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Nintendo Switch Console: Pros and Cons

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It’s here. After months of waiting, speculation, rumors and teasers. The Nintendo Switch has finally arrived. Nintendo hopes to literally change the game by allowing gamers to play in a myriad of ways. The Switch console promises to be an almost all-in-one console, able to function as a standalone home console or as a handheld console. But does it live up to that promise? I have not played with the Switch yet and cannot do a full review, however, here are a few pros and (joy)cons of the Nintendo Switch as it is today.

Pros

1. This is the most powerful handheld console ever. Compared to the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, it’s not nearly as powerful but compared to other handheld systems like the PlayStation Vita or even Nintendo’s own 3DS, it’s much more capable performance wise.

2. The system UI is very clean and simple. It’s easy to setup and play out of the box. The screen is touch enabled so the menus can be navigated using touch or the controller buttons.

3. Nintendo has built the Switch to be the most versatile console ever. Using the included dock, you can play the switch in full 1080p on your TV. The Switch console itself has a kickstand (albeit a little flimsy per most reviewers) and can be propped up to play on by itself. Obviously, there’s the handheld mode where the JoyCon slide onto either side of the Switch. The JoyCon themselves can be used independently in each hand. Many reviewers have stated that this is very comfortable. For those wanting a more traditional gaming experience, the JoyCon can slide onto the JoyCon Grip. There’s also a separate Pro Controller for more hardcore gamers. Furthermore, some games like 1-2 Switch and Mario Kart allow each JoyCon to be used for split screen multiplayer.

4. The screen on the Switch console is only 720p. That sounds like a downer until you remember that it’s a 6.2 inch screen. At that size, content on the screen still looks sharp and plenty good for handheld gaming. The screen is also suitably bright for most environments although direct sunlight probably isn’t a good idea.

5. Gaming is always better with friends. Up to 8 Switches can be networked together for multiplayer games.

 

Cons

1. Nintendo has stated that battery life on the Switch console is between 2 and 6 hours depending on how graphically intensive the game is. That means that if you plan on going on long plane ride, be prepared to bring a separate battery pack, especially when playing games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

2. The base Switch bundle is about $300 which isn’t bad. It comes with the console itself, the Switch dock, 2 JoyCon, and the JoyCon Grip. However, the Pro Controller is totally separate and costs $70. There’s also a separate JoyCon Charging Grip that charges the JoyCon while connected which is another $30. The Switch only comes with 32GB of onboard storage. If you plan on primarily downloading games, that space will fill up quick. Fortunately, the Switch does support micro SD cards but that’s yet another added expense depending on the size of the card.

3. Many early reviews of the Switch complained of the left JoyCon frequently desyncing during gameplay. The issue seems to be depend on how far away the player is but apparently, it’s frequent enough for people to notice it.

4. As great as the Switch hardware is, it is the games that will ultimately make or break the longevity of the console. The launch games for the Switch is mediocre at best. The only major title worth getting at the moment is Zelda. 1-2 Switch may be fun for a while but is ultimately a glorified tech demo. I Am Setsuna is a port from other consoles and Super Bomberman is hardly worth the $60 asking price. Fortunately, there are heavy hitters coming out as the year goes on such as Mario Kart 8 (which itself is also a port), Splatoon 2, Dragon Quest Heroes, ARMS, and Mario Odyssey.

5. Nintendo is set to release an online service to compete with Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. This online service will allow gamers to play online multiplayer against other gamers as well as play one free NES or SNES game per month. The downside is that unlike Xbox Live and PSN, once the month is up, the player will no longer have access to that free game unless they buy it. Voice chat will be limited to an app on a smartphone or tablet and you are limited to up to 300 friends.

Business

Using Live Video To Double Your Business

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Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video, and Periscope – more than likely you would have heard of these social media platforms, but did you know they are the latest technological breakthroughs for users to incorporate into their business? These platforms allow you to connect powerfully and easily with your audience, which means as an entrepreneur, you are able to personalize your brand and business amongst targeted viewers.

Engaging with your audience is key to running a successful company. Gone are the days where you can just create a website, cross your fingers, and hope that people will find it and contact you for your products or services. We live in a new era, where billions of people are constantly connected to their smart phone. According to Facebook, there are 1.18 billion active users that visit their social network on a daily basis! So with the Live Video option, you are now able to literally interact in real time with your audience. Think what that can do for your business.

