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Every week, Apple spotlights a couple of new or recently updated apps that they believe stand out amongst the sea of submissions to the App Store. The Editor’s Choice is usually given to an app or game that looks especially cool, incorporates iOS technology well, or is otherwise innovative in its field.

Every week, Apple spotlights a couple of new or recently updated apps that they believe stand out amongst the sea of submissions to the App Store. The Editor’s Choice is usually given to an app or game that looks especially cool, incorporates iOS technology well, or is otherwise innovative in its field.

Cubemen2 received the Editor’s Choice moniker this week for its combination of real-time strategy and tower defense gaming. It is full of customizable playing fields, multiplayer battle action, and more…


While at first glance, the app appears to have a very simple design, it is actually more feature rich than you would imagine. The basic game consists of solid-colored game pieces and gray blocks. But with a bit of customizing, you can turn simple graphics into a pixelated paradise.

There are 10 different character-customizing options that you can use for free. For example, you can dress you Cubemen like cowboys or lumberjacks. You can also purchase fancier costumes like clowns and zombies for $0.99 each.

You can change the way each playing field looks with five different free level themes, including a volcano or city street. For an additional $0.99 each, you can turn your monochrome landscape into snow-capped mountains, medieval castles, and other fun themes.

You can also change the color of your and your enemy’s Cubemen to nine different hues. So, you can really mix up your options.

When you start a game, you can either select single-player mode based on defense or offense, or select multiplayer mode based on skirmishes, Capture the Flag, or territory ownership. You can adjust the game play in the Advanced options of each level to change the difficulty, number of waves, length of gameplay, and even whether you play against artificial intelligence “Bots” or real life opponents.

App Use

When you play the game for the first time, it is a good idea to play the tutorial. This will explain how to get your men in position to defend the tower, or to attack the enemy on their ground.

In single player mode, players choose to either defend their base or rescue Cubemen from the enemy’s base. The action takes place in waves. You have a few seconds to launch as many men as you can afford. You earn cubes, which are used to buy more Cubemen when you destroy the enemy.

As is typical with tower defense games, your troopers’ costs are based on their abilities. The more destruction a soldier can cause, the more expensive he is to launch.

When you’ve earned enough cubes, pick a soldier to launch. Grill is a basic shooter with fast reflexes and low health. Flint is a flamethrower. Larry shoots ice lightning that slows enemies down. Each Cubeman can be upgraded to be more powerful or destructive. Sometimes, it is smarter to upgrade a Cubeman than to launch new ones. The upgrades are less expensive and, if your men are in good locations, they will perform better if their abilities are maxed out.

There are 20 different levels in the beginner campaign. However, you can play other user-made levels online, or create your own customized level.

In the level designer, you can lay down tiles to create a course for the Cubemen to battle on. Add layers to make stacked tiles, create floating tiles, increase or decrease the size of a tile, and more.

After you’ve made the course, add teleportation devices, healing station, and player bases.

Then, select the menu button to process your level for play. If there is a problem with what you built, the app will give you an error code and explain the issue. For example, you may not have enough bases on the board, or the bases may be too close together.

Once you’ve corrected the issues, you can save and play the level. If you are proud of your creation, send it into public play where others will be able to enjoy your level, too.

The Good

I love the level creation mode. It is lots of fun to build your own massive landscape that you can play on.

You can fight in games with up to six players in multiplayer mode, which really creates an epic battle.

The Bad

There are still a lot of glitches. When I played against random players in multiplayer mode, the game ended up getting stuck and I had to exit it early. When I was customizing my Cubemen, the menu screen got stuck and showed up in other screens. I had to exit the game and reopen it to fix that bug. I was never able to successfully process a level for gameplay because the app kept claiming that two of my bases were too close together, even though they weren’t.


At only $1.99, this game is great for fans of tower defense games. It is also great for gamers who like to create their own levels. If you are a big fan of multiplayer games, you can compete against five other opponents. Keep in mind that there are still some serious bugs to work out.


