Playing Monopoly, online…

Finally, after several tries that revealed themselves as nothing else than frustrating, last night I managed to interact with the servers of the new online game Monopoly City Street at a speed good enough to really play (by the way, I am in the game with the nick marcolinux, in homage to one of my favorite operating systems).

I must say that, despite its simplicity, since the first announcement, I felt quite interested in this curious online version of the classic game “Monopoly” … The most intriguing thing is the chance you have to play on a virtual scenario as big as .. the whole world! As a matter of fact, the choice to rely on Google Maps was a nice thought indeed.

While from a technical standpoint the basic idea of this mash up, i.e. to make Google Maps “playable”, is nice and certainly worthy of being further developed, it also must be said that – from an organizational perspective – the “launch” occurred, in my view, not in the best way, perhaps underestimating at a certain degree the potential interest of the game, or at least the peculiar issue of “newness”: the consequence was to have, for many hours, servers too busy, and too many gamers detectably unsatisfied. It had been better, perhaps, to deal with a slowly growing traffic, perhaps relying on the classical mechanism of “invites” (remember the opening of Gmail..?). To be honest, in this case not even this strategy would be satisfactory, as the first to play would have clear advantages over players entered a second moment (if not else, more roads to choose from, to buy them).

Now however such “imperfect” start – with someone who could play and someone else who could not – has created a large number of requests for a “fresh start” , a new beginning that would reset all game situations. Needless to say, you easily understand that some people are happy and who is not at all …

Personally, beyond the interest on the specific game, I am also intrigued to observe the development of the project, and even more to watch at all the “social” buzz that it has already generated (discussion groups, social networking, etc …). Moreover, all in a very short time, if you think about it!

So, yesterday I went to sleep with my purchase of fourteen streets, some in Rome (Piazza S. Agostino was my first purchase, which is still among my properties), others in Ravenna (only because I have found still much to buy there)

Admittedly, the dynamics of the game is pretty simple (at the moment) … But, as my son Simone says, “it excites me a lot when I buy a road, because then I realize that I’m the only one to own it, in the whole world …!”

Beyond all other possible considerations, how can I say he’s wrong …? πŸ˜‰

My desktop

Just played a bit with my account on account, yesterday. Well I got the impression that Virtual Computing is getting more and more “usable” each day: it’s not a simple experiment any more, it’s something that you can really start to use, even if for simple tasks.

It’s quite funny to close a desktop (say) at work, and reopen it at home, on a different computer, to find exactly the same configurations!

Now, if I only could open a bash shell … I know, I’m asking too much (for the moment)…

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Jolicloud, a cool new OS for your netbook ?

Still looking for a good linux distribution for my eeepc 701 4g, since unfortunately it seems that the native Xandros OS does not offer automatic upgrade to recent releases of many important softwares (as Firefox, Openoffice…): too bad that Asus now is promoting almost only Win XP! . So far I tested Easy Peasy and eeebuntu.. now I am quite excited to test Jolicloud, a rather peculiar distro, focused on social web… let’s see… πŸ™‚

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The observation of the Perseids

Today even the homepage of Google presents a very special image, because this is the proper time to observeΒ  the Perseids meteor shower. Indeed, though the period in which you can see them in the night sky extends from late July to about August 20, the “peak” for the probability to see them is exactly on the night of August 12. The Perseids shower happens because the Earth passesΒ  through debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet.

The special logo that appears today on the homepage of Google

If you want more detailed information, you can refer to the NASA website, which also offers some advice for the best viewing.

KDE – KDE 4.3.0 Caizen Release Announcement

I’m looking with renovated interest to the new releases of KDE project. I switched to Gnome when KDE arrived at the “famous” 4.0 release, also because I was not satisfied from the user experience of the new desktop. Gnome offered me a simple but more usable enviroment, I soon discovered.

Now, not that I’m not satisfied with Gnome, but I’m tempted to switch again in the other direction (or at least, at giving a try), since the recent improvements – as the so called “Social Desktop” seems indeed quite intriguing… well, after all, the beauty of linux is the possibility to choose, don’t you think ?

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Google names Chrome OS partners

The reactions from the Linux crowd were mostly positive. Sometimes, however, they seemed to show the same nervous optimism that my dog gets when he sits panting and grinning by the door, wondering if he’s going to be invited on the car trip.

Interesting article on Google OS and the various reaction…

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