I've been getting some private inquiries about fellow Vegas Gangster and TWHT columnist Jeff Simpson over the past few days, asking if he was doing okay. I haven't written anything here or on Twitter up to this point but since having conferred with his loved ones, I feel like I can share some information without violating his privacy.
Last week, Jeff had heart complications and had to undergo emergency surgery. He's in critical, yet stable condition in a Las Vegas hospital. He's not yet able to receive visitors but I'll post additional information as it is available.
This has been a tough few days for Chuck, Dave and me, to say nothing of how hard it's been for Jeff's girlfriend and his close friends. If you're a religious person, I'd ask you to pray. If not, think some good thoughts for Jeff and wish him a speedy recovery.
Jeff is an essential part of the ongoing analysis of everything Vegas but more importantly, he's a hell of a good guy and a close friend.
Speedy recovery big guy!
The Las Vegas Hilton has a new name...and a not very creative one. I'm going to have some fun with this one. More after the jump.
On Tuesday, by chance, I stumbled across a new Las Vegas travel guide app for the iPhone that had just hit the App Store. It's called 'Great Vegas' (why not 'Great, Great, It's Really Great' Vegas... would that have been too close?) and immediately it was hard not to notice a few similarities to Vegas Mate.
Let's take a look at a screenshot:
Hmmmm... Let's not even worry too much about the fact they have a photo of Bellagio under the Trop listing. Still, I look at this and what I see is a bad rip-off Vegas Mate's UI.
Could this person have created this in a vacuum? I guess it's possible but that seems highly unlikely. Am I upset? I'm not really sure how to feel about it. As far as I know, nothing I see here is in violation of any law - Apple famously lost a case against Microsoft in the 90's for alleged copying of their UI ideas in Windows. Fortunately, they're not using any of my content or photos (that I've discovered) - that would mean a call from the firm of Lansky, Rosenthal and Sarno, LLP.
Compete with me - I welcome it! The problem is that this isn't Google to a late 90s Yahoo, this is more like Zune to iPod - derivative and with a poor choice of colors.
If you want to do a Vegas app, give it your own spin. Do something different. Give people a reason to respect your entry into an increasingly crowded market. And hey, make sure you learn to properly capitalize text in menus and buttons (come on, it's all in the Mobile Human Interface Guidelines - read 'em)
There are so many ways to build an app like this. I'd love to see another, well done take on the concept. For a long time VM was alone but there are now a bunch of Vegas-related apps in the store - entries from casinos, from other travel writers, etc... With all of the new competition, this is the first time I've seen blatant copying.
If you read this, don't think I see Vegas Mate as a perfect app. I, as most product people I know, see nothing but the flaws in my own work. I'm proud to say I've progressed the software since it's introduction in 2008 but there's still so much ground to cover. As I add features, my goal is to make them understandable and usable. If I'm being objective, my biggest failing is making them fun - and an app for Vegas should be fun. I'm working on that.
Building apps is a blast. I know that excitement from seeing your app on the App Store the first time... but please, come up with your own ideas... or if you do take an existing concept from somewhere, put your own spin on it and try to make it better. Taking someone else's idea and doing a half-assed copy job is just insulting.
Seriously, I wish this guy the best. Just do your own thing. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving.
Episode #70 is up!
This time on the show:
** Sure Bets / FU **
- Locals Casinos
- iPhone 4S
- Dave's George Maloof interview
- Hunter loves his friends in Canada, who may or may not celebrate Thanksgiving
I'm still thinking about the Cosmopolitan's decision to pull its free wifi, and I've come to believe that casinos should offer free wifi, at least on the casino floor and other public areas.
Keep reading after the jump, which shouldn't take too long to load, unless you're sitting at a slot machine and stuck with a 3G connection.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and for this edition of SIMPSON on VEGAS, Jeff is going to share what we all (collectively as guests and hotel operators) should be thankful for when it comes to Las Vegas.
Continue reading after the jump and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
A little while ago, the Cosmopolitan eliminated its free wifi. After the jump, I talk about the broader significance of taking away what has already been given.
Episode #69 is up!
This time on the show:
Another installment of 'Meet the Gangsters', this time featuring Jeff Simpson (@simpsonlasvegas).
This is a long one but Jeff goes into a ton of detail about his background, the industry, where it's going and more. Great talk.
Come for the Neil Diamond reference, stay for the analysis of the gaming numbers! I've got plenty of the latter after the jump:
Last night, the American Gaming Association held its Hall of Fame induction ceremony. After the jump, I'll talk about each of the inductees--some more than others.
There's been a lot of talk about potential casinos in Florida and just yesterday, news of a new poker partnership between Vegas operators and online enterprises.
Jeff gives his thoughts on these two possible futures in the latest Simpson on Vegas.