Posts tagged with "digital"

Computer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

8 Ways to Shop Online Smart and Safe

Introduction

The past couple of decades has seen brick-and-mortar become overshadowed by their online counterparts. And while some shops have been able to avoid this—the popularity of Microcenter among tech enthusiasts has kept it alive—many stores have either closed down or have shifted their focus onto online storefronts.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either! But learning the ins-and-outs of online shopping can take a while, and newer online shoppers are often tricked or scammed into spending more than they actually need to. Today, let’s go over a few tips and tricks for online shoppers that will work in 2021 and beyond.

8 Tips for Online Shoppers

1. Use a VPN for Regional Pricing

Not all currencies are equal in value. Therefore, products are priced differently from country to country. This is especially true for software such as video games and creativity programs, which regulate prices depending on where the software is being sold.

Unfortunately for some countries, these changes in price means spending more on a product thousands or millions of others spent less money on. There is one trick, however, that works a majority of the time: VPNs.

Virtual Private Networks allow you to change your server location, essentially tricking websites into thinking you’re located in a country of your choice. In other words, a VPN download allows you to get the best pricing available.

Be careful where you do this, however. Certain software storefronts like Steam ban accounts that are involved in doing this. And yes, you will most likely be detected.

2. Set Alerts For In-Demand Items

Certain products—products like new graphics cards or processors, for example—sell out quickly, and the recent COVID pandemic has hurt shipping times enough to ensure that many won’t be able to get their hands on certain products until the middle or end of this year.

To avoid playing the waiting game, set up alerts for products you want on multiple storefronts. Sites like Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, and other online merchants allow you to receive emails or texts whenever a product you want becomes available.

3. Download Honey for Potential Savings

Online storefronts can’t and don’t tell you everything about a product, especially when it comes to pricing. If Amazon were to display the price history of its own products, that would hurt sales. Therefore, that data is off-limits to consumers. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t programs dedicated to doing that.

Honey, a shopping-dedicated app, displays the pricing history of products for most major online storefronts. Honey will tell you if you’re receiving the best price or if the product is at its “historical low”.

Along with a product’s price history, Honey will also automatically enter potential savings coupons, though these codes are iffy at best.

4. Wait for the Nearest Holiday

Sometimes you want a product then and now. However, certain products and equipment are best bought during certain holidays. For example, TV purchases are best done during Black Friday or major sporting events such as the Superbowl.

Take a look at what you’re hoping to purchase and when you think it may go on sale. If there’s a holiday near, it’s best to wait and see if it goes on sale. But there is one downside to this: the product you want may sell out on said holiday (such as a Black Friday deal). 

It’s certainly risky waiting for a sales holiday, but hey, if you want a deal, you have to take risks! And waiting for the holidays before making a purchase is a low-risk tactic.

5. Invest in Smart Rewards Programs

If you find yourself shopping on a certain website, think about joining their smart rewards program. A good example of such a program would be Best Buy’s membership program, which rewards you the more purchases you make, offering you discounts and coupons.

Other online storefronts may offer optional subscriptions—Amazon Prime, for instance—that reward subscribers with free access to services and offer early deals. The point is, if you use a website frequently, make sure you’re being rewarded for it.

6. Sign Up for Promotional Deals

Keeping up with all the deals websites release to the public on a daily basis is difficult, if not outright impossible. Fortunately, most shopping sites let users sign up for promotional deals and offers that they would receive either through email or text.

Some of these sites may even allow users to filter the type of promotional deals they receive. If not, however, that’s ok! You may be able to find deals you never even thought about looking for!

7. Look Out for Cashback Offers

Companies love offering cashback offers on their products. But why would a store like losing money? Well, they don’t! 

Despite some products being sold with cashback offers, many buyers never cash out due to the frustrating process of receiving said cashback. Usually, fulfilling a cashback offer requires the buyer to sign and mail a form to the company—a process many don’t want to put themselves through because it’s so dated and time-consuming

But if you happen to come across an item you want and it’s being sold with a cashback offer, then why not use it? Even if you never use it, it’s nice to have the option.

8. Be on the Lookout for Coupon Codes

Earlier, I mentioned Honey and one of its features that applies discount codes at checkout. I also mentioned that Honey’s discount codes are, at best, finicky, and at worst, useless. 

If you desire a more personal touch to discount codes, then check out the multitude of sites that are dedicated to logging coupons and discount codes for various sites. 

That said, not all of the codes found on these sites will work, but many of them are user-entered, meaning there’s a decent chance at least one of them works.

Conclusion

Online shopping is the same thing as regular shopping, except you can shop from the safety of your couch instead of going out. And just like in-person shopping, there are ways to find the best deals. With these tips, your online shopping experience will see a major improvement. 

Computer illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

11 Interesting Facts About Ford Mustangs

Since Ford introduced the sports car to the American public in 1964, the car has sold more than 10 million times and firmly established itself as the epitome of American sports car design. 

There are several facts about Ford Mustangs that you may find fascinating. You can learn more by checking out our list here. 

1. Mustang Was Not the Only Name Considered

Ford designer John Najjar, a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, is credited with suggesting the Mustang name.

