Will Business Gifts Replace The Bonus?

Will Business Gifts Replace The Bonus?

The word “bonus” has become something of a dirty word recently, with banks and large corporations attracting the headlines for paying their staff large sums of money despite the financial crisis. The eyes of the media are now fixed on these companies and every financial decision is being scrutinised for perceived fairness.

Even smaller companies are having their own bonus issues but in a rather different way. Those businesses who have survived the recession but who still might be struggling may not be in a position to pay their staff bonuses even though they might deserve them now more than ever.

It is a difficult time for companies who are looking to reward their staff and with Christmas just around the corner, many managers will be scratching their heads and wondering how to show their gratitude to their employees.

With the bonus culture seemingly going through a rocky patch, business gifts are expected to play a larger role than ever this Christmas. Business gifts can offer companies who for one reason or another will not be offering bonuses an effective way of rewarding staff, offering quality personalised gifts for the fraction of the cost of large scale bonuses. They also offer the recipient the unique feeling of receiving a wrapped present which can have a great affect on staff morale.

Employees may well be disappointed at not receiving a cash bonus but those who know about the financial situation will understand the need for their company to be more careful with their cash. Business gifts offer these companies the chance to give staff a much needed reward and incentive and will help the team to celebrate the festive period without breaking the bank.

In situations where every bonus payment is being scrutinised, business gifts can also provide a less controversial way of praising staff. Premium gifts can provide a rewarding alternative to bonuses and give companies the opportunity to recognise the employees who have flourished during these testing times.

If bonuses may prove a problem this Christmas, consider using business gifts to show your appreciation to staff and customers.…

Are You Ready For 3D TV? – Here’s What You Need to Know

With more and more movies hitting the big screen in 3D it was only a matter of time before it came to television.
Well that day is here and even though the technology is in its beginning stages 3D TV is here, it is exciting and can be enjoyed in your living room. But before you run out and buy anything there are certain things you need to know. Here is what you need to know before buying a 3D TV.
Watching a movie in 3D is quite an experience. In recent years 3D technology has really improved. Today it is much more than just images jumping out from the screen. There is a fullness and realistic feel to the new movies presented with this tri-dimensional technology. Today you can view movies like this at the theatre and in your own home.
Yes, you still have to wear special glasses no matter if you are viewing 3D in a theatre or in your home. But that is where the similarities end.
The type of 3D in the theatre is completely different to that on televisions.
How 3D Works
Quite simply the way this technology works is that two separate images are presented on a viewing screen at the same time. One image is intended for the right eye and the other image is intended for the left eye. When these images are viewed together it gives the illusion of three levels of depth vs. just the 2 dimensional picture we are normally used to.
Will the Glasses You Wear in a Theater Work at Home?
The answer to this question is a resounding– NO. So leave the glasses at the theatre. There are two different technologies at work here. Movies in the theatre, for the most part use a process involving polarizing light. The paper or plastic glasses you are given there are pretty simple, don’t required a power source, and work great for that type of a process. If the glasses are plastic, theaters wash and sterilize them, (or at least they are supposed to!) and then they are reused.
For televisions, the process is one in which the separate images for the right and left eye are refreshed several times a second. This requires special set of glasses that are called shutter glasses that are synchronized with the television and actually shut off the ability to view with each alternating eye as the images are shown on the television. This happened so fast that it tricks your brain into seeing images that are 3D. These glasses also require power.
Most are battery operated, some are rechargeable. As a result these glasses are more expensive, are a bit heavier and not considered disposable.
What Will You Need to Enjoy 3D in your Home
First and foremost you will need a TV that is designed for this type of viewing. As well, you need to think of this as more of a system that just having the TV. There are several parts of the system.
1. The first part of the system is a TV designed to provide a picture where there are two images that alternate very fast for the right and left eye.
2. You must also have special designed shutter glasses that are powered and synchronized with the alternating images.
3. There must be a signal or video that provides the multi dimensional image.
Types of Three Dimensional TV’s Available Today
At the present there are three versions of televisions available that offer this type of viewing experience.
1. 3D Ready. This means they come with the necessary design and components for three dimensional viewing except for the glasses.
2. 3D Capable televisions like this generally just need to have a device that emits an infrared signal to the glasses and the correct glasses.
3. Full 3D are package systems that have everything including the correct glasses.
At this stage of the game it is probably best to consider the full package system, then you know all components are designed to work together. But it is an exciting new technology that is moving forward at a fast rate. Imagine soon being able to see a Super Bowl football game in 3D!…

Which Console for You?

Which Console for You?

