Seven Tips For Finding Excellent Car Service

The best car service is preventative, not patchwork. The last thing car owners need nowadays, with increasingly busy schedules, is frequent trips to the mechanic. It’s especially frustrating with easily fixed or recurring problems. Here are some tips to avoid breaking the bank the next time your vehicle breaks down.

Check Out Reviews First

With the spread of customer reviews on the internet, it’s quite easy for a consumer to find personal accounts of a business with a quick search. On occasion, reviews will be staged or not representative of the service, but a perusal of a range of reviews may give you a reasonable expectation of what to expect. An old fashioned review from a trusted friend – especially a car lover – never hurts, either. You can’t put a price on experience.

Shop Around

Most mechanics will offer free estimates. It helps to get the estimate for your car service on paper as proof. This document can also be used as leverage with other mechanics. Sometimes the cheapness of the price can suggest poor workmanship, but you certainly don’t want to be swindled.

Ask To See A Certification

ASE is the most common certification, and a trustworthy business should have no issue presenting you with such certification. This will establish a baseline of experience and knowledge. A shop that possesses an American Automotive Association rating is a good sign too, as it guarantees that they have been pre-screened by an objective source.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions, Even If You’re a Novice

Beyond a price estimation, it is very helpful to ask questions that you may consider basic. Such as, which parts will need to be replaced? How long will the work in question take to complete? Can I see the problem area of the car? Even more intensive questions about the process of fixing the vehicle should not fluster a reliable mechanic. These questions will make you feel comfortable with the car service and prove to the mechanic that you take your car’s care serious.

Go With Your Instinct

This tip is harder to pin down, and will mean different things to different people, but it remains relevant. Simple things, such as the cleanliness of the shop, may be symbolic of the overall service. Furthermore, if a mechanic is giving vague answers or treating customers in a hostile manner, it’s probably a clear sign to get out while you can. Getting a car fixed is rarely a pleasant experience, so there’s no need to add extra stress to the process.

Find a Location Near Your Home

This is especially important if you don’t have a friend or family member to follow you to the mechanic and drive you home. Finding a route home or to work via public transportation may be pivotal, depending on how long the car will be out of commission.

Warranties and Specialists

This tip will mainly pertain to people whose cars need to be fixed at a dealership. It also applies to those who own a car that has to have specialty parts replaced. Do research and determine whether a mechanic has expertise in your particular make and model. Additionally, an honorable mechanic will supply warranties on new parts. Make sure to establish this warranty before they get to work on your car.

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Best Small Business Tips and Ideas

Deciding to start a business can be one of the most exhilarating decisions you make in your life. We are living in a world wherever everyone wants to make extra money and add to his income. Most people have achieved this by acquiring great business ideas. When one starts up a company, he must be ready to meet competition. It is important to note that you would not need to become rich or popular to succeed in business but have to think smartly. But there are a lot of moving parts and many different elements to consider.

10 basic tips essential to start a business successfully.

Tip 1: Get inspired and Love your idea

Every business begins with an idea you may have imagined of opening your own business for years, or motivation may have hit you suddenly. Nevertheless of the source, the first step of starting your own business is coming up with a business idea. And as important as your idea, you must in love with the idea.

Tip 2: Do Your Research / learn everything about the business

You’ve recognized your big idea, now it’s time to balance it with the reality. Are you truly ready to start a business? Answer the questions below and see what you need to prepare yourself for business. For a small business succeed it must fulfill a need, solve a problem or offer something the market wants.

You can identify this need in many ways by doing research, focus groups, and even trial and error.

As you search the market, some of the questions can be:

• Is there a need for your anticipated services or products?
• Who needs it? (Target Costumers)
• Are there other companies offering similar services or products right now?
• How is the competition?
• Can or how will your business fit into the market?

Tip 3: Make a Business Plan

You need a business plan in order to make your business idea a reality. If you expect to seek monetary support from an investor or financial organization, a formal written business plan is a must.

Even if you don’t need monetary support, a simple business plan can give you precision about what you hope to accomplish and how you plan to do it.

In overall, your business plan should summary your business goals and the inspiration behind them, as well as your plan for realization of your goals in terms of marketing and funding.

Tip 4: Planning Finances

Opening a small business doesn’t have to involve a lot of money, but it will involve some investment.

There are a number of methods you can fund your small business:

• With Small business grants
• By Financing
• With Small business loans
• Or Angel investors

You can also attempt to get your business off the ground by bootstrapping, using as little capital as necessary to start your business.

Tip 5: Business Structure

Your small business can be an individual ownership, a partnership, a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation. The business structure you might choose will impact in many factors from your business name, to liability, and how you file your taxes.

You can choose an initial business structure, and with time re-evaluate and change your structure as your business grows and needs to be changed.

Tip 6: The Business Name

The name you choose plays a role in almost every aspect of your business, so you want it to be a good one. Make sure you think through all of the possible consequences as you explore your options and select your business name.

Once you have selected a name, there is the need to check if it’s trademarked, currently in use and if stills free you will need to register it. A individual proprietor must register their business name with either their state or county clerk. Corporations, LLC, or limited corporations usually register their business name when the creation paperwork is filed.

These days you need to have a website, so please don’t forget to register your domain name once you have selected your business name. The best domains and more valuable online are the ones ending with .com.

Tip 7: Licenses and Permits

There are a range of small business licenses and permits that may apply to your situation, depending on the type of business you are starting and where you are placed. You will need to inquiry what licenses and permits apply to your business during the initial process.

