Trends and observations in online gaming


I’ve noticed a few interesting things going on in the online gaming business. From mobile games, to games stimulating brain functions and online gaming.

Virtual Reality:

I learned recently that global game revenue is over US$70 billion, this is bigger than box office ticket sales (but smaller than total filmed entertainment revenue when home video is taken into account). This is huge, and I venture to guess that we’re far from peaking in gaming revenue especially when you take into account the advent of virtual reality technology that is about to explode into the causal gamer’s experience (see Oculus, Playstation VR and HaloLens). Virtual Reality is trying to push the boundaries of media consumption by creating an immersive experience unmatched by previous formats. Here’s an example of the VR games: Sail the seas as a peg-legged pirate in this immersive VR game Vroom:Galleon.

Using games to improve our mental health.

Using games to feel happy and engaged is common, but i’m talking about the trend in games to improve our brain functions. For example, to reduce or delay Alzheimer’s disease. Online brain training is said to improve daily lives of people over-60. Researchers discovered that cognitive training can help with tasks such as using public transport, shopping, cooking and managing finances.

And now the AARP is also promoting brain games to stimulate the brain health of their clients. This helps show that almost any type of game that stimulates the mind can be helpful, it doesn’t have to be Candy Crush, but it’s very helpful to play more with online bingo.

Are freemium games on the way out?

Last week Activision (owners of the World and Warcraft and Call of Duty Black Ops franchises) is taking over King digital, the software manufacturer of Candy Crush. Activision has historically been weak in mobile and this acquisition helps a lot, especially since they already have half a billion monthly active users in their other games, this will push them into a new realm of influence in the entertainment industry.

I suspect that bringing in the talent and experience from King Digital will also help Activision’s existing content to make the migration to mobile in a more impactful way than they’ve been able to do thus far.

I think a more interesting take on this acquisition is from Geektime: Freemium games like “Candy Crush” may be on their way out. The thought is that gamers over time expect more from the games, a narrative that keeps them engaged and interested over the long haul.



TonyBet to Offer Live eSports Betting as the Market Is Rapidly Expanding 


eSports is currently one of the fastest growing markets in the world – according to SuperData brief released in May 2015, it already reaches more than 134 million viewers who tune in to the most popular gaming tournaments, with an abundance of people attending them live.

As the interest in eSports is rapidly growing, especially in North America and Europe, the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet already offers a selection of eSports betting on the biggest tournaments including Counter-Strike, League of Legends, StarCraft II, Dota 2, and others with live betting selection offered from October 30th.

“We believe that this market has a lot of potential,” a TonyBet spokesperson said in an interview. “It’s clear that the gaming culture is gaining popularity, becoming more mainstream and people are willing and interested to participate in or watch the tournaments, so naturally we want our customers to be able to actively take part and support their favourites.”

TonyBet kicked off the live eSports betting with the LOL World Championship grand finals when the users could place real-time bets on the participating teams and is currently offering to bet on the ongoing Game Show Dota League and SLTV StarSeries.

In the future, TonyBet is going to offer a selection of bets for the upcoming CEVO/MLG Pro League LAN Finals, as well as the Smite NA Pro League Finals, Smite World Championship, 2015 WCS Global Finals, DreamHack Winter 2015, SHOUTcraft Invitational II, The Summit 4, and Game Show Global eSports Cup to name a few.

“In a market that’s so heavily saturated we aim to provide our users with an exceptional experience,” a TonyBet spokesperson said. “TonyBet was always about being innovative and progressive, and in the rise of eSports, we aspire to respond immediately to the demand that it creates.”

It is estimated by SuperData that the eSports market in US alone is worth around $143 million while Europe is catching up with a $72 million market that is expected to continue growing. The current $374 million market in Asia is a hint of what could soon be reality in other regions.

Running A Startup And The Essential Tech You Will Need

Recently, we posted an article on how being a geek could be profitable. We mentioned a few revenues you could take including online slots, viral gaming and becoming a Youtuber. All these are good options if you’re thinking about profiting on what you already know. But, what about the real deal. Truth be told, these are sidesteps. You may think YouTubers are going to be famous forever, but eventually people are going to get tired of watching others play games. Maybe you can win on the slots, but don’t kid yourself. This isn’t a career; it’s gambling. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a profitable future based on what makes you a geek. This could be your love of technology or your passion for games and films. Perhaps the biggest way that you can do this is by setting up your own business. But before we get to that, let’s look at some of the other options available to you.

