Hawk-Eye Technology to Quell Italian Football Angst

Italian Football
Common Criteria by olaszmelo

E-sports are on the rise, but the impact of digital technology is also being felt in the traditional sporting arena. Hot on the English Premier League’s adoption of goal-line technology to establish whether or not all of the ball has crossed all of the line in those instances where the award of a goal is in doubt, the Italian top division has announced that it is to follow suit.

There has been a long-standing objection to the introduction of optical technologies by traditionalists in both the UK and Italy who have insisted that the matter of human error is an integral part of the game. More practical objections on the basis of cost have also been aired.

However, as in England, the demands of television and club managers – neither of which are ever content with officials’ mistakes – combined with the overflowing riches of the top clubs have seen those objections overcome. From the start of next season the Italian Serie A will adopt the same Hawk-Eye technology as was introduced in the English Premier League at the start of the 2014/2015 campaign.

Recent seasons in Italy have seen a number of controversies erupt as to whether the ball has – or has not – crossed the goal line in matches. AC Milan have twice been at the centre of such rows, on one occasion in 2012 with serious implications: an incorrectly disallowed goal was adjudged to have cost them a victory. The resulting points ‘loss’ inevitably impacted their final tally for the season.

With so much money at stake in terms of direct winnings, and indirectly from the revenues that derive from Champions’ League qualification, it was entirely logical that the means to eliminate human error from the equation should be adopted. Likewise, the considerable interest in Serie A betting put a high premium on teams competing for major honours being able to have complete faith in the accuracy of referees’ decisions.

Common Criteria by MULADAR NEWS 
Hawk-Eye represents a network of high-speed video cameras to track and triangulate a ball’s position to within a 3.6mm margin of error. Because the system is able to accurately identify the ball’s position in relation to the goal-line, Hawk-Eye can tell when it has actually crossed the line. When it does so, an automated alarm alerts the match officials via a radio transmission to the referee’s watch.

Hawkeye has already been widely used in tennis and cricket, and therefore represents a well tried and tested solution to one of football’s perennial bugbears. AC Milan’s recent sense of grievance and the 1966 World Cup final are by no means the only instances where a dubious decision has had far reaching consequences.

It is unlikely that the technology will be extended to less wealthy leagues, but the news that Germany’s Bundesliga is also to adopt the technology  shows that it is more than just a short-term experiment for the bigger clubs.

The next step, now that the principle of human error has been punctured, will be the development of a software package capable of determining the equally vexed question of precisely when a player steps offside. Given the universal confusion on that point, that could take some time to deliver. Needless to say, it is an issue that does not arise in E-sports.

The Internet of Sheep

Internet of Sheep

The Internet of Things is the idea that all physical objects could communicate data over the internet to other connected devices.

In rural Wales, researchers have begun a study into the Internet of Sheep, attaching devices to livestock to gather information. Researchers say the beauty of sheep is that they stick together — easily transmitting data between the flock.

When the flock comes close to an internet receiving station it would transmit data to researchers at Lancaster University.

CNN has the full story on these connected sheep.

Avalon II Slot Game Review

Whats changed in Avalon II Slot

Be ready to be taken on a memorable and unique quest with the famous King Arthur together with other characters. Avalon II consists of 8 bonus games, cinema-quality 3D animation and a fantastic soundtrack. If you thought Avalon I was outstanding then you will be blown away by Avalon II which offers you 243 ways to win!

This is a 150 coin slot game that has five reels, wild, scattered and expanding wild symbols as well as three additional features, called merlin, grail and pay-table achievements. The aim is to get the winning string on one of 243 pay ways. How much will a player win? This is directly linked to the combo type he gets.

Avalon II consists of the standard features that one would expect to find with a micro gaming slot. There is a wild symbol that will take the place of all regular game icons to help create combinations and there is also a scatter icon that can offer instant pay-outs when three or more appear anywhere on the reels. While these features can get one excited, the main highlight of the game is the Grail Bonus, which is triggered with three scatters. You can also read a more detailed review of the slot game at Casino UK.

During the free spin game, players who are betting five coins will have the chance to win as much as 2,430,000 coins and during the bonus rounds, a 25,495 coin pay-out is highly possible.

How to Play Avalon II?

