Showing posts with label Geeky Stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geeky Stuff. Show all posts

19 December 2019

MasterClass Announces Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Teach Scientific Thinking and Communication [Trailer Included]

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MasterClass Announces Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Teach Scientific Thinking and Communication
Neil deGrasse Tyson (image courtesy of MasterClass)
MasterClass, the platform that makes it possible for anyone to learn from the best, today announced that one of America's best-known scientist and astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, will teach scientific thinking and communication. In his MasterClass, Tyson will teach members how to think like a scientist, providing methods and tools that empower them to identify and look past their own biases and find their way to what is objectively true. 
"Neil is an outstanding scientific communicator," said David Rogier, co-founder and CEO of MasterClass. "As Neil mentions in his class, he's never allowed a look under-the-hood to the processes behind his methods of thinking and communicating. He provides so much insight for our members to use in their everyday lives."
Tyson is an astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, host of the hit radio and Emmy-nominated TV show "StarTalk" and the New York Times best-selling author of "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" and "Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military." Tyson's professional research interests are broad, and include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the Milky Way structure. Tyson obtains his data from the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as from telescopes in California, New Mexico, Arizona, and in the Andes Mountains of Chile. Tyson is also the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium.
"I can guarantee you that the most important moments of your life are decided not by what you know, but by how you think," said Tyson. "The goal here is to train your mind to question the world around you and to question what others say. If you are hungry to learn and care about what is actually true in the world, my MasterClass is for you."
Designed for anyone who wants to think critically and communicate more clearly and convincingly, Tyson's MasterClass will focus on strategies for thinking about and conveying scientific truths. Using a range of captivating examples, the class will give students a look inside Tyson's brilliant mind, offering tools that can be implemented when learning any number of scientific subjects. Tyson will touch on strategies for scientific thinking, including making predictions, identifying truths and biases, and approaching new information with healthy skepticism. In later lessons, he will focus on strategies for communication of objective truths, offering insights on giving presentations and sharing personal truths. From mastering a soundbite to framing their overall message, these strategies for communication will leave students feeling empowered to present their thoughts in day-to-day life.

MasterClass Announces Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to Teach Scientific Thinking and Communication
Neil deGrasse Tyson (image courtesy of MasterClass)
  • Tyson's MasterClass joins the 75+ classes taught by world-renowned instructors on culinary arts, photography, writing, performance, and much more. Each MasterClass has digestible video lessons sized to fit into any part of your day and cinematic visuals with close-up, hands-on demonstrations that make you feel one-on-one with the instructor. 

The Trailer:


  • Now available exclusively at MasterClass.com, students can subscribe for unlimited access to all new and existing classes of 75+ instructors through the All-Access Pass. MasterClass categories include business, culinary arts, film & television, music & entertainment, photography, sports and more.

MasterClass's current roster of courses includes:

  • Business: Howard Schultz (business leadership), Anna Wintour (creativity and leadership), Sara Blakely (self-made entrepreneurship), Bob Iger (strategy and leadership), Chris Voss (art of negotiation)
  • Culinary Arts: Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Alice Waters (home cooking), Thomas Keller (cooking techniques), Wolfgang Puck (cooking), Dominique Ansel (French pastry), James Suckling (wine appreciation), Aaron Franklin (Texas BBQ), Massimo Bottura (Italian cooking)
  • Film and Television: Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Martin Scorsese (filmmaking), Ron Howard (directing), Spike Lee (filmmaking), Mira Nair (independent filmmaking), Jodie Foster (filmmaking), Ken Burns (documentary filmmaking), Helen Mirren (acting), Samuel L. Jackson (acting), Judd Apatow (comedy), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Shonda Rhimes (writing for television), Natalie Portman (acting), David Lynch (creativity and filmmaking)
  • Lifestyle: Bobbi Brown (makeup and beauty)
  • Music and Entertainment: Steve Martin (comedy), Christina Aguilera (singing), Usher (performance), Reba McEntire (country music), Herbie Hancock (jazz), Deadmau5 (music production), Armin van Buuren (dance music), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), Tom Morello (electric guitar), Carlos Santana (art and soul of guitar), Timbaland (producing and beatmaking), Penn & Teller (magic), Itzhak Perlman (violin), Danny Elfman (music for film)
  • Writing: James Patterson (writing), David Mamet (dramatic writing), Judy Blume (writing), Malcolm Gladwell (writing), R.L. Stine (writing for young audiences), Margaret Atwood (creative writing), Dan Brown (writing thrillers), Neil Gaiman (storytelling), Billy Collins (poetry), David Baldacci (writing thrillers), Joyce Carol Oates (short story writing), David Sedaris (humor and personal essays)
  • Photography: Annie Leibovitz (photography), Jimmy Chin (adventure photography)
  • Design and Fashion: Frank Gehry (architecture), Diane von Furstenberg (how to build a fashion brand), Marc Jacobs (fashion design)
  • Sports and Games: Serena Williams (tennis), Stephen Curry (shooting, ball-handling, and scoring), Garry Kasparov (chess), Daniel Negreanu (poker), Phil Ivey (poker strategy), Simone Biles (gymnastics), Misty Copeland (ballet)
  • Politics and Society: Jane Goodall (conservation), Bob Woodward (investigative journalism), Karl Rove and David Axelrod (political campaign strategy), Paul Krugman (economics and society), Doris Kearns Goodwin (U.S. presidential history and leadership)
  • Science and Technology: Chris Hadfield (space exploration), Will Wright (game design), Neil deGrasse Tyson (scientific thinking and communication)
SOURCE: MasterClass

