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'Superpoke' To Be No More, Thanks To Google

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the ok-that-kind-of-makes-up-for-the-evil dept.

Facebook 97

angry tapir writes "Apparently the age of 'superpoking' social network friends and throwing sheep at them is coming to a close. Google plans to shut down the social applications developed by Slide, a company it acquired a year ago for US$182 million. Slide products include SuperPoke, and photo management and decorating tools like Slideshow and FunPix. Slide's applications like Slideshow were very popular on MySpace during its heyday, and found success on other social networking sites, including Facebook, where the sheep-throwing feature of SuperPoke caught on, entertaining and annoying many."

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Superpoke? (0)

TWX (665546) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237624)

Donno if I should compare Superpoke to a VW Superbeetle with upgraded front suspension and a redesigned front clip, or if I should think of it as an orgy relative to the Poke's sexual overtone...

Re:Superpoke? (2)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237804)

When I was a kid, going out for a coke a smoke and a poke meant something completely different.

Re:Superpoke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238302)

wouldn't it make more sense to go out for a coke, a poke, THEN a smoke?

Re:Superpoke? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239144)

Much like "a shower, a shit, and a shave," it's a temporally-unordered list.

Re:Superpoke? (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37242830)

wouldn't it make more sense to go out for a coke, a poke, THEN a smoke?

Depends on what you're smoking I suppose.

Goal here seems clear (3)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237630)

SuperPoke is a Facebook application. Why have an application that is tied in with a competitor's product? G+ is obviously a lot more important to Google than SuperPoke is, so SuperPoke is going to die.

I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237674)

Seems silly to purchase a company, then just shut everything they own down.

Another Possibility (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237760)

Seems silly to purchase a company, then just shut everything they own down.

Not necessarily. The company generates value for Facebook, a competitor of Google's new service, Google +. By shutting the company down, Google could, for example, be engaging in a strategic decision to increase their market power by decreasing the services available to a competitor. This would be not-quite-classic antitrust behavior. IIRC, Google has in the past done other things in defiance of market regulation--didn't one or two members of their board give interviews that were big no-no's under SEC rules prior to the IPO?

While it seems more likely that Slide is simply not generating enough money to be worth keeping around, that is by no means the only possibility.

For $182 million, though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237838)

That just seems crazy.

Re:For $182 million, though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238042)

They may have spent the $182 million with a different intent; after the company was bought, it became a sunk cost.

Re:Another Possibility (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237886)

I'm not sure how antitrust law would have anything to do with this situation, but I love that you nerds whip it out at the slightest provocation.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237788)

1. Acquire company that helps out a competitor
2. Shut it down
3. ???
4. Evil!

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238200)

I think step 3 is "lose money."

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (2)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238924)

Getting rid of crappy facebook applications is actually doing the opposite of evil. Google is doing Good here. Thanks Google!

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37243600)

Getting rid of crappy facebook applications is actually doing the opposite of evil. Google is doing Good here. Thanks Google!

Except that this is most likely an effort to move this application(s) exclusively to Google+.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#37250110)

They can have them. Who cares? Particularly, who on Slashdot cares?

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37257296)

You see? That's the kind of attitude that made Facebook the omnipotent privacy killer it is now.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 3 years ago | (#37259904)

Still not caring all that much. Google+ is keeping Facebook in line.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239450)

I don't think things that harm Facebook can be considered evil. The evil bit is making their own locked-in information-harvesting service.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239776)

The Google+ I've seen has a decent grab your shit link.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237802)

You must be new to the corporate world.

Re:I'm curious why they acquired Slide.. (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238324)

DVDMaestro (Spruce Technologies)
Final Touch Pro

probably a few others.

google are just taking a leaf out of the other software companies' books.

Re:Goal here seems clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237762)

Why have an application that is tied in with a competitor's product?

Like Google Search and G+ apps for iPhone?

Re:Goal here seems clear (0)

MaggieL (10193) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237770)

Why have an application that is tied in with a competitor's product?

Like G+ and Google Search on iPhone?

Re:Goal here seems clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237874)

Deja Vu.

