The Commerce Exchange Review (York eCommerce Conference)

the-commerce-exchange-york-yorkshire-ecommerce-conferenceThe Commerce Exchange in York is the first specific eCommerce conference day-long event to be held in the city. Organised by Ryan Atkins, Director and Co-Founder of The Distance, a creative digital agency located in Skeldergate, York. It took place on 8th April 2015, the day before another digital conference; DotYork was taking place. Clearly, York’s becoming home to more and more technology-focussed businesses.

Being such a local event and given that I’ve had some interest in learning about the topic of online retail for some time now, I thought I’d go along and see if I could pick up anything from the various sessions being held throughout the day. Here’s what I thought of it…
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Nomad ChargeKey & ChargeCard Review – Always Carry A USB Charging Adapter

iphone-chargekey-macbookFirstly, I’ll start with a quick, short story of an experience I had recently, to put into context why I wish I’d had one of these Nomad ChargeKey or ChargeCard USB charging adapters sooner.

I was out for the day with some friends and I ended up staying overnight, we had some bacon for breakfast, it was all good. Except for one small problem. My poor iPhone 5S had long since gone to sleep and was unable to wake up again. As this was an unplanned stopover, I had no lightning port charger with me. The latest Apple devices in their home only had the old-style 30-pin connectors. Despite having lots of available USB ports on an assortment of laptops, computers and even TVs, I couldn’t use any of them!

Now this hadn’t been any emergency situation, just a minor inconvenience while making my way home. But it did make me consider how best to avoid this happening in future. Now I think I have it sorted!
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True Survivor – The Last of Us / True Detective Opening Credits Sequence

I watched the finale of ‘True Detective’ last night (a wonderfully made show that’s definitely worth watching if you haven’t already), so therefore I stumbled across this brilliant ‘Last Of Us’ opening credits sequence mash-up on YouTube this morning! :)

If you haven’t finished Last Of Us yet, just be aware there may be some spoilers and consider that before watching!

Ken Levine’s BAFTA Q&A Session (2013)

Given the recent news about Irrational Games closing down, going back and watching this BAFTA Q&A with Ken Levine (from around the launch of Bioshock Infinite back in 2013) is perhaps even more interesting now.

He talks about his history, general game design principles, Bioshock Infinite and hints of what his future might have been even back then.

Definitely worth a watch if you’re a fan of his work or even just interested in game design in general.

How Much Phone Storage Do You Really Have?

I thought this image below was quite interesting, it shows just how much actual, usable storage you have on the various current smartphones.

Some of these variations will be due to the type of operating system that they use, but what’s interesting is seeing how phones using Android (all except the iPhones and Blackberry) actually vary.

Does a Samsung Galaxy S4 actually provide you with nearly 4GBs worth of extra useful features over that of the Nexus 5?…I personally doubt it very much!

Is mobile phone storage important to you? Or does it become less of a concern over a certain amount, especially with cloud storage and streaming services becoming more and more common?

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds – First Impressions (3DS)

I love Zelda games, let’s get that straight at the beginning. Link To The Past on the SNES is possibly a favourite so when I heard there was a new Zelda 3DS game I was more than a little excited. However, I was less enthusiastic about its reuse of old maps from the SNES classic. I was a little worried that this just a way to reuse that game with a few twists.

However I found that my fears were unwarranted. As I started playing The Legend of Zelda Link Between Worlds I discovered a fully fledged new experience. It makes use of Link to the Past for art style and inspiration but not for content.

The game plays almost perfectly on the Nintendo 3DS, and seems to have been aimed at the slightly more casual audience on Nintendo’s handhelds. Where as my kids (and me at times) used to get stuck and need some on-line assistance with Zelda games, here I found that they could progress at a steady pace without intervention.
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New Wonderbook-Playstation Eye Titles – Let’s Play Videos of Book of Potions & Walking With Dinosaurs (PS3)


Although they have been a little slow in coming, Book of Potions and Walking With Dinosaurs, the new Wonderbook titles extend the library in fine style and demonstrate what a great piece of technology the Wonderbook-Playstation Eye combination really is.

With some early hands-on time with the game Andy Robertson of Family Gamer TV puts the new interactive stories to the test with his family. Although you do need to ensure your room is well lit to get the best out of the augmented reality experience, the results in good conditions are certainly impressive.

The two games offer very different experiences. Book of Potions, including content from J. K. Rowling is another wizard based adventure where the player must learn potions to compete in a big contest and win the day. Whereas Walking With Dinosaurs from the BBC offers more actually story telling and mixes in a good amount of educational elements as well. You need to pay attention if you are to score top marks in the quiz at the end of the chapter.
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The Path of Zath: Gaming Roundup #2

XCOM Enemy Unknown: Engage Project X – I’ve been really enjoying the remake of XCOM since its release a few months back and one of the best parts is that you can customise and rename your squad of alien fighters….but sometimes that doesn’t always go that well, here’s a story of how to deal with the loss of an XCOM veteran.

How To Choose The Perfect Board Game – if like me you’re interested in getting into modern board games, but don’t know where to start, then this might help you make a decision based on who you are and what you like.

Modder Creates The World’s Coolest Iron Man Video Game (Inside Grand Theft Auto) – the Iron Man films are really cool, if ever a film deserved a decent video game, it was this franchise, but until then we’ll have to make do with this GTA 4 mod.
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Elysia Graphic Novel Kickstarter Project…Successfully Funded!

elysia-comic-graphic-novel-chapter-1-coverUPDATE: Elysia got successfully funded through Kickstarter and the 1st chapter of this original urban fantasy graphic novel will now soon be released! 😀

If you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can head on over to the Elysia comic website and get your pre-order purchased, along with any of the Elysia merchandise (prints, T-shirts etc) you’ll have also missed out on.

In the past year or so, crowd-funding websites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have become a really popular way for individuals and companies to gain upfront funding/support for their projects from the people who would be interested in buying the end-product.

If successful, this method of funding means that these creative people can concentrate on producing their product rather than chasing around trying to gain funding from other sources such as banks and investors. Therefore we all get to see their cool end-products such as independent films, games, comics and board games much sooner than we might otherwise! Also, it’s worth bearing in mind, some may never see the light of day without this method of funding!

With that in mind, one of our very own writers here on Zath; Serena Obhrai, has launched the Elysia Comic Kickstarter project for a brand new 300+ page sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel that she’s created with her illustration partner, Jennie Gyllblad.
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Think Visibility 9 Review (March 2013) – 5 Years Of Getting More From Your Website!

think-visibility-conference-logoThe Think Visibility conferences are all about helping to you to “get more from your website”, no matter how you use it or what type of business you have.

Think Visibility 9 was the 5th anniversary of this impressive online marketing, social media and SEO conference based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. I’ve personally attended all but one of these events for a variety of reasons including the quality of the speakers, the location, the other attendees that it attracts, but also for the fact that #ThinkVis isn’t like just any other conference, it’s well different…
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