A weekly wrap up of interesting news about virtual worlds, virtual goods and other social media.
Is Online Poker Over?
This week, the FBI landed a crushing
blow on all of the online poker sites that are advertised nightly in the United
States. Individuals involved with internet gambling companies PokerStars, Full
Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were indicted for bank fraud, money laundering,
and illegal gambling and sued in a companion civil suit that seeks at least $3
billion in forfeitures and penalties.
HP Rolls Out Virtual Banking With Avaya's Web.alive
on HP's Unified Communications and Collaboration Services portfolio for the
enterprise, HP and Avaya today announced a strategic offering that provides
banks with a customer-centric, humanizing element for assisted self-service.
What Effect Has the Internet Had On Religion?
concept of religious ritual is so deeply embedded in our social fabric that it
is natural for it to have made the leap to virtuality. And it hasn't just
reared its head in worlds such as Second Life. Social networks, including
Facebook, have active and close-knit communities of religious followers of all
creeds, gathering in what science writer Margaret Wertheim described in her
1999 book, The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace, as "a new kind of realm
for the mind".
Hackers Go After Points, Credits,
and Virtual Currency
Virtual thieves can sell stolen points in online forums or on eBay, or
they can try to exchange points for rewards. However, most online retailers,
social media, and gaming websites recognize the thieves' behavior patterns when
cashing in stolen points. By analyzing the history of the device being used to
access a website, the website's operator can prevent fraudulent transactions.
Social Gaming on Track to Become $5 Billion Industry by 2015
Associates, an internationally recognized market research and consulting
company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services,
forecasts revenues in the social gaming market will increase by five times from
2010 to 2015, due in large part to advertising revenues and sales of virtual
items. These factors already pushed revenues over $1 billion in 2010.
FNB's eBucks Buy 19 Million KMs of Fuel
In December 2009, members
of eBucks, First National Bank's rewards programme, were given the ability to
pay for fuel with eBucks, FNB's virtual currency, at participating Engen
service stations around South Africa. Since then, FNB has enabled eBucks'
members to fill up on fuel to the value of over R13m at participating Engen
service stations - which is enough fuel to drive almost 20 million kilometres
or - more accurately - to make 25 trips to the moon driving an average family
IU Shares $297,929 NSF Grant to Study Use of 3D Virtual Worlds
The National Science
Foundation has awarded $297,929 to a multi-disciplinary team from Indiana
University and Arizona State University. The award supports on-going research
concerned with the use of computer-generated 3D virtual environments by
business and educational enterprises.
Virtual Currency Drawing in More
currency isn't just for gamers any longer. New data from Jun Group indicates
that video viewers are also interested in virtual currency. According to their
report on incentivized social video, virtual currency is pushing consumers to
watch more video content in the social space.