Category Archives: Entertainment

Games and Apps to Entertain Us

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

Games

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
Apps

bit-trip-beat

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

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.

What is spread betting?

Spread betting is a form of betting which provides you with the chance to play a wide range of markets and offers the possibility of making sizeable profits. But it’s not something that you should just blithely wander into without doing your research and ensuring you have a decent bankroll to start with.

The spread betting markets that you can play will primarily fall into categories – financial and sport. Both of these markets will generally operate in the same way, it is usually just what you are betting on which will be different.

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CC by AndreasPoike 

Starting with the basics of spread betting, before looking at the different markets, you are essentially taking a view on whether something is going to rise or fall, or be higher or lower than a specified amount. The spread itself falls between two amounts set by the company you are spread betting with.

You must then decide whether the outcome is going to be lower than the smaller amount or higher than the larger amount on the spread. If you think it’s going to be lower, then you will be selling. If you think it’s going to be higher, then you will be buying.

What you must then do is work out how much you want your stake to be. Your stake will correspond to a one point rise or fall. So, if you place $1 as your stake, and you have taken a buy position on the number of corners in the Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus, for example, and the figure rises by 10, then you will receive $10 profit. If it goes 10 points the other way against you, then you will lose $10.

 

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CC by Leandro.C 

This is perhaps one of the most important things to remember about spread betting – making sure you can cover your losses. Obviously, when you first place your spread bet, you don’t know with any certainty which way a market is going to go, so you don’t know how much you will win or lose.

You must be comfortable with the amount you’re prepared to lose as a volatile change in the market could see you quickly incur huge losses. One way to prevent this is by using stop or limit triggers. This allows you to specify an amount you are prepared to lose and, once this figure has been reached, a trigger will stop your bet there and then. Similarly, you can set an amount you want to make as a profit and the trigger will ensure the bet is closed once that figure is reached.

To further your spread betting education, there are lots of websites which can provide details on how to place spread bets with advice on how you should approach it.

By the time you’ve settled on your stake and how much money you either want to make or are prepared to lose, you’ve probably also decided what market to play.

If you go for the financial markets, then you must remember that you’re not actually buying or selling shares in the companies you are trading. You are simply trading on their price and as to whether it is going to go up or down.

You can trade on the price movements of certain equities, on indices such as the US30 and the UK100, commodities like coffee, metals like gold and also the currency markets.

If you are looking at the sports markets, then you can usually bet on most of the major sports, such as soccer, horse racing, golf and tennis.

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CC by nakashi 
Within these sports there are a range of different markets, such as how many goals will be scored in a soccer match, what the combined winning distances will be from a race meet or how many games will be played in a tennis match. So you can find a market on American Pharoah in the Belmont Stakes, for example.

Over time you will work out which market suits you best, especially as you build up experience, knowledge and your own trading strategy. Spread betting is a form of betting which requires time to be spent on research and creating a plan, but once you’ve put in the groundwork, there are rewards to be discovered.

Hawk-Eye Technology to Quell Italian Football Angst

Italian Football
Common Criteria by olaszmelo

E-sports are on the rise, but the impact of digital technology is also being felt in the traditional sporting arena. Hot on the English Premier League’s adoption of goal-line technology to establish whether or not all of the ball has crossed all of the line in those instances where the award of a goal is in doubt, the Italian top division has announced that it is to follow suit.

There has been a long-standing objection to the introduction of optical technologies by traditionalists in both the UK and Italy who have insisted that the matter of human error is an integral part of the game. More practical objections on the basis of cost have also been aired.

However, as in England, the demands of television and club managers – neither of which are ever content with officials’ mistakes – combined with the overflowing riches of the top clubs have seen those objections overcome. From the start of next season the Italian Serie A will adopt the same Hawk-Eye technology as was introduced in the English Premier League at the start of the 2014/2015 campaign.

Recent seasons in Italy have seen a number of controversies erupt as to whether the ball has – or has not – crossed the goal line in matches. AC Milan have twice been at the centre of such rows, on one occasion in 2012 with serious implications: an incorrectly disallowed goal was adjudged to have cost them a victory. The resulting points ‘loss’ inevitably impacted their final tally for the season.

