This is how technology is changing the face of E-Sports

E-sports has been one the biggest success stories in the world of both tech and sports in the last few years as new technological advancements combine with an appetite for online competition to create the perfect storm.

The pace at which this has happened is evident in the fact that E-sports are now leeching over into the realms of traditional sports, with organizations such as FIFA and F1 having reluctantly welcomed E-sports elements into their respective folds.

Here we cast an eye over the technologies and gadgets that have made this rapid expansion possible as well as looking at what the future could hold. So why not kick back, re-heat that coffee that has just gone cold and have a read of what E-sports innovators are up to.

The typical E-sports tournament looks a bit like this, but there are others that bear no resemblance to the standard setup that most people imagine

Gadgets Are Making Online Gamers Comfortable

One of the main developments in the E-sports world that has enabled players of everything from poker to Call of Duty play longer and harder is the wide range of excellent gadgets and ergonomic hardware that is available.

This all starts with things like a gaming lair setup that consists of a desk – preferably an electronically adjustable standing desk – and a comfortable gaming chair. The latter come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges, although when it comes to ergonomics there are some experts who extol the virtues of quality office chairs rather than the racing inspired chairs that look so good on poker live streams or at huge E-sports tournaments.

What is for sure is that these two technologically tweaked pieces of furniture are some of the most important parts of any E-sports setup.

Live Streaming Tech Blurs Lines Between Fans and Athletes

While gamers being comfortable in their gaming studios is important, chairs and tables have been around for thousands of years, but something that is altogether new in the world of E-sports are online streaming platforms like Twitch.

These have enabled E-sports celebrities to make their way into the entertainment mainstream as well as having encouraged other gamers to take the plunge of trying to become pro streamers themselves. This means that most streaming platforms now have hundreds or thousands of people streaming content all around the world at any given time, something that was thought impossible only a few years ago.

The interesting thing about this is that E-sports fans are now different from traditional sports fans, because they are often partaking in their chosen sport at the same time as watching and interacting with the top players in the world – the sort of interaction and fan engagement that most other sports just cannot match.

F1 is just one of the traditional sports that adopted E-sports only for the F1 E-Sports Series to begin dictating how driver recruitment is carried out, much to the surprise of team bosses

AR and VR Loom on the E-Sports Horizon

As data becomes more valuable to tech companies than the money they receive from players for access to games, there is extra focus being put on games that can extract boggling amounts of data from their users.

The most obvious example of this is in AR and VR games, where everything from player reaction times to facial movements can be tracked by high-tech headsets and hand controllers. Those devices are now becoming infinitely more useable than their original iterations, often being connected to a PC or console via Bluetooth rather than pesky wires. Added sensors also mean players are able to be agile and to interact with more aspects of the virtual world they are immersed in.

As yet there has been no way to properly bring VR and AR games to streaming platforms, but once this happens it could only be a matter of time before people are locked into a gaming flow state that gives them access to huge virtual worlds, all for the price of their personal data.

 

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How to make time-lapse videos for Instagram

Browsing social media has become a major leisure activity for a large number of young people. Previously, these were harmless platforms for sharing interesting thoughts and beautiful photos. Now, on Facebook and Instagram, there is a real battle for the time and resources of each user.

This trend is especially noticeable in the Instagram feed. For any artist, online store, or just blogger, the main goal is to attract the attention of users. All of them are trying to create a community of fans around them that would be potentially interested in purchasing their products.

In order to win the competition for people’s attention, you need to look for new cool ideas and interesting tools constantly. Timelapse video may be what you need. So turn off the sound on your camera to avoid distracting anyone, and let’s get creative. 

What Is Timelapse?

Timelapse video is a creative technique that allows you to capture the slow-motion of various objects to create unique and unexpected images. In other words, it is a way of creating a video in which it can be recorded for hours and then compressed into a short, fast clip.

Timelapse is perfect for bringing lots of your ideas into life. Artists can use it to fit the entire creative process into one video; chefs can show the process of cooking, etc. This is why these videos are the most engaging and help get the audience’s attention.

Previously, in order to get such an effect, it was necessary to study videography techniques for hours and sit for the same amount of time over video editing software. Now, everything has become much easier: there are several interesting programs for both iPhone and Android. With their help, you can edit videos in a matter of seconds.

Creating Timelapse Videos With Instagram’s Hyperlapse App on iOS

First, let’s take a look at a program called Hyperlapse. This video editing software was developed by Instagram employees just for creating accelerated videos. The program has one big drawback: at this stage, it only works on iOS. However, if you own an iPhone, then Hyperlapse is a good choice for video editing. So, all you need is a smartphone, a slow-motion app, and free memory space on your device.

To start recording video in Hyperlapse, tap the white circle at the bottom of the screen. After that, you will see a timer that shows how long the real video is going (at the left) and how long the accelerated video will go (at the right). If you are going to post this material on Instagram in the future, you should remember that the maximum video duration is only 60 seconds. When you have removed everything you want, you can click on the white circle again, and the recording will stop.

Now you can proceed to adjust the speed of the final video. After finishing the recording, you will see a slider with which you can change the speed from x1 to x12. When you realize that you have achieved the desired result, click on the green checkmark at the top of the screen, and the video will be saved to the gallery of your iPhone.

The undoubted advantage of the Hyperlapse application is its autonomy. Such programs independently edit video, stabilize it and clear the picture.

A little secret. Before you start shooting a video, you can tap the screen with four fingers, which will lead to the opening of the secret menu. In the new window, you can choose the resolution for the video, the frame rate and set the speed up to x40 on your own.

Android Software for Creating Timelapse Videos  

If you do not like the Hyperlapse program, or you are a happy owner of an Android smartphone, then you should familiarize yourself with other ways to shoot accelerated video. There are tons of different video editing software out there, and you need to be smart about finding the best deals.

A good video editor offers you a lot of different features, not just the timelapse one. For example, applications from Fxhome allow you to use over 500 after-effects for your videos, Lightworks video editing software is an excellent choice for professional editing.

In addition, some programs allow even beginners to edit video, have a simple interface and a free period of use. These programs include, for example, the cross-platform video editor Shotcut. It’s worth noting that the program is open source, so everyone can take part in improving the software on their own. 

It’s a good idea to tweak your timelapse video a bit by adding captions, stickers, and music. Movavi editor is ideal for such purposes. The editor also provides a trial period for those who want to test its features.

A Bit of Inspiration

Here are some of the ideas for creating timelapse videos:

  • Behind the scenes work. Try to show customers a different side of your business that is usually hidden from them. For example, you can record your team’s meetings.
  • Unusual angle. If you are a small online store, try to show how your product can be used for unusual purposes. 
  • Classic timelapse. You see such videos more often, but this does not mean that they have become less effective. For regular bloggers, it can be interesting to show subscribers something that is usually hidden from their views, such as playing sports or cooking.

Conclusion

When creating content for Instagram, remember that you should not only be creative but be of real interest to users. Timelapse is a great tool to lure potential buyers or subscribers to your page. This article includes the most popular and convenient programs with which you can speed up moments from your life and share them with the whole world. Try to show your talents and upload your first timelapse video to Instagram.

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Woman sets two world records for collecting more than 4000 vintage games

My head is ablaze with excitement after learning that a Black woman has won not one, but two world records for possessing the greatest collection of LCD and playable gaming systems.

According to the numbers, Linda Guillory’s two world records are made up of 1,599 LCD gaming systems and 2,430 playable gaming systems, virtually a variety of games that can only be found in a top online casino. Guinness World Records reported today that Guillory of Richardson, Texas, has won both awards for her huge collection of thousands of portable, tabletop, and even watch-based gaming systems.

These aren’t gaming systems in the traditional sense of consoles and handhelds; instead, they’re more akin to the Tiger Electronic handhelds of the past. Traditional video games are also included in Guillory’s library. Guillory shows off a large cabinet of vintage video games in Guinness’ profile video, claiming to own every Nintendo game produced in North America.

Guillory began collecting games when she was eight years old, after discovering a damaged 1979 Red Conic basketball game, according to Guinness. She said in the video that she dismantled the handheld and repaired it herself so she could play again. She accumulated a little collection of games until some of them were destroyed in a home fire. She later decided to search up some of the old games she used to own to see if any were still available following a discussion with her brother over who was the better player. She found and acquired her favorite Pac-Man tabletop machine, and her collection grew from there.

“I wanted to see if I still could beat my high score. As I searched, I saw dozens of games I always wanted as a child but never had.” Guillory told Guinness.

Guillory told Guinness, “I wanted to test whether I could still top my high score.” “As I looked, I came across hundreds of games that I had always desired but never had as a kid.”

When I was invited over to a friend’s house on rare occasions, I would push my face against their Nintendo 64 consoles in amazement of something that was out of my grasp. I’d be envious of their game collections, knowing that I could only have one or two for the systems I was allowed to have. I lost out on a lot of the games that today’s gamers would consider “mandatory playing,” so when I read Guillory talking about the games she didn’t get to play but wished she had, my heart sank with sadness.

The fact that she is also a Black woman just adds to my admiration for her. Because of the relatively recent movement for increased diversity and inclusion, black women in gaming are frequently viewed as a novelty. We are ecstatic when “new” Black women join the space because we are so scarce, but we have little knowledge of those who came before us. The few video gaming “elders” I had were men, as is true for many Black female gamers (and female gamers of a particular age in general).

I am a 33-year-old woman. I only know one other Black woman my age who enjoys video gaming. I’m sure there are others. I just don’t know who they are. Finding Ms. Guillory is like finding a lost treasure, something that has been sought for a long time yet is rarely discovered. I’d like to learn more about her background.

Guillory, an electrical engineer, wants to share her love of gaming with kids and teach them how to build their own gaming systems. She also wishes to have her collection preserved in a museum.

