Are bingo players skewing the gaming stats?

Today, gamers are a difficult breed to identify. It used to be that you’d be pretty safe assuming that most gamers were male and, quite often, loners. They’d choose time in a darkened room gaming by themselves than taking part in real life. However, according to a report into online habits and gaming that was brought out this year, this stereotype of a gamer no longer applies.

For a start, gamers are no longer predominantly male. A report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the UK looked at the gaming habits of 4,000 people, as a representative sample of the gaming population in the UK. Far from being in the minority, 52 per cent of the gaming population in the UK is female. That’s a 3% increase since 2011.

But does that mean to say that all those women gamers are playing games such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or Grand Theft Auto V? Probably not, but who can say for sure? What the report does suggest is that more and more people are gaming on their mobiles and the kinds of action / shooter games mentioned above aren’t what you’d usually play on a mobile. More than half of the respondents to the IAB survey stated that their preferred gaming platform was their mobile, with 25% saying they played games on their mobiles every day.

by  Ferino Design 

You can see the appeal of playing on a mobile as opposed to playing on a console. The games on mobile devices are generally those that require no learning curve to get started; puzzle games like Bejewled and gambling games such as bingo or roulette available at the likes of Fabulous Bingo and Cheers Bingo. Some of the gambling games are even free to play. If you click here for free bingo games at Costa Bingo, you’ll see that many of the games can be played on the mobile, too. All you do is download an app and start playing. For a person who doesn’t have time to play a disc-based game, five minutes of fun on a mobile game can be a perfect alternative.

The favourite video game genres listed in the IAB report put the trivia/ word/ puzzle games as the most popular (33%). These were followed by action/ shooter/ adventure games (18%), role-play and strategy, sports and gambling (10% each), simulation (8%), racing or driving (5%) and fitness or music games (3%).

With so many people playing on their mobiles, should they really be categorised as gamers? Would ‘casual gamer’ be a more appropriate term? In a way, yes, but then again why can’t they be included with the ‘core gamers’? They’re still playing video games, even though few of the mobile games resemble anything you’d play on a console.

But when you read that the numbers of older female gamers are soaring in reports like the one from the Internet Advertising Bureau, you have to take these stats with a pinch of salt. They may be ‘gamers’ for the sake of the stats, but it would be better to specify what kind of gamers they are.

Why be the same as everyone else – Huawei Ascend Mate7

With Christmas around the corner, we’re so excited that Huawei offered us their Ascend Mate7, so let’s have a closer look at the large-screen smartphones for this jolly shopping season! Here’s a simple video comparing the latest offerings from the top three smartphone manufacturers: the Apple iPhone6, the Samsung Galaxy Note4 and the Huawei Ascend Mate7.

Hope this video can show you that there are still quite a few brands out there that are worth exploring. Why be the same as everyone else? It’s time for you to find out for yourself and get that shiny new gadget in time for Christmas!

In collaboration with Emerse

Are we all moving to smartphones for our gaming?

As smartphones become the phone of choice for most mobile users and you can definitely see why as they are a Personal Computer a Camera, Sat Nav, internet browser, games consul, Social Media platform and oh yes of course you can make still make a phone call on them.  How is all this tech in your pocket affecting the way we access and play games and how is the gaming and app industry reacting to this.

We have all been waiting in a queue or on a train or bus and looked up to see virtually everyone either on social media or playing a game and not only have the new range of smartphones made this easier but developers have also created games which are mind blowing, I mean we are talking console quality a far cry from the first games of snake and roll the dice. (If you can remember that far back).

Of course we have the ever increasing online gaming world which has taken the games like roll the dice to a whole new level with companies like offering the ability to play your favourite casino games win money and all while waiting for the bus, with games like BlackJack, Slots and even roulette on your phone we are really being spoilt for choice.

candy crush

Most Android games offer a free version which is great although you do find there are in app payments which gives you additional access within the game, like the ability to add extra lives and levels or special features games like Candy Crush had become extremely successful with this business model.

