Internet Scrabble Club (ISC)




Blog Name:
NEPAL SCRABBLE ASSOCIATION
Blog URL: http://nepal-scrabble.blogspot.com/
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Location: Nepal
Blog Summary: WELCOME FROM NEPAL SCRABBLE ASSOCIATION~ NAMASTE! We would like to welcome all Scrabble enthusiasts to join this blog. Its a beautiful experience to spend your free time and play and increase your word power.Not only is Scrabble for young children it is fit for all ages!
This blog has been active since: January, 2008
Post: Internet Scrabble Club (ISC)/ 20.01.2008


Internet Scrabble Club (ISC)



"The ISC is the best place on the Internet to play Scrabble in a relaxed friendly environment. You can compete at your own level in English, French, Romanian, Italian, or Dutch while meeting new people and making friends from around the world."To play on ISC you download the software from the ISC site and follow the instructions on the site.

There are players from all over the world.

There is a rating system. You can choose which dictionary reference and challenge rule you want to use.

Have a great game!I ensure you from my own experience,it is such a thrill and it expands your word power and it is great fun meeting new people from all over the world!

My First (and last) Scrabble Tournament

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Blog Name:
Maggi's Memories
Blog URL: http://maggiwun.blogspot.com/
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Location: Michigan, United States
Blog Summary: I'm a native Austrian, but have lived in the States since I was five. I've been a pianist all my life and have been a musical director, orchestrator, choir director and accompianist. My day job is running a church office. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and have two sons and one grandson.
This blog has been active since: April, 2004
Post:My First (and last) Scrabble Tournament / 20.01.2008


My First (and last) Scrabble Tournament


This is the year I want to actually do all the things I have been wanting to do over the years. Attending a Scrabble tournament was one of them. My friend Mary and I have playing Scrabble weekly for 20 years. We have a reputation among all of our friends as being good players.

In fact, no one wants to play us. Last week, on spur of the moment I called her and asked if she would go with me to a tournament I had found online that was in our state. She agreed and we headed out early on a Sunday morning. I had only slept one hour that night, perhaps because I was so wired about the next day. It was an inauspicious start and did not foreshadow a successful experience.


The tournament was being held at a Holiday Inn meeting room. There were 16 people playing, including us. Most of the people in the room were a little strange. It seems that people who are so singleminded in their pursuit of something tend to neglect other things in their lives. At the risk of sounding too Paris Hilton-ish there was not a good haircut in the room (except ours, of course...) We were plunged immediately into the foreign world of tournaments. There was a sheet listing the rules of Scrabble Etiquette:

*Most of the time it is inappropriate to talk, cheer or make other noises or disturbing gestures while playing...
*When drawing tiles, please hold the tile bag at eye level or at arm's length away from the body, turning your head and eyes away from the bag.
*Here is the correct order of steps to take to complete your turn:
1. Place your letters on the board
2. Announce the score.
3. Start the opponent's timer.
4. Write down the cumulative score.
5. Draw new tiles.

Challenges have their own set of rules. It was mind-boggling to remember that there was only 25 minutes on your clock for the entire game, to start and stop the clock at the appropriate times, to compare scores with your opponent and to keep track of what letters had been played.

Some of the people had come in from out of state. They spend all of their spare time studying words. One of my opponents actually takes a photo of every completed board he plays. Another woman told me that these people were her the only family she has.

We played seven games from 9am to 6pm, with a break for lunch. I lost EVERY game. When Mary and I play our scores are from 300-400 a game. My games that day were all around 300 and I was being beaten by players in the 500-600 range. There were so many word played I didn't recognize. Of course we felt too intimidated to challenge very often. I did challenge once successfully.

When I got home I checked the spelling on three "bingos" (7 letter words) that had been played on me and they were all not acceptable words. So I feel our naivete was being taken advantage of. Not very nice, guys! But, hey, it is legal in Scrabble to play a "phony" as long as you can get away with it.


I think I'll stick to playing nice, relaxing, unstressful games with my good friend Mary.

9th Inter-School Scrabble Championship 2008




Blog Name:
myscrabble

Blog URL: http://myscrabble.blogspot.com/
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Blog Summary: Promoting Scrabble game to all- young and old especially students.Conduct workshops and tournament(understood all related to Scrabble workshop, not motor workshop).
Location: Malaysia
This blog has been active since: October, 2005
Post: 9th Inter-School Scrabble Championship 2008 / 20.01.2008


9th Inter-School Scrabble Championship 2008


The much awaited event is back.
Please contact me (leave comments) if you want your school to be included or if you want your school to host the state level event.

