Testing Training Classes in Chicago, Illinois

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I remember the day like it was yesterday. Pac Man had finally arrived on the Atari 2600.  It was a clear and sunny day, but it was slightly brisk. My dad drove us down to the video store about three miles from our Michigan house. If I remember correctly, the price for the game was $24.99.  It was quite expensive for the day, probably equaling a $70 game in today’s market, but it was mine. There *was* no question about it. If you purchase a game, it’s your game… right?

You couldn’t be more wrong.  With all the licensing agreements in games today, you only purchase the right to play it. You don’t actually “own” the game. 

Today, game designers want total control over the money that comes in for a game. They add in clauses that keep the game from being resold, rented, borrowed, copied, etc. All of the content in the game, including the items you find that are specifically for you, are owned by the software developer. Why, you ask, do they do this? It’s all about the money.

This need for greed started years ago, when people started modifying current games on the market. One of the first games like this was Doom. There were so many third part mods made, but because of licensing agreement, none of these versions were available for resale. The end user, or you, had to purchase Doom before they could even install the mod.  None of these “modders” were allowed to make any money off their creation.

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.

 

How to Keep a Start Up Team Motivated?

What People Should Know Before Getting Rid of Old Tech Stuff

Surprising Ways Viruses, Malware, Etc. are Infecting Computers

Like me, I believe most people go about their business never to give a serious thought about their assumed private correspondence when using Gmail to email friends, colleagues and business associates.  As it turns out, your daily banter may not be so private after all.  A recent article in Fortune Magazine, “Judge Rejects Google Deal Over Email Scanning” caught my attention and an immediate thought dominated my curiosity…Google email and scanning scam.  

 

In essence, the article describes Googles’ agreement to change the way it scans incoming messages so that it no longer reads emails while they are in transit, but only when they are in someone's inbox! So, what exactly does that mean? Judge Koh, a San Francisco federal judge, said she's not so sure about that. Her ruling claims the settlement does not provide an adequate technical explanation of Google's workaround, which involves scanning in-transit emails for security purposes, and then later parsing them for advertising data. The judge also proposed a legal settlement to pay $2.2 million to lawyers, but nothing to consumers.

My interest in this story is not so much about the proposed settlements or the specific details about how Google or any of the web giants settle claims based on vague legal language. It is however, more about the naiveté of myself and perhaps many others that never question how the email scanning process really works. I wonder, do most of us really care that Gmail uses contents of our mail to display targeted ads?

A whole new world was thrown wide open with the advent of the concept of open source. The biggest advantage of open source projects is the easy availability of the source code and also the rights to tweak it or modify the code as we deem fit.

Listed below are some top open source projects that are making waves with their innovative ideas at this moment.

ProjectLibre

Project Libre is the open source replacement of Microsoft Project. It was one among the top 10 open source projects of 2013. With over 6 million downloads; it has most certainly captured the imagination of people around the world. Details of project Libre could be found at http://www.projectlibre.org/ . Project Libre has separate release for mainframes. It also has a web based version which further increases its overall appeal. One of the main advantages is that it has a list of tasks that can be tracked to closure. It can also be used in conjunction with LibreOffice to provide a great set of tools to the team leaders.

Diaspora

Tech Life in Illinois

The Illinois Institute of Technology has various research centers such as the IIT Research Institute, the Institute of Gas Technology, and the Design Processes Laboratory as well as a technical facility of the Association of American Railroads. No state has had a more prominent role than Illinois in the emergence of the nuclear age. As part of the Manhattan Project, in 1942 the University of Chicago conducted the first sustained nuclear chain reaction. This was just the first of a series of experimental nuclear power projects and experiments. And, with eleven plants currently operating, Illinois leads all states in the amount of electricity generated from nuclear power. Approximately 35% percent of residents are in management, business, science, or arts occupations.
Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. Anthony Robbins
other Learning Options
Software developers near Chicago have ample opportunities to meet like minded techie individuals, collaborate and expend their career choices by participating in Meet-Up Groups. The following is a list of Technology Groups in the area.

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the hartmann software group advantage
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.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Illinois since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
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  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
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