Farmville Sending Users Away from Facebook

Today I noticed the above message when trying to load the Farmville application within Facebook.

Several weeks back the creator of Farmville, Zynga launched At first I was surprised to see Zynga makes such a move; as if it is biting off the hand that feeds it. Then I looked at the reported 11 million users that plays Farmville every day, I realize Farmville is actually growing up and venturing off away from home.

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Movie Review: Date Night


My Rating: 3Stars

This evening I saw the movie Date Night at AMC Cinemas, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong. One of the movies from my Must See Movies list.

This is a cops and robbers story with a nice twist. The main characters are mistaken for the robbers when in fact they are just a boring suburban couple (“The Fosters”) played by Steve Carell and Tina Fey. The Maxwell Smart character of Get Smart that Carell played in 2008 was all over the Phil Foster character. Don’t get me wrong it was the perfect way to play the Foster character.

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New iPad App Function in iTunes 9.1

With apps in the iTunes App Store being approved and rebuilt in universal iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad version, we now see a new feature in the recently upgraded iTunes 9.1.

Now all I need is an iPad to determine if these apps were simply recompiled in universal mode or actually have iPad specific functions that are only available when used on an iPad.

iPad Apps Now Available in App Store

Ahead of the iPad official release on April 3rd Apple had made available the iPad Apps in the iTunes App Store.

Many sections now have a toggle switch to choose either iPhone or iPad apps. It also appears that Apple is slowly releasing the reportedly over 1000 apps, as some of the ones I was expecting like TwitePad is no where to be found; at least not easily.

Open Letter to Smartone-Vodafone

Of the seven mobile carriers in Hong Kong: CSL’s One2Free, CSL’s 1010, Hutchison’s 3 HK, PCCW Mobile, Smartone-Vodafone (SMV), China Mobile and China Unicom, SMV may be the one that tries to deliver the best quality of service the hardest. This is why I am writing this open letter to SMV, hoping that the CEO and others in charge see it and finally make a change.

Dear CEO,

I understand Smartone-Vodafone is a business that needs to make money, and your business is to deliver mobile communication and data connectivity to the people in Hong Kong.

The way I see it is that majority of your revenue comes from monthly subscribers and pay-as-you-go customers. With the sales of handsets and other 3G radio equiped devices rounding out the remainder of your revenue.

You currently have several voice only, data only, and voice/data combine tariff plans. All of these come in both contract and Flexi versions of the tariff. What I want to focus on are the data plans.

I’m sure you are happy to see that your existing and potential customers are surrounded with more and more devices equipped with 3G or better radios. I am also certain you will love to have all these devices connected to the SMV network and use paid data on it.

Given this situation many of your existing and potential customers are faced with the delima of whether to commit to multiple 3G contracts for their devices. Or choose which of these devices to allow to connect to the SMV 3G network. With the latter resulting in lesser revenue to SMV.

We both know that these 3G radio equped devices will be much more functional if they are connected, resulting in higher revenue per customer just because the devices are connected.

You may already see where I am going with this. For example if a customer have a MacBook, an iPhone and an iPad they will have to commit to a voice/data contract for his iPhone, a data contract for his iPad and one more for his MacBook.

The type of devices is not that important here, what is important is that this example customer above has to sign 3 separate contracts with SMV.

Not only is this costly undertaking, there must be extra administrative cost to SMV to maintain and serve this customer.

The Solution

What I propose instead may sound like something radical in the telecom industry, but in the long run it may increase the revenue of SMV per customer. While at the same time makes SMV looks chic enough to realize, carrier should treat mobile voice/data service as an utility, which everyone needs and not try to dictate how its customer use the service.

SMV should offer new voice and/or data plans that enable N number of devices to connect to its 3G network simultaneously. If the customer needs more simultaneous devices he can pay more.

I may be describing the needs of the advance users here but these are the users who will generate the most revenue and in turn help advance SMV’s infrastructure.

Now that this Open Letter is published, I’m sure your 6 other competitors in Hong Kong will see it. With the pending arrival of the iPad and alike devices time is running short. So it is now up to you to stand out among your competitors and show us why we should be loyal to SMV instead of churning.

Look forward to your actions and attention to this matter.



I hope as many of you, who agrees or disagree with me, will contribute your opinion of my proposal to SMV in the form of comments below.

Let see if SMV reacts appropriately.

Google’s 3D Street View

Could this be a new feature of Google Map’s Street View? I do not have a pAir of 3D glasses so I cannot confirm it.

Hold on a second, isn’t today April 1st? You be the judge.

iPad’s Target Audiences

Even before Apple makes its announcement of the iPad, critics and analysts had guesstimated what the device will do. They came up with terms like “netbook killer” and “Kindle killer” for the iPad. When Apple finally made its announcement on Jan. 28th these same people started criticizing Apple for not living up to their expectations.

Is this fair?

No other company in the world can generate these kind of up roar, passion and expectations, for a product where the company in question never commented about prior to the Jan. 28th announcement. So without pre-announcing what the device will do how can Apple fails to meet these critics’ expectations?

I believe with the release of the iPad, Apple had finally brought its long philosophy, for the past 24 years, of “allowing the user’s to focus on the task at hand” to its true fruition. This is one of the reasons why the iPad is revolutionize. Apple has also the benefit of many different group of audiences who will be interested in using the iPad.

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