Thursday, 8 December 2011
The web is full of font sites, but not all of them are winners. Just searching for "free fonts" can be a nightmare filled with excessive ads, malware and fonts so bad that comic sans makes them look good. Your best bet when looking for high quality fonts is to ask a graphic designer... or you could just check out this list of the best sites for fantastic free fonts.
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
So I was on strike last Wednesday. It was a minimal response to the appalling way ordinary people in this country are being treated, but it was something. I doubt anyone will listen, though.
Over the last few weeks, a slew of government announcements and news items has confirmed my belief that nobody in power gives a damn about people's distrust of banks, or their sense of unfairness expressed through the summer riots and the Occupy movement, or their deep depression about their future prospects which, for the vast majority of the population, stare at increasing relative poverty (in real terms, average Joes will be no better off in 2014 than they were in 2001).
Thursday, 1 December 2011
New on the MSDN Library - how to develop Windows Phone and Azure apps - MSDN UK Team blog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
Developing a Windows Phone Application from Start to Finish
This article, which includes an accompanying sample application, will guide you through every step of building a complete Windows Phone 7 application. It will take you from defining your application, to adding images, to working with data, all the way to publishing your application on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Along the way, you will learn the basics of Silverlight and Windows Phone development as you create a simple fuel-tracking application.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Two professors of law, one in Edinburgh and the other in Glasgow, Cormac MacAmlaigh and Andrew Tompkins, have recently written in defence of Westminster against Holyrood. They say that the Scottish Parliament should deal only with matters devolved to it by Westminster. Anything else, including a referendum on independence, should, in their view, be handled by Westminster.
Do they really suppose that Westminster, in which Scottish members are outnumbered 10 to one, is a more appropriate body to deal with Scottish questions than Holyrood, in which the entire membership is elected in Scotland?
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
Updated for iOS 5. Tools and APIs required to build applications for the iPhone platform using the iPhone SDK. User interface designs for mobile devices and unique user interactions using multitouch technologies. Object-oriented design using model-view-controller pattern, memory management, Objective-C programming language. iPhone APIs and tools including Xcode, Interface Builder and Instruments on Mac OS X. Other topics include: core animation, bonjour networking, mobile device power management and performance considerations. Prerequisites: C language and programming experience at the level of 106B (Programming Abstractions) or X. Recommended: UNIX, object-oriented programming, graphical toolkits Offered by Stanford’s School of Engineering, the course will last ten weeks and include both the lecture videos and PDF documents. A new lecture will be posted each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Subscribe to this course, and automatically receive new lectures as they become available. Released with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Friday, 28 October 2011
WebMatrix is a free web development tool from Microsoft that includes everything you need for website development. Start from open source web applications, built-in web templates or just start writing code yourself. It’s all-inclusive, simple and best of all free. Developing websites has never been easier.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
One of the world’s biggest education publishers has joined with one of the most dominant and iconic software companies on the planet to bring colleges a new—and free—learning-management system with the hopes of upending services that affect just about every instructor, student, and college in the country.
Today Pearson, the publishing and learning technology group, has teamed up with the software giant Google to launch OpenClass, a free LMS that combines standard course-management tools with advanced social networking and community-building, and an open architecture that allows instructors to import whatever material they want, from e-books to YouTube videos. The program will launch through Google Apps for Education, a very popular e-mail, calendar, and document-sharing service that has more than 1,000 higher-education customers, and it will be hosted by Pearson with the intent of freeing institutions from the burden of providing resources to run it. It enters a market that has been dominated by costly institution-anchored services like Blackboard, and open-source but labor-intensive systems like Moodle.
Thursday, 13 October 2011
Many organisations now undergo major restructuring every few years. Sometimes this process is necessary in order to respond to market changes, developments in technology or staff turnover. But quite often restructuring is simply a device by managers to give themselves a high profile and create the illusion that they are doing something important. From their perspective, it has the added benefit of creating an atmosphere of insecurity and keeping the troops on their toes. In my experience, it is very rare for a proper cost/benefit analysis of restructuring to take place after the event. Instead, managers use their narrative privilege – for example, in compiling annual reports – to put a positive spin on the results of their efforts. Ask the guys on the front-line of the operation and you are likely to get a different assessment.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Three out of four bosses say school leavers and graduates lack the basic skills needed to join the workforce.
