11 May 2006
21 April 2006
There are two common ways to live and work in Macau. The first way is to acquire a work permit (aka, "blue card"). This process takes 3-6 months from the time you first file your work permit paperwork. You lose the right to live and work in Macau if you cease working for the employer that sponsored you. Less pleasant employers prefer this route because it gives them leverage over you. Others might just be ignorant of the temporary residency process.
Nice and well-informed employers suggest that while they start the blue card process for you, you should also go out and start your "temporary residency" process. Temporary residency is like a superset of the blue card, and allows you to continue to live and work in Macau, even if you change jobs.
Unless you're Macanese, you're not legally entitled to work in Macau unless you have one of these two permits.
The temporary residency process is managed by the "IPIM" (Macau Trade and Invesetment Promotion Institute) Office. They are located in the red and silver World Trade Center building on Avendia da Amizade. While there are 4 reasons you can request temporary residency, the one I'm going to write about is "Management staff and professional technicians" (if you're wealthy enough to do the other 3, you wouldn't be the type reading this blog!).
The first step is to go to the office and declare your intent to seek temporary residency. When you do that you receive an appointment card for an appointment at least 6 weeks after you get the card. Having the card is good. It is a stay of execution down at immigration - they will extend your entry visa to at least a week or two after your appointment. You will also receive the paperwork you need to fill out and some guidence notes. The notes are ALMOST complete (see below for my checklist). Even better, they are all in English, and chances are the staff you met and will meet through this process speak pretty good English.
Next is your appointment where you present all the paperwork you had to gather. The important thing here is that you most likely WILL NOT have gathered everything you need, and that's ok. So long as you have most of it, you'll pass the meeting. The people that I've dealt with at the IPIM have been VERY nice, amazingly nice compared to most government officials I've dealt with (immigration official, Heathrow airport, need I say more).
Providing your appointment is successful, you receive the all important "beige paper" titled "Gabinete Juridico e de Fixacao de Residencia". This is the magic! Take this paper down to the immigration office, and you should be able to get a 4-6 month extension on your entry visa. Plenty of time to sort out whatever you need to sort out.
Now, on to the list. I originally made up the list as a summary of the paperwork they give you at the start, and I've added a few gotchas to it as well.
AgentOfKaos' Macau Temporary Residency Checklist
- Passport - two copies of complete passport, all pages of passport
- Proof of residency granted by another country (e.g., passport; yes, redundant with number 1) – two copies
- Departure card – one copy
- Non-resident worker card – one copy (original taken back by government) – only if you have a current and active card; previous ones don’t matter
- Birth certificate – one copy
- Police criminal declaration
- From country of origin (original)
- If you have had a work permit or a temporary residency permit in
Macaupreviously, then also one from Macau
- One set of original fingerprints (like the ones you used to get your criminal declaration)
- Photos – 5 black and white or colour photos; print your name on the back of 4 of the photos
- Proof of marriage – one copy
- Employment contract – one copy; should include all of the following:
- employment period, remuneration, name of post
- “the contract will take effect from the date the temporary residency is granted to the applicant” (this is important, the emplo
yment contract must make this reference and reference to the work permit law isn’t acceptable)
- Main description of job and duties
- Proof of education certificates
- Proof of professional qualifications
- Certificate of commercial registration of organization employing or offering employment to the applicant
- If applicant currently working in said position, Individual Professional Tax receipt should be submitted
- Job description (must be separate from emplo
A few other things to keep in mind:
- This isn't Hawaii or Sweden - verbally expressed undying love and domestic partnerships don't fly here - you need to be married or your partner can't participate in this process
- For everything above that says "copy", be sure to bring the original as well - the clerk will verify each copy against the original
- Everything can be submitted in English
- When I applied I was told it would take... 9 months... to process (in other words, get the blue card to gain the right to work in Macau, don't wait for your temporary residency!)
- If you get your blue card, when you receive your temporary residency you will need to forfeit your blue card in exchange for the temporary residency
- If you do happen to be working in Macau, without a blue card or temporary residency, DON'T MENTION IT! IT'S ILLEGAL! YOU WILL BE IN DEEP DOO DOO! (In all seriousness, they are plenty of examples of illegal workers being arrested at labor raids at offices and construction sites big and small. Don't mess with it. Fines. Jail. Bad. Your employer may be able to arrange a 45 day consultancy agreement with you to alleviate this. Make sure your employer is paying consultant level taxes to the Macau government if you do arrange this. This is safe and legal.)
