Ariana Grande to support victims of London Attack

Ariana Grande is among a number of celebrities offering thoughts and messages to the victims of terror attacks in London on Saturday night. “Praying for London,” Grande wrote on Twitter after the incidents, which left at least seven dead and another 48 hospitalized, according to authorities. The attacks — a hit-and-run of pedestrians and multiple stabbings…

via Ariana Grande leads support for victims of London terror attack — EW.com

Get more views and traffic for your website ? (Sofiane’s Editorial)

One of the major plights I encounter when I create a weblog is I do not get what I expect : Views. Unless you are a famous rock-star with  ardent followers behind, this is not my case. All way back to October 2012, I ran a Tumbler blog called Tumblin’ with Sofiane (now in a moribund state). Half of the article I wrote so far since then was about my favorite TV Show, The Mentalist. Obliviously , I began to attract more and more views, people left me comments, liked my posts and even re-blogged it the articles and blurbs I penned.

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Here I will give you some tips yo boost your audience :

1- Use Social Networking widgets :

Facebook, Twitter, Linked are all useful social networking sites that allow to publish your contents right on the web and share them with your friends, followers and connections. Each time I publish an article, I make use to share it on Facebook and Twitter. Using the appropriate hashtag and keywords, you will certainly target a specific kind of audience.

2- Google, Bing are your friends:

Let the lion roars out of the gate , make your site visible to public and let giant search engine to register your presence on the web and index the contact of your blog.

3- Tell your friends and your family about your site:

Even real-life friends and family can come in handy and boost the views of your site. Tell them about your site and encourage them to read the contact and to subscribe if necessary.

4- Use the appropriate tag :

Make sure that the tags you used are connected to the content to your article. For example, if you write an article about the Mentalist TV Show, the tags would be : #redjohn, #partickjane #brunoheller, #mentalist

No more than 5 tags. The less tag you use, the better is.

5 – Writing is Rewriting : 

Keep blogging everyday. Try to publish at least three entries per day.  You will develop quicker audience and your followers will increase.

6- Success does not come overnight

Sometimes, you need time to appreciate things. Don’t worry if you don’t get followers at the beginning.  Sizing  a huge portion of loyal followers will take time, but just relax, you are too young to die.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Bill Gates’ Business at the Speed of Thought

Understanding the nature of my job as a flight attendant,  I do spend most of the time in the air. As a result, I always take with me a book to read during a very long trip or during some night stop away from my home. As an avid reader, I have a huge collection of movie tie-ins, biography books, comics, in paperback, hardback or in an e-ink format (for Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s NOOK), which I can be only proud of.

Recently, I subscribed to kobo.com, which offers a large collection of downloadable books that you can read them right into your iPad while on the go. . I subscribed to Goodreads.com as well which keeps track of my collection. I plan to buy a copy of Collectorz.com, a powerful software that classifies all your collections of books on your computer and on the cloud.

You can check out my collection of books I read in the menu “What I Read”.

Bill Gates’s Business at the Speed of Thoughts (1999)

Business @ The Speed of Thought lays out Gates’s vision of the near future in worldwide business and society. His underlying message: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. For all the productivity gains registered by businesses in the past decade through the skillful deployment of technology, the hot-wired organizations of the 21st century hold the promise of even greater progress.

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The book is full of real-world examples of companies whose digital nervous systems are making them more efficient and profitable by improving the flow of information among decision-makers at all levels. Not all of these systems are necessarily produced by Microsoft. Gates uses his company’s inner workings to show the processes that go into digitizing a business, but he also candidly discusses Microsoft’s, and his own, failures of strategic vision in the past most notably its tardiness in embracing the internet’s potential.

Gates makes a persuasive argument that technology can be a liberating force. In businesses, improved digital information systems can empower employees to move beyond carrying out orders and take more initiative on their own. Beyond business in education, government, and elsewhere in society the same systems can benefit the common good.

Nashville journalist E. Thomas Wood is the author of Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust (Wiley)

Sofiane MEROUANI

Duke Nukem Forever 3D. The Game That was meant to be.

I have been a great fan of Duke Nukem since its original inception all way back in 1991. Duke fighting a legion of robots led by the mischievous Dr. Proton in the classic side-scrolling Mario-like game was a thing of the past that I could play it again and again. The 1993 sequel Duke Nukem II was even better with 256-bit swap pallette and advanced graphics. However, the gaming landscape changed when games like DOOM hits the market in the send-by-mail copy using Scott Miller’s business model called the Shareware (giving a portion of the game for free and let the player pays for the rest if he like the game). Submerged with the 3D World thanks to the advance of the 3D cards at that time, like Voodoo,  and 3dFX,  3D realm, an offshoot of Apogee Software needed to catch up with the competition.  Scott Miller’s friend, George Broussard, set out to create a that game that would the change how the player would interact with the three-d environment like never before. Licencing Ken Silverman’s BUILD engine, Broussard created Duke Nukem 3D.

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Released in 1996, Duke Nukem was a massive success. The game was later updated with the release of the 1.4 version, the so-called “Atomic Edition” that includes additional 10 levels to explore, downtown LA, Disney world filled with Babes, Police Precinct, Area 51 to name a few.