However, Ford designers and executives considered at least two other front runners before selecting Mustang: Cougar and Torino. Panther is also said to have made the shortlist.

Ford design leaders initially did not prefer the name Mustang. The first Mustang prototype was named the Cougar.

Ford engaged advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to research the proposed names, and Mustang proved the market’s preference.

Account Executive Frank Thomas said the American public liked the name “because it had the excitement of wide-open spaces and was American as all hell.”

2. Mustangs Gallop Left

The Ford design team present several Mustang logos, including one based on the Knight chess piece.

After deciding on what became the famous galloping horse logo that we know today, the question became – should the logo be galloping left or right?

Ford designer Phil Clark first drew the logo facing left. But many Ford designers preferred the horse galloping right because racehorses gallop right on the track.

Legendary Ford boss Lee Iacocca settled the debate saying “the Mustang is a wild horse, not a domesticated racer.”

3. The Mustang Was Meant for the Everyday Person

The Ford Mustang was introduced to the public in 1964 with its price prominently displayed on all print advertising – $2,368.

This price was $1000 lower than the nearest competition.

True to its market, Gail Brown, a Chicago schoolteacher, bought the first retail Mustang. She still owns the car today.

Even today, visit stevemarshfordsales.com and learn that the Mustang is priced below its punch.

4. The Mustang Introduced the American Sports Car and Beat the Competition

Ford originally forecast about 100,000 Mustang sales in the first year. More than 400,000 Mustang’s ultimately sold in the year. 

The market for American sports cars was a race between car manufacturers and Ford brought a winning package that allowed the Mustang to dominate throughout the 1960s. 

Plymouth, a Chrysler brand, beat the Mustang to market by two weeks, introducing the Mustang’s then closest rival, the Barracuda.

The Mustang and the Barracuda were both based on established economy cars – the Mustang built on the Ford Falcon, and the Barracuda carried the Plymouth Valiant heritage.

Ford outperformed Plymouth in this race on two fronts – options and design.

Ford unveiled three Mustang body styles – coupe, convertible, and fastback. Ford also offered varied engines ranging from economy to high performance. 

Plymouth offered a single Barracuda.

Mustang design also beat the Barracuda’s design.

Many historical car enthusiasts praise the design of the Barracuda but suggest that the car simply did not push design boundaries as Mustang did.

By the mid-1960s, Chevrolet introduced the Camero and Pontiac brought the Firebird. The competition for American sports car supremacy had begun.

5. The Mustang Unveiled With a Media Blitz

Before the design of the first Mustang was finalized, Buhlie Ford, a nephew of Henry Ford II, took a Mustang convertible on a drive and parked the car in front of the Detroit Free Press. The Free Press published photos in what was considered a marketing coup.

Ford then unveiled its new Mustang with a media blitz.

The day before its public unveiling, on April 16, 1964, Ford released an advertising campaign on the three major TV networks. 29 million Americans were introduced to the Mustang that day.

The next day, when the car was officially unveiled in New York, Mustang ads ran in more than 2,600 newspapers.

The same month, April of 1964, the Mustang appeared on the cover of both Time and Newsweek. Lee Iacocca credited the Mustang’s cover presence with selling 100,000 extra cars.

6. The Mustang Joined the Military

Ford sold the Mustang to U.S. military personnel based in Germany through the military PX system between 1964 and 1978.

The Mustang sold to American soldiers was called the Ford T5 and was trademarked in Germany by truckmaker Krupp. 

7. The Mustang and Ford’s Italian Connection

In the 1960s and 1970s, Ford’s design and engineering teams battled with Italian car manufacturers such as Ferrari to be the world’s renowned car designers and producers.

For more information on this epic battle, do yourself a favor and watch Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford vs. Ferrari.

Beginning in 1975, teams at Ford’s Dearborn headquarters and at the Ford-owned Italian Ghia studio competed to design the car’s all-new, third-generation body.

The final design, known as the Fox body, ultimately included inputs from both the American and Italian teams.

8. Ford Almost Introduced a Mustang Station Wagon

Ford, on several occasions, considered four-door or front-wheel editions of the Mustang family.

In 1964, Ford designed at least one four-door Mustang sedan that could have been included in the car’s initial launch.

Since 1964, Ford has designed at least three versions of a Mustang station wagon. All three designs made it as far in the design process as full-sized clay models.

One station wagon concept even made it as far as a functional prototype. 

9. The Mustang Is a Movie Star

Mustangs have appeared in films and on TV shows more than 3,300 times in the past 50 years, according to Iceland Mustang Club’s research.

Steve McQueen’s Mustang 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 in Bullitt might be the most famous Hollywood appearance.

10. The Mustang Goes to the Races

The Mustang has served as the official pace car of the Indianapolis 500 on three occasions — in 1964, 1979, and 1994.

11. This Mustang – What You Miss Most in the White House

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the hardest thing to leave behind when he became U.S. President was his ice blue Mustang convertible.

In 1994, Clinton briefly drove his beloved Mustang around Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the then head of the Mustang Club of American called the President “a rabid Mustanger like the rest of us.”

