The World of eSports

The World of eSports

Who would’ve thought twenty years ago that playing video games could make you serious money? 


The internet has enabled gamers to unite across the globe and to challenge each other in an exciting industry that has gained a tremendous amount of prominence in the last decade.

Otherwise known as electronic sports, eSports is a form of competition by using video games.


The sport has elevated to such a high level that participants are referred to as professional gamers. Multiplayer online battle arena, first-person shooter, digital collectible card games and fighters are some of the most common video game genres associated with eSports.


Some of the popular eSports titles include League of Legends, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike.

eSports has gained a lot of prominence in the last decade, but many people will be surprised to discover that the sport’s origin dates back to the ‘70s. 


Many people recognize the first official eSports competition on record to be the Stanford University (SU) held one on October 19, 1972. Since then, the sport has come a long way and contributed tremendously to global wealth. 


The students at SU gathered to compete in Spacewar, a space combat game first developed in 1962. The top prize was a one year’s subscription to Rolling Stone magazine. The winner was Bruce Baumgart. (14)


How Popular is it?

The sport has become so popular that Goldman Sachs analysts have voiced their projections about it. 


A Goldman Sachs analyst wrote that the eSports industry had a larger audience than Major League Baseball, excluding China. 


A New Zoo, gaming market researcher, survey indicated that 167 million people were competitive eSports gamers at the end of 2018 and that the figure would rise to 276 million by 2022. (1)


Here’s who leads the pack in eSports prominence:


“China has been ahead of the curve on this; all of Asia really,” says Menashe Kestenbaum, CEO of Enthusiast Gaming in Toronto. “If you see an arena jam-packed with gamers, it’s probably somewhere in China or South Korea,” he says.


The sport has become so popular in China that the country is building the world’s largest gamer theme park. (2)


The park is currently under construction and set to be the size of an average Six Flags Amusement Park and slated for completion in 2022.


The global games market generated over $138 billion in 2018. China had over 700 million gamers, making it a prime destination for gaming companies. (2)


One of the main reasons that eSports has taken off is due to the support of the Chinese government, which believes that eSports is the future of gaming.


The Chinese government has taken the industry seriously since its gaming market contributed $32.5 billion in 2018 to the economy. (3)


The thriving gaming industry started off in South Korea, but it’s China that has seen unprecedented growth. 


China’s massive expansion meant that it surpassed the U.S. market.


Businesses have seen the impact that eSports has on the economy and have tried to get their share of the pie. Newzoo data revealed that the eSports industry generated $660 million in 2017 with China making up 16% of that. (4)


The global market had a revenue of $900 million in 2018.


Price Waterhouse Coopers has estimated that the global revenue from eSports will be $1.6 billion by 2022. (5)


While China’s gaming industry booms, the rest of the world is playing catch-up.


Japan is another market that contributes greatly to the gaming market. Japanese gaming companies contributed $19.2 billion to the country’s economy in 2018. Sadly, revenue from Japan’s eSports market in 2018 was only $44.2 million. 


Although the comparison of eSports contribution to the economy was less than 1% of the gaming industry, the country’s eSports revenue was $3 million in 2017. (13)


One of the problems that the eSports industry in Japan has faced is legal restrictions. Legislation such as the Penal Code, the Premium Act and the Fueiho Law have gotten in the way of the industry’s prosperity. (13)


Does it Pay?

South Korea is the sixth biggest eSports market, but many people consider the country to be the pioneer of eSports. 


Lee Sang-hyeok (Faker) at LoL World Championship 2013

Lee Sang-hyeok, a South Korean eSports world champion, demands a salary of $3 million annually. Lee Dae-ho, a professional baseball player, receives an annual salary of $2.5 million by comparison. (5)


The average annual salary of a South Korean professional gamer was $150,000 in 2018. (6) 

A government report stated that South Korea’s eSports industry increased by 4.2% in 2017 to $87 million. (6)


The United States Strives to Compete in the World of Gaming

The U.S. is hot on the heels of China. 


Although the gaming industry in the U.S. was making money off video games since the ‘90s, it was Blizzard Entertainment’s release of StarCraft in 2010 that catapulted eSports in the country. 


Major League Gaming (MLG) is one of the most prominent eSports organizations in the world and helped to pioneer the sport in the country. 


The company’s latest tournament, Call of Duty World Championship, invited 32 of the world’s best teams to compete for $1.5 million in prizes. (7)


How’s that for prestige mode?


