The 10 Best Mobile Games of 2013 #mobile, #entertainment, #gaming, #features, #video-games, #uncategorized, #contributor, #end-of-2013


#

Mashable

The 10 Best Mobile Games of 2013

The 10 Best Mobile Games of 2013

1. Plants vs Zombies 2

PopCap took a few years to release its follow-up to the hugely popular Plants vs Zombies. but the sequel is well worth the wait. Plants vs Zombies 2 builds on the original’s ideas in delightful ways, with new plants, new foes and new challenges across three different time periods. It’s a natural and highly addictive addition to the franchise.


  • 2. Cut the Rope: Time Travel

    Another sequel, another time-bending adventure! Cut the Rope: Time Travel follows the adorable critter Om Nom in his quest to eat candy and make friends through the ages. From the Middle Ages to the Disco Era, you’ll face new physics challenges to getting your character fed.


  • 3. Strata

    This game involves layering ribbons into different patterns. Sounds simple enough, but Strata is actually a delightful blend of spacial challenges, soothing music and peaceful visuals. It’s a relaxing and zen take on a puzzle game.


  • 4. Sorcery!

    No matter the platform, game creators emphasize storytelling: a strong plot is just as important as great graphics or compelling combat. This app by UK game designer Steve Jackson reinvents the tried and true days of Dungeons Dragons. for the mobile age. Sorcery! takes the player through a fantasy choose-your-own-adventure of fighting evil monsters and exploring strange lands.


  • 5. DEVICE 6

    This game gives a puzzle bent to an innovative story. DEVICE 6 is a text-heavy game that makes brilliant use of the smartphone and tablet as an interface. You’ll be turning your device and swiping your way through complex puzzles, accompanied by an amazing sound design. Think of it as an interactive, mind-bending mystery novel.


  • 6. Star Command

    Form allegiances with different alien races and complete your quests across galaxies known and unknown, all while protecting Earth from traitors. Complete with goofy writing and plenty of Star Wars jokes, Star Command is a great game for the geeky set. Start on Easy to get acquainted with the gameplay, but all the other difficulty levels will offer a real challenge.


  • 7. rymdkapsel

    Where the zany Star Command lets you specialize and level up your ship and individual crew members, rymdkapsel encourages more thoughtful planning and strategy for a similar end. This game is more about managing your resources to build a space station, using efficiency to beat out wave after wave of alien attacks. With a minimal design and immersive music, rymdkapsel offers a unique approach to a classic game style.


  • 8. Deus Ex: The Fall

    The Deus Ex franchise has attracted many fans for its stealth-meets-RPG gameplay, and this iOS game shows just how much is possible on a mobile platform. With graphics to rival those on a console, Deus Ex: The Fall takes you back into a dystopian world of human augmentation, shady goings-on and moral dilemmas. Sleuth out the truth however you can in this pint-sized powerhouse.


  • 9. Heads Up

    One of the most exciting trends in mobile games is when developers find creative ways to use a smartphone’s built-in features. Heads Up makes excellent use of your device’s motion-sensing abilities to create a party game in the vein of Taboo. Plus, Ellen DeGeneres is involved, so you know it’s got to be good.


  • 10. Ridiculous Fishing

    The name says it all. This is a game about fishing, and it’s pretty darn ridiculous. In Ridiculous Fishing . you’ll cast a line, move your device to maneuver it as deep into the water as possible, then toss your catch into the air and shoot them all up. Weird? Yep, but totally addictive. The more fish you catch, the more kooky power-ups you can buy for bigger, badder fish destruction.

    As mobile hardware and game developers push the limits of technology for entertainment, more thrilling games feature experiences as fun as PC or console titles. This year was no exception. Dozens of excellent releases hit app stores in 2013.

    This list doesn’t include remakes of games first released on other platforms. Although many are worth your time (think XCOM or Limbo ), we wanted to recognize the best in titles specifically designed for mobile play, since the platform presents a unique set of challenges for game creators.

    In no particular order, here are the 10 best mobile games we played in 2013.


