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15% of UK households to buy a bag of flour each week.
What that means for most of us is that the baking section of our local supermarket is utterly bare. But if you can’t get hold of flour, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a dessert that is both delicious and highly instagrammable (#runningoutofcatpicstosharewithfriends). Here are some ideas to take you beyond batter.Tiramisu
The great thing about making Tiramisu is that you don’t even have to switch on the oven. The other great thing about it is that you get to eat Tiramisu at the end of it all.
All of the ingredients are (hopefully) easy to get hold of at the moment. We checked around and most supermarkets seem to have sponge fingers (Savoiardi or lady fingers) in stock. You should be able to find them as a supermarket own-brand product. Here they are in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Waitrose. (We’re not hating on Morrisons, by the way, but we were unable to get on the website to check stock.)You’ll need:
1 pint pot of double cream (568ml)
250g mascarpone cheese
75ml Marsala or Madeira wine (if you don’t have this you can use dark sherry, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, brandy, Amaretto or leave out the booze altogether)
300ml strong black coffee (cold!)
5 tablespoons of caster sugar
175g sponge finger biscuits
25g dark chocolate
Cocoa powder to dust over the topMethod:
Make the dessert at least a few hours before you want to serve it.
Add the cream, the cheese, the alcohol and sugar to a bowl and whisk the mixture until it’s thick and creamy.
For the first layer, use half of the sponge fingers. Dip them one at a time into your coffee (but don’t let them get soggy). Lay them flat in a layer in your dish. Spread half of the creamy mixture on top.
Repeat with a second layer. If you have a piping bag, you can layer on some of the mixture and then pipe the rest in decorative dots for a pro finish.
Grate the dark chocolate on top.
Cover and refrigerate for two to three hours. Dust over with cocoa powder before you serve.
After eating, lie down flat and marinate in deep regret for one to two hours.Cheesecake
This is the cakiest non-batter-cake of our chosen recipes and should hit the spot if you’re craving comfort food. You can use almost anything you have at home for a topping (nuts, berries, tinned fruit, chocolate shavings) or go au naturel. It is, after all, largely cheese and nothing goes better with cheese than a fork and your face.For the base:
250g digestive biscuits
100g melted butter
600g full fat soft cheese
100g icing sugar
Half a pint of double cream (284ml)For the topping:
You can choose any topping but one of the best, and simplest, is a punnet of chopped strawberries. Puree half of the punnet with 250g of icing sugar, sieve and pour the sauce over the rest of the chopped strawberries on top of your cake.Making the base:
Butter and line a cake tin with baking paper.
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor or blender and add the melted butter. Blitz again. It should end up as an even mix with the consistency of damp sand (but even more delicious).
Spoon the mixture into the tin and press it down firmly to create an even layer. Stick the tin into the fridge for an hour to set.
When your base is ready, mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together with a hand blender or electric whisk. Slowly add in the double cream.
Spoon the mixture into the tin, smoothing it down with the back of a spoon.
Leave it to set in the fridge overnight.
Add your toppings.
The best thing about a meringue is that you only really need two ingredients to make it. However, if you laugh in the face of two-ingredient desserts, you can also add (seed-free) jam to the meringue mix. If you mix it in roughly at the end, you can create a flavoured swirl. For a more vibrant hue, add a few drops of red food colouring to the mix.You’ll need:
Three large egg whites
175g caster sugar
Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract (this is optional)Method:
Preheat your oven to 140°C (120°C if it’s a fan oven)/ gas mark 1/ 275°F.
Drop your egg whites into a large bowl and whisk them into soft peaks. While continuing to whisk, slowly add the caster sugar a spoonful at a time.
You should end up with a stiff, glossy meringue mixture.
If you’re using vanilla extract, add this now and whisk until it’s completely mixed in. This is also the time to add jam, if you want to. You’ll need a tablespoonful of seedless raspberry or strawberry jam and you can also punch up the colour with a few drops of red food colouring.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and dollop six blobs (this is the professional term) of meringue mix onto the baking paper. Make sure they are well spaced apart.
Bake for approximately one hour for softer centres or one and a quarter hours if you prefer crispier meringues. Make sure you use your oven window while cooking to see how the meringues are coming along. If you want crispier meringues, they may begin to take on a golden hue on top when they are done.
