Must Have Apps for Compulsive Travellers

The dual inventions of smartphones and Wi-Fi have revolutionised the backpacking experience. Even a decade ago, backpackers were completely disconnected except for when they managed to stumble across a cutting-edge hostel or internet cafe. This meant that keeping in contact with friends and family, checking finances, navigating cities and translating signposts were severely restricted or completely impossible. Whilst this added a certain unknown quality which some deemed exciting and exhilarating, for the most part it was a stressful and isolating element to an otherwise amazing experience.

However, the app age has changed all that, along with numerous Wi-Fi hotspots littered across the world, and now backpackers have much more digital tools at their disposal to make their adventures more enjoyable, effective and effortless. But, this being said, these apps must be picked wisely as sometimes, with shaky internet still abound, it may not be possible to download new apps once the travels have begun. So, to help with this selection process, here are our ‘Must Have Apps for Compulsive Travellers.’

Messaging App

Facebook may seem the most universal, all-encompassing and easiest way to keep in touch with friends and family whilst also chronicling your adventures. But be warned, it is not always easy to access. China and Cuba, amongst numerous others, have put a block on Facebook within their borders. Therefore, downloading a quality messaging app, such as Whatsapp, will allow you to message your friends and family for free without the fear of it suddenly being hit by an aggressive domestic firewall. Skype is also a good option, but it is likely to crumble if the internet connection available is not exceptional.

Online Casino App

In the past, travellers would have to pack mountains of heavy books and travel games, or discard them along the way, to keep themselves entertained on long train journeys between countries. Today, app gaming means this does not have to be the case. The most popular type of gaming apps are the online casino. These quick-fire, money-making gambling experiences offer a fun distraction on a journey of any length and, potentially, gives you some extra money to spend at the bar upon your arrival. Winning!

Translator App

Everything from menus to street signs can lead to potential disaster for backpackers if it is written in a language they cannot speak. Save yourself the trauma of questionable local delicacies and labyrinth-like back alleys with a trusty translator app. Google Translate is a solid offering and is completely free. Although unlikely to give you a perfect translation, it will steer you in the right direction without fail.

Banking App

Keeping on top of your accounts is paramount if you are a traveller, especially one who is planning an extended trip. Regardless of how cheap the countries you are visiting may be, it is amazing just how quickly your funds can deplete if you take your eye off them long enough. Moreover, constantly having to take extra money out will lead to you racking up extortionate transition fees. By having a banking app, you can plan your withdrawals and make sure that you minimise additional costs whilst planning your spending more effectively.

What Will Facebook Unveil at the F8 Developer Conference?

It’s that time of the year when Facebook will be going through their strategies and upcoming plans and with a lot more in their product portfolio than before, this should be the most interesting F8 conference yet.

We’re predicting some updates to Facebook’s standalone and Messenger apps on mobile as well as some strong pushes with their VR acquired company; Oculus.

For now, this is all speculation and rumour but we’re be bringing you the latest updates as it happens and if you want to check it out yourself, you can tune in for the 2-day event here.

Jeremy Clarkson Has Just Been Fired

UPDATE 14:08 GMT: Clarkson has been fired, read below to find out more!

So after much deliberation, Jeremy Clarkson has now been fired, or so it first seems. This comes to light as Sky News reporter Mark White tweeted the following:

No official word as of yet, as Clarkson has tweeted showing that the above is in fact false.

You can see the tweet here:

So the question is, has he or hasn’t he? The BBC have said that no final decision has been made. If this does turn out to be true, there is still no word on what will happen to the future of the show, or the live show or in fact whether James May or Richard Hammond will carry on without their co-host and close friend.

UPDATE: A Telegraph online poll asking if viewers would still watch Top Gear without the famous trio of presenters finds 90% saying “No”

UPDATE 14:08 GMT: Jeremy Clarkson has officially been fired. Director General Tony Hall has confirmed with the following statement:

It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after a very careful consideration of the facts and after personally meeting both Jeremy and Oisin Tymon.

I am grateful to Ken MacQuarrie for the thorough way he has conducted an investigation of the incident on 4th March. Given the obvious and very genuine public interest in this I am publishing the findings of his report. I take no pleasure in doing so. I am only making them public so people can better understand the background. I know how popular the programme is and I also know that this decision will divide opinion. The main facts are not disputed by those involved.

We will update as we find out more!

Source: The Guardian

Test Driving NVIDIA Powered BMW’s at GTC 2015

GTC 2015: Anyone who knows me well will know that I’m a BMW fanboy through and through and though I’ve never been a fan of the i3 in terms of styling, I was pretty intrigued in terms of performance and features, especially when you consider that NVIDIA are at the heart of the electronics inside the car. So at NVIDIA’s GTC 2015 event, I went out for a little spin in the car with a good friend of mine at the wheel.

Inside the car, it’s pretty compact but still sports a lot of room due to their being no need for a transmission of any kind. I wasn’t a massive fan of the lack-luster wood effect dashboard, but I’m sure plenty of people will like the quirky styling.

The doors open in a weird fashion but even in the rear there is plenty of room for full-sized adults.

Viewing from the rear, you can see the space-age style front seats which grip you nice and comfortably as you pass along the road.

Under the boot lining, you can see some of the makeup of the electric car’s internals.

NVIDIA steps in with a nice little instrument cluster sporting a whole host of colours and styles.

From the drivers seat, it’s actually a really nice place to be with everything within close reach.