It’s hard to be a geek without a love for computers and knowing how they operate. Although, we wouldn’t necessarily say it’s impossible, it’s a big part of who you are for sure. So, you could use that skill to boost your career. For some people, fixing a computer is as easy as counting to three. It’s like reading a book that they’ve read hundreds of times before. It doesn’t require much effort and they love it all the same. If that sounds like you, you might want to consider working in any number of businesses that need tech support. There is always going to be jobs in this field because technology is becoming a bigger part of the business world. There’s no getting around it and of course, support isn’t the only job out there.

If you have some skill, you can also look at creating an app. App development is now a multimillion dollar industry with plenty of possibilities for a young entrepreneur to make a profit.  You just need an idea, a concept of what to offer and a way to programme it. In fact, that concept is of creating an idea and selling it is exactly what we want to talk about today. We want to think about what it would take to set up your own company. This is the real way to make being a geek profitable, and you might be surprised to learn it’s all about using the tech.


Brand Yourself

If you’re considering this possibility seriously, you have to start branding yourself as something that you can sell. That’s what Youtubers do. They turn themselves into a product that people want to buy and want to take notice of. They might have catch phrases, gimmicks. When you watch live streams they might have traits that make them unique. This is all a form of branding and it works. But, you don’t have to choose the route of marketing yourself on Youtube or any streaming site. You can use virtually any social network to market yourself as a brand that you can sell. For instance, you can use Twitter and turn it into a resource for news related to your chosen business industry. That way, you’ll attract customers who would be interested in your future service or product. Once you have done that, you’ll have the support you need to start setting up your business.

Get Funded

Once you have the idea for your business sorted and you have the support you need, you can look at getting funded. There are a number of different routes you can consider for funding your business. If you think you have a strong business idea you can go to the government to get funded. They are happy to invest in startup companies they believe have a good chance of success. An alternate possibility is crowdfunding. If you have the support behind you, you might be able to get enough funds for your business through a crowdsourcing website like Kickstarter. However, it’s important that your business has a wide appeal. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get enough interest to get that first idea off the ground. One of your last options to borrow funds from a private company. But, be careful when doing this that you check the interest rates. If they’re too high you’ll struggle to pay what you borrowed back.

Invest In The Resources


When you start your business, you should be aware that you need to keep costs as low as possible. If you can’t, your business will not be in a competitive position on the global market. As such, you do need to make sure that you outsource some of the jobs of your business. We are sure you probably have the skill to set up the tech for your company yourself. But, you should still invest in an IT support service. Check out some of the companies that offer this service for more information. You will not have the time to make sure your tech is always operating effectively. But, a support company will and they will ensure there are no issues on your business network. This is very beneficial.

You can also consider outsourcing the marketing of your new business. Marketing online is a lot cheaper, and you can hire a marketing agency to do this for you. You won’t have to worry about whether or not your business is seen by your target customers. A digital agency will make sure that it is. They will use the latest methods such as SEO, CRO and web design to guarantee your business marketing campaign is successful.

These are the basic steps you will need to set up your own business. You may have noticed that it doesn’t take that much business knowledge at all. For the most part, you can rely on your tech knowledge and simple everyday activities like using social media. This is what the business world is these days. It’s not run by people with smart business sense. It’s run by geeks who had the courage to step forward and put their mark on the industry. You could be one of them.


The Best Spy Gadgets Around



If you’re keen to keep an eye on a loved one, an employee or someone else you deem to be sneaking about behind your back then you’ll be happy to know that there are a substantial number of quality spy gadgets available on the market that’ll assist you with your covert and stealth-like observations!


Despite the fact that we’re led to believe that carrots can help us see in the dark, those less enthused about munching on endless vegetables will be pleased to discover that toy company Jakks Pacific have actually created a cool gadget to do the job for you. EyeClops Night Vision goggles can illuminate dark spaces to a quality comparable to that of military- strength night vision but of course it won’t cost you as much. This infrared innovation is a comfortable accessory to wear and is great fun for those of all ages.


At first glance this may look like just a typical charger. But as this seemingly innocent looking appliance sits plugged into a wall socket it’s doing something much more than just charging a device. Ajoka’s charger has special capabilities that normal chargers do not; boasting the ability to record video and audio of everything that occurs in its line of sight. The gadget can hold up to 66 hours of video thanks to a 2GB microSD card meaning you can utilise this excellent spy device for hours on end without raising any suspicion.



This particular spy-based gadget has a much more safety- orientated purpose and it really could help save lives. StarChase’s vehicle tracking gadget allows the police to fire a projectile at a speeding car that contains a GPS receiver and wireless transmitter. This allows the police to effectively mark the car and keep track of it instead of chasing it down and potentially putting innocent lives at risk during high speed pursuits. Of course the device is available for commercial users too so if you’re keen to keep a track on your significant other then this one’s for you.


Following much initial furore, Google Glass seemed to have paled in to significance over the last year or so. However, fans of the futuristic device will be glad to know that it’s mounting a revival. Having been tested on online slots at Royal Vegas by developers looking to create a more immersive gaming experience, demand has shot up for the product and now innovators are looking for unique ways in which to utilize the technology. Boasting all the features you need to take inconspicuous snaps, Google Glass has allegedly been used to keep tabs on people all over the US without standing out.


Games and Apps to Entertain Us

Here’s a list of a few apps and games I’ve discovered recently to keep me entertained.


Feed the Rats! (iPhone) – Don’t worry it’s not as creepy as it sounds :) It’s a physics based Victorian Steampunk puzzle game.

Feed the rat

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Solve 40 amazing levels, with the help of various inventions, in a genuine victorian steampunk setting. Challenging. Diverse. Fun. A unique puzzle experience guaranteed!

“I said use my inventions for GOOD, not use my inventions for food.” – Father Rat


Bit.Trip Beat HD (iPad) – PCMag has a good description of it:

Think of it as Pong for a new generation. Bit Trip Beat HD combines charming Atari-like 8-bit graphics and a nostalgia-laced bleeps-and-bloops soundtrack in a game that sees you deflecting musical enemy attacks with the on-screen rectangular paddle. Gamers use the accelerometer or touch controls to move the paddle up and down, bouncing beats back from where they came. Successfully chain beats and obtain the megasphere to go for big scores.

Online Entertainment

best online slots
Online slots are all the rage right now, here’s listing the best mobile slots for you. They’ll highlight the best mobile slots and where to play. Right now they’re profiling the top games: Aliens, Millionaire Genie and Gonzo’s Quest.



Cricket is a a popular sport for a lot of my friends, so it’s no surprise this is one of their favorite apps: Live Cricket Matches (Android). Their service has a lot of fast streaming servers optimized for the top cricket playing countries around the world. They also provide highlights of all the matches within a few hours of the game ending.

Why Being a Geek is Profitable

Why Being a Geek is Profitable

geeky tattoo
CC by  TerryJohnston 
In this age of modern technology the world has not only become smaller, but it’s now more accessible.

The latest smartphones now bring a world of digital possibilities into every aspect of your life. From managing your money to making money and even locking the doors in your house, technology has made it possible to do much more and it will continue to do so until every developer decides to pack up their bags and retire to the Caribbean.

However, in among making life more bearable, technology has also made being a geek cool. If you’re the owner of the latest iPhone or a wizard on the internet you’re now a veritable hero and, with this elevated status, there comes an ability to make money.

Live Streams Making Geeks See Stars

CC by  Sergey Galyonkin 

While geeks were once maligned and confined to office jobs out of public sight, the modern geek has now been thrust into the limelight. Although not quite global rock stars, geeks are the elite of some industries and these industries are now peeking into the mainstream thanks, in part, to the internet.

Live streaming platforms such as Twitch have turned humble gamers into millionaires and aspiring geeks into bastions of “cool”. So, how exactly can geeks turn their passion for all things alternative into a money-making proposition?

The most obvious avenue for geeks to make money is professional gaming. E-sports and the rise of Twitch have made it possible for top gamers to make huge amounts of money as well as gain fame and notoriety. Professional contests, daily streams and sponsorship from major tech companies means the gamers are now in a position where they can profit from their minds.

Casino Gamers Showing You the Ropes

CC by  banspy 

Building on this industry, many gamers from the other end of the playing spectrum are now starting to make their mark on the world. Thanks to Twitch, it’s now possible for fans of games such as blackjack to ante-up at the new online casino, Get Lucky, and beam their exploits to thousands. Of course, when it comes to beating the house, geeks have always had an edge.

The MIT blackjack team famously used its mathematical prowess to overcome the odds and win millions from live casinos around the world and now today’s online geeks are doing the same. Virtual platforms such as Get Lucky not only have digital games of blackjack and roulette available from as little as $0.10, but they also have live dealer games.

Through a combination of webcams and RFID chips, players can now log into Get Lucky and interact with a real dealer located in a remote venue. This set-up has not only made it easier for skilled players to employ strategies such as card counting, but it has made the game much more entertaining. The net result of this is a more engaging Twitch stream for those who want to use their brains to make some money.

More Gaming Options for Geeks

CC by  ND Strupler 

Indeed, this trend for streaming live casino games via Twitch has also spread into the poker community. Today when you visit the platform you’ll find a plethora of talented online poker players showing their viewers how to raise, bluff and rake chips in like a pro.

Modern technology has essentially made places such as the Internet a playground for modern entertainment and that’s allowed geeky activities such as gaming to flourish. Regardless of whether it’s someone playing Call of Duty or a blackjack player making moves on Get Lucky Casino, this form of online entertainment is now all the rage and that means geeks like you can make a packet without even having to go outside.

Ad-Blocker Monetization


As part of the recent Apple conference, they announced that IOS will be blocking ads on the web. It seems advertisers are not too worried about the iOS ad-blocker deal just yet… and here’s why.
– Advertisers will be able to avert the blockers in the typical cat and mouse game that has always existed between browsers and adverts
– Publishers can pay ad-blockers to un-block their ads. Heads up if you are using Adblock Plus on your desktop, this is one of the ways they are monetizing.

New Slots to Keep Us Entertained

I take my wife to a casino a few times a year as a treat, we’re the typical couple that goes in expecting to lose a few hundred dollars but having a lot of fun while doing it. And hoping that this is the time we’ll hit it big. :) Of course we’re also there for the food and entertainment, not just the gaming.

The only games we play though are slot machines. The reason i like them is they’re often like arcade games that pull you into a story and I keep feeding the machine to keep the story line going.

So it was more than a little interested when I saw some recent gaming news on slots – like the new Big Bang Theory based slot destined to the casino floors, and the CSI Slot coming to the mobile phone.

Big Bang Theory is in its ninth season on television and incredibly popular. It’s no surprise this game came about but just that it took so long! :) BTW, they just rang in a new season (Spoilers)! Aristocrat Technologies’ Secret Sauce Studios spent two years obtaining the rights and then developing the game. The game is based on the characters and situations from the first three seasons of the show and the five main characters.

It’s been out on the casino floors for a couple of weeks now and I’ll definitely be looking for this one when the wife and I make a trek to the Snoqualmie casino outside Seattle. Until I can get out there though, I’ll be spending time online at checking out their new games and progressive jackpots.

See the Big Bang Theory in this video of. Around minute 16:30 the rental agreement comes out!

For slots on the phone, try out CSI Slots. CSI is…was a fantastic show, it changed the DNA of TV crime dramas, but it’s about to air it’s season finale after 15 years. CSI Slots will be available Sept 24 2015 on all the mobile platforms, and it allows players to follow along with interactive mysteries that were written by CSI writers. Join the CSI Team for a Vegas slots adventure. Find the evidence in high action bonus game, spin the real to catch the criminal and win big.


Is Wix the right website builder for you?


Looking for somewhere to call your virtual home?  I know there’s a blogger in you you somewhere…or perhaps you just want to rant about the current political escapades, or even write reviews for the current badass technology that will blow the socks off your readers.  How can you do this?  Well I’m glad you asked.  Time to build your own website!  So many to choose from these days, some complicated, some not.  However, I may just have the solution for you.  This free website builder, Wix, is your shining light from above.  In just mere minutes, you can sign up for your free website, tweak your page to look just how you like it, then publish it online in a snap!

