Insights

Tech Talk, Developer Tips & Press Releases from 49 Research

What Is Social Gaming

July 30, 2010

If you make regular use of the Web, then chances are you have already heard of social gaming.

At first look, social gaming just seems like games on Facebook. And while there is some truth to this at this point in time, thinking of it as just "games on Facebook" does not truly capture what it really is, or what it is likely to evolve into. (I.e., social gaming will likely go far far beyond Facebook.)

From the point-of-view of the game developer -- the people and companies who create games -- social gaming gives them access to an alternate method of advertising and promotion. (And often at lower cost as compared to traditional methods of online advertising and promotion.) By encouraging and "nudging" their users to get their friends to also play the game, by utilizing their "friend connections" on social networks, game developers can increase user base. And, for a game developer, increasing their user bases tends to translate into increasing revenues.

For the point-of-view of the game player -- of the user -- social games allow them to be social while they are being entertained. One of the large demographics that plays games online are middle age moms. This demographic seems to enjoy being social by chatting with others, by sharing information about themselves and their lives, and by including a peer group while they are "unwinding". Any online game that targets this demographic should include facilities for allowing these type of activities. But of course, this isn't the only demographic that plays social games. And gearing a game to other demographics, like young males, requires different strategies.

Looking at the industry as it is now, the social gaming space, and in particular social gaming on Facebook, has become an emerging billion dollar industry. Large social gaming developers such as Zynga, Playdom, and Electronic Arts as well as a "zoo" of smaller social game development companies (such as 49 Play) are driving and fueling the growth of social media giant Facebook, with others such as MySpace, hi5, and others looking to also capture a portion of this industry.

Monetization of these games comes in many forms, but often revolve around virtual currencies. One avenue for this montization is the usage in-game online ad space sold via a CPA business model. Conversions from these online ads results in virtual currencies being awarded to the game player. (Which can be used by the game player to purchase virtual goods and other items.)

The future of social gaming seems to be pushing into the mobile phone space. Bringing in new technologies, such as location based gaming, making use of GPS location information from satellites, to bring a new level of experience in the game play. It also seems probable that future social gaming may also incorporate augmented reality, with virtual objects being overlaid onto the real world.

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49 Research Awarded Contract to Develop Gambling Software

July 28, 2010

49 Research has been awarded a contract to develop an online gambling platform for an international company.

This software platform will provide social and massive multi-player online gaming (MMPOG) capabilities in an environment with extremely high traffic, while adhering to government regulations.  “We are very pleased to have made further inroads into the online gambling industry”,  said Charles Iliya Krempeaux, co-founder of 49 Research who followed, “our previous experiences in online gambling and high traffic online advertising technology development have helped us get awarded this contract“.

The platform is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2011.

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49 Research (http://49research.com) is a Software Development House located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. 49 Research experience includes a wide range of projects from Online advertising technology to E-commerce to Industry specific software.

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49 Research Announces New Website Launch

July 16, 2010

Jul 16, 2010 – 49 Research is pleased to announce the launch of a new and improved website.

Located at http://49research.com, the 49 Research website features an extensive summary of the Company's results from over a decade of accumulated project experience. The services section offers a breakdown of 12 targeted industries with detailed descriptions for potential clients and customers.

“We are an active member of the open source community. Our open source tools have an application in everything from online advertising technology, bioinformatics, and development tools.”, said Charles Iliya Krempeaux, co-founder of 49 Research. The open source software tools are listed in the code section of the 49 Research website.

Job seekers will find an improved careers section with a variety of posted job opportunities. The Insights blog contains a wealth of information for everyone from software developers, members of the media, and laypeople looking to learn more about the software industry.

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49 Research (http://49research.com) is a Software Development House located in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. 49 Research experience includes a wide range of projects, from Rich Internet applications to E-commerce to Online advertising solutions.

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How To Create a Posterous Client in PHP

July 16, 2010

Almost a year ago, we were working on software that needed to act as a client for Posterous.  Back then, we figured out that there was a little trick you had to do, to create a Posterous client in PHP.  We didn't have this blog back then, so we didn't have a convenient method of telling people about the trick we figured out.  So, now that we have the 49 Research Insights blog, we thought we would share the trick with you.