The steering wheel in typical BMW fashion is comfortable and has plenty of buttons. Behind the wheel, you’lll find the gear shifter taking you from “Drive” to “Neutral” to “Reverse”.

In the centre of the dash, we find a HUGE screen which gives us access to the iDrive system for music, navigation and much more.

When powered on, you can see both screens illuminated.

Very similar to the current iDrive system in the non-electric BMW’s on the market, it’s fluid and easy to navigate thanks to the NVIDIA technology behind it.

You can also see the simple yet effective controls below the screen for heating and audio.

I personally test drove the new BMW X6 3.5 litre beast and while I didn’t get many photos, I managed to snap a few of it driving away after I’d had my turn. It was fully kitted out and drove like an absolute dream.

Sadly I was in awe of its sheer performance and features, so was too wrapped up in driving it that these are the only photos that came out well.

And there she goes!

TESLA Model S P85D at NVIDIA GTC 2015

GTC 2015: As part of our ongoing GTC 2015 coverage, we were instantly hooked when we saw the epic Model S P85D from Tesla. As someone who has driven the P85 and P85+ and even contemplated buying one for several months, I thought that I finally got it out of my system.

I was wrong. After seeing the P85D in person, it brought back all of those wonderful emotions to me again, and knowing that it now has an INSANE mode, made me want one even more.

Sadly, we didn’t get to drive it, but I am in talks with NVIDIA to try and get back into the drivers seat and show you not only the TESLA power, but what NVIDIA have done to this car to make it so awesome aswell.

GTC 2015 Meets the Lamborghini Aventador

GTC 2015: If you haven’t already checked out our intro to the cars at NVIDIA’s GTC 2015 event, then we invite you to click here to do so. Stemming on from that, we really just wanted this to act more of a gallery for the AMAZING Lamborghini Aventador that was on show, so sit down and check out these gorgeous pictures of this extreme supercar.

As a car with a license plate, we can only assume that this belongs to someone, so maybe it’s part of NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang’s personal collection?

Powered by a crazy V12 engine, NVIDIA have all bases covered when it comes to the instrument cluster and infotainment system inside the car.

Sadly the car was locked, so this is the best view that we had inside the car, but still pretty impressive to say the least.

And a view from the drivers side.

Another tell-tale sign that this car may belong to a NVIDIA employee?

GTC 2015 NVIDIA Powered Cars On Show

GTC 2015: Normally I’d write something insightful but for this article, it’s a really simple one that involves some heavily induced eye-candy for you. As a member of GTC, the first step for me was to check into my hotel and I was even greeted with a special key card for the hotel room, branded in event gloryness.

After checking in, I made my way to the exhibition centre, to pick up my pass and straight away could see people from all walks of life. This included fellow journalists, analysts, manufacturers and much more all queuing up.

In the entrance of the hall was a nice little showcase of cars that utilise NVIDIA technology or are sponsored in some shape or form by NVIDIA. This included the epic Renovo Coupe which is an all American, all electric sports car which simply looks like a vintage car that would be basic inside, but it’s anything but that with the NVIDIA Tegra X1 at the heart of it. This gives the car the NVIDIA Drive Studio which features an 11.6″ touchscreen and all-digital cluster.

Giving a whopping 500 horsepower and a 0-60 MPH time of 3.4 seconds, it’s not exactly sluggish. We managed to get a bit more information from Renovo including OTA updates and cloud access, but details on delivery is still a bit sketchy, but should be very soon indeed.

Also featured was the Lamborghini Aventador which once again is powered by NVIDIA. It’s not an all-electric car, but the instrument clusters and infotainment system are all courtesy of NVIDIA’s mobile processor.

Lastly, it wouldn’t be an NVIDIA event featuring electric cars and the like without the Tesla Model S P85D so without further ado, here is the 600BHP monster in all it’s glory and every time I see one, I still contemplate buying one, so I’m going to stop talking there before I talk myself into it.

Baidu Show Speech Recognition at GTC 2015

NVIDIA GTC 15: Baidu gave a keynote based around the speech recognition technology that they are working on and showed us some examples of how successful their process is, especially in comparison to a third party API that is currently available from other sources.

Below is a video showing exactly how they have developed their algorithm to not only focus on speech recognition, but also how the process can cope when extra noise is added, which is a real stumbling block for most speec recognition services on the market.

It is worth noting that the presentation examples were being operated real-time through the use of a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics card.

Lenovo Showcase A GRID server at GTC 2015


GTC 2015: After walking around the exhibition show floor at this years NVIDIA GTC event, a few things caught our eye and the main thing was a huge standing rack blade enclosure from Lenovo.

As we know with blade racks, they can support a whole host of hardware including storage modules, video cards and of course, the networking infrastructure and processing power that you’d come to expect from a system of this calibre.

Inside the Lenovo N1200 server, we can see everything needed for a highly spectacular NVIDIA GRID server. If you want to find out more about GRID, we invite you to check it out here.

We have a lot more coverage coming from NVIDIA GTC, so keep your eyes peeled.

Jen-Hsun Huang Interviews Elon Musk of Tesla

GTC 2015: As part of the keynote at GTC 2015 after talking about some amazing feats with the new TITAN X and some of the deep learning technology on offer, we were greeted with a special interview between Jen-Hsun Huang and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Upon talking about autonomous vehicles, a big discussion as part of that revolved around Artificial Intelligence. Skynet anyone?

