Author: Admin

Battle of the Skins: Which MOBA has the Best In-Game Cosmetics

Gaming has slowly become dominated by one genre more than any other. MOBAs. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas. This genre first came to fruition as a custom game mode in Starcraft, called Aeon of Strife. But it was popularised by the warcraft 3 custom game Defence of the Ancients, otherwise known as DOTA.

You will be aware of the popular Valve game DOTA 2. And the most popular MOBA on the planet, Leauge of Legends. But these are only the biggest two of what is now an extremely saturated genre.

One of the great things about this genre is the games tend to be free-to-play. This is because both DOTA2 and LoL are f2p which means any game hoping to compete will have to match this or fail. Save for a few exceptions such as Overwatch.

So how do these free-to-play MOBAs actually make money? It often falls down to cosmetics. In-game skins that let players change the look of their characters and weapons. But which MOBA has the best In-Game cosmetics out of them all? Well, we are going to take a look and try to narrow down that question.

 

League of Legends

League of Legends is, without question, the most popular MOBA on the planet. Its E-sports scene attracts more viewers than any other, and its annual player base dominates the other games. And to go with that it is also one of the longest-running MOBAs. That also means it has amassed a large collection of in-game cosmetics for players to buy.

In fact, there are so many cosmetics that some have actually gone out of circulation, being classified as legacy skins. Within this massive catalog sits some of the most creative skins we have ever seen. You have everything from Gundam style robot skins to fairytale skins. Summer pool party themed skins to Halloween themed skins. If you can imagine it then LoL most likely has done it.

But quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Some of the skins are little more than recoloring, especially in the early days of the game’s life. But these days a lot of the skins are intricate and detailed, going as far as to change the abilities of the character as well.

 

DOTA 2

DOTA 2 takes a different approach to their cosmetics than LoL. In fact, their approach was eventually copied by LoL and other MOBAs. Rather than having one skin for an entire character, DOTA lets you unlock different items and parts of a character’s look. This essentially allows the player to play dress-up with their favorite heroes.

But it doesn’t stop there. Where DOTA took it to the next level is in the ability to equip cosmetics that change everything from the UI to the announcer’s voice. Having guest voice packs such as Wheatley from Portal 2 or Rick from Rick and Morty has kept the DOTA cosmetic shop fresh where other games stagnate.

Valva has always been known for its incredible graphics and attention to detail, along with stunning psychics engines. And the skins for DOTA 2 follow this trend. The cosmetics are often fully animated and varied, making them more than simple re-skins. They can change a character completely, including the visual effects for their abilities.

 

Overwatch

Blizzard was dominating the MMO market for years. World of Warcraft was seemingly unbeatable. So it came as a shock when Blizzard tried their hand in creating a MOBA. Enter: Overwatch. A fresh take of the traditional battle arena genre, Overwatch is an FPS MOBA.

The biggest draw of Overwatch was the varied characters. Each with their own unique visual style and fun ability to match, the game broke a lot of the stereotypes of a traditional fps. But what about cosmetics?

Overwatch has a wide variety of different skins available for their champions. But aside from a few that add costumes parts or change visual effects, most are nothing more than simple recolors. In fact, most have guessed that the reason Blizzard adds so many simple recolors is to pad out their loot box system and force people to gamble more money to get the skin they want. A horrid practice that is currently being heavily debated in courts around the world

 

SMITE

Smite is a lesser-known MOBA, but one of the oldest and most robust. It constantly maintains a consistent player base and some very unique cosmetics. The game stands out as it uses characters from real-world mythology such as greek and Norse gods.

SMITE has recently secured a deal with Nickelodeon to have skins from the popular Avatar series. With Avatar Aang and Korra now in the game, SMITE has seen a rise in their player base.

SMITEs skins are often detailed and well throughout. Featuring a lot of cosmetic changes and visual effects changes as well. And, unlike Overwatch, all of the skins can be purchased through normal means rather than loot boxes. It is no wonder SMITE has managed to thrive against the larger competitors where other MOBAs fade into obscurity and eventually shut down.

