Facebook unveils the top rated games of 2012: SongPop leads, six Zynga games in top 25!!

Facebook revealed which are the top 25 best-rated games of 2012, meaning the games that received the highest star ratings from players, as well as engagement levels, over the course of this year.

Not that the year is over already or anything, but you know.Notably, the list was compiled employing the same methodology used to rank apps in Facebook’s App Center, which means it is based on both star ratings by users, positive and negative user signals and engagement levels between the date range (January-November 2012).

The list below takes into account games that launched in 2012 on Facebook.com, as well as mobile games integrated with Facebook. It only includes games with at least 100,000 monthly active Facebook users.Facebook says this year’s list makes for the “most diverse and global year” for social games to date, thanks to the emergence of entirely new categories of games, immersive gameplays and games that were developed by companies around the globe – big and small.

Without further ado, below are the top 25 best-rated social games of 2012 according to Facebook users (whether on the Web or games built on top of Facebook for iOS and Android). We’ve added some thoughts and findings below the list.

  1. SongPop (by FreshPlanet, available on Facebook.com, iOS and Android)
  2. Dragon City (by Social Point, available on Facebook.com)
  3. Bike Race (by Top Free games, available on iOS)
  4. Subway Surfers (by Kiloo, available on iOS and Android)
  5. Angry Birds Friends (by Rovio, available on Facebook.com)
  6. FarmVille 2 (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com)
  7. Scramble with Friends (by Zynga, available on iOS)
  8. Clash of Clans (by Supercell, available on iOS)
  9. Marvel: Avengers Alliance (by Playdom, available on Facebook.com)
  10. Draw Something (by Zynga, available on iOS and Android)
  11. Hay Day (by Supercell, available on iOS)
  12. Baseball Heroes (by Syntasia, available on Facebook.com)
  13. ChefVille (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com)
  14. CSR Racing (by NaturalMotion Games, available on iOS)
  15. Candy Crush Saga (by King.com, available on Facebook.com and iOS)
  16. Matching With Friends (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com)
  17. Legend Online (by OASIS GAMES, available on Facebook.com)
  18. Jurassic Park Builder (by Ludia, available on Facebook.com)
  19. Dungeon Rampage (by Rebel Entertainment, available on Facebook.com)
  20. Pockie Ninja II Social (by NGames Limited, available on Facebook.com)
  21. Jetpack Joyride (by Halfbrick, available on Facebook.com)
  22. Social Empires (by Social Point, available on Facebook.com and iOS)
  23. Bil ve Fethet (by Peak Games, available on Facebook.com)
  24. Ruby Blast Adventures (by Zynga, available on Facebook.com and iOS)
  25. Pyramid Solitaire Saga (by King.com, available on Facebook.com)

Be that as it may, music trivia game SongPop from NYC-basedFreshPlanet was apparently the crowd favorite this year, with social mobile games Dragon City (Social Point) and Bike Race (Top Free Games) coming in at second and third place, respectively.

The amazing thing is FreshPlanet is quite young and nimble, and has only created four games so far. Definitely one to watch.What you’ll notice is that the top 5 best-rated games of this year weren’t made or published by any of the 25 top developers according to theAppData leaderboard (based on monthly active users), except for Barcelona, Spain-based Social Point.Aside from Zynga, only three game developers, namely Social Point, King.com and Supercell, have more than one game on the best-rated social games list.Zynga, the top developer across the board in terms of monthly active players (still according to AppData) only comes in at #6 with FarmVille 2.

We should note, however, that Zynga has an impressive six of the top rated games on Facebook this year, and it is also the only one with more than two games in the list altogether.

Taking a step back to look at things from a distance, Facebook notes that it was “the most international year for social games”.

The majority of top rates games came from outside the United States, ranging from France, Spain and the United Kingdom to Brazil, South Korea, Australia, and Turkey, the social networking giant says.According to Facebook, 56 percent of the games are available on Facebook.com, while the remaining 44 percent are social mobile games (available on iPhone, iPad and Android).

 

Skoda Teases Public with 2013 Octavia Pictures!!

Skoda has been seen releasing tantalizing images of the new Skoda Octavia. The Octavia Facebook recently released a cropped picture of the Octavia tail light showing off its new design; and now we have yet another release in the form of a cropped image of the chrome underlining the rear window. Skoda has revealed that they plan to reveal the 2013 Octavia in Prague before the end of this year.

We expect the Octavia to launch in India by the second half of the year 2013, most probably around the time of Diwali. Also in the bag is the possibility that the 2013 Octavia will be locally produced via the CKD route.

