The Way I See It by Graham IP

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas e-cards recap for the holiday season

This post is a little late but it will serve as a great reference for you when you go to send some Christmas and New Year's e-cards either right now or even at the start of next year if these sites are still around.

My experiece says go ahead and bookmark my blog page here because these links will be live next year with either the same or new e-cards for your friends, family, and co-workers. In any case, they are fun and easy to send.

OfficeMax presents the Dancing Elves - Elf Yourself:

And for you thrifty frugal people, this may curve your christmas card budget just a little. It always amazes me that a simple piece of carboard with an envelope can cost $5 plus the envelope or even $20 for a box of 10-15 cards, postage to send the physical card through the mail, and if you want to slip pictures in of the kids, well maybe that's another $20. I say why not send and e-card?

The guys at Jib Jab have changed their tune from FREE to $1. For years, we've been able to use them free of charge, but no more. They are finally cashing in. Fear not, they still have a FREE e-card called "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree"

They can sometimes be personalized and even played over and over agin. Lastly, you never know what kind of good this will do to your fellow man. This sending of an e-card is a such a simple fundamental concept that may indeed brighten someone else's day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Does Zynga have a Gambling License for Mafia Wars?

Somebody needs to pay attention to Zynga with it's business practice and the Mafia Wars game. I think they take the game exercises and apply them to their business practices. Perhaps Money Laundering (could be possible), Racketeering (exploiting players RPs to finish events without explaining it before the players start the event), and oh yeah operating the virtual Lucky Stash machine without acquiring a valid gambling license.

How are they Gambling online? Simple. Players can buy Reward Points (RPs) (virtual money) with real currency. You can bet the virtual money on the Lucky Stash machine. Isn't that the same as using real currency on a virtual Gambling machine called the Lucky Stash? Where is the gambling license and why are they not being taxed? I'm just saying.

Zynga's Daily Gift Garbage Man for Mafia Wars

Each day you log in, from now to October 7th, you'll receive a special gift. We're celebrating with the release of our newest city, Chicago: the "Raid the SpeakEasy" sale; a 5th item type (Henchmen) for you to master, and more. Today you received a free: Garbage Man 110 attack /48 defense.

Hey Zynga! Isn't that the same Garbage Man you tried to get the players to buy a few days ago in order to earn the Grand Mastery item, Cocktail Waitress
with 120 attack / 75 defense? You tried to squeeze and exploit the players? Why? So many of us worked hard to earned the mastery item only to find that you wanted our hard earned RPs and *REAL* money to complete the event. I think a disclosure needs to be in place.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mafia Wars gives away Clams & Brazil

Today proves that Zynga is grasping at anything to get players to play. I saw today Brazil with 3x mastery. This message is clear: It doesn't pay to play or get ahead in the game. Zynga will always make it easier for those who don't play or are not strong enough in energy to get cities like Brazil done in order to push their level playing field agenda.

Zynga today also is giving away free clams in Chicago. Mine said, "Congratulations! For being a loyal player you have been rewarded with 8 Clams." Really? Only 8 clams?
This is the worst daily gift I've ever seen. You can get 8 clams or more buy doing just 1 job in Chicago. I'm used to getting a permanent point in attack, stamina, defense, health, or energy and even a skill point.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

30% Off Skechers 2011 2012 Code Girls Women

Not a bad time to take 30% off at checkout on Skechers with the Fall arriving soon and before you know it, it's Winter, Christmas and Spring.
All Twinkle Toes for Girls and all Athletic & Fitness for Women.
Online Checkout Code: EXTMCDMLCP
Retail Code: K6
Offer Valid 8/26/11 - 3/5/2012 only at and SKECHERS Retail Stores.
Not Valid in any other store that carried Skechers

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Zynga imposes level playing field on Mafia Wars players

I've played Mafia Wars for some time now. I've mastered all the major cities - New York, Cuba, Bangkok, Moscow, Las Vegas, Italy, and now Brazil. For kicks I even bought a gaming card to spend Reward Points on their virtual goods. Suddenly within the last 6 months I've noticed the new players being treated differently than players like myself who have been around for a while. It came in the form of virtual loot drops and incentives to entice new players to keep playing. I was not getting the same loot drops or incentives to keep me playing. The worst part about this is that these new player accounts seemed to be close to mine in strength despite my efforts to build my account over the many months.

What is this? Zynga wants to create a "level playing field" so that all players have the same opportunity on missions, cities, fighting, robbing, and other special events. It's become apparent to many players that if you want to be powerful in Mafia Wars, you need to pay Zynga real money for virtual goods. Also, they don't want the seasoned players to drive off the new players and Zynga miss out on a possible money making opportunity on a inexperienced gamer.

I have earned my loot, level, and strength in a fair manner. Currently you can declare war every 8 hours. I might do it once a day. Today I received this lovely system message:

Dear Mafia Wars player,
We ran an audit of Mafia Wars accounts that showed abnormal behavior and found that your account exceeded the expected number of Declare War rewards. To ensure a level playing field for all our players, we adjusted your Declare War rewards based on the order you earned them to the maximum limit allowed under the current system.

The Mafia Wars Team

The way I see it, I've earned my account status. This "level playing field" is a complete joke. Furthermore, since I did sink real money into some Reward Points to purchase virtual goods, now that Zynga has downgraded some of the loot in my account to ensure a "level playing field" they have committed an unethical business practice by stripping good player's accounts as well as making any real money I put into my account, worthless. This is stealing and it's a crime.

Update 8/4:
Remember in the post above I indicated that I only went to war 1-2 times every 24 hours? Yesterday I participated in ONLY 1 war which was my own. Today, I got this system message:

You have already helped in five wars today and will not be eligible for the helper reward. You can still help your friend win this war, but you will not receive a helper reward again for 17:39

Five Wars, huh? Without even being home to do it....... think about it. This is really bad treatment and when Zynga doesn't like what they see or don't have the ability to do anything about it, they'll roll your account back a few days to a previous state with less experience and less loot.

Update 8/5:
Surprise, Surprise Zynga is just a problematic issue. I fought no wars in the last 24 hours. The Daily Take rewarded me nothing when I went into claim it last night.

You have already helped in five wars today and will not be eligible for the helper reward. You can still help your friend win this war, but you will not receive a helper reward again for 32:17.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Disney's Aladdin in High Definition?

A few weeks ago the Disney channel was showing kids movies at mid morning that included Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, and Return to Never Land (Peter Pan II) all in high definition. To end the week right before Easter, Disney's Aladdin was going to air.

Months earlier, I purchased The Little Mermaid on DVD (Diamond) and while it's a landmark film, it looked like garbage on my Sony Bravia. "Aladdin will probably be another DVD rendition from the 90's." I told myself and it would not look good at all just like The Little Mermaid appeared.

I was surprised! Aladdin was in High Definition, crystal clear with superior sound. My little one asked me when it was over if she could watch it again...... The answer, sadly was "No." Although in high definition, the Blu ray is no where to be found and has not been released to date. Amazon has a spot for it, but it's not there.

I guess if I could ask Disney a question, it would be this - "If you released and aired Aladdin on the Disney channel in High Definition, and the work has been done to render all the original film cells, artwork, and sound, why would you not put this film out on Blu-ray?" My only conclusion is that it's a distribution issue as well as Aladdin not carefully injected into the release schedule that seems to get everyone out running for the latest and greatest title little by little and also during major holidays like Christmas. Until the official release date, we will sit and wait and unfortunately I have to tell my kids that even though they saw this great movie, they can't have it on Blu-ray.

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The Way I See It by Graham