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November 2016

WordPress-PluginsSomeone developing the Ryanair Ltd intranet requested a custom plugin for WordPress. The plugin offers an interface used daily by many members of staff, possibly hundreds. WP was chosen by Ryanair Ltd and was already an integral part of their intranet (no public access). The entire project, including consultation, was delivered remotely. This posed challenges especially during early development when testers were only just discovering exactly what they needed. It meant the early versions of the plugin Ryan Bayne created was seen as a prototype. However, due to the nature of intranet development, it was obvious a small budget made sense. Remote delivery of the project and the problems it creates was probably cheaper than multiple in-house consultation sessions. Unfortunately, the project is private and no details can be giving about its purpose or how it operated. Support and updates were giving to Ryanair for 12 months to ensure their solution was stable and continued to be suitable. The total cost of the project was under £2000.00 and included a free update to the plugin as a standard part of WTG services.

A “Learn to Code” Solution

The CODE Portal™ is still a concept. It is primarily a solution for Primary Schools and has the goal of making life easier for teachers by delivering content to pupils. The portal would begin with the most basic programming and coding introduction. I want the youngest possible children to interact with the portal and have learning material to aid in the development of their logical minds. There are aspects of the portal that aren’t being made public at this time – pending development. Once development begins I’ll release more information about how the portal will operate and what features make it different from existing solutions. 
code-portal-logo-concept-learn-to-code

Code Portal for Primary Schools

The logo above was put together within an hour so it’s quick work. I found it very easy to create variations without losing the possible brand. I felt the original shown above was a bit bland for young users. As you can see here, I’ve added some colours. I still feel something is missing and I may have already begun to address it with a different layout of the logos objects. 

code-portal-logo-concept-for-primary-schools

Code Portal for Secondary Schools

It’s very early days to be considering any features or even plan a solution for young adults. However, I will begin planning it if we can make CODE Portal™ happen within Primary Schools. We’ll be quick to take CODE Portal™ to other levels using the original portal by filling it with content suitable for older users. I would want users of the younger user portal to feel they have gone up a stage and are being recognised as a mature learner. So I’ve designed a slightly more elite looking version of the logo. 

code-portal-logo-concept-for-secondary-schools

Stretched Out Version

This is the version of the logo that may be used throughout the portal. It looks less corporate than the designs above. I feel these designs look serious which is something we cannot escape when dealing with technology. I’ll use the designs above for project material and official pages. However, in an early years environment, it just doesn’t settle with me. So this stretched out version of the “CODE” part is likely to get a touch of colour much like the one shown above. The rounded squares could even get a little more design i.e. partially transparent shapes or even shapes punched through the squares. 

code-portal-logo-concept-stretched-out

You probably expect a review but not this post. No, this post is about Asus raising the bar for professional gamers keen on going on mobile and for those of us who can only dream of going mobile with this much class. Their convention-defying, liquid-cooled, “silky-smooth”, SLI-equipped, stutter-free laptop is supported by a fantastic landing page telling us all about this positive madness. No blogger should act like they have had their hands on this virtual-reality ready machine and gazed upon it’s 18″ screen. Another so-called review about a bar raising rig by someone dreaming of owning one won’t do any gamer justice. 

The Laptop Gaming Bar…Fixed In Place

asus-rog-gx800-upgraded-liquid-cooled-dockI knew as soon as I saw the Asus ROG GX800 that it will be a long time till anyone goes beyond the power it offers. This post marks the beginning of what will hopefully become a tradition in WebTechGlobal, to post about hardware that takes the game to a whole new arena. I hope to return to this post and compare future professional gaming laptops to it. The day I feel one improves on all aspects greatly, then I will blog about it again. They will have to be able to make a claim like this, “ROG GX800 is the world’s most powerful Windows 10 Professional gaming laptop and features an innovative liquid-cooling dock”. Again, I won’t be posting reviews, just a big notification that someone out there created another monster. Take a look at the list of specifications briefly then head to the official landing page for the experience Asus intended you to have.

Defying Convention

asus-rog-gx800-mechtag-mechanical-keyboardWho wouldn’t be interested in the Republic of Gamers Command Case on its own? Most of us can only dream of the contents of that case including the GX800 but if that isn’t your situation please let us know if you plan to buy one and show us your unboxing video. 