If you are in the market for a new video game console, then you may have felt intimidated by all the choices out there. Although a lot of console choices can make the initial decision a bit tougher, it’s actually a really good sign that the market is healthy and competitive. Let’s take a look at a few of the top consoles to see which one is right for you.

The first console you should consider is the Xbox 360. This is one of the most popular consoles. It’s not hard to understand why. The games have beautiful graphics, and the sheer selection of games is immense. If you like to get competitive with your video games, then you’ll be right at home with Xbox Live on the Xbox 360. This is an online gathering where video game players come together to test their skills. Another great feature of this console is that there is a wide variety of Xbox 360 accessories available.

The next console you should take a look at is the PlayStation 3. Sony has been in the video game business for quite some time, and this is their latest and best effort. This might be your top choice if you have previously played on other Sony systems, such as the original PlayStation or the PlayStation 2. The reason for this is that the controller is largely unchanged, so it shouldn’t take you too long to get right into the action. Another advantage you will experience if you purchase a PlayStation 3 is that their online service is free. This is in comparison to the Xbox Live service, which you must pay for.

If you don’t want to purchase a console dedicated solely to video games, then it is also possible to play on your computer. Desktop PCs are typically superior to laptops for playing video games, but in theory you can use a laptop if you get one with enough memory and processor speed. Although there are a few exceptions, most of the popular games that are available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are also available for Desktop PCs. If you want to play video games on your computer, then you need to make sure that it is well equipped. You will need a good video graphics card, a lot of RAM, and a zippy processor speed. If you try to play video games on your computer without adequate specs, then the process will be more frustrating than it will be fun.

No matter which system you ultimately choose, you are sure to have a great time. Any of these options will set you back several hundred dollars, but you can offset this cost by looking for a TV sale.…

Learn How to Successfully Backup Your PS3 Games and Other Console’s Discs

Learn How to Successfully Backup Your PS3 Games and Other Console’s Discs

How To Backup PS3 Games?

As we all know, PS3 games are usually protected right from the factory. The first thing we got to do is to find a backup software that can break the PS3 protection. There are many software that claims to be able to do that job. But, which one is the best for the job? However, let us first focus on what are the steps to be successfully backup your valuable games disc.

Using backup software, you will not only be able to backup any of your PS3 games because this software will take out all the protection that resides on your disks, but create a playable copies of your originally disc. In other words, you can put aside your originally disc. Insert the backup copy and play it on your Playstation.

Moreover, you can also use it for coping xBox 360 games, Wii game, and even computer games.

How Does Backup Software Work?

In order to successfully copy any PS3 game, you will need to have the followings.

1 – Download a copy of the backup software.

2 – Your PC need to have DVD or CD burner.

3 – Get the Original PS3, PS2, xBox, Wii or PC Game disc.

4 – Prepare empty disks to create the backup.

Now, all you need to do is to follow the simple step-by-step “Next” prompt to backup your games. You are all set to backup PS 3 games with backup software. This is how easy it goes. Have fun!…

Xbox 360 Kinect USB Extension

Xbox 360 Kinect USB Extension

Out of the Box

Recently I was able to get my hands on one of the new Xbox Kinects. For those who don’t know the Xbox Kinect is Microsoft’s answer to the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Move. It is essentially a camera that you mount above or below your TV and it senses your movements then translates them into movements in your video game. For instance, in a driving game you take put your arms in front of you and pretend to drive a car. It works alright for the most part but it does take a while to get use to. However one problem that I have run into with the Kinect is the way you connect the Kinect to your TV (No pun intended).

Cable Troubles

The Xbox Kinect comes out of the box with a 9 foot cable. This is a slight problem with the way my Home Theater is set up. See my home has the TV Mounted on the Wall and I have my Xbox elsewhere in a near by closet. This is much further then 9 feet.

After looking around for a way to extend the cable, most of what I was finding was the Microsoft branded extension cable that will run you about 50 dollars and it is only 10ft extension. Still not good enough for my needs. So I started looking at USB extension cables. The Xbox Kinect, when you purchase it on its own, will come with a USB converter cable that turns the special Kinect cable into a USB connection. So I started trying out a few different extension cables that I had available to me.

Active and Passive USB Extensions

I first tried out a standard 6 foot Passive USB extension. This did not work what so ever. The Kinect would not recognize that it was even plugged into the Xbox. I then tried out an active extension cable. I used a Sewell 16ft Active Extension cable (you can get them at various places but I find this one to be the best deal)

After testing the Active extension cable it worked great. After plugging it in, the Kinect fired right up and the Xbox recognized the Kinect instantly. The guys at Sewell say they have tested it with these 16ft cables while daisy chaining them all together and have said it works. They even have a YouTube showing how it works.

Bigger Does Not Always Mean Better…

I also was able to try a 33 foot active extension cable and it did not work. For some reason you can daisy chain the 16 foot extensions together but the 33 foot extensions do not work. Most likely it needs the active repeaters to be at those 16 foot intervals or it cant keep the signal constant. So if you need to extend your Xbox Kinect grab yourself a couple USB Active Extension cables and you should be fine.

Note: Make sure that you have the USB connection on your Kinect and not the special Xbox Kinect connection, if you have one of those and not a USB, then you will have to buy the converter or just go for the expensive Microsoft cable

Also if you have a PlayStation Move, these also connect via USB so you can use the same cables for those as well. Sewell Direct has a video of testing them with the Move and it seems to have the same limitations, you have to use the 16ft extension cables and not the 33 ft extension cables…

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus – Review of the Playstation Vita Video Game

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus – Review of the Playstation Vita Video Game

This is a weird review to tackle, because by now this game has been around for eight long years and been re-released numerous times. The obvious thing to do would be to just focus on the Vita specific features of this latest packaging, but that’s pretty boring. I’ve never personally reviewed Ninja Gaiden, so I’m going to give this a solid review that will hopefully appeal to Vita owners who have (somehow) never actually played this game.

So let’s start with a bold statement: I think (the original) Ninja Gaiden deserves the title as one of the best action-adventure games to ever grace a console. It’s not perfect, and time has caused its flaws to be magnified, but the combat system is as tight as ever. Every sword fight is fast and intense, and every battle you participate in could be your last. You absolutely must master (at the very least) the basic techniques, since as you have probably heard, this game is notoriously difficult.

And it is difficult, especially by modern standards, but Ninja Gaiden’s difficulty is discussed much like Demon/Dark Souls’ difficulty: as an exercise in hyperbole. Like those games, Ninja Gaiden is significantly challenging, but with patience and experience the game can be bested. A quick tip: learn how to block and dodge. These combat techniques are non-negotiable.

The combat plays with precision and finesse, like it was stripped right out of a fighting game, but the platforming doesn’t follow suit. Sure, you can run along and flip off of walls like a true ninja, and it’s cool once you get the hang of it, but the movement is very sensitive, so oftentimes it’s easy to miss your mark. Luckily, that rarely leads to instant death, unlike the old school NES games (which ironically had arguably tighter platforming).

The story that unfolds is of Ryu Hayabusa from those very same NES games, whose ninja clan is mercilessly slaughtered by an evil spirit called Doku, who dresses in samurai armor and talks like Darth Vader (which is in fact awesome). Doku steals the Dark Dragon Blade, and murders Ryu with ease. And so his (and your own) tale of vengeance begins.

It’s all fairly cookie cutter stuff, only made slightly cooler by ninjas and swords. The voice acting falls flat and is fairly bad, and save one cool plot twist near the end, it’s all fluff. It is all forgivable though, as the story only exists to propel the action. This is a game that people fondly remember for its gameplay and difficulty, and hopefully not its story. That said, the plot is not the worse I have ever seen, by a longshot (and from what I have heard, it is way better than Ninja Gaiden III.)

Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus is a linear game. Sure, you can explore formerly visited areas and search out some secrets, but you are mostly moving from point A to point B. During your travels, you will cut down all manner of man and demon in a variety of locations: a ninja village, a blimp, a bar, and a military base, to name a few. The variety works well for the story; the game is pretty long, and the diversity of locations makes you feel like your taking on a real journey.

The dragon sword is not the only weapon you will cut through your opposition with, as you will come to earn many new weapons and skills. In fact, the amount of weapons is impressive, and they mostly play differently, rather than just looking different. For example, the nunchaku are fast and relentless, but a giant sword carries the momentum of a small car. There’s something for everyone here, but if you’re like me, you’ll fall in love with the dual swords and never look back.

Speaking of “something for everyone”, since the release of Ninja Gaiden Sigma on the PS3 in 2007, you can play as the female warrior from the story, Rachel. She plays like a tank in contrast to the nimble Ryu, wielding a gigantic hammer that smashes it’s foes to putty. While I feel these segments are a nice break from Ryu’s story, they don’t really add anything (save a boss fight) and eventually, you just want to get back to what feels like the real game, because ultimately Ryu is more fun to control, as well as carries the weight of the story. Then again, perhaps this is just a result of my having played through the game before Rachel’s missions were included.

On the Vita, the game boasts a few new features, but they are all really just gimmicks. You can touch the screen to enter first-person view, and look around by moving …

The Playstation 3 Is A Blu-Ray Player – This Makes The Difference

The Playstation 3 Is A Blu-Ray Player – This Makes The Difference

I don’t know if you are aware of it but there is an almighty battle going on at the moment in the games console market place. Microsoft and Sony have both released new versions of their fantastic games machines, the XBox 360 and the PlayStation 3 Slim.

