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Augmented World Expo 2013

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AWE_13_Bnr_300x250-01-14.pngPlease join us at the Augmented World Expo 2013 (Santa Clara, June 4 - 5) for 2 days of workshops, sessions, and networking dedicated to understanding how to drive behavior in consumers, employees and stakeholders. Now in its 4th year, Augmented World Expo (formerly ARE) is assembling the biggest names -- from the hottest startups and leading AR providers to the Fortune 500 -- to showcase the world's best augmented experiences that solve real world problems in all aspects of life, from entertainment and brand engagement to enterprise, industrial and commerce applications. It is expected to draw a record number of attendees from all over the world and offer a fantastic opportunity to network, learn, inspire and experience Augmented Humans in an Augmented World.

  • Network - Connect with 1000 like-minded AR enthusiasts
  • Learn - 35 hours of educational sessions by 1000+ industry leaders
  • Experience AR - The largest expo of "Augmented Humans in an Augmented World"
  • Get Inspired - Past sessions were rated 92% positive (on average)
  • Find a product or partner - In 2012 70% of attendees reported finding a product or partner
  • It will exceed your expectations - 93% of 2012 attendees said they will likely return.

REGISTER NOW (If you register before May 7th, use our discount code AWE2013 for registration) !

Around the Virtual World: March 25-29, 2013

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

 

 

RUMOR: Google Is Launching An Augmented Reality Based E-Book Line
Google is going to be launching a line of e-books that utilize augmented reality using technology that was developed by Niantic Labs.  Niantic Labs is essentially a start-up subsidiary owned by Google that develops massive multiplayer online video games.

Valve Can't Pull Plug On Video Game Data Breach Suit
A class action accusing video game developer Valve Corp. of failing to adequately protect user information survived a dismissal bid Monday after a Washington federal judge found the plaintiff sufficiently alleged he was harmed by a November 2011 data breach.

British teen sells Summly app for millions
A south London schoolboy has become one of the world's youngest tech millionaires after selling his mobile app to Yahoo!.

Bitcoin, up 152% this month, tops $1 billion in total value
Digital currency bitcoin continues its remarkable and somewhat inexplicable run. It's up 152% this month, and today the total value of all outstanding bitcoins--its market capitalization, if you will--topped $1 billion for the first time before settling back down.

Around the Virtual World - September 24-28, 2012

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

 

 

Will Asian online game publishers Nexon and NCSoft buy blockbuster publisher Valve?
Nexon and NCsoft, two major Asian online game companies, are reportedly in talks with U.S. gamemaker Valve to buy the company for more than $893 million, according to a major Korean publication.

Social Gaming to Reflect Real Money Gambling
A Newzoo trend report published in February 2012 that investigated casual social games certainly threw up some interesting results. Of the most significant figures to those trying to turn a profit through social games was the percentage of casual game players that were payers - in other words, users who were prepared to part with their hard-earned cash.

Zugara's virtual dressing rooms take the X factor out of online shopping
Zugara was granted a patent today for its augmented reality technology that creates virtual dressing rooms for online consumers. The Webcam Social Shopper seeks to alleviate the element of the unknown from online shopping by enabling consumers to virtually try on clothes.

Smartphone apps become 'surrogate therapists'
In the age when there's an app for everything, it's no surprise that there are a lot of smartphone tools out there claiming to help people cope. From informational resources to interactive mental wellness programs, there's plenty out there to choose from.

Facebook gift-giving moves from virtual to actual goodies
It's only September, but Facebook is already getting into the gift-giving spirit with a new feature that lets you send physical items such as cupcakes, gift cards, stuffed animals, and magazine subscriptions to your Facebook friends. The new feature, dubbed Facebook Gifts, recently started rolling out to profiles and is available only in the U.S. for now.

 

 

Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.




Bicycle card game owner to launch Zeniz mobile social casino games platform

Online casino games are hot. So much so that we're renaming our site Casino GamesBeat. Just kidding, but The United States Playing Card Company (owner of the Bicycle playing card brand) and Digi117 aren't. Those two companies are partnering to form Zeniz, a mobile social casino game platform.