Switch off the oven and open the door to let them cool slowly. After an hour, transfer them to a wire rack. If you want to retain the softer centres, transfer them to a wire rack right away. Beware: if you cool them too quickly, they may crack.
Try to avoid opening the oven door to check on your meringues. Instead, crouch sadly in front of your oven, staring in the window like a Victorian orphan on a Dickens Christmas special.
You can use these little meringues to make sandwiches with a chocolate ganache (by simply melting dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water), whipped cream, jam or lemon curd filling.Pavlova
Essentially, this is just a meringue-plus recipe. Some people add a teaspoon of cornflour and a teaspoon of vinegar to the mix to help it retain its texture but if you don’t have those ingredients, you can still make it.
For the meringue base:
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract
Make the meringue according to the recipe above, but instead of separating it into dollops, make it into a large cake-sized disc that slopes down into the centre. After cooking it, open the oven door and let it cool slowly. If it gets too cold too quickly, it’ll crack. (You’ll usually get a few cracks but hopefully if you let it cool slowly, it won’t come apart completely. If it does, pretend that’s exactly how you meant it to turn out.)For the topping:
There are a number of ways you can go at this.
You can serve the meringue with fruit alone; with cream and fruit; or with a mascarpone cream filling and berry sauce.
All you really need is 450g of your choice of berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are all perfect). Wash and hull them, cut them up and add to the top of the meringue just before serving.
If you want to add a filling, you’ll need 350ml of double cream. Mix it up with a tablespoon of icing sugar (and 120g of mascarpone, if you have a sweet tooth, an iron stomach and are really going for it) and spread it over the meringue. Then add the prepared fruit.
If you have some extra berries, you can make a sauce by adding two tablespoons of icing sugar for every 100g of berries and putting the mixture in a blender. Sieve the mixture. Pour the resulting sauce over the Pavlova before serving.
If Pavlova comes out nicely, it looks – as well as tastes – amazing. You will be feted on social media and will probably get a knighthood. If it comes out badly, it will still taste pretty good and you can use all the camera angle trickery you have learned over the years to pretend it was a huge success.
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You're reading Beyond Baking: Great Desserts That Don’t Require Flour
Google’s John Mueller discussed what would make a search engineer want to include a different site into the search results. In a webmaster hangout, John Mueller discussed how a site could be just as good as the sites in the top ten. He then noted that just as good isn’t necessarily good enough.Site is Just as Good But Still Doesn’t Rank
“…for a large part it comes across as your site being kind of as good as a lot of the others out there. …I think that’s a good step.
But on the other hand at the same time because it’s kind of as good as all the others, from a user point of view, why do we especially need to have your site in there as well?
If we go to the search engineering teams and say, well the ten search results we’re showing now are pretty good but here is this other one that is just as good. They don’t really have any incentive to say okay we’ll swap out those search results and use this one because it’s just as good as the other one.How to Rank Better than Other Sites Competitor Research to Identify the Positives
When planning a site or revising a site strategy, I find it’s a good exercise to review your competitors. The method I created for my own projects over fifteen years ago is to make a list of all the good qualities and features that make a competitor site popular and useful.
Then do a crawl of the competitor sites (use Xenu Link Sleuth or Screaming Frog) and review how they use title tags, what kinds of sites they link out to. This will give you an idea of the competitor’s editorial focus. It can also give you an idea of how focused on SEO they are.Competitor Research to Identify the Negatives
Then repeat the same exercise but in reverse. Document all the negative aspects about the site.
Competitor strengths represent battles you will have to fight or choose to walk away from. Competitor weaknesses represent your opportunities to stand out.Non-Competitor Competitor Reviews
Now here is, in my opinion, an important variation on competition research. I find that there is value in researching non-competitors that have a similar business model. Sometimes there are practical insights hidden in the practices of successful non-competitor sites.
For example, if your site reviews movies, you might learn some new tricks by analyzing what the best Music review sites are doing. This research practice helps get your mind outside of what is common in a niche and possibly discover the uncommon, which can become your angle.
Ok, so that’s my tip on how to find a unique angle to help distinguish your site.
