You can still make a difference in 2016 with charitable gifts.
As 2016 draws to a close and we look back over the year we can see our successes as a company, but we realize once again that nothing we do means more to us than giving back to our local community. So we wanted to present you with an opportunity to join us in making a difference before this year comes to an end.
R&B Used Books is a local bookstore that has meant a lot to the Spud Software family. They support Lucky Day Animal Rescue with in-store adoption events. They provide sponsorship for local businesses and charities. And one of our employees even got engaged there. In order to keep the business open and growing for our community, they've set a goal of selling 20,000 books in the month of December. As of this morning they've sold just shy of 10,000 books. R&B Used Books continues to give to their community and support other local businesses and charities and we want to encourage you to stop in and help them reach their goal. You can find out more on their Facebook page or stop in at 12830 S Saginaw St in Grand Blanc.
While we like to encourage giving back to your local community, there are many great charitable organizations out there to donate to at the end of the year. You can give hope to those in need by supporting the American Red Cross or you can help the sick children at St. Jude's. You can support our veterans through Wounded Warriors or relieve hunger by Feeding America.
However you choose to give back, we encourage everyone to end your year by thinking of others and finding ways to make a difference.
Having fun for the holidays.
It has been a great year at Spud Software. We owe so much of our success to the amazing employees who give their best every day to our projects and clients. So this past weekend, we hosted a Christmas party here at our office.
Spud employees and their families were treated to a catered meal in our fun and festive game room and were entertained by sleight of hand artist, Mike Davis.
Davis, who performs regularly at Motor City Casino and other major venues throughout metro Detroit, wowed our staff with tricks that left everyone guessing how he did it.
We made the event fun for the whole family, including a craft corner where kids could decorate their own Christmas ornaments.
Diana Bertapelle, one of our hard-working project managers said, "I had a great time socializing with coworkers, enjoying good food and fun times. The party made it possible to see everyone laughing and enjoying the party with their families outside of the day to day work environment."
And while the big day is less than a week away, maybe you still have some parties to attend. Here are a few of our suggestions for making the most out of holiday festivities:
Go: The season is hectic for everyone, but whenever you get the chance, go be a part of the fun.
Dress Up: It sounds crazy coming from people whose dress code consists of khakis and polo shirts, but every once in a while it's fun to shine - especially around Christmas time. (Ugly Christmas sweaters are a bonus!)
Eat what you want: There's time enough for dieting in the new year. Splurge a little and enjoy the many tastes of Christmas.
Don't chug the egg nog: In the age of cell phone videos going viral, nobody wants to be famous for drunken Christmas karaoke.
Have fun: Above all, remember to relax and enjoy yourself. Make new friends, catch up with old ones, and share in the fun of the Christmas spirit.
Whatever your plans are this holiday season, Spud Software wishes you a safe and very Merry Christmas.
Stay safe when you shop online.
For some people, the thrill of hitting the mall with its brightly lit decorations, never-ending Christmas music and 75% off banners is the highlight of the season. But for the rest of us, nothing brings out the Bah-Humbug quite like being forced to brave the seasonal crowds and fight for that last Tickle-me-Elmo (or whatever's in style this year). And that's why we love online shopping. We have the world of gift giving at our fingertips, and most retailers offer free or discounted shipping. Merry Christmas to us!
But online shopping comes with its own pitfalls. There are Grinches out there looking for ways to exploit our vulnerabilities and steal our Christmas joy. We want to help you ensure your data is secure when you're shopping online.
Be Sure You're Secure:
When you're entering your credit card details on a site, it's important to make sure this data is sent securely. Your browser has a way of showing you that your credit card number will be encrypted so no one monitoring the network traffic can intercept your data. Most browsers use a green padlock icon in the address bar to signify a secure connection.
For the Holidays You Can't Beat Home Sweet Home:
If you're out and about, it may seem convenient to use a coffee shop or airport's free Wi-Fi, but using these public networks isn't a good idea when you're sending credit card details and personal information. Using free Wi-Fi networks makes you vulnerable to people sniffing the network looking to grab usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. When buying online, it's always best to use your home network or another secured connection like the direct web access on your phone.
Hold On Before You Click That Link:
If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. That goes double for shopping online. If you get an email for 80% off the latest gadget or $5 boots it could be a phishing scam. These links can take you to false sites designed to steal your data. Even if the email comes from a friend or family member, think twice before shopping and, when in doubt, do a simple Google search to check the reliability of the site.
Shop on Reputable Websites:
With that in mind, it's always best to go with what you know. While most resellers run honest businesses on the web, there are people looking to take advantage of online shoppers. Consider purchasing from trusted retailers like Amazon or online eCommerce sites for the brick-and-mortar stores you visit most. Even if they cost a few dollars more, you'll have peace of mind knowing your information is secure.
Use Secure Passwords:
Whether the retailer requires you to use a strong password or not, it's always the wisest course of action - the longer the better. Don't use common words, use capitals, numbers and punctuation marks. Whatever you do, don't fall into the trap of "password1" or "yourname123."
Check Your Bank Account:
After all your shopping is done, be sure to check your accounts to confirm that the amount withdrawn from your account matches the amount on your receipts and that there aren't any suspicious charges from companies you didn't buy from.
Shopping online can be a great way to avoid the Christmas rush, keep your holiday cheer in tact, and even save extra time and money. Just be sure you're following safe practices when you shop online to avoid turning the Happy Holidays into the Nightmare Before Christmas.
We help you find the best gadgets to get your favorite techie.
We love new technology at Spud Software. We're the guys who get geeked over the latest tablet to hit the market and we want to play with all the new electronic toys. In the spirit of helping you stress less this Christmas, we've put together a list of some of the best tech gifts available this year. Whether you're buying for Dad, your former college roommate or your favorite software developer (wink, wink), these are the gifts that are sure to please any techie.
Smart Home Assistants:
Whether you're into the Amazon Echo or Google Home, these devices are sure to be a big hit this season. They're designed to take voice commands and help you with everything from playing your favorite music to searching for nearby retailers, reordering detergent or calling an Uber.
Key Chain Chargers:
For that friend, family member or co-worker who always needs to borrow your charger, this would be the perfect gift. They combine cool looking key chains with cell phone charging capabilities and can be connected to anything with a full USB port.
Portable Photo Printers:
If you have someone in your life who just can't take enough selfies, or an amateur photographer who's always on the go, this printer is the gift to give. It's small and easily portable and works with Apple and Android devices via a free app, allowing photographers to get physical copies of their favorite mobile photos.
Wacom Bamboo Notepad:
For artists, students or avid note takers, consider this neat gadget that uses regular paper and instantly sends notes or drawings to the user's tablet or smartphone. It even allows users to search for sketched words using a mobile device.
Tile Slim Tracker:
Do you know someone who is always losing their phone? Then this is a must-have gift this season. This credit-card sized device by Tile will help anyone find their phone if it's within Bluetooth range. It's easy to carry and the non-removable battery lasts for a year.
Ring Video Doorbell:
Whether you're waiting for pizza delivery or trying to avoid those door-to-door salesmen (do they exist anymore?) this piece of tech allows you to see who's at your door right on your phone or tablet, before you answer the ring. It's also a great security device if you're away from home for long periods.
Even programmers like to get out and stay healthy, and fitness trackers are an awesome tool for anyone looking to motivate themselves with activity tracking and movement reminders.
This was a great year for technology and what better way to show someone you love them than with a tech device that you know they'll love to use. These recommendations and many more are available online to save you from making that extra trip to the store. You can thank us later.