its $35/month base package. This includes 60 channels and the ability to watch March Madness games on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. Roku access is not currently available. Like with the other streaming services, you get one free week at the beginning of your membership.  

If you’re a cord cutter planning to watch March Madness on your TV using streaming services, these are your best options. All of them will allow you to watch a mix of all the games at a price you can afford.

How To Stream March Madness To Your Television is a guest post from Chris Brantner of CutCableToday.com

March 6 , 2017

The Top Live Streaming Service for Cord Cutters

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Before most people cut the cord, they spend their time worrying how they’re going to live without their favorite cable channels. However, the truth is that there are more ways than ever to live stream cable channels without actually having a cable contract. With that in mind, here are some of the best live streaming options that are currently available. 

Sling TV: Sling TV is known for being the oldest live streaming service on the market. It costs the least, starting at $20 for more than 30 channels, and it specializes in the skinny bundle. The skinny bundle is a small number of popular channels with less filler channels and a lower price than cable.

Sling TV also offers small add-on bundles that give you a chance to personalize your package. Most bundles are $5/month and include options for kids programming, sports, news, lifestyle and other topics. Sling TV works on most streaming devices including some smart TVs, gaming consoles and more traditional options like Roku and Chromecast.

Channel options vary based on the package you choose. However, popular channel options include AMC, A&E, ESPN, CNN, Lifetime, TNT and TBS. Through package add-ons, you can also add channels like TLC, USA, HBO and even some local channels. Learn more in this complete Sling TV overview.

PlayStation Vue: PlayStation Vue came out after Sling TV but did not offer nationwide service until the beginning of 2016. The service offers four packages ranging from the Access Slim ($45/month) with over 45 channels to the Ultra Slim ($64.99/month) with over 90 channels (including HBO, Showtime and other premium content).

PlayStation Vue offers a solid interface. It’s easy to find your favorite channels and your favorite shows. They are also one of the few services to currently offer a cloud-based DVR, so you can record events like the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities to ensure that you don’t miss a thing. 

PlayStation Vue is also one of the only streaming services to include mobile restrictions. You can watch Vue on Chromecast, mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV and Roku, but when you sign up you’re tied to your home location. From that point, it can prove difficult at times to watch shows away from home.

As for channels, Vue has a lot of the same offerings as Sling, but they also offer FOX News and some local channels either on-demand or in live stream depending on location. However, Vue did recently lose Viacom channels.

DIRECTV NOW: Owned by cable giant AT&T, DIRECTV NOW is one of the newest names in live streaming. Packages start at $35 a month and go up in size and price to $70/month. As this service comes from a cable company, it’s probably going to be reminiscent of most cable packages. The packages here are large with tons of channels, the guide is what you’d expect if you had cable and it provides an overall pleasing experience. The package may cost a little more, but they make up for it by offering HBO for $5.

Each package includes everything from the prior package plus additional channels. The list of available networks includes AMC, Lifetime, Syfy, ESPN, FS1, FOX News, MSNBC, USA and tons of other channels. HBO and Cinemax are the only add-on options, but they are the cheapest in the streaming world at $5/month per channel. You can watch DIRECTV NOW on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and mobile devices. For a full look at DIRECTV NOW, check out this overview.

fuboTV: fuboTV is a good choice for any huge sports fan. The service just expanded offering a full cord-cutting solution with packages starting at $34.99 a month. It’s a great service for soccer fans (you get the entire FOX Soccer Plus platform), local sports, European soccer leagues, golf, MLB, NBA… you name it.

As for regular entertainment channels, you’ll have access to channels like FX, USA, FOX News, Lifetime, Viceland, MSNBC, Oxygen and a wide variety of other channels.

Like PlayStation Vue, fuboTV has a cloud-based DVR, so whether you’re watching sports or TV, you can record what you might have otherwise missed. fuboTV is a great way to watch those games that you were unable watch with the other services.

Other services will be out this year, and you can expect the market to continue to fill with choices in both the live and on-demand streaming circles. For now, these are your choices and all of them are worthwhile considerations given that they are much cheaper than cable. These services truly do offer all the substance with less of the fluff.

Happy streaming!

The Top Live Streamng Service For Cord Cutters is a guest post from Chris Brantner of CutCableToday.com

About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. Our excitement and passion lies in creating high-qualty, budget-friendly software that can be used to enhance the devices already found in today's home and work environments. Follow our blog for all the latest product releases, #TeamSquirrels news and industry insight!