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Learning through Play

Children naturally learn though play. Through play children can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments according to researchers.

Plus, as children play, they learn to solve problems, social skills and develop the fine and gross motor skills needed to grow and learn, says researchers at UC Davis.

The following are some of the key benefits of play for children, as outlined by the UC Davis Children’s Hospital:

Develop physical skills. Gross motor skills are developed as a child learns to reach, grasp, crawl, run, climb and balance. Fine motor skills are developed as children handle small toys.

Develop cognitive concepts. Children learn to solve problems through play. Children also learn colors, numbers, size and shapes. They have the ability to enhance their memory skills as well as their attention span. Children move on to higher levels of thought as they play in a more stimulating environment.

Develop language skills. Language develops as a child plays and interacts with others. This begins with parents playing cooing games with their children and advances to practical levels such as telling make-believe stories and jokes.

Develop social skills. Learning to cooperate, negotiate, take turns and play by the rules are all important skills learned in early games. These skills grow as the child plays. As a result, children learn the roles and rules of society.

In the book Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, there are five elements of children’s play:

  • Play must be pleasurable and enjoyable.
  • Play must have no extrinsic goals; there is no prescribed learning that must occur.
  • Play is spontaneous and voluntary.
  • Play involves active engagement on the part of the player.
  • Play involves an element of make-believe.

 

Mango Technologies Pvt. Ltd.is an Intel® Software Partner. Www.intel.com/partner 

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Intel Capital Update

I’d like to share with you an update regarding the Intel Capital benefit we have previously offered. The Intel® Developer Zone is currently in a period of assessing and aligning its business priorities in an effort to continue delivering world-class software services. Consequently, it was decided to end-of-life the Intel Capital benefit. At this time, we are no longer accepting or forwarding business plans from our Partners for review with Intel Capital. However, Intel Capital remains a public resource. If you would like to contact Intel Capital directly, please visit http://www.intelcapital.com. Thank you for your continued partnership with Intel. 

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At a Glance: IDF 2013

At the 2013 Intel Developer Forum,the next generation Intel® Atom™ SoC, codenamed “Bay Trail,” was announced. Herman Eul, Intel Mobile VP, dicussed in depth the new platform and the new features it offers in the mobile space to consumers including, faster Intel HD GPU, 10+ hour battery life and 3 weeks of standby and a built-in LTE modem. Daily Tech blogger, Jason Mack, discusses the details of the platform including the expected form factors in his article “IDF 2013: Table-Aimed Bay Trail, 140+ Android and Win 8.1 Designs Annouced.

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Touch is the New Joystick for Gaming

New touch controls in digital mediums like smartphones and Ultrabook devices has created a new gaming ecosystem. Angry Birds, Plants vs Zombies, and Temple Run are just a few of the hundreds of popular new games that rely on touch interaction.

The popularity of these games is due in large part to the popularity of digital devices, but also because touch interaction provides a more interactive, immersive experience when playing a game. Players no longer are a step disconnected with a joystick or keyboard. They can actually touch and feel parts of the game as they control certain elements. An example is the popular Fruit Ninja game, where players’ fingers’ are virtual ninja swords cutting fruit that flies through the air.

Even traditional games are becoming revitalized through touch interfaces. AFTER-MOUSE.com is a company that has reimagined traditional games with touch interfaces on Ultrabook™ systems and other digital devices. It has recreated Tic-Tac-Toe, Pong, Sudoku, Memory, Shuffleboard and even Curling through new touch interfaces. Playing these games by touch breathes new life into these games. The company has also produced a racing game where fingers are used to control a steering wheel.

“We believe touch interfaces are the digital mediums of the future and will continue to grow in popularity,” said Nicolas Chaillan, CEO of AFTER-MOUSE.COM. “Games becoming more exciting, immersive and entertaining with touch controls.”

AFTER-MOUSE.COM is an Intel® Software Partner. www.intel.com/partner

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How Medical Students are Using Notebooks

Medical students are often faced with dense medical textbooks, mounds of paper, demanding learning schedules and much more. Yet with portable notebooks and tablets, medical students have been able to consolidate and better organize their school activities.

The Howard University College of Medicine has seen the benefits of computers in medical school by providing tablet PCs to its students. The school wanted to reduce what students had to carry by consolidating and better organizing learning materials. Plus, the school wanted to better engage students by “increasing the level of learning through interactive annotation while making observation and study time more meaningful.”