21 November 2019

Seventeenth Century French Artifact Arrives In Seattle For An Immersive Exhibition

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By donning a HoloLens, guests are taken into a 15- to 20-minute experience where the Mont-Saint-Michel model comes to life.
By donning a HoloLens, guests are taken into a 15- to 20-minute experience where the Mont-Saint-Michel model comes to life.
Seattle's Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) and Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the opening of a new exhibit, "Mont-Saint-Michel: Digital Perspectives on the Model," which features a unique blend of 17th and 21st century technology.

Powered by Microsoft AI and mixed-reality technology as well as the recently released HoloLens 2 device, the interactive exhibition transports visitors into a holographic tour of the picturesque Mont-Saint-Michel, a medieval monastery perched atop a remote tidal island off the coast of Normandy, France.

The virtual experience is complemented by a physical relief map of the Mont-Saint-Michel, an intricate, three-dimensional model of the landmark. Entirely crafted by hand in the 1600s by the resident Benedictine monks, the 1/144-scale model precisely depicts the monument in such intricate detail that maps like this were considered valuable strategic tools to leaders like Napoleon and King Louis XIV, who considered the maps military secrets and hid them from public view.
"The Museum of History & Industry is honored to share this icon of world history, enhanced by leading-edge technology, to create a unique experience born of innovations both past and present," said Leonard Garfield, MOHAI's executive director. "More than 300 years separate the remarkable relief map and today, but the persistent human drive toward invention and creativity bridges those years, reflecting the unbroken quest for greater understanding and appreciation of the world around us."
The opening of the exhibit is timed with the 40th anniversary of the Mont-Saint-Michel being designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the first time the relief map, as well as the mixed-reality experience, has been in North America.
"The relief maps were technological marvels of Louis XIV and Napoleon's time. It's exciting to see how we can blend old and new technology to unlock the hidden treasures of history, especially for younger generations," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. "This exhibit provides a unique model for preserving cultural heritage around the world, something Microsoft is committed to through our AI for Good program."
The Mont-Saint-Michel experience is an example of Microsoft's AI for Cultural Heritage program, which aims to leverage the power of AI to empower people and organizations dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of cultural heritage. 

Microsoft is working with nonprofits, universities and governments around the world to use AI to help preserve the languages we speak, the places we live and the artifacts we treasure. For example, earlier today Microsoft announced it is working with experts in New Zealand to include te reo Māori in its Microsoft Translator application, which will enable instant translations of text from more than 60 languages into te reo Māori and vice versa. This will be one of the first indigenous languages to use the latest machine learning translation technology to help make the language accessible to as many people as possible. 

  • The AI for Cultural Heritage program is the fourth pillar of Microsoft's AI for Good portfolio, a five-year commitment to use AI to tackle some of society's biggest challenges.
The relief map is on loan to MOHAI from the Musée des Plans-Reliefs in Paris, which houses more than 100 historically significant and well-preserved relief maps. The relief map of Mont-Saint-Michel is considered the museum's crown jewel.
"One of the challenges in the history of art is the relationship with the public. To gain the attention, to capture the view or the interest of the public, is not always evident," said Emmanuel Starcky, director, Musée des Plans-Reliefs. "With the HoloLens technology, you have now the possibility to realize immersive experiences in art, where you still see the reality but have more information about it. It will be a unique experience for the American public to discover the relief map, its condition in the 17th century and its evolution through three centuries, as well as reflect on the purpose of those relief maps."
Drawing from hundreds of thousands of detailed images, Iconem, a leader in the digital preservation of cultural heritage sites, used Microsoft AI to create a photorealistic 3D digital model of the historic structure. Then, French mixed-reality specialists at HoloForge Interactive developed a unique Microsoft HoloLens experience to draw people into the artifact like never before.

  • The "Mont-Saint-Michel: Digital Perspectives on the Model" exhibit, including both the original relief map and mixed-reality experience, will be on display at MOHAI Nov. 23, 2019 through Jan. 26, 2020.
SOURCE: Microsoft Corp.

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19 November 2019

Losing Lena: Removing One Image To Make Millions Of Women Feel Welcome In Tech [Trailer Included]

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Losing Lena: Removing One Image To Make Millions Of Women Feel Welcome In Tech
Losing Lena: Removing One Image To Make Millions Of Women Feel Welcome In Tech (PRNewsfoto/FINCH)
There's a secret hidden in almost every website and every digital image you've ever seen. That secret is Lena, a Playboy centerfold. She is "a face more studied than the Mona Lisa's" and has been called Tech's Original Sin.

But how did a centerfold from the 70's become the most used test image in the world? And what impact has it had on women studying or entering tech industries?

Introducing Losing Lena, a new film created by FINCH and Clemenger BBDO Sydney for tech organizations, Creatable & Code Like a Girl, that asks us to help remove one image to make millions of women feel welcome in tech.

