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ABOUT UAT
University of Advancing Technology is an elite, private college that serves its student body by fostering knowledge creation and academic excellence in an environment that embraces the young technophiles of the world. With three centers of research and a suite of technology-centered undergraduate and graduate degrees, the University is a recognized leader in technology education.

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    2021 Tech Gift Guide


    Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the house, every creature was stirring… BECAUSE THEY ALL RECEIVED THE COOLEST GIFTS EVER! Well done, Santa. If you want to be...

    Twas the night after Christmas, and all through the house, every creature was stirring…

    BECAUSE THEY ALL RECEIVED THE COOLEST GIFTS EVER!

    Well done, Santa.

    Sassy Santa

    If you want to be the super St. Nick of your family this year, UAT President Jason Pistillo has 12 recommendations that will make the elves jealous. From the best new cameras to personal robots, this list of items has something sure to please the techie in your life.

    Check out the 12 Days of Techmas, 2021 edition.

    #12 – Aerogarden

    From a small model small enough to sit on a counter, to what’s practically your own farm, you can have an indoor garden in only three steps. Once you choose to grow your own veggies year-round, it may be easy to resolve to have a healthier new year!

    Aerogarden

    #11 – DLI Atomic Pi - High Speed SBC with Peripheral ICS and Camera

    According to New Egg, this motherboard beats some desktops. It’s loaded with memory, with a fast dual band WiFi connection and webcam and small breakout board included. Happy building!

    Atomic PI

    #10 – Ray-Ban Smart Glasses

    What if you could wear classic frames, but see the future? Kind of like Clark Kent combined with Yoda? Well, these sunglasses won’t exactly make you SuperYoda, but they’re still pretty cool. The Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses allow you to take photos and videos, listen to calls, and share to your social media… and you can even get them with prescription lens.

    Yoda-2

    #9 – SRS-RA5000 - Sony 360 Reality Audio Wireless Speaker

    Music in 3D? Yeah, that’s s thing now! This speaker isn’t just a speaker, it features 360 Reality Audio that makes whatever you’re listening to immersive throughout your home, with seven speakers and a bunch of other cool features. Turn it on, turn it up, and chill.

    Sony Speaker

    #8 – Beast Blender

    The new Beast Blender boasts less noise and more power, but honestly, I just want to see what all you can obliterate in this thing. It looks pretty cool, like a sci fi blender where you hide an infinity stone, and I bet it makes a pretty good smoothie, too.

    Beast Blender

    #7 – Polaroid Now+ iType Instant Camera
    Polaroid

    Polaroids are classic and fun… but this new one is also connected. Using the Polaroid mobile app, you get access to a variety of tools like light painting and double exposure. It mounts to a tripod and comes with a very artistic set of physical lens filters so you can get creative, and then get your photos instantly.

    #6 – Cam Link 4k

    Watch out, YouTube, content creators are about to level up. With the Cam Link 4K, you can turn any DSLR or camcorder into the something that looks like one of the best zoom webcams on the market. Simply plug it in and start producing, and your stream will be top-notch quality. Christmas unboxing video, anyone?

    Cam Link

    #5 – an NFT Comic Book

    https://www.ebay.com/b/Emerging-NFTs/262050/bn_7117733224

    First of all, if you’re not familiar, NFTs are Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which can be artwork, collectibles, memorabilia, or personal data. So basically, you can now get your hands on digital copies of comic books, opening up a world of art and comics that you can’t find in stores. That’s something to Marvel at.  

    NFT Comic

    #4 – ClicBot

    Allergic to dogs? Get a ClicBot! He can be a little needy—he looks for you when you’re not around—but he can also teach you how to code and build out your perfect little buddy. If you’re not sure where to start, there’s plenty of preprogrammed fun, but ClicBot includes free video courses to teach you the basics through advanced coding. And let’s be real, this thing is just too cute. Fido who?

    #3 – Ridge Wallet
    Wallet

    As President Pistillo puts it, this gift is “for security-concerned gentlemen that want a sleek wallet.” He’s probably just trying to block us from using the American Express… Featuring RFID blocking, there are a variety of designs that will keep your cards safe and you looking cool.  

    #2 – SwellPro Fisherman

    You’ve probably heard of fly fishing, but this takes casting to a whole new level with a drone for fishing! It’s definitely more expensive than a fishing pole, but a lot cheaper than a boat. Drop your drone in and troll along, and don’t worry if you lose control of your line—it’s waterproof!

    #1 – Amazon Astro

    Amazon’s new household robot for home monitoring comes with Alexa and includes a 6-month free trial of Ring Protect Pro. Astro will follow you around, providing much more than security—it even has a cup holder. According to Amazon, it can provide entertainment or find you to deliver calls, messages, timers, alarms, or reminders. And it wouldn’t be Amazon if more options weren’t available. Astro can carry other items, such as a Ziploc container, the OMRON blood pressure monitor, and even a Furbo Dog Camera that can toss treats to your pet (sold separately; adapter required).

    Astrobot

    But there’s something you may consider that’s not under the tree… furthering your education. Treat yo’self to a top-tier tech degree from UAT, because an education is the gift that keeps on giving. Learn more at www.uat.edu, and Merry Christmas from all of us at UAT!

    Christmas

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    Advances in Virtual Reality and How To Fast-Track Your Way Into The Industry


    Virtual Reality: Virtually Like Actual Reality Are we talking about trading our actual physical existence for an entirely virtual one? No, no, no.  Hollywood hasn’t done virtual reality any favors and created a lot of fear regarding technological advancement. From Ready Player One to...

    Virtual Reality: Virtually Like Actual Reality

    Are we talking about trading our actual physical existence for an entirely virtual one? No, no, no. 

    Hollywood hasn’t done virtual reality any favors and created a lot of fear regarding technological advancement. From Ready Player One to The Matrix even as far back as The Lawnmower Man, virtual reality (VR) is commonly looked at as the gateway to a phantasmagoric dystopian future.

    But as is often the case when Hollywood gets their creative digits into the ones and zeroes of science fiction, the (virtual) reality of the situation, and even the virtual reality training UAT offers, are for a much different purpose. 

    Practical virtual reality isn’t actively (or passively) paving the way towards our dystopian demise. On the contrary, virtual reality is being used in a variety of novel ways to do what technology does best: make our lives better than they were yesterday.

    Below we will look at the salary and career projections for jobs in the VR industry, but first, let’s dispel any preconceived ideas about what VR looks like today and see how real people are making a virtual difference for the better of their fellow person.

     

    {% video_player "embed_player" overrideable=False, type='scriptV4', hide_playlist=True, viral_sharing=False, embed_button=False, autoplay=False, hidden_controls=False, loop=False, muted=False, full_width=False, width='1920', height='1080', player_id='60802876439', style='' %}

    Doctor, Your Virtual Patient is Ready

    Thanks to innovation from places like the Surgical Theater out of Colorado, Stanford Medicine has been using a new software and VR technology since at least 2017 to help see inside of a patient before ever going into surgery.

    It sounds like the beginning concept of what Tony Stark would create to look inside someone, but it’s real. Well, virtually real.

    The software compiles all the data from MRIs, CT scans, and angiograms to form a virtual representation of the problem area in a patient—like an aneurism.

    Once the rendering is complete, the doctors can put on the VR headgear and virtually manipulate the troubled blood vessel.

    Imagine it. Where once, the doctor could only see a 2D image on a screen or a top-down image of reality—all in the moment and stress of surgery—now, the surgeon can take the time to truly investigate the problem. They can literally (er, virtually) hold the damage in their hands. They can lift it up. Move it around. They can conduct a true examination of the problem area before they ever work on a person.

    And long after this one person has been saved, the next group of doctors will be able to use the same information to hone their skills at healing without having to touch an actual person.