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Here’s a few tips that will help you conquer social media algorithms

Social Media has taken over the world! What started as a place to catch up with old friends and share your life with families has now become much more. These days, social media is a career, a marketplace, a news stream and so much more. Influencers on many social media platforms can make six-figure salaries thanks to the power and reach of these platforms. However, one aspect of social media that many influencers and rising influences struggle with is the social media algorithms. The algorithms that run these platforms are continually being improved and updated to improve user experiences and stop those who try to manipulate the system. While this may sound good, it can make the process of creating content and growing your reach an extremely difficult task, unless you understand how the algorithm currently works. Here are some ways to conquer Social Media Algorithms.

Diversify!

Diversifying on both content types, content strategy and across multiple platforms is key to ensure a constant reach. This allows you to offer a wide range of entertainment through your content. This means when one type of content is not doing as well you are still covered, since you have more than one to rely on. While text and image posts are so 2008, it does not mean you should get rid of them completely. However, you should mix them up with multi photo posts/ carousels or make use of video posts, which have been shown to have enormous reach.

While Instagram may seem like the biggest platform and TikTok may seem like the new kid on the blog, it is still best to diversify your content across multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and even Tumblr. More platforms can lead to more reach.

Learn How the Algorithms work

You cannot expect to master something or be ahead of the game when you have not taken the time to study it. Taking the time to learn about each social media platform and how their algorithms work is a vital part of mastering the social media space. Reading social media blogs, following those who share about algorithms and running constant social media tests are all part of mastering the algorithm.

Act Fast!

No matter how good your content is or how captivating your story is, timing can make or break your reach. By acting fast and efficiently as something happens or at the right time is the best way to reach the most people. It is also the best way to join trending #tags and climb to the top of these #tags. Act fast and post at the right time.

Pay to Play

You may think that running ads is going to hurt your organic growth strategy, but you could not be more wrong. By paying for ads, you will get more exposure that could lead to more followers. More followers leads to more engagement that in turn can lead to reach that is more organic. Try experimenting with some paid ads to see what works best for your brand. Another option in the pay-to-play space is to sign up with a platform that assists in increasing the social media metrics that matter most to that network usually by improving engagement.

Be Consistent

While each social media platform is different and each algorithm works differently, consistency has been shown to be crucial. Posting high quality content consistently has been shown across the board to be a great strategy. However, posting consistently across multiple platforms can be time consuming. This is why many social media influencers use social media scheduling like Buffer or Hootsuite. These systems allow users to design and plan content ahead of time. It allows them to schedule it to post at a specific time, allowing more freedom and flexibility in their schedules.

How to create high value content?

High value content is what social media platforms are trying to push through their algorithms. This is content that users want to see, but how do you create it?

Here are four tips to creating high quality content:

  • Be Real – Authenticity has been shown repeatedly to be rewarded on social media. By being real and honest with your followers, you can create a more engaged audience.
  • Post Good Quality Imagery – High quality imagery and video content are vital in dominating the social media world. With billions of people using social media, you need to have good content to stand out. It has been shown that poor quality imagery actually is penalized by social media platforms leading to less reach and less engagement.
  • Be Relatable – If you are not speaking to where your followers and audience are at, you may as well give up. Stay up to date with news and the happenings that are affecting your audience so you can celebrate and sympathise with them.
  • Make Your Content Captivating – Sharable, captivating content is often the content that goes viral. Why? Because it is so, captivating that everyone wants to see it! Make your content captivating and shareable to reach a broader audience.

While social media may have once been “just a hobby”, it is now a business and a world of its own. While good content is key, that alone is not enough in 2021. To get to the top of the social media trends you need to understand the algorithms of various platforms. Spend the time studying the algorithms to work out the best ways to increase your reach in 2021.

 

 

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Bored at home? Here’s 5 ways to entertain yourself online

In a time when technology seems to be progressing at the speed of light, we’re all experiencing a surge in new entertainment options. From next gen gaming consoles to sophisticated smartphones to streaming services for just about everything, we’re spoilt for choice these days. So, which options are worth investigating further and potentially signing up to? Read on to find our top recommendations for online entertainment both at home and on the move.

Online gaming

Online gaming is big news right now, and it seems like it’s here to stay. Tune in via Twitch or YouTube to watch the pros battle it out in tournaments held across the world, before brushing up on your own skills live from your living room. Many hit gaming titles, like Fortnite and COD: Mobile, have gained popularity through being free to play. However, even online favourites like slots and table games are available for free if you know where to look. Sites like Arabian Betting have trustworthy and well researched reviews covering all the best online casino bonuses. Whether it’s welcome bonuses, free spins or reloads that you’re looking for, you can trust that they have checked out everything from deposits to percentages to T&Cs. So, whether you’re craving a battle royale melee or you want to sample the latest slots titles, you can try before you commit to buying anything.

Educate yourself anywhere

If you’d rather feel productive during your downtime, check out a learning platform like DuoLingo, Skillshare or FutureLearn. Whilst some platforms concentrate on specific areas of learning – for example, DuoLingo teaches a wide range of languages but nothing beyond that – others offer a comprehensive list of educational opportunities. Through Skillshare, users can pick up skills as diverse as flower arranging and landscape photography or build their self-confidence and negotiation abilities. Meanwhile, FutureLearn features courses from world class universities and can even be used to achieve a recognised qualification in certain subjects. Although the free options for platforms like these can only take you so far, if you are interested enough to continue with your studies then it is worth considering putting your money where your mouth is.

Listen to music wherever

Music acts a universal language, introducing us to different voices and cultures that we may not otherwise have discovered without it. Platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Soundcloud have brought enormous and comprehensive music libraries to everybody via the internet, but this does have a potential downside. It can sometimes be difficult to decide what to listen to next as there is simply too much choice out there. Using built-in recommendation features and seeking out playlists is one way to expose yourself to new talent without getting lost in the search process. The AI used by companies like Spotify and YouTube is pretty clever, and you may be pleasantly surprised by what it comes up with if you give it a try.

Socialize virtually

Of course, one of modern technology’s greatest achievements has been connecting the world via messaging apps, video calls, and social media. Whilst it’s always worth keeping a close eye on your social media consumption to make sure you’re not going overboard, there’s no need to write it off altogether just yet. Simply get smart about how you use it. If you have a favourite hobby, seek out fellow hobbyists on Instagram to pick up tips and start a conversation. Alternatively, you could join a local Facebook group and become part of a reading group or knitting circle. It’s easy to get lost in the world of viral shopping and influencer drama, but the original premise of social media was to be…well, social. So, get to it!

Be creative digitally

Perhaps you’ve already explored Skillshare and learnt something new, or you’ve set up an Instagram profile for your arty doodles – if so, you might be looking for further creative activities to do online. The internet offers up loads of ideas, including online coloring pages, podcast creation tools, music making page and, that old favorite, the blogging platform. Pick something that appeals to your artistic imagination and get started. It could be something just for you, or it could be something that you choose to share with the world – it doesn’t matter. What matter is that creativity can lead to improved mental and physical health, as well as increased happiness levels.

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5 common pitfalls that can ruin your travel experience in a hurry

This year, it seems likely that the travel industry should see a noticeable uptick. Some people are still a bit nervous about flying, but as the pandemic dies down and more people have received the vaccine, that should change. Indeed, many individuals look forward to the vacations and family visits they could not take in 2020.

If you are going to hit the road this year, you’re likely to have a good time if you can avoid some potentially unpleasant situations. Let’s talk about a few of those so that you can try to prevent them.

Getting in a Car Accident

If you’re driving to go on vacation or to visit family instead of flying, it might well be cheaper, but it will probably take you longer to get where you are going. You may be okay with that. The prospect of taking a car ride with your family to Disneyland or some other fun vacation spot might sound great to you at the moment.

Your family can bond during this special time together. Car accidents such as fender benders, though, are one thing you should go out of your way to try to avoid.

Fender benders or more severe car accidents are never pleasant, but if you get in one when you’re far from home, there’s an extra added annoyance element. That’s because you’re in unfamiliar territory, and the police might call you later for a court date that’s hundreds or thousands of miles from home.

To avoid car accidents, don’t speed, try not to let anything distract you when it’s your turn to drive, and don’t tailgate the cars in front of you. If you follow all traffic laws while you’re out of town, a car wreck is much less likely.

Sunburns and heat stroke

Maybe you’re headed to the beach in Florida, California, the Carolinas, or elsewhere. America has some gorgeous beaches that are just waiting for you to explore.

While you’re staying with the family at a lovely seaside resort, make sure to wear plenty of sunblock. Even if you are not very fair-skinned, you need to watch out for the sun’s powerful rays, especially as we approach the hottest time of the year.

Climate change means that each year, we’re seeing record-breaking temperatures around the country, and that is likely to continue. Try to do what you can to avoid a painful sunburn by slathering on the sunscreen when you hit the beach, and make sure your kids use it as well.

Overindulging

You might also decide that vacation is the perfect time to cut loose a little bit. You may even want to party more than usual because you have been stuck in the house quarantining for months, and this is your first opportunity to go bar hopping or order room service in more than a year.

Even if you’re old enough to drink legally, you shouldn’t overindulge with alcohol. If you do, you might risk a painful hangover, and that’s not pleasant anywhere or anytime.

If you drink too much, you might also lose your room key, wallet, or phone. You might hook up with someone and then regret it later. Too much alcohol almost always ends in a bad situation, so know your limit and when to call it a night.

Using Unmarked Taxis

You might reach your destination city and start looking for a way to get around. There might be public transportation, or you may have a rental car.

You might also use taxis to get around. If you do, though, make sure that they are real taxis and have markings indicating their status. You should see the taxi company’s name on the vehicle, as well as a phone number.

If a driver says they’re operating a taxi, but it doesn’t look like one, that’s a strong sign that you should stay away. It might be a taxi, but it may be an opportunistic robber waiting for a chance to snatch up an unsuspecting tourist.