The new Octavia has been stuffed with a host of new features to earn its place in the premium sedan listings and comes with such options as driver fatigue detection, 3D graphics on LCD infotainment system, steering mounted controls and others. The 2013 Octavia will come housing both petrol and diesel engine options and has a 10.8cm longer wheelbase than the current model. The petrol version will house any of the 1.2-litre, 1.4-litre and 1.8-litre engine options depending on the variant while the diesel version will house a selection of 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre engine options.

Facebook’s latest privacy changes put to a vote!!

Users have one week to vote on the proposed changes to Facebook’s policy, including the ability of users to vote on future privacy changes.

Voting opened on Monday, and users have until Monday, December 10, at noon PST to make their opinions heard. Facebook has put up a custom voting app powered by a third-party company for this vote, and the results will be tallied by an independent auditor.

“This feedback allows us to respond to your questions and make substantive changes to our proposals before they are implemented,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy, said in a blog post announcing the vote.

Facebook proposed the latest changes to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities on November 21. Users and privacy groups immediately expressed concerns over the modifications. In addition to a proposed end to public voting on these types of issues, Facebook wanted to change to how users control who can send them messages. Also, an addition to the Data Use Policy would allow Facebook to share data with affiliated business, such as Instagram.

On Friday, two privacy groups, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy, sent an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg objecting to the proposal.

“Because these proposed changes raise privacy risks for users, may be contrary to law, and violate your previous commitments to users about site governance, we urge you to withdraw the proposed changes,” read the letter.

They also say the changes could violate Facebook’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, in which the social network said it would obtain consent from users before sharing their personal data with third parties, and provide users with clear notice when that information is shared.

Facebook has a rocky history with privacy changes and resulting backlash from members.

In 2009, the site made previously private data such as friend lists and profile photos public by default. The following year, users were automatically oped into a new “Instant Personalization” feature that shared private information with outside companies such as Pandora.

The outpouring of comments on the Facebook post announcing the proposed policy updates was huge. More than 20,000 people commented on the post, voicing concerns over the company’s proposed updates.

“I don’t want advertisers to have my information. I made this account back in 2005 as a way to keep in touch with friends, not be bombarded by ever increasing advertisements,” commented user Nic Raines.

In that post, Facebook also proposed to end public voting on changes to site governance. The voting option was first rolled out in 2009 in response to privacy complaints over a chance to the sites term of use. At the time, Facebook had just 175 million users.

This voting app is a improvement over the previous system. Past votes just required 7,000 users to comment on an official Facebook post. Facebook said the reason it wanted to do away with votes was that the comment system valued “quantity over quality,” a problem the new system already seems to address.

There are about 1 billion people on Facebook, not including bots or fake accounts. Facebook will require 30% of those active registered users to take part in the vote for the outcome to be binding. If less than that percent vote, the company will take the results under advisement.

Getting 300 million Facebook users to vote could be difficult, especially with the lack of viral appeal such as a fake lottery ticket.

In addition to voting and commenting, Facebook users can join a live webcast on Tuesday, during which Facebook officials will answer questions.

Source: CNN

Unclear spy picture of Ferrari F70/F150 emerges!!

Unclear spy shot from a private event has given us a first glimpse of what the front of the highly anticipated Ferrari F150 will look like.  The spy shot shows us that the new Italian monster has a wide stance, moulded wheel arches, wide grille and a Formula one style ridge on the hood. The headlights are also visible and are likely to be similar to the ones on the 458 Italia.

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We already know that the new car has been developed using the FXX and the Millechili technical concept that was revealed during Ferrari’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

The F150 will be powered by a more developed version of the 731bhp 6.3-litre V12 that currently powers the F12 Berlinetta. An electric motor (this will the Italian automaker’s first hybrid) is expected to produce an additional 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. The centrally mounted engine is also expected to get a dual-clutch gearbox and a low-mounted transmission to improve handling.

The car has got a new carbon-fibre monocoque. Inside, Ferrari has taken the F1 theme further by fitting a custom seat, moulded to the owner’s shape, an ‘all controls on the wheel’ F1 style steering wheel and adjustable pedals.

The F150 will be launched sometime next year and is likely to cost in excess of 800,000 GBP (Rs seven crore before taxes).

While some reports suggest the picture was from China (during the 20 years of Ferrari in China celebrations) others say it is from the Finali Mondiali Ferrari (Ferrari World Finals) 2012 in Valencia. This is an annual event by the Italian automaker to mark the end of a motorsports season.

Source: Facebook

Facebook to buy mobile chat app WhatsApp?