• -and+ keys next to the coin size field adjust the coin size.
• -and+ keys next to the coins field adjust the betting amount.
• Spins starts the game.
• Win box shows the pay-outs per winning combo.
• The winning combos are highlighted.
• The highest winning combos are set as achievements and are not cleared after exiting the game.

Be prepared to get sucked in by Avalon II slot game!

This game is now available at Golden Riviera Casino. Goto the site here : http://www.goldenrivieracasino.com

ESPN Invests in the Future of E-Sports

Creative Commons by campuspartymexico

The e-sports industry is a multi-million dollar industry that has thousands of fans and players across the world. Although Asia has traditionally been the epicenter for the industry’s virtual battlegrounds, a recent investment by ESPN has given the e-sports world a new platform to perform upon.

Although the American TV network has shown e-sports for a number of years, it recently committed to broadcasting more events in the future as the industry continues its migration into the mainstream. This shift, according to an article by Fortune, has led industry analysts to project a major upswing in the market between 2015 and 2017.

A Growing Market

The increase in media coverage is expected to push up the number of fans from 89 million to 145 million. Moreover, the global awareness of e-sports is expected to increase dramatically by 2017 as researchers predict that more than 1.2 billion people will have watched at least one e-sports event.

Although many people often associated e-sports with strategy games, such as Dota 2 or League of Legends, the collective term is actually used to describe any multiplayer game involving teams or individuals.

As well as fighting games, e-sports teams can compete across a number of disciplines, including many real-life sports. Soccer, motor racing and American Football are all arenas of conflict in the e-sports world. In fact, fans of FIFA can routinely compete against players from across the world in a range of tournaments which offer up to $150,000 in prize money.

New Avenues for E-Sports

Of course, not all games are currently covered by the e-sports banner. However, as the industry grows, that could certainly change. Strategy games are often some of the most popular and some sports lend themselves perfectly to this pursuit.

For example, horse racing and golf are two pursuits that most people won’t ever be able to play on a professional level. However, thanks to the structure of each sport, stats and analysis are extremely important for a number of reasons. Although it’s possible to watch each sport and be ignorant of the numbers dictating the action, it certainly improves your viewing pleasure if you do know them.

Watching the physical prowess of horse and jockey working in unison is compelling. But if you really wanted to get the most from the race, you’d take a moment to look up the latest Cheltenham betting odds. Doing this would not only give you an insight into the competitors, it would also give you a greater understanding of the race’s context and, therefore, increase your engagement with the race.

An Evolving E-Sports Empire

From an e-sports perspective, this kind of analysis, which most people do subconsciously, is great. Pitting two individuals (or teams) against each other in a bid to see who can best analyze their sport and make the best decisions is the nature of the industry. Although it will be a long time before e-sports becomes mainstream enough to allow events such as horse racing and golf to become popular, there’s no reason why that couldn’t be the case in the near future.

Indeed, back in the early Nineties, no one would have predicted that in 2015 ESPN would be preparing to broadcast virtual versions of sports such as motor racing and NFL. However, the e-sports industry has come a long way since then and as more people become aware of the genre it’s highly likely we’ll see a lot more changes over the next two decades.

PS4 or Xbox One: Who is the winner?

xbox one vs. ps4

This is going to be a pretty tough comparison to make. This is mainly down to the fact that there is very little in terms of noticeable differences between the PS4 and Xbox One. You have to realize that console games have become a whole lot more ‘PC like’ over the years, and that means there is very little difference in terms of hardware. That being said; the PlayStation 4 has drastically outsold the Xbox One in most regions of the world. This means that gamers have spoken. The PS4 is better than the Xbox One. Just why though? Well; let’s take a little look, shall we?

I would start with the processor here, although to be fair the Xbox One does actually boast a considerably better processor than the PlayStation 4. In all fairness however; much of the processing power is actually taken up by the Kinect device, so whilst there is a 10% boost of power for the Xbox One, it is brought down to about the same during those ‘Kinect’ games. That being said; the processor in this day and age is not the most important part. The most important part is the graphics processor.