In case you didn't know, Posterous is a free blogging service.  One of the things that many people like about Posterous is that you can create a new blog post simply by sending an e-mail, to special e-mail addresses.

For example, sending an e-mail to post@posterous.com will use the content of your e-mail to create a new blog post on your Posterous blog.  (Posterous knows your e-mail address, so it knows which blog to put your new post on.)  And this is good enough for most people.  However, some people have more than one Posterous blog.  How do you tell Posterous which of your many blogs to put your new post on?!

The way Posterous handles this is by making it so you can e-mail the blog directly.  Let us illustrate this with an example.

Let's say you have 3 Posterous blogs: apple.posterous.com, banana.posterous.com, and cherry.posterous.com.  To create a new post on apple.posterous.com via e-mail, you would send an e-mail to post@apple.posterous.com.  To create a new post on banana.posterous.com via e-mail, you would send an e-mail to post@banana.posterous.com.  And to create a new post on cherry.posterous.com via e-mail, you would send an e-mail to post@cherry.posterous.com.  Pretty straight forward.

So, now getting to the PHP part.  You would assume that to write a Posterous client in PHP, all you would have to do is something to the effect of:

<?php

$email_to = 'post@banana.posterous.com';
$email_from = 'youremailhere@somewhere.dom';
$email_subject = 'Testing, testing. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!';
$email_headers = 'MIME-Version: 1.0' . "\r\n"
. 'Content-type:text/html;charset=iso-8859-1' . "\r\n"
. 'From: <'. $email_from .'>' . "\r\n"
. 'To: '. $email_to . "\r\n"
;

$email_message = '<html><head></head><body><p>This is a test.</p></body></html>';
mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_message, $email_headers);

The only problem is that won't work!  No matter what Posterous e-mail address you use, it will always post your posts to only one of your blogs, and the same one each time.  (Basically, it will always post your new post to your default Posterous blog.)

Sparing you all the details over how we figured out the problem.  (And not boring you with the fact that many of us here actually read the various IETF RFCs and can simulate client software by hand using telnet.)  To make this work, you have to use a 5th parameter in the PHP mail() function, and give it a -ODontExpandCnames switch which it can pass to sendmail.

So here's the code that actually does work because it includes the -ODontExpandCnames switch:

<?php

$email_parameters = '-ODontExpandCnames'; // THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!

$email_to      = 'post@banana.posterous.com';
$email_from    = 'youremailhere@somewhere.dom';
$email_subject = 'Testing, testing.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7!';
$email_headers = 'MIME-Version: 1.0'                          . "\r\n"
. 'Content-type:text/html;charset=iso-8859-1'  . "\r\n"
. 'From: <'. $email_from .'>'                  . "\r\n"
. 'To: '. $email_to                            . "\r\n"
;

$email_message = '<html><head></head><body><p>This is a test.</p></body></html>';
mail($email_to, $email_subject, $email_message, $email_headers, $email_parameters);

Obviously this is a simple example. But you should be able to build a full blown Posterous client in PHP off of the technique shown in this sample code.

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Welcome to the Team: Sean, Edmond and Nicole

July 14, 2010

49 Research welcomes three new people to the 49 Research Team.

Sean Donnelly joins 49 Research's Business Development Team as Business Development Manager.

Edmond Chan joins 49 Research's Engineering Team as a Software Architect.

Nicole Brown joins 49 Research's Frontend Development Team as a Junior Frontend Developer.

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skSlot: Template Slots for SkinnyMVC

July 13, 2010

Here at 49 Research, we are an active member of the open source community. Both as a consumers and creators of open source software.

We have created a new SkinnyMVC plugin named: skSlot.  skSlot adds templating "slot" capabilities to SkinnyMVC.  (Users of Symfony will recognize this as being similar to "slots" in Symfony.)

You can get skSlot from: http://skinnymvc.com/addons/skslot/

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Soft-Launch of New 49 Research Website

July 13, 2010

If you have been to 49Research.com before, then you have noticed that we have changed our look.  We are rolling our new 49 Research company website in pieces, and expect to officially launch to be in about a weeks time.

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