  • 10 Things to Plan for When Developing a Mobile App #startup, #marketing, #features, #development, #mobile-apps,


    #

    Mashable

    10 Things to Plan for When Developing a Mobile App

    Many companies have mobile apps at the top of their to-do lists, but while churning out a quick app is fairly straightforward, developing a strategic application or digital “solution” is considerably more complex. Smart planning is essential.

    Here are 10 things to consider before developing your app.

    1. Agree on goals for the program.

    When developing a digital solution strategy, first examine your organization’s goals for the program. Are you looking to be seen as innovator, or fend off competition by showing progress in the space? Simply showing initial momentum and previewing the future roadmap can often place you ahead of the competition. Should your digital solutions help build customer loyalty and enable greater customer self-service, or is your highest priority to create new revenue streams? Once you’ve agreed on the goals, prioritize them so you’ll know where to start.

    2. Understand your target users.

    The next step is to understand who your target users are, their goals and requirements, and the technologies they use. This process includes researching the platforms your users are most likely utilizing, then gaining an understanding of each user experience. Every device is different, and every user has multiple needs. For example, a person might typically use an online banking application to pay a bill, but he might use the bank’s mobile application to find the closest ATM.

    3. Build a user testing focus group.

    Spending time with your target users is the only way to ensure you really understand what they are looking for in a mobile application. As you move through the process of discovery, you can discuss ideas with this group on a daily basis. Focus groups can provide value from the far beyond the initial discovery phase.

    4. Identify a minimally viable solution set.

    Don’t try to tackle the whole problem at once. Instead, companies should identify a minimally viable solution and start there. In other words, release a basic but functional app as a foundation, then take advantage of the efficient upgrade paths most devices offer to provide regular updates. This enables you to enter the market more quickly and refine as needed. Plus, periodically giving your users access to new developments ensures your organization stays top-of-mind.

    5. Plan for multiple releases.

    With mobile applications, releasing the initial version is only the beginning. Statistics show that many users will re-engage with your application when new features are added. Spread key functionality across the first handful of releases to keep your users engaged. Be careful not to release too often, lest users feel bombarded. In many cases, a 2-3 month window between major releases will keep your users engaged over a longer period of time.

    6. Balance your users and your business.

    Balancing business drivers with real user needs can be difficult. In many cases, the two are at odds with one another. Therefore, arm yourself with the right information to make smart tradeoffs. Collect research such as user studies, expert opinions, and business viability and technical feasibility studies. This body of data can then be weighed to achieve the best balance between user-centric solutions and business-value gains.

    7. Know what is out there.

    Spend time exploring apps in each of the platforms you plan to support. Each platform offers different interface paradigms and a different collection of applications. Experimenting with the most popular applications will help you understand not only what is possible on the platform, but also the user’s expectations. If possible, use a different mobile platform device during the exploration process.

    8. Bring your IT team into the discussions early.

    The far greater technical challenge is tying your backend business processes to a digital solution that encompasses smartphones and kiosks, for example. The technology infrastructure for a multichannel solution goes well beyond the platform you choose for front-end development. In order to be successful, companies must consider how to architect data delivery and API management as well as security, scalability, content aggregation, device optimization, API translation, etc. Bring your IT team into the discussion before you get too far down the planning path.

    9. Decide on a technology you can live (and grow) with.

    As the mobile space matures, there will be many more application develop choices. In many cases, your goals will help determine what you choose here. For example, if your goal is to reach as many users as possible across all platforms, you may choose an HTML framework with little hardware integration. If your goal is to provide deep hardware integration for augmented reality technology, then you’ll probably develop a native application. Decisions around technology can directly affect your app’s functionality.

    10. Plan to analyze.

    The final step in the process is determining how to measure success. With a morass of potential features, devices, platforms and technologies, success can be challenging to define, but it will affect your ultimate strategy. Consider the following questions.

    Will this increase our transaction volume and, therefore, revenue?

    Will this increase customer adoption and retention?