The Enforceability Of Facebook's Terms Of Service

In the recent online contracting case of Fteja v. Facebook Inc., a New York federal court held that a forum selection clause contained in Facebook's statement of rights and responsibilities (the "terms") was enforceable because the plaintiff assented to the terms when registering to use Facebook.

Beyonce Can't Sidestep Suit Over Video Game Deal

Pop singer Beyonce's attorney failed to convince a New York state judge Wednesday to throw out allegations that she violated a contract when she abruptly pulled the plug on a multimillion dollar video game development deal.

Augmented Reality Toys for iPhone and iPad: A Work in Progress

Can traditional toy makers capitalize on the rise of smartphones and tablets? Wowwee Toys thinks it can. Next week, the company behind Paper Jamz and Lite Sprites is releasing its first toys in the AppGear line, which combine physical toys with companion smartphone and tablet apps.

Zynga Online Social Gambling

Zynga is known for its creation of a whole new breed of social games on cell phones and computers. They created social games that include gambling that is available for players to play on social networks, especially Facebook while being at home on their PC or outside through their cell phone. This creation has caused quite a stir in the world of gaming, as it made all of the console game companies such as EA forced to join this world so they don't stay way behind.

Kids Play Educational Games And Win Real Prizes From Their Favorite Teen Celebrities At Club TUKI

Club TUKI has patented a process where kids play educational games, earn a virtual currency called TUKI Moola, then bid or buy auction items in the TUKI auction. With the gaming platform now established, Club TUKI has launched Club TUKI News, a news site for kids that brings all of their favorite teen celebrities right to their fingertips.


Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.




10 Mind-Blowing Augmented Reality Campaigns

With the recent release of Google's 'Project Glass', the eyes of many consumers and marketers have drifted over to the idea of Augmented Reality. Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a real-world environment that is digitally augmented by another device.

Attention, Frustrated Inventors: Wal-Mart Wants You on Aisle Two

Wal-Mart knew it was in unknown territory when it launched "Get on the Shelf," an Internet popularity contest in which inventors compete for a coveted shot at selling their creations through the world's largest retailer.

OBJE Explores Social Gaming's Next Big Trend: Education

As smartphone and tablet usage becomes more and more widespread among children and adults alike, app-based social games present a powerful new opportunity to boost learning and development--and Obscene Interactive plans to capitalize.

Casino Game Makers Target Zynga, Social Gaming

Web companies like Zynga ushered in a new era of "social" games on PCs and mobile devices that people can play online with their Facebook friends, forcing traditional console-game makers like Electronic Arts to join the fray to avoid being left behind. Now, as Zynga ponders a way to enter the Internet gambling world, the makers of real-world casino games are poised to enter Zynga's turf, newly emboldened by a Justice Department opinion that indicated that many forms of online gambling could become legal.

The pros and cons of social media classrooms

The debate surrounding social media as a learning tool is unlikely to abate any time soon. Is it just a distraction, or do the interactive educational tools available outweigh any disadvantages? Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, are becoming steadily more integrated within a variety of apps targeted at learning. Real-time news feeds and instant accessibility make them a tool that can be used quickly and efficiently -- but due to its changeable nature, it can be difficult for school systems to keep up and compensate.


Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.




Epic Games to make government training games

Of all the companies you'd expect to announce a big government partnership, a major video game studio is probably not at the top of your list. Nevertheless, Epic Games announced Tuesday that it has entered into a "long-term, multi-platform" deal with a division of Applied Research Associates to license the Unreal game engine for government use.

Royal Canadian Mint unveils MintChip virtual currency

Having revealed plans to ditch the Canadian penny last week, the Mint is continuing its assault on physical cash with MintChip, which it describes as the "evolution" of currency. The system brings all the benefits of cash into the digital age, claims a dedicated Web site, providing users with instant, private and secure access to their money.

Social Gaming Key for Advertisers in 2012

Did you know Internet marketers will spend upward of $271 million on social gaming ads in 2012? In-game advertising is the next big trend in the industry, with analysts expecting ad spend on social games to reach $900 million annually in less than three years. The stakes are higher than ever for brands as they budget ad spend on laptops, mobile devices, and consoles.

