Xbox 360 dashboard update launched

Microsoft recently released its preview option for Xbox 360, giving gamers a sneak peak of its latest system update. This update contained several new features which Microsoft announced earlier this year. This update to the Xbox dashboard had been one of the most anticipated in recent years. The update contained, additional Facebook, and Twitter apps along with a few other perks.

The Facebook and Twitter addition to Xbox is Microsoft’s answer to Playstation3’s web browsing capabilities. They were added to answer cries coming from those who wanted a way to update their Facebook while on Xbox. The Facebook application is very visually pleasing and fairly easy to understand. The interface is simple, and the auto login option is welcomed. It is hard to describe just how annoying it would be to key in the username and password over and over on Xbox. For those who have the messenger pad addition for the Xbox controller, it won’t be as bad the mini-keyboards making typing simpler. The Facebook app does not incorporate Facebook chat nor does it allow you to see who is online. In fact the only thing the app is good for is making status updates and viewing photos. It was hoped that the update would have some sort of auto updating on Facebook every time an achievement was earned. This was not the case. In fact, Facebook is unable to run in the background, making you log out every time you want to go play a game. Twitter suffers from the same problems that make Facebook so useless, only allowing updates when directly accessed and an inability to run in the background. Though it does allow for one to view the popular trends. The simple interface of both Twitter and Facebook make it easy to use but both were less than expected.

One of the other features added to Xbox is Last.FM it is a commercial free digital radio station. It allows you to pick what music you want to listen to by telling it what artist or genre you like. Based on that Last.FM will sort through all of the artists it has, playing those similar to the ones you like. As it plays the artist, you can cycle through information on both the artist and song. If you allow for it to auto-play, it will run through album art and various other photos of the artist. This service is very similar to that which can be found on Pandora. Like the other apps involved in this update, it is unable to run in the background. This means you can’t do much of anything but listen to music on your Xbox.

The other major addition to Xbox is the Zune marketplace. This is to eventually replace the Xbox live video marketplace. This portion of the update is fairly simple and straight forwards. The Zune marketplace will accept Microsoft points for movies, videos and music.

Overall the update was a rather interesting mix of programs, as Microsoft tries to suit the desires of its consumers. Though the update did not live up to expectations, it is only a matter of time before more changes are made to answer the wants of those consumers who are unwilling to accept things as they are. That leaves to question, just what will be in the future for the Xbox dashboard?

E3 facebook/twitter demo


Xbox Dashboard update commercial

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Major League: Featuring Cleveland

If you like baseball, then you’ve probably heard of some pretty good baseball movies before. One movie you may have heard of would be the movie, The Sandlot. Another might be the movie, Field of Dreams. Both of which are pretty good movies about baseball, but neither of them really show any good baseball action. None of them do this like the movie, Major League anyway, a film that was originially released in 1989. Major League is a comedy and as you watch the first half of it, it seems like a joke to you at first. However, what begins as a pretty funny movie, ends up being a really great baseball movie. Major League has some good comedic aspects, and it also conveys what it’s really like to be a part of a marjor league baseball team.

The movie begins with a woman named Rachel Phelps, inheriting the franchise of the Cleveland Indians when her husband passes away. Rachel’s plan is to put together a baseball team bad enough to finish in last place in Cleveland’s division, so she’ll be able to relocate the whole franchise to Miami, where she can enjoy her own selfish pleasures. She puts her plan underway, and at first, it looks like she’s doing a pretty good job. The Indians loose their first game 9-0 against the New York Yankees, and it seems that the Indian players have no chance of a very sucessful season at all.

As the movie progresses, you learn about each of the players on Cleveland’s team, and how they have to deal with the issues in their own personal lives. The main character in the movie who faces the biggest issues with his life, is the Indian Catcher, a man by the name of Jake Taylor. While he’s trying to lead a loosing team as a catcher, he’s also dealing with physical problems in his legs, as well as chasing the love of his life who is engaged to another man. The movie has not only a lot of good action and comedy, but it also has a fair amount of drama in it as well.

Anyway, a little over half way through the season, the Indian coach Lou Brown learns of what Rachel Phelps is really trying to do. As soon as he discovers that she really wants the Indians to finish in last place, he tells the team, and they become motivated enough to prove her wrong and turn their season around. They finish in a first place tie with the Yankees, and play New York in a one game playoff for the division as the home team. This is where the movie really kicks in with some good baseball action, and it’s also the turning point in the movie to make the veiwer realize that it really is a good movie.