I am not going to dive into the actual graphics card in each. This will make sense to barely any readers (no offence here, it is just that the graphics cards are not generic). There is a roughly 10% higher amount of graphics capabilities on the PlayStation 4 than the Xbox One. This means that the PlayStation 4 is able to render slightly better graphics and perform at slightly higher frame rates. If you want a more in-depth comparison on the specs of the two consoles, GoWin wrote a good piece about it back in August.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both have 8GB of RAM. The PlayStation 4 opts for the slightly higher performing GDDR5 memory though (i.e. the read and write access of the RAM is a great deal higher). You do however have to be aware that GDDR5 technology is still in its earliest stages. Even the most avid of PC Builders are not going down that route nowadays, due to the fact that it is still relatively unstable. That being said, from a RAM perspective the PS4 is slightly better than the Xbox One.

One of the key things which separates the PlayStation 4 from the Xbox One is the fact that most cross-platform games nowadays tend to utilize the PlayStation 4 as the lead development console. This means that many of the games that are developed for both consoles have to be ported over to the Xbox One. This in turn means that the games are never that well-optimized. This means that if the Xbox One did actually boast a better spec it would not perform as well as the PlayStation 4. We had this problem in the last generation. The PlayStation 3 was considerably better than the Xbox 360 in terms of spec, but the Xbox 360 was easier to develop for and thus the PlayStation 3 had a ton of poor quality ‘ports’.

Superheroes and The Law (Can Superman Run For President of the USA)?


Superheroes and the Law

Can Superman run for president of the United States? Can the makers of the genetically modified spider that bit Peter Parker sue him for patent violations? Is the Superhuman Registration Act constitutional?

My wife works in the legal field (trained as a Paralegal), and she stumbled on this geeky but legal related book and just knew that other geeks like me would be interested.

In THE LAW OF SUPERHEROES, lawyers, co-bloggers (at Law and the Multiverse), and self-proclaimed comic book nerds James Daily and Ryan Davidson attempt to answer these questions – and many more. Wherever the law and comic book stories intersect (and the points are both numerous and varied!), Daily and Davidson are there, armed with a library’s worth of case law, a comprehensive knowledge of comic book lore, and an easy, engaging sense of humor. The result is an accessible, enjoyable look at US law as explained using examples culled from comic books.

This Amazon review has a great summary, click on through to The Law of Superheroes:

The book is split into thirteen chapters, each of which covers a different area of US law:

1 – Constitutional Law: e.g., Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment grant mutants civil rights? Could the state ever force a superhuman to relinquish his or her superpowers?

2 – Criminal Law: If you murder a superhero who’s later resurrected, is it still murder? Is the Joker legally insane?

3 – Evidence: Could the court ever allow testimony given by a masked superhero? Can the services of psychics be used to verify a witness’s testimony?

4 – Criminal Procedure: Would evidence gathered by Batman be admissible in criminal court? Could a superhero be held liable for false arrest?

5 – Tort Law and Insurance: Does the nonconsensual use of telepathy constitute a violation of privacy? Who’s legally responsible for the massive property damages sustained in the comic book universes?

6 – Contracts: Could Batman really contract the services of thugs to rescue civilians, as he does in No Man’s Land? Are contracts with the Devil enforceable?

7 – Business Law: Which business designation would best fit a superhero team, e.g., for tax and liability purposes? Does the Americans with Disabilities Act afford mutants any protection?

8 – Administrative Law: Would Superman owe taxes on pieces of coal that he crushed into diamonds? How would flying superheroes deal with the FAA?

9 – Intellectual Property: Does Peter Parker own the copyright to photos he takes for the Daily Bugle? Do the surviving members of The Beatles have a copyright claim on music created by their counterparts in an alternate universe?

10 – Travel and Immigration: Could Superman really renounce his US citizenship? Would international restriction on travel apply to superhumans who travel by teleportation devices (i.e., since they aren’t technically crossing borders)?

11 – International Law: What are the territorial markers of Atlantis? Do US courts have any jurisdiction over crimes committed on other planets?

12 – Immortality, Alter Egos, and Resurrection: Would the compound interest on their investments provide a living wage to immortals? Can immortal beings collect Social Security in perpetuity?

13 – Non-Human Intelligences: As a non-human, would Superman have any rights at all? Can the Endangered Species Act be used to protect intelligent super-nonhumans?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found the early,”sexier” chapters on Constitutional and criminal law more entertaining than those on business and administrative law. That said, the authors still manage to make the tax code seem somewhat interesting.