A poll of some of Britain’s biggest businesses, such as HSBC, Santander, KPMG and Procter & Gamble, found widespread despair with the quality of potential recruits.
Many young people turn up for interviews ‘without the vital employability skills that employers are looking for’, such as punctuality and a general ‘can-do’ attitude.
Friday, 7 October 2011
Many game companies are now inserting class-action lawsuit prevention clauses in their EULAs. The only way to get out of these is to physically mail a letter to them. We think it’s absurd you can’t do it online.
Well, now you can.
Monday, 3 October 2011
THE salary bill for senior management teams running Scottish universities has soared by a third in five years, new figures show.
A submission to a review of the governance of Scottish higher education reveals total senior management salaries rose from £12 million in 2005 to £16m last year.
Friday, 23 September 2011
Educators who’ve been wanting to use YouTube videos in class can now find an easy way in. Today, YouTube launched its own teacher’s channel: YouTube.com/Teachers, a guide to using videos in class.
Teachers can follow tips that show everything from organizing videos to sparking lively discussions to help struggling students through videos.
Teachers can also sign up to become part of the YouTube Teachers Community, a mailing list that allows them to share ideas and best practices.
When you're just starting out managing your own finances, little things like paying your own bills, going to the bank, and even grocery shopping "like an adult" can feel empowering. But if you're reckless and don't pay attention to money management basics—or just don't know any better—this is also when you can make the biggest money mistakes of your life. Take it from me, little grasshopper: One of the reasons I have such an interest in personal finance now is that I've broken just about every personal finance rule there is—not purposefully or knowingly, but just in the course of being young, foolish, and learning to manage money on my own. If you're reading this now, you're probably wiser than I was at the time, but hopefully you can still profit from my experience.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Wouldn't it be handy if every time someone tagged a photo of you on Facebook, that pic were automatically added to your Dropbox folder? If items you starred in Google Reader were automatically added to Instapaper or Read It Later? Or if you received a text message whenever it was going to rain? If This Then That (ifttt) is a brilliant web service that let's you plug information from one service into another, allowing you to link all your favorite webapps to create super-charged integration between tools like Gmail, Dropbox, Instapaper, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and oh-so-much more.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
A bold experiment in distributed education, "Machine Learning" will be offered free and online to students worldwide during the fall of 2011. Students will have access to lecture videos, lecture notes, receive regular feedback on progress, and receive answers to questions. When you successfully complete the class, you will also receive a statement of accomplishment. Taught by Professor Andrew Ng, the curriculum draws from Stanford's popular Machine Learning course. A syllabus and more information is available here. Sign up below to receive additional information about participating in the online version when it becomes available.
A bold experiment in distributed education, "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" will be offered free and online to students worldwide during the fall of 2011. The course will include feedback on progress and a statement of accomplishment. Taught by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig, the curriculum draws from that used in Stanford's introductory Artificial Intelligence course. The instructors will offer similar materials, assignments, and exams.
Artificial Intelligence is the science of making computer software that reasons about the world around it. Humanoid robots, Google Goggles, self-driving cars, even software that suggests music you might like to hear are all examples of AI. In this class, you will learn how to create this software from two of the leaders in the field. Class begins October 10.
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Scots must pay £12.546 billion every year just to stay in the Union according to Office of National Statistics (ONS) information. UK public sector net borrowing (excluding financial interventions) was £139.4 billion in the year 2010/11 and so Scotland's share based on 9% population amounts to £12.546 billion.
This is at least the annual cost for Scots of remaining within the Union as Scotland's national accounts show a surplus meaning none of the debt is accrued in Scotland.
According to world-renowned economic expert Professor Andrew Hughes Hallet Scotland's economy, unlike the UK economy is in robust shape:
“Scotland’s accounts, rather than those compiled in London, show that Scotland has a small net surplus, rather than being a net beneficiary from the UK."
The bad news for Scots is that the UK treasury is accruing debt which is accelerating owing to bad house-keeping south of the border and dragging the Scottish economy down with it.
Whether you're looking to try out Linux or create a Windows troubleshooting tool, LiLi will create a powerful Linux thumb drive, letting you pick your distribution, save data between reboots, or even launch your mobile OS right from Windows.