Gamification Platform BigDoor Raises $5 Million From Foundry Group

White label gamification platform BigDoor has raised $5 million in new funding led by existing investor Foundry Group, bringing BigDoor's total funding to $13 million. BigDoor's gamification platform essentially allows online publishers to add game mechanics to web interactions and engagements. BigDoor helps companies build game-like mechanics and loyalty programs into their sites or apps by enabling points, badges, levels, leaderboards, virtual currency and virtual goods.

Facebook, NRDC, Opower, & 16 Utilities Team Up to Create Social Gaming App

"With an initial reach of 20 million households, the effort is one of the most significant to date, enabling people to take action and become more energy efficient," NRDC said in a statement today. "Leveraging the Facebook platform, the app allows people to quickly and easily start benchmarking their home's energy usage against similar homes, compare energy use with friends, enter energy-saving competitions, and share tips on how to become more energy efficient."

Google Glasses Face Serious Hurdles, Augmented-Reality Experts Say

When Google officially unveiled Project Glass -- the company's bid to develop Terminator-style augmented-reality glasses -- we saw a provocative glimpse of the future. The video Google released yesterday showed us the point of view of someone wearing the glasses, with icons, maps and other graphical overlays appearing over the user's complete field of vision.

Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

Gaming is a top priority for mobile-tech makers

"Gaming is now a 'need to have' category, not a 'nice to have' category for mobile devices, whether they be tablets or phones," said PJ McNealy, videogame analyst at Digital World Research. "The days of a single-function mobile device are long gone."

PixyKids raises $3M for a social media platform just for kids

PixyKids has raised $3 million to develop its social platform for kids ages six to 12. It is built on the idea that kids want to socialize, even though they're too young for Facebook. Kids can join PixyKids under their parents' supervision and can share experiences and pictures the way that adults do on Facebook. The company is betting that social networks, not virtual worlds or education sites, will resonate most with kids.

FanCake Debuts as First Live Social Gaming Experience for Sports Watching

Kwarter, a mobile application factory building apps that lie at the intersection of the social, mobile and TV spaces, announced today the launch of its first app, FanCake. FanCake turns live televised sporting events into interactive and social games, connecting millions of sports fans, teams, broadcasters, brands and athletes to enhance the game watching experience.

LVFH Launches Real Vegas Casino on Facebook

Las Vegas From Home.com Entertainment Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its social casino product, Real Vegas Casino, on Facebook to the general public. It is expected LVFH will launch more games under the Real Vegas Casino brand shortly, coinciding with a specialized marketing campaign.

 French City Implements Virtual Currency to Avoid Financial Ruin

The French city of Nantes has plans to introduce its own virtual currency as a complement to the euro. By 2013, participating local businesses will be able to pay, or be paid in virtual currency units called "Nanto."

Olympic stars brought to life in world's first 'augmented reality hotel'

From today, guests at the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum will be able to use their smartphones or tablets to see athletes in virtual action in the reception, corridors and bedrooms. When the devices are pointed at specific sites in the hotel, the athletes will appear on the screen. BMX World Champion Shanaze Reade can be seen performing tricks on her bike in the lobby, while Paralympic table tennis world number one Will Bayley hits table tennis balls behind reception.  Meanwhile, UK long-jump record holder Chris Tomlinson can be seen to jump in a corridor. And leading windsurfer Dempsey will - somewhat bizarrely - do his thing in the hotel's bedrooms using a bed sheet.


Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

Piracy battle goes to CES, Wikipedia may join SOPA protest, Google social search faces privacy concerns

A contentious battle over Internet anti-piracy legislation shifted from Washington to the Consumer Electronics Show, The Washington Post reported. The Consumer Electronics Association, which is behind the show, has been a vocal opponent of the two bills circulating in Congress that would help Hollywood titans, record labels and pharmaceutical firms enforce copyright infringement laws online.