With so much money at stake in terms of direct winnings, and indirectly from the revenues that derive from Champions’ League qualification, it was entirely logical that the means to eliminate human error from the equation should be adopted. Likewise, the considerable interest in Serie A betting put a high premium on teams competing for major honours being able to have complete faith in the accuracy of referees’ decisions.

uefa
Common Criteria by MULADAR NEWS 
Hawk-Eye represents a network of high-speed video cameras to track and triangulate a ball’s position to within a 3.6mm margin of error. Because the system is able to accurately identify the ball’s position in relation to the goal-line, Hawk-Eye can tell when it has actually crossed the line. When it does so, an automated alarm alerts the match officials via a radio transmission to the referee’s watch.

Hawkeye has already been widely used in tennis and cricket, and therefore represents a well tried and tested solution to one of football’s perennial bugbears. AC Milan’s recent sense of grievance and the 1966 World Cup final are by no means the only instances where a dubious decision has had far reaching consequences.

It is unlikely that the technology will be extended to less wealthy leagues, but the news that Germany’s Bundesliga is also to adopt the technology  shows that it is more than just a short-term experiment for the bigger clubs.

The next step, now that the principle of human error has been punctured, will be the development of a software package capable of determining the equally vexed question of precisely when a player steps offside. Given the universal confusion on that point, that could take some time to deliver. Needless to say, it is an issue that does not arise in E-sports.

Avalon II Slot Game Review

Whats changed in Avalon II Slot

Be ready to be taken on a memorable and unique quest with the famous King Arthur together with other characters. Avalon II consists of 8 bonus games, cinema-quality 3D animation and a fantastic soundtrack. If you thought Avalon I was outstanding then you will be blown away by Avalon II which offers you 243 ways to win!

This is a 150 coin slot game that has five reels, wild, scattered and expanding wild symbols as well as three additional features, called merlin, grail and pay-table achievements. The aim is to get the winning string on one of 243 pay ways. How much will a player win? This is directly linked to the combo type he gets.

Avalon II consists of the standard features that one would expect to find with a micro gaming slot. There is a wild symbol that will take the place of all regular game icons to help create combinations and there is also a scatter icon that can offer instant pay-outs when three or more appear anywhere on the reels. While these features can get one excited, the main highlight of the game is the Grail Bonus, which is triggered with three scatters. You can also read a more detailed review of the slot game at Casino UK.

During the free spin game, players who are betting five coins will have the chance to win as much as 2,430,000 coins and during the bonus rounds, a 25,495 coin pay-out is highly possible.

How to Play Avalon II?

• -and+ keys next to the coin size field adjust the coin size.
• -and+ keys next to the coins field adjust the betting amount.
• Spins starts the game.
• Win box shows the pay-outs per winning combo.
• The winning combos are highlighted.
• The highest winning combos are set as achievements and are not cleared after exiting the game.

Be prepared to get sucked in by Avalon II slot game!

This game is now available at Golden Riviera Casino. Goto the site here : http://www.goldenrivieracasino.com

ESPN Invests in the Future of E-Sports

E-Sports
Creative Commons by campuspartymexico

The e-sports industry is a multi-million dollar industry that has thousands of fans and players across the world. Although Asia has traditionally been the epicenter for the industry’s virtual battlegrounds, a recent investment by ESPN has given the e-sports world a new platform to perform upon.

Although the American TV network has shown e-sports for a number of years, it recently committed to broadcasting more events in the future as the industry continues its migration into the mainstream. This shift, according to an article by Fortune, has led industry analysts to project a major upswing in the market between 2015 and 2017.

A Growing Market

The increase in media coverage is expected to push up the number of fans from 89 million to 145 million. Moreover, the global awareness of e-sports is expected to increase dramatically by 2017 as researchers predict that more than 1.2 billion people will have watched at least one e-sports event.

Although many people often associated e-sports with strategy games, such as Dota 2 or League of Legends, the collective term is actually used to describe any multiplayer game involving teams or individuals.

As well as fighting games, e-sports teams can compete across a number of disciplines, including many real-life sports. Soccer, motor racing and American Football are all arenas of conflict in the e-sports world. In fact, fans of FIFA can routinely compete against players from across the world in a range of tournaments which offer up to $150,000 in prize money.

New Avenues for E-Sports

Of course, not all games are currently covered by the e-sports banner. However, as the industry grows, that could certainly change. Strategy games are often some of the most popular and some sports lend themselves perfectly to this pursuit.

For example, horse racing and golf are two pursuits that most people won’t ever be able to play on a professional level. However, thanks to the structure of each sport, stats and analysis are extremely important for a number of reasons. Although it’s possible to watch each sport and be ignorant of the numbers dictating the action, it certainly improves your viewing pleasure if you do know them.