Even though there are some nasty bugs, they don’t deter from 90 percent of the game’s options. If you like tower defense games, this is worth the price. If you have a knack for building great level courses, you may have found a home in the level design feature. Cubemen2 is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Download it in the App Store today.

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10 Metaverse Skills That Will Get You A 6

Here the article enlists the top 10 Metaverse skills that will ensure a 6-figure job in Meta

The metaverse is growing – and if we are going to see a recent Citi report, it is going to generate up to $13 trillion in value for businesses across the world by 2030 and a turning towards grasping Metaverse skills can be helpful in finding a 6-figure job in Meta as well as in many other big techs. As Metaverse is a very new field, and the truth is, it’s not easy to predict what it will look like when it gets big enough to start playing a role in mainstream society. But one thing that appears certain is that the metaverse is coming – and the one who wants to be a part of it, must come forward to learn some top Metaverse skills that will secure your place. 

Below are the top 10 Metaverse skills that will get you a 6-figure job in Meta.   3D Modelling and Design

Metaverse worlds seem to be immersive and three-dimensional – we can see this already in the worlds developed by everyone from Meta to Roblox and Decentraland. Creating these environments so that they are functional, demands to spend time and immersive needs specific design sensitivities that are rehearsed by the likes of video game designers and animators working on 3D movies. Designers will have the task of conceptualizing, prototyping, and building the environments that metaverse users will explore as well as the objects and avatars they interact with.

Computer Programming

Many metaverse experiences will be developed by designers applying low-code or no-code worldbuilding solutions, such as Roblox or Somnium Space, as well as tools like Unity which needs some knowledge of coding to get the most out of. However, those tools need to be developed in the first place – and as the metaverse and its user base mature, new tools will be required to provide newer and more mesmeric experiences. As result people with solid coding skills are always welcomed by companies and organizations that want to be on the cutting edge of metaverse development.

VR/ AR Development

 Many predict that in the future, virtual reality will play a big role as metaverse creators look to shape the most immersive environments and interfaces that they can. AR helps in bridging the gap between the real and virtual worlds – a necessary element of the metaverse experience. Expertise in development using both of these technologies will undoubtedly be in high demand.

Blockchain / NFT Engineering

Many visions of how the metaverse will evolve include concepts like decentralization and the peculiarity of digital assets. To make it possible, the underlying technology layer will include blockchain. This will help in the creation of distributed, decentralized infrastructure that can be used to build worlds that are ultimately under the control of their owners rather than whoever happens to own the servers or data centers where they are stored. People having the skills to create this web3 infrastructure and assets will play a crucial role in the metaverse development and administration.

Data Skills

The digital world is full of data and information. Information on user behavior in the metaverse will be assembled and analyzed to know how people are using the environments and to invent experiences that better meet their desires. Information gathered from sources in the real world will be used to build environments that more accurately resemble our own reality and are therefore more interesting and immersive to us. Just as we generate and consume data in the real world in order to use services that make our lives easier, we can follow the same in virtual domains, and data specialists will be needed to analyze and draw insights from it.

UI/ UX Design

User interfaces (UIs) are the connecting points between ourselves in the real world and the virtual environments of the metaverse. And whether we are using touchscreen interfaces on our mobile phones or full body-tracking capabilities of immersive VR, UI skills are always required to ensure that interface is as natural and friction-free as possible. This contributes to the wider field of user experience and these Metaverse skills for Meta would be a great start for anyone looking to begin a career in big tech like Meta.

Project Management

Creating metaverse experiences includes a whole range of top metaverse skills and disciplines, and people with expertise in project management will be essential in order to tie it all together into a cohesive whole. These skills are helpful to ensure that all of the elements are executed to a high standard and in a way that contributes to the overall quality of the experience.

Cyber Security

Security has become the most crucial thing in Metaverse. As the metaverse will be the venue for everything from shopping to healthcare, great care is needed to ensure that all of the channels through which we share valuable data -from credit card details to conversations about our health – are fully secure and not open to exploitation by malicious actors wanting to do us harm.

