Tag Archives: product

The Immense Success of the Mobile Gaming Industry

imageEverywhere you look, you see people engulfed in their smartphones, shouts of joy and frustration coming from playing mobile games like Angry Birds, Draw Something and Cut the Rope. In just a few years, mobile gaming has literally exploded into a multi-million dollar industry (the industry is predicted to break 18 billion in total revenue by 2016).

Instead of just being the applications that game developers made because they couldn’t produce something for a console or the computer, mobile gaming now comprises a huge chunk of the gaming sector.

Hardcore gamers are all about the massively expensive computer rigs with eye-popping graphics and console gamers load up their massive TVs, but casual and hardcore gamers alike can be found with their heads buried in the latest mobile game. Even people who don’t really play games are into flinging stylized birds at discolored pigs. Smartphones have successfully turned nearly everyone into a gamer.

Handheld Market Share

Back in the day, the handheld gaming market was cornered by the console makers. While the Nintendo DS and Play Station Portable still have a presence in the market, mobile gaming on smartphones is chipping away at it more and more. Far more people have a smartphone than a DS, after all, and they are always going to have it on them for every-day use.

As the technology in smartphones advances, the complexity and appeal of mobile games continues to grow, utilizing touch screens, hi-definition, and motion sensitive controls. It is more practical for an individual to simply open an application on a phone to play a game for a few minutes than to dive into a highly specialized and complicated one on a separate device.

Branding and Captive Market

Businesses have a variety of options to take advantage of the focus that mobile gaming gives them. First, it doesn’t take as long to develop a mobile game as it does to create an AAA computer game and is much more inexpensive. Where months and years of preparation go into console and computer games, mobile games are intended for short term usage thus can be more simplified and quick to produce.

Branding and product integration is always front and center, and since the game requires interaction their focus will remain on the task at hand. By creating such a simple and identifiable interface, logos, and characters, it is easier for the user to relate and retain the information they have just engaged in. As a result, other doors are opened for further game updates, individual products about the game, and connections to other organizations.

Generating Income

Mobile gaming can turn a profit in a few different ways, by offering the application for an upfront price or through micro transactions. With micro transactions, you offer the game for free or a low cost, then provide the user with ways to purchase in-game items and other content to upgrade gameplay.

Another popular route is to offer up a “lite” version of a game to give users a small taste of the game, but not the entirety. Showcasing the graphics and the game options pulls in the user, but the game ends before too much can be accomplished. Then, to play more, they are redirected to purchasing the full version of the game for a designated price.

When it comes down to generating the bulk of its profit, the mobile gaming and application industry as a whole is centered around the nominal fee idea. Individuals will pay a small price, 0.99 cents or 1.99, for a game or application, and since the cost is so low users almost don’t care to spend it. But, with thousands and millions of users buying the application, alongside micro transactions, the amount adds up to be very lucrative.

Angry Birds: a mobile gaming empire

Rovio, the developers of Angry Birds, went through a lot of flops before they hit upon the mobile gaming success that was Angry Birds. Fifty-one games before they struck gold, in fact. They based Angry Birds off of concept art that had a special appeal and focused their efforts on the iOS application market.

It took some time to gain traction, but the game took off when they created a YouTube trailer, a lite version of the game and got featured on the front page of the app store. From there, Angry Birds captured the hearts and minds of everyone in the mobile gaming world, expanding its branding to clothing, plush toys, books and various other spin off games.

How have they done so well? By providing free updates for the game’s audience, adding hundreds of free levels, and by creating spinoffs such as Seasonal Angry Birds and Angry Bird Space, Rovio has maintained the devotion of a short attention span audience. Remaining in the spotlight of the industry and pushing the boundaries of the game and the system it runs on, Angry Birds has become a massive success, being downloaded over 600 million times and with 30 million active players daily. It’s not hard to see why mobile game development has taken off since the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007.

This guest post is contributed by Grady Winston. Grady is an avid writer and Internet entrepreneur from Indianapolis. He has worked in the fields of technology, business, marketing, and advertising – implementing multiple creative projects and solutions for a range of clients.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Android, Games, Guest Writers, iOS, Online Gaming

Social Media – Advantages for the Business Owner or Marketing Executive

Guest writer Bryan Keller, gives business owners the lowdown on social media  and explains how taking advantage of social media and online business communities, can positively impact the bottom line.

imageAs recently as only 2-3 years ago, very few business owners took much of an interest in becoming part of the growing number of social media or online business communities that have exploded across the Internet in recent years.

Today however, most if not all business leaders, from the very smallest sole proprietorship to the very largest corporation, are aware of the fact that the Internet is quickly becoming the average consumer’s first resource in locating and choosing the party they ultimately choose to do business with.

Electing not to participate in this expanding progressive electronic evolution, would and surely will, have a very severe negative impact on those businesses that are not fully invested in the experience.

