Archive for November, 2011

Differences Between Sony Playstation And Nintendo Wii

Sony Playstation and Nintendo are the two most popular names known in the video game industry. With the technology applied to these two gaming consoles, users really get hooked up to using them. Video games do not have any preference for age and gender. Nowadays, both young and old, man or woman are really into these consoles. So, to further excite the gamers, the manufacturers of these consoles always try to come up with something new. Recently, Sony Playstation released its PS3 and Nintendo launched its Nintendo Wii. Are there any differences between these two?  For starters, it would be hard to recognize the differences.

The first difference between Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii is the price. The price of Nintendo Wii is almost half the price of the newest gaming console of Sony Playstation; the PS3. The average price of Nintendo Wii is $250 whereas the Sony Playstation 3 is sold from $500 to $600. Sony Playstation 3 is said to be the most expensive gaming console ever in the history.

Sony Playstation has a reason for its high cost. The new edition of playstation is considered as a computer entertainment system. It is built with blu-ray disc and matchless digital media storage. This gaming console is Wi-Fi enabled. It has 80 GB HDD, HDMI Out, has a free online game play, Blu-ray HD movie player, DVD Up scaling, CD Up sampling, remote play, Bluetooth compatible, 4 USB ports, Backward Compatibility and compact flash (SD memory card/memory stick). Playstation has a large library of games, mp3s, wavs, atrac+ and mp4s music files are also readable from this console. Playstation also has an online gaming, messaging and browsing features. With its high memory, you can store and display your photos in its hard drive as it also supports photo sharing and chatting with friends.

The Sony Playstation 3 also comes with a high- definition multimedia interface. It is an audio/video connector that supports single cable with any TV or personal computer video format. HDMI also supports 8-chanel of uncompressed digital audio. This console is also Bluetooth compatible wherein devices with Bluetooth communicate with each other. This device serves as a radio communication system.

The Blu-ray HD movie player feature of Sony Playstation 3 delivers a very good quality of entertainment experience especially when watching movie from this console. This device includes plenty of storage capacity with 50 GB in supporting the high definition of games and movies. It has a high resolution and surrounding sounds. It also supports disc format and can read entire libraries of CDs and DVDs music and movies. You can directly copy CDs, VCDs, and DVDs from your hard drive, store and listen to it.

Playstation can be played by single players and multiplayer. You can also download games directly from the internet to your console, because this has the fastest processor of digital media with a unique multi-core design, true parallel processing, and high definition games and forty times fastest chip.

There are also accessories available for your console like wireless controller. This controller is sensitive to motion sensing Bluetooth enabled devices and can be charged with USB cable. Playstation eye features 4 built in microphones and a fast rate of 120 frames per second that allows you to capture videos, photos and create a movie.

Nintendo Wii is Nintendo’s smallest gaming console. Despite its size, it is loaded with complete game system. It can be positioned horizontally or vertically and it is loaded with themes and designs.

Nintendo Wii has processor features of CPU: PowerPC-based “Broadway” processor, made with a 90 nm SOI CMOS process, GPU: ATI made with a 90 nm CMOS process and has a main memory of 88 MB main memory, 64 MB “external” GDDR3 SDRAM, texture memory and frame buffer. There is a built-in NAND flash memory of 512 and expanded storage memory card up to 2 gigabytes. It also has a multi-output port of AV and S-video.

Nintendo Wii also has a Remote control connected via Bluetooth and has a 4 port game cube controller with a sensor bar power port and an optional USB message board. It is also WIFI ready to connect to the internet and also available in Ethernet LAN

Wii remote control is the primary gadget for the console. It is one of the biggest differences between the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3. Nintendo Wii’s remote control is not the classic type. It’s a revolutionized remote control that uses an interactive controller to create the feeling of being in the game. The remote control comes with a strap that holds the controller to your hand as it can actually fly if not held firmly and properly.

Because of the Nintendo Wii’s revolutionary remote control, Sony Playstation 3 changed its remote control. Sony Playstation 3 came up with the Sixaxis in which a motion sensor is installed into the controller that allows the controller to detect when the player is using it.

The above were just some of the differences between the Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii. Get to know others by trying both but no matter what the differences are, these two gaming consoles still prove to be a perfect innovation of the gaming industry.