 

Overall, if it was up to us, we would argue that DOTA 2 has the best in-game cosmetics. We can chalk this up to Valves’ attention to detail and top-notch physics engine. But at the end of the day, it all falls down to personal preference. So, what MOBA has the best cosmetics in your opinion?

Read More

How Churches Are Making Use of Modern Technologies

I worked in a cathedral for a large portion of my life. Not in the religious sector. I was employed in the customer service division, which was a subsidiary company owned by the cathedral. To me, it was just another job in events management and customer service.

But working in a cathedral environment for so long, you pick up on a lot of stuff. The dignitaries and honored guests don’t mind talking in front of the staff, as they hardly notice us. And the one big thing I picked up one is this. Churches are dying.

 

A Dying Breed

 

This might be an extreme way of saying it. What I mean is the number of donors and members of the church are dwindling. Thanks to modern technology and enlightened education, fewer young people are willing to commit to the church. And, sadly, a lot of the previous members of the church are now dying off.

It is morbid but factual. The rate at which the church is losing members and donors to death is far greater than the new intake of members. And this means less money overall.

Churches are greedy. This is something else I learned while working there. They love to hoard money, spend as little as possible, and then moan when they don’t have enough. Even though they always have more than enough.

So, in recent years the church has been looking for new ways to bring in younger donors and new members. So I want to look at one of the biggest methods the church is using to stay relevant. Technology.

 

The Pandemic

The first example of churches using modern technology to stay ahead has been forced upon them due to the global pandemic. But, its success means it will most likely stay in use long after we are clear of the virus. Sermons and services are now being broadcast online. Some churches had already implemented this feature before, but now nearly every major church is doing this.

And since they have started they have noticed a sharp increase in attendance numbers for their services. The main reason for this is the fact that anyone can tune in, no matter where they are. A lot of people no longer live in their home city or have the chance to visit their favorite town. So these services instantly allowed people to travel back to the churches they love. It was foolish of the churches to fight this advancement for so long.

 

Online Community

A big part of church activities involves the guests and members being able to talk to the priests and clergy. Asking their advice, seeking counsel, or just having a friend to chat with. Churches used to be the hub of societies. So it is no surprise people still gravitate towards them.

A lot of churches are now moving to online chat rooms and forums. Having dedicated clergy members online to have video chats with people or take confessions online.

This also allows churchgoers to communicate with each other in group settings, similar to how they would if they were attending in person. A lot of the older community that attends church do so because they are lonely. Going to church gives them a sense of purpose and allows them to be part of a community and meet others. By extending their reach online, the church is making sure these people are still supported.

 

Good Business

You might be shocked to learn that a lot of cathedrals have gift shops. And these often aren’t just little dinky gift shops like you’d find in a museum. Some of them are filled to the brim with quality products. Products like the besten geschenke zur erstkommunion für jungen, or DVDs of popular church sermons and choir concerts. Along with other fabulous gifts.

These shops were a good source of income for the churches. Day-trippers and those on holiday would always stop to buy a few trinkets. But thanks to dwindling numbers, and the pandemic, these sources of income are drying up.

Which is why a lot of churches are now setting up online stores. This idea is nothing new. Online shopping has been around nearly as long as the internet has. But a lot of churches simply didn’t have the infrastructure to support online shopping. And they wanted to have customers come on-site to make purchases, to encourage them to explore and hopefully join up.

With less through traffic on a daily basis, it makes sense more churches are now using top-tired courier services to offer fast delivery and a great range of products. And since more people are online shopping than ever before, they are slowly boosting their profits.

 

 

Read More

How It Works: The Hot Process of Welding

Knowledge is Power! That’s the age-old saying. And we are firm believers that the more you learn the better your quality of life will be. It has been proven that we, as a species, crave education. We thirst for knowledge. And it is this drive within us that has led our species to advance to the staggerings hights we have!

And while there are some out there that would like to think they know everything, we know that there is always more to learn! And, if you have clicked this article, it seems you think like us. So, join us as we take a look at a few topics that you might be curious about, but never thought to look into. And together we will discover How It Works!

 

Welding

Everyone has seen the image of the Hot-Rod greasers welding their rides. Or watched as Iron Man welds an arc-reactor onto an underwater pipe in the Avengers. But how exactly does Welding actually work? How do two completely separate sections of metal suddenly become one solid mass? And is it possible to join two pieces of metal without a welder?

