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Market Shock as Digital Board Games Dominate Video Games

If you went back in time and asked a group of market analysts if you should invest in video games or board games, they would have all said board games. Video games were an unknown and often unreliable quantity in their infancy.

But we have seen a video game revolution over the past ten years. They have moved from a side-line hobby to become a major part of our society and culture. They are considered an Olympic sport. They pack out live arenas for their tournaments.

Now, many investors flock to gaming companies. All hoping to be part of the next big title that will rake in massive returns on their investment. League of Legends. Halo. Fall Guys. All titles that are dominating the industry.

 

The decline of Board Games

With the rise of video games, sadly, we saw a steady decrease in the sale of board games. Traditional family games such as Monopoly, Mouse Trap, Jenga all faded into relative obscurity and were slowly replaced by couch co-op video games and online gaming sessions.

As people could connect with anyone around the world, the appeal of playing games with those in close proximity died out as quickly as it had risen.

Overall, sales of traditional board games dropped by a staggering 40% over five years. This is a huge loss for companies. In this time we also saw tabletop gaming slowly lose numbers, replaced by digital alternatives, and hobby board games became a small community of die-hard fans with little look-in from the general public.

 

 

The Turn-Around

So, with all this development in the video game world, most market analysts would tell you the safe investment would be traditional video games. But there has been a massive turnaround in the past year that has changed everything.

As video game design has become more accessible, we have seen a wide variety of games and game genres appear. And one of those genres is digital board games. While you could argue these are still video games, they fall into a subset category that both the market and gamers consider outside the norm.

And this was reflected in the lackluster sales. Until recently. In the past year sales of digital board games have increased steadily, reaching almost double what they were in the past five years. An impressive feat for any market.

And this increase would be impressive enough on its own. But it goes deeper than that. It seems that digital board games are overtaking the sales figures for the more traditional video games. This sort of market shift is indicative of a much larger progression towards a new societal norm.

 

 

The Board Game Re-Revolution

With board games moving into the digital landscape, there is more room for support websites and companies to branch into the field. We have already seen strategy guides and assistant websites such as scrabble go cheat come into the forefront of the gaming world.

With the ability to connect with anyone across the globe; families that have become separated or distant friends can sit down around a virtual game board and face off in a vicious round of hotel buying or placing down the biggest words possible.

Some market analysts worry this does mean the video game market is due for a crash as people stop playing. But we firmly believe that won’t be happening anytime soon. There is room enough for both mediums to exist side by side.

Four Airports Were Brought to a Standstill Due to Camera Drones

Gatwick Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe, with only one runway having served 46.5 million passengers in 2019. With millions of flights and passengers booking to fly to or from Gatwick, it is imperative that operations run smoothly, as one small hitch can cause complete mayhem and hundreds of canceled flights. Thankfully, issues do not occur often however, one in particular that took place in 2018, will go down as one of the biggest disruptions at Gatwick in recent history.

 

The Incident

Between 19th-21st of December, a paramount time for traveling thanks to its proximity to Christmas, disaster struck when reports of drones being sighted near the airport’s runway came in. Subsequently, 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights were affected, unable to go ahead due to the safety risk of possibly colliding with said drones. It has been left unsaid whether the incident was intentional, however, evidence indicates that it was indeed done to cause disruptions, as just when the airport was gearing up to reopen, another sighting was reported.

 

Soon after the incident, a couple living nearby to the airport were arrested and questioned for 36 hours in suspicion of flying the drones, however, they were released after having been found to be completely uninvolved. As of 2020, there have been no arrests regarding the incident, and the perpetrators remain unfound and in early 2019, a new law was brought into effect in the UK to make it illegal to fly drones within 5 kilometers of an airport, in the hopes of stopping this event ever reoccurring.

 

However, the UK is not the only country whose airports have been brought to a standstill due to camera drones, as three airports in Germany, New Jersey, and Dubai have also been affected in recent years, although at less of a loss as with the Gatwick incident. In January 2019, less than a month following the drones at Gatwick, all flights bound for Newark Liberty International Airport were halted due to a drone spotted flying nearby. The hold up did not last for long; however, it did cause many flights to be delayed and rerouted, with many being forced to circle the area whilst waiting for the all-clear.

 

As mentioned, similar incidents in Germany and Dubai have also taken place. On March 2nd, 2020, a drone sighting at Frankfurt Airport in Germany caused major disruption as flight operations were halted and supposedly 70 flights were either delayed or diverted to other, nearby airports. Fortunately for the airport staff and passengers, the delay did not last long, and the flights were able to return to the schedule. In contrast to the slightly longer delays caused by these incidents, Dubai International Airport was brought to a standstill in September 2019 for a total of 15 minutes. Although the airport was not closed for long, this and the other three incidents described here are examples of how hundreds of thousands of people can be affected by the misuse of camera drones.