Learn Facts About Ford and Become a Rabid Mustanger

Since that famous press conference in 1964, the Mustang has become a part of Americana.

The Mustang is different – it is a wild horse, not a domesticated racehorse. It still brings the excitement of wide-open spaces and was American as all hell.

Visit your local dealership for a test drive and you will see why. Learn more about the history of this legendary car and you might find yourself a rabid Mustanger.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for gaming article inside 360 MAGAZINE

Classic casino games – why they’ve stood the test of time

One of the largest and most successful industries in the world is the casino industry, both brick and mortar and online. The physical and online casino industry is currently worth an estimated $227 billion, with online casinos alone bringing in $46 billion of that number. If a person were to compare the casino landscape from 20 years ago to today, it is vastly different as the industry continues to move online. 

Even the iconic physical slot machines have been replaced with digitalized slot machines with algorithms predicting a win or loss. Although, in spite of all the technological advancements and the fact that every casino game has now moved online, they’re all practically still the same. It might not be easy to tell they’re the same with the graphics and game modes now offered on popular casinos like Vera & John, according to Manekineko Casino Vera & John offer over 350 slot games. So, it’s clear that slots have stood the test of time no matter the type of casino you play at now, whether in person or at home from your mobile. It is obviously to some degree due to the popularity of the classic casino games, and that they were designed in such a way to withstand the test of time, although there could be other factors that we’re going to look at. 

Familiarity 

When someone brings up the image of a casino in their mind, many people would think of rows of slot machines, table games such as blackjack, poker and the iconic roulette wheel, even without having visited a casino before or played any of the games. This is because these games have become imprinted on people’s memory, whether it be through books, stories, movies or television series; there is an expectation of what a casino should look like, and as a result, these are the games that are provided. In addition to these games becoming iconic, the online casino industry needs them to maintain their initial success. 

This is because the games are familiar to those new to playing casino games, and also for the experienced gamblers moving online, which is critical for online casinos since they are relatively new, and new games might not gain the same traction as the classics. 

Some don’t require skill and are fun 

Some casino games are designed in such a way to be fun and not require skill, such as slots, which is something that every new gambler needs; a simple game to introduce them to gambling. Games like slots, baccarat and bingo are all engaging yet simple, and offer fast gameplay that doesn’t require much in the way of strategy. These games are perfect for someone just looking to pass the time, or to test their luck. 

Although even slot games have changed dramatically over the years to maintain their relevance, whether it be by the added animations or the many themes, such as celebrities, sports or superheroes. Some slot games are even adopting video game themes to appeal to a younger audience, and bingo is vastly different too. 

The odds are better

In terms of people wanting to win money, the classic table games give the best odds, even online. Games like blackjack have an average house edge of 0.5%, video poker has a house edge of 0.46% and roulette is 5.26%. To give an example, a person could play blackjack with a $200 bankroll and bet $2 per hand, and be able to play for over 4 hours if they use basic strategy. 

This kind of low house edge is extremely appealing for many gamblers, especially those who don’t have a lot of experience. In addition to the house edge, all of the games listed above include a social factor, which is extremely important for the entertainment value of the game. 

Things might be changing

With all of that being said, things might be changing though, as the more experienced gamblers become less. Millennials are slowly becoming the main customer base for the casino industry, and because of that, a few games are slowly becoming less popular. Studies show that millennials are interested in games with strategy and skill, and find games like blackjack and slot unfair and uninteresting. 

Even Las Vegas is not really a gambling destination anymore, but a party destination, with room revenue from hotels being almost the same as the revenue from casinos, indicating that millennials are more interested in partying than gambling. Online gambling however shows an increase in the popularity of poker and sports betting, virtual and real, amongst millennials. However, traditional, classic casino games are not going anywhere, any time soon.   

Be sure to check out gclub for more information about the aforementioned.

How to Stay Awake During a Long Layover So You Don’t Miss Your Flight

The comfort on board planes has significantly improved compared to a couple of decades ago, especially during long-haul flights. Today, you can watch video content on streaming services on your phone or other device. Most airlines even offer access to wifi these days, That means you can play free no deposit bingo, read the latest news, or even respond to business emails to save some time.

While the actual flight might be more enjoyable than in the past, a problem occurs when you have a long layover. Nobody likes to wait for hours until their next plane arrives and they take off to their final destination. However, sometimes it is the only option for the intrepid traveler. Here is what you can do to pass the time quickly and ensure you don’t miss the next flight!

Do You Have Enough Time to Explore the City?

Here is the first thing to ask yourself – how many hours will the layover last? You might have ten hours between the flights, but you need to be at the airport for an hour or two before the next flight. That is something to consider when calculating if you have enough time to leave the airport.

If you have several hours to spare, there is no reason why you shouldn’t explore the city. It might be a unique opportunity because who knows when you will find yourself in that location again. 

The experts advise designing your city exploration plan in advance. You probably won’t have time for everything, so focus on sight or two that you want to see the most, with perhaps a meal away from the typical airport fare. Additionally, make sure that you return to the airport by the specified time. Make sure to leave some wiggle room in case something goes wrong, such as your taxi getting in a traffic jam while taking you back to the airport. It’s better to be at the lounge an hour or two earlier than to risk missing your flight. Remember – this is only a layover. It isn’t worth missing your ride to your final destination!