The number of professional user groups on websites like Facebook and LinkedIn has grown more than 10 fold or over 1000% over the past two years. Dismissing this trend as pure fancy would be an unwise maneuver for any savvy business owner or marketing executive.

These professional networks can provide many benefits to every type of business. And, the benefits are not only applicable to the business owners; belonging to a social network also provides numerous benefits to all of the other members (and prospective customers) of the social network as well.

Benefits of Social Networking from the Standpoint of the Business Owner:

Building or Increasing Company or Product Awareness – Social Media Sites provide a tremendous asset that allows custom tailored delivery of timely assessments of the types of services or products that a business provides, supplies, or offers.

Additionally, press releases describing exciting new changes taking place within a business serve the business and the consumer alike. A business forum can also be a fantastic way to provide consumers with near real-time helpful information on the steps needed to be taken in the advent that someone may be experiencing some sort of a problem with a particular good or service.

Observe and Track – Because Social Media Networks are designed to allow two-way communication between its participants, as a business owner you will have the luxury of seeing what other members of the online community may be saying about your brand, product, service and competition in virtually ‘real-time’.

Engage (Current Customers) and Entice (New Customers) – Do not neglect the opportunity to involve existing customers and network subscribers in all manner of interesting and topical debates, quizzes and feedback forums and blogs. When doing so the benefit is manifold as this process has the added effect of enticing new customers and subscribers simultaneously as they get drawn into the discussions.

Assist and Support – Here is the perfect opportunity for a business to demonstrate to its valuable customers in a substantial way, the benefits and advantages of using their goods and services. A great way to accomplish this is by providing valuable support in near real-time for any difficulty, problem, confusion, or question an existing customers or prospective customer may be experiencing with regard to the company’s products or services.

Attract and Qualify – By including the appropriate keywords and tags in the social media site profile, blog posts, articles and forum discussions, the result will be many, many, new potential customers who will be directed to your content automatically by the search engines as they search the Internet for relevant information that happens to match your niche (and these prospective clients are pre-qualified as strong potential leads – they found you because you offer something they were searching for and are obviously interested in).

Increase Your Bottom Line – Marketing 101.

Creating a Call to Action: (A Perceived Sense of Urgency)

Give a deadline which is clearly defined and visible in many advantageous locations throughout your business website. One effective way to achieve this is to create a deadline by which time certain featured products or services must be purchased or agreed upon due to the fact that the price for that good or service is scheduled to and will increase beyond a specified date and time.

It is imperative that you follow through on the price increase as well. An angry customer is one who is told that a price will go up on a product, after which they rush out and purchase said product or service, and then low and behold the deadline passes and the product never changes price. No one likes being lied to. Stay true to your word. Honesty and Integrity go hand and hand with trust and loyalty. You can always discount products again at a later date.

Always precede any price increase with many highly visible notices allowing your customer to take advantage of the current rate before the increase is scheduled to go into effect.

Trial offers are also a fantastic way to allow a consumer the chance to try on a limited basis the product or service you are offering. (If you are offering truly outstanding products and services, then obviously you would want people to have a chance to learn that first hand.)

For a Trial Period to be effective it should be offered as what is called a ‘No Risk’ trial. In other words let your customer know that if for some reason they decide they are not satisfied with your product or service within the trial period they can cancel the agreement without being charged for anything (no questions asked).

Freebies are also a great way to entice people into trying a product or service. They are best used as an added feature to a package of goods or services that your potential customer may be contemplating buying.

Be Creative, think of other ways to create that sense of urgency such as ‘If you order our system within the next ten days we are going to throw in at no extra charge 5 free video tutorials that speed you through the process of learning our course (regularly $99 value!)

Remember these are merely examples; the only limit is your imagination!

Guest writer Bryan Keller:

I own a Computer Repair and Data Recovery business in San Antonio, TX, San Antonio Computer Repair. I spent 10 years in database development. I am now also providing Website Development, Hosting, and SEO services. We use the Joomla CMS. Altogether I have been involved in computer programming for over 30 years.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

1 Comment

Filed under Communication, FaceBook, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Networking, social networking, Social Networks

Downloading Fake/Rogue Software Hurt$

Being a member of the Blogging community has a major upside. It allows me to have direct contact with a great many other Internet users; many more than I would have the opportunity to communicate with, in any other way.

One of the benefits is the real life issues that other users are dealing with, come to my attention quickly. Overwhelmingly, these issues and experiences are positive, but given the current state of Internet security the negative issues that affect Internet users are an unavoidably part of the package.

Over the last year or so, I have written 40 or more articles concerning rogue security software. Here’s why.

adware 3 There is an epidemic of rogue security software on the Internet at the moment; much of it using social engineering to convince users’ to download an unsafe rogue security application.