Of course you have the more adult games which range from driving games like Crazy Taxi City Rush to Modern Combat 5: Blackout which as the name suggests is a combat game. These games are really more in depth and this is where you feel the consul games coming to your smartphone.

modern combat 5 blackout

Smartphone games for me are split into two camps the games that are great for the commute you know the ones you can just dip in and out of like the angry birds/bad piggies and the adventure or walk through which you can lose yourself for hours like Sky Force 2014 /Plants Vs Zombies.

So whatever you are doing and how much time you have you always have your smartphone and a game or app which is going to be right for that moment, the only problem you have is which game or app to choose, not a bad decision to have.

The Evolution of Wearable Technology

Despite their continued popularity, it appears that smartphones may soon be replaced by another high-tech group of gadgets.

Over the past eight years, the wearable technology industry has evolved from simple devices used to track movements to fully-functioning computers that can be worn on the wrist or face. While consumers are understandably excited about these new innovations, wearable tech is beginning to give some businesses pause as they work to refine their BYOD strategies.

As these products grows more and more accessible to the average consumer, it will be interesting to see where the industry will go next.

For more information on the evolution of wearable technology, check out the infographic below:

Shoretel_GuestGraphic_300dpi-01 (2)

Graphic provided by ShoreTel, Inc.


The Evolution of the Security Landscape

Businesses used to rely on mainframe computers to store all its data, these mainframes were relatively easy to prevent unauthorised access just using encryption software and physical security with the firewall controlling access to and from the mainframe.

While businesses still use mainframe computers they are unable to secure the information in the same way and data clouds are now used as part of the modern data centre.  As data is now spread over multiple locations and can be accessed through the web from anywhere in the world this opens the door to hackers as this cloud storage could open security holes.

So being able to secure a network is so much more complex due to all the devices we use to access the data.  The traditional style firewalls are no longer truly effective as the mainframes are not holding all the data so a new approach to IT security must be now part of any serious business strategy.

Mark Davenport from Dell Security Solutions talks about the diversification of hardware in the workplace and how this is relevant to IT Security.

Geeks & Bingo. It doesn’t add up

Geeks in denial tend to work in marketing – which sounds like it should be flighty and creative but it’s not. Marketing is 100% about data; and everybody knows geeks need data like fish need water. Marketing geeks immerse themselves in rapturous floods of Demographics, econometrics, CTRs, and SEOs; they measure CRM in CPT and steer e-PR by TGI. Numbers, number, numbers, it’s always about the constant flow of acronyms and numbers.

But here’s the thing. For all the science and the data some marketing still works better than others, and sometimes no-one knows quite why.

Why should meerkats be good for selling car insurance? Why is fruit good for IT? What has a magic snow queen got to do with bingo?

Some questions defy rational explanation.

Case study

Here is a case in point. Winner Bingo is one of the fastest growing websites of its type. It offers number-based games of chance to players with the possibility of cash returns. Its webpage is explicit about this and suggest that as much as £1 million could be won. This is a rational and logical appeal to the interests of its potential users. Research data would have pointed in this direction.


So why the snow Queen? Who at any point said anything about a snow queen?

But it’s not just the snow queen. If you are unmoved by Her Royal Snowiness there are plenty of bingo games from Winner Bingo which are centred around completely different themes; there’s Hallowe’n, Deal or No Deal, Marine Mayhem and countless others. Some of these defy any rational explanation whereas others relate to things which are topical or seasonal.

Yes, they are all slightly Kitsch in a mock primitive cartoon-style, and yes they all carry enthusiastic calls to action – ‘play now’ – in bright and uplifting colours. So playfulness and immediacy and reassurance and familiarity are all bundled together as part of a package. But is this really what the marketing geeks have generated on the basis of their extensive qualitative and quantitative market queries? Have they factored in three percent positivity for a postmodern shade and a five per cent margin on the Snow Queen’s crown?

There is no formula for this.

And this is a Steve Jobs infused, geek shaped crisis. Customers like some strange stuff. Marmite would not exist if it had been tested in a scientific research setting. Instead it would be – rightly – banned under the Geneva convention; the Volkswagon Camper van would have been sent back to the factory for a decent engine… you get the picture. But these car-crash successes lead to some important and revealing questions.

Research Questions

Question: Why is Winner Bingo doing such great business?

Answer: Because people like it.

Question: Why do they like it?

Answer: Because they do.

