Kids Can Now Build Their Own Xbox Games with Kodu Game Lab

first_imgTags:#gaming#Microsoft#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… audrey watters Related Posts center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education has become a priority for the government, for schools, and for tech companies. In emphasizing the importance of doing so, many point to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor that note that while there will be more than 2 million job openings in STEM-related fields by 2014, fewer than 15% of U.S. college undergraduates now pursue degrees in science or engineering.It isn’t enough to convince college students to major in science – or rather, by the time students hit college, it may be too late to pique their interest in the field. So many STEM efforts are aimed at encouraging the scientific and technical minds of younger students.One way to ignite that interest is to give kids the skills so they can build and play their own video games. That’s the idea behind Microsoft’s Kodu, a visual programming language and game development tool. A product of Microsoft FUSE Labs, Kodu Game Lab enables children as young as five to design, build, and play their own games on the PC and Xbox.STEM Education Through Xbox Game DevelopmentA free download, Kodu Game Lab doesn’t require any programming experience. Its language is entirely icon-based, and with it, children can drag and drop icons in order to create their own games and worlds. Even though it doesn’t require knowledge of a programming language, Kodu does help develop important programming skills, in part by getting children to think about “if/then” statements and the idea of actions and conditions.Microsoft is releasing a new version of its Kodu Game Lab today, and it’s also kicking off its Kodu Cup Competition for students ages 9 to 17. The competition asks kids to design their own video game using Kodu, and the winners will compete for a $5000 prize for themselves, along with $5000 for their school and a trip to the worldwide finals of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition. According to Gabrielle Cayton-Hodges, a research fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, there are many educational benefits to teaching children how to play and program video games. She argues that “learning how to create and edit such a system is learning critical analytic skills including systems thinking, problem solving, iterative design and digital media literacies.”Kodu is just one of many great tools that encourage kids to code. You can see some of our other recommendations here and here. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