 

A New Trend?

These incidents have only begun in recent years, due to the rise of camera drones being sold to the public. In 2015 alone, around a million were sold to civilians because, although they occasionally cause hassle for airport staff, when used correctly they are undeniably brilliant. Camera drones are lightweight and small enough to take pictures or videos in hard to get to locations, with the smallest camera drone comfortably fitting into the palm of your hand. With their ability to take such beautiful panoramic shots that are impossible to replicate with a normal camera, it is no wonder that their popularity has shot up.

 

What once was a military-grade product, used to carry out missions that were too dirty and dangerous for humans, has become a must-have gadget for technology lovers, explorers, and photographers alike. However, it must be reiterated that if you plan on purchasing a camera drone to test just how much you can push the limits of photography and videography, stay away from airports and airspaces. Not only are you saving yourself the jail time or money of a fine if caught, but you could save them time and money of those that have to deal with the repercussions of your actions.

Connecticut Has Been Voted one of the Cleanest States in America

Connecticut is truly one of the most fascinating and unique states in America, being home of the polaroid picture, hamburgers, the helicopter flight, and the first color television broadcast. It is a pioneer of some of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. But what has Connecticut turned its attention to in the 21st century? Staying clean. Staying clean isn’t a measly asset to have in 21st century America, there is a trash epidemic across the nation, bringing high CO2 levels, garbage on the streets and landfills filled. But how has Connecticut remained so clean?

Connecticut was voted one of the cleanest states in America, overtaking notoriously clean states such as Vermont and Colorado, the previous record holders in America, and even the World at one point. But why was it voted cleanest? Especially by people not from the state? It must have made a good impression on visitors.

 

How They Did It

Firstly, Connecticut’s clean air has been overseen by its own Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which has campaigned massively for the use of clean, green sources of energy by putting up wind farms, geothermal, and hydropower energy. Also encouraging its population to use solar panels. In cities like Stanford, you can barely tell you’re in a densely populated city because of the clean air. There have been hugely successful attempts to keep natural woods and animal habitats protected, not cut down or polluted, keeping a unique, clean, and appealing wildlife and wood territory. Cleanliness isn’t just what a street looks like, it also includes keeping the natural ecology and landscape in shape, clean and allow natural wildlife to flourish and maintain a good standard of living for the animals. Connecticut has also massively overhauled its recycling system to stop the overuse of landfills, modernizing it allowing for more trash to be recycled and quicker and is littered with modern, easy to use trash collection companies.

 

Everyone Pitching In

The state government can only do so much though and Connecticut’s cleanliness, more importantly, comes down to the attitudes of the people in Connecticut, with strong emphasis, advertised by the state government, to recycle, keep the streets clean by not littering, use solar panels when you can, respect wildlife and keep your homes clean. Connecticut’s outside might be clean, but a factor to take into consideration is the cleanliness of the typical Connecticut home. Connecticut residents are very house proud and keen to make a good impression on visitors from the state and wherever they come from. Albeit with emphasis on keeping wildlife sites clear of litter, much wildlife still ventures into gardens and homes, and some houses can get infected with pests such as rodents, ants, spiders, or even wasps. Of course, this is only natural. The best way for the typical Connecticut family to deal with these pests and the reason the state doesn’t have a pest epidemic is the use of family-run, local pest control companies, like yalepest.com, who keep records and form a personal relationship with their customers. Companies like this keep the typical family home in Connecticut clean, free of pests so the homes can be at their best, and when the odd adventurous wildlife critter, such as raccoons and opossums turn up for leftover scraps, they’ll deal with them safely and swiftly.

Connecticut was voted one of the cleanest states in America due to the attitudes of the state government and the people alike, as well as working alongside brilliant trash, energy and pest control companies that are local, creating a state spirit of cleanliness pride in the home, and out on the streets.

Major Travel Firms are Now Backing New Currency Exchange Laws

The process of exchanging your money into another currency is something that has strict laws and regulations around it, you must ensure you are aware of these laws in order to avoid complications further down the line. Whether you travel for business or pleasure you will probably need to change your money into your destination currency. You can do this in a number of ways from a travel card where you simply top up an account with a national travel card or just getting it in cash. Major travel firms have begun the process of implementing new laws and regulations when it comes to using foreign currency.

Online Transfers

Using online services in order to transfer between currencies has become the favored method of many, services like Plutuspocket allow you to quickly switch between the currency you require as well as sending funds overseas. This method also seems to be favored by the major travel firms as they encourage their customers to take advantage of the service and avoid carrying excessive amounts of cash. Many choose to exchange their money before traveling and just taking cash with them, although carrying a small amount of cash is ideal if you were to carry all of your spending money you would open yourself up to dangers like theft.