  • Windows 10
  • NVIDIA®GeForce® GTX 1080 SLI, Intel® K-series CPUs
  • Real 4K UHD gaming
  • 2 x 330W power adapters
  • SLI-equipped
  • Liquid-cooled CPU and Graphics Card with Hydro Overclocking System
  • GPU Benchmark (Fire Strike Ultra Score) is 652% over a Single GTX980
  • SLI (3D Mark 11) performance graphics scored 176% over GTX980 SLI
  • The world’s first 18″ Real 4K UHD gaming laptop
  • 0% frames below 90 FPS on 14995 frames tested
  • 0% frames CPU bound on 14995 frames tested
  • 2.5 mm keys with mechanical click and 30 key anti-ghosting
  • Individual key colours can be programmed
  • Overclocked CPU 4.2 Ghz
  • Overclocked GPU 1961 Mhz
  • Overclocked VRAM 5.2 Ghz
  • Overlocked DRAM 2800 Mhz
  • Thunderbolt 3 40 GB per second port
  • Hyperdrive RAID 0 NVME PCIE
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi and an external antenna
  • ROG-exclusive Sonic Studio II
  • Lifetime XSplit membership licence
  • XSplit Gamecaster launch-key
  • ESS SABRE headphone DAC included (32-bit/384kHz sound output)
  • ASUS Sonic Studio provides high-quality gaming audio
  • two tweeters located at the base of the display
  • two large full-range speakers in the chassis
  • Republic Of Gamers Command Case

asus-rog-gx800-exclusive-rog-command-case

 

Visit Official Asus GX800 Page

Code Portal for Primary Schools is a concept that is only partially documented. So it’s very early days and WebTechGlobal has a list of WordPress plugins that require updating before we start a new project. However, we are conducting what research we can and letting our minds work on the finer specifications as information comes in. Ryan Bayne is the lead developer for this project and “Code Portal” is his idea. After some discussion with a Primary School headteacher and parents within a single community. Ryan quickly realised that many Schools were still lacking coding and programming resources for both teachers and pupils. Even after researching a long list of online resources for young learners. Ryan could think of a system that would deliver learning materials in an easier way. A way that would allow pupils to be independent learners, progressing at their own pace. The idea has been disclosed to a few trusted people because it may have commercial benefits despite the primary goal being a free solution for anyone who wishes to download it.

Free Downloadable Solution

Very little information can be giving about the project without giving away exactly what makes the solution different from anything we have found. What we can tell everyone is that the primary goal for the Code Portal project is a free resource for all Schools and parents wishing to teach their children coding at home. There are already many great resources online which WTG will not ignore. The solution we have planned is not meant to be a rival to other free websites. The potential commercial side to our project is not meant to act as a competitor either. Ryan’s idea will use an unusual approach that will build on what many great organisations already provide. That is all I can say at this time.

Crowd Funded Hopes

kickstarter_logo_light_lrgA prototype will come before any attempt to raise funds through a crowd-funding website. The prototype could be good enough to act as an early version of the real thing. We’ll make it public and seek funding to take the project forward. The funding will allow marketing of the free solution, free support, and most importantly a commercial operation can be established for profit. However, one goal of the commercial operation is to support the free solution. We will be transparent in how that is done by showing both development and financial success in detail. It is likely a fixed percentage of any commercial revenue will be used to support the free service.

Community Managed

Ryan’s idea has the potential to allow all users to get involved in the growth of our solution. The prototype (possibly the first version) may reveal this or it may be hidden. Sooner or later the details will become clear. What is important is that the commercial operation would provide the money needed to drive the community. This could even happen in the way of financial reward to anyone who contributes popular content. This is pure speculation at this time but the strategy really is for the free and premium services to support each-other.

Register Your Interest

I know there is little information about what Code Portal is and why we feel it’s a different solution from anything on offer. So all we’re doing right now is taking contact details from anyone who is interested in getting more support learning or teaching code. We will contact everyone interested when we real key milestones.

I’ve been working on Kraken – the Twitch API. I’m releasing the early work to make it easier for testing and feedback. I’ve made the bold move of naming the plugin, “TwitchPress” and used the Twitch logo in some graphics to help people easily identify the project as being Twitch related. However despite making it clear wherever I can, that the project is not affiliated with Twitch Entertainment, Inc. It may still not be accepted and so what I type here is, that early.

twitchpress-wordpress-to-twitch-to-wordpress

Developer Responsibility

This is an early post regarding the configuration of Twitch in the plugin for the purpose of testing only. I recommend reading the Twitch Developer terms & conditions before using anything with the Twitch API in it. If you understand your responsibilities you will also understand that a plugin of this nature cannot just be plugged into your WP to provide services to other users, within an hour, without risk. By installing Multitool and configuring Twitch you are considered to be the “Developer”. It’s nothing to do with a job title, it’s about responsibility and you will take on liability by providing services with this plugin without knowing what you are doing.  So on the note, I’m not even going to explain how to use the plugin to provide services to other users of your site but I will explain how to use it for personal use.

Personal Use

Using the plugin for personal use only and access your own Twitch account only within your service. That carries less liability but at this stage in the project, considering it was created October 2016 and I’m typing this in the same month. I suggest you only test with the plugin or use it locally or adapt it further or wait for further updates.