    It’s like a flight simulator for doctors. Speaking of flight simulators—

     

    {% video_player "embed_player" overrideable=False, type='scriptV4', hide_playlist=True, viral_sharing=False, embed_button=False, autoplay=False, hidden_controls=False, loop=False, muted=False, full_width=False, width='1920', height='1080', player_id='60804236856', style='' %}

    We’ll Be Virtually Cruising at 30,000 Feet

    Companies like Flight Safety International lead the industry in creating the most realistic flight simulators in the world. Their Level D flight simulators allow a pilot to learn all they need to know about piloting these giant air buses without ever leaving the ground.

    Now, they don’t use the fully immersive VR environment that Hollywood has groomed us to think about in these situations, but they do brush up against a growing trend of VR reality—Augmented Reality (AR).

    Augmented Reality also goes by Mixed Reality (MR), or Hybrid Reality (HR), but they all do the same thing. They take aspects of reality and mesh them with virtual reality, whereas Virtual Reality is immersive.

    Gone are the days when pilots would fly over vector blocks in VGA graphics. No, these days the software that the professional flight simulator companies use have details all the way down to street signs and business addresses. And sitting in one of these cockpits, the pilot is completely immersed—visually—in the experience.

    Where the doctors put VR sets on and wear gloves or hold controllers, these pilots step inside the equivalent of the headset and the controls are the same as the plane. By engaging with true facsimiles of the real thing and having a visual display that completely immerses the pilot, the student can gain a level of understanding on par with actual flight without putting anyone in danger.

    UAT Augmented Reality VR Flight Simulation

    In this way, both doctor and pilot are served by these virtual and augmented realities.

     

    When Reality is Too Much

    An article published in 2017 by The College of Family Physicians of Canada explained their use of VR to help manage pain and anxiety in children. In essence, the doctors and scientists were able to immerse the children into a virtual world and walk them through upcoming medical procedures, vaccinations, and even changing bandages for burn wounds.

    The study found that by using VR in this way helped to distract the patient and lead to the pain signals reaching the patient's brain more slowly. And so, by using VR with traditional means of pain and anxiety management, they were able to make a positive impact on the children.

     

    UAT New Technologies Lab: Virtual Reality Degree

    So, You’d Like a Degree in Virtual Reality?

    Ok, so I can help all of civilization with VR/AR. But can I support a family?

    Yes! But it depends on what you do in the field.

    Being a relatively new, yet highly technical field, the major strides in the last few years have been mainly in the gaming industry. These advances, in many ways, are paving the widespread acceptance and possibilities of VR to the masses.

    One of the major devices in the gaming world is the Oculus Rift that Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook paid a mammoth $2 billion dollars for a few years back.

    Since then, there have been advances in the medical field and in the broader scope of industry all leading to newer and creative positions for VR and AR.

    Purchased a piece of furniture on Amazon lately? No? Well, just pull up Amazon on your phone and go shopping for a chair. More than likely there will be an option to view what that chair would look like in your own personal abode through the use of AR tech and your smartphone.

    So, essentially, with a degree in Virtual Reality, you could find a job anywhere from a tech startup in Colorado helping to train doctors to Amazon where you could help people find just the right wingback chair for their bedroom.

    And of course, there is the metaverse and growing opportunities with Meta. Only time will tell how pervasive the changes Meta will make to our society—and the world itself—but, if you want to be on the ground floor of that, a degree in Virtual Reality from UAT is a great place to start.

    Currently, most virtual reality roles' salary figures range from $80k to well over $100k and in all the described industries. Partner that with the fact that the global virtual reality market size was valued at $15.81 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at 18.0% over the next decade, and you have yourself looking at a lot of potential for career opportunities and return on investment on your education and expertise in the virtual reality field.

     

    UAT Isn’t Just Virtually Awesome... It’s Actually Awesome

    University of Advancing Technology (UAT) has been a leader in Virtual Reality studies including Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality, offering distinguished courses since the early '90s. In fact, UAT debuted its first Virtual Reality degree in ’94.

    When an institution is that forward-thinking and preparing for the future, it’s no surprise that even now UAT is looking to advance not only the body of knowledge but its implementation in the field of education.

    UAT has partnered with FabCom, a marketing and advertising agency out of Scottsdale, AZ, to answer the question: do students learn faster and retain information better when receiving new knowledge through HReality virtual experiential learning, when compared to established curriculum delivery within Canvas-style LMS systems?

    In other words, can we make learning better with Hybrid Reality? It’s a question worth asking. And by being involved with UAT, you may be able to peer behind the veil of this question and others that will come up in the field. Perhaps you’ll even get the opportunity to work on the project and take virtual (reality) learning, to a revolutionary level through an innovation you create for your Student Innovation Project (SIP).

    A Virtual Conclusion

    So, is a degree in Virtual Reality from UAT in your future? Well, let’s see if you can check off these bullets.

    Are you interested in interactive technology and gamification? Yep.

    Do you want to enter a creative and technical field with unlimited potential?  Um, obvi.

    Do you want to be a part of the newest cutting-edge technology that has the potential to reshape reality and create an unparalleled level of good for all of mankind? Yes, when is the next start date?

    Then, yeah, this degree in virtual reality might be for you. Check out the course list, give the good people in admissions a call and get on the road to exploring virtually awesome technology at UAT.

    Okay, we saved the best part for last. You can fast-track your VR education and earn your degree in less than 3 years at UAT. That means potentially getting a job sooner, becoming income positive sooner, and getting in this rapidly exploding industry earlier to make an impact sooner.

    Ready to get started and earn #TechRespect at UAT? Apply for acceptance today.{{cta('3b53034c-65e6-4121-a658-1b0d60687036','justifycenter')}}

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    UAT Black Friday Buys


    If you're looking for a cheap t.v., keep looking... ...

    If you're looking for a cheap t.v., keep looking...

    But if you're looking for sweet swag at lower prices, you've found it!

    The UAT Bookstore isn't exactly known for selling books, but hoodies, hats, and even onsies? We have those! And we have a great Black Friday sale where you can save on select merchandise. 

    Shop starting at 12:00 a.m. Black Friday though 11:59 a.m. Monday.  

    Check it out at https://uatbookstore.com/collections/black-friday-sale!  

    UAT Bookstore Black Friday Sale

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    Financial Aid Resources: Employer Tuition Reimbursement Funding Option


    Let Someone Else Pay for College  It’s rare these days that any two people can agree on much of anything. But one of those things that people can agree on? ...

    Let Someone Else Pay for College 

    It’s rare these days that any two people can agree on much of anything. But one of those things that people can agree on?  

    College is expensive.  

    Now, it’s not so expensive that it’s impossible to pay for, but it can present certain financial challenges that will make the faint of heart, well…faint. 

    But it doesn’t have to. The big published price tag of college is offset in a number of ways. One of the easiest of those ways is by getting someone else to pay for it. 

    Seriously, let someone else pay for it. No, not your parents. (Unless they just want to, of course.) Let someone pay for it who has deep pockets. Like Scrooge McDuck deep.  

    Like, your boss. 

    You Won’t Know Unless You Ask 

    Okay, chances are your boss can’t make it rain like Mr. McDuck, but chances are he (and you) may work for one of the thousands of companies that can. 

    Most companies (as many as 92% according to one survey) offer this wonderful little perk called tuition reimbursement. It’s like free coffee or paid paternity leave or nap rooms. Yeah, nap rooms. That’s a thing now. 

    Wait. Why would a company pay me to go to college? 

    That’s a great question. Thanks for asking. 

    There are actually several great reasons why companies offer tuition reimbursement and why you shouldn’t feel bad taking them up on it. 

    Let’s take a look at the two primary options. 

    Numero Uno: The more education you have, the better you will be at your job. 

    I mean, this is a no-brainer (pun!). The more education you have, especially—but not necessarily—related to your current job, the better you will be at your job.  

    For instance, let’s say you work as a fry cook at McDonald’s and you’ve decided to take advantage of their Arches to Opportunity program. Yeah, your future career path may not be headed towards the level that a degree in Cyber Security from UAT would take you, but you’ll still be earning an education that will likely lead to a promotion and an increase in pay. Regardless, you will gain new skills that will apply to the position you currently fill and eventually hopefully enable you to advance a level or two above where you are now or find new opportunities elsewhere.  