Your Gadgets Are Your Best Friend

It’s vital that your mobile phone is fully charged and capable of enduring active use while you are waiting for the next flight. Your cellphone will allow you to check-in with your friends and loved ones and talk to them. You will also need it for other activities we suggest later in the article. Anyone living in the modern age understands the essential nature of a cellphone while traveling. If you are traveling to a foreign country, you might want to consider being prepared with a SIM card for your destination(s). Otherwise, you might be swarmed with hidden fees.

Apart from a mobile phone, you might be carrying a laptop, tablet, or another device. All these can be useful to pass the time, so make sure you have sufficient battery. The alternative is to find a place to charge at the airport, which can be a restaurant or coffee shop. Additionally, you can be prepared by bringing your own portable charger. These are an essential gadget for any traveler – some suitcases even come with them built in these days!

Here is what you can do with these devices:

  • Respond to business emails and finish work-related tasks – you have time to spare, so why wouldn’t you use it intelligently and complete those work-related things you’d like to avoid while on vacation? Whether it’s responding to emails or writing a draft of a meeting, all it takes is finding a quiet place where you can focus.
  • Play games – mobile phones and tablets feature games that can keep you interested for hours. If there is a game you love playing at the moment, you will have several hours to enjoy it, which is a true blessing.
  • Watch TV shows and movies – the odds are the airport has high-speed internet, so how about watching a few episodes of your favourite show?
  • Listen to music – you will need headphones because you don’t want to disturb the passengers, but listening to your favourite tunes is another option. Furthermore, you can also listen to podcasts and other content. 

Make a Game Out of People Watching

Some people find it a bit strange, but others believe this is a creative way of passing the time. The idea is to position yourself in a place where people often pass by, and the airport is the perfect location for that. Your task is to watch a person and see what you can guess about them. Some find coming up with elaborate backstories for different travelers quite amusing.

Perhaps you can guess where they came from and then see what their luggage says. Make sure that you do the entire watching discreetly because it should never be one’s intent to make another traveler uncomfortable.

Freshen Up for Your Next Flight

Most airports have large toilets where you can invest some time to freshen yourself up to feel better. You probably have carry-on luggage that includes your skincare and other cosmetic products. Even a couple of wet wipes, a mouthwash and a swipe of deodorant might do the trick. 

If you want to take things to the next level, discover if the airport offers showers or spa services. Many airports where layovers are common include these facilities as they want the layover passengers to feel comfortable. You can get your batteries charged and energized by having a hot shower or getting yourself a massage to relax after a tiresome flight. Why approach the next step of your journey feeling overly foggy, when you can approach it pampered and prepared?

Are You Feeling Hungry?

The next thing to consider is whether you could use a nice meal. Most airports offer multiple restaurants and fast food facilities, but the time of day (or night) will effect which of them are open. If it’s the middle of the night, the odds are that only a late-night snack bar will be available, which is better than nothing. Treat yourself to a coffee, and healthy snacks such as a granola bar or fruit to keep you feeling energized.

However, if you find yourself at the airport in the afternoon, you can probably pick between multiple options. Since you are not in a rush, take some time to think and go with the restaurant that seems most tempting. It may even be an excellent opportunity try the local cuisine.

Read a Book

Did you start reading a book on your first flight and didn’t have time to finish it? If you can’t wait to see what happens next, how about reading it now? If it is an interesting read, it will help keep you wide awake and engaged in your surroundings. That’s the entire point – finding an activity you find attractive ensures you don’t fall asleep.

Books are a convenient way of passing the time but don’t forget to pick them carefully. If you need to start a new book and you find it boring, you might become sleepy. That’s why choosing the right title is imperative, so go with those books you know you will like. Many airports offer bookstores where you can browse numerous titles if you are in the market for something new.

Conclusion

It’s not pleasant when you have to wait for hours for the next flight. However, we staying awake can be easier if you engage in entertaining activities. Apart from ensuring that you don’t fall asleep, time will pass more quickly until you finally hear that boarding call to your final destination.

You want to plan your layover before heading on a trip. Make sure all devices like smartphones and laptops are charged and don’t hesitate to bring books and headphones to listen to music. It’s all about designing a layover plan that suits your preferences, as that one increases the odds of staying awake for as long as necessary.

360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Forgotten Vintage Gaming Consoles

The video game console scene these days is quite settled, boring even. Sony and Microsoft have a stranglehold on the market, with the PlayStation enjoying a healthy lead on the Xbox. And then you have Nintendo doing their own thing with the Switch on the handheld segment, despite the rise of mobile gaming. 

All this is a far cry from the early decades of video game consoles. Consoles had some crazy innovations in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, as the designers were experimenting quite a lot. Naturally, the technology was also quite primitive in terms of computing power, graphics, and display, resulting in some extra weirdness. 