Register Developer Application

The first thing you need to do is get API credentials for what will be your application. It’s your site so your copy of Multitool (or my Twitch plugin) is your own application. Go to https://www.twitch.tv/kraken/oauth2/clients/new

twitch-register-your-application

The credentials you are giving are serious. I stress this for those of you who are not developers. You should still read developer terms because they do apply to everyone.

Twitch Class Configuration Option A

You can add your credentials to the plugins file. Open /plugins/Multitool/lib/Twitch/twitchapi3.php and paste your applications API access where applicable.

multitool-twitch-class-configuration-option-a

Twitch Class Configuration Option B

Your second option is safer but it is still recommended for a developer environment until encryption is on offer. Enter the application key and secret into the WordPress options table. Do it as shown in the image below, changing “multitool” to “twitchpress” if your using the new TwitchPress plugin. Please note that steps to increase security are already on the projects task list.

multitool-twitch-class-configuration-option-b

Nokia has a non-compete clause with Microsoft that finishes in 2017. The end of the non-compete allows Nokia to make a smartphone come back. A new line of Android smartphones has been rumoured, backed by leaks. This means they will ditch Microsoft’s Windows OS in favour of Google’s OS. This fact and competition experiencing headline new level difficulties i.e. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and iPhone 7 batteries exploding. Means that consumers are more likely to consider switching smartphone manufacturer.

Nokia’s 2017 Manufacturing

Nokia no longer has manufacturing facilities. HMD global will be making phones for Nokia and they will pair Nokia’s brand with Foxconn’s R&D and manufacturing. The first handset could be the D1C which has been benchmarked on Antutu where it appears to be running on a Qualcomm 430 chipset coupled with an Adreno 505 GPU. The D1C will spoil us with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 13MP primary camera, and 8MP front. It will come with 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, and Android 7.0 Nougat will be installed.

nokia-has-no-plans-to-manufacture-or-sell-consumer-handets

Screen capture of official Nokia update.

The new Online Community Spotlight category launches with a gaming related community. But not just any game, this is Minecraft and this is a game that often appears in sentences with words like, education, creativity, maths and even science. MC has sold more than 21 million copies and a million players come online to play it during peak times on any day. So it is safe to say that the Minecraft community is massive.

Discord

minecraft-community-on-discordThis spotlight post is not on the entire MC community but rather the new Discord server setup by ZypheREvolved (Ryan Bayne). He noticed a gap in developer ran servers for many games, including Minecraft. Servers with strict moderation and channels for everyone including parents. The Minecraft Community on Discord might be the only server that has chat roles for young players also. Ryan wants to explore grouping by age on Discord and the MC server was an ideal place to try it. This is a server worth keeping an eye on especially if you want a no-nonsense community experience.

Text Channels

The text channels are on the Minecraft Community Discord are almost like sub-communities because many of them have strict user-roles. Moderation in each text channel will also differ based on the channels purpose. Here are some of the text channels Minecraft players can enjoy.  

  • Mature Teaming for adults only. That doesn’t mean adult language or discussion is encouraged. 
  • Junior Teaming for young players only. Parents should arrange for their thirteen-year-olds to get access to this chat. They will not be giving access to many other chats i.e. mature-teaming and parents chat.
  • Parents for…parents of young players. They can seek advice or discuss issues. Obviously, we have no way of confirming someone is a parent or not but the nature of discussion in this channel will have a very different nature to other chats.
  • Command Blocks chat allows users to share commands and instructions on how to use command blocks.
  • MC Server Info is a place for server owners or MC server moderators to post news about their server i.e. special events, sales, new games.
  • Screenshots chat is a media chat and a spam level of media posting is acceptable providing it is all Minecraft related.
  • Mods chat is not “moderators” but Minecraft mods (modifications). It is a chat to discuss mod updates and recommend good mods.  

Voice Channels

minecraft-discord-voice-channelsVoice channels can be setup on request. The default ones include one specifically for Hypixel and Cubecraft players. There is also a voice channel for General Minecraft Chat. Voice chat cannot be moderated well enough to permit young players to join them. Moderators will do their best to ensure that younger MC players using Discord do not spend time on voice channels until Discord offers more age-related security. 

Go to Minecraft Community Discord

The second Global WordPress Translation Day is on November 12th. Global WordPress Translation day is organised by the WordPress Polyglots team. They invite everyone from anywhere in the world to come together and translate WP into more than 160 languages.

Get Involved

There are many ways and reason to get involved in the internationalisation of the WordPress core, WP plugins, and WP themes.

  • Visit a Local Contributor event – see this map for event locations.
  • Join a 24-hour live stream here
  • Enjoy sessions for new translators, experienced contributors and developers
  • Organise a formal or informal event yourself and invite your community to translate WP

If you are interested in reading more official details with more links to further resources please visit the WordPress.org News blog.