The highest-earning player in the U.S. made just over $3 million. The second highest-earning player made $2.98 million. (8)


The good news is that you don’t have to be the best player in the country to make a good living from eSports. Thanks to certain leagues, the average eSports competitor can live off of playing video games.


Riot Games’ League of Legends was the first league to provide salaries for every starter in 2013. The company’s goal was to offer stability that no other eSports could rival. Numerous North American professional players make an average annual salary of $320,000 by playing League of Legends alone. (9)


“These days, now that the path to pro is well established, and there are nearly 1,000 pros globally making a living off of playing League of Legends professionally, we look at player salaries continuing to rise and new player benefits (insurance, 401k, etc) as evidence of a healthy ecosystem,” said Chris Hopper, head of North American eSports at Riot Games.


The average annual salary of the pros in the League of Legends averages the same salary as an athlete in the Major League Soccer clubs. 


If the salaries for professional players isn’t enough, they can make up for it in the competitions. Xiao Hong, the Dota 2 operator in China, said that the TI9’s prize pool would be $25.5 in 2019. (10)


Chinese teams finished first or second at the Dota 2 competition for the last few years, resulting in the country netting $18 million from the four-team placements. (11)


The average age of players who made the most money was 25.


Audiences

Professional players can make money from lucrative competitions only if the organizers have audiences to show their advertisements to.


A report that Penguin Intelligence released stated that eSports viewers would grow to 350 million in 2019, a 10.6% year-on-year increase. China’s share of the market would be around 75 million fans.


The report also stated that the growth in China’s audiences would create a market of $2 billion by the end of 2019. The growth stems from income generated from tournaments, sponsorships, media rights and money that the players will earn.

Some of the predictions include that 600 million viewers will watch eSports by 2023, an increase of around 79% from 2017, which recorded 335 million viewers. (12)


According to Activate, 62% of U.S viewers were aged 18-34, and 58% had a positive attitude towards partaking in eSports. (12)


Other statistics revealed that Gen Zers were more open-minded toward eSports than other generations. The statistics stated that 56% of US Gen Z men (aged 13-21) said that non-traditional sports were relevant to their generation, and 44% stated the same for traditional sports.


Salaries and competition prize money isn’t the only way that the eSports industry benefits, as sponsorship revenue reached $359 million in 2018. (12)


That is a 53% year-on-year increase.


The increase in viewership and sponsorship has propelled high profile figures to get involved. The sport has taken off so much that celebrities couldn’t resist investing in it. Basketball legend Michael Jordan and platinum-selling artist Drake have invested in the eSports industry.


Final Thoughts

Figures prove that eSports is becoming more popular every year. Not only are players making more money than previous years but businesses have profited by getting involved as sponsors. 

More professional players have emerged due to the large prize pools, and celebrities have become investors in the industry.


With global audiences increasing annually, eSports is set to become the next big sporting event. 

You don’t have to take my word for it. 


All you have to do is look at the salaries of professional eSports competitors. Some of them are making more money than professional athletes involved in traditional sports.


Games like League of Legends have attracted some of the best players in the world, and the organizers have filled up stadiums with fans. 


Although you might have outgrown video games as Michael Jordan and Drake have, isn’t it worthwhile to look at the investment opportunities?

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Top 5 Best Travel Purse Options For Your Next Travel

Top 5 Best Travel Purse Options For Your Next Travel

The Best Way to Organize Your Closet: Tips You Should Know

Traveling is a lot of fun. Whether you enjoy jetting off to the beach every weekend, taking day trips to nearby towns, or even traveling across the country, you’re sure to get a lot of enjoyment out of life when you make it a point to travel on a regular basis.


However, if you’re like most people, you carry a lot of things when you travel. That’s why it’s so nice to have a good, secure travel purse. Fortunately, we are very knowledgeable about the latest purses on the market, which is why we’re more than happy to help you find the best travel purse to meet your needs.

How We Choose Our Ratings

When we provide advice on the best travel purse options, rest assured that we do not give this advice lightly. We want you to be able to trust our ratings, which is why we put great care and concern into arriving at them. So, you may be wondering, how do we arrive at our ratings? Well, we put a lot of time, research, and effort into coming up with them. You should also know that we put honesty and accuracy first when we provide our ratings. Unlike other sites that have an underlying goal, such as to sell you a specific product, we simply want to provide you with all of the information that you need to make an informed decision about which product is right for you.