The format is still the same, ie, 4 students to a team.
For Under 15, date of birth should be: born in 1993 or after.
For Under 18, date of birth should be: born in 1991 or after.

Dates for 9th Inter-school Scrabble Championship 2008.
State level: Team events- 4 students to a team

1st March SMK Ave Maria Convent, Ipoh (Perak)
8th March SMK St Paul's Institution, Seremban (Malacca and Negeri Sembilan)
5th April Kuantan (looking for school host)
19th April KL/Selangor (looking for school host)
26th April Penang (state library)
3rd May Johor (looking for school host)

Prizes will be given for state level competition.
See details in invitation letter (coming out soon)

The top 3 teams from each state/level and good players will be invited to take part in the 3rd Malaysian Youth Scrabble Championship 2008 on 24th & 25th May in KL

The Scrabulous Solution: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg




Blog Name:
...on pampers, programming & pitching manure

Blog URL: http://www.kimpallister.com/
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Blog Summary: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert A. Heinlein
Location: Bellevue : Washington : United States
This blog has been active since: 2005, January
Post: The Scrabulous Solution: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg / 20.01.2008


The Scrabulous Solution: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg


Dear Mark,

Following last week’s announcement by Hasbro (and later Mattel, who have the Euro rights) that they were pursuing legal action against two developers in India that made Scrabulous, the Internet has been abuzz with the collective worry that 600k people may lose their beloved Facebook pastime.

It would be a shame for all those involved if Scrabulous were to go away. With over six hundred thousand people registered, Scrabulous is one of Facebook’s most popular applications. The outcome of the situation will affect the satisfaction of Facebook’s customers. It will have impact on perception of Facebook as a viable development platform, and on Facebook’s relationship with its developers (indifferent beneficiary, or protective and nurturing parent?). Facebook’s actions here will also send a message to owners of consumer brands and IP owners about Facebook’s respect for their concerns, and many of these companies could well be future advertisers or partners.

Facebook’s actions here will also be highly visible. The Hasbro threat to the makers of scrabulous was widely written about and even covered on national television.

In my eyes there seem to be three courses of action for Facebook, only two of which are viable, and only one of which is a good idea.

The possible courses of actions are as follows:

1. Step in and help the developers in their legal fight against Hasbro. I believe this to be the non-viable path, or at best sub-optimal. They are quite clearly violating Hasbro’s IP at multiple levels, from look and feel to game rule set, to even the questionable porte-manteau naming. Even if you helped Scrabulous win, this course of action would be bad publicity and costly.

2. Do Nothing. This is a perfectly viable course of action. After all, Hasbro’s not suing Facebook, but rather the devs. However, what’s at stake is bad publicity, the possible loss of one of your most popular third party applications, and with it, the loss of a significant amount of customer engagement.

3. Broker a winning solution for all parties. I believe this is feasible, and is the best course of action. Everyone wins, it’s not significantly expensive, and the possible upside is significant.

So what does this winning solution look like? I’ll first lay out the steps involved, and then the benefits for each party.

First, Facebook acquires Scrabulous. That could mean acquiring the developers in which case you get a couple smart engineers to help implement the steps below, but at minimum, you buy the Scrabulous codebase, the servers running the service today, and the player database.
Secondly, broker a deal with Hasbro (& Mattel) where:

* Scrabulous will be updated in two phases: (1) rebranding it as “Scrabble” or “Scrabble For Facebook” immediately, and (2) at a later date a “Scrabble Pro” will be added as a premium subscription service (more on this later in this post).
* Hasbro, with Facebook’s help, develops “Scrabble Pro” as part of the exercise of getting familiar with the Scrabulous codebase, server administration, etc.
* Hasbro takes possession of the codebase and manages the servers, following the launch of the Pro version of the game. At this point, Facebook is hands-off.
* The subscription business (say a 5% uptake out of what by then may be a 1M userbase, at say $25/yr, would make this a $1.25M/yr business at minimum) goes to Hasbro. Optionally, Facebook could have some recoupable amount out of this to recoup engineering costs in helping with the transfer of code and the interim running of the service, but this seems like a nit.

