Sunday, 21 August 2011

Games Games and more games

I've been playing a lot of games lately on Google Plus (PC) and some games on my iPad. Google has introduced its Google plus social network for combating facebook's domination. I like some of the way that they have implemented games into the system.

I do have some major problems with the way that Google has set up their games system though when I want to choose a game to play. I have a single large picture to go by some of which shows an image of the game screen. Thats all well and good for those games I can make a decision on the spot to decided if that game is the type i would like to play.

Unfortunately some games turn based build a city/country type games are hidden behind a fancy front screen. Google needs to add an info button beside the play button that will show the user more information to make those decisions. Something like the way the App store gives the developers a space that they can advertise their Application.

Also Google has placed on the left of the Games tab a list of the games that you have recently played which is great but how do I remove games from my account. Yes you can go and revoke access to the apps but you cant remove them from the list of games.

I've been playing a lot of Angry Birds lately and one of the things that I think is missing is notifications when someone beats your score. Also I would like to see what the World highest scores are for the game and on the different levels. Sort of like Game Centre on the iPad does.
I've also played Bubble Island which has taken me back to my childhood playing Bubble Bobble. I love how simple this game is to play. Its definitely one that my nieces would love to play.
Since Google Plus games are not available on the iPad (as they are flash based games) I've been playing Zombie Gunship on my iPad its a iPhone/iPad compatible game and worth every penny. If you've played the level on Call of Duty Modern Warfare where you are in the gun ship and you have to use the weapon systems to destroy insurgents. Its basically like that except that instead of insurgents you have zombies with no body heat. Save the humans kill the zombie getting points that allow you to upgrade your weapons. Quite addictive.

Zombie Gunship is another great game by Limbic who have brought us Tower Madness HD a game I spent months playing and would recommend

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Question about transparency in a Social Experiment.

I'm currently taking part in a social experiment that is based on the "Take a penny, Leave a Penny" social idea that is apparently from what I hear is quite wide spread in America. This is of course the social experiment devised by Jonathan Spark. His "Take a Coffee, Leave a Coffee" version is based around the fact that you can get a card in Starbucks USA that has a bar code that represents the long digit code that we have on our UK cards so basically Jonathan has taken a screen grab of his cards barcode and uploaded it to the web. With the express permission to allow everyone to have a coffee on someone else. Jonathan also wrote a bot that will scrape the Balance from the card at regular intervals and post the information to a Twitter account @jonathanscard which as of writing this has just over five thousand followers.

The Balance seems to fluctuate between zero and a couple of hundred dollars but with so many following the experiment its not hard to see why this happens. Yesterday I went into my local to work Starbucks and got them to type in the long digit number and got my self a "Tall drip coffee" Approx £1.50 in value. Now I went and tweeted that it worked in the UK and I noticed that the Tweets before and after my purchase dropped from £54.90 to zero balance. A lot of people on hacker news have been speculating that the card had been hacked because they were seeing the balance jump by as much as a $100 at a time. Speculation ran from people buying gift cards to people waiting for the balance to go up and then buying coffee machines.

I disagree I think that there is just that many people buying coffee on the card that the balance doesn't have the chance to stay high for any period of time. Jonathans bot is his attempt at transparency showing the public that there is a large amount of money on the card so go and get a free coffee. That's where I think this experiment has gone wrong. I think that the experiment should have hidden the value of the card as the experiment is now "Grab a free coffee" with some nice people putting cash on the card for others.

If the ethos of the experiment is "Take a penny, Leave a Penny" basically you shouldn't be checking the balance before you go for a coffee. You go to the till and say I'll have a coffee on this card. Then if the card is empty you put $10 on it. Of course as the number of people taking part increase the issue might happen that you put $10 dollars on it and it empties between the money going on and the cashier charging the card.

But still a lovely heart warming idea and I hope it works out.

Monday, 8 August 2011

QR code

I found a site that allows you to generate QR codes with embedded text

Haven't been able to get it to work yet though :-( So I made this one up ;-)

Thanks to a Social Experiment I got a free coffee

Jonathan Stark set up a website to promote a social experiment based on take a penny give a penny that happens in America. This is the type of social experience that we can all like. Unfortunately there will always be some who take advantage and try to take advantage of others.

Here are two members of staff in my local (to work) StarBucks coffee shop in The UK (birmingham) who were pleasantly surprised that this experiment would take place at all.

check out