Facebook vs Google Plus

The battle between Facebook and Google Plus is getting hot. And as someone said some days ago, the winner in this battle is the user, who gets new long-awaited features and improvements to social networks (and, for those who are that sort of person, new reasons to complain).

Google Plus vs Facebook

See all the new features in Facebook and Google Plus

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Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay

So, Diablo 3 Beta has gone Live yesterday, and I do hope I’ll get an invitation (even if I don’t really count on it). Hype is raising. Here is a lucky user’s 50-minutes long gameplay video directly from the Beta (lucky user’s nickname is Ohmwrecker). Enjoy!

Guild Wars 2

When you talk about MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), you talk about World Of Warcraft. Blizzard’s masterpiece has dominated the market in the last 7 years (oh, yes, World of Warcraft dates back _SEVEN_ years), imposing standards that many have tried to copy but few (actually, no one) have succeded in managing. Just to give an idea, with reference to users’ subscriptions (people that pays the monthly fees), the ratio between World Of Warcraft and other (supposed) leading MMORPGs (Age Of Conan, Warhammer Online, …) is some 100 to 1 (where 100 is more than 11.000.000 and 1 is barely 100.000).

Yet, one of the most awaited video-games for 2012 is a MMORPG. Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the widely acclaimed Guild Wars, a MMORPG dated 2005 (therefore, only one year after the release of World of Warcraft). Guild Wars managed to find his own place in the MMORPG market mainly because of two features that made it different from any other mainstream MMORPG at that time available: no monthly subscription fee (the game was “free-to-play” once you bought it) and instanced world of play (that is to say that the whole world of play was specifically generated for each player, with no possibility to meet other players outside outposts).

No need to say the first feature has been welcomed with great enthusiasm by players, while the second has long been discussed since it is something quite different from the MMORPGs philosophy, according to which each player should be able to interact with other players no matter where they are in the world of play. Anyway, in the long term, the decision made by ArenaNet has been winning: Guild Wars sold more than 6.5 millions units (considering all the three stand-alone episodes and the expansion pack), showing that an instanced world, where no one can steal your loots and kills, has conquered many players.

Find out why Guild Wars 2 could be an even greater success

New Facebook Subscribe Feature

Facebook is about to launch a new feature for its users that will allow people to “subscribe” to profiles without becoming “friends”. Facebook users will have the possibility to choose whether to put a “subscribe” button on their profile, therefore granting the possibility to visitors to follow their public updates without entering in their “friends list”. This is a feature Facebook designed expecially for “journalists, artists and political figures”, and in general for all those users who want their public updates spread without necessarily accepting friendship requests by unknown people.

Facebook feature, new subscribe button

After putting the “subscribe” button in your profile, everyone will be able to follow your public updates (the choice in the updates is between “public”, “friends” and “custom”), and you will not be asked to approve subscription requests. You can, on the other way, decide whether subscribers can comment your updates and whether you will or you will not receive notifications for each new subscriber.

Find out how you can control your friends’ news feed with this new feature

Skyrim – preview videos

Bethesda has released three preview videos of their most awaited crpg Skyrim, which is due 11.11.11 (two more months to go!). Many of the features you can find in these videos had previously been seen in the video leaked at Quake-Con (and removed from YouTube after few hours). Anyway, Todd Howard comments are precious and the game seems really worth having on day1. The videos show the XBOX360 version of the game.

The first video is about the improved game engine of Skyrim. Awesome. Howard also tells us about the use of the two hands in the game (the possibility to combine two spells of the same type into a more powerful one is amazing), about the 13 standing stones the character can use to improve some of his features and about the character menu (with particular reference to inventory and perks). We also see some combats, some riding and the village of Riverwood, with some NPCs that seem very well designed and scripted. Enjoy!

Take a look at Skyrim with two more videos

A Dance With Dragons

During my University years, I used to walk in bookstores in my spare time to find out new titles and authors, turning over the pages of different books to see if they could catch my interest, touching them, even smelling them (it may seem quite fetish, and maybe it is, but anyone who loves books not only for what’s written in them but also as objects will understand what I mean). I bought many books this way. And this is how I got to know A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin some 10-11 years ago.

I read the books available at the time in very few days, then I waited almost one year for the third book (that had been splitted into three books in Italy), three further years for the fourth (that had been splitted into two books in Italy) and five further years for the fifth, that has been released worldwide in English on July, 12th. This is the bad thing about becoming keen on sagas that have not yet been ended by the author. You must be patient and wait. And maybe, in the meantime, read the first books more than once, so that you don’t lose the thread.

A Dance with Dragons is the fifth book of A Song of Ice and Fire. The long awaited fifth book. The one fans have longed for so many years after having been (partially) let down by the fourth, where Martin decided to pause the main charaters and plots to take us all in different areas of Westeros and to introduce us new points of view and stories. The one where we meet again Queen Daenerys, Lord Commander Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister, three of the most beloved characters in a saga that sees the number of names and points of view constantly growing. The one where we eventually know about the fans’ nightmare that has been known as “Meereenese knot”, the reason why this book took so long to the author to be written. I finished the book two weeks ago and here are my thoughts about it (SPOILER ALERT – if you don’t want SPOILER about the book and the saga don’t read beneath the dragon).

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin

My thoughts about A Dance With Dragons (with SPOILERS)

Web Notes

In the last few months I’ve felt more and more the need to store the web pages I read (and which are of some interest to me) in one single place where I can access them easily. Needless to say that “browsers’ favorites” is not the tool for me: it is somehow “local”, while I was looking for something more “free”. I therefore tried to go back to del.icio.us, which I used some years ago, but once again I was not fully satisfied (and in my case “being not fully satisfied” is the first step in the very sad path also known as “giving up”, when it comes to technology in general).

What I was really looking for was a tool that would allow me not only to store web pages on the web, but also to annotate them, highlight crucial sentences and points (so that I don’t have to read the whole page again to remember why I saved it), store them in folders, share them with friends and co-workers and access them wherever I go. I started Googling and one of the first result was Web Notes, a tool I now can’t imagine my weblife without.

Web Notes - A tool to annotate and share web pages

Find out more about Web Notes