What is the ‘pro’ version of Scrabble and why would users choose to pay the subscription fee? Hasbro would have a better idea what would resonate with their players, but here are some ideas:

* Richer stats tracking (how many bingos and with whom? Pie charts of wins/losses. Avg score per game, etc.
* Scrabble variants (alternative dictionaries, Clabbers, speed-scrabble, etc)
* Better chat functionality
* Tournament private tables/lobbies
* Leaderboards
* Etc

OK, so why is this final scenario on which I’ve elaborated the “win-win-win-win” solution? Let’s recap:

* The developers of Scrabulous get to cash out and/or get employed by Facebook, and are no longer threatened with Hasbro legal action.
* Hasbro acquires one of Facebook’s most successful apps, has a head start on creating a successful subscription games service within Facebook, and acquires a community of 600,000 users.
* Facebook gets Hasbro as a partner, keeps its customers happy, doesn’t lose one of its top apps, and gets a proof point for a business model that other developers and IP holders may choose to follow. The corporate image avoids egg on the face and is seen as helping out the little guy.
* Scrabulous players don’t lose their beloved game, and have a chance to add new features and variants by upgrading.

What’s to lose?

Regards,

Kim “Scrabulous Fan” Pallister

Custom Scrabble Tile Magnet Box Set




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Etsy

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Post: Custom Scrabble Tile Magnet Box Set / 20.01.2008


Custom Scrabble Tile Magnet Box Set





Any 4 letters in any combination made into this durable and functional and playful magnet set.

These are extra strength and come in a large complimenting slide top tin. The tin is decorated with paper used to make the real Scrabble tournament boards, it is high quality and authentic. The tin comes with 2 removable magnets, use it as a place to hide fridge notes or slide the magnets off and use it as a keepsake tin. They have each been varnished for longevity.

*Please note due to the limited spaces on the scrabble paper I cannot guarantee you will receive a triple word score on your tin, each is made with at least 1 space value but not all will have the triple word space.

*Need an extra letter? Just ask, 4 letters fit in the tin but if you need to LAUGH or VERVE just let me know, 5th letter is free of charge.

To receive your CUSTOM ORDER simply put the word you'd like sent under MESSAGE TO SELLER when you check out.

Littleput magnet sets ship free with all other shop purchases.

These items are small and can create a choking hazard, they are not recommended for young children.

Andrew Kay scrabbles to mince his words





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Latest Homes

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Post: Andrew Kay scrabbles to mince his words/ 16.01.2008


Andrew Kay scrabbles to mince his words


I’m not sure I can face Facebook for much longer. Yes, it is nice to be in touch, but does it have to come with so much claptrap. Managing Facebook could become a full-time occupation, precluding any actual social intercourse in favour of the sanitised world of the web.

One thing it has done for me is given me yet one more vice with which I have to battle. Whilst others struggle with their own demons of drugs and drink, I am now struggling withy the addictive nature of an online game.

Yes, my name is Andrew and I am addicted to Scrabulous.
I have of course been addicted to Scrabble since childhood. Anyone who loves words loves Scrabble. Mum and dad played, and as a teenager, so did I. In my thirties I rediscovered it but also found that there were fewer people prepared to play.
One or two are put off by the competitive way I play.
I’m unconvinced about uncompetitive game playing – sports days where no one is a winner or a loser. Surely we are preparing kids for a very unreal future.


‘‘I’m unconvinced about un-competitive games. Surely we are preparing kids for an unreal future’’

Anyway, Facebook introduced me to Scrabulous and now I am hooked. I play morning and evening, often turning off John Humphries in favour of a game. At that time of day you can be playing someone in Mumbai or New Orleans, it’s a strange timeless world, and one filled with equally addicted word geeks.

Scrabulous gives you a rating too, which means that people can decide whether to play you or not. It can be quite upsetting being rejected at 7am by a stranger in the subcontinent on the grounds that your rating is too high or too low. My rating is quite high but not astronomical, which means that I get a fair amount of rejection from the very good and from the not very good. Being pretty good is a lonely place on planet Scrabulous.

I also have problems with the way the game is played. By that I mean that as yet I have not got to grips with either the formats or the rules of play. Words that I have used for years are rejected and words that I dismiss as slang crop up as acceptable. It’s all very confusing.