    The companies that offer these types of tuition reimbursement benefits know what a lot of people fail to realize–-no one wants to work as a fry cook their whole life.  

    And these companies don’t want a person to work as a fry cook their whole life. They see you working hard as a fry cook and when your annual review comes up, your boss says, “So, how are things going? Do you like your job?” That’s when you mention you’re interested in advancement in the business technology area of the company and getting a degree from UAT. 

    Big (and oftentimes small) companies generally want to help their people succeed. Know why? Because companies are made up of people. Individuals who also want to see other individuals do better in life. They want to help you succeed. 

    Numero Dos: This is the kind of perk that inspires loyalty. 

    Once a company helps you on the path to gain a degree in business technology, a bond forms between you and your company—and this is a good thing. They have helped you accomplish something that otherwise you couldn’t do. And they have gained a valuable, loyal employee with their investment. Mutual respect is formed and you as the employee are less likely to separate. 

    But Here’s Another Obstacle 

    That’s all well and good, but my company doesn’t offer tuition reimbursement and may not support the time I need for full-time school. Got any other smart ideas? 

    Yes, actually. If they don’t offer tuition reimbursement, ask them to. 

    Companies get up to a $5,250 a year tax write-off per employee for education-related expenses. Now, that much money may not pay for everything, but combine this benefit with your federal student loans and suddenly the possibility of moving from fry cook to CEO doesn’t seem so crazy. 

    And, maybe you really are working a lot as a fry cook right now and have other commitments keeping you from believing you can actually add in full-time school for the next several years.  

    UAT’s courses are offered year-round. That’s right – school is not out for summer. And with UAT’s Synchronic Learning–designed for working professionals and fry cooks alike–you can knock out classes when and how it works for you. You can do this live and in-person, virtual-live (streaming), or access recorded classes after your workday is done. UAT also has fully Online, remote instruction classes for the majority of degree programs where you can attend classes asynchronously.  

    This allows you, future CEO, to also only focus on two classes at a time and graduate sooner. This design also enables you to actually learn and retain what the professors have to teach instead of just getting a grade moving on. 

    Sounds great, but when I asked my boss about tuition reimbursement, they said no? 

    Not a problem. You still have one trick up your sleeve: find a new job. 

    UAT Financial Aid Resources - Tuition Reimbursement

     “You Offer What Kind of Perks?” 

    Much of life is about being strategic and intentional in the things you do. And if we learned anything from the Infinity War, it’s that strategy alone won’t cut it. You have to execute well and not have a Star-Lord in your life who is going to lose his cool after finding out his boo is no más who then wakes up the Mad Titan from Mantis’s empathic voodoo. 

    Yes, getting a job at Mcdonald's while in college, aside from being easy, is actually a pretty good move. The expectations aren’t unrealistic, you learn to work as a team, and they offer college tuition reimbursement. And depending on your degree plan, like say Business Technology, if you like the corporation, working from minimum wage or entry-level up to CEO is a pretty cool story. 

    But let’s get strategic. What job do you really want? 

    Imagine what you are shooting for. What career are you really pursuing? Take a minute. I’ll wait. 

    Know what it is? Awesome. Now, think about a job you can get while in college that is as close to that job as possible. 

    Once you’ve landed on an option or two, find that job at a company that offers tuition reimbursement. If you do that, you’re set! You’ll get a chance to see what it’s like to actually have that job and talk to people on a regular basis who actively make their living doing the thing you are hoping to do. Better still, you’ll be at a company that has a vested interest in seeing you get a degree that will allow you to be qualified to fill one of those positions you are shooting for. 

    Alright. You have your strategy. Now execute. And maybe tell the Star-Lord in your life to make a taco run every time his emotions start to get in the way of saving the universe. You have a plan. You are ready to execute your plan and become the hero. But first, you need some avocados. 

     Organic Avocados Taste Better 

    Yes, they do taste better. But they are also usually smaller and cost more.  

    The same can be said for the difference in private vs. public universities. But, hey, sometimes you need a whole bunch of guacamole for less money because you’ve got a party you’re going to right now! 

    Other times, though, that party is in a week. You’ve got time to pay a little extra for the better avocados because you know who will be at that party. That’s right; you’re headed to a party with a bunch of guacamole snobs and they are expecting the best guacamole ever. 

    The same goes for your future employers. Yes, they will respect your degree from a public institution, but public institutions often lack the laser focus on particular niches that private universities have, like say on advancing technology, like at UAT. 

    The reality is that our civilization is increasingly being defined by technology. The simple fact that this article is being written on a laptop and you are reading it from a phone or tablet or your own computer and not stone carving or a sheet of papyrus should be evidence enough. To be competitive in this increasingly technological world, you have to know technology. You need to surround yourself with it and with the people who know all about it. People like the professors at UAT. 

    UAT Graduate in less than 3 years 2

    Become Your Own Hero 

    Alright. You’re now armed with knowledge. Time to do it. Be the hero. Make your plan and save the universe with amazing guacamole. Get a job that will respect you enough to invest in you while you invest in yourself.  

    Then, do yourself a favor and call the admissions people at UAT and get started asap. With year-round classes, the next start date is around the corner!  Request info or apply now!

     

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    A Recipe for Success


    A lot of people claim to have the best recipes during the holiday season. But at UAT, we have our own special recipe… a recipe for success! It’s not instant, but once you start cooking, it’s not a complicated method. It starts like this… 1. Take a technology infused campus. ...

    A lot of people claim to have the best recipes during the holiday season. But at UAT, we have our own special recipe… a recipe for success!

    It’s not instant, but once you start cooking, it’s not a complicated method. It starts like this…

    1. Take a technology infused campus.

    (You can find this at https://www.uat.edu/see-technology-college.)

    2. Stir in brilliant professors with a variety of real-world experience.

    Craig_thinker

    Professor Craig Belanger, A.K.A., the thinker. 

    UAT faculty come from all around the world and all share a passion for technology and teaching. As leaders in their respected areas of advancing technology, faculty many times can and do earn much more in industry, although they live to teach the brightest minds with powerful one-on-one relationships. Our faculty is here because they love the thrill of teaching the next generation of technology leaders.

    Learn more about our featured faculty at https://www.uat.edu/faculty-at-university-of-advancing-technology

    And view some of our Faculty Sessions:

    3. Add a mixture of clubs and competitions.

    Our clubs are as unique as our culture. UAT has a variety of clubs and campus activities such as Magic the Gathering, Robotics, Warhammer, Japanese, Coding, Gardening and Nerf Wars.

    IMG_0873

    Overseeing the clubs is Geek RHO, a student-run organization designed to give UATers a voice and their say in University traditions. See the current list at https://www.uat.edu/student-clubs

    4. Bake for less than 3 years.

    Yeah, you read that right—in FEWER THAN THREE YEARS you can have your bachelor's degree and be on your way.

    And the end result? Success! An education that prepares superior graduates to become tomorrow’s innovators. Find the full recipe and ingredients for your chosen degree at www.uat.edu. We can't wait to see what you will be serving up in the next few years. Get started now

    IMG_1568-2

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    ExtraLife 2021


    UAT Gamers Raised Funds and Spirits On Saturday, November 6, 2021, UAT students and faculty participated in ExtraLife—a streaming fundraiser benefitting the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The UAT team was hosted by ...

    UAT Gamers Raised Funds and Spirits

    On Saturday, November 6, 2021, UAT students and faculty participated in ExtraLife—a streaming fundraiser benefitting the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The UAT team was hosted by Professor Derric Clark, team captain in his third year of participation in ExtraLife. Gamers were able to stream as long or as little as they chose starting at 8:00 a.m. the day of the event, and although they individually raised the funds, they all worked together as one UAT team.

    A total of 29 streamers signed up for the UAT ExtraLife team; 11 of those received at least one donation. According to Professor Clark, a total of 17 UAT streams were happening at one point or another, “A couple of those were a group, so 25-30 total people participated!”

