Mobile technology makes it virtually hassle-free to follow professional sports from your fingertips, as access to the latest scores and important sports news has become nearly instantaneous from any location. Sports fans have cashed in on mainstream professional sports like football and basketball for ages now; however, there are lesser-watched sports out there that are deserving of big-stakes bets. With the increasing advancement in mobile devices, following these sports on your handheld device is easier than ever before. If you’re looking to cash in on some non-traditional betting sports, take a look at a few of these favorites.
1. Ice Hockey
This popular sport is fast-paced and high-scoring, making it an excellent alternative for American football fans. Place a bet for the underdog, or choose a straight bet on who you think will win. Of course, do your research on the teams first so that you can make an intelligent bet, but generally favor teams with a better goalie and a stronger team. As this eHow article explains, a team with finesse may be more entertaining, but a bigger and more powerful team can usually wear down their opponents faster.
This sport has been a favorite for wagers for over a hundred years. Unlike soccer, baseball, and other sports, boxing has a wildcard element that can throw off even the most accurate predictions—the knockout. One fighter can dominate all 12 rounds of a fight only to be caught off-guard and knocked out in the final round by a strong right hook.
This surprising element means the underdog always has a chance to win, even if every round has been against him. As the fight takes place over several rounds, you can bet on many different things, including how many rounds the fight will last, if it will be won by a knockout, and how many times a fighter will be knocked down.
A slow-paced game, golf is easy to liven up with a bet with sportsbook.com. Golf is also a prime sport for betting because so many people already play it. Whenever you begin betting on a sport, you must be very knowledgeable about it so that you can make the right picks and predictions. Not only does this mean knowing the players’ style and records, it also means having an intimate knowledge of the game itself. Since many people already play golf regularly, betting on it can come more intuitively than betting on a new sport.
Betting on a new sport can be exciting and interesting, but just make sure you are very knowledgeable about the sport before you start placing bets. As thesportsgeek.com says, if you know the sport, bet under five percent of your bankroll, and make bets while sober and unemotional, you can enjoy the energy of a great sport and a great wager.
Facebook has changed our lives, and few companies have benefited from this development more than Zynga, the company that brought you FarmVille. There are tons of people on Facebook playing annoying (to most of us) but addictive (to some of us) games that clog up our timelines, unless you block them of course.
The problem for Zynga is that it’s getting harder and also much more expensive to develop the new addictive games, and that led to disappointing earnings, which then led to its stock getting crushed. That then led to the further decline of Facebook’s stock as well, making this a very tough week for social media companies.
As gadgets keep evolving and as new social media platforms evolve, companies like Zynga can rocket to success, but then it’s hard to keep up that pace. Consumers are incredibly fickle these days. Just ask phone makers like Blackberry and Nokia. You’re on top of the world, and then Steve Jobs puts out the iPhone and soon your high-flying company is staring into the abyss.
Zynga is trying to avoid that fate. One of their latest games might help them, as Zynga Poker was launched for Facebook and has taken off as the #1 poker app on iOS. The key here, however, is that Zynga is looking past casual gaming. As the feds try to sort out online poker regulations, Zynga is one of many companies that want to take on the most popular poker sites. They want a piece of what could be a very large pie when we finally get uniform poker regulations. They’ll have to battle the big casino companies of course, but this could be a much-needed boost for a bruised social media star.
When you’re really fearless, nothing fazes you. So, you’ve still got the NES you’ve had long enough for it to be an antique. Who cares what everybody else thinks? So, you still work a job that’s embarrassing to mention when people ask what you do. Who cares if you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do? The point to remember is that no one is going to PWN you because yours is the attitude of victory.
Some people think that being victorious is an external thing, and is all about validation. You grind constantly, and then you form a group and do the same mission that a million other people have done before you. While that is one technical way to “win,” that’s not real victory. Real victory is something much deeper than that. In a sense, you have to walk a path that nobody else is either willing or able to go down if you want to really make it as an individual. Champions have to be different enough to not need a group in the traditional sense, and it can get a little lonely.
The Individual Path
Being undefeatable isn’t about doing what other people have done before you. It’s an entirely different mindset than the one a lot of folks take into their games. In a sense, it’s almost hard to describe what a real individual’s path can be like, both because it’s so potentially variable and because it’s so rare to see. You don’t have to think about yourself by anybody else’s rules or put anybody else’s tape measure up to how far you’ve gone. You have to “do you,” as DMX once said.
Naturally, when you strike out on your own individual path, you’re going to have to face a lot of resistance. Initially, you might be concerned about what other people think when you try something completely different. This is reasonable because you’ll probably get some static for it. Whenever you climb to the top of something, even if it’s just an idea of being better than you used to be, you’re going to have people trying to detract from it. Remember that they don’t really care about what you’re doing, other than the fact that it points out how deeply worn the path they’re taking is.