Now here is John Mueller talking about the importance of a unique angle.John Mueller Discusses Unique Angles
So the more you can really kind of take a step back and try to find an angle that significantly sets your site apart from all of the others so that when we go to the engineering team we can say well these ten results are pretty good but this one is the one that should definitely be number one for this kind of query.
Then that’s something they can take into account and say, Oh, yeah you’re right, this is really clearly the best out there and we need to make sure that it’s on top.
We’ll take some time to figure out what is actually happening here in our algorithms to treat this site, this content that it’s producing appropriately.
And those are things of course when you’re in a niche like this that is very competitive, that that’s very hard to do but it’s not impossible.
So I really recommend trying to take a step back and thinking about what you can do to significantly take your site to the next level.
Which might be new content that you produce, new angles that you kind of look into. Maybe less content that’s already out on other sites… all of these things to really kind of make sure that your site is really unique and not just similar to the other ones.Be the Only One
The New York Times interviewed celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern who offered a relevant insight into how to be successful. While Andrew Zimmern isn’t an SEO, he does know something about cultivating success.
Here is Andrew Zimmern’s observation about success:
“I always say I don’t want to be the best. I want to be the only,” he said…
“You want to bust your ass and make the perfect hot sauce and market yourself against 300 other brands of incredible hot sauce? You’re a schmuck.
You actually want to go out and make something different. Be the only.”
As an example of being the only, his new venture is a Chinese restaurant that focuses on food he likes and the kind he grew up eating. The restaurant will also serve tiki drinks, which adds a social element to going out to eat.How to Rank Better in Google
According to John Mueller, it might not be enough to be as good as the sites already in the search results. It may be helpful to develop a strategy to go beyond good enough.
Watch Google Webmaster Hangout HereMore Resources
Screenshots by Author, Modified by Author
We all know about the value that you can find while performing keyword research using the Google Suggest feature for regular search as well as images, videos, and more.
But let’s look beyond Google for a moment – other sites are incorporating the suggestion feature in their search box as well. Here are just a few of them, as well as some examples of the variety in keyword ideas in comparison to the ones Google suggests as pictured above.
Looking to get your site optimized for Bing? Why not start with seeing what keywords are popular with Bing as opposed to Google?
Although Bing and Yahoo are merged, what people type into one vs. the other is quite different, as is shown by the results of this search vs. the one in Bing pictured earlier.
Blekko, the new search engine slash SEO tool offers unique suggestions including their slashtags.
Topsy is a social media search engine which looks at the latest links and photos shared on Twitter about particular topics.
Wefollow is a Twitter directory that allows Twitter users to list themselves under particular keywords. You can see what people consider themselves experts in in relation to your keyword.
The suggestions offered by YouTube are the same as the ones suggested by Google Video – the only difference is that on Google you will get results from lots of video networks, whereas YouTube results will stick with YouTube videos.Your Favorite Non-Google Suggest Tool
Last Updated on November 21, 2023
With the worlds of gaming and the blockchain becoming evermore intertwined, team PC Guide is keeping an interested eye on developments and future possibilities.
We’re not alone though, as the potential for distributed computing is being well and truly utilized for the benefit of both the blockchain and gamers. It’s a developing tech junction that GAIMIN knows extremely well.
To learn more about GAIMIN, we caught up with the company’s CEO, Martin Speight, to talk monetisation of gamers’ processing power – as well as unique rewards, GAIMIN’s own crypto token, and the company’s future plans.GAIMIN, decentralised networks and the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence
1- Hello, can you briefly explain what GAIMIN is and seeks to achieve?
GAIMIN has created a platform that harnesses the underutilised processing power available from a worldwide network of gamers’ GPUs to create GAIMIN Cloud.
It’s a decentralised data processing network capable of delivering, on-demand, instantly scalable, cost-effective, supercomputer-level data processing services.
And how does GAIMIN make use of this processing?
GAIMIN utilises its global network to deliver data processing services for customers who pay GAIMIN for service delivery.
We return up to 90% of the generated income back to the gamer’s/users who allow their devices to participate in the GAIMIN decentralised network.
So a key focus is gamers being a part of the decentralised network – why is that?
GAIMIN targets the gaming community as active participants in GAIMIN Cloud as gamers typically have higher-performance devices capable of delivering data processing services.