This morning I was alarmed to find someone using a word that I would hesitate to play, quite brazenly. I will not even print it here, but there it sat, unashamedly in the middle of the board having been electronically accepted. I blushed, then pressed on.

Will Scrabulous lower my standards? I hope not, although if you can play that sort of word I might have to if I am to retain my rating. What a dilemma I face – to swear or not to swear?
That is the question.

The Owners of Scrabble Are None Too Happy With The Success of Facebook's Scrabulous





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5 Blogs Before Lunch:

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Post: The Owners of Scrabble Are None Too Happy With The Success of Facebook's Scrabulous / 16.01.2008


The Owners of Scrabble Are None Too Happy With The Success of Facebook's Scrabulous


With 260,000 players on weekdays and about double that number on weekends, the Facebook version of Scrabble--called Scrabulous, is a huge success. Unfortunately, Scrabble's owners, Hasbro and Mattel aren't seeing a dime of it.

In legal circles that's called copyright infringement.

The application was developed in Calcutta, India, by software developers Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla and launched at the end of June. They have a website version, as well as a Facebook portal. The Facebook portal allows users of the social networking site to play with their friends and others in the network.

The software developers say they placed their version of Scrabble on Facebook after approaching Hasbro (which owns the rights to the game in the US and Canada) and received no response.

Isn't that kind of like knocking on the door of a house, and, if the owners don't answer you walk in and make yourself at home?

According to Brand Republic, initially the pair said that they were targeting just a few thousand users, but within weeks the Scrabulous application had 20,000 users and was growing fast and making the pair around $20,000 a month.

The folks at Mashable explain the game this way:

For anyone that loves to play Scrabble, this application lets you do it your way. There are options to play with other users that aren’t even online. This way, you can let your Scrabble game go on forever. Well, maybe not forever, but at least you can play when you want to play.

Once you’ve added Scrabulous, you can choose to host a game, start a game with a friend, see who’s online now, find a friend that’s currently playing, or join a table.


Now Hasbro has responded jointly with Mattel, which owns the rights to the board game internationally, and asked the applications be pulled.

The addictive quality of the game is explained by the folks at LifeClever:

"I have a confession. The reason why you’ve heard barely a peep from me isn't because I’ve been Tasered by zealous cops or abducted by aliens. Truth is, I've been fiendishly playing Scrabble Scrabulous on Facebook. I swear, it's like a Krispy Kreme donut with sprinkles of crack on top.

"After its integration with Facebook, Scrabulous is now delightful, convenient, and sticky. It's a great example of how to take a classic standalone product and turn it into an online service that connects emotionally and deeply with people.

Scrabble Organizations Worldwide



Scrabble Organizations Worldwide



Australian Scrabble Players Association

Bahrain Scrabble League

Bermuda National Scrabble Association

Scrabble Players Association of Cameroon

UKCA Paphos Scrabble Club

Gambia Scrabble Association

Scrabble Association of Ghana

Indonesian Scrabble Association

Scrabble Association of India

Republic of Irelands Scrabble Players Assoc. (RISPA)

Scrabble Association of Israel

Tokyo Scrabble Club

Kenya Amateur Scrabble Association

Malaysia Scrabble Club

Malta Scrabble Club

New Zealand Association of Scrabble Players

Netherlands English Scrabble Club

Nigeria Scrabble Federation

Northern Ireland Scrabble Players Association

Pakistan Scrabble Association

Akademia Ekonomiczna English Scrabble Club

Comisia Centrala de Scrabble Anglofon

Scottish Scrabble Association

Scrabble Association, Singapore

South African National Scrabble Players' Association

Svenska Scrabbleförbundet

Tanzania Scrabble Players Association

Thailand Crossword Club

Association of British Scrabble Players

Zambia National Scrabble Players Association


Source

Official Scrabble Clubs in USA


Official Scrabble Clubs in USA

Alabama
Alberta

Arizona
Arkansas

British Columbia
California
Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana

Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky

Louisiana
Maine
Manitoba

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico
New York

North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma

Ontario

Oregon
Pennsylvania
Quebec
Saskatchewan
South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee
Texas

US Virgin Islands
Utah
Vermont
Virginia/Washington DC

Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Source: National Scrabble Association

Is Scrabulous boosting Scrabble?