Lena's story began in 1972, when the Swedish model posed as the Miss November centerfold. The next year, her centerfold was chosen by some men at the University of Southern California (USC) as an ideal test image for the algorithms they were working on to turn physical photos into digital bits. This research laid the groundwork for what would later become the jpeg, an image standard that revolutionized our digital world.

Incredibly, 46 years on, Lena is still the most infamous test image in the world. She is symbolic of how women were left out, and pushed out, of the industry.

Losing Lena is a compelling documentary that questions the very tenets of the tech industry and leaves us pondering: Why wasn't Lena retired years ago? It explores a thread that binds together so many similar challenges and biases women in tech have experienced around the world.
With appearance in tens of thousands of journals, educational resources and books, Lena has been taught to young women and men in schools and universities for decades. We need to question, what place does Lena's photograph have in the modern world of tech industry and education where women are still fighting for an equal place alongside men?
Losing Lena ends with a call on individuals, tech companies, universities and image processing facilities around the world to stop using Lena, and to help drive equal representation of, engagement with, and respect for women and girls across all areas of tech.
Code Like a Girl founder and CEO, Ally Watson, said, "The role of Lena's image in tech's history is representative of so many of our industry's shortcomings. Tech is used by everyone – no matter your age, gender, ethnicity, or sexual identity. But when our tech is developed by a small subset of homogenous individuals, it's impossible for the end product to be without bias.

This documentary illustrates just how much effort is still needed to increase diversity in the teams building tech. It's a call to the leaders of our industry to commit to Losing Lena. Because with the removal of one image, we're better positioned to welcome millions of women to the table."
FINCH's Kyra Bartley, the film's director, added, "I was struck by how succinctly Lena's story demonstrates the impact of small, seemingly inconsequential actions on the generations who come after - and of course the spotlight that throws on our current attitudes to recognizing and addressing problematic practices within STEM industries.

Far from being a finger-pointing exercise though, the film encourages people to engage with these ideas as part of a broader conversation on diversity, and to consider the ways in which their own actions could contribute to moving us all forward."
Lena added, "I retired from modeling a long time ago. It's time I retired from tech, too. We can make a simple change today that creates a lasting change for tomorrow. Let's commit to losing me."
As we rush into artificial intelligence and machine learning, some of the biggest technological changes of our time, Losing Lena questions whether we're able to learn from the unconscious biases of the past? Or are we doomed to repeat them?

  • Members of the tech industry, businesses, universities and organizations can commit to Losing Lena at www.losinglena.com, as well as find substitute images that can be used for image processing testing.

'Losing Lena' - The Trailer:


The film will be available to view at a series of events hosted by Code Like a Girl, or exclusively on Facebook Watch from November 26. The full list of screenings and ticket purchase details can be found at codelikeagirl.com/events.

SOURCE: FINCH

31 October 2019

New Documentary by World Robot Olympiad Reveals Why Kids Fall in Love with Robotics

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Each year, students from around the globe compete in World Robot Olympiad. To claim the coveted championship, they use their engineering skills, LEGO ingenuity, and competitive drive to qualify regionally, nationally, and internationally. ME & MY ROBOT follows 18 teams from 10 different countries — utilizing video diaries from the kids themselves.
Each year, students from around the globe compete in World Robot Olympiad. To claim the coveted championship, they use their engineering skills, LEGO ingenuity, and competitive drive to qualify regionally, nationally, and internationally. ME & MY ROBOT follows 18 teams from 10 different countries — utilizing video diaries from the kids themselves.
Robotics is not just the stuff of sci-fi movies anymore, but something every child can – and should – learn to develop skills that employers are already prizing. That is the mission of World Robot Olympiad: to introduce STEM through fun robotics competitions and connecting thousands of children and youth regardless of their nationality and background. 

A new documentary – ME & MY ROBOT – follows several WRO teams to show how robotics impact the way kids see and interact with the world around them. The documentary premieres November 8 during the international final in Hungary, and will be part of a campaign to inspire students to explore their interest in STEM.

Trailer for ME & MY ROBOT

New friend, bonus family and first place

Fabian and Adib are two of the kids featured in the documentary. The story of how they became a team is remarkable. In 2016, Adib moved from Syria to Germany with his family, because the situation in Edlib had become too dangerous. His plan was to continue with robotics in Germany, maybe to forget about the war and leaving home. To find a partner, Adib looked for participants in robotic competitions and came across Fabian, who appeared to be the only other teenager in the state working with robotics in their age group. By a stroke of luck Fabian went to a school in Halle, Adib's new home town.

They met, and despite the fact they didn't share a language, they talked 2-3 hours about building better algorithms and robots. The first year they communicated in English. The second year Adib was fluent in German and they won 1st place in the German national WRO final. 
Adib says: "The main reason I speak German is because of Fabian's parents. I went climbing, swimming, and skiing with the family. They showed me how cool Germany is and have helped me a lot with practical things. They still do."

'Where else could this happen'

Last year at the international WRO final in Thailand, Adib and Fabian talked to the Russian team. They communicated through Google translate, exchanged email and are still developing algorithms together. 
Adib says: "They build algorithms on top of ours, which is extra cool. Where else could this happen: Syrians, Germans and Russians coding together? This kind of experience can't be taught at university or on your own. You have to exchange ideas and learn from other experienced people."
Adib's and Fabian's passion for robotics and LEGO have been passed on to their younger brothers, who now participate in WRO. Word of mouth is one way to acquaint more kids with STEM. Another is collaboration between NGOs, companies, governments and universities who want to help foster the engineers and inventors of tomorrow. Like the international WRO final in November which is hosted by the Hungarian government and Edutus University – and ME & MY ROBOT, which is presented by Juniper Networks and executive producer James Redford.

