ZeptoLab CEO Misha Lyalin doesn’t play cards, except for bridge. His Moscow-based games company, though, is playing a more random card game.
“We’re fortunate enough that we got dealt an amazing card, and it’s called Cut the Rope,” Lyalin said of ZeptoLab’s hit series. “But we still have to build up everything else. With one card, you go into the game, and everybody has a hand, and you have nothing.”
That “everything else” includes two other games, Parachute Ninja and Pudding Monsters, which combined with Cut the Rope’s three titles have generated more than 300 million downloads across all platforms since 2010. The company also licenses enough merchandise to choke even Cut the Rope’s voracious star, Om Nom: Toys, apparel, food, board games, a digital comic book and an ongoing animated Web series.
And that list is growing. In an interview with AllThingsD, Lyalin said ZeptoLab is planning four new games for this year: Two new Cut the Rope games and two completely original titles. The company is also working with Sony Pictures Television to develop a TV show, to start airing in 2014.
(Also coming soon to a TV near you: A half-hour animated TV series based on Zynga’s social game FarmVille, not to mention Rovio’s Angry Birds TV shorts, a few of which have already aired on Nickelodeon. Whether the new generation of videogame-related shows can live up to the artistic excellence of the “Super Mario Bros. Super Show” remains to be seen.)
The CEO declined to go into detail about the TV show, other than to say that it would be Cut the Rope-themed.
Lyalin said these sorts of licensed products are now a part of the expected path for game companies that have a hit on their hands.
And that’s telling. Once, the iconic games that were able to command extensive lines of merchandise were only available on a few devices approved by their publishers (think Mario on Nintendo’s consoles or Sonic on Sega’s). Now, stuffed Om Noms are both an extra revenue stream and a form of advertising for the Cut the Rope brand, which freely follows users across different devices and different operating systems.
However, Lyalin stressed the need to keep releasing new games above all else.
“We’re a gaming company, first and foremost,” he said. “That is where our strength is from.”
So, where are those games headed? With its fans primarily on mobile devices, ZeptoLab hasn’t yet tried to break into the troubled home-console market, but Lyalin said he hasn’t ruled it out. In particular, he said, Android-based game consoles (such as the forthcoming Ouya) are “a given,” since the company’s games are already on the Android OS.
His bigger philosophy, though, is refreshingly frank, if not terribly complex: A lot of platforms where ZeptoLab might go won’t survive. But, Lyalin said, if they can attract an audience in the short term and potentially expand Om Nom’s reach, then that’s enough.
Hey JB’s. In my first video: http://www.youtube.com i showed you how to connect to Siri through Google Server (The owner of the server had to insert commands manually). Today i’m going to show you how to connect IPHONE 4 ONLY to the origianl apple servers that giving service to newer devices such as iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and so on.. Before the guide, note that not all of you will have the luck and will manage to find a spot right away on apple servers! you should keep trying although Siri is sorry all the time! you will get your spot like i did. and now for the guide that is very similar to the old one. if you did steps 3-4, Do not do them again. Guide (do in the order that said in the guide and not as in the video): 1. Add the source: ihackstore.com 2. Download SiriDr and all the packages that come with it – Respring 3. Open Cydia and add the source: cydia.bassamkassem.com 4. Download [Ac!D]Siri-iOS 6.1 (About 10 Min’) – Respring 5. Go to to SiriDr icon on springboard, and press on the bottom bar at SiriDr Servers Now, press download the certificate, open in Safari and Install 6. Go back to SiriDr and Press the Siriserver For iOS 6 – Respring 7. You should be done for now, u can change the language in Settings – General – Siri (Enable it if it’s Disabled) 8. Try Siri continuslly Read Carfully and take responsabillty on your actions. Good luck. Please Share, Like, Subscribe, Follow twitter.com
Video Rating: 5 / 5
Image copyright Gregory James Van Raalte
In 2012, companies like PayPal, Google and Apple made major announcements in the mobile wallets and offers space. Credit card companies were not nearly as noisy, but 2013 could be the year that all changes.
Financial institutions are embracing digital offers out of necessity because revenue from current sources is in decline. The future of the payments industry is shifting quickly to monetizing consumer relationships — particularly through mobile devices — and away from extracting new value from the payments value chain.