Well, I could not resist to the urge to play it on my uncle’s old Dell PC. And what made the game was addictive,  was that every elements in it is destructible.   Violence and Nudity! And you can even give tips to the strip girls so that they let you see their breasts. Bottom line, the game was really downright charming.

The overnight success of Duke Nukem 3D led the developers to port it on the other home consoles at the time  including Duke Nukem Time to Kill (1998) for the PSX platform. Land of the Babe in 2000 and a blood and nudity free port released for the family-friendly Nintendo 64.

But what the fans around the world will remember is THE INFAMOUS SEQUEL that as meant to be, Duke Nukem Forever, announced in April 1997, the game was released, well….June 2011. Plagued by negative reviews, Duke Nukem Forever, is by far the weakest in the league. Outdated graphics, playing with poops in the rest-room (disgusting) and a disastrous  slow loading time.

The problem with Duke Nukem Forever, it did not provide the classic FPS experience that Duke Nukem 3D fans wanted, while also failing to be a decent modern shooter in its own right. As a result, modders Gambini and Mikko Sandt have created the ‘game that was meant to be’.

Duke Nukem Forever 2013 as it is named suggests, catches the spirit of the original 1998 and 2001 trailers while remaining true to the original DN3D. The storyline is the same as the original 1998 trailer. It takes place in Las Vegas. Duke Nukem is now famous around the globe after saving earth from the menacing aliens and rescuing our babes. He is now enjoying his go-go lifestyle in his palace. But as you may expect from action-shooter, everything goes terribly wrong when the aliens come back to earth for revenge.

The mission pack includes Hotel Palace in Las Vegas, the infamous Nevada desert that prompted back in late 90s, DNF developers to switch between game engine, and the EDF military base. The developers promise an ongoing update for the game that will deliver fun like never before.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

 

How the Indie game Resonance reminds me of Monkey Island

Here is an article I wrote a long time ago about a very special game that reminds me of another special game that I used to play when I was a kid called Monkey Island. Resonance, developed by a indie programmer bearing an original name Vince XII. His game was released five years ago, and I thought it is a time to revisit it.

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In the official page of GOG.com, Resonance is a twisting and reverting storyline that the player from the perspective of four characters : a young scientist, a doctor, a police officer and a blogger (just like me).  After you are introduced to the gang, the player is free to switch back and forth between them in order to gather evidences and solve the puzzles along the way.  This happens sometimes fifteen minutes after the beginning of the game.

Resonance  uses the point-and-click’s gameplay mechanic that was quite in vogue all a way back in the 90s. That’s is you explore and interact with non-playable characters using your mouse. This is akin to Monkey Island with just think of it as MI with improved sound, gameplay, artistic voice-over, polished UI and graphic minus buccaneers and LeChuck.  The game uses a feature called long term and short term memories. Resonance is presented in a linear way, that’s is you need to solve a puzzle in order to carry on the game and to unfold the story.  And if you die during the game, well, the brilliant programmer Vince XII added the rewind feature. When your avatar passes away, a rewind effect kicks back showing the actions you’ve done before you demise and bring you back to the previous checkpoint. Nice 🙂

As far as the storyline is concerned, it takes place in a fictional Metropolis. A particle scientist dies in a mysterious circumstances and it’s up to the four characters to save the day as they become entangled in search for the scientist’s vault that hides the secret. They will learn to trust each other and work together to overcome the obstacle in their way to keep this new and powerful technology out of the hands of a dangerous organization.

Resonance is available right now on GOG.com for a mere $ 10. And trust me it deserves many awards. ten bucks won’t burn your pocket after all.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

FadeIn. An Alternative to Final Draft

For the screenwriters out there, behold the best screenwriting software that will make Hollywood Juggernaut Final Draft to run for their money. Its name is FadeIn And guess what ? it’s a cheap alternative that costs you only $ 79.

As a freelance screenwriter, I have been writing spec scripts since summer 2003 when I got my hand on the hard copy of RoboCop. Since them, I started writing screenplays for my own enjoyment but sadly I never had a chance to complete them (writer’s block maybe). Back then, I used Word 2003 as my primary script processing software.

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Later on, I stumbled on Final Draft 7.x —  a software that has been used by many renowned screenwriters in the industry. AVATAR and Titanic’s director James Cameron, compares his purchased copy of Final Draft as a Ferrari.  The only catch is I’m not as rich as James Cameron to acquire a licence of Final Draft that costs a whooping $ 250.

However, after hearing Seth Boston, a writer from GOTHAM TV Show, making a switch from Final Draft to FadeIn,  my initial thought was, “okay, let’s give it a try”.  The end result is just amazing, FadeIn is by far the best and the cheapest alternative to both Final Draft and Movie Magic Screenwriter 6. It offers all the tools you need to write, edits, lock and revise your drafts before submitting them for production.  FadeIn software sports a streamlined, super clean, User Interface, that let you focus on the content of your story.

A copy of FadeIn costs only $ 79 and it is available right on the official website.

Sofiane MEROUANI