These are some of the vintage gaming consoles that never made it to the big leagues in the cut-throat video games market. Some were from small brands while others are from the big names we still see churning out consoles and games today.

Fairchild Channel F 

Despite being the first home console to use cartridges and a microprocessor, the Fairchild Channel F failed in the console market. Pitted against the legendary Atari 2600 (home of Pacman), the Channel F ended up decidedly second-best. 

Before the Fairchild, other consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey came with games built-in, which severely limited choice as well as graphics quality. The Channel F came with two built-in games and a library that eventually expanded to include over 26 games. 

The cartridges for these games were called “videocarts” and had games like Tic Tac Toe, Space War, Spitfire, and Shooting Gallery. Though it had a decent list of games, the Fairchild Console could not match Atari’s popular arcade games. 

And the controllers were also decidedly poor quality, breaking rather quickly. The F in Channel F stood for “Fun.” The fun stopped for Fairchild in 1983 as sales declined and they ended production after a six-year run that started in 1976. 

Radica Games Consoles

The modern handheld consoles like PSP, GameBoy, and Switch are designed to play many different games. But in the past, we had consoles that were basically one-trick ponies – they only came with one or a few handfuls of in-built titles. 

Radica Ltd is a name that many who were kids in the 1980s and 90s may not remember. Though not as famous as Sega or Nintendo, the US manufacturer was quite prolific in the handheld consoles market, mass-producing devices between 1983 and 2006. 

Though they became famous for consoles that carried titles from the biggest brands like Sega and Taito, Radica actually started in the gambling business. The company initially launched collectible game consoles for casinos. 

These had classic games like Blackjack 21, Poker, and Solitaire. Though thoroughly outdated by modern standards, the vintage feel of the games does make Radica consoles great from a nostalgic POV. Online variations have been designed to model modern blackjack tables as found in top land-based casinos.

Radica did not do anything innovative in the design department. Their consoles largely copied the design set by others. The company was eventually acquired and fully absorbed by toy giant Mattel in 2006. 

The Vectrex

We take screens for granted these days – be it on handheld consoles or mobile phones. But there was a time when consoles had to depend entirely on an outside video output source (and they still do for PS5 and Xbox Series X). 

The Vectrex was an idea that came far too soon – in an era when screens were still bulky, monochrome, and highly pixelated. Launched in the early ’80s, the Vectrex came bundled with its display, which was like a mini-TV. 

The display was black and white, with a series of plastic color overlays that you could place on the screen to make the objects look red, green, or blue. Though it had way better graphics than contemporary consoles, thanks to vector graphics instead of bitmaps (smooth lines), the console was ultimately a failure. 

For one, it was incredibly expensive. And the allure of not needing a TV for gaming was not huge in those days, especially as this was not a portable device. It was one of the major casualties in the great market crash of the video game industry in 1983.

Virtual Boy

Virtual Reality is a cutting edge technology that holds a lot of promise in gaming. Yet in 2021, it is still a niche in the video games landscape – a fast-growing one at that, but still in need of evolution. So you can imagine how primitive a VR-based console must have been way back in the 1990s. 

Launched by Nintendo in 1995, Virtual Boy was a good 20 years ahead of the technology. The 3D game system came with a cool VR headset and a connected controller, and games in full monochrome glory. 

Yes, Virtual Boy games had to be enjoyed in red, as the hardware was not capable of outputting in any other colors. It had a real “Terminator vision” vibe to it, which was probably intentional given how popular those movies were back then. 

The hardware was quite bulky, with the headset being quite cumbersome. And it was also quite notorious for causing headaches and eye strain to users. The one major game available on the Virtual Boy was Mario’s Tennis. 

Though the stereoscopic 3D was quite impressive for its time, the console was widely panned by critics and users. It was a commercial failure as well, due to insane pricing. Nintendo did try to make it more appealing by dropping the prices but to no avail. The Virtual Boy sank without a trace. 

casino illustration for feature in 360 Magazine

Top 5 Songs For Casinos

There are some people that can get down with the gambling songs. For a good casino, the building needs to have some good tunes. With that said, these are the top five songs that are gambling related, and a good listen when you are trying to win big. 

Honorable Mention: “A Good Run of Bad Luck” by Clint Black

While taking a gamble on playsugarhouse, maybe this song will help you go on a good run, no pun intended. The song was released in 1994 and was at the top of the charts during this time. The country themed song is uptempo and jam-packed with gamlbing related content. The song talks about a gamble with a crush on another woman. He has a mission to spend tons of money on her. He makes mention of having a stretch of bad luck, but refuses to give up on this venture. 

No. 5: “House of Cards” by Tyler Shaw

In 2015, Shaw released this hit pop song that uses a deck of cards as the main metaphor. He mentions having a void in love, but when he hits the jackpot with the Queen of Hearts, he finally gets back to winning in a heartfelt way. With many gambling references, this is a great song to feature in any casino. 

No. 4: “Gambling Man” by The Overtones

The pop song came out in 2010 with references to “taking a gamble” on love and succeeding. The narrator falls in love with a beauty and he places all of his bets on her. The narrator is not typically someone who gambles, but he believes that the love he feels is worth the risk. If you want to know how it ends, take a listen next time you are sitting down with a deck of cards. 

