Choose Your Cabin Next Time You Go On A Cruise

Cruises are meant to be relaxing times, the natural motion of the ocean flowing against the bow of the ship as you enjoy the sun and sea. The problem is as with most things, there are a lot of things you can’t control when it comes to booking your cruise. Cruisedeckplans.com hope to give you a little more option in choosing your cabin.

Remember when you book cinema tickets, or some flight tickets and you get given the choice about where you sit, knowing if you are against the isle or wedged between two people who have booked but a single seat. Cruisedeckplans is looking to offer you just that for when you are cruising.

While they can’t offer you the ability to customise your own ship, they will let you view what your cabin will look like, and the surrounding area. Don’t like being above the kitchen or under the overhanging deck that will ruin your sunbathing on the balcony? You can now see all of those in a simple interactive service.

If that wasn’t enough, there are 2,800 videos of the cabins available, with over 98,000 pictures of the staterooms to help you decide on your dream experience. With the ability to get paid 50 cents for every stateroom picture that you submit after your holiday, a few holiday pictures could quickly pay back what you spent on that lobster dinner.

Steam Sets New Concurrent Online User Record

Valve’s Steam platform has set many records over the years and this holiday sale managed to create a new one for them yesterday in the form of a new concurrent online user record. The previous record in this regard was set back in October where they managed to have 10.7 million users online at the same time. Current stats from Steam now show that they had an impressive 12.3 million concurrent users logged in at the same time yesterday.

The new record is undoubtedly aided by the ongoing holiday sale coming to an end. There haven’t been any daily deal or flash deals this year, so it is fair to assume that a lot of people have been holding off until the end with their purchases. The profile badge surely also had something to do with it and people were logging in to get the last few cards, either to sell or trade them, or complete the next level of their Winter Holiday 2015 badge.

The 12,332,504 concurrent users that were logged in at the same time is an impressive milestone and something that probably also was aided by the general increase of Chinese users. They now have about as many active users as the UK, but a total overall of 600 million user accounts. The US is still leading with about 25 million users at any given time where the UK and China come in around 5.5 and 6 million each. However, the average UK player owns five times the games according to SteamSpy statistics

It is also easy to see which games help steam on a daily basis with Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ranking the top two spots daily with around 950,000 and 650,000 users playing the games respectively at the same time.

Have you been splurging on this years Steam Winter Sale or have you been holding back for one reason or another? Let us know what you got as well as what you had hoped to get but didn’t because the proper deal was missing.

Kojima Didn’t Show at Game Awards Thanks to Konami’s Lawyers

Kojima is the creative mind behind the metal gear solid series, based on stealth, action and giant robots, the series has become infamous amongst gamers for both its storyline and the cardboard box; the biggest question is regarding if he still works for Konami.

A month ago we published an article talking about the “leave” Kojima was taking. After a goodbye party, it appears as if he left work. Konami keeps reminding people though that he is just “on leave”. This has gone a step further this week with the Game Awards expecting an appearance from Kojima, only to find that he was stopped by lawyers from Konami.

The host, Geoff Keighley, described the situation as:

“Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami just recently that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s award ceremony to accept any awards. He’s still under an employment contract and it’s disappointing.”

That’s the second time that someone has had to appear to accept an award in Kojima’s place, with a PR representative from Konami accepting an award from Playstation awards earlier in the week and now Kiefer Sutherland, a voice actor for Metal Gear Solid V, accepted the award at the Game Awards on his behalf.

Is he gone or not? I guess we will await more news before we know for certain.

Netflix Offers Parental Leave – Paid For A Year

Employees are people, this fact is well-known, but often ignored by a lot of companies, ultimately this means that people don’t enjoy working where they are because they are just another cog in the machine. Once in a while though we get to write an article about a company who seem to care about their employees, and in this case Netflix are on the top of the list.

Both male and female staff will eventually face the challenges of parenting, and normally this comes with the side effect of messing up your work life. Either you leave, go on maternity leave for a little bit then come back as soon as possible, or keep working while booking off days as sick or holiday. Netflix, however, is doing a different route, they are instead offering new parents, male and female, a year of paternity (and maternity) leave; While this may sound like a good deal, it does come with some fine print.

Just kidding Netflix are the good guys, not only do you get a year off for the child’s first year and it comes fully paid. This means that as a dad or a mom, you can spend as much time with your child as you want. Even coming into work on occasion throughout the year and then going back onto leave afterward.

The added bonus, when you come back from leave you are guaranteed your job. Your job though doesn’t have to be the same one you left, it can be full-time or part-time depending on what you prefer now that you have a little one growing up.

The full details were announced in a blog post from the company, in which their chief talent officer, Tawni Cranz, stated “this new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated”.

A company which cares for its staff seems like more people could be looking at Netflix to lead the way in employee satisfaction.

Thank you Netflix for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Netflix Pr.

