Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Exploring Chromebooks

John B. Marine | 9/07/2021 09:59:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
I been looking at my next PC options. I was considering having either a mini PC, or lately, I have looked into a Chromebook. Allow me to explain about my Chromebook interests for a moment. After a long time with Android tablets, and with somewhat giving up an Android TV boxes; I feel my next tech move would be towards Chromebooks. Chromebooks have come a long way. I usually dismissed them as cheaply-priced laptops on the Chrome OS interface. For this blog post, I will share with you my thoughts in regards to having interest in Chromebooks. Why would I want one? What am I looking for out of a Chromebook? I will explain as much as I can here in this blog post.






Exploring Chromebooks


Chromebook
^ from: (Intel) - A Chromebook can do a whole lot, and they have come a long way since their humble beginnings.

Chromebooks have come a long way. It used to be that Chromebooks were mostly an operating system based on the Chrome browser and had to be always connected online to work. Chromebooks have nowadays been solid basic laptops under Chrome OS. I even thought of if I could use a Chromebook to maybe use in installing a Linux distribution (or "Distro").

I was considering a Chromebook to replace my tablet PC experience. My Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Tab is not ancient or anything, I just wanted something more functional and maybe be able to play many of the fine Android games on a laptop. I heard Chromebooks could natively use some Android apps and games. When it comes to Linux distros, someone online told me whether or not I can use Linux on a Chromebook depends on if I have an ARM interface Chromebook or an x86 interface Chromebook.

So what am I looking for in a Chromebook? Find out in the next section.


What I am Looking For in a Chromebook.

I was doing some of my online research on a Chromebook. Here are some of the considerations I am making for a Chromebook:

• has a touchscreen
• has HDMI output (though I hear you can get USB Type C to HDMI adapters)
• is convertible
• I might prefer an x86 Chromebook and not an ARM Chromebook, but I never thought that far ahead.
• must cost $200 USD or less (before taxes)


I'd like to get a touchscreen Chromebook to have an experience similar to a big tablet PC. A tablet PC can be great in providing a slim PC experience in your hands. Same applies for a Chromebook. The only difference is that a Chromebook allows you have a more proper browsing experience also good for doing some basic computing duties. I basically want the same tablet PC experience but on a more laptop-like device. I also fancy a convertible Chromebook. A convertible Chromebook can have its screen be pushed all the way back and serve as a basic touchscreen unit. I also imagine it can make for a fine tablet-like experience for sites like YouTube. Because I want this to serve as a second PC, I would want it to be viewable on my other TV, so I also prefer to have the Chromebook have an HDMI output. I don't want to spend too much for a simple Chromebook. So for my budget, the budget I am considering is $200 USD (before taxes). If I had a little more money, I'd up my budget to a degree.

From my research mostly from Wal-Mart (or WalMart these days), the laptop fairly close to what I have been looking at is the Lenovo C340. I'd had some tough luck with Lenovo. I wanted to get an Yoga series Android tablet PC, but there was none in stock at the Wal-Mart I was at back then. And as of September 7, 2021; I heard the C340 is either no longer in stock or is discontinued (or maybe both). Wal-Mart sells stuff for much cheaper often times. I heard it comes in either Rose Gold or Silver. I prefer silver. I don't think this device has an HDMI output.


Would I Consider a "Chromebox?"

Much like there are Android TV boxes and mini PCs, there are also Chromeboxes. Chromeboxes are more like the Chrome OS equivalent of an Android TV box or a mini PC. They are very much a good idea towards being a second PC and can be discreet to have in a room. However, the tablet PC-like functionality and such are devoid on a Chromebox. You also can't find any real good mini PCs or such at places like Wal-Mart or Target. After a bad experience I had previously trying to get a Xiaomi Mi Box S through Wal-Mart, I am a bit skeptical about getting a proper piece of tech through the mail. And what if I wanted to travel with a Chromebox? It wouldn't be as good as using a Chromebook. I want something portable and useful in regards to Chrome OS, and a Chromebook does work better than a Chromebox. If the power goes out, I can still use a Chromebook offline. So I'll pass on a Chromebox.


(NOTE: You may participate in the next section, but your involvement is voluntary (meaning you do not have to take part in it if you do not want to). You may otherwise skip ahead to the outro.)

Considering a Chromebook or Chromebox Yourself?

To generate interest and even have a chance for my work to be supported, I'll provide these resources to you all. You can shop for these chromebooks on Amazon if you were intrigued by my blog post. (DISCLAIMER: Please read the "Affiliate Notes" section for important information regarding the following content.)

• For Chromebooks:


• For Chromeboxes...



Happy shopping (if doing any)! :) If I do indeed get a Chromebook, I will be sure to document my experiences with one and my thoughts overall on a Chromebook.





If you have any suggestions for me in regards to Chromebooks, please contact me, and I will be sure to take your advice into consideration. Actual USEFUL advice, please! Don't try to troll me or anything! Anyhow, Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NBA2K League

John B. Marine | 6/23/2021 03:41:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
The NBA2K League is an eSports league featuring the best of the best in NBA2K. Watch as top-level NBA2K series players compete amongst themselves in fierce competition. This rising eSports league looks to get bigger and better in the coming years. While I do not know a whole lot about NBA2K League, I will make an effort to introduce and discuss this league to you all. So welcome to another post on "John's Blog Space!"


Before I Begin...

I am not at all educated about the NBA2K League series. Most of what I will be discussing is based on things I've learned from other people. I am also a perfectionist, so I have a LOT I feel I need to discuss to make a proper introduction to this league.


A Special Hello!

I want to extend a special hello to everyone affiliated with the NBA2K League- players, coaches, staff, management, and all. My name is John Marine, and I hope you enjoy your time here!