While there are other tools out there that create live Linux USBs, LiLi is a bit more versatile. Not only can you create a live USB stick of any distro you want, but you can also store data and save your settings between reboots, making it a real mobile OS on which you can install programs, make changes, and even update software on. It also hides all your data, so snoopers looking at your USB drive won't see anything you've saved onto it.
Thursday, 9 June 2011
Ignite your Passion with WebsiteSpark
WebsiteSpark gives Web designers and developers a jump-start by providing the tools and resources needed to build great websites, free of cost.
- Includes Visual Studio, Expression, SQL Server, Windows Web Server and more…
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Monday, 6 June 2011
The National Academies Press Makes All PDF Books Free to Download;
More Than 4,000 Titles Now Available Free to All Readers
WASHINGTON -- As of today all PDF versions of books published by the National Academies Press will be downloadable to anyone free of charge. This includes a current catalog of more than 4,000 books plus future reports produced by the Press. The mission of the National Academies Press (NAP) -- publisher for the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council -- is to disseminate the institutions' content as widely as possible while maintaining financial sustainability. To that end, NAP began offering free content online in 1994. Before today’s announcement, all PDFs were free to download in developing countries, and 65 percent of them were available for free to any user.
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Video games, we have been led to believe, are about wasting time. It is a misunderstanding that players and game makers have railed against for 40 years. While movies and television are endlessly analysed and debated in the mainstream media, games are characterised as troubling, irresponsible or banal, the fatuous byproducts of the digital revolution.
But a growing number of theorists and designers disagree. This is, after all, an entertainment medium that worldwide makes $50bn a year, a medium in which an estimated one third of UK adults indulge. An emerging school of thought, drawing on cognitive science, psychology and sociology, suggests that our growing love of video games may actually have important things to tell us about our intrinsic desires and motivations.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Thankfully, every mainstream browser provides a set of development tools. You may use Firebug in Firefox, IE’s Developer Tools, the webkit inspector or Opera’s Dragonfly. However, you may be unaware that Dragonfly is a beta product. Like many developers, I used it now and again but found few compelling features to drag me away from Firebug. Until today.
May 5, 2011 marks the release of version 1.0 … and I’ve been converted! Dragonfly is amazing. You’ll be familiar with most of the features, but Dragonfly offers more tools, feels slicker and looks better than its competitors.
Monday, 11 April 2011
The Burn Studios Audiotool is an awesome, free cloud-based music production studio. The web app lets you create your own electronic music by connecting virtual devices, including drum machines and synths, together in limitless combinations.
All you need to get started is a Flash-enabled browser and an Internet connection. The Audiotool includes audio templates to help you get started, as well as a library of audio samples for use in creating your unique track (downloadable as mp3 or ogg).
Monday, 7 February 2011
Local authorities in Scotland face a financial time-bomb on PFI projects for schools because of a series of flawed assumptions made when they entered into contracts, according to a new analysis by independent experts.
Gaps towards the end of some long contracts when central government funding runs out, over-optimism on associated land sales, and an “astounding” failure to allow for inflation being higher than predicted, are all contributing to the grim picture.
One unnamed local authority has already decided to raise future council tax by 1% annually for 12 years just to honour the PFI contract entered into.
Economists Margaret and Jim Cuthbert, who made extensive use of Freedom of Information requests to gather their data, say that five councils only made private finance deals viable by building specific increases into council tax to fund them.
This week we are offering the Internet Safety course for free as part of SQA's contribution to Safer Internet Day, which takes place tomorrow.
We plan to use social media to give learners a taste of the Internet Safety course. It's completely free and there is no (formal) assessment. All you need to access the course is a smartphone (or a PC).
The week-long course will sample the contents of the Internet Safety award, which includes topics such as on-line fraud, identity theft, grooming, and protecting yourself against viruses. It's suitable for all learners, young or old. You can do as much, or little, of the course as time permits.
Signing-up for the course is easy. Simply follow us on Twitter and we will take care of the rest! If you don't already use Twitter, you can sign-up here. If you really don't want to use Twitter (and we would prefer it if you did) then you can access the course blog directly (but you will miss out on some of the course interaction).