Abandoning the Labels
Who cares about labels? Are you a nerd, a geek, or perhaps the increasingly rare dweeb? Or are you something different? When you strike out on an individual path, you begin to change in a way most people are never going to understand. You become a force of nature that the world rarely sees, and even more rarely knows what to make of at first. Welcome this change, as it heralds a whole new set of exciting challenges. It’s like when you use Droid phones and discover the vast ocean of possibilities that an open source environment creates. It’s a little scary having basically unlimited options, but it gives you an incredible amount of room to grow.
Gaming and Personal Development
When you game, it isn’t just about having a good time and seeing your friends in a place where you can beat them with mythical weaponry. While those are great parts of the process, they’re not the whole thing. Ultimately, the way you game is the way you live, and you can change both at the same time. To be the unpwned gamer, you’ve got to change the whole way you see yourself. Victory and self-improvement have to become the new fundaments of your very nature. If they aren’t in place, you’ve already PWNed yourself.
For a peripheral that is somewhat overpriced, underutilized, and in general vastly inferior to the Nintendo Wii console it seemingly got most of its motivation from, the Xbox Kinect has made quite a splash in the motion based control field.
There are of course the Guiness Book of World Records worthy initial sales figures to back this up, but the real proof of this impact is evident in the creativity this device’s impressive technology has inspired in its users. See while game developers can’t seem to make a good Kinect game that isn’t a dance simulator or Wii sports rip off if their jobs depended on it, the Kinect users have managed to hack into the device to make the basic technology that runs it do some incredible things. These include the entertaining (light saber simulators), the sci-fi worthy (robot controller), and the practical yet cool advancements in basic human interface:
Motion controlled interface has been a dream of sorts for consumers, especially since it was popularized in the movie “Minority Report.” With devices like the Kinect and iPhone, we have gotten closer and closer to this goal, but have yet to fully realize it. Even the impressive demonstration in that video was marred by the fact that the movements needed to actually control the system had to be very blunt, and required full body commitment to make even the simplest of motion commands.
San Francisco based company Leap Motion thinks they might have the inevitable solution. Their device (called the Leap) is about the size of an iPod and works through a USB input your PC or Mac. It reads a space four cubic feet in size, and is supposed to be 200x more accurate than anything else on the market. This means accuracy to within 1/100th of a millimeter, which should allow for subtle finger movements (instead of whole hand and body motions) being able to produce the desired results.
The extraordinary video the company released seems to back that up.
We’ve been promised the moon with motion sensors before, but I have to say that given the advancements in the motion field over the past few years, I see no real reason that the Leap shouldn’t function in the way it claims to. My only real red flag in that video is the video game controller sections. I still feel that we are a ways off from total motion control in games without the use of any buttons, especially in titles designed with mouse/keyboard in mind. Of course in menu heavy titles like Real Time Strategy Games or RPG’s, I could see this device making formerly monotonous navigation somewhat enjoyable.
Even if it’s not yet perfect, at a modest retail price of $70 (pre-orders are being taken now), many consumers might give this device a shot and find their own ways to make use of it when it’s released early next year. After all, that’s the only explanation as to why the Kinect is doing so well.
The expensive video games that we buy for game consoles from Sony and XBox have always had competition. There have always been plenty of online options that were free, from multi-player games to free chess. You could find places to play bingo (sign up now) or even do stuff like fantasy baseball.
But the gaming world is definitely changing, and the impact is being felt by the companies that create and sell the most expensive games.
There’s a war going on in the video game world, but it’s over dollar signs, not virtual land.
A boxed copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the world’s top-selling console game, costs $60. Angry Birds, the world’s biggest mobile game franchise, costs $1 for software that you can download in under a minute. The pricing gap between what’s traditionally considered the highest-tier premium games and the fast-evolving mobile, tablet, and social gaming market is widening, and it’s spelling disaster for countless game makers caught in the middle.
According to The NPD Group, physical content sales were down 8% in 2011. This year hasn’t been a cakewalk either, with sales continuing to slide. Though some of the blame can rightfully be foisted upon the decline of the once-mighty Wii, it’s apparent that people aren’t buying games like they used to, and the industry is scrambling to figure out why. But most agree that it begins — and likely ends — with the high cost of new games.
Basically, the mobile world is changing everything. You can go online and do all that stuff you could do before, but these cheap games are now dominating the landscape. It’s not that the ultra-cool expensive games are going away. There will always be a market for quality and visuals. But, as depend drops with more competition, you’ll start seeing more rational pricing for these games. That will hurt the developers, so it will be interesting to see what happens to game development budgets, but the business is definitely changing.
The zombie genre may be running on fumes at this point, but that hasn’t stopped the guys over at Doublesix from adding another game to the pile with this spiritual sequel to their 2009 arcade shooter “Burn Zombie Burn.” The developers’ latest offering, “All Zombies Must Die!,” is very similar in concept, but the addition of RPG-lite elements adds some much-needed depth to the overall experience. Instead of trying to earn the highest score by mowing down a seemingly never-ending horde of zombies, you’re now tasked with completing a series of quests as you attempt to survive the zombie apocalypse that’s overtaken the ill-fated town of Deadhill. Each of the four playable characters have a unique secondary attack that affects the zombies in a different way (like lighting them on fire or giving them radiation poisoning), but apart from that, they all handle the same.