    Although the excitement of the weekend has ended, the fundraising actually continues through the end of the year. The UAT team already reached their goal of $2,700 on November 9—so the team has decided to carry on—raising their target donation to $2,900 for the Children’s Miracle Network and planning to stream again over Thanksgiving weekend.

    1191239_FITTEE - Extra Life_1080x1920_100421

    “The students did an amazing job, and I cannot thank them enough for being a part of this event and supporting a great cause,” said Professor Clark. “I would also like to thank everyone for your support on all fronts; you made a difference in the lives of others!”

    And for the students, the experience was good for both their education and character. According to streamer Taylor McKenzie, “The pressure of the stream is what I needed to keep me moving forward with my game development; it really helped! Receiving the donations and knowing they were going to a great cause also felt incredible and streaming for charity is moving its way into my schedule regularly. A push for my own motivation and helping others at the same time, why wouldn't I keep going?!”

    Student Wren Martin also greatly enjoyed the event. “I truly felt honored to be a part of this experience,” they said. “As a content creator myself, my goal is to entertain, give people a reason to smile, and to help others who are in need. One of my goals has always been to participate in a fundraiser to raise money for charity by doing what I love—gaming. My goal was accomplished, my dream came true, and I am thankful for the experience that I had. I will 100% be doing this again.”

    UAT is very proud of Professor Clark and the students who put their talents to use for this great cause. View the UAT team page at https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.team&teamID=58496. There you can join the team, watch the streams, and make donations. Happy streaming!

     


    Team Credits:

    Name: Derric Clark

    Online Name: Deconstruction Gaming

    Channel Link: https://www.youtube.com/DeconstructionGaming/ 

    Thought on the experience: It was great being part of a group willing to put time and effort into helping others. Jumping into all of your individual streams and watching you play and interact was amazing.

     

    Name: Trevor Baughn

    Online Name: TheGoatIsBetter

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/thegoatisbetter 

    It was hectic, but really fun. Lots of fun jokes thrown between Boone and myself throughout our stream. We had a fairly consistent viewer-count too, so that was nice. If Boone is willing to come on with me for another sometime, I'd be hella down.

     

    Name: Jordan Dunaway

    Online Name: Dunaco

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/Dunaco 

    I'm just doing what I do, why not stream it too.

     

    Name: Jozlyn Nowak

    Online Name: Luna748

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/luna748 

    It was a lot of fun. I had run the Esports channel for most of the day and ran some on my own. It was a lot of fun, everything I had set up for The Wyverns and being able to promote a charity. I’ve been streaming for 4 years now and it’s nice that I've finally been able to do a charity event, I had been wanting to do one for a while.

     

    Name: Joe Parisia

    Online Name: Gorgonak

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/gorgonak 

    It was fun! I wanted to start streaming for just that reason and I've always loved helping charities in the past. Combining them both together is that much better.

     

    Name: Ryland Kealey

    Online Name: Jazz Boy

    Channel Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2EBr2SGtYfSnwCVKj4yDqQ 

    Super fun! loved playing Minecraft and making pixel art on stream! I can't wait to do this again some time!

     

    Name: Ibrahim Al-Nassir

    Online Name: Ian A. Narcisse (or Ian_NYC)

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/ian_nyc 

    I had a fun time learning to stream on a new platform. It was also the first time I had to come up with things to do. It introduced me to a new way to practice 3D modeling, and that was especially fun.

     

    Name: Taylor McKenzie

    Online Name: Blubehriluv

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/blubehriluv 

    I had a great time hanging out with folks and just speaking out loud the way I normally do in my head. The pressure of the stream is what I needed to keep me moving forward with my game development; it really helped! Receiving the donations and knowing they were going to a great cause also felt incredible and streaming for charity is moving its way into my schedule regularly. A push for my own motivation and helping others at the same time, why wouldn't I keep going?!

     

    Name: Emily Szymanski

    Online Name: Hok-Z

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/hokzii 

    The team did wonderfully even though I severely miscalculated the time it would take—that's on me. They saw it through to the end and I wouldn't mind bringing them through another raid at some point. There's a possibility of that being streamed, too. Overall, a super fun experience.

     

    Name: Wren Martin

    Online Name: Reddbirb or ReddbirbLive

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/ReddbirbLive

    I truly felt honored to be a part of this experience. As a content creator myself, my goal is to entertain, give people a reason to smile, and to help others who are in need. One of my goals has always been to participate in a fundraiser to raise money for charity by doing what I love—gaming. My goal was accomplished, my dream came true, and I am thankful for the experience that I had. I will 100% be doing this again.

     

    Name: Donavan Potter

    Online Name: HunterofOil

    Channel Link: https://www.twitch.tv/HunterofOil/ 

    I enjoyed the experience and enjoyed being given the opportunity to take part in helping a cause that was larger than myself. I started without a cash goal in mind, but simply wanted to bring awareness and raise as much from any charitable individuals who wanted to donate and have no problems doing this event again.

    IMG_2005

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    It’s Like, Totally Retro


    Retro gaming can be seen in a couple of different ways. The core of retro gaming is playing older games or games from a previous generation (human or console). So, what is the allure of retro gaming? It starts out with nostalgia. It is common for people to long for the days of their youth as they grow into adulthood, or even pick up things they wanted but didn’t have as...

    Retro gaming can be seen in a couple of different ways. The core of retro gaming is playing older games or games from a previous generation (human or console). So, what is the allure of retro gaming?

    It starts out with nostalgia. It is common for people to long for the days of their youth as they grow into adulthood, or even pick up things they wanted but didn’t have as part of their childhood. The same can be said for other parts of adult life, such as the collector car market. There can be a bubble in collector cars that is about 30 years old, as these are the cars people remember that they have wanted or had in their younger days. Harkening back to a simpler, fun time with less responsibility has an appeal as well as an escapism quality.

    As game technology moves forward, the older systems quit getting produced. While they are still available on eBay or Craig’s List, they are no longer being manufactured. This does create a scarcity in the market for original equipment. While game companies are now seeing this and release retro versions of hardware, compilation versions, and remakes of classic games, many want the feel of the original as part of the play experience. It is similar to those who like the feel of a book over a Kindle; for some, this improves the experience and the same can be said for these classic consoles, controllers, and games.

    What games and hardware are the most important as an historic and personal side? From a personal perspective, the must-have system will be the one you grew up on. It may not be the best or most relevant, but it is the one that captures your heart. On the historic side, you have two things to consider.

    Retro Games

    First, there will be a group that likes to collect the odd ball or rare systems that exist. The Virtua Boy, the Power Glove, Sega Dreamcast or Saturn, Game Genies, or Atari Jaguar, to name a few, were not the best or most relevant but have a quirkiness that attracts collectors and players.

    Second, from an historic standpoint, there are systems that helped define the industry. The Atari VCS (2600), the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) with R.O.B., the Game Boy, the Sega Genesis, the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, and the original Xbox all can make a case as being industry and culturally relevant.

    In the end, can you put a price on memories? Can you deny your inner child? Can you deny the future generation the core, great game experiences that still hold up in these older games and consoles? Good games are good games, and finding ways to keep them alive is good for gaming, good for gamers, and good for the future of the industry.

    Gameboy


    Considering a career in gaming? Check out the following for more information about UAT gaming degrees.

    > Game Art and Animation

    > Game Design

    > Game Programming

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    China's New Data Privacy Law


    On November 1st, China enforced a data privacy law called PIPL to protect its citizens from data collection and sales. If an international company wants to continue doing business with China, they have to follow the newly enforced law which means changing company policies to meet China's standards. A lot of companies, including LinkedIn and Yahoo have completely withdrawn from China due to...