The service rewards users for their participation but we also want to ensure “no gamer is left behind”. So even if someone does not have a higher performing device, they can still be part of the GAIMIN community and earn rewards even if they are not fully engaged in GAIMIN Cloud service participation.
2- For the uninitiated, is it fair to suggest GAIMIN is picking up the baton from distributed projects like SETI or Folding at Home. But for gamers, utilizing the blockchain?
The concept of harnessing distributed computer power is not new, per your question. The SETI project was maybe the first large-scale, and famous project which used connected distributed computers, with NASA’s involvement in their “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (SETI).
It allowed them to increase the amount of data they could process and meant they were no longer limited to their own computing capacity.
The much more recent Folding at Home project is the exact same concept and is backed by some of the world’s largest companies – where individual users can contribute computing capacity in order to run scientific and biological research with the aim of speeding up protein folding simulations, by harnessing additional unused computing power from around the world.
We use the exact same concept. However, we specifically target the world’s most powerful personal computers, which belong to the 1.5 billion-strong global PC gaming community.
And we incentivize the gamers by helping solve their two biggest problems: (i) how to pay for their gaming, and (ii) how to achieve true ownership of their in-game assets.
Right now, in a world where the demand for additional computing power is growing beyond the current supply, it means we are very well positioned.
Our use of blockchain technology represents the optimal way for us to manage our data. We’re building our project with the future in mind, and the implementation of Web3 technology offers us a great foundation and sets us up for future scalability and sustainability.
NextThe blockchain, GMRX and incentives
3- You also have your own GMRX token. What can you tell us about it and its availability?
GMRX is the internal utility cryptocurrency for GAIMIN’s platform. It is very common that top gaming platforms to have their own internal currency. Think of Fortnite with its V-Bucks as a perfect example.
GMRX has been established to consolidate the monetisation aspects of GAIMIN’s platform. GAIMIN’s monetisation features collect revenue in a variety of different formats – both fiat (countries’ own currency, eg $USD) and crypto.
In order to pay the user their share of the revenue for the use of their devices, GAIMIN realised that users do not want to receive their rewards in the different formats GAIMIN receives its revenue, so GMRX is used to consolidate rewards into a single, utility crypto. And being crypto means we can have more features than if it was purely fiat.
GMRX can then be used within GAIMIN’s platform either for the purchase of accessories, and merchandise or for in-game asset purchases enabling a gamer to quickly build up an in-game inventory.
GAIMIN also intends to list GMRX on one or more crypto exchanges enabling holders of GMRX to convert their GMRX into other cryptocurrencies or cash.
GMRX can currently be “earned” through the monetisation features of the GAIMIN app and platform. It can also be purchased. Very shortly GMRX will be listed on one or more crypto exchanges.
4- Right, so does the token factor into users’ rewards and incentives?
Great question, Yes it does. GAIMIN would prefer GMRX holders to utilise GMRX within the GAIMIN ecosystem and so will incentivise holders of GMRX to use GMRX for transactions.
This may be through gamification rewards, bonuses, discounts, additional GMRX rewards or enhanced features for NFT purchases. Ultimately a holder of GMRX will be able to use GMRX however they wish to use the currency!
It will also allow for seamless integration into other games we integrate into our GAIMIN platform in the future (and we have big plans for this).
There are a lot of projects in the Web3 space being built now that will allow for cross/multi-chain interoperability, which will produce a truly seamless experience for the user. Our GMRX token will allow this experience.
And how do users earn GMRX – how is it distributed between Gaimin users, and how is it utilized?
Although GMRX is typically earned through monetisation features, with the more powerful devices capable of generating higher rewards, GAIMIN wants to ensure that no gamer is left behind and so has introduced features to allow anyone to participate in the GAIMIN ecosystem and earn GMRX.
This is currently facilitated by users opening the app and remaining connected to GAIMIN Cloud with rewards provided for a number of hours connected rather than direct monetisation.
It all works in the background and doesn’t interfere with a user’s gameplay. We even have the ability to simply “slide” up or down the amount of computing “power” a user wishes to dedicate to GAIMIN, so it is completely flexible.
As a listed cryptocurrency, GMRX will always have a value both inside and outside of the GAIMIN ecosystem.