NBA2K League


Let me share as much as I can about NBA2K League through what I know and some extra research from other sites.

The NBA2K League is a professional gaming league that plays the NBA2K series from 2K Sports. It was founded in February 2017 and held its first season in May 2017. As of June 21, 2021; there are currently 23 teams in the NBA2K League. The series is currently in its 4th season as of 2021. All of the NBA2K League teams, except one, are actually affiliated with actual National Basketball Association teams.

Previously, NBA2K League has held its usual games at a studio in the New York City area. The NBA2K League players themselves along with many devoted fans (including family members) would fill the studio and cheer on their beloved players. Since the outbreak of COVID-19/Coronavirus, the studio hasn't been used after Season 2. There was instead remote play starting in Season 3. Season 3 had its start moved from March 2020 to May 2020 because of the pandemic. Season 4 has the NBA2K League players playing in the local markets of their affiliated teams.

NBA2K League used to play on custom PC builds of NBA2K. As of Season 4, all players are playing on PlayStation 5. So you get to enjoy next-gen power as the league proudly plays NBA2K 21!


Why NBA2K League?

So why should you care about NBA2K League? What's the real deal with this league? With all due respect, this is one TRUE eSport with an actual sport involved. It may be cool seeing games like League of Legends, any Call of Duty, Fortnite, or even Rocket League; all of which played competitively. However, NBA2K League is an eSport of an actual sport. The intensity and professionalism are real. The passion to win is real. NBA2K League may play games, but NBA2K League itself is NOT a game.

With the rise in popularity of NBA2K League, it can only get better. Say what you want about people playing video/computer games for money. Yes- actual cash is involved with these players. Tournaments with monetary prizes on the line are real in NBA2K League. Regardless, this is a competitive league that has a fun and engaging community.


Game Coverage.

NBA2K League broadcasts are showcased on Twitch, YouTube, SportsNet, Loco, and eGG Network. Select broadcasts were once shown on ESPN and ESPN2. The American broadcast of NBA2K League is handled by this commentary crew:

• Autumn Johnson: host/reporter
• Scott Cole: play-by-play
• Jamie "Dirk" Diaz Ruiz: analysis
• Harris Rubenstein: reporter of "Section 400"
• MADExINxINDIA: reporter
• Jeff Eisenband: "Behind the Screens" reporter
• BLKFrankWhite: host of "BFW Live" on Bud Light's Twitch channel

The show is hosted by Autumn Johnson. Autumn is a long-time reporter who has had segments on Twitch as well as on the likes of ESPN. She also hosts brief NBA2K League segments called "30 Seconds of Greatness," in which she asks an NBA2K League personality different rapid-rie questions to be answered within 30 seconds.

Scott Cole is a well-traveled broadcasting veteran who lends his unique play-by-play appeal to NBA2K League broadcasts. His résumé almost reads like an encyclopedia with coverage of football, basketball, and even NASCAR.

Jamie "Dirk" Diaz Ruiz has been a veteran commentator having covered several other eSports including NBA2K League. He provides the analysis for NBA2K League games. Dirk also has made a series of videos regarding the different archetypes of NBA2K League players.

Harris Rubenstein has his reports from "Section 400." Harris is way up in the [virtual] nosebleeds offering his reports. These reports range from conversations with personalities, responding to Chat comments, and even reporting on other games in progress.

On the reporting front, Autumn, Harris, and sometimes INDIA usually provide reports on players and teams as well as respond to Chat comments. Even yours truly had comments and questions responded to on the air or in Twitch chat. I promptly and politely shown my appreciation for the shout outs! :)

Special segments of "Behind the Screens" is hosted by Jeff Eisenband. These are more like special segments highlighting on the lives and personalities of NBA2K League personalities.

On Bud Light's Twitch channel, "BFW Live" is the pre-game show that is shown on Wednesdays. "BFW Live" is hosted by BLKFrankWhite and co-hosted by Harris Rubenstein (also known as "Sportstein"). This is the pre-game show which offers interviews with various NBA2K League personalities. WARNING: You must be at least 21 years of age to view content on Bud Light's Twitch channel.

The NBA2K League's Choc of Nets GC runs a popular show called "The Crossover." This show is hosted by Choc and features "DDouble" as a co-host. These two break down all of the games played (even including Choc's games played) and even discusses news topics around NBA2K League. There are sometimes even NBA2K League players who come into Chat and even on The Crossover to share their views about the league. You get a little of everything with this deal.

To add variety to NBA2K League broadcasts, Season 4 sees four days of certain features: Block Party Wednesdays, Bounce Pass Thursdays, Friday Night Fire, and Saturday Night Showdown. "Block Party Wednesday" is a night dedicated to drops in Chat. Fans are encouraged to type in certain codes to win gear from NBA2K League and other sources. Moderators in Chat then pick one individual to win the gear offered. "Bounce Pass Thursdays" gives fans the chance to pick what game they want to see of all the games playing. Think of it more like League Pass in the NBA. "Friday Night Fire" is highlighted by matches considered as the "GAME OF THE WEEK." Seeing those "GAME OF THE WEEK" matches lead to special drops similar to on Block Party Wednesdays. Finally, "Saturday Night Showdown" gives you some great NBA2K basketball action to close out the week.


My NBA2K League Testimonials.

I started watching NBA2K League in Season 2 in 2019. I began to enjoy the appeal of the league along with connecting with the personalities that make it happen. The first NBA2K League player I began to like was Dimez of Mavs Gaming. Dimez was the first superstar of the league and still remains a formidable talent today. Later seasons, I began to introduce myself to more of the other talents in the league. These talents include (but not limited to) Choc, Regg, Splashy, Mama Im Dat Man, oFAB, OneWildWalnut, Dayfri, Lord Beezus, Ramo, JBM, Shotz, SlayIsland, SAV, 630, and Jomar among many others.

