Evolution in Coding

Recently, a campaign called the Hour of Code has been set and many schools are taking part.

Many people have different opinions on it, however at St. Ambrose Barlow RC High school we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here is an interview with the headmaster: Mr Davis

We asked Mr Davis some questions:

Why did you choose to allow the Hour of Code in your school?

I chose it because it is a good thing for children to learn about.

What is your opinion on the Hour of Code?

I believe that it is a vital thing for pupils to learn about and that it is a great skill.

Do you believe that coding is a good skill and if so do you think that everyone  should know about it?

Yes because it is very important and even though some people may just see the hour of code as a bit of fun for an hour,  for others it could create a whole new branch for opportunities.

As Mr Davis stated, coding is important and everyone should know about whether they will need to know about it for their career or not.

Being a game maker, an IT teacher and even a musician, you’ll need some knowledge of code, and there are many ways to learn it, online, on a course, and even  in school at the hour of code.

In conclusion, as the headteacher said, the ability to code is a important thing for everyone to learn, no matter how or where; because as the planet’s tech evolves so must our knowledge of how it works.

By Harry, Jack and Ben- Coordinators of the school news team.

The 5 Best Smartphones of 2015

It’s nearing Christmas and you may be wondering what phone to get your loved ones for Christmas. Well, here we have chosen (in our opinion) the top 5 smartphones to buy your friends and family for Christmas.

5. Microsoft Lumia 950

The Lumia 950 phone is a throwback from the past to a simpler time with its removable battery like the Samsung Galaxy S3, also being a temporary PC, allowing you to turn a nearby TV into a computer through a Microsoft Display Dock and a Bluetooth keyboard. It’s worth mentioning its excellent camera and lightweight design, but the lack of apps lets it down, making it number 5.

lumi 950

Number 5, the Lumia 950

4. HTC One M9

HTC is the perfect device for those who value personalisation, thanks to the new user interface, the HTC One M9 is not the necessarily a large step forward from the award-winning M8, but it remains a brilliant solution to the problem over which is the most flexible Android phone on the market, deserving number 4.

htc 1 m9

Number 4, HTC One M9

3. LG G4

LG’s latest phone, the G4, builds on the success of its competitors with an stunning 16MP rear-facing camera (for the days you’re on an adventure) and an 8MP front-facing lens (for all those selfies) and the option of a leather back, unike the Samsung Galaxy S6, it has a microSD slot and removable battery, earning the place of number 3 to buy for your family.

lg g4

Number 3, the LG G4

 

2. Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t Samsung’s latest phone but I am certain it’s a good one. With a water resistant coat, it’s no match for the puddles you run past every day in fear of dropping your phone in them. With a fingerprint scanner you have a more secure option to get in your phone and with the new Ultra Power Saving Mode you can use apps longer and faster, making it number 2 in this list.

galaxy s5

Number 2, the Galaxy S5.

1. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

One of Samsung’s newest phones is the S6 Edge, it’s perfect for those times at night when you need to charge your phone at night with the wireless charging feature. Like the S5 at number 2 in this list, it also has the fingerprint scanner and the new Samsung Pay. With being one of the first phones to have a curved screen this definitely deserves number 1 with all its unique features.

galaxy s6 edge

Number 1, the S6 Edge

by Ben – coordinator for the Science and Technology section.

 

 

 

EDUCATION ON CYBERCRIME

“Over the past few years, the NCA has seen the people engaging in cybercrime becoming younger and younger,” Richard Jones, head of the Prevent team at the NCA’s Cyber Crime Unit.

Do you know what cyber-crime is? Studies indicate that the majority of young people are in the dark when it comes to breaking the law online. To investigate this, we interviewed two girls from Year 9. They both knew the general definition of ‘Cyber-Crime’ and some examples being ‘hacking, spam, plagiarism, cyber-bullying’. However, they were surprised to learn that the punishment for hacking could be anything up 10 years in prison. These interviews showed us that although teenagers know of cyber-crime, they are not well-educated as to what is actually is.

Cybercrimes can be divided into 3 major categories against: personal, meaning it affects one victim; government, hacking government systems; and property, breaking a computer or damaging files via hacking.

We believe that all young people should know the basics of cybercrime, especially in this day and age where the internet is becoming increasingly popular. Being educated on this subject could significantly help the National Crime Agency catch criminals.

Computer

Autumn and Anaya- Science and Technology Editors

Xbox One or PlayStation 4 for Christmas?

The console battle continues with Xbox and PlayStation. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4) devices have been around for two years now but the battle continues.

Both companies have had many unique and exclusive games to their console however they both also had different approaches to gain more customers.

Xbox is no longer sending games into the Xbox 360 consoles, forcing users to convert to Xbox one which will cost more money for parents and also might start people worrying if they will be forced to spend even more money when the next Xbox console comes out.

PlayStation are waiting another couple of years before cutting of games on PS3, giving a more free choice whether to convert or not. Also the PlayStation 4 has a greater storage at with 1 TERRA BYTE; however have a greater chance of overheating.

Xbox one has a voice recognition system which might seem great however if hacked (which is unlikely, however, a possibility) would leave you vulnerable in your home but this issue could easily be solved by unplugging the device after usage.

To sum up the Xbox vs. PlayStation battle continues with both positives and negatives in both devices.

By Harry – coordinator for the Science and Technology section.

 

 

 

xbox v ps

Which will you choose?

 

Click on Xbox or PlayStation

ALIEN FINDING LAPTOP?

The answer is yes, potentially anyway. You see, a laptop is in development at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California.    However, this is no ordinary laptop; this is a laptop which could look for signs of organisms on other planets *gasp*.This form of portable technology could be revolutionary to the way we explore extra-terrestrial life.

The device does this by gathering samples and finding amino acids. This is when we all start getting confused. Amino acids make up proteins and there are two types of amino acids: left-handed amino acids, and its mirror image, right-handed amino acids− just like our dexterities! The laptop will also find fatty acids which are part of cell membranes. Some scientists think that Earth life only uses the ‘left-handed’ type due to evolution but there is a possibility that life in other worlds may use the opposite.

Amino Acids

Structure of an Amino Acid

“If a test found a 50-50 mixture of left-handed and right-handed amino acids, we could conclude that the sample was probably not of biological origin but if we were to find an excess of either left or right, that would be the golden ticket. That would be the best evidence so far that life exists on other planets.” Jessica Creamer, JPL researcher

Now let’s get to how the contraption works. The chemical laptop is battery-powered and uses a liquid sample for analysis. The team worked with Luther Beegle from the Jet Propulsion Lab to use a technology based on coffee machines; this means that the sample will be put in a tube of water and boiled. The water comes out carrying the organic molecules. The sample is then fed into the chemical laptop and is mixed with a fluorescent dye which attaches it to the amino or fatty acids. A similar principle has been used without water and only heat at the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Curiosity rover.

The sample flows into a microchip where they can be separated from each other. Researchers can then see signal correspondents to amino/fatty acids when passing the laser.

Inside this part of the microchip there are chemical additives which mix with the sample. Some of these will interact with the right handed amino acids and others will only interact with the left-handed type which will allow scientists to determine the types of amino acids in the sample.

Some future uses for this chemical laptop, as well as looking for signs of life outside of earth are monitoring the environment and testing drugs’ contents to see whether they’re legitimate or counterfeit.

Anaya and Autumn – coordinators for the Science and Technology section.