The college found that its medical students realized numerous benefits including: 

  • Students carry far less paper and texts as learning materials are consolidated in one manageable location.
  • Professors provide lecture notes and presentation materials in PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office formats which can be easily annotated with digital ink to maximize comprehension.
  • Students work collaboratively on lab assignments, using multiple media to best advantage.
  • Students adopt Tablet PC technology readily, preparing them for leadership roles in medicine.

CliniSpace is an Intel® Software Partner. www.intel.com/partner 

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Intel security and embedded tools with Virginia Tech

 

The Intel seed-board program recently donated BIS-6630 Norco development kits to Patrick Schaumont, currently an Associate Professor at the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Virginia Tech. The BIS-6630 development kits are compact fanless embedded PCs designed around the Intel® Atom™ N2800 processor at 1.87GHz (formerly known as Cedar Trail). The platform comes with a Fedora clone pre-installed, but also supports embedded development using the Yocto project (http://www.yocto-project.org).

As part of ECE 5984 Handheld Computer Security, a graduate level course in Spring 2013, Schaumont designed a semester wide class project to investigate vector processing techniques to accelerate modular multiplications in prime fields using the SSE2 instruction-set extensions in Intel’s Atom CPU. The students demonstrated that their implementations, which use NIST standard prime-field curves, run about five times faster than the OpenSSL versions of the same ECC operations on the same processor. Their conference submission “SIMD Acceleration of Modular Arithmetic on Contemporary Embedded Platforms” to the IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC) is a nominated Best Paper Award candidate.

Prof. Schaumont’s contact information can be found here.

 

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How Tablets can Transform Learning Math

Improving mathematics is a major educational challenge. Yet with new tablet computers, learning math can be much easier and effective.

With tablets and portable computers becoming more popular than ever, tablets are seen an imminent second wave of “must-have” technology for schoolchildren, according to the paper Tablets are Coming to a School Near You by Peter Osmon from the Department of Education and Professional Studies, King’s College London.

The author suggests that because of the large screens, portability, memory and processing power, tablet computers can be powerful tool to learn mathematics in classroom settings and can help overcome the difficulties children face in learning math.

If every child had a Tablet PC in a math classroom, “it could make classroom learning more, but differently, organized and more intensive, just as modern office work is,” the author says. He suggests that since mathematics is a “thinking/doing” subject, timetabled mathematics laboratory classes are counter-cultural. Every math class should be like a laboratory class, yet technology to enable this process has previously been too expensive for this to be a reality, he writes.

 “There is a little time before the wave of tablet-owning children arrives in our schools,” the author writes. “It would be good to get ahead of the game- by using this time for some trials” of tablet-based math learning.

 

MyBlee is an Intel® Software Partner. www.intel.com/partner 

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How Social Media Pictures are Transforming Online Marketing

While businesses have relied on SEO-related text to help them market and sell products online, now online businesses are increasingly relying on images to help sell products and achieve greater ranking results.

 According to Wired, the text-driven model of e-commerce is beginning to change and giving way to a more visual form of shopping. Consumers are increasingly discovering products through high-resolution pictures of products favored by friends and online colleagues on social networks.

 “Social is very rapidly shifting away from text,” said Apu Gupta, CEO of Curalate, in Wired. “It’s going to change shopping behavior both online and offline… This is the direction the world is moving – everyone has a cameraphone in their pocket, and the whole web is becoming high def.”

Facebook and the up and coming Pinterest are both sources that businesses are using to help them market products through pictures. These sites have become filled with photos of products and more used to promote businesses.

New tools like the fYO series of apps can help businesses find, save, archive and use photos in innovative new ways. This can help in marketing a business and products.


Hayagriva Software Ltd. is an Intel® Software Partner. www.intel.com/partner

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Why User Experience Matters

In a world full of endless customer choices, software that meets end-user needs on an emotional level wins every time. With the launch of the new User Experience Innovation site, the Intel® Developer Zone helps you stay current with UX-centric design. The sites offers answers questions as to why app publishers and ISVs should focus their resources on developing amazing user experiences on Intel® Architecture, as well as what new platform experience capabilities are available or just around the corner.