Eating Unsafe Foods

You should also be careful and watch what you eat when you’re on vacation. If you’re going to indulge in some seafood, it’s best that you only consume it if it’s fully cooked. There’s nothing with sampling the local food, but the fact is all countries have different types of food bacteria that are used to be the locals but might cause… problems for visitors. Some people like raw bars, but that’s a great way to get food poisoning. It’s better not to live life on the edge since you don’t want to end up confined to your hotel room, hugging the toilet the rest of the time you’re there.

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History tells us the Milwaukee Bucks should win the NBA championship, but they won’t

Of all the remaining teams in the conference finals, the Milwaukee Bucks were the team that had earned an NBA championship.

In five consecutive playoff appearances, the Bucks lost in the first round twice, they’ve been eliminated in the semi-finals, they’ve lost a heartbreaking series to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals, and now they’re finally in the NBA Finals. If you’re a fan of NBA history then you know that 97% of the time, NBA champions have to through at least a couple seasons of heartache before breaking through.

Based on that established pattern of losing-before-finally-winning, if you were to do some Naija football betting or putting money on the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks would be a heavy favorite to bring home the title.

Bucks lack identity

Getting into the NBA Finals, a team not only has to go through the trial and tribulations, but they spend those years establishing identity; one with predictable and unstoppable offensive sets. That lack of reliable offense is what will hold the Bucks back from taking home the championship this year.

When it comes down to it, the Milwaukee Bucks are way too inconsistent on offense and the Phoenix Suns too reliable on offense for the Bucks to pull out a win the NBA Finals.

We’re all well aware that two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is their superstar, but he’s yet to figure out a way to dominate the Suns when his heads-down drives are walled off. It doesn’t help that his free-throw shooting has been atrocious.

There’s been a lot of talk that Khris Middleton is their closer, but he’s had as many stinker games as he’s had dominant ones. No one dislikes Jrue Holiday, but he simply doesn’t have a scorer’s mindset. Brook Lopez has looked great in a few games, but his presence is too much of a defensive liability to make him worth playing. How many times have we seen Milwaukee’s offense completely abandon them during these playoffs?

On the other side, you know who the Phoenix Suns are on offense. To a man,  each player knows their role. Devin Booker is their primary scoring option and is capable of going off for 35 points on any night, Deandre Ayton picks and rolls and rebounds, Jae Crowder and Mikal Bridges hang out at the three point line when the first few options don’t work out.

And that brings us to the other reason why the Bucks are going to have a tough time winning four games in the NBA Finals: Chris Paul. Let’s forget the motivation that comes from CP3’s first NBA Finals in his 16 year career, it’s more about his leadership and ability to create shots on any given play. Whether it’s pick and roll, the threat of lobbing to Ayton, getting Lopez or Bobby Portis on the island, his deadly handles and his deadlier midrange game. His play over the last few seasons has solidified the 6-2 guard as one of the top five point guards of all-time.

Yes, Giannis and Middleton and Holiday will put together some good games, and they might pull out two wins during the series because of that, but their inconsistency has been their identity throughout their 2021 NBA Playoff run. Unfortunately for their fans, the Deer District, and the city of Milwaukee, that inconsistency and lack of offensive identity will result in another season of disappointment.

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What is the typical dose in an MDMA pill? This is how many milligrams in molly

MDMA is an illegal synthetic amphetamine that’s becoming increasingly popular in the club scene. Otherwise known as Molly, it’s a stimulant that increases your heart rate, increases your serotonin and dopamine.

The combination of these psychological effects on your body and brain makes molly the drug of choice to go dancing (and dance all night).

Since “molly” is illegal that means it’s also unregulated so if you get your hands on MDMA, you should trust your provider and know what you’re getting yourself into.

If you’re new to MDMA/molly, the first thing you should know is that you’re getting it from a trusted person; someone you (or your friends) have had experience with, have tested out or used the product, or tested it with a Fentanyl strip (though MDMA isn’t typically cut with Fentanyl)

How much MDMA is in typical pill?

After you feel comfortable (as much as you can) with the origin of the molly, the next thing you should get to know is how much you’ll be taking that night. Depending on who you got it from, you might be taking a pill or getting the MDMA in crystallized form. So how much MDMA is in dose?

The amounts can vary, but molly pills contain anywhere from 80-125 milligrams of MDMA. From experience, we can vouch for that range as we’ve been told that a capsule contains 90-120 mg.  All that said, the powder can have a wide range in it’s strength and affect (again, it’s unregulated).

If you don’t have MDMA in pill form, you likely received it in a container with a gram or half-gram in it. This can be both positive or negative as it allows you to better dose it out over the night — especially if you’re new to the drug. Obviously, in the powder or crystal form, you should pre-dose it or ensure you’re not overdoing it throughout the night.

How much does MDMA cost?

Another positive about MDMA is that it’s relatively affordable when compared to spending the night at the club buying multiple drinks. Alcohol can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars especially if you’re partying in an expensive city like Miami, San Francisco, or New York City. In pill or capsule form, MDMA should run you approximately $15-$20 per pill and depending on your tolerance and dose, the high can a few hours or throughout the night.

 

How to plan an action-packed weekend in London

A trip to London is always exciting, especially for those who’ve never been before. Getting to experience British traditions, visit historic buildings, wander around galleries and generally soak up the atmosphere is a wonderful way to get to know this city. However, if you’re into a more action-packed holiday then a city break isn’t always the first option you’d choose. We’re here to show you that a weekend in London can be more adventurous than you might think and you won’t have to miss out on any ‘traditional’ sightseeing opportunities either!

Get On the Buses

There are a few tips everyone should know before visiting a new country but when it comes to visiting London there is one thing you should know above all others; the buses are brilliant. Many people flock to the underground to get around town and whilst it is certainly speedy, it’s usually crowded and can get a bit hot and sweaty. London buses are also busy, but generally a little less. Their biggest selling point though, is that you can do a bit of sightseeing as you get from A to B. Buy yourself a bus ticket for the weekend and you’ll be delighted that you did.

Enjoy a Full English Breakfast

A full English breakfast will give you all the energy you need for the day.

A full English is something of an acquired taste. Packed with greasy, salty, fried foods it is a meal for the very hungry and not too health conscious. With that said, a good one is a wonderful thing. You should be able to order a traditional fry up fairly easily on most streets in London, but one of the most famous can be found at Terry’s Cafe on Great Suffolk Street. This no-frills cafe serves good quality food, in large quantities, at reasonable prices. After one of these breakfasts you’re guaranteed to be ready for whatever the day throws at you.

Get To Know London From the Sky

The O2 Arena is an incredible modern building and viewed from the ground it is pretty special. However, Up at the O2 have made it possible to climb right to the top of the roof. As well as being able to see the building from a totally different perspective (and the opportunity for some Instagrammable pics) seeing London from the sky is incredible. A visit during the day will allow you the best view of the individual buildings, but it can also be very romantic up here watching the sunset.

Take Part in a Centuries-Old London Tradition

If you really want to experience the history of London then what better way than by literally submerging yourself in it? Hampstead Ponds were built in 1770 as drinking water reservoirs for the city, but it wasn’t long before they became a favorite spot for swimming. Nearly three hundred years later they’re more popular than ever and perfect for a bracing dip. The water is cold, but incredibly refreshing, so remember to pack your swimming costume, it’s worth it!

Late Night Entertainment

If you’re still not totally worn out after all of that then you’re in the right place, because London never sleeps. The nightlife in London is bustling, but if you want true 24-hour entertainment then a good choice is to visit the Hippodrome Casino. This casino has a rich history which is explained on helpful plaques placed near notable features. They have a wide selection of games, a well-stocked bar and friendly staff. Oh, and they never close. If you want to enjoy gaming but don’t have the stamina to get all the way across town to the Hippodrome, then why not try out one of the best online casinos in the UK? This list provides information on safety and security, as well as pointing out the best deals. You can access them safely and legally from your hotel room and you’ll have more play money than your mates at the Hippodrome if you use a no deposit bonus.

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So the New York Knicks made it to the NBA playoffs, so what’s next?

For the first time in EIGHT years, the New York Knicks managed to qualify for the NBA Playoffs, while their dream may have come to a short end after they suffered an opening round loss. Things are however on an upward trend, despite them having come up short, with the potential to enter the offseason with plenty of space on the salary cap, meaning WAY bigger things could be on the horizon for the New York based franchise. With that the focus now shifts towards the 2021 offseason, so it’s time for us to take a look at where the Knicks stand. Let’s get into it.

So, where do we begin? First is the NBA’s Most-Improved Player of this season, Julius Randle has a partial guarantee of $4.0 Million for the 2021-22 season and as much as he struggled in the playoffs, the Knicks guaranteeing the entirety of his $21.8 million salary for the upcoming season feels like a pretty safe bet, considering he had a really solid season. Not only that but the Knicks may be set to lose a fair few players, leaving them with quite a lot of roster spots to fill.

Almost certainly the most notable would be Derrick Rose, the Knicks acquired him in the lead up to the trade deadline of this season. He played 35 games this season, in those 35 games D.Rose averaged 4.2 assists and 14.9 points on .487/.411/.883 shooting splits. This man earned enough votes for him to finish in THIRD PLACE in the voting for Sixth Man of the Year, sitting just behind Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson who both play for the Utah Jazz.

Not only that however, Alec Burks, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock, Taj Gibson and Nerlens Noel are going to be unrestricted free agents, alongside that, Theo Pinson, Jared Harper and Frank Ntilikina will all be Restricted Free Agents while there’s a team option worth $1.8 million on the contract of Mitchell Robinson.

One thing that the Knicks need to do now they managed to push into the playoffs, even if they didn’t make it deep, is to manage their expectations. There isn’t a single team in the NBA this season that has outperformed their expectations more than the New York Knicks, nobody expected anything from the Knicks. They were predicted to win “24.7 games” which would’ve put them with the 3rd worst record in the NBA. Instead, they went on to win 41 games pushing them into the playoffs for the first time since 2013!

