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Mark Your Calendar: Casual Connect comes to Seattle in July

Casual Connect, the world’s largest conference focusing on mass market games, returns to Seattle’s Benaroya Hall July 19 – 21 offering current and aspiring industry insiders the opportunity to network and share game innovations and trends.

Always a cutting-edge event, this year’s Casual Connect includes speakers like:

• LeVar Burton, Actor and Educator
• Paul Thelen, Founder, Chairman and CSO, Big Fish Games
• Peter Vesterbacka, The Mighty Eagle, Rovio
• Gareth Davis, Platform Manager, Facebook
• Jens Begemann, CEO, wooga
• Dave Roberts, CEO, PopCap Games
• Charles Yim, Strategic Partner Development, Google
• Andrew Sheppard, CPO, Kabam
• Raph Koster, VP Creative Design, Playdom
• Heiko Hubertz, Founder & Co-CEO, Bigpoint
• George Donovan, CEO, Gogii Games
• Thomas Chung, VP, GM, The Playforge
• Jesse Redniss, SVP, NBCU
• Vivian Lee, Director of Strategic Partnerships, EA Interactive
• Jennifer Lu, Director of Business Development, TinyCo
• Shainiel Deo, CEO, Halfbrick
• Sean Ryan, Director, Games, Facebook
• Arjun Sethi, CEO, Lolapps
• Aki Jarvinen, Creative Director, Ph.D., Digital Chocolate
• Dan Chao, Lead Designer, Funzio
• Robert Tercek, President, General Creativity
• Seth Ladd, Developer Advocate, Google
• Demetri Detsaridis, GM, Zynga New York
• Tim Chang, Principal, Norwest Venture Partners
• Game Audio Alliance

and lectures on such topics as:

• Beyond Play: Gaming in the Connected Age
• What It Takes to Create and Manage Entertainment
• Winning in Social Mobile: What it is and the future of Social Mobile games
• How to Make Your IP Work for You
• Challenging Social Success Conventions: There’s more than one way to build successful social games
• Online Game Security: Foiling the hackers
• Casual Games: The cross-platform king!
• Making money on Mobile Games

The full list of content can be found online at the Casual Connect site.

Casual Connect is organized by the Casual Games Association.

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Zee

June 14th

casual gaming

seattle

tech

Gogobot lets travel get social

Gogobot, a site that connects users with their social network friends to get personalized travel advice, has enhanced outreach for their users by hooking up with Facebook Places and Foursquare.

This integration allows Gogobot’s users to see which places are most popular with their friends based on their reviews and their check-ins on Facebook and Foursquare. Those check-ins get logged into Gogobot to create a useful digital travel scrapbook. Gogobot now lets users capture their check-ins automatically in their Gogobot Passport, and gives them the opportunity to expand on their checks by adding star ratings, reviews, and personal photos. It’s not only a useful tool for travel planning (or even local event planning), it makes a handy scrapbook for trips taken.

“Location based services made it infinitely easier for millions of people to capture and share their favorite places with friends in real time. With this integration, Gogobot now gives the game of “checking-in” with Facebook or Foursquare both meaning and context, transforming check-ins into a visually stunning record of all the places you have been,” says Travis Katz, Gogobot co-founder and CEO.

Gogobot’s only been out to the public for about three months but has won the 2010 Crunchie award for best design and features over 350,000 places shared by users and more than 100,000 high res photos.

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Zee

May 4th

tech

travel

Sony shuts down online games

Reuters reports that Sony Online Entertainment has temporarily shut down its online games service after finding that its system was damaged by the April break-in that led to the theft of an astonishing 77 million user accounts.

Per the PlayStation Blog: “One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list.”

Sony reminds users to follow standard security precautions which include not giving out your credit card number, social security number, or password to anyone who solicits it.

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Zee

May 2nd

gaming

tech

Uncategorized

Need a last minute hotel room? HotelTonight can help

Hotel Tonight, an application for Apple users (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) to look for and book last minute hotel deals, has expanded their offering by incorporating a new feature that allows users to extend their same-day booking by up to four nights.

The mobile-only service has also partnered with new hotels in Seattle and Miami, expanding its base of available hotels. Hotel Tonight also features available last-second hotel bookings in major destinationsNew York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC.

HotelTonight has had 250,000 downloads in its first two months. The update is available now as a free download from the App Store for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad – downloading the app gets users a $25 credit toward their first booking.

Per HotelTonight, the latest update, released today, allows travelers to extend their stay up to four additional nights (for a possible total of five nights). This was the most requested feature by HotelTonight users and extends the app’s reach to a broader group of people, such as last-minute business travelers who need a multi-night stay or couples seeking a spontaneous weekend getaway.

HotelTonight currently works with more than 130 notable hotel partners to offer last-minute deals, some of which are lower than any other bookable rate. Hotel partners include Thompson Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, Ace Hotel in New York, Amalfi Hotel in Chicago, The River Inn in Washington, DC, Copley Square Hotel in Boston, Pelican Hotel in Miami and Hotel 1000 in Seattle. Additional cities are on the way, with Dallas, Philadelphia and Atlanta launching soon.

HotelTonight is available for free on the App Store for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad at www.itunes.com/appstore.