Mobile virtual currency market to hit $4.8bn by 2016

In fact, a study released yesterday from Juniper Research predicts that the amount of money being spent on virtual currency in mobile apps is going to more than double in the next four years, going from $2.1bn last year to $4.8bn by 2016.

Bethesda Buys Interplay's 'Fallout' Rights, Ends IP Suit

Interplay Entertainment Corp., original developer of the "Fallout" line of video games, on Monday forfeited its rights to continue work on the series -- resolving a trademark dispute with former business partner Bethesda Softworks LLC.

Domino's Pizza uses augmented reality offers to boost food sales

Domino's Pizza, which has already been testing the waters of mobile marketing for some time now, has started a new campaign that includes the use of augmented reality, to add a whole new dimension to its latest 555 pizza offer.

CES: Better augmented reality with high-tech contact lenses

Augmented reality has made progress on smartphones, with apps letting people layer information and graphics over a view of the real world. A startup from the Seattle region is looking to take the next step toward an AR future with special contact lenses that make it possible to view objects projected onto glasses a short distance away from the eye.

Banks start playing games with your money

A new video game has gotten its hooks into Brian Kealer, a 26-year-old San Francisco software engineer. He's not killing birds or using his vocabulary to impress his friends. No, Kealer is after real prizes, like the iPad2 he just scored. And he's playing with his bank account. 

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Around the Virtual World

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A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.

Virtual Fairs Offer Real Jobs

As companies find themselves swarmed with applicants, struggling to match workers with the right skills to job openings, many are turning to virtual career fairs. Employers say these online forums--accessed by companies and job seekers from anywhere in the world--can save them time and money, as well as broaden the candidate pool.

Deal United's Facebook "Credits Rewards" Lets Clients Incentivize Signups and Purchases With Virtual Currency

German offer provider Deal United today announced it is entering the virtual currency incentives industry with the launch of "Credits Rewards". The new service allows brands to reward to users with Facebook Credits when they make purchases, registrations, signup for newsletters, enter contests, fill out surveys and more. Because virtual currency is so cheap to distribute and Facebook users may value Credits higher than their actual cost in dollars, they can be a cost effective way for businesses to reward users for following their call actions.

Children's book publisher heads into virtual world

Given that virtual worlds are driven by strong narratives, it comes as little surprise that more book publishers are eyeing opportunities in the space. The latest example comes from Finnish publisher DramaForum, which is transitioning its Petra's Planet book series into a virtual world through UK development studio Dubit.

Three ways virtual environments are changing how companies conduct business

One of the more popular attractions at major theme parks is the "motion ride." Through the use of visual, audio and other sensory cues (along with some pretty slick technology), visitors are given the opportunity to go places and do things they never could in the real world. Whether it's flying through the jaws of a dinosaur in Doc Brown's Delorean, visiting a galaxy far, far away, or taking a tour through the inner workings of the human body, these virtual environments engage visitors with a sensory experience that moves them in a way ordinary roller coasters can't.

Samsung Launches the Industry's First Gamified Corporate Website

Samsung Electronics America today announced the launch of Samsung Nation, its first social loyalty program. Available on the Samsung U.S. website, the program rewards consumers by enhancing their online experience with Samsung.

The Not-At-All-Distant Future of Green Gamification

Games are like ketchup: widely loved and diversely applied, with an appeal rooted in childhood. In fact, a new report reveals that over 90 percent of U.S. kids aged 2-17 are gaming today. Yet the gaming generation has been on the rise for three decades, leading to not only an army of young gamers, but also an influential adult segment. It is small wonder, then, that "gamification" is the most disruptive force to impact marketing since the arrival of social media.

Macy's Introduces Augmented Reality Experience in Stores across Country as Part of Its 2011 "Believe" Campaign

For the first time, customers mailing their letters at Believe Stations in Macy's stores will have an opportunity to take a photo with the campaign's animated stars Virginia and Ollie from the animated holiday special "Yes, Virginia." Using new augmented reality technology, customers with IOS and select Android smartphones can download the "Macy's Believe-o-Magic" application that allows them to unlock the magic to see and interact with Virginia, Ollie and their friends.