The work that the Knicks have put in this season has not gone unnoticed. In the most recent edition of ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, New York jumped from Number 27 last March to Number 7.

An improvement of 22 wins isn’t the result of just taking one quick year of spending like crazy in free agency, making panicked trades hoping for a quick patch up. What they did was acquire the correct coach for their project in Tom Thibodeau, they then worked hard to pick and choose the right talent that would also fit in with their project. The result? New York now has a blueprint to use as the people in charge build their roster, not only for the upcoming offseason, but for the future of the franchise in general.

So, what are the steps they should be taking for the upcoming offseason? There are a few things they could do, they could go ahead and try to build through the draft, they can push development on the inside and re-sign some of their key free agents, such as Alec Burks and Derrick Rose. They could try and land one big-name free agent to try and build their system around, since they may have up to $50 million in salary cap space, though this would definitely be at the cost of their own free agents. Or they could make a big trade using draft picks and young players combined with their cap space.

Realistically what the team currently needs is a starting point guard and a starting short forward, they also realistically need some depth to manage the quick turnaround in games that the NBA has, in almost every position but power forward. They have the following they can use to rebuild;

  • Potentially $50 million in cap space
  • Two first round picks and a second round pick in the draft.
  • Draft assets for 2023
  • $4.9 million cap room around their midlevel in exceptions
  • $5.8 million in cash to send or receive in a trade.

What do you think? What would you do with the resources they have available? Where do you think the Knicks will end up next season? I think there are many Pennsylvania betting sites that are tipping them for a playoff place again, but they have a lot of work to do to ensure they make the playoffs back to back, would you agree? Let us know!

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LGBTQIA+ Therapists Are Essential: Here’s how to find the right one

The right fit makes a world of difference when it comes to finding a therapist. Many people are aware that therapists often use different therapy modalities, have varying educational backgrounds, or focus on specific concerns such as anxiety or trauma. However, what you may not know is that there are also therapists who specialize in working with various populations. This is imperative for many people when it comes to getting the most out of therapy.

Why LGBTQIA+ Therapists Are Essential

Why are LGBTQIA+ therapists so important? It just makes sense that someone that has a similar identity may have shared experiences in which they can help delve deeper into. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but here are some of the most vital:

Understanding

Since an LGBTQIA+ therapist is more likely to be versed in matters that impact LGBTQIA+ individuals, finding an LGBTQIA+ affirming therapist can give you a sense of understanding that you might struggle to find otherwise. Sometimes, you’ll want to talk about your life in the context of an LGBTQIA+ experience, and having someone who understands that context makes a world of difference. This may come down to the nuances of your relationships, gender dysphoria, systemic barriers facing LGBT community, world issues or events that impact LGBTQIA+ individuals, terms that you use, or something else.

Trust

Whether you’re seeking individual therapy, group therapy, or couples therapy, it can be a lot easier to start trusting a mental health professional if you go into it knowing that you’re safe both physically and emotionally. You don’t have to trust a provider on the first session in any case, but it can help you have a better therapeutic connection in the sense that you know that you can truly be open and show every aspect of who you are in therapy.

Even if a therapist is accepting, if they don’t specialize in the LGBTQIA+ population, what can sometimes happen is that a person feels as though they have to keep things inside as a reflex. On the other hand, if you know what population a therapist works with, it can be a lot easier to let your guard down and talk about what’s going on in your life, especially if that’s something you’d struggle with otherwise.

Progress

When you feel like you can talk to your therapist about anything that’s on your mind, and when you’re able to achieve that sense of safety and understanding we all want in and outside of therapy, you’re more likely to make the progress you want to make. Depending on what you’re looking for (some people will seek ongoing mental health support, whereas others may attend one or two sessions to get a letter for a medical procedure through the informed consent model, etc.), this can save a lot of time, money, and stress. It’s also worth noting that certain concerns, such as eating disorders, are more prevalent in the LGBTQIA+ population. An LGBTQIA+ therapist is more likely to understand how these different factors may intersect so that they can support you holistically.

Finding A LGBTQIA-Friendly Therapist

Here are some ways to go about finding an LGBTQIA+ therapist:

  1. Ask your doctor for a referral to an LGBTQIA+ therapist in your area.
  2. Search the web for an LGBTQIA+ therapist in your area using search terms such as “LGBTQIA+ therapist near me.”
  3. Ask local LGBTQIA+ community organizations for recommendations. This may be particularly beneficial if you aren’t comfortable asking your doctor or are struggling to find providers who meet your needs. If you are a student at a college or university, you may have a counseling center or LGBTQIA+ student resource center that can help.
  4. Use an online therapy website. Many online therapy websites like BetterHelp have licensed LGBTQIA+ therapists. Often, when you sign up for a reputable online therapy website, they’ll have you take a quick questionnaire that’ll help you find the right match. It’s also often faster and more affordable to find a provider through an online therapy website.

If you want to learn more about mental health and therapy, visit Mind Diagnostics to take mental health quizzes and read about everything from depression to even video game addiction. When you’re ready to try therapy, you can tap in your zip code and you’ll see a range of providers in your area who work with various populations, concerns, and modalities.

Simply type in your zip code, and you’ll see a range of providers in your area who work with various populations, concerns, and modalities. Regardless of how you reach out for support, take pride in doing so. Asking for support is something to be proud of, and you deserve to get the help you need.

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How online therapy Is bridging gaps: How effective is it, and how do you find a reputable site?

Maybe, you’ve been considering online therapy for a while and are ready to take the leap, or perhaps, you’re considering it for the first time and want to learn more.

There are many advantages to choosing online therapy, but how effective is it, and how do you find a legitimate site? Here are some major ways online therapy is bridging gaps in mental health care as well as information on the efficacy of online therapy and how to know if an online therapy website or platform is reputable.

Ways Online Therapy Bridges Gaps

Here are some of the ways that online therapy bridges gaps and makes mental health care more accessible to individuals and communities:

  • Online therapy is often more cost-effective (and it should be cheaper considering). Particularly if you seek services through an online therapy platform, website, or app, therapy or counseling will often be more affordable than it is if you seek traditional in-person counseling or therapy. Without insurance, a therapy session can cost up to $200 or more in a private practice setting, where online therapy websites often start at around $90 per week and bill you on a monthly basis rather than at the end of each session.
  • There’s no need to commute. Online therapy allows you to access a licensed mental health provider from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. This is advantageous not just for those with busy schedules but also for those in remote areas or those who struggle to make it to appointments due to lack of access to transportation or for any other reason. You can typically choose between phone calls or video calls depending on what you prefer, too.
  • It can make it easier to find the right fit. This might be a surprising benefit of online therapy services, but it’s a very real one. It can be hard to find a specialist in your local area, but with only therapy, you can see anyone who is licensed to practice in your state. If you’ve found it hard to find a specific kind of therapy, a provider with a particular specialty, or something else that you’re looking for in a therapeutic environment, online therapy might be the answer.

The Efficacy Of Online Therapy

Is online therapy effective? The research says yes. Online therapy has been studied and proven effective for individuals, couples, families, and groups. All of the above show that online therapy is indeed beneficial for people seeking various types of therapy for a range of concerns. With all of this in mind, the question that you’re probably asking is, “Is online therapy for me?” The answer to this question will vary from person to person based on their needs and preferences, but if you think that it might be a good fit for you, it’s an excellent option with a ton of advantages.

Remember that if you don’t like the first therapist you see or if you don’t like the first modality of therapy you try, you can always switch. The same is true for a preference between online therapy and therapy you’d receive face-to-face. More and more providers are offering services online, and remote services have continued to gain popularity over time, so if you want to give it a shot, there’s nothing to lose.

Finding A Reputable Platform

There are a number of ways to find a therapist both in person and online. If you’re looking for an online therapy website or platform and want to make sure that it’s legitimate, the main thing you’ll want to check on is if the providers who work through the platform are licensed.

You can sign up for an online platform with licensed professionals like BetterHelp, search the web for a provider in your area who offers remote sessions, ask your doctor for a referral, or use a website like Mind Diagnostics to learn more about common mental health issues.

All that you have to do is type in your zip code, and you’ll see a diverse variety of providers near you. Regardless of if you see someone in person or online, the important thing is that you reach out for help when you need it. Taking care of your mental health is vital, so don’t hesitate to get started.

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Be an ally to the Asian community by supporting their mental health #stopasianhate

The world has become a very scary and confusing place over the last several years. Some groups of people are much more afraid and stressed than others at the moment, though. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, and many people have struggled with these changes. There are positive signs that things are moving in the right direction so that the world can get closer to feeling normal again, but there are also many troubling things happening in society.

There are people out there who wrongly place the blame for the pandemic on Asian people. COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China, and this has caused certain hateful individuals to terrorize Asian communities in the United States. Some Asian-Americans have been attacked and many hate crimes have been perpetrated.

#StopAsianHate

If you’re one of the many people who are horrified that this is happening right now, then you likely want to be an ally to the Asian community during this trying time. The Stop Asian Hate movement is doing what it can right now to try to battle these hate crimes. There are many ways that you can be an ally to the Asian community right now that will make a difference.

Educate Yourself

Educating yourself is one of the best things that you can do right now when you’re trying to be an ally to the Asian community. The reason why there are so many people coming out against the Asian community is that people are misinformed. Yes, racism has a lot to do with these attacks and hate crimes, but people often develop these beliefs due to ignorance and misinformation. Being educated and informed about the topics might help you to dissuade others from believing falsehoods.

At the very least, being cognizant of what’s going on in the world is important. Understand what’s really happening and don’t turn a blind eye to the situation. It isn’t always going to be comfortable for people to see what’s happening. It’s still imperative to educate yourself and try to help in the ways that you can.