For now, you can find all of the juicy information in the video below:

NVIDIA Show The Future of Gaming on TITAN X

GTC 2015: While Jen-Hsun Huang was talking about how powerful the new TITAN X graphics card is, numbers and figures are sometimes not enough for most consumers, and instead they need to see something to tug on their emotions and Jen-Hsun didn’t disappoint one bit.

We all know that EPIC is a huge partner for NVIDIA and to show how they have been working together, a brief real-time video was shown running on the new TITAN X graphics card and we have to admit, it looks pretty damn impressive.

The complete video is below, but if you scroll through to around just before 4 minutes, you’ll see what we’re talking about. Enjoy!

NVIDIA Discuss the Rise of Deep Learning

GTC 2015: For the most part, GTC has already been a huge event for NVIDIA with the unveiling of the new TITAN X graphics card to the market but while this is great for the average consumer, NVIDIA have a lot more to offer than just their GeForce segment and one aspect of this is deep learning, and actually is a segment from within their company that crosses over into GeForce and other more industrial sectors that NVIDIA have to offer.

Jen-Hsun Huang (CEO and co-founder of NVIDIA) took to the stage at NVIDIA GTC 2015 to talk through the theme of the event this year and deep learning was at the core.

You can see part 1 of the video here:

As you can see from the video, Jen-Hsun went through the various milestones of the company last year including GeForce, Shield, Tegra, enterprise graphics and of course what NVIDIA are doing from within the car industry.

A big highlight was what the new TITAN X GPU can do in comparison to other offerings on the market. A comparison of a 16-core Xeon CPU, original TITAN, TITAN Black and the newest TITAN X were shown training AlexNet and while the TITAN and TITAN Black managed to improve on what the Xeon CPU could do by cutting down the time it takes to train AlexNet, the new TITAN X dramatically improved even on that. This sees the AlexNet training take just 3 days opposed to the 43 days that the Xeon takes showing that NVIDIA are focussing on more than just gaming.

NVIDIA GTX Titan X Review Roundup

Here we are at NVIDIA’s GTC event in San Jose, California and with the buzz surrounding Titan X in the air, we thought that even though we haven’t got our review sample in our hands as of yet, it would be a good idea to bring you a collective list of reviews from some of our friends from within the industry.

This is a comprehensive list of sites that we know and trust the writers from within our small industry, so we invite you to check out their reviews and in the mean time, we will keep you up-to-date with our sample on our social media pages, so expect us to have a full review in the coming week ahead.

Remember to check back when we will have our very own review of the new NVIDIA Titan X 12GB graphics card soon!

NVIDIA TITAN X Officially Unveiled

GTC 2015: If you’ve been under a rock for a while, then you’ve missed out on something huge happening within the market and for the most part we’re probably sure that you’ve heard about the new NVIDIA GTX TITAN X launching in some capacity or another.

If we cast our minds back only a short while to GDC, you’ll remember that NVIDIA unveiled the TITAN X graphics card, but while a lot was said about the card, there were still so many unanswered questions, including pricing, availability and much more.

Scroll forward to the present day, and CEO and owner Jen-Hsun answered these questions and officially introduced the TITAN X graphics card at this years GTC 2015 event. While he took to the stage, a promotional video was played showing us the new card in all of its glory, but one of the main speculative questions on everyone’s lips came down to pricing.

Some were basing pricing off of the TITAN Z that launched at last GTC in 2014, expecting the new TITAN X to be at least $2000, but with a shock moment and a stunned audience, the pricing of $999 came to light.

While $999 is considered ridiculously expensive by some, you have to remember that this is the world’s fastest GPU on the market with 8 billion transistors, 3072 CUDA cores, and a whopping 12GB of memory. This card allows 4K high quality gaming to be an easy task with room to spare and something that we are definitely looking forward to testing out.

New Report Suggests That Smartphone Gaming Will Overtake Console Gaming in 2015?

There’s long been talk of mobile gaming overtaking console gaming but, according to a report by market research firm Newzoo, that day could finally arrive in 2015. The report estimates that mobile games revenue will reach $30.3 billion next year, an increase of over $5 billion from the $25 billion revenue in 2014. And by 2017, it’s anticipated that mobile gaming revenue will surpass $40 billion.

The figures aren’t that surprising when you stop to look around you in almost any public place. People are almost always on their phones, and they’re not all chatting, using their phone for its original purpose. According to a report by the Entertainment Software Association report earlier this year, 44% of gamers now play on their smartphone rather than any other device. The types of mobile games that are played vary. In the same ESA report, the games played most often on a mobile were listed as follows: casual and social games (46%), puzzle, board games, game show, trivia and card games (31%), action, sports, strategy and role play games (11%) and persistent multi-player universe games (4%).

You can see why so many people choose to play on their mobiles. The games that are available to play on a mobile platform fit better with a busy lifestyle than playing on a pc or console. If you have five minutes to spare you can enjoy a quick fix of gaming wherever you are on a mobile; whether you choose to play bingo at a site like 32red or Gala or a game on Facebook like Farm Heroes Saga or Hay Day.

The ESA report suggests that the number of female gamers aged over 50 has increased by 32% from 2012 to 2013, and, without generalising too much, it’s unlikely that this particular group will be playing action or shooter games on a console. They’re far more likely to be playing casual social games or games of bingo on their mobiles. One of the biggest attractions of playing games on a mobile is that you can just jump in and get playing without having to read any rules of ‘how to play’. Click here to play at 32red and you’ll see that bingo is a great example of a game that people can play instantly, without having to learn how to play.