Around the Virtual World

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Social network ad revenue to hit $10B

Non-U.S. markets would account for slightly more than half, or 51.9 percent, of the US$10 billion global ad revenue in 2013, the research firm said in report Wednesday. While revenue growth would be in the double digits in the United States, higher growth elsewhere meant that spending in non-U.S. markets would account for a slighter greater share each subsequent year, it explained.

Steve Jobs: Accidental video games visionary

Sure, Jobs had some history in the space. He took a job at Atari as a technician in the mid-'70s, but this was because he was looking for money to fund a spiritual retreat to India. Later, with the release of the Apple II in 1977 he helped usher in a golden age of video games by providing a platform for the explosion of creativity that came in the early '80s: Bubble Bobble, Beach Head, Boulder Dash, Choplifter, F-15 Strike Eagle, Hacker, Hardball!, Karateka, King's Quest, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Leisure Suit Larry, Lode Runner, Might & Magic, The Oregon Trail, Raid Over Moscow, Skyfox, Ultima, Wizardry, Zork. So many games that so many of us remember fondly, and all of them made possible because of the Apple II and Jobs.

Supreme Court Dodges Video Game Fee Request

In a surprisingly precarious move, the U.S. Supreme Court took no action Monday on a request from the video game industry for 1.4 million dollars in attorneys' fees and expenses incurred fighting the unconstitutional violent video game ban law, originally passed in California. 

How will Facebook's newest changes affect gamification?

If you're at all interested in the world of social and casual games, and the gamification of social media, the stream of major and minor changes from Facebook over the past week or so has got to be top of mind. Besides the major F8 developer conference, which introduced Timeline and an updated version of Open Graph, we've also seen the introduction of Facebook subscriptions and an updated news feed in the past few weeks.

What the iPhone 4S Means for Mobile Gaming

Some of the best news is that the iPhone 4S is getting a power upgrade. The 4S is getting a dual-core 1GHz A5 processor with dual-core graphics. That means the 4S have comparable graphics to the iPad 2. Games are almost guaranteed to run smoother and faster on the new 4S, since it will be about 7 times faster than the old iPhone 4. However, gamers might not be able to enjoy the increased details due to the tiny screen size which stayed at 3.5".

Augmented Reality Meets Location-based Social Networking

A new app in this field is TagWhat. Part augmented reality-app and part social networking service, it lets people check and view locations along with additional random info like the place's history, the famous people who lived in it, anecdotes about the neighboring establishments, or any other information that can either be trivial, interesting, or extremely useful.


Around the Virtual World

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LinkedIn's 2Q Earnings Soar as Growth Accelerates

The results announced Thursday provided the first update on LinkedIn's progress since the company's headline-grabbing initial public offering in May. LinkedIn's shares have more than doubled from their IPO price of $45, stirring a debate about whether investors are overvaluing Internet companies. LinkedIn earned $4.5 million, or 4 cents per share, in the April-June period. That contrasted with earnings of $938,000, or 2 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Controversy Erupts Over SpotON3D's Patent Claims

Competing OpenSim hosting companies are concerned that SpotON3D's viewer plugin patent isn't original, will hinder innovation, and that the company isn't playing fair with the broader open source community. Other developers, however, say that SpotON3D's innovation can help energize OpenSim adoption -- and the patent, if it is granted, may not be that burdensome to the community.

Diablo III Will Have Real Money Auction House

For as amazing as Diablo II was, the economy was rather quickly ruined by the sale of virtual items. Most of the better loot required a significant time investment - or luck - so many players naturally flocked to the more convenient option. Blizzard, being the savvy developers that they are, has come up with a work-around for that: A flood of reports are coming in that Diablo III will feature an in-game auction house that will allow you to sell and buy virtual items (including virtual currency) for real cash.

EA Chief Vows to Keep Up With Big Changes In the Video Game Industry

Electronic Arts chief executive John Riccitiello said in a conference call today that the video game industry has fundamentally changed as gamers embrace new digital alternatives to console games - from mobile games to social games. And, he said, EA's strategy is changing with it.