- Conversely, it does seem to be ok to mention that you are currently living in Macau
15 April 2006
I've been involved in online gambling for over five years, touching all types of products and functional areas in several igaming businesses. I've worked with casinos, bingo, poker, betting exchanges, and soft games. I've had responsibility for all functional areas within a business, including P&L responsibility for several product areas. I've been involved in the US, UK, European and Asian markets.
Although familiar with all of these areas, my passion is particularly at the intersection of gambling, technology, and the Internet.
I am currently based in Asia, splitting my time between igaming consulting and new business development. If you're interested in getting involved in igaming in Asia as either an operator or investor, please don't hestitate to contact me.
-- AoK (agentofkaos AT gmail DOT com)
14 April 2006
One way a business can scale up is to take its products and services from one market and sell them in a different market. It is important that if this type of activity is part of the business strategy, the business's applications that make up its products and services will faciliate this expansion.
When Internet games/gambling businesses expand in this way, they tend to get caught out in three primary areas:
- Language translation
- Localization and usability
For web pages and from a customer facing perspective, language should be a simple matter to change. This process is often called localization, although it should be called translation. Providing there is good separation between presentation and logic, it's typically easy to break down all the text into chunks, translate each chunk, then re-forumulate the pages.
Some languages present unique challenges such as right to left and top to bottom reading - that will be covered under Localization and usability.
This is typically more difficult for a heavy client as the text is sometimes more difficult to get at and change, and there is a heavier process for testing and distributing the resultant new heavy client. Again, providing a solid process was used to maintain text catalogs in the client, this should be fairly straightforward.
This is somewhat obvious, but on both the customer facing side AND the back office side, you should be able to effortlessly switch languages. While this isn't so important for customers, it is invaluable from a backoffice and testing side.
There are several gotchas I've encountered when discussing localization with a vendor. First, they may claim to have "localized", but all they've really done is translate the customer-visible test. Second, error messages, often generate at the applications layer, are missed by the translation effort. Third, translations haven't been done end-to-end such that the backoffice has had all text fully translated as well. All of three of these areas are required for a product to even start to be considered "localized".
Therefore, another way to measure product scalability is how quickly the product can be translated, end-to-end (customer facing to back office).
A subtlty in this area is not just what customers and employees see, but also how they enter data. For example, when a customer enters their stake for a football bet, are you ready to accept numbers both in Western Arabic form (1, 2, 3, ...) and Chinese form ( 一, 二, 三)?
Lastly, in the area translation, you may want to be able to set, easily change, and translate to/from your primary back office language. For example, to save money you may decide your Thai customer support team doesn't need to be bi-lingual. This means that all your customer facing and backoffice system must be in Thai. However, the common corporate language may be English, and all the customer service KPI results must be viewable in English and Thai.
2. Localization and usability
Localization is really much more than just translating text. It is about refactoring your product or service so that it is usable by your target market.
As a first pass on the road to localization, a business will often translate and offer one or more new languages.
The next step is to conduct usability studies to verify that your translations make contextual sense. This will often result in substantially different application UI ("User Interface", e.g., web page) layout changes, different types of help offerings, brand/color changes, and changed emphasize of product features.
Scalability in this area primarily means that the products UI allows for quick and simple changes to how information is presented to your customers and staff. Are the web pages made up of components that can be shuffled about easily? Do the web pages allow for global style changes to be made?
There are many aspects of handling financial accounts in gambling systems. Limiting this post to scalability, a financial system is scalable if it provides the following major features:
- Does the system support any number of different currencies?
- Can a customer select their working currency of choice, that is, the currency used to display all monetary figures to that customer?
- Can each discrete customer have multiple financial accounts (e.g., a credit card in USD, a bank account in GBP, and a Neteller account in EUR) each in multiple different currencies?
- Can the system accept and calculate against any number of currency conversion values on a frequent (at least daily) basis?
- Can the system have any number of financial accounts to represent internal operations
- Can the system easily switch between any number of currencies for back office reporting?
The above areas are three more points you can use when evaluating gambling platform software vendors, at least if you're interested in adding a second language or currency.
06 April 2006
WSEX (World Sports Exchange) has announced that their internet poker room has gone rake free.
Now as far as I know, most businesses and especially most gambling businesses are not generally run as non-profits. In fact, not charging customers a rake for a poker room means that a significant loss will be incurred by the business for poker room operating expenses. Whenever a business (especially a gambling business) makes such an altruistic statement, you can pretty much assume you're being mislead.