Decorative Acrylic Painting Tips For Beginners

Acrylic painting offers many benefits such as quick drying time and the fact that it’s allergen- and odor-free. Acrylic paint is versatile and gives a lasting finish. If you’re just learning the art of decorative acrylic painting, use the tips below for a great start.

Acrylic Painting Supplies

You should have a variety of brush sizes so you can be flexible in your painting. Also, a palette or tray for painting will be useful. Other supplies include a palette knife, fan brushes, and toothbrushes. Be sure to include plenty of practice materials and papers for sketching.

Drying Time

Acrylics dry very fast, usually within only minutes, so it’s wise to keep the paint in the tube and only use a little at a time. If you prefer to use a palette, there are now palettes that will stay wet during use so your paint won’t dry out. Or, you can use a regular palette and keep it wet by spraying it with a small amount of water occasionally. This keeps your acrylic paint in a ready-to-use form.

Blending Acrylic Colors

With fast-drying acrylics, blending colors can be a trying task in itself. You can blend colors several ways. Colors can be mixed and stored in tubes or containers and then blended using a web palette. Also, you can use very small dots of different shades and overlap the colors to blend them. You can also layer shades instead of trying to blend them while wet.

Beware of Cheap Acrylic Paints

Avoid buying cheap acrylic paints unless you’re using them for practice only. These will often fade after exposure to the sunlight for a period of time, especially particular light shades such as pink and violet. Invest in artist-grade acrylics for lasting beauty in your art works.

Use Sketches as a Starting Point

It’s wise to use pre-drawn sketches as the starting point of your acrylic drawings. Trace or copy the sketch onto canvas or board. Then, use a thin layer of acrylic paint to prime the sketch. Be sure your sketch-work can still be seen through the thin layer. You can also prime the canvas or board first with white color and then copy your sketch onto the primed surface.

Masking Fluid for Layering

Watercolor masking fluid works well for layering colors or saving areas of your painting to paint later. The masking fluid can be applied to keep an area of the painting clear. You must remove the masking fluid only after it has completely dried. It can be removed by rolling it with clean fingers. Also, be sure to use a brush specifically for masking fluid. Don’t use your regular painting brushes.

Learn from the Pros

Study after a few acrylic painting pros to get pointers and learn new techniques. Artists such as Donna Dewberry (One Stroke technique) and Priscilla Hauser (First Lady of Decorative Painting) offer many great tips. You can learn creative techniques such as Trompe L’oeil or create beautiful wall murals and other great works.

Acrylic painting can be both fun and rewarding. Use your imagination along with these tips to create decorative acrylic works of art that you and your friends can enjoy for years to come!

Consider Self Publishing in Ebook Format

Today, more than every before authors are presented with publishing opportunities that have never existed before. This is not to understate the hard work that authors have to go through to get recognition, write great books, and make a full time living from their passion of expression. However, it is to say that today, due to advances in communications technology, authors can now get their books distributed much easier than they could a decade ago. One very popular way that authors are distributing their work is digitally through ebooks. Digital books are gaining so much popularity that even some of the most popular authors in the world have used it to distribute their books. Stephen King for example published “Riding the Bullet” exclusively in ebook format. When this ebook began distribution over Barns and Nobel and Amazon.com there was so much demand for the download that the servers of these two book giants slowed down almost to a halt. People that wanted to download the ebook were put in a large queue with the hundreds of thousands of other who downloaded the ebook as well.

It’s not only big name authors that are finding success in ebooks. We at Ebook Architect have been helping authors create, market and sell their ebooks online for years now with great success. Many of these people are first time authors and are often amazed with the success of their ebook sales. Below are some of their ebook writing tips.

Don’t underestimate the power of the Ebook

Ebooks are still looked upon as unpopular by many authors who have not yet taken the time to learn about the success within this industry. For example, while the traditional publishing industry growing at the sluggish rate of 5% a year the digital publishing industry is growing at rates between 30% -50%. This means that the opportunities within the publishing industry are growing at a fraction of the rate that opportunities within the digital publishing industry are growing.