No. 3: “Still the Same”: by Bob Seger

The 1978 rock single begins with the narrator meeting an old friend who is a successful professional gambler. The gambler teaches the narrator that he puts his faith in the cards instead of people and knows when to walk away. It’s definitely an old school banger. 

No. 2: “Love Is A Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse

Want to get lost in a Vegas? This contemporary R&B song describes a woman feeling disappointed and lonesome. Her partner rejected her and won big in a gambling setting, which left the woman feeling like she had the losing hand. In 2006, Winehouse wrote this song based on her own troubled relationship.

No. 1: “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga

How can this not be the hit single at the top of this list? This addicting song revolving around sex and gambling broke the radio in 2008. The narrator makes plenty of gambling and sexual innuendos, while stirring in a hand of Texas hold’em. Lady Gaga created a masterpiece with this song. Hearing “p-p-p-poker face” will continuously ring in your head for hours, which is why it should be played in every casino. 

Need more information on this topic? Be sure to visit sa gaming.

Immigration illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council Announces Commitment to Fostering a More Welcoming Nation with Support of Ad Council’s “Belonging Begins With Us” Campaign

National initiative encourages welcoming attitudes and actions in communities across America
 
The American Immigration Council today announced its support of Belonging Begins With Us, a national campaign dedicated to fostering a more welcoming nation where everyone feels that they belong, regardless of their background or where they were born. Led by the Ad Council, the effort is supported by a broad coalition of foundations, corporations and non-profit organizations working to strengthen connections and promote belonging in communities across the country. 

The Belonging Begins With Us campaign will appear nationwide in time and space donated by the media across TV, radio, digital, print. and out-of-home placements. The American Immigration Council is among the campaign partners who have committed to encouraging a spirit of belonging within their communities and will share the campaign messaging and resources with their own audiences and stakeholders. 

“Everyone needs to feel like they belong and this campaign is asking people to consider who they include and exclude in their daily lives” said Wendy Feliz, Director of the Center for Inclusion and Belonging at the American Immigration Council. “This is about giving each other a sense of belonging, care, consideration, and community.” 

“Belonging Begins With Us reminds us that we all have the power to make others feel safe and welcome in our communities,” said Lisa Sherman, Ad Council President and CEO. “We are grateful to our partners for helping us all build more meaningful connections in our neighborhoods, cities and towns, regardless of background or country of origin.”

Created pro bono by ad agency Pereira O’Dell, the public service advertisements (PSAs) a new cover of the 1968 hit song “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” recorded exclusively for the campaign by Lake Street Dive. The song and powerful visuals remind audiences that we all know what it feels like to be left out—and for people who moved to this country, that feeling can last more than a moment. By highlighting this shared emotional experience, the PSAs spark empathy and build stronger bonds between everyone who calls America home. The video PSA can be viewed HERE.

The PSAs direct audiences to the campaign website, BelongingBeginsWithUs.org, which features dozens of real stories of belonging from across the country. The website also highlights actions people can take to help others in their community feel that they belong.

The campaign was developed by the Ad Council, American Immigration Council and Welcoming America with financial support from the Carnegie Corporation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Einhorn Collaborative, Ford Foundation, FWD.us Education Fund and Stand Together. Additional partners who will share the campaign’s message and promote belonging in communities across the country include the American Alliance of Museums, the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, Hello Neighbor, Looking for America, New American Economy, Over Zero, the Trust for Public Land, Western States Center, YMCA of the USA and Walmart Inc.

About The American Immigration Council
 
The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. 

Follow the latest Council news and information ImmigrationImpact.com and on Twitter @immcouncil.
 
About The Ad Council

The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization’s earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving information to millions of Americans.

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation’s most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.

The Ad Council’s innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council’s communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

Is Gambling Responsibly Simply a Myth?

Recreational gambling can be a fun and entertaining activity for many people, but it can sometimes tip the scales into problematic behavior for others. The adrenaline rush of a big bet and the thrill of winning a jackpot keep many coming back for more, even when they shouldn’t.

We’ve all seen advertisements for “responsible gambling” on television in our daily lives but what does that actually mean? And more importantly, is this even possible? 

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is defined as: “Exercising control and informed choice to ensure that gambling is kept within affordable limits of money and time, is enjoyable, in balance with other activities and responsibilities, and avoids gambling-related harm.”

This ubiquitous phrase is used to remind players of the importance of maintaining a clear head when playing the odds. Essentially it references the age old saying “It is just a game,” urging players to stay in touch with reality. This idea, however, has been criticized for being a myth that is impossible to achieve, especially for players that struggle with addiction or lack of self-control. 

Top 6 Ways to Gamble Responsibly

Responsible gamblers know the risks involved with gambling and think of it as a cost of the entertainment, just like going out to dinner, the movies, or going on a vacation. Setting out on any excursion with a fixed budget makes smart fiscal sense in every aspect of life — and gambling is no different. 