There are maybe five possibilities here:
- They really are a lovable bunch of guys running a business they love for a bunch of customers they love, or
- WSEX's sports betting overrounds are so big that they have (their customer's) money to throw at a zero rake model in "we do it because we love our customers" activities, or
- Although WorldPx appears to use proprietary software, perhaps they have found a loophole in their poker software supplier's contract that means if they don't earn any poker revenue, no revenue share goes to the supplier, and they're using zero revenue to pressurize a better deal from the software supplier, or
- WSEX poker room is doing poorly and they plan to use zero rake as an marketing loss lead to attract customers to save face, OR
- WSEX poker room is doing poorly and they are using a zero rake model long enough to get to a critical mass customer base and will then re-activate commission
- They would only offer zero rake to their long time loyal customers
- Not heavily advertise the fact they offer zero rake in order to attract new customers
- They would put a "you get zero rake forever" clause in the T&Cs of the game
- Not collect the rake in the first place and then redistribute it back to their customers on a weekly basis
30 March 2006
16 March 2006
06 March 2006
The arguments against gambling vary a little on the surface between these two countries. The
Excluding lotteries, both
As land-based gambling waned in the late 70s in the
On the internet gambling side, both
The parallels between the
Enough background, now to the interesting part!
"Bai Zhijian, Director of the Central Government Liaison Office in Macau, who is also a member of the National People's Congress (NPC)", when discussing Macau and PRC financial planning, "hinted that Macau should 'think more about' deeper problems concerning the development of the economy, saying that one 'should not put all eggs in the same basket'" (quoted from blogmacau.info).
Now add to this Adelson's convention experience in
Let’s say the PRC wanted to abolish gambling, but they are also sensitive to important party/family relationships, fortunes, and businesses. The PRC is like that, and they can take a long view of things. Could they take a long view that says "Let gambling be the lifeblood of
What does all this mean? For one, any major changes are a long way off, so you don't want to go selling your Venetian stock just yet. In fact, you may want to buy it, because they seem to be collaboratively leading this strategy with some PRC government affiliates, perhaps doing an end-run on SJM and its government supporters. Also,
03 March 2006
I'm pretty sure betfair has indicated this publicly - its primary profits on the exchange side are driven by horse racing. Two moves acknowledge this strategy. Most recently betfair has been courting a betting license in South Africa. Unknown to me, "...betting in SA was entirely focused on horse-racing, which was not found elsewhere in the world.". This news comes on the heels of betfair's newly started operations in Australia, another country with a long heritage of gambling on horse racing.
So the current state of play is that betfair is in two major horse-racing-with-gambling markets (UK, Australia), and is courting a third (South Africa). According to the website, horse racing is covered in Australia, France, Russia, UK, and the USA. The only major horse racing markets missing here are South Africa and Hong Kong (and maybe New Zealand). This gives them some room to grow both with existing and new markets. The UK horse racing market, for betting exchanges, is probably maxed out.
In addition to racing, betfair has established a very good poker room, no doubt contributing significantly to their revenue. However, betfair is currently dependent on Crypto for their poker room (ranked at #5 per pokerpulse*), and will soon take a big step backwards by moving off Crypto and on to their own poker site (Pokerchamps/Aglet, not listed in top 10 on pokerpulse), substantially decreasing their market size. For those that haven't read Into the Tornado and other books that highlight the need to be #1 or #2 when market growth flattens, being way down the market size list isn't a good thing. How long the UK market has in poker is anyone's guess - mine is maybe another year at most before things flatten out. Consolidation, a precursor of market flattening, is already well underway.
Now lets look at the P/E of a few publicly traded gambling companies (data from digitallook.com, 2006-03-03)?
- Sportingbet: currently at 21.6, forecast at 18.5
- Party Gaming: currently 28.6, forecast at 13.8
- Betonsports: currently at 21.8, forecast at 14.9
- 888 (Cassava): 18.9 (Dec 05 forecast)
Now, to put this together, lets examine the recent announcement by betfair that Japan's Softbank will be buying up to 23% of the company for GBP 1.5B, or about GBP 13/share. If we consider betfair's earnings report issued in June 2005 for 2004, opearting profit (pre exceptional items) was GBP 22.3M. That would be very roughly a P/E of... wait for it... 67! Even playing the speculative game of "guess betfair's operating profit for 2005", and maybe double their growth, that is still a P/E of at least 30.