As GMRX gains traction, other game developers will be able to utilise GMRX within their own in-game economies either directly as GMRX or through the ability to white-label GMRX and have their own currency linked to GMRX.The platform
5- What other incentives are offered, and how do users get them?
GAIMIN are always looking at how we can introduce new users and participate in the GAIMIN platform and distributed data processing network.
As these teams progress through their various leagues and tournaments we actively promote GAIMIN through these teams and provide incentives to download the platform and app.
For example, our DOTA 2 team recently competed at TI11 in Singapore. We created a range of collectible NFTs for our team – individual NFTs for each player, a team NFT and the coach. All someone has to do is download the app, register with GAIMIN, and start monetising.
Each NFT can be collected after the completion of a number of hours monetisation, the more time spent monetising the more NFTs can be claimed. This is not dependent on the rewards generated, it is based solely on time, so the device performance is not important!
With just 250 hours of monetisation, the full set of 7 NFTs can be collected by DOTA 2 followers. We will be releasing a range of collectible NFTs for all our teams participating in all major tournaments, creating a uniquely collectible set of assets for all followers of our teams.
We also create utility NFTs based on monetisation activity. Our NFTs can be used as in-game assets with the key aspect being user ownership. When playing a game and building up an in-game inventory, if a gamer changes games, that asset inventory remains with the game and can be lost if a gamer moves games.
With an NFT-based asset inventory, the gamer owns the asset, utilising it within the game. If they change games, the asset remains with the user and can be reused in the new game, assuming the new game supports the asset category.
However in order to mitigate this issue and make NFTs more usable in different games, GAIMIN is the first company to introduce cross-game NFTs – the NFTxg.
This utility NFT is a single in-game asset that changes characteristics when used in different games. Currently GAIMIN supports NFT and NFTxg within Minecraft and GTA V, with plans to support RUST and World of Warcraft next year, and we have a long list of others we are looking at.
In addition, GAIMIN is also creating an SDK for Unreal Engine and Unity games, extending the utility of these unique in-game assets/NFTs into a far wider range of games.
Additionally, GAIMIN intends on creating lower-cost NFTs aligned with its anticipated monetisation reward generation. For example, assuming a user could generate say $1 per day in GMRX, GAIMIN will create a range of utility NFTs that can be purchased for around $1, $7, and $30 – 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month of monetisation.
This will enable gamers to quickly build up a superior asset inventory based solely on their monetisation activity, rather than having to purchase NFTs!
And don’t forget the gamer truly owns their in-game assets, via full blockchain ownership in their wallet, and is free to buy, sell, rent, or trade them
6- The core monetization element is, of course, based on harnessing spare cycles from gamers’ systems. Can you tell us a bit more about how and when GAIMIN will utilize users’ spare cycles and processing power. Are there really that many gaming systems left idle?
Then, when a data processing requirement is received by GAIMIN, the AI Engine identifies suitable devices, builds its processing network and submits the jobs to the devices.
GAIMIN provides a number of data processing services, including video rendering and the powering of blockchain computations. Video rendering is the more profitable service but is dependent on customers submitting rendering jobs.
A video rendering job will take priority for use of GAIMIN Cloud. However, there is an “always on” data processing requirement which is the powering of blockchain computations. This is less profitable than other data processing services but ensures that any device identified as being available can always undertake some form of monetisation.
As users use their PCs, switch them on and off, use them for gaming etc, worldwide device availability is constantly changing. GAIMIN’s AI Engine identifies available devices and their processing capabilities such that when a job is received, the GAIMIN AI Engine identifies the devices capable of delivering the processing service.
If a device is not suitable for a specific processing service, it always remains available for another data processing service. If not suitable for any data processing job at the current time, the user can still generate rewards through the hourly connectivity.
Dependent upon the user’s PC, gameplay and PC performance may occasionally be impacted by the monetisation aspects of the GAIMIN app. So GAIMIN has implemented a “slider” function that allows the user to select how much of their device is used for monetisation.
If they have a lower performance, older device which is having gameplay impacted, the user can select a lower percentage for monetisation for the duration of PC usage, and then increase this when they stop using the PC for gaming.Gaimcraft and unique items
7- We’ve seen a little bit about ‘Gaimcraft’. Can you detail what it is, how it incorporates into games, and tell us anything about future plans?
