Anyone who has ever used an app on Facebook knows the personal access screen. The first time you use any app on the platform, you are presented with the "This app needs to access your personal information" screen. Whether it be name, birthdate, friends list or anything else in your profile, it all goes through this single validation screen. While a little annoying sometimes, it is there for a reason: you don't want apps accessing your personal information when you don't expect it.
Don't get too comfortable with this policy, however, as Facebook has made agreements with companies like Zynga and EA, that will allow them to access your personal information without permission, with just the click of a "Play Now" button. The only information available through the instant play feature is your basic information (name, profile picture, birthdate, friends list) and information that you choose to provide as public. If you have made anything, like phone number and physical address, private, it will not be accessible to the app without permission.
I'm not really sure that the annoyance of a single permission dialog the first time you start a new game really warrants a special feature to bypass your personal privacy. When I access an application, I appreciate the platform letting me know what information it wants to know about me. It actually will influence my decision about whether or not to use the app; if the app is requesting information that is seemingly irrelevant to the usage, I might decide not to interact with it.
By allowing me to bypass that decision, I will be much less likely to use any Facebook apps. Hopefully, while giving people who are less interested in the usage of their information the ability to start playing immediately, they will continue to give the rest of us the ability to see what information the app or game wants to know. Are you like me, worried about who has access to your personal information, or are you excited about the ability to play now? Let us know in the comments section.
Just about everyone on the Internet has had some sort of interaction with social networking pioneer, Digg. If you are reading this on our website, you can even see its integration at the bottom of the article. Just because you know of it, however, does not mean that you use it. That is the problem that has led to this week's decision to sell the remaining assets of the company to Betaworks for a mere $500,000. Compared to the $35 million MySpace sold for, that is pretty insulting.
Now, that is not to say the company was only valued at $500,000. The remaining assets involved only the domain, code, data and traffic rankings. All of the patents held by the company, such as the "click to up vote" patent, have already been sold to LinkedIn for around $4 million, with licensing rights to be given to Betaworks. In addition, the team has been sold to the Washington Post for $12 million. That brings the total in at about $16.5 million, still far below the value of the other once mighty social giant, MySpace.
So, what went wrong and what does founder and former G4 host Kevin Rose have to say about the end of an era? Hit the break to find out.
As we predicted, it looks like Samsung isn't bothered by Microsoft designing their own tablet. As discussed just a couple weeks ago, Microsoft also announced that they would not be making their own smartphones and instead were happy with Nokia as a manufacturer and wanted to continue its relationship with Samsung for WinPho8.
The good news is that Samsung is likely to come out with Windows Phone 8 devices in the future, but for now, the company has announced that they will launch a tablet with Microsoft's Windows RT software when the OS hits the market later this year. Samsung has said that they've already created a device built on Windows' new ARM-based OS, according to sources who have asked to not be recognized. Those sources also said that the device should be available during launch week. This also follows suit with Samsung's previous statement that they would support the alternate version of Windows, and Microsoft's direct challenge to Apple's iDevices. Interestingly enough, HP has said last week that they would not be supporting the Windows RT effort and will instead focus on Windows 8 proper hardware.
How will this affect Samsung's devotion to the mobile world? We have our thoughts after the break.
Last week, it was made public that Apple's design concepts trumped its environmental position. I don't think this came as a huge surprise to anyone, considering Apple has worked pretty hard to incorporate incredibly harmful chemicals in their products that no one else seems to use, and they seal their products so that no one can get into them, including people trying to prevent those chemicals from getting into the water supply.
To Apple's surprise, people were not happy about the decision. Most notable among those upset was the City of San Francisco, who announced the decision that city funds would only be able to be spent on electronics that bear the EPEAT certification. None of this is all that surprising, but what happened this week is. In an uncharacteristic move, Apple decided to reverse its decision, something that would never have happened under Steve Jobs. In fact, Bob Mansfield, Senior vice President of Hardware Engineering, wrote a letter of apology to consumers, explaining that what had happened was a mistake and that Apple would fix it. In contrast, when the iPhone had its antenna problem, Jobs not only didn't apologize, he blamed the other manufacturers.
So, what does Apple have to say about this marketing blunder? Hit the break for more.
Minecraft is growing more and more popular by the way of giving Xbox 360 users a taste of how great the game has become. While the 360 version is still several updates away from the current PC edition, it's going to be getting several enhancements added in the coming weeks that will certainly add some "curb-stomping cool factor" to the game. Also, the PC version is getting an update as well.
Let's start with the PC. Minecraft will be updating to version 1.3 on August 1st. This update will merge the single and multiplayer modes of the game. Interestingly, the single player mode will actually be a "shell on top of multiplayer." Mojang, the developer of the game, said the reason for the change was to accommodate those who will be using the upcoming modding API. If the modes were not merged, creators would have had to develop two different versions of the mod for each mode, which just takes up time. The only issue with the "shell" is that single player games will now take bit more processor power but Mojang said they look to remedy that in version 1.4.
Added to 1.3 will also be emeralds and emerald ore, writing in books, an extra chest for new players to the game and the benefit of buying goods from NPCs in villages. 1.3 will be getting an RC version about a week before the slated August 1st release date.
For the Xbox 360, while you still may be a handful of updates away from an interactive NPC village, you will get the ability to no longer look like the Swedish version of Pete Sampras. Minecraft will be getting a DLC pack of about 40 different player skins to coincide with the 1.7.3 beta update that was entered into Microsoft Cert Testing this week. You will get access to some of the popular original skins found in the PC version but will also be privy to five exclusive console skins not available on the computer. We will see skins like the Creeper, 'Splosion Man, Ms. 'Splosion Man, a scientist from 'Splosion Man (Dr. 'Splosion Man?), the guy from Trials, Covenant Grunt, King, Jack of Blades, Clayton Carmine, Banjo, a prisoner, Danklef and one more I can't seem to remember. Oh yeah, it's Master Chief! You read that correctly; you can now go on a killing spree in style as Halo's own solo-shooter extraordinaire. All of that plus the rest of the 40 skins will only run you 160 Microsoft Points when it hits the Xbox Live Marketplace.
So who's playing Minecraft or is considering it? We have a world you can play in whenever I'm online, just add F5 Penguin to your friends list and play along with me! Tell us in the comments section what your favorite thing about the game is, or what is your favorite skin from the Xbox pack.
Since Peter Molyneux left Microsoft and founded 22 Can, there has been a lot of interest about what the company would launch. Molyneux has said the company would produce 22 experimental games, something he is very good at (look at Milo). His first experiment, announced at E3 2012, is called Curiosity.
The game concept, explained in detail this week, is pretty simple: there is a box (pictured right) which contains something. Everyone in the world, up to 1 million at a time, get to hack away at the box to reveal the contents. That's it; pretty simple, right? The game is free, though you can purchase tools to help you break more, faster. For example, you can spend 50 cents to buy a pickax, or $50,000 to buy a diamond pickax. Molyneux describes the $50,000 purchase as "nothing to be ashamed of."
While 1 million people can destroy the box together, on iOS, Android and PC, only one person will get to reveal the contents. The important question everyone is asking, though, is what's inside? Obviously Molyneux will not tell, but he did say "it's so amazing I think it will appear on news reports." So, my question for you is, what is inside? Only time will tell, and we can start the journey on August 22. Give us your thoughts on the contents in the comments section.