Proliferation of daily fantasy sports games

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Did you capitalize on Brian Hoyer starting for the Cleveland Browns once Brandon Weeden got hurt? Or have you been riding Peyton Manning’s incredible performances so far this season. You might think I’m referring to typical conversations for fantasy football, but with the explosion of daily fantasy sports games, millions of dollars are legally changing hands as websites and now even apps try to capitalize on these games of skill. This has completely changed the landscape of sports betting as players now have the option of risking cash on daily fantasy games as opposed to the traditional method of picking games against the spread. Now with SideDraft being added to the Apple app store we might see the games become even more popular.

The key revolves around the notion that picking lineups in a fantasy game makes these games “skill” games that are not prohibited by various state and federal laws. With the popularity of fantasy football and other sports, these new sites just add the cash element and suddenly we have a new niche exploding around the web. The key difference from a game point of view is that you pick different players each week, so you’re not stuck with a crappy like regular fantasy football if you have a bad draft or have key injuries on your roster.

Most of these games have salary cap of course, so you’ll pay a price for using Manning or someone like Adrian Peterson. The key is finding cheap bargains who can have big games, like Hoyer of course. Even veterans like Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers can help you win, as he’s having a huge year but wasn’t in great demand in typical fantasy leagues.

These games can be just as addicting as regular gambling or regular fantasy football, so the popularity isn’t surprising. I am surprised however that some lawmakers have tried to stop everyone from having so much fun.

Death of 3D TV

Is anyone really surprised by this? 3D television was always overhyped, and now we’re seeing companies like ESPN officially giving up on this failed experiment.

Nails are being banged into the coffin for 3D television. On Wednesday, Disney (DIS) said it would discontinue its 3D channel by the end of this year. Television manufacturers always saw sports programming as the way to persuade people about 3D, just as adoption of HDTV was driven largely by NFL fans. The fans weren’t persuaded. Three years into ESPN’s 3D push, the company said the whole thing wasn’t worth the effort.

3D has always been a technology that television manufacturers wanted to sell a lot more than anyone wanted to buy. For the last several years, 3D televisions have been trumpeted as the future at such events as the Consumer Electronics Show. But even with all the energy the industry could muster, only 20 percent of LCD televisions sold had 3D capability. Even this is probably an overstatement of how much interest there is in the technology, because it sure looks like a lot of people who buy those televisions never put on those glasses.

The quality of TVs these days is amazing. But, they have also become commodities. That doesn’t mean we won’t see innovation in the future, but at this time manufacturers have to realize that their hopes for a new replacement cycle fueled by 3D televisions wil not materialize.

Gaming on the iPad

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One popular use of computers by computer owners has always been Online casinos. However through advancements in technology it is now easier than ever for users to obtain an internet signal on other smaller devices, as a result the manner in which people game has changed. Out of these smaller devices the most popular for gaming is the tablet. Of all the tablets on the market today, the most popular is of course the iPad.

The iPad is run with an operating system just like a personal computer. In this case, it is the iOS designed by Apple. Apple has made some changes in recent years making their operating system incompatible with some browser plug-ins that have been necessary for gaming. One of these is Adobe Flash. Therefore online casino firms have had to create casino games that are compatible with the iOS. HTML5 was what developers came up with that made it easier for the iPad to access casino games in lieu of a special app. This makes it must faster to start playing. As a result, today’s online casino gamers on the iPad have an optimal gaming experience that is quite realistic.

Certain casino games such as those offered by online casino australia can now be enjoyed on the iPad. For instance games such as roulette, poker, blackjack and slots are now just a click away. These games really show off the great features of the iPad including its speed, graphic display and audio technology. The large screen really helps with the graphic display. The iPad version of roulette is particularly popular due to the touch screen playing.

Twitter keeps screwing with my email notification settings

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I hate it when awesome social media services like Twitter get so big that they become desperate to drive more growth. It’s one thing to keep improving the user experience, but it’s quite another to manipulate settings in a lame attempt to drive more engagement.

Twitter keeps messing with my email notifications across my various business accounts. I don’t want my email inbox flooded with useless email notifications from Twitter, so I shut them all off. But the folks at Twitter keep adding more reasons to send you an email, like “Someone shares a Tweet with me” and “Someone from my address book joins Twitter.” Naturally, their default option is to have the box checked, so even if you wipe all the email options clean in your settings, Twitter keeps adding new reasons and then checking them so you get more emails.

Enough. Please stop. This is just ridiculous. Please add an option at the top that let’s me tell you I never want to receive any emails from Twitter.

Adobe pisses off more customers with Photoshop CC subscription mandate

If you want to use Photoshop CC, you have to purchase a monthly or yearly subscription. The days of the perpetual license are ending at Adobe, and that has left many customers furious, as these letters to the NYT reviewer make clear.

