As I wrote about Project Euler and CodingGame before, someone recommended me CodeWars. CodeWars offers free online learning exercises to develop your programming skills through fun daily challenges.
In line with Project Euler, you are tasked with solving increasingly complex programming challenges. At CodeWars, these little problems you need to solve with code are called kata.
Kata take a test-driven development approach: the programs you write need to pass the tests of the developer who made the kata in the first place. Only then are you awarded with honour and can you earn your ranks and progress to the more complex kata.
Sounds fun right? I’m definitely going to check this out, as they support a wide range of programming languages, each with many kata to solve!
Zeit — the German newspaper — analyzed recent election results in over 80,000 regions of Europe. They discovered many patterns – from the radical left to the extremist right. Moreover, they allow you to find patterns yourself, among others in your own region.
The map is beautifully color-coded for the dominant political view (Conservative, Green, Liberal, Socialist, Far left, or Far right) per region. Moreover, you can select these views and look for regions where they received respectively many votes. Like in the below, where I opted for the Liberal view, which finds strongest support in regions of the Netherlands, France, Czechia, Romania, Denmark, Estonia, and Finland.
For instance, the region of Tilburg in the Netherlands — where I live — voted mostly Liberal, as depicted by the yellow Netherlands. In contrast, in the German border regions conservative and socialist parties received most votes, whereas in the Belgian border regions uncategorizable parties received most votes.
Zeit discovered some cool patterns themselves as well, as discussed in the original article. These include:
Right-Wing Populists in Poland
North-South divides in Italy and Spain
Considerable support for regional parties in Catalonia, Belgium, Scotland and Italy
Dominant Green and Liberal views in the Netherlands, France, and Germany
Have a look yourself, it’s a great example of open access data-driven journalism!
This specific link has been on my to-do list for so-long now that I’ve decided to just share it without any further ado.
A while back I discovered this free game called Screeps: an RTS colony-simulation game specifically directed AI programmers. I was immediately intrigued by the concept, but it took me a while to find the time and courage to play. When I finally got to playing though, I lost myself in the game for several days on end.
Screeps means “scripting creeps.”
Basically, screeps is very little game. You start with in a randomly generated canyon of some 400 by 400 pixels, with nothing more than some basic resources and your base. Nothing fun will happen. Even better, nothing at all will happen. Unless you program it yourself.
As a player, it is your job to “script” your own creeps’ AI. And your buildings AI for that matter. You will need to write a program that makes your base spawn workers. And next those workers will need to be programmed to actually work. You need to direct them to go to the resources, explain them how to mine the resources, when to stop mining, and how to return the mined resources to your base. You will probably also want some soldiers and some other defenses, so those need to be spawned with their own special instructions as well.
Everything needs to be scripted well, as the game (and thus your screeps) runs on special servers, 24/7, so also when you are not playing yourself. Truly your personal, virtual, mini-AI colony.
Heck, it was fun while it lasted : )
PS. I read here that, using WebAssembly, one could also compile code written in different languages and run it in Screeps: C/C++ or Rust code, as well as other supported languages.
Read more about regular expressions here, for instance their implementation in R.