Newzoo’s revised forecast for this year is 42% higher than mobile game revenues achieved in 2013. The Amsterdam-based company predicts that the market in Western Europe will grow by 47%, while the North American market will grow 51 % year on year. The biggest increase in mobile games revenue will be in the South East Asia and China market, where it is predicted to rise by 86%.

It’s also anticipated that Apple will produce double the games revenue to Nintendo this year. Nintendo revenues were $2.4 billion in 2013, but the revenue this year is anticipated to be smaller. Meanwhile Apple is forecast to have games revenues of $4 billion from the games in its iTunes App Store this year, while Google’s annual revenue is likely to be £3 billion for 2014.

When the report was issued, the CEO of Newzoo indicated that in the western markets, where mobile gaming is already mature, the battle for dominance between iOS and Android is no longer over the smartphone, it’s more about tablets. While iOS stays ahead of Android overall in mobile gaming spending because of the iPad, the Android market is more fragmented across different devices and operating systems.

Newzoo acknowleged that its report may seem contrary to recent sentiment that the mobile gaming market is becoming saturated in mature western markets such as the USA. However, according to the Newzoo analysis it seems that the increase in mobile revenue growth is dependent on both organic growth but also cannibalistic growth – where mobile increases at the cost of other markets, such as consoles, handheld consoles and online gaming. Instead of spending on online pc games or console games, people are choosing to spend more on their mobile gaming.

 

NVIDIA GRID Event Coverage

Several days ago, we at eTeknix were invited to a special event held by Nvidia in the Hilton Hotel in Reading, near to their UK offices. Only a select amount of media were invited and the event itself was very small, but the announcements were anything but.

With the recent announcement of Android Lollipop from Google being on many people’s minds at the moment, it was inevitable that NVIDIA were going to bring it to their Android based SHIELD and SHIELD tablet devices, and not only that, but within their press show, they made it very clear that they were the FIRST to bring it to a gaming tablet. Screw you Samsung!

NVIDIA were a bit coy when it came to a release date as technically it’s out of their hands and instead lays with Google, but they are expecting it to be released sooner rather than later, as we hear the Android fans rejoice. With the update, we can expect many bug fixes, some new features and great speed and performance inprovements and with the SHIELD being the fastest tablet on the market for gaming, thanks to the Tegra K1 architecture, they wanted to bring some special goodies along with the update, and special is what they brought.

Does anyone remember the Orange Box bundle that Valve released many moons ago? Giving us the hottest titles that their customers wanted? NVIDIA have done exactly the same, and upon listening to their customers, they are announcing “The Green Box” bundle. Comprising of Half Life 2, Portal, and Half Life 2: Episode 1. They were abundantly clear that Episode 1 was something to shout about and we couldn’t agree more. Not just leaving things there, but they showed us that 60FPS is where they wanted to aim for (unlike Ubisoft) and with high resolution imagery and 60FPS, Half Life 2 among the other games will simply look awesome. “The Green Box” bundle is only available on SHIELD so don’t go expecting Valve to be offering it for other devices.

A downside some may say, but I happen to think it’s the best way to play on the SHIELD Tablet is that you have to use the controller, which personally adds to the whole experience of gaming (short of using a keyboard and mouse of course). In typical NVIDIA fashion, to redeem the code, it will require the user to enter a code on the portal system.

Many questions flew around the room for tech journalists from all over Europe including if War of Thunder would be coming, and the simple answer was yes, and no more was said about that. No date, no rumour, no nothing, so at least NVIDIA are giving us a few more surprises along the way.

Game streaming

Another big announcement was that GRID is coming to Europe. W00000h0000!

For those who don’t know what GRID is, we entice you to check out the full section on the NVIDIA website here. We were lucky enough to try out GRID by using the American servers (I Guess it’s down to who you know, not what you know, amiright?). You can find plenty of coverage of what we thought of GRID on the original SHIELD gaming device, but now it’s coming to the SHIELD Tablet which is exciting stuff, especially as they are opening it up to further markets than ever before.

NVIDIA explained GRID to those unaware of it being similar to Netflix, but for games, and of course streaming games doesn’t go without its issues as it’s actually more complex to stream a game than doing the same task with 4K video content on Netflix. The GRID PREVIEW service will be launching very soon in the UK and the rest of Europe, with one exception. Sorry Germany but you will have to wait a bit longer due to your age restriction laws and some of the game titles having adult content (violence and the like), therefore they are hopeful of launching it there in Q1 of 2015. For those in the UK, November is when the preview service will open with an official full launch in December.

NVIDIA claim that the GRID experience with their uber Dublin based server will give the same experience as playing the conventional way on a PC and many times NVIDIA lifted the table cloth to show us all that no PC was to be found in that room. Instead, it was simple streaming across the internet from the servers in Ireland much like you’d expect Netflix to do.

Once the service opens up, you’ll be able to simply open up the SHIELD Hub application and be greeted with a list of games in a library style interface. Currently on the preview service, there are around 20+ titles including some AAA titles and sheer blockbusters such as Borderlands 2 and Batman Arkham City, which NVIDIA PR man himself Ben Berroando thought he’d show his dab hand at to show us the lack of lag/latency.