Facts

• The documentary was filmed up to and during the international final in Thailand 2018.
• More than 27,000 teams are participating in national WRO competitions in 2019.
• The international WRO final attracts 400 teams from 65 countries and 3,000 visitors.
• Teams consist of two to three young people supervised by a coach.


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21 October 2019

Great Scott! Back to the Future Celebrates 35 Years

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Back to the Future Celebrates 35 Years
Back to the Future Celebrates 35 Years (PRNewsfoto/Universal Brand Development)
Universal is going back in time to celebrate 35 years of the beloved film franchise – Back to the Future – starting today, on the iconic fan-created anniversary date captured in the film when Marty McFly travels back to the future: October 21, 2015. 

Over the next year, fans around the world will be treated to new, inspired-by merchandise across a variety of categories, theatrical re-releases, anniversary celebrations, digital content and more.

New YouTube Originals learning series - "Could You Survive the Movies?" - launches today, featuring "Back to the Future" in episode one.
New YouTube Originals learning series - "Could You Survive the Movies?" - launches today, featuring "Back to the Future" in episode one.
Today, YouTube Originals and Ample Entertainment launched the new learning series, "Could You Survive the Movies" – an exciting series dedicated to exploring the magic and science of cinema's most iconic pop culture films, including "Back to the Future." In each episode, YouTube creator and host Jake Roper takes you on an immersive journey into the world of a different movie; blending unscripted scientific exploration with narrative storytelling. 

In the premiere episode, Jake steps into the original 1985 film to find out if you could survive the massive pressure wave generated by a giant guitar amp, time travel paradoxes, and the electricity from a lightning bolt travelling through your body…all while desperately trying to get back to the future! 

Could you Survive the Movies? - Episode One

New toy partner Playmobil has created a collection featuring fan favorite characters and vehicles including Marty McFly, Dr. Emmett Brown, the DeLorean Time Machine and more – coming in May 2020. Popular Funko POP! figures, a new themed board game from Ravensburger, collectible movie prints from Classic Stills plus other surprises from Hasbro, Mattel, 3D Retro Collectibles and more that will debut next summer.

Playmobil has a new toy line celebrating the 35th Anniversary of "Back To The Future"
Playmobil has a new toy line celebrating the 35th Anniversary of "Back To The Future"
Publishing program expands with new novelty formats from Running Press and Insight Editions, a new comic series from IDW Publishing, along with existing fan-favorites from other partners, such as:
  • Back to the Future: DeLorean Time Machine – Owner's Workshop Manual 
  • Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History 
  • William Shakespeare's Get Thee Back to the Future 
  • Back to the Future: The Classic Illustrated Storybook 
  • and much more...
New publishing offering, "DeLorean Time Machine: Owner's Workshop Manual" celebrating the iconic film "Back To The Future"
New publishing offering, "DeLorean Time Machine: Owner's Workshop Manual" celebrating the iconic film "Back To The Future"
A lifestyle collection of apparel and accessories includes fun, retro looks that are still relevant today. Expected partners include Criminal Damage, Box Lunch, Dumbgood, Haus of JR, Hot Topic, Just Hype, Primark, Suavecito, Super 7, Zara and more. Rubies and FUN.com will have costumes for fan celebrations beyond Halloween. 

With a nod to the nostalgia trend, Universal has once again partnered with the Otis School of Design for a special "Back to the Future" collection designed by students to be presented at the annual scholarship and benefit fashion show in Spring 2020.
Where we're going, we don't need roads… be on the lookout for theatrical events and the debut of the "Back to the Future" trilogy in 4K from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, as well as a celebration from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) later in 2020.
Fans won't want to miss Back to the Future The Musical, directed by Tony Award winner John Rando, which opens for a 12-week run at the Manchester Opera House on February 20, 2020. The musical features a book by the film's co-creator and co-writer Bob Gale, and new music and lyrics by Alan Silvestri (who composed the score for the original 1985 film) and Glen Ballard.

  Back to the Future
Back to the Future

About Back to the Future

From the Academy Award-winning filmmakers Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg comes Back to the Future - the original, groundbreaking adventure that sparked one of the most successful trilogies ever! 

When teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is blasted to 1955 in the DeLorean time machine created by the eccentric Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), he finds himself mixed up in a time-shattering chain reaction that could vaporize his future - and leave him trapped in the past. 

Powered by innovative special effects, unforgettable songs and non-stop action, Back to the Future is an unrivaled adventure that stands the test of time.


27 September 2019

Rodeo FX Reveals The Visual Effects Behind The Monsters Of 'Stranger Things 3'

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'Stranger Things 3' - The  Mind Flayer
'Stranger Things 3' - The Mind Flayer
Rodeo FX, lead vendor on the record-breaking third season of the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, is set to release three behind-the-scenes videos on October 2 that break down the visual effects that brought all the season's creatures and monsters to life. Inspired by the iconic title creature from The Thing, the Duffer Brothers' vision of the season's terrifying Mind Flayer was modeled and animated by the Rodeo FX team. The team also delivered complex visual effects for environments, matter and substances, including imploding rats and moving goop.