Let’s start with the basics. What is Welding?

Welding is the process of using intense streams of heat to melt metals and fuse them together. Seems simple right? But it has a lot more complexity to it than it first seems.

In movies and TV shows you always see someone go at a slab of metal with a welding torch and instantly connect it to something else. But, in actuality, there is a third key component needed for this. A welding rod. This rod is made of a different kind of metal and is melted down across a specialized strip of wire, held between the two pieces of metal. The melted rod cools around the wire and between the metal, thus connecting it into a solid mass. It is the electrode wire that gives welded seems that rigged appearance.

 

Without Welding

Welding is a powerful process that can strengthen structures immensely. Once the sections of metal are joined together they become stronger, more resilient. This is great for large scale construction. Welded metal also provides more security. A welded structure is often a sealed unit. This is great for cars and other objects that have delicate internal mechanisms in need of protection.

But welding isn’t the only way of attaching metal together, it is simply the only method that can turn the separate pieces into one object. Other methods include using rivets, which are simply massive bolts that are injected through the metal by a powerful machine. The force of the rivet entering is so strong it creates a perfectly tight seal. Removing an object that has been riveted is no easy task.

Another common method is to use industrial hot glue. This glue is designed to melt when superheated and them reform between the sheets of metal. This glue isn’t like the glue you can buy at a craft store. This glue is essentially unbreakable.

The Saftey

Welding is an extremely cool, and physically hot process! Visually it is very fascinating. Watching metal melt and form into one is incredible. But it is also very dangerous and should only be carried out by trained professionals who know exactly what they are doing.

Welding torches and arc-welders reach staggering heats. The melting point of most metals is anywhere between 400 degrees to 900 degrees. Those heats would cause irreparable damage to a human body. So stay safe and do not try welding at home!

 

Read More

Is the World of ESports Becoming Dangerously Over Commercialized?

The world of Sports was changed forever when Gaming became an officially recognized Olympic sport. E-sports, as it is more commonly known, can be made up of any competitive game that allows players to face off against one another.

No longer was sport simply reserved for those with the physical powers to play on the field. Suddenly a whole new generation of athletes was born. Athletes who battled in virtual worlds rather than physically.

But as it grew in popularity so too did the gaming industry as a whole. More and more gaming moved away from being an art of passion, with games being made by small studios who cared. Instead, we saw major corporations swing into the gaming field. Each run by investors who nothing about gaming and seek only to turn a profit.

The Slow Increase

With this trend towards money over art, we have seen gaming slowly become more and more commercialized. Only a few years ago a fully-fledged triple-A game would cost a maximum of $40. Now you would be lucky to get it for that on sale.

But how does all this affect the world of e-sports? Most of the games being played are often free games such as Leauge of Legends. Is the e-sports world about to fall victim to the issue of over-commercialization.

Our opinion is that it will. Already we are seeing the effects of it. More and more companies are throwing their hats into the ring. Hiring teams to represent them, rather than the teams being scouted independently. Soon we won’t be watching actual gaming pros face-off, we will watch as cooperate paid players fight on behalf of the company.

 

The Effects On Us

The increase in the commercialization of the gaming world isn’t all bad. It has allowed a lot of smaller, more independent services to flourish. You can buy pre-owned games easily. You can get an aimbot for valorant or gold boosting for WoW with ease. But these are all positives designed by gamers for gamers.

What we have also seen in a steady increase in the bad practices associated with the commercial world. Games being sold half complete with the rest sold as DLC down the line. Early access titles taking the money and never finishing. Major game companies forcing you to use online DRM and legally binding you to contract to ensure you don’t own what you pay for.

And this translates into e-sports as well. Soon ticket prices are going to soar. You will be forced to give your details over to massive corporations. The e-sports tournaments will be plastered with commercial advertising and the entire audience will be forced to watch adverts in between round.

 

Can It Be Stopped

There is always a way to hold back these swarming tides. The only way for it not to work is for the masses to stand up and fight back. And the only way to fight back in these modern times is with your wallet.