Rogue security software uses malware, or malicious tools, to advertise or install itself on an unaware user’s computer. After installation, false positives; fake or false malware detection warnings in a computer scan, is the primary method used to convince the unlucky user to purchase the product.

After all, a dialogue box that states “WARNING! Your computer is infected with spyware! – Buy [XYZ] to remove it!” is a powerful motivator. Clicking on the OK button takes the user to the product download site.

To make matters worst, the installation of rogue security software frequently leads to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allows hackers access to important personal and financial information.

So what does this mean to real people; people like you and me? Let me share with you the following factual stories on the impact that rogue software has on people, brought to my attention by the very people who have been victimized:

Victim #1 – “What do you do if you were duped into buying the XP Antivirus software? Should I take any precautions such as canceling credit card and/or email passwords etc.? Is my home edition of avast! 4.8 Antivirus enough to keep me safe from bogus and/or rogue software???? Please help…my computer is my life! Thank you”.

Victim #2 – “Unfortunately I fell for the “virus attack” after trying to remove it, gave in and bought the XPAntivirus. They charged me not only for what I had bought but charged me again, $ 78.83 for something which I hadn’t ordered, nor ever received. It was a nightmare trying to get in touch with anybody, and I finally connected with a guy with an accent, who told me to E-mail the billing service re: my problem. I wrote them tried to call, it’s been a week, and they still won’t contact me to clarify what occurred. I printed off a purchase order from them when I bought the XP which verifies what I received. Anybody know what state their in, I’ll notify the states attorneys office. These people are crooks”.

banking1

If you are a new computer user or relatively inexperienced on the Internet then the following recommendations are for you.

A good partial solution to the problem is to ensure you have installed, and are running, an anti-malware application such as ThreatFire, free from PC Tools. This type of program operates using heuristics, or behavioral analysis, to identify newer threats.

As well, Malwarebytes, a reliable anti-malware company has created a free application, RogueRemover to help you remove rogue software and to help keep you safe and secure.

A further resource worth noting is the Bleeping Computer web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software.

The following recommendations are repeated particularly for new or inexperienced users.

What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue security software.

Be careful in downloading freeware or shareware programs. Spyware is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download this type of program only through reputable web sites such as Download.com, or sites that you know to be safe.

Consider carefully the inherent risks attached to peer-to-peer (P2P), or file sharing applications.

Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on that offers substantial protection against questionable or unsafe websites.

Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.

Additional precautions you can take to protect your computer system:

When surfing the web: Stop. Think. Click

Don’t open unknown email attachments

Don’t run programs of unknown origin

Disable hidden filename extensions

Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched

Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use

Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible

Disable scripting features in email programs

Make regular backups of critical data

Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised

Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.

Install a personal firewall on the computer.

Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet

Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments

4 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, Don't Get Hacked, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools

MalwareProtector 2008 Lies! – Fake Anti-malware Software

Here it is Saturday again, and so it’s time for another rogue security software warning. The epidemic of rogue security software on the Internet is ongoing unfortunately, with many of these unsafe products continuing to use social engineering to convince users’ to download these products.

Rogue security software like MalwareProtector 2008, released within the past few days, is software that uses malware, or malicious tools, to advertise or install itself. Unless you have had the bad experience of installing this type of malicious software, you may not be aware that such a class of software even exists. But it does.

This particular rogue security software’s installer is typically found on adult websites, or it can be installed manually from rogue security software websites. Apparently, MalwareProtector 2008 can also be installed through Internet browser exploits, or by means of the Zlob Trojan.

As with all rogue security applications, MalwareProtector 2008 was specifically developed to mislead unaware computer users’ into downloading and paying for the “full” version of this bogus software, based on the false malware positives generated by the application. Even if you are tricked into paying for the “full” version, nothing, not even the false warnings will be cleaned from your computer.

When the program runs, a warning message appears indicating that the computer has been infected by malware and giving the unlucky user the opportunity to download MalwareProtector 2008. Rejecting the download leads to this malware launching a screensaver which shows cockroaches eating the desktop. We’ve seen this type of behavior before in the past few weeks with another rogue application, Advanced XP Fixer.

As well, once the malware has been loaded, MalwareProtector 2008 may display new desktop shortcuts, and icons – Remove Popups, Scan Spyware, Security Test and Spam Protection. It goes without saying, that clicking on any of these icons leads the victim deeper into this malware mess. Since spyware changes continuously, not all of these symptoms may be present on a specific targeted machine.

Generally, reputable anti-spyware software is capable of detecting rogue software if it attempts to install, or on a malware scan. But this is not always the case. Anti-malware programs that rely on a definition database can be behind the curve in recognizing the newest threats.

A good partial solution to this problem is to ensure you have installed, and are running, an anti-malware application such as ThreatFire 3, free from PC Tools. This type of program operates using heuristics, or behavioral analysis, to identify newer threats.