I’ll sketch over a few of the interesting things that Wix offers, just to give you an idea of what you’ll be getting into when you head on over there.  First of all, building your website here is completely free.  That’s right, you don’t have to sink a single greenback into it.  That’s not to say there are several options in which there are images, functions and services that you can purchase while building your website, but for the purposes of this post, you can choose a multitude of free options within your building process, and still come out with a styling and functional page that you would be proud to publish.

After getting your account, you are immediately dropped into a Wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) interface, where you can choose your overall template to work with, once you choose that, you have a multitude of options to add, remove, tweak the template to your liking, such as changing images, background, text boxes and much more.  Write up a title for your first blog post/review/rant, add some text and you can publish it right away.  Once you get to the point of saving and publishing, the interface will ask you to name your website “”yournamehere””, where you can host your website on Wix servers, or you can even name your own domain if you choose.  That’s it for the quick and dirty version.  You now have a place to call your own to do with what you please.

With over 58 million current users, Wix isn’t a bad place to call home.  I’ve viewed quite a few of the sites that people have created using this service, and I am quite impressed.  As with any Wysiwyg service, the more work you put into it, the more you will get out of it.  Just to give you an idea how the whole thing works, jog on over to a web search engine of your choice, and you can find a step by step video showing the whole process.

If you like to watch the SuperBowl, you may recall the popular Wix ads with the #itsthateasy hashtag.  These ads were ingenious in my opinion, and what were drew me to want to review the website in the first place.  If you haven’t seen them, hang out here for a while and check them out.  You won’t be disappointed.

So overall, I would recommend this website builder if you’re looking for a free and easy to use interface to create a classy website of your own.  Not too shabby if you ask me.  Go have some fun!

Who Needs Another Gadget?

We all do.  There’s gadgets for all walks of life; for school, exercise, work, recreation and most of all for our entertainment.  Depending on your specifics, there are some that can fit the bill for all of those, such as smartphones, and a great deal that accomplish very specific tasks.

To me, it’s getting to the point where you carry or wear many devices on a daily basis.  For example, a fitbit to count your steps, a smartphone to keep in communication and a tablet or laptop for work or school.  Whatever your needs, there are many gadgets out there to suit you.  I find that has everything in the way of useful gadgetry that you could possibly need.  Everything from smartphones and tablets, to TVs, gaming systems, laptops and cameras.

Some newer gadgets are really setting the bar high for technology as of late.  Wearables, such as smart watches and various fitness trackers are packed with a ton of options that give you a huge variety of electronic capabilities.  3D printers have been a fad for a while now, and are able to print everything from cars and replacement body limbs, to medications and even candy!

One of my personal favorite categories is in gaming.  Many improvements have been made this last year, with the Sony PSP being able to play games from a cloud, Nintendo giving the DSi true 3D technology, and my personal favorite, Valve’s new Steam Box, that will allow you to play all of your Steam games through any TV in your home, console style!  So many advances and strides in technology today that are giving individuals and companies alike the ideas to create many quality of life components for us to use on a daily basis.  Are these gadgets helping us with life, or leashing us to our technological masters?  You decide!

A look at the Technology that can help to Protect your Home in 2015

Protect your home

In the modern age, the concept of home security is far different than it was in previous generations. Whereas the level of security of homes and buildings was measured by the quality of alarms, windows and external doors, for example, there are now additional metrics that can be used to test the strength and fortitude of your property. In fact, by integrating modern and smart gadgets into your home, you can create a safe and secure space that is blessed with added value.

Whether you are looking to protect the residents who live within your home or simply want to boost the value of your property before listing it on the sell house fast market, here are some examples of technology that can assist you.

Video Monitoring Hardware

One of the most popular commercial security methods is video monitoring, and this type of technology has also become accessible on the domestic market in recent times. This enables home-owners to see exactly what is going on in and outside of their homes during times of absence, with products such as Oco providing discreet video monitoring that can be accessed through a smartphone. This provides real-time video streaming regardless of where you are in the world, and means that you can alert the authorities if you notice anything suspicious occurring at your property.

A Home Sensing System

This is one of the most understated and yet impactful examples of technology on the market, and one that can help you to manage your home regardless of where you are in the world. Thanks to innovations such as Wally Home, for example, it is possible to track water leaks, humidity and temperature through real-time alerts that notify you if anything extends beyond normal values. This can be invaluable during periods when you are away from the home, as the ability to identify potential issues as they happen and implement reactive measures can save you thousands of pounds over time.