Why China Will Win The Next Space Race


China Space

While NASA and the European Space Agency gets most of the world’s attention, China, Japan and India are racing for the heavens. Since China’s first human spaceflight in 2003 and its threatening anti-satellite test in 2007, Asia has seen a surge in space activity, with budgets increasing rapidly across the region. While few officials admit to the term, a “space race” is emerging in Asia.

Head on over to the DailyBeast for the full story and analysis of China, Japan and India that are starting a new space race that may put the EU and USA in the follower position in the future.

The Swift Programming Language Is Growing Like Mad

Swift icon logo

Wired is reporting that Apple’s new programming language called Swift has an incredible adoption rate. Introduced 7 months ago it is already the 22nd most popular language in use.

Apple’s main goals for Swift were ease the process to develop apps for Apple devices, make it easy to learn and fast to use. Also this would lower the bar for developers to onboard to the Apple platforms.

Learn more about Swift at http://www.learnswift.tips , or if you want to jump right to some code samples to get a lowdown of the language head on over to Apple’s Swift guided tour.

Weaving nanowire into textiles to create self-heating garments


From Technology.org:

To stay warm when temperatures drop outside, we heat our indoor spaces — even when no one is in them. But scientists have now developed a novel nanowire coating for clothes that can both generate heat and trap the heat from our bodies better than regular clothes. They report on their technology, which could help us reduce our reliance on conventional energy sources, in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

Follow the link to read more at Technology.org

BonusMob.com – 3 Reasons to Play at NetEnt Casinos

Net Entertainment (NetEnt), one of the world’s leading providers of online casino software and games, was launched in Scandinavia in 1996. According to the software provider’s official website, its secret of success is “innovation,” owing to which it can deliver topnotch online gambling products and services. One of the biggest contributions of the company is CasinoModule, its award-winning product, which is a comprehensive online casino gaming solution with an impressive back office and more than 200 sophisticated games. NetEnt operates in countries all over the world, including Gibraltar, Ukraine, Sweden, and Malta.


It is therefore not surprising that NetEnt casinos are some of the best in the industry.

Here are 3 key reasons players should play at casinos powered by NetEnt software.

Ultimate Gambling Experience

NetEnt Casinos offer not only a Flash online casino, but also NetEnt Touch, a mobile casino platform, and Net Entertainment Live Casino, a live dealer gaming platform. There is also a network of progressive jackpot games that can transform players into millionaires with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Impressive Games Portfolio

NetEnt Games Portfolio

NetEnt casinos offer a wide range of casino games, including video slots, table games, Scratchcards, and other games, but the software provider’s focus appears to be on slots. Players have scores of slots games to choose from, each based on a variety of exciting themes, featuring brilliant graphics, and capable of delivering the authentic Vegas experience.

New players can easily get familiar with the games as each game has a question mark. If players click on this mark, they will be taken to a page displaying the game rules as well as the return-to-player percentage of that particular game. Players can learn more about NetEnt slots at NetEntertainmentcasinos.co, this websites has been invaluable to us in our quest to find out everything regarding Net Entertainment.

The table games, though fewer than the slots, are just as delightful. The library of table games includes not only NetEnt online blackjack, but also Red Dog, Baccarat, Roulette, Pontoon, and Casino Hold’em, to mention just a few.

State-of-the-art Software

Players only have to register and play at a NetEnt casino to realize that the software provider maintains the best industry standards while developing its games and software. NetEnt offers its software in many different languages and has been designed so as to offer localized content.

NetEnt software is safe and secure. Since eCOGRA audits the software development environment at NetEnt, players can rest assured that NetEnt software meets industry standards and delivers the 100% fair gaming experience.

Geeknews.net has played at a few Net Ent casinos including Gdaycasino.com. PureNetEnt.com, Leo Vegas, Mr Green and Super Lenny. Each offers a different experience based on their bonuses, loyalty programs and service.

Football numbers are geek Nirvana

Creative Commons by Paolo Camera

Football offers Nirvana for geek punters who like to take a numbers-only approach – because the odds are affected so much by the emotion of the market.

Those of us who can stay detached from that emotion and who look more deeply into the stats than the last games can therefore only win out over the long term. It’s all about bringing the statistician’s “cold” and detached resolve to bear in making your value-based decisions.