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238330)

nah, hivemind

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

gsslay (807818) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239510)

G+ and Google Search are not tied into the iPhone. I'm pretty sure they can be used on other platforms as well.

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

drgould (24404) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238272)

SuperPoke is a Facebook application. Why have an application that is tied in with a competitor's product?

Like Microsoft Office for Mac?

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238444)

Microsoft had to keep making Office for Mac, in addition to purchasing non-voting Apple shares, as part of a settlement over stolen Quicktime code. Why they continue to make Office for Mac today is perhaps because it's profitable for the division that makes or that it helps stave off future antitrust problems.

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238662)

Microsoft had to keep making Office for Mac, in addition to purchasing non-voting Apple shares, as part of a settlement over stolen Quicktime code.

Why would anyone want to steal Quicktime code, or even use Quicktime?

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239268)

It's Microsoft. They ran the numbers and found it was cheaper to steal than create.

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239458)

Because, at the time, there was no video support in Windows at all. Microsoft build Video For Windows (which later evolved into DirectShow) using some code appropriated from QuickTime. Don't confuse the QuickTime Player with QuickTime. One is a tiny front end, the other is a rich multimedia framework. It's getting slightly dated now (hence the fact that it's largely replaced with AVFoundation in OS X and iOS), but in the '90s it was the API to use for multimedia applications.

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238864)

Office is one of microsofts most profitable product lines, just behind windows. It would be commercial suicide for them to kill it off, just to spite a competitor.

Remember: Selling to your competitors customers is more profitable than refusing to sell to them.

Plus I suspect microsoft and apple have an understanding that goes something like "You keep making bootcamp so we can sell mac users windows and we'll keep making office". The presence of apple alternatives to office is more as an insurance policy if microsoft decides to go scorched earth on them. Remember that apple mostly sees software as a tool to sell hardware.

Re:Goal here seems clear (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238622)

SuperPoke is a Facebook application.

Wait, "SuperPoke" is an application?

It appears Facebook is even shittier than I remember.

Re:Goal here seems clear (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239076)

It is odd to me, the lack of game floods and pokes etc... are alot of what G+ has as a selling point over facebook. I find it odd they would care to reduce it.

Re:Goal here seems clear (0)

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Re:Goal here seems clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37244928)

SuperPoke Pets is no more a Facebook application since some time ago

Your mother (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237636)

I superpoked her all night long.

Re:Your mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237810)

She's your mother AND your sister.

Re:Your mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238038)

Go home dad, you're drunk

What does this mean for Google+? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237660)

Does this mean Google+ won't be filled with extremely annoying "applications"?

Re: annoying apps (2, Informative)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237744)

Does this mean Google+ won't be filled with extremely annoying "applications"?

Given that in other news Google has confessed that G+ is really an identity clearinghouse and not a socializing gadget, that's exactly what it means.

Re: annoying apps (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237774)

Mod this up!

That's pretty much the same exact vibe I've gotten.

Yet here I am using G+...

Re: annoying apps (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37239880)

Did you even read the linked articles for that story? It was a complete anti-Google FUD piece. Eric Schmidt said that it was an "identity service", but never that it wasn't a social network or that the social aspect was "bait". That was all from the imagination of the poster.

Similarly, if you followed the link that was labeled "will seriously downgrade your other Google services", you would have found an article that claimed "In both scenarios, downgrading from Google+ will have no effect on other Google services like Gmail, Docs, etc."

I don't mean to be rude, but please try to not be a tool. There are a lot of junk articles on Slashdot lately, and we can do each other and Slashdot a lot of good by rejecting them instead of treating nonsense editorializing as fact.

There are valid reasons to criticize Google+, and I would like to see more about that stuff rather than made up stories (and later on, comments that suggest that the made up stories were somehow real).

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238072)

Yeah. Go ahead. Spin this as "evil". Not as an AC. I dare ya. I'm waiting.

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238516)

Uhhh...how EXACTLY is buying a company that provided value to a competitor and shutting it down NOT considered evil? I just gotta admire the sheer batshit blind religious zealotry of the FOSSies here on /. because that level of denial takes real dedication!