Exchange Rates

The laws around exchanging money have a direct influence on how good the exchange rates are, the unreliability of a good exchange rate lasting has meant that the rules and regulations have had to undergo massive changes. It is very common for exchange rates to be constantly changing, my advice would be to only get the necessary amount of cash you need for a few days and exchange your money at your destination. There will be a variety of money exchange shops wherever you are traveling and you will find that the rates are much better compared to what you would get at home as there are more laws to abide by.

Airports and Using ATM Machines

The amount of laws and regulations to do with the exchange of foreign currencies has led to the facilities available in airports being much more expensive. It is not advised to use ATM’s whilst you are traveling as they are much more costly, and have the worst exchange rates. If you are going somewhere and think you will need cash, exchange a small amount to last you a few days and then source another service to get more once you are there. Doing this will not only save you money but allows you to use the law to your advantage and make use of the better exchange rates that are available overseas.

Credit Cards

Finally, using credit cards abroad is highly affected by exchange laws, much like in airports it can be very expensive when it comes to using credit cards online. As they are credit cards you will find that there are a number of extra expenses and fees that come with using them abroad, there are other methods of sourcing the correct currency that if you use the regulations to your advantage, then it can work out much cheaper.

Overall, travel firms are going to be in favor of the currency laws, it is their responsibility to ensure your trip goes as planned, which includes adhering to the complex regulations around currency exchange. The laws don’t have to work against you and there are many methods of changing your money that can work in your favor and be the best value for money.

Wristband Company Gets Quantum Growth Due to Clever Facebook Advertising

Djanjo Wristbands, a wristband company based in California, have seen their profits almost double to $500,000 for the month of February after utilizing Fakebook advertising in a very smart way.

Shares in the relatively new wristband company beat expectations, with underlying replacement cost profits surging from $264,000 for the month of January to $500,000 for February.

This came after Django launched a Facebook advertising campaign which publicized the customizable nature of their wristbands.

However, Django Wristbands also used the advertising technique of retargeting for their advertising campaign. Retargeting is when you target users who have visited certain pages on your website and are more likely to buy the product when they see an advertisement.

Owen Saffidy, the chief marketing executive at Django, said: “You have to pick audience wisely. For example, we were showing ads of a big scale to high-customers who purchase regularly.”

“The trick is to target people who already have a connection to your business, as the familiarity will make them more likely to click on an advertisement to see what the offer is. If they have visited your business before, seeing another advertisement that is appealing is very likely to convert them to a buyer”

“People feel safer purchases the product if they feel they know the business, even if they’ve never bought anything before” he added.

However, others said that the success is because of multiple factors, not just the advertising techniques.

Gareth Matteo, who is a CEO at the company, stated that the success was also because of things like the quality of the wristbands and the extent of the customization, which also allows you to choose between customization styles. For example, you can choose to have your custom text printed, debossed, debossed color filled, embossed and embossed printed onto your wristband. Although others have argued that other companies already do this, such as SleekWristbands.com for example.

Django is now one of the leading manufacturers of customizable wristbands, with many charities and businesses now using their bracelets for everything for advertising to fundraising. Both Matteo and Saiffidy said that the believe Django will only go up from here now that the company has made a name for themselves on the national stage – only time will tell if this is the case.

My Husband is a Soppy Beta Male and Why I love him for it

When I was younger I was presented with an idea of my future husband that I just couldn’t see myself pursuing. ‘You’ll have a nice strong man that will take care of you’ is what my mum would always say. I didn’t exactly want someone to be looking after me when I was an adult, but I thought that’s just how it is and that’s the normal dynamic that I should expect. So I spent years watching films and reading books, picturing my ideal man. A tall brooding alpha that only shows his emotions on special occasions and only for me, the kind of man that would work all day and then stare at me adoringly while I prepared him a fantastic meal… This isn’t what I really got.

 

My husband is not who I thought I would be spending my life with, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. My husband certainly isn’t some over emasculated alpha that dominates every room that he walks in and I knew that on our first date when he asked me to call over the waitress because he was ‘too shy’. To any girl this may have been a bit of a turn off, but I really liked how he wasn’t so insecure that he had to put up a false bravado and make himself uncomfortable. It oddly felt like he was already being fully honest with me and I felt like his equal rather than some girl that he’s making a false persona for.