Question: Who could have predicted that?

Answer: Insufficient data.

Geeks in marketing frequently find themselves in danger of being outed by this implacable market logic. Their solution is brilliantly conceived and ruthlessly pursued. It is the highpoint of their geekiness and a lesson to us all. What do they do?

They collect more data.

It is a perfectly self-sustaining spin – a reverse Catch 22. But the truth is that as in bingo, so in marketing – sometimes the right numbers just don’t come up.

Hi Fi Sound With A Multi Room Speaker

Hi Fi Sound With A Multi Room Speaker

Wireless Speaker System SC-ALL3

sc all 3 speaker

I have finally got my hands on the new wireless speaker system from Panasonic the SC-ALL3.  My first impressions are that it is fairly heavy weighing 2.5kg so your not going to want to carry it around with you.  Also the design is functional over a work of art but I think what Panasonic are trying to achieve here is a well designed functional speaker that is extremely clever and practical.

Measurements W – H – D (9-3/4 x 5-5/32 x 6-3/32 inch) (248 x 131 x 155 mm)

If you want to check out all the specs just head over to SC-ALL3 Specs

music in every room sc all3

All About the practicality and the sound

So we have established that this SC-ALL3 speaker has been designed for audio and this is where it certainly comes into its own as a truly multi room speaker system.  I was really pleased with the sound from this speaker the sound is deep and strong and certainly has enough oomph for any house without the sound distorting or sounding too thin at low volumes.

The speaker features a technology called Qualcomm® AllPlayTM   which basically means you can play different music in any room you have a speaker or the same music played over all the speakers.  This is done using your WiFi network and controlled from your smartphone or tablet.

This does offer advantages over a conventional Bluetooth connection as you can only connect to one device with bluetooth and if you are walking throughout your house there is always the possibility of getting out of range.


So the SC ALL3 is practical looks good has a multi room function and only costs £230.  So if you are in the market for a multi room great sounding speaker with plenty of punch that can be controlled from your phone the its definitely worth checking out the Panasonic SC ALL3 multi room speaker.

Technics to be re-launched

Also Panasonic are set to re-launch the Technics range and this was the make of my very first serious separates system so I very excited to see what this brings and I will of course be hoping to test this soon.


7 Revolutionary Home Smart Devices

7 Revolutionary Home Smart Devices

home devices

It’s amazing what a little ingenuity can do to regular household items. Just add Bluetooth and Wi-Fi specs and everything is literally transformed.  So what are the latest smart gadgets available for today’s modern homes? Take a look at these top 7 items:

1.   Doorbot Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Doorbell

MSRP: $199

wifi doorbell

Pranksters beware: the days of playing ring and run are over! The new Doorbot Smart Doorbell isn’t your standard run-of-the-mill doorbell. It features an adjustable video camera with night vision and runs off of a Wi-Fi Internet connection. Doorbot allows you to remotely see and talk to visitors at your front door via a smartphone or tablet.

2.    OKIDOKEYS Classic Smart-LockMSRP: $199

door lock

The OKIDOKEYS smart lock allows you to lock/unlock your home doors via both iOS and Android smartphones. What’s great about this specific device is that you can customize how you want your door to be unlocked; it even allows several hands-free modes.

And if you are worried about security, don’t be. It’s built with an advanced encryption technology that is comparable to military security. The smart lock also has a built-in alarm that goes off with any forced tampering. You can select to receive notifications on your Internet-enabled device whenever the door is unlocked—regardless of your physical location.

3.    Belkin WeMo Light Switch

MSRP: $49.99

light switch

Ever wish you could turn off the lights without having to get up or cross the room? That’s exactly what the Wi-Fi enabled Belkin WeMo does. Using your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn your lights on or off and also set them on a timer. The only real requirement for the WeMo switch is that it works with just one-way connection lights and needs a neutral wire.

4.    P2P Smoke Detector Wi-Fi Wireless IP DVR Digital Video Recorder Camera

smoke detector


It’s not a real smoke detector, but a well-hidden Wi-Fi DVR digital video camera with video capabilities. When so many things can happen these days, it’s nice to have home monitoring surveillance.  The camera features an AVI video format/VGA resolution of 640 x 480 and has a digital signal. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android phones.

