“We need to invest more in Africa’s most precious resource, and that is its people.” Today, President Obama joined business and NGO leaders to highlight the ways we’ve worked to transform the relationship between the U.S. and Africa, so both sides can work together as equal partners.
“Yahoo bought a 17-year old kid’s company for $30 million.
What do you do if you want to jump aboard the computer science train if you have no knowledge or experience?
Going back to school is expensive and takes a lot of time. And your computer-savvy friend probably isn’t patient enough to spend the necessary time with you to get your programming skills to a point where a company would actually hire you.
That’s where these free resources come in handy. Work at your own pace and take them as seriously as you want. If you put in the effort, you might just become a fearsome computer warrior.”
Coursera’s free classes run the gamut of disciplines, and its computer science offerings are substantial. The classes operate as a conventional college course would, with homework, quizzes, and ultimately passing or failing. Often times students who successfully pass a class can even get a physical certificate of completion signed by the instructor.
Who says easiest is best? Learn Code The Hard Way will put you through your paces, but when you come out the other end, you’ll have an innate understanding of the programming language you set out to learn. All its resources are free online, or you can pay for a PDF file.
Codecademy is one of the hot rising startups and its singular mission is to teach novices how to code. It makes use of a friendly and interactive environment that will have you writing your first lines of codes just moments after you start.
While it isn’t exactly a means of instruction, Stack Overflow is a place to get answers to your programming questions. When you’re stumped, write up your problem and submit it to this notoriously helpful and intelligent community.
MIT is one of the most exclusive engineering schools in the country, but loads of its class materials (and even videos of its actual classes) are available entirely for free. There’s very likely something of value here regardless of your programming skill level.
Why not learn from the company that has helped define the nature of the internet for the past 10+ years? Whether you’re interested in mobile app development, web development, or learning a programming language from scratch, Google has resources for you.
Khan Academy is probably most comparable to Codecademy, offering you an interactive environment to experiment and refine your coding ability with friendly guidance along the way. When you’re done with coding, check out its other lessons, which range from topics in humanities to math to test preparation.
Sometimes the best way to learn is to collaborate with real people in real time. CoderDojo offers a directory of “dojos” around the world where you can meet with human beings to go over the finer points of creating elegant computer code.
Now a new filtering device, invented by a US teenager, could provide a cheap and easy way to purify water.
The renewable heavy metal filter, designed by 18-year-old Perry Alagappan, removes 99% of heavy metals from water that passes through it. The filter, built from graphene nanotubes, can be rinsed with a vinegar concentrate and reused. The highly concentrated waste can then be evaporated, leaving a deposit of pure metal that can be used in many different applications.
Alagappan, who was awarded the Stockholm Junior Water Prize at this year’sWorld Water Week, said the filter cost just $20 (£13) to make, up to five times less than existing reverse osmosis technology.
“I became interested in water purification when I visited my grandparents in India, and saw with my own eyes how electronic waste severely contaminated the environment,” said the recent high school graduate from Houston, Texas, on winning the prize.
What is your opinion on priced mods on Steam? It's a hot topic atm and a LOT of people are really hostile towards it.
So for those who aren’t aware, [Steam Workshop just went live with a new option - mods for a price]. This means that mod creators can actually start charging for their work if they choose to do so. Valve and the game’s rights-holders get a rather hefty percentage for the processing, distribution, and rights (I believe Valve gets 75% of the money that changes hands, though I suspect a good chunk of that will go to the publishers of the source game), with the modders pocketing the rest.
So what do I, as a professional game developer who makes a living creating content and systems for games, think about other people getting the opportunity to make a living creating content and systems for games?
I’m all for it. I think it’s a great idea.
A modder deserves the right to ask for money for his or her work. If the mod turns out to be bad, faulty, or overpriced, the player is under no obligation to buy it. It isn’t going to force players to buy mods, it’s going to give those players a choice - play with the paid mods or don’t. It’s up to the modders providing a compelling value for the money. It’s up to the players to decide whether the juice is worth the squeeze. And I think this is a good thing. Having more options is always better than having fewer, even if some of them cost money. This has already been going on with great success in Team Fortress 2 with player-created hats for sale, and it’s been going on for years.