GAIMCRAFT is GAIMIN’s own Minecraft server. We employed some incredible Minecraft world designers to build a huge, spectacular world for us. It takes almost 30 minutes to go from one side to the other and is complete with a Coliseum, town hall, market, bank and everything you can imagine.
You can connect your GAIMIN platform to GAIMCRAFT and have full use of your in-game assets stored in your wallet. An extra inventory appears with these items, so basically we have brought Web3 tech to one of the world’s leading AAA moddable games. All of which produces enhanced gaming functionality, and that means more fun for the user.
We have done exactly the same with GTA V as well. And, as mentioned, we have plans for RUST and World of Warcraft next.
We have found that a large number of gamers are reluctant to purchase gaming inventory simply because when they stop playing a game, that investment is lost – any assets purchased remain within the game account and cannot be transferred to other games or other players.
GAIMIN technology allows gamers to own their asset inventory and utilise assets across a number of different games. In addition, assets can be traded – sold to other players or even rented out for a period of time when not being used.
For example, when someone is on holiday they may allow their limited edition asset to be borrowed or rented while they are away.
Smart contract technology built into the GAIMIN platform ensures security of ownership – so you rent out your asset for a defined period of time and at the end of that period, the smart contract automatically reverts the ownership of the asset back to the original owner.GAIMIN and eSports
8- You mentioned the Gaimin Gladiators earlier. We’ve spotted them in action recently on Twitch: what was behind the decision to have an affiliated eSports team?
GAIMIN is a company founded by gamers and so gaming has always been an important component in the GAIMIN strategy.
As you will appreciate, GAIMIN Cloud is based on the performance capabilities of the available devices. GAIMIN quickly realised that the gaming community typically has the higher performance devices required by GAIMIN Cloud as these higher performance devices improve and enhance game play.
With over 3 billion worldwide gamers and 1.5 billion PC based gamers, we have a very large potential user community for GAIMIN!
In order to allow us to access the gaming community, build brand recognition, trust, credibility and enjoy direct user acquisition, GAIMIN decided to own its own esports team – GAIMIN Gladiators.
The aim of GAIMIN Gladiators is to build successful esports teams in leading games, have some fun supporting these teams in their tournaments, but importantly for GAIMIN, generate awareness of the GAIMIN brand through the followers of these teams – and incentivise these followers to download and install the GAIMIN platform and app.
GAIMIN incentivises the followers in a number of ways: Including the provision of collectable NFTs, the monetisation aspects of the platform and passive earning of GMRX, the ability to utilise GMRX for purchase of accessories and merchandise – and competitions to have access to the players and unique collectables, such as signed merch.
9- That feels pretty exciting, to have the esports connection. What excites you most about GAIMIN’s plans right now?
GAIMIN has only just started – in 2023, we have some great changes planned!
GAIMIN Gladiators has already made a significant impression and achieved better-than-expected success! We expect the teams to go from strength to strength in 2023. We are always on the lookout for new teams to join our roster!
We will shortly be releasing our video rendering service in production versions of our platform (the rendering is in a closed beta now). In 2023, we will be extending the range of supported video editing applications to allow more users to render using GAIMIN Cloud.
We are improving our “always on” monetisation option and introducing new Web3 powering services, which can also include nodes as a service, but we are looking at how other industries are implementing similar Web3 technology and further demand area for processing power, such as AI training cycles.
We will be launching new collectable NFTs for all our teams participating in key tournaments.
We will also be extending our unique tech into new games – RUST, World of Warcraft, and the release of an SDK to allow game developers to implement GAIMIN technology into their games.
We plan to launch GMRX on crypto exchanges creating real-world value for holders of GMRX, and we will be extending the ability for all users to passively earn GMRX through monetisation activities.
And of course, we also want to have fun supporting our teams, meeting their followers, and building up the GAIMIN gaming community!
10 – Lots to come then. Finally from us, should they be keen to sign up or find out more, what are the best ways for PC Guide readers to connect with Gaimin?
The best places to connect with GAIMIN are:
Martin: “You should also follow GAIMIN Gladiators as well for the latest news on the esports team!”