 

Dating him in general was completely different to any male experience I had ever had. He was a hopeless romantic and by our 3rd date he had made me this book, full of these quotes on love  that he had collected from some of his favourite books or songs. It was a bit messy and he used more glitter glue than any person would ever need to use, but I had never received anything so heartfelt in my entire life, I had become so accustomed to just receiving a box of chocolates or some flowers bought in a garage. This is what really made me love the soppy side of him, because it was also the side of him that made it clear how much he loved me.  What was even better about this side of him was that he was consistent. Usually even the alpha boys have a period of showering you with gifts and compliments, but this didn’t just disappear  when I was dating my husband and it has continued to be doing that he does even years into our marriage.

 

Our wedding day is what really stands out. Believe it or not we had to  postpone our ceremony for 40 minutes because he just would not stop sobbing when he saw me walking down the aisle in that dress. Anytime the priest tried to get him to say something he would have to start over or stop completely in between sobs. Again, I imagine other women wouldn’t enjoy their wedding ceremony being stopped because their husband was crying, but I’ve never felt so beautiful in my life. This isn’t even a rare thing, anytime he sees me in a slightly different light than what he’s used to he will well up and proclaim how good I look, what woman wouldn’t want that?

 

You should have seen him when we were planning to start a family, I’ve never met a man so involved. We would be falling asleep and I would get a little poke to the side of the face and he would tell me the new baby names he thought of and what nicknames could come with them. He even completely emptied his own office so that the baby could have a big nursery. He chose all of the wall paper trimmings, the furniture and even the ‘soft enough carpet’. He really went hands on, which I never expected from a husband. I always thought I would have someone who would begrudgingly help me assemble a cot after begging or drive to me to hospital appointments and sit in the car.  Throughout the entire process

I was glad that I didn’t have this emotionally detached alpha by my side, I had my lovely Soppy husband who did nothing  but support me wholeheartedly.

 

Recent Welding Breakthrough May Transform the Manufacturing Industry

We all have the image of welding our heads. People with a faceguard on with flaming equipment fixing metal together, a time-tested method. Yet as the earth keeps spinning, advancements are perpetually made in every walk of life including welding.

At Heriot-Watt University pieces of metal have been connected not by the conventional methods but instead with Lasers! This ultra-fast laser system has been successful with an array of different materials like glass and stainless steel, even straying into welding sapphire. Which is new!

How it works is basically little infra-red-light pulses along a designated path every pico-second (which is one-trillionth of a second)

The issue up until now has been the difficulty in welding materials of different properties. Think metal and glass. Glass can easily shatter at such high temperatures, previous to this discovery Glass and metal were usually glued together which as anyone can imagine isn’t as structurally sound as thing that are welded are, movement is also an issue due to the adhesives. Another downfall of using glues rather than any other method is outgassing, where the gasses are released limiting the life of the product.

A more detailed look at the process reveals that those involved placed the materials very close to each other and put intense beam on one spot about a few microns across (that is one millionth of a meter.)

This then creates a small lightning strike around which there is a melt region.

They then tested it at different temperatures to account for extreme circumstances and found that it was effective at both ends of the spectrum.

It’s not just welders affected by this leap-forward, but designers as well. As stated, it was hard to weld glass and metal together, meaning designer may have had to compromise and make changes to designs which now they won’t. It also gives far more places for designs to go in future, as they will have this equipment as their disposal.

It may only be at the end of the testing stages, but once this is widely available it will change how we look at welding forever and we’ll see some pretty unique welds done with it! Whether you want to look more into this, or more about current welding you can visit weldingmania and maybe soon you be using small lasers to craft your very own creations.

Retired NFL Players Who Sued What can be learned

The US appeals court has been found to have paid out over a billion dollars in compensation to NFL players as a result of concussion and the brain damage it caused. From 2016 when these figures were produced, a preventative programme has been put it place to help avoid injury during games, and in fact there has been a 29% decrease since last year.

With research ongoing into what would be the best course of action around sporting health and safety, there have been some major changes into sporting rules as a way to make the sporting industry safer for its players. Within NFL there have been alterations to the kick off rule, changes to the blindside blocks and lowering of the head rules, all of these changes have been made as a result of quality research into health and safety. There has also been work put into testing and the design of the helmets, and more emphasis has been placed on the training for both coaches and players.

By changing how NFL players and coaches are trained preventative measures can be put in place so that both parties know how to avoid injury but also know how to react should such a situation occur. Should the worst happen and a serious injury happens it is standard NFL procedure for the inflicted players to pass a designated exam to assess the extent of the injury. The tests are conducted in a pitch side tent and a small team will ask the player questions about the game. Factors the team will look out for include eye movement, speech and behavior. Should a player lose consciousness or display symptoms of confusion or loss of memory then they would be deemed unsuitable to play.