Marketing Ethics and Social Responsibility

Last but not least, anyone developing metaverse experiences and environments has a responsibility to ensure to minimize the risk of harm or negative consequences, either to individuals using it, to wider society, or to the environment. People with these skills will have roles that ensure we don’t make these worlds too addictive while promoting equality, inclusiveness, and essential freedoms. This could be the most useful skill for the social media giant, Meta.

Sap Project Put On Hold Yet Again By Alaskan City

An ailing SAP software implementation project in the city of Anchorage, Alaska, has been put on hold again, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced late last week, and this time, its future is far from certain.

Originally launched in 2011, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software implementation is tens of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule. With this latest “pause,” as it’s being called, all options are being considered, said Myer Hutchinson, a spokesman for the mayor’s office and the municipality of Anchorage.

“We are not going to be spending any capital on this project for an indefinite time,” Hutchinson said. “We are not taking anything off the table at this point. We’re not sure we’re going to move forward.”

At the time of its launch, the project was intended to replace Anchorage’s legacy PeopleSoft system with ERP software from SAP. It was originally planned to cost $9.8 million and to go live at the start of 2013.

In October 2014 officials began an independent review of the project, and early this year it missed its second “go-live” date. Anchorage has spent $35 million so far and budgeted another $11 million for the project, but a further $20 million to $30 million is expected to be required to complete it. The municipality is currently spending $250,000 per week to keep it going.

“The end is not in sight,” Hutchinson said.

Complicating the situation is the fact that Berkowitz, the current mayor, just took office on July 1.

Another “pause” in the project was ordered early this year, but then the purpose was primarily to reorganize to reflect the results of the review that had just taken place a few months prior, Hutchinson said.

The current suspension appears to be much more significant.

“We could decide to proceed with a scaled-down version,” Hutchinson said, “but another option could be to scrap all that has been done.”

Earlier this month, Berkowitz announced the hiring of a deputy CFO whose primary focus will be formulating a plan for the troubled project.

Now, he has requested assistance from community members with expertise in business IT and ERP implementations to serve on an external review committee dedicated to finding ways to build project momentum, add fiscal accountability and provide maximum return on the investment.

SAP software is used successfully by tens of thousands of government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, financial departments in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and counties such as Howard County, Maryland, SAP said.

“In a world of major IT failures, this is a big one,” said Michael Krigsman, an industry analyst and founder of chúng tôi “You’re talking about essentially a 600 percent overrun.”

Large ERP projects can be a challenge in any organization, but municipal governments seem to have “more than their fair share of failures,” noted Frank Scavo, president of Strativa.

One problem is that cities often pick systems and consultants on the basis of lowest cost, which “too often results in change orders and missed deadlines,” Scavo said.

Another problem is that major decisions are often made by committees, because “you can’t fire a committee for a bad decision,” he added.

“If I were the mayor at the beginning of this project, I would have asked, ‘what is our history with large organizational change projects?’” Scavo said.

Given that the city’s legacy PeopleSoft system was apparently never fully implemented, the right approach would have been to break down the SAP implementation into smaller, manageable bites, he suggested, and manage them carefully.

“I’d be concerned that at this point, the project has become toxic, and that it is going to be difficult to get the best people to come to work on it,” Scavo added.

In the meantime, the suspension of the project—while “healthy”—doesn’t come without costs of its own, Krigsman noted. “When you put people on hiatus, the labor is going to pulled onto other projects instead,” he explained.

While some could probably be brought back if the project continues, it likely wouldn’t be all of them, he added. “That means they’ll lose the benefit of all that training.”

Learning Path: Your Guide To Become A Tableau Expert

Welcome to the world of Data Visualization

Data Visualization is an art of presenting the data in a manner that even a non-analyst can understand it. A perfect blend of aesthetic elements like colors, dimensions, labels can create visual masterpieces, hence revealing surprising business insights which in turn helps businesses to make informed decisions.

