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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Crowdfunding - A Good Summary for newbies in this industry

With Kickstarter being so successful and revolutionising the way startups raise cash from potential investors, there is no doubt that venture capitalist would face new competition for venture funding. It has created a situation whereby inventors turn to Kickstarter to fund their innovative project rather than a venture capitalist whereby they set high targets and impose hefty penalties should targets not be met.

For those people who are new to this industry, here is a very good infographic on the entire crowdfunding industry as a whole. Check out the awesome work done by Choice

The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding
View Interactive Version (via Choice Loans).

Monday, July 21, 2014

BitFenix Shadow Mid-Tower Chassis Review

TweakTown image content/6/5/6516_99_bitfenix_shadow_mid_tower_chassis_review.jpg

Lately, BitFenix has been trying to keep us busy with a full on assault of new cases that they have released over the past month or so. Most of the designs are similar in nature to what we will be reviewing today. The chassis we are here to review today is a simpler setup; it is a chassis for builders, or even beginners who just don't want to throw a bunch of money into a chassis. We all know there is plenty of need for these types of cases, either to keep overall costs down to pass on to your customers, or for those who feel that spending over $50 for a case is like trying to pull teeth from a bird.

We have seen many of these cost-effective mid-tower designs over the years, but in our minds, it has always sort of been a back and forth between what BitFenix was doing, and what NZXT had to offer. Both have the same basic concept of offering air flow options, only shipping with a fan or two at most. At the same time, they also try to offer things like wire management, tool-free mechanisms, and even color coordinated wires with the traditional black on black theme that most of these cases come in.

The thing is, BitFenix has always tried to offer things using a much different approach to aesthetics than its competition, and this latest sample fits all of the molds we expect from both this class of cases, and what we know from BitFenix in the past.

Join us as we take a break from the huge, and fully appointed monster towers that we usually deliver, and take a step back to appreciate the more economical side of case design. The reason we have you here today is to look at the BitFenix Shadow mid-tower chassis. While this chassis does fall into the below $100 price range, lately we have seen some really stellar designs that we can get in this form factor, and even at some really great prices. So, while this market is always open for more competition, the bar is set mighty high, and we will see soon enough if this chassis from BitFenix should come out of the dark and be seen, or if it should just lurk in the shadows and be forgotten.

TweakTown image content/6/5/6516_01_bitfenix_shadow_mid_tower_chassis_review.png

While the BitFenix Shadow is made of steel and ABS plastic just like most other chassis, the external aesthetics are pretty plain. To dress things up a bit, the front offers an angled front door that receives a rubberized coating; and along with a few small vents to either side of it, there is a logo placed low on the front door. As for the rest of the chassis that is easily visible, it is just flat expanses of steel that have a textured black finish applied inside and out. Inside of its more compact dimensions, this mid-tower is still designed to fit Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX motherboards.

On the inside you will find three 5.25" bays, followed by seven bays for 3.5" drives, oriented front to back. On the floor inside of the HDD rack, there are holes to screw down a single 2.5" drive. The cooling system consists of a 120mm fan in the front, and another in the rear of the chassis. The chassis also offers optional locations to place an additional 120mm fan in the front, or in the floor. Also, if for some reason you feel the need, the rear fan can be replaced with a 92mm fan.

Switching gears again, the chart takes us to the seven expansion slots, then off to the top of the chassis to discuss the front I/O panel. The chart then goes on to discuss the PSU size, the SofTouch treatment, LEDs, dust filters, and the tool-free mechanisms on all of the bays.

Looking around all of the usual places, we find the Shadow has decent availability, and appears at many different e-tailers. We also see that the pricing is pretty level, no matter where you locate this mid-tower chassis; all of the pricing we saw was on the mark of $79.99 U.S. dollars. While it doesn't take huge leaps and bounds to fill out eighty dollars' worth of casing, when it comes down to cost versus return, it is a limiting factor to some extent. Considering what many $50 cases have to offer, and what newer $100 designs bring these days, we will see soon enough if this chassis is worth the cost, and just how well it stacks up to the rest of the cases in this price range.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Kickstarter Film Fest. Your House.