Blog Name:
just a smith
Blog URL: http://asmith.org/
RSS Feed: http://asmith.org/feed/
Blog Summary: This is the website of Albert Vernon Smith, a geneticist by trade, who moved to Iceland in 1998 after many years of education in the USA. I use this site to put a few things I may find interesting. It might be something about my dog Leó, about Iceland, or just something interesting I may have stumbled upon. But, don’t expect too many updates. I’m just not that type.
Location: İceland
This blog has been active since: December, 2007
Post: Is Scrabulous boosting Scrabble? / 15.01.2008


Is Scrabulous boosting Scrabble?


As has been noted on TechCrunch and other places, Hasbro is working to shutdown Scrabulous, one of the most popular Facebook applications. While Scrabulous is certainly a Scrabble clone, the former is likely giving a significant boost to the latter.

Looking at Google Trends, one can see a significant recent uptick in search activity for Scrabble which occurs concurrently with the appearance of Scrabulous.

Scrabulous appears to be greatly boosting Scrabble itself, as there is no other news which could
explain this uptick. Hasbro is therefore incredibly stupid to try and shut it down.




As means of disclaimer, I am an unapologetic Scrabulous fan (addict?). It has been years since I’ve played any Scrabble, and if Hasbro makes Scrabulous go away, I am much less likely to purchase a Scrabble board.

I don’t say that as a threat, but because Scrabulous certainly has enhanced awareness of Scrabble to me. If Scrabulous goes away, then that awareness will go away. I’m certain this is true for many, many others (to put it mildly).

Please Save Scrabulous




Blog Name:
the Fluff and the Mediocrity

Blog URL: http://www.fluffblog.com/
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This blog has been active since: November, 2007
Post: Please Save Scrabulous / 13.01.2008


Please Save Scrabulous


Those of you that know me, know that I am in law school to become an IP attorney, so its kind of with mixed feelings that I write about this. I really enjoy playing Scrabble, I really enjoy playing it on Facebook using the application Scrabulous, so it was with a lot of sadness that I read about Hasbro is attempting to shut down Scrabulous.

The site which lauched in 2006, started their Facebook application in June 2007 and is now in the top 10 applications on Facebook with 569,000 daily active users and 70 million page views last month.


Fortune blogger, Josh Quittner, suggesting starting a Facebook group to save it, but TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld pointed out how that didn’t work for Business 2.0.

As I write this there is no petition group that I could find, but that may change, I may start one, because I really love the app, and I’d hate to see it go away, even if that probably won’t work.

There are of course other places to play Scrabble online, including the Internet Scrabble Club, but the great part about Scrabulous is that you can play it with anyone on Facebook without really leaving that site that you already visit anyway, who wants to sign up for yet another service(different than another app) just to play a game that your friends may not sign up if its detached from Facebook.

I mean look at the success of the app versus all the sites that have it already(including Yahoo’s slightly modified version).

Between facebook and blogging...

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Justwrite

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Post: Between facebook and blogging./ 13.01.2008


Between facebook and blogging...


Spent long hours on facebook lately, playing scrabble and other time wasting games. It's pathetic, but this I believe is normal.
Before start of work, check if I get a ticket for parking(on cyber world), in between work, check for updates or if my scrabble opponent has made their moves, and this goes on even after work, and during the weekend.


Talking about addiction. I think this is worse than smoking.
As my eyes are tearing after long hours staring at the screen, my right shoulder is suffering from severe ache due to handling of mouse, and my hours are gone, just like tha.


So, I've decided instead to blog.
But isn't blogging another form of addiction?

Wordsnake Announced For WiiWare




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n-europe
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Post: News: Wordsnake Announced For WiiWare / 13.01.2008





Wordsnake Announced For WiiWare


The vocabulary viper is coming to WiiWare!

Announced last year for the DS and Wii, Wordsnake has now been announced for a release on WiiWare.
The game is similar to Scrabble, in the fact that you must make words with the tiles given to you.

The unique feature is that the word tiles form a snake, and you must race against time to keep creating words to keep the snake alive.


So grab your Oxford Dictionary and your DS/Wii Remote, Wordsnake is coming to the DS and WiiWare in early 2008.
Stay tuned to N-Europe for news as we get it.

