[EVENTS] NET/WORK Baltimore job fair: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Photo from Philadelphia

Reserve your free tickets now for NET/WORK Baltimore on Thursday, February 20th. If their last event ( Philadelphia, shown here) is any indication, it looks like it’ll be a great event for job-seekers!

Local tech news hub Baltimore is hosting a jobs fair on Thursday, February 20th at the Emerging Technology Center on 101 N. Haven St. in Highlandtown. With over 16 technology-related firms attending (and planning on hiring people now), this event is a must-attend for anyone looking for a job in web design and development, information systems, cybersecurity, game design and development, technology consulting, programming, mobile app development, marketing/advertising, or e-commerce. A number of Baltimore-based non-profit technology community groups will be in attendance, too including Accelerate Baltimore, Betamore, Digital Harbor Foundation, and Girl Develop It Baltimore.

Tickets are usually $5, but students with a valid ID get in for free. Check out the event site to learn more and reserve your ticket before the event sells out.

Some of the firms planning on recruiting at NET/WORK Baltimore include:



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[GAMES] OMG! releases 80’s and 90’s console arcade games for free!

Image of Atari 2600 Console

All your old skool classics…free!

Holy Guacamole! If you’ve been looking for something to do over Winter Break, check out’s Console Living Room, an amazing collection of bajillions of arcade games from your favorite 80’s and 90’s consoles…for FREE! You’ll find games from the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, ColecoVision, Odyssey, and Astrocade systems playable via emulation right in your browser. If you’re a kid of the 80’s or 90’s, have an interest in the history of video games, or just want to challenge your middle-aged dad to a game of Donkey Kong, you have GOT to check this out. It’s probably one of the most significant contributions to computing history to come around for a long, long time.


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[GAMES] Apparently Germans are REALLY Excited About the PS4

CAUTION: minor NSFW language (mostly in German) and loud Metal soundtrack. You might want to watch this with your speakers off.

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[GAMES] New study shows that playing video games is good for your brain

Super Mario 64 logo

New study shows that playing video games makes you smarter…but if you’re a gamer, you probably already knew that.

Yes, feel free to forward this article to your friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else who gives you a hard time for spending too much time playing video games. According to a new study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus. As reported on Ray Kurzweil’s blog, subjects who played Nintendo’s  Super Mario 64 over 2 months for up to 30 minutes per day saw “increased size in brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills” as opposed to the control group in the experiment. And heck…that’s just with an old skool game!

MRI brains scans of the gamer group showed that this somewhat moderate amount of gaming actually changed the physical structure of the subjects’ brains, increasing gray matter in their right hippocampus (a region associated with memory formation), right prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain associated with planning and accomplishing goals), and the cerebellum (the part of our brain associated with motor control). “This proves,” says Simone Kuhn, leader of the study, “that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games.”

If you ever needed an excuse to play, here it is!

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[EDUCATION] 7 Great ways to learn how to code

Chart showing the difference between a dreamer, a coder, and a hacker

Image courtesy of Paul Downey via Flickr

One of the most common pitches endured by freelance programmers comes from the enthusiastic, wanna-be entrepreneur who thinks that he or she has come up with the greatest idea for a web site (or app or technology) that the world’s ever seen. There’s just one problem: they don’t have the skills to create even a working prototype. So what do they do? They reach out to any coders who will listen to them for more than 5 seconds or who made the mistake of responding to their emails. And the pitch is always the same:


Budding Entrepreneur: “Hey! Listen! I’ve got this idea that’s gonna be the next Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Google! All I need is for someone to do the code! I don’t have any funding right now so I can’t pay you (though confidentially I’ve been working on a few angel investors and might have some funding coming through soon), but I’m willing to offer you an equity stake in my new company if you’ll do the coding for me! It’s the chance of a lifetime!”
Freelance Coder: “Uh…no.”

The problem is that everyone’s got ideas… but few people have the skills (or are willing to learn the skills) necessary to turn their ideas into something tangible enough to convince other people just how great their idea is. Those who have these skills — coders, designers, engineers, architects, Makers, etc.– acquired them with a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and hard work. Remember, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. The real key to success  having the creativity to innovate combined with the skills to create what you dream.

That being said, most people can learn how to code. Granted, you might not be cranking out new operating systems or single-handedly writing console games after a few months of practice, but you’d be surprised at what you can do once you know the basics and apply a little creativity. Better yet, these days there are a number of fabulous and free (or very low cost) ways to learn how to code online.

Interested? Check out 7 best ways to learn how to code on VentureBeat.

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[NEWS] SteamOS Announced: Get Steam in Your Living Room

SteamOSLots of us are customers (and fans) of Steam, the gaming download app. But up until now, Steam was just about games on your PC. No longer. Today Steam announced that they’ll be releasing SteamOS “soon” for folks who want to play Steam games in their living room. But it’s not just about games: You’ll be able to play SteamOS games on “your SteamOS machine” (!), watch TV and movies, listen to music, and share your games with your family. “SteamOS?” “SteamOS machine?” Sounds like time to watch the interwebs to find out what’s going to happen.

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