Kickstarter Film Fest - free and open to the public
Kickstarter Film Fest 2014.
Now playing at your house.
That's right: you can join us for the fourth annual Kickstarter Film Fest without even leaving your couch. This year, we've made the whole program — a two-hour mix of scenes from our favorite Kickstarter-funded films — available online. So if you can't make it to our screenings in Brooklyn, London, or Los Angeles, you can still pop some popcorn and watch from anywhere you like, all summer long.
Kickstarter · 58 Kent St, Brooklyn NY 11222 · Unsubscribe

Friday, July 18, 2014

Swich wireless charger

Where style meets functionality. This is the new wireless charger that has got the sleek design that you would demand for. Check out their Kickstarter campaign.

Swich is a sophisticated wireless charger for smartphones. A mobile accessory made from sustainable materials.

Qi Standard manufacturers are Blackberry,  WP, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, LG Electronics, Sony, Blackberry, Motorola Mobility, Asus, Huawei... If you have doubts that your phone is Qi compatible, check the latest list of Qi enabled phones.

Disaster Recovery and the Cloud

Your business runs on data. Customer contacts, vendor and supplier accounts, contracts, invoices, project management, employee records, sales tax history are the pulse of your company’s financial and operational health. Stop and think for a moment what you would do if any one of these data points was inaccessible due to fire, flood or other server disruption.

Many Ways Data Can Be Lost

Companies can lose vital business data and systems through many avenues including physical damage to buildings and equipment by fire, flood, tornado or earthquake, damage or breakdown of equipment or systems, utility outage and absenteeism of essential employees. Theft, computer virus and malicious activity such as hacking also cause data loss or interruption.

The Small Business Administration reports that inadequate internal controls routinely result in the loss of critical business information and data. Internal controls and external factors can all pose risks to your vital business data and must be diligently monitored and managed for business continuity.

Conventional vs. Cloud Disaster Recovery

Online Tech president and chief operating officer Mike Klein says conventional data disaster recovery poses problems due to delays, time-consuming recovery processes, expense and high error rates that can cost your company a lot in terms of operations, customers and revenues. To be fully effective, conventional recovery methods must be thoroughly tested and regularly updated to truly protect data.

Conversely, cloud disaster recovery planning involves digitizing the entire business data operations including server, operating system, applications and data into a single software bundle. This makes the data available for recovery more quickly and cost-effectively than conventional recovery methods.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  •     Encrypted Email Management: Email communications and operations are prime candidates to move to the cloud because a lot of sensitive business communication is done this way. Moving communications to the cloud means your emails, even those on customers’ devices, are securely encrypted and protected from unauthorized access.

  •     Better Security: Cloud storage removes the possibility of losing data operations from disaster at your physical location. If there’s a fire or flood in your office, your data won’t be lost from damaged or destroyed servers.

  •     Less Equipment: Cloud storage saves money on computing equipment by eliminating the need for more servers. CDW, a technology product and service provider, reports that 35 percent of small businesses move to the cloud for improved backup and disaster recovery while 43 percent move to replace aging hardware.

  •     Easier Upgrades: Another benefit of digitization is economy of scale. Simpleview Inc. director of network operations Sean Smith says their 60 virtual servers enable them to more quickly and economically upgrade memory and processing power. They also provide customer services security with less space and operational expense than if they used an equivalent amount of hardware.

    Businesses have a lot to consider when choosing a cloud storage provider between security, price, space and other needs. Top 10 Cloud Storage provides reviews and comparisons of various cloud storage companies such as DropBox. They share the pros, cons, editor reviews and customer reviews on each service so that you can choose the right service for your business.

    Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    Microsoft Reclusa Review (Powered by Razer)


    Microsoft Reclusa Gaming keyboard Review

    Microsoft has partnered with Razer to come up with a gaming keyboard following their first partnership, the Habu. This time it seems Microsoft has packed in a whole chunk of juicy features that made the Reclusa a strong contender in the world of gaming peripherals. Microsoft is a giant itself in the revolution of how computers work and Razer is a giant in the field of gaming peripherals. When this two tech giants stand together, it seems that the ultimate baby is born. Can the Reclusa stand up to the strong giants in the gaming world like products from Razer itself? Let’s take a look and find out.

    First Look

    The packaging of the Reclusa looks very typical like how Microsoft has always packaged their stuff, revolving around red and black. It does not stand out much in terms of packaging, and if one were to step into a shop, he might not be able to differentiate the Reclusa from the other Microsoft keyboards. Taking a closer look, the bottom right hand corner of the box has a space dedicated to Razer, with a Razer logo and the “ingredients” that Razer has contributed to the Reclusa. Descriptions of the keyboard are all over the box, and when you turn to the back, it shows a full picture of the Reclusa, with additional features that were not already mentioned on the top of the box. As you open up the box you will be greeted by Reclusa and the CDs and instruction manuals at the reverse of the box flap. The wrist rest sits on top of the keyboard, separated by a cardboard flap.