What many do not know is that credit card companies have experienced significant pain as a result of the capping of their lucrative interchange fees by the Durbin Amendment, which became effective in 2011. Faced with declines in what had previously been a significant form of revenue, credit card companies know that they need to open new sources of revenue. This need is becoming ever more urgent with companies like Google and Paypal joining the mix and leveraging their unique assets — novelty, retailer relationships, and extensive technology infrastructure.
The opportunity here is massive — total real-world (not online) retail commerce is $4 trillion a year in the U.S., and eMarketer just reported that mobile advertising is expected to increase by 180 percent in the coming year to reach $4 billion. Credit card companies looking to take their fair share of this revenue need to figure out how to leverage their great relationships with consumers to open up new sources of revenue.
Here are my suggestions for strategies that will help credit card companies come out ahead in 2013:
Stop chasing Chase. Instead, start acting like a media company.
To open new sources of revenue through media and technology, banks need to add new DNA that is not focused on traditional banking concerns such as regulatory compliance, security and fraud. Of course, I am not suggesting that they stop complying with regulations, or that they abandon security. But banks must become more nimble at attacking new revenue opportunities — particularly in consumer offers. At Google and other companies in Silicon Valley, teams still pull all-nighters to release alpha versions of products for consumers and partners in a matter of days to test an experience, an approach that is antithetical to the banking world. Yet if banks want to succeed in the media world, they have to figure out how at least part of their organization can play in an API-driven ecosystem that encourages collaboration and rapid product releases. First test for the C-suite at banks: Have you developed and released anything new to consumers in a single quarter?
Play ball with the competitors.
Consider the value of the ecosystem in growing your mobile offers initiative. In order to succeed in delivering a great mobile rewards program, the key is having a rich supply of merchant offers upon which to layer targeting. No one company is going to assemble enough, so think instead about collaborating with all the other players and getting the network effects of a larger audience and a bigger pool of offers. An interesting model for this kind of collaboration is WEVE in the UK, in which three mobile operators — EE, Telefonica UK (O2) and Vodafone UK — have banded together to form a large consortium. The individual companies behind the consortium still compete to acquire subscribers, but they now collaborate with a common platform for monetizing those subscribers through marketing.
Turn that marketing focus inside out.
Now that you have a great offers program, the biggest challenge is getting enough customers into it to move the needle. Each card provider today has marketing teams that focus solely on signing up new customers for their credit cards. Yet somehow, these are not the folks developing new digital offerings. These customer acquisition teams are digital media experts. Imagine focusing that valuable marketing experience on getting consumers to opt into new and sophisticated customer reward programs, and to download their new rewards apps. It is customer acquisition, pure and simple.
Don’t wait for big data.
My last and most controversial suggestion for 2013 is to let go of the obsession with big data! Many banks are building huge databases for micro-targeting customers with niche offers. Microtargeting is cool, but believe me, media is a war of attrition and all of that big data-based targeting will yield a customer segment of just a few people. Brands do not want to target only a select handful of people with their offers; they need to reach a million people in order for their investment in creating and distributing that offer to make economic sense. Silicon Valley has managed to convince enterprises that massive amounts of data will build a program that really performs in terms of offers and sales; but ultimately, microtargeting is not monetizable at scale until there are an equally large set of available offers. The real way to success is to provide a great experience with lots of offers for your entire customer base. Yes, there are a handful of important variables that should be considered, including location, time of day, gender, interests and even retargeting; but other data on top is gravy and too much is at odds with reaching a large enough number of people with relevant offers. The “big picture” is not always based on big data. (Hint: You might derive as much value from customers by asking them what they want instead.)
The Long View
As Bob Dylan said, “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” Credit card companies can no longer hesitate while other companies race forward to make a profit on this kind of consumer spending. If credit card companies employ the strategies I propose, they will be real contenders against the likes of Paypal, Google, Apple and the mobile operators. The weather forecast is clear for mobile offers: Sunny, with billions of dollars blowing in the wind. It’s up to each financial institution to figure out how to get to market faster and catch some of it.
Alistair Goodman is the CEO of Placecast, where he leads a team of mobile, technology and marketing experts who have created the most scalable, proven, location-based marketing system currently available. Alistair has more than 20 years of experience working in marketing and product development efforts for media and technology companies.
Apple may be building new headquarters that look like a spaceship, but Google is getting a goddamn airport!