Challenge Racism

Challenging racism is another thing that can help the Asian community (and all communities) during this time. Some people might think that it’s fine to make racist remarks about Asian people or other minorities. They might say things that aren’t true about them or try to blame them for things that they had nothing to do with. Staying silent doesn’t help and you should attempt to challenge racism wherever you can.

Be supportive of Asian people and other minorities. Let people in your family know that they’re wrong if they hold hateful beliefs about other races. Racism isn’t something that should be given oxygen. Shut it down and let the people in your circle know that racism and hate crimes are acts of evil.

Listen to Asian Voices and Amplify Them

Just listening to Asian voices is very important during this difficult time. Many Asian people are doing what they must to stand up to this threat. It’s a scary time for the Asian community, but there are powerful individuals letting their voices be heard. You should take the time to listen to what they have to say and to try to understand where they’re coming from.

If possible, you should try to amplify their voices by sharing videos on social media so that more people will get  the message. Hopefully, this Stop Asian Hate movement will help people to understand each other better. The goal is to stop the violence and to put an end to people trying to blame the world’s problems on minorities. Keep an open mind be willing to listen to Asians that are bravely standing up right now.

If you’re feeling depressed or anxious due to everything that’s happening right now, then you’re far from alone. These are tumultuous times, but it’s possible that things will get much better soon with so many people cooperating for the greater good. Even so, you might need help if you feel like your mental health isn’t where it needs to be. Knowing that you can reach out to an online therapist at any time if you need someone to talk to.

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Coming up with a Relapse Therapy Plan can help you to stay on the right path

Addiction is something that takes a toll on your life. Getting sober is a great accomplishment, but that doesn’t mean that things are going to be easy moving forward. Many people struggle with sobriety, and some are going to relapse over time. Coming up with a relapse prevention plan might help you to stay on the right path.

Keep reading to learn about some helpful relapse prevention plan tips. This could make it easier for you to enjoy long-term sobriety. There will be difficult times in the future, but knowing what to expect and having a plan can help to mitigate things. When you feel like you have the support that you need, it’s going to be possible to keep walking down a positive road in life.

Understand What Your Triggers Are

People who struggle with addiction will generally have triggers that they will need to learn to identify. Some people will have common triggers, but many different things can act as a trigger. For example, if you’re someone who is recovering from alcohol addiction, then certain things might make you feel a strong urge to have a drink. If you understand the types of actions and situations that make you feel this way, then you can do your best to actively avoid them.

It’s also good for the people in your life to understand what your triggers are. This allows the people closest to you to try to help you make good decisions. They can also do their best to avoid accidentally triggering you so that you will feel the urge to relapse. Planning ahead truly does have the potential to make things go a lot easier, and it’s worthwhile to try to be honest about your triggers.

Join a Support Group of Some Kind

Joining a support group of some kind is a great way to keep yourself from relapsing. There are many different support groups out there that you can consider. Some of them might be religious in nature, but not all of them are. Generally, these groups are about getting people together that are going through similar struggles, and the group can share experiences so that they understand that they’re not alone.

Groups usually consist of people at different stages of recovery as well. There are often people who have many years of sobriety in the groups to help act as mentors for those who are new to sobriety. Groups like this help because they make you feel like you’re being held accountable. You’ll be getting ample support and you’ll be able to talk to people that truly do understand the things that you’re going through as a recovering addict.

Try to Focus On Positive Behaviors

Many people have had a good experience with trying to replace negative behaviors with positive ones. Focusing more of your attention on things that will benefit your mental health and physical health might make a difference. For instance, you could try to dedicate yourself to improving your physical conditioning. Working out has mental health benefits and it can help you to improve your overall self-confidence.

Keeping yourself busy with positive things while also being surrounded by supportive individuals can help you to avoid relapsing. Exercise alone isn’t going to be enough of a relapse prevention plan for most people, but there are many other things that you can do. Try to find good ways to use your time that won’t make you feel like you did in the past when you wanted to drink or use drugs. Eventually, you’ll start to feel more confident about sobriety, but you’ll still need to be careful to protect yourself.

You can get back to leading your life and focusing on your goals while recovering from addiction. Just be careful and use positive actions to cope with the stress of your everyday life. If you run a business or have a stressful job, then you’ll need to be especially careful not to fall into old habits. Positive behaviors can help you to focus your energy on good things, and you can learn to cope with stress effectively.

Online Therapy

Online therapy is a great thing for anyone who is recovering from addiction. You can be matched with an online therapist who specializes in treating patients who have addiction issues. It’ll be possible to come up with coping mechanisms while also working through various mental health issues. You never have to face things alone when you have an online therapist on your side.

This is a convenient way for anyone to get help and support when they’re going through a tough time. You can also receive online relationship counseling if you need to work on things with your significant other. Addiction can negatively impact your life in so many ways, but you can reclaim your happiness. Understand that help is available and that you can contact an online therapist whenever you’re ready.

Here’s 6 SEO techniques that will get you results (and improve organic traffic)

It’s easy for business owners to get so wrapped up in keyword research that they forget the big picture of SEO, which is to get results.

But what are the best ways to measure results, know you’re doing things right, and maintaining a positive brand image? Fortunately, there are several techniques that can help any entrepreneur get solid results from SEO efforts. Here are some quick, no-cost, effective ways to make your search engine optimization what it should be.

SEO Audit Yourself

If your SEO work has been successful, your site will not only show up in most rankings but will be easy to open and view. Do regular testing to see whether your company’s pages are quick to load and are mobile friendly. If they’re not, or if they don’t show at all in the first 50 results, consider re-tooling your search engine optimization efforts.

Learn Basic SEO Principles

There’s no need to become an IT guru or SEO expert. If you want to see a boost in ranking, the wisest way to begin is by reviewing a guide on SEO principles for beginners. Once you understand the basics, it’s easy enough to teach yourself a few advanced techniques from there. Another benefit of learning the ABCs of SEO is that you’re adding to your own store of knowledge, which means your skills will improve over time, and each new page or site you build will be that much better.

Track Ranking and Stay Informed

Not everyone can hope for a page one, or number one, ranking. Some fields are so competitive that unless you’re a major corporation, the best you can hope for is the bottom of the first page. Even so, it’s essential to track progress from week to week and stay fully informed of any fallback. If you pay someone to do SEO work for you, expect them to show you regular updates of progress in several areas, including page ranking. There’s no sense in putting time and money into a chore unless you can measure success.

Make an SEO Wish List

Don’t assume that your goals never change. At least once per month, make a search engine optimization wish list. What do you want from the planning, expense, strategizing, and implementation? Many owners write down 10 goals that pertain to page ranking, site visitors, turnover rate, and more. And at least twice per year, revamp the wish list by adding or subtracting items.

Investigate Your Brand’s Search Visibility

At least once per week, spend five minutes investigating your key brand term. For example, if your branded identity is “Jill Smith Widgets,” or “John Jones Piano Movers,” do a deep dive on the search engines and see what comes up when you place the term within quotation marks. Using quote marks is important, because it will tell the search engine to return instances with those exact words in that precise order. This quickie investigation method tells you a lot. It can reveal positive and negative online reviews, mentions on competitors’ sites, whether people are talking about your company on blogs, and much more.

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How slot games are evolving with the help of technology

The first modern slot machine was created by Charles August Fey, a Bavarian-born American inventor. While working as a mechanic in San Francisco in 1884, he built the first coin-operated gambling device. By 1898, Fey had developed his machine into the Card Bell, which was the first three-reel slot machine with automatic payouts. But it was the following year when Fey’s machines really caught the public’s imagination. When his 1899 Liberty Bell slot machine was launched, which featured symbols like horseshoes, bells, and traditional playing card suits on the reels, it soon spread to establishments all across America. It wasn’t long before other manufacturers saw the potential of slot machines and began making their own. The slot machine has evolved in many ways over the last century, and now online slot games are evolving even more with the help of modern technology.

More Innovative Slots

So, slot games have come a long way since the simple one-armed bandits of old. In recent times, video slots have become very popular. At the same time, game developers are finding new ways for people to play slot games. For instance, cluster slots have recently become a favorite of online casino-goers. With a cluster slot game, there’s no such thing as a pay line. Instead, to win, you need to form a cluster of matching symbols. Cluster games are more exciting than traditional slot games. If you’re new to cluster slots, you can play reactoonz, in which symbols drop into a 7×7 grid to form potential matching combinations, to see what all the fuss is about. You can expect to see a lot more cluster slot games emerge this year and beyond. But slot developers are also looking at other types of slot games to replace traditional pay-line ones. 3D slots are already on the market and look to become much more prevalent over the next year or two. And multiple progressive slots will soon become commonplace. At the moment, there are only a few multiple progressives on the market, but that looks set to change soon. Progressive slots are basically games that offer multiple jackpots and require a minimum bet.

Virtual Reality Slots

There are already virtual reality video games available, and now the technology that gives users a lifelike simulation is being used to develop slot games. While the tech is still in its infancy at present, leading slot games developer NetEnt is already testing its first virtual reality slot titles. The only problem at present is you need a powerful computer, with at least 8GB of RAM, in order to render the 3D environment in real-time while you wear a VR headset and bio-sensing data gloves that allow you to feel like you’re touching things in the virtual world. But as hardware continues to evolve as much as slot games, we’re betting there will be lots of cool VR slot titles emerging in the coming years.

Cross-platform Slot Games

Cross-platform video games have revolutionized the way that people play video games, and in the very near future, you’ll have lots more options regarding the devices you can use to play slot games. At present, people can play slots on mobile, PC, or tablet. But slot games are already being developed that can be played on consoles like PlayStation and Xbox and devices like smartwatches and smart TVs. In the same way in which slot developers began making games specifically for mobile platforms, they are now looking at various cross-platform options. Actually, some slots are already available to play on specific smartwatches like the Samsung Gear 2 and the Apple Watch. As hardware improves in the coming months and years, so will the slot games that can be played on it.

