PSA: Apple Accepting WWDC Scholarship Applications Starting Today

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Every year, Apple offers free WWDC scholarships to students and STEM organization members who don’t have the $1,599 necessary to purchase a ticket to the company’s developer conference.

Apple began accepting WWDC scholarship applications for 2018 today, as was first announced on March 13 when Apple shared WWDC 2018 event dates. Apple plans to award up to 350 scholarships, which will include a free WWDC ticket, free lodging, and a free one year Apple Developer membership.


Scholarship applicants, who must be at least 13 years old, can use Apple’s WWDC scholarship website to submit an application. Apple is asking scholarship applicants to create an interactive scene in Swift playground that’s able to be experienced within three minutes.

Apple recommends that applicants “be creative” and use templates in Swift Playgrounds for inspiration. Apple will judge requirements based on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and content of written responses on the accompanying application.

All submissions must be individually created, as Apple will not consider group work. Open source software is permitted, but its use must be explained on the submission form. Swift playground must be built using Swift Playgrounds on iPad or Xcode on macOS. A full list of rules are available on Apple’s WWDC18 Scholarship website.

Each applicant must be registered for free with Apple as an Apple developer or a member of the paid Apple Developer Program. Applicants will need to be enrolled part-time or full-time in an accredited course of study or be a member of a STEM organization.

Apple will be accepting scholarship applications through Sunday, April 1 at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time, and winners will be notified on Friday, April 20.

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off on Monday, June 4 and it will last through Friday, June 8. Apple is expected to hold a keynote on June 4 where new software and perhaps new hardware products will be unveiled. Scholarship students who aren’t picked to attend will be able to follow along with the conference using the WWDC app.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2018

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‘Meat Cannon Golf’ is a Completely Absurd Golfing Game for Carnivores, Currently Accepting Beta Testers

One of the fun things about mobile is the wide variety of silly ideas people come up with for games. And just when you think you’ve seen it all something like Meat Cannon Golf comes along and raises the bar for absurdity in game ideas. So it’s a golfing game, obviously, but instead of using the standard wood and iron clubs we all know and love, or those tiny little white balls which are so easy to lose, you’ll be firing various types of meats from a cannon trying to get that hunk of meat to land into a hole in as few “strokes” as possible. Yep. Check out this early look at one of the holes that will be in Meat Cannon Golf.

So yeah, this is a thing. If you’re weird like me and are very intrigued by the idea of Meat Cannon Golf, you can actually head over to the game’s forum thread and sign up for potential beta testing for both iOS and Android platforms. There’s also some pretty great animated gifs and additional video clips in that thread that more looks at this wacky game, and if you’re not really interested in testing but you’re still interested in the game you can just sign up on the Meat Cannon Golf official website to get notified when the game launches.

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Steam no longer accepting bitcoin due to ‘high fees and volatility’

Steam is no longer accepting bitcoin as a payment method, game company and distributor Valve announced today. The company is attributing its decision to cryptocurrency’s “high fees and volatility.” In a blog post, Valve explained that bitcoin transaction fees have gone up to nearly $ 20 per transaction last week, “compared to roughly $ 0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin.” Those fees then have to be shouldered by gamers making purchases on Steam, and the total cost to consumers could be even higher if the value of bitcoin dips in the meantime.

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Schools Are Officially Accepting Bitcoin for Tuition

Using Bitcoin for Tuition Payments

Bitcoin has been used to buy homes, and countries like Venezuela and Vietnam are beginning to truly embrace the currency. Now, certain universities are adopting the payment method of bitcoin for tuition, albeit with a few caveats.

The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland announced the decision to accept bitcoin payments this week, saying it is an indication of “its ability to disseminate knowledge on cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, as well as its desire to gain experience in the practical aspects of this novel area.” The university offers courses focused on financing, economics, music, and more, meaning it was really only a matter of time before it invited bitcoin inside its walls.

Lucerne doesn’t handle the bitcoin transactions, instead entrusting all bitcoin payments to processing firm Bitcoin Suisse AG. The company will use a banking system similar to an e-banking portal, enabling the school to accept the digital currency without having to maintain possession of it. Bitcoin payments are converted into Swiss francs once a week, or once a day if more than 10,000 Swiss francs are acquired.

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“Bitcoin Suisse AG bears the risk of any exchange rate losses and currency fluctuations,” explains Lucerne.

Students who use bitcoin for tuition will incur a 1% payment fee, which Bitcoin.com notes is much less than traditional payment fees. Lucerne doesn’t expect many of its students to pay with bitcoin initially, but believes those who understand the currency will be among the first to take advantage of the option.

“Those most likely to avail themselves of this opportunity will either be already familiar with the concept of financial services and blockchain or interested in pursuing continuing and executive education opportunities in this subject area,” the university added.

Expanding Curriculum

According to Bitcoin.com, Lucerne isn’t the only university that’s started to accept bitcoin. Last December, business school ESMT Berlin became the first German university to accept the cryptocurrency as payment, calling it “the most well-developed blockchain application.” Even earlier than that, The University of Nicosia in Cyprus announced that it was the first school in the world to adopt bitcoin in 2013, while King’s College was the first U.S. college to do so in 2014. Despite these colleges’ efforts, many people are unfamiliar with cryptocurrencies and how they work. As a society, we’re a long way out from being to use them for all of our transactions.

As bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies become more popular and widely accepted, expect to see universities around the world to not only accept them as payment, but also introduce courses focused on blockchain technology. As reported by CoinTelegraph, the financial industry has a large demand for people with blockchain expertise, but the supply currently isn’t there. Fortunately, universities in the U.S., Europe, and Russia have incorporated such courses, including Duke University, Princeton University, UC Berkeley, the aforementioned University of Nicosia, and the National University of Science and Technology.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

The post Schools Are Officially Accepting Bitcoin for Tuition appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple Now Accepting Donations for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Apple is now accepting donations to help disaster relief efforts in southeastern Texas in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Harvey.

The company is encouraging users to donate to the American Red Cross by displaying banners on its U.S. website and iTunes storefront. Like with previous donation campaigns, users can opt to give $ 5, $ 10, $ 25, $ 50, $ 100 or $ 200, which Apple will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the American Red Cross’ relief operations in Texas. The donations will be processed as normal iTunes transactions, but iTunes Store credit can’t be used and the contributions are not tax deductible, the company added.

Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, made landfall late Friday night. Over the weekend, the hurricane caused catastrophic flooding, leaving residents trapped in homes and overburdening local emergency services. Harvey was downgraded to a tropical storm as of Monday morning, but rescue teams and first responders are still working to assist people in Houston and other areas in southeast Texas. The storm has killed two people and that death toll is likely to rise, according to CNN.

The Red Cross is currently on the ground in Texas, providing safe shelter, comfort and relief services to those impacted by the storm. Relief efforts include food, comfort kits, medical equipment and other supplies. Currently, the organization has supplies to provide services to 28,000 people, with supplies for an additional 22,000 on the way, according to their website. In the wake of the hurricane, over 30,000 people are expected to be housed in shelters, The Guardian reported on Monday.

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a tweet early Monday morning, urging users to join in the relief effort.

Apple typically hosts donation campaigns for relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters and other events. The company has collected funds for the Red Cross after the 2016 floods in Louisiana, Hurricane Matthew, the wildfire in British Columbia, and numerous others. More recently, the company accepted donations to anti-hate advocacy groups after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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