Tip 8: The Business Location

Setting up your place to work is essential for the operation of your business, whether you will have a home office, a shared or private office space, or a retail location. You will need to reflect about your place, equipment, and overall setup, and make sure your business place works for the kind of business you will be doing.

Tip 9: Accounting System

One of the most essential systems for a small business is an accounting system. Your accounting system is essential in order to build and manage your budget, set your charges, conduct business with others, and file your taxes. You can set up your accounting system by your own, or hire an accountant to take away some of the work.

Tip 10: Promote Your Small Business

As soon your business is up and running, you need to start attracting customers. You’ll want to initiate with the essentials by writing a single selling offer and building a marketing plan. Explore as many small business marketing ideas as you can so you to choose how to promote your business most successfully. Completed these business start-up actions, you will have all of the most important small business bases protected, and be prepared for small business success.

15 Business Ideas to Generate Extra Income

If you want or need to start a side job because you still need to wait a little bit longer to start your own business, here are 15 suggestions for you.

1. Make money Blogging

If you enjoy writing, find a theme you’re passionate about and start a blog dedicated to covering that theme and anything else interesting you enjoy to talk about. All you need is a laptop, some time, and inspiration to consistently write. It can start as a hobby and turn into a business over time. Creating a blog is free, but if you want to look professional it can cost less than $ 12 per month.

2. Buying or selling on eBay

Thanks to internet there are more opportunities to make money than ever to buy and resell products for extra money. There are lots of people buy at a discount and resell them on eBay for profit.

3. Freelance writing

If you’re great with words, you might be capable to find some work as an online freelancer. A variety of publications need online content in the form of product, stories, service descriptions, and reports, and if you have the talent and ability, you could easily be the one to create them. Luckily, all you need is a computer and Internet connection to get started. You can start here freelancer.com

4. Social media expert

Now a day almost everyone uses Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but did you know that many companies are willing to compensate people to support them managing their social media accounts and sometimes you can do it part-time from home. If this appeals you, to find social media jobs you can start by writing companies with a social media presence and visiting sites like Elance.com for opportunities.

5. Proofreading and editing

Do you have strong English skills and outstanding grammar? You may have chances to work as a proof-reader from home. Marketing for this can be hard; seek out those who might actually be able to use your services and advertise directly to them.

6. Virtual assistant

Many companies and individual professionals like having someone who can check and answer their email, organize task lists for them, someone who can update their calendars, and perform other administrative tasks, with minimal communication. The best of being a virtual assistant is that you can offer this service from home with a good Internet connection.

7. Website design

If you know a little bit about web design you can approach small businesses in your community, as they could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. These businesses usually don’t have a large budget for websites and create a great yet simple website is for you, get a bunch of clients from your local community, create sites for them, and maintains them for a small fee. You can easily get enough businesses to have a nice side business of your own with a low investment.

8. Affiliate marketing

Certain types of online businesses will pay you to promote their products and encourage sales. If you’re interested in learning more, check out affiliate marketing programs such as Click-bank, Commission Junction, and these websites are trustworthy and you can earn money by posting their products in your blog, website or Facebook. The secret of online business is all knowing targeting the right public and marketing efficiently. It can be overwhelming with all the information available online as more than 50% of the information is just a waste of time.

9. Become a business or life coach

If you are a good speaker and passionate about the business world and able to inspire and encourage others in a unique way, you could marketing your services as a business or even a life coach. Take your passion and expertise to the next level giving advice and suggest actionable steps people can take to progress their professional and private lives.

10. Start a resume writing service

If you’re excellent at writing remarkable resumes that in the end result in people getting the job, contemplate advertising those services. Most of your work will spin around writing, editing, designing, and proofreading, so you will only need few supplies outside of your computer and basic software to get started.

11. App Developer

Web app development is the creation of application programs that reside on remote servers and are delivered to the user’s device over the Internet. Now a day you can do apps with software’s you don’t really need to be a weirdo to do it, you can be an app developer for Facebook for instance and of course you can do it part-time and home based.

12. Business Consultant

If you are high organized and skilled being a good problem solver this job is for you. Companies bring Business Consultant to identify their problems, provide solutions and optimize companies. The only investments are your skills.

13. Data Entry Service

Many companies and online businesses require some type of manual information tracking, creating a vast amount of data entry work. Although there are many work-at-home scams related with data entry work, there are a lot of genuine chances available for genuine data entry businesses. If you are an excellent typist with an eye for detail, a data entry business is a great idea for you.

14. Freelance Writer

If you have the skill to write and inform people in a certain area, you can write small books or guides and sell them online, the biggest books platform is Amazon.com, where you can display your books for free and when they are sold, you will receive a percentage from the selling. Payments are made every month depending on your sales. Investment is only your time to write and imagination.

15. Internet Researcher

The Internet provides a vast amount of information. If you can quickly and efficiently navigate through that wealth of information, and essentially find a needle in a haystack, you can create a very successful business as an Internet researcher. Search for this kind of job online or about a company which is looking for this of service.

I give you only a glimpse what you could do, and these are just a few ideas, but many ideas were left behind.

First of all I advise you to think what you like to do as a hobby or in your free time, why don’t you make profit from what you are doing already?

You have the world as your disposal, but for a business to work out the first thing from all things is, it doesn’t matter what you intent to do, but you have to love it. If you love what you do it doesn’t feel like a job, you will be doing it with joy and this way you will be successful.