    Will this increase our brand recognition and loyalty?

    Will this decrease our costs?

    How many people do we want using our app?

    How do we want to integrate the solution with our social media program?

    How will we integrate with our existing analytics tools?


    How to Maximize Your Home Office Tax Deductions #taxes, #small-business, #features, #business, #irs, #contributors, #home-office,


    #

    Mashable

    How to Maximize Your Home Office Tax Deductions

    Nellie Akalp is CEO of CorpNet.com. Since forming more than 100,000 corporations and LLCs across the U.S. she has built a strong passion to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs in starting and protecting their business the right way. To learn more about Nellie and see how she can help your business get off the ground quickly, visit here or “Like ” CorpNet.com on Facebook.

    Red flag and IRS — two things you never want to see in the same sentence. If you’re self-employed or have a small business, chances are somewhere along the way, you’ve been told that deducting a portion of your housing costs will be a red flag for an audit.

    However, this isn’t necessarily the case. And if you legitimately qualify for the home office deduction, there’s no reason to avoid it. After all, the typical home office deduction will run into the thousands of dollars. It’s substantial and well worth the effort (far more so than scouring your car for a missing receipt for printer ink).

    So, how can you make sure you can take as much of a deduction that’s allowed to you, while minimizing your chance of an audit? The key is knowing (and following) the rules. According to the IRS (Publication 587 ), “To qualify to deduct expenses for business use of your home, you must use part of your home:

    Exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business

    Exclusively and regularly as a place where you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your trade or business”

    Decoding the Elusive “Exclusive Use”

    The word “exclusive” shows up frequently in the IRS definition of a deductible home office. If you use any portion of your home exclusively for business purposes. you’re entitled to claim a home office deduction for that space. But just what does “exclusive” mean? In short, it’s a space that you use solely for your business, and nothing else. For example…

    If you have a blogging business and do the bulk of your writing at the dining room table, you can’t take any deduction for the dining room if you ever eat there, host dinner parties, or use the dining room for anything else other than your blog.

    Let’s say you’re a freelance application developer and have set aside a desk for your workstation and server in the bedroom. You can deduct the area around your desk as your exclusive work space (assuming this space is used only for your business).

    Of course, the above examples are rather straightforward and we all know that tax matters are rarely cut and dry when it comes to your business.

    For example, let’s say you’re a self-employed designer and rent a studio outside your home. But occasionally, you invite potential clients to your home to review your portfolio in your living room. Since your living room isn’t an exclusive place of business, you can’t deduct this. But, if you designate a spare room in your house as a client meeting area, then you can deduct this area.

    Let’s say you’re a plumber who makes house calls. Your primary place of work is in clients’ bathrooms or kitchens. However, you can claim a home office deduction if you use part of your home to handle the bookkeeping, administrative, and other management activities for your business. Again, this space qualifies only if it’s used exclusively for your plumbing business.

    If you’re a telecommuting employee (and not an independent contractor), home office deductions get even trickier. In this case, you must be working from home for your employer’s convenience. Let’s say you’re a virtual call center agent or data entry specialist and your company saves money on office space by hiring agents to work from home. In this case, you can deduct your home office space using Form 2016. However, if your employer lets you work from home because your commute is long (and the employer does have office space available for you), then you don’t qualify for the deduction.

    Taking Your Deduction

    Home office deductions are based on the percentage of your home that is used for business purposes. The first thing you need to do is figure out the total square footage of your home, and then the square footage of the space that’s designated as an exclusive office or working area.

    If you use a spare room (180 sq ft.) as an office and your home is 1,900 sq. ft. then you can write off 9.5% of certain home expenses, including: rent or mortgage payments, insurance (homeowners or renters), and utilities. Direct costs relating to the space, such as repairs or paint, can also be deducted.

    The rules around other expenses can be a little fuzzy. Can you deduct a stereo as a business expense? What about an expensive painting or a designer rug for your workspace? Tax experts tend to give a few general guidelines for these questions.