From previs and look development to compositing, the Rodeo FX team worked on the seven effects-rich episodes of the eight-episode season. VFX Supervisor Martin Pelletier led almost 200 artists over 13 months to deliver above 400 shots, hundreds of CG assets, and all the new season's CG creatures.
"After watching the first season of Stranger Things, I remember thinking that I had to work on that show one day," said VFX Supervisor Martin Pelletier. "The third season was such a treat to be a part of. Working with the Duffer Brothers is a remarkable experience. They are really enthusiastic and it's incredible to witness their creative process."
On set in Atlanta, and later at the post-production office in Los Angeles, Martin Pelletier met with VFX Supervisor Paul Graff and the Duffer Brothers on multiple occasions to discuss the artistic and technical challenges of bringing the season's epic monsters to life.

This marks an important achievement for the VFX house, which paved its way in the industry following three Emmy wins for its work on HBO's groundbreaking Game of Thrones. Having established its expertise in creature and animation work on It, Paddington 2, Bumblebee, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, among others, Rodeo FX was tasked by Netflix with raising the bar with new monsters.
"Netflix trusted us with the biggest effects for their flagship show, which was both a tremendous honour and a great challenge," said Rodeo FX President Sebastien Moreau. "I'm incredibly proud of how our teams rose to the occasion and delivered truly hair-raising creatures and effects."
The three making-of videos will be unveiled to the media via an exclusive, live, online presentation by VFX Supervisor Martin Pelletier and Animation Supervisor Yvon Jardel on October 1, at 11:00 a.m. (ET). The presentation will showcase the Rodeo FX's work, as well as feature anecdotes and stories from their team's collaboration with the Duffer Brothers.

Rodeo FX reveals the visual effects behind the monsters of Stranger Things 3
Rodeo FX reveals the visual effects behind the monsters of Stranger Things 3 (CNW Group/Rodeo FX)
Click here to access the online presentation on October 1, at 11:00 a.m. (ET)

  • Martin Pelletier and Yvon Jardel will also participate in a Facebook Live on October 2 at 12:00 p.m. (ET), followed by a Reddit AMA at 1:00 p.m.
  • Stranger Things – Season 3 is available for streaming on Netflix.
SOURCE: Rodeo FX

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17 July 2019

First Ever Interview at a Tech Company? These Four Tips Will Help You Expect the Unexpected

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In a tech company... (Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash)
If you’ve never interviewed at a tech company before, expect something quite different to your usual corporate interview. How is a tech-interview different? Hard to say exactly, but don't be thrown off balance when your interviewer lobs a slice of pizza at you while riding past on a Segway towards the beanbags you’ll be expected to sit on.

While ‘prepare for the unexpected’ is ultimately what preparing for a tech interview boils down to, these tips will help you control the things you can.

Know Your Stuff

Loads of people apply for jobs at tech companies because they want to get a foot in the door at any tech company in the hopes of working for Google or Facebook one day. Tech companies don’t want to hire those people. They want to hire people who want to work for them specifically. Knowing the company’s values inside out is a great way to demonstrate that you’re here for what they do. Come ready to show that you’ve done your homework to understand what makes this company unique, and that you are fully on-board with the company’s vision.

Arbitrary Questions

Don’t be surprised if your interviewer pauses their deep-dive in your CV to look up and ask you what T.V shows you like. No, T.V has nothing to do with your work history or the role you’re applying for. So, no: it doesn’t matter what answer you give. What matters is that you say something that gives your interviewer a glimpse of your personality. Surprise, surprise: the best answer is usually the truth! Tech companies are also infamous askers of weird and kind of enigmatic questions, so don’t be caught off guard if you’re asked what you think of garden gnomes…

Don’t Lie

Tech company interviews have broken the form of the interview in many ways, but one stands out above the rest because it can be very jarring. In a normal corporate interview, there is an unspoken rule that even if an interview suspects you don’t have all the experience you claim to have, they’re not going to show you up. You probably won’t get that job, but you’ll be non-the-wiser as to why you never heard back.

In an interview at a tech company, your interviewer might look at your CV and unexpectedly test you on your knowledge. This is because tech companies want to hire the best people for the job. They really want to know what you can and can’t do. Don’t fluff your CV. Be honest when quizzed if your knowledge isn’t fully up to scratch. That’s not to say that you should go into the interview announcing that you don’t know how to open rar files on Mac, or come clean about any other tech know-how you don’t have, but when you get into territory you’re unsure about, just admit that your knowledge is lacking, and show willing to learn.

Top view photo of 3 men in front of laptop (Photo by Visual Tag Mx from Pexels)

Casual Dress Code

Most tech companies don’t require their staff to wear formal business attire, so it’s unwise to dress too formally for your interview. A good rule of thumb is to dress more formally than your average tech worker on a regular day at work, but more casually than you’d dress for a corporate interview. When in doubt, dress like you’re going out for a nice brunch.

Whether you’re interviewing for a customer service or product role, interviewing at a tech company is a whole new kettle of fish. These tips will help you approach the big day with confidence.