One of the loveliest things about NBA2K League is about how the actual NBA2K League players may come into Chat, not to mention family members who cheer on NBA2K League players. The community has the feel of a down home environment though it is pro-level eSports gaming. So while this league is pro eSports league, it feels about as casual as parents seeing their child(ren) play sports in a neighborhood setting.


The Teams and Players.

The NBA2K League has 23 teams as I mentioned earlier. All of the NBA2K League teams, except one, are affiliated with actual NBA teams. The teams do take on names similar to the NBA teams they represent. For example, Mavs Gaming is affiliated with the Dallas Mavericks, Heat Check Gaming is affiliated with the Miami Heat, and Raptors Uprising GC is affiliated with the Toronto Raptors. The only team not affiliated with any actual NBA team is the Gen.G Tigers. Gen.G is a team from Shanghai, China; but they have affiliations in South Korea, Los Angeles, and recently moved to the University of Kentucky as their American home. The two youngest teams in the NBA2K League are in their sophomore seasons in 2021- Hornets Venom GT and Gen.G Tigers.

Here are all of the current teams:

• 76ers GC
• Blazer5 Gaming
• Bucks Gaming
• Cavs Legion GC
• Celtics Crossover Gaming
• Gen.G Tigers (no NBA affiliation)
• Grizz Gaming
• Hawks Talon GC
• Heat Check Gaming
• Hornets Venom GT
• Jazz Gaming
• Kings Guard Gaming
• Knicks Gaming
• Magic Gaming
• Mavs Gaming
• Nets GC
• Pacers Gaming
• Pistons GT
• Raptors Uprising GC
• T-Wolves Gaming
• Warriors Gaming Squad
• Wizards District Gaming

The inaugural champions of NBA2K League is Knicks Gaming. Season 2 saw T-Wolves Gaming win it all. The Season 3 champions (and current defending champions) is Wizards District Gaming. There has not yet been a repeat champion or even anything close to a dynasty.

The following NBA teams are not yet represented in NBA2K League, but I feel all 30 teams will eventually make up this league. Among the NBA teams not yet represented in NBA2K League as of 2021:

• Chicago Bulls
• Denver Nuggets
• Houston Rockets
• Los Angeles Clippers
• New Orleans Pelicans
• Oklahoma City Thunder
• Phoenix Suns
• San Antonio Spurs

Personal commentary... Obviously as a Houston sports fan, I'm sad Houston isn't represented. However, when I checked Twitter for the Houston Rockets' eSports league, Clutch City Gaming, most of the Tweets I've seen were from a few years ago. Maybe Clutch City Gaming could join NBA2K League by re-branding as (hypothetical name) Rockets Clutch Gaming. I'd love to see the "Texas Triangle" in NBA2K League with Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

The Players.

The players were once capped to 92 OVR. Starting in Season 4, players are now capped at 95 OVR. Double Takeover and Team Takeover are now possible to buff players and teams on a roll.

The NBA2K League players work closely with 2K Sports and the NBA2K team to help develop their characters as precisely as possible. They communicate a lot and share any number of issues regarding the league. They can even do things such as asking if something needs to be patched or anything, for example.

Many of the NBA2K League players got their start by doing well in various other NBA2K competitions before joining the NBA2K League draft. Usually, a prospective player would do have success in ProAm on Hall of Fame difficulty.

You too can be an NBA2K League player! A format unveiled in mid-late 2020 features NBA2K League teams hosting tryouts. These tryouts include a number of ProAm tournaments. Doing well can get you into the league through the NBA2K League Draft. And hopefully, us fans may be talking about YOU in Chat in games! :)

The 2021 NBA2K League draft was pretty diverse. Among the draftees are some international players and even two female players. Two of the three international draftees includes "Avemario" from Spain (on Cavs Legion GC) and Milo from Australia (on Kings Guard Gaming). There was another international draftee from the United Kingdom, but his name fails me creating this original blog post. Chiquitae was the first female player in NBA2K League, playing for Warriors Gaming Squad. The two new female players drafted are Ziah (on Mavs Gaming) and DjLayyy (on Celtics Crossover Gaming).


The Games.

NBA2K League plays four six-minute quarters. If needed, Overtime features sessions of three minutes. The games follow NBA-type rules. Players foul out on six fouls. However, instead of being taken out of the game, a Technical free throw is shot. There may be cases where the game may have to be restarted before of the game crashing or for issues like bad weather. If a game has been played but to be restarted, the game will be started and then end at a certain point.

Season 3 introduced a best-of-3 format. If you won the best-of-3 series, you get one official win. Losers of the best-of-3 series would get one official loss to their record. Season 4 now has two-game sets with about 32 games a week with about 16 teams playing a week.


The Tournaments.

Here is a look at some of the Tournaments in NBA2K League. I am only discussing this as best as I know it:

• The Tipoff:
The Tipoff is the opening tournament to tip off a new season of NBA2K League. Matches held here are in a best-of-3 round format.

• The Turn:
This was a unique tournament featuring best-of-3 rounds where teams choose to ban one certain archetype. For example, one team banned a two-way slasher, the other team must also has to ban a two-way slasher. It provided a unique challenge to sort of change up the flow of a team. Rounds are best-of-3, and I believe the final is best-of-5.

• The Ticket:
One aspect of pro sports is where bad teams or losing teams tank a season in hopes of landing better talent for next season. The Ticket, however, is seen as a Last Chance Qualifier for a team to make the Tournament. With the advent of a Western Conference and an Eastern Conference, two teams will make the final spot of each conference. The Ticket winners will have a guaranteed spot into the postseason. It gives losing or weaker teams one last chance to make the postseason.