The first thing you may be asking yourself right now is, how can I reach more people without a large following? Well, the easiest and quickest way to build a responsive following is to become Keyword specific. This means that you are targeting people specifically interested in your niche and what you have to offer. It is better to have 100 followers that are engaged and interested in buying your product or service than 1,000 followers that take little to no action on your offers. One of the fundamental keys to your business growth is to create an organic following.

 

How to build a following organically

 

Content is king

The more value and content you post regularly on social media — the more followers you are going to gain. People want to learn, be entertained, and see valuable posts from you.

Assuming you’re doing this and you have a responsive following, now you are able to incorporate Live Video! Before you “go live” you must have a game plan on exactly what you will be talking about. Go in prepared or you’ll lose interest and engagement.

Keep in mind the attention span of the average person is extremely short, so you have one chance and one chance only.  Make it count! Lucky for you, you don’t have to be on Live Video for too long to get your message across. A handy acronym to use is: K.I.S.S: Keep it short and simple! Your audience will love you for that, trust me!

Build a bond

Like anything worthwhile in life, the power of our bonds with others is what binds us together.  Strip all the technology away and we are simply human beings creating connection and bonds, which create trust and trust creates fans and buyers. With your current audience, you must build a bond, in other words, a relationship with them. You can do this with live video. Have a conversation with your audience, while keeping them entertained. Ask questions, acknowledge your viewers, and deliver value that they can take away once you’re done.

Now that you’ve created a relationship with your audience ask them to spread the word by liking to share and comment. The more likes and shares you get, the further your reach gets. Now the way Facebook’s algorithm works is, with the more activity that is happening on your post or feed, they will make sure everyone can watch it and have the opportunity to engage. Whenever a user logs onto Facebook, they will see you first on their feed!

Create a contest

People love winning. Creating a giveaway or a contest that gives your users the chance to gain something by participating will spread your name and page around Facebook like wildfire. It’s scary how fast news will spread when done correctly. A word of caution: Make sure you set clear and concise rules to your contest to avoid unnecessary drama or miscommunication.

On your post, make sure to include a form. Here, you will gather the user’s information: name and email address. These two requirements are essential for you. You have not only gained new leads for your business, but your new leads have also done free advertising work for you and your business. By liking, sharing, and commenting on your post, they have now expanded your message to their following, giving them the opportunity to participate in the contest and spread the word even farther. There are a ton of ways you can grow your audience exponentially with a few cleverly executed strategies.

Live Video Doubling Your Business

Providing value and entertaining info on your product or service without sounding like a door salesman will take you a long way. At the end of each video, provide a call to action for your audience to participate in. An example of this could be, “Click the link in my bio to learn more.” Keep in mind that you do not have to provide a call to action in every video. Spamming your viewers will only backfire.

Another approach you can have is leaving a cliffhanger at the end of each video where your viewers will want to see your next Live Event. It leaves you with suspense, which ultimately makes you come back for more. That’s the effect you need to have on your audience.

Your call to action could be clicking a link that you’ve posted on your page, tagging a friend on your most recent post, and/or leaving a comment with their email on your post. The link that the user will be clicking should direct them to a landing page where you will be able to provide the user with value and an offer. That ties back into a sales funnel, where you can convert leads into buyers.

At the end of the day, Live Video allows you to connect with your audience on a personal level. This form of communication will be help you convey your message more clearly as they watch you live. You will have a better connection with your viewers as you build a connection through emotions. Live video allows your audience to learn more about you, your business and what you’re selling. Make it exciting, provide value,  develop creative call to actions for your audience and watch your business grow.

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Popping the Bubble: How to Escape the Social Media Echo Chamber

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This past election has left most millennials in a cloud of surprise.  I know that on my own Facebook news feed there was a very anti-Trump/pro-Bernie vibe.  In the months prior to the election, my outlets for social media were bombarded by very specific opinions against the reality TV billionaire.  All I heard were calls to “feel the Bern”.  To me, and I think to most people my age, it appeared unanimous that Trump would lose.  However this was not the case.  So what happened?

One issue with social media is that it’s prone to creating echo chambers: places where our ideas are reaffirmed by the consensus of our networks.  Don’t like one particular friend’s libertarian view?  Easy.  Unfollow them.  This ability to unfollow, paired with algorithms that curate content towards to your taste depending on what you like/react to, creates the walls that seal us into comfort zones with like-minded people.  It traps us into a biased reality; a bubble that prevents us from ideas different than our own.  Here are three simple ways to combat the bubble, and allow for the diffusion of ideas.  No one’s saying it’s easy, but those who do are the guardians who keep the dialogue open during difficult times and with controversial ideas.