Watching the physical prowess of horse and jockey working in unison is compelling. But if you really wanted to get the most from the race, you’d take a moment to look up the latest Cheltenham betting odds. Doing this would not only give you an insight into the competitors, it would also give you a greater understanding of the race’s context and, therefore, increase your engagement with the race.

An Evolving E-Sports Empire

From an e-sports perspective, this kind of analysis, which most people do subconsciously, is great. Pitting two individuals (or teams) against each other in a bid to see who can best analyze their sport and make the best decisions is the nature of the industry. Although it will be a long time before e-sports becomes mainstream enough to allow events such as horse racing and golf to become popular, there’s no reason why that couldn’t be the case in the near future.

Indeed, back in the early Nineties, no one would have predicted that in 2015 ESPN would be preparing to broadcast virtual versions of sports such as motor racing and NFL. However, the e-sports industry has come a long way since then and as more people become aware of the genre it’s highly likely we’ll see a lot more changes over the next two decades.

Football numbers are geek Nirvana

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Creative Commons by Paolo Camera

Football offers Nirvana for geek punters who like to take a numbers-only approach – because the odds are affected so much by the emotion of the market.

Those of us who can stay detached from that emotion and who look more deeply into the stats than the last games can therefore only win out over the long term. It’s all about bringing the statistician’s “cold” and detached resolve to bear in making your value-based decisions.

In this way, you can often make bets where the odds of an outcome are far less than fully reflected in the actual odds. In other words – by looking at stats from football history only and your own judgement, you may be able to beat the market.

If you look on sites like Blue Square and others, you’ll find some excellent analysis and insights that may help sway your judgement in the right kind of direction. This kind of information can be immensely helpful – just don’t lose sight of the numbers because it’s all about the numbers.

One of the best tactics around is to weigh up all you can about a game then come up with your own fair estimate of the likely odds. But you must do this exercise in complete ignorance of the actual odds. Then, when you look at the real odds, you’ll quickly be able to see if you’re a long way out in any direction and to place your bets accordingly. Big games like the English Premier League are easier as there’s such an enormous market in them.

The acceptance of loss is also vital. You’re simply spinning coins and steadily gambling on them at better than even money, in theory at least. Even if you can only manage slightly better numbers than the weight of probability suggests – you’ll come out steadily on top. But you’ll also lose a lot of wagers along the way. Things do not always go to plan, such as Manchester United losing to Southampton. Think of it as moving three steps forward and two steps back all the time – then the losses are tolerable because you accept they’re inevitable. It’s just a numbers game using your own detachment from the emotion of the market that helps you win out in the end.

Best Online Multiplayer Games

There is a seemingly endless amount of multi-player games to be played online. With the advances in mobile technology, gamers now have greater access to the gaming world. No longer is their gameplay restricted to their bedroom, now they can even find enough ‘G’ to play whilst on the bus!

But, with so many multiplayer games online, you can become swamped. So we have made it easy for you. Below are some of the best multiplayer games that can be found.

World of Warcraft

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Creative Commons by adactio

The Grand Daddy of multiplayer games. Since 2004, World of Warcraft (WOW) has gone on to become one of the most popular games to have ever been released. With over $10 billion in sales, it is unsurprising that WOW is the highest grossing video game of all time. In January of 2014, it was announced that over the game’s 10-year lifespan more than 100 million accounts had been created.

The latest offering, Warlords of Draenor, has been extremely well received and sold more than 3.3 million copies in 24 hours of release. If you like your roleplaying games and all things mythical, World of Warcraft is definitely the multiplayer game for you. Here you can embark on quests with your allies or plan raids on your foes. The immersive and absorbing gaming spectacle that is WOW is incomparable to any other multiplayer game out there.

Online Poker

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Creative Commons by yashima

Perhaps slightly leftfield, but it is impossible to ignore the sheer might of online poker. US accounting firm Joseph Eve, Certified Public Accountants, state that one in four dollars is gambled online. In 2012, the global revenues from online poker stood at $6.7 billion. Online poker’s popularity is surging and, with laws in some American states relaxing around online gambling, expect the number of players and the revenues to continue seeing unprecedented growth. Online poker not only offers players the chance to win cash prizes – with most sites you can also play with fictional money – but it offers customers the chance to converse with players.