• The Postsesaon:
This is where a team has a chance to become Champions of the NBA2K League. Each round of the Playoffs is a best-of-3 format and a best-of-5 Final. May the best team win!



That is as much as I know about NBA2K League. Here are some final thoughts coming up.




NBA2K League: Final Thoughts


NBA2K League is one of the more engaging and more fun eSports leagues in the world. Incredible personalities, great play, solid broadcasting, and more make this a real eSport to stand behind. Having NBA affiliation adds to the overall appeal of the league. As the season is currently playing Season 4, I can see this league expanding and growing. Further success will be dependent on involvement from fans, NBA2K players, corporate sponsors, and even the NBA itself will contribute to the future success of NBA2K League.

Personally, basketball is one of my favorite sports. I feel I am not as much a fan of NBA2K League only because I don't fully know the game of basketball and how NBA2K games play. I stayed because I love the community and the fun provided by this league. Despite this, many of my days and nights have been made better by watching NBA2K League broadcasts online. If you want something different as a watcher of eSports, you owe it to yourself to watch and follow NBA2K League. I may even go as far as to say you'll be a fan of NBA2K League even if you don't like NBA2K or even basketball. Scott Cole, Dirk, Autumn, Harris, and India all provide great broadcasting in streams. Jeff Eisenband's "Behind the Screens" offer up great perspective on NBA2K League players. I also salute the likes of the NBA2K League and of Matt Arden for making this happen. It is always great to be a part of the magic each week and in watching each game.


Hype Video!

If you want to get excited about NBA2K League, this video will get you in the mood. I LOVE this anthem. This video is one of those "wait for it..." things, but it's worth the wait. Check it...


^ NBA 2K League #LetsGo2KL Season 4 Anthem

Excited much, mates? ;)


To Any and All NBA2K League Personalities Reading...

I hope I've done what I can to discuss this league properly. I enjoy the community and comraderie to stick with this league. Thank you so much if you love my work.


For More Information...

For more about NBA2K League, visit their official website at 2kleague.nba.com.





Thank you for visiting my blog! You took time out of your day to visit this blog and its posts, and I thank you for it. I do what I can to talk about anything and everything on my mind. I been doing this since 2009 on Blogger/Blogspot and still going. Subscribe/Follow in any capacity if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Pinterest

John B. Marine | 6/22/2021 06:14:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Some thing Pinterest is no longer a thing. As I reflect on how I use Pinterest, I began to really understand what Pinterest is for. Some mostly look at Pinterest as a collection of favorites. Some others share ideas and tell stories using a collection of pictures from the Internet. Business types use Pinterest to sell products. No matter what, Pinterest has a lot of versatility in expressing ideas. I will therefore use this post to talk about Pinterest.






Pinterest


pinterest logo
^ from: (YouTube) - Let Pinterest be your poster board of many ideas.

Pinterest is a convergence of pictures to share as one big piece of inspiration. For the most part, people will put together various images and videos to express a point. That is mostly what Pinterest is about. Each collection of pictures are called "Boards," and the many pictures and videos are "Ideas." Use these to help build your own inspirations.

When I made my first Board in April 15, 2019; I made a board regarding dress and sneakers combinations that work. I designed that board to show that not every pairing of dresses and sneakers works well. Those that I felt were good (or at least acceptable) combinations of dresses and sneakers was what motivated me to find more pictures. Once I started making one Board, I felt the desire to make other Boards sharing my ideas. Most of the Pinterest boards I made are fashion-related. However, I have made a few Boards about non-fashion topics, such as technology, artwork, vehicles, and more.

When you make a Board on Pinterest, you are expressing ideas based on various pictures saved on Pinterest. Some blogs and websites even let you share pictures and videos on Pinterest to inspire other peoples' Boards. So Pinterest has a lot of ways to express your thoughts any way you can.


How Do You Use Pinterest?

I have always seen Pinterest as telling a story or sharing ideas. For example, if you wanted to show off beautiful dresses then set up a Board with many dresses that you like. If you want to give food ideas to people to make, you want to find whatever food and drink ideas are available on Pinterest to share. I started off on Pinterest talking about dresses with sneakers outfits that I liked and that I think work. Each Pinterest Board is a story. Tell a story or share a general idea with inspiration from other material. A Pinterest Board is not just a collection of favorite pictures. Go ahead- tell a story. Prove your points. Make Pinterest your medium for expression.


Pinterest For Business?

If you sell your own items, you can promote your content by sharing Pins on your material. Some people use Pinterest for various business applications and settings. You can use your social media profiles, your Etsy shop, or any other such market platform for Pinterest Business. I have no experience with Pinterest for business, so I will comment no further on this topic.


Should You Try Pinterest?

A lot of people think Pinterest isn't really a thing anymore. I say it is. If you want to express your ideas based on inspiration from various sources, definitely consider Pinterest. People still post ideas and such on Pinterest today. It isn't "dead" by any stretch. It is only "dead" if you fancy something like Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, or even Instagram more. Enjoy sharing ideas by collecting Ideas and building your Board up.


Visit MY Pinterest! ;)

If you want to see the Pins I have saved and the Boards I have created, please visit my Pinterest profile. You're welcome to follow me on Pinterest if you like!





Hopefully this gives you some insight in regards to Pinterest. It is a pleasure for you to visit my blog(s). Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Why I Left Instagram

John B. Marine | 6/17/2021 10:28:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
Earlier in March 2021, I made the decision to leave one of the world's biggest social networking sites- Instagram. I broke my silence explaining why I left "the 'Gram." I'm here to share why I left Instagram in this blog post. And... could I return? You'll have to read this post to find out more!






