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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Women in Networking

by Zareena Naz, BSc Computer Networks and Security student.

This article, first published on the Hamilton Barnes website, explores why Zareena was drawn to study networking at Birmingham City University.

How did you first get interested in a career in technology?

The first time I got to know about networking was during my GCSEs. I didn’t know anything about IT at the time but I thought it was interesting. In sixth form I chose IT and Business and got to know the basics of IT and got more familiar with it and developed my interest. My teacher at that time was a network engineer and she helped me understand the basics of networking and to study for the exams.

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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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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

Engineering on film: Apollo 13

by Simon Handley, Associate Dean, CEBE.

On 20 July 1969 at 8:18 PM, the world changed.  We – all mankind, had landed on the moon in our incredibly small spacecraft. I was nine years old and had been allowed to stay up late to see this momentous occasion. Six hours later, with one small step for a man there was a giant leap for mankind as Neil Armstrong placed his foot on another rock in space.

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