10 July 2019

Annual Super Girl Gamer Pro - Only U.S. Multi-Title Competitive Female Esports Tournament - Returns to Oceanside Pier

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Super Girl Gamer Pro returns for its third year as part of the 13th annual Nissan Super Girl Pro Festival, July 26-28, 2019. Held at the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, Calif., Super Girl Gamer Pro is the only multi-title all-female esports tournament in the U.S. Pictured: esports star Stephanie
Super Girl Gamer Pro returns for its third year as part of the 13th annual Nissan Super Girl Pro Festival, July 26-28, 2019. Held at the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, Calif., Super Girl Gamer Pro is the only multi-title all-female esports tournament in the U.S. Pictured: esports star Stephanie
ASA Entertainment announced today that Super Girl Gamer Pro will return for its third year as part of the Nissan Super Girl Pro Festival, July 26-28, 2019. 

The 13th annual event, held at the iconic Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, Calif., provides opportunities for women in areas where they're traditionally underrepresented, and includes the largest female surf competition in the world. 

  • Admission is free.
The only multi-title all-female esports tournament in the U.S., the Super Girl Gamer Pro was developed to provide a safe platform for female gamers and inspire women to take a larger role within esports. Its mission is to facilitate a future where women have equal opportunities within gaming and esports.

The event will host open tournaments and dedicated game play in popular game titles: Fortnite, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Counter-Strike: GlobalOffensive

  • CS:GO will be a professional All-Star match featuring some of the best female players in the U.S.

Schedule:

  • Friday, July 26: Fortnite Friday
  • Saturday, July 27: League of Legends + Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Sunday, July 28: Hearthstone + Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Registration for all tournaments is free. 

Gameplay from the Super Girl Gamer Pro will be live-streamed on the industry's biggest distribution platforms: Twitch, Facebook Gaming, YouTube, and Mixer.

Tournament winners will receive new gaming laptops from Lenovo Legion. The Lenovo Legion Y540 Laptop is a step-up for mainstream gamers on-the-go with a slim, light and sleek design, enhanced thermals and the latest NVIDIA GeForce GPUs and Intel processors. Lenovo Legion will also provide PCs and monitors for the tournaments.

Turtle Beach is a proud partner of the event, providing their award-winning gaming headsets, ROCCAT keyboards and mice. "At Turtle Beach we design products to help all gamers perform at their highest level, so we're honored to support ASA Entertainment in producing an event that inspires female gamers and showcases their amazing talents," notes Turtle Beach CEO, Juergen Stark. 

Turtle Beach is providing its Elite Atlas PC gaming headsets with customized Super Girl speaker plates, as well as ROCCAT's award-winning Vulcan 120 AIMO gaming keyboards and Kone AIMO gaming mice, and will have the all-new Recon Spark gaming headset and other products available in the Free Play Zone and as giveaway prizes.

N3rd Street Gamers, a national esports infrastructure company, will produce the live webcast. N3rd Street Gamers prides itself on providing greater access to esports and championing diversity in the industry.

The event is also supported by the U.S. Air Force, DXRacer and Nissan.

  • In addition to this important esports platform and the top female surfers, the Festival features 20 live concerts (headlined by Natasha Bedingfield), an all-female DJ contest, 20 free classes, speakers, autographs, a Celebrity Surf Invitational, shopping, and much more.
"We're excited to expand Super Girl Gamer Pro as part of our mission to provide opportunities for women in male-dominated industries," said Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, the event's owner. "This is an exceptionally important initiative given the lack of opportunity and general toxicity towards women in esports, and the Super Girl Gamer Pro is the perfect platform to help propel this movement towards inclusion."
Super Girl Gamer Pro returns for its third year as part of the 13th annual Nissan Super Girl Pro Festival, July 26-28, 2019, at the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, Calif. Super Girl Gamer Pro is the only multi-title all-female esports tournament in the U.S. It was developed to provide a safe platform for female gamers and inspire women to take a larger role within esports.
Super Girl Gamer Pro returns for its third year as part of the 13th annual Nissan Super Girl Pro Festival, July 26-28, 2019, at the Oceanside Pier in Oceanside, Calif. Super Girl Gamer Pro is the only multi-title all-female esports tournament in the U.S. It was developed to provide a safe platform for female gamers and inspire women to take a larger role within esports.

SOURCE: ASA Entertainment

15 April 2019

Developing An Android App

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A smartphone with screen horizontal
A smartphone with screen horizontal (Via Pixabay)
There is no doubt about it; Android smartphones have become extremely popular over the past few years. The main reason for this is because of the vast range of exciting and innovative apps that the Android system boasts. There is so much that can be done from simply downloading different apps from the app store, such as; game playing, map reading, video editing, image sharing, music listening, weather reading and note-taking. But, has anybody ever wondered about how they can develop and program an app themselves?

This blog post will reveal exactly how to do just that by taking people through a step by step guide…

Step one – Make sure you have got a high-speed internet connection

Anybody who wants to develop and program an app will obviously need a high-speed internet connection. A weak connection will simply not be enough as it will keep faltering during the development of the app.

Step two – Install the latest version of Java

It is crucial to install the latest version of Java onto the computer in use, as if the individual developing the app does not have it at present they will be prompted to download it at some point during the process anyway.