Why I Left Instagram: My Insights


For some people, answering the question of leaving Instagram is a "who cares?" deal. At least I'm here to be transparent.

Instagram was one of the biggest platforms to promote my picture work. I joined Instagram around 2017 or so. Many of my digital content and various other pictures were shared on Instagram with my friends. Some people whom I've known on Instagram are those who I've only known on Instagram and not available on other social media platforms. When I eventually left Instagram, it felt like I would lose certain people seemingly forever. While I didn't like doing this, I felt like I had to leave Instagram due to a number of issues. Even some famous personalities and some celebrities have announced leaving certain social media platforms for any number of reasons.

One thing I felt bad about was that instead of sharing a post with my thanks to my many Instagram supporters, I just simply left. Maybe I was drawn to one person who simply said, "who cares if you leave Instagram?" I probably took it to heart rather than tell all interested parties in my decision to leave Instagram. Granted I am not very popular anywhere (including blogging), I at least want to feel important in the eyes of others because people do enjoy my work.




Why I Left Instagram: Reasons


Now on to the main reasons why I left Instagram. Take a look:


Experiences.

Of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; I've had some of the least satisfying experiences on Instagram. I've dealt with a handful of idiots, trolls, and spammers trying to flirt with me. This is more than I endured on Facebook since 2007 or on Twitter since 2009. There were loads of times where I would encounter someone who wanted to "share messages" with me. Most of the time, they were suspicious links. I even complimented on a car that I liked online when someone was like, "nobody asked you!" I think I once mentioned someone being courageous in seeing a curvy/plus-size fashionista in either a swimsuit or lingerie. It was taken in a negative context; and so to prevent any further roasting, I deleted my comment. I felt like I drew more criticism in interaction on Instagram than with some other social networking sites.


Instagram Ecosystem.

I believe Instagram was made for mobile devices to use and share material with. While you can still use a standard computer, IG was made for mobile devices. Having said that, uploading material from PC was a bit of a hassle if you do not have certain extensions for browsers. I ended up using an extension for Vivaldi and various Chrome browsers to upload pictures and videos. Sad thing was that I had to use the JPG format to upload from browser. That means no PNG files. Also, I don't think I could upload a set of pictures on PC for one Instagram post through a web browser.

I learned you could have your Instagram profile suspended or have certain features disabled if you send too many "likes" or post too many comments in a short amount of time. I also learned that no one profile can follow more than 7,500 Instagram profiles, so you will have to let go of different profiles you do not follow much of anymore.

If you are going to be mostly exclusive to or recommend picture/video sharing be done through mobile devices, fine. Just please have other ways to share content if we don't have access to mobile devices. Make those non-mobile options viable and useful as if using a mobile device.


The Sharing Experience.

You can not use Instagram posts to link to certain websites. Instead, you mostly have to go from the profile's linked page from the bio. I felt this sort of took away from properly promoting certain material or expressing certain points. I am a blogger, and a lot of what I do involves promoting some of my blog posts and other material. Not having direct links that can be accessed in posts does not help in the promotion department.


Security Issues.

While I never got hacked on Instagram, there have been times where I would often have my account blocked due to some sort of security issues I was unaware of. When these security issues became more frequent, that is when I became more compelled to leave Instagram. It came to a point where I have begun to loathe being a part of Instagram any longer. Then too, part of these issues maybe came from accessing certain websites posted in Instagram profiles. Not sure if it was mostly Linktree or anything.


So because of these issues, they mostly were the driving force for me leaving Instagram. Now you may know more as to why I left Instagram.




Why I Left Instagram: Aftermath and Second Thoughts?


As a result of leaving Instagram, I felt like I have lost contact with certain individuals whom I only encountered with or mostly know on Instagram. I am someone who values EVERYONE who interacts with my material. So I feel like loyal fans of my work may have been lost forever. On the other hand, it is a chance to maintain bonds with people elsewhere or meet new people elsewhere. I felt like I acted among myself to prematurely leave Instagram rather than offer my support to my loyal Instagram followers, but I felt I needed to leave the fairly toxic realm of Instagram before I let it take me over.

When I left Instagram, I felt like my biggest platform for sharing pictures was taken away from me. I made Instagram work for me for the time I've been a part of it. I found a way to be motivated to share pictures on it to share with friends, fans, and even some of my family who were on Instagram. Leaving Instagram only took that liberty away from me.

I felt at one point wanting to make a second Instagram profile only to promote digital content I hoped to sell online. Yes- returning to Instagram as a business profile was what I had in mind. However, because of my less than satisfied experience, that probably will not happen. So rather than give Instagram another chance, I decided to retire myself from Instagram.


Instagram Alternatives?

When I looked up alternatives for Instagram, I was looking at Vero after seeing some recommendations. However, I don't think Vero is as versatile as Instagram, though many see it is a great alternative to Instagram. I don't think I have an Android device I could use for its app. I tried Flickr, and it was only recently I got to get my Flickr accessed again. I have not much interest in using Photobucket or imgur. And no way in Heaven or Hell am I joining TikTok or Snapchat.

Unless I see something convincing, I feel I'll remain happy to leave Instagram and simply not have any proper medium to share my pictures besides Facebook and Twitter. I respect Instagram as a social networking medium. I am just disappointed with my experience to where I felt leaving was the best thing to do.


To Any People Who Followed Me on Instagram...

I am thankful to have been part of Instagram for as long as I have. It does feel bad to no longer feel connected to or be part of Instagram, but I felt I had to leave it thanks to a number of different factors. I can always be found elsewhere on social media and through blogging. So please try to stay with me elsewhere, and I hope I can continue providing great content for you all.