SAP Launches The Ultimate Travel Challenge Dashboard

I find the concept of gamification fascinating so when I heard that a fellow team at SAP was launching a game to showcase one of the company's solutions it peaked my interest.  The game was built on SAP Crystal Solutions and showcases how the product can help your business by simulating the pressure of making informed decisions in a face-paced environment.

Augmented Reality Kills the QR Code Star

Augmented reality leader Layar just took its system to a whole new level by installing a real-world object recognition protocol that's a little like Google's Goggles. In one swoop it may have turned AR apps from intriguing, inspiring, and occasionally useful toys into serious tools for information discovery and, of course, advertising. Let's call it hacking the real world.

PayPal: 12M Monthly Users Are Paying For Virtual Goods

PayPal, which collects a lot of data on online payments, says the monetization of digital content has come a long way since the company was launched in 1998 and sold to eBay in 2002. Now it generates more than $1 billion in quarterly revenue and has more than 100 million active users.


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Could Social Media Flub Cost You $4.3 Million?

What can a social media mistake cost your company in fines, litigation, or loss of customer trust? A new survey reveals some interesting data points.

Gamification: How Competition Is Reinventing Business, Marketing & Everyday Life

The word "gamification," much like the phrase "social media" a few years back, is being lobbed around in technology circles as the next frontier in web and mobile. Just as nearly every application, website, brand and marketer now employs social media in some capacity, so too will these entities gravitate toward game mechanics in the years ahead.

Avoid Social Media Meltdown: Create a Strategy Take Back Control

Everyone said that you and your business needed to be on Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, and every other new social media site or service that has made its debut since then. You linked your webpage and your blog and made sure you had the right apps on your mobile devices to post on the go. You have profiles and pages on multiple services and.... now what?

Nixon bans Teacher-Student Friendships on Social Networking Sites

A new Missouri law is forbidding friendship between teachers and students, at least on Facebook. It's part of a bill Governor Jay Nixon just signed designed to more clearly define teacher-student boundaries.

Qualcomm Releases Augmented Reality Game SDK

According to TechCrunch, Qualcomm has released its ARG SDK, which was originally intended for Android devices with Snapdragon chips, for iOS-compatible devices. This initial release has support for, specifically, the iPhone 4, iPad 2, and even the fourth-generation iPod Touch.

Virtual World Usage Accelerates

Virtual worlds gained 214 million new users in the second quarter of 2011, according to virtual worlds research firm KZero Worldwide. It was the largest quarterly increase since the company began tracking these numbers in 2008.

Lawsuits Against Grooveshark Continue; Music Publishers Seek To Redefine The DMCA

Grooveshark has been involved in a series of lawsuits from the recording industry and, as with the Limewire lawsuits, it looks like the music publishers are piggybacking on the labels by suing later. We've already explained why Grooveshark appears to follow the rules set out by the DMCA, but I would imagine that Grooveshark is the sort of site where judges simply won't like the idea of it, and will thus figure out a way to rule against it. That could be very problematic.


Around the Virtual World

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Sony Settles With Alleged PlayStation 3 Hacker

Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC said Monday it had resolved its breach of contract and copyright infringement suit against alleged PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz, ending a brief but contentious battle in California.

Virtual Real Estate Selling for Millions

Real estate records come and go with startling frequency and this $US6 million (NZ$7.65 million) sale might not sound like much of a record, until you find out Planet Calypso is a fictional place on the Entropia Universe social gaming site.

Could Virtual Currency Become King in Developing Countries?

Hot on the heals of my post (Brendan Burge) about a virtual currency calledBitCoin, I have uncovered another rather surprising new paradigm. It would seem that increasingly people in Third World countries - what I prefer to call developing countries - are making a living by performing "micro-tasks" in the virtual economy.


PCS Holds World's First International Virtual Easter Egg Hunt

"When we say 'Easter eggs,' we mean just that," says John Barnhart, lead developer at PCS. "The term 'easter egg' has come to mean an intentional hidden message in a computer program. Well, these Easter eggs really are Easter eggs! You know, those boiled chicken ova decorated with food coloring that children hunt for in hopes of scoring some chocolate."

