Apple finally (round about the end of our show) gets around to its "one more thing": a knife-edge MacBook Air that inexplicably lacks anything resembling a modern processor. Plus, Mac OS X goes all iOS on us. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab gets a price tag that doesn't disappoint (shocker!) and Facebook deals with even more unintended consequences: painful personal memories. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
This time around, Facebook may actually have seen its privacy Watergate: A report in The Wall Street Journal on Monday found that the phenomenal amount of personal information that Facebook members put in their profiles may indeed have been sold extensively to marketers, advertisers, and data collectors. The big question, appropriately enough, is what did Facebook know and when did it know it?
Here's what happened: When Facebook members agree to connect their Facebook credentials to any of the hundreds of thousands of applications that implement its third-party developer application programming interface (API), they are giving those developers access … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--While in Texas for a visit with the in-laws, I made a side trip to Austin to check out that town's annual Game Developers Conference. The show has been around for years, and this time it's been renamed GDC Online, and is now focused on online gaming--from MMOs to mobile games to social and Facebook games.
As one might expect, the real stars of the show were FarmVille, FrontierVille, and the other Facebook games that regularly bring in tens of millions of monthly players (interestingly, the show happened simultaneously with Facebook's big press conference announcing new … Read more
Zynga, the social-gaming company responsible for sensations like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Pet Society, owes a big chunk of its runaway success to Facebook and the network of social connections that its developer platform opened up. But has its weed-like growth meant that it now even surpasses Facebook in employee head count? Maybe.
Bret Taylor, Facebook's chief technology officer, said in an onstage interview at this week's Web 2.0 Expo in New York that he believed Zynga now had more employees than Facebook. If that's accurate, it's an astonishing statistic considering that not only is … Read more
On today's Buzz Out Loud, Jason confesses his noob security mistake, Consumer Reports wants the world to know they STILL don't recommend the iPhone 4. Plus, Mark Zuckerberg's Hollywood moment isn't going to be as fun as he hoped, and we predict the MPAA will go nuclear if rumors of a permanent HDCP crack are true.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Last century's cash crops included tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane. Now we have magic cauliflower and super berries, too--and even though they can't be sold at market, some people still toil from dawn to dusk cultivating them.
People spend not just real time but also real money growing these crops in virtual farming games that combine the allure of both games and social networking in what is usually a cute and deceptively simple package. They can be addictive: many users come back at least once a day to micromanage their farms and deal with other users' requests.
On … Read more
On Thursday night, rapper Snoop Dogg detonated an armored truck to smithereens in the Nevada desert as a promotional stunt for social-gaming company Zynga's Mafia Wars: Las Vegas title, and that seems to have gone smoothly. But another Mafia Wars marketing stunt is ticking off authorities in San Francisco, according to a blog post on SFGate.com.
The promotion, which entailed gluing dozens of fake $25,000 Mafia Wars-branded bills to the sidewalk in several locations in the city's Hayes Valley neighborhood, is designed specifically to spread the word about a "Mafia Wars" contest with a $… Read more
Social-gaming powerhouse Zynga launched its latest game, "Mafia Wars: Las Vegas" earlier this month, and it promised eager players that when the game hit 10 million users, it would celebrate by detonating an armored truck in the Vegas-area desert and live-stream the whole thing on the Web. Yes, really.
Well, the milestone has been hit, according to a release on Thursday, and Zynga has made good on its promise to blow up the truck. Oh, except there's an addition: the truck will be blown up with the help of rapper Snoop Dogg, whose name I will never … Read more
Owen Van Natta, who went from an executive role at Facebook to a short-lived start-up-gig to an almost-as-short-lived stint as the CEO of MySpace, has been hired at social-gaming powerhouse Zynga as "executive vice president of business operations." He will report directly to Mark Pincus, the founder and CEO.
The official job description for Van Natta's role explains that he is "responsible for the company's revenue strategy, corporate development, international expansion, and brand" and also serves on the company's board of directors.
Zynga, which manufactures a portfolio of games like Mafia Wars and … Read more
Some of the most highly trafficked interactive systems today are accessed through the Web: Amazon.com, Facebook, Google, Zynga just to name a few. These apps have to work flawlessly across any browser or risk losing eyeballs and audience consistency.
The browser wars after all, are still alive and well, and any serious Web application needs to work on the most popular browsers , such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome but don't forget others like Safari and Opera.
But for most companies, it is difficult and costly to maintain and update a test infrastructure on premise that keeps up … Read more