The lag or lack of it comes ultimately down to your internet connection and NVIDIA state that the minimum requirement is a 6mbit connection but recommend 10mbit to give the best possible ping and to reduce the amount of lag if any. In Europe, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue, especially as government schemes are rolling out across the continent, even in rural areas.

The biggest competitor for NVIDIA right now is the Playstation NOW and with other streaming services like OnLive not gaining popularity, the green team think they have a prime opportunity to show what they can do.

For some exciting news, for the foreseeable future, they want as many users as possible to try this out, and while it’s still in a semi-beta stage, it would be unfair to charge people to “try” it out wouldn’t it? Of course, and NVIDIA know that, so they are giving away this amazing service absolutely free when the Android Lollipop OTA update hits.

NVIDIA are claiming a 2nd December 2014 launch, but obviously this is possible to change, and shouldn’t be considered gospel at this stage, as technically it’s out of their control and in the hands of Google.

Those of you may have a few questions and don’t worry, so did we so lets answer what we think would have been some of the most common questions asked if you, our readers, were at the event.

Latency is going to be a big word thrown around with a service like this, and NVIDIA claim that for the ultimate experience, you should have a ping of 16ms or lower, and with the servers being based in Dublin, this shouldn’t be an issue, and you can test your latency from within the app.

Streaming is one thing, but the actual graphical experience is another, and we have been told that playing a game across the GRID service is equivalent to gaming on a GTX 760 or similar, which in all honesty, is pretty damn impressive.

One thing that NVIDIA are working on for the future is multiplayer support, locally and across the cloud, and this in our opinion could be the start of something huge if they can make it happen.

We also asked about other titles and DLC’s and were told that DLC’s and updates will be auto added as they hit in the future and the likes of Indy titles and crowd-funded games are a possibility in the future too.

That sums up our coverage of the NVIDIA event, and I’ve got to say that this is one of the best announcements that NVIDIA have done. Yes they are currently leading the market with their GPU product stack, and for the most part, this is their bread and butter, but when they introduce a new technology to a complete region like they have here, it gets our hearts racing and wanting to try it, and you’re in luck as we’re frantically testing out the preview service as we speak, so stay tuned for some great articles coming soon based around that.

The Grid Gaming Service is effectively a supercomputer in the cloud. All of the hard work such as graphics rendering is processed on high-end hardware at the Nvidia datacentre, then streamed to your device much like a Netflix video.

The Nvidia Sheild Hub App will hit the Google Play Store on November 18th. Simply launch the app and select GRID Games Menu and you’ll be able to play any of the 20 games that are currently available on the service.

Remember, there is no cost for running this service. GRID Preview will keep the service free of charge until June 30th, 2015.

The service is being launched in North America and being expanded to include Western Europe in December, with Asia Pacific following later next year. You’ll require at least 10 Mbps internet with a 60ms ping time to the Nvidia servers for optimal performance.

The service has been configured for Shield device owners. If you own or purchase a Shield, you’ll be able to download the updated software shortly to access the GRID service.

At launch you can expect to find games such as Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands 2 and more available on the service.

More games such as Brutal Legend and Psychonauts will be launched on the GRID service every week.

GRID will stream games at 720p resolutions at 60 frames per second; of course this will also depend on the quality of your internet connection.

That’s everything we know about GRID right now, but we will bring you further updates as soon as we have them.

Barcode Symbology – 1D Barcode Symbology

Barcode technology roots its genesis in symbology. In simple terms, symbology is the equivalent of a language. The language is encoded using single digits or single characters into language message. However, the message is only complete once you also encode the start and stop marker characters in the bars and spaces. In other words, symbology can also be defined as the mapping between messages and specific codes. Symbology has over the years existed on a very controversial basis. The majority of symbologies that have existed are around for political reasons. While others types of symbologies, like the barcode 1D symbology, have survived owing to technology.

Looking closely at barcodes, one will notice that they are not the same. Some barcodes will have different widths of the black and white bars, while others will have two narrow strips of white and others simply just one wide white bar. Some will appear compressed while others will be longer than the rest. In essence, the 1D barcode symbology has more than 100 different symbologies. Keeping in mind that organizations will normally have their own systems of symbologies to use in place. The choice of the kind of symbology one is to conform to will never be at the discretion of the employees. “We believe that our new combined package of products — WaspLabeler and Barcode Maker for Office — will help businesses eliminate data entry errors, provide easy access to information and collect data quickly and accurately,” said Brian Sutter, director of marketing.

However, if you must choose which symbology to use, you might want to consider the following factors.

The Available and Set Standards.

Many barcodes, be they from different vendors, Shopify  being one of barcodes vendors, will most definitely share similar barcode applications. The 1D barcode symbology also has a standardization code that will govern the use of these types of codes. Such are the set standards eliminating any fear of duplication one may have. Therefore, one should make sure that they clearly understand the limitations an industry has to the use of barcodes symbology. This is to avoid any would be unfortunate befalling.

The Symbol Set

It is important to note that 1D barcode symbologies have limitations especially on the number of characters that can be encoded.

The Density

Each symbology uses a different kind of given space per character. The 1D barcode technology also has its specific width lengths for which anyone printing the barcode will have to conform to.

Readability

Always choose a code that is friendly to read. The perfect vantage is that 1D barcode symbologies are simple. They always maintain a very simple approach to labeling; therefore, they will not force the consumer to strain with reading the digits and any other information that could be encrypted into the barcodes.

