Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Clash of the Titans: Apple and Microsoft taking it to the Social Gaming Ring.

As an avid gamer (not quite hardcore status yet...) I do enjoy playing great games on my console at home. 2010 has already proven itself as one of the best years in gaming and opened the floodgates for even bigger projects to come. One thing that has recently intrigued me is the the war of Apple and Microsoft spilling into the gaming industry. If you haven't heard by now, Apple announced it's new Game Center service as apart of OS 4 for the iPhone/iPad platforms. What the great and mighty Steve Jobs claims, is a new and innovative take on social gaming, allowing players to, socially game on the go. This isn't the first time game company has boasted their social gaming capabilities. For example, Sony currently implements their PlayStation Store on the PSP and contains a decent library of online multiplayer games (Check out Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake!!!) The Nintendo DS, although not much of a online device, has strong support for multiplayer games. But Microsoft is moving to contend with the Game Center by releasing Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Windows Phone 7.

Personally, I feel Apple's notion was a slap in the face because they hold no real experience in the game industry. Most games that are released for iPhone are gimmicky time-passers (Much of like what happened to the Wii). They must be doing something right for games to be the most popular category. But I have to remember that the real target market isn't based on you and I, it is based on those casual gamers, the people who play games while waiting to see the doctor. On the other hand, I feel as though it will allow people to embrace gaming as a whole, instead of breaking it down into classifications.

No matter which way you look at it, Apple Game Center will inevitably change people's perception of video games. And perhaps I seem to be under analyzing the potential benefits of what AGC has to offer. Instead of being open to only big name development studios (Xbox LIVE), AGC will allow small developers the keep their content on the iPhone at low prices.

Mashable - Apple Gaming Center

PC World - What Apple Game Center Means to iPhone Gamers
PC World via Yahoo News - Is Apple's IPhone OS "Game Center" a Nintendo DS Killer?
Cnet News - Apple's Game Center is not worrying game networks
ReadWriteStart - Apple's Game Center: More Opportunities for Social Game Developers

See my thoughts here:

Bret On Social Games

Monday, April 12, 2010

Social Media: A Look at What's to Come

In our look at the operation and effects of social media on our lives, I'm sure many of us have began to question where social media will actually carry us. According to, they have outlined 7 technologies that could advance the industry. One piece of tech that stood out for me was Arduino. Arduino is an open source electronic prototyping platform that can be used to report environmental changes. The blog even makes mention of a bakery using the board to tweet when fresh pastries are just coming out the oven. Could you imagine your phone, or laptop automatically updating your Facebook, or Twitter account based upon certain actions?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Crosstown Traffic

As we all know, traffic can be one of the most nightmarish situations when it comes to driving. It's long, hot, and can be really bad for the environment. But when it comes to the internet, traffic is an everyday occurrence that allows for the internet to grow. When you and I use Google to try to find research on a paper, the results come from a very intricate process of traffic monitoring. Search engines are able to provide their services by using search engine optimization or SEO.

If you were to go to Google and type in cherry blossom (my favorite flower!) you would find many results, mostly starting from the top and maybe most visited website down to the least relevant. Most engines divide your search into two main groups, paid results and natural results, so if you weren't looking for information, but perhaps a service, you could simply click the links located to the rightmost of the page. But how do search engines know what the best website and the least relevant are? Simple. Bots (complex computer programs) were designed to hone in on the tags, words and images based on a key term and index and document them. A search engine company would then measure a website by the content it had based upon a keyword, or in our case it's content on cherry blossoms. This is an important process when it comes to the internet today, if you were to start a business and gain recognition you would need to have a website. By having having key words and images on your site, relevant to your business, you make it easier for potential customers to find you. There are even services that you can purchase that will place your website within the top five listed pages. All these things are apart of internet traffic, which on the internet can be a good thing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Online Recruiters: Workforce Ninjas

Without a central moderation within the internet most people carry on as they wish using the internet to their discretion. But what happens when you need to find a job? Can your Facebook and Twitter friends count as references? Not so much. Maintaining a professional and clean look on the internet can be a daunting task, especially when you get yourself wrapped up in the Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter phenomenon.

I say these things because people are trained to go out and find potential candidates to fill a job position. Although most people know of being "googled" after they are hired, quite a few businesses do take a look to find everything they can about you, before they even meet you. I've seen a case where a company paid to find out information about a potential employee, which then linked them to pretty much every social media website they belonged to.

So in essence, it is extremely important to keep up a professional image on the internet. As one source mentioned, try to manage two Facebook accounts. One for friends and family, and the other for strictly business. Another key step would be to have a separate e-mail address that you only give out to recruiters and important networking contacts. Lastly, actively post content to your business profiles. When a recruiter goes to find information on you, be that again via Facebook or even Twitter, give them good reason to hire you. Post a recent achievement such as you getting an A on a paper or mid-term exam. Or you could even post how you learned a new skill, just as long as it's positive and reflects you.,curpg-1.cms

Monday, March 22, 2010

Keeping our heads in the clouds

Online collaboration is something that we do everyday. Even outside of a school or business environment, collaborations happen in our daily lives when we send e-mails and text messages to friends or relatives as both parties constructively engage in a conversation as if the other was there in front of you. Businesses have turned to online collaboration mediums such as cloud computing as a way to cut costs and maintain productivity. Teams are now able to share ideas instantly as software companies are integrating instant messaging, video conferencing, and storage clouds within their programs.

Collaboration within a online community is the next big thing. It's easy, useful, innovative, and growing at a fast pace. Most cloud services are free of charge or ask for a small fee, so try it out when you get the chance. Check out some of the services companies are using here. Have any of you used any of these programs?

Monday, March 1, 2010

2010 and Beyond: The Matrix Era

10 Years ago, a revolution was started. A movie known as the The Matrix had been released in theaters all across America, changing how people saw technology and the ways it impacted our lives.

What was so special about The Matrix, was that it pointed out that most of us live in augmented realities, becoming so immersed in our own lives, that we didn't take the time to enjoy what was happening around us. When was the last time you sat quietly, turned off your iPhone and enjoyed nature? With so many people wrapped within their lives; going to school, working, going to the gym, socializing with friends, updating your Facebook status, I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of you said no.

Have you noticed how we are beginning to move towards an age where we can be able to manipulate data at our will? I wouldn't be surprised if, in the next 10 years or so, some company released glasses with a real-time HUD (Head's Up Display), to view stock quotes, weather, and sports updates while walking down the street. Heck, we already have somewhat achieved this with the iPhone and many other smartphones. I'm actually eager to see how to the iPad will impact the mobile media scene as well. So, while on your way to class, or just walking somewhere, stop and carpe momentum you never know what you might discover.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mobile Social Network A GO GO

Mobile social networking is going to eventually take off. Caroline McCarthy states that because no one owns a smartphone, mobile networking is not ready for primetime. Younger generations are moving more towards smartphones. Many know what GPS is.

I have a BlackBerry with GPS, data-plan and people can find me checking my email and facebook in the little free time I have in between classes. My younger brother just bought the Boost Mobile Incognito with GPS, full keyboard, and web browsing capabilities. Many times I see people post on facebook, the site will actually say via Facebook for Mobile Phone, Blackberry or iPhone.

Social networking on mobile phones is the way to go when not next to the computer.