Actively like and react to diverse new sources and pages

Much of the power and control that users have over their social media is in curation.  Your feed is curated according to the content you interact with.  Simply being aware of this fact can make help make you more conscious about how and what appears in your feed.  If you’re not seeing a lot of diversity in content, maybe try interacting with new stuff.

Watch out for confirmation bias 

Does it always sound like you’re right?  When you log onto your Facebook, does every status update and shared article resonate with your own beliefs?  It’s easy to be drawn by the gravity of people who support your ideas, but to keep an honest perspective on the state of the world, you need to balance out what you expose yourself to.

A wise person once said to me “you like that author’s opinion?  Then try reading their opposer’s book.”

Never Unfollow

The “unfollow” feature is meant to be used in times of dire offense.  It’s understandable that a person be unfollowed because they are insulting or harassing.  The problem is that in some subjects like politics and religion,  people can resort to both of these behaviors.  Because people tend to hold political and religious beliefs close to their hearts, opposing views often respond with even more hostility.  Usually in these cases people unfollow not because of the idea itself but because of the primitive and often negative ways people try to convey them.

What makes unfollowing such a bad option is that it closes the dialogue between big contrasting ideas.  If you unfollow a friend who disagrees with you, you’re basically choosing not to hear their side.  Does doing this really make you the bigger person?  When we choose to stop the flow of information, we are also choosing to remain within the bubble.  Break free by practicing these three simple guidelines.  Humans aren’t always the best at communicating, but at least keeping an open ear and an open heart leaves the door open to a more harmonious reality, one that actually reflects the ideas of the world, and the people who hold them.

 

 

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Startup Central

How To Prepare Yourself For A Job In Tech

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Technology has transformed the way we live our lives and is set to achieve what was thought impossible a decade ago.

In today’s digital world, every sector is somewhat dependent on technology. So, if you are interested in making a career in technology, there is no limit of options. It is estimated that more than 10 billion smart devices will be connected to the internet by the year 2020, which will create more job opportunities in the technological field.

If you are planning for a career in tech, you need to plan it meticulously and keep yourself updated from time to time. You need to identify the right opportunity and make yourself stand out from the competition. Most of the well-known tech companies have a complex recruitment process to hire the right candidate. Your resume should be unique to get noticed in the crowd. You should also work hard and have diverse skillset to excel in the interviews. Here are some strategic tips for you to make it big in the tech industry.

Gain knowledge

If you want to attain success in the tech field, keep your basics right. Most of the tech companies look for good technical expertise. Keep your knowledge bank up-to-date with all the technical know-hows and latest innovations. You need to understand and master technology to contribute successfully. In-depth technical knowledge can definitely put you ahead of your competitors.

Passionate about technology? – Share it

Recruiters and hiring managers look for talent who passionate about technology. If you research on a tech issue, share it on a blog or tweet it and get noticed. If you are particularly passionate about cloud computing, UI design, or data analytics, share it on your blog or LinkedIn page. Your passion and activities throw more light on your personality and increase your employability.

Get ready to face the interview anytime

Tech companies recruit talent quickly. They look for dynamic individuals for their companies who are agile and mobile. So, keep your resume handy and visit various career fairs or online job portals regularly to know more about the tech companies and their recruitment procedures. If your skills match with a position, keep yourself ready to face the interview anytime.

Do your homework

It is important to know about your prospective employer. Wikipedia or LinkedIn are great sources to gather all the information about companies. Show some interest about the company and its work culture in the interview and you may have a better chance to negotiate your salary.

Ask questions

The biggest hurdle to get a tech job is to clear the technical round of an interview. The hiring managers evaluate you on your ability to solve real-world problems quickly. They also try to judge your knowledge and skills. The technical round consists of solving puzzles, brain teasers, coding challenges, and group discussions. However, your communication skill will definitely be the deal breaker in the interview. Interviews are always a two-way street. Ask some thoughtful questions to the employer about your role and your future in the company. Your interviewers do not know why they should hire you. So, you need to run an extra mile to prove yourself.

After you bag a role of your dreams in the tech industry, do not stop learning about the latest trends and keep yourself updated. It can always keep you ahead of your competitors. A good work experience allows you to choose a better role in the industry.

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