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xtra wired april 7

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Zynga CEO takes a huge hit

Every time I log on to Facebook I seem to have had 100 invites sent to me to play Facebook games. FarmVille, Poker, Blackjack, Tetris etc. I am not a games person. I haven't picked up the controller to my Xbox in two years. Zynga makes all of these Facebook games. Zynga's stock price has been tumbling during the last 12 months. A year ago, the stock was trading at just over $12. The stock now hovers around $3.51 per. CEO Mark Pincus has taken the initiative to getting the company back on track by cutting this salary to $1 per year. He also removed himself from the associate pool, which receives yearly bonuses. I think this is an admirable gesture. The CEO believes so much in the company and wants to show everyone they need to get together and make the company successful again. Pincus won't be living the college dorm room lifestyle, however, Forbes clocks his net worth at $800 million.

HTC first

A year ago, I wrote an article in which I discussed the rumour about a Facebook phone. At the time, I thought the idea seemed ridiculous, I still do. At the Facebook Home announcement, HTC released its new device, HTC First. The company claims this is the best social experience you will find on a smartphone because Facebook's feature set is built into the operating system. I still don't think this phone will be a hit with the masses simply because Facebook, although it is the most popular social network statistically speaking, it is not the most popular with the users. Twitter and Instagram seem to be making the headlines these days. This phone also seems to be a novelty device. If HTC wanted the First to be a hit, it should've heavily marketed it to the younger generation -- the "first phone generation." I think the phone might succeed in that market. I'm curious, what do you think of the HTC First? Would you buy it? Tweet me: @thedavidbell or email me: db@thedavidbell.com

The Chive app review

Photo-sharing website The Chive calls itself "the best website in the world." Cat memes, hot chicks, memes in general, stupid photos, fails -- this and more can all can be found on this site. At a family gathering this Easter, my cousin was on his smartphone using the app excessively. I looked into it and decided it's totally awesome. You can download The Chive for iOS and Android. You basically just sit, look at funny photos, then when you find an extremely funny image; you turn to your buddy and share a good laugh. If you ever are sitting on the bus, in class, at home and having nothing to do, or are listening to Grandma at Easter dinner go on about how she made her mashed potatoes this year -- whip out The Chive and you will have countless hours of mindless bliss.

Bitcoin: What is it?

Java World says Bitcoin "is a virtual currency that uses a peer-to-peer system to confirm transactions through public key cryptography. They have zero government backing; rather, they're backed by the continued actions of the computing power within the Bitcoin network. The digital currency's value has soared in the wake of Cyprus's economic collapse. The country may become home to the world's first Bitcoin ATM." I was told about Bitcoin and was immediately blown away by this. Will this be the next big thing? It seems like a pretty cool product. Instead of a real wallet, you have a virtual wallet, and it's secure and fast. There is also the most nominal fee when making international exchanges because it's all done with Bitcoins. Bitcoin works everywhere, anytime, and has no hours of operation. There is no software, it's all done online. The value is US$137 per Bitcoin. People are buying BitCoins as an investmentt. Many people who bought into this when Bitcoins were worth cents...are now extremely wealthy. Be sure to head over to bitcoin.org.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2013 ??65521

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