As well, Malwarebytes, a reliable anti-malware company has created a free application to help keep you safe and secure. RogueRemover will safely remove a number of rogue security applications.

A further resource worth noting is the Bleeping Computer web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software.

The following recommendations are worth repeating, particularly for new or inexperienced users.

What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue security software.

Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.

Be careful in downloading freeware or shareware programs. Spyware is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download this type of program only through reputable web sites such as Download.com, or sites that you know to be safe.

Consider carefully the inherent risks attached to peer-to-peer (P2P), or file sharing applications.

Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on that offers substantial protection against questionable or unsafe websites.

11 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Firefox Add-ons, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet Safety, Internet Safety Tools, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

How Fake/Rogue Software Affects Real People

One of the many perks of being a member of the Blogging community is, it allows me to have direct contact with a great many other Internet users; many more than I would have to opportunity to communicate with, in any other way.

One of the benefits is the real issues that other users are dealing with come to my attention quickly; the positive experiences and, it seems more and more, the negative issues that affect Internet users.

In the last few months, I’m sure that regular readers of my articles, and there are some 80,000+ subscribers on my BlogSpot site, have realized, that I have written a number of articles concerning rogue security software. Here’s why.

There seems to be an epidemic of rogue security software on the Internet at the moment; much of it using social engineering to convince users’ to download an unsafe product. Frequently, after installation of this type of software on a system, an attempt is made to force users to pay for removal of nonexistent malware.

As well, the installation of such malware invariable leads to a critically disabled PC, or in the worst case scenario, allows hackers access to important personal and financial information.

So what does this mean to real people? Let me share with you the following factual stories on the impact that rogue software has on people, brought to my attention by the very people who have been victimized:

Victim #1 – What do you do if you were duped into buying the XP Antivirus software? Should I take any precautions such as canceling credit card and/or email passwords etc.? Is my home edition of avast! 4.8 Antivirus enough to keep me safe from bogus and/or rogue software???? Please help…my computer is my life! Thank you.

Victim #2 – I unfortunately fell for the “virus attack” after trying to remove it, gave in and bought the XPAntivirus. They charged me not only for what I had bought but charged me again, $ 78.83 for something which I hadn’t ordered, nor ever received. It was a nightmare trying to get in touch with anybody, and I finally connected with a guy with an accent, who told me to E-mail the billing service re: my problem. I wrote them tried to call, it’s been a week, and they still won’t contact me to clarify what occurred. I printed off a purchase order from them when I bought the XP which verifies what I received. Anybody know what state their in, I’ll notify the states attorneys office. These people are crooks.

Both of these people have been responded to privately.

If you are a new computer user or relatively inexperienced on the Internet then the following recommendations are for you.

A good partial solution to the problem is to ensure you have installed, and are running, an anti-malware application such as ThreatFire 3, free from PC Tools. This type of program operates using heuristics, or behavioral analysis, to identify newer threats.

As well, Malwarebytes, a reliable anti-malware company has created a free application, RogueRemover to help you remove rogue software and to help keep you safe and secure.

An absolute necessity is to make sure that any security application you are considering installing is recognized as legitimate by industry experts. An excellent web site that will keep you in the loop, and advise you what products work and have a deserved reputation for quality performance is Spyware Warrior.

A further resource worth noting is the Bleeping Computer web site where help is available for many computer related problems, including the removal of rogue software.

The following recommendations are repeated particularly for new or inexperienced users.

What you can do to reduce the chances of infecting your system with rogue security software.

  • Be careful in downloading freeware or shareware programs. Spyware is occasionally concealed in these programs. Download this type of program only through reputable web sites such as Download.com, http://www.download.com/ or sites that you know to be safe.
  • Consider carefully the inherent risks attached to peer-to-peer (P2P), or file sharing applications.
  • Install an Internet Browser add-on that provides protection against questionable or unsafe websites. My personal favorite is Web of Trust, an Internet Explorer/FireFox add-on that offers substantial protection against questionable or unsafe websites.
  • Do not click on unsolicited invitations to download software of any kind.

Additional precautions you can take to protect your computer system:

  • When surfing the web: Stop. Think. Click
  • Don’t open unknown email attachments
  • Don’t run programs of unknown origin
  • Disable hidden filename extensions
  • Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched
  • Turn off your computer or disconnect from the network when not in use
  • Disable Java, JavaScript, and ActiveX if possible
  • Disable scripting features in email programs
  • Make regular backups of critical data
  • Make a boot disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised
  • Turn off file and printer sharing on the computer.
  • Install a personal firewall on the computer.
  • Install anti-virus/anti-spyware software and ensure it is configured to automatically update when you are connected to the Internet
  • Ensure the anti-virus software scans all e-mail attachments

10 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Internet Safety, internet scams, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Rogue Software, Safe Surfing, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools