After 13 years, EVE Online to Have a free-to-play Option

One cannot talk about online video games without having a lengthy discussion about EVE Online. A real life science fiction community, EVE takes gamers into a massive online universe. Players enter a role-playing game, form teams, and compete in several skirmishes with other players worldwide. It is published by CCP games and it is estimated to have around 15,000 to 30,000 online players at any given time.

Since its release, EVE has been a paid subscription. Gamers are billed every month for access to the universe and to purchase new gear. There are also virtual wars within the universe. CCP games announced that the most recent war caused around US $300,000 in damage. EVE gamers could only take part in a 14-day trial period before being asked to pay.

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Image Source: twitter.com

Now, after 13 years, first-time users can join for free. It is hoped that this move will attract more players. The change will take effect in November but already, thousands of players are being encouraged by the move. Developers say that EVE has always been popular, but subscriptions have kept other people from joining. By having a free-to-play option, the game can see its community expand exponentially.

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Image Source: amusingplanet.com

Gamers would still have to pay to upgrade their ships or use certain skills. Developers, however, are being cautious about this new move. They still wish to maintain EVE’s high-play interactivity and current fan base. The key is striking the balance between attracting new players and keeping their loyal customers.

Alexander Paler is an online video game enthusiast. He keeps updated with the latest video gaming news. Visit this Facebook page for more about gaming.

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House Of Cards Marathon: Why Watch Netflix’s Award-Winning Series

Netflix’s original American television drama, House of Cards, premiered in 2013 and recently started its fourth season last March. In its first season, the story revolved around a Democrat from South Carolina and recently appointed Secretary of State, Frank Underwood, and how he executes his revenge plans against people who betrayed him.

The next seasons’ stories would continue to be as thrilling and puzzling as the first one. The show has received a total of 23 awards and 145 nominations from Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy, Screen Actors’ Guild, and more. Here are three reasons to start binge-watching this brilliant drama:

 

                   Image source: house-of-cards.wikia.com

Underwood’s genius revenge schemes

Frank Underwood teaches how to delay gratification as he executes every minutiae of his revenge plan. Viewers will always look forward to how Underwood will gloriously crush the people who wronged him. No matter how twisted his plans get, and despite his flawed motivations, viewers will still end up supporting him. Only the combination of a great TV show and an incredibly talented actor and cast members has the power to do that.

Real politics and journalism

Viewers will get a taste of a modern day Macbeth or Hamlet as this series tackles politics the Shakespearean way. Because the drama is grounded on real politics, real presidents such as President Obama and former President Bill Clinton find the show relatable, and are avid watchers. Bill Clinton even told Kevin Spacey that 99 percent of what they do in the show is real. The show highlights money’s role in politics and how egotism and hunger for power are rampant in Washington.

 

                                     Image source: denofgeek.com

Incredibly talented cast and directing team

David Fincher, the show’s executive producer, made sure that they put together a talented cast. They were able to get their first choice actors in all the major roles. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright’s acting chops are more than enough motivations to be hooked. Fincher directed the first two episodes, then he put together an all-star directing team for the subsequent ones: Jodie Foster, Carl Franklin, Joel Schumacher, Agnieszka Holland, and James Foley.

One of Alex Paler‘s favorite TV series is House of Cards. Share insights about great shows in this Facebook page.

The Rise of Healthcare IT

The healthcare industry has welcomed a significant shift in its operations through “health informatics.” This is the multidisciplinary approach that combines healthcare, information technology, and business, all three of which had revolutionized the industry. This direction also paved the way for the creation of more jobs in each of the mentioned sectors.

Despite the opportunities health informatics provide, however, some professionals are still concerned about allowing computers evaluate and manage most of a patient’s data. For medical professionals, dependence in technology might be a cause for impersonal diagnosis, leading to an equally detached delivery of care.

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Image source: Businesswire.com

But it cannot be denied that health informatics can speed up labor intensive and time-consuming healthcare processes, whether administrative or medical in nature. With fully automated systems, the time needed to evaluate a patient’s records can be cut in half, in turn also reducing supervisory requirements of the task. And because databases are digitized easily accessible, errors and miscalculations can also be reduced.

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Image source: Timesjobs.com

As innovations in information technology permeate the healthcare industry, many people will benefit from the changes manifested. Utilizing technology for more accurate diagnoses will allow medical professionals to tailor the type of care for each patient. On the other hand, this will require the manpower and skills of more IT professionals who will ensure that the patients and medical professionals receive precise data.

Alexander Paler is an Ohioan who works at Illinois­based CriticalKey, a business consulting, software, and management services company. He is also a sports fan and a video game enthusiast. Follow this Twitter account for the latest in technology.

Warcraft’s Legion Patch: Two Things To Know Before Its Release

The new expansion of World of Warcraft, called Legion, is set to be launched on August 30th of this year. The patch will detail the events after the defeat of the Burning Legion. Fans all around the around have been waiting for Blizzard to release their patch notes and see how much will change and what they can expect from the most famous MMORPG to date. There are two interesting updates coming up:

Image Source: wowhead.com

This expansion will be more dungeon-based: Warcraft’s design team has said Legion’s emphasis will be more for dungeon gameplay than single player experience. This is part of Blizzard’s long-term plan to keep more players and entice new ones. The lead designer of the game said that they’ve added new scaling systems to make dungeon levels more fun and interactive. It is said that this is Blizzard’s response to the criticism that the previous expansion, Warlords of Draenor, was not engaging enough in terms of dungeon-based gameplay.

The focus will also be on new player experiences: Preceding patches to the expansion have fixed bugs affecting new player experience – leading many fans to believe that this is heading towards a highly improved session for new players to the game. New players are known to find enemies between level 1 and 20 too easy.

Image Source: wowhead.com

It is apparent that Blizzard’s focus is enticing new players of Warcraft and keeping them engaged. As for the older, more experienced players, Warcraft’s design team has focused on dungeon play.

Alexander Paler is a fan of online video games and loves reading news about them. For more on this topic, visit this blog.

A Throwback to Three Software Programs that Changed the World

These days, it’s easier to create apps and software. However, it seems harder to keep them significant. Some programs withstood the test of time while there are those that were replaced by newer and easier options. Here is a list of three classic programs that changed the computing game and made a way for software to have a steady place in people’s daily lives:

1. Lotus 1-2-3

Believe it or not, there was a time when Microsoft Office wasn’t the hero. Before the dominance of MS Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 took the cake for being the go-to spreadsheet program. This killer software made using an IBM PC so much easier that it was eventually acquired and distributed by the tech giant until 2013.

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Image source: Exceldashboardtemplates.com

2. WordStar

This program was the reason typewriters went out of fashion. In the days where hiring typists were necessary for business operations, WordStar changed the game and enabled everyone with a computer to conveniently create their documents. Imagine typing a document without a mouse. Seems impossible, right? But during the days of WordStar, all the movements were made with a diamond-shaped controller of sorts.

3. Microsoft Word

MS Word makes the list because it embodies the meaning of a “killer app” or a program that is needed by everyone. This program gets bonus points because it survived competitors and the test of time. For PC and even Mac users, it’s hard to imagine life without Word that people know all the shortcuts by heart.

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Image source: Scrounge.org

These three programs paved the way for people’s dependence on personal computers. sWork is more manageable these days thanks to today’s software and apps. Lots of programs are launched every year, but the world is still waiting for the next one that will influence people the way these three did.

Originally from Ohio, Alexander Paler currently resides in Chicago and works at CriticalKey, a healthcare tech solutions company. For more on his interests, follow this Twitter account.