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Monday, September 30, 2013

Lifestyle: 3 Reasons YOU should be taking a fish oil



School of Fish
Fish Oil or more specifically the Omega 3’s in fish oil, have a whole host of benefits.  What we know about fish oil is substantial.  What we do not know could be even better. Here are a few of the many reasons you should be taking a fish oil.  Check it out and do not forget to comment.


Diving In
Heart Health - From heart disease to cholesterol to blood pressure fish oil has many benefits for the heart.(S) Fish Oil helps reduce blockages and prevent new ones from happening. Heart health is not something you want to try and catch up on. It is best to regulate and control heart health to avoid falling over dead from a life of neglect. It is best to start fish oil while you are healthy.  


Joint Inflammation - Active people or people with joint pain and /or morning stiffness could benefit from the effects of fish oil.(S) Runners have been taking fish oil to treat low level joint inflammation for years. Runners put a lot of impact strain on their joints.  Be sure to check out Tech Times essential piece of running equipment.
Circulation - Fish Oil is reported to help circulation.  Fish oil contains DHA and EPA which are Omega 3’s.  These Omegas are antioxidants which improve the elasticity of the vessel walls.  Increased elasticity reduces hemorrhages in the vessel wall.  These hemorrhages are directly linked to heart attacks and strokes in the form of hemorrhagic strokes.


Reeling it in  
These are just a few of the more commonly accepted reasons.  There are a whole myriad of auxiliary benefits.  Studies have shown that fish oil can even be used to treat ADHD in children(S).  It may seem like a haughty claim, but it will only work in certain cases where the subject is lacking DHA, and is retarding the development of their brains.  We know there is rarely a single silver bullet that will cure anything.  A full spectrum approach is suggested to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  Such as, taking a multivitamin along with fish oil and various other supplements as needed can help you live a more healthy fulfilled life.


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Friday, September 27, 2013

Tech Time: 4 Reasons you should consider the Steam Box with the PS4 and XboxOne

Steam has recently announced the imminent release of their Steam OS, Steam Box and Steam Controller(symbolism above).  Valve revealed at LinuxCon that they would finally be releasing their rumored Steam Box in the near future. More recently, they also opened up beta to the Steam Box as well.  The managing director gave an awkward presentation on Valves vision and strategy for the future. From that, I have derived four pillars with the potential to push the Steam Box above and beyond current consoles.  


Controller
How does Valve plan to get the PC game experience into the living room? They redesigned their Steam interface to work with a controller, but there is not a controller on earth that can compete with the amount of keys you have on a keyboard.  My prediction is the implementation of Razer's Hydra and the ability to use available controllers for the PC on the Steam Box. The Hydra is compatible with all the major Valve titles. Oculus Rift will be mandatory. **Update Valve has released a Steam Box controller. There still could be hope for the Hydra.  We will have to wait and see. 
(Credit: Valve)

Games
Valve has games and they make games.  Half-Life 3 is rumored to be one of the release titles for the Steam Box.  Half-Life 2 is still an advanced game 9 years later! They should have no problem pushing out their own titles.  If the system uses a PC architecture there will also be no problem allowing the millions of PC titles to work on the Steam Box. Steam already is a distribution network for thousands of games.  It could have the most games available at launch of any console ever.
Valve is promoting indie game developers and how open its platform will be on a Linux OS.  Android is a pretty open system. He did mention updates being difficult to push through, and I think he hinted at or said the comment was directed at Apple. Apple is having quite a few difficulties as of late.


Competition
The biggest problem is going to be the PS4 and Xbox One(X1).  There is officially no room for the Wii U. The Steam Box will barely go into beta while these highly anticipated systems are going to saturate the market with console release dates and Christmas.  The biggest concern on this front is the timing.  If Valve can deliver on the F2P game model and incorporate PC titles this could change the market.  Do you think EA or Activision will mind porting their games over to a Steam Box? Nintendo Handhelds and the Sony Vita are meddling in the failing dedicated handheld hardware.  Mobile phones control the mobile gaming market. Steams presence on Android and Apple stores gives them access to that market without exposing them to loses. Getting the console into consumers homes will be their biggest hurdle.