    On November 1st, China enforced a data privacy law called PIPL to protect its citizens from data collection and sales. If an international company wants to continue doing business with China, they have to follow the newly enforced law which means changing company policies to meet China's standards. A lot of companies, including LinkedIn and Yahoo have completely withdrawn from China due to PIPL. If a company continues to do business with China and violates PIPL, which is very similar to the GDPR (General Data Privacy Regulation), the company faces fines and blacklisting by China. PIPL may sound like a change to China's idea of personal privacy, but the law only applies to companies, not the government. So what does this mean for China's citizens? Not much has changed. They can still be surveilled by their own government, just not by companies. Basically, the new law has only restricted outside surveillance.

    The significance of the Data Privacy Act in the COVID-19 response -  BusinessWorld Online

    This is bound to create problems for the global economy. International companies will be forced to either comply or lose business. Considering that two large American corporations (LinkedIn and Yahoo) have already left China, I assume many more are to follow. This could ultimately lead to China being cut off from a large portion of social media and and secluded from the rest of the world.

    Concept of global economy in flat style 1265816 Vector Art at Vecteezy

    Similar to PIPL is the GDPR, Europe's data privacy law. In fact, some of the rules in PIPL are almost word-for-word. The GDPR is also globally accepted by those that do business with the EU like PIPL is by those who do business with China. The US though, does not follow either of these data privacy laws as it has its own. Similar to the GDPR and PIPL, those who do business with the US are required to follow their data privacy laws as well. It is a very complicated process to do business in the global economy.

    By: Emily K.

    Sources:

    https://www.wired.com/story/china-personal-data-law-pipl/

    https://gdpr.eu/what-is-gdpr/

    https://iclg.com/practice-areas/data-protection-laws-and-regulations/usa

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    What makes a good game


      Making a good game requires a lot of different things like design, code, marketing, knowing the audience etc. Here is a couple of things that is what makes a game pop. One thing that makes a good game is challenges that can be continuous that give players rewards. This can be done by...

     

    Making a good game requires a lot of different things like design, code, marketing, knowing the audience etc. Here is a couple of things that is what makes a game pop.

    One thing that makes a good game is challenges that can be continuous that give players rewards. This can be done by setting short term goals that the player can complete in a quick time frame. Each challenge should feel good and satisfying to the player for completing the objective. You should also make sure that there is flexibility with the objective where the player has different ways to complete the task giving the choice on how to complete the task. However, you also don't want it to feel to grindy cause the player may get board of feel like this is a chore.

    The game also needs interesting storyline as well where the players gets to know the characters, about the world, and the events that are happing around the game. This give the player a reason to play the game because they can get hooked by the characters feel like they know them. You should also reward the player with different things like upgrades, ability, weapons or even costumes depending on the game. Players always like to be rewarded for their time playing and giving something that could help them further makes them want to play more.

    You also what the game to have some surprise as well that the player wasn't expecting like a twist to the story or areas open up done by quests or just new items. You also want to make sure there is fun with the game. think will people enjoy playing this game?

    The Art style as well needs to be right and vibrant can make or break a game if the art style looks weird or doesn’t fit with the theme of the game. Graphics for people now play a huge part if people will buy your game so you want to make sure it is the best for the type of game your doing. However, if the art isn’t at the top you can hide it with the story or gameplay.

    Conclusion

    There are many things that make a game good. Just pick the pieces that you want and focus on them to make your game. If it’s a top down focus on art and mechanics. If its 3d focus on art, mechanics, story many things. Whichever you choose just to take it one step at a time.

    By Rich Reed 

    game design, Game programming, Game art animation, what makes a good game, 

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    Hitstun Mechanics: the Best or the Worst


    A game mechanic as old as video games itself, hitstun has been incorporated into just about every game genre and type. God of War, Yakuza, Dark Souls, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Legend of Zelda, you name it, chances are it will have some form of hitstun. What exactly is hitstun? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like. It is a game mechanic that...

    A game mechanic as old as video games itself, hitstun has been incorporated into just about every game genre and type. God of War, Yakuza, Dark Souls, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Legend of Zelda, you name it, chances are it will have some form of hitstun.

    What exactly is hitstun? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like. It is a game mechanic that when the playable character is hit/takes damage from an enemy or the environment, they become unable to move or perform any in-game action from anywhere between half a second to 5 seconds. When done poorly, hitstun mechanics can easily turn the best game you have ever played into a frustrating, rage-inducing, hair ripping experience.

    Kid gaming

    While hitstun is very prominent in MOBA games, or roguelikes, it is at its worst in hack and slash/beat ‘em up games like Yakuza or God of War, even many “Souls-like” titles (Dark Souls, Bloodborne etc.). When faced with multiple normal enemies (or ads, as they are typically called), or a boss with very long combos, one mistake/failed block or dodge can drop your health from 100% to 0, causing what feels like a cutscene in which you watch your character be hit, stunned, and hit over and over again, the player unable to do anything but watch in anger and agony.

    Hitstun shouldn’t be taken out completely.

    A player should not be able to mindlessly mash the attack button until all the enemies have been defeated. In games like Yakuza and God of War, you are meant to feel powerful, and borderline unstoppable. Having a combo interrupted by a measly punch or kick really takes that feeling away, and is completely stripped when a boss or ad puts you in the blender for all of your health.

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    Are You Listening?


    Are you listening? While this appears to be a simple question, it is more vague than you might think. Have you ever been playing a game on your phone such as Clash of Clans when someone was talking to you and you absently nodded and "uh-huh"-ed without really knowing what they were saying because you were totally wrecking someone in Clash of Clans? You were...

    Are you listening? While this appears to be a simple question, it is more vague than you might think. Have you ever been playing a game on your phone such as Clash of Clans when someone was talking to you and you absently nodded and "uh-huh"-ed without really knowing what they were saying because you were totally wrecking someone in Clash of Clans? You were listening enough to nod at appropriate moments in the conversation (if you can call it that), but not enough to recall anything they were talking about. This illustrates that there are different levels of listening that anyone can be using, in fact, there are five. I will discuss these examples and show the difference between them not only in understanding, but also in effectiveness as a communicator. Communication requires at least two parties: a sender, and a receiver. Both must be invested in order to communicate information from one to the other.

    1,453 Man Phone Sad Cliparts, Stock Vector and Royalty Free Man Phone Sad  Illustrations

    The first level of listening is the worst: Ignoring. Now some might argue that this isn't even listening since you aren't even paying attention to the speaker. Now this isn't actually true because in order to ignore someone, you have to know they are speaking to you. It is the act of intentionally not giving any heed to someone trying to get your attention. It is quite rude, but then you probably wouldn't be ignoring someone if you didn't want to anger them.

    The second level is pretend listening. This is still not very nice. This is the kind of listening I detailed at the beginning. You give basic outer signs or gestures that you are paying attention, when in fact, you are not giving them your full attention. 

    The third level is selective listening. If you have ever had a conversation with someone and you notice that they are pretend listening, then you might try to take advantage and ask to use something of theirs, such as their car. If at that point they suddenly begin paying attention, they have been selectively listening. Selective listeners are also those people you have arguments with on the Internet who disregard all the good points in your statement and only care about what they have to say. 

    Provost-Dr-Bolman-addresses-the-new-class-of-students-during-UAT-Connect-5

    The fourth level is where we finally start getting into the good stuff: Attentive listening. This is the kind of listening you most likely use trying to learn during a college lecture. It's still not the best though. You are willing to give your time and attention, but not willing to see things from the other person's perspective.

    That is the final level of listening: Empathic listening. It is where you listen and put yourself in the speaker's shoes and try to understand how they feel and perceive things. Here is a brief example detailing the difference between attentive and empathic listening. A father is sitting on the couch scrolling through his phone when his 16-year-old daughter storms into the room crying and plops down on the couch next to him. She explains through tears that all her other friends have dates to the dance, but she doesn't. He responds, "Oh honey, that's not a problem. Get a mortgage, that's a problem!" He was attentively listening indicated by the fact that he knew what she was talking about, but he was not empathically listening. He was probably right that a mortgage is a worse problem than not having a date to the dance, but in the eyes of his daughter, that was not the case. Right now, not having a date was her whole world. 