GitHub Atom: 5 Tips For Getting Started

first_imgThis is Color Picker, a package that adds a GUI to color hex code selection. It only has one keystroke—command + shift + c—in order to activate its abilities.I’ll go over to some CSS I’m editing, put my cursor on the body text, and hit that keystroke. Voila! A GUI pops up to help me visually gauge the right color for my project.  lauren orsini Hit command + , (the command key and the comma key) to open up Settings. Suddenly, your editing screen will be eclipsed by a GUI. On the side, you’ll see a list of options, followed by the packages you already have installed.In order to add new packages, simply click “packages” on the left. You can search for a specific package, or install one of the ones Atom has featured. How To Use A PackageOnce you’ve installed any package, either click on the “Settings” button right below its name, or click the package itself in the left-hand column. This will take you to a list of keystrokes you can use to summon that package’s features.  7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… A good text editor can be a developer’s best friend. Unlike the default Notepad or TextEdit apps on Windows and OS X, coding-specific text editors help developers shortcut common tasks to program applications more quickly. The one downside? Learning to use a text editor can be a chore in itself. Some of them, like Vim, can only be customized in a specific language (Vimscript). Others, like Nano, are so old and simple they don’t even respond to the computer mouse—just arrow keys. See also: GitHub Open Sources Atom, The Text Editor Beginners Can UseAtom, GitHub’s new open source text editor, was designed to steamroll over the old way of doing things. You use modern conveniences instead of fighting the text editor—for instance, you customize it with a graphical user interface (GUI)—so you can focus on your code alone. In short, it’s a text editor designed with beginners and amateur developers in mind.I met with Corey Johnson from GitHub’s Atom’s development team to try it out for myself. We walked through a few different tweaks to show Atom’s ease of customization; anywhere else, most of these adjustments would have to be made on the command line.  How To Install A PackageThe toughest part about developing Atom, according to Johnson, was making sure each user could select the right amount of tools for her needs. Some people will want tools to parse HTML; others will want Python debuggers. But if Atom came with all of these already installed, it’d be huge, unwieldy, and full of features that are useful to some and useless to others. So instead, Atom uses “packages,” mini-plugins that you can install to add new features to your workspace. And since Atom is coded in JavaScript, anybody that already knows JavaScript can build a package that meets their exact specifications.  “The cool thing about Atom is it’s hackable,” Johnson said. “We left out a feature people wanted, and already three developers built packages to fill the gap.”  Have you tried out Atom? Did you find it easy to use? Let us know! Tags:#Atom#atom editor#Beginners#GitHub#github atom#github atom editor#github atom guide#learn to code#Text Editor#text editors#Tutorials Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzes There’s also command + shift + p, which brings up a scrolling list of every possible thing you can do in Atom with your current package configuration. For example, if I forgot how to split window panes, I can press command + shift + p and then write “split” in order to find the solution—which is to hit command + k and then an arrow key.  How To Get Coding HintsBy default, Atom hints are hidden behind the editor windows and they’re only visible when you X out all the windows you have open. Then, subtle hints for using Atom will appear. “We didn’t want to be Clippy,” Johnson explained. And for good reason! But if you are looking for more explicit hints, you can bring up the developer tools. Hit command + option + i to bring up the Developer Console. If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same tool used in Chromium, which you’d be using if you’re testing code in Chrome. For even more specific help—you guessed it—there’s a package for that. They’re called “linters” and Johnson describes them as a kind of “spell-check for code” that flags down possible errors and issues in your code while you’re writing it. He recommends atom-lint, which was built by a community member named yujinakayama.How To Live Preview MarkdownOf course, it wouldn’t be a GitHub-developed text editor if it didn’t have features especially designed to work with GitHub. Atom is especially primed for coding GitHub Flavored Markdown, an ultra-simplistic plain text format that transitions well into HTML pages. On GitHub, markdown is used for everything from read-mes to basic web sites. In Atom, hit command + shift + p and search for “markdown” to find the command, or just hit control + shift + m to activate a live markdown window. You can now monitor your changes live while you type them. Coding doesn’t get any simpler than that.  How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? How To Remember Shortcuts“Wait a minute, what does it do again if I press the command key and the comma key?” There are two basic ways to figure out essentially every keystroke. First, there’s command + . (the command key and the period key pressed together). Press this and a window will pop up at the bottom of your screen. As long as it’s up, hit any keystroke you like and it’ll tell you what that keystroke does. (To make it go away, hit command + . again.) Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidlast_img read more

The Answer Key To Winning Deals

first_imgThe first time you take a test, you have no idea what questions to expect. The second time you take a test, having already had a glimpse at the questions, your score should be better than the first time you took that same test. What about the 3rd, 4th, 80th, or 200th time you take that same test?Sales is a series of tests. There are questions that your prospective clients are asking. You are providing the answers. The questions don’t change much. And having already seen them before, you should be getting better at answering the questions.Do I know you?For all the changes that have occurred in the world of sales over the last decade and a half, the deep truths have not changed at all. To create and win an opportunity you must be known.If this is true, and if you have failed this test in the past, you will double down on nurturing your dream clients, even though they are completely cold right now, even though they already have a strategic partner in your space, and even though they are not yet compelled to change.Eventually, your prospective client is going to ask the question, “Who do we know that can help us with this issue?” Because you know this is the question, you now also know the answer.Can you create value for me?One of the fundamental changes in sales is the dramatic increase in the need for business acumen and situational knowledge. It is no longer enough for a salesperson to be able to tout their product or service’s features, benefits, and advantages; the internet already does that.The question your dream client is asking is, “Who has the ideas and the experience to help us obtain the results we need now?”Because you know that this is the question, you understand that you need to demonstrate your ability to think like a businessperson in solving your client’s challenges. The answer to this question requires that you understand your business, your prospective clients business, and enough about the overall business environment to know what choices they may make and what trade-offs they are going to have to consider.The answer to this question is proof that you are a peer, not a vendor.Why should I choose you?This question also shows up in another form that every salesperson hears from time to time. That question really means, “What makes you different?”A lot of people underestimate the need to create a strong preference for themselves, for their company, and for their solution as they move through their sales cycle. People play the game to play the game and not to win. They don’t recognize that how they sell, and who they are, is part of the value proposition they are asking their prospective client to buy.To create that preference and to answer the question “Why should I choose you,” You need to know how and why you are different, as well as how those differences make a difference for your prospective client.This question is being asked all the time, even if you never hear those words escape your prospect’s lips.Do you care about me?This question is also being asked all the time whether or not you ever hear your perspective client say these words. trust is the foundation of trust. People don’t often do business with people that they do not trust.Some people rush their sales process, believing that moving faster will allow them to close deals sooner. Some people mistakenly talk about their needs instead of their dream client’s needs. Many people make the mistake of presenting a solution that doesn’t consider what the individual stakeholders who are making the decision need individually and collectively.Not spending time with people who have real needs is evidence that you do not care. Not listening or taking into account your prospects fears and concerns is proof that those things are not important to you. Speeding through your sales process to get to “the close” faster gives your prospect the idea that the deal is more about you than about them.In human relationships, slower is faster.Selling is a series of tests. When you first start selling, you don’t intuitively know the answers to these questions. You may not know they are even being asked. Once you have taken the test, you know what the questions are, and you know what the right answers should be.What question is continually asked of you for which you still lack a good answer? If you are losing opportunities you believe that you should be winning, you need a better answer to this question.If you were to look over your losses in the last 12 months, what questions cause you to fail the test?last_img read more