I believe betfair has already crested in horse racing exchange turnover for the UK, and is riding the poker wave, and will experience some growth in outside-the-UK racing markets. I believe betfair will also continue with facilitating global price flattening on sports betting (in fact, I'd say they need to emphasize this more, and be less about "nah nah in your face you bad UK sportsbooks", which they've already toned down a lot). I don't believe that betfair has a future as a brand/product for mainstream punters, and would do better to co-opt betdaq's period strategy (as later co-opted by betdaq partner betandwin) to be a bookie behind-the-scenes trading platform that skilled punters themselves can go directly use if they're up to it.
All of this begs the question of "what do betfair strategists and SoftBank know that us yokels don't". On the surface, the price paid by SB is nuts. Clearly these guys aren't dumb, nor is betfair, so there must be something to it. Can remaining poker growth, remaining racing markets, and b2b activities warrent such a forecast? SB would want at least, what, a 4x increase on their speculative investment, so SB must think so. Given all this growth, can people imagine betfair, with the businesses outlined here, as a GBP 6B company? I'm struggling a little.
*Pokerpulse not a definitive authority and their data looks a little wonky to me, so take it for what its worth. I would consider Alexa an even worse measure.
27 February 2006
06 February 2006
PvH: Player versus House betting (Fixed Odds Betting; House sets/takes risk)
- Purely mathematical (with a normal distribution, sufficient volume, house actually takes no risk, no player skill required)
- Slots (* can be pools aspect to this)
- “Soft Games” – hi-lo
- Fixed odds lottery
- Skill based - mathematical (players who understand the underlying mathematics/odds can maximize their chance to win and drive down the house edge)
- Virtual sports (e.g., Virtual racing)
- Skill based – environmental and variable information affect outcome; event based
- Traditional (e.g., sports)
- Format (fixed odds, american handicap, asian handicap)
- Racing vs. all other sports (racing, due to betting complexity, often treated separately)
- Spread betting
- Betting exchange
- Spread betting exchange
- Aspects of “Be the dealer”
- Pools betting
19 January 2006
Everyone who follows it is up to speed on betfair and their recent licensing in Australia. However, Betfair corporate and business affairs director Andrew Twaits has been paraphrased as saying that “the core function of the business was technology and the Technopark centre would not be a call centre, which was a common misconception.”
Next, factor in that the Economic Development Minister, Lara Giddings, was paraphrased as saying that the new Hobart betfair opreation “was expected to have 150 jobs at the end of two years and to employ 75 by the end of the first 12 months”.
Doesn’t that now beg the question as to what 75-150 technologists are going to be doing? Betfair already has at least 150 technologists (perhaps 1/3 of staff) working on their staff in London. I would have guessed that any regional offices/BU that betfair opened up would have been primarily a call and customer support center, with some bizdev and regional marketing thrown in.
A few possibilities:
- Betfair is making misleading statements so that Australians can’t complain about the type of jobs that are being created (high tech, high paying technology versus lower paying call center)
- Betfair is shifting some portion of their technology from London to Australia. Australia, particularly Hobart, offers significantly cheaper salaries and costs than London
- The technology build up in Australia is purely a de-risking duplication and additional build-up of technology capability.
- Australia provides a foothold into SE Asia - the technology team will be focused on building up Asia-focused versions of the product
- Betfair made related commitments to the Tazmanian government, and is now verbally following through with them. Over the next year or so the commitment will wane unless one or more of the above is correct. Betfair will claim “changing market conditions” to pull back from their commitment.
16 January 2006
The most useful technology I've come across recently is flock. Flock is a derivative of the Mozilla/Firefox browser. Flock's feature twist is that it allows greater integration into a growing number of online collaborative services (an aspect of the so called Web 2.0). It's not so much flock's greatness (flock is certainly good anyway), its that it has opened the door for me to new online services and simplified and encouraged their use. I believe that killer features (like the ones I list below) will become commodities and more progressive browsers like Firefox (and last generation browsers like MS IE) will fold the features in. The key is the seamless integration and use of the new features, regardless of how you get to the features.
So what are "online collaborative services"? Briefly, they are an online information sharing service that you would normally access via a browser but can also access via an Applications Programming Interface (API). It is the API access that allows applications like flock to tightly integrate to the service. And by tight integration, I mean that you can use the service "in context", that is, you don't have to "go anyplace" (e.g., another webpage, login, navigate, ...) to perform an action. You just have to do the bare minimum to complete a task. To understand this better, consider the following online services and flock features.