Data Visualization is an inevitable aspect of business analytics. As more and more sources of data are getting discovered, business managers at all levels embrace data visualization softwares, that allow them to analyze trends visually and take quick decisions. Currently, the most popular tools for visualizations / data discovery are Qlikview and Tableau. We have already published a step by step learning path for Qlikview.

Tableau is one of the fastest evolving Business Intelligence (BI) and data visualization tool. It is very fast to deploy, easy to learn and very intuitive to use for a customer. Here is a learning path to all those people who are new to Tableau. This path will help you to learn Tableau in a structured approach.

Beginners are recommended to follow this path religiously. If you already have some background, or don’t need all the components, feel free to follow your own paths and let us know how did it turn out to be!

Before you dive in, we also recommend going through the below three wonderfully written guides on Tableau:

Step-0: Why Data Visualization is Important?

Before starting our journey with Tableau, I want to emphasize “Why data visualization is important and how it helps business to take smarter decisions?” Here is a video to whet your appetite:

Talk on Data Visualization

What’s so cool about Tableau?

There are  numerous tools available to perform data visualization, then why Tableau? Check out the video below to get the answer:

Tableau Customer Stories

Tableau Product Tour

As per Gartner’s magic quadrant 2024, Tableau is a market leader across all the BI products.

Step-1: Time to download & install Tableau

Tableau offers five main products catering to diverse visualization needs for professionals and organizations. They are:

Tableau Desktop: Made for individual use

Tableau Server: Collaboration for any organization

Tableau Online: Business Intelligence in the Cloud

Tableau Reader: Let you read files saved in Tableau Desktop.

Tableau Public: For journalists or anyone to publish interactive data online.

Quick Features

Tableau Public and Tableau Reader are free to use, while both Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop come with a 14 days fully functional free trial period, after which the user must pay for the software.

Tableau Desktop comes in both a Professional and a lower cost Personal edition. Tableau Online is available with an annual subscription for a single user, and scales to support thousands of users. Tableau have gone through different versions, here we will discuss the learning curve of Tableau Desktop 9.0.

You can download trial version of Tableau Desktop from Tableau website but it is available for 14 days only.  Install it in on your machine by following steps and start for your data visualization journey.

After 14 days, you can continue your data visualization journey using Tableau public but it comes with its limitations and you have to share your data publicly.

Step-2: Getting Started with Tableau

Tableau provides Free Online, Live and Classroom (paid) training programs. This is the best place to start your journey. I would recommend you to follow the path below. Here is Free Online training (“On demand”) with additional resources. All these videos contain the data set to explore at your end.

To watch these training videos, first you need to register yourself. Expand the “Getting Started” section and watch available three videos. These videos will talk about connecting with data, data preparation, building views, filters, dashboards, story points and ways to distribute.

Step-3: Connecting With Data

This section has 12 videos and average length of videos are ~5 minutes.

Step-4: Creating Views and Analysis

Tableau has multiple options to represent data in different views, applying filters /drill downs /formatting, creating sets, groups, generating trend lines and performing forecasting. Start exploring !

You have now looked at various objects to visualize data. One big dilemma that you will face while creating data visualization is which object should you choose to represent data.

The snapshot below will help you to choose and decide the type of visualization. However, the feature of automatic selection of views available in tableau takes care of this issue largely. This feature automatically activates best views for selected dimension(s) and measure(s). Hence, you need no worry. You are in safe hands !

Step-5: Exercise

Till now, we have looked at data connectivity, various objects and views creation in Tableau. Its time to get your hands dirty with data and generate inferences using different visualization methods:

Kaggle has hosted a data science competition to predict category of crime in San Francisco based on 12 years (From 1934 to 1963) of crime reports from across all of San Francisco’s neighborhoods (time, location and other features are given).

I would encourage you to explore the dataset (train.csv) visually using Tableau (to download data set, you need to register on Kaggle) and unhide hidden trends like:

Is there specific clusters with higher crime rate

Is there yearly/ Monthly/ Daily/ Hourly trend

Crime distribution is even across all geographical areas or different

Please share your visualization on our social media channels and tag us, best visualizations will be rewarded exciting gift vouchers.

