While testing Google Spreadsheet, I discovered this amazing feature: googlelookup. What id does is very simple, it can retrieve information form the web and return it into the cell. For example I can write a formula that looks like this =GoogleLookup("John lennon", "date of birth") and it will return Wednesday October 9 1940. You can also try =GoogleLookup("Roger Clemens";"earned run average") and it will return the info !
"Somewhat surprising, the most avid consumer of online games is the 25-45 year old female demographic"
It is true that everyone is usually very surprised about the casual gamers demographics. People assume that gamers are male teenagers hungry for violent games.
I was recently looking at the Second Life demographics (it is great that they are so open about their numbers, one can even download the full excel sheet) and casual gamers (including the ones on cafe.com) are exactly the same type of people. Here are some key facts about SL:
If you are a regular Second Life user, you may have noticed that they are currently experiencing significant slowdown and shut downs, almost on a daily basis. Access to the service is very often closed for "maintenance" or "emergency actions on the grid". It is said that they have a huge architecture issue and that SL might not eventually be that scalable, with about 3 users per server !!
My guess is that the architecture was designed a long time ago (SL is 7 years old after all) at a time when the company had little funding form VCs (let alone customers), especially after the dotcom crash the 3 years of nuclear winter after that. So they maybe had to cut corners, choose an architecture that was easier to implement in the first place, require less fixed costs. They maybe thought that dealing with huge scalability issues would be a good problem to solve later. Of course all this is pure speculation but this is what I would have done with limited funding.
Now they have to find a solution in an emergency (as described here). Problem is that this kind of architecture issues cannot be solved quickly, even with lots of money.
Maybe it is time for someone else to come up with a better more scalable technical solution ? Maybe Google with Google Earth, who knows ? Or Sony ?
Anyway let's hope that Linden Lab finds a solution, SL is great and they deserve to survive and thrive. (by the way you can find me in SL under "Mathieu Noonan")
I recently discovered "Google Apps for Your Domain" and it is really great (thinking about moving the entire company to it). I was experimenting with GoogleCal and it is rather well done. I still had a problem with it because I could not sync it with Ical but I discovered this great utility, Spanning Sync. No matter what Tech Crunch says, I am still uncomfortable moving 100% to web app only ;-)
Now I can sync both ways Google Cal and Ical and can give read/write access to my cal to my assistant (she could only read it before with .mac). AND I can sync Google Cal with my Blackberry !
BTW, I have just replaced the default Sync tool for blackberries for Mac (Pocket Mac), it was terrible. I found The Missing Sync for Blackberries and it is so much better, well worth the extra cost.
Here is an interview I did with gamezebo, one of the leading source of information for everyone interested in the casual game space. Gamezebo was founded by Joel Brodie, formerly head of Business Development at Yahoo! Games.