Service/Feature #1 - del.icio.us and favorites
del.icio.us is a service that you use to specify and store a set of links and share them with others. The community that adds and shares links results in popularity and discovery of shared interest information sources within the community. While handly for users that frequently move between machines they don't have control over (e.g., Internet Cafe, University), I didn't consider it useful as I move between work, home and laptop, all of which I have sole control over. While a common links page was mildly useful, it wasn't useful enough to flip to a dedicated website to do this.
Flock directly integrates its "Favorates" function into del.icio.us. Therefore, no matter which browser you use flock from, your Favorites list is synchronized at flock start-up and whenever you add a new favorite. This solves the multiple favorites list when switching between browsers at work, home, and laptop devices.
Flock also provides enhanced search functionality, which includes a search of your favorites before using something like google (more on this below).
Privacy should be a concern that comes immediately to mind. del.icio.us generally shares your favorites with the del.icio.us community (partial work-around exists with explanation). If someone knows your uid, they access your list of links and tags (keywords you use to identify page content when you add a new link into del.icio.us). On the one hand, there are good reasons for congruency throughout ones life (private-public, work-home). On the other hand, business competition is a reality, and I wouldn't create a publicly viewable set of tagged (grouped) links for a sector for which I wanted to maintain secrecy and competitive advantage. Not to mention pr0n preferences!
Service/Feature #2 - blogging
Blogging is the act of writing about and sharing information. Often blogging includes references to another source of information.
Flock includes direct integration to three blogging services - wordpress, blogger, and typepad. Having never blogged before, I started with Wordpress, then moved on to blogger (see my previous entry for rationale). After setting up an account, feeding the uid/pw to flock, I was able to make immediate in-context blog entries.
I'll stay well away from judgment or thoughts on blogging, at least for now.
Service/Feature #3 - feed reader
Many websites, especially news portals and blogs, provide information feeds. These feeds provide a flow of new information being posted on the website. Items in the flow may only contain summary information, or may be the whole chunk of information as it is posted on the website. A feed reader is an application that allows you to specify which feeds you're interested in, then present those feeds to you. The format and manipulation of the data varies by feed reader application.
Flock (as inhereted from Firefox) provides a feed reader, and is clever enough to look for feed presence indicators on each page it loads. If it finds such an indicator, it notes it in the address bar with a Feed icon. Also, if you mark a page a Favoriate that has a related feed, flock will automatically start downloading and saving that feed local to your browser so that you can view it anytime (connected to the Internet or not). The feed reader is pretty unsophisticated, but if you're not using one yet, flock provides a soft and easy introduction.
Service/Feature #4 - flickr
flickr, purchased not too long ago by yahoo, is a website that allows you to upload and share photographs. There are many other similar websites, with the first one I ever used being ofoto (now Kodak Gallary). Other than the API flickr offers (which enables flock integration), I'm not sure why flickr is seeing recent popularity.
Flock claims to provide good integration to flickr.
While I've downloaded and played with flickr, and flock-flickr integration, I've hit four roadblocks with it:
- flickr (as a free service) crippled your monthly upload compared to other similar services
- I don't care too much for the interface
- The flock-flickr integration doesn't work, at least for me (flock never displays the pix I've uploaded to flickr as part of trying it)
- I'm not a big photo enthusiast (I take lots of photos, I just don't do much with them!)
Feature #5 - search
This isn't a web service, but its still a very useful feature. Like Firefox, flock provides a search text entry box. However, Flock cleverly searches your history and favorites as you type in text, and displays those results in context (dropdown of sorts below search box). Now that I've built up a link history within flock and a Favorites set within del.icio.us/flock, I use this feature constantly.
Feature #6 - the shelf
The shelf is like a cross between an in-your-face set of favorites and an application neutral clipboard (where your copy/cut-and-paste content sits). The shelf allows you to highlight-copy-paste items that you find while browsing that you want to do something with later. The shelf sits as independent window, and accumlates (like a clipboard) items you drag or copy into it. I've not used this feature much, although I could see if you approach blogs with the approach to "gather-file-gather-file, write about it, bin files", it would work fine.
How solid is flock? I've not had it crash once. I have seen it start to freeze up between opening new links in new tabs, and seen memory use climb to silly levels (560MB in use). The blog entry editor is a little buggy, so you might have to do some manual editing within the blogging site interface to fix your post. There are other niggly details like error reporting and assistance/diagnostics, but nothing big. If you don't mind quiting and restarting periodically (perhaps daily or weekly depending on your use level), I've not had any significant problem.