These companies rely on the new wave of gamers, those who only know the gaming world in the twisted shape it currently sits. They rely on them funneling mass amounts of cash into the system. So, if people want to stop e-sports becoming too commercialized they need to organize and stop attending the events.

Some e-sports teams have already considered starting their own official league sanctioned by players for the players. No corporate sponsors allowed. But as it stands at the moment this is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Read More

Data Protection: Does Facebook Actually Own all your Pictures?

For a long time, there have been questions around Facebook’s privacy policies, whether it’s about tracking your location, collecting your data for personalized ads and third-party sellers, or, whether you actually own any of the content you post on your page (more specifically, your pictures). The quick answer? No, you’ll be happy to know you own your pictures. Facebook has no claim over them. Facebook states in their policy: “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook.” However, let’s look at how you can protect yourself on Facebook and stop these notions of stealing and ownership from being an issue.

The basics

First of all, let’s cover some of the basics. The most simple thing you can do to protect your privacy is to make your page private. There are no good arguments against doing this. People are still able to search for and find you, you don’t disappear from Facebook, but what it does do is hide all your important and personal information from complete strangers.

Step one

The easiest way to do this is to open your settings on Facebook, and under Privacy choose Privacy settings and then ‘Check a few important settings’. This allows you to change who sees your email address, birthday, where you live, where you went to school, and who can see the people you’re friends with. You may not think these things are important to hide but they are; your email is used for everything, whether that be setting up accounts or the place where new password requests are sent. Having your email private means it’s being protected on Facebook from those who may want to scam you. Having your birthday visible to only people you trust is also a good idea. Again, your birthday is used for a myriad of accounts and logins; having it available to see only to people you trust protects you that much more.

Step two

The next step in the ‘Check a few important settings’ is who can see your posts. Now, you can’t change who has seen your posts in the past, but you can protect yourself from now on and in the future by changing that setting to only friends. If you’re one to post about your day, or happy or sad events because you want to let your friends know (but you’re settings are public) you’re allowing anyone to view these details about you. They could learn your routine, figure out where you live, anything! To protect yourself, and change that setting to friends only.

Step three

The final step is blocking. Now, not everyone may have people they need to block and that’s great. However, if you don’t want certain people checking up on you, or seeing any information about you or what you post, you should definitely add them to the block list. Blocking people allows your page that extra level of protection and you can be sure they won’t see anything you don’t want them to. And one of the best bits about blocking someone is they’ll never know that you have! Isn’t it great? You can also unblock people at your leisure, so it’s not permanent if you don’t want it to be.

Protecting your pictures

Since you came here looking for questions about your pictures, the same protection above can be applied to the photos you post. No matter the social media image sizes, your pictures are your own. When you limit who sees your posts, that includes any pictures you post too!

So there you have it, the easiest ways to protect yourself on Facebook. And hey, if you’re still worried about your posts being owned by Facebook, you can always go and block them, they’ll never know.

Read More

How Does Sonic Disruption Technology Work?

Sonic Disruption is huge. I’ve seen it used countless times and not just in Star Trek. Sonic disruption technology applies the use of ultrasonics to cause disruption to matter. They’re often weapons that use sound to injure or kill and are therefore invaluable in pest control. A few years ago, a friend of mine had a large scale infestation of rats. He was devastated and started thinking about moving house, and living in a caravan. I told him to consider getting in pest control instead. He’s never regretted it.

 

Yale pest solved all of his problems in a matter of days. They arrived with all the sonic disruption tech and went to work, ridding the house of vermin. My friend was so happy with their quality customer service and thorough job. In addition, the way the technology works is fascinating. Sonic disruption tech sends high powered sound waves to destroy the eardrums of a target. These are the most powerful sound waves. The least powerful may cause the target to experience nausea. Sonic weapons like sonic grenades, sonic cannons, and sonic mines have been used by the military and police to control crowds.

 

For getting rid of pests, there are things called ultrasonic pest repellers, which you plug into the wall and it emits undetectable sound and then two weeks later, the pests are gone. It’s simple, clean, and effective.

 

How does ultrasound work?