Compatibility and Acceptance of the Symbology

The barcode you choose should also be compatible to the industry or company at play. It will be true to say that the 1D barcode symbology is one that is universally accepted by almost every industry.

1D Barcode Formats.

1D barcode symbology takes the form of many formats from AimGlobal. These symbols are part of the codes 39, EAN, code28, UPC (the Universal Product Code) or interleaved 2 of 5. First is the Coda bar, which is very famous with the US Blood Banks. The Coda bar is an alphanumeric code. Though it only has the letters A, B, C, D, E, *, N or T. Second is the Code II barcode which has been primarily used in the telecommunication industry. Third we have the nationwide barcode symbology, a 1D barcode symbology of very high density, the code is particularly common to the shipping and packaging industries. Other 1D barcode symbologies include CODE 2 of 5 Interleaved which is an all numeric code used for packaging and it also has no limitations to the length of the symbol. Code 39 is a highly discreet code; interestingly enough is that it’s a code that was pioneered by the automotive and the defense industries. It is an alphanumeric barcode whose symbols tend to be as long as deemed necessary. This is to store intended encoded data. Other examples of 1D barcode symbologies will include the Telepen. They provide the very many forms of 1D barcode symbologies available and the industries to which they are specifically used and famous for. This is evident at LeadTools.com.

Why Should One Choose 1D Barcode Symbology

The popularity 1D barcode symbologies have gained is very high compared to their counterparts, the 2D barcode Symbologies. About 99% of applications are conversant and very friendly to 1D barcode symbology. This will imply that the support systems in place for 1D barcode symbology are very reliable and available.

We’re Hiring – News Editor Wanted

We currently have two news editor positions open to join our ever expanding team and with a new website design coming along soon, what a better time to hire some new staff?

The ideal candidate should have an extreme passion for computer hardware, technology and staying up to date with the latest technology industry news. Having excellent English skills is a must and the ability to edit images is a bonus.

No prior experience in this industry is a requirement, but will always be a welcomed bonus.

Your role will consist of reporting on upcoming hardware releases and the latest industry news involving CPUs, graphics cards, motherboards, chassis and keyboards.

This isn’t a full-time role, nor is it a part-time role; it is somewhere in between as you will be required to report on the latest news as it’s announced meaning that dedication is a key aspect to the job.

You should have a passion for writing and this should reflect in your writing style and skill. For a website that attracts as many readers as eTeknix, we have a certain standard that will need to be adhered to.

The role will involve working from home, so please only apply if you are a dedicated individual who is able to commit to the needs of the site. Due to this, the position is open worldwide.

How to Apply

If you feel that you are the right candidate for the job, you will need to email us with at least two sample news articles showing your writing skills and knowledge off. We are looking for a variety of attributes within your articles including knowledge and writing skill.

You can mail us at aruffell@eteknix.com with a short covering letter and your sample news articles and we will respond accordingly.

Gamer Waits in Queue for Game24 Event and Receives Amazing Prize

With the Nvidia GAME24 event kicking off all around the world, something magical has happened for one lucky gamer in Stockholm, Sweden. Much like anticipating fans of the new iPhone 6 have been doing, he decided to queue for the event which starts later on tonight. The staff at Nvidia noticed this, especially as winter is drawing closer and he has a whopping 13+ hours to wait.

Nvidia took the above picture and uploaded it to the Nvidia United Kingdom official Facebook page with the following caption:

“Meet the first person in our #GAME24 queue in Stockholm, ready for tonight’s event! We LOVE this dedication. To make sure he survives the 13+ hour wait, we’ll fill him up with some snacks during the day”

On top of this, we’ve had a word with Jen Andersson; PR Manager Northern Europe, who told us the following:

“We absolutely LOVE our fans and this shows true dedication. To wait for over 13 hours for the love of PC gaming is truly incredible. Thankfully, the sun is shining and together with a GeForce GTX 980, he’ll feel that it was worth the wait, I’m sure!”

At the time of writing this, the beloved fan has no idea that a brand spanking new GeForce GTX 980 will be landing in his lap later on today, but we can already tell that he will be overjoyed. If you know him, maybe keep quiet as to not ruin the surprise for him.

Nvidia are clearly pulling out all of the stops for this launch, as some industry pals of mine have already won various prizes including GTX 980’s and a Nvidia Shield gaming tablet at the California event several hours ago.

Have you ever queued for anything as long as this guy, and been rewarded for it? Let us know in the comments below.

It’s Back – Overclockers UK Create GTX 9 Series Pyramid

We work very closely with Overclockers UK, and we know that even though business is of paramount importance, they also like to have a bit of fun too. Especially when it comes to interacting with their customer base and many frequent visitors to their huge forums.

In typical taste of the lads at OcUK, they have devised a cunning plan of showing off some of their stock of various branded GTX 900 series graphics cards. They have done something similar in the past with new graphics card launches, so regular fans of them will know what to expect.

With the last launch day pyramid, the picture circulated the web in every direction and we feel this one will be no different.

Overclockers UK state:

The pyramid is just a small taste of what Overclockers UK have to offer, with inventory of over 1000 NVIDIA GTX 9 series graphics cards.”

They have also apologised for the lack of an iconic item; the soft toy burger, which has always photobombed these types of pictures, but with a hectic launch in the early hours, it was sadly forgotten.