Innovation(sorta)
In his speech he mentioned that the game industry was changing.  Valve is saying everything from the games to the hardware is going to be "hackable". He pushed the Free-to-play(F2P) gaming revenue model and that content was primarily being developed by the gaming community.  If they can offer games free of charge and offer Downloadable Content(DLC) that is player made, and thus abundant, then a Steam Box could be a viable candidate.  Not only community created content, but also indie games.  Steam has its “Greenlight” games that allows developers to make and distribute games via Steam. Imagine new content for your favorite games that is constantly being released and the ability to release your own. It is PC gaming without Windows. Will we see the same level of tablet integration from Valve on the Steam Box as is promised from Sony and Microsoft?


If Valve can deliver these key areas and offer a Steam Box at an attractive price point then they may be able to take over the console market.  It is obvious on the PC side that Valve has issues with Windows.  Valve pretty obviously attacked Apple on the mobile market. The only people they have not attacked is Google. Steam has a mobile presence on Android so there is no real reason to push there. And as you saw in the Messy Mobile Market article, Android is taking a lead there. In Valves presentation he mentioned the ability to play your games anywhere and not having to buy them multiple times for different devices.  By merging the console and PC market in a Steam Box and Steam being available on Android, you could buy games once and play them anywhere.  I am sure there will be one time purchase, subscription or in game currency game models.  It will be interesting to see what Valve actually does, but can you imagine people not jumping the Sony and Microsoft ship when games are F2P on the Steam Box?



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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tech Time: Kingdoms of Camelot - Overview

KOC is a game created by Kabam and is available through Facebook or the Kabam website.  It is a strategy MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) style gameplay set in medieval times with knights, castles and magic.  The game does not have any visible action you can see on the screen. The game has evolved over many years, and Kabam continues to incorporate new features.  The following information will be a high level overview of the game.

Gameplay
Kabam has created many domains (server) for players and players have the ability to play on multiple domains.  Each domain is it’s own universe and does not connect to other domains.  Within a domain, players must build castles which contain many buildings (cottages, barracks, rally point, watch tower, etc.).  

The castles are the central point for training troops, attacking, obtaining resources and much more.  To date, players are able to have 8 castles.  Castles can be built when a player obtains “deeds” by attacking wilds (non-player controlled locations - lakes, grasslands, mountains, woods, hills, plains) or purchasing the deeds using gems (you use your real money to buy gems).




Along with building your own cities, you can create or join alliances with other members on the domain.  Alliances can be used to gather players and attack other alliances.  How much you want to fight is dependent on you, or the people who attack you. There are some people who are more social on the game (using alliance chat and messaging in the game, see screen shot of chat feature below) and some people who prefer more fighting.  This creates a mix of players and personalities within the game.


The game has many more detailed aspects requiring you to think about how your castles and troops are set-up to enhance your fighting style.  Too many details for this article (Throne Room, city types, crafting, troop types, etc.), but to learn more about all of the details refer to the links in the “Resources to Help Gameplay” section below.



Cost
The game is completely free, but you can also spend money to help obtain an advantage much faster.  Playing free takes more time to build up, but you can still be competitive as a free player (I do not pay to play).  Paying for gems can help to gain advantages by buying upgrades, chests (can include troops, helpful items, etc.), and much more.