If you replaced the name Google in TFA with Apple or MSFT they would be breaking out the torches and screaming for antitrust investigations, but because "It is teh Google and they love teh FOSSies, and teh ain't teh evils! They said so!" they could blow up competitor's buildings and the Baghdad Bobs would be out in force to explain how we just "don't get it".

Of course along with the denial in TFA they have to juggle denial for the whole "Android is free for OEMs" crack a few months ago, with its implied 'But not for you silly user!", along with the little matter of Google avoiding GPL V3 like it is kryptonite, or the fact that "do no evil" actually belongs right next to "Windows 7 was MY idea!" and "Think different" in the BS marketing hall of fame, but what they hey, as long as "they love teh FOSSies!" right?

Frankly I just do not get it. Its a company people, it doesn't "love you" or frankly give a flying fuck if you live or die. Its not for or against anything except itself. And if you think that it would even take a New York minute for them to choose between royally fucking the FOSSies or making another buttload o' cash? Well I have some really nice swampland in AR you might be interested in.

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238710)

Uhhh...how EXACTLY is buying a company that provided value to a competitor and shutting it down NOT considered evil?

For some of us, shutting down obnoxious applications on Facebook is providing value to Facebook.

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#37240396)

Uhhh...how EXACTLY is buying a company that provided value to a competitor and shutting it down NOT considered evil?

If they had other reason to want the company (perhaps they wanted the people that worked for it so that they could use their experience for some part of the G+ project?) then shutting it down may just be a side effect of moving the bits they wanted elsewhere and the rest not being viable to carry on as-is.

I doubt Google specifically did this to affect Facebook, because they'd be daft to think it would have any affect beyond a very short term (if that). There are no doubt other apps that do the same things, and more will turn up too. If these apps had become some sort of defacto standard amongst people who like that sort of thing then it they may have stagnated and perhaps the users will benefit from the renewed competition in the area as other people/companies improve or expand their offerings in order to compete with each other for the newly opened top slot. HEck, such a move might actually increase the use of Facebook as a platform if people thought there might be a chance of "make popular facebook apps, get bought by Google" will happen again.

People like me who can't stand that sort of thing (and only use facebook because family do so it is useful for keeping aware of what is going on) won't care in the slightest. People who do like that sort of thing will just move to a different app. Facebook almost certainly won't care overly.

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37244594)

Hi Baghdad Bob! Those aren't tanks BTW, they are just REALLY big cars! Do you HONESTLY think that guys like you that hate that kind of shit is the targeted audience for FB? Fuck no! It is those like my ex GF that LOOOVE that shit, have a bazillion apps on their FB, play Zynga games, and generally live on FB.

And sadly despite all the Baghdad Bobs we have here this is a classic page out of the Gates era MSFT playbook. you want to kill a competitor that you can't attack directly you kill their supply chain. in this case you kill the apps that the users enjoy thus pissing them off. Then you go "Hey come to G+! We got plenty of that kind of stuff. BTW have you tried Chrome yet?" and away we go. mark my words the next target for Google will be Zynga. They take out Zynga or make it a G+ exclusive and that will hamstring FB badly and cause them to bleed users like MySpace did.

And of course when that happens we'll have a thousand Baghdad Bobs come on here to try to give a nice explanation of why this isn't being evil, just like you did. I hope whomever came up with that slogan is getting a hell of a bonus, because it is probably the greatest marketing gimmick of all time!

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#37247348)

Do you HONESTLY think that guys like you that hate that kind of shit is the targeted audience for FB?

If you nip back and read my post you'll notice I mentioned another significant segment of the facebook population. But you are wrong that my part of the population is not as much part of the target audience as your ex's part. facebook don't care if you play the games or not, as long as you use their site. Their target is the network of links between people, and the warehouse full of data collected from other websites that use facebook's like button and comments features - which they can sell to the advertisers. They don't care that I'm not playing the games or interacting with any of the other apps, as long as I'm using facebook in some way, shape, or form.

It is those like my ex GF that LOOOVE that shit, have a bazillion apps on their FB, play Zynga games, and generally live on FB.