This movie is by far one of the best baseball movies ever made. There were two sequels that were made after it, Major League II and Major League: Back to the Minors. Neither of these two films were as sucessful as the first. Major League is a movie that you will really want to watch some day if you like baseball, it’s a great movie from the start of baseball season, to the end.



Keep our campus clean

If there was one thing one could say to the whole Radford University campus, it would be to please keep our campus clean. There are people who come and visit this campus and there are even more people who actually live here. I think I speak for most of the student body when I say that seeing garbage on our sidewalks and in our halls is not appreciated.

The worst problem is in our residence halls. On the weekends there is typically no cleaning service, and some people like to go out at night. The problem being that these goofballs and some of the students that stay in at night will drop food and liquids on the floor and not clean up their mess. This causes a sticky, smelly and unpleasant mess for everyone else who resides there. There have been times when I have had to avoid drippings of vomit on the stairs for an entire weekend. It appears that many students feel no need to clean up after themselves, and others certainly feel no obligation to clean up the mess caused by others.

I would also like to point out the mistreatment of the campus outside the buildings. Many times I have walked down a sidewalk only to have to navigate around dropped food that no one has bothered to pick up. One time in particular I saw remnants of a whole burger and its toppings strewn along a sidewalk. Every day when I walk up the exterior stairs to the terrace shops I see the ground covered in gum, partially eaten food, spilled soda and a number of dropped objects that make walking difficult and at times dangerous.

There are also non-food related incidents that may seem funny to people at the time, but in the long run make our campus look less beautiful. Last year I remember walking along the sidewalk in Moffett quad, only to find a whole bike rack stuck up in a tree. My first reaction was laughter at the thought that anyone would go through so much effort to put it there. However, after the initial amusement wore off I was more worried about the staff that would have to get it out of the tree, and how it makes our school look.

Our fountain has also been the victim of abuse. Throwing junk in the fountain, peeing in it, jumping in it and putting soap in it is not amusing. Our fountain is the most central landmark on our campus. When people come to visit they are inevitably going to pass it at some point. Why do some students insist on making it messy or not functional?

I understand that being in college is a transitioning stage for a lot of people. Some are not yet mature enough to be out in the world, while others are more than ready. Despite this fact, there is no good reason to deface our campus. It is home to more than a few people, so I ask the students of Radford to please think before they act.

For more reasons to keep our campus clean, watch this video


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Dating sites suck

Okay, so I know dating sites are the new thing and for some they work quite well, but whatever happened to the old fashion way of meeting people? You know the scenario where you notice someone and walk over to them and introduce yourself. Then they say hi, you say hi, and afterwards maybe you two go grab some dinner and/or some coffee or whatever and talk about yourselves. Hopefully in the future the two of you will be in a long term committed relationship, happy and carefree.

Unfortunately, nowadays we make ourselves so damn unsocial that we must rely on technology rather than good old fashion social skills in order to meet people. We are so fearful of one another it really seems quite hilarious, I have to laugh at how completely ridiculous we are that we fail at what should be a simple task. You know that if more individuals themselves just committed themselves to open-minded everyday interactions instead of keeping to ourselves all the time and being so busy with nonsense items like the Internet, we probably wouldn

2012: will it be the end?

Whether or not the world is going to end in 2012 has been in question for a long time, but now it’s time to get serious about it. It wasn’t a big deal back in ancient times when everyone believed strange things anyway, and to those historians, it was never going to be an issue. Well, today, it is an issue for us. It’s 2009, the supposed doomsday is only three years away and many people have futures they’d like to be able to look forward to. So what’s going to happen in 2012, specifically on the Mayan calender, on the day of December 21?

There are many different ways people think the apocalypse could occur. The Earth could be struck by a huge meteor which would destroy most of our ecosystem. Like in “Knowing”, the sun could shoot off a solar flare that could incinerate all life on the planet. Global warming could interfere with the North Atlantic Current like in “The Day After Tomorrow”, creating a second Ice Age, the supervolcano at Yellowstone Park could errupt. Or maybe, as described in the Bible, Jesus will come, sweep away all Christians, and then demolish the Earth. The end of the world, regardless of how you picture it, is in fact, a very terrifying thing to think about.