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Roku spars with Google, may remove YouTubeTV as negotiations break down

Roku sent out a recent announcement warning their users that they may remove YouTubeTV from their available apps; impacting millions of YouTubeTV using Roku to access the Google product. They put out a communication as negotiations broke down between the two companies. Here’s some of the excerpts from Roku this morning’s email:

We are sending this email to update you on the possibility that Google may take away your access to the YouTube TV channel on Roku. Recent negotiations with Google to carry YouTube TV have broken down because Roku cannot accept Google’s unfair terms as we believe they could harm our users.

Of course, seeing as this email came from Roku, they had to get in front of the issue, spin what’s happening in their favor and play up their good intentions while knocking down Google for being “unfair and anticompetitive.”

Ensuring a great streaming experience at an exceptional value is the core of our business. We will always stand up for our users, which is why we cannot accept Google’s unfair and anticompetitive requirements to manipulate your search results, impact the usage of your data and ultimately cost you more.

To be honest, I’m not sure who the bad guy is here. If you’ve been in the Roku game for a bit, you know they also had a similarly troublesome past with HBO Max where the two companies had a 2-3 week disagreement where HBO’s new streaming service HBO Max wouldn’t be offered on Roku. Ultimately the companies came to an agreement after a few weeks, but we never knew what the disagreements were.

While we are deeply disappointed in Google’s decision to use their monopoly power to try and force terms that will directly harm streamers, we remain committed to reaching an agreement with Google that preserves your access to YouTube TV, protects your data and ensures a level playing field for companies to compete. We encourage you to contact Google and urge them to reach an agreement to continue offering YouTube TV on Roku and to follow standard industry practices pledging not to require access to sensitive search data or to manipulate your search results.

It will be interesting to see what happens here. Not only because personally, I use Roku to access YouTubeTV, but it’s interesting battle between two powerhouses using their market power and leverage in society’s slow-and-steady cord-cutting.

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Is Flock Social legit or a scam? We attempt to verify if Flock Social is a real company or not

We’ve all been there: we arrive at a website where we really, really want to purchase the product or service they provide, but have never heard of the brand so we pause. And this being the Internet, we have to be extremely careful where we put our credit card and personal information not to mention whether that website will provide what they promise.

So is Flock Social a real company?

You’re reading this review because you’re interested in but never heard of Flock Social and want to you know whether it’s a legit service or fake. Having a career in the tech industry that often needs to vet the quality of websites, we’re going to use those same check points to evaluate Flock Social so you can make a more informed purchase (or not).

At the end of the day, it’s not unlike visiting a bookmaker, you assess the chances and odds before placing your bet down. We’ll do that below by auditing their site to see if you can trust Flock with your money. Check out the following 10 check points on how we audited Flock Social for legitimacy as a company:

Legit Flock Social has a LinkedIn company page.

Legit  On that company page, they have a published out physical address. Obviously this could be a P.O. Box or a fake address, but most fake companies wouldn’t go to the trouble of faking an address for $50.

Locations Primary
Kneza Mihaila 11-15
Belgrade, Stari Grad 11000, RS

The fact that Flock Social provides an actual address tells us they’re not concerned with angry customers showing up to their doorstep.

Legit Unlike the vast majority of these social media grow-your-follower platforms that have a two “employees” working out of their homes, Flock Social has 24 employees according to LinkedIn. If you scan their employees, they have actual titles you’d see in a company: Customer Service, Content Creators, Developers and Engineers, Optimization Manager, and Human Resources.

Neutral As of this analysis, the company has 79 reviews on Trust Pilot with an overall rating of 4.7 stars. That’s nice but we can only provide a neutral on this because the first review was just a few months ago in December 02, 2020 and many of the reviews come from reviewers with only one review — Flock Social.

Legit Their website also passes the eye test. There’s a difference between a website being run by a couple people vs. one that has multiple employees. Usually that attribute manifests itself in how robust the website is (or not). Sites that are questionable typically only have a homepage and pricing page, Flock Social’s site also has a how-it-works page, a blog, a contact us page, an FAQ page and a case studies page.

Neutral On the blog, we wish they had more than seven blog posts. A sign of a good company will usually have enough resources to create quality content to show their expertise in their area of focus.

Legit Flock has a couple different in-depth programs you wouldn’t see from a company trying to scam; they have a page that offers white label, marketing agency integration where they can be subcontracted to do social media marketing and an affiliate program.

Neutral Though they have a contact us page, it’s just a form. When vetting sites, we prefer seeing email addresses published on the site. The presence of an email address on the site is one way they show that they care about their customers.

Legit Flock Social also has a case studies page which purportedly features real customer testimonials. The presence of real customer reviews is always a relief as it shows that there are other companies/people using the product (and vouch for it).

Legit Flock Social also has a professionally shot video talking about their service and features their CEO. Again another effort that most scam websites wouldn’t provide.

Legit Flock Social also offers up a one-week free trial of their service and doesn’t require you to put in a credit card or any personal information (outside of your Instagram credentials). We ran through the steps and found that to be true.

So is Flock Social a scam or legitimate? 

Now this being the Internet; it’s actually really easy to fake many of our points above, but typically companies that are looking to scam or provide a fake product or service won’t go to that level of detail especially for the money that Flock Social is asking for. All things considered with eight legit scores, three neutral and zero scams, we’re ~90% certain that Flock Social is a legitimate company.

So if you’re interested in growing your Instagram followers, you can be confident that the company is on firm grounding so go ahead and get started on that 7-day free trial to test out if their service works. If you have experience with the company, please share your comments and reviews below.

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Unlimited PTO (Flexible Time-Off) is great for proactive, empowered workers, not so much for passive employees

The unlimited PTO policy — also referred to as Flexible Time Off — has gone from an edge perk that technology companies used to stay competitive when wooing talent to their organizations to being adopted outside of that industry.

On the surface, Unlimited PTO presents the company as progressive and at the least, the appearance that they care about work-life balance.

Maybe the company is progressive and genuinely care about their employees’ well-being, but being forward-thinking and truly caring about your workforce requires more than offering a perk to make it seem so.

The cons of an Unlimited PTO policy

Whether the consequences of unlimited time off are intended or not, we have to understand and respect that those problems can arise. And that is especially true if the company’s goal is employee happiness.

Some believe that an Unlimited PTO policy is actually chipping away at your hard-earned right to paid time off.

In other words, many workers feel less empowered to take PTO when they feel as if they haven’t “earned” those hours. No longer can they look into their PTO balance, see that they have 14 hours of PTO leftover that will expire at the end of the month. That triggers the decision to take a quick long weekend to Vegas to play free no download slots and enjoy some time off.

That feeling of needing to “earn” your paid time off is due to the built-in power structure that capitalism instills in us when we enter the workforce, but that’s a topic for another time.

On top of that feeling of losing power over your own “free time,” studies have shown that employees tend to take less vacation time under an Unlimited PTO policy.

A limitless PTO policy also means that Human Resources no longer has to track or police PTO hours and the company no longer has to pay out thousands of dollars from that accrued paid time off at the end of the year or when the employee decides to leave the company.

What do workers actually say about Unlimited PTO?

Also known as an Open Vacation policy, it all comes down to how the workers and employees adapt to the new program.

In order we cover all angles, we actually surveyed and interviewed workers and participated in forums on the topic. These workers all worked for companies that went from a traditional accrual system for time off to an Unlimited PTO policy and here’s how some of them responded.

Some weren’t sure how the new system would translate or didn’t really understand that “Unlimited” actually means “unlimited:”

So how will it work with those that have earned 5 weeks a year? Should we continue to take 5 weeks a year? What if our managers decline to let us take that amount?

So PTO is now NEED based, so if I need only 2 weeks I lost 3 weeks of my PTO benefits.

Others wanted a choice to pick between the new and old policy.

Can we opt out of the Flexible Time Off? I am not a fan. I have been here over 10 years and like my 5 week a year entitlement. With Flexable Vacation plans, it all up to the manager or the workload of the team and could not be applied equally.

While many were concerned how the policy would be applied company-wide, specific managers, workload, etc.

How are you going to ensure that PTO allowances are applied fairly? Will there be guidelines for managers to allow for min and max.? I have seen from other companies some people take 5-6 weeks and others due to workload can only take 2 weeks. Some managers are more liberal and others are not. Having worked at my company for over a decade, I like to know I have earned PTO.

And there are some edge cases that make Unlimited PTO a problem. Say for example, imagine that you planned out a vacation and then were laid off – zero payout for that planned vacation.

How it gets administered matters, my friend at another tech company had a manager that implemented and unspoken policy of two to three weeks of vacation max in one year.

Concerns of how the policy would be administered and potentially-abused (by managers) was a common concern that popped up in our conversations and interviews.

Yeah, this is going to get abused like crazy. I already know a few managers who aggressively discourage PTO even when they are required to let their people take it. Now that it’s optional I can only imagine the creative reasons they will come up with to deny it. Will be interesting to see what impacts this has on attrition long term.

The key is to change your mindset; own your time off

Personally, I’ve never had a problem with Unlimited PTO because I never had an issue taking vacation whenever I wanted to. I worked. The company profits off me. I deserved as much time off as I could get. If I wanted to take a three week trip to Thailand or spent my time off playing free casino machines like sun and moon slots, Candy Crush or binge 56 hours of Netflix, I never flinch to request that time off. Ever.

Nor should you. This is about flipping a small part of the power structure (that’s been developed in American workplaces) on it’s head. That said, I understand that not everyone is down to fight that battle nor want to rock the boat, so getting out of that old capitalist mindset is difficult.

While I appreciate the spirit and idea that goes into Unlimited PTO Policy, I understand that people don’t take to change and especially ones that force them to be more proactive than passive.