To make up for it, they have given a large selection of cards from various brands at amazing prices to keep you happy, so check out what’s available here.

It’s also worth noting that their gaming systems have also been updated to include the new cards as a choice when ‘speccing’ up a new rig.

MSI Unveil X99 Range of Motherboards

With Intel’s latest X99 chipset launch upon us, MSI have given us a full insight into their complete stack of motherboards featuring the newest iteration of Intel features dubbed under the X99 moniker.

MSI have segmented their products into different ranges across the gaming and OC products and more information can be found on them below:

You can find individual product pages below:

We are currently rigorously testing the X99S XPOWER AC so expect performance figures and a full review of that in the next coming days.

Are you an MSI fan? What board would you end up buying? Let us know in the comments below!

Tips for Keeping Your Store’s Inventory in Check

Inventory isn’t something that most store owners get excited over, but it is something that has to be done. Naturally you should use a point of sale system that has inventory tracking built-in, but even with the best point of sale system, you still have work to do on your end to keep your inventory in check.

The Elements of a Good Inventory Procedure

  • Organized location names
  • Labels that are easy to read
  • Unique, short item identification numbers
  • Units of measure
  • A starting count
  • Good inventory keeping policies
  • Software that tracks your inventory
  • People who know how to use your inventory system

Reasons for Tracking Your Inventory

There are many different reasons why a business owner needs to track their inventory. But, it is important to know the common reasons and benefits to using an accurate inventory.

Asset Tracking

Most businesses have their assets as their main source of capital. Therefore, each year you need to track those assets, evaluate them and make sure your business is still running properly. Having a proper inventory can help with the asset tracking and valuation process – and your insurance company or financial institution might even require it.

Ensuring Stock Levels Remain Consistent

Your customers demand that they receive their products on time, but how can you assure them they will if you don’t know what you have in stock? Tracking inventory ensures that you will always have consistent stock levels.

Preparing for Seasonal or Sale-Related Demand

As a retailer, you are likely to have high demand seasons. By knowing your inventory and keeping track, you can anticipate those demands and make sure you have enough inventory in stock to accommodate them.

Preventing Theft, Loss or Inventory Shrinkage

When your employees know you don’t keep track, what is there to stop them from removing inventory from your store? It is imperative that you not only keep track of inventory for your customers, but also to prevent losses.

Insurance Purposes

You are likely to have an insurance policy on your business. If there is a natural disaster or damage to your inventory, your insurance will pick up the loss. But, if you don’t have an accurate inventory of what was lost or damaged, it will be difficult to file a claim.

Accountants May Require Inventory

Your accountant may require an end-of-year or end-of-quarter inventory summary from you. If you already have a solid inventory record, handing that over to your accountant will be nothing more than transferring a file or printing out a report.

Tips for Keeping Track of Your Inventory

There are numerous ways you can track your inventory, but the first and most important tool is a point of sale system. This system works on your computer, tablet and maybe even your phone. It helps you keep company records, check customers out, and integrate your inventory records. But, not just any point of sale will do. You need a comprehensive one that allows you to keep track of cash and sales, but also keep track of inventory.

A good system will have a barcode printer and scanner. A barcode printer allows you to input items into your inventory in the point of sale system, then it will print out barcode labels so that you can attach them to your products. With a compatible barcode scanner you can do inventory checks, scan products for a faster checkout, etc.

Look for a barcode printer that is compatible with your current point of sale system. Shopify, for example, has compatible point of sale systems and barcode printers. You will also want one that can print several labels per minute and preferably uses thermal printing technology. Thermal printing technology is faster, more accurate and more cost-efficient than traditional printing. You won’t have to deal with the ink and paper like you do on a traditional printer, but also if you receive a large shipment that needs to be added to your inventory, you won’t spend hours just printing out the labels. Also, look for a barcode printer that is also capable of printing shipping labels. That way if you sell products online, you can still ship your products and print shipping labels using the same printer.

Keeping track of inventory is important — regardless of the type of business you run. By keeping accurate count of your products on hand, you can deliver to customers on time, manage your assets better and prevent losses in the future.

How to Share Video Clips on Any Device Anywhere?

Video conference calls are invaluable in the business place. Providing a means for quality video communication and the seamless sharing of relevant information and media, Blue Jeans video sharing is the perfect choice for business owners interested in creating an ideal communication environment. Brainstorming, figuring, and drawing up ideas has never been easier; the innovative video share technology available today allows businesses to share at any time and from any location for the ultimate communication experience– and without the hassle and frustration resulting from other lesser quality communication systems.

Why Is Video Sharing Important?

In today’s fast paced and technologically immersed society, a great deal of vital business information is relayed with various forms of media. These forms of media include charts, images, tables, infographics, social media clips, and (of course) video clips. It is time to face the reality of modern day business; thick manuals loaded with tiny print are no longer useful to present day employees and business managers.

Statistics indicate that the human attention span is becoming lesser and lesser due to the constant immersion of society in technology and fast-paced, “easy” communication methods. The average attention span of an adult last year was just 8 seconds– shorter than the average attention span the typical goldfish found in bowls on office desks everywhere. 17% percent of internet users view a page for four seconds or less before losing interest and moving on. With an attention span shorter than that of a very small fish, human beings are in need of a communication method that gets the point across quickly and effectively while maintaining interest. Blue Jeans video sharing allows for exactly that by providing real time video share no matter the circumstance.