According to Mineta San Jose International Airport, Signature Aviation and Blue City Holdings are going to build a 29-acre private owned $82 million facility that will house Google’s airplane fleet, among other private jets, I would suppose. It will include an executive terminal, aircraft servicing facilities, and hangars and ramp space for private jets as large as the Boeing 737 and 767.
It looks nice, although is not as fancy as San Jose’s new public terminal.[San Jose Mercury News]
Have you used google andriod on your PC??? If not try it now….
Just Try It…Only 190MB
Google Earth puts a planet’s worth of imagery and other geographic information right on your desktop. View exotic locales like Maui and Paris, as well as points of interest such as local restaurants, hospitals, and schools. Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps, and the power of Google Search to put the world’s geographic information at your fingertips. With Google Earth you can fly from space to your neighborhood–just type in an address and zoom right in, search for schools, parks, restaurants, and hotels. Get driving directions, tilt and rotate the view to see 3D terrain and buildings, save and share your searches and favorites and even add your own annotations.
What’s New In This Version:
Improved Startup Time. The improvement is most noticeable when users launch the Earth application multiple times.
Improved overall rendering performance. Changes include faster atmosphere rendering and using compressed textures whenever possible.
Improved Road rendering Performance: Frame rate at places with dense road networks is three times faster than in previous releases.
Improved memory utilization in the application.
Significantly smoother frame-rate and less stuttering in the application compared to previous releases.
Improved performance with large region based network link KML documents. Some of large
KML documents are now processed and rendered at more than twice the speed of earlier releases.
Improved KML document handling performance. Large regionated KML Image overlays are up to 80% faster than previous releases.
Support for KML hint = moon or mars to switch to moon or mars based on kml document.
Availability of one installer that installs both the Google Earth application and browser plugin.
Desktop Application now works on Windows 7.
Users can set the memory cache size up to 1024 MB now.
Happy Super Bowl weekend! In case you missed them and are bored waiting for the kickoff, here are the top 10 stories on AllThingsD from the week of 1/28:
1.) Twitter Hacked; 250,000 User Accounts Potentially Compromised
2.) BlackBerry Reinvents Itself to Compete With All-Touch Smartphones
3.) HBO Go Is Coming to Apple TV. Why Isn’t Everything Coming to Apple TV?
4.) PSA: Unlocking Phones Without Carrier Permission Becomes Illegal on Saturday
5.) Time Inc. Braces for Layoffs This Week [Update: They happened -- here's the memo too]
6.) Twitter’s Vine App Doesn’t Have a Porn Problem. It Has a Porn Discovery Problem.
7.) iPhone Users Rack Up the Highest Carrier Bills
8.) Sales Talks Fell Through, So Ad Exchange AdBrite Shuts Down
9.) The Next Step for Computing: The Storage Fabric
10.) Apple Announces iPad Maxi
If you’ve been waiting to grab a Nexus 4 from the Google Play Store, your time has finally come. Users from all over the US are reporting shipments in less than 48 hours after their handsets have been ordered from the web store. This comes after a significant amount of time during which the Nexus 4 was only available in a trickle of a few units that were rapidly grabbed by Android fans.
If we’ve learned anything about Google over the last few of months, it’s that they are not a hardware company. The Google Play Store has been the home to a pair of Chromebooks, as well as the Nexus 4, 7 , and 10, and not a single one of these products managed to stay in stock over the holiday season. If you were lucky enough to purchase one without some sort of bug that charged you two or three times for your device, the product you ordered wouldn’t ship for weeks.
Running a web store that deals in massive volume has been a challenge for Google, but it appears that there are now plenty of new toys to go around, and Google is wasting no time getting purchases out to users.
Google’s shopping cart system, when it works, is designed to not charge you until the product you ordered has shipped. This left several users quite surprised this week when orders were being processed within minutes of their submission, with the correct amount being removed from their bank accounts just as quickly. Within 48 hours, those same users had little white boxes on their doorsteps with a Nexus 4 inside. It seems odd to be surprised by this, given the prevalence of online shopping in 2013, but this is a new experience for many users who have used Google Play top order hardware this year.
So there you have it, Google seems to have worked all the bugs out of their shopping and shipping. Like everything else released by Google, it appears that the beta tag can finally be removed from the purchase experience in the Google Play Store.