So unless the new FTO policy comes with a minimum amount of PTO, it seems subject to causing a reduction, not increase, in PTO taken. At least in the mid term as workers get used to how to manage that additional freedom.

We’ll leave you with one of respondent’s replies to a fellow workers complaints about the new unlimited system.

What I’m getting at is the main opposition to this model is based on the idea that the previous model somehow protected you. If you’re truly worried about being able to take your time off, challenge yourself to take a minimum amount of PTO. If your manager rejects your requests without good reason and/or doesn’t approve your PTO request multiple times, that’s a direct violation of our corporate culture guidelines and should be brought up with a higher authority.

 

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Here’s the best ways to keep up with the latest MotoGP news, betting odds

MotoGP is one of the world’s best-followed motorsports, with new fans following every Grand Prix. The 2021 season is now in full swing as the teams enter a hectic few weeks of races across Europe.

The Americas Grand Prix was postponed, but there’s plenty for lovers of MotoGP betting to get excited about this year.

The MotoGP races scheduled for this summer include;

  • Grande Premio de Portugal
  • Gran Premio Red Bull de España
  • Grand Prix de France
  • Italian Grand Prix
  • German Grand Prix

You can see the full race calendar and schedule at https://www.motogp.com/en/calendar

 “The start of the MotoGP” by Dorna is licensed under CC BY 3.0 

The frantic pace of MotoGP

Keeping up with the frantic pace of the MotoGP season is no mean feat, and each Grand Prix is thrilling, fought out at high speeds with races often decided on the final lap. From the start, the drama unfolds, with crashes, overtaking, head-to-heads and car malfunctions.

How do MotoGP bettors not only keep up by profit from the season with their bets? We have enlisted the help of a sports betting expert to explain how you can target a profit by betting on the MotoGP 2021 season.

A shared passion for MotoGP

To have any chance of keeping up with MotoGP and making a profit from your bets, you require the best equipment. You need to be betting with an online bookmaker that shares the same passion for motorsport as you do. All Grand Prix should be covered with betting available well in advance. There should be race winner betting, several specials and even outright markets on the season.

If you are betting on MotoGP, your chosen bookmaker should have a dedicated motorsport tab. MotoGP is no longer a niche market, followed only by a few fans on the most significant Grand Prix of the season. It’s a big business worldwide, and the coverage given by your bookie should reflect that. If it doesn’t, you should consider changing to a new bookmaker.

Get the right equipment

The top MotoGP drivers strive to ensure they have the best equipment and latest technology, knowing it could mean the difference between winning and losing. Each Grand Prix is decided by the tightest of margins, and racers demand the best performance from themselves and their equipment.

As a fan gambling on MotoGP, you should have the same high standards. You want to bet with a mobile app that is quick enough and responsive enough to keep up with the fastest drivers. Whether you are betting pre-race or in-play, you want your betting app to offer you a smooth, reliable service without lags, out-dated information or slow response times.

“MotoGP crash in pit” by moto1pro is licensed under CC BY 3.0 

A warm welcome is a must

Like in any industry, you want to know your custom is appreciated, and you are valued as a member. The leading bookmakers show love to their MotoGP bettors in many ways, but the most important is bonuses and promotions. This special treatment starts when you first join an online betting site. The welcome bonus is a free bet offered to you when registering for an account and placing your first bet on MotoGP. With many sportsbooks, the bigger your first bet, the higher your free bet will be. This is standard practice in the industry.

After registering for an account, betting and securing your welcome bonus free bet, the generosity doesn’t end. The most successful betting apps don’t then simply move on to the next new customer. As an existing member, you’ll receive recurring promotions on MotoGP, including free bets, price boosts, cashback and more. The more, the merrier from your perspective, and you want to see promotions offered on every Grand Prix. That’s not asking too much either, as the most famous bookmakers do just that.

Get off to a fast start

Now you know what is available to you as a MotoGP fan hoping to profit from your love of the sport, there’s no stopping you. What are you waiting for? Get out there and take advantage of the market. 

Use your knowledge of MotoGP to beat the bookies, and it could be a double celebration as your favourites cross the line. One cheer for the winning driver and another for the cash making its way to your betting account as your predictions make you profit.

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How small businesses can save on taxes with Biden’s COVID-19 relief programs

The COVID-19 crisis has hit many US small businesses hard, but with an estimated $5 trillion being set aside for financial relief schemes, no one has to struggle through the coming months alone.

Under Joe Biden’s leadership, the government stimulus programs have focused on tax breaks for the year 2021, but there are other sources of funding that can deliver additional support when it’s needed. Along with these smaller county resources, five federal schemes are open to small businesses across the US. Not all companies will be eligible for every scheme, so take the time to review what you’ve spent over the lockdown period and find out whether you can make a claim.

The carryback of losses scheme

A tax benefit born as part of the Cares Act, this scheme is aimed at companies that made a loss in 2018, 2019 or 2020. It represents a huge change in standard tax rules and is a one-time-only offer allowing employers to carry back losses they have experienced. Essentially, companies that have previously paid tax can use their losses to reduce the amount they owe in 2021 and many could be due money back. Businesses that have recorded a loss in any of the qualifying years should act fast to be included in the refunding process. Once a corporate return is filed, it could be around six weeks until the funds are released. To maintain a beneficial tax rate in future, speak to the experts at Capital Preservation Services. They assist employers with financial planning and suggest legal tax strategies to significantly lower your annual bill.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act tax relief

Recently amended as part of the Tax Relief Act of 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives small to medium-sized businesses another way of recouping losses related to COVID-19. This tax credit is designed to cover the costs of employee sick pay and family leave when it has been taken as a result of the pandemic. The refund matches exactly what employers were obliged to pay out to comply with the initial FFCRA. Staff were able to take up to 80 hours of paid time off to care for others, or themselves. Business owners can claim a rebate on their payroll tax return depending on what they had to payout. This credit is available until September 2021, although compliance with the FFCRA is voluntary.

Continuation of Health Coverage tax credit

Created as part of many new stimulus plans, COBRA or the Continuation of Health Coverage is a federal law that provides employers with tax credits for the health plans of their employees. Currently, employers must enroll staff in their corporate plan when they have lost their health plan or a group health plan because of a reduction in their working hours or losing their job. This is to ensure people still have access to healthcare insurance when they are no longer working due to COVID-19. Employers will be able to claim during the six months between April and September 2021, assuming they support previous employees by covering their health insurance premiums. Business owners can find out more and claim by speaking with their designated COBRA administrators.

Work Opportunity tax credit provisions

Just like choosing when to invest cash, choosing when to invest in new employees is a big step. However, as the economy moves into a more stable position, a new tax credit delivered to companies that are hiring is being extended until 2025. The Work Opportunity tax credit provides a credit on the tax of employers who hire a person who was on welfare or unemployed for over six months or is a veteran.

Employee Retention tax credits

Employee Retention Credit or ERC encourages business owners to hang on to their team for the duration of the pandemic and can be claimed until December 31st 2021. The tax credit matches up to 70% of wages paid to employees and the maximum that can be claimed for each employee is $28,000, or $7,000 per quarter. The first step toward making a claim is proving your eligibility. These credits are available to companies that have been forced to close entirely or partially, or those which have seen their revenue decline by over 20% in the quarter they are claiming for – compared to the same quarter in 2019. If the amount that can be claimed is larger than the tax owed, the business will be reimbursed in cash.

Small businesses have not been left high and dry by the Biden administration, but if you’ve been affected by the ongoing pandemic, you’ll need to be proactive in seeking help. Many of these tax breaks and cashback schemes have a limited shelf life, so start researching what’s available soon or speak with your tax advisor for more information.

 

 

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Can I use Roku to watch Netflix in another country? Officially the answer is “no,” but unofficially….

Even though you’re traveling to get away, we do enjoy some comforts of home when on an international trip. 

One of the challenges of being abroad is when you do have some downtime, you don’t often have the comforts of home you can lean on. To keep oneself busy in your hotel room: you can read a book, peruse social media, play free slot games on our mobile phones, or reach for the remote to watch a little telly. 

If you turn on the TV, all it does is remind you that you’re in a non-English speaking country. It sounds counterintuitive to sit in your room on a vacation, but sometimes it’s nice to relax in your nice hotel room.

Having the option to be able to pull up your favorite Netflix or Hulu show on the hotel’s TV would be a nice way to feel comfortable.

Enter Roku and other streaming devices

Wait a minute, now that I think about it — maybe I can bring my shows with me to Mexico, Thailand, Japan or France.

Roku is a device that allows you to stream from a host of different entertainment apps directly to your tv. There are different levels of Roku devices, including the premiere, which is a step up from the most basic Roku express. Have a look at the different devices to see which one is best for your situation. There is no subscription for Roku once you’ve purchased the hardware, but it does allow you to tap into channels that do require a subscription, like Netflix and Hulu. Searching for content is easy, as you can search through Roku and it will pull up results from any streaming service that matches.

Roku and other streaming devices make it easy to bring your TV content with you and they’re simple to setup. To do so when traveling, is have a TV with HDMI and wifi. So in theory you can bring your Roku, plug it into the outlet and TV, connect it to the hotel’s wireless internet and you should be able to stream whatever you have a subscription to, right?

Will Roku allow me to watch my favorite shows when I travel?

Unfortunately, nothing is that easy. Different countries have different ways of accessing television shows and movies and moving across a border could mean you no longer can watch your favorite binge-worthy content. Not to mention the biggest barrier is that when connecting to a wifi network in another country, that IP address is recognized as non-US and Roku will block content that is not supposed to be accessible in a different country due to legal stuff: copyrights, licensing agreements, trademarks, and among other contractual limitations.

This link shows you all the countries where Roku accounts are supported. An issue here is that many streaming services geo-block content, so you might have issues in actually watching them.

