You Can Now Kick Off A Skype Call From Slack

You Can Now Kick Off A Skype Call From Slack

by Sarah Perez


It’s been a big week for Skype. The company announced group calling on mobile, integration with Outlook mobile, and today it’s rolling out to Slack, too. Available now in preview mode (meaning a beta release), the new Slack integration allows team members using Slack’s real-time communication software a way to quickly start either a voice or video call from within the Slack application.

To get started, Slack users have to click on the “Add to Slack” button available on this page on Skype’s website, then confirm which team they want to integrate with by choosing “Authorize” when the correct team is selected. (You can click “Change teams,” if you need to switch, of course.)


That uncomplicated setup process is in large part due to Slack’s efforts at making it easy to add third-party apps to its service. This lets its customers to expand their version of Slack with additional functionality that ranges from automated bots to integrations with back-office systems across departments like HR, Security, Compliance, Accounting, Customer Support, and more.

Slack last month even rolled out a new App Directory which now organizes and highlights its growing list of applications, which number around 150 at last count.

Once installed, kicking off a Skype call is as simple as just typing in “/skype” into the Slack chat interface, which will then display a join link.













This Slack integration works across platforms, says Microsoft, noting that Slack members on the web, Windows, Mac, iOS or Android will be able to set up or join calls.

On the desktop, you’ll only need a web browser, while on mobile, you’ll need to download the Skype mobile application onto your smartphone. Slack team members can also join as guests on a computer, or they can sign in using their Skype name or Microsoft account information.

Microsoft didn’t say when this integration will exit from Preview mode, or what sort of limitations or bugs users may encounter. The software is already available in Slack’s own directory, too, in addition to the Skype website. However, Slack does cover itself by noting on its app pages that it only conducts brief reviews of these third-party add-ons, and does not endorse or certify them. That means until the Slack integration exits Preview mode, you may encounter some issues.

Rolling out Slack integration is a notable move aimed at keeping Skype a part of team collaboration in the workplace. Slack’s rapidly growing communication platform already has 2 million daily active users, and 570,000 paid seats as of the end of last year. It has launched an $80 million fund to back Slack app developers, and is said to be valued at $2.8 billion.

Show Off Your Snapchat Stories Forever On Slinger

Show Off Your Snapchat Stories Forever On Slinger

by Josh Constine

play-1073616_960_720Some art deserves to live longer than 24 hours. So rather than just squirrel away your saved Snapchat Stories, you can upload them to Slinger. It’s a new appaiming to be the permanent home for vertical videos. And thanks to its Popular page and the ability to Like videos, it can help you discover content creators to follow in ways Snapchat lacks.

You could write off Slinger as just a dinky YouTube for vertical videos. But that ignores what’s fundamentally unique about this new medium propelled by Snapchat, Periscope, Hyperlapse, and other apps.

Because they’re shaped tall and slim like humans, vertical videos can capture more emotional, personality-driven content than the horizontal format. Combined with their easy-to-make, point-of-view, off-the-cuff nature, vertical videos are better consumed by following lots of creators in a fast-moving feed than through more cautious channel subscriptions like on YouTube.

Plus, no one likes constantly flipping their phones back-and-forth, so a dedicated stream for vertical vids makes watching easier. “When you watch horizontal video it’s usually on a television or far away” says Slinger co-founder Chris Carmichael. “It’s a disconnected experience. Vertical video emerged from the phone itself. It feels like a FaceTime call. It’s very intimate.”

If Slinger can convince video makers it’s where they should stuff their portrait mode content, it could become the everlasting gallery for Snapchat’s transient creation tool.

By Creators For Creators

Slinger was built by Carmichael’s three-person team with the money he earned shooting sponsored Snapchats for big brands like Disney, Universal, and Taco Bell. After several failed startups, Carmichael became one of the most popular creators on Snapchat with his funny drawn-on stories and inspirational messages. Since March he’s been working on Slinger, and it just launched yesterday.

Slinger for iOS isn’t complicated because mobile apps shouldn’t be. Make a profile, upload vertical videos, select cover frames to promote them, follow creators, like their clips, and browse the trending page for whatever delights you. For an example, you can check out my profile “JoshConstine” with a video of the robots from Y Combinator’s last Demo Day.