Authors such as Matt Gillespie, an independent technology and business writer with a specialty in illuminating the real-world value of emerging hardware and software technologies, have contributed valuable content to the site. Gillespie offers decision makers at software companies in both the business and consumer markets insight on how Ultrabook systems can provide new opportunities to sell more applications.  It is part of a series of papers that explore key considerations in taking advantage of the Ultrabook market segment with software:

 As consumers become more sophisticated and empowered, software must continue to focus on delivering great user experiences to meet their growing expectations. Stay on the lookout as the site continues to provide new and exciting UX updates.

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Keep Your Software in Front of the Hardware: Intel Developer Forum 2013

I am excited to share some of the exciting opportunities that will be available to software developers at this year’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. If you thought Intel Developer Forum (IDF) was strictly about chips and hardware, IT IS NOT! With 40 billion connected devices expected by 2020, the integration of software and hardware has never been more important. No matter what part of the technical world you occupy, IDF 2013 provides technical information for advancing your technology initiatives and the opportunity to make valuable career connections.

Come to San Francisco Sept. 10-12, to preview the future of mobile, software, and cross-platform technologies. Here are just a few events:

Doug Fisher, vice president and general manager of Intel Software and Services Group, gives his perspective on the future of software.

More than 45 software technical sessions, hands-on labs, and poster chats cover multiple OS developments, open innovations, big data, services, security, and more.

Special session tracks are planned on Security and UEFI.

Tech Insight session: HTML5–the Most Viable Path to Seamless Computing will be led by Moh Haghighat, senior principal engineer.

Sneak Peak into Intel Research looks five to 15 years into the future—featuring Peter Biddle, Genevieve Bell, Brian David Johnson, and more.

And more activities for software experts to come… engage with hackathons and meet industry hackathon guru Tom Murphy.

 If you are interested in attending IDF, there are a few early bird specials for you to take advantage of. Developers: save $500** on the 3-day conference (use code CMKIDZS) and First-time attendees: access a free full day pass (code CDYIDZS, availability limited, Day 2 recommended)**

**Regular early bird price is $1,495. See IDF registration site for more details. Free full day pass codes includes admission to the keynote, tech sessions/labs, and the Tech Showcase, and are available only to first time attendees and subscribers of Intel® Software sponsored communities and publications. Employees of Intel and its subsidiaries, and Intel vendors are not eligible for these registration special offers.

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Go Global at the Speed of Innovation with Continuous Localization

This is the third in our series on localization. We interviewed Antonio J Espinosa, Chief Operating Officer of Transifex, a worldwide localization platform for software projects. Our first post offers an introduction to localization. Our second post covers the building a global company to support localization.  

Say the word “localization” in a room of developers and there may be some groans. In the past, localization meant a step back as either an automated service or a local translator made changes to the software, and then the developer would go back and make updates to their established code. In the case of string freeze, coding would stop all together on software so the translation service could get up to speed. In other cases, translation was often added afterward, but this too was cumbersome—updates and changes would not be reflected in the translated version and often whole portions of the software were left untranslated.

Thanks to advances in technology, this process is now more efficient with continuous localization. “Today’s software industry has grown to all corners of the globe. Software will have a better chance at finding global success if the product resonates with people of the particular region. The language and the usability must be natural to the users in the area,” said Transifex Chief Operating Officer, Antonio J Espinosa.

Deep Dive into Continuous Localization

Many development teams today follow agile software methodologies and have a Continuous Integration (CI) process for developing software. The speed at which they deliver new features to their users and customers is extremely important. 

Continuous localization integrates localization into the product development process, meaning translations happen concurrently with development.  

“Localization is a business direction that is often pushed onto developers by the marketing department. But developers want to code, not localize. Continuous localization takes away that pain point,” said Espinosa.

Before a piece of software is localized, the code must be internationalized. Ideally, this would happen at the beginning of the development process, but it can occur at any time. Internationalization means designing software that can be adapted for other languages and locales without future code changes. For instance, the code should support varying date formats and area codes. These small changes and considerations will make localization easier, no matter how you choose to pursue it.

By integrating a platform such as Transifex with CI tools like Jenkins or Bamboo, the localization process can begin as soon as new content or strings are introduced in an application and uploaded to Transifex. Transifex will notify translators, who will begin working on the translation. This allows both the development team and the localization team to update consistently and in real time.

Translation services can be provided by any combination of automated services and professional or volunteer translators to ensure both accuracy and speed. “A sustainable continuous localization system is one that is both cost efficient and fast. It should be painless for both the developers and the business managers,” said Espinosa.