Where “All Zombies Must Die!” really shows its depth, however, is in the ability to upgrade a character’s specific attributes (like attack, defense, health and speed) and create better weapons using a crafting system where you combine standard weaponry with items found throughout the map. Each item yields the same special ability no matter which weapon you pair it with (for example, firewood adds fire damage), but it plays a big part in preventing the game from getting stale too soon, even if the repetitive nature of the combat makes that an inevitability. Still, the game’s self-referential humor helps to keep things light and entertaining throughout, and it’s an absolute blast to play with a group of friends. Unfortunately, that also proves to be the game’s biggest shortcoming, because multiplayer co-op can only be played locally. The lack of an online mode isn’t the only thing standing in the way of Doublesix’s latest effort from reaching its full potential, but it’s certainly the most annoying.
The biggest technology and gadget show, CES, just kicked off in Las Vegas, and as usual much of the talk surrounds Apple:
Apple is the only company that consistently gets big buzz out of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — without even attending.
This year will be no different.
Connected TVs — TVs that connect to and can access content from the Internet — will be a big part of CES this year. And just about everyone in tech expects Apple at some point to launch such a television — an iTV — that easily consumes and shares with other Apple devices content served from the company’s media-storing iCloud.
Microsoft made news earlier by saying this was the last year they would attend CES/ Why attend if Apple gets all the buzz anyways? Maybe Microsoft should focus on new products instead of protecting its Windows/Office cash cow? Or maybe not . . .
People love to gamble and they love to play games on their computers and phones. With that the trends will just accelerate on games like poker that can be played in all sorts of settings. Now with new smartphones there are even more ways to play. You can play real games against real people, or just play practice games against a computer so you learn to avoid losing all your cash.
The new rules from the Obama administration announced Friday might make this even more popular, as the new rule suggests that the federal government can only restrict sports betting under the current federal law. This can lead to an explosion of state regulations overseeing and encouraging online play in order to generate tax revenues.
This decision makes sense, as people love playing online casino games. Now with smartphones exploding, imagine how much more time people will spend playing these games. You can play blackjack hands while standing in the line at the grocery store. So get ready for a bunch of new players as people start using their Christmas gadgets!
There are all sorts of gadgets that will be popular this holiday season, from game consoles to iPads to smartphones. But in today’s world you have to ask yourself whether there is too much emphasis on gadgets that reinforce a sedentary life for our kids. Video games are great, but do we want kids doing that all day long?
Keep that in mind when you’re buying gifts. We live in a time where childhood obesity is a serious problem, and while we want to give kids what they want, we need to consider sending a more balanced message.
With that in mind, think about gifts that encourage kids to get up and move around. When you think of gadgets, think beyond small electronics that fit into a kid’s hands.
One option of course would be a video games that involve movement. The Wii and Connect systems are brilliant for their innovations in this area. Virtual games like tennis and boxing can help kids work up a sweat.
Old-school games like ping pong also encourage movement, so maybe a real ping pong table is in order for your basement.
And then of course we have games like basketball, that really get kids moving around. Think about the excitement kids would have if you went shopping for adjustable basketball goals that you could install in their driveway! Now that’s a gadget that they would remember.
Apples to Apples is right up there with UNO as one of the better card games around, so the only real surprise about its release on Xbox Live Arcade is that it took this long for anyone to digitize the experience. For those unfamiliar with the game, it’s pretty simple. There are two decks of cards: green apple cards that contain adjectives and red apple cards that contain nouns. Each round, one player assumes the role of judge and selects a green card from the deck. The rest of the players must then choose a red card from their respective hands that they feel best matches the word on the green card, and the judge picks the winner. Of course, it’s completely up to the judge to decide what’s the best match (some will choose literal meanings, while others will favor witty combinations), but that’s part of the appeal.
For the most part, the experience is replicated on Xbox Live fairly well, even if it’s more fun to play with real friends than a bunch of strangers. The game’s other two modes, however, aren’t quite as successful. Local multiplayer is more about trying to fake out the other players by using a tool that conceals your card choice (a necessary inclusion considering everyone shares the same screen), while the single-player mode isn’t really Apples to Apples at all. Instead, you’re shown a red card and three green cards and must select the most appropriate choice using letters on a Boggle-like game board. It’s a creative way of adapting the game for one player, but aside from the fact that it doesn’t take very long to complete, it’s also not the reason you should be buying “Apples to Apples” in the first place. If you have enough friends planning to pick up the game as well, or you don’t mind making new ones on Xbox Live, then this is a no-brainer, but anyone else would be wise to reconsider.