Step-6: Time to socialize – Join Community and Groups

Now that you have good understanding of Tableau, it’s time to become a part of Tableau communities. This will help you a lot to enhance your learning, get answers to questions and simplified description for complex topics by bloggers. I am listing some of the most useful resources below:

Tableau Community: It works on a principle of Learn, Connect and Enjoy. It has forums, groups, ideas, Viz talk and workbook library. Here you can get your questions answered quickly. By using ‘ideas’ section, you can Vote on the Tableau Community’s best product ideas and add your own to the mix.

Analytics Vidhya Discuss: We are niche in this domain but have tableau experts on board. These experts will answer your questions in detail and in simplistic approach. Our discussion portal already has few questions related to Tableau and a lot of other topics. You should jump in, if you have not already.

Tableau Linkedin/ Facebook Groups: LinkedIn and Facebook has some excellent groups to ask questions and connect with peers or experts, some groups of special interest are:

Tableau Software: The biggest Tableau group on Facebook, with over ~75k likes.

Tableau Software Fans & Friends and Tableau Enthusiasts : These two are biggest and active group on LinkedIn having 20 and 6 thousands members respectively.

Step-7: Dashboards & Stories

Tableau ‘Dashboard and Stories’ creation is USP (Unique selling proposition) of the product. The dashboards so created turn out to be amazing and it certainly takes this product to next level. Tableau online training program has a separate section for Dashboards and Stories. This section covers the topic as listed below:

Dashboard and Story Creation

Adding views and objects to dashboards

Applying Filters to dashboard

Various Layouts and Formatting options

Interactive Dashboard

Story Points


Step-8: Advance Expressions

Besides the available measures and dimensions, you can create a calculated expression to develop a new visualization. It may be based on date, mathematical logic, text expressions, input parameters and others. For Data scientists, they can connect tableau with R to enhance the power for analytical inferences.

Step-9: Advance Visualization Methods

Waterfall Charts

Bump Charts

Funnel Charts

Box Plot

Pareto Charts

Histograms and Others

You can refer How To section of “On Demand” tableau training to explore these visualization methods.

Step-10: Introduction of Tableau Server and Online

Using Tableau server and Online, you can schedule the tasks and provide authorization to enable data security. It is a job of Tableau administrator but having understanding about these concepts always help you in dashboard development. Below are the resources to understand these two concepts more effectively.

Step-11: Practice makes everyone perfect

By now, I have almost covered most of the concepts you need to create a good dashboard / visualization. Now it’s time to practice more and more such that you get a firm hold of this tool and you feel comfortable with any aspect of Tableau.

All the best

What do you think of the learning path? If you think something should be added / removed, do let us know. We will love to hear it.

If you like what you just read & want to continue your analytics learning, subscribe to our emails, follow us on twitter or like our facebook page.

Ibm Watson Will Know What You Did Last Summer

IBM is adding new smarts to its Watson artificial intelligence system, including the ability to scour photos on social networks to see what you’ve been up to.

Watson began life as a hardware system built to win the TV quiz show Jeopardy, but it’s evolved into more than a dozen cloud services that developers can use to add cognitive capabilities to applications.

IBM says there are now more than 100 commercial applications making use of Watson, and at an event in San Francisco Thursday it’s showing off new computing services to encourage more developers to get on board.

The services are offered in the form of APIs (application programming interfaces) that are accessed via IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform. Companies that use them in commercial applications pay IBM a share of revenue, while businesses that use them internally pay by the number of API calls they make.

Watson turns what it gleans into structured data, making it easier to load into a database and act upon. One obvious use case is marketing — an application built with Visual Insights could give a company a more rounded view of what its customers are interested in. But IBM hopes developers will find more creative uses, too.

It’s also improved Watson’s Text to Speech and Speech to Text APIs, which will be useful for building Siri- or Cortana-like apps for smartphones. But the services can be used for any speech interface, including for robots, which IBM says it’s also expanding into with Watson.