Along with these new models are the hands free controllers that allow a player to use their own body movements to directly affect gameplay. This is amazing and a leap forward for game players. It makes the games very interactive. It also moves the world of fitness games, first seen on the Nintendo Wii to another level.

Choosing Between A PlayStation 3 Slim and The XBox 360

Because both the consoles are so good there is this push to get the most customers buying for Christmas this year. The 2 companies are talking about games that are only on their platform. There is discussion about graphics technology and storage sizes. At the end of the day there are only really small differences between them apart from one. The PlayStation 3 is also a Blu-ray DVD player.

For the life of me I do not understand why Sony are not talking up this huge extra bonus you get with the PS3. Sure they talk about it, but this really is a huge money saver for any gadget person. The one console is both a state of the art games machine and can play the latest Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray is going to be a big seller in the next few months as can be seen by the shelf space given over to the blu-ray discs in your local store.

Features Of The Blu-ray PS3

The main feature is that it is not a noisy player. You can watch both high action and the boring quiet love scenes and not have cross over noise from a whirring disc player in the background. You can use the wireless remote with it so no wires will be trailing across the carpet. And If you fall asleep you don’t have to walk across the room to switch it off.

Other Movie Formats

The PlayStation 3 will also play most of the other video formats you will need including MPEG, AVI, Motion JPEG, AVCHD, DivX, MVC and VC-1. So this makes the Sony PS3 an al round video and movie player as well as one of the top gaming machines. Think of it this way if you like. You go and buy a fantastic Blu-ray player for about $299 and get the PlayStation thrown in for free.…

Outlook Social Engine Connectors – 2010

Outlook Social Engine Connectors – 2010

Microsoft Corporation is putting its step toward turning outlook, its desktop e-mail program, into the main core of information for most renowned social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

On Wednesday, Microsoft is launching a “Beta” test version of the outlook social connector. The add-on software, which was previously discussed in last November, adds a pane to the main e-mail reading screen on outlook. This is most recently launched by Microsoft for testing. When the user clicks to read an e-mail message, the new panes fill up with the senders most recent used social networking activities. Those could include the addition of a business and professional contact on LinkedIn or a “what I’m doing now’ status update from Face Book.

Microsoft has a mixed record when it comes to web trends. The company’s free Hotmail and Windows Live messenger program are widely and commonly used all around the world but its Windows Live blog/ social network didn’t boil up with much steam in the face of competition from Face Book. In this case, a small start up called Xobni has built an outlook add-on that combine inbox search with content from Facebook, LinkedIn and others.

Microsoft newly launched software also treats outlook itself as a social network. If the e-mail sender and recipient are jointly working on a same document stored on a company’s server, both will see update if one logs on to make editing and posting but the new software doesn’t let people use outlook to push information back up to LinkedIn, Facebook or other sites.

People using Office 2003, 2007 and recently updated beta version of Office 2010 can download the update using outlook social connector beta.

Office 2010 will be available on stores from 2010 June.

Will Kenedy, a corporate vice president from the Office Group, said that some of Microsoft’s business customers expressed their view that their employees will become less productive if they will have all this extra information in their palms.

But Kenedy sees business friendly uses for the social networking connectors. He expressed that it could speed up processes that require a string of people to sign-off because each person in that chain could see when it’s time for him or her to weigh in.…

PS3 Red Light Flashing – How to Repair the PS3 Red Flashing Light

PS3 Red Light Flashing – How to Repair the PS3 Red Flashing Light

Are you having the ps3 red light flashing problem? Is your console refusing to boot? Did it give three beeps before the light began flashing? If any of these happened, then you can be sure that you have the infamous and dreaded ps3 red light of death. Fixing this is not just a straight jacketed thing. This is because there are many causes. Here are a few repair tips to help you fix it.

1. Cool the Console Down

Sometimes, this problem is caused by the heat generated by it. The PS3 console is built in such a manner that heat doesn’t readily escape leading to excessive heating which may also affect other integral parts of the console like the HDD and the board.

So, cool the console down by either directing a fan towards the vents or placing it directly in front of the AC. If you have any other cooling device too, it will work.

2. Turn off the High Definition

I know this is a bummer and that it affects the viewing quality, but the truth is that the high def often generates more heat. But this is the way Sony built the console and heat is an essential part of its functions.

3. Avoid the Corners

Avoid placing the console in any corner or place where there is no proper ventilation, the reflected heat from these places tend to increase the temperature of the console resulting in more heat which of course tends to result in the ps3’s red light flashing and the console shutting down.…