In this way, you can often make bets where the odds of an outcome are far less than fully reflected in the actual odds. In other words – by looking at stats from football history only and your own judgement, you may be able to beat the market.

If you look on sites like Blue Square and others, you’ll find some excellent analysis and insights that may help sway your judgement in the right kind of direction. This kind of information can be immensely helpful – just don’t lose sight of the numbers because it’s all about the numbers.

One of the best tactics around is to weigh up all you can about a game then come up with your own fair estimate of the likely odds. But you must do this exercise in complete ignorance of the actual odds. Then, when you look at the real odds, you’ll quickly be able to see if you’re a long way out in any direction and to place your bets accordingly. Big games like the English Premier League are easier as there’s such an enormous market in them.

The acceptance of loss is also vital. You’re simply spinning coins and steadily gambling on them at better than even money, in theory at least. Even if you can only manage slightly better numbers than the weight of probability suggests – you’ll come out steadily on top. But you’ll also lose a lot of wagers along the way. Things do not always go to plan, such as Manchester United losing to Southampton. Think of it as moving three steps forward and two steps back all the time – then the losses are tolerable because you accept they’re inevitable. It’s just a numbers game using your own detachment from the emotion of the market that helps you win out in the end.

Strangest Games of 2014

2014 was a great year for gamers. The heavy hitters were out in full force with some of the most eagerly anticipated titles flying onto – then as quickly off – the shelves, including Destiny, Alien Isolation, Far Cry 4 and South Park’s The Stick of Truth. However, 2014 was also responsible for some of the most bizarre and surreal games ever to grace our consoles or computers. Take a look at this outlandish and extraordinary selection that covers everything from romantic avian encounters to life as a slice of wholesome white. So whip out your paysafecard – allowing for easy and anonymous payment for online gaming – and enter the strange and often humorous world of surreal gaming.

  • Goat Simulator I don’t think there is a child in the world who, at some point during those formative years, hasn’t dreamed the greatest dream of all. And that dream, of course, is to frolic in the meadows, conquer the snow capped mountains and generally get up to unending suburban mischief as a………… goat. Thankfully, all of those flights of fancy can now be realised with the bizarre, yet utterly compelling, Goat Simulator from Coffee Stain Studios. Priced at just $10, your bovidaen alter-ego can run, ram, jump and lick his way through this sandbox of “udder” madness. Get it now and rediscover your inner “kid”.
  • I am Bread The best thing since sliced bread is, in fact, I am Bread. Use your loaf and navigate through the many pitfalls of a mundane family home during your quest to become toasted. Based around a tricky physics engine that creates some truly addictive game play, I am Bread costs just $10 and has been a big hit with those who enjoyed Bossa Studio’s Surgeon Simulator from 2013. The graphics and the story are great too. Are you bready?
  • Hatoful Boyfriend This 2014 release is actually a HD remake of an older Japanese game that puts a strange avian twist on traditional otome dating games. You take control of a teenage girl who has recently enrolled in a school populated exclusively by birds. Your job is to navigate this multilayerd visual novel by dating pigeon pupils to a variety of different conclusions. However, a dark undercurrent propels the story forward, keeping you on your tridactyl toes at all times.
  • Jazzpunk Created by Necrophone Games and published by Adultswim, it’s no real surprise that Jazzpunk has made it onto the list. A single person adventure game to rival any surreal cinema from Gilliam or Lynch, the plot centres around a cold-war-esque espionage agency that employs your character, Polyblank, in the important business of pigeon smuggling and cowboy assassination alongside a healthy splash of cross-dressing – all of which is fuelled by an apparent prescription drug addiction. Filled with classic mini-games and abstract graphics, Jazzpunk costs just $20.

A Look At Mario’s Sports Titles

Common Criteria by JD Hancock

The sports genre has become one of the most popular and lucrative within video gaming. Since Atari Football landed in 1978, offering sport fans the chance to experience the virtual thrills and spills of the NFL from the comfort of their own living room, the genre has gone from strength to strength. Moreover, with the release of EA’s FIFA 15 capitalising on the slew of League Cup betting on the likes of Bet365 currently going on, the genre isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Whilst the more straight-up of simulations have proved most popular, with series like Pro Evolution and Virtual Tennis posting several entries, there have been plenty of more off-kilter titles that have proven popular. The most famous of these are the various Mario sport simulations, which have seen the Italian plumber lend his hand to everything from golf to soccer. Despite these spin-offs not being produced as regularly, or selling as highly, as their more serious counterparts, they have had a consistent presence through multiple Nintendo platforms. Therefore, in honor of Mario’s contribution to this popular video game genre, here are three of the best of his sporting endeavors.