To set up an ebook you don’t need to be a tech wizard

Setting up your ebook from the idea conceptualization stage to the selling stage can’t be completed overnight but it is definitely something that can be done by anyone regardless of your technological background. If you can use a word processor then you can create and sell an ebook online. While it is recommended you set up your own website, it is not necessary. There are outlets such as amazon.com, EBay and Lulu.com to name only a few sites that allow you to post your ebook on their servers.

Setting up an Ebook site is virtually costless and you keep 100% of the profits

With traditional publishers you’ll be lucky to see 10% of the profits from your book. With ebooks however, you keep 100% of the profits minus the fees required to set up the site which are minimal. Here is the fee breakdown for ebooks vs traditional books

Ebook vs Book cost
Ebook = Free to create an unlimited number of copies
Book = Approximately $1500 for 200 copies of a 200 page soft cover book

Rights and profit
Ebook = You keep 100% of the profits and rights to your ebooks
Book = You get 10-40% royalty (usually about $2-$5/ book)

With the above examples it is easy to see that for first time authors ebooks make a lot of sense. The risk associated with publishing an ebook is much lower than it is with distributing a soft or hard cover book. Likewise, as an ebook author you’ll keep virtually all of your own profits.

If nothing else, it is something worth consideration. Ebooks may not replace traditional paperback books, but they certainly are gaining popularity at a rate that should make all authors stop to think about how they could use ebooks to their advantage.

Can You Afford To Publish Your Book?

Money blinds. It’s as simple as that. Aspiring authors ask about the money issue all the time, in varying forms, (How much does it cost to publish? How much will I get paid in royalties?, etc.) but they can’t see beyond that issue to think about the thing that will truly decide the money question. And here it is:

What Do You Want From Your Book?

That is the real question! Once you are clear about what you want out of the publishing process, you can decide what route would be the most satisfying–and profitable–for you. When it comes right down it it, you can spend as much or as little as you want on your book. But how much are you willing to spend to get what you want?

When you aren’t clear, you can make poor decisions that won’t line up with your goals. For instance, many authors have a goal of making a lot of money, but they won’t consider self publishing. The fact is that unless you can immediately sell on the level of an Oprah’s Book Club selection or a James Patterson or a Dan Brown, it’s going to take a very long time before your royalties add up to much. When you self publish you take on risk, but you stand to gain much more because you get to keep all the profits (unless your agreement with the publishing company you use is a royalties-based one).

Another strong reason to self publish: you can use your first book to build your platform for a bigger deal with a traditional publishing house in the future. Again, you can choose the self publishing deal that’s right for you. A print on demand company such as Xlibris charges just $500 for a basic package where you can get your book produced and copies made as they are ordered–so no inventory. Of course, when you pay more, you get more: better design, distribution services, maybe even some marketing help.

The Traditional Road

If your dreams of authorship include larger audiences and the literary status that comes of being published by one of the many arms of Random House, Warner or Simon & Schuster, that’s fine–just know that this route isn’t exactly free either. No, you don’t have to pay a traditional publishing house and yes, they do everything for you (design, distribution, some advertising and marketing), but these days a writer is expected to spend a little too on promoting the book. Many writers are even putting the amount they’ve set aside in their book proposals. If you’re serious about marketing your book, you’ll need to set aside at least $10,000. That amount can go as high as $30,000 depending on the amount of travel and other advertising you intend to use.

Smart Money, Dumb Money

Once you understand what you want out of your book, you’ll not only know how much you’re willing to spend, you’ll also know better how to spend it. You can spend it smart or you can spend it dumb. Many writers spend it dumbly because they don’t know what they want. If you’re spending money on educating yourself about publishing, improving your writing skills, hiring a good editor or book consultant, and marketing that will help you reach your specific, targeted reader, that’s all smart money. You will get more out of those dollars than if you had never spent it at all. You are investing in your writing career.

But if you spend money because someone told you this is “the only way you’ll ever get this book published” (and you haven’t researched any other ways), or buy advertising simply because it’s where other books are advertised, or go to writer’s conferences with no clear plan of what you want out of them, or pay agents “reader fees”, or pay editors whose work you don’t know or whose references you haven’t checked, that’s dumb money. You’ll put those dollars out there and see little or no return.