16 Maharashtra IPS officers transferred

first_imgThe State government on Wednesday transferred 16 Indian Police Service officers, making changes in several key posts in Mumbai which include creation of a new post in the Economic Offences Wing, Mumbai. Among the significant changes is the posting of Joint Commissioner of Police Ashutosh Dumbare, who heads the EOW, as head of Mumbai Crime Branch. Mr. Dumbare replaces Sanjay Saxena, who has been promoted and transferred as Additional Director General (Training), Maharashtra Police. Mr. Dumbare will be replaced by Vinay Choube, Inspecter General of Police, Nashik Range. The Mumbai EOW will be headed by an ADG level officer. Prabhat Kumar, IG (Law and Order), was promoted and will be the first ADG, EOW, Mumbai. Jt CP (Administration) Archan Tyagi has been transferred to the State Reserve Police Force, and will be replaced by Santosh Rastogi, of the State Intelligence Department. Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) KMM Prasanna has been promoted and posted as IG, Nagpur range, while Additional Commissioner of Police (West region) Chhering Dorje, has been promoted and appointed Special IG, Nashik range. Mr. Dorje’s wife Aswathy, Additional CP, Armed Police, has also been promoted and appointed Director, Maharashtra Police Academy in Nashik.last_img read more

ISRO to test cryogenic stage onboard GSLV-D5

first_imgIndia will undertake the flight test of its indigenous cryogenic stage onboard homegrown rocket GSLV-D5 which will launch GSAT-14 by the middle of 2012, a top ISRO official has said.A facility for static testing of the cryogenic engine would be ready in another two months at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsions Systems centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K Radhakrishnan said.The new thrust chamber facility for static testing would be a big boon for the LPSC, Radhakrishnan told reporters at the LPSC on Friday after inagurating a two-day National Conference on “Expanding Frontiers in Propulsion Technology”.The maiden flight test of the indigenous cryogenic stage by ISRO onboard Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle GSLV-D3 ended in a failure in May, 2010 after the stage developed some snag and the rocket plunged into sea minutes after liftoff.Radhakrishnan said India’s advanced communication satellite GSAT-8, launched from Kourou in French Guiana on May 21, would become operational by June end.He also said ISRO would launch another communication satellite GSAT-12, equipped with 12 c-band transponders, onboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSVL-C17 on July 2.PSLV- C18 would be launched in September from Sriharikota carrying Mega Tropiques satellite, an Indo-French joint venture.On December 11, microwave remote sensing satellite Risat 1 would be launched. It would be able to take clear pictures of sky even if they were covered by clouds.- With PTI inputsFor more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.advertisementlast_img read more