Your Humble Indie Bundle, now on Steam!

Remember the Humble Indie Bundle? The brilliant initiative back in May by many indie developers to sell some great indie games, DRM-free, for whatever price that you chose?

Well, those folks have announced that all those games that you purchased can be activated on your Steam account as well! They’ve emailed every Humble Indie Bundle customer with this:-

Dear Humble Indie Bundle customer, thanks for your purchase back in May!   I have some good news regarding your games.   Since launching the bundle, our most common request has been the ability to download it on Steam.   Well, I’m happy to announce that Valve has made this possible

Along with this, they’ve given the Steam redemption code for all the games (World of Goo, Penumbra Overture, Aquaria, Gish, and Lugaru HD). So all you need to do is go to your Steam account, click on Add Steam Gameand copy-paste the redemption key, and lo and behold, you have all five games in your account! Oh, and the Bundle will still be available for direct download forever. I wish they’d follow this model of serving customers in the long run!

That’s not all that the email said, though; they also mentioned that they’re hard at work for the second edition of the Humble Indie Bundle. Kick ass news? You bet!

Best Places to Find Black Friday Deals

Black Friday 2010

Everyone from the East to the West coast is waiting for Black Friday, right? You’re not? Stop lying! Smile with tongue out. That’s right, mark 26th November Black Friday falls on this date and it’s the perfect excuse to get that gadget you’re craving for! Bonus points go for not spending as much as you would usually. With that in mind, we have devised a small list of the best places to find Black Friday deals.

Black Friday @

Black Friday Gotta Deal

Touting itself to be the official Black Friday deals site, this website has collated mostly every ad from AAFES to Walmart for Black Friday and promise to send you email notification as soon as they get to know about the latest deal. They also have a really useful Deal of the Day sidebar arranged by shop. The guys over BFads have also collected all the major (and some minor) Black Friday deal ads and have conveniently organized them for the sake of you, the Black Friday Shopper! They also have a neat monthly giveaway for users of their site. Their blog also publishes about some fabulous deals that you must go for!

Black Friday Info This site also claims to be the official site dealing with Black Friday ads. The minimalist, streamlined site posts high quality ad scans as and when they are released along with a friendly icon of the store.

Amazon: Though technically not in Thanksgiving mood yet, Amazon has already put up a huge Holiday Savings toy list for shoppers. They have also put up a "Prelude to Black Friday" video game deal list with a new game up on sale everyday.

Newegg: The good folks over at Newegg have had a blowout November deal list, with a new 24-hour-only deal throughout the month. They also have some special deals lasting for more than a day.

Best Buy: The retail giant has put up the preview of all the great deals that will be valid on Black Friday. Named "Doorbusters", I wouldn’t be surprised if their doors are busted with the influx of deal-crazy shoppers!

SavyGamer: This video-game-deal only site is regularly updated with all the latest digital distribution and retail discounts on video games. It’s sure to be well updated throughout Black Friday. Hang on to this site!

Apple Black Friday Deal

According to Apple Insider, Apple has also posted a sale teaser for this Black Friday where they will be having a one day sale at the Apple Online Store. It couldn’t get more exciting that this, could it?

So do you have any other sites you shop or watch Black Friday deals at? Join the club and add your favorite Black Friday deals to the comments.

Preorder The Witcher 2 on

A DRM-free, AAA, new title on Yes! We decided to promote this highly-anticipated RPG by our sister company CD Projekt RED as a one time special.


At their web conference, the people over at CD Projekt decided to show their loyalists some love in a very unique way. It was almost as if the monks of GOG conferred with each other and decided, in perfect Monty Python style, and now for something completely different.

In the conference the release date was announced as May 17th 2011, and the contents of the Collector’s and Premium editions of the game, as well as some preorder details. One of these preorder details was that the game could be purchased from their sister project:, the premiere DRM-free digital distribution service.

Although the preorder page at GOG is as of now showing a 404, the tentative details that emerged from their post are that it would feature a 10% discount as well as a free download of any one of the premiere RPGs in GOG’s catalog. The preorder will also entail instant access to some bonus contents of the game.

Also, it seems like you do not have to pay upfront for the preorder how that would work out is still in the dark because of the missing page.


For me, this is the sweetest deal imaginable and I’d jump as soon as I could. Hopefully the missing page will be reinstated soon!

Update: They have taken down the announcement page as well. Stay tuned for further updates!

Freeware Friday: Writemonkey

The past month I’ve taken to re-cultivating my love for writing fiction. I’ve been quite out of touch (which presumably shows up in my recent writings) but I am trying to get back into the groove. This usually strikes me when I have some pressing matter to attend to and is therefore suitably rushed and gives way to easy distraction.

