20 July, 2008

Nitendo Wii becomes top-selling video game

Nintendo Wii became the highest selling game console in USA. Now this is a proof of how innovation has made it so popular. And technologically, the console uses simple motion sensors and group-oriented games!

12 July, 2008

Oil cost fuels boom in online classes -Economic Times

I never imagined rising fuel costs could lead to students enrolling in online classes instead of attending classroom!

21 June, 2008

Sketching in Code: Magic of Prototyping -A List Apart

One of the obvious developments in the web application world that has made prototyping approaches more attractive has been the rise of Ajax and rich internet applications (RIAs).With the rise of Ajax however, wireframes started to come up short. When we leave the world of page-based interactions, how do you document all but the simplest interaction? Even with a single interactive element on a web page, we often have to generate multiple wireframes or use extensive annotation to convey the different possible states. When there are multiple, possibly mutually interacting elements on the same page, the problem is exacerbated. Even when we do manage to convey all the possible states, we lose a sense of timing.

the situation gets worse when we start to consider not just design, but development as well. Development involving Ajax and RIAs requires closer communication between developers and designers, and this communication often has to be iterative. The only way to convey this facet of interactive applications is through an interactive prototype.

Another clear win is in presentations to decision makers. Prototypes can help you sell a decision that is fundamentally or radically different from the client’s current solution or application. The traditional approach is to create a compelling story and a riveting PowerPoint presentation, and spend a day arguing for the wisdom of your approach.

Finally, let’s not forget the users. Just as we, in our role as designers and developers, can’t always foresee the implications of our decisions until we see them played out in front of us, users are governed by the same constraints. Users can request features they “need” only to discover when using the new application that the feature in question was not actually helpful. Putting interactive prototypes in front of users is a great way to get effective and accurate input.

19 June, 2008

GTA 4 is the most expensive game: 429 crores!

Rockstar's GTA 4 is the most expensive game made at a whooping cost of 429 crores and by a team of 1000 people. "It's like making a theatre production, a few movies and an album all to fit into one package," said Benzies, Rockstar president.

06 June, 2008

Ads in Mobile Games get an eye-popping 10.1% CTR -OmMalik

There’s a lot of VC money going into web-based, advertising-driven casual games, so here’s a wake-up call to investors: They may get better ROI with mobile phone-based gaming.

In 2006, mobile game platform Greystripe launched GameJump.com, a distribution site for free, ad-supported cellphone games; since then, consumers have downloaded over 65 million copies of Greystripe’s hundreds of titles. I’m looking at a lot of surprising numbers, but the most striking one to me is how gamers interact with the ads that appear before and after gameplay.

According to Greystripe, 10.1 percent of them click on the ads, a CTR that far outstrips web ads, which average some 1 percent to 2 percent. I strongly suspect at least some of these are accidental, fumble-thumb click-throughs, but even then, from the advertisers’ perspective, that’s not a bug, but a feature. And while mobile games are almost by definition casual, the demographic breakdown is markedly different from the web-based casual space, which is dominated by older women.

Can Microsoft win the Search Wars with Charity? - ReadWriteWeb

The Microsoft Live Search team announced today that it had expanded the company's Search and Give charitable searching program to more than 1 million eligible organizations. The program donates 1 cent for each search conducted by users to the school or charity of their choice up to 500 searches per month (or $60/year per person).

Can Microsoft possibly make a dent in Google's strangehold on the search market by offering up charitable donations as an incentive to search?


02 June, 2008

Importance of Short URLs in Newspapers -Labnol

It is interesting to see how newspaper sare trying to connect stories published in their print edition with online content. See this clip from Business Standard newspaper.

business standard newspaper

They add a short URL after the story that print subscriber can type in their browser and read related content on the web. And this approach may actually be helping companies drive traffic to their web properties. They work at least in the case of print advertisements that have URLs.

17 May, 2008

Graphic Processors grow up -GigaOm

Remember when CPU processor speeds were the driving force behind new computers? Going from a 500 MHz to 1 GHz then 2 GHz machine meant noticeable improvements. Then chip vendors started adding more cores. But for the style of computing consumers use today, it’s not about the CPU anymore.