What if flock and its development team goes away? Well, while you might get spoiled by the ease of direct service integration and other nice features, your investment isn't lost in the services you use. All of those services are available via their websites, and you can always use them that way. Other aspects, like all of your links that sit in del.icio.us, are cached to flock so you always have all your Favorites data anyway.
Realistically, I don't see the commercial relevance of flock. The more useful features will either be merged into Firefox, or maybe even eventually MS-IE. However, open source communities/products like Firefox, and tangential efforts like flock push the innovation envelop hard. I look forward to clever new web services and tight integration with the browser (and someday desktop). I do appreciate flock team efforts, and I hope they have any number of clever feature and commercial tricks up their sleeve to make a go of their business.
I've not been using flock and its new-to-me features for long now, so I don't claim great authority on it. This blog entry is a YMMV analysis to date using flock and the services it connects to. Regardless, I'm glad I found flock and spent time learning about the services it touches. I have found flock sufficiently stable and compelling enough to use now as my primary browser.
I am debating a switch of my (not so old) blog from wordpress to blogspot/blogger. The main reason is that after playing a bit with each, I feel I have more control over content and layout with blogspot.
I've only briefly examined and used both, so my debate thus far isn't highly considered or scientific. Summarizing my experience thus far:
- Use wordpress.com if you are not a power user and will happily sacrifice flexibility for simplicity. There are simple tools to change all the aspects of the page.
- Use blogspot.com / blogger.com if you are more of a power user. The tools provide greater flexibility but of course are less simple (e.g., can directly edit HTML to change your list of links).
A few other things I like about blogspot that weren't immediately obvious in wordpress:
- blogspot also gives me a simple interface to google adsense, which I wanted to play with
- I can email in blog posts and they automatically publish
A few things I don't like so far about blogspot/blogger:
- blogspot/blogger is that it is sometimes painfully slow compared to wordpress
- I would appreciate tools to manage stanard plugins like lists of links rather than having to directly edit HTML
- You have to manually publish a new blog entry rather than having it automatically publish like new entries in wordpress
I've not made up my mind yet, so I'll double-post here and there until I settle on one of the two.
While installating SuSE 10.0 Linux on an IBM Laptop X31, after installation and then at first boot, I received a GRUB error 18.
My first effort was to reinstall SuSE Linux. Same problem.
While researching the GRUB error, I noted several entries that discussed a problem with older versions of a BIOS being used with HDDs that were too big (more than 1GB). Given that the hardware (all stock) and BIOS I was using were up-to-date, this didn’t seem overly relevant.
For kicks, I decided to try forcing the boot image into the first 1024MB of the HDD. As my SWAP was the first partition on the drive, and it was about 1.5GB (768MB RAM), I thought perhaps this might be causing the problem (my “/boot” area, as part of the default “/” partition, was well above the first 1024MB of the HDD).
Ah ha! While this wasn’t overly scientific, I can now say that after shuffling around the partitions, my IBM X31 laptop now boots with Linux.
Since the Google “Pack” was announced, there has been a general criticism about its utility. Was it folly on Google’s part to make and release the pack? I think not.
Assume that Google is going toe to toe with Microsoft. As Google inexorably builds the core competencies required to do this, it must build up the ability to build and release software to the public. Google started with being a purely web-based offering with no heavy clients required. Clearly this product type only allowed Google to deliver relatively simple web-based applications. Then, with the addition of products like Google Earth, they started offering (internet enabled) client side applications. This enables Google to build up competencies in the production and distribution of heavy client applications. The next logical step is to then build up competencies in how to build up not just the distribution of one piece of software, but an integrated set of software products that provides an overall solution for a broad segment of customers.
Is the Google Pack innovative? No. Does it bundle together a useful and compelling set of software? No. Are any reviewers praising it? I’ve not heard any yet. Will it get many downloads? A few. Did it enable Google to softly build competencies in the delivery of a bundled set of software? Oh yes.
A quick and simple solution… If companies like Party Gaming/Poker were serious about cutting out automated/robot play, why not insert a captcha function (word verification required) every so many games?
Captcha is used by portals like Yahoo, email sites like Yahoo, and domain registrants like godaddy to block automated account creation. It is the phrase you read from a “warped” graphic image and type in during the registration sequence.
If automation/’bots are blocked by these mainstream sites, why wouldn’t it work for poker? What am I missing?