Scrabble Videos - 4

Scrabble Videos - 4

Death by Scrabble


Scrabble Videos - 3

Scrabble Videos - 3

An Original: The Scrabble Song


Scrabble Videos - 2

Scrabble Videos - 2

The Kid and The Grandma


Scrabble Videos - 1


Scrabble Videos - 1
CRAZIEST

Scrabble Worldwide

Scrabble Worldwide

Various blogs, various languages:

Scrabble Ranking


"Scrabble Ranking" is de weblog van Ronny Rutten, ontwerper van het huidige rankingsysteem. Via dit communicatiekanaal kom je alles te weten over de diverse rankings en worden archieven opgebouwd die je via internet kan blijven consulteren.

Escribe Scrabble



Scrabble Valbonne


Club de Scrabble de Valbonne (Comité Côte d'Azur)

Hasbro Tries To Shut Down Scrabulous




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Search Engine Optimization
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Post: Hasbro Tries To Shut Down Scrabulous / 11.01.2008

Hasbro Tries To Shut Down Scrabulous


“Is Hasbro just a stupid Potato Head? Or is this a brilliant game of Stratego?” That’s the big question Fortune’s Josh Quittner (my former boss) asks as he reports that Hasbro, the toy company that owns Scrabble, is trying to shut down Scrabulous,
one of the most popular Facebook apps.

Scrabulous lets you play an online version of Scrabble with your Facebook friends. The app boasts 569,000 daily active user, ranking it No. 9 right after Slide’s SuperPoke, No. 8, and ahead of iLike, No. 10.




Scrabulous co-founder Jayant Agarwalla, 21, confirms that Hasbro “sent a notice to Facebook about two weeks ago. The lawyers are working on it.”

Quittner suggests that someone start a Facebook group to save Scrabulous, but we all know how much good that is likely to do.


Crunch Network: MobileCrunch Mobile Gadgets and Applications, Delivered Daily.

Open Scrabble




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Post: Open Scrabble / 10.01.2008


Open Scrabble


This Scrabble variant occurred to me in the shower this morning: instead of working with 7 tiles at a time, drawn blindly, you get to pick your tiles. You still use the blind draw to determine who goes first, but then you spread out all the tiles face up, and the players take turns picking one tile each until they're all distributed.

You each keep your tiles face-up in front of you for the whole game, so there's no mystery about who has what, and nobody needs to try to keep track of what's left. Each turn, then, you can use anything you have in front of you. No exchanging tiles, obviously, since they're all distributed, and you can't use more than 7 in any one turn. Bingos are way too easy in this version, so no bonus points for them.


I haven't tried this, but it sounds intriguing. In play it seems like it would be kind of the Chess version of Scrabble, much more about planning and board-position. Plus the tile-draw at the beginning evokes trading-card-game deck-building. Or being picked for teams in elementary school, although in this case you're always a captain, so it shouldn't be as traumatic.

Presumably the opening rounds of the draw would be amenable to analysis, if not optimization, but chess openings are fairly exhaustively explored and it doesn't seem to ruin the fun, so I think that's probably fine.


[Later]

This discussion led me to one more rule: The first word by each player must use only 1-point tiles. This makes the first move more clearly a strategic one, rather than just an exercise in playing the highest-scoring word you can make in a vaccuum.

Guerilla scrabble




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Post: Guerilla scrabble

Guerilla scrabble


I've heard it said that there are more possible games of chess than there are atoms in the universe. Chess is, in some sense, unfathomably complex. But, there are a number of rules or heuristics that one can use to play a better game of chess.

Your queen is more valuable late in the game than earlier in the game. Aim to control the center of the board. And so on. For those of us who aren't Kasparov, we can still play an enjoyable game by following these heuristics. That is, it gives us concrete goals that increase our chance in winning.


This variation of Scrabble, I would guess, has even more possibilities than chess. I'm no Scrabble expert, but I'm having a hard time imagining what the similar heuristics would be for this variation. That is, what would be the good strategies for picking tiles?

I think if I played this game today, the tiles I pick may not be substantively different than a random sorting. As a non-expert on regular Scrabble, the words I play are basically maximizing my points given the current board and my tiles.

Except for maybe ruining a prime space on the board if I can't utilize it myself, I don't really play strategically, anticipating what my opponents will do. But this still gives me a concrete goal that improves my chances of winning, and a small enough number of possibilities so that I feel I may have actually succeeded in maximizing points that turn.