So I guess the bad news is publishing isn’t free. The good news is you have a choice as to how much you spend and where you spend it. Be an educated consumer as well as an educated–and talented–writer. You’ll find that to have a book published in the way you want it published is still in the end–priceless.

© 2005 Sophfronia Scott

Building An Awesome Audience For Your Book

“The Book Sistah”

I got lucky. The month that I sold my novel was the same month that I started my newsletter, Living the Dream, for my coaching business. I had no idea that as my list of subscribers grew I would have a great platform from which to launch the book 18 months later. Thanks to that list, I was pre-selling my book long before it hit store shelves.

I was cultivating an audience without realizing it. But now I know that having a list is a goldmine, both for selling your book and for getting your book noticed by a publisher. These days if you can prove that you come to the table with a huge audience, a big advance may follow. But how do you get such a list? These tips will help you go from seed to harvest as you grow your group.

1. Start with who you know.

Most of us have some form of list already, either in your email system’s address book or your basic holiday card list that you use once a year. It may be as small as 10-25 or as big as 200-400. Start out by sending a general email letting the people on your list know that you’re getting organized and planning to send out regular notes, newsletters, whatever you plan to send. Give them the opportunity to opt out if they’re not interested. Most will probably stay on since your family and friends are interested in hearing about what you’re up to.

2. Whenever you meet new people, get permission to add them to your list.

At this point in your writing career, it’s essential that you’re out meeting people at least once a month. You can go to networking events, take classes or (and this is the best) do speaking engagements. Non-fiction authors especially should be speaking regularly because you want to establish your expertise in your topic or topics. You can collect business cards when you network or take classes and get people to sign in with their contact information at your event. Make sure you GET PERMISSION and let people know they will be hearing from you via newsletter, etc. It is truly poor form to put people on your mailing list without their knowledge. It’s also called spamming!

I know that signing people up is key because I’ve observed popular authors doing just that. I once attended a reading by E. Lynn Harris because I knew he had a huge–and faithful– readership and I wanted to glean some clues as to how he did it. Sure enough, the room was packed and every single person behaved as though they knew him personally. When it came time to sign books, he made an announcement: he would sign your book if you signed his! He made it clear you would be hearing from him via email, birthday and holiday cards. People were all too happy to sign the list. Brilliant!

3. Find a list service to maintain your list.

You’ll quickly learn, as your list grows, that your email account may not allow you to send mass messages to groups larger than 50-80. Also, it’s not a good idea to only have your list on your computer, you’ll want it backed up elsewhere. The solution: sign on for a list service. You’ll have your database expertly maintained, plus most list services will give you templates and allow you to send out really good looking HTML email messages to your list. You can also get code and links that allow people to sign themselves onto your list from your website. There are many you can try. I use both Constant Contact (http://www.constantcontact.com) and 1 Shopping Cart (http://www.1shoppingcart.com). If you’re not selling products or services, you may not need a shopping cart so Constant Contact may be just the thing for you.

4. Communicate to your list regularly.

You want to keep in touch with the people on your list so they don’t forget about you. The way you do it is up to you. As I said above, E. Lynn Harris sends notes and cards to his list. A colleague of mine sends daily inspirational quotes. I’m a big fan of email newsletters because you can provide news on your activities and useful content for your readers. When you provide content, such as tips for real estate investors, marketing ideas, or even cookbook recipes, you are establishing your expertise. You’re also giving people a good reason to stay on your list–they’re getting good stuff out of it. In the past I have offered discounts on my services, gift certificates for people to give out over the holidays and articles with career counseling and goal-achieving tips. And every issue of Living the Dream also features my book and the stellar reviews it’s received. You can see past issues by going to http://www.creativecoachingplans.com/newsletter.html.

5. Generate excitement and anticipation with your list.

When your book is nearing publication, you’ll want to start letting your audience know that it’s coming. You can generate pre-sale orders, alert your list of book reviews as they come out and let your audience know where you’ll be appearing when you start speaking and doing book signings. My book was first listed on Amazon.com about six months before its publication date. I sent out a “special announcement” letting people know it was there and encouraging them to pre-order the book. On that glorious day my book ranked as high as 3,000 on Amazon’s list! I may not be J.K. Rowling, but I think that’s pretty good. Plus, that’s the kind of information that helps distributors sell your book to bookstores. They know you already have an awesome audience just waiting to buy!