There are some side business opportunities that have grown more common in the past few years. And thanks to internet you have much more opportunities, ideas and help to develop your business.

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Tips For Network Marketing Success You Can’t Miss

Network marketing is not just about the work, it is also about the confidence and decision to make your business a success. It can be easy to feel that you are on your own in this effort, however, by making use of good tips and ideas that will impact your success, you can get the ball moving and build the future of your business.

A new network marketing opportunity will always be more lucrative than a long-standing one, but the older one will be more stable and likely to stick around. You have to judge each opportunity as it comes along on whether or not it’s financially viable, and what it’s current reputation is, before you decide to join.

Strive to maintain a positive attitude to achieve success in network marketing. While the rewards can be great, the rejection can sometimes be equally difficult. By maintaining a positive attitude, you will become a better marketer and drive your business much further.

Invest in a good haircut to make yourself look more presentable. Furthermore, make sure your clothes give off a look of respectability. The truth is that brand names, and logos make you look like you have the money to back up your claims, so invest in a few really good pieces for your wardrobe to help promote your image.

Your diet should reflect your commitment to your network marketing business. Eat foods that allow you to feel light, positive, and full of energy. Vegetables and fruit will keep you going, and a high fiber diet will keep you on the computer and out of the loo. The better you feel, the better you can run your business.

Realize that relationship marketing can be a key to success in building your business. You may be able to generate potential customers. However, not knowing what that customer needs will never lead you to conversion. Understand their needs in order to assist them in a way that will create a buyer through trusted knowledge.

If you are running your network marketing business out of your home office, get business liability insurance! Typical home insurance doesn’t cover business equipment for a lot of money, so call your insurer and find out what your coverage is. If it’s insufficient, think about adding home business insurance to make sure you don’t lose everything in the case of a disaster.

Establish a budget for your marketing campaigns. Your marketing expenses do not have to be consistent. You might have to invest more when you launch a major campaign, and your expenses will decrease over the next few weeks while your first campaign is still attracting new customers. Look for consistency over the long term.

As you have seen there are great ideas to be had. This kind of advice comes from those who have worked towards success before you. Use them as stepping stones towards your own success. Following the footsteps of those who have come before you does not mean you cannot be successful on your own. It means you have the foresight to emulate successful behavior.

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Using An Elliptical To Achieve Your Fitness Goal

If you are among those people who have a fitness goal and would really want to achieve it, you have to choose a fitness machine that you can use every day even when at home. If you do not have one, you can invest in an elliptical. The reviews have been very positive about this certain type of fitness machine. People love that it is an exact replica of machines used in commercial gyms. It is self-powered and has a slew of helpful and relevant features, including telemetry heart rate monitoring. Aside from this, an elliptical also has an adjustable cross ramp which allows you to change the height of the elliptical path for suitable moving. It also has moving handlebars which helps get your entire body moving, giving you a complete workout.

Many of the health experts these days recommend this type of exercise machine. And today, even users are also starting to love the natural and low-impact motions that make your workout go smoothly and safely. It has preset programs, resistance levels, as well as plenty of custom options and extra features not commonly found on other cross-trainers.

Professional trainers and many other fitness gurus swear by the machine, hence its popularity in commercial gyms and, now, in personal gyms as well. If you want an exercise machine that really delivers, investing in an elliptical is an excellent choice. If there’s anything that reviewers consider a flaw, it’s that it’s clearly designed to be stationary and not portable. It’s heavy, weighing more than 400 pounds. You’ll have to find the ideal place for it and keep it there. And if you wish to transfer it to another place, you really need the help of someone to move it to another place.

Another thing that greatly bothers most fitness enthusiasts is the price of the elliptical. It’s also quite expensive. Not everyone has the financial capability to make such a purchase. On the plus side, however, fitness experts endorse it as a worthy investment. It’s very effective, efficient, and long-lasting. It provides sufficient challenge to keep you engaged and much flexibility that allows you to address different fitness goals. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth and more. So for those who are planning to get fit and would love to achieve their fitness goal, investing in the right machine that really delivers positive results is such a smart move. An elliptical is just one of the most recommended exercise machines by the experts.

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The Vision Health Benefits Of Strawberries For Better Eyesight

As a nutritious food to improve eyesight tasty strawberries are ideal for making a delicious smoothie. Additionally, this red fruit filled with tons of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals is a good compliment to your ideal Yogurt dessert treat. This extremely nutritious food for better eyesight provides a series of health benefits including better immune health, better brain health, protection from cancer and a decrease in blood pressure to name a few. Some nutritional ingredients in strawberries include vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, magnesium, Potassium, Folate and dietary fiber to name a few. But did you know that this antioxidant rich fruit is also good for your eyes as well? Therefore, here are some of the nutritional benefits of strawberries for better vision health along with some of its general health benefits:

Eye health Benefits – This eye food consists of free radical fighting antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals for vision protection. These can actually decrease the pressure in the eyes. From this point of view, strawberries are a good nutritional preventive measure against Glaucoma. Strawberries consists of Potassium which increases healthy circulation to the blood vessels of the eyes and this is also important in normalizing healthy pressure in the eyes.

Boosts The Immune System – Due to its rich vitamin C content it significantly boosts the immune system. The rich antioxidant properties in strawberries neutralizes damaging free radicals in the body that are harmful to the DNA of healthy cells and therefore it increases the body’s immune system defenses against diseases. Strawberries provide about 150% of your daily recommended allowance for vitamin C for better immune health.