Graphic artists are incredibly important to the design landscape. Good graphics play a crucial role in our daily lives, so much so that their influence goes unnoticed. Trends come and go, but a quality design will convey a powerful message, provide useful information, and sway audiences.Top 10 2023 Graphic Design Trends That Could Stick Around
The right design can establish a great first impression with your customers and solidify your brand identity. Here are X 2023 graphic design trends that aren’t going away anytime soon.1. Creating Your Own Graphics for Free
You used to have to hire a professional to create stunning, unique graphics. Now, you can use free image design creators to make something that truly stands out. Apps like BeFunky give you sophisticated design tools you can use to make banners, posters, infographics, and more.2. Twisted and/or Offbeat Typography
Most marketers prefer legible text when it comes to typography, but graphic artists love to play with larger and smaller fonts. While some text-based designs are difficult to read, the majority of these pieces include strategically placed words, slanted capital letters, and warped phrases.
Best Video Editing Tips for Beginners in 20233. Combining 2D and 3D Design Elements
4. The 90s, Y2K, and Early 2000s Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a powerful tool, but until recently, it was only the 90s kids that remembered that coveted era of Jnco jeans, Grunge, and see-through electronics. Thanks to graphic artists, other generations can enjoy simple emojis, geometric shapes, sketchy lines, and the primitive internet.5. Ant-Designers are More Popular
Color gradients and flowing lines are among the many trends that changed graphic design, but the anti-designer does away with all that. From color clashes to busy patterns, anti-designs are cropping up all over. This is good news for anyone who’s looking to break aesthetic conventions.
Top 10 Job Search Websites of 20236. Bright Colored (“Candy Colored”) Art
7. High School/2000-Era Microsoft Word Art
Graphic arts are important for business, but who would have thought that designers would look to high school Word art for new ideas? While some call this design psychedelic and childlike, I like to think that this bubble-letter trend was pulled from 2000-Era essays typed up on Word 97.8. Japanese Ukiyo-e Style Vector Design
Japanese ukiyo-e (“pictures of floating worlds”) is an art style that was popular from the 17th to 19th centuries. It often depicted women, sumo wrestlers, and kabuki actors. Vector artists have used elements of this style by adding flat colors and bold outlines to their own creations.
Top 10 Successful SaaS Companies Of All Times9. Parametric (Geometric) Patterns and Shapes
10. Holographic, Gradient, and High-Gloss Designs
Holographic design is another 90s staple and was frequently used on clothing. At the time, it was used to give off a futuristic appearance. In 2023, gradient and high-gloss holographic images can represent movement and a techy feel. This style works well on gifs, apps, and animation.
Test Pyramid is a blueprint divided into three parts that help Devs and QA professionals to get better results. Since the test pyramid increases the efficiency of a Dev team, it plays a vital role in the software testing strategy.
Like everything else, this strategy also comes with a toll. See, the traditional test pyramid consists of three layers: Unit test, Integration test, and End-to-End Test. As a result, it takes a lot of time and effort.
The Dev team requires three to six cycles on average to complete a whole testing phase with this idea. And it takes a lot of manual testing to go through. So, what’s the solution here?
Meet API testing. It’s a testing type that maintains short test cycles and handles frequent changes. In this article, I’ll give you a full-fledged idea about API testing and try to answer all your questions. So, let’s get to it.What is API Testing?
API stands for Application Programming Interface. A software testing strategy that checks whether an API performs the way it should define API testing. In other words, it analyzes API’s functionality, readability, performance, and security.
In conventional testing, developers work with standard inputs and outputs. But in API tests, they use software to call APIs, get results and note down the system’s response.
You already know that the conventional test consists of three layers: presentation, business, and database. API works as an add-on to the middle layer (business) of traditional testing. The API test lies between the presentation and business layer in software development.
Top 10 Trending Technologies You should know about it for Future DaysTypes of API Test
Different API tests are available to ensure the ongoing project’s API works as it should. Let’s get to know some of those.Functional Testing
The definition of functional testing is simple. It ensures whether the software of the application is performing within the expected parameters.
This method analyzes the whole codebase and compares it with the intended output to get to a decision. The software can also prevent bugs outside the designed parameters in this process.Reliability Testing
Validation testing mainly checks the behavior and efficiency of an API. It’s a quality assurance strategy for determining if the product is ready to meet the dev’s and client’s expectations. The testing process is divided into three question sets to verify the entire development process.
