Category Archives: Software

Farmville, Social Gaming, and Addiction

Facebook has been trumpeting the fact that Farmville, the most popular game on its site, has more users than Twitter, with 69 million playing over a month and 26 million playing each day. Combined with Facebook’s announcement that they have hit 350 million users, that means one out of every five people on Facebook is playing Farmville. Gamasutra has a post taking a critical analysis of Farmville, its deceptively slow level grind, how a number of gameplay features end up as simply decorative since they aren’t balanced with the benefits of raising crops, and discussing why Farmville succeeds so well in virally spreading itself and addicting people.

Dislike Button Comes to Facebook

There is no debate that there are over 2.5 million users that support the addition of a “dislike” button to the Facebook feed. Unfortunately for those users, it’s highly unlikely that Facebook
will ever add such a button, however that’s not stopping developers from coming up with creative solutions. One developer has created a Firefox plugin which lets users dislike feed stories.

While the dislike actions are only visible to those users who also have the plugin installed, my guess is that there are a lot of users who would like to click on a “dislike” link. Even if nobody else sees that you disliked a feed story, it can be cathartic to just click on the link. So far the plugin has only been downloaded just over 1,000 times, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see this number jump over the coming weeks and months, as the news about the plugin spreads.

Just this morning there were at least two new pages requesting the addition of a “Dislike Button” (dislike button page and dislike button petition page) each of which have over 1 million fans. While it’s clear that a vocal minority of Facebook users would like a dislike button, the best solution for these users is to download the “Facebook Dislike” Firefox plugin.


7 Reasons Why Microsoft Should Make PCs

If Microsoft wants to be like Apple, so be it. The company should design, build and sell consumer PCs directly to customers. As Steve Jobs says, "good artists copy, great artists steal." Microsoft needs to steal Apple’s whole approach to marketing its products and managing its brand, not just copy its retail store ideas.


Facebook Merges ‘Highlights’ Back Into Your News Feed

Facebook has just announced that it is beginning to roll out a modified version of its homepage that incorporates the ‘Highlights’ section into the News Feed. You’ll now be able to jump between two different versions of the feed: the Live Feed, which displays your friends’ updates in real-time, and the News Feed, which displays the top items your friends have posted over the last few days (these generally are the most commented on/Liked stories).

The new design is a compromise between the ‘old’ News Feed, which used algorithms to present stories Facebook thought you’d find interesting, and the feed Facebook rolled out back in March that consisted of a Twitter-like stream of recent updates. Since this year’s redesign Facebook has used the ‘Highlights’ section at the right hand side of the screen to present items you may have missed, but this was never an ideal solution: for one, you couldn’t see your friends’ comments on these posts, and the small space afforded to Highlights made it easy to pass over.

Today’s change will make the Highlights section redundant, so it will be removed (everything below it will also be shifted higher on the page, which means the ‘Birthdays’ and ‘Events’ sections will no longer be buried). Facebook’s post also notes that the News Feed will include more events, including when your friends become fans of Pages, add friends, or RSVP to an event.

Microsoft’s spooky, haunted Windows 7 launch

Almost everyone likes Windows 7. It’s faster, cleaner and easier to use. But is paranormal activity wrecking the rollout?