Well, ultrasound waves have a higher frequency than what human ears can detect but pests such as mice and rats can hear this and are deterred from going any further. Ultrasound can have a detrimental effect on the pests, by raising body temperature or causing seizures. It’s more humane than maybe leaving poison out of torturous traps and it’s important to get this looked at by professionals. Connecticut is a clean place anyway but those pesky pets still get in and Yale Pest are there to take care of it.

 

These electronic devices emit short-wavelength, high-frequency sound waves and they are too high in pitch to be heard by people. We usually don’t hear frequencies that are higher than 20,000 Hz however insects, such as locusts and crickets can hear up to 100,000 Hz. Birds, on the other hand, are not able to hear ultrasound.

 

There have been many ultrasound wave studies that show how effective it is and if it’s good enough for the police and military, then it’s good enough for me. Technology never fails to amaze me and what better way to get rid of your pests and learn about science at the same time? The company yale pest control not only is a local, family company but also they will give you a free quote just so you know what you’re getting into. No bug is too big for them, as they cover cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, bees, wasps, hornets, ticks, termites, rodents, and squirrels. Whatever your deadly pest is, they got your back.

 

The best part about social disruption technology is it is a technology that won’t harm your pets, property, and the surrounding environment. You can rest easy, knowing your perfect pooch won’t be at any danger from these methods and Yale Pest control cares a lot about your environment. They take it seriously and put you and the health of your household above everything else. I dare you to find a better Connecticut based pest control. They’ve had countless good reviews and sonic disruption is cutting edge technology that has been adopted by many professional pest control companies and so if you need help in your house, give these guys a call.

 

Read More

Is 2021 Going to be the Year of Electric Scooters?

2020 Has been a rough year. No one can deny that. But admit all the chaos and uncertainty, the world still carries on as best it can. And with it the ever-changing tide of technological trend shifts. Many claims were made about what would be the breakout tech or fad of 2020. Most of these productions were proved wrong due to the lockdown. We noticed people leaning more towards indoor technology such as the Switch.

But once people can get back outside safely, they will in force. And many experts are already predicting the technological trends that define 2021 are going to be ones that encourage users to venture outside. Whether this is social technologies or practical ones.

One tech that has already got a lot of people talking is electric scooters. While they aren’t a new technology by any means, as our society progresses so does our tech. And they have never been better.

Function Meets Form

When electric scooters first hit the market, they were expensive, clunky and cumbersome. But now they are sleek, efficient travel machines. Companies have invested millions into, not only the tech but the look as well. Xiaomi m365 scooter, Segway-Ninebot, and Turboant X7 are only some of the hottest scooters out there revolutionizing the game.

When life returns to normal in 2021, we all hope, people are going to be a lot more aware of the effect they have on the world. People will use public transport less and look for alternative means. Electric scooters offer the speed and ease of travel associated with bikes but are compact and small enough that you can traverse streets and roads often not accessible by other means of transport.

It is our opinion that 2021 is going to be a big year for electric scooters. So you might consider investing in one now and beating the rush.

Read More

The 4 Newest And Greatest Innovations to Indoor Plumbing

Plumbing and constant water supply are one of the most underrated and under-appreciated developments to occur in this century, imagine not having access to running water or a flushable toilet. These are things that may be taken for granted and it is very hard to imagine life without them or a time where these innovations had not yet been invented. We have come a long way from the days where multiple houses would have to share a single toilet and there have been some pretty revolutionary plumbing inventions along the way.

 

Instant boiling water

A very useful tool for those who spend significant time in the kitchen would have to be the tap that can produce boiling water at the flick of a switch. No longer do we have to rely on the kettle or hob to get boiling water for hot drinks or cooking and we can now access temperatures of one hundred degrees in as little as seconds, this useful plumbing development is great both in the home and in professional kitchens as it cuts the waiting time for water to boil down significantly, which I’m sure we can all agree is extremely convenient.

 

Underground Plumbing

Although it isn’t too recent of development the fact that we have come so far from our past methods of disposing of waste onto the street definitely deserves merit. It is much more hygienic, healthy and environmentally friendly for underground plumbing to contain waste products away from the public, compared to the days where chamber pots were used we have now become much more conscious of health and the impact disposing of waste properly can have on the environment. Underground plumbing and sewage treatment have had a hugely positive effect through the fact that we are able to lead hygienic lifestyles.