    Love Music Concept Black Wireless Headphones And A Red Heart 3d Rendering  Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

    That is why when we are listening to others, we should do so in a caring manner and try to understand their perspective before making assumptions and saying things that would offend others. So next time you get into an argument, try to see things how the other person sees them, then you will find that you communicate better than before.

    -Kody Mitchell

    keywords: listening, empathy, attention, attentiveness, communication, communicator, listener

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    2021 Commencement at UAT Reunites Students and Faculty


    In-Person Graduation Ceremony Held in Mesa For the first time since 2019, students from the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) were able to celebrate their achievements in the company of family, friends, and mentors as they walked the...

    In-Person Graduation Ceremony Held in Mesa

    For the first time since 2019, students from the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) were able to celebrate their achievements in the company of family, friends, and mentors as they walked the stage at the Mesa Arts Center.

    Approximately 60 students who graduated between summer 2019 and fall 2021 attended UAT’s commencement ceremony. They laughed, they cried, and one literally danced across the stage.

    Roman Dixon

    UAT Graduate Roman Dixon

    “This is such an important day for students and their families,” said Valerie Cimarossa, UAT’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Graduating from college is big, and not being able to celebrate it was so heartbreaking. It was so exciting to finally be able to share in the joy and achievement with our graduates, we are so excited to see them change the world.”

    UAT employees were also grateful to be part of the celebration. “For the UAT faculty and staff, the ceremony is an emotional reminder of why we do what we do every day,” Cimarossa expressed. “Not being able to celebrate our students, on top of all the other trials COVID brought us, was really hard for us, and finally seeing them cross the stage felt like the sun coming out after a long, harsh storm.”

    For the graduates, that sunny day is something they will never forget. "It was surreal to have the experience of being the valedictorian and being able to speak at commencement,” said 2021 Valedictorian Kieli Adkins. “I appreciate all who supported me and gave me opportunities in life that allowed me to pursue a college degree. It was also amazing to see my fellow graduates celebrate their accomplishments. I wish the best of luck to all moving forward!"

    Valedictorian Kieli Adkins

    Valedictorian Kieli Adkins

    Those that couldn’t make it were about to view the ceremony live on YouTube, still available for view at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LV4G3FUcio

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    Should anonymous be banned


      First what is anonymous?  Anonymous is a fake identity that a person has created online without using there real...

     

    First what is anonymous? 

    Anonymous is a fake identity that a person has created online without using there real name or info but instead use a user-name The person is unknown.

     I will discuss the pro's and con's of each and give a conclusion with my thoughts.

    Positive 

    We believe that Anonymity should be banned because it can cause online abuse. 

    If you post a lot on sites you may succumb to being targeted and get threats and treated terribly. 

    You can easily lie to someone about stuff you did by faking pictures or making up stories that didn't happen. 

    Information you receive online can’t be trusted because of lies. 

    There can be more repercussions where trolls could be visited by police if need be. 

    Psychologists did a study with students where they were anonymous and talking with each other but were aggressive right away and attacked  others but once their identities were known they quit and felt terrible. 

    Negative 

    We believe that Anonymity shouldn't be banned because it gives you full freedom of speech without

     being judged by others in real life. You can chat with people and be a completely different person if you want.

     You also have freedom of movement where you get to do activities or events online without being judged.

     You Also get personal safety where you can hide your personal data where its harder to find compared

     to if you gave your real name. 

     Whistle blowers can get information out there if they're trying to find criminals they can blend in. People like to abandon their logic and feelings towards people and just go all out towards them. 

    Conclusion 

    I would say that I am mixed on the subject. I don’t think banning it will fix the issue because people will always try to do things they shouldn't and you can still do the things but just under a false name. It's very easy to do this so just trying to ban would do nothing but i still think this is an issue that needs to be fixed. Bullying others is wrong but you also have the freedom of speech. This is a tricky subject that will always be debated.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/30/social-media-anonymity-ban-debate-trolls-abuse--jess-phillips-jamie-bartlett 

    https://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/2021/02/why-debates-about-banning-online-anonymity-miss-point 

    https://www.hotspotshield.com/blog/pros-anonymous-online/ 

    https://ericabuteau.com/2017/08/01/pros-cons-online-anonymity/

    https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2020/05/moore-dangers-of-anonymity 

     

    Author Richard Reed. 

    Keywords Anonymous, Ethics, Morality, Pros, Cons

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    GitHub Wants Your Policy Proposals


    In light of the recent leak of Twitch’s source code (over 6,000 private GH repositories) and other information, through a 125GB data torrent over 4chan.org, GitHub (GH) is now stepping up their policies for server...

    In light of the recent leak of Twitch’s source code (over 6,000 private GH repositories) and other information, through a 125GB data torrent over 4chan.org, GitHub (GH) is now stepping up their policies for server configuration and standardizing metrics for use by developers on GH. With everything from indexing methodologies to configuration policies, GH has started a campaign that is aimed at gathering policy proposals from the developer community, in order to get a more diverse view of the situation and a wider range of potential solutions. A couple examples of proposed policies already are from GitHub developers TC39 and WebAssembly, covering a proposed indexing method and content security policies, respectively.

    GitHub

    TC39’s proposal covers a relative indexing method that is being requested to be added to JavaScript, which would enable the user to access the index of an array using negative indexing syntax. This method does not exist in JavaScript, as it doesn’t allow the user to count from the back of an array. This method does exist in Python, but since Python is not built for the web, the only methods for web-based developing are hacked together and insecure. The policy proposal by WebAssembly is a sandbox-type security model, that enables modules that were developed in GitHub to have limited interaction with the host, compensating for security issues such as the manipulation of return addresses or other stack data from the host.

    GitHub’s encouragement of policy creation by its developers isn’t something that resulted directly from this Twitch leak – however, it has most certainly had an influence on their search for, response to, and implementation of developer policies in the future. Had some of these policies and methodologies been implemented before the leak, chances are, the configuration issue that resulted in a third-party gaining access would have been closed off, and millions of lives and livelihoods would not have been destroyed. Despite the basis for this attack, which, according to 4chan, is because Twitch is a ‘toxic cesspool’ (which I will not disagree with), it still disrupted the daily routines and income of many. Building a wider base of policy proposals (which you can contribute to here) and new approaches to online functions, we can only hope that GH and other source-hosting services can prevent such disasters in the future.


    References

    GitHub. (2021). Setting policies for organizations in your enterprise account. Retrieved from https://docs.github.com/en/github/setting-up-and-managing-your-enterprise/setting-policies-for-organizations-in-your-enterprise-account 

    GitHub. (2021). GitHub policy · GitHub. Retrieved from https://github.com/about/developer-policy/ 

    GitHub. (2021, August 9). Defining Standardized GitHub Metrics for International Development, Public Policy and Economics Research and Indexes. Retrieved from https://socialimpact.github.com/assets/img/GitHub_RFP-StandardizedMetrics_FINAL.pdf 

    GitHub. (n.d.). ECMA TC39. Retrieved from https://github.com/tc39 

    GitHub. (n.d.). Tc39/proposal-relative-indexing-method: A TC39 proposal to add an .at() method to all the basic indexable classes (Array, string, TypedArray). Retrieved from https://github.com/tc39/proposal-relative-indexing-method 

    GitHub. (n.d.). WebAssembly. Retrieved from https://github.com/WebAssembly 

    Hamilton, I. A. (2021, October 7). Twitch gave a brief explanation for the giant leak that exposed creator payouts, source code, and more. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/twitch-leak-hacked-explained-how-hackers-breached-data-2021-10?op=1 

    Kumar, M. (2021, September 20). Request for proposals: Defining standardized GitHub metrics. Retrieved from https://github.blog/2021-08-31-request-for-proposals-defining-standardized-github-metrics/ 

    Shape_Grifter. (2021, October 6). Twitch hacked, entirety leaked on 4Chan. Retrieved from https://gaming.ebaumsworld.com/articles/twitch-hacked-entirety-leaked-on-4chan/87000534/#:~:text=space%2C%E2%80%9D%20calling%20Twitch%20a-,%E2%80%9Ctoxic%20cesspool.%E2%80%9D,-Which%20is%2C%20admittedly 

    TC39. (2021, August 3). Tc39/proposal-relative-indexing-method: A TC39 proposal to add an .at() method to all the basic indexable classes (Array, string, TypedArray). Retrieved from https://github.com/tc39/proposal-relative-indexing-method 

    W3schools. (n.d.). Python string negative indexing. Retrieved from https://www.w3schools.com/python/gloss_python_string_negative_indexing.asp 

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    Financial Aid Resources: 5 Steps to Build Credit Before You’re 18


    Using Credit As a Tool For Your Future Credit is one of the unsung terrors of becoming an adult. It ranks right up there with getting a mortgage and trying to decide whether or not it’s really illegal to remove the tag off of your mattress. And...