In order to provide you with this information, we look at reviews and testimonials from customers just like you who have actually bought and tried the different products. We also pay attention to sales data and to brand reputation and overall history. We carefully comb through all of this data to determine our ratings. So, when you look at our opinion, you are looking at the opinion of people who have put in countless hours of research and effort. For that reason, you can, without a doubt, trust the opinions that we provide.

Top 5 Best Travel Purse Options

There are a ton of great travel purses, all designed with safety in mind, on the market today. This fact made it super hard to narrow our top picks down to just five. Somehow, though, we managed to do it. So, with that said, let’s get started with our choices.

5. Bagerly Canvas Messenger Bag Hob Bag Shoulder Bag Laptop Bag

Bagerly Canvas Messenger Bag Hob Bag Shoulder Bag Laptop Bag

We have the Bagerly Business Messenger Bag Small Canvas Vintage Shoulder Bag Multi-pockets Cross Body Work SatchelAnd, yes, we know that name is a major mouthful. Despite the trying name, we absolutely love the fact that this bag is made of super-durable but also super-soft cotton. This allows you to have a bag that looks great but is still super high quality and functional at the same time. It’s also large enough to hold most major tablets and other devices without looking bulky. Plus, it features nine different secure pockets, keeping your items safe while traveling. We also like the fact that the strap is adjustable, and there is also a handle, so you can carry this bag in any way that works for you.


Ultimately, we weren’t big on the drab color of this bag and thought it could be more attractive overall. If it weren’t for that fact, though, this bag would have ranked much higher on our list.


Bagerly [Deal of The Day] Business Messenger Bags Small Canvas Vintage...
  • Made of durable cotton canvas.
  • Right gift for father, husband, boy friend or male friends.
  • Size: 10" L x 11" H x 5"W, large enough for 10" Tablet, iPad and Kindle.

4. Travelon Anti-theft Cross Body Bag

Travelon Anti-theft Cross Body Bag

The Travelon Anti-theft Cross Body Bag, has what the other option lacks in terms of attractiveness. This bag is super cute and actually looks more like a stylish purse than your standard travel bag. However, lots of hidden-away compartments and the secure cross-body design make it great for travel. We did think this bag could be a little more well-made, however, which is why it only comes in at #4.


Sale
Travelon Luggage Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag, Black
  • Locking main compartment
  • Slash-resistant body construction and slash-resistant, adjustable shoulder strap attaches to post or chair
  • RFID blocking card slots

3. Baggallini Everywhere Travel Crossbody bag

Baggallini Everywhere Travel Crossbody bag

We’ve picked the somewhat pricey but worthwhile Baggallini Everywhere Travel Crossbody bag. This bag is actually quite similar to our #4 pick, though it’s larger, roomier, and, in our opinion, much better-made. We especially like how lightweight and easy to carry it is, no matter how much stuff you load it with. Plus, it’s great that, if the bag gets dirty, you can easily wipe it clean with a damp cloth.


Sale
Baggallini Hanover Travel Crossbody Bag Gold Hardware, Black, One Size
  • Water-resistant handbag featuring logo engraved hardware at front
  • Adjustable cross-body strap
  • Pockets: 2 interior slip, 1 interior zip, 2 exterior, 5 card slots

2. Travelon Anti-Theft Classic 

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic messenger bag. Not only is this bag cute enough for everyday use, but it has so much room. You can fit just about anything into this bag. It even has two expandable side pockets as well, and, believe it or not, these are big enough to hold a folded-up full-size umbrella. You can carry absolutely anything in this deceptively adorable bag which truly lives up to its “anti-theft” name.


Sale
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Travel Bag, Midnight, One Size
  • Locking compartments, front zippered pocket, mesh expansion pocket holds water bottle
  • Slash-proof construction
  • Adjustable, cut-proof shoulder strap attaches to post or chair, Removable LED light,

1. Baggallini Plaza Mini

Baggallini Plaza Mini

We’ve chosen the Baggallini Plaza Mini. It was a tough choice with so many bags on the market today, but we just couldn’t get over how cute this bag is. It’s compact and easy to carry, but it can fit a surprising amount of stuff. It also comes in many fun and pretty colors- we especially love the bright, vibrant magenta option. Other great features that sealed the deal on our rating were the detachable strap, the front zip pockets, and the overall quality of this sturdy bag.


So, there you have it- our picks for the best travel bags money can buy. You aren’t limited to just our list to get a great bag, of course, but these options are certainly stellar choices. You can’t go wrong by picking any of our top five bags.


