The PortableApps Suite is a storehouse and management system for "portable" versions of some of the most popular freeware around. That collection used to be limited only to open-source programs. But on Wednesday it started making portable versions of closed-source freeware to users. The first batch of portable freeware includes Web browser Google Chrome, VoIP client Skype, BitTorrent client uTorrent, antispyware tool SpyDLLRemover, and three others at the time of writing. The new portable versions of these programs work both independently and in tandem with the PortableApps suite.
After Sid Meier announced on Thursday that a new Civilization title called Civilization Network was on its way to Facebook, it had me thinking: what other games could I play until I'm ready to take on Meier's new title next year?
To determine that, I've spent some time with several games on Facebook and narrowed that list down to the titles that are actually worth playing. If you want to have some fun on Facebook, check out these games.Get your game on
FarmVille At first glance, FarmVille might seem like a lame game that isn't worth playing. But once you give it a few minutes, I think you'll find that it's extremely addictive.
The premise behind FarmVille is simple: build a farm that grows all kinds of fruits and vegetables. When you first start the game, you'll see a few patches of land where you can start planting. From there, you need to ensure that your farm is healthy as you continue to grow the items in your inventory. The game features simple point-and-click controls, making it accessible for any Facebook user.
FarmVille's "neighbors" feature is quite fun. Users can find other "farmers" in their friends list and grow a nice, bountiful farm together. It's a great concept that adds more value to the game. And the best part is, the more people who farm in FarmVille, the more money that will go to Sweet Seeds for Haiti, a charity that gives healthy meals to families in Haiti. Try it out.
Mafia Wars If you're as much of a fan of movies like "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas" as I am, you might have some fun with Mafia Wars.
The object of Mafia Wars is simple: become a boss of a mafia family. When you first start playing the game, you'll see several different "jobs" that you can take on. They include (pretty much) any criminal activity you can think of. That said, you won't actually engage in those activities like you would in a Grand Theft Auto game. Instead, you'll simply tell the game that you want to perform a particular job and you will. When complete, you receive more cash and credibility. Think of it as a simple role-playing game.
Like the other games in this roundup, Mafia Wars has a social element to it. Your goal is to recruit members into your own family as you fight for mafia dominance. When that social element comes in, Mafia Wars shows its value. It's a really fun game when you play with friends.… Read more
Famed video game developer Sid Meier, best known for the Civilization franchise, announced on a Civilization Facebook page Thursday that a new title called Civilization Network is on its way to the social network.
According to Meier, he has been "looking at ways of expanding the Civilization gameplay experience to include solo, competitive, and cooperative play to take advantage of the uniqueness of social networks." Civilization Network will allow users to join with friends to "create the world's most powerful, richest, smartest, or just plain coolest civilization," Meier said.
Like so many of its predecessors, … Read more
ORLANDO, Fla.--Watch out, business technology managers, because Google has its eyes on your domain.
If Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt gets his way, the line that separates the computing services used by businesses from those used by consumers will fade fast. And Google, through services such as Google Apps and the new Google Wave, hopes to accelerate the change.
The company has done well so far with services that appeal chiefly to consumers, but Schmidt said at the Gartner Symposium here that Google likes services that become part people's lives regardless of whether they are doing work. And because the company covers its costs by charging enterprise accounts $50 per person per year for those services at work, he said it's just a matter of attaining scale before the business becomes "very profitable" for Google.
I spoke to Schmidt after a Gartner Symposium talk in which he said the enterprise market is Google's next billion-dollar revenue opportunity. Here's an edited transcript of the interview. … Read more
Back in the dark ages before Internet access, staying on top of the coolest new music required some work. You could read about new bands in magazines and newsletters--the more obscure the better--but most music fans had a few people they trusted to be their personal music experts. Record store clerks, friends in bands, and people in the local art scene all competed to be up on the latest new sounds coming out of Austin or Detroit or Seattle, and the rest of us reaped the benefits of this competition.
ORLANDO, Fla.--Eric Schmidt runs a company that earns most of its money from consumers, but the Google chief executive believes business customers are the company's next big opportunity for growth after selling ads.
"Enterprise is a huge priority for the management team and me personally," Schmidt said Wednesday in an onstage interview in the belly of the enterprise technology beast, the Gartner Symposium here. "It's the next big billion-dollar opportunity after our display (ad) business."
Google might not be at the core of every company's operations, but Schmidt has some roots in … Read more
The city of Los Angeles has decided to delay making a decision about whether or not to adopt Google Apps across its network, citing cost concerns.
The City Council's Budget and Finance Committee did not take any action regarding the proposed contract, which has been debated for months as one of the more high-profile public sector Google Apps deals. That means the matter will pass to the full City Council for a vote later this month, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Security concerns had been prominent during earlier discussions of the proposal, which would see the city move … Read more
Google claims more than 2 million businesses and 20 million people have switched to Google Apps, a movement the company is touting through its expanding "Gone Google" marketing program.
Google's official blog on Monday put in a plug for the ongoing flow of companies that have adopted its services, including not just Google Apps, but also the Postini spam filtering and Google's Enterprise Search Appliance.
Through … Read more
If you're a frequent Amazon shopper, you might be looking out for tools to help enhance the experience of buying products on the site. There are services on the Web to help you get more out of Amazon than simply picking up a few products from the company's pages.
Let's take a look.Get your Amazon on
AmaDig If you're looking for a different way to search Amazon, AmaDig will provide it.
When you get to the site, you can pick which Amazon category you want to sift through. From there, the site lists images of different products offered in that category. When you click on a respective product, you can view its specs, pricing, and reviews. You can also view the listing on Amazon or add it to your shopping cart from the site. It's a neat tool, but beware that the interface is a little clunky.
Amazon Mobile If you're ready to buy a product at the store, you might want to consider using the Amazon app on your iPhone before you plunk down the cash.
Amazon Mobile not only lets you search for products and pricing, you can also take a picture of a product and have the app search Amazon's database to get its pricing. You can add items to your cart and use Amazon's 1-click payment system to place an order. (Read our full review here).… Read more
Developers of iPhone and iPod Touch applications can now enable purchases from within their freely available App Store applications.
Until now, Apple has permitted in-app sales of content, subscriptions, and digital services only for apps costing at least 99 cents.
Apple on Thursday sent the following e-mail to developers:
Considering all the drama surrounding the App Store approval process, this latest move by Apple appears to be a positive one for iPhone SDK developers, as it gives them a bit more flexibility in how they design and potentially profit from the applications they build.
We'd like to hear from … Read more