<ALL THINGS> software

Tuesday august 21 2018

Steve and Connie Ballmer, Ballmer Group

Steve and Connie Ballmer, Ballmer Group


In today's edition of <ALL THINGS> Software: 

Ballmer Group's $59 million over 5 years investment in for-profit software provider Social Solutions targets K-12 student tracking.  The funding leverages Social Solution's recent work on using case data collected in their Apricot solution to calculate impact and target resources."The software can monitor school data and use algorithms to determine which students are doing well and may need accelerated programs, and which students may be at risk for falling behind or dropping out," The solution recommends fixes for individual kids such as tutoring, after-school care, or meal support. The Ballmer Group funded work starts with K-12 and expands later into other social services sectors. A similar $100 million investment in student tracking and assessment by Gates Foundation failed to achieve its goal and shut down in 2014.  Inside Philanthropy 

Microsoft shuts down six websites used by Russian hackers to spoof conservative nonprofit think tanks, U.S. Senate, and Microsoft itself. Called spear phishing attacks, the fake websites trick visitors into providing their login details on sites that look like the sites of the Hudson Insitute, a conservative political think tank, and the International Republican Institute, a pro-democracy nonprofit with prominent Republican board members Senator John McCain, and Frank Fahrenkopf, ex-RNC chair. Other fake sites spoofed the US Senate, and Microsoft Office software. Microsoft says they intercepted and took down the sites before any user data was compromised. NBC 2

Report details 20 ways blockchain technology startups are transforming education. Use cases include categories like transcripts for fast and secure recording and verification of educational credentials, student records for safe and secure sharing of student records, HR for fast, secure background checks for employees, and libraries where blockchain is used for digital rights management necessary for shared digital resources. Forbes

Adobe Sensei uses AI to predict best time to send email. Researchers at Adobe created the feature for organizations using Campaign, Adobe's email marketing tool, to optimize email send time based on the recipient's individual engagement with your emails. These features help marketers to determine the right frequency of communication. Researchers have not given a roll-out date for the features, but several new features were announced including a drag-and-drop email message designer, dynamic reporting capabilities, support for multi-lingual push notifications, and a speed upgrade for Campaign email send rate. TechCrunch


UK charity partnered with Microsoft to host "meet and code days", provides best practices and guidance on conducting your own events. Aimed at K -12 students, UK Youth's Generation Code program introduces participants to coding, relies heavily on open source tools, suggests engaging with local technology companies for volunteers, uses the Micro:bit - the small programmable computer training platform, focuses on real-world problem-solving coding challenges, and draws from Microsoft's Make Code website for resources. Charity Digital News 


FinTech startups are helping nonprofits with better fundraising tools, volunteer engagement, database management and community outreach. Pennies works with retailers to round up purchases to the nearest dollar and donates the difference to the shopper's preferred charity. GoodWorld streamlines individual giving (after one-time setup) via Twitter or Facebook using the #donate + name of the charity. Cleo's AI-based personal finance advisor solution now includes a 'donate' feature to automatically give a portion of funds to a user's preferred cause. FINSMES

OneCause debuts enhanced online giving tools. Press Release

WonderWe, a faith-based crowdfunding site launches campaign donating their software to schools and churches for the remainder of 2018Press Release

MobileCause releases advanced analytics and reporting features for their giving platformPress Release

Venezuela ties its currency to state-run cryptocoin called Petro. Wrestling with hyper-inflation and other currency concerns, Venezuela ties its national currency to a cryptocurrency linked to oil prices, called Petro. Petro is supposed to be a liquid asset reflecting the price of oil, but blockchain industry executives called it a scam, while Time Inc. reported it is a hidden collaboration between Russia and Venezuela meant to erode US sanctions. The scheme by Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro is meant to lend some credibility and security to the country's currency, the Bolivar which lost 90 percent of its value over the last ten years. This is the first time a state currency has been linked to a cryptocurrency and there is no real idea of how or if it will work. Tech Crunch


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