Precisely. A bazillion apps. People with a bazillion apps don't have that long an attention span. They are not going to miss these ones for more than five minutes, after which time there will be replacements if there aren't already. Like I said: if Google did do this to deliberately harm facebook rather than for any other reason what-so-ever I very much doubt it was money well spent, and I don't think they be that daft.

I could be wrong of course. Though I'm unlikely to be as far off the mark as your al-Sahaf analogy...

Re:What does this mean for Google+? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#37246232)

You're as much a moron as that quote some other poster has of yours would indicate.

It's not evil to shutdown a company that one owns. Period.

Get the torches! And pitchforks! (5, Informative)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237714)

Yup, SuperPoke is on its way out. And the Pokers are piiiiiiiiiiissed. [techcrunch.com]

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238046)

Good grief - those people need to get a life. What were they expecting with virtual entertainment? They need to go buy some board games and invite the neighbors over. Socialize for real.

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238076)

It's kinda sad, when you think about it, isn't it? My first thought was this would do them more good than harm, but then they will just get hooked on to another virtual socializing and gaming platform.

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238296)

Meanwhile I'm sure they have some real pets who are being neglected.

This must be one of those things that I have blocked cause half the mom's I know are obsessed with that crap.

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37249074)

Can't even believe you said that. My real pets are not neglected. As a matter of fact they are probably on the opposite end of the spectrum.

I am a middle age mom as you call it, but you missed the mark of who plays Superpoke pets. People of all ages play, I have "pet" friends of both the male and female persuasion. Some as young as 4, some as old as eternity. Just because the game has no blood and gore, and sex or violence does not make it any less an enjoyable game. It's more than just a game to us players, it's a chance to socialize with people from all countries and walks of life.
As fare as it muddying up your social network, I would lay odds that you are the type who tells every time you take a .....nevermind I won't even stoop to your level.

Have a nice day.

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238380)

"Favorite part of this post? The Farmville moms trolling TC." Brilliant.

Though I have to admit if I were a middle aged woman who put real money into an online game that was suddenly cancelled, I'd probably be pissed, too. Google might want to consider crediting back people for their virtual shit if they want to avoid some bizarre (but interesting) virtual lawsuits...

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (3, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238500)

Something you guys need to understand - some of these people who play loads of Facebook games put the same kind of emotional investment into them as more "tradtional" hardcore gamers do.

Remember the shitstorm when Modern Warfare 2 wasn't going to have dedicated servers? Or when Starcraft 2 wasn't going to have offline mode or LAN play (currently being repeated for Diablo 3)? It's no different; many of us are just blind to their emotional investment because it's not the games we play or even the type of games we play.

Something changes in the next Zynga or Popcap game and the hardcore gaming crowd goes "lol, casuals". But Duke Nukem has the Calladooty-style 2 weapon limit and a lot of us are mad beyond belief.

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37239112)

Yea, one of my first thoughts was "Huh, so these women are no different from the usual angry, 14yo, console-shooter kids.". Which means Google has nothing to worry about since they're all talk and no action; and they'll have forgotten about it in a month or two anyway.

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239474)

Politicians in the USA learned long ago not to underestimate the influence of a load of women with time on their hands...

Re:Get the torches! And pitchforks! (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#37241080)

>> they'll have forgotten about it in a month or two anyway

Huh? Women (hell even 8yr old girls) don't forget ANYTHING done or said to them.

Make up your minds! (2)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237748)

First they're pitching G+ as an identity service, then they're killing the SuperPoke! Which is it? Are you evil are not, Google?

Re:Make up your minds! (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238408)

As long as they are 100% open in their intentions it's hard to call it evil. If you don't like or agree with those intentions, then you just don't sign up.

Re:Make up your minds! (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239566)

I guess you missed the joke. Identity service = evil (unless you're a marketer). Killing SuperPoke = thoroughly good (unless you're a soccer mom).

Well then. (2)

lostmongoose (1094523) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237814)

Using the logic of the comments presented in tfa, we can sue every time an MMO shuts down if we paid for items in it?

Re:Well then. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237974)

Sure, you can sue. You just won't get anywhere-- except maybe something like Second Life, where you actually own the intellectual property you've developed or purchased, and aren't just making a one-time payment for an added benefit to the service they're providing. It's been tried several times in the past.

