Bo & Yana: A dynamic duo to help a child learn programming while having fun!

Hello again lovelies!

My apologies for a late post! I have been busy since the later part of last week because I was in a mix of different things, including my brother’s graduation from Chiropractor School, my apprenticeship course on programming in Java, and interview with a company named SOASTA (which didn’t go well).

I want to make corrections that I have made on my previous posts.

In the post I have made about Google Fiber, it has brought to my attention that the speed of the internet is measured in bits per second, not bytes per second. So Google Fiber runs 1 Gigabit per second. Bits and bytes do make the difference in terms of speed (8 bit =  1 byte). So the numbers are off in terms of time as well so I apologize for providing inaccurate information. A 10Mbps user would get Walking Dead season 3 in about 9 minutes while a Google fiber user would get it in 5.5 seconds(but still fast!!!)

And on my last post, I want to verify that when I said PS4 lacked of original titles, I was talking about in terms of AAA titles, like Ryse: Son of Rome for Xbox One. I forgot to add the ‘aside from indie games’ right after mentioning its lack of titles and I apologize for that as well. I will be more careful next time when I make future posts.

Without further ado, I want talk about something I recently discovered that I think it is really awesome (with bias aside, as I am a programmer myself). I was going to cover Amazon Prime flight drones, but I find this more fascinating because it can help make teaching kids programming easier on the parents. If you want me to cover Amazon Prime drones in a future posting, let me know!

We all know that the tech industry is booming. In about 10 years, the technology would expand significantly as we will have more devices and systems to operate with in our daily lives to make things easier, which means more technical/programming jobs are needed to be filled in. If you want to excel at anything, like piano playing or construction, then it would be best to start early at a young age. Kids who are aspiring to be great pianists should start with a piano, or the closest thing that their parents could afford to a piano. Kids who want to build things should be given Legos of some sort to play with. How about when you want to teach your kids programming? Well writing lines of code could be fun for people 16+ given the right mindset, but tykes at age 7 would rather play with Legos or other toys than to sit at a computer and learn how to write lines of code. This is where Bo and Yana come in.

Stepping into the playground are Bo and Yana! Bo is a bigger robot built for following programming commands from children and Yana, the smaller robot, has the capabilities of storytelling!

Stepping into the playground are Bo and Yana! Bo is a bigger robot built for following programming commands from children and Yana, the smaller robot, has the capabilities of storytelling!

Play-i’s Bo & Yana are both toy robots that are designed to teach kids programming through interactive storytelling in a way that is appealing for kids. Now how exactly could the kids program the robots? Well, the kids interact with Bo by using a iPad device. You’d just have to worry about connecting Bo to iPad via bluetooth and the child is ready to play! The iPad app allows the kid to program commands through different icons. Kids can create a combination of icons that can make the robot do many things, such as turning right and moving forward when it bumps to a wall. There are also a variety of accessories for the robots that open even more possibilities of interaction . I’ll leave a video here so you can see more of what these two cute robots do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLDQDaPHy9E.

Another cool thing about this is when the kids get older and want to expand their coding skills, there is a way you could do that. Parents have many options of different programming languages they could program into these robots, so they could learn Python or C++ or whatever languages the parents desired.

If you are ever so curious about getting these robots now, Play-i is currently taking pre-orders for their product. They have already sold out the developer packs where you could get the API to tinker with the robots’ functionalities (and define the programming language) along with Bo and Yana. But other options are still open, and it is wise to get the pre-order now, as the prices will increase when they hit retail shelves in Summer 2014.

What do you guys think about teaching kids programming? I feel that these robots would be great for your kid if you want them to learn programming to order for them to make a good living for themselves (that is, if you want them to go on the path of programming). There is a possibility that kids could play with this indoors all of the time and not spend enough time outside. Of course, that could be fixed by making them spend a certain amount of time outside (with or without Bo and Yana). If I was a 7 year old child, I would spend my free time with Bo & Yana(aside from video games) if iPads existed back in the day, remembering that I loved toys that allowed interaction in my earlier years.

That is all I have for this week. I wanted to show off a personal game project that I have been working on, but I have been busy with many affairs on the side, including an apprenticeship class that I’m currently taking and tinkering around with a couple of existing projects. I can tell you as of my last post that I have made some progress on it, but not as much progress as I would have liked. Hopefully, when my apprenticeship is over on Dec. 21 or Dec. 22, the pace will then pick up. I can promise that when I reveal my personal game project, that I’ll have a prototype ready for you guys to play with it! In the meantime, I can show off what I have been tinkering with hopefully on my next post!

Until then, don’t be strangers!

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PS4 Vs. Xbox One, the launch aftermath

Hello everyone!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, with family, friends, and with some nice turkey! And I hope that everyone had a safe Black Friday(if you went of course) and didn’t get trampled over a killer HDTV sale, or a steal of a deal for movies.