SkySphere – The 360 Solar Powered Tree House


Who didn’t want a tree house when they were young? Who still doesn’t love the idea of being able to climb into a small house and enjoy a view while you take a break from the rush of everyday life? Seems like you may have the opportunity to enjoy half of that dream soon enough.

When Jono Williams wanted a room with a view the classic treehouse came to mind, but with a twist. Rather than rely on a tree, why not build something which could go anywhere? So the SkySphere was created from his background as a graphics designer and plastics engineer.

The initial SkySphere is located in New Zealand and features a ladder (like any good tree house inspired design) to access the main features of the building.

So its late at night and you want to do something, the SkySphere comes with a set of colour changing lights, perfect for anything from a romantic meal to a late night of gaming with friends. What could help with those dreams? Well maybe the high-speed internet accessibility, meaning this tree house has gone full techno, including a wireless surround sound system and fingerprint-based entry system (you can always ask for a password out the window though).

Of course, no modern house would be complete without a remote control, of which the SkySphere supplies through an app on your phone controlling everything from the lights and doors to the refrigerated beer dispenser.

The only thing missing from this amazing modern take on a tree house is the bathroom, so getting a portaloo and portable shower may be on the cards as well.

So who would be interested in going and staying in the SkySphere? Personally I might ask them to put up one-way class first before the neighbours start to get nosey.

Thank you Mashable for the information and images.

Here Are Some Cool Geeky Easter Eggs to Celebrate Easter Holiday

To celebrate the spirit of Easter, we have found some incredibly cool geeky pop-culture inspired Easter eggs. They range from superheroes to characters from popular TV shows, all displayed in their truly amazing and unique way. Watch the video below and let the Easter holiday and egg eating marathon begin!

Source: Smosh

GOG.com DRM-Free Games Big Winter Sale Ends Tomorrow

GOG.com, a website famous for its DRM-Free content, has its big winter sale on at the moment, with only 20 hours before it’s over. There are some massive savings on bundles covering a whole host of popular titles.

For instance, you can get “The Ultimate D&D Collection” for just £13.70 instead of £67.80 – that’s 80% off! Prince of Persia 1-4 is going for a mere £6.36 – 75% off. You can get the Rayman series for £6.16 and a collection of some of the best flight sims for £4.16.

There’s also some offers on individual games too – there’s 80% off Wargame: European Escalation – £1.29, along with 80% off the popular Terraria.

Be sure to get over there quick! There is just 20 hours left on the bundles and even less on the individual games!

GOG.com

Daimler Allows Employees to Delete all Incoming Emails When on Vacation

Car manufacturer Daimler are trying to make their employee’s holidays a little more stress-free. They’ve opted in the ability to remove the general “out of office reply” for a much simpler task – deleting every incoming email throughout the whole duration of their leave. The program is adequately named their “Mail On Holiday” option.

The New York Times reported:

“The program, called Mail on Holiday, politely informs senders that their messages were instantly deleted, but they can contact a designated alternate worker if necessary. The email blackout is optional for the company’s 100,000 workers, but “the response is basically 99 percent positive,” a Daimler spokesman, Oliver Wihofszki, told BBC Radio. “Everybody says, ‘That’s a real nice thing.'”

With some basic mail knowledge, you could do something similar yourself – just set a rule to send all incoming mail to your trash as it arrives in your inbox, shame if someone has something very important to contact you about however.

According to Daimler this is a bid to promote a healthier holiday lifestyle for their employees – removing any opportunity for them to look at their work emails whilst resting on holiday. As the incoming emails are removed, a simple return email will be sent to the sender letting them know they should remain contact after the holiday period has ended.

I wonder what will happen if two companies with the same policy have an email sent to one another. Does it just spit automatically generated out of office emails at one another for all eternity or is there some kind of failsafe put in place for this?

What do you think of this opt-in program? It’s a good idea for employee peace of mind and certainly will make day one back in the office run quite a lot smoother, but it begs the question – what if you miss something very important?

Image courtesy of Techsupport Pro

Expedia Accepts Bitcoins, as Some Retailers Remain Unsure

Popular travel site Expedia recently confirmed it will begin accepting bitcoins, giving customers the opportunity to book their next hotel visit with the digital currency.

Expedia customers booking accommodations will see bitcoin as a new payment option, and will be ushered to a unique payment site.  Transactions authorized directly from each customer’s bitcoin wallet, and Expedia will provide confirmation.

There is growing interest from companies willing to test bitcoins as long-term payment options, and are opening up communication to learn more from one another.

A growing number of restaurants and pubs also are dabbling with bitcoin, so it’s worth taking a look at your favourite eateries.  Popular online restaurant ordering service Takeaway.com now accepts bitcoins from customers, if you are hungry and want to place orders over the Internet. U.S. satellite TV company Dish Network said it would accept bitcoin payment from subscribers, indicating a major change.