As human beings, we have always had an impulsive nature inside of us. This is something that stretches all the way back to the start of man. In every era of mankind, gambling has been prevalent. You cannot deny that. Nowadays, instead of scorning gambling we are starting to embrace it. With the stakes smaller and the technology readily available, there is no longer a taboo or stigma attached to gambling. Hence more people are playing. If you were planning on playing in an online card room, betfair poker is a very good option among the providers. With thousands of players and hundreds of active online tournaments, playing poker has never been easier.

FIFA Ultimate Team

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Creative Commons by hypergame1

EA Sports played a masterstroke when they included FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) on their FIFA 2013 game. Fast forward to 2015 and you couldn’t imagine playing FIFA without FUT. In this online game mode, you simply create your own team. This can be done by buying either packs or searching for individual players. As well as creating a team, you take on other FUT players online. Victory is imperative as you are in a division.

If you get enough points, you will end up getting promoted. If you don’t, you will find yourself relegated. It is this risk that makes FUT so rewarding and so gut wrenching at the same time. Victory really can make your day. Defeat usually ends with a controller being chucked, which more often than not finds the television. For any football fan, FUT is the only logical place for you to play. It is testament to just how popular FUT is when you look at just how many people check out YouTube to watch someone else open packs of players. One millions viewers is not an anomaly.

Call of Duty

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Creative Commons by The GameWay

Call of Duty (COD) is the other video game juggernaut. A high proportion of gamers alternate between COD and FUT, presumably to get rid of their FIFA rage – something that is a big problem in the youth of today. In the latest COD instalment, Advanced Warfare, Kevin Spacey, yes, Kevin Spacey, is the main antagonist. For a video game, that is incredible.

However, COD would never have been able to attract a name like Spacey if they didn’t have a premium product. The thing that makes them a premium product is their online multiplayer capabilities. You have the COD staples like Team Death Match, Capture the Flag and Search and Rescue as well as lesser known modes like Momentum and Hardpoint. One of the great things about COD is that it gives you the platform to play within teams or you can go nomad and slug it out to the end. By the time you have played it for a couple of months you will be a dab hand with the throwing knives.

Retro Gaming With A Twist

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I’ve been a gamer all my life, and have played all the popular retro games when they were popular.  DOOM, Quake, Wolfenstein and many more were a daily staple of fun for me.  Well, someone thought it would be a good idea to bring a couple of these retro games back into play, but in a different way.

How about some Tomb Raider – Play here.  Lara Croft at her finest, guns blazing and taking out the bad guys while deep in the forgotten depths of some ominous cave; those were some of my fondest memories.  You can relive those memories playing Tomb Raider slots…get that treasure!  After you’re done being rough and tumble in the jungle, why not play a board game? The game is a classic 5 reel, 25 payline slot game with a dynamic story that will keep you glued to your chair.

If you’re not familiar with Lara Croft then maybe you’ve been living under a rock 🙂 Seriously though, she is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Square Enix video game series Tomb Raider. She is presented as a beautiful, intelligent, and athletic British archaeologist-adventurer who ventures into ancient, hazardous tombs and ruins around the world.

Monopoly – Play here, is one of the most fun games there is.  Who needs Park Place, when you can ride the gravy train to success in this intuitive slot game? This version of Monopoloy is a 5 reel slot developed by IGT with a pretty good storyline.

It has all the old icons you’re familiar with from the boardgame that you move around the board with. Plus it has bonus rounds and a Level Up Plus feature that lets you save your progress.

While you’re having your fill of gaming, hang out over at Slacker Radio and listen to some of your favorite tunes to keep the excitement alive!

Dr. Horrible Sequel Is In The Works!

Dr. HORRIBLE

My favorite supervillian, Dr. Horrible, is making a return after 5 years!

Entertainment Weekly caught up with the creator and director of the webseries, Joss Whedon, and asked him what’s the latest update on making progress to a long awaited sequel. Here’s a snippet of his reply, head on over to EW to read the full story:

“We know we have spoken publicly about a sequel in the near distance and our passion to create it, and I promise we have not been insincere. Horrible is still one of our favorite creations by humans who were also us. We have many songs written and the plot outlined, but needless to say, we’ve been busy…” –read the rest @ EW’s blog.

via – Nerdist

Family Guy, Giggity!

The CableTV.com team have put together an interactive map of Family Guy characters. You can see all of the characters in one image, and scroll to find out facts about each.

They are also giving away a volume 1-10 Family Guy DVD set and the Monopoly Family Guy board game to fans who discover the secret character within the image.