I have mixed feelings on this. I don’t have a huge problem with Adobe’s strategy, but I think they’re pricing it too high. The same goes for Dreamweaver. David Pogue points out that GIMP is a free competitor to Photoshop, and while Adobe will make out big in the short run, perhaps by pricing it too high they risk losing serious market share over time.

We’ll see how it plays out.

Quality vs quantity in online publishing

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If you’re an online publisher without a huge staff, trying to keep up with the big boys can be exhausting.

This article explains how publications like Huffington Post and even old, traditional publishers like Forbes are playing the page view game, trying to generate as much content for the lowest possible cost. Too many companies are trying to play this game.

On the other side of the spectrum, publications like Salon have abandoned this losing game and instead focused on quality and long-form articles that will have an impact. Fortunately it’s working for them.

DoubleTree tries to leverage photos and social media

Check out this interview with DoubleTree Hotels global head John Greenleaf about how DoubleTree is using contests and sharing around photos and videos uploaded by their customers, tied to specific locations.

Mobile Gambling – There’s an App for That

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Abstainer, noun: A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

So wrote Ambrose Bierce (also known as Bitter Bierce) in his cynical look on life, The Devil’s Dictionary. And let’s face it, Ambrose probably has it right as we all like a little gamble now and then to liven things up.

However, you no longer have to head over to a casino to get your gamble on because your mobile phone probably offers more gambling action than the mighty Bellagio.

So just how is mobile gambling getting ready to take over the world? Read on to find out…

Try Before You Buy

Perhaps one of the most interesting elements of casino and poker apps is the fact that you can play for free. Yes, you get to enjoy all the casino games without any of the risk, making them…well…fun.

However, it won’t take long before you wish your winning streak was happening with a real money game and the boasts of being rich on play money will become empty. However, it is great for refining your game play and sharpening your skills. You can then take your new strategies to real money play on a casino or mobile hold’em website and put them to the test.

Welcome Bonuses Are Free Money

Another highly attractive feature of mobile gambling apps is that casinos and poker sites actually give you free money to play with. And they do it just for signing up.

Well, OK, you have to actually deposit some money there – and you have to do some gambling. The bonuses are then unlocked depending on how much you play. It’s rather like getting achievements or trophies in other games – except these reward you with actual cash.

Mobile Gaming Offers Fast Access

Having casino and poker games on your mobile allows you to jump straight into the action wherever you are. Online casinos and poker rooms have responded to this by offering games that require no waiting times to keep mobile players in the heart of the action.

This means that if you have a few minutes spare you can always spin some slots reels, or play a few hands of poker.

Not All Poker and Casino Apps Are the Same

Poker sites and online casino do vary in their offerings. While many of the games they offer are quite similar, the bonuses and promotions the sites give out can be quite different. So it is worth shopping around and checking out some comparison sites (and reading a few reviews) to get a feel for who is offering the best.

Poker players should also be aware that the ability to find opponents is directly related to the popularity of a site. The more popular a poker room is, the more people play there, and the fuller the tables are. Bear that in mind when signing up.

A Final Word of Warning

Do remember that online gambling is illegal in some countries and some US states. Check out a specialized website to make sure you are playing within the law.

Also, don’t gamble with money you cannot afford to lose. Gambling is a bit of fun – so keep it that way. If your ability to pay the rent, or eat, depends on the spin of a roulette wheel then you are doing something wrong.

Now, with that said, don’t be a fuddy-duddy abstainer. Get out there and live a little!

The Bitcoin roller coaster

Bitcoins have been in the news quite a bit lately, as the trading value of this new virtual currency has been fluctuating like crazy over the past weeks.

The scale of the recent boom and bust has been staggering indeed. At the start of the year, a Bitcoin was worth $13.51. Earlier this week, it traded as high as $266. And on Thursday, it plummeted to less than $100, as one of the exchanges where Bitcoins are traded closed temporarily. This would be comparable to the exchange rate for the British pound soaring from $1.62 (where it was on Jan. 1) to $31.90 and then falling back to $12.

The topic got even more attention when we learned that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss had amassed a rather large Bitcoin position.

The video above provides an excellent primer on the topic of Bitcoins, along with the article linked above. It will be interesting to see whether online retailers or marketplaces started accepting this virtual currency.

Facebook phone finally announced

Mark Zuckerberg has announced the new Facebook phone as you can see in the video above. The phone will be based on Android but it will be laid out differently with the home page of the phone being devoted to people rather than apps.

Let’s see if this takes off. Not everyone wants the world to see who is on their Facebook “favorites” list on their phone home page. I can see plenty of drama with girlfriends, etc.