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Social Networks

Is It Worth Developing Good Games For the Web? 82

SlashSlasher writes "A friend of mine started up a Facebook MMORTG game called Realm of Empires with his buddies as a personal project. Over the last couple of years, I've seen it grow up from an idea into a thriving community. A lot of money and effort has been sunk into constant improvement. As a result, it has become one of the most polished and substantial applications I've seen on Facebook. It's been quite interesting seeing the action behind the scenes without being directly entangled. Normal gameplay is free but certain premium features do exist. Recently, after allowing an open beta of premium features, the users complained vehemently that they would have to pay to keep these special features. They went so far as to start a petition to stop them from charging for premium features. People are getting up in arms about features that can be bought for less than $3 a month. I know the project hasn't broken even yet, and more money is put into it every day. I had always assumed that developers would receive a chunk of the ad revenue they attract to Facebook; apparently I was wrong. Facebook only gives the developer a very small (and shrinking) piece of real estate to try and make money with. How are these people supposed to break even, let alone profit? What working business models exist for the small game developer? Are people just too spoiled by free, throw-away games to be a target market for anything significant? Are developers who want to make any money for their work forced to move to restrictive platforms like the iPhone or the console market? More details of their story are available at their blog."

Submission + - Penny Arcade Honored by Washington State

Dutch Gun writes: Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik (Tycho and Gabe) of Penny Arcade have been honored by the Washington State legislature with a resolution. The bill praises their charity work with Child's Play, for attracting tourist dollars by starting the Penny Arcade Expo, which has grown to become the largest video game exhibition in the country, providing student scholarships, and for their leadership role within the computer gaming community. Washington State is home to at least 45 game development companies, including such notable names as Nintendo of America, Microsoft, Bungie, Valve, ArenaNet, PopCap, Gas Powered Games, Monolith, Zipper Interactive, Snowblind Studios, and more.

This is a marked departure from the typical news involving governments and gaming. One could see the courtship of the computer gaming industry by the State of Washington as a shrewd political move, given the current tough economic times and the seeming resistance of the entertainment industry to recessions. Or, perhaps a bit less cynically, this might just be a sign that gaming has reached a critical threshold of mainstream normalcy.

Submission + - Banning at one site might get you banned at many. ( 1

G4Cube writes: The online version of my local paper the has like most online newspapers a comment section for every story. This is the place for intelligent discussion, wild speculation, lies, damn lies and statistics. Of late the number of comments that are blocked either by another user or the manager of this part of the online paper has taken a large upturn. Follows is a partial quote from a recent plea for civility: "A warning: Occasionally, we have people sign up to make a nasty comment, then they leave. We welcome respectful discussion and disagreement," but do not tolerate bad Internet etiquette — name calling, insulting readers, hateful remarks. We will not tolerate this, and if you engage in this, especially in your first few comments, you will be banned from this site and all other sites that operate using's software and or registration system. We expect that, over time that will mean you will be banned from many, many Web sites. So please, think twice before getting nasty." The website has a place marker page describing briefly what it is. The question is how many sites are using this backend, and why would being banned at one, say an online newspaper, get you banned at another one, perhaps one extolling the virtues of striped ass apes? Does anybody out there know anything about or perhaps work for
Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Apple's iPhone Developer Crisis (

David Gerard writes: "iPhone development sounds closed-shop but simple — apply to be a developer, put application on the App Store, you and Apple make money. Except Apple can't keep up with the request load — whereas getting a developer contract used to take a couple of days, it's now taking months. Some early developers' contracts are expiring with no notice of renewal options. And Apple literally has no idea what's going on or the state of things. If you want to maintain a completely closed system, it helps if you can actually keep up with it."
The Almighty Buck

GoDaddy VP Caught Bidding Against Customers 222

An anonymous reader writes "A GoDaddy Vice President has been caught bidding against customers in their own domain name auctions. The employee Adam Dicker isn't just any GoDaddy employee; he's head of the GoDaddy subsidiary that controls the auctions. Dicker won some of the domains he bid for, and pushed up the bid price on auctions he didn't win. The conflict of interest is unethical, but could this practice also be illegal? Said a representative for a competitor, 'Even if controlled, that practice has bad news written all over it.' This comes hot on the heels of news that despite earlier promises to ICANN to end their 60-Day ban on transfers, GoDaddy quietly circumvented it by forcing customers to agree to the ban anyway. ICANN doesn't appear to be investigating or asking follow-up questions about this. What can be done to force ICANN to police the registrars for which it is responsible?"

