"gaming" entries

Play on the iPad: the Magic Circle and a marketplace

Play on the iPad: the Magic Circle and a marketplace

Justin Hall on the iPad's gaming possibilities and Apple's restrictions

The prospect of touching, moving, and grabbing your way through a game could open up all sorts of innovation on the iPad, but will developers feel limited by Apple's strict policies? Justin Hall examines the push and pull between the iPad's functionality and its closely-monitored app universe.

Comments: 5
Four short links: 22 March 2010

Four short links: 22 March 2010

Trading Software, Learning Programming Languages, Web Security Scanner, Learning as Game

  1. Marketcetera — open source trading platform.
  2. Google Code University: Programming Languages — video-based classes on C++, Python, Java, and Go.
  3. Skipfish — open sourced web application security scanner, from Google.
  4. Professor Swaps Grades for XP — divided class into guilds, awarded XP for achieving various solo, guild, and pickup quests. (via johnny723 on Twitter)
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Four short links: 5 March 2010 Four short links: 5 March 2010

Four short links: 5 March 2010

GMail CRM, Django Best Practices, Stats-Think, and WoW Number Crunching

  1. Rapportivea simple social CRM built into Gmail. They replace the ads in Gmail with photos, bio, and info from social media sites. (via ReadWrite Web)
  2. Best Practices in Web Development with Django and Python — great set of recommendations. (via Jon Udell‘s article on checklists)
  3. Think Like a Statistician Without The Math (Flowing Data) — Finally, and this is the most important thing I’ve learned, always ask why. When you see a blip in a graph, you should wonder why it’s there. If you find some correlation, you should think about whether or not it makes any sense. If it does make sense, then cool, but if not, dig deeper. Numbers are great, but you have to remember that when humans are involved, errors are always a possibility. This is basically how to be a scientist: know the big picture, study the details to find deviations, and always ask “why”.
  4. WoW Armory Data Mining — a blog devoted to data mining on the info from the Wow Amory, which has a lot of data taken from the servers. It’s baseball statistics for World of Warcraft. Fascinating! (via Chris Lewis)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 1 March 2010 Four short links: 1 March 2010

Four short links: 1 March 2010

War Games, Cloud Metaphors, Plain English, and Event Correlations

  1. Meet The Sims and Shoot ThemAmerica’s Army has proven so popular globally that, with so many users signing on from Internet cafes in China, the Chinese government tried to ban it. Full of interesting factoids like this about US military-created first person shooter America’s Army and other military uses of games. (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. Most Overused Cloud Metaphors, Sorted by Weather Pattern — headline writers beware: you are not being original with your “does the cloud have a silver lining?” folderol. (via lennysan on Twitter)
  3. Simply Understand — web site that translates a lot of UK government consultation documents (notorious for pompous and intricate prose) into plain English.
  4. Simple Event Correlator — small Unix part to find event correlations. It isn’t doing data mining to find correlations in a data stream, but rather you write rules like “tell me if X happens within Y seconds of a Z” and it takes events on stdin and emits correlations on stdout. (via NeilNeely on Twitter)
Comments: 2
The Most Efficient iPhone Developers

The Most Efficient iPhone Developers

Last week marked the first time the U.S. iTunes store had over 150,000 apps available. Close to 31,000 different developers (or “sellers”) were responsible for those apps, with many offering one to five apps, while a few offered over a hundred different apps. Which developers consistently produce top-selling apps? I examined the percentage of apps produced by a developer that became best-sellers.

Comments: 14
Apps Per Seller Across the US iTunes Categories

Apps Per Seller Across the US iTunes Categories

Measured in terms of number of unique apps, the Top 5 categories in the U.S. app store have been Games, Books, Entertainment, Travel and Utilities. But comparing categories in terms of number of apps doesn’t capture the challenge of developing applications in different categories. As I noted in an earlier post, it’s much easier to develop a Book app than an interactive game. One crude measure for the relative complexity of developing apps across categories is to compare the number of apps per seller.