The problem is your Roku is tied to the country where the account is set up so if you move with your US-registered device, it will still show US shows and movies.

How to use Roku in other countries

So if you’re staying in Singapore for business, that hotel’s IP address will tell Roku it’s in Singapore and you’ll be blocked. Meaning you won’t be able to watch Netflix or Disney Plus or Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, but there’s a way to get around that; it just takes some technical savvy.

There are ways to show your IP address is originating in the United States even if you’re in say, Germany. You can do this by setting up a VPN on your router.

Use Roku internationally with a virtual VPN

That’s all well and good if you have access to the router at the hotel, but sometimes you won’t and if you do, sometimes your hotel router won’t support VPNs.

If that’s the case, then you can set up a virtual VPN on your computer then share your Wi-Fi connection. Basically you’re laundering the hotel’s Wi-Fi through your computer. It’s not the most straightforward method, but it’s also not rocket science if you know the basics. Here are the steps

  1. Choose a reputable VPN software
  2. Register/Sign up for that VPN service
  3. Open up your VPN
  4. Set up a VPN connection (in the US)
  5. Share your Wi-Fi network.

The first four steps are computer-neutral, but sharing your wireless network requires different steps on the PC vs. a MAC. Go to this TechRadar article for those specific steps.

Now that your Wi-Fi hotspot is activated through your computer, you can now easily connect your Roku device to your personal Wi-Fi hotspot. And since the Roku is connected to the hotspot, they’ll recognize it as a US-based IP and you should be able to access all your services and channels as you would back home.

Roku, VPNs and using it while traveling internationally

Roku has disallowed for VPNs to be used directly on the device because legally, they can’t allow you to watch a Netflix show in Argentina if that’s not apart of the agreement between the two companies.

By using your computer, you can use that VPN to change your IP address to a US-based one in order to get the channels you want and access to your streaming services.

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Here’s our 2021 NBA Power Rankings going into the NBA All-Star break

 

We are at the midway mark of this season’s unique NBA schedule. This break in the schedule is as a good time to evaluate which teams are contenders and the pretenders as anytime.

A handful of the teams that we predicted to be NBA championship-worthy have fallen short while others that were overlooked have risen to the top. Let’s rank the teams from No. 1 through No. 30 and reveal the odds and the top free NBA Picks on each to win the world championship this season.

The Contenders

  1. Utah Jazz (+700) – The Jazz aren’t battle-tested and lack experience, so the team from Salt Lake led by Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, and Rudy Gobert might not be there when the dust settles three months from now. That said, right now, the Jazz are absolute fire at home and own the best record in the NBA so we have to put them at the top of the list.
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (+280) – The Lakers proved they were mortal when Anthony Davis reaggravated his Achilles and immediately dropped four of five with the big man sidelined. However, the Lakers have gotten back on track and are the odds-on-favorite to repeat as world champs.
  3. Brooklyn Nets (+300) – Offensively, the three-headed monster of Harden, Durant, and Irving is the most lethal in the league but can these egos continue to  coexist, can they dig down defensively when the time comes, and do they have enough bench depth to see them all the way through to the finals?
  4. Los Angeles Clippers (+550) – Their more celebrated neighbors steal all the headlines but this Clippers’ team shouldn’t be underestimated, particularly with Kawhi and company on a redemption tour after they exited the playoffs earlier than expected last season.
  5. Milwaukee Bucks (+800) – The Greek Freak is having another monster season and the Bucks could very well be the Eastern Conference entry into the NBA Finals and nobody would be surprised.
  6. Philadelphia 76ers (+1200) – Joel Embiid has elevated his game this season and the 76ers are better because of it. They currently own the best record in the East but until they prove they can do it in the postseason, we remain unconvinced.
  7. Phoenix Suns (+3300) – The Suns have never won a world championship and have done nothing but lose for over a decade. But a new day is dawning in the desert and the confluence of all their young talent with an 11-time All-Star in veteran Chris Paul has the makings of a Cinderella story.

The Pretenders

  1. Boston Celtics (+2800) – Boston is undeniably the most disappointing team this season, treading water at about .500 for a team that has arguably the two most talented youngsters in the league by the names of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The only slack we will cut the Shamrocks is that their defensive wizard, Marcus Smart, has been sidelined for much of the season but when he returns Boston needs to improve…in a hurry!
  2. Portland Trail Blazers (+6000) – Damian Lillard is a scoring machine but without help from CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers can be bested on any given night. But wait until the duo returns and then you will see Portland takes its rightful place among the Western Conference leaders.
  3. Denver Nuggets (+2800) – Mercurial might be the best adjective to describe this iteration of the Denver Nuggets but whatever you call them, they are certainly a talented squad that tends to lapse against teams they should easily handle.
  4. San Antonio Spurs (+12,500) – The Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time in forever last season but Gregg Popovich has his charges back on track and intent on atoning for their first losing season in 22 years. DeMar DeRozan has been a world-beater this season for the Spurs and this team is doing everything right that they did wrong last year.
  5. Miami Heat (+2800) – It would seem reasonable that last year’s Eastern Conference champions would be considered a stunning disappointment with a .500 record at the midpoint of the following season. However, they were never expected to get that far and the fact that they are not performing at a championship level this year surprises no one except their most ardent fans.

The Rest of the Bunch

  1. Golden State Warriors (+10000)
  2. Toronto Raptors (+4000)
  3. New York Knicks (+15000 )
  4. Dallas Mavericks (+5000)
  5. Indiana Pacers (+6600)
  6. Atlanta Hawks (+15000)
  7. Memphis Grizzlies (+15000)
  8. New Orleans Pelicans (+15000)
  9. Washington Wizards (+15000)
  10. Charlotte Hornets (+20000)
  11. Chicago Bulls (+30000)
  12. Houston Rockets (+40000)
  13. Orlando Magic (+40000)
  14. Cleveland Cavaliers (+50000)
  15. Sacramento Kings (+60000)
  16. Detroit Pistons (+100000)
  17. Oklahoma City Thunder (+100000)
  18. Minnesota Timberwolves (+150000)

 

Here’s 5 ways to motivate yourself so you can finally get to writing your essay

If you think that you’re a lazy bone or a full-on procrastinator that cannot manage to write an essay in the time allotted, you’re not alone. From my experience most students struggle to write an essay or even a writing a simple book report is an extreme challenge of discipline.

Instead of meeting all the deadlines, students tend to spend time on social media, watching reality TV, streaming or other social things that could be easily postponed. Let’s investigate what approaches out there that will help you come up with a high-quality essay without having to devote all of your time and energy to it.

Why most procrastinate writing a school essay 

It is kind of a rhetorical statement since you may have different reasons to postpone the writing. Instead of facing any of them, and preventing the bad grades, some students often type in the search engines – can you pay someone to write your essay where they find agencies that help students. However, let’s overlook some of the reasons why you can’t write your essay.

  • An essay is homework. It sounds very logical, an essay equals homework. Yes, this is what makes the assignment feel like such a burden. Students wish to come back home and have free time instead of spending time more time invested in schoolwork. By imagining that you have to “waste” half an hour or hour for an essay is daunting and renders most lazy, so change up your perspective.
  • You want to impress a professor. Some students cannot even start writing the outline for an essay because they think too much of what their professors would like to read the most about. Such intentions to impress someone are 1) strange since you should write to share your opinion only, 2) time-consuming since you waste time thinking about your professor’s preferences.
  • You are afraid to fail again, and again, and again. If you have had a bad experience in submitting past essays, you are most likely to postpone such tasks for later because they’re associated with bad feelings and disappointment. ? 

If you find yourself in any of the above-mentioned descriptions, you are half the way to solving their reasons for not writing. If you do not write for other reasons, read the next paragraph too. It helps to approach the challenging essay easily.

5 tips to get writing on your essay

So, here we go to the actual approaches to writing the essay. All the advice is based on students’ tips, experiences, and just feedback found online from graduates who succeeded in getting a diploma with honors, etc.

Make It a Fun Process

Yes, you may now complain about such advice but think of making your room comfy, asking your best friends to join you, and make some drinks to refresh your mind. Instead of sitting glued to the chair, you may share ideas about the essay with your friend, and have a prolific discussion that will lead you to the best structure and content of your paper.

Spend Some Time on Research

Prior to starting writing, give yourself 1-2 days for research. You should surf the Internet to get inspiration on topics, and arguments to use. Try to find look-alike works to your preferred topic, and overlook what you should not use to be caught with plagiarism further on. Or, just see how one student wrote it, and what structure he/she followed.

Recruit Your Willpower to Avoid Distractions

Obviously, the first enemy of every student is a mobile phone. It always distracts one from the studying process and cannot give a second even to concentrate due to messengers. If you want to write an essay, set a timer or download an app that blocks the mobile phone activity for some time. For instance, give yourself 30 minutes of prolific research and writing, and then 10 minutes of social media. If you are a real superhero, you may hide your mobile phone until you are done with the essay.

Relax When No Ideas Come

Do not make yourself struggle from writing the essays. If you have a good day and believe your boosted mood may give you some ideas for writing, use this chance. If you are not feeling well, or just tired, exhausting yourself in front of the laptop will do no good. When you do not have a single idea or strength to start writing, go for a walk or do other activities. Otherwise, you may simply end up having a bad grade because your mood dictated the ideas instead of your fresh mind.

Ask for Help Online

Together with agencies that help students write essays, you may join social media groups on Facebook where other students (and companies) can share tips, free examples, advice on researching, etc.

Beyond that, some may even post the problem, and receive the solution from others. For instance, write your topic name, and ask others for any suggestions on how to make it good. Please, do not write something like – what should I write? It looks like you expect others to waste their all-time on your lazy bone’s tasks.

Now, you are equipped with fundamental approaches on how to beat your writing procrastination. If you require more tips, never neglect the help of professors, who may share their personal experience in writing.

 

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