The Mayan calender, believe it or not, never actually says anything about the world ending. In fact, many Mayans have been asked about it today, and they assure us that their calender has nothing to do with the world ending. The Mayan calender is extremely accurate, and follows the patterns of the stars. One of which, is a star alignment that occurs once every 25,800 years, which is the alignment of our sun with the center of the galaxy. This phenomena is more commonly known as the Galactic Alignment. One of the things that leads us to believe it could be related to the apolcalypse, however, is the fact that there was a mass extinction that occured during the last galactic alignment, 25,800 years ago (technically speaking, it’d be more like, 25, 797 years ago).

Our veiw of the sun changes slightly every 72 years. As this occurs, the sun passes around in a circle, going through various constelations. It’s like a type of clock, and at the top where 12 would be is where the sun will be when it aligns with the center of the galaxy, on December 21, 2012. The constelation right before this, where 11 would be on a clock, is an archer pointing an arrow to the right. This creates the illusion of an arrow firing into the sun, which is another thing that leaves astronomers and historians questioning things.

The Mayans aren’t the only ones who’s calender ends in the 2012. Other civilizations have had similar predictions, but all predictions about the apocalypse so far have been wrong. The Chinese, the Romans and others have all said similar things about time ending in that year. However, so many apocalypse predictions have been made in the past, and all of them have so far been wrong. Many Mayans today are also convinced that their calender doesn’t predict the end of time, and that it’s simply beginning a new cycle. Many people today are concerned about it most likely because of the new movie that’s coming out “2012”, which depicts the apocalypse as Earth being hit by meteors, Earthquakes and tsunamis. Don’t count on the apocalypse happening, however. Plan your future, and if it happens, it happens. But you don’t want to have no life if it doesn’t.

Skype a messenger unlike others

Skype is an instant messaging program and so much more. First and foremost, Skype is not what most people would consider to be their typical instant messenger service. While Skype does hold this function it is not the focus of the services that it provides its users. Skype has a heavy focus on Internet calling, the majority of this being computer-to-computer phone calls.

Skype’s web phone service is very useful, allowing for people to arrange conference calls with ease. Another nice thing about the computer to computer calling service is that it is entirely free. You can call as many other Skype users as you want, combining it into one giant call if it so fits your needs. Along with its ability to set up calls between computers, it also allows for video chat and screen sharing, two things which are gradually becoming fairly standard for instant messengers.

Skype is not purely limited to computer to computer calling, its reach extends beyond that. The program allows one to call land lines or cell phones from the ease and comfort of your computer. These calls, unlike the computer-to-computer ones, are not free but are generally cheaper than moststandard calls. This can be especially true for international calls which use the same rates as the local calling service. In this way, skype is truly useful for those living overseas who want to stay in contact with friends and family. The first non computer-to-computer call is free for the first ten minutes with Skype. The developers give you a chance to try out their great service. You pay for this service using Skype credit that you order ahead of time. You can sign up for a monthly subscription or refill your Skype credit as you need it.

Skype is no longer purely found on computers. It made the leap to mobile devices such as iPhones and Blackberries in application form. This lighter version of Skype does not lack any of the punch that its big brother possesses. What it does lack, it makes up for in its portability and the advantage of making cheaper international calls with relative ease. In recent months rumors have spread that the new ipod touch would incorporate a microphone and a built-in web camera of some sort, allowing for the Skype app to spread to it as well. This rumor, while true fell short of expectations. Apple scrapped adding a camera to the new ipod touch last minute due to technical difficulties.

No matter what happens in the future with Skype, one thing is certain: it is certainly a program to keep an eye on and give a try. The messenger layout for it might not be for everyone, but the built in systems more than make up for the clunky messenger it is built around.

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R.U. Basketball Season is almost here!

Radford is a small town that doesn’t have much to offer other than quadfest. Last year, however, was a pretty big year for the Highlanders, when Radford’s men’s basketball team defeated Virginia Military Institution 108-94 in the Big South championship, landing them in the NCAA tournament where they fell to North Carolina. The loss to the Tar Heels didn’t change how much of a turnaround it was for the basketball program that year. It was a whole new team from the one that Radford put on the court two years ago.