Resources to Help Gameplay
There are sites available to help you learn more details about the game and become a better player.  Below are a few of the sites available:
  • KOC Forums - players discuss many aspects of the game here
  • Kocmon - great site to help look up player’s stats, alliances, etc.  It’s good to research who you are attacking.
  • KOC Wikia - site with many helpful details about the game
  • Many players use “scripts” to run the more monotonous aspects of the game.  These scripts can be easily found and installed on browsers such as Firefox and Pale Moon.  Examples of scripts can be found here - Power Tools and Power Bot (there are other scripts available)
  • A few others helpful sites can be found by searching the internet


Conclusion
The game can consume as much of your time as you are willing to put into it.  The type of player you want to be is dependent on how you want to play (more fighting or more social).  You can play for free or play and pay, it’s all up to you.

This article is a very high level overview of the game.  If you have any questions or would like more specific information on any of the details within the game, please respond back with comments stating what you would like to learn about.  Provide comments on the Facebook page or G+.

-Jeff

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This game is not available on the Wii U, PS4 or Xbox One

Friday, September 20, 2013

Tech Time: Leaked iWatch photos?



I am sure you have seen the leaked iWatch pictures that everyone is talking about.  From what we can tell this new smartwatch has a 1.6 inch  display and its dimensions are 46mmx46mm. The size looks similar to the ipod Nano. The buttons are in a different layout. The pictures show what looks to be a dedicated music button(top right of device) and volume controls. These would be expected from and Apple device.
Could these leaked images be the Galaxy Gear killer from Apple?








Or maybe it is something else, something better?



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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Tech Time: 5 Reasons why gamers need a tablet


Technology is ever changing. Recognizing those changes can be difficult. Tablets are constantly finding new ways to maintain their relevance. Here are a few reasons you gamers might want to get a tablet, or maybe dust off the one you have laying around.


Current
Guides -  I am sure we have all been stuck in a game somewhere and been unable figure out how to advance.  You could run to your desktop, pull up a guide or grab the laptop, find a place to plug it up near the TV (We all know those batteries on most laptops are almost worthless after six months), OR just reach over, grab your tablet and pull up a text or video walkthrough.  I did the latter many times while playing Skyrim.
Stats - Sites like Battlefield’s Battlelog give you the ability to track progress and view data  in immense detail while you play.  Battlefield has its Battlelog site and Call of Duty has a similar setup.  This is primarily the extent of current tablet integration.
Mobile Gaming - A tablet can be used to make documents, spreadsheets, scan documents and many other things.  Aside from that tedious stuff you also have access to millions of mobile gaming options.  Between tablets and phones it is becoming more and more difficult for dedicated gaming handhelds to remain relevant.  You can read more about that in the 2DS article. Or, take it from the Atari founder who said Nintendo, the dedicated handheld leader, was facing a  path to irrelevance. Who knows though, he also thinks motion sickness is a large hurdle for virtual reality style gaming.
Price - Google has been subsidizing amazing tablets in its Nexus brand.  You can get a “Ipad killer” Nexus 10 or “Ipad Mini killer” Nexus 7 for a fraction (ALMOST HALF) of the price of their Apple counterparts.  With the Nexus brand you do not have to worry about getting the up-to-date models.  Nexus only has the 7 inch (Nexus 7) and the 10 inch (Nexus 10), and they are constantly updated if you buy from Google.


Future
Smartglass - Console gaming is now attempting to incorporate them into what seems to be a desirable fashion. Consoles are having tablets play certain roles in games and perform menu tasks.  As the technology develops, I am sure tablets will get more and more integration into the console world.
Games
*
Battlefield 4 has "Commander Mode" played entirely, along with regular console players on the tablet and the ability to move the map to your tablet with PS4 and Xbox One.  
*
Tom Clancys: The Division has a UAV role that is played completely on the tablet, along with regular console players.  
*XBox One has also committed to its SmartGlass idea of being able to control the Xbox, buy/download content and perform matchmaking during a game all on a tablet or #smone (I am starting “smone” because a “smartphone” is pretty much every phone out there).  


Notice there is no mention of the Wii U.


Questions about a topic within this article?
Was there anything I missed?  Or an insight that you would like to add?  
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