Cancer Fighter: Strawberries consist of Vitamin C, Folate, quercetin and anthocyanins. These nutritional elements work together to fight free radicals, cancer cells and tumor growth. The daily consumption of strawberries not only reduces the risks for cancer but also reduces the negative effects of aging on the brain thereby improving brain health.

Improves Brain Function: the nutritional elements in strawberries such as its vitamin C content as well as its phytochemical content counteract the negative effects of free radicals in the brain. Strawberries consists of Iodine which is a nutrient vital in improving brain function and Potassium which improves cognitive function. Therefore, regular daily consumption of strawberries is useful in improving cognitive skills such as concentration, memory and recall.

Lowers Blood Pressure: Strawberries Lower blood pressure due to its Potassium and Magnesium content. Potassium dilates blood vessels thereby improving the flow of blood circulation to the arteries of the heart.

Strawberries make a wonderful snack when combined with other fruits to make smoothies and is also an ideal addition to your favorite Yogurt snack. With multiple benefits ranging from better eye, heart, brain and immune health, ultimately, making this healthy fruit a part of your daily diet is certainly a very wise nutritional choice for maximum general health and eye health.

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Super Mario Bros Game For The Classic NES

You will have to think fast and move even faster to complete this classic quest! The Mushroom Princess is being held captive by the evil Koopa tribe of turtles. It’s up to you to rescue her from the clutches of the Koopa King before time runs out. But it won’t be easy. To get to the princess, you will have to climb mountains, cross seas, avoid bottomless pits, fight off turtle soldiers and a host of nasty traps that only a Koopa King can devise. It is another adventure from the SUPER MARIO BROS.!

Super Mario Bros was the first game ever to be released for the NES in 1985. It was the first game to deliver effective smooth scrolling levels with a well made map. Super Mario Brothers is currently the best selling video game of all time. You can play it on the NES, Famicom, SNES, GBA, and recently the Wii. Trust me everyone, this game is a true blast from the past, and still entertains today. Mario was the first true video gaming character and he will stand up and fireball away any others that try to take his place. He will always be big in the video game industry because of this games huge impact.

The Games Story:

Many say the story of this game is horrible and it is a big downfall of the game. I mean it is just like every other game where a princess gets captured and you need to save her. The real basic plot of the game is that Bowser has unleashed a wicked spell over Mushroom Kingdom. The only ones who can save the Princess and break this evil spell are Mario and Luigi.

Well, this game was pretty much the first game to start those generic plots. But honestly, what is there not to love about the classic Mario saving Princess Peach from Bowser story? NOTHING, it is simple and a compelling story. I am sure the story does not deserve a high rank because at the time when the game came out the story was very unfamiliar and probably sounded a bit corny. But today, we all know of our friendly plumber hero, MARIO.

Gameplay:

This game is unbelievably fun to play. The objective of the game is complete each level by running to the end of the level and jumping has high as possible towards the flag. You will encounter many famous enemies such as Goombas, Koopas, Piranha Plants and many more. There are coins spread throughout the game in random areas and hidden in blocks that you must bust. Once you get 100 coins you get an extra life.

You get a score for how many enemies you kill, how many coins you snatch, and for other various reasons. Each level is unique and has different obstacles in each and is a blast to play. There are 8 worlds with usually 4 stages in each world. The game is great because it has multiple hidden secrets throughout the game that keeps the fun coming. There are even secret minus worlds and warp pipes that give the game a great twist.

The game also mixes in a few mazes to give it a little challenge. You can also play 2 players where you can play as Mario and Luigi and defeat the evil Koopa King. The few downfalls are that the game is not very long, screen scrolling, and it gets frustrating. If you play it quick enough you could beat every level in around 30 minutes.

You can not backtrack once you move forward in a level. The game is frustrating because you can not even save and there are no continues (you can use a code to start from the world you lost on). The game screen only scrolls in the right direction. I would easily give the gameplay of Super Mario Bros a 10/10 if there were at least more levels per world.

Of course, you can’t just take on those levels as just you and yourself, so you have got a few things that you can find out there to help you. First of all there’s the powerups you can find in blocks all through the game. The first one you will get is the Super Mushroom, and by getting this Mario will grow to double size (Super Mario!) and be able to take one extra hit from an enemy (and revert to normal Mario) before losing a life.

As Super Mario, you also get the ability to break normal brick blocks you come across this can prove to be extremely useful in several ways, be it finding a secret block or just taking a safe route. If you uncover a powerup while being Super Mario, it will be a fire flower, which won’t allow you to take any more hits but grants you the extremely useful power of fireball throwing. Fireballs can kill enemies in one hit, and while the same can be achieved by jumping on most enemies heads, it’s just much easier to release a fireball from a distance and knock out the enemies from a safe distance. As long as you can manage to keep the fire ability, you will be pretty overpowered.

In addition to that, you can also pick up 1Up mushrooms, which will grant you an extra life, and coins. The coins are collectibles that will give you an extra life when gathering 100 of them, then the counter will revert so you can collect an additional 100, and so forth. All things in the game; coins, powerups, completing a level, defeating an enemy are added to a points score.

This score is a leftover from arcade games, and won’t really be used for anything since the high score is deleted when you turn off your console there won’t be any competition about it. Not having a save feature might sound bad, but as mentioned the levels can be completed pretty quickly and there’s always someone around who will know about the secret warp zones.