Those who are against this aren’t looking at the big picture. Yeah, there might be some bad value proposals out there… but nobody is twisting arms to force players to pay for them. The player always has the choice - pay and get it, or pass on it, just like they always have the choice to buy or not buy a full game. Furthermore, the Steam Workshop policy has a money-back refund after 24 hours if you don’t end up liking the purchase. Economics dictate that good mods for their value will sell, while bad mods won’t. The more mods there are, the more competition for buyers there will be, which drives individual prices down. Bad mods will get bad reviews which won’t sell, and the 24 hour refund policy will help ensure that the low quality content won’t earn much.
Those who say that modders should be thankful just for the experience of modding and the exposure it brings come off as extremely entitled, just like those who demand artists do commission work for free. If people are spending their time to build something, they deserve the chance to profit from their own work. Whether they price it at a good point, or anyone actually bothers to buy it is anybody’s guess. But those who are knocking the chance at paid mods have no right to tell the content creators that they don’t deserve to be compensated if they want to try.
In the long run, this is actually a good thing for gamers in general. Right now, most modders are just hobbyists and amateurs. But by opening this up for modders to get paid, you can start attracting better talent into the pool of content creators. Most of the time, professional developers like myself don’t have too much interest in making mods for ourselves. We’re already spending hours and hours of our time each week creating content at a professional level for our existing games. But what if we can actually make some money doing things in our off time? Suddenly, the developer who’s between jobs can do something he or she’s really good at to help pay the bills. More incentives for better skilled talent results in more quality content. A larger pool of content creators means more competition for your money, which helps drive prices down. It’s great for publishers too - more quality mod content keeps the game played by players for longer, which means that they can sell more DLC, which encourages them to support their games for longer as well. It’s a win for everybody except for those who aren’t willing to pay for quality content. And, while I sympathize with those who can’t afford to buy things like video games, I can’t agree that this should somehow mean that any developer shouldn’t deserve even the chance to earn compensation for his or her work.
Hello. I have a question regarding the "maths" of AAA game budgets. You've offered very interesting insight from the "other side" of the DLC/Microtransactions debate in the past. However, consider this simple example : $60m cost to make a AAA game. $60 per copy. That comes to 1m copies to break even. 2m copies for 100% return. Given that AAA games sell around 5m copies, are the likes of Jim Sterling, Angry Joe to TotalBiscuit really in the wrong for railing against "AAA greed"?
So… for a moment, let’s put aside the fact that the purpose of a publicly traded company like most AAA game publishers (Nintendo, Ubisoft, Take Two, EA, Activision, Sony, Microsoft, etc.) is to earn money for its shareholders. Let’s also ignore that nobody can ever really agree as to the exact amount of money that crosses from “not greedy” to “greedy” actually is. Putting all that aside for a moment, let’s break down just how many sales it takes for the publisher to break even. In your “simple example”, we spent $60 million on development. At $60 per game, that’s just 1 million units that need to be sold, right? What else is there?
“The identity system for Lake house was inspired by local trail maps—encouraging guest to get out of their room and enjoy the Adirondacks. We used topographic patterns, mountain coordinates and created iconography around the activities available during each season. The color palette is minimal, letting the natural textures and landscape take center stage. A rustic red is used throughout, adding a pop of color that ties back to the rich heritage of the Adirondacks.”
According to the World Bank report, “Women and Trade in Africa: Realizing the Potential”, eliminating gender-specific barriers can help boost trade and increase productivity in Africa. Behind the research for this report were women who shared their personal stories of how they overcame gender discrimination at work in order to realize their potential.
After being thrown out of her house, Mary from Tanzania started her own company and now has over 300 clients internationally. Mary employs hundreds of women and is planning to start a training institution designed specifically for women.
Charity from Kenya secretly applied for college – against her family’s wishes – to pursue a degree in Tourism. Tourism in Kenya brings in over $1 billion annually, directly provides over 300,000 jobs and accounts for 12.5% of the country’s GDP. Despite the pressure to do otherwise, Charity took advantage of the opportunity to benefit from the sector and is now a park ranger.
This short film, Mind the Gap: Gender Equality and Trade in Africa, follows these women as they share their experiences taking advantage of trade opportunities and tapping into foreign markets.