Imagining playing this variation, I feel mentally paralyzed. The simple heuristic of maximizing points given the board and your tiles seems woefully inadequate when the number of tiles in your tray is significantly larger.

And while ignoring the tiles your opponent has in standard Scrabble isn't the worst thing in the world (since you only have imperfect information anyway), it seems inescapable under this full information variation that you have to consider your opponents' tiles as well as your own.


Or in short, my wife has trouble making decisions. Would we ever finish a game of this Scrabble variation?

I am intrigued by the setup; I'm just wondering if will actually be playable.

One thing I do foresee is that the endgame will be far more important. In regular Scrabble, the points deducted at the end of the game are limited by what you have in your tray.

In this variation, since all players start with the same number of tiles, your exposure at the end is raised significantly. So I'm thinking one heuristic would be to place even more emphasis on getting rid of your tiles as soon as possible.

Senegal, the seven-letter country that gives extra points to its Scrabble heroes





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Post: Senegal, the seven-letter country that gives extra points to its Scrabble heroes


Senegal, the seven-letter country that gives extra points to its Scrabble heroes


From The Times (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article3162648.ece)
January 10, 2008

Adam Sage in Paris

The head of state has demanded a victory. The nation expects one. And the team is focused on what promises to be a memorable event.

The French-language Scrabble championship is being held in Dakar this year and Senegal is determined to demonstrate its prowess in a discipline that has become a national passion.

With President Wade throwing his weight behind the tournament, Senegalese players – who have won international Scrabble tournaments before – are under pressure to show that they are as much masters of la langue française as the French are themselves.

Although the World Francophone Scrabble Championship does not start until July the build-up is already under way in the West African country, with Issa Mbaye Samb, the Sports Minister, having declared the event a national priority.

“Scrabble will be treated with full honours,” he said. “It has brought a lot of satisfaction to our country.”

He said that the Scrabble team should enjoy the same facilities and prestige as other sporting stars, including footballers. A ten-day training camp is planned to enable the champions to sharpen their concentration and foster a team spirit.

“They’re absolutely passionate about this,” said Antonin Michel, France’s best player. “They’re incredibly competitive and it’s almost like an Olympic sport to them. I don’t know of any other country that takes it as seriously. It’s unique, certainly in the Francophone world.”

Among English speakers the only nation with a similar passion for Scrabble is Thailand, which hosts the world’s biggest tournament.

When Senegalese players won three titles at an international competition in Quebec, Canada, last year, President Wade told them: “I exhort you to conserve your titles. You are among the best. I am proud of you.” He added that Senegal’s success in a discipline of the mind and of the intellect showed that the country had the capacity to succeed in other areas as well.

Commentators added that the Senegalese Scrabble triumph would help to demolish stereotypes about Africans – particularly in France, the former colonial ruler, which used to think that only Belgium could rival its grasp of Molière’s language.

“The French were surprised at first,” said Ndongo Samba Sylla, a 29-year-old economist who was Senegal’s first international Scrabble champion. “They did not think that Africans could play in a language which was not their mother tongue. But now they know we can and they treat us as equals.”

This month Senegal’s standing was underlined when the International Francophone Scrabble Federation authorised the use of 14 Wolof words – the language spoken by 45 per cent of the Senegalese population.

The terms refer to local objects and customs – such as thié boudienne, a fish and rice dish, or xalam, a Senegalese lute – for which there is no French equivalent.

Such words have been included in a new version of the official French-language Scrabble dictionary, to the delight of the Senegalese. “This is a way of opening our culture to the world,” Mr Sylla said.

Letters abroad

— Duplicate Scrabble is the predominant version of the game played in the Francophone world. The rules are as follows:

— Each player sits alone at a table, with his own board and another on which all the letters are arranged face up

— A “director” takes charge. He holds a prearranged list of the order of tiles, and starts the game by announcing the first seven letters to be used by all players, who then have three minutes to make the highest-scoring word possible

— When the time is up, all hand in their suggestions on a small piece of paper. The highest-scoring suggestion is announced, and all players arrange that word on their boards, while earning the score from their own suggested plays

— A giant board hangs on the wall, charting progress with large paper letters pegged to it as the game unfolds

— The game continues, with all players playing with identical boards, until the tiles are exhausted. The player with the highest score wins

— Games take up to two and a half hours to complete. Accents are disregarded, and letter values are largely similar to those in the English version, with the notable exception of W, which is worth 10, rather than 4

Source: Jerusalem Scrabble Club

Computer Literacy



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Post: Computer Literacy? / 06.01.2008


Computer Literacy?