80 of Your Favorite Family Guy Characters
Created by the team at CableTV.com

The Giant Spider–Retro Creature Feature due to release in 2013

Do you like B-movies as much as I do, especially sci-fi and horror b-movies? If so, here’s a treat for you…

Below is a new trailer to Christopher R. Mihm’s upcoming retro creature feature, The Giant Spider — due to release in 2013. Check the website for more info.

Synopsis:
When radiation left behind by atomic weapons testing creates a gigantic killer mutant arachnid, it’s up to a trio of scientists, an Army general, and a newspaper reporter and his fiancée to figure out how to stop the hungry beast from devouring the entire county.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver

There’s a new graphic novel out called "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver". The book is part of a 3-part series, all to be released throughout November and December 2012.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a dark, gritty, action – horror story inspired by the biblical tale of Armageddon.The story follows Adam Cahill, a warrior bound by bloodline to guard the Seven Holy Seals that contain the End of Days. But sinister forces strike against him and send him into Hell itself. There, he must find three corrupt souls, chosen by Divinity, to join him in battle against the Four Horsemen to not only save their own souls, but to decide the very fate of Humanity.

The graphic novel can be found at Graphicly, Comixology for digital sales. Heavymetal.com also offers a hard and digital copy of the book as well.

Red Town Lost–A Horror Novel by John Shupeck

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Here’s a relatively new novel by John Shupeck: Red Town Lost. If you like Clive Barker, then this right up your alley.

It’s available in paperback and on the Kindle, check out Red Town Lost on Amazon.

Book Description:

WHEN FRANKIE RED COMES TO TOWN…PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE!

It’s fall of 2012, and Dan Suppers is lost. Abandoning his broken down vehicle, he’s been walking through seemingly endless woods for hours looking for something — anything — that resembles civilization. What he finds is a smoking pit of Hell — a large building filled with what Dan soon realizes are the remnants of hundreds of human corpses.

And Dan thought he was having a bad day!

Red Town Lost chronicles the efforts of a terrified man to discover the secret of what happened the night the building burned, and in the process unraveling four harrowing tales revolving around four unforgettable individuals and their own unique trials and tribulations that are somehow connected to the burned out building. Unfortunately, the man will discover very quickly that the stories are not just connected with his morbid discovery, but in fact may hold horrifying implications for the man and his very soul!

WHO IS FRANKIE RED AND WHAT DOES HE HAVE IN STORE FOR DAN?

Google Music Is A Flop

GOOG MUSIC

I didn’t even know Google had a music service, but apparently it’s a flop, it’s not living up to expectations and losing users weekly. Wow, there’s a ton of negative buzz about this service, I feel bad for the engineers dedicated to this area.

Things sound so bad that Google execs may pull the plug soon. If you keep your music in their store, hopefully you can migrate it in time.

I’m a big fan of Amazon’s MP3 Store and Cloud Player. No DRM, all MP3s, I can play on my WP7 Samsung Focus, on my laptop, on my Home Theater PC, my iPod Touch. And it’s simple to purchase.

Where No Man Has Gone Before

If you live in the Seattle/Tacoma area there’s a cool new improv comedy you must go see called “Where No Man Has Gone Before”. It’s a long form improv comedy parodying the original Star Trek series and it runs June 23-July 2 at Seattle’s Odd Duck Studio which is near the I-90 / I-5 interchange.

One of the actors is Cheryl, (pictured below in costume and w/an alien rock), she writes about some of the nuances of the show and the hidden Star Trek community at her blog.

You can also check out more details, pics  at their Facebook page . They also have a challenge for us at FB that could get the alien girl in the show to dress in green paint and play the part of the Orion slave girl. 😉

Get your tickets here, they’re only $12. I’ll see you there next week on the 24th!

 

Blood Light, The Lighter Side of Death

The wait is over, "Blood Light" is back and better then before with longer episodes, the same comedic creativity, and a few new faces that will keep us all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what’s to come. After launching the first 5-episodes in September of 2010, "Blood Light" has gained great momentum and a loyal fan base in the short time it has been running.

"Blood Light" is centered on the premise that “This is NOT a show about vampires; it’s a show about people who happen to be vampires.” Two recently turned Vampires, Alex and Ethan, struggle with the realization that being a Vampire is not as ‘cool’ as it seems. Along with Connor, their human friend, who pretends to be a Vampire to get women to sleep with him, they soon realize that death sucks just as much as life.

Here’s episode 1 below, check out their site to watch the videos.