Transifex offers a translation memory feature for localization for even more time saving. Translation memory leverages previously translated work and creates a database of finished translations so only new pieces of code are translated for each build. A glossary of previously translated terms will also provide consistency and time savings.

When all of the content has been translated, a continuous localization platform will let you know (using a web hook) that you are ready to download the translations and deploy.

Expanding Your Localization

When creating your localization plan and road map, don’t forget to go beyond the software. Localize your website and help pages—these are part of the user experience. Most companies will choose to use the same translators for both the software and the website for consistency.

“Most businesses know where the interest in their software is coming from. If you’ve got continuous localization in place, your team can pivot and serve that technology up for the regions that are showing an interest quickly. A cost efficient localization system can lead to increased ROI,” said Espinosa.

Transifex is a leading worldwide localization platform for software projects. To learn more about Transifex, visit its website.

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Prepare for Localization by Building a Global Company That Meets Customer and Industry Expectations

This is the second post in our localization series featuring our interview with Antonio J Espinosa, chief operating officer of Transifex. To read the first in the series, click here.

Coding can be a lonely job. You’re up late trying to find that bug that will surely make or break your software. You sacrifice sleep and who knows what else because you know your work will catapult your product onto the most downloaded lists. Most companies have that hyper focus on creating excellent, solid software, but still so many of these startups never make it much past the initial launch, let alone onto the devices of the millions of people all over the world who use apps. So what makes some startups succeed and join the ranks of the elite, global software companies, while others simply fizzle out?

“Global success won’t happen without localization, but successful localization depends on a company operating globally,” said Antonio J Espinosa, chief operating officer at Transifex. Many successful startups not only build great software but they also meet and exceed both potential customer and industry expectations, which provides a solid foundation to building a global company using a comprehensive localization strategy.

Giving Your Customers What They Want

You build software that you believe your customers want. The only way to confirm your hunch is to release the software, but customers have been very clear about what they want from all software. Consider these four customers:

  • A simple user experience

Software is built by highly technological people, but the people who use it are often at the other end of the tech-savvy spectrum. The app’s design and usability should be built not with other developers in mind, but with the comfort level of the audience in mind.

  • The clear solution to a clear problem

State the problem that your software is solving and the ways in which the software is solving it. Remove marketing and developer jargon and use the language your customers are using. As we said, your customers are less tech savvy than developers and they are also wary of marketing double-speak. Use concrete language to describe your software.

  • Plenty of promotion

If your potential customers are not tech savvy, chances are they aren’t keeping track of the latest apps in the industry media. Make sure your promotion extends to the media that your customers are using, not just the sources you read. Your customers should be able to find you as well. Be sure to include strategic SEO keywords on your website, and in the app descriptions in the marketplace.

  • Availability across devices

Customers are more mobile than ever, so your software (and website) should be available on mobile devices and on desktops. Customers expect that their data is saved in the cloud so their work and information is saved and is accessible no matter what device they’re using.

Meeting Industry Expectations

Startups are known for their culture of nonconformity, but conforming to industry standards and expectations can provide a solid foundation for success. When creating your software, be aware of these industry expectations:

  • Understand intellectual property protections

In the past, intellectual property covered just the inner workings of a piece of software. Now intellectual property might cover design and branding as well. Seek legal advice on your intellectual property and make sure your software is protected and not infringing on other companies.

  • Bake analytics in

Analytics are a key component in most any software offered, especially software geared toward the enterprise. The analytics should provide real-time data that can be easily analyzed for possible solutions.

  • Nimble response to feedback

Feedback comes in from all sides at all hours thanks to social media. A successful software company responds to feedback and improvises solutions quickly. Tracking where your feedback comes from can provide insight into which regions would be smart for a localized product.

  • Internationalize from the beginning

When a piece of software is internationalized from the beginning, the process of localization becomes more efficient. Start with internationalization with an eye toward localization when building your initial software.

“A localized software must be supported by a flexible, responsive company. Customers in localized markets expect that they are just as important as the customers in the company’s original geo. It requires a commitment and meeting standards set by the industry and by users,” said Espinosa.

Going global depends on an efficient localization strategy, but a company must have a solid foundation. Looking to customers and the software industry can provide solid guidelines for global companies.

To learn more about localization and the services offered by Transifex, visit their website.

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