Monday, July 28, 2008
Hasbro (the maker of Scrabble) is suing Scrabulous, a free online knock-off of the legendary game, and is demanding that Facebook pull it off the website.
Full disclosure: I'm biased against Big Business I suppose, as much as anyone is. I'm also biased toward the creators of Scrabulous, two brothers from India (yippee!).
And while I will give Hasbro that the brothers Agarwalla "stole" the Scrabble concept, can't they just compete with it by creating a better version? Hasbro gave videogame-maker Electronic Arts (Madden, Army of Two, The Sims) its blessing to design a free online version of Scrabble for Facebook, but that version reportedly hasn't garnered the number of users Hasbro anticipated. Rather than encourage users to migrate to the official version, I think Hasbro has probably put off potential users: Scrabulous has about 500,000 daily users whilst Scrabble has a piddly 8,000. There's even a group on Facebook advocating a mass boycott of all Hasbro products!
Ironically, Hasbro was also started by a pair of brothers, Henry and Helal Hassenfeld, in 1923.
Anyway, here's another time-waster/brain-enhancer for you, and it's totally legit.
NPR has a series called "Sounds from the Wild". It's a collection of field recordings of some of the most sonorously scintillating animal calls. Today's focus is the Black Howler Monkey, who bellows in an other-worldy, hoarse voice first thing in the morning, to warn other Howlers that they didn't die in their sleep. Ha!
Check out calls from the Laughing Kookaburra and the Sand Goanna too!
UPDATE: Did you know that Scrabble has a phenomenal following in Senegal? It's considered a sport, an amazing achievement given Senegal's 40% literacy rate!
at 10:43 AM