Unique Real Time Share Opportunity

As mentioned before, a large emphasis must be placed on maintaining employees’ attention during a presentation of valid information. Video clips are one of the best ways to do this; however, an even better option is available to those who partake in Blue Jeans video sharing. Nothing says “relevant” like a real time video clip sent during a video conference call; luckily for businesses, “relevant” is the key to hooking employees and business colleagues alike when conducting business meetings.

Advantages of Video Share

There are many benefits to utilizing real time video share during video conference calls. Most of them are common sense, but many people may be surprised by the many advantages available:

  • Save money. Traveling is one of the most expensive aspects of business; in fact, most employers dread the calendar days marked “business trip,” simply because the hassle and financial stress involved can lead to a great deal of drama in the office place. Thankfully, important information and media can be relayed via video conferencing– a travel-free option. Avoid financial stress by using video conference calls instead of filling up gas tanks or buying plane tickets. The potential savings involved may surprise those who make the switch.
  • Find a balance. Video sharing allows individuals to spend time with family and friends. In other words, it allows individuals to leave the desk every now and again. When an employer is able to communicate with his or her employees over long distances, geography becomes less of an issue and communication becomes far more efficient. Plus, employers and employees alike are provided with a way to balance their personal time and work time to create healthier lifestyles and better attitudes all around.
  • Be personal. Sending a video clip during a “face to face” conference call is far more personal than sending a video clip via email. In order to make the biggest impact, most business people utilize video calls and real time video clips– they get the job done with less hassle and a significantly smaller margin of miscommunication.
  • Stay present. Everyone is familiar with the saying, “while the cat is away, the mice will play.” Unfortunately, this saying can apply to employees who are left unattended for long periods of time. The ability to meet with employees via video conference calls allows management to remain involved and aware, even while away on vacation or business trips. Video clips add yet another dimension to this aspect, providing a way for employers to relay key information to employees in an efficient, thoughtful fashion.

Those involved with business may find that video conference calls are the best way to relay real time video clips within their business system, especially if maintaining employee attention is an area of concern. Individuals who have never experienced the advantages of video sharing may be pleasantly surprised by the efficiency boost that takes place upon making the switch. Try video sharing today to learn more about how industry leading, innovative video technology allows for the top-of-the-line relay of relevant information among business staff and colleagues.

eTeknix Exclusive: iPhone 6 Pictures

With the launch of the iPhone 6 due upon us very soon, rumours and mock-ups are appearing here there and everywhere, but as always; it’s hard to believe what is real and what is photo-shopped.

We had one of our sources send us exclusive never before seen images of the upcoming iPhone 6 from Apple and thought “it would be rude not to share them with our readers”, right?

We can only apologise for the size of the images, as you can appreciate, our source didn’t have time to get their DSLR out and photo studio lights, as we’re pretty sure that Apple would have a major issue if they managed to find out where these pictures came from.

We have already asked our source for some pictures of the device turned on and am awaiting them as well as the possibility of a video.

For now, here are the exclusive images, so enjoy:

Will you be getting the iPhone 6 when it’s released on 9th September? More importantly, will you be waiting for the Phablet 5.5″ version instead? Let us know!

GIGABYTE GeForce GTX Enabled BRIX Gaming PC in the Wild

Since the launch of the Intel NUC platform, there has been a lot of discussions about its small form factor and how more power could be harnessed from it and GIGABYTE managed to give a solution to this in the shape of the BRIX.

Though its evolution, the BRIX has been transformed plenty of times and has since overtaken the Intel NUC on the higher-end platform. Fast forward to the present day, and we can see that the range of BRIX products has been expanded upon with the latest GeForce GTX 760 creation with Haswell Core i5 processor.

The latest iteration includes a 47W TDP Intel Core i5-4200H processor clocked to 2.8GHz (3.4Ghz with Turbo) and GTX 760 from the green team with a TDP of 170W which as we know in a device of this size, is vitally important due to cooling issues. Other features of the new NVIDIA powered BRIX is support for mSATA and 2.5″ SSD and HDD storage solutions, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.

Connectivity wise, you’ll find dual HDMI ports and a single mini DisplayPort and a whopping four USB 3.0 ports (native thanks to the Haswell processor).

Availability is a bit scarce on dates right now, but end of May/June is looking likely with Computex right around the corner and with rumours of an i7 based processor possibly being added in, GIGABYTE have got a mammoth machine with this new model, and it’s still stupidly tiny too.

iPhone 6 Leaked Images Appear Confirming Bigger Size Device

More rumors surrounding the latest iteration from Apple in their iPhone lineup shows a Chinese forum with leaked images of the front panel of the phone and a molding of the device. No details have surfaced with the pictures other than the following translation:

“has always been to cover structural design drawings or leaked before the iPhone 6 icons, of course, this is already sufficient to prove 4.7 inches of news, but things have not finished, there are 6 iPhone front glass image appears. This picture is taken at the factory site, we can see that the iPhone 6 While the white panel screen than the iPhone 5S big a circle, but on a straight plane, opening and overall shape does not seem to change much, watching Figure:”

The translated text tells us that the iPhone 6 pictures were taken at the factory site, but from the background, looks more like a derelict factory building.

The below picture shows the size different between the previous generation iPhone, confirming rumors of a larger device in the iPhone 6.

Thank you to jiyouhui.it168 for providing this information.

Images courtesy of jiyouhui.it168