Tuesday, January 23, 2007

My Blog Has Moved...

Yes that's right. It's been a great experience using Blogger for the past two months, but no matter what, your own hosted blog can always give you much more power and flexibility. My new blog now has moved to its new location and name: BlogAllAlong.com. I tried my best to move all the posts and comments from here to there, sadly Blogger does not provide a convenient export mechanism, and the suggested work around solutions did not work for me. So please, excuse me for any mistakes on old posts.

I will be writing there soon a full review about my experience in Blogger, and who and why might chose to host his own blog.

Friday, January 19, 2007

iPhone clone already?

LG have announced their new KE850 touch screen only mobile phone, very similar in look to the iPhone. Is this by chance? Is it a tradition that people copy Apple interface? Or is it the other way around this time? No reports seem to have been made so far. What is interesting however is that the new LG phone might beat the iPhone to the market. Whether that is good to LG, or bad to them since Apple fans will keep waiting, we will know the answer soon.

oneCompare has more on the news with a photo of the new phone.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Finally, A Vampyre Story set for release end of 2007

It was a long wait, it was a touch fight, and we are still going to wait. But in the end, I think it's all worth it. The dream of Bill Tiller and his new Autumn Moon studio is coming to reality finally. A Vampyre Story release date in France and United Kingdom has been announced and is intended to be at the end of 2007. I can still recall when the game designer vowed to release the game, even if he had to do so on his own budget.

Well, his efforts seem to have been rewarded and the fans are eagerly waiting for the new 2D style adventure game. The French distributors are now targeting the end of year for the release. You can read the translation of the article here. The original French version is available here as well.

Monday, January 15, 2007

US Console Sales lead by XBox 360 in Dec

The Register writes about the game console sales in US last month, lead by XBox 360 with 1.1m unites, followed by Wii 604,200 and Sony 3 490,700. PS3 is still in the last place, and XBox 360 taking the lead among. This lead is most probably due to the lack of productions units for Wii and PS3. Why is the PS3 also less popular? Well I suggest you browse for the PS3 games and see which game is worthy of buying the $400 console. There is no killer app for PS3 yet, but they should be coming in 2007 or else Sony will be kicked out of this round.

The amazing thing is the sales of the old consoles however. PS2 reached 1.4m, 1.6m for Nintendo DS, and 953,200 units for PSP. How could people still buy the PS2 I wondered, and then I remembered the tag price for new consoles. The total console sales in December rose %59.2 from last year, totalling $1.6bn! Can you imagine. And my dad used to tell me video games are just for kids.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Telltale Vs Lucasarts

March 2004, the famous anticipated sequel to the Sam & Max Hit the Road was cancelled by Lucasarts for good, and and all other adventure game plans have been put on hold until further notice. A late comment came from Lucas officials late last year saying they will get back to the adventure games in 2015!

Fans went mad, petitions started on the internet, and even the Lucas employees who were working on the game felt frustrated. A group of the employees heard the cries, quit Lucas and started what's called today Telltale games back in June 2004. They have managed to acquire the license for the abandoned Sam & Max and already released two episodes which were well accepted by the fans.

Now, and after 3 years and a half, I thought of making this comparison between the small Telltale, and the Star Wars fueled Lucasarts. The first thing I tried was how often people Google for one over the other by using Google Trends.

Lucas are still in the lead, but as it is properly called Trend, you can see end of 2006 how Telltale closed up on Lucasarts. This was when Sam & Max Ep. 1 was released. A clear message from the fans to Lucas I suppose. Also, you can see below the difference from Alexa for Reach and Rank:

Daily Reach has still a huge gap between the two, though at every Sam & Max release this gap gets a lot smaller. If we look at Ranking it gets much more interesting. At Nov and Jan, when the two Sam & Max episodes were released, the 3 1/2 years old company, living on the forgotten and leftovers of Lucasarts beats Lucas in ranking! Now that Lucas are out of new Star Wars movies, and Telltale still gathering up their forces, there could be a real turn in situation here. I don't believe Lucas will start losing, no. But their sales may get affected now without new Star Wars fresh movies coming, and may really consider appealing back to the fans they turned their back to.

On the other, I take off my hat and salute all the people at Telltale for their continuous and hard working efforts that really seem to be paying off. They have won the fans heart and loyalty in a way that with every release, we customers face serious issues launching the game, and can still feel the sense of humor between fans and the company. How could a company like this fall I wonder?

Google Top iFrame not appearing

Today I noticed when I Google for any word that has results, there is an iFrame above the results that results in 404 Page Not Found. I thought in the beginning it's only my slow connection timeout, but I keep getting it in both Firefox and IE7. Opera did not have that iFrame for some reason. At least I didn't see it. See below the image.

Does anybody else have the same thing?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Yahoo doing Evil against Google?

Marketing Pilgrim are posting the incident of an individual who download Yahoo Messenger, and upon installation, he got an innocent vague looking auto-update option, which he normally assumed it's Yahoo Messenger related update and decided to keep it. What he found out later is that the update downloads the IE7, sets it as default browser with Yahoo as the main page, and not only that. It changes the default search engine to Yahoo from what it was, Google.

This is a very strange incident to be, and someone already mailed Yahoo for comments. Read more and see snapshots from the original post.