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Brier Dudley's Blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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August 4, 2008 4:22 PM

Three new Mac games, from Seattle hobby startup

Posted by Brier Dudley

NPC Unlimited, a group of enthusiasts in Seattle and Bellingham, just released three new games for the Mac.

They include a shooting game called "Germ Patrol," a word-find game called "Sunday Search" and "Ninety Nine Effect," a science lab clicker that's based on a card game one of the team members played as a child.

All three are released as shareware -- an hour free, then $19 -- from the NPC site and Apple's download store.

NPC was started in 2001 by Hasan Edain, who works in medical imaging in Seattle, and Jeffrey Goetsch, a programmer and massage therapist in Bellingham.

They're open source enthusiasts as well. The games were first written in Sprite2D, a Java framework they developed and open-sourced and share via Sourceforge.

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August 4, 2008 2:21 PM

Property awards: Kirkland gets GIS kudos, Estately edges Zillow at Inman

Posted by Brier Dudley

In a low stakes David vs. Goliath competition, Seattle's Estately today won the "most innovative Web service" award at the Inman Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco.

Among the finalists defeated by the pipsqueak real estate startup was Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace.

Continue reading this post ...


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August 4, 2008 11:59 AM

Bellevue i-TV vendor SinglePoint adds mobile text ads

Posted by Brier Dudley

I didn't realize that interactive TV was so popular, but Bellevue's SinglePoint is seeing huge volume.

Over the past year it processed nearly 100 million "interactions," meaning instances where the service enabled consumers to interact with a TV show to participate in a poll, vote on a contestant or whatever else producers dream up.

That advertising opportunity was too great to pass up. Today the company's announcing a new system for inserting ads into the text messages that networks send to viewers, thanking them for participating and confirming their interaction.

Called SingleBrand, the company describes it as "the first mobile ad-insertion platform dedicated to retrieving and serving ads in conjunction with the scheduled inventory of popular interactive TV shows seen on Bravo, NBC Universal, MTV, FOX, The CW and others."

CEO Rich Begert said in the release that there has been high demand from the company's media partners (which includes most of the major networks) for ad-supported mobile SMS and MMS campaigns.

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August 4, 2008 10:53 AM

HP cutting in Corvallis and Vancouver, shifting to R&D

Posted by Brier Dudley

Great story in the Oregonian about cuts coming to the secretive Hewlett-Packard printing groups in Corvallis and Vancouver.

The gist: Despite saving the company a few years ago, the printer group is coming under the knife. Manufacturing is being pared back or outsourced, and the group in Corvallis, where it developed the inkjet, is looking at another 300 layoffs.

HP's selling its property in Vancouver, with plans to lease it back for a while, and leasing more space on its Corvallis campus.

I'll bet it won't close the Corvallis operation altogether because it has invested so much in exotic equipment, but another round of uncertainty must remind employees of the dark Fiorina days.

At least the company plans to continue doing advanced research in the Northwest (the story mentions that labor costs are 15 percent less in Corvallis than at the printer HQ in San Diego.)

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.