Baggallini Women's Plaza Mini
  • Small cross-body bag in water-resistant crinkle nylon featuring front flap pocket and silver-tone logo hardware
  • Adjustable cross-body/shoulder strap
  • Interior credit card slots and pockets

Travel Safety Tips You Need to Know  

One of the main reasons to have a good, quality travel bag, such as those described above, is to decrease your chances of getting mugged and/or being victimized by violent crime when traveling. However, no matter how great your travel bag may be, it can’t protect you if you don’t also exercise good common sense.

One of the smartest things you can do, for example, is to always keep moving when traveling, especially if you are walking alone in an unfamiliar place. A common tactic that muggers and other criminals will use is to get you to stop by asking you something. This is usually something that is seemingly innocuous, such as, “What time is it?” or “Do you have a dollar to spare?” In that moment that you stop, the thief has an opportunity to rob you. So, rude as it may seem, don’t engage strangers in conversation. Keep moving and keep walking to protect yourself and your belongings.


In addition to avoiding conversation with strangers, make sure that you are active and engaged in what is going on around you when walking through an unfamiliar place. In today’s world, it’s super common for people to stare at their phones or listen to music while they walk. And, while you might do these things at home in a comfortable environment, they aren’t safe to do while traveling. Instead, stay alert and aware of everything that is happening around you so that you don’t inadvertently make yourself an easy target. When traveling, it is also not a bad idea to research the area that you will be going to. In your research, take note of places that are considered “seedy” or “dangerous.” Avoid these places altogether whenever possible. And, if you have to travel through them, do so with someone who knows the area or at least with another person who could serve as a deterrent to potential thieves.


While your best bet is to do everything within your power to prevent being mugged or otherwise victimized in the first place, it’s not a bad idea to have some “just in case” items on hand. Carrying mace, for example, might enable you to protect yourself and your possessions when crime occurs. Just make sure you have it somewhere easily accessible and that you know how to use it properly. The same goes for other potential protectors, such as a pocket knife or a strong stick. Something else you can do to help yourself is to avoid doing anything that makes you look like a tourist, especially a rich tourist. Don’t display signs of perceived wealth, such as fancy jewelry or Smartphones. Also, don’t look lost even if you are, and don’t ask for directions unless you are somewhere safe, like inside of a store with the shopkeeper with no one else around. If you can dress and act like a local, instead of a tourist, you can greatly reduce your chances of being targeted by criminals.


Finally, avoid walking somewhere when you are impaired. We’ve all found ourselves having had a few too many drinks and needing to get home. However, when you’re impaired, you’re not as alert or able to defend yourself as you otherwise would be. Thus, in these situations, don’t walk home until you’ve sobered up. Or, consider taking a cab or even safe public transportation so that you don’t have to walk alone in your altered state.

Buyer’s Guide

We’ve given you a lot of great advice about which safe travel bags to buy and about how to keep yourself safe on your own. With that said, though, there are still a few more things you should know when selecting your travel bag. To start with, always choose a travel bag that is comfortable and easy to carry in a safe way. The safest possible way to carry your bag is crossbody. You can do this with any bag, though it is certainly easier with bags that are designed to be crossbody bags. Whether you buy a bag specifically designed this way or not, make sure it is lightweight and comfortable to carry. If it’s not, you’re likely to resort to bad carrying habits, which make your bag easier to snatch.


You also want a bag that is as sturdy and strong as possible. More often than not, when a criminal attempts to rob you, he or she is going to simply try to grab your bag and run. However, in some areas, it is common for people to quickly slash through a bag and collect the contents as they fall onto the ground. If your bag is tough and strong, however, that’s a lot harder to do. Plus, as an added bonus, your bag will simply last longer and stand up to more general wear and tear if it’s of the heavy duty variety. In addition to these tips, ensure you have a designated place in the bag you choose for your passport and other important documents. Money and even phones can be replaced, but if you lose your passport or your identification card, you may find it difficult to get back home. These items should be protected above all else, and the best way to do that is with a bag that has a secure and specific place for them.


As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when choosing a travel bag. Sure, you want something stylish and attractive, but, above all else, you also want something that is going to protect you. By following our advice when choosing a bag and/or by choosing a bag from our list, you are sure to find a wonderful bag that both looks good and keeps your most precious belongings safe from harm.

How To Clean A Blu Ray Disc: Helpful Guide

How To Clean A Blu Ray Disc: Helpful Guide

Learn how to clean a blu ray disc so you can watch your favorite Blu-Ray over and over again without fear.


Imagine this...

