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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What can we learn from the NHS cyber-attack?

by Ron Austin, Associate Professor for MSc Data Networks and Security.

The news over the last two or three days has been full of information and some speculation about the attack on the NHS networking and PC systems. The attack has spread quickly and affected more than just the NHS. It’s become apparent that it is not targeted at the NHS. I do, however, believe it raises key issues about computer security and cyber hygiene.

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2: The biggest VFX movie of all time?

by Johrah Al-Homied, BSc Film Technology and Visual Effects student.

The hype for the Visual Effects (VFX) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (GOG 2) started with director James Gunn claiming in an interview that Ego The Living Planet was going to be the “biggest visual effect of all time”. He said the film contains over a trillion polygons, and after watching it, I can believe that’s true. Ego contains thousands of animated elements. From the water to the leaves dropping on the floor, all these details could need thousands of individual models, depending on how detailed they are, and each model could contain millions of polygons. Continue Reading

Global Game Jam at Birmingham City University

by Liam Sorta, BSc Computer Games Technology student.

For the last five years, Birmingham City University has opened its doors as host to the annual Global Game Jam (GGJ), a 48-hour game development event aimed at bringing those with a passion for games together to create a game from scratch. The diversity the jam promotes is indicated by its 36,000 jammers, 7,000 produced games and the involvement of 95 different countries this year alone.

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