Anti-competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37237926)

I can only imagine how much money FB made from this application. Those TechCrunch commenters were dumping money into FB ads. I imagine Uncle Sam is going to be all over this. "Don't be Evil"

Nothing of value was lost (1)

madmarcel (610409) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237960)

There could be any number of reasons for this.
We don't know how many people used the Slide products. It could very well be that the Slide products were on a downward usage trend...

I mean really...the one thought that popped into my head when I saw the headline was
"And nothing of value was lost."

Re:Nothing of value was lost (1)

madmarcel (610409) | more than 3 years ago | (#37237972)

Ach, serves me right for not RTFA.

...But usage of Slide applications has apparently been declining and disappointing...

Just a sensible business decision, nothing to see here, move along now people.

Re:Nothing of value was lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238896)

> Just a sensible business decision

A sensible business decision would have been to try to sell-off the unit and reclaim some value.

No more tossing sheep..... (2)

Inzite (472846) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238060)

.....and good riddance. Who ever used the sheeptossing feature, anyway? What a joke.

Take me back to the good old IRC days please. It's been a while since I smacked someone around with a large trout.

Re:No more tossing sheep..... (5, Funny)

evought (709897) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238166)

What the heck is this sheep-tossing thing anyway? We raise sheep, and if there is an alternative market for our product...

For that matter, we raise Shetlands, which are fairly small sheep: easier to throw and potentially concealable (need a big coat). Also, they have fine wool, so they might not chafe as much when concealed...

Re:No more tossing sheep..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238340)

I think it's when you toss salad on a sheep. Or maybe sheep tosses your salad. I think it would be more convenient to put peanut butter on your asshole, bend over, and wait for the dog (tip: female or neutered), but there's no accounting for the sexual peccadilloes of the facebook crowd.

Re:No more tossing sheep..... (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238604)

Who ever used the sheeptossing feature, anyway?

The Scottish.

Re:No more tossing sheep..... (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 3 years ago | (#37240486)

You're looking down your nose at this, and you want to go back to IRC for, what, its superior intellectual discussions? Have you read bash.org lately?

Okay, let me show you what I mean. This is the first comment that comes up when I click the "random" button:

[High`] its ko myabe uoy cuodl noe dya

And this is down three more quotes:

[torque--> i can fart out loud in an internet cafe because everyones wearing headphones

If that's your idea of the "good old IRC days", no wonder you think virtual sheep tossing is a waste of time...

Superpoke to be killed? What about Superpeek? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238068)

I mean, G+'s and facebook's obsession with getting our personal data qualifies as a "superpeek"...

I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238094)

What does this mean, will an Apple update like iOS 5 kill the app and no update will come from Google? My 5-year-old cousin adores her pet Panda. From her perspective she's had it since she was 3.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238136)

Oh and what's with tech companies spending boat loads of money and then dropping the products? Is this a new fad?

Microsoft - Kin
HP - WebOS/TouchPad
Google - Slide

Really, none of them could think a year ahead?

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238236)

"Oh and what's with tech companies spending boat loads of money and then dropping the products? Is this a new fad?

Microsoft - Kin
HP - WebOS/TouchPad
Google - Slide

Really, none of them could think a year ahead?

"

Stock prices have taken a brutal beating this month thanks to the debt ceiling debate and huge pressure is on for companies to cut their expenses to raise their stock price. In finance 101, the goal of a company is always to increase its share price to make daytraders happy. It is never to make money.

This has been the trend for the last 15 years actually. The goal is always to think short term and cut as much expenses as you can. Also by going on a buying spree you raise the stock price as well.

Now Google is hiting its revenue ceiling as Baudu won in China, and their are maximized in the US and Europe so in order to keep its insane $300/share price it needs to cut costs by selling its assets and cutting expenses. In the case of HP, the CEO is retarded as he thinks HP can magically become SAP (his former employer) by just buying companies and rebranding them as HP service ones. Google is doing what it can to help the CEO keep his job.

