The Doctor Who Spin-off Class Gets Its Cast And An Unlikely Comparison

Doctor Who is considered a classic British show, with the BBC’s resurrection of the series leading to a whole new generation of Whovians watching the show in eager anticipation. While the series is on hiatus for a year (with people still waiting for the news about the next companion), more details have been announced about the Doctor Who spin-off, Class.

Class is not the first Doctor Who spin-off, with series like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures exploring the lives of the doctors companions after their interactions with the Doctor. It’s been known for a while that Class will target a younger audience, with the show set in Coal Hill school, a scene that Whovians from the older generation will recognise from back in 1963.

The official teaser for the show starts with a simple description that just makes us wish it was already on our TV’s:

What if your planet was massacred and you were the sole survivor?
What if a legendary figure out of space and time found you a place to hide?
But what if the things that want to kill you have tracked you down?
And worst of all, what if you haven’t studied for your exams…?

With everything from family, friends, school work, and the everyday issues that being a teenager throws at you meeting with interplanetary secrets and dark mysteries the fate of the very world may, in fact, rest with, and end, with a bunch of teenagers.

With newcomers Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah starring alongside their soon to be teacher played by Katherine Kelly, an actress well-known for her roles in Coronation street and Happy Valley, as they fight to save the world and their grades from aliens.

Does any of this sound familiar? While many may think Power Rangers, executive producer Steven Moffat has a different opinion on what the show could be like. “Class is dark and sexy and right now. I’ve always wondered if there could be a British Buffy – it’s taken the brilliant Patrick Ness to figure out how to make it happen”. That’s right, Steven Moffat himself has compared the show to a “British Buffy”, something that can only be seen as the highest of praise from fans on both Buffy and Doctor Who.

I don’t know about you but I am excited to see how the series comes out, with it airing on BBC Three in the UK and BBC America within the US, we only have to wait on time now.

Teaching Resource Site For Minecraft?

Minecraft is a game where very little is ever the same. This means you can build a castle in one map with ease, but in the next building the Starship Enterprise is a lot easier. While attracting to a whole range of audiences, from the young to the creative, Minecraft has developed a large following amongst gamers, but this may soon expand as Microsoft are soon to launch a new website with a different focus.

Minecraft In Education is a plan that hopes to bring the talents that Minecraft reinforces to the classroom, enabling teachers to use the game as a teaching tool.

With the option for schools to purchase licenses for a whole classroom at a reduced price, history lessons could soon take place in Minecraft reconstructions of Egypt, while next door an Electronics class are working together to help fix a circuit. With the option to mod in new features the tool could become limitless, and Microsoft want to reinforce this by giving teachers a place where they can share and discuss their resources, lessons and ideas with others so that everyone can benefit from Minecraft.

Are you a Minecraft player? What do you think about being taught something though Minecraft? Should we be encouraging some of the skills games teach us more often?

Thank you Education Minecraft for the information.

Image courtesy of WallPaperUp.

LinkedIn Facing Lawsuit over Access of Email Accounts

LinkedIn has been ordered to stand trial by a U.S Federal judge over allegations from users that they have been sending and accessing emails without consent.

LinkedIn has been found to be accessing users email accounts, copying their address books and using this information to solicit business. This is seen as a loophole by some as users do agree upon sign up to allow LinkedIn to use their contacts to send an initial recruitment email – but give no authorization to send further reminder emails.

US district Judge, Lucy Koh (San Jose, California) stated:

“This practice could injure users’ reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts or are unable to take the hint that their contacts do not want to join their LinkedIn network.

“In fact, by stating a mere three screens before the disclosure regarding the first invitation that ‘We will not … email anyone without your permission,’ LinkedIn may have actively led users astray.”

Koh has given customers the green light to pursue their claims that LinkedIn has violated their right of publicity. She has dismissed other claims however, such as violation of federal wiretap laws.

Crystal Braswell declared on behalf of LinkedIn:

“We are pleased that the Court rejected plaintiffs’ unfounded “hacking” claims and found that LinkedIn members consented to sharing their email contacts with LinkedIn. We will continue to contest the remaining claims, as we believe they have no merit.”

View the full information on the class action lawsuit here.

Image courtesy of Ben Scholzen

 

Viewsonic Ergonomic Monitors For Office Environments Unveiled

In certain market areas, selecting an appropriate monitor for the working environment is rather important, image editing and video editing applications naming just a couple of these key tasks. in the general working office however, the need for a specific type of monitor is virtually nonexistent and thus we find a whole host of differing options available and in use. There is however a catch with some of these panels and this is where Viewsonic have come forward, offering up a panel that is designed for the needs of a typical office environment, with the power consumption also playing a key part.

Shipping in two screen sizes, 22″ and 24″, the VG2233SMH and VG2433SMH displays offer up a full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution along with an exclusive SuperClear Image Technology which produces highly vivid colours in a true-to-life format and a super wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. To make the viewing of these displays far more comfortable for the office user, each panel allows full ergonomic adjustment through a combination of height, tilt, swivel and pivot which reduces eye strain and fatigue thus reducing downtime from work.

For the business the advantage doesn’t just stop at reduced employee downtime from work, there is also the potential for a financial saving to be made when in ECO-mode, with up to 50% savings on running costs on offer whilst also prolonging the life of the display. Once the total cost of ownership (TCO) is taken into account, there are a huge number of advantages to be made by switching over to Viewsonics commercial grade hardware, even if the current hardware is well within its lifespan.

In order to evaluate the potential cost savings, Viewsonic have created a simple and straight forward online tool that will allow businesses to calculate how much their current displays are costing to run versus one with Viewsonic panels installed. This tool can be found at: http://www.viewsoniceurope.com/led-tco-calculator/

Both panels are scheduled to be available towards the end of next month and with low prices of £119 and £139 (exc VAT) along with an option to register for a four-year warranty, the incentives to invest in these panels are certainly clear and strong.

Source: Press Release

Bletchley Park Raises Funds With Synthesised Synthesiser Album

A group of programmers called Music By Programmers, have released an album to raise money to fund maths and programming workshops at The National Museum of Computing, based at Bletchley Park in Oxfordshire.

The group has made the album in members’ free time in the hope that the £5000 it aims to raise will enable the Museum to offer classes and workshops that encourage the next generation of young people to learn programming techniques from the ground up, citing innovating musicians such as Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream and the forefathers of electronica, Kraftwerk, as influencing not only music, but programming computers in general.

The eight tracks, all written by the group’s members, use sounds initially created by such luminary devices as the MiniMoog, Yamaha CS-80 and Oberheim SEM. These ‘instruments’ now cost thousands of pounds but the software designed to simulate their sounds has been created for just £337.

Jason Gorman, founder of Music By Programmers, said in a press release:

 “It’s very much in the style of ‘classic’ electronica of the 1970s and early 1980s. But we’ve created all our tracks using software recreations of those famous analogue synthesizers that model the circuitry with painstaking accuracy.”

He continued that, despite the synthesiser sounds being a reproduction of the originals, they were practically indistinguishable.

If the fundraising target of £5000 is achieved, it will pay for both parent-child workshops at Bletchley Park, home of the World War II ‘codebreakers’ and their most famous member Alan Turing, plus a new programming club at The National Museum of Computing – in our opinion, a small price to pay for the next generation of technology.

The Music By Programmers album is available to download from 29th April on CD Baby, Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

For more information, see the Music By Programmers website.