    The Reclusa is rounded at the sides, a pretty unusual choice by Microsoft because the more conventional and cool edges that you see on gaming keyboards are absent from the Reclusa. But by doing so, it portrayed a more comfortable look which may be what Microsoft wanted. The fonts on the Reclusa also look a bit more round which make the whole visual of the keyboard soft and warm.

    Flipping the Reclusa to the back will reveal a very unique design. A smart cable winder with its USB cable nicely tucked inside. I would say this is a great choice made by Microsoft as it would mean better cable management and your desktop will not look like a spaghetti mess after you add in all your other wires. There is also a pair of keyboard legs that props the keyboard up to a comfortable height for typing. However, there is no rubber on the feet of the legs which could be a bit slippery if used on a surface with little friction like glass. It could slip and get out of place in the heat of a gaming session which was quite a turn off for me.

    When you attach the wrist rest, the Reclusa immediately requires about 20% more space on your desktop, so if you have limited desk space, you might want to remove the wrist rest. The wrist rest however, is a great plus to comfort, because the soft spongy material made typing on the Reclusa feel comfortable, although I wished it was a bit bigger to cover the whole of my palms as the lower part of my palm is sitting on the edge of the wrist rest.

    At the top left and right corners of the Reclusa, there are 2 USB 2.0 Hubs which are gold plated that are pretty useful, but falls short on expectation. We will touch on the USB hubs later.

    Also at the top corners of the Reclusa, you will see two very interesting jog dials. This is something new that garnered my attention when I first got it. The right dial is by default set to control the volume whereas the left dial has no default actions which could later be set by the Razer software.

    The sides of the keyboard are also adorned with 10 programmable buttons, 5 on each side, which could individually be assigned to different actions or macros using the Razer software. They are individually marked, so you will know which default action is being assigned to the key.

    Plugging the Reclusa into your PC will bring it to life with its Blue LED backlights. The LED lighting cannot be turned off, so one may wonder about the lifespan of the backlight. It does however, feel soft and warm, just sufficient to allow you to see the keys in the dark, but not to the point it blinds you.

    Test Run

    I typed an essay using the Reclusa in order to get a good feel of how the key presses feel like. The keys have a very soft feel to them and it does not offer that much of a tactile feedback that gamers seek. The keys are very easy to press and each key actuate effortlessly. However, I felt that the keys were registered too easily, and some mistakes that would normally not be picked up by other keyboards were all picked up by the Reclusa. It is not a bad thing, however the sensitivity would mean that there could be more errors in the heat of a game where gamers don’t usually pay much attention to accuracy on the keyboard itself.
    The placing of the macro keys however, was very good as there was adequate space between the keys and the programmable keys which could be reached with your left pinkie without stretching too much. The 2 keys that are separated on the side of the keyboard on the other hand, required more effort to press before it could be registered. There is a click sound to signify that the key has been registered. The 5 keys that are on the right hand side of the Reclusa takes on the function of media control with the media keys set as default to the individual keys.
    The keys are very silent, which makes it a great companion for late night gaming, with little or no noise produced. I would think the soft keys are the main contributing factor. I have my reserves towards the sensitive keys, but at the same time, they are so quiet that it makes gaming at night more possible as compared to a mechanical keyboard which might possibly wake your whole family up in the middle of the night because of the loud and noisy “clicking” sound produced by the keys.
    Overall, I felt that it was comfortable typing on the Reclusa with the wrist rest and soft keys, but however it was too sensitive for my liking. But that said, some would prefer sensitive keys as it would cause lesser strain on the fingers for longer gaming hours.

    USB Hub
    The USB Hub was a plus to me initially; however I was quite disappointed with the performance. The hub was incapable of handling power hungry devices like hard disks or phone. The best it could do with was a thumb drive and the transfer speed was slower than a direct connection to the PC ports. I would think the USB hub is a novelty rather than functionality as it wasn’t really able to support its intended tasks. On one instance, I plugged in 2 devices to the hub and it caused a force shutdown on my PC as it could not supply enough power to power the 2 devices.