 

Increase in skilled plumbers

With new plumbing features becoming available there has been an increased demand for skilled plumbers to carry out any repairs that are needed, the boost in new plumbing innovations has meant more and more people are opting to learn plumbing as a trade providing very successful careers for a lot of people. Top companies such as Mandurah plumber are regularly looking for skilled apprentices to join their workforce and provide high-quality plumbing maintenance to the public. Generating well-paid jobs is one of the most beneficial results to come with the new developments in plumbing technology.

 

Water Monitoring

Sticking with the theme of leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle, there has been much more focus placed on the monitoring of how much water can be used per household without causing damage to the world. Water suppliers are providing home monitoring kits to their customers, so that they can keep an eye on the amount of water they are using and how much they spend on a monthly basis. This encourages people to be much more green as well as helping them to save money by reducing the amount of water they use.

Read More

5 Great Tips to Maximize your Brands Online Exposure

In this day and age online exposure has become a critical factor towards your businesses success, brands that don’t cater towards an online audience are faltering compared to those that make use of the advertising platform available who are more likely to succeed. Obviously having an online presence is not the only factor to consider but there is no denying that it has the opportunity to bring a lot of revenue into your direction. By using the advancements in technology and the increase in internet use you really can give your brand a boost by making some very small changes.

 

Website

For those of you that are not already online, I would urge you to set up some form of website or social media page immediately. There are so many ways you can allow yourself to be seen online and it doesn’t have to be through a dedicated website that can cost money to run. Taking advantage of the many social media outlets and setting up a Facebook or Instagram page for free can be a good way to boost your brand’s exposure. Having a page allows your customers to leave reviews, allows you to advertise and is a great way to be more hands on with your valued customers. By showing your great customer service skills your brand is sure to grow in popularity causing an increase in revenue.

Contacts

A great piece of advice that can be applied to many aspects of the business world would be to hold on to any valuable contacts you may collect. Having a solid contacts list is vital for situations where you require advice within your business. Maintaining a solid rapport with contacts can be valuable in the future when it comes to seeking out reliable advertising companies or website designers which help boost your online presence.

Advertising

As previously mentioned, advertising effectively is a great way to boost your brand’s online exposure as it sends your brand’s message and shows potential customers what you are offering. By using an online platform your adverts can reach a worldwide audience very quickly.

SEO

For those of you who are looking to build upon a brand’s existing online appeal , you may choose to take advantage of the many SEO service companies that exist today. Search Engine Optimization refers to the process where changes are made to your online pages so that they are more likely to feature higher up on the search engine, doing this in turn increases the amount of traffic on your website so that more people are viewing your business.

Customer Relation

A final point that not only increases your brand’s online exposure but increases your general exposure would have to be the amount of effort you put in with customer service. The classic business mantra can also be applied in an online environment. If you ensure that customers cannot fault the level of service from your company they are more likely to leave genuine positive reviews for people to see online.

Read More

How to Create URL Shortening Software

Using a URL shortening service for a long URL makes it more manageable, eye-catching and appealing for potential visitors to a page; increasing the influx of visitors, which is vital for a website that generates its revenue with clicks or advertisements viewed. URL shorteners are a good way to earn extra cash, if you’d like to create a service for yourself and/or other people to shorten pages with a lengthy URL, you’ll need to follow these steps.

First, you’d need to design the mySQL database effectively with relevant information. If you’re wanting to provide a service, have one table with the URL mapping and another with the corresponding user that created the short URL request. URL mapping is only needed if you are the sole user of the software. The best language to use to allow the generating of a short URL from a long URL would be PHP and mySQL. You’d need to create a URL shortener class, you’ll have to use a PHP data object to link the database with the shortener class. Once the shortener class has been initialized, the code will have to pass the PHP data object, then prompt the user to input a long URL for conversion, then the code must specify the short URL prefix, then call the function you’ve already made in the shortener class to retrieve the short URL then save it to the database. Then the short URL just made should be retrieved in the database when the link is put in then the person should be redirected to the long URL. Short URLs are great for eye-catching links but pose few security risks, more so for the user, such as bypassing internet security software, or tricking someone into going on a phishing website.

Read More