Speaking of secrets, that’s one thing that is great about this game. While many other NES games show you pretty much everything, here there are a lot of invisible blocks with powerups or coins, pipes you can enter to get to underground coin collections and sometimes a vine will shoot out of a hit block that you can climb to get up to “coin heaven”. A fun thing with all these secrets is that some of them are in plain view, some are in a brick block you have just never thought to hit.

There are so many blocks scattered in each level, with only the question mark blocks being sure to contain something, that you would never have time to actually try to destroy all normal brick blocks. What is so nice about all this is that you can play through the game so many times and still discover something you did not know about. The amount of secret stuff is a very likely factor to why the game has great replayability.

Graphics:

The graphics in this game are wonderful for the time. To tell you the truth I’m still fully satisfied with the games graphics today. Even though Mario and Luigi have a tad discoloration and it is a bit blocky, it gives you the authentic and warm welcoming in knowing it is the first Mario game ever.

The backgrounds might only be a blue sky with the occasional green bush or a cloud, but that is all that was needed. It means it is very easy to see the foreground objects like the bricks you can hit or the enemies you are up against.​There is nothing you can complain about with these graphics and especially when the game came out they were great.

Sound:

The sound is terrific. I mean it is not annoying like most NES games and it was the start of the classic “do do do do do do-do… ” music! The game has different music for each different type of level, like dungeons, underwater levels, and land levels. All if it is enjoyable and makes the game even better. Only slight downfall is the sound effects are a bit lame, but I really should not complain. Overall it is the classy theme song that gets me to like the music of the game so much.

One other neat thing is that the music is a bit context sensitive meaning if you let the time get down to under 100 remaining seconds left, the music will speed up to let you know that you need to hurry. Also, if you pick up a star (invincibility item) the music will change to another theme that will last almost exactly until the power runs out, a great audio cue to when to start worrying about your enemies again. The sound effects in the game are good too, they are not overly complicated, and the jingles that play are great for making you feel satisfied when completing a task or picking up a powerup.

Controls:

This game is basically a pick up and play game. The control layout is so simple yet so great. The game registers every movement in it perfectly. You press forward and Mario definitely goes forward. Many NES games could not perfect this, but this game definitely did. You can run and jump and you will learn the tricks on how to get the farthest jumping distance and the basic skills in no time. The simple and sweet NES controller played great with this game and the game did every command perfectly.

The NES control pad is not really the most advanced piece of hardware out there, but in this game you will never feel it’s lacking anything. The D-pad is used to move left and right, and with a press down on it you can duck, which also results in going down pipes if they are “open”.

The A button is used for jumping, and it is pretty sensitive; a short press results in a low jump and a longer press results in a higher jump. The B button has two purposes – throwing fireballs if you have got that power up, and in addition to that it’s the run button. It works better than you might think, since if you’re running and want to throw a fireball you can just quickly release the button then hold it again to fire one off, without losing much speed.

Replay Value:

This is the games strong point. I can not even count how many times I have beaten this amazing classic. It keeps you coming back for more. It is a simple game that is just flat out fun to play. You can try to beat your previous score. You can play 2 players to spice it up with a friend or you can try a time trail and try for the record. Or if you like me you can just beat it again just for the great feeling of beating the endless classic. This game is the one that started it all. That right there makes the game so much more satisfying to play.

Difficulty:

It is really pretty tough without warping and with using the cartridge so you can not save. I mean my friends were like, yeah it’s Super Mario Bros I have beaten it a thousand times. And they came over and lost on world 5. It is nothing impossible, but I mean it does get a challenge across. I would say it has a perfect difficulty. Not to hard that it makes you never want to try and beat it, but just easy enough to make it enjoyable which is a very good balance.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I love the Super Mario Bros game. A true classic NES game that has stood the test of time, it may not be the greatest game in the entire world simply for how it plays as a game in itself, but the fact that it revolutionised the home gaming scene at the time it came out, as well as that it maintains a great popularity amongst any retro gamer and is even enjoyed to a great degree by gamers of the current generation explains why I find this game to be still so enjoyable.

Every aspect is crafted to near, if not complete perfection. It demonstrates how well Nintendo worked with the capabilities of the NES to make a game that was fun, simple, memorable, played well and offered a good challenge, had a variety of different stages that were tackled in different manners, yet was not so long as that it could not be beaten in a single setting. It’s classic side scrolling gaming at its best, and the influence on future platformers of not just the same genre, the same console, or even the same series has been evident throughout the ages.

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Digital Games And Kids – A Different Perspective

The “Wikipedia problem” which means children turning to internet for readymade answers is the new age phenomenon baffling teachers and mentors globally. There are almost equal numbers of teachers who consider technology to be a solution as much as a problem. While a common belief is that technology is hindering the students’ capacity to think and analyze, there is also a strong opinion in favor of video games and digital gadgets’ ability to engage students and enhance learning by using more than one sensory stimulators. In spite of the growing concern about the students’ deteriorating attention spans, institutions are incorporating them in the process of classroom learning.