Word 2010, with all its gorgeous reference markups, font styling and other bells and whistles is quite handy in these situations. However, it is also chock full of things I want and do not need. A two minute search for the synonyms of a word ends up as a two hour internet voyage; from an obscure word that pop ups with Shift+F7 to no less than twenty tabs open in Chrome about the word, its roots, images pertaining to the word and so on and so forth. Also very prevalent is the ubiquitous green underline that tells me that this sentence could somehow be better.

Knowing these shortcomings, I turned to the internet to suggest distraction-free word processors. After a bit of searching and some unsuccessful tries, I stumbled upon WriteMonkey, and boy am I glad that I did.


WriteMonkey has everything that I wanted a huge amount of customizable features, full-screen distraction-free writing environment and even the close-to-tray option.

Every option is tucked away neatly under the (slightly large) pop-up menu, and it even has a spell-checker to boot; although I’d be using Word’s spelling and grammar to proof my story once before publishing/saving it for good anyway. Some of the more useful options that I had never thought about are also present in WriteMonkey such as creating a new text file from the clipboard’s contents. Unabashedly useful and extremely light, WriteMonkey is the one tool that I’d recommend to anyone looking for a minimalist, distraction-free writing environment.

WriteMonkey Screenshot - click to enlarge

WriteMonkey is an installer-free Windows-only software that makes use of the .NET Framework (2.0+) and is developed by Iztok Stržinar as a freeware (with minor donor benefits).

Do check the self-explanatory screenshot of WriteMonkey.

Top Extensions for Opera 11

has always been a browser with a small (as compared to or ) but devoted following that keeps increasing with each iteration of their browser. While their simple mobile version of the browser (Opera Mini) is vastly popular they never saw a similar growth in the desktop market. The folks at Opera Inc. thought it was probably due to the unavailability of Extensions for their browser, and so they added the extensibility of extensions in Opera 11.

So without further ado, here’s a look at the top extensions for Opera 11.


NoAds: NoAds is a NoScript + AdBlock extension. In the words of its creator NoAds = (NoScript + AdBlock)/2. It blocks 99% of scripts on a site that originate from a different domain, blocks text ads and you can even import subscriptions from AdBlock as well as EHH! No more ads.

FastestTube - YouTube Video Downloader

FastestTube: This simple and sweet extension just adds a drop-down menu on any YouTube video page where you can download the video that is playing in many formats. There are some minor problems with the integration with Redirect to HTTPS videos, but that should be fixed shortly.


Reddited: Are you an avid Redditor? Do you scramble up to submit a page to Reddit only to find that it’s already been linked to? Do you hang your head in defeat and rage at the trolls that are laughing at you? Then this is the extension for you. All it does is tell you if the page you’re looking at has been reddited or not. If it has been submitted, it shows you the comment count on the link as well.

Translate Extension

Translate: If you’re one of those anime fans without a drop of Japanese within you, or if you’re the newshound who has to go to various foreign-language sites for news then this extension will do you a world of good. Translate auto-magically detects the language of the page you’re currently working on and will offer to translate the entire page for you. Built on top of Google Translate framework, the translation, although slightly grammatically off, works and works well.

Opera Mini Simulator

Opera Mini Simulator: This one is for the web developers. The add-on loads your focused tab as how it would look under the Opera Mini environment. Though a little slow when simulating, the add-on is quite useful for mobile developers.

GMail [iOS mode]

Gmail [iOS Mode]: Don’t want to wait for the Gmail page to open when all you need is to know if you have unread mail or not? Enter the Gmail [iOS Mode] extension that changes the UserAgent of Opera to an iOS device’s. So you can use the slick and lean Gmail interface on your desktop browser itself!

Do you have any favorite Opera Extensions? Do feel free to share them with me through your comments.

Rock Out with Instant Jam – the flash based Guitar Hero clone!

Remember Frets on Fire the open source Guitar Hero clone? Also, remember InstantAction? The embeddable gaming client? Well, put those two together, and you have Instant Jam! The embeddable and totally awesome rhythm game that lets you play to music from your own library.

Yes, you read that right from your own library. That is epicly awesome, thank you InstantJam.


So what is so blatantly awesome about it, apart from it being a Guitar Hero clone lookalike that you can play on your own website? (As long as it supports iFrames, of course)

For starts, it marries social networking with half-decent gaming. (At least much better than Farmville or Mafia Wars). Secondly it allows you to use either your keyboard or a standard guitar controller. Also, it’s something like Grooveshark, with loads of songs being added daily for you to play.

