Just learned from Engadget that Gearbox software, developers of the Borderlands series of games, has just released an interesting companion app to their Borderlands 2 title. For the uninitiated (I imagine all three of you who read this blog), the Borderlands series is a first person role-playing shooter. Kind of a mash of Halo and Diablo. The crux of this game is loot acquisition: weapons, shields, and power ups that make your character a beefier and more formidable loot acquisition machine.

With Loot the World, the new app, you use your iPhone or Android phone to scan a QR code, and it generates an item you can use in game with your character. It’s a tremendous way to extend the lifespan of a game and will most likely draw players back in who may have completed the game moved on to different titles.

With that bit of exposition out of the way, I wanted to point out our online barcode generator at https://www.posguys.com/barcode/ is a fun and easy way to make your very own QR Codes to create items. Items are specific to the code you scan, so theoretically you could find a great item, and send that QR code to friends who may want the item themselves.

For Android users, if you happen to scan a code and get an item you don’t like, you can click and hold on the product and it’ll bring up an option to remove it from your inventory.

QR codes support a ton of characters per code, including non alphanumeric. So you could dump some Emoji into our QR code generator and you’ll get some new results.

Update: Further testing let us get items by scanning any barcode. But wouldn’t you rather convert the Modern Major General song from Pirates of Penzance into great loot?

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Earlier one of my coworkers sent me a couple links to two Epson calculators, one for how much paper you’ll save using Epson’s paper reduction techniques, and one for how much money you’ll save using one of their energy star compliant printers over a competitor printer. It’s great to see back-of-the-envelope math being used outside of bars and anywhere else you might have the back of an envelope.

PAPER SAVER
This one is probably the easiest to spot savings, since media is a pretty established cost. I guess Epson’s receipt printers can reduce usage 10%, 20%, or 30%, so that makes calculations pretty straightforward. It’s also pretty easy to calculate savings on one’s own, if your yearly paper bill is something on the order of $1,000, 30% paper reduction should result in a new bill of $700. But that’s also a raw estimate and not as fun as a whole page with sliders & whatnot. And sometimes it helps to have a third party verify your calculations, especially when trying to justify an expenditure to a supervisor.

ENERGY SAVER
Of the two, this can be a bit more nebulous. You do have the ability to set your rates per KWh and over what span, which is a great way to see about how much it’ll cost to run the device. What makes it a little tougher is that the list of comparable products is relatively limited. Within the thermal section, you have a robust selection of Epson printers, but for competitors you have Star, Ithaca, Citizen, NCR, Bixolon, Toshiba, and Beiyang. I guess I was hoping to see CognitiveTPG, or maybe POS-X up in the list.

Both of these are definitely aimed at larger retailers with multiple checkstands. Especially the energy saver one, where the difference between a ReadyPrint T20 and TSP100ECO over 5 years is $0.25 savings. However, if you have a grocery store or department store with 10 to 20 printers in use, the savings really starts to add, and that’s important to see. It’s also nice to have a hard monetary value associated with the general warm feelings you might get knowing you’re cutting back on usage. It’s like an extrinsic reward to go with the intrinsic.

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