Could I Return to Instagram?

Immediate future? No. Somewhere down the line? Possibly. I've had one too many poor experiences and overall dissatisfaction to even think about returning. Even I had my qualms of joining Twitter, but Twitter worked out for me (and still does). There is just too much for me to even remotely consider a return to Instagram. If I do return to Instagram, it will mostly be as a Business Profile to promote some digital content rather than use it for digital content and personal pictures. I will let you know if I change my mind on Instagram.





Now that I've broken my silence and explained myself, that is the end of this blog post. I am again sorry I didn't do anything to say, "thank you for your support, but I will leave Instagram." At least now you know why I left Instagram. Don't leave my blogging work, though! Subscribe/Follow if you enjoy my work! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Sunday, May 30, 2021

VenusWorld

John B. Marine | 5/30/2021 12:57:00 AM | | | | Be the first to comment!
Venus is a singer I came across on Twitch recently. This British singer/songwriter has produced many a lovely song both in her own music and on Twitch. Venus is a goddess who delivers divine energy in her songs and personality. What I decided to do for this blog post is introduce you to Venus and what she brings to Twitch and music. So join me here on "John's Blog Space!"

About the Label: Twitch

This label features various topics regarding the popular live stream service Twitch, as well as the various individuals who are a part of Twitch.






Venus


Venus is a singer/songwriter from near London, England, United Kingdom. This British singer performs a number of songs in her streams. She began her music career in 2018. Venus does a combination of singing and keyboard play. She even once went acapella and even did sort of a duet with a guitar player. All the while, Venus delivers her sweet and gentle personality to her streams. Venus has a personality like either a member of royalty or like a goddess. All of her Followers are angels to Venus. Even being at home, Venus delivers concert-quality performances. Venus even takes her music to Twitter, YouTube, and even Bandcamp.

When I first discovered Venus on a random Twitch recommendation, I became enticed by Venus when I heard her sing. Venus has an amazing voice and sings beautifully. I don't think I've heard beautiful singing from any singers from the United Kingdom since I used to listen to Charlotte Church and Sarah Brightman. What I adore most about Venus is how humble and welcoming she is. When a new Follower joins, she is very welcoming. When someone Subscribes or is gifted a Subscription, you are "bestowed your wings." Venus will sweetly thank someone for "...bestowing a pair of wings upon [new follower]." She will even thank those who offer donations. So what I love most about Venus' channel is all the happy and heartwarming energy. Just the overall feeling of love and appreciation is what makes Venus channel so wonderful to be a part of. I was vastly motivated to blog about Venus based on her charming personality. Any space that brings positive, respectful, welcoming, charming, and respectful atmosphere is worth visiting and being a part of. Venus even says herself that she has the warmest community on Twitch. She can only get better. It is onwards and upwards for this singing goddess.

I think you will love hearing Venus sing her heart out and share her beautiful spirit with you. She will warm your heart with her beautiful soul, and she will also charm you with her beauty both in singing and in piano play. It is worth your time to follow this lady's channel.


Video Preview.

Here is some insight into Venus and her fabulous performances. This long video I found was when Venus surpassed 25K Followers on Twitch. It will give you an idea to what kind of magic Venus brings to her streams:


^ VenusWorld on Twitch ft Venus - Week 11 25,000 Follower Show (edited highlights)


What I Would Tell Venus...

Venus, you and your music are lovely. It is great to hear your fabulous voice and your feel your charming personality in your songs and streams. You are truly a wonderful force. You are a divine goddess with a divine voice and aura. I wish you continued success in all of your music. Anything to provide something positive and charming in today's mad world is worthy of my respect. So keep up the great work!


For More Information...

For more information about Venus and her music, visit Venus' official site at venusworldmusic.com. Check out her Twitch channel at VenusWorld on Twitch. Find her music on Bandcamp at Venus on Bandcamp.





Thank you for being here! I hope you have enjoyed your time here. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Miyuki

John B. Marine | 5/27/2021 09:53:00 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
DJ Miyuki is fast becoming one of the finest DJ'ing talents today. Her live DJ sets on Twitch are surely eye-catching and awesome. She mixes trance and melodic bass bangers. She doesn't just mix bangers; she also makes bangers! In any effort to influence Miyuki and her work, I have prepared this blog post. Hopefully you can get to see what makes her work amazing with this blog post.






DJ Miyuki


DJ Miyuki is a DJ and producer based in Los Angeles, California, USA. Miyuki runs Twitch streams each Friday night and Saturday night featuring some of the finest in trance, melodic bass, dubstep, and more. She and her fans are part of the "Miyuki Mpire." She has mixed as well as produced music. Her DJ specialties are mostly of trance and melodic bass. Miyuki's star has been on the rise in recent times. This includes some of her hit songs like "Never Been Alone," and Just This Once. She recently released a new song called "Need You Like I Need to Breathe," which went from 23rd in the Beatport Trance Top 100... all the way to the top of the Beatport. She is also planning on having her debut show on June 26, 2021 in Los Angeles as of the time of this post. Needless to say, Miyuki is a star on the rise. Funny enough, Miyuki went through college to become a doctor. Miyuki surely is a doctor with her sets, because it seems like her DJ sets are a cure for boredom and much needed mental relaxation, especially if you love trance and/or melodic bass.