Sony  announced their console back in February to positive feedback from the crowd. They shared some interesting features, one of which you could record a live stream video of you playing Call Of Duty (no face cam thankfully) and share it online with a press of a button on your controller. PS4 may not have their motion control controls like Nintendo or Microsoft did with their systems, but they made little tweaks with the PS4 controller that enhance the gaming experience by adding a speaker, a headphone jack, and a touch pad. PS4 also became the second consecutive console to have a Blu Ray player.

When Microsoft revealed Xbox One a few months later, they received some unfortunate backlash. Some aspects of the reveal weren’t understood correctly, but one of the features unveiled clearly was that gamers had to pay a fee if they want to lend their game to their friends. Microsoft eventually removed their bogus features in response to criticism from critics and consumers along with some playful jabs from Sony (check out one of their jabs here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOwA46785pk). At least Microsoft is taking their new console to a new direction, which it’ll be more of a entertainment system than a video game console as you can also watch television, Skype with your loved ones, watch movies, and switch between these different modes with Kinect that is now part of the package. Oh, and it doubles as a Blu Ray player, which it is a first for a Microsoft gaming console.

It has now been two weeks since PS4 launched, and it has been one week since Xbox One made its way to the retail shelves. Did the consoles survive the launch? Lets check out PS4, since it got released first.

As a game console, PS4 does pretty well on its own. PS4 was received with welcoming arms from the public. It doesn’t come off as a surprise, as Sony was focused with a gamer vision when it comes to developing consoles and it does well. Sony is even supportive of independent game developers, as it even includes some of independent games as part of its launch title lineup. The only issue that PS4 had with launch is that it got its equivalent “Red Ring of Death”, which it indicates its hardware failure and inability to operate by showing a pulsing blue line, hence the new popular term “Blue Light of Death”. A PS4 vs. Xbox One comparison article from Kotaku mentions that this affects 1% of the consoles. Not bad, even though that it’s still a lot of consoles being affected with this condition. If that and its lack of its original launch titles are the two worst things about PS4 at its launch, then it must be doing pretty solid, considering that a lot of people love it’s gaming vision for the console. That’s about all I have for PS4. Now onto Xbox One.

Despite the fact that Xbox One didn’t get as much love from the public in the beginning as it would have hoped, it ended up selling out on day one of its release. The direction that it took with its latest iteration of the console of it being the entertainment console ended up being well received throughout the globe. Like PS4, it also has an hardware issue of its own. Not too long after its launch, people have already started hearing loud grinding noises with the hard drive when someone inserts a disk into a drive and the console doesn’t load the disc. Thankfully, Microsoft responded by offering a free launch title to those affected by the issue. Microsoft has sure earned a good amount of brownie points with that gesture. The number of consoles affected by this issue is a small number, although the exact amount has yet to be disclosed. Despite its issue that got people frustrated, a lot of people enjoyed what Microsoft had to offer in its take on the console. This kind of love for Microsoft consoles will continue to grow as long as they keep the lending fees away from their consoles.

If the readers here have a hard time deciding what console to get, it all depends on your preference. Every other site that compares both systems will say the same the exact same thing. If you are a person that wants a true gaming console, then PS4 is definitely your best bet. But if you want a great game system that you can do more with than just playing games, then Xbox One will be great for your needs. The visuals on games are great and it does well in other aspects (although Kinect is not 100% keen on picking up voice commands).

All I have to say about the console is…man what happened to lack of backwards compatibility with older games? Now I have to keep my PS3 and 360 if I want to play the games. I wish that they could include the required hardware to play older games. But I guess thats how things go. Oh and if you guys are curious about the hardware specification comparison with both consoles (and with Wii U specs), then I’ll show you the link here: http://www.ign.com/wikis/xbox-one/PS4_vs._Xbox_One_vs._Wii_U_Comparison_Chart.

XboxOnePS4

Again, I hope that all of you had a wonderful thanksgiving! I hope to reveal a side project that I’m working on sometime by next week or the following week. Until then, don’t be strangers and enjoy your weekend!

Google fiber!

Hello again fellow peeps!

This week, I’ll be making a shorter post, with focusing on one topic per post as it may be the trend for the following posts that I’ll make. We’ll see how this goes.

This week, I managed to look into Google Fiber as I discovered it around last week. After looking more into Fiber, it is one of the most amazing things I have seen! It may not be as awesome as Google Glasses, but its probably one of the most life changing products that any company has ever done.

We all want things fast. Even though a California internet customer can surf their web at an average speed of 20Mbps (amount of data downloaded per second for those who are not familiar with internet speed), we can all use faster internet. Even non-Californian residents need faster internet since the average internet speed in the US is 5Mbps. Everybody here would be more satisfied if we all have access to to faster internet.