Just as you would not invite your friends out to a 5-star restaurant that you knew you could not afford, gambling without mental and financial safety precautions is a recipe for disaster. In order to gamble responsibly, take charge by following some simple tips before you set out.

1. Learn the Rules and Odds of the Games that You Play

Hobbyists know their favorite pastimes better than anyone else in the world. Knowledge of your leisure pursuits is a great way to not let them get the best of you, especially when it comes to real-money gambling. 

When choosing a game to play, make sure you’re well-versed in the rules, the casino’s guidelines, and best practices involved in a given game. And whether it’s roulette or blackjack, bear in mind the odds to make an informed decision and your best bet. Being prepared is always the best bet.

2. Don’t Play with Money You Don’t Have

You wouldn’t spend your rent money on a designer handbag or an unreasonable car lease. Likewise, you should never use money to gamble that you need for your living expenses. Remembering priorities is essential.

Responsible gamblers never play with money that they aren’t willing to lose. As an entertainment expense, any losses simply add up to a fun evening out with friends, not serious financial problems the next day.

3. Set a Time Limit

If you’re worried that you might get carried away, a good rule of thumb is to set a time limit for how long you’re able to gamble before it’s time to call it quits. When you’re having a fun evening, it can be easy to lose track of time. By setting an alarm and having a hard end to your playing is a smart idea before you get started.

4. Set a Money Limit

Setting a dollar limit for yourself before you start playing is one of the smartest things you can do to gamble responsibly. 

Some online casinos have a loss limit feature that allows you to program in a maximum amount that you’re willing to lose in a given time before the system prevents you from placing another bet. The loss limit feature works very well for some people but for many, it doesn’t work at all. For many, they hit the limit and simply join another casino. If this is you, consider alternate means of self-control and consider asking for assistance.

5. Don’t Gamble Under the Influence

With a great game plan for responsible gambling and a fun time ahead, it would be a shame to throw away all of your best intentions by getting inebriated and failing to follow your own guidelines.

Gambling responsibly can be an exciting and entertaining activity but without a clear head, some players may unintentionally go a bit overboard. Gambling culture, especially in-person, often encourages players to drink while they play. A glass of wine or a single beer while playing might not be disastrous, but it is important to comprehend your limits.

6. Never Play Because You Need to Win

Problem gamblers sometimes fall into the trap of using gambling to make money they need for their day-to-day lives. It is always a bad idea and can lead to serious problems, especially with something as random as chance itself. Make sure even as you play, you are grounded in reality.

Play Smart

These suggestions are not foolproof, however, and can be quickly thrown out the window when a player is in trouble with their gambling, whether through a serious addiction or fear of financial ruin. It is important to consider your circumstances, your headspace, and your ability to stick to a plan before even going near a casino. 

Responsible Gambling Can Be Possible

Knowing yourself is key. If you know that you’re not able to follow your own prescribed rules, gambling responsibly may not be possible for you to do successfully. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your hobbies and leisure activities is essential.

As you can see, however, it is possible to gamble responsibly if you’re able to stick to a plan. By maintaining these standards, responsible gambling can be just like any other form of paid entertainment. If one approaches it with a clear head and knows their limits, a good time can be had by all. 

Music article illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Grow Your Spotify Plays Overnight

If you are looking for more Spotify exposure, then you can join the millions of other Spotify artists that are trying to do the same thing. However, it feels like all we are ever doing is just treading water. We post songs and playlists only to have them fall into oblivion. They never see the light of day and never get a hit. 

Promotions seem to go nowhere. It doesn’t matter how many times you Tweet out a link to your music. It all ends up the same way, low plays, low streams, and low follows. It doesn’t have to be this way. It doesn’t have to be so hard. You have to be proactive about your marketing, but you also need to focus on the metrics that will actually improve your Spotify rankings. Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are all great places to start but you won’t grow a following unless you hit the below metrics. Once you understand what you need to do, just rinse and repeat. You will soon be basking in the glow of plays.

You need to market your music by increase your play and follower metrics. You need to buy Spotify plays. This common practice will get your listings over the hump to be seen by a new crowd.

Why Improve Your Plays?

The Spotify algorithm is specific to Spotify platform metrics. This means that you need to focus on improving your Spotify platform numbers. Like what was mentioned above, exposure on other platforms is great but it will only get you so far. You need those marketing events to convert into Spotify metrics.

The first metric you need to improve is the play count. This could be connected to an album, playlist, or a specific song. It all depends on what your goals are for your artistic talents. Song pay count tells the Spotify algorithm that people are listening to your stuff. It shows that you are relevant and significant to the current music scene. It could be based on a genre of music or just the industry as a whole. 

Plays matter over the course of time. If you have a bunch of plays in a single day, it isn’t going to boost anything for very long. You may appear higher in the algorithm for the next 24 hours, but afterwards you will be forgotten, again. Instead you want to think about the long term. More plays overtime is the better philosophy. So, if you got 100 plays, it is better to have 1 a day for 100 days than all 100 plays in the same day. 

Why Improve Your Followers?