My story with discovering Miyuki stems from a random recommendation from Twitch. I learned of her by watching her streams. I was amazed by the music playing as well as her performance that I became a fan instantly. You see, Miyuki doesn't just play music, she also dances to the music. Often times going to hair whips and high-energy dances. What makes Miyuki stand out in her streams is her use of props. Miyuki has three main props in her Twitch DJ sets- an LED whip, a light-up cape, and an LED light hula hoop. She dances with each of these items at times on set. Miyuki's dancing with these items makes her transcend a regular DJ set. Instead, Miyuki's dancing is nearly like art or gymnastics. They add an extra dimension of awesome even with some of the incredible DJ sets of hers.

I found this video to showcase the progression of Miyuki's popularity. It is not only my personal favorite song of hers, but it also shows a bit of Miyuki's evolution. Check it out:


^ MIYUKI - Never Been Alone (ft. Glasscat)

A week after launching her song "Need You Like I Need to Breathe," Miyuki's song went from No. 23 on the Beatport Trance Top 100 to the very top of the Top 100 Trance on Beatport. So it is safe to say Miyuki can only get better. Unfortunately, I do not have a link to share where you can see the video for that song.


Miyuki = The Next Superstar?

Devoted fans would say Miyuki IS the right now in trance. If Miyuki isn't a superstar already, she definitely will be one in the future. Time will tell whether or not Miyuki will become the next superstar in the realm of trance and/or melodic bass. For sure, Miyuki is one to watch. Miyuki will be looking to host her debut live set in Los Angeles later in June 26, 2021. If this goes well, Miyuki may further establish herself.

So if you're ready to join the Miyuki Mpire, Mpress Miyuki has no problem impressing. In fact, you can say she's "Mpressive." You need only hear her music to appreciate and admire the talent she has as a DJ and as a producer.


What I Would Tell Miyuki...

I have enjoyed your sets and your style across your streams. I wish you well in becoming that superstar you were destined to be. Best of luck to you in the future and in future endeavors.


For More Information...

To learn more about Miyuki, please visit her official website at www.miyukiofficial.com Visit her Twitch channel at: www.twitch.tv/DJMiyuki.





So now you know about Miyuki. I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Remember to Subscribe/Follow to see more of my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Thursday, May 13, 2021

SmartNews

John B. Marine | 5/13/2021 11:50:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Getting news on your mobile devices can be a cumbersome process. Thankfully, SmartNews attempts to make it easy to get the news you want the way you want it. I will be sure to share with you my thoughts on SmartNews in this blog post. I would like to welcome everyone here, and I hope you get to enjoy your time here on "John's Blog Space!"


Before I Begin...

The following blog post is NOT sponsored. I was not contacted by or requested to blog about this program. I did this on my own terms and with my own commentary.

As this is the review of a mobile application, the post pertains to the application at the time of the original blog post. This review is as accurate as the original date of this blog post (May 13, 2021).






SmartNews


SmartNews is a mobile application that gives you the latest news locally and around the world. It was developed by SmartNews, Inc. There are offices for SmartNews in San Francisco, California, USA and Tokyo, Japan. This app has been in existence since 2012. SmartNews allows you to have various news topics broken down into various categories. You can customize the different news topics you want to see and even get to see news based on your location. So do you want the latest local news in Los Angeles? You can do that with SmartNews. Do you want the latest sports news without having to consult the big networks or any big companies? You can do that with SmartNews. Maybe you want the latest news regarding the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic- you can do that with SmartNews. Basically any news you want delivered to your mobile device can be done through SmartNews!

I discovered SmartNews when I originally used NewsBreak. NewsBreak was great while it lasted, but I eventually moved on to SmartNews. What I enjoy most about SmartNews is how nicely the topics are arranged. SmartNews has a nifty feature that suits mobile devices where if it is taking too long to load up a linked news topic, you can use SmartView to get a less-intensive version of the page while still getting the quality news content you crave. Thankfully, I have a fairly good WiFi connection to where I don't need to wait forever for news topics. Even when the Winter Storm hit Texas in February 2021, I still managed to get a decent look at the news through my 4G LTE smartphone. You can adjust the order of the news topics that matter to you by selecting an order of tabs.

I personally have my SmartNews to fetch top news stories, local (Houston) news stories, international stories, COVID-19/Coronavirus news, and more. If you set up an account, you can have a personalized set of news based on topics that interest you the most. SmartNews simply seeks news stories that spark your interest. While there are ads included in the app, they are not in any way overly obtrusive. It is the news you are looking for with no sort of extra fluff getting in the way.


Final Thoughts.

SmartNews is an app for which you can simply have a host of news topics in a cleverly-curated way. Every sort of news outlet ranging from local news networks to the likes of Bloomberg, Reuters, Sky Sports, ESPN, TMZ, and much more are all available for you on your mobile device to get the news you need without having to look too far. I strongly recommend SmartNews if you simply want a quality news app that fetches lots of stories for you. And if you want, you can set SmartNews to deliver notifications so you can get a handle on some of the latest news topics across many different categories. Getting the news should be simple, easy, and concise. SmartNews lives up to its name by smartly delivering you news articles to categories that matter most to you. STRONGLY recommend.


For More Information...

SmartNews is available for Android and iOS devices. To learn more about SmartNews and to download SmartNews to your mobile device, please visit www.smartnews.com. If you want a sample of how SmartNews handles news topics, here is a link to SmartNews' Top News page (mobile device not needed for the following link): SmartNews: Top News.





Well, that's it. Thank you for visiting "John's Blog Space!" Be sure to follow/subscribe to my work and support me any way you can if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

My New Homepage

John B. Marine | 2/02/2021 11:55:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a special announcement... I have established a new website to replace my former one. I established my former site on Wordpress and haven't developed it much at all. Also, I feared I wouldn't be able to financially support it even after doing so in its first year. I created a new site going from a paid platform to the free platform. I will slowly work to remove my previous site and work on Wordpress with my new site. Let me note that this is NOT a blog. This new site is a personal site with a handful of material exclusive to it. Don't worry about its current state- I hope to add my own custom/bespoke HTML pages for it along with my own designs. So now, I have made a new website, but this time on the wordpress-dot-com system. My new site is still a work in progress. The new site I created still has the same name of my previous site. Only difference is, just add "wordpress" to its title. So check out my WIP site: johnbmarine.wordpress.com!