    Will the expense bring your business more profit (i.e. increase your productivity or sales)? Expensing a desk lamp that helps you see can certainly be defended. If you meet with clients in your home office, then aesthetic elements (like a painting) may be eligible for deduction. However, these expenses should be ordinary and standard, meaning that other business owners would have the same expense at a similar price point.

    It’s also important to note that the rules have loosened with regard to how profits are taxed when you sell your home. In the past, if you used 9% of your home as an office (and had been taking the home office deduction), when you sold your house, 9% would not qualify as tax-free under the rules that allow up to $250K tax-free profits for individuals, $500K for joint returns. This no longer applies. However, you do have to pay tax on any profit resulting from depreciation claimed for the office.

    What About an S-Corp, C-Corp, or LLC?

    The above scenarios apply to self-employed sole proprietors. But let’s say you decided to form an LLC or Corporation in order to separate your personal and business expenses, minimize your personal liability, and perhaps lower your overall taxes. Deducting the use of a home office is handled differently here, but it is still possible. Talking to your accountant will be the easiest way to figure out the most favorable solution for both the corporation and shareholder.

    For example, in an S-Corp situation where one of the shareholders uses a home office as his principal office, the corporation can reimburse the shareholder for the home office costs on a monthly basis under an accountable expense reimbursement plan. This becomes a deductible business expense for the corporation.

    For more information

    IRS Publication 587 for details on home office tax deductions

    IRS Publication 551 if you claim the business use portion of depreciation on your primary residence

    IRS Publication 523 if you plan to sell the home that was the principal location of your business and you’ve claimed depreciation deductions on the home

    IRS Publication 2106 if you are a telecommuting employee and want to deduct your home office

    As with any tax strategy, the best way to avoid trouble is to claim the home office deduction only if you qualify, to deduct only the expenses you’re entitled to, and then thoroughly document all expenses in case the IRS has any questions. And of course, consulting with a qualified tax professional is always a wise move, so make sure you’re following the rules and enjoying all the deductions available to you.


    B2B Features in Magento #b2b #features #in #magento,b2b #features,,b2b,b2c,b2c #features,magento #b2b,magento #b2c #features,e-commerce,magento,uncategorized


    #

    Webinar – B2B Features in Magento

    Date- 28 th August 2014

    Topic of Discussion

    B2B Features which can be easily implemented within Magento eCommerce

    Points Covered in the Event

    Most of we know that Magento supports B2C Business through its default features. But as we know B2B are also equally gaining pace in every organization to manage Distributor/Reseller Channel. So in the webinar we have discussed what B2B Features can be incorporated within Magento to make it suitable for B2B Business, features like:

    • Multiple User Login against a Customer Company
    • User Roles and Order Approval by Finance Manager of each Customer Company
    • Credit Limit against a Customer Company
    • Adding Purchase Order Copy while placing Orders
    • Sales Employee Login to manage Customer Organizations
    • Customer Organization Specific Product Catalog

    Presentation Shown

    Video Recording of the Webinar Session

    Questions and Answers

    Is the module compatible with Magento Enterprise?

    Yes, it is fully compatible with Magento Enterprise up to the latest version.

    Which Magento Community edition does this Magento B2B Module supports?

    The module is compatible with Magento Community Edition 1.5 to the latest 1.9 version.

    Does Financial Approver get notification email when there is a Purchase Order needs approval?

    Yes, different user roles can be defined within the Admin Panel controls of this module. So the Approver will get notification email for approval as well as the Financial Manager will also get a notification email.

    Is it open source?

    No, this module is not Open Source. This will be encoded using ionCube and license of this module is based on Per Magento Installation.

    Does your module support web services to maintain some of the info such as company, addresses, etc.?

    Yes, the module has some custom web services which can be used in third party system integration. In fact the same module has been used in several of APPSeCONNECT Magento and SAP Business One/MS Dynamics NAV Integration Projects to support B2B.

    In an integrated environment (with a backend ERP system) we would upload maintain addresses from the ERP solution. Is there a code field/natural id which can be set to identify the address?