Two years ago, Radford basketball finished 7th place in the Big South Conference, and got knocked out of the tournament on round one with a 76-45 blowout loss to Winthrop. Not much was expected from the Highlanders when last year’s season began. They began their season 4-9, with losses to tougher opponents like UVA and Wake Forest. It was a rough start, but when Radford began conference play, they started turning things around, winning five games in a row to break even at 9-9. That was when they fell to VMI in their first game at the Dedmon Center last year. The team fell 87-72 due to VMI’s accurate outside shooting. From there, however, the Highlanders won every game for the remainder of the season, until their final game when they fell to Liberty. It didn’t matter at that point, however, because they’d already won the conference.

This year Radford has most of their starting lineup returning. Amir Johnson, Artsiom Parakhouski, Phillip Martin and Joey Lynch-Flohr are all returning. Radford is also picked this year to win the Big South again. Some of the tough opponents you can expect to see this year include Duke and Kansas. The Season begins next Friday, November 13 against Navy at 7pm (and hopefully the fact that the game is on Friday the 13th will mean bad luck for Navy, not Radford).

When Radford’s starting lineup graduates, next year may very well be rebuilding year for the Highlanders. Another concern is that Coach Brad Greenburg was named coach of the year last year after winning the Big South. This year, if he wins the Big South again, he may very well be offered a coaching job at a larger university that spends more money on their athletic program. This may be Radford’s last year to shine, so with that being kept in mind the year should go pretty well.

One of the tough oppenents that Radford will probably have to watch out for this year will definitly be VMI. VMI last year beat the Highlanders only once in the season, before Radford came back to defeat them 97-90 to with the Big South in the regular season. Then Radford took down VMI again in the Big South championship to go on the NCAA tournament. The Keydets will undoubtedly be looking for revenge this year, and it’ll be something Radford will have to watch out for. Liberty was pretty good last year too, and they will probably be the other team that Radford needs to keep an eye on, but this year they’ve lost one of their best players, so it is kind of a rebuilding year for them, and they shouldn’t be too hard for Radford to handle. With basketball season only one week away, Radford has some pretty high expectations this year.

RU vs UNC highlight:

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Video From: Philbridges on Youtube

Dragon Ball Z: the good and the bad

One TV show that everyone probably loved when they were a kid would probably have been Dragonball Z; the show staring the Saiyan warrior Goku and his friends who would always save the universe from evil villains like Cell, Freiza, Majin Buu and you’d know them all if you ever watched the show.

The entire show was basically to appeal to young viewer, preferably boys. In fact, not very many girls probably ever watched Dragonball Z or even really knew anything about it. The show was mostly an action show designed with lots of fighting and explosions, and all those cool things that young boys like.

It was a pretty awesome action show, with some pretty cool fight scenes. However, the entire storyline for the series was pretty crappy and it didn’t make sense at times. For one thing, the fact that there’s a separate planet that you go to when you die, and even if that happens, if your friends just bring together all seven dragonballs they can wish you back to life. That whole concept makes death completely meaningless. The entire human race gets wiped out and the Earth gets destroyed in the series, and they just bring it all back like it’s no big deal at all. Also, there are a lot of movies that were released to go along with the TV show. However, because the plot of the TV series was always ongoing, the movies could never fit in with the stories. Many of the movies just simply could have never happened because they wouldn’t have made sense.

Also, the battles against the more powerful villains, sometimes seemed to take forever. One wonders if it was really necessary to make fight scenes go on for as long as they sometimes could in Dragonball Z. The battle against Freiza lasted for a pretty long time when he fought with Goku, and as you watched it, while it probably seemed pretty cool at first, you probably started to wonder, “When is this battle ever going to end?” Also, the next major battle which was the battle with Cell, lasted for almost just as long, and if you’re not a patient person, you probably would have felt the same level of frustration as you did in the Freiza battle wondering when the fight would ever end.

Up until Cell, the plot was already pretty poorly written, but it became even more crappy after the Cell saga. The reason for that was because the person who had been writing the storyline for the show up until then, simply left when the Cell Saga was over. Then a new writer took over to continue writing the story, and he turned the entire storyline into crap. There were so many problems with the way he continued the story such as small children becoming super saiyans or being able to have a tournament, as well as a search for an evil wizards spaceship, then reviving an evil monster, fighting it, and having it wreaking havoc on the Earth, all in only one day.