 

You’re relaxing on your couch at home.  The lights are low and you are munching away on some buttered popcorn.  The speakers boom as your favorite movie reaches the critical climax of the plot and…then the movie stops, buffers, and skips to the next scene.  You are left on the edge of your seat with popcorn falling out of your mouth and a sense of disappointment.

 

Sound familiar?  Of course, it does.

 

We all have that one Blu-Ray Disc that we have played so many times that the back looks like it has been mauled by a hungry toddler.  Fingerprints, dust, and who knows what else can prevent a disc from being read properly by your Blu-Ray player. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can follow to clean that Blu-Ray disc to pristine condition.

 

For a disc that is not smeared in fingerprints, or butter from your previously mentioned popcorn, and may just be a little dusty:

 

No cleaning solutions are necessary to clean disc that is simply dusty. The following steps should get it back to working order in no time.

Locate a proper cleaning tool

cleaning cloth-how to clean a blu ray disc

One of the best ways on how to clean a blu ray disc is to use a screen-friendly microfiber cloth, like the ones that come with your standard smartphone or laptop.  If you do not own a screen-safe cloth, the microfiber cloths used for cleaning reading glasses are a wonderful substitute.

 

Worst case scenario, if you do not have any of the above items, a clean t-shirt works wonders.  Just be sure that the shirt is clean and free of any debris to prevent scratching while cleaning your disc.

Wipe the disc down using circular motions

cd

Be sure to start at the center of the disc and work in circles moving outward towards the edges.  This motion prevents any scratching and pulls particles from the center of the disc to the edge to be wiped away cleanly.

 

What do you do if your cloth left those little “fuzzies” all over your disk?  Not to fear.  Choose a new type of cloth that is not prone to creating lint. Then, simply exhale onto the disc, almost as though you were trying to gently say “ha”.  After you exhale, you can re-wipe the surface with your new lint-free cleaning cloth.

Carefully place the disc back into your Blu-Ray player

person holding a disc

Be extremely careful not to touch the disc’s playing surface with your fingers while placing it back into your Blu-Ray player or you will ruin all of your hard work.

 

For a disc that is smeared in a mess of fingerprints and who knows what else:

 

If the disc is still not functioning properly, it could still be dirty and will require a little more effort to be cleaned completely.  Try these steps for a deeper clean.

Tip 1: Exhale

Tip 2: Water

What NOT to Use to Clean a Blu-Ray Disc

ban logo

No matter what you may have heard, do NOT use any “miracle cures” to clean your Blu-Ray Discs. Some of the more commonly named miracle cures include; toothpaste, paint thinner, or nail polish remover.  These products will not clean your Blu-Ray Disc and are likely to cause damage to the disc that can be irreversible.

Be Sure to Use the Right Case

disc and case

Remember to always return your Blu-Ray discs to their original case.  It is not recommended to store your discs in any case other than the factory case the disc came in, as storing them in an improper case can damage the disc. The factory case serves as a protective barrier to the outside world and will prevent dirt, grime, and sharp objects from ruining movie night.

What is Kodi, Why Do You Need It, and How Do You Get It?

What is Kodi, Why Do You Need It, and How Do You Get It?

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard the name “Kodi.” Perhaps you were wondering what it is. Kodi is free, open source home theatre software for your device or smart TV. However, it’s so much more than that. Do you need it? We think you’ll think so, once you learn more about it. How can you get it? And what can it do for you? That’s what we’re about to tell you.

Like Entertainment? You’ll Love Kodi

Kodi

Image: CC 2.0, by Yanki01, via Flickr

Kodi is a multi-platform home theatre PC (HTPC) application. Multi-platform means that it runs on just about any device. Windows? Yes. OS X and iOS? You bet. Linux? Raspberry Pi? It has you covered. And the home theatre part? We think you can figure it out.

What does it do? Well, just about everything. You can use it to play and view streaming media like music, video, TV, movies, and podcasts. In addition, you can use it to access common digital media files from storage. What’s more, various plugins allow you to access streaming media content from your subscription services. Want to watch movies from Amazon Prime Instant Video? Not a Problem. Furthermore, you can also access Crackle, Pandora Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, YouTube, and more.

If that’s not enough, later versions have a personal video recorder (PVR) front end for receiving live television. It also has an electronic program guide (EPG) and high definition DVR (digital video recorder) support. The software is highly customizable, with various plugins, skins, and themes. In addition, the app has support for your remote controls and powerful add-ons for various web services. There is also an extensive library of user-created add-ons.

So, the question isn’t whether you need it, but instead, how you’ve been getting along without it all this time.