Mario Strikers: Charged Football (Wii)

It is perhaps telling that this colorful football game was not developed in Japan, but by a team in Vancouver that is coincidentally located near the developer of the FIFA series. Therefore, it is unsurprising that ‘Mario Strikers’ is a more tactical and realistic, if only relatively, title than the games which preceded it in the series. Whilst this should not suggest that the game offers either the subtly or authenticity of FIFA, it does have surprising depth and gameplay that rewards intelligent play over button-bashing. Saying this, the game still features flamboyant and oversized characters from Nintendo’s canon and various power-ups and fantastical random events. However, despite this title not concerning itself with ball physics or formations, it is ridiculously playable and perfect for those either too young, or too casual a fan, to appreciate the obsessive realism of FIFA.

Mario Power Tennis (GameCube)

This quality sequel to the classic N64 game is the perfect continuation of the original experience. Developer Camelot is careful not to tinker with the successful formula of the N64 original, simply honing and adding elements when necessary. The success of Mario Power Tennis is in the superb gameplay dynamics beneath the vibrant locations and cartoonish characters. It would have been easy for Camelot to rely upon Nintendo’s popular, and identifiable, canon and deliver a game that was big on character but low on playability. However, this has never been Nintendo’s style, so the gameplay is as intricate and lovingly crafted as the world it is set within. The gameplay is fast and frantic but never haphazard or sloppy. Power-ups are intricately placed and designed to prolong, and add variety, to the contest. Animation is crisp and characters are gifted with individual strengths and weaknesses, not to mention personal mannerisms.

Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)

Perhaps the least popular of Mario’s sports titles, this latest handheld entry – which is a decade removed from the last – is easily the most streamlined and enjoyable edition to the series. Featuring sharp and clear graphics which, although they do not push the 3DS hardware, are brimming with personality and flair. Simple but accessible gameplay, with a thankfully faster pace than the real-life equivalent, combined with strong level design and addictive mini-games makes this the perfect sports game on the go.

"Coffee Messenger" the First Touch-Based Smart Messaging App for Google’s Android Wear

Coffee Messenger App

Awear is a wearables startup and yesterday they announced “Coffee Messenger” a free app for Android Wear that lets you text from your smartwatch.

Some of the benefits of the app are that it’s FREE in Google Play! 🙂 It also has hundreds of customizable messages you can send with a swipe of the finger such as “Meet me for coffee” or “Running late…see you at home.”. And you don’t need to pull out your phone to see who’s texting, this is a great user experience. You can just flick your wrist to respond to the SMS. I also like that you can customize vibrations so you know who’s trying to get your attention.

Coffee for Android Wear is free and available today at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.awear.coffee. The app works on the popular smartwatches Samsung Gear Live, LG G Watch, LG G Watch R, Sony SmartWatch 3, Asus ZenWatch and Moto 360.

Skype as “Universal Translator”


Microsoft has released its first preview of Skype Translator, which allows real-time conversations between spoken English and Spanish and will be extended to more languages. The program will learn by recording conversations in order to analyze scripts and train the system to better learn each language.

The preview program kicks-off with two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and 40+ instant messaging languages will be available to Skype customers who have signed-up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1 on the desktop or device.

Read details on this “universal translator” at the Skype blog announcement.

How to stand out from the gaming crowd

Common Criteria  by Images_of_Money

The online gaming marketplace is pretty crowded right now. Try popping something innocently generic like ‘online casino’ into Google and you will be overwhelmed with the number of different offers competing for your attention.

In what is an increasingly international – not to say global – industry there are quite literally hundreds of casino sites all offering what at first glance appear to be notably similar offerings. Roulette, blackjack, poker, sports betting and lots and lots of slots appear to be common across the entire sector. Given that the underlying software is often shared by competing brands, this makes the marketing aspects of what we are presented with all the more pertinent.