If reports are to be believed, Facebook is looking to buy multi-platform instant messaging application WhatsApp in a bid to improve its mobile services.

Citing sources close to the matter, TechCrunchreports the social networking giant has shown keen interest in acquiring WhatsApp. The site, however, could not provide more information about the possible price range or the talks are in which stage right now. Facebook and WhatsApp are yet to comment on the reports.

Buying WhatsApp would make a lot of sense for Facebook, which has of late looked to tap its mobile services to up revenues. WhatsApp, launched in 2009, announced in October last year that it had more than 100 millioni daily users across the world, sending and receiving 1 billion messages per day. These impressive figures might have prompted Facebook to bring in such features to its social network. It’s notable WhatsApp has users base across multiple mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows Phone.

Facebook to buy mobile chat app WhatsApp?

“Just how much is 1 billion messages? That is 41,666,667 messages an hour, 694,444 messages a minute, and 11,574 messages a second,” WhatsApp boasted in a blog post.  “Unlike Facebook, Whatsapp is a paid app. And obviously, having a paid, ad-free service is an expansion of Facebook’s business model beyond advertising. We’ve already seen Facebook launch another service that diversifies it — Gifts — and the positive impact that has had with investors,” says the report.

Right now it’s not clear exactly what Facebook would do with WhatsApp if it bought. But it is believed that the move would help deeper integration of the IM with the social networking site.

Reports of Facebook-WhatsApp deal come days after the messenger app drew harsh criticism from security and mobile researchers over the alleged security risks based on its authentication process. According to CNET, various bloggers dubbed the process a “security nightmare”, alleging the app leaked data collected off the device when it’s being relayed to services.

Recently, WhatsApp suffered a glitch that showed “error:uknown” as contact status. According to reports, the glitch had affected thousands of users worldwide. The bug was followed by a hoax message urging people who use the app to forward a message to all their contacts or face having their accounts deleted. Read more about the WhatsApp glitch here.

Nokia 114 with Dual SIM and Facebook launched in India!!

India might be waiting for Nokia’s next range of Lumia devices, the 920 and 820 but the struggling Finnish handset maker is not done with launching web-enabled feature phones in India.

One such device, Nokia’s 114 is now officially listed on the company’s India website. The 114 comes with a dual SIM option and has more importantly will let you browse Facebook.

NOKIA 114

Key features of the device include:

  • A 65k colour 1.7-inch display
  • Nokia Browser.
  • Support for Bluetooth v2.1, GPRS and EDGE.
  • SD card slot that can support a microSD card with a capacity of up to 32 GB.
  • Internal memory of 16 MB and mass memory of 64 MB. The mass memory is what you can expand in the device.
  • It also has a 0.3 megapixel camera that can capture images of up to 640 x 480 pixels. The camera has a $X digital zoom.

It also comes loaded with the usual personal information management features such as dictionary, digital clock, recorder, calculator, etc. and also has a few Java games.

The price of the device has not yet been revealed. But we can expect it around Rs 2,400.

Airtel introduces emergency alert service!!

Bharti Airtel has introduced an 24 X 7 emergency alert service for its customers. The service enables Airtel customers to send an alert with their geographic location to their 10 contacts in an emergency situation.

“During an emergency, Airtel mobile customers can now send an alert with their geographic location to their closest 10 loved ones simultaneously with just a call, facilitating an access to easy and quick help,”Airtel says in a statement.

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bharti-airtel-ltd-300×224 (Photo credit: bhautikjoshi)

Airtel’s Emergency Alert Service is available for Rs. 30 with a validity of 30 days. Users can send the alert even if they don’t have minimum balance in their account. To send the alert via SMS, users need to type HELP in the message box and send it to 55100, which will be then sent to all 10 contacts. To send the alert via call, users need to call at 55100 and the registered contacts will get the voice alerts with location details of the customer.

Airtel hopes its new emergency alert service will see adoption by customers from all segments including, working women, senior citizens, teenagers and migrant workers. Airtel says the service could be really helpful in staying connected with their friends and families in case of natural calamities or disasters such as fire and accidents. According to Airtel, the service will ensure a user can seek help round the clock. You can learn more about the Airtel’s emergency alert service here.

If you are a smartphone user, you have various alternatives for Airtel’s emergency alert service. Last year, non-profit organisation Whypoll launched a ‘Fight Back’ app for women. The app allows users to send SOS message via SMS, e-mail and Facebook at the press of a single key. There is also an Eyewatch app, which sends multiple messages, images, videos, sound bites and other details such as location status with the press of a button.

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