© 2005 Sophfronia Scott

Creators Of Magic Tricks – A Brief History Of Magic Tricksters

We’ve all heard the term “magic.” Some of us use it in our daily lives. But what really is magic? Well, the formal definition of magic is something like this: Magic is the performance of illusions meant to entertain, baffle and amaze. The purpose of magic is to give the illusion that the impossible or supernatural has been achieved. Although magic deals with the illusion of the supernatural, no ghostly beings or entities actually have any part in a magic act. Truly entertaining magic is always done by a skilled performer who knows how to use natural means to create the impression that something next to impossible has been done.

Early magic was most likely probably used for cheating in gambling games such as cards or in times of war like the use of the Trojan Horse. But during the 18th magic became less of a series of seemingly pointless deceptions and more of a respectable activity done by professional illusionists.

The earliest recorded modern practice of magic tricks was done by Jean Eugene Robert Houdin in the mid-1800s. In fact, many consider Houdin the father of modern magic. Houdin, originally a trained clock worker, switched to the practicing of magic when he opened a magic theater in Paris in the 1840s. Houdin’s special magic trick of the time was creating small mechanical pieces that seemed to move and act as if they were alive.

After that the popularity of magic continued to grow. In 1873 two men, British performer J. N. Maskelyne and his partner Cooke established their own theatre, the Egyptian Hall in London England’s Piccadilly. The magic tricks these two men were best known for performing were hiding special mechanisms in their stages to control audiences’ points of view. So, the magic was in people and items suddenly disappearing and reappearing, or being distorted in some way.

The late 19th century brought on celebrity magic and celebrity musicians. This was the time of the world-famous Harry Houdini, whose real name was Erich Weiss. Houdini’s magic tricks were based on the ability to escape impossible situations. Today this term is referred to as escapology.

Depending on whom you talk to today, magic is a trivial passtime for children, or magic can be a real source of entertainment. At least that was the common attitude towards magic in the 1980s and 1990s.

Today magic seems to be in vogue again. But most modern workers of magic follow a strict code of ethics. For example, those who perform on television don’t use camera tricks and videotape editing to create the illusion of powerful magic. Magic workers today use only traditional forms of magic. This means they use the same forms of magic for television as they would for a live magic show.

The old saying about magic being smoke and mirrors is true. The art of magic tricks is all about fooling the audiences’ eyes and getting them to think they are seeing something that really isn’t happening. That’s what true magic and the practice of good magic tricks is all about.

Creative Birthday Party Ideas

I love throwing parties. Anyone who knows me well knows that there is nothing that energizes me more than planning and throwing a wonderful birthday party. It took me several years of planning parties for myself, my family and my friends before a wise soul suggested that I look into becoming a professional party planner. Why the thought had never crossed my mind, I have no idea, but I took her advice and quickly checked into a possible profession. My biggest reason for becoming a party planner was that I loved coming up with great birthday party ideas. Why not get paid to do what I love?

Birthday party ideas can be as simple or as ornate as you want them to be. I have been to amazing parties where the food, the decorations, and the activities were all very simple and it turned out well. I have also been to many lavish parties where each element of the event was given a great amount of detail and care. The important thing in coming up with birthday party ideas is to think carefully about the person you are celebrating.

Remembering the birthday person is the most important thing you can do in gathering birthday party ideas. After all, you are celebrating the birth and life of a person you care about, so why not make their celebration something they will love. Think about their interests, passions and likes when you are coming up with birthday party ideas for them.

Some of the best birthday party ideas are planned around a theme that reflects the birthday person. Try to come up with a great theme that will be fun to celebrate and that will allow you to easily incorporate food, decorations and events into the party.

What I love about party planning is sitting down with my clients over lunch or coffee. I always begin by having them tell me the kind of celebration they are hoping for. If people have no goals in party planning, then it will be really hard to come up with the perfect birthday party ideas. I’ve been surprised to find that people have many more ideas than they even think they do. All they need is a little help organizing their ideas for the party.

Grab a notebook and make a list of initial birthday party ideas for the next event you are planning. And enjoy the planning process. It can be fun, rewarding and even relaxing when you start with great birthday party ideas.