Playfish Preparing to Launch Poker Rivals, Its Newest Facebook Game

By Christopher Mack Add Comment » Share

Poker Rivals Logo

Fresh off its up-to-$400-million purchase by Electronic Arts, Playfish is getting ready to roll out a Facebook poker game, called Poker Rivals.

Lots of people love to play poker online, and Zynga’s Texas Hold’Em Poker has shown they’re willing to do it on Facebook without actual cash involved. Just a few weeks ago, that game still held the #7 spot in this month’s Top 25 Facebook Games with nearly 19 million monthly active users, many months after it first launched.

Here’s what the app’s Page says:

Poker Rivals

Playfish have gone all in with Poker Rivals to take Texas Hold ‘Em Poker to a whole new level. Whether you’re a newcomer to Hold ‘Em or you’re an old hand, you’ll feel instantly at home in the ultimate poker experience. Hit the tables with your friends or try your hand in a tournament, then show everyone you’ve got the right stuff by buying new clothes, accessories, even a whole new apartment with your winnings. You can even buy your own private yacht, but that’s for the real high rollers only.

Veterans can hit the tables right away while beginners can choose to clue up in the Poker Rivals tutorial — don’t worry if you’ve never played a hand of poker, it’ll teach you everything you need to know. Have you got what it takes for Poker Rivals?

The game looks great, despite the fact that it is still in beta, and not actually intended for mass distribution yet. Players don a virtual version of themselves and play poker, leveling up as they win. While more features will likely be added before Playfish starts promoting the game, Poker Rivals already has some solid new ones that we haven’t seen in other social poker games. One is a way for players to purchase items using their winnings and decorate their avatars. Another is the ability to animate their characters in the game — so you can wave your avatar’s arms if you’re not happy about the cards you were dealt, for example.

Bigger picture, it’s also notable that Zynga has been going after some of Playfish’s game portfolio, launching Café World to compete against Restaurant City, and possibly planning PetVille (more here) to go against Pet Society. So, it’s easy to interpret Poker Rivals as a shot back at Zynga — but now with the resources of EA to back Playfish up.

To dig deeper into the virtual goods market, check out our new report: Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2009 – 2010.

this looks awesome...

this is the part i like the most... Hit the tables with your friends or try your hand in a tournament, then show everyone you’ve got the right stuff by buying new clothes, accessories, even a whole new apartment with your winnings. You can even buy your own private yacht, but that’s for the real high rollers only.

Report: Tesla Has a Factory For the Model S | Autopia

tesla

Tesla Motors is close to finalizing a deal to build the Model S sedan in an old NASA assembly plant in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey, the mayor said.

Tesla Motors has for months been searching for a factory in which to build the car. Downey Mayor Mario Guerra told the Long Beach Press-Telegram the city council will meet Tuesday or Wednesday with International Realty Group, the owners of the site, to broker a memorandum of understanding to facilitate a lease with Tesla. The deal includes 80 acres of land, some of which is owned by the city, and the city is putting together an incentives package to help lure the Silicon Valley automaker.

“We are looking at what we’ll be able to give to make the deal happen,” Guerra said.

Tesla spokeswoman Rachel Konrad said the company had no comment on the report.

Guerra’s announcement suggests Tesla is no longer considering a former Boeing factory in nearby Long Beach, but unnamed officials “close to the negotiations” told the Press-Telegram they have not heard Long Beach is out of the running. The weekly newspaper the District also is reporting that Tesla will choose Downey.

“We’re very close to being able to make an official announcement,” Guerra told the District. “I’m about to call a special meeting of the city council, and we’ll likely have an official announcement next week. Cars ought to be rolling off the line in 2011.”

Tesla has long promised that the four-door, seven-passenger Model S sedan will be on the road by the end of 2011 with a price of $49,900 after the $7,500 federal tax credit on EVs. The Department of Energy is loaning Tesla $464 million to build the car.

Photo: Jim Merithew / Wired.com

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The Model S is going to be awesome!

Wave energy generator pumps power to Scotland | Green Tech - CNET News

The Oyster in the waters off Scotland is the only hydro-electric device producing power, according to its maker.

(Credit: Aquamarine Power)

Wave energy got a boost with the connection of the Oyster hyro-electric device to the electricity grid in Scotland last Friday.

Aquamarine Power activated the connection of the Oyster in the waters off Orkney, marking one of the few ocean power devices to be producing electricity.

The device is a hydraulic pump operated by a "hinged flap," where a large metal flap moves back and forth from the motion of the waves. The movement moves a hydraulic piston which pumps water underground to a hydro-electric turbine which drives a generator to make electricity.

The peak power output of the Oyster 1 is about two megawatts depending on the location. The company, which received research funding from the U.K. government, is now working on a second-generation device.

There are a number of technologies being pursued to convert wave or tidal energy into electrical energy, including underwater generators. The advantage of the pump design is that it's relatively simple and many components, such as gear boxes and generators, are not exposed to the water.

Twenty Oysters, which are attached to the seabed at about ten meters of water, could produce enough electricity to power 9,000 homes in the U.K., according to Aquamarine Power.

In the U.S., the Seadog Pump uses a similar approach of pumping water offshore to a hydro-electric turbine to make electricity.

The Oyster was tested at the European Marine Energy Centre. In the U.S., there is an effort to establish an ocean power research center in southern Massachusetts.

very cool...