Children are inherently inquisitive creatures. They have a curiosity to discover new things and learn by way of discovering and experimenting even before they are subjected to methods of formal education such as reading or writing. Science is a discipline of experiments and discoveries. The National Science Education Standards emphasize that “science education needs to give students three kinds of scientific skills and understandings. Students need to learn the principles and concepts of science, acquire the reasoning and procedural skills of scientists, and understand the nature of science as a particular form of human endeavor. Students therefore need to be able to devise and carry out investigations that test their ideas, and they need to understand why such investigations are uniquely powerful. Studies show that students are much more likely to understand and retain the concepts that they have learned this way “. Hence, it becomes imperative to engage children in science education at an early stage.

Digital games are more capable to gain students’ interests and attention than other conventional means of imparting education in a classroom. However, some educationists also regard them as culprits of exponential decline in the attention span in children. The next sections in this article discuss the involvement of children in games in the tech age, types of games available in the market and the impact of digital gaming as learning aids in classrooms.

Gaming and the New Age Kids

Digital technology has expanded the horizons of video gaming in the modern world. Kids are subjected to far more complex and challenging technological environment than their counterparts were from over half a century back. Involvement of kids in digital gaming is a result of many significant changes in the lifestyle and culture of the modern society. Easy accessibility of technology, dispensable income due to dual income families and lack of infrastructure for outdoor activities in many cities are some major contributors in making screen games an important part of the children’s’ lives. A study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010) found that only 20 percent of the census blocks are within half a mile of a block boundary. Also, the effect of peer pressure cannot be undermined in these times of social networking.

The digital gaming market is one of the fastest growing segments of the global entertainment industry. US is witnessing unprecedented penetration of digital games amongst youngsters. In the US, 97% of the teens play some type of game on a regular basis. In India, the gaming market has grown manifold in the last few years. Hence, it is imperative that educationists are continuously contemplating the use of digital gaming as a learning tool in classrooms. Institutions are also employing innovative ways to leverage the digital advantage for enhancing the learning experience at schools.

What are Digital Games?

There is no concrete definition of games as it may vary with an individual’s preference and profession. Games can be defined as a “system in which players engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, which result in a quantifiable outcome”. Technology and digitization add new dimensions to games where simulations, interactivity, augmented reality, alternative reality, collective intelligence and sensory stimulators such as sound and visual effects. Digital games are also characterized by their portability and limitless accessibility.

Role-playing games, simulation games and puzzles are some of the most popular digital games. In role-playing games, the player enacts the role of a particular character in a virtual world moving from one level to the other based on the outcome of the earlier level. RPGs can be single player such as the dungeons and dragons from earlier days of gaming or multi-player games such as Diablo III, Xenoblade, Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Mass Effect 3. MMORPG or the Massive Multiple Online Role-Playing Games are an extension of the RPGs where large number of players interacts in an online virtual world. Simulation games create realistic situations in virtual worlds. The outcome will depend on the player’s decision-making and responsiveness and will be closely similar to what may happen in a real world in the same situation. Widely used in training and analysis, simulation games are also popular due to their unpredictable and personalized outcomes. Flight Simulator X, Live for Speed (LFS) and Need for Speed have been extremely popular simulation games for a long time. Puzzles genre of digital games involves problem solving and analysis with varying degrees of difficulty depending on the nature of the game. Crosswords and treasure hunt games are basic forms of puzzle games in both physical and digital form.

All types of digital games involve a social involvement of players. Some need collaborative efforts to play while others may be discussed or analyzed socially. In spite of some games being accused of outright violent visual effects, a well-designed game can accelerate the thinking process by motivating, engaging, involving creativity and developing a meta-game i.e., social interactions inspired and enhanced inside or outside the game. Incorporating digital gaming in the basic education framework can lead to augmented competitiveness and multi-dimensional growth in children.

Digital Games in Science Education – Why and Why Not?

The 21st century requires the mentors and the students to integrate technology into the curriculum. Though the ultimate goal is to benefit the students in terms of learning and experience, unsupervised, unorganized or irrelevant application can lead to complete failure or have negative effects. Some of the negative impacts of digital games in general and in context with the education are listed below:

Digital games have been facing constant rebuke for allegedly enhancing aggression amongst kids and developing a violent streak at an early stage. In a study by Anderson and Bushman (2001), Children involved in violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and decreased prosocial helping. Use of weapons and being rewarded for being violent is a cause of widespread concern.

Digital games can be addictive for children and make them physically inactive. Digital games, other than social networking, are considered for reduced physical activity leading to obesity in kids and postural and skeletal disorders.

Addiction to games is also known to make kids socially secluded. Impulsive behavior, depression and increased anxiety levels are largely attributed to excessive gaming in children. Some studies also suggest that the children playing games are unable to concentrate for a long span and have reduced attention span.

Children are prone to absorbing socially unacceptable behavior through some digital games such as using profanities and ill-treating the fairer sex. Lack of adequate knowledge about screening the material available online is a growing concern amongst the parents.

Digital games are considered a hindrance to better performance in academics. Students are often found to skip homework to play games leading to deteriorated performance at school. However, despite their reputation as promoters of violence and mayhem, digital games have in fact been shown to help children learn skills, content, and vital “21st-century” skills. From digital games children can learn: content (from rich vocabulary to science to history), skills (from literacy to math to complex problem-solving), creation of artifacts (from videos to software code) and systems thinking (how changing one element affects relationships as a whole). Strong arguments in favor of using digital games as learning aids in secondary education are summarized below:

Digital games involve extreme hand-eye coordination and enhance motor and sensory skills. Sensory stimulation theory proposed by academician Laird (1985) validates that effective learning occurs when the senses are stimulated. While some studies show that digital gaming reduces attention span, there are strong evidences of improved concentration in short intervals of time. Digital games involve keeping an eye on every detail, follow the rules and respond proactively to the given situation. Complex digital games help is developing problem-solving and decision-making skills. Some games also involve logical analysis of the situation and pattern recognition and improve memorizing thus assisting in the cognitive process. Playing by the rules teaches children to accept and respect a certain level of discipline.