The Video Ring Doorbell

While this may not sound like a security feature, this is a multipurpose product that can help you to achieve multiple goals. The Ring Video Doorbell is operated by home Wi-Fi, and it uses this connection to transmit the sound of a chime to a designated smartphone. It does far more than this alone; however, as it also uses an integrated, built-in video camera to create the impression that someone is at home when in fact the house is empty. Interestingly, there is also a motion alert feature included with the device, which enables you to see who is coming to the door or loitering outside of your home regardless of whether or not they have pressed the doorbell.

Papers with shorter titles get more citations, study suggests

research papers

They say never judge a book by its cover, but a new study suggests that you may be able to predict the popularity of a scientific paper from the length of its title. Brevity, it turns out, appears to earn a paper a little more attention.

The number of times other researchers cite a scientist’s work is often an important metric in hiring and workplace evaluations. So you could say that the title you choose in your paper helps determine your job success in the future as well.

Check out ScienceMag’s article with the details…

Is there money in eSports?


What is esports?

Professional gaming, also known as esports refers to a rapidly growing industry of competitive video gaming. In tournaments and events around the world, players compete in a variety of video games, often for money, hardware/software or even just bragging rights.  A few of the games which dominate esports at the moment are Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Counterstrike (with many others, just as popular).  Some are one person vs. another while others are teamwork games.  The only requirement is that the game is competitive, someone has to win the game and progress through a competition.

How do you make money in esports?

Very simply it works like any other sport: sponsorship.  A majority of players are members of a squad or team. This includes players who compete in one vs. one games.  By being part of a team, it is easy for a player to get a sponsorship. These sponsors are normally part of the gaming genre, such as gaming hardware/software, energy snacks or drinks, etc. Their company logos are put on their jerseys, and are prominently featured while they stream and play their games.  Streaming is actually the biggest way players receive their sponsorships. Players can earn money by live-streaming their practice games, or simply having their own live-streamed show via websites like “Twitch”, and having their sponsors logos featured on screen. Donations from fans also form an important role.

Some players like to wager on the outcome of certain championships or other gaming events.  Just like regular sports betting, there are potential “sure things” and definite risks involved, as you are betting real money on these events.  My recommendation?  Check out popular esports betting tips to stay on your game, and make out with potential big bucks!

You don’t have to agree with that professional video gaming is a real sport. Just know that everyone in the esports community is working hard to allow people to continue to make a living from what they enjoy doing. In the end, that’s all that really matters.

Apocalypse Update: Robot Builds Other Robots

BBC has a post about robots learning to build other robots, uh oh!

Engineers have developed a robotic system that can evolve and improve its performance. A robot arm builds “babies” that get progressively better at moving without any human intervention.

The ultimate aim of the research project is to develop robots that adapt to their surroundings. The work by teams in Cambridge and Zurich has been published in the journal PLOS One.

Bridging Loans and Mortgages in the UK


This is an informational article to answer the question: What is a bridging loan?

A bridging loan is a type of short-term credit, normally given for a period of a few weeks to several years pending the arrangement of larger or longer-term financing.  It is a quick financial security against land or property, sought after for a variety of reasons; emergency cash flow, purchasing at auction, debt repayment, etc.  In the UK, bridging loans are a popular way of acquiring and securing property.  Bridging is becoming ever more competitive in stark contrast to more traditional forms of finance.  Here is a great place to find out more information on a bridging loan in the UK.  Plenty of great information and guides to help make your decisions easier to understand and smooth the process of meeting your financial needs.

Mortgages are mainly used for buying homes and property but are also used to secure businesses and assets too. Their interest rates tend to be lower than bridging loans but can still work out just as pricey because of how long the loan lasts. You’re also able to decide which type of mortgage that you want, which is something that you’re unable to do with a bridging loan.  A mortgage is designed to be a long term repayment plan, which can last for several years. While it is also somewhat based on your affordability, you have more liberty due to the length of the payment schedule. They’re also non-secured, meaning that you can get needed support if you’re suddenly unable to make back the full payments. This gives you another secure net against the unknown, and ensures that you’re able to deal with your finances in a way that ensures you’re still able to survive and don’t have to worry so much about it affecting your future credit.

Photo credit: Got Credit