Apple is the only one with brains left, but if push comes to shove and they maximize their revenue with the IPAD/IPhone/Macs they too will sell their assets and drop markets and lay off employees too.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

schnell (163007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238718)

In finance 101, the goal of a company is always to increase its share price to make daytraders happy. It is never to make money.

Very, very, very incorrect. I know it must seem that way sometimes but if you do actually take Finance 101 sometime - and I actually did as part of my MBA - or work in a large public corporation, you will find that the truth is quite different.

First, nobody gives a shit about day traders. Second, a public company's responsibility is to its shareholders, the vast numerical majority of which are not daytraders or even shmoes like you and me, but large institutional investors. These companies buy millions of shares and typically hold them for years at a time. They have two interests in a stock: 1.) if the company pays dividends that those dividends are as large as possible; and 2.) the price of the stock itself will appreciate faster than the market average so the managers of those funds look smart to their investors.

Even if it doesn't seem like it, CEOs do have bosses, and they are the fund managers who own zillions and zillions of shares, enough such that if they get pissed enough they can vote in a new board of directors who will fire the CEO. These investors want to hold the stock for many years but they need to show regular evidence that the company's management is doing the "right thing," so they put pressure on to see each quarter's dividend payments to be equal or greater than the last quarter's, and for the company's share price to rise over time faster than inflation at a minimum, and faster than the market average ideally. So ultimately it is not a short term view but all companies do have short-term milestones along the way. So that's why it seems that every company's view is short term.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238976)

LOL

I did learn this in Finance 101. The guy who taught the course was a former CFO of 2 fortune 500 companies in his career. Infact, he even had that question on the exam as the most important concept in the course. He even had, to make money and of course it was a wrong answer if you selected it.

Most of it dealt with ways to increase the liquidity to boast the share price and by how much netvalue wise and so on. Only small business cares about money. HFT flash systems and day traders are the majority of shareholders. These systems make up 70% of all volume today. That is who the company is responsible too and large institutional investors only care about its price and how much it can go up by a quarterly basis. They do not care long term as they will dump the stock and invest in another quickly and so on.

I wish it was not true, but sadly it is today. Things have changed in 10 years and I trust my professor who has a former CFO. He was a tough teacher but, he drove a corvette and laid it like it is about the goal of any major corporation that is publically traded.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238994)

Oh and to top if off after rereading your post ... dividends were taught as bad as that money is needed for liquidity to boast its share price. He also taught going in debt is a great thing as it gives great leverage. This I disagreed with as many companies got burned as this induced risk and no leverage if a recession hits.

These are taught today to young accountants and business students and believe me they have taken this lesson to work and run some of these companies. If you have an issue with cost accounting is god then please stay private.

dividends (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239502)

I once had an accounting professor point out that dividends simply transfer assets from the business to its shareholders, and that the share price might drop to compensate for the fact that the company now has less assets. Some may prefer to get a return in dividend form, but it's not magic.

Though in general, I think it's fair to teach what the theory says as well as what actually happens

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37239724)

If you're paying a dividend, then you're saying to your shareholders 'I think you can do more with this money than we can'. That's not a good message for a dynamic company to be sending, but it's fine for one in a fairly static position in an established market (i.e. a company in the cash cow phase).

As to keeping investors happy, there are two reasons why a company needs to care about its stock price, and it only needs to care if one or both of these apply:

It is using stock options to pay people. This is often a good idea, because it means that they are financially invested in the company's success, but it means that a drop in the share price is equivalent to giving your employees a pay cut, which is not good if you want to retain top talent.

They want to be able to raise more capital easily by issuing more shares in the future. When a company issues more shares, this dilutes the value of the existing ones. If a company issues $100,000 of new shares, but then uses this capital to increase in value by $200,000, then the existing investors won't see issuing more as a reason to sell, and the next time that they need capital they can issue more. If a company issues $100,000 of shares and doesn't increase in value, then everyone else's shares just became slightly less valuable, so it's not a good thing to own. As long as the share price is on an upwards trajectory, you can raise capital without lowering the value of the shares - you just slow the rate at which they gain value.

It's important not to lose sight of why the share price matters.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#37246536)

The moral issue I have with this reasoning is it is no longer an investment at this point but rather gambling.

