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In a bid to introduce children around the globe to computer science, Microsoft launched the worldwide ‘Hour of Code’ campaign in Sri Lanka with ‘Hour of Code’ workshop for over 100 children at the Temple Trees on 7th December. Simply put, ‘Hour of Code’ is an introduction programme to computer science, designed to explain the importance of coding and demonstrate the basics of coding to children.

Country Manager Microsoft - Sri Lanka & Maldives Mr. Brian Kealey

Country Manager Microsoft – Sri Lanka & Maldives Mr. Brian Kealey

Throughout this week, Microsoft will be conducting workshops around the world, introducing thousands of children to the Minecraft coding tutorial to celebrate the Computer Science education week from 7th to 13th December 2015. Developed in partnership with code.org, Minecraft coding tutorial introduces users to the basics of computer science within an entertaining gaming environment.

”This is a wonderful opportunity for Sri Lanka and its future generation. Computer science is an important part of foundational learning which will induce children to develop problem-solving skills and computational-thinking. Hour of Code, Computer Science week will be the stepping stone into the world of computing for thousands of Sri Lankan children. We at Microsoft believe that every young person should have the opportunity to learn computer science, and inherit the power to create with technology.” said Manager Community & Communications of Microsoft Sri Lanka, Janakie Karunaratne.

Microsoft plays a key role in the global movement to encourage young people around the world to experience their first Hour of Code with Minecraft to unleash their innate potential and gain skills to create technology by participating in one of the many coding workshops conducted in over 50 countries.

The result of collaboration between Microsoft and Code.org, Minecraft ‘Hour of Code’ tutorial guides users through basic coding skills, encouraging them to navigate, mine, craft and explore in a 2-D “Minecraft” world by plugging together blocks to complete all actions and generate computer code. Created by Minecraft game designers, the tutorial includes characters and challenges inspired by the game developed by Mojang and familiar to players around the world. Players are offered a set of 14 challenges, including free play time, to explore coding concepts they’ve learned through the tutorial. Minecraft tutorial is suitable for children as young as 6 years of age, older children as well as interested adults.

“Microsoft can do a lot of work in a country like Sri Lanka where a lot of untapped and undiscovered talent remains hidden from view. With the launch of Hour of Code, we hope to encourage those talented girls and boys to explore their potential and take the first step to become technology disruptors of the future. We are committed to assisting budding talent to come to light,” said Country Manager of Microsoft – Sri Lanka and Maldives, Brian Kealey.

Microsoft has a long history of supporting educators globally and remains committed to encouraging young people to engage with and learn computer science. The Company believes that all young people should have access to computer science education in order to cultivate computational-thinking and problem-solving skills that are critical for their future. Microsoft continues to work with governments, schools, businesses and non-profit organizations around the globe to achieve this end and build a generation of innovators.

Microsoft's Hour of Code student participants & organizers

Microsoft’s Hour of Code student participants & organizers

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3 Teams from TechnoPlanet Labs, the R&D labs of Manav Rachna College of Engineering, Faridabad (Harayana ,India) bagged the First, Second and Third positions at the National Finale of the Microsoft Imagine Cup for the ‘Innovations’ Category held at the Microsoft Innovation Centre, Greater Noida, India.

The first position was bagged by Team Dexters  who innovated RespirON. RespirON provides a great and personalized tool to better understand asthma and help the Asthma Patient and his physician to come up with the best plan on how to manage it thus helping the patient to live a healthy and active life. Team Dexters is represented by Shanu, Ajay Kumar, Saini, Shubam Goel, Roshit Gopinath.

Team Pathfinders, scored the second position with MovAid, “MovAid” is world’s first personalized solution to measure and monitor the recovery or rehabilitation of any individual after undergoing any orthopedic trauma, surgery, injury or joint replacements.Team Path Finders comprises of Prashant Gupta, Pritam Singh, Piyush Verma and Jehi Jha.

Team Technoplanet stood at the Third position with “Smart Skull” which is an automatic alert system that provides alerts for the victim’s relatives & emergency numbers in case of accident so that the victim receives emergency medical care in time. Nikhil Dalmia, Saurabh Kanwar, Ankit Sachdeva, Vimish Madaan belong to Team Technoplanet. It also features an audio navigation system as well as wireless calling.