Submission + - An Ebay Sale is a Sale

syousef writes: An Ebay Sale is a Sale says an Australian New South Wales State Judge in a case where a man tried to reneg on the Ebay sale of a 1946 World War II Wirraway aircraft. The seller tried to reneg because he'd received an offer $100,000 greater than the Ebay sale price elsewhere. The buyer who had bid the reserve price of $150,000 at the last minute took him to court. "It follows that, in my view, a binding contract was formed between the plaintiff and the defendent and that it should be specifically enforced," Justice Rein said in his decision. All dollar figures are in AUD.

Submission + - A paper analyzing Slashdot's users and comments (

pumba_lt writes: "This study has implemented a HTTP/HTML-based Slashdot comment crawler that automatically downloads the articles, parses the comments, and stores them. A dataset consisting of 10 articles and almost 4000 comments was collected using it.
After that, Slashdot was analyzed as a social network using PageRank and HITS algorithms as metrics and the most authoritative and trustworthy users were discovered."


Submission + - The $200 Laptop - Asus - eee PC (

fatgadget writes: "Asus has announced the eee PC. 'eee' stands for 'Easy to learn, work, play'; 'Excellent internet experience' and 'Excellent mobile computing experience'. It is reported to have a battery life of 3 hours, and the base model will go one sale for about $200 (about £100) with the top model costing $500 (about £250), if the prices are right, this will be serious competition, for UMPC's and Palm's new Foleo. The eee features a 7 display and weighs just 0.8kg, with an Intel Mobile CPU, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Intel UMA graphics, and up to a 16GB Flash drive. It also features a webcam and intergrated speakers. For that price, its a bargain."

Submission + - Fanfic Writers Say No Way

bill jackson writes: "Multichannel News Magazine's very best blogger — Mary McNamara — says that a couple of former Yahoo execs are trying to create the next MySpace by aggregating fanfiction on a website called FanLib. But the fanfic writers recognized that exploitation was written all over the idea and they've refused to participate. Very interesting, well researched article written by McNamara. She even calls into question the FanLib patent application. 30010013.html"

Submission + - /. member tries to appear human

gwjenkins writes: "My partner just left for a whole week, taking my darling less then 1 yr daughter. In typical /. fashion I'm spending the next 6 nights surfing the net, drinking, eating frozen meals and watching Miyazaki anime dvds! Oh friends, help me. When they return I know they'll expect some sort of emotional thing. Surely you're been through this? What can I do?"

Journal Journal: Freetricity? Small-scale wind & solar generator 1

OK, so a while back now I was working on a business plan and stumbled across the website of a startup company offering a very intriguing product, a small wind and solar generator system. The product is about the size of a digital satellite dish and the basic unit is claimed to produce 300 watts and includes a 700 watt inverter. Being the impulse buyer that I am, I quickly purchased some of these units but sadly they still haven't arrived. I'm starting to worry that I've been duped. My questio


Submission + - Features the Wii Opera Browser is Screaming for

frenchy64 writes: "With the next release of the Wii Opera Browser just around the corner, there is just so much potential to fulfil it's overwhelming. Okay, we know it needs Tabs, updated Flash and all that jazz, but what else could be included? The Wii Gamers have an editorial suggesting features such as DS Connectivity for an easy wireless Keyboard, Wiimote Gestures, and Browse-While-Playing capabilities (to name a few)!"

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