    Customer ID of the ERP system can be used as the Identifier in Magento in this case. We prefer to use default id fields because that avoid complex customizations.

    Does this module sync with SAP B1?

    Yes this can be integrated with SAP Business One through our integration platform APPSeCONNECT .

    Where you can filter products by category per customer, is it possible to filter products by manufacturer per customer?

    Customer Specific Product Catalog feature is available, where you can set category/s against companies. Only the Contact Person of those companies can see these Product Categories. Products by Manufacturer per customer is not available as default feature, but can be done as customization.

    Does this webinar include the seller as customer who sell their products on your Magento commerce website?

    No, this module not meant to support Sellers as customers.

    Do you have a demo site available for the end user?

    Yes, if anybody needs a Hands on Experience on this module, we can provide the module in our demo website or as a Trial version in your Magento Test/Staging website.


    Free College: How to Audit Courses From 7 Elite Schools Online #features, #college, #education, #classes,


    #

    Mashable

    Free College: How to Audit Courses From 7 Elite Schools Online

    Getting accepted to a prestigious Ivy League school has its perks — and its price tag. But thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to take on mountains of debt to snag a piece of that educational pie.

    Free College: How to Audit Courses From 7 Elite Schools Online

    1. Yale

    This honorable institution has educated some of the most brilliant minds of our time, from Nobel Prize winning laureates such as Sinclair Lewis and George Whipple to Pulitzer Prize winners like David McCullough, Thornton Wilder and Bob Woodward.

    The Open Yale Courses are a great place to start your online education. The program offers a wealth of deep information on a variety of scientific, historical and artistic subjects from some of the university’s top professors. The online college courses can be viewed through YouTube and iTunes to help you learn from the bigwigs on the go.


  • 2. MIT

    This storied university has long focused on producing the brightest technical and mechanical minds in the world. The Open Courseware section of the school’s site focuses on scientific and technical courses, including architecture, engineering, biology and physics.

    The site also offers some very unique online courses you probably won’t find elsewhere. The Lego robotics course teaches the principals of mechanical systems and engineering using the popular toy. There’s also a chemistry course that focuses on sports


  • 3. Tufts

    This historic medical school and science research institution has long striven to make its coursework more accessible. With the convenience of the Internet, even non-students who don’t have time to sit through four years of medical school can benefit from the institution’s resources.

    Tufts offers a variety of medical classes on their Open Courseware site, including dentistry and nutrition science. They also have diverse arts and science courses, including a film course that examines how media can serve social change, and a “Physics for Humanists ” lecture series.


  • 4. Johns Hopkins

    When you think of top medical schools and health science research facilities, Johns Hopkins is at the top of nearly everyone’s list. Check out some of its Open Courseware classes which focus solely on health, and dive deep into specific medial topics. The free courses cover the entire spectrum of human development, from genetics to aging, and offer more pressing topics such as population science and public health preparedness.


  • 5. Stanford

    This prestigious school also has a long and storied tradition in the American educational system, and you can access part of it via iTunes. Stanford’s iTunesU offers a number of free lectures available for download in MP3 format. The courses are quite varied and detailed — from the art of robotics to a look at the legal history of the gay marriage debate.


  • 6. Princeton

    Princeton doesn’t offer as many free courses on their iTunesU page, probably because this pricey and prestigious institution still wants you to actually pay to attend. Still, what the online offerings lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality.

    There’s a series of lectures each semester from Princeton’s world-famous architecture school, lectures on women in computer sciences from the Center for Computational Intractability, and a special “Engineering the Future” series of lectures from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.


  • 7. Harvard

    This legendary learning institution has produced some of the most brilliant and innovative minds of our time, and thanks to its offerings on iTunesU. you can become one of them without even opening your checkbook.

    he free online college courses come from a number of different campus schools, such as the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Harvard also offers some of the most timely courses on events throughout the world, such as the recent series on “Secrecy and Journalism in the New Media Age” that covers the days of Watergate to the controversial WikiLeaks memos.