Of course, it’s compatiblewith Facebook:-

Play along with your favorite songs from your own music library for free. Fully integrated with Facebook, Instant Jam combines the very best elements of rhythm gaming with social media: challenge friends, show off achievements, share in-game gifts and more.

Oh, you want to play it? Well, why didn’t you tell me? It’s right here!

19% of Facebook Gamers are Addicted, and other factoids.

Of course, it’s all PC Gaming, at the end of the day, right guys?

Facebook has an abnormally large amount of users playing games. Games such as Farmville or Mafia Wars. The annoyance factor of all these games on other peoples’ walls ranges from terrible to depressing. However, just how many of those daily Facebook loggers play games?


According to unofficial Facebook fan-site All Facebook, about 50% of Facebook log-ins are specifically for playing games, with over half of Facebook’s users playing these games.

However, out of these 250 million plus users, about 19% say that they are addictedto these games. A very loosely used term, I’m afraid for addiction, as a medical term, is really serious business. It’s exactly the kind of thing that is overused in the media while debasing video games as a whole. However, since it concerns Facebook, I do not mind it all that much.

Nevertheless, the other statistics are most interesting. 56 million people play such games daily which is most of the UK’s population. The average time per month spent playing games is around seven hours! That’s probably a little less than the amount of time I spend playing every week. Considering that Facebook is a social networking site, this is pretty big.

More facts here.

Farmville privacy leak leads to Zynga fighting a lawsuit

Well, everyone demands a catchy headline so don’t complain!

Lots of people play Farmville, constantly bombarding their friends and enemies with a trail of Farmville and Mafia Wars updates such as I just found a pink cow that can ride tricycles!and My pal here is gonna kill your pal there”, problem?. Apparently, they all value their privacy a lot. Turns out that the top ten Facebook apps, six of them from Zynga, transmit referral URLs to third parties. These referral URLs are tiny parts of the URLs that tell the landing page where the link was clicked. Rapleaf (ironically, since it is also involved as one of the third parties) has a pretty good and detailed blog post about this here.


So, some Facebook user caught wind of this and slapped a class action lawsuit on Zynga:-

This appears to be another example of an online company failing the American public with empty promises to respect individual privacy rights. Companies large and small need to learn to follow through on their privacy promises or risk having consumers decide that it is simply not worth it to use their services,” added Kassra Nassiri of Nassiri & Jung LLP, co-lead attorney for the lawsuit.

So, who did not see this one coming?

(Hilariously apt image credit: Joystiq)

Thinking about hacking in Starcraft 2? Think Again. Blizzard files lawsuit against hackers.

You don’t mess with Blizzard. Earlier this month, about five thousand Starcraft 2 cheaters players were handed permanent bans from because they were found using hacks to cheat through the game. said over 5,000 StarCraft 2 players who were in violation of the Terms of Use for cheating and/or using hack programs while playing.WoW-ie (pardon the pun here).


Now, Blizzard took it one step further by actually filing a lawsuit against the developers of the hack. Three hackers from the Los Angeles district were accused of copyright infringement:-

Just days after the release of Starcraft II, Defendants already had developed, marketed, and distributed to the public a variety of hacks and cheats designed to modify (and in fact destroy) the Starcraft II online game experience. In fact, on the very day that Starcraft II was released, representatives of the hacks Web site advised members of the public that our staff is already planning new releases for this game’

When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer’s RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II

Not only is Blizzard accusing them of infringement, it’s also demanding payment for damages caused. Ouch, hackers.

Steam grows beyond 30 million accounts.

Valve’s digital distribution service Steam has always been at the forefront of video games and digital distribution. Their store stocks the best in AAA games as well as indie surprises with a a discount sale almost every week. In the eight years that it has been operational, Steam has seen phenomenal growth especially in recent times, due partly to the addition of Mac OSX as a platform for many games.


Said Gabe Newell, president of Valve:

Steam is on track to record the biggest year in its six year history. The year has marked major development advances to the platform with the introduction of support for Mac titles, the Steam Wallet and in-game item buying support, and more. We believe the growth in accounts, sales, and player numbers is completely tied to this work and we plan to continue to develop the platform to offer more marketing, sales, and design tools for developers and publishers of games and digital entertainment

To meet the demand of sales, which grew by about 200%, Steam upgraded its infrastructure thoroughly-

Steam sales during the trailing 12 months increased by more than 200%, putting it on track for a sixth straight year of realizing over 100% year-over-year growth in unit sales. To meet this demand, the Steam infrastructure has been increased and now has ability to run at 400Gps, enough bandwidth to ship a digitized version of the Oxford English Dictionary 92.6 times per second.

That is great work, Valve. Kudos!