DBZ, overall, is a pretty amazing TV show when it comes to battles, and it has some pretty bad ass fight scenes in it that young boys simply love watching. However, it really needs to have a better storyline behind it, because the story behind DBZ is absolutely shitty and there are too many things that just don’t make sense. There are other shows that were made to add to the storyline of Dragonball Z as well, such as Dragonball, which is the story of Goku when he was a child. Then there’s Dragonball GT, which is the story that continues pretty much where Dragonball Z left off. Both shows are like Dragonball Z in the sense that while they have some pretty cool action scenes, they could also use much better story lines.

Check out a video from the show:

Photo courtesy of Cartoon Network

Video courtesy of YouTube.com

HD flip cameras

Earlier this year the introduction of the HD Flip Cam hit. This tiny micro-sized camcorder can easily fit into one’s pocket. The device has a built in USB connector, allowing a user to directly upload videos from the device to YouTube. No longer would one have to fumble about with a multitude of cable, trying to figure out which goes to what device.

This camcorder’s main selling point is its ability to produce high definition film from such a small package. The small size of the device allows it to be among the most purely portable video capture devices out there. It made a fairly decent splash as it hit the market.

The latest product from Flip Video, the people who brought the original flip camcorder, is called the Mino. It is a slimmer version of the original device. Two versions of it offer the same HD capabilities as the original device, tempting consumers to buy it with starting prices of $149.99 and $199.99. The pricier of the two devices sports a larger screen and a full two hours of video capture time, a vast difference to the one hour provided by the cheaper cam. Though like any other new device there is always going to be others who will imitate.

One of the would-be imitators was announced early September of this year. This camcorder is a sleek stylized form, moving away from the boxy shape that is found with the early flip camcorders. Though there is still not much known about this camcorder, from what was revealed in the announcement it is clear that the camera will have some sort of flip-out lens that is supposed to be at the optimal filming angle. The majority of the controls for the device will be touchscreen operated. Though it does not come with the direct connect ability of the HD Flip, it does come with some sort of docking station. Presumably the consumer would hook it up to his computer allowing him to transfer his videos with relative ease.

While the HD Flip Mino is the only current product on the market that offers a great deal, there are certain to be other device making their way onto the market as the holiday season approaches. These devices, while not must-have, are certainly nifty gadgets for anyone who likes to capture life’s moments on film. This will certainly be among the hottest new devices this holiday season and it is certain that there will be more companies that take pursuit in this field, working towards making smaller and smaller camcorders with more and more memory, allowing for greater video storage.

HD flip promo

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NBA gets underway

The NBA season has officially begun and there are three major teams that come to mind when the time comes to pick who will be #1: The Cleveland Caveliers, the Boston Celtics, and the L.A. Lakers. The Celtics have a history of being the best team in the NBA, the Cavaliers were the Eastern Conference regular season champions last year, and the Lakers, who also have a history of being the best in the NBA, are the defending champions from. They also went to the NBA finals two years ago, where they fell 4-2 to the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics, who began their season this year with a 95-89 win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland, finished their season last year with a record of 62-20. They had the second best record in the Eastern Conference behind Cleveland. They won their first playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, 4-3, and then fell 4-3 to the Orlando Magic. The Celtics were the NBA champions two years ago when they finished with the best record in the NBA and eliminated the Lakers in game 6 of the NBA finals with a commanding 131-92 victory. Last year, the Celtics began their season strong, with a record of 27-2. Later in the year, Boston lost Kevin Garnett, and the remainder of their season was a struggle. With Garnett back this year, and having already defeated Cleveland on their home court, Boston is sure to be one of the best teams in the NBA.