For those who have no idea what Google Fiber is, Google Fiber is fiber broadband network offered for internet and television. They offer their service which runs at a rate of 1Gbps. ONE GIGABYTE PER SECOND! HOLY SWEET JESUS!!

If you are not familiar on how fast that could be, lets make a comparison. Lets say for example that both Joe and Bob (very original names right?) want to download the third season of The Walking Dead, which consists of 16 episodes with each episode with the size with the approximate size 340 MB. Joe has his internet service which provides the speed of 10Mbps while Bob has Google Fiber. Downloading the entire third season for Joe would take him about 1 hour and 13 minutes. Which is it does take a long time for a season to download. Bob on the other hand, would have taken him 44 seconds to get the whole season, and he would have already started watching the second episode by the time Joe is done downloading the season. Less than a minute for one whole season?? Now we’re talking!

At this point, I be that you guys would say, “HOLY SWEET JESUS THAT IS FAST! Where can I get this awesome internet service?”

Unfortunately, Google Fiber is only available to the residents of Kansas City of Kansas and Missouri, and Google recently made plans to extend their service to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah. However, there is a source that says that Google is planning to extend their service at some unannounced Western city in 2014. I think Palo Alto would be the city that Google has in mind, since Google is right in that area and Google had Stanford University tested Google Fiber. But who knows, my guess could be as good as anyone else’s. However, there will be a day where we can experience the blazing speed of their fiber service. When we do, this is certainly going to have an amazing effect on everyone, including the people who are running their start up companies.

Fast like a rabbit!!

Fast like a rabbit!!

That is all I have for this week. If you guys have any input on this blog site, on my blog posts, or anything that I can do to make this better, then feel free to leave your input in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll see you all next week!

Welcome to Jake Of All Trades blog! My Portfolio site and how webpages work.

Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog!

I am happy to start having my own blog where I can share things that I enjoy and my personal thoughts on them. Now what things do I enjoy exactly? Well here is a list of things that I want to share (but not limited to):

  • Any tech products that I get my hands on or read about (like iPhone 5s, Samsung Galaxy Note, Oculus Rift).
  • Any personal projects that I’m currently working on.
  • Any meetups related to software development I attend.
  • Video games that I am playing or have played.

Id like to add more, but I don’t want to throw too much text at your face. Instead, Ill go on my first two topics of my blog site, my most recent project and explaination on webpages!

I have finished modifying my portfolio website. Before I decided to have this blog, my website was almost 100% complete. I found out that there are a few small fixes that needed to be made that I overlooked when I first made the website (oops). I also added a link which directs the site viewer to this blog site as well as adding a nice feature where the links to the blog site and my resume open a new tab instead of taking the viewer away from the website. Come check out the portfolio site here: http://www.jakerushing.com/.

My portfolio website was my first personal project where I made the project from scratch. I wrote these pages using only Notepad. Yes, that little software where you can type out your grocery list (or a to-do list) and the like can be used to create webpages, but there are superior tools and software that can accomplish the same thing.

Now how do these webpages work? There are 3 parts that make up a webpage: The skeleton, the style, and functionality. Ill throw a picture from the meetup site and Ill explain the three parts(The html wizards can skip to the last line)

Screenshot 2013-11-11 22.27.09

See how the header on top, the text in the picture, and the grey bar are all structured? This is the skeleton of the page, and each element is structured by HTML (or HyperText Markup Language). HTML is used to assemble the skeleton of the page altogether. This is where HTML wizards put in text, pictures, and even links that can direct users to another page.

HTML alone doesn’t really determine the aesthetics of the page. Like where are the elements (ie the top header on the meetup page) situated to make the page more aesthetically pleasing. Or how to color the bar below the  picture dark grey. That is all done by adding some style to the page. This is where CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) comes in. By creating a CSS file for the HTML page, you can determine aesthetic attributes of each element, like the color of the element, the font style of the text in that element, or the position of that element, just to name the few of what you can do.

Last but not least, Javascript covers the functionality of html pages. For example, the web developers of the meetup home page coded in Javascript to where the background of Find and Search buttons(on top of the page) changes the background from white to red when a user hovers over one of the buttons. This is one of many possibilities you can do to add functionality to webpages

There is all sorts of tools web developers could use to do much more than what I’ve mentioned, like adding a slideshow to a page, but I would have to write a novel covering all of that. And this is a blog post. But I may cover different these tools in my future posts. For now, what I have mentioned are the basic necessities of writing a web page. And you dont even need Javascript to make a webpage! My portfolio site, for example, was made only with HTML and CSS until I added some functionality via Javascript just last night.

Thank you guys for stopping by! I hope to do another post by next week talking about something different. Until then, adios and Happy Belated Veterans Day!