    The software is powered by Razer and in this department, it was really quite well done up. It was easy to understand and I could set up macros for my game in under five minutes. You’re able to set delays in the macros too. The software itself is pretty self-explainable, and it allows you to set an action or command to the 10 programmable keys and the 2 jog dials. It does not allow you to turn off the LED lighting on the keyboard.

    Technical Specifications
    • Features ambient backlighting and two built-in gold-plated USB ports
    • 12 custom-programmable buttons, including two 360 degree jog-dials and two bumper buttons
    • Comes with detachable wrist rest
    • Smart cabling system allows you to stow away USB cable when not in use
    • Hyper-response gaming key action for maximum response with minimal latency
    • 2 golden plated USB 2.0 Hubs
    • Keyboard has back lighting
    • 2 jog dials that could be assigned to different actions
    • Razer’s Hyper-response technology
    • Detachable wrist rest
    • Ample of programmable buttons
    • Razer configuration software
    • Quite bulky
    • Keys does not feel as tactile as compared to other gaming keyboards
    The Reclusa is a gaming keyboard that retails at around $100. It packs a lot of juice and features that gamers require. The blue LED lighting is every gamer’s fantasy as it looks pretty cool in the dark, exuding a futuristic look. The overall round shape of the Reclusa looks warm and comfortable. However, the key press are not as tactile as other gaming class keyboards, which might be a big turn off for gamers who like that kind of realistic feel of each key giving the right amount of feedback. It is however, a good keyboard for everyday and office usage as you can type on it for long hours without feeling the strain. In terms of gaming, I would only place this as an entry-level gaming keyboard.

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

    G5 Adds New Content & Welcome Features to Brave Tribe 1.3.0 (iOS)

     The Brave Tribe 1.3.0 update from G5 Entertainment and Taploft is out on iOS now. In the latest version, to fans' great delight, we have added a new function, allowing them play with their active friends and delete those who are not helping them in the village any more. This means you'll have free slots for more active friends thus more gifts and helping hands! Also, with 1.3.0 version you'll get 70 new quests, a new decoration - Bridge, a new threat to fight against - Siege Tower, and one new collection with a key to special bonuses. This new update also brings lots of improvements and, as usual, is now free on the App Store. Lovable characters, fantastic new adventures, keen fights and witty humor are awaiting you in Brave Tribe 1.3.0. Check it out now!

    What's New in Version 1.3.0:

    Are you ready to accept a brave new challenge? A brand new update is here to make village life even more dramatic and exciting!

    - 70 THRILLING NEW QUESTS - Can you complete them all with valor and courage?
    - ROMAN SIEGE TOWERS - Protect your village from the gravest enemy yet!
    - NEW ROMAN COLLECTION - Fight off the Romans to get special items and valuable rewards.
    - FRIENDS IN NEED - Earn additional resources for helping your loyal friends.
    - IMPROVEMENTS AND FIXES - Your favorite story keeps getting better and better!

    About the game:

    Set in a bright green world, Brave Tribe, invites you to an amusing country where players cultivate crops, build workshops and houses, remove trees, rocks and grass, and occasionally battle against Roman spies...

    A long, long time ago, when men still plaited braids in their beards, there was a happy village in the heart of Hibernia's primeval forest. The villagers - lovable Irish Celts - above all valued peace, a healthy lifestyle, ecology and beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, the Romans have begun destroying the forest to construct a huge aqueduct. Help defend the village against this encroaching threat, which includes Roman spies, warriors and siege towers. Beat your enemies back and preserve your village's way of life! Look after forest animals, welcome quirky travelers, grow crops and be a witness to passionate affairs of the heart. Use magic runes to beautify your village with special buildings and decorations and cooperate with friends to keep your tribe prosperous and safe! Most importantly, discover the ancient secret to happiness in this sunny and absorbing fable!

    The game is developed by Taploft and published on iOS by G5 Entertainment.

    Key Features:
    ● Over 580 quests to keep you entertained
    ● Over 200 decorations to spruce up your village
    ● 50+ special buildings to construct
    ● 12 funny and amazing characters to meet
    ● 17 crops to cultivate on your farms
    ● 14 enemies to fight with all your might

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    World's most popular social media sites

    Our friend Alex, over at Finances Online has published an infographic pertaining to the most popular social media sites that people are using. Check it out over at their site!

    social media statistics

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

    Computex 2014 - The Show Girls

    Show Girls (Part 2)