Winners India Imagine cup 2014

It is noteworthy that of the 10 teams competing in the national finals for the innovation category at The Microsoft Imagine Cup, five were from TechnoPlanet Labs., out of which Three teams which stood first, second and third at the national finale have made it further to the Semi- Finals to be held in the first week of May 2014.The International Finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup will be held in the last week of July in Seattle.

Microsoft Imagine Cup, which is referred to as the Olympics of Technology, is a platform for young entrepreneurs, developers and innovators to develop and showcase their technology-based new business ideas, create products, put together business plans and even take their products to the markets. This year 60,000 student innovators participated in the competition from 25 Indian states. The three categories wherein innovations are done are The Innovations Category, The World Citizenship Category and The Gaming Category.

Last year too, in Imagine Cup, 2013- Team Path Finders consisting of Nikhil Dalmia, Prashant Gupta, Pritam Singh , Hardik Garg with their mentor Manasvi Sihag won the Indian finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup in both Innovation and world citizenship category and represented India in the world finals in St. Petersburg,Russia.

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The SQL Server Sri Lanka User Group (SS SLUG), a sub-project of SQLServerUniverse is an offline community of SQL Server enthusiasts who meet every month to discuss and learn about SQL Server and related technologies. Once registered on SQLServerUniverse.com, everyone automatically becomes a member.

Scheduled to start at 6 PM today at Microsoft Sri Lanka Office.

More info here.

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With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for infection, dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue has emerged as a worldwide problem only since the 1950s. Although dengue rarely occurs in the continental United States, it is endemic in Puerto Rico and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.

There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.

We are living in a tech enabled world and yet to use technology to prevent and cure Dengue. #StopDengue cause talks about, using could and mobile technologies in Dengue prevention and cure in a community driven architecture. Using #StopDengue service, anyone in the world can report about a Dengue incident and that will be accepted and confirmed by Medical authorities near the reporter and then those alerts will be pushed to those who are near the danger area, thus they can take necessary measures to prevent Dengue.

Architecture

#StopDengue cloud is a platform that collect every aspects of Dengue from the community. They can report about dengue incidents, deaths, cured patient details and more. The platform save all data collected from the community ordinary people with the location details. It process the information and give alerts to other people, doctors and medical officers in the specific location. With those alerts they can prevent themselves from dengue and make proper countermeasures for the risk. People can even report about environmental pollution that boost dengue spreading through the system, so we can take legal action for the polluters.

dengue_alert

Microsoft technologies are being used in this platform, such as ASP, Windows, Windows Phone, Azure, Bing Maps and Office 365. Using Windows 8 and Windows Phone push notifications and Scheduled reminders, people will get the localized and generalized alerts on time. Those alerts contains, near by dengue risks, weather alerts, necessary helps such as blood, money and medical facilities for needy people. With Tile updates the apps will give brief and general methodologies to prevent Dengue.  Azure is the back end of the system, this system store all the data of the platform in Azure cloud database. Using Azure Mobile services the system provide Push notifications to the people including Doctors and Medical Officers.  Using Office 365, #StopDengue platform create documents and generate reports and  give questionnaires and other forms through this service.

winapp

This Sri Lankan native startup has been selected as one of the finalist project in Microsoft Youthspark Challenge for Change program of 2014. This startup has taken a place with in first 20 places where there were 800+ participants all around the world.

This project needs votes and supports to make it a reality. If this project gets more votes and secure a place with in first five out of twenty, Microsoft will directly fund this project. You can give your support by visiting https://youthsparkchallenge.com/voteentry.cfm?id=76, cast your vote share http://tiny.cc/stopdengue URL in your Facebook, Twitter and Blogs.

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Dream it. Build it. Live it.

Imagine Cup over the years, has inspired the computer savvy youth to incorporate technology to answer social problems. It is a global contest that gives student technologists and aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to express their innovative ideas and solutions and gain recognition by developing the next big Windows app or game.

Imagine Cup 2014 Sri Lanka has announced the finalists who will get the chance enter the Sri Lankan Finals that will be held on 25th of April 2014. These finalists were chosen from a large number of contestants that contested in three main categories.

Games

  • AURORA
  • Binary Square
  • Fat & Thin Studios

Innovation

  • ACME
  • Demothi
  • Firebird
  • HoneyJade
  • We_Cobraz

World Citizenship

  • Big Hearts
  • Demothi
  • E-Logic
  • Silver Chasers
  • Team LiveZen
  • Techsurge

We wish all the very best for these finalists to put up a very good show and get the chance to represent Sri Lanka in the World Finals.