Zynga quietly shutters OMGPOP games

Zynga officially has marked the end of OMGPOP, the game development studio behind the game Draw Something. The company quietly announced the closure of OMGPOP and four of its games last week in its player support forum.

Zynga will continue to provide support for Draw Something, Draw Something 2, and Draw My Thing. Although Zynga laid off its entire OMGPOP team in June, the company officially is shutting down OMGPOP on Sept. 30. The unit's four other games -- Cupcake Corner, Gem Rush, Pool World Champ, and Snoops -- will go dark on Aug. 29.

The struggling gaming company … Read more

Review: Draw Something 2 offers more of the fun drawing tools of the first

Draw Something 2 is the first iteration of the popular social app produced by Zynga and it improves in many ways on the Draw Something original, including providing even deeper social integration. With the trademark Zynga interface and numerous social tools to drive your play of the game, Draw Something 2 brings with it hundreds of new words, a gallery to view past drawings, and much more -- ultimately making it a better game.

The first step after installing Draw Something 2 is to set up your account. You'll need to log in with your Zynga or Facebook ID … Read more

Draw Something team included in Zynga layoff

After Zynga announced it was laying off 18 percent of its staff, former employees took to Twitter to reveal that the action resulted in the closure of three offices for OMGPOP, the studio behind the popular Draw Something franchise. That leaves Zynga's remaining U.S. offices to pick up the slack the popular series and other games like CastleVille and CoasterVille.

The layoff announcement will lead to the closure of offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. While Zynga won't confirm the specific closures, former employees have tweeted about their fate. Zynga acquired New York-based OMGPOP for more than $200 millionRead more

LinkedIn Contacts looks to boost relationships

CNET Update has much to say:

It's hard to remember everything. Apps can help. And LinkedIn's Contacts app wants to help make sure you remember more about your professional contacts.

If you're trying to make it in the business world but don't have time for networking and schmoozing, just pay a ton of money for the chance to become BFFs with Apple's CEO Tim Cook. Coffee is included.

Talking to people can be hard, but Facebook doesn't want you to be shy. It's encouraging more messaging by throwing green dots all over the place. … Read more

Zynga launches Draw Something 2, kills four other games

Zynga executives say they're "doubling down on big bets," which means killing off games that won't bring in big bucks in the long run and sticking to franchises that do.

The company announced Wednesday that Draw Something 2, the sequel to the popular Draw Something mobile drawing game, goes live this evening. On the flip side, Zynga is killing off four other games: The Ville, Empires and Allies, Dream Zoo, and Zynga City on Tencent.

The new Draw Something 2 includes a social feed, where you can like or comment on drawings, and follow people. There'… Read more

Ryan Seacrest teases Draw Something game sequel

Zynga is trying to capitalize on the popularity of its drawing game Draw Something by launching a sequel, Draw Something 2, a game unveiled today in a tweet from Ryan Seacrest.

The American Idol host tweeted a "drawing" from the new Draw Something 2, quipping, "I somehow convinced them to give me #DrawSomething2 first...this may be the best Mariah & Randy have ever looked." … Read more

Shining light on new Kindle Paperwhite

Monday's CNET Update has a glow about it:

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is now shipping, and CNET has given it the Editors Choice award. You can read the full review here. The Nook GlowLight dropped its price to $119 to match the Paperwhite.

Apple has released a Wi-Fi bug fix for the iPhone 5 on Verizon. The bug caused the iPhone 5 to use data even when the device was connected to a Wi-Fi network. Verizon won't charge iPhone 5 customers for any excess data as a result of the bug, but customers should download the fix … Read more

Nokia draws on Zynga to boost Asha Touch line

Social gaming firm Zynga is teaming up with Nokia to make games Draw Something and Zynga Poker available on Nokia's Asha Touch phone models later this year.

According to a post yesterday on the Finnish phone maker's blog, the free game offerings are the next step in a partnership announced by the two companies several months ago.

Nokia's Asha 305, Asha 306, and Asha 311 phones are based on the S40 platform, and are part of the company's efforts to make up lost ground in the feature phone market. Owners of these mobile devices can … Read more

Next Xbox could have glasses, new Kinect

Today we're shooting cowboys in the living room and bringing game shows to our tablets:

A leaked PDF document hints at what Microsoft could have in store for the next version of Xbox. If the 56-page document is true, the Xbox 720 has a planned release for 2013 and will play Blu-ray movies, 3D videos and it would work with special glasses for augmented reality gaming. The document also suggests the next version of the Kinect will track four people at once, have improved voice recognition and it could be split into two units on both sides of the … Read more

The 404 1,076: Where you don't know you're beautiful (podcast)

Hope you're sitting down for this: Jeff actually has positive words about a movie he saw this weekend! Without giving away the surprise, suffice it to say that Jeff's complaints about the lack of creativity in film and his disgust with the movie-going experience disappeared for two hours on Friday.

In advance of Microsoft's mysterious press event today, we'll speculate what's in store for the software giant and how it could fit into the 56-page road map document that leaked over the weekend.… Read more