Steve Hoffman and Eric Hayashi are certainly well-rounded interactive entertainment executives. Their bios are full of so many impressive entertainment and gaming companies that it will make your head spin. Combined, Steve and Eric have worked at Vivendi Universal Games, Virgin Interactive, Infospace, Hasbro Interactive, Sega and Atari.
So what did Steve and Eric do with all that experience? What was the culmination of this vast interactive knowledge? In 2007, Steve and Eric joined forces with Naomi Kokubo and co-founded ROCKETON, a new type of multiplayer social experience that spans the entire web.
Instead of having to go to a separate site or use a specific application like Second Life, ROCKETON turns the entire Internet into a virtual world for browser based avatars. Think of ROCKETON like Second Life + PMOG with a twist of Facebook and a dash of StumbleUpon. It's a Web 2.0 evolutional twist on virtual reality.
MethodShop was lucky enough to get some time with Steve and Eric and grilled them pretty hard about ROCKETON. A link to the full interview is below. Enjoy.
1980s pop star Rick Astley is now making headlines again after years in obscurity thanks to millions of Web surfers being Rickrolled by pranksters. Webmasters and bloggers are purposely redirecting unsuspecting Internet users to a video of Astley performing his hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
How does a Rickroll work? It's basically a bait and switch. Let's say I make a link that says Sexy Paris Hilton Video and you click on it. Instead of actually seeing Paris Hilton, you'd be directed to a Rick Astley music video. That's a "Rick Roll".
Yesterday YouTube decided to get in on the joke. Several links on the YouTube homepage purposely "Rick Rolled" users. Why? Yesterday just happened to be April Fools’ Day.
The act of Rickrolling has even evolved beyond cyberspace. Pawl Fisher, a student at Eastern Washington University (EWU), recently "Rick Rolled" a March basketball game at his school. Here's the clip:
So what has this done to Astley’s record sales? They are way up. Even his iTunes sales are up. His record label is trying to get a re-release of Astley greatest hits album out not only to keep up with demand but to obviously cash in on the Rickrolling craze. Astley recently spoke to the LA Times and called the phenomena "bizarre" and only hopes that his daughter receives no embarrassment over it.
Personally I think it's one of greatest phenomena ever to sweep the Internet. By the way, the error page for MethodShop is a "Rickroll".
So the next time you randomly click on a link and see a short guy with red hair wearing a black shirt and a tan trench-coat singing... congratulations, you've been Rickrolled.
The United States is no longer the nation with the largest number of internet users. China overtook the US last month in users for the first time, according to the state-run China Internet Network Information Center.
Researcher BDA China Ltd. estimates there are now over 220 million internet users in China, compared with 217.1 million in the U.S. Online ad revenue continues to lag in China, however, totaling $1.3 billion in 2007 compared to e-Marketer estimates of $21.4 billion in America.
Every year on March 17, we honor Saint Patrick (circa 385–461), one of the patron saints of Ireland. Whether or not you choose to celebrate the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish foods, imbibing Irish drink (usually Guinness), or attending parades, we wish you a safe a happy holiday.
Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day... even computer operating systems. So as you raise your glass to St. Patrick this year, try to pretend your beer was a computer operating system. It might go a little like this...
Macintosh Beer Considered by many to be a "light" beer. All the cans look identical. When you take one from the fridge, it opens itself. The ingredients list is not on the can. If you call to ask about the ingredients, you are told that "you don't need to know." A notice on the side reminds you to drag your empties to the trashcan.
DOS Beer Requires you to use your own can opener, and that you read the directions carefully before opening the can. The can is divided into eight compartments of 2oz each, which have to be accessed separately. A lot of people keep drinking it after it was discontinued.
Windows 3.1 Beer Was the world's most popular beer in the mid-1990s. Looked a lot like Mac Beer's. Requires that you already own a DOS Beer. Claims that it allows you to drink several DOS Beers simultaneously, but in reality you can only drink a few of them, very slowly, especially slowly if you are drinking the Windows Beer at the same time. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, a can of Windows Beer will explode when you open it.
Windows NT Beer Windows NT beer could only be purchased by the truckload. This caused most people to have to go out and buy bigger refrigerators. The can looked just like Windows 3.1 Beer. Touted as an "industrial strength" beer, and suggested only for use in bars.
Windows XP Beer Tastes like Windows 2000 beer but comes with a pretty dress. It opens sometimes without asking and if you leave a case of it open for awhile, it might explode all over your basement. Oh best of all, sometimes Windows XP Beer likes to open your front door and let people in to hang advertisements all over your house and steal your credit card number.