It’s all about graphics processors. Thanks to today’s visually intensive style of computing, a good GPU can improve the user experience much better than a fast CPU. That’s why Intel is pushing graphics chips such as Larrabee, while AMD is set to unveil integrated chipsets that combine CPUs with GPUs, the result of its acquisition of ATI in 2009.

All PDF documents now run through the graphics processor, they told me, as does Google Earth and multiple other web applications. The same goes for PowerPoint slides, Word and other parts of Microsoft Office, starting with Office 2007. On Macs, the visual interface on the file system is handled through the GPU, which makes flipping through thousands of photos and movies much easier. On the consumer side, the rise of the such graphical interfaces helps people visually navigate through ever-increasing amounts of information.

GPUs are good for applications that require a processor to crunch a lot of data in parallel; they’re not good for step-by-step processes that require decision-making at each step.

As the large content vendors and even carriers try to deploy media content in multiple formats for televisions, personal computers and mobile phones over IP networks, they’ll either have to pay more for storing those multiple versions or pay for real-time transcoding, either in the data center or on the network. The increasing delivery of visual media over an IP network and the increasing amount of electronics data stored in corporate databases all represent an opportunity for GPUs that mean the chips might move out of the graphic niche.

19 March, 2008

Adobe Fireworks - an ideal tool for building website mockups

There is a lot of confusion about what exactly Adobe Fireworks is, what it is good for and why one should actually use it instead of Adobe Photoshop or Adobe ImageReady. The answer is simple: Fireworks isn’t a replacement for both tools, but rather a more effective, integrated environment for designing site layouts and quick mockups. Read on.

18 March, 2008

Convert text to mp3 online -Labnol

Read The Words converts any text document to mp3 files. Useful for visually impaired people.

28 February, 2008

AdSense Click Fraud Highest in India -Labnol

A recent report on Click Fraud suggests that the maximum number of invalid clicks on Pay Per Click ads originate from India. And this is not the first time - its widely believed there there exists a large “work from home” crowd in India who want to generate “quick cash” by clicking Google AdSense ads.

Pick any issue of Deccan Chronicle newspaper (the English Daily of Hyderabad) and open the Classifieds section - you will see dozens of ads that promise you regular Google AdSense income while working from home.

You basically create a website and then write a few articles to get accepted into the official Google AdSense program. Once you become an AdSense publisher, you join any of these “bogus” AdSense network and are introduced to other members who are in the same boat as you. Now Google would quickly ban your AdSense account if you click Ads on your own website so what these networks do is ask members to click on Ads appearing on websites of other members. So it like a reciprocal behavior - you click my ads and I will click yours.

20 February, 2008

You’re Better Off Working at Starbucks Than Running a Social Network -Om Malik

Peanut Labs, a company that couldn’t find a business as an also-ran social network, says "The CPMs (cost per thousand advertisements) are so low it’s really hard to build a real business unless you have several billion page views and your own sales team. Social networks get 5 to 10 cent CPMs, and less outside the U.S. At one point we were averaging 3 cent CPMs. We figured out if we all got up and worked at Starbucks instead we would make more money as a company than selling 300 million impressions a month of ad space"

17 February, 2008

Cartoon -Hindu

“Could you call up later when none of us is at home? We have just bought an answering machine!”

13 February, 2008

6% of People Online Contribute 50% of Display Ad Clicks -Read Write Web

Only 6% of people online are contributing 50% of the clicks to display advertisements- Those people who click heavily have a number of other characteristics of note. Heavy clickers skew towards Internet users between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40,000 and they are also relatively more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites – a markedly different surfing pattern than non-clickers.

The authors conclude that the heavy clickers do shop more online than the population at large, but not at a rate proportional to their click rate influence. In other words, if your ads are getting a lot of click-throughs and you are holding your breath that they will monetize better any day now - you're not likely to find relief any time soon. The study also found that there was not a high correlation between heavy clickers and increased brand loyalty.

11 February, 2008

Who Owns What ? -Labnol

Amy Webb is tracking all the acquisitions made by Internet giants like Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft and AOL. No wonder, the red block corresponding to Google occupies the maximum estate.