Kodi Has a Wide Variety of Content

Kodi isn’t a content provider like Netflix or Hulu. However, the software makes it easy to bring together all of your favorite streaming media, and your own media collection, into one, organized, easy to use place. Just take a look at some of the things you can do with this software.

Movies

Kodi on television

Image: CC 2.0, by Ginny, via Flickr

The app supports all the most popular video formats, including streamable online media. In addition, it can easily import, browse and play movies from your own collection.

TV

The TV show library supports episode and season views of streaming TV shows. You can organize your TV shows with posters, banners, “watched” tags, show descriptions, actors, and more. You can even keep track of your progress through a series.

Music

Kodi

Image: CC0, by Geralt, via Pixabay.

Further, the music player can play both streaming music and songs from your collection. It supports numerous file formats, including mp3, FLAC, Wav, and WMA. In addition, it has support for cue sheets, tag reading, and smart playlists. You can manage your online and home music collection all from one easy interface.

PVR

Want to record live TV? You can do that, too! The software uses popular backends like MediaPortal, MythTV, NextPVR, Tvheadend, and others.

Photos

With this software, you can import your own images into a library, browse in different views, and even put together a slideshow. In addition, you can keep your photos organized, sorted, and filtered. And you can do it all with your remote control.

Customize Your Experience

Kodi has an extensive library of user-created add-ons that you can use to customize your experience. Some of these add-ons include support for streaming audio and video. There are also skins for changing the look and use of the interface. In addition, there are web interfaces that allow you to control your Kodi remotely. Game support? Got it. Want to watch foreign television? There’s an add-on for that, too. You can even create your own add-ons and upload them to the Kodi library. And there’s so much more you can do. Best of all, it’s all free.

Where Does the Kodi App Come From?

Kodi started out life as a homebrew (independently developed) media player application called Xbox Media Center (later XBMC). It originally ran on the first generation Xbox game console. But XBMC grew up. Now it is offered by the nonprofit XBMC Foundation.

How Can It Be Free?

Image: CC 2.0, by opensource.com, via Flickr

Kodi describes its software as “for the users and by the users.” This means that there is no highly paid software development team. All work is done by volunteers, for the love of a good product.

How can you help it to stay free and keep improving? We’re glad you asked that! The company is currently seeking volunteers to help with testing, quality assurance, coding, and localization. If that’s not your strength, you can help by writing documentation or creating add-ons. And if these ideas make your head spin, you can also help by donating, buying their merchandise, or even just spreading the word.

Where Can You Get a Kodi Download?

You can get the latest Kodi download from their website, Kodi TV. There are versions available for Windows, iOs, OsX, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and more.

Exodus Kodi and Other Controversies

Exodus Kodi was one of the most popular Kodi add-ons. It was a creation of a prolific developer who operated under the name “Lambda.” Exodus Kodi was a controversial add-on because it allowed users to access pirated movies and TV shows. Alas, Exodus created a controversy in the user community as well.

Kodi pirate

Image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In February 2017, Torrent Freak reported that some users confronted Lambda about their work, and threatened to expose their identity. However, because of the controversial nature of some of Lambda’s work, they preferred to stay anonymous. A short time later, Lambda added malicious code to the Exodus add-on. According to Lambda, the malicious code was a countermeasure against the people threatening to expose them. Eventually, after public outcry, Lambda removed the offending code and retired.

Some have expressed concern about the possibility of using its add-ons to illegally access copyrighted material. The XBMC Foundation strongly condemns using it for this purpose.

Learn More at Kodi TV

Want to learn more about this exciting new technology? You can learn everything you want to know and more at their official website, Kodi TV. In addition, you can check them out on your favorite social media platforms: FacebookGoogle+Twitter, and Youtube.

 

Featured image: screenshot, by Kodi, via Kodi.Tv

For The Student: The Best Scientific Calculators Available

For The Student: The Best Scientific Calculators Available

If you’re entering middle school, or high school, and you’ve been told you need to get a scientific calculator for your math classes, you might be freaking out about now. All those buttons, and functions, and things you can’t identify are kind of overwhelming. We’ve pulled together information to help you not only better understand using a scientific calculator, but to help you find the best scientific calculator for your needs, as well.

 

First, let’s start with an understanding of what a calculator is, and why they came into existence.