Step three – Install the Android Software Development Kit

In order to develop and program an app for Android, one will need to download the appropriate Android Software Development Kit for their operating system from the following website link here. The Android Software Development Kit is essential because it allows an individual to author an Android application. Once the folder has been downloaded the individual in question must open the file labelled as ‘Android’. Then they must click on ‘Available Packages’. Click on all of the packages and then click on ‘Install Selected’. After this a box will appear, select ‘Accept All’ and then a final box will come up and click on ‘Install’. And that is step three complete!

Step four – Install Processing

The next step is to go online and download the latest version of Processing, however, make sure that it is one which is compatible with Android. And of course; make sure that the option download is one that is compatible with the operating system it is going to be used on.

Step five – Develop an app!

Here comes the fun part, the reason everyone is reading this page – time to develop an app for an Android system phone. Before you start to engage in the development process, it is highly advisable that they take the time in order to do a little bit of background research. As you are going to use the Processing system, it is crucial to read up on the basics in order to know how to utilize the program. Otherwise, you will simply be at a loss. The Processing software that has been installed should have an ‘Android Mode’ whereby individuals can view what they have developed and, of course, publish it when the time is right. Needless to say, if you are having an app developed for business purposes and you haven’t got all of the time in the world to mess around, you may want to hire a professional for this part. This is also important because they will handle all security elements, for example, ensuring KYC compliance with a seamless customer experience so that the risk of identity theft is minimised as much as possible.

Step six – Step up a smartphone for app running

Before one gets to the final part of the guide they will need to ensure that the smartphone they are using is set up in order to run the app. This is simple to do. Go to the device in question, go to settings, select applications and then click on the development menu option.

Step seven – Run the app

The moment of truth! Time to run the app! To do this all that one needs to do is connect the Android device in question then select the following from the menu bar: ‘Sketch > Present’.
Hopefully, this step by step guide will have helped individuals on their app making mission. The only question that remains is; what app will we witness being developed next?

3 April 2019

Fly Like a Hero With The Brand New Tello Iron Man Edition

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Tello Iron Man Edition
Tello Iron Man Edition
Drone start-up RYZE Tech has collaborated with Marvel and Disney to announce the Tello Iron Man Edition today in the United States, Canada and Europe. 

Building on the success of Tello and Tello EDU, Tello Iron Man Edition comes with a cool new look inspired by Iron Man's iconic armor in addition to a new flight control app featuring his AI assistant, FRIDAY.  

Tello Hero App
Tello Hero App

New Tello Hero App Features Iron Man's FRIDAY

The new Tello Hero App offers an immersive experience when flying Tello Iron Man Edition. Learn the fundamental skills of flying through training missions as a new recruit of Stark Industries' PILOT program with the help of FRIDAY, Iron Man's AI assistant. Providing guided voice instructions for each mission, FRIDAY helps teach basic flying, camera operation and how to use the intelligent flight modes by dodging incoming missiles and tracking potential suspects.

Heroes-in-training can operate the Iron Man Tello several ways including using a mobile device with the Tello Hero App, Tello App, Tello EDU App or Swift Playgrounds App, or by connecting it with a compatible third-party Bluetooth remote control. 
Tello Iron Man Edition
Tello Iron Man Edition
Aspiring pilots seeking a more in-depth experience can program the drone to fly custom flight paths and maneuvers with simple and popular coding languages such as Scratch, Swift and Python.

Fun and Safe to Fly Using DJI Technology

Tello Iron Man Edition is powered by DJI's leading flight control technology that enables stable flying and multiple interactive flight modes. 

Tello Iron Man Edition uses an HD camera capable of recording 5-megapixel photos and 720p video with real-time video transmission to a mobile device. Users can take advantage of "EZ shot" smart functions including 360° Video and Circle as well as pre-programmed flight modes like 8-Direction Flips and Throw & Go. 

  • Additionally, Tello Iron Man comes with soft propellers, propeller guards, a collision detection system and low battery protection features which promote safe and responsible flight.
Tello Iron Man Edition
Tello Iron Man Edition

Price and Availability

Avengers: Endgame arrives in movie theaters around the world starting from April 24, 2019, but until then, join in on the action with the new Tello Iron Man edition, available at store.dji.com and official retail partners in United States, Canada and across Europe, at a retail price of $129/€139/£129.
Each Tello Iron Man Edition box comes with one Tello Iron Man Edition drone, two sets of spare propellers, one battery and a USB charging cable. 

For expanded control, Tello is also compatible with the GameSir T1d Bluetooth remote, which is sold separately and is available for purchase through store.dji.com.


SOURCE: Ryze Tech

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27 March 2019

Beyond 'Bandersnatch,' The Future Of Interactive TV Is Bright

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'Bandersnatch' - Make a choice to see the next phase of the story.
Make a choice to see the next phase of the story. (Netflix)
Make a choice: Do you want to engage with your media passively or actively?
The December 2018 premiere of Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” offered consumers a new way to influence the entertainment they’re watching. Netflix has a growing list of choose-your-own-adventure movies. What viewers might see as a simple choice, such as which breakfast cereal a character begins the day with, could affect the whole show’s storyline. There are other choices to make as well – some of which change the plot, and some of which may not.