Multi-player digital games develop a sense of constructive competitive attitude. Collaborative games also improve team-building attitude. They develop time management skills in a team and train the players to cooperate for mutually desired goal. They teach the players to accept defeat as well as strive for better results. Digital games provide an avenue for hyperactive kids to direct the energy in a constructive system based game. They also provide an outlet to release aggression and frustration, thus helping in diffusing stress. Some games also involve physical activity such as Nintendo Wii boxing helping kids to engage mentally and physically with the kids. Complex digital games involve high level of multitasking thus improving brain’s natural learning process. Brain based learning theory proposes that multi-tasking is an inherent activity of the brain and learning is enhanced by challenges at various levels. Digital games develop efficient situational analysis and strategy making in children. Since games have certain objectives at every level and a final objective of the game, it teaches players to devise short term and long-term strategies such as scoring points, retaining energy and reaching the ultimate goal of the game. Simulation games and the role-playing digital games help players gain expertise or learn by experiencing in replicas of real world situations. Experiential learning and action learning theories are based on the premise that individuals learn faster when they by experiencing and actually participating in action.

“Games require the kind of thinking that we need in the 21st Century because they use actual learning as the basis for assessment. They test not only current knowledge and skills, but also preparation for future learning. They measure 21st century skills like collaboration, innovation, production, and design by tracking many different kinds of information about a student, over time. ”

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3 Key Steps To Starting A Digital Marketing Strategy

A successful digital marketing campaign is the dream of many business owners. With the help of this campaign, businesses won’t have to sleep and commerce can flow anytime and anywhere.

Digital marketing is usually defined as a marketing strategy that uses digital or Internet-based services, platforms, and tools instead of traditional marketing media. A typical strategy or campaign includes the use of email campaigns, social media, online videos, and banner ads on websites. This strategy is highly useful to every business, regardless of its type and size, because it has the potential to reach any customer or client who has a connection to the Internet, wherever they are at any time of the day or night.

But how do you start or create a good and effective digital marketing strategy? You can begin by following the key 3 steps and some additional tips below:

1. Determine and know your target audience.

A good digital marketing strategy starts with identifying the group you want your brand, product, or service to reach. To do this correctly, answer the following questions:

• Who do you want to sell to or who do you want to buy your product or get your services?
• How do they usually search for products and services they want info about online?
• Which social media sites or platforms do they normally use?
• Which sites do they spend a lot of time on when they are online?

By determining who your target demographic is, where they hang out, and how they like to engage with the brands they follow, you will have a higher chance of having your message being welcomed by online users rather than be lost the wide world of the worldwide web.

2. Put some thought into selecting the best platform to reach your audience.

At present, there are many ways of effectively reaching your target audience online. These include the various social media, search engines, display advertising, and direct email marketing. Generally, people who are of a consumer age have some type of online interaction. They may be researching using popular search engine sites, posting on various social networking sites, or reading content online. Most of these platforms have a measurable weighting toward a particular demographic. If you can’t understand the figures, get help from experts in comprehending them and with using them for choosing the best platforms to use in your digital marketing strategy.

3. Regularly measure and adjust.

Lastly, be open-minded when starting and even implementing a digital marketing strategy. Also, don’t be afraid to change what you’re doing. This is because the digital landscape is known for its rapid change. Although this may seem daunting, it’s actually one of biggest advantages of doing digital marketing. This is because the target audience, message, and placement of your online communication can be adjusted quickly and easily, unlike with traditional marketing.

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5 Key Features to Expect in Future Smartphones

Smartphones are the most common thing now. They are much different to the so called mobiles. As the name already indicates they are much smarter than the mobile phones. These are handy devices that every person uses as means of communication with friends and relatives. Earlier the phones were simply used for calling purposes. But now with advancement in technology phones are used for multiple purposes. A simple smartphone is now loaded with multiple apps, cameras and of course the primary calling functions.

It is expected that the future smartphones are going to have certain features which are going to make the phones even more powerful. The features that might make their way are –

1. Augmented reality- This something that provides us more information by combining the computer data so that we have real life experience of what we see. It will give you all relevant information by the use of your phone’s camera. The augmented reality apps that is available now makes use of the GPS to provide information. But now it has limited recognition accuracy which is expected to increase in the coming years.

2. Flexible screens- There might be a time when you can adjust the size of the screen according to your needs. Suppose you want to play a game or watch a video you can do that by folding and unfolding the portable screen size. This can be made possible with the help of Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) technology.

3. In-built projectors- Not only the screen, we hope that you will be able to show movies to your friend and family by projecting the screen in an appropriate place. This has the mightiest possible chance of replacing the TV that is used as gaming consoles.

4. Seamless voice control- Though voice control has been there in earlier phones but the voice recognition function was the best one. In the later years, it is expected that there would be seamless voice control that might take interactivity to the next level.