5.    Perimeter Technologies Wire-Free Wi-Fi Dog Fence

MSRP: $329.95

wifi dog fence

As any dog owner knows, fences are expensive— even if you go with an electric fence. But now, things have apparently changed with the Perimeter Technologies wire-free, Wi-Fi dog fence. How it works: transceivers link the dog collar to a wire-free “smart” station. It safely reinforces the established property boundaries and tracks your dog’s location. If something were to happen, notifications are sent to you via text or email.

6.    WallyHome Water Leak Detection System

MSRP: $299

water leak

The WallyHome Water Leak Detection system detects water leaks, humidity levels and the temperature within your home. Sensors transmit the data to your smart device via push notifications, email or text. What it essentially does is prevent large problems, such as mold, from happening. The detection system features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology.

7.    RainMachine – The Forecast Sprinkler – Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller

MSRP: $249

rain machineThis device has several useful purposes: 1) monitors the weather with 7-day forecasting and 2) enables outdoor sprinkler programming. The end result allows you to conserve on water consumption— since it automatically adjusts the sprinkler based on the weather forecast (obtained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
The device featureses a 6.5” touch screen and wirelessly connects to iOS and Android devices via an easy-to-use App. The sprinkler can control up to 12 different zones and the unit is resistant to outdoor weather elements.

If you are looking to revamp how your home operates—both inside and out; these seven devices will do just the trick. Modern and practical in nature, these devices do much more than look cool.

Andrea Fisher is a digital marketer and content specialist for Cable and Internet Bundles. She has been published in a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Business Insider.

Speed Up Ms Excel With Auto Options

Speed Up Microsoft Excel With Auto Options

Excel has several Auto options that can speed up basic data entry.

Download the lesson as a pdf : Data Entry Auto options

  • AutoFill
  • Auto Complete
  • Auto Correct

Open a new sheet in Excel, if when you open a new sheet 3 sheets open as below


 If you only want Excel to open one sheet at a time.

  • Click on Tools from the Title Bar.
  • Click on Options from the drop down menu
  • Click on the General tab and change the amount in Sheets in new workbook to 1.



AutoFill can speed up entering data that forms part of a list such as months of the year or days of the week.  The method we will use is called a Filling Series and is accomplished using the Fill Handle found on the bottom right corner cell of the selected range.

Type a month into cell B2, you can use the full name or the first three letters. e.g Jan or January

pic 2pic 3

Select the cell containing the starting data.  Move the mouse pointer to the bottom right hand corner of the cell to display the fill handle. Hold the left mouse button down and drag down the column.  As you drag notice that Excel will show you what part of the series you have reached.  Release the mouse and the series fills.

The AutoFill can be used with other data series.

pic 4 pic 5

Enter Monday in cell  B2 drag the fill handle to fill the series.

AutoFill can also be used with other data series e.g. Week 1 or Project

pic 6pic 7

Auto Correct

This will correct common spelling and typing errors.

For example

accomodate will be corrected to accommodate

Teh will be corrected to The

BUdget will be corrected to Budget

monday will be corrected to Monday

(N.B This does not work for month names!)

For a list of auto corrections select Tools – AutoCorrect

pic 9


Auto Complete

If the first few characters you type in a cell match an existing entry in that column, Excel fills in the remaining characters for you.  Excel completes only those entries that contain text or a combination of text and numbers, dates, or times are not completed.

Enter the following names going down one column

pic 11

Now enter “P” : Excel will assume you want to enter Paul

pic 12

To change Paul to Peter, simply over-type the highlighted text.

You can turn off AutoComplete using Tool: Options and deselect AutoComplete within the Edit tab.

You can also select a list of entries already in the column.  To display the list press Alt + Arrow down and then pick from the list.

Have a go yourself

Create the following worksheet using AutoFill to speed up your entries. You should only need your keyboard a few times.

pic 13


To enter the today’s date into a cell, select the cell you want to place the date on the keyboard press and hold Ctrl : (Control key + colon)

 To enter the current time press and hold Ctrl Shift : (Control + Shift + colon)

Don’t forget you can print off the training above here download pdf: Data Entry Auto options

Other Lessons



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