The first set addresses the product. Checks if it’s correctly built, has proper baseline coding, how it solves an issue, etc.
The second set is about the API’s behavior. This means it confirms whether an API behaves as intended.
The third and final set of questions looks at the efficiency of the product.Load Testing
In API tests, developers use load testing to understand how an API performs with the increased number of calls. This test helps the development team to agree on whether the product can meet certain real-life expectations under a high load.
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Security Testing gives the Dev team an overview of how the API will perform against cyberattacks. The process tests an API’s encryption methods and checks how it behaves with permissions and access controls.Penetration Testing
You can call it “Security Test 2.0” because this process is the next level of security testing. In this type, the testers analyze different attacks on API from an outsider’s point of view. This helps them to design better security for the product.Fuzz Testing
The general idea of UI testing is to check whether the API or other integral parts’ user interface is running correctly. In terms of the codebase, UI testing is not a significant part of API testing. However, this process helps measure the health and efficiency of the app’s front-end and back-end.Runtime and Error Detection
This type of testing is directly associated with the running of the API itself. Mainly, it monitors, overviews, and executes errors and resource leaks of a product.Benefits of API Test
Traditional testing does not cover all the aspects of back-end testing. As a result, the final product has a high possibility of containing bugs, which is pretty bad. That’s why we need API tests to ensure connections among different platforms are safe and reliable.
However, there’re other benefits of using API tests as well. Let me cover some of those for you.
API test is language-independent. In the test, data is exchanged via XML and JASON format. It gives you an edge to use any language format you want.
One of the best things about API testing is that it lets developers access the app without using the user interface. This way, the tester can identify bugs beforehand in the development lifecycle.
API test gives you improved test coverage. Most APIs allow you to create an automated test with enormous test cases. This applies in both functional and non-functional tests.
It is already known but let me tell you one more time that API testing takes less time. It can save you up to eight hours.
These are some of the biggest benefits of using API tests. Since you already know it’s a software-dependent testing strategy, you must be expecting a few names to get started with the process.API Testing Tools
Every developer has two options to run an API test: Write a framework or work with the ready-to-go tools. Yes, both have pros and cons, but I’ll talk about the available software on the market.
There are a lot of API Testing tools out there on the internet. However, as the internet has become a tough place to find the best things, I’ll give you a few names to work with.
SoapUI: Soap UI is one of the world’s most popular SOAP and REST APIs. Its open-source testing functionality offers inspection, simulation, development, and invoking of a web service. The best thing about this API testing tool is that it is entirely FREE. So, you can run, integrate, and simulate your project here without worrying about anything.
Apache JMeter: Apache JMeter is a pure open-source Java application designed for functional testing, load testing, and performance testing. Generally, developers use it to analyze how much load a product can take or, in shorter words, load testing.
Apigee: Apigee is a Google cloud-based API analysis and management software. The app first started its journey back in 2004. In 2023, Google bought the software for 625 million USD. You can use the tool for free for the first few times, but you have to buy it eventually.
REST Assured: REST Assured is another Java application on my list. But the best thing about this tool is that it easily handles JAVA. With this one, source code becomes shorter and easier to read and understand.
Testsigma: Testsigma is a cloud-based E2E API testing tool. The company gives you 30 days of free trial with the product. The tool features a simple setup with no coding policy. This way, non-technical people can also run and analyze test results.
Swagger UI: Swagger UI lets the testers or the customers interact and visualize the API without any implementation logic in its place. The tool works in all development environments and supports all browsers. It is fully customizable, and the best part, you can easily handle it.
Postman: Postman is a complete and customizable API testing tool that allows you to design, run, mock, monitor, and publish the APIs from one place.
Katalon: Katalon is one of the most productive IDEs out there for API automation. It works with modern frameworks like most other API testing tools. The best part about the tool is that it’s low maintenance.The Last Words
API test is more like conventional software testing on steroids. The main difference is steroids have too many cons, but API testing doesn’t. I’ve tried briefly explaining API testing and its benefits in the above article.
Yes, there are a few anti-sides as well. Since the number is way too less, I didn’t feel the urge to address them. One of the biggest problems with API testing is MAINTENANCE.
But I’ve already given you a list of automated tools as a big SOLUTION to this problem. I hope this article was enough to answer all of your concerns.
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