However Ink Factory, which first embraced bitcoins in November 2013, recently noted that bitcoin might not be the payment method of the future – but confirmed that the cryptocurrency is still only in its infancy.  The company isn’t throwing in the towel on bitcoin, and is giving away 1/10th of a bitcoin, currently valued around £41, so its customers can become more familiar with bitcoin and how to use it.

The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel accepts bitcoins at the front desk, restaurants, gift shop, and on the casino floor.  A bitcoin ATM machine was also rolled out, so casino visitors will be able to access their online wallets.

Retailers and other companies might accept bitcoin, but expect the turbulent cryptocurrency to also endure a long infancy from consumers.  If you’re a bitcoin supporter, then it’s willing to send an email, tweet, or message to your favourite retailers to learn more about any bitcoin plans they might have in the future.

Unlimited Roaming In The U.S. For Just $15? Wind Mobile Says Yes!

Are you a businessman or just travel frequently to the U.S.? Ever been in the position not to have an active internet connection, being cut out and desperately trying to find a working Wi-Fi hotspot? This might be a great news for you then. Wind Mobile, the Canadian wireless telecommunication provider, has just released a service of great interest.

Wind Mobile just released an offer for unlimited data roaming in the U.S. for just $15 additional per month starting from Monday, February the 3rd. Adding this roaming package gives you unlimited talk and text but also data in the U.S., a pretty big deal for anyone who travels with any frequency and has been hit with big roaming bills. Even with this additional $15 add-on, Wind’s plans will still be very competitively priced to the other carriers.

Wind has a small customer base and is often struggling to make itself relevant as the fourth-place carrier in Canada, so this may just be a good bump to pick up some additional subscribers. And given the relatively small number of roaming deals currently available from Canadian and U.S. carriers alike, they always want to see at least one making a step in this direction. And the price is not so bad given the ‘unlimited’ subscription package name.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org

PC Sales Dropped In 2013, Statistics Say

PC sales have soared last year, especially during the Christmas holidays, where Gartner reported it being the worst decline in sales since PCs and laptops became a necessity in people’s homes. The reason, as we all are probably aware of, is the appreciation of mobile devices, and Gartner states that during the holidays it marked the seventh consecutive quarter of decreasing PC sales.

PC sales went down 10 percent, while shipments of desktop and laptop computers had never slipped by more than four percent in any other previous year. The other annual declines occurred in 2001, in the midst of a technology bust driven by a collapse in the Internet sector, and in 2012, which marked the early stages of the migration to tablet computers

Around 316 million PCs were shipped last year, according to Gartner. That means PCs have backtracked to roughly the same level as in 2009 when the worldwide economy was struggling to get back in track after the Great Recession. Even more, Gartner predicts that PC sales are expected to drop this year even further than last year.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Apple’s Retina iPad Minis Rumored To Have Limited Stock Availability

It seems Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed another rumor when asked about the availability of the iPad mini with Retina display. Cook said that the new model will start shipping “later in November,” but that it’s “unclear whether we’ll have enough for the quarter or not”. Cook quickly pointed out that “we know how many we’ll have,” but that it’s difficult to predict demand for a product until it starts shipping. He seemed to be confirming persistent rumors that the Retina mini would be in short supply during the holiday shopping season.

Although Cook insisted that “we’ll do fairly well with iPad,” and that Apple will have a “really great holiday season,” the company may have reason to be concerned about not being able to meet demand for the new model. As reported earlier, iPad sales were flat compared to the same period last year, even while competitors are seeing major growth in tablet sales. Apple has seen its share of the total tablet market drop from 60 percent a year ago to just 32 percent today.

Apple is hoping, according to Cook, for “an iPad Christmas,” but it may be one that many customers will have to celebrate without the company’s most notable new model.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Minecraft Gets Halloween Themed Texture Pack

It appears that Minecraft fans will get a little treat and no trick this Halloween. A Halloween Themed Texture Pack has been released and is available free of charge for Xbox 360 users. 4J Studios has been releasing texture packs and add-ons for Minecraft on the Xbox 360 at a rapid pace over the last few months.  Alongside the title updates 12 & 13, the studio released Minecraft Mash-up Packs, and Natural Texture Pack that recently hit the Xbox Live Store.

What do you get in it you ask? Basically the all themed zombies, creepy castles, pumpkin head environments, for example jack-o’-lanterns, screaming trees, slimy rivers, skeletal remains, black cats and much more. Players can even build their own Halloween world, so if you don’t have any plans for that night, you can have loads of fun playing around with Minecraft’s Halloween environment (and maybe even make a creepy map to scare your friends with).

Hurry up though, the offer is limited and the last day to get the Halloween Themed Texture is the 3rd of November. You can download the pack from the Xbox Live Marketplace here.

Thank you PlayXBLA for providing us with this information.
Images courtesy of PlayXBLA.