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Zee

April 4th

tech

travel

Seattle Out and Proud launches new website, registration system

Seattle Out and Proud is launching a new website and parade registration system. From their press release:

Seattle, WA, March 11, 2011: Seattle Out and Proud (SO&P) is excited to announce that on March 15, 2011 we’ll be launching our new website and parade registration system. The new website is designed to be more user friendly and have an even smoother integration with our parade registration system.

Twenty-eleven is a year that will bring many firsts for SO&P. In addition to our new website and registration system we’re happy to announce that our Pride Idol singing competition will be hosted by Neighbours Night Club, and emceed by your favorite Diva Gaysha Starr. Join us March 11, 2011 as we partner with SAM REMIX for the new Nick Cave exhibit “Meet Me at the Center of the Earth” as we have one of our very own board members conduct a guided tour of some of their favorite pieces.

Be You. Be Proud. Express Yourself! Is the parade them for 2011 and is a celebration of the cultural diversity that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and ally communities express every day. Stand up and declare, “I AM! WE ARE!” This year’s theme is a celebration of our ability to create, innovate, influence, and express ourselves. We invite you to find new, exciting, and creative ways to express who you are. Declare your message loud and proud along 4th Avenue this June 26, 2011 as we kick off another great parade that draws over 450,000 spectators, participants and volunteers – Be You. Be Proud. Express Yourself!

Visit our website at www.seattlepride.org for more information and details about our events and programs.

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Brown Paper Tickets: ticketing for the people

A mere ten years after its founding here in Seattle, Brown Paper Tickets has become the fifth largest primary ticket seller in the USA and with good reason. Founder William Scott Jordan created the company because he was tired of the big ticketing companies looking at consumers as nothing more than walking wallets. Current CEO Steve Butcher expresses the company’s philosophy thusly: “We are ticket buyers. We are event producers. We imagined the perfect system for ourselves, then built and shared it with the rest of the world. We’re changing the ticketing industry for good. The amazing response we’ve had so far inspires us to keep innovating and evolving.”

Their latest innovations are practical and useful for both promoters and buyers alike. New tools let event producers have almost unlimited flexibility in their marketing approach and offers its customers a fair and transpararent fee structure that allows them to be considerate of their customers when it comes to setting prices.

Event producers can now automate last-minute ticket discounts, post events to Facebook, and sell virtually anywhere on the globe. All these new services are free, just like all the previously existing ticketing service options, like 24/7 call centers staffed by real people and customizable physical tickets and seating charts.

For the ticket buyer, things are even more exciting including mobile ticket options that mean that you’re not stuck with tickets you can’t pass on just because you can’t be in the same place at the people who really want to use them. The Transfer-to-a-Friend feature, lets eventgoers send tickets to friends via smart phone which means you’re no longer stuck in the cold, drizzly weather waiting for a friend who is stuck in traffic or going to will call and discovering that through some miscommunication or another your tickets are under who knows what name. Bought tickets and then changed your plans? Sell your tickets right on the main event page.

Check out their website to browse through thousands of events across the globe and find tickets to just about any kind of event–from roller derby bouts to business association galas, comedy clubs to charity fund-raisers, cooking classes to rock concerts. Brown Paper Tickets’ new options mean that an event page isn’t just limited to a simple time and date and maybe a photo – you can find maps to the venue, links to more information about the event or its performers, contact the promoter, email details to a friend, post the event to your Twitter feed or Facebook or other social networking services. Like a particular type of event? You can search for events. Had a great time at a particular show? Look up the performer or the event producer and find out what else their up to. BPT has a lot of great options for ticket buyers.

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Zee

January 12th

seattle

tech

websites

Spoon creates online IGC and IGF Game Finalists Games Sandboxes

Seattle based technology firm Spoon specialize in technology that lets games run instantly from the web without installations. Today they announced the immediate availability of the online IGC and IGF Sandboxes.

The IGC, or Indie Game Challenge, is an annual competition for aspiring game developers to showcase their skills, pitch their games to top publishers and win cash. This year’s winners, Cogs by Lazy 8 Studios in the professional division, and Gear by Team 3 in the non-professional category, each won $100,000 grand prizes.

The Independent Games Festival is an annual event that allows indie game developers to meet, show off their games, learn from and network with their peers and compete for cash prizes. This year’s IGF kicks off March 13 in San Francisco.

Spoon allows users to access these hot new games with a single web click.

“Spoon is pleased to support the independent game development community by offering online versions of the IGC and IGF game competition finalists”, said Spoon CEO Kenji Obata. “These sites demonstrate how Spoon can bring the benefits of instant, single-click launch to full DirectX- and OpenGL-based download titles.”

The IGC and IGF Sandboxes are available free of charge on the web at http://spoon.net/igf and http://spoon.net/igc, respectively.

Rather work on your own games than play someone else’s? Spoon offers a free Spoon Studio tool which allows developers to quickly adapt existing apps for deployment on Spoon.net and Spoon Server. Spoon Server allows enterprises and publishers to host apps on internal servers, manage users and licensing, and view detailed usage analytics. The Spoon.net online app portal, powered by Spoon Server, offers free hosting of hundreds of virtual apps on the web.

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Philips Selects XpanD Active 3D Technology

If, like me, you’re in the market for a new TV, you may want to hold off on buying a new one for a while: Philips and XpanD have hooked up together to provide consumers with co-branded versions of XpanD’s patented pi-cell active 3D glasses with Philips 3D television sets. Gaming and movies are going to be just that much more entertaining now.

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Zee

March 1st

tech
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