    Using Credit As a Tool For Your Future

    Credit is one of the unsung terrors of becoming an adult. It ranks right up there with getting a mortgage and trying to decide whether or not it’s really illegal to remove the tag off of your mattress. And unfortunately, while people can help you out in this process, you’re the one who will be signing that proverbial dotted line and building your own credit. Mommy and Daddy can’t build your credit for you (though there is a way they can help), but even then, it is your credit, not theirs.    

    And—like it or not—credit in our world is necessary. Especially if you are taking out student loans for college. Despite the fear that surrounds it for some and what some people may have said about it, it’s really not a bad thing. It’s just a thing. 

    It’s like a hammer. 

    A hammer isn’t bad or good, it just is. It’s a tool. You can use it to break your little sister’s ceramic unicorn she spent hours painting or you can use it to battle Loki and save New York. Either way, it’s just a thing—whether it’s used for good or bad depends more on you. 

    And to use credit for good, you need to understand it so that’s it’s used wisely. 

    The first step in using it wisely is to understand why we even have a credit score. 

    Credit? You Mean The Social Media Site? 

    Close, but, no. That’s Reddit.  

    So, there are three companies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These three companies are the largest of the credit reporting agencies in the free world and the only ones that really matter, anyway. 

    The way it works is these three companies sit in a dark, smoky penthouse far above all us plebes. They drink a lot and eat too much pizza and ranch dressing and wait for someone to call them up and ask for your credit score. They answer the phone, laugh for a while, then roll a handful of ten-sided dice. If they can see straight, they read out the numbers on the dice, but usually their eyes are too blurry, so they just pull numbers out of the smoky haze. 

    Just kidding. 

    The truth is much more boring.  

    Basically, those three big companies make it their job to watch all the credit transactions and see who is being smart with the credit that has been afforded them and who isn’t. 

    They look at some of the following things: 

    • What kind of credit do you have? 
    • What kind of balances do you keep on your lines of credit? 
    • Do you pay on your loans every time a payment is due? 
    • If it’s a credit card-type line of credit, do you pay it off every month? 

    There are some other more nuanced things, but the gist is that they are making sure you have a history of taking out loans (a car loan, credit card purchases, etc.) and that you make good on your loans (pay the loan back when the lender tells you to). In other words, that you have a hammer and that you are saving New York and not traumatizing your little sis. 

    You Mean I’m Being Graded and I Didn’t Even Know It!? 

    Kind of, but it’s nothing nefarious. It’s just that there are companies who make sure you are playing by the rules. This allows the people with money to feel comfortable enough with their money to lend it to you so you can do things like, I don’t know, help pay for your education at UAT. 

    And credit doesn’t have to be mysterious. A quick search will show you several ways to check your credit score right now to see how you’re doing.  

    Just a few quick notes on that.  

    The national average for a credit score is 660. If you’re just starting out and you’re above that, good on you. If you’re lower, don’t worry; you can improve. 

    Also, feel free to check your own score. It used to be that people were afraid to check their own score because they thought the simple act of pulling back the curtain into that smoke-filled penthouse would drop their credit score irreparably. Not so. 

    Your credit score will only lower if there is a “hard inquiry” into your credit, which is usually only done by someone trying to decide whether or not to grant you a line of credit. And even then, it has more to do with how often people are inquiring about new lines of credit for you.  

    In other words, if you are constantly applying for credit cards or car loans that could hurt your score. But a routine check? Not so much. 

    So, go ahead. Check yourself out. No need to fear your own credit, even if it does seem like an out-of-control rhino at times. 

    UAT Build Credit Before 18 2

    Building Credit, Like Taming a Rhino 

    Towards the beginning of Black Panther, W’Kabi is training this war rhino, which is one of the most incredible things in that movie. Yes, vibranium, the cool suit, everything Chadwick Boseman said/did—all that was awesome. But W’Kabi trained a rhino to fight with him. Incredible. 

    And at the end of the movie, W’Kabi calls his rhino into combat and they fight against those loyal to T’Challa—and against T’Challa himself. That is until Okoye gets in the way and the rhino stops dead in its tracks. 

    This is a strange analogy but think about it: building credit is a lot like taming a rhino. 

    Credit is a powerful thing that can tear up the battlefield against your opponents in life, and while it may seem like a thing that can easily turn on you, if you get in its way and plant yourself without fear, but with knowledge, it will stop for you. It may even give you a kiss. 

    Then again, building credit is much easier than taming a rhino. Building credit has clearly defined steps, which we’ll look at now: 

    1: Talk to A Financially Savvy Person You Trust 

    Do you know someone that is financially literate and would be willing to share their insight around building credit? If you think you'll need to take out student loans for college, this may be a great place to start gaining helpful information. This person’s guidance may not be right for you or where you’re currently at in life, but it’s never harmful to get a perspective from someone you trust.  

    Often, we can get where we’re wanting to go more efficiently by learning and taking recommendations from others who have done it before us. Maybe you’ll even get some accountability or support from them along the way, too. By asking for their insight at all, you’ll probably flatter them and maybe they’ll even become your credit-building mentor in some way.

    UAT Build Credit Before 18 32: Get a Job 

    That’s right, get a job. You can’t get most terms of credit unless you have some sort of income. So, go get a job. If you already have a job, you can skip to the next point. If you don’t, get a job.  

    Can’t find a job? Here’s a secret most people probably won’t tell you: we live in the greatest country in the world with more opportunities than anywhere else in the world. If you want a job badly enough, you can find one. Will it be making tacos at a drive-thru? Maybe. But it will be income and it will be a start to your journey.  

    Don’t like the smell of tacos? You can also check out resources like IndeedMonster, and other job search sites to get ideas or find local jobs as soon as you’re legally able to work. Get on another level and set up a LinkedIn profile to build connections with people and companies while you search local listings.  Maybe you’ll connect with an engineering firm or marketing agency you can get your foot in the door with that also happens to need part-time, flexible help for basic tasks.    

    3: Consider a Credit Card 

    So, you’ve got a job, money rolling in, and now you’re ready for a credit card. Slow down, compadre. Just because you’ve been shoveling rhino dung on the weekends doesn’t mean you’re ready to train your own battle rhino. 

    Take a beat and evaluate yourself before the credit reporting agencies do. Ask yourself, what am I doing with my money? How much am I spending? How much am I saving? How much am I giving to those in need? In other words, how responsible am I with my money? Because if you haven’t learned to be responsible with your own money, how do you think things will turn out for you once you get your hands on other people’s money? 

    If you are being responsible and using wise spending habits, you know, like creating a budget for yourself and sticking to it, then it’s probably time to consider a credit card.  

    4: Pick a Secured Credit Card 

    This part is fun. There are a lot of great credit cards out there that offer free stuff. Now, the free stuff is meant to get you to use your card more and more, but this isn’t a problem for you because you are super responsible. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be looking at a credit card, right?  

    One of the cool things that credit cards have started giving away is—money. Yep, cashback. You spend, you pay off the balance, they give you cash. This is a great plan as long as you pay off your balance each month and only pay for something if you have cash in the bank. And it will allow you to get that cold hard cash so you can buy some extra ramen come Christmas time. 

