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Is Nintendo Switch The Console For You?

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Last year, rumors swirled around Nintendo’s new console, codenamed NX, to replace the ailing Wii U. On October 2016, Nintendo officially unveiled the NX to the world, now named the Switch. The company showed off a slick video that showed how the Switch could transform from a home console connected to a TV, to a handheld console to be played on the go. It’s a logical evolution from the Wii U’s tablet controller that could stream games from the Wii U console to the controller. Earlier this month, Nintendo held a presentation that detailed more features that the Switch would have as well as a definitive launch date and price. The Nintendo Switch will be launching on March 3rd for $299. Nintendo looks to revolutionize how and where we play our games. With that said, here are three things you need to know about the Nintendo Switch

JoyCon Controllers

 

switch controllers

The JoyCon controllers are the key to the Switch’s versatility. The two small controllers slide onto either side of the Switch console, turning it into a mobile gaming console. The JoyCon can also slide out and be used independently as separate controllers, useful for split screen multiplayer games like Mario Kart. While playing single player games, the JoyCon can either be used in each hand similar to the original Wiimote and Nunchuk or they can slide into a separate JoyCon Grip for a more traditional gaming experience. If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo revealed during their January 12th press conference that the controllers are also motion controllers with gyroscopes and accelerometers. Nintendo showed off different games such as ARMS and 1-2 Switch, which make use of the motion controls for gameplay. The left JoyCon has a share button that allows you to share screenshots and videos. The right JoyCon has an NFC sensor for Amiibo figurines. Finally, both JoyCon have what Nintendo calls “HD Rumble” which just a marketing term to describe enhanced rumble features to detect more subtle and realistic vibrations. For those hardcore gamers out there who prefer the feel of a regular controller, Nintendo will also be selling a Pro controller for the Switch.

Switch Console

nintendo switch

The main console itself is a tablet with a 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 720p resolution. It can connect to the Dock which enables gameplay on an TV and keeps the Switch charged. Speaking of charging, one welcome feature is the inclusion of a USB Type C connector. This allows other devices such as a battery pack to be connected…which is good because the battery life varies wildly depending on the game. Nintendo says battery life is anywhere from 2 ½ hours to 6 hours. Graphic intensive games like Splatoon or Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are likely to tax the battery heavily while lighter titles like NES/SNES games will last a bit longer. Spec-wise, little is still known about the Switch as Nintendo has been reticent to release any detailed information. The only confirmed hardware spec is the custom NVIDIA graphics processor. Most analysts believe it is the NVIDIA X1 Tegra chip using the Maxwell architecture instead of the latest Pascal architecture. This would mean that the Switch is more powerful than the Wii U but not nearly as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One. On the positive side, the Switch can connect to other Switch consoles to engage in local multiplayer sessions (now you can trash talk in person instead of online!).

What About The Games?

nintendo switch

Back in October, Nintendo announced a bevy of third party developers that would be creating games for the Switch. Unfortunately, the day one launch games doesn’t contain as many system selling games as one might expect. The games releasing on March 3rd are:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 1-2 Switch
  • Just Dance 2017
  • Skylanders Imaginators
  • Super Bomberman R

As you can see, the major first party game on launch day is The Legend of Zelda. Fortunately, more hard hitting games will come out this year such as:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • ARMS
  • Splatoon 2
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Minecraft
  • Sonic Mania
  • Steep
  • Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • I Am Setsuna
  • LEGO City Undercover
  • NBA 2K18
  • Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth

Nintendo also plans to release their online service to enable multiplayer online play. It will be a system like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus where players can subscribe to the online service for a monthly or yearly price. Like Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, Nintendo will allow subscribers to download a free NES or SNES game per month…with a HUGE caveat. While Xbox and PlayStation allow subscribers to keep their downloaded games, Nintendo will only allow subscribers to keep the downloaded game for the month it is available. Afterwards, the subscriber loses access to the game unless it is bought. The Switch is likely Nintendo’s last ditch effort to win back gamers after the failed Wii U. Business moves such as not allowing players to keep their free NES/SNES games may come back to haunt Nintendo as a potentially anti-consumer policy. Regardless, the Switch is an innovative and exciting entry into the gaming market. Time will tell if Nintendo is able to woo gamers (and third party developers) back to its platform. It will also be interesting to see how Nintendo will juggle the Switch with its other handheld offering, the 3DS. Nintendo is betting on mobility and based on their massive sales of the 3DS, it looks like they might just be onto something.

Business

Using Live Video To Double Your Business

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live video

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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tech job prep

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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