Slinger is rough around the edges. The lack of Snapchat’s useful scene-by-scene tap-to-fast-forward feature can make boring videos agonizing. And there are no video editing tools, even just for trimming unwanted clips off the ends of a saved Snapchat Story. But that’s actually a philosophical decision. “We don’t want to be in the editing space. We want to be the gallery” Carmichael tells me.

For now there’s no way to link to or embed specific videos. Those will be important if it wants to walk through the door Snapchat left wide open.

 “On Snapchat there isn’t a place to discover creators” in part because there are no Likes so there’s no way to tell what’s the best content, Carmichael explains. He says getting on the Vine Popular page scores a creator tens of thousands of followers, which both inspires people to make great content and shows what works best in the format. He hopes Slinger’s Popular page will suss out what wins on vertical video.

“What If Picassos Disappeared?”

Bubbling up the best content could also propel Slinger’s business model. Carmichael imagines getting a cut for connecting brands with the top creators the emerge from Slinger, and them shooting compelling sponsored content.

It’s a bit like how Niche worked arranging sponsorship deals on Vine and other platforms.Twitter eventually acquired Niche for a reported $50 million to keep a share of those payouts to creators.

[Disclosure: My cousin Darren Lachtman is a Niche co-founder].

In one swoop, Slinger could both save vertical video art for the future and make its creation a sustainable profession for aspiring stars. Carmichael says he realized “Holy shit, I’m investing so much time into my Snapchats and they’re gone after. If Picassos were destroyed after 24 hours, we wouldn’t know who Picasso was today.”

That might be embellishing the significance of many of the narcissistic selfies and needless diaries that no one wants or needs a day later. But at its core, Snapchat combines all the ways we communicate digitally — photo, video, audio, text, drawing, and symbols — in a single tool. There are bound to be masterpieces amidst the self-destruction.

Carmichael concludes, “We think there’s room for disappearing content and content that lives forever.”

Slinger is available free on iOS


Courtesy of TechCrunch

US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12.5% growth in IT employment through 2024

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) on Dec. 17, and the future for employment growth in IT-related jobs appears bright. The OOH provides information and projections on 576 detailed occupations, including what the job role entails, where the work typically occurs, education and training requirements, wages, employment outlook, and state and local area data. Projected jobs growth reflects the BLS’s 10-year employment projections (2014-2024) which the agency updates on a biannual basis.

Employment in the Computer and Information Technology occupation group is projected to increase 12.5% over the period, well ahead of the 6.5% growth projected for total employment, adding 488,500 jobs. This places the group fourth in projected rate of employment growth. Notably, it is the only occupational group ranked in the top five for projected growth that is not driven primarily by increased demand for healthcare due to the demographic trends of an aging population and expansion of health insurance coverage. Specific growth drivers cited in the release include the increasing focus on cloud computing, collection and storage of big data, the rise in connected devices (Internet of Things) and continued demand for mobile computing.

Employment projections for the occupations within the Computer and Information Technology group are listed in the table below:



In percentage terms, projected growth is highest for web developers, at 26.6%, while software developers, applications is forecast to add the greatest number of jobs, at 135,300. Jobs are forecast to contract by 8% for computer programmers, the only IT occupation expected to decline over the decade, as more of these jobs are lost through outsourcing to offshore locations.

The median annual wage for the Computer and Information Technology occupation group was $79,390 as of May 2014, second only to Management occupations and more than double the median annual wage for all occupations, at $35,540. The highest median annual pay among the group was for computer and information research scientists, at $108,360, while the lowest was for computer support specialists, at $50,380




Courtesy of Staff Industry


How Microsoft Is Slowly Killing Off Internet Explorer

How Microsoft Is Slowly Killing Off Internet Explorer

Avianne Tan



Microsoft has begun slowly killing off Internet Explorer.

The tech giant is now phasing out the Internet browser, announcing that as of Tuesday, Jan. 12, Microsoft will no longer support Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10.

The announcement “means you should take action,” Microsoft wrote on its website, explaining that older versions of Internet Explorer could be “exploited by malware” and attacked.

For now, Internet Explorer 11 — the last and final version of the legacy browser — has been spared and will actually get technical security updates next Tuesday, according to Microsoft.

However, it won’t be long until Microsoft finishes singing its swan song to IE, forcing users to move on to its new Web browser “Microsoft Edge,” first released last summer.

Microsoft Edge is faster and more streamlined than IE and includes new features, such as built-in note taking, easy sharing, the ability to work in several panes without switching around and integration with Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana.


Courtesy of ABC News