Windows Vista Beer Windows Vista Beer looks a lot like the newest Mac Beer but tastes more like Windows XP Beer. Most people will probably keep drinking Windows XP Beer until their friends try Windows Vista Beer and say they like it. Many people try Windows Vista Beer, then spit it out and spend hours trying to put Windows XP Beer back into the same can.
UNIX Beer This very heavy beer comes in 32oz cans, and has been around for years, rumor has it that it was originally brewed as a hoax by a couple of bored workers, only for them to find that some people actually liked the stuff. It tends to be drunk only by freaks or eccentric academics, often with beards; and drinkers of it do not like drinkers of any other beer. In its basic form it doesn't look particularly impressive, but with the addition of a magic ingredient named "X", it can be converted into an all-singing all-dancing beer on a par with the others. Many other varieties exist, with a huge range of flavors and (often unpronounceable) ingredients. Mac Beer has many of the same ingredients as Unix Beer.
OS/2 Beer Tasted like a mix between Unix and DOS Beer. Allowed you to drink several DOS Beers and a Windows 3.1 Beer simultaneously, but slowly. You never saw anyone drinking OS/2 Beer, but the manufacturer (International Beer Manufacturing) claimed that 9 million OS/2 Beer six-packs were sold. The best place these days to find a an OS/2 Beer is inside an old ATM machine.
Amiga Beer The company went out of business, but their recipe was picked up by some weird German company, so now this beer is an import. This beer never really sold very well because the original manufacturer didn't understand marketing. Like Unix Beer, Amiga Beer fans are an extremely loyal and loud group. When this can was originally introduced, it appeared flashy and colorful, but the design never changed much over the years, so it looked dated in its later years.
VMS Beer Requires minimal user interaction, except for popping the top and sipping. However cans have been known on occasion to explode, or contain extremely un-beer-like contents. Best drunk in high pressure development environments. When you call the manufacturer for the list of ingredients, you're told that is proprietary and referred to an unknown listing in the manuals published by the FDA. Rumors are that this was once listed in the Physicians' Desk Reference as a tranquilizer, but no one can claim to have actually seen it.
Last month, 395 Croatian men, women and children covered themselves in blue paint, dressed up as Smurfs and got ready to go down in history... as failures.
The "Croatian Smurfs" had gathered in an attempt to smash the previous world record for "most Smurfs gathered together at one time."
Unfortunately due to a research error (possibly caused by Gargamel), their attempt was all in vain.
According to the latest, but out of date, Croatian printing of the Guiness World Records book, the record for most Smurfs gathered in one place was 291. With 395 Smurfs, the Croations thought they were sure to earn a new world record.
However in 2007, a group of students at Warwick University beat them too it. The Warwick students had managed to round up a grand total of 451 Smurfs and according to Guiness, currently hold the world record.
They were close, but Croatians needed a little over 50 more Smurfs to beat the Warwick University record. Perhaps they should have contacted Guiness World Records before the attempt. I want to feel bad for them, but just seeing the the 2 words "Croatians" and "Smurfs" in the same sentence kind of freaks me out.
A somber spokesman for the Croatians had this to say: "We could easily have got more Smurfs, but we thought that over a hundred more than the American record... would be enough."
In case you've never heard of The Smurfs before, they are are a fictional group of small blue creatures who live somewhere in the woods. The Belgian cartoonist Peyo introduced Smurfs to the world in a 1958 Belgian magazine called Le Journal de Spirou. However, Smurfs are probably best known from the 1980s animated Hanna-Barbera Productions television series, The Smurfs (DVD).
Tired of Facebook? Got some bad blood you need to vent online? Then embrace your hate and say hello to Hatebook.
Hatebook is a Facebook parody site that looks and functions exactly like Facebook... except with an evil twist.
Here's a brief list of the "evil twist" to give you a better idea of how Hatebook compares to Facebook:
if you want to mail message someone on Hatebook, it's called "junkmail"
instead of a blue color scheme, Hatebook is an evil red
profiles (called "hate profiles") include a section called “Why I’m Better Than You!”
"Hate Albums" consist of photos and descriptions of things you hate
Are you married? Single? Hatebook doesn't care. Your status options consist of Hater, Player, Sucker, Loser, etc.
After we created a profile, we were greeted with the following message:
"Hello Sucker methodshop! Welcome to Hatebook! Your registration to the Evil Empire was successful. Feel free to pimp your hate profile."
