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McGraw Hill Acquires Triad Interactive, Developer of SIMnet, an Online Training Platform for Microsoft Office

NEW YORK (May 4, 2021) – McGraw Hill today announced that it has acquired Triad Interactive, Inc., the software developer of the widely-used SIMnet product for undergraduate computer and information technology courses.

An easy-to-use online training and assessment solution for Microsoft Office, SIMnet provides students with simulated and in-the-application exercises using Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access as well as many other relevant subject areas.

Through a 20-year partnership with McGraw Hill, Triad continued to author, develop and update SIMnet, while McGraw Hill marketed and distributed it through its higher education channels. Today, hundreds of thousands of students rely on SIMnet to learn how to use Microsoft Office. Triad was founded and owned by Cheryl Manning and Catherine Swinson, both of whom will join McGraw Hill in consulting roles. All employees from Triad have joined McGraw Hill following the acquisition.

“This acquisition is the exciting and logical next step in our longtime relationship with Triad and their incredible employees,” said Michael Ryan, President of McGraw Hill’s Higher Education group. “By joining together, we’ll be able to make SIMnet stronger and better, improving implementation and support services for customers, fueling future growth and development of the product and exploring new markets and channels to bring the program to a larger audience.”

“Our team has worked in concert with McGraw Hill for many years – almost as if we were part of the same company,” Manning and Swinson said, jointly. “We’re thrilled to now officially become part of the McGraw Hill family and to continue evolving the SIMnet content and platform to serve more learners in the future.”

McGraw Hill is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that drive results for students, parents, educators and professionals. We focus on educational equity, affordability and learning success to help learners build better lives. Headquartered in New York City, McGraw Hill has offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK–12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 75 languages. Visit us at mheducation.com or find us on FacebookCInstagramCLinkedInC, or TwitterC.

Contact

Tyler Reed
McGraw Hill
914-512-4853
tyler.reed@mheducation.com

Disaster Girl sells her image for a lot of money

In February, Zoe, otherwise known as Disaster Girl, received an email that encouraged her to sell their famous photo as a non-fungible token, or NFT, with a possible huge profit.

“An NFT would allow Zoe and Dave Roth to create a string of unique computer code for the original image and store it on a blockchain, which tracks all future transactions. By creating the NFT, or minting it, Zoe and Dave could exercise control over the ownership of the image, an image that already had been shared millions of times across the internet.”

Zoe and her dad ended up selling the photo for almost half a million dollars, while still retaining the copyright for the image, meaning they profit whenever someone uses the photo.

Read more about it at The Herald Sun.

Olympic games features five virtual sporting events

In a bid to attract a new Olympic audience, the Olympics will now include five virtual sports: baseball, cycling, auto racing, rowing and sailing.

With a little help from Gran Turismo, Zwift and eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, ″(The series) will mobilize virtual sport, esports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world in order to reach new Olympic audiences.”

The gaming series will allow people to compete for prizes from home. Read more about it at AP News.

Can an App Help Change Your Personality?

Can a smartphone app help someone change their patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors? Can an app improve the “big five” personality traits such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism?

Wired published an article about an app, called Peach (PErsonality coACH), that works like “a diary, a dashboard, and a text messaging channel rolled into one.” Users check in with their dashboard to review their goal, progress calendar, and their weekly task.

“For instance, someone who wants to be more conscientious may be assigned to do homework for one hour after coming home from classes. The app sends the user two push notifications every day to remind them, and if the user makes progress it will show up on the dashboard.”

Read more about Peach at Wired and see if it really helps people help themselves.

NASA’s small helicopter makes first powered flight on Mars

NPR reports NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has made the first-ever powered flight on another planet, 117 years after the Wright Brothers’ historic flight on this planet.

“Ingenuity looks a bit like a child’s spindly toy. On the very top is a small solar panel for charging the helicopter’s six lithium batteries. Below that are two carbon fiber rotors that turn in opposite directions. The blades attach to a common axle protruding from the body of the rover. The body is about the size of a tissue box. Four thin legs that look as if they could have been made from coat hangers (but in fact are carbon composite) provide the landing gear.

Unlike a drone, the helicopter maintains stability in the air by making fine adjustments in the pitch of the rotor blades. Designed to fly in the thin Martian atmosphere, the blades are much larger than would be needed for a similar-sized helicopter on Earth. Even so, the blades have to rotate quite rapidly, 2,537 revolutions per minute, according to a NASA news release.

After A Major Hack, U.S. Looks To Fix A Cyber ‘Blind Spot’

“The U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment bars the government from domestic surveillance unless a crime is suspected. But in the digital age, these U.S. privacy protections have an unintended consequence. They help hide foreign intelligence agencies that can disguise their tracks and make it appear as if they are operating from inside the U.S.

This is fueling a debate on how the U.S. government and private tech companies can protect both computer networks and civil liberties.

None of the leading figures in this debate are suggesting that privacy laws protecting Americans should be rolled back. But they are saying the U.S. must find a better way to guard against foreign spy agencies.”

Read more about how civilian companies are trying to work with the government to curb foreign hacking at NPR.

Recycle your ewaste and help save the world

We said it before, we’ll say it again: RECYCLE your electronics! PC Mag put together a list of places that will take your old e-stuff.

PC Mag reports that “The amount of ewaste in the world is incalculable, but one thing is for certain: it contributes to climate change and is hazardous to humans. Abandoned electronics crowd landfills and their toxic metals and plastics can leech into soil and water or pollute the air when burned. Getting rid of them, whether it’s because they no longer spark joy or quite literally have started to spark, is a task that needs to be handled properly.”

Which part of the brain is used by computer programmers?

Johns Hopkins grad students are trying to figure out which part of the brain oversees computer programming. JavaScript is described a language yet many computer programmers are mathematicians or engineers. Which part of the brain is used for coding?

“Inside a whirring fMRI machine, a computer programming challenge flashed across a screen suspended above a Johns Hopkins graduate student. Her eyes scanned the passage of code attempting to figure out a riddle of sorts: If these words, numbers, and symbols were typed into a computer, how would the device respond?

Nearby, another graduate student worked to decipher another puzzle: What part of the brain oversees computer programming? Systems such as JavaScript are described as languages, suggesting the parts of the brain that control language might also control coding. On the other hand, most of the first computer programmers were mathematicians or engineers, indicating those with a knack for math also excel at coding. Or could there be a different part of the brain that oversees this task?”

Read more about it at Johns Hopkins Magazine.

Famous horse race caller lays down tracks for SIMnet

Horse race caller Tom Durkin recently recorded audio for SIMnet’s new Microsoft Office Specialist – Access Expert content. Durkin also recorded all of our Access and Excel content in SIMnet 2019.

“Tom Durkin is best known as the voice of horse racing’s Breeders’ Cup  from its inception 1984 until 2005. He also called the Triple Crown races from 2000 until 2010. He was the long tenured voice of Belmont Park and Saratoga Race course for  23 years. He called over 80,000 races  in the United States and Europe … He was the radio and TV  commercial voice of the New York Racing Association from 1990 until 2014. He was also the national radio and TV voice of the Breeders’ Cup commercials and promos  from about 1988 until 2005.”