A Short History of the Calculator

The long history of the calculator can be traced back to the abacus, a hand operated counting machine that uses beads on rods. This device was first employed by the Egyptians and Sumerians around 2000 BCE. This revolutionary tool sped up the counting and subtracting process by using multiple rows of beads to represent tens, hundreds, thousands, and so on. This concept was so effective that people found no need for the technology to change from nearly 3,600 years.

 

The next development towards the modern calculator came about in the 17th century AD. This development was called the slide ruler. The slide ruler is a sliding stick that uses logarithmic scales to allow the user to do rapid multiplication and division. Later developments with the slide rule allowed for its use in square roots, exponents, logarithms, and trigonometry. The first calculator that made use of mechanical function was created in 1642. This device was invented by French mathematician Blaise Pascal. This machine utilized geared wheels, and could add and subtract two numbers by direct input. By the utilization of repetition, the machine could be used to multiply and divide, as well.

 

The next innovation in calculating machines was that of a four-function device. This invention came about in 1820: Thomas de Colmar’s Arithmometer. The first commercially viable counting device would not be manufactured until 1851. The next great innovation in calculating machines came about in 1887, when Dorr E. Felt made a calculating device that could be operated by push buttons. Next, electronic calculators began their life in the 1930s, as the world faced the impending likelihood of another war. Two war time needs really drove the development of an electronic computing device. The first need was making the use of anti-aircraft and bombers more effective. The second reason was the growing challenge of code breaking. These needs led to the first all-electronic computer called Colossus.

 

Then, in 1948, a pocket-sized version of the mechanical calculator was released. This new machine was called the Curta Calculator. The world’s first completely electronic desktop calculator was released in 1961. This device was called ANITA, which stood for A New Inspiration To Arithmetic/Accounting. The calculator used push button key technology mixed with vacuum and cold cathode tubes. For three years this sold without competition until transistor driven calculators appeared. At this point, numerous companies around the world released a series of transistor driven calculators. Innovations came from different companies in different countries. Toshiba, for example, created the Toscal BC-1411 which utilized an early form of RAM.  From the Italian manufacturer, the Programma 101 could read and write to magnetic cards and used a built in printer to display computations.

 

These innovations led up to a company called Texas instruments releasing a landmark device in 1967. This device was called the Cal Tech. This was a calculator that could do a multitude of functions while being compact enough to be hand held.

Types of Calculators

There are a number of calculator types.

 

  • Financial
  • Graphing
  • Scientific

There are, of course, also a variety of online calculators with specific functions, such as pregnancy, BMI, water, and calorie calculators. Each of these specifically functional calculators meet very specific needs with algorithms programmed into them to find the correct results. While all types of calculators can serve incredibly important functions, today, we’re focusing on scientific calculators.

What is a Scientific Calculator?

sci cal

Scientific calculators are hand-held calculators which are designed for aiding in solving problems in mathematics, science, and engineering. Commonly, most people are first exposed to these types of calculators in middle and high school, while taking various mathematics courses.

 Defining features commonly found in scientific calculators include:

 

  • Logarithmic functions
  • Trigonometric functions
  • Scientific Notation
  • Floating Point Arithmetic
  • Roots and Exponential Functions beyond the square root
  • Fraction Calculations
  • Calculus
  • Unit Conversion

 

They are designed for use in various math types such as:

 

  • Pre-Algebra
  • Algebra 1 and 2
  • Statistics
  • Physics
  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry

How to Use a Scientific Calculator

When taking higher level mathematics, students will find that a scientific calculator becomes an important tool for time efficiency. However, if you have previously only used a standard, or “normal” calculator, you may feel a little intimidated by the various buttons and functions on a scientific calculator. For help with overcoming this intimidation, you can look online for help. A tutorial, or step-by-step manual would offer ways for you to become better acquainted with, and proficient with your scientific calculator.

1. Identify the Functions on Your Calculator

2. Understand the Order for Use

3. Test Out the Calculator

The Best Scientific Calculators on the Market

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to use a scientific calculator, the next step is finding the right one for you. We’ve pulled together a list of options. Each calculator is ranked highly among real life users on sites like Amazon.

 

Peruse the list, and see if any of the calculators spark a particular interest.

Casio fx-300ES PLUS Scientific Calculator, Pink
  • Easy to use
  • Good for all math
  • Approved for use

The Casio fx-300ES PLUS is a highly rated scientific calculator that’s designed for students in middle and high school. It’s got a solar-plus battery that’s supposed to give the device an extra long calculating life. The Casio fx-300ES PLUS also features over two hundred features and calculations. This calculator is approved for use on the ACT, SAT, AP, and PSAT/NMSQT exams.