Another new service, Dialogue, helps a developer create branching conversations between a user and an application, so a computer can walk someone through the process of resetting a password, for instance. The upshot could be less humans and more machines in customer service roles.

As more services become available, developers need a way to string them together, so IBM is also releasing a new toolset, Watson Knowledge Studio, that makes it easier to do that. 

In many cases, Watson’s goal isn’t to replace a human but to augment their decision making. Watson is well suited to those grey areas where there’s no perfect right or wrong answer. It considers millions of hypotheses, tests them against what it knows to be true, and gives its best answer, with a percentage of certainty. It’s then up to a human — say a doctor or an investment banker — to make the call.

IBM created the division to commercialize Watson early last year, and said it would invest US$1 billion in the effort. Its traditional computer, software and service businesses have all been declining, and IBM needs new areas for growth.

IBM doesn’t only provide the computing power. If it thinks an application will take off, it will help companies to test it at scale, by pairing the app developer with another of its clients that might want to use the app internally. “We’re like an incubator,” said IBM’s Lauri Saft, the vice president in charge of Watson ecosystem development.

To attract more users to Watson, IBM is also opening a new lab in Silicon Valley where developers, start-ups and venture capitalists can try out the technology and meet with IBM engineers.

There are two main instances of Watson today, Saft said, one in Austin, Texas, and the other in Raleigh, North Carolina. Work is “underway right now” to build additional systems overseas, she said.

Toyota’s Robotic Butler Will Serve You From The Ceiling

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Five years ago, Toyota announced a $1 billion commitment to its Research Institute (TRI) and hired hundreds of engineers to work on forward-thinking robotics and AI-driven products, such as self-driving cars. This week, TRI gave journalists a chance to attend a virtual open-house (part of which you can watch in the video embedded below) to see what the labs have been building.

The bulk of the prototypes shown during the event are meant to help people out around their homes. The idea of a helper robot has been around for decades, but it has already begun to gain more real-world traction, especially in countries such as Japan where an aging population could cause shortages in support staff.

First, the robot has a simpler time learning the layout of the home—it doesn’t need to learn complex paths around obstacles to get from one place to another because there’s a kitchen island or a new recliner to get in its way. That also means the robot won’t get under foot as someone tries to navigate around their own home. TRI’s bot can fold up tightly to the ceiling when it’s not in use, so it effectively takes up zero usable space.

TRI also claims that the top-down viewpoint gives the machine a better point of view for observing its own actions and the relative position of different objects it might have to manipulate. Toyota is big on robots learning from limited sets of parameters. So, if you wanted the robot to learn to wipe down the countertops, a human could perform that action in VR and the robot would understand the human’s actions and mimic them in the real world while monitoring variables. If you wanted to teach the robot to clean your countertops, you could do it in VR and it would understand going forward. Also, through what’s known as fleet learning, a human could teach one bot, and other networked machines would get the same lessons.

Numerous joints in the robotic arm allow it to move in all directions. In fact, some of the joints are redundant, allowing it to rotate and orient itself in pretty much any position. The problem, however, is that the whole house needs to essentially be designed around the machine. Installing the complicated support system as an aftermarket product would be a huge undertaking (though, Toyota currently has no concrete plans to bring this to market yet anyway). Ideally, the robot would be a central part of the home’s planning before construction gets underway.

That concept makes more sense as it scales to multi-unit buildings like elder care facilities. If the builders could make the units look nearly identical on the inside, engineers could train one robot, then share that information with the rest of the networked machines.

TRI has clearly made considerable progress on its robotic pursuits and plans to continue working on this kind of tech in the future. There’s no hard plans to make this available to the public just yet, but the company does hope to roll out at least some of these technologies in the near future. This segment is clearly growing globally as well. Back at CES, Samsung debuted a robotic chef concept that uses a similar ceiling-mounted design. That’s just a prototype as well, for now, but we’re clearly getting ever closer to the day when your personal bot can make you an omelette in the morning.

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