Gamification: CIOs Told to Get On Board

Gamification, the process of applying gaming techniques to the workplace, is set to become a mainstream approach in large organisations, according to analyst firm Gartner.

"Digital Goods" Fraud is Big

The Wall Street Journal reports that digital items within games and social networks accounted for $2.2 billion in sales in 2009, and are expected to account for $6 billion in sales by 2013. Billions more are spent on music and other downloadable digital media.

Baidu Signs with Facebook to Establish a New Social Networking Site

This week, tech and financial blogs were buzzing with the purported Baidu-Facebook deal, announced by Chinese web portal Sohu.com.

By 2015, Over 50% of Organizations Will Gamify Innovation Processes

By 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes, according to Gartner, Inc. By 2014, a gamified service for consumer goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon, and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.

GoldRun Leverages Augmented Reality for Mobile Marketing

Vivian Rosenthal once wrote an architecture masters thesis on the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds. Now, the New York entrepreneur is mining that intersection for profit with a start-up that's getting attention for the way it uses augmented reality to create marketing campaigns that end in real-world rewards.


Restaurant, Food & Beverage Legal Briefing Series: Top Social Media Legal Issues

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Leveraging social media technologies and applications is critical to the success of any marketing campaign, consumer outreach program or research plan.

Social media tools can be used to shed light on your target market and consumer decision making process. These tools can also be used to engage in a two-way conversation with your consumers and allows customers to communicate your messaging on your behalf. Restaurants are ahead of the curve:  81% are currently using social media, compared with 60% in other industries. Companies in these industries cannot ignore the powerful impact of social media. Companies in this space also face a host of new legal risks and concerns from virtually all sides. The key to success is staying on top of these laws and emerging trends.

On March 22, 2011, Jim Gatto delivered an exciting webinar presentation on top social media legal issues targeted to the restaurant, food and beverage industries. For a copy of his presentation, please click RFB Legal Briefing Series.pdf.

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Disney Buys Social Networking site Togetherville

Togetherville, designed for children under 10, adds to Disney's stable of Internet properties including social gaming company Playdom and mobile application developer Tapulous.

Gamification and Avoiding the Fate of ARGs

Supposedly, there's much that can be done with gamification to build deep engagement with users. Games can enhance lives. Everything can become a game, from work to social causes, education and art.

Virtual Reality Technology at City Tech Lab

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) yesterday inaugurated a new state-of-the-art psychology research laboratory, the first such facility in the college's history.

There's a Bigger Mistake You Could Make Than Offending the SEC

Opinions on how advisors and their vendors should approach social media abound. It's an interesting topic. But, perhaps because of the focus on compliance, some basic issues haven't been addressed in-depth. You might wonder: "Why the heck did Twitter get popular? What can it actually do for me? Should I just pipe my regular marketing materials into these new networks?"

Snooping on Social Networks to Vet Jurors and Hire Employees

While attorneys use Facebook and social media to vet jurors, some government agencies are demanding social network passwords from potential employees. Sometimes social networking comes back to bite you with privacy invasion.

Mobile Social Gaming Goes Mainstream

Sometimes it seems like the only thing that's permanent in the mobile industry is impermanence--the pace of innovation guarantees that nothing stays the same for very long. One exception is the enduring popularity of mobile gaming: From BlackBerry staple Brick Breaker to blockbuster du jour Angry Birds, the titles may change, but consumer interest in gaming remains intact.

hi5 Announces "Sociopay" Advanced Monetization Platform

hi5, one of the world's leading platforms for social games, today announced the launch of the SocioPay monetization platform designed to maximize revenue for social games. SocioPay

dynamically determines the optimal monetization solution for every commerce opportunity, including identifying players who are less likely to purchase and offering advertising as an alternative to traditional payment options.

MocoSpace Launches $1M Mobile Game Developer Fund

Mobile social network MocoSpace is launching a $1 million HTML5 Mobile Game Developer Fund to accelerate the development of games played on smartphone browsers.