Viewers aren’t watching these interactive films just once. Rather, they are watching them over and over again to find each ending and post maps of the diverging plot lines. I think I sat on my couch for nearly three hours straight trying to exhaust all of “Bandersnatch’s” choices as it followed a programmer and designer through the process of game development.

I’ve been teaching and researching game design and development since 2001. I see this type of experience not as just the future of entertainment, but as the expansion of a standard method of storytelling that game designers have been using for decades. Netflix is introducing new technology and new audiences to this type of entertainment, but fiction writers have been exploring similar themes for far longer, creating stories of time travel and alternative realities that let people fantasize about redoing decisions in life.

Controlling your own destiny

There is a kind of game made popular by “Dungeons & Dragons” that provides a way to understand and expand what “Bandersnatch” explores. Role-playing games let players pick characters with multiple traits, such as strength, health and special skills, and work together to achieve story-driven goals.

Fans of “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies will recognize the idea of a team of characters with different backgrounds, abilities and motivations, all trying to work together toward a goal. The adventure is not just in whether they achieve the task, but the encounters, mishaps and even battles that happen along the way. The ultimate outcome depends on the choices players make along the way.
Many role-playing games get people together around a computer to explore a collective adventure.
Many role-playing games get people together around a computer to explore a collective adventure. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Role-playing games started with players gathered around a table, keeping notes on paper and rolling dice to incorporate the role of chance and probability into the adventure. A human game master coordinated everything, keeping track of what was happening and working with players to advance their stories and the overall plot of the adventure.

Early computer games, such as the 1980s-era Infocom text adventures, turned the role of game master over to a game designer, who controlled the choices and their consequences. In the decades since, more powerful computers have let modern digital games offer a great many choices. Teachers have begun to use elements of role-playing games to help students learn.

Illusion of choice

With “Bandersnatch,” Netflix used software to process viewers’ choices and deliver the appropriate video. When watching and “playing,” I wondered if there were too few choices. The show offered only two choices of breakfast cereal, and the viewer couldn’t choose to skip breakfast, make eggs or open the freezer to grab some ice cream. But, there’s a very good reason for these constraints.
Every story decision requires more writing and more development.
Every story decision requires more writing and more development. (Tony Hirst/Flickr, CC BY)
I often tell my students that when they’re creating role-playing games, the problem isn’t giving players choices: It’s deciding what happens next. Giving players lots of options is great, and fun – but with every choice the job gets harder. If there are three kinds of ice cream in the freezer, that’s three different sets of video to show vanilla, chocolate and strawberry – and possibly three different scripts, if the choice actually has consequences.

In game design, we call this a “branching narrative,” where every choice spawns as many new branches as there are options, and the tree gets bigger and bigger all the time. A movie with an enormous number of options would require multiple sets, extra time for actors, huge amounts of special effects work, extended production times and increasing budgets.

Such a complex film would also take viewers huge amounts of time to experience. Digital game players can handle this sort of effort by saving their progress and taking a break, returning to resume play hours later, or even days.

With an interactive movie, would a viewer want several days’ worth of watching? I don’t know if anyone has an idea of how long a typical interactive movie experience should last. My three hours on the couch watching “Bandersnatch” seemed about right – and ran through most of the options.

The Netflix producers borrowed from game designers, and the classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” book series, to give viewers the illusion of choices when really the alternatives were limited. My own research recommended the same technique: Allow the players some choices, but bring them back to the main narrative thread at key points.

Future of interactive media

There will be more interactive movies. Netflix has built its own software for “Bandersnatch,” which it can use for other stories too. There are already several addictive interactive kids’ shows, including “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,” “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” and “Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout.”

Gamers are already familiar with this convergence of film, interactivity and branching narrative. Cinematic video games, like “Indigo Prophecy” and “Heavy Rain,” let players make choices in dialog and other cinematic aspects, all of which alter the endings. An academically published game, “Façade,” is considered important not just for showing that scholarly games can be fun to play, but also demonstrating that academic concepts of branching narrative and story can create meaningful play: The player visits a couple’s apartment, and depending on where the player moves and what the player says, the couple reacts in different ways.
Engaging with a couple on the rocks. 'Façade,' by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern.
Engaging with a couple on the rocks. 'Façade,' by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern., (CC BY-ND)
I anticipate different genres of shows will explore interactive formats. Imagine playing through historical fiction where you can choose to execute Marie Antoinette or not. I also expect viewers will be able to make their choices in different ways than just pressing buttons on their remotes – perhaps by using voice recognition on their phones.

If artificial intelligence and machine learning systems get better at telling stories, viewers might even be able to suggest new possible choices, with the resulting content generated on the fly while people watch. Of course, there’s a strong overlap with virtual reality, offering immersive escapism, which is, in my experience, a key goal of interactivity.

In the meantime, “Bandersnatch” fans who want to continue exploring choosing their own adventures to direct a story can look for local gaming groups and game stores. “Dungeons & Dragons” and “HackMaster” are regaining popularity lately. So is live-action role-playing, in which people physically act out their fictional encounters. In these environments, players can ask “what if” without running into the limitations of software development and movie production teams. Human players can engage in the full extent of their imagination without any illusion of choice.

The Conversation
Live-action role playing.

About Today's Contributor:

David Schwartz, Associate Professor of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

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