So how do these providers all survive? Is what we are seeing just like the early days of the dinosaurs? Is this just what happens when a relatively new technology allows providers to tap into the public appetite for easy play? Could it be that over the fullness of time this wealth of providers will drop down to a more restricted sample of just the fittest and the best – a kind of commercial evolution?

Taking an admittedly restricted view of what is on offer – a full analysis would take all of 2015 to complete, and even then it would be out of date whist it was being proof-read – here’s a look at a ‘best of breed’ example.

The UK-based SuperCasino has packaged itself as a roulette specialist. Competitors Full Tilt and PokerStars have already carved up the growing poker market, so there is a clear precedent for this sort of niche approach – as opposed to just provision of a generic casino experience. In addition to this targeted branding, SuperCasino stands out in terms of its movement into conventional media.

Specifically, SuperCasino deliver live interactive gaming across terrestrial TV channels. SuperCasino deliver a live roulette show nightly on Channel 5, one of only five terrestrial Channels in the UK. Games are pitched at relatively low stakes games – in contrast, for example to some poker sites which make a point of targeting bigger stakes. SuperCasino is clearly aimed at the recreational end of the market.

A reflection of this is their gently promoted series of slots games. Like their competitors, SuperCasino are keen to cross-sell users as an additional offer beyond their principal roulette offering. In this way the branding represents a strong initial positioning, with an immediately resonant first point of recall, but it sees maximum use made of each and every user visit. The nightmare scenario would be for roulette clients to leave the site in search of an alternative gaming experience.

SuperCasino’s offering represents an interesting balance in terms of marrying a focal brand identity with a catch-all supermarket-style approach. Such a dual offering is evident elsewhere – e.g., in the poker providers already mentioned. This suggests that for all the brand investment, the industry is still far from a settled environment.

The hybridization of sports betting providers – for example – into the casino market suggests a kind of gold-rush is taking place. It almost seems as though everyone is after as much of every piece of every market they can find. Even Sega and Sky TV have experimented with online casinos in recent years. That is clearly not the most evolved marketing strategy.

A more singular, focused and targeted delivery, such as that presented by SuperCasino, looks to be a more viable long-term bet. It is hardly a new strategy, but being master of one trade – rather than a’ jack’ of them all – looks like the one sure-fire way of being able to stand out from the crowd.

Truck Nation – A New Transport Strategy

Hey, you truckers out there! Wanna play a new strategy game hit? From spring 2015, you can send your trucks out on the road in Truck Nation. Set up your own trucking company, complete transport contracts and face up against the soulless trucking company, “The Corporation”. The road awaits!

Awesome trucks, Cool truckers, Dirty tricks and more…

Association Ground  Map

The official website of the new transport strategy hit by Travian Games/Bright Future is now live at www.truck-nation.net.

On the website interested players can get informed about the details of the game and apply directly for the Closed Beta.
Alongside more than 60 different standard goods that can be transported by small and large trucks, there are also special goods in Truck Nation, such as cement, large construction parts, boats or cars, which require specialized vehicles like mixers or special trailers. Passenger transport is also possible, since players can quickly train their truckers as bus drivers. Illegal goods are particularly special as the players can’t let their competitors catch them transporting these.

The drivers are the focus of Truck Nation. They have special characteristics, they can be enhanced and they go with the player – who also drives a truck personally – through thick and thin. Over the course of a game round, all the players – together with their drivers – compete against The Corporation, a powerful firm that left loads of drivers on the streets after mass dismissals at the start of the game.

Truck Nation spans 12 weeks per round and in the final weeks an exciting endgame takes place where players compete to dominate the map of their chosen country. The game combines logistics with the setup of a trucking business and a central contest between associations, which seek to gain control over all the territories in the game world. The association with the largest area under their control at the end wins the game.

The trucks, the drivers and the setting with realistic country maps all serve to make an interesting and strategically varied multiplayer game, in which thousands of players take part in a game round and race along the German motorways for instance.
The competition between the associations is tough and involves plenty of little tussles and attacks against other associations, for instance by causing strikes or setting up road works. A spy network can be built on the association premises, which particularly comes into play in the endgame.

Interested players can apply for the Closed Beta and Open Beta at www.truck-nation.net.