Seven Tips For Finding Excellent Car Service

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

Check Out Reviews First

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

Shop Around

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

Ask To See A Certification

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

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

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

Go With Your Instinct

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

Find a Location Near Your Home

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

Warranties and Specialists

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

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What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler-centricity and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

full business itinerary details
up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are travelling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler-centric can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

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Digital Games And Kids – A Different Perspective

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

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

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

Gaming and the New Age Kids

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

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

What are Digital Games?

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

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

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

Digital Games in Science Education – Why and Why Not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Using An Elliptical To Achieve Your Fitness Goal

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

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

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

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

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eCommerce Development and Business Dynamics

The number of Internet users are burgeoning rapidly throughout the globe. While in the developed nations, it has already reach a saturation level, in growing economies like India, internet penetration is becoming stronger. Internet grew as an empowerment for common people and a massive business platform for enterprises. Among numerous trends that internet brought among people, eCommerce emerged as a massive disruption in business dynamics and in lifestyle of commoners. It brought the lavishness of shopping right at the clicks on the computer or taps on mobile devices, while, products as well as services reach the doorsteps.

eCommerce has become a proven profitable venture with considerably low investment and high profit. However, the profit part is dependent of several factors. It can become a complex business to handle, as it involves many critical operations right from accumulation of products, delivery, customer services to maintenance of technology, massive human resources, and warehouses. Only a seamless tandem in all these operations can lead to a running eCommerce business, that can bring good Return on Investment.

To venture into eCommerce, prospective business owners must first find a dependable firm to develop the central platform or the web portal. They can also hire technology experts for in-house development, but it brings along the cost of development and technology infrastructure. In the primary stages, many other operations, like collecting products from vendors and marketing are required. Hence, outsourcing the development of the platform becomes a profitable option. Businesses would only need to find a good eCommerce Development company.

Since, technology is a central aspect in eCommerce industry, adequate importance is given in web development for creating the web portal. This thrust in technology propelled a dynamic boost in IT sector. Especially, application development, web development and technologies like PHP has found their ways to massive popularity and importance in current business landscape. In fact, there is a competition among businesses to buy the best technology or to develop the best platform.

In eCommerce, the web portal, or the technology is at the center of all its operations. It is not only the interface of the business with consumers, but also the prime mechanism in which the business runs. The website serves multiple purposes all at the same time and it is that single touch point of all major interactions with consumers. Accessibility of services and abundance of features in the web portal is a secret mantra for success in eCommerce. Therefore, the imperatives of technology in this business is the central focus for enterprises and owners.

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5 Key Features to Expect in Future Smartphones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Super Mario Bros Game For The Classic NES

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

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

The Games Story:

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

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

Gameplay:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graphics:

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

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

Sound:

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

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

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

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

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

Replay Value:

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

Difficulty:

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

Final Thoughts:

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

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

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Telematics and Big Data: Next Generation Automotive Technology

Telematics, Big Data, and Analytics are the three big important ways that are driving the auto industry forward. In this article, we will see how big data analytics, with the insights of information processing, can help transform the automotive and transportation industry globally.

The future of telematics is with big data.

Traditionally, in most automotive and transportation enterprises, specialized business processes have always been analyzed and modeled on whatever limited empirical data or contextual information was available to them. Proper data was few and far between. Or, even if the required data was available, enterprises hardly had any technological know-how with them to harness all the information necessary for their use. It was quite a difficult task to deal with such a situation where enterprises heavily relied upon conventional methods such as going through previous driving records, including taking into account people’s age and gender, locale demographics to accurately predict risk levels among its consumer base. This was something haphazard, awkward and unreliable.

Now with the advanced big data analytics, accessibility to scores of information and the science of telematics are putting the current understandings in new light, offering new conversation starters, and creating new potential outcomes that were not really possible before. “Big Data” as we know it is changing everything for the better. It is changing how the vehicles are built, how they work, how we use them and how they collaborate with everything else in this world: From vehicle-assembling to insurance underwriting, to traffic modeling to optimizing traffic routes, Big Data is changing the world of car/fleet transportation industry in a big way.

Big data analytics plays a very important role in the telematics field. The fact of the matter is that the science of telematics which involves telecommunications and vehicular technologies demonstrates how big data analytics can improve supply chain management, fleet management, increase yield and drastically reduce material costs, not to mention the quality and safety issues that never get compromised using proper big data analytics. In fact, the use of relevant data directly leads to more opportunities. It is in this context we will see how Big Data is bringing transformative elements into the various industry sectors especially in insurance, financial, automotive and transportation and other sectors and improve their business processes.

Telematics All The Way

Telematics is ushering an era of big changes. The way vehicles are insured and how they are driven or repaired are all changing for the better.

Earlier, we have seen that insurance and maintenance standards of vehicles were based on some kind of conjecture and the rough utilization of crude data that was available at hand. But with the use of telematics, a strong evidence of data is promptly accessible that can revamp entire branches of the commercial enterprises and change drivers’ driving behaviors.