I am pleased to share this news with you all. If you somehow bookmarked johnbmarine.com, change over to the new "johnbmarine.wordpress.com". Thank you for your cooperation and also for reading! Take care and be well.

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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Google Chromecast With Google TV

John B. Marine | 12/26/2020 11:10:00 AM | | | | Be the first to comment!
There was a reason why I didn't believe in the Google Chromecast. It was because it was a streamer- not like your average Android TV box. You had to rely on mobile devices to use it. Now comes the Google Chromecast With Google TV. I did my research through YouTube videos and wanted to see if this is any good. To state my thoughts after using it for one day (give or take), I have prepared this blog post. Welcome, one and all, to "John's Blog Space!"






Google Chromecast With Google TV


Meet the Google Chromecast With Google TV...

Google Chromecast With Google TV
^ from: (B&H) - This device is more than just a Google Chromecast; this one is a Chromecast With Google TV and Google Assistant.

Before I go any further, let me suggest there is a big difference between this Chromecast With Google TV and the base Google Chromecast. The Google Chromecast simply streams media from your mobile devices to your TV. The Google Chromecast With Google TV does the same thing, but differently and with more versatility. It most importantly can be operated without any mobile devices. Now let me share some basic specifications.


Google Chromecast With Google TV: At a Glance.

The Google Chromecast With Google TV is a device that features the round pebble that hooks into an HDMI port, and it comes with a remote you can use. What was the Android TV interface is now simply Google TV. It is the Android interface tailored exclusively for television units and through various Android TV boxes. Unlike having to rely on mobile devices for operation and only be able to use it to stream or cast, you have a physical remote to use with this device. This means you no longer have to rely on having your mobile device connected to WiFi and having to have the proper app to operate. You also have the comfort and convenience of using Google Assistant to help you utilize voice commands and even search for media and more through your voice. The Google Chromecast With Google TV can support HDTV, 4KTV, and HDR type television units. Its primary opposition include the Amazon Fire Stick 4K, and the Roku Streaming Stick Plus.

Setup is fairly simple. Where I hit snags in setting up the Chromecast With Google TV was in trying to have the Google Home app available. The problem I suffered was that I got notifications saying that I don't have enough space on my devices for the Google Home app. Thankfully, I had other methods to try to complete my installation of my Google Chromecast With Google TV. I later began to actually enjoy it along with finding some extra apps to enhance the experience.

It is possible you can play Android games on the Google Chromecast With Google TV. However, you are perhaps better left to using mostly light 2D-style games rather than any intense 3D Android games. I don't plan on using my Google Chromecast With Google TV for gaming.

The Google Chromecast With Google TV comes with 8GB of memory with about half of it being available for other material. So if you want to further utilize this device, you are best served to find a proper USB Type-C USB hub to hook in more devices and have more memory to install more material.

Now let me tell you how I came across this device.


Google Chromecast With Google TV: My Story.

So how did I get to explore the Google Chromecast With Google TV, and why did I care so much to be intrigued by it? Well recently, I began to feel disappointed of late with my Xiaomi Mi Box S after it has skipped out on my Internet connection. It also has randomly restarted on me. I initially bought the Xiaomi Mi Box S to be a more versatile Android TV box than my previous Google Nexus Player (or Google's "hockey puck" to some people). The Mi Box S has served me well as a media platform and as a separate Android device. Realistically, though, I felt it was time to move on. So around October or November of 2020, I began to research on the Google Chromecast With Google TV. I later wanted to get this fine device as a Christmas gift. And... I did! Because I'm a good boy! Honest! :D

It was to my surprise that I got a surprise Christmas gift for 2020- a brand-new 32-inch HDTV! When I started to consider rearranging things in my room to take advantage of the new TV, I began to think about installing my Google Chromecast With Google TV into my new TV. I could do it on my HDTV's three HDMI outputs (compared my my single HDMI port on my former HDTV). Once I put the package together, I could see and enjoy the Google Chromecast With Google TV to use the various programs and applications for it. I have basically used the Google Chromecast With Google TV for one day and decided to post a blog entry on it after one full day.


I will present to you my Final Thoughts on the Google Chromecast With Google TV in the next section.




Google Chromecast With Google TV: Final Thoughts


The Google Chromecast With Google TV is a worthy step up from the base Chromecast. It combines the Chromecast's wonderful streaming ability with the added incentive of the Google TV interface. You will be able to stream up to 4K with this device if you have the proper hardware. As a pure home media device, this device will serve you well. It is recommended to maybe invest in a USB hub compatible with the Google Chromecast With Google TV if you want more storage or want to perform more operations with this device. Other than that, the Google Chromecast With Google TV is a solid investment to any home media system.

This device can be found at a number of retail stores, selling for about $50 USD ($52 USD to $55 USD with taxes). It comes in three different colors: Snow (white color), Sky (light blue), and Sunrise (light pink).


For More Information...

To learn more about the Google Chromecast With Google TV, here is a look at the device from the Google Store: Chromecast With Google TV - Google Store.


Hopefully my blog post here gives you a little insight on the Google Chromecast With Google TV, and perhaps even I have helped you decide on whether or not to get this device.





I would like to thank everyone for supporting me and my work. I hope you are able to enjoy my content and get some added insight. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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