5. 3D screens and holograms- Many of the Smartphone have high-defined cameras that offer sharper resolutions than the human eyes. Still, our thirsts for good photos are not over. The companies are thus, now moving their focus from the 2D smartphones to the 3D smartphones. The next in this route is likely to be the holographic projections. This will enable you to resize your photos to whichever size you like removing out the unnecessary things.

We guess that you are already excited to think of the things. Imagine what you would do if you get all these features in your handheld smartphone. Isn’t the idea awesome? Yes, it is definitely. All you have to do now is hold your breath, and wait for the awesome features to come to the market.

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Best Sushi Spots in Cape Town

Sushi lovers are in for a treat when visiting Cape Town, South Africa. Not only are there a wide range of world class sushi restaurants and deli’s, Cape Town has some of the worlds best scenery, views and has been voted the best city in the world on numerous occasions.

1) Harbour House – V&A Waterfront For a great location, legendary sushi platters and friendly staff, Harbour house is a stunning seaside restaurant based at V&A Waterfront. Fine dining in such a gorgeous settings earned them the 2015 Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor. The glass walls surrounding the restaurant enables you to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Waterfront and appreciate the perfect backdrop of Cape Town Harbour. There is also a stunning Harbour House restaurant in Kalk Bay.

2) Andy’s Sushi Bar – Sea Point This Asian-inspired eatery serves top quality, creative sushi at reasonable prices. Chef Andy Wang has a passion for preparing delicious and authentic dishes. Bring your own drinks and enjoy top quality sushi at this colourful little eatery.

3) Kyoto Garden Sushi – Cape Town Kyoti is an authentic Japanese Restaurant located in the heart of Cape Town. Not only were they awarded the Best Asian Restaurant at the Eat Out Awards in 2014, they also source and serve top-quality, unusual ingredients from all over the world. Farmed abalone, scallops, Alaskan King crab, sea urchins and eel are some of the interesting items you can find on their menu. Interesting variations and exquisite food tantalises taste buds while the intimate, tranquil Zen setting provides the perfect ambience.

4) Fugu Restaurant – Cape Town This up market yet relaxed spot serves outstanding, mouth watering sushi and a broad range of Thai, Japanese & Chinese Hot dishes. The generous sushi menu is very popular with the local sushi lovers whilst the more traditional seafood lovers are spoilt with diversity.

5) The Codfather – Camps Bay The Codfather has been delighting both locals and tourists for over 17 years with its gorgeous views of the ocean and its appetizing, creative sushi. There are endless options and all the sushi is SASSI-approved so you can have the peace of mind that the food you are served is sustainable to the oceans. The restaurant is trendy and buzzing but you can opt for a quiet, romantic meal in their exclusive wine cellar should you choose to.

6) Balducci Asian Noodle & Sushi Bar – V&A Waterfront This little gem is rumoured to be the best Sushi bar at the V&A Waterfront. Only the freshest ingredients are used by their professional Japanese and Asian chefs and the great views and fantastic service makes it a definite visit for next time your mouth is watering for sushi.

7) Willoughby & Co – V&A Waterfront You can expect nothing less than extraordinary seafood and sushi at this much loved spot. The substantial menu is packed with inventive dishes and the best technically constructed sushi that are served with pride.

8) Nobu Louge – V&A Waterfront This international chain of 30 restaurants across the globe features its newest outpost at the Cape Town Waterfront. Featuring a world-class chef, this visual and culinary delight spoils you with simple, creative sushi and sashimi menus. Patrons are also spoilt for choice with traditional drinks like a selection of Sakes including plum wines, Japanese beer and a Selection of Sake and Shochu based cocktails.

9) Just Sushi – Simon’s Town This charming sushi restaurant not only has, what many claim, to be the best sushi in the South, it is also overlooking Simon’s Town Harbour captivating both your taste buds and delighting you with picturesque views of the boats, birds and ocean. This establishment is simple, friendly and well priced.

10) Sushi Box – Cape Town The Sushi Box has various outlets in Cape Town including Newlands, De Waterkant and Kloof Street. They offer both eat in and take away sushi and are famous for their custom takeaway presentation making them a choice restaurant to pick up sushi for your next catering events.

11) 1890 House Sushi – Observatory This hidden gem in Observatory has great sushi, a great selection and great prices and is a must for all sushi fans. Sushi is served off a conveyor belt and they also have an extensive Chinese menu and some Thai options.

12) Panama Jacks – Cape Town Panama Jacks have been operating at Cape Town Harbour since 1989 and transformed from its humble beginnings serving the Royal Cape Yacht Club to a world renowned, top quality seafood restaurant. The chilled fisherman’s setting and Caribbean atmosphere makes it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the harbour. If that’s not enough, the sushi is to die for and will surely not disappoint even the most hardcore sushi lover.

13) Beluga – Green Point Beluga has grown into one of Cape Town’s most loved restaurants for sushi. The restaurant is located in a 100 year old building and is a truly memorable place to enjoy high quality and well presented sushi. Their half price sushi specials means that you can eat more and not worry about a huge bill.

14) Umi Restaurant – Camps Bay Situated at The Marly Boutique Hotel, this prime location on Camps Bay’s trendy beachfront has a killer vibe and a million dollar view. The extraordinary Japanese sushi and Asian-inspired atmosphere makes Umi a firm favourite with foodies.

15) Blowfish Restaurant – Tableview Renowned for its fine seafood and superb quality sushi, Blowfish Restaurant offers a magnificent setting and breathtaking scenery. Long-standing favourites are complemented by new additions keeping the menu innovative.

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