    But there are plenty of giveaways. Frequent flyer miles, discounts at Costco. You name it, there is probably a rewards card for it. Also, consider looking at student credit cards that you would likely qualify for and are designed for credit beginners like yourself!  

    5: And/Or, Become an Authorized Credit Card User  

    This is a tricky one because it requires a supreme amount of trust between you and another person. 

    Basically, they have a credit card and you become an “authorized user” or “co-signer” on their card. This works great if the primary on the card isn’t afraid of the dice-wielding penthouse dwellers and has tamed their own battle rhino, but if they are still in the dung shoveling stage themselves, then find someone else. 

    But doing this allows your credit to grow, albeit slowly, as you quietly ride the coattails of another. 

    Again, only do this with someone you trust. Perhaps your parents, grandparents, or a legal guardian.  

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    Fear, In This Case, Is a Good Thing

    Look, this is the United States of America. There has never been a better country in all of human history when it comes to helping people be whatever they want to be. Yeah, it has its problems and its checkered past like we all do but come on. You have something here that people literally die for; freedom. 

    And it’s that freedom that allows you to make smart decisions to build your credit, take out loans responsibly, and earn a degree that is in demand from an innovative, private and accredited university like UAT. Are you afraid of taking out loans? Good! It’s a big deal and it’s okay to be afraid, but fear should never define us.  

    Instead, stare that charging rhino in the eyes and demand it stop for you. Make it work for you. A degree in Cyber Security, Network Engineering, Business Technology, Game Programming—these things won’t just change your life, they change your family tree. It's worth getting ahead of your future by building a financial base, so you are unstoppable when it comes to achieving your goals. 

    And finally, talk to the financial aid department at UAT. Brittany, Mike, Braden, Darla—they are all fantastic, experienced financial aid experts who want to see you succeed. They won’t do everything for you, but they’ll certainly guide you along your path by helping you set up a strong financial aid plan for college. They’ll be there for you to help you get started and throughout earning your degree at UAT. Do not be afraid to reach out and accept their help!  

    Now, go forth, use your resources, and build credit!  

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    Facebook Crash of 2021


    10/04/2021: You may have already heard about this, but Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp fell off the face of the inter-earth (internet earth) on 10/04/21. Apparently, the outage was caused by DNS, but that is just part of the problem. Apparently, "Facebook has withdrawn the so-called Border Gateway Protocol route...

    10/04/2021: You may have already heard about this, but Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp fell off the face of the inter-earth (internet earth) on 10/04/21. Apparently, the outage was caused by DNS, but that is just part of the problem. Apparently, "Facebook has withdrawn the so-called Border Gateway Protocol route that contains the IP addresses of its DNS nameservers" according to Troy Mursch, chief research officer of Bad Packets (Barrett, 2021). That basically equates to Facebook falling off the internet's map. I guess nobody knows any specific details because Facebook has not released anything. It sounds like Facebook is up to something… a corporation does not just disappear from the internet for a few hours and come back with no explanation. Some say Facebook did something with its routers, but like I said, we really do not know the details yet. And we may never...

    10/18/2021: The actual cause for the outage was due to a “…configuration change to the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between the company’s data centers, which had a cascading effect, bringing all Facebook services to a halt” (Taylor, 2021). Essentially, a faulty configuration was sent to Facebook’s backbone which caused it to collapse and wipe Facebook off the internet for a while.

    By: Emily Kellogg

    Keywords: Network Security, Network Engineering, Routers, Facebook, Outage, WhatsApp

    References

    Barrett, B. (2021, 10 4). Why Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp All Went Down Today. Retrieved from Wired: https://www.wired.com/story/why-facebook-instagram-whatsapp-went-down-outage/

    Taylor, J. (2021, 10 5). Facebook outage: what went wrong and why did it take so long to fix after social platform went down? Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/05/facebook-outage-what-went-wrong-and-why-did-it-take-so-long-to-fix

    File:Facebook logo (square).png - Wikimedia Commons      Network Engineering from 2G to 5G - CONGIV

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    How Technology Affected Fast Food Franchises and Their Technology During the Pandemic


    Undoubtedly Covid-19 has affected many of us in many different ways, but how has it affected fast food franchises use of technology in their everyday work? A lot of fast-food franchises sales numbers went down when Covid-19 hit, but one number that not only stayed the same but grew was the number of online orders they received. This was because a lot of people felt...

    Undoubtedly Covid-19 has affected many of us in many different ways, but how has it affected fast food franchises use of technology in their everyday work?

    A lot of fast-food franchises sales numbers went down when Covid-19 hit, but one number that not only stayed the same but grew was the number of online orders they received. This was because a lot of people felt safer by staying in their house and ordering food online to be delivered straight to their door with no human contact.

    While this undoubtedly saved a lot of people their jobs and gave them even more work during these times, it also caused problems. A lot of fast-food franchises did not or had just started putting more money and attention towards upgrading the technology in their restaurants to help with online orders. Covid-19 caused many of these franchises to speed up that process because the employees were overwhelmed and over worked by the influx of online orders coming in. This was because of the lack of technology and lack of systems in place to help with online orders.

    Fast Food

    As soon as Covid hit we saw new and safer online ordering systems starting to be developed in many franchises. A main component in these new systems was putting brand new tech into restaurants to make the process of fulfilling online orders faster while still getting the orders correct. In one of franchises that I worked at during Covid-19, an entirely different station named the Digital Make Line (DML) was adopted solely for online orders. The station had two big TV’s and a bagging station with a printer that printed out stickers to put the order name and what was in it on the bag. While this does not seem like that big of a deal, not only did it raise the number of online orders we could make in a time period but also helped us employees not feel overwhelmed. We were now able to give the same amount of attention and care to in-person guests as well as online guests.

    Now many franchises are looking at how they can use new technology to benefit their guests and their employees even more. While the DML was just one example of new tech adopted by companies, there are many more, such as contactless delivery, curbside pickup (not new but improved greatly), online only stations, and ordering through companies own apps.

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    2FA Cyber Support


    How Two-Factor Authentication Aids Cybersecurity Two-Factor authentication is a vital piece of the cyber security puzzle. By adding an additional layer of protection to our authentication methods, we can enhance our security and defend against many forms of attack that would normally ruin our day. ...

    How Two-Factor Authentication Aids Cybersecurity

    Two-Factor authentication is a vital piece of the cyber security puzzle. By adding an additional layer of protection to our authentication methods, we can enhance our security and defend against many forms of attack that would normally ruin our day. 

    Two-Factor authentication, or 2FA, is a process in which you possess an object that typically provides a rotating code to be used in addition to your typical username and password. These codes are usually referred to as one time pass codes (OTP) when provided by SMS and Time-Based one-time password (TOTP) when provided by an application like Google Authenticator. 

    So if there are at least two forms of 2FA, which one is better?

    It is ALWAYS better to use a tool like Google Authenticator than to use SMS. SMS is vulnerable to an attack in which bad actors intercept your cell phone messages. This type of attack is not rare and companies like Coinbase and others have all been affected by this type of attack. Therefore you should always use a tool like Google Authenticator or similar when offered the chance to do so.

    2FA is invaluable for keeping your accounts safe, but not all 2FA is created equal. Do your best to use the top protection available, but also understand that many companies will not use alternative methods to SMS because it is easier to implement, even if it is less secure.

    Regardless, you should use the tool that is available to you and don't hesitate to request better protections from companies you do business with.

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    SECURE YOUR FUTURE WITH A CYBER SECURITY DEGREE

    Network Security degree students will use critical thinking to research current and evolving cyber security trends and become experts in network security industry standards and regulations. Graduates from the cyber security program will have the essential knowledge and experience to automate their own security processes through extensive training in network security programs and scripts, and be prepared for careers in government and multinational corporations seeking certified ethical hacking professionals.

    Don't wait. Apply now!

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