Synaptics lets Linux gadgets give the iPad 10 fingers

Apple’s multitouch finger controls on the iPad have inspired a wave of copycat tablet computers that will be out later this year. Those copycats are likely to get help from touch-sensor company Synaptics, which is announcing today that it has created a Linux version of its multitouch sensor system.

Zynga's Treasure Isle helps reverse a slide in users

Zynga’s newest game, Treasure Isle, has quickly grown to 4.3 million users since the company announced the game a week ago. It’s a clone of another game in a genre borrowed from casual game web sites (zSlide’s Treasure Madness). But it looks like it will do the job of stopping a slide in users at Zynga.

Samsung lets you store 500 movies on a laptop hard drive

Samsung is launching a 2.5-inch hard disk drive today that can store 640 gigabytes of data. That’s no big deal in the grand scheme of things — we expect little improvements like this as the five major hard disk drive makers battle for market share — but it’s worth noting that this fast mobile drive holds more than 500 two-hour movies in a standard definition format. Or, if you prefer, about 50 high-definition movies.

Could Zynga really be worth $5 billion?

Zynga is the darling of social games, but it’s hard to believe that the maker of Facebook apps and websites is worth $5 billion, as estimated by SecondShares.com. That research firm, run by a group of former equity analysts, estimates the value of private companies and what they would be worth if they were actually public.

Standing by its star, EA launches Tiger Woods Online

Electronic Arts was one of the few companies which didn’t drop a sponsorship deal with Tiger Woods as he became embroiled in controversy in recent months. Today, as he returns to professional golf at the Master tournament in Georgia, the video game company is formally launching its Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Online game on the Web.

Ubisoft's Tony Key on the new way to market blockbuster games

French video game publisher Ubisoft had a good year as the top marketer in the video game business. At last week’s MI6 game marketing conference, the company took home seven awards for the marketing campaigns for its games such as Assassin’s Creed II, one of the top sellers during the holiday season. Tony Key is the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft, the French video game publisher behind big hits from the Tom Clancy games to Prince of Persia. We caught up with him at MI6, where he talked about the changes in game marketing in an age of social media as well as the upcoming launch of the company’s big game, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction, (pictured) which hits stores on April 13.

Elemental Live: the cure for lousy streaming video?

Watching live video on the Internet remains a hit-or-miss experience, with buffer delays and stream glitches ruining the show. Elemental Technologies is launching a hardware system today that makes it much simpler and cheaper to broadcast  high-quality live video streams over the Internet.

Buying an iPad without the ordeal of waiting in line

Unlike the early adopters who camped out early in San Francisco, I managed to waltz into an Apple Store in the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos, just down the road from Apple’s world headquarters, this morning at the late hour of 11:45 a.m. and bought an iPad on opening day. I didn’t preorder and I didn’t even have to wait in line behind anyone. I was late because I had a soccer game to attend — like a lot of people in America who like gadgets just fine, but don’t put them ahead of their friends and families.

A tale of two iPad game developers: Telltale and SGN attack market from different directions

The Apple iPad, which debuts tomorrow, is one of the most interesting platforms to emerge in years for game developers. One reason is that the device is squarely in the middle of the hardware markets. PC and console game makers can readily adapt their games to run on the iPad’s beautiful 9.7-inch touchscreen. Meanwhile, iPhone and iPod Touch game makers can quickly redo their games to run on the iPad.

Here comes a flood of iPad games

For all the talk about the Apple iPad as a cool e-book reader, I’d like to remind everyone that the most popular of the 150,000 apps in the AppStore are games. I would wager that games are going to be the most popular app on the iPad, which has the big screen to do gaming right.