Seven games for guilt-free revision breaks

You’ve probably been told hundreds of times, it’s never too early to start revising. While we absolutely believe in the importance of getting work done, everyone is entitled to a break now and then! If you’re looking for some entertainment without the guilt of ‘I should really be revising’, check out our recommendations for computer games you can play that almost pass as Uni work.

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Cyber Security Summit and Expo 2017

by Darren Prosser, BSc Computer Forensics student.

Cyber security is a significant subject in today’s society, and it has a powerful impact on businesses and citizens of the world. It’s easy to forget the importance of cyber security, but we all play an important role in protecting each other in this area.

Last month, I visited the Cyber Security Summit and Expo at the Business Design Centre in London, along with my fellow third-year Computer Forensics students. We had the opportunity to meet the elite of the cyber world and get inside knowledge of how businesses and government organisations implement the latest security protection on their systems, in order to keep the citizens of Britain safe.

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Sticky Note Pixel Art!

by George Everett, Faculty Web Assistant and BSc Digital Media Technology Student.

Some mysterious artwork has started to appear around the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment’s (CEBE) new Project Space at Millennium Point. At a glance, they can be mistaken for huge colourful decals but look again as they are in fact assortments of sticky notes cleverly arranged to create quirky Computing and Digital Technology-inspired murals. The pieces, whilst low-resolution and basic, are in fact rather intricate in design and have required careful planning and thinking from CEBE students who are making the most of the new project space which has been designed specially for team-working on CEBE projects.

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HackTheMidlands at Birmingham City University

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student.

Last month I attended HackTheMidlands here in the heart of Birmingham City University at Millennium Point. HackTheMidlands is a 24 hour hackathon for people of all skills to come together and make something innovative over the course of the weekend.

So what is a hackathon? The official student hackathon league, Major League Hacking, describe a hackathon as an “invention marathon” where “students can augment skills learned in the classroom by teaching themselves how to independently research new technologies and fix problems they encounter”. So in essence, people of all specialties come together to make software and hardware under a time constraint to solve challenges and meet criteria set out by event hosts and sponsors.

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Moving to Birmingham City University

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student. 

The weeks leading up to moving were crazy and full of panic. I was excited to be moving to Birmingham to study Computer Games Technology but at the same time anxious to move from home. After massively overpacking and only just managing to squeeze everything into the back of the car we left the small seaside village of Felpham and set off for the growing city of Birmingham. The road trip took just over three hours but on Friday 8 September at 10am I arrived at my new home here in the heart of Birmingham.

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Insomnia 61: The UK’s Biggest Gaming Festival

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student. 

For almost 20 years now Multiplay has been hosting what they claim to be “the UK’s biggest gaming festival”. From its humble beginnings in a small office in Swindon with a few hundred people, it is now filling out the UK’s largest exhibition centre, the Birmingham NEC. Insomnia started primarily as a LAN event for people to bring their own computers to compete in tournaments to win prize money. Since then it has grown to a massive exhibition full of upcoming games, stage events featuring popular YouTube personalities, a showcase of small indie titles, retro games, tabletop games, lots of evening events, and the list goes on and on – there’s even a live robot wars tournament!

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Looking back on Innovation Fest 2017

This year our Innovation Festival was on Friday 26 May, but it was such an amazing day we’re still celebrating! We’ve written a little round-up in case you missed it, or if you enjoy reminiscing like we do!

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Happy Birthday Sir Tim Berners-Lee!

“If you can imagine a computer doing something, you can program a computer to do that. Unbounded opportunity… limited only by your imagination. And a couple of laws of physics.”

Today is the 62nd birthday of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a significant but perhaps under-appreciated innovator that we definitely owe a lot to!

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The path less travelled

by Stephen Murphy, Academic Lead – Linux Professional Institute Academy.

Why changing priorities and straying from the beaten path could help reduce the risk of cyber-attack…

I am sure that you’ve noticed that the NHS (along with a large number of other worldwide organisations such as Deutsche Bahn, Telefonica and FedEx) has been hit by a targeted cyber-attack that disabled computers using the Windows XP operating system. The attack encrypted a user’s files, making them inaccessible unless a ‘ransom’ was paid to the attackers.  People have pointed the finger at out-of-date operating systems, lack of funding and poor security procedures, but are these really the underlying issues, or only failures in diagnosing a more fundamental malady in global computing?

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Big Data and Climate Change

by Dr. Jagdev Bhogal, Senior Lecturer in Data Technologies.

Climate change is making the news headlines again, but for all the wrong reasons. Donald Trump believes that climate change is a ‘hoax’ and has signed executive orders to open federal land to coal mining, reverse the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, and to halt new vehicle emissions standards. The Clean Power Plan was designed to reduce America’s emissions by 26-28% in accordance with the Paris Agreement made by 200 countries in 2015. Trump even pledged to “cancel” America’s part in the agreement, which he branded “the Paris compromise” as part of his presidency campaign.

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