Learn to Code – For Free!

Learning to code is everywhere. With the introduction of coding back on the curriculum 2 years ago, and the immense success of the Raspberry Pi, more and more people are learning to code. With FUZE Technologies that is now easier than ever as they have made FUZE BASIC available for free on Windows PCs. That’s right – free. And we mean free – you don’t even need to enter your email address to get the download. All you need to do is head to their website, click on the link and it will download. Simple!

You may be thinking that coding is far too complicated for you, that it is not a skill you need to have, that no-one who learns to code uses it… All of these are not quite true. With FUZE BASIC, coding is easier than ever. Take the below for example, and see the difference between writing a simple programme in FUZE BASIC and Python. Suddenly it seems a bit simpler right?

Hello World

All you need to get started is your existing Windows PC and the FUZE BASIC download. FUZE have even provided downloads of project workbooks for free so you will have everything you need to start coding. Best of all, no previous experience is required. So, if you are looking for a new challenge or for something for the kids to get stuck into during the summer holidays head over to www.fuze.co.uk to find out more.

Summer Ideas

Wimbledon. A time for strawberries, champagne and lots of tennis balls. Day 3 came to a close yesterday and, other than Andy Murray still in the tournament, the big news for us Brits was that an unknown British qualifier – Marcus Willis – was beaten by Roger Federer. The 25 year old had got through six round of qualifying plus the first ‘proper’ round and, until yesterday, had only earned £220 in prize money. Getting through to the second round of Wimbledon smashed that with him taking home a pot of £50,000 and seeing his world ranking rise from 772 to around 416. A pretty amazing few days for him then! Wimbledon typically represents a ‘summery’ event for the British – though this year seems to have seen even more of a washed out start to the summer than normal. Even Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis called last week’s festival the ‘muddiest ever’. With the clouds hopefully starting to finally clear, we have put together a list of some great summer gear to get us looking forward to some proper sunshine!

Edifier Rave:

This nifty speaker is perfect for those suffering from a bit of wanderlust. Producing strong, clear, music it produces 36 watts of amazing sound for wherever you want to take it. Perfectly at home for any BBQ’s over the summer, or any road trips to the seaside. We love that the battery lasts for up to 8 hours, and it is simple to connect to any device using Bluetooth. A must have for when we plan those days out or lazy summer BBQ’s!

Rave (1)

STM Grace Deluxe Sleeve:

Now this is when for us girls who need to carry around our tech – but don’t want to stick to the usual black bags. With fab summery colours, and beautifully soft lining that surrounds your laptop (seriously – it’s so soft), this is a staple for me whenever I take my laptop with me. There are 4 colours to choose from (all such cheerful colourways it is hard to choose just one), and room in the front pouch for a phone, cards, pens or a charger it is simply ideal.

stm grace deluxe sleeve merched coral dove lowres

Manfrotto TwistGrip:

TwistGrip_iPhone

It is 75% of all photos are now taken on a phone. Yep, you read that right. 75%. It is astonishing, and why the TwistGrip and PIXI are on this list. No one likes a shaky, out of focus photo – and this nifty clamp makes sure you get the best photos using your phone. There are several things to note – first, it is one of those products that is extremely satisfying to use. The top and bottom section both flip round to form the grip itself – and you need a degree of self control to avoid constantly doing this! It is small, and when not in it’s grip shape – super easy to store because of its lightweight properties and slim shape. Second – it is a universal smartphone clamp, so should you change your phone over time you can be sure it will fit the new one. Lastly, it is very secure. Twist the dial to expand to fit your phone, and then twist again to lock the phone in place. There is a cold shoe attachment on the top to fit a microphone, LED or similar on top and a tripod attachment on the bottom. Which leads us onto:

Manfrotto PIXI:

This tripod is the perfect mini tripod. Not just a one trick pony, it can be used as either a sturdy support for CSC cameras, or a phone with the TwistGrip or with the legs together it turns into a handy grip for any selfies, or video recording. There is a ball head included so that you can be sure you get the best angle for the photo you are after. We can wholeheartedly recommend the TwistGrip/PIXI combination for getting sharp, fantastic photos from your smartphone.

TwistGrip_Kit

For more information on products please go to www.edifier.com, www.stmbags.com and www.manfrotto.co.uk

Try Your Hand at Animating and Win Over $1,000!

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at animating but just needed that extra little push? Now is the perfect time! Reallusion have launched their new ‘Comedy Contest’, where anyone who animates their favourite joke could be in with a chance of winning over $1,000 cash!

Sound of interest? Great – all you need to do is head over to the Reallusion Comedy Contest page for more information on how to enter:

www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/crazytalk-comedy-contest.html

CrazyTalk is the world’s most popular facial animation tool that uses voices and text to vividly animate facial images in seconds. It is so easy to use that anyone can animate images and photographs with the power of their own voice! Jump into the world of instant facial animation and see where your imagination (and your joke telling skills!) take you. CrazyTalk 8

Pictar. Probably the best iPhone Camera-Grip Ever Built.

We are pleased to say we are currently working with Miggo who have just launched their latest KickStarter campaign.

Over a year in the making, Pictar turns your iPhone into something that resembles more of a classic camera – both in looks and functionality. We all take photos with our iPhones – and one of the my biggest bugbears is trying to get a picture one handed whilst desperately trying to make sure I don’t drop my phone and smash the screen into smithereens. We love the design of Pictar – say goodbye to those heart stopping moments when you are trying to manoeuvre your phone to get the perfect shot and you end up juggling it to try and stop it hitting the floor. The choice of being able to add a neck or wrist strap is also a massive bonus, and further helps to the feeling that your iPhone is secure.

Awesome design aside, Pictar brings out features of your camera app which aren’t normally accessible – such as shooting modes, exposure compensation and white balance. There is a zoom ring/selfie button, shutter release button, exposure compensation wheel, customisable smart wheel, tripod screw mount and a cold shoe mount for attaching other accessories such as an LED light.

Pictar communicates with your iPhone through a dedicated app using high frequency dual tone sounds. These are inaudible to the human ear and significantly increase battery life when compared to Bluetooth connectivity which is a bonus. Due to the expanding design it supports iPhone models 4 through to 6S.

After being on Kickstarter for less than 24 hours the project has already received 52% of it’s funding – which is great news!

Pictar ProductFor more information please see www.kickstarter.com/projects/mymiggo/pictar-probably-the-best-iphone-camera-grip-ever-b 

Here Comes The Sun?

Hopefully! This got me thinking about holidays and that led me to thinking back to one of the campaigns we ran last year. We worked with Smartsun – a nifty little wristband that measured how much sunshine you had over the course of the day and changed colour depending on whether you needed to reapply sun lotion, or stay in the shade for the rest of the day. We loved the concept – skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and with most cases being caused by too much of the suns UV rays, so we jumped at the chance to work with a company whose product could change the lives of many. A few months of really good coverage followed over the summer – from national papers, to beauty mags, parenting publications and even getting onto a feature on This Morning. We really enjoyed working with the Smartsun team and were extremely please with the coverage that we achieved for them over the course of the summer. SmartSun

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