If I handed you some monopoly money from the board game for $100 and told you its ok. John down the street might pay you $120 for that so I would keep it. Meanwhile I pocket the change.

Stocks without dividends are technical worthless pieces of paper with a company name printed on it. Who cares how much money that company makes as long as someone else might think it would be worth more. This is also called a pyramid or Ponzi pyramid scheme. Yes, the company generates revenue but you never see it.

It is akin to you and me going into business together where I take all the cash and give you nothing.

In a perfect world, it would be law to require companies pay dividends. This would eliminate volatility and encourage Wall Street to think more long term. It would make the economy healthier as many Grandmas have retirement accounts with these sharks that do not pay dividends at all.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37251012)

Stocks without dividends are technical worthless pieces of paper with a company name printed on it

No they're not. They're ownership of some percentage of the company. If you buy a bar of gold, an acre of land, or a barrel of oil, they don't pay a dividend either, but you still own something which you believe has value and can later sell to someone else who believes that it has value. You buy them because you believe that they are a safer store of wealth than currency. Modern currencies intentionally inflate to encourage this perception and to make it more attractive to invest your money in companies that produce wealth than store it in money under your mattress.

Re:I have the Superpoke Pets app on my iPhone. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#37241084)

It depends on the industry. Power utilities, for example, are essentially long term finance vehicles. They use the construction of power plants as the means to qcquire long term financing (bonds) at low rates, which they can leverage in the financial markets to increase profits. For them, it's important to maintain long term stable investment, so they tend to provide dividends rather than growth. Growth is pretty much fixed according to their monopoly situation. They also look at their stock as a kind of floating bond, and the dividends as interest on that 'debt'.

There have been some exceptions - Idaho Power was a particularly egregious example, where the new managers of a very stable mutual utility had dreams of glory and sold off their assets (dams, power lines, etc.) in order to get into the network game. They changed the name and built a bunch of fiber in the late 1990s just in time for the glut of fiber. So they ended up with thousands of miles of dark fiber, a huge debt, and power rates to their customers going through the roof. It all ended up fairly well - I forget the details but IIRC some german company bought their network/comms business and it became T-Mobile.

IMHO your professor is one of those asshats who went to B-school during the 1970s, when the 'greed is good' mantra got into the schools. He's just spouting the nonsense that he learned. Unfortunately one or two entire generations of executives were taught this, and it's been one of the factors that has really screwed things up world wide. It works great when times are good, but as we have seen it makes the company and the economy vulnerable to every shifting wind.

People actually *paid* for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238118)

The end is near, folks.

Cost cutting I see (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238218)

Is it just me or does it seem like the lack of revenue growth has caused an increase in the amount of bean counters and cost accounting in order to better ballance its share price?

Guess I'm old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238230)

I thought a "superpoke" would poke like two memory locations at a time or something.

Angry delusion (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#37238350)

Regardless of the actual decision, the comments quoted are very scary, a mix of rage an delusion.

But this I think is hilarious:

Iâ(TM)ve heard of suicide missions but this tops them all! If Google really does shut down SuperPoke Pets they might as well close their own doors at the same time.

Re:Angry delusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37239536)

Regardless of the actual decision, the comments quoted are very scary, a mix of rage an delusion.

But this I think is hilarious:

Iâ(TM)ve heard of suicide missions but this tops them all! If Google really does shut down SuperPoke Pets they might as well close their own doors at the same time.

People get emtionally invested in the games they play. It is no different from the reactions you get when Steam, StarCraft, COD MW, Sony etc. (take your pick) piss of their user base.

coogle (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238386)

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Not a single fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37238882)

was given that day.

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This thing had no users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37239626)

Lost in all the publicity is the simple fact that Slide (makers of SuperPoke) let the thing die long before Google did. SuperPoke had 35k monthly active users while SuperPoke Pets had 135k monthly active. In the world of social networking apps, this is a dead application... esp bad considering the amount of funding that went into the company both pre and post Google acquisition.

You need 270k monthly users just to break the top 1,000.

http://www.appdata.com/leaderboard/apps?fanbase=0&metric_select=mau&page=25

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