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Festival offers free coding workshops

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Africa Code Week will be coming at the Cape Town Science Centre from 15 to 23 October with a wide variety of free coding workshops and other related activities for all ages.

As part of the week’s activities, the Science Centre based in Observatory just in front of the Groote Schuur Hospital will host two free-entry Festival of Code days on the Saturdays 15 and 22 October.  In addition, free after-school coding workshops will be held every afternoon from 17 to 21 October.

“We know that coding is a critical 21sts Century skill that is easily learnt and loads of fun,” says Julie Cleverdon, director of the Cape Town Science Centre and global coordinator of ACW. “The motto of Africa Code Week is: ‘Coding is a new language. Every child deserves to be fluent.’ That’s why the Cape Town Science Centre is endeavouring to make as many relevant activities in this week accessible to everyone. We are grateful for the support from both Woolworths Financial Services and SAP for making this possible at our centre.”

Activities include coding, data story-telling and robotic workshops; talks from some of the most talented and inspiring young coders in Cape Town and a host of other activities in addition to the opportunity to interact with the many hands-on exhibits in the Cape Town Science Centre.  Even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life, the workshops on offer will get participants started one step at a time. They are styled to help encourage today’s young digital consumers to become tomorrow’s digital creators. Based around Scratch, a popular system adopted by millions of young learners worldwide as it fosters youthful curiosity, promotes creativity, and provides a basis for lifelong programming learning.

In addition to the Cape Town Science Centre’s efforts, other Cape Town organisations have embraced the initiative and are set to create a coding buzz by organising a host of coding activities across the city. Those interested in attending these activities can visit the Africa Code Week live map http://africacodeweek.org/activities/live-events/, which itemises the events taking place in Cape Town, and indeed across Africa.

Africa Code Week (www.africacodeweek.org.), first run in 2015, is a spearheaded by the software company SAP in association with the Galway Education Centre in Ireland and the Cape Town Science Centre. The first year of Africa Code Week sparked the interest of more than 89,000 children across 17 African countries to write their first lines of code. Of the 89 000 youth engaged continent-wide in 2016, almost 4,000 were from Cape Town and the Western Cape. This year the goal is to engage 150 000 children and youth in 30 African countries. Teachers and others in Cape Town can once again work towards achieving the goal for Africa Code Week in 2016 and empowering our youth.

To learn more about the activities for the Festival of Code taking place on the 15th and 22nd of October at the Cape Town Science Centre, visit (http://ctsc.org.za/festival-of-code-africa-code-week-free-entry/) or contact the Cape Town Science Centre on (021) 300-3200.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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