Remember that it isn’t just about plays. If you stuff gets played a bunch, that is great, but it isn’t the end of the story. If you are looking to solidify a top spot in the Spotify algorithm, you need to show that it isn’t just about your music, it is about you as an artist. Take a band like Radiohead. Their music is wildly popular. However, Radiohead as a band is popular as well. So, if they were still making music, they would be recommended alongside similar artists because the “followers” action shows that it is more than just a single song or two that makes them so important.

This is obvious. When you look at other social media platforms you see the same actions taking place. Instagram and Facebook are the best examples of the potential for ranking improvements when there are more followers, not just likes or shares. Instagram like increasing services like Buzzoid are often talked about, but few can deliver on the promises that Buzzoid does, say experts. Their real Instagram likes are the best on the market, and when used in combination with a Spotify boosting service it is a wonderful sight. The Spotify algorithm takes in the totality of the artist’s metrics in order to decide how worthy they are to be recommended to other listeners. Once you get there, royalties will start to improve as organic listeners start to steadily increase with time.

Are Certain Listeners Better Than Others?

Yes, certain Spotify listeners are more important than others. However, you want a mix of all types of listeners in order to really impress the algorithm. What does this mean? There are generally two types of Spotify listeners and they can interact with your account in one of two ways. So, basically, there are four different results that could happen. Let’s go through them.

First, you could have a free listener listen to a song once. This individual has the least amount of impact on your account. Second, you could have a free listener continually listen to your music. This has more impact because it shows that an individual really likes your stuff and wants to listen to it more and more.

Third, you could have a paid premium listener listen to a song once. This has some impact due to a higher royalty payment that comes from premium members. Fourth, you could have a paid premium listen subscribe and continually listen to your music. This has the largest impact of all of them. Make sure that when you are buying Spotify plays that you focus on the mix of different listeners.

Has eSports Become a Part of Pop Culture?

A couple of decades ago, when video games burst into the mainstream audience for good, everyone could have guessed that gaming would soon become an important part of the entertainment industry. But what no one could have predicted is just how popular it would become not to play video games yourself, but to watch other people play. So popular in fact, that competitive video gaming, i.e. eSports, has slowly but steadily grown to become an important part of pop culture. But how and why did eSports gain so much momentum?

eSports expand their reach into the mainstream audience

When the first organized competitive gaming tournaments emerged where professional players vie for a prize, analysts very aptly dubbed the new practice “eSports”. And research reported by the Influencer Marketing Hub reveals that this new industry has quickly expanded its appeal and gained unprecedented growth. In 2017, eSports reached an audience of 335 million viewers, which climbed to 380 million in 2018. It is now estimated that until 2021 that number will reach roughly 557 million, exhibiting an annual growth rate of 14%. Out of those, 250 million will be regular viewers but another 307 million will be casual spectators. This means that casual viewers will constitute the majority of the eSports audience.

Furthermore, according to the same source, even people who do not watch eSports have still heard of them. In 2015, an impressive 800,000 people were aware of the industry. But a year later, over a billion people have reportedly heard of eSports – a jaw-dropping growth. In 2019 alone, eSports awareness was estimated to have reached 1.57 billion people around the world. The combination of these two facts, i.e. the number of casual viewers and the tremendous growth in awareness, lead us to the conclusion that eSports has now become an important part of pop culture.

How eSports became a part of pop culture

But if you want even more proof, just take a closer look at eSports betting. That’s right: betting sites now consider eSports as a sub-category of the traditional realm of sports betting, and punters can place wagers on the biggest eSports tournament just like they would on the NBA finals or the Super Bowl. It is no surprise, when you consider the hype surrounding the biggest eSports competitions. In 2019, the League of Legends World Championship gathered an audience of almost 4 million viewers, and the Fortnite World Cup Finals amassed an impressive 2.3 million. Speaking of Fortnite, it is perhaps the game that best encapsulates how video gaming and eSports are now part of pop culture in their own right.

Who could forget the iconic and hilarious scene in Avengers: Endgame that saw Thor compete against “Noobmaster69” on Fortnite? Just like people are still not over the live concert series that now takes place within the Fortnite game. Travis Scott was the first to take the leap of faith and performed virtually to raving reviews. Now, the digital concerts continue, with J Balvin reportedly set to headline the Fortnite Halloween Concert series, in a perfect blend of these divergent strands of pop culture that has had audiences going wild. Much like the music industry, other sectors have realized the potential of eSports and gaming that allows them to reach to a wider audience and are jumping at the chance. For example, Oakley has already announced that they would launch a new type of lenses specifically designed for gaming.

If we want to understand better how eSports have so quickly become a part of pop culture, we also need to look at the channels that enabled them to connect with their audience. Millennials are now in their 20s and 30s, and they have grown up in an increasingly digital world. Watching their favorite gamers play live on Twitch or YouTube, and interacting with them on chat or social media was an organic way for them to connect. Steven Spielberg’s recent blockbuster Ready Player One took the concept one step further. In a dystopian future, taking place in a VR gaming tournament has become the one shot its protagonist has at fixing everything wrong with the world – competitive gaming has somehow turned into something more real than real life itself.

For the young adults that are right now the driving force behind market trends, and are shaping pop culture, eSports are an integral part of life and culture.