Also, you are suppose to enter in the wrong mailing address to hide from your enemies. I just used our P.O. Box. I don't really mind if someone hates that. I don't really like it myself.
But why just parody Facebook when you can improve it? The German creators of Hatebook have not only recreated Facebook's functionality, they have also improved it. For example, they've integrated Google Maps into Hatebook (Evil Maps) so you can locate people you hate on a map.
Can this picture be explained? Digg.com user itomixdotcom thinks he has it all figured out.
"Seems pretty straightforward. The UPS Driver accidentally backed down the hill, losing a bunch of his cargo. While he was busy talking with the Police about how to get his truck up the hill, a wedding party was getting their pictures taken nearby. One of the groomsmen forgot to buy the happy couple a present. Just his luck - he grabbed a random box and badda-boom... instant present. Good thing the Bride and Groom happen to be tailors. Otherwise this wouldn't have made sense."
He's got me convinced. What? Think you can do better? Post it here.
Do you know what today is? You might have noticed that several major websites like Flickr.com have added pirate flags to their logos.
That's right, today is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day." The parody holiday was invented in 1995 by John Baur ("Ol' Chumbucket") and Mark Summers ("Cap'n Slappy"), of the United States, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.
For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, me hearty!" The date was selected because it was the birthday of Summers' ex-wife and consequently would be easy for him to remember.
The next time you do a Google Image search of your favorite musician, don't be surprised if a picture of their shoes ends up in the results. Who do you have to thank for this unusual honor? Her name is Helen Lawrence and her blog, Popstar Feets, might be one of the most original blogs ever created. When getting an opportunity to take a photo with popstar, most people like to shoot from the waist up. Not Helen. She prefers to angle her camera a little lower and checkout the celebrity footwear. Then she blogs about it.
MTV's latest reality show - A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila - is built around the dishy, scantily clad singer/model who is reputed to have the most friends in the history of MySpace (2,009,335 at last count).
Tila's career began at the age of 18 when she was discovered at a shopping mall by a Playboy scout and was offered a chance to model nude for the magazine and did a test shoot. Tila was featured as Playboy’s Cyber Girl of the week on April 22, 2002, and a couple weeks later became Playboy’s first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month.
Besides MySpace and Playboy, Tila is also known for her photo spreads in Stuff, Maxim, and her role as host of the popular Fuse TV show Pants-Off Dance-Off.
MTV ordered 10-episodes of Tila's elimination-format dating show. It's slated to premiere on October 9th on MTV (USA).
When I checked my email this morning, I noticed that Chitika, the blogger-driven merchandising/shopping network, made a Facebook application called iBought. The application allows Facebook users to show off their latest purchases in their profiles.
How useful is iBought? If you checkout my Facebook profile, it says I just bought a goat. No, I didn't really buy a goat. But I wanted to see what ads Chitika would list based on the word goat. Care to guess? I now have 3 bottles of Horny Goat Weed on my Facebook profile. But let's say I bought something good like a giant HD-TV. Why would I list it on my Facebook profile? That's like inviting someone to rob you. Needless to say, I'm pretty sure the iBought application will be deleted by the end of the week.
Besides being useless, Chitika needs to fine tune the application coding. I got this error after trying to interact with the iBought application in my Facebook profile:
Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /var/www/html/facebook/lib/facebookapi_php5_restlib.php:1) in /var/www/html/facebook/lib/facebook.php on line 197
So why would anyone want to install the useless iBought application on their Facebook profile? Chitika is paying $1 per for every friend you get to install iBought. The offer is only open to the first 10,000 installs.
$1 isn’t a lot, but if you have a ton of Facebook friends it could be a worthwhile. Then again, you'll probably make all your friends hate you. Still interested? You can install the iBought Facebook application here.
Google is using its popular online mapping service to draw attention to atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan. In a joint effort with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Google has updated its Google Earth application (free download here) with high resolution satellite images and special icons to draw attention to destroyed villages, displaced people and refugee camps.
Google Earth allows users to focus on satellite images and maps of most of the world.
When users scan over the Darfur region, where the United Nations estimates that more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in four years of carnage, Google Inc hopes to attract their gaze with icons. The icons represent destroyed villages with flames and refugee camps with tents. When users zoom in to a level of magnification that keeps most of Darfur on a computer screen, much of the region appears to be on fire.
Google Earth works with Mac OS X 10.3.9+, Windows 2000/XP/Vista and Linux. Please visit HelpDarfurNow.org if you would like to raise awareness or make a donation to help the victims of Darfur.