The government of British Columbia, Canada will be adding computer coding into its school curriculum over the next three years across all grades, including kindergarten. The new lessons will be integrated into mathematics and science programs, and apart of a new "applied design, skills, and technologies" (ADST) component. At the kindergarten level, it will be designed to encourage "exploratory and purposeful play" and stimulate ADST aptitude; older students will learn about computational thinking and programming in general; by the time grade 9 is over, students will be able to code on a basic level; high school students will be able to specialize in a particular area of technology.
The move serves as a pointed decision to address BC's technology skills shortage -- though the industry employs more than the forestry, mining, and oil and gas industries combined (86,000), there's traditionally been a much bigger focus on serving those now suffering industries instead. The government last month put up $100 million in funding for tech startups, so this is part of a broader plan. Google has put its money where its mouth is, too: its Codemakers program aims to bring programming to 100,000 Canadian children.
NVIDIA's latest beta update for its GeForce Experience software adds yet more juicy new features.
First up are desktop and windowed mode capture and streaming. Pretty self-explanatory: if you want to capture or stream non-game activities happening on your PC, you can now do that. As well, if you prefer to play your games in windowed mode, you can now do that while not being prohibited from recording or streaming. To access this unified mode, navigate to Preferences > Share and check "Turn on desktop capture for Instant Replay, Record, and Broadcast". Good to know: you can switch back and forth between fullscreen and desktop modes without interrupting recording or streaming, and you can capture screenshots while in this mode, too.
The "next evolution" of Skype is apparently group video calling on mobile, which comes about six years after 1 on 1 video calling on mobile, and 10 years after Skype video calling on non-mobile devices.
The new feature -- which supports Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows 10 Mobile platforms -- isn't public yet, but you can pre-register here for a "sneak peek". It's not clear if you'll be able to try it immediately or if there's a wait period, but try for yourself and let us know what happens.
Login service Persona will be shut down as of November 2016. Launched by Mozilla five years ago, it has proven unpopular, with no signs of that changing anytime soon, so the company has decided to give it the boot.
Persona works much like OpenID and Facebook Connect, utilizing the BrowserID protocol to let you log in to websites without the hassle of site-specific passwords, while remaining secure; all that's needed is an email. Unfortunately for Mozilla and perhaps its users, the project has failed for unknown reasons.
November 30 is the shutdown date. At this time, support will end, and user data will be destroyed for security reasons.
AMD is getting quicker with its driver releases, announcing the new Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 drivers, a new set of drivers which fixes the Crossfire issues gamers were experiencing in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Not only that, but the texture corruption problems in Just Cause 3 have been fixed, as well as the snow flickers in Star Wars Battlefront. You can grab the new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 drivers here.
Here's a full list of what's fixed, and what's new:
-  Radeon Settings driver update check is not available for minor driver versions
-  System has higher idle power usage on Windows® 7 when running with Radeon Settings
-  Star Wars™: Battlefront – Snow flickers in a few locations in the game
-  Star Wars™: Battlefront – Sky rendering may be broken in some game locations
-  Fallout 4 – The compass may flicker during gameplay on AMD Radeon R9 390 series products. We continue to investigate the issue with AMD Radeon R9 290 and AMD Radeon R9 295X2 series products
-  Star Wars™: Battlefront – Shadowy textures are visible around hills/structures/caves
-  Just Cause 3 – Texture corruption may be experienced during gameplay
-  Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 – Poor AMD Crossfire™ performance may be experienced
-  The driver installation may fail while installing the ACP component
-  The font size in Chinese language installations may be too small
-  The label range values in some AMD Freesync™ installations may be incorrect
-  The Radeon Settings dropbox does not close when it is clicked on a second time
-  The AMD Overdrive™ fan settings is always set to ON after first edit on reboot
-  Language shows up as Chinese Simplified when Chinese Traditional is selected in Windows® 7
-  Radeon Settings crashes on the Display tab when cloning a display via HDMI on some notebooks
-  Overdrive™ fan speed is reset to Manual on exiting from a 3D game or application
-  Radeon Settings does not get upgraded in some install scenarios
-  AMD Overdrive™ cannot revert to default settings in some situations
NVIDIA's latest GeForce Experience beta adds the ability to take screenshots of your games up to a maximum 4K resolution. More, it now sports built-in editing (brightness, contrast, digital vibrancy, and cropping) and Imgur uploading functionality. Happily, both of these functions can be performed in-game via the Share menu accessed by hitting Alt + Z. To get started, you'll need to connect to Imgur via the Share > Connect menus.
The choice of Imgur is a little surprising given the service is known for significant compression, but perhaps something special has been arranged for this partnership with NVIDIA. We've inquired as such, and will update this story should we hear back.
As announced recently, Microsoft has now pushed out a preview version of its new Office 365 Planner to members of the First Release program, designed as a simple project-management tool set for release in the mainstream Office 365 package in the future.
Previously codenamed 'Highlander', this addition to Office 365 has currently been added to the following users: Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Enterprise E3, Office 365 Enterprise E4, Office 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 Education, Office 365 Education E3, Office 365 Education E4, Office 365 Business Essentials and Office 365 Business Premium, as explained by ZDNet. If you haven't received the Planner yet don't stress, Microsoft expects a the rollout of this program to be completed over several weeks.
Designed to meld with Office 365 groups, this Planner will enable companies to streamline some business processes, sitting alongside the additions of SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, also set to be added firstly for Office 365 First Release program subscribers.
During the GALAX GOC 2015 event, Futuremark showed off their latest 3DMark benchmark that utilizes the Windows 10 exclusive DirectX 12 API. The new benchmark is called 'Time Spy', something that will really stress out your new DX12-powered GPU.
Futuremark Product Manager Pasi Virtanen said that the company is developing their latest 3DMark benchmark for DX12, with the new version of 3DMark focusing around the technology and features that the DirectX 12 API allows for, and something that future DX12-powered games will include. There are many DX12 benchmarks in the new 3DMark, but one of them is Time Spy, which was the one shown off at the GALAX GOC 2015 event. The benchmark runs at 2K (2560x1440) or 4K (3840x2160) and is 5x heavier than 3DMark Fire Strike... which is going to really push GPUs up against the wall and steal their lunch money.
The company hasn't teased a release date just yet, but we Virtanen did tease that it would be released in Q1 2016.
The file archiving freeware known as 7-Zip has exited beta status after being on it for five years. The current version is 15.12.
Since the last non-beta release (9.20), many changes were made, including taskbar progress display, optimizations to speed, compression, and memory usage, new dialog box options, support for more file types, and of course, bug fixes, among other things.
Hit the source to download.
Activision and Treyarch are preparing Call of Duty: Black Ops III for its release tomorrow, with AMD launching some new drivers for Radeon gamers in the form of Catalyst 15.11 beta.
The new Catalyst 15.11 beta include performance optimizations for Black Ops III, as well as a few bug fixes which will include the issues with Ashes of the Singularity crashing on some Radeon 300 series cards with 2GB of RAM, and you shouldn't see those nasty driver timeout errors in Star Wars Battlefront.
There are still issues with the new Catalyst 15.11 beta drivers, with Crossfire users set to experience flickering while playing Black Ops III in a multi-GPU setup, as well as issues with Batman: Arkham Knight, which is just a buggy mess of a game on PC anyway. You can grab the new AMD Catalyst 15.11 beta drivers here.