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One of the most anticipated features that came on the iPhone 4S was a new thing called: Siri. Zooming out before concentrating on Siri, mobile assistants were the new rage. Beforehand, people were fascinated by the cloud, and how you could store your files in the Internet and retrieve it from anywhere. You could store your file at home, and get it at your workplace to make a presentation. However, next came virtual assistants. When you’re in the car, it’s hard to send text messages. It’s hard to call people. It’s hard to set reminders that just popped into your head onto your phone. Thus, came the virtual assistant: a new way to be able to talk to your phone to be able to do what you want it to do, and in this case, text message, or call people, and many other features. Apple jumped onto the bandwagon with the iPhone 4S and came out with the new feature: Siri, a virtual assistant that is tailored to assist you in your endeavours by your diction.

 

Getting started with Siri

To get Siri in the first place, you need an iPhone 4S; although you may have the latest updates on your iPhone 4 or earlier, having an iPhone 4S means you have the hardware that is required to run Siri on your phone. Therefore, if you are interested in using Siri, check into getting an iPhone 4S, as they are getting cheaper every single day.

 

 

I suspect that many of you are familiar with the term "hard coding a value" whereby the age of an individual or their location is written into the condition (or action) of a business rule (in this case) as shown below:

if customer.age > 21 and customer.city == 'denver'

then ...

Such coding practices are perfectly expectable provided that the conditional values, age and city, never change. They become entirely unacceptable if a need for different values could be anticipated. A classic example of where this practice occurred that caused considerable heartache in the IT industry was the Y2K issue where dates were updated using only the last 2 digits of a four digit number because the first 2 digits were hard-coded to 19 i.e. 1998, 1999. All was well provided that the date did not advance to a time beyond the 1900’s since no one could be certain of what would happen when the millennia arrived (2000). A considerably amount of work (albeit boring) and money, approximately $200 billion, went into revising systems by way of software rewrites and computer chip replacements in order to thwart any detrimental outcomes. It is obvious how a simple change or an assumption can have sweeping consequences.

You may wonder what Y2K has to do with Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS). Well, what if we considered rules themselves to be hard-coded. If we were to write 100s of rules in Java, .NET or whatever language that only worked for a given scenario or assumption, would that not constitute hard-coded logic? By hard-coded, we obviously mean compiled. For example, if a credit card company has a variety of bonus campaigns, each with their own unique list of rules that may change within a week’s time, what would be the most effective way of writing software to deal with these responsibilities?

Many of us who have iPhones download every interesting app we find on the App Store, especially when they’re free. They can range from a simple payment method app, to a game, to a measurement tool. But, as you may have noticed, our phones become cluttered with tons of pages that we have to swipe through to get to an app that we need on demand. However, with an update by Apple that came out not so long ago, you are able to group your applications into categories that are easily accessible, for all of you organization lovers.

To achieve this grouping method, take a hold of one of the applications you want to categorize. Take a game for example. What you want to do is press your finger on that particular application, and hold it there until all of the applications on the screen begin to jiggle. This is where the magic happens. Drag it over to another game application you want to have in the same category, and release. Your applications should now be held in a little container on your screen. However, a step ago, if you did not have another game application on the same screen, and since you can’t swipe, try putting the held game application on any application you choose, and simply remove that extra application from the list, after moving over another gaming application from a different page.

Due to the advancements in technology, teens and adults alike can now partake in virtual worlds thanks to video games. Video games are enjoyed as a hobby all over the globe, but some gamers have made it their career with help from the ever-growing e-sport community. This is an inside look at the professional level of gaming from an ex-MLG participant, and what I remember going through when starting to play video games at an elite level.

One of the premiere and most popular leagues within the United States happens to be Major League Gaming or MLG for short. This is a league that usually involves more of the most recent games out, and they create circuits for each major title and its subsequent releases. Two of the most major game circuits within the MLG league were the Halo series and the Call of Duty series, both which happened to be first person shooters (FPS). There were a potential hundred or so teams within each circuit, but much like other competitions, the circuits were ran with winner’s brackets and losers brackets. This means that out of all the teams that would show up to MLG events, about the top eight of each bracket would really be known as the "elite" players. I personally played in the Gears of War circuit at venues like MLG Raleigh and MLG Toronto, and we had very few teams compared to Call of Duty and Halo. The amount of participants at each event usually varies in each circuit based on the popularity of the game being played.

When you win tournaments, the payouts are split between the team members. This means that looking at playing in the MLG for a life career is an ill-advised move. The cost to get to events and buy team passes usually negates the prizes you win most of the time, considering by the time that the prize money is split you are left with about $800 in a popular circuit (Like Call of Duty). The payouts are usually only high in special and certain occasions, one for example being the million dollar showdown that Infinity Ward hosted for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 a couple years back. The way that players that make professional gaming their career get the big money now is by being sponsored by the big companies that back the league like Red Bull and Hot Pockets. MLG players like "Walshy" and "FeaR Moho" were sponsored early on in the league and were able to make a living off of the games they played. I would imagine them getting around $60K in a good year off of sponsors alone. I would go even as far as to say that if you do not have a sponsor in e-sports, you will not be financially successful in the career.

Being an MLG gamer requires passion and understanding for the games. If you just want to make money, then you are better off working at McDonalds.

 

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A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

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