Comments: 5
The Minds Behind Some of the Most Addictive Games Around

The Minds Behind Some of the Most Addictive Games Around

If you've wasted half your life playing Peggle, Bejeweled, Zuma or Plants vs. Zombies, blame these guys!

An interview with Jason Kapalka, one of the founders and the creative
director of PopCap. We discussed the evolution of PopCap, how the
casual gaming industry differs from mainstream gaming, and the
challenges of creating games that can be engaging, without being
frustrating.

Comments: 6
Four short links: 2 November 2009 Four short links: 2 November 2009

Four short links: 2 November 2009

Inside Botnets, Creating Choropleths, Privacy Simplified, Massively Machiavellian Online Social Gaming

  1. Your Botnet is My Botnet (PDF) — 2008 USENIX Security paper analysing >70G of data gathered when security researchers hijacked the Torpig botnet. A major limitation of analyzing a botnet from the inside is the limited view. Most current botnets use stripped-down IRC or HTTP servers as their command and control channels, and it is not possible to make reliable statements about other bots. In particular, it is difficult to determine the size of the botnet or the amount and nature of the sensitive data that is stolen. One way to overcome this limitation is to “hijack” the entire botnet, typically by seizing control of the C&C channel. […] As a result, whenever a bot resolves a domain (or URL) to connect to its C&C server, the connection is redirected or sinkholed. This provides the defender with a complete view of all IPs that attempt to connect to the C&C server as well as interesting information that the bots might send..
  2. cartographer.js — build thematic maps using Google Maps. To be precise, you can build a choropleth, which is my word of the day. (via Simon Willison)
  3. Making Privacy Policies Not Suck (Aza Raskin) — interested in developing a standard set of privacy policy components the way that Creative Commons has created a standard set of copyright license components.
  4. Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell (TechCrunch) — many of those games on Facebook that your friends play are evil. To get in-game money or objects, they’ll let you take a survey but at the end you’re signed up for crap you never wanted. Related: this article on monetizing social networks which talks about social gaming’s business model.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 13 October 2009 Four short links: 13 October 2009

Four short links: 13 October 2009

Open Source, Gov 2.0, Gaming, Education

  1. Our Open Source School — blog of Albany Senior High School in New Zealand, which only runs open source software.
  2. Behind The Scenes at What Do They Know — interesting post showing details behind the What Do They Know web site. In the last year there have been only seven significant cases where requests have been hidden from public view on the site due to concerns relating to potential libel and defamation. Three of those cases have involved groups of twenty or so requests made by the same one or two users. While actual number of requests we have had to hide is around 70 (0.4% of the total) even this small fraction overstates the situation due to the repetition of the same potentially libelous accusations comments in different requests. In all cases we have kept as much information up on the site as possible. Our policy with respect to all requests to remove information from the site is that we only take down information in exceptional circumstances; generally only when the law requires us to do so.
  3. The Complete History of Lemmings — a must-read for videogamers from the early 90s. Theres been much debate over the choice of colours as well, but the colours were selected, not because they were the easiest to choose, but because of the PC EGA palette. With the limited choice, it was decided the green hair was nicer than blue, and with that, the final Lemming was born. I was actually the next person to code up a demo on the Commodore 64, but I only got so far as having a single Lemming walking over the landscape before Dave put me onto another project.
  4. Google Replaces TeleAtlasTele Atlas confirms that Google has decided to stop using Tele Atlas map data for the U.S. Google will now use its own map data. Our relationship with Google for map coverage continues outside of the U.S. in dozens of geographies.
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The iPhone as a Gaming Platform: Share of Top Apps By Category

The iPhone as a Gaming Platform: Share of Top Apps By Category

As a follow-up to my recent post on the Top Grossing Apps list on iTunes, I examined three lists highlighted in the app store: the Top Paid, Top Free, and Top Grossing Apps. Believing that many users scan these lists, developers covet a spot on any of these Top 100 charts. In my previous posts, I’ve highlighted that Games is the largest category, accounting for about 20% of unique apps. Let’s take a fresh look at the numbers.

Comments: 4