When one thinks of Cleveland Caveliers, one person comes to mind: LeBron James. Well this year, he’s not the only player on Cleveland the Cavaliers’ opponents have to worry about. This year the Cavaliers have signed Shaquille O’Neal to their roster, a 37 year old star who’s still playing strong. Cleveland finished their regular season 66-16 last year, the best record in the NBA. They swept their first two playoff series, wiping out the Detroit Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks, and defeated both teams each time by more than 10 points, which is something that is extremely rare for a team in the NBA to accomplish. The Cavaliers fell 4-2 to the Orlando Magic last year in the Eastern Conference finals, which was a shock to everyone. This year, they already have their first loss to the Celtics. That loss is also the first time in a long time that Cleveland and Boston played and the home team didn’t win. So the Cavaliers will undoubtedly turn out to be one of the best teams in the NBA this year, but in order to do so, they’ll need to shape up the next time they play an opponent like Boston.

When a person thinks L.A. Lakers, the hot player that comes to mind is Kobe Bryant. The only player who beat Bryant out for MVP last year was LeBron James. Bryant and the Lakers are this year’s defending NBA champs, and they’ve already opened their season with a 99-92 victory over the Clippers. Last year they finished their regular season 65-17, which was the second best record, behind the Cavaliers. The Lakers are a pretty good team. They always have been and no other teams in the Western Conference can really match up to them. They’ll most likely be the Western team to bet on when NBA playoff time comes around.

Boston, Cleveland and L.A. will each have their struggles this year, and there are other teams who could come on strong and turn out to be #1. You never know in the NBA. However, most likely when the playoffs roll around, you can expect to see all three of these teams in contention. When it comes time for the finals next June, one of these three teams will almost be a sure bet. So let the race for the #1 team in basketball begin. Remember now that the NBA season has started and it won’t be long before college picks up as well. The scent of basketball season is already starting to fill the air.

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Video From: Celticsproduction on Youtube

Two wheels future of electric vehicles

The purchasing of electric vehicles is on the rise. There are quite a few advantages to electric over gasoline powered vehicles, but the main issues with electric motorcycles remains the battery life and range.

On top of cutting carbon emissions while driving, electric motorcycles have better acceleration than normal motorcycles. Because there

Boudoir style

This season is about personal style more than ever. Whether you decide to be a fashion chameleon or you tend to stick to one look, this fall season offers something for everyone. This fall is about personal style, and there are many trends appearing. Each week I am going to focus on a new trend springing up.

This week we are delving into the world of Boudoir style for all you sensual vamps out there. I am loving this seasons Parisian-inspired looks. Now this is a very tricky look to pull off, so let me go through the fabrics and accessories one-by-one.

The Parisian style features a mix of lace, leather and silk. This is mainly a look for nights out and can very easily go from sexy to skanky. As always if you

Facebook: the next step in gaming?

Facebook may very well be the next step in video gaming as it takes on more and more aspects that connect it with the gaming community. This is only an extension of the sites’ goal to connect people socially over the Internet. Online gaming has become a way of networking in and of itself, allowing you to interact with people who you would not normally be able to. This interaction extends beyond the game and ties can be made between people that have never met before. Though it may not be the normal way in which we connect to each other it is most certainly promotes community and interaction between users.

Mobsters2

It has become nearly impossible to log into Facebook without getting one notification or another alerting you of one game invite or another. In this way, Facebook has become nothing more than just anothergame portal providing games for people to play. These games for the most part are fun little flash games that allowi you to interact with friends and others. These games do have their fun moments, allowing people to see how their friends and family play, giving bragging rights to some extent. Such games like Farm Ville and Mobsters2 are examples of the games that can be found on Facebook. Every day there is a new game on Facebook. In that sense the gaming potential of Facebook becomes close to infinite, with its never ending pool of games to draw from.

Sometime in November, Xbox plans to release their Facebook app which allows its users to update their Facebook status from their consoles. It is expected that this will also update whenever you earn an achievement in a game or start playing a game. This is just another sign of how Facebook is becoming integral to gaming. Gaming is becoming progressively more about socializing than the actual game-play in and of itself. The very trend of multiplayer gaming encourages this ability to share and socialize, so it seems only natural that it would extend beyond the bounds of traditional gaming as the world constantly becomes even more interconnected thanks to the internet.

Even if Facebook is not the future of gaming, it is certain that many game portals on the Internet will adapt and borrow from Facebook, making use of the concepts which enabled Facebook to grow at such a rapid rate. In an attempt to borrow from this success, these sites will try and cater to the growing desire of the public to be able to share their results with their friends and family, letting them know what they are up to sharing these results with everyone.

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