Thanks to telematics, the wealth of data that can be derived from vehicles can also be made available to drivers. This is also one of the big changes that telematics promises. As far as valid data is concerned, there are simple ways people can immediately access from their connected car, and this same data can also be transmitted to the manufacturers or insurance companies for that matter. So when data is available and is accessible to users then there is going to be better understandings of their vehicles’ performance, ultimately resulting in helping drivers adopt good driving behavior. Drivers will have access to GPS-related data that will let them know their driving styles, including real-time information on fuel consumption, speed limits, hard acceleration, braking, phone distraction, etc. All this useful information can impact not only their driving performance but also can extend the longevity of their cars.

Driving Innovation and Continued Growth for Auto Insurance

To give you just one example: Consider the insurance industry. Using the great combination of telematics and big data analytics, insurance companies are able to enhance their business processes to an extent that was not possible before.

Basically, the insurance industry is based on analytics and probability. Therefore, to have a proper access to accurate and in-depth data that identifies with every customer’s lifestyle and risk always works in the best interest of the insurance industry. This is an area where telematics has been adding quite a lot of significant value propositions that matter greatly to both insurance companies and their paying clients alike.

With telematics and big data analytics, insurance companies don’t have to resort to guesswork to fix premiums for their customers. It has enabled insurers to reward policyholders, who display good driving conduct and check their vehicle health stats, with lower premiums and rebate offerings by taking the guesswork out of the equation. This is nothing but a big data approach to telematics insurance.

Telematics is a positive trendsetter and has grown exponentially in recent years. The positive impact that it has over companies and consumers alike is proving to be a win-win deal for everyone. And as far as telematics is concerned Big Data would be there too, working hand in hand. Not only consumers but automotive manufacturers and service providers as well are going to get greatly benefitted from the marriage of big data and telematics. And since the relationship is really symbiotic, big data is going to be the future of telematics. Embrace big data and telematics in a big way!

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4 Easy Activities To Stay Healthy

4 Easy Activities That Can Help You Stay Healthy

The good news is there are any number of leisure activities that will help us stay healthy and physically fit. The other good news is that a lot of them are low impact and don’t involve any strenuous physical activity.

Here are a few leisurely activities that you can indulge in as much as you want to promote good health and personal well being.

1. Dance

Dancing is an exceptional activity that promotes energy, vitality, physical health and an improved mood to support your overall well being at any age! We used to dance a lot when we were younger and a lot of weight loss and fitness routines as well as some of the latest exercise equipment involve some kind of dance movements.

There are many dance styles that will fit into many different lifestyles, from zumba to ballroom dancing and lots in between. All you have to do is find a partner and start moving!

2. Plant A Garden

Do you like the great outdoors? One of the greatest benefits of gardening is that it gets you out of the house and provides you with some less than strenuous physical activity. Gardening might seem like a hobby for old folks, but it offers some health benefits for everyone: exercise, stress relief, nutrition (if it’s a vegetable garden).

A number of studies have indicated a correlation between brain activity and a decrease in Alzheimer disease. In this respect, gardening may even help keep your brain healthy since your mind stays active as you tend your garden.

3. Cook at home

Many people consider cooking to be a leisure activity. When you consider cooking can give you a lot of creativity opportunities and it definitely requires thinking that keeps your mind active, it only makes sense that it could be considered an important activity to your overall mental and physical health.

There’s a good possibility that you may be more likely to eat a healthy and nutritious meal when you are spend time in the kitchen preparing it yourself. If you happen to be cooking with products that you grew in your own garden, then you’ll reaping the rewards of two leisure activities.

4. Do Some Low Impact Exercise

Take a Walk; It goes without saying, exercise is necessary for maintaining your weight and good overall health. Most people equate exercise with going to a gym, lifting weights or some strenuous activity. But, the fact is that just walking is sufficient to promote good health, help battle the ravages of disease like diabetes. It’s also been proven to be beneficial for maintaining good BMI and lowering high cholesterol and blood pressure.

The CDC website has reported that walking is an ideal place to start a physical exercise program, Try twenty minutes a day, three days a week to start. You can increase the time or distance as your strength improves or start other more strenuous activities like tennis, bicycling, or whatever. Find a partner and use the time for socializing and to hold yourself accountable for completing the walk.

Low Impact Yoga; Yoga is a centuries old holistic ancient methods of exercise that aims to treat the entire body and mind. Yoga instruction teaches you how to use good breathing techniques and the various poses allow you to strengthen your body through stretches and which help keep you flexible.

Properly done, yoga can help reduce aches and pain, and may even help prevent injury by improving flexibility and strength. It has also been reported that yoga helps relieve stress by teaching how to control breathing to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Bottom Line
People all over the world are becoming bigger. But there are a lot of leisure activities that offer the benefits of regular exercise: stress reduction that reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, weight loss and improvement in physical fitness.

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