 

Other features included in this calculator include simplified fractions and roots, a repeating decimal display and prime factorization. This calculator from Casio also allows the user to perform combinations and permutations. The display itself is designed to show expressions and results exactly as they would appear in a textbook. Another great feature of the Casio fx-300ES PLUS is a multi-replay function which allows the user to backtrack step by step through the calculation processes allowing for the ability to change expressions and recalculate answers.

Casio fx-300MS Scientific Calculator
  • 2-line display
  • 240 functions
  • Multi-replay function

Another highly rated scientific calculator is the Casio fx-300MS. Features include:

  • A two-line display
  • A multi-replay function
  • 240 different functions
  • 9 variable memories.

With a solar panel strip with backup battery, you won’t need to change on the Casio fx-300MS even after prolonged use at school or work. Reviews of this product were very positive. The reliability of this particular model was praised by a customer who had bought the same model 19 years ago and still used it till today. Whenever they needed another calculator this is the model they would turn to purchase. Several other customers had stories of having a copy of this product for over ten years and putting it to daily use with no issues. Repeat customers, and those using the same product for nearly two decades speaks pretty highly of any kind of product, let along a mechanical device that gets used often.

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Casio FX300ESPLSWE Scientific Calculator, White Display
  • Scientific text book display WHT
  • Design that delivers High availability, scalability, and for maximum flexibility and price/performance
  • Made in China

Casio FX300ESPLSWE is another highly rated scientific calculator from Casio. It’s a calculator that’s designed to deliver on maximum function, flexibility, and affordability.

 

A major feature of the Casio FX300ESPLSWE is that it has a natural textbook display where expressions can be entered as they are written in textbook. This can be used with a wide range of coursework such as general math, biology, statistics, and geometry. Reviewers of the product gave the calculator five stars and praised the calculator’s features. One reviewer said that this calculator was perfect for a middle school program. Another reviewer said that they were excited to have a calculator that utilized variable logic.

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Texas Instruments TI-30Xa Scientific Calculator
  • Adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides fractions entered in traditional numerator/denominator format
  • Performs trigonometric functions, logarithms, roots, powers, reciprocals, and factorials. Polar/rectangular conversions
  • Battery powered; slide case included

The Texas Instruments TI-30Xa has an “old school” keyboard that will enable you to properly calculate the various equations you’re working with. The TI-30Xa has been called handsome, durable, and excellent, for the reasonable price found online. The TI-30Xa is very adequate for trigonometry, algebra, chemistry, calculus, and physics, with the Sin, Cos, Tan, Pi, and Hyp keys easy to access and view.

 

Professors love this calculator for their students who need an easy-to-understand, easy-to-use machine that will do all the calculations needed. For those who have had issues with solar powered machines, the TI-30Xa is your solution on that, too. Powered by batteries, this calculator won’t let you down. If you need a user-friendly, durable scientific calculator with an excellent design, you definitely want to consider this one.

Casio fx-115MS PLUS SR Scientific Calculator
  • 2-line display, Fraction calculations, Integration calculations, Combination and Permutation
  • Base-n calculations / conversions, Logical operations, Complex number calculations, CALC memory, Engineering symbol...
  • Statistics(STAT-data editor, Standard deviation, Normal distribution calculations, Regression analysis)

The Casio fx-115MS PLUS SR is a highly rated scientific calculator intended for use by students of math and science at all levels. It’s intended for use at home or the office. The Casio fx-115MS PLUS SR calculator features a two-line display which exhibits ten digits in large numerals to help the user more easily keep track of what they are working on.

 

The fx-115MS PLUS SR also features 279 built in mathematical functions with the capability for the user to program custom formulas for future use. The layout of the fx-115MS PLUS SR makes this a pragmatic calculator to both use and own. Most reviews of this Casio calculator were positive, especially when it comes to durability and functionality. As with reviews for the other Casio scientific calculators, there were multiple reviews from people who had purchased the calculator over ten years ago and have had no issues with it despite day to day use.

Our Final Say on Scientific Calculators

As with most consumer products today, there are more options for scientific calculators than you could possibly sort through in a month.

 

So, ultimately, you need to understand what your budget is, and the types of functions you’ll need.

 

You should always read real reviews from genuine people before making any purchases, especially online, and verify that your top choice is the quality you require.

 

We think our suggestions for the best scientific calculators are top-notch, but we still encourage you to look on your own. Try searching Amazon or another retailing site for “the best scientific calculator” and  see what options you find.