Those who become excessively intimate, or even fall in love, with their favorite gadgets, need help.
You know who you are. You clutch your iPhone as you sit at a bar. You turn your Palm Pre over in your palm as if it were a stress reliever. You wish you could take your gadget into the shower, just for security.
Thankfully, some sensitive soul at a company called Two Eggplants has come up with an ingenious way for you to commune with your digital lifeblood, even as you are scrubbing up for the day. For a mere $7.99, you … Read more
The value-packed, sporty and well-equipped Smart ForTwo Passion coupe includes a panorama roof, alloy wheels, air conditioning with climate control, three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with shift paddles, power windows, electric and heated side mirrors, and AM/FM radio with CD player.
The car debuted last fall at the 2008 LA auto show. Check out this review by Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder.
Mark/Space recently announced the availability of The Missing Sync for iPhone 2.0, the latest version of its data-synchronization software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It retails for $40, but it's a free upgrade for registered users of the first release.
The Missing Sync enables iPhone and iPod Touch users to synchronize Mac-based data that neither of these can devices ordinarily synchronize with, including notes, documents, and tasks. Conversely, the software also lets you log your mobile device's text messages and call history on a Mac. A "Migration Assistant" feature even allows you to … Read more
You can handily organize your life (or at least keep the minutia of your life organized) with Two Notes, a free sticky note application.
Not unlike its paper cousin, Two Notes comes in a limited range of colors (just five). But with Two Notes, you can rest assured that these notes always stick where you put them and don't require you to decipher your hasty scribbles at a later time. You can pin them to your desktop and minimize them, too, which helps clear the clutter. The automatic date/time stamp is also a nice feature. You can sort … Read more
Over the last few months rumors have continued to swirl around a possible Verizon-Apple deal to bring the iPhone to Verizon once Apple's exclusive pact with AT&T expires in 2010. But Tuesday BusinessWeek added a new twist to the rumor, reporting that Verizon and Apple are in talks to develop two new wireless devices that may hit the market this year.
Allegedly, one device would be a thinner, lighter, and lower-priced version of the iPhone--an iPhone Lite, if you will. While the other device would be something akin to the jumbo iPod Touch that we wrote about … Read more
Thanks to a chatty developer, we recently heard and relayed rumors that the next-generation PSP will have a sliding screen. Well, a second mystery developer, who's allegedly "working with the new hardware," has upped the ante: he or she claims Sony's next-gen portable gaming console will actually have a sliding touch screen along with the much-requested, dual-analog thumbsticks.
This all comes from Pocket Gamer, which doesn't name its "insider" source but says, "The new handheld will arrive before Christmas and will be far more similar to the iPhone than the current device.&… Read more
Take-Two Interactive Software reached a $3 million settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, relating to charges that the game publisher engaged in falsifying financial records as part of a stock option-backdating scheme, the SEC announced Wednesday.
A settlement agreement had largely been expected, after Take-Two announced two years ago that it had received a notice from the SEC's staff that it would recommend that charges be filed against the company. Take-Two, at the time, said the company expected to pursue a settlement agreement, rather than fight regulators in court.
Take-Two agreed to the settlement without … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--While Nintendo's Wii continues to outpace expectations and certain games are making fortunes for their publishers, a strong argument can be made that the hottest segment of the video games industry is one that is still in its infancy: social games.
These titles, which are popping up by the bushelful on platforms like Facebook and MySpace, as well as on Apple's iPhone, are garnering user numbers that would previously have been thought impossible. And in a deep recession, when even the strongest console manufacturers and biggest game publishers are being forced to shut down projects and lay off workers, people have no choice but to sit up and take notice.
At the Game Developers Conference on Thursday, Kristian Segerstrale, the CEO and co-founder of PlayFish, one of the most successful publishers of social games, upped the ante, stating his case for how the mainstream video games industry can learn from his side of the business.
In his talk, "Five lessons from social games that matter to the rest of the games industry," Segerstrale argued that while the nature of the social games business differs significantly from that followed for many years by the more traditional, retail-oriented publishers, times are changing, customers' behaviors and expectations are shifting rapidly, and the winning model may well be the new one.
PlayFish's roster of games, including the mega-hit Who Has the Biggest Brain is illustrative of the popularity games can achieve on services like Facebook. Segerstrale said PlayFish has had 60 million players, averages about 25 million monthly users and 5 million daily players, and currently has 5 of the 10 most popular applications on Facebook. And by itself, Who Has the Biggest Brain has been played a total of 500 million times by 15 million people, he said.
With numbers like that, it's clear why Segerstrale feels he has some lessons to teach the rest of the games industry. And while the traditional retail games model has been relatively unchanged for decades and remains strong today, he said he sees signs that the Electronic Arts, Activisions, and Take-Twos of the world, not to mention the countless other game developers and publishers out there, may need to rethink their methodology.
One harbinger of that need for change is evident even within the traditional games business itself, he pointed out. He said that Nintendo established the Wii as a sleeper hit by exploiting a wide range of people's desire to be social with friends and family. And he explained that Nintendo itself is well aware of this, as evinced by ads for the Wii that show groups of friends playing gleefully. Yet the real estate in the ads devoted to showing the games themselves is minimal; it's the image of the social activity that sells the Wii.
"This is about you and your real-world relationships," Segerstrale said, "which is ultimately much more important than anything that happens between you and your screen...That's why you're playing. You're playing together, not because you're trying to beat the boss in level 10." … Read more