I read on Southern Review of Books that a Russian publisher is releasing a novel that was written by a computer. Evidently, a group of philologists and software folks collaborated to write a program known as PC Writer 2008.

The result? To quote the Southern Review: “The basic story line of what the publisher claims is the first computer-generated novel, conditionally titled ‘[True love]*.wrt’, is the love story of Anna Karenina’s main characters. The action takes place on an unknown island in times similar to the present.

The book is written in Haruki Murakami’s manner, while the style is based on the vocabulary, language and literary tools of 13 Russian and foreign authors of the 19th and 20th centuries.”


This reminds me of an idea I had back in college, circa 1980. My friends and I were playing a lot of Scrabble back then, and one of my buddies was a computer programmer. We also fancied ourselves poets, or at least hung out at poetry readings.

My idea was this: to take all the words created in our Scrabble games – and only these words – and then write a computer program that would generate poetry from that limited allotment of vocabulary. We would program the computer to “write” so many lines with pre-determined (and varying) noun/verb/adjective patterns, and to incorporate meters. I fancied the result would be a sort of Found Poetry, with maybe a bit of Dada flavor. These would be our Scrabble poems.


Okay, so it isn’t a great Russian novel. Heck, I never even wrote the program (or rather, worked with my programmer friend so that he could write the program). But it was a fun idea, and here we are, almost 30 years later, with a variation on the computer-writer theme.

Speed Scrabble.



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Speed Scrabble


Do the Chinese play Scrabble?

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Do the Chinese play Scrabble?

If the Chinese language has one symbol per word, hence an alphabet of over 12,000 characters, how do they play Scrabble?

Or do they resort to the phonetic version of their written language?
Supplement from 01/05/2008 08:35pm:
OK, they have Scrabble, a recent developmetn which took years to develop.

Do they also have crosswords? Or is this the reason Sudoku is so popular over there? =o)
wumpus

Yes they play Scrabble but not with the traditional character set we are familiar with.

Chinese characters can all be expressed in Pinyin, a "transliteration schema", which is similar to our Latin alphabet. They also use Pinyin for their computer keyboards.

It was a good question, Wumpus. I suppose Japanese would do something similar.

http://www.macworld.com/article/19478/2001/10/scrabble.html copy
Chris-NI

Apparently they do. The link below says so but the link they refer to has an expired domain name
http://www.chinese-forums.com/showthread.php?t=79 copy
Supplement from 01/05/2008 08:41pm:

Chinese version of scrabble is called squabble -
http://www.primezero.com/squabble/ copy

Yes they do have crosswords I've seen them in the local Chinese newspaper.
Supplement from 01/05/2008 08:46pm:

Chinese crossword
http://www.cp.com.cn/emd/26/newsdetail.cfm?iCntno=3874 copy

xoloriib

Play A Game And Feed The Hungry




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Post: Play A Game And Feed The Hungry / 04.01.2008


Play A Game And Feed The Hungry



This is not only a fun, mesmerizing, addicting game (for a scrabble-playing word nerd like me) and a great way to improve your and your kids' vocabulary, it is an easy way to feed the poor. For each word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. Click here to find out where the rice goes.




My average vocabulary score was 41. Try and best me. Just try.

Try the Free Rice game here. It's fun!

Scrabbulous




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Post: Scrabbulous / 03.01.2008

Scrabbulous


Look at what I made! Got the idea from a post on Craftster and I'm really happy with my version of the original. It took about two hours, an old clock, and two old Scrabble games to make, so it was an instant gratification project. Yay! Here are two (rather crappy, from the cell) pictures--a glamour shot and an action shot. :)

I should note that you need tiles for two Scrabble games, or enough to make up for the number of letters V and E that you will need. You definitely need two more Vs than the standard issue and one or two more Es.




I did the project mostly backwards, so here's how I recommend doing it in the right order.
# Glue two wooden rulers or garden stakes to the back of the board, running longitudinally across the fold.
# Take two square ¾" dowels, about 15½" long, and affix with screws across the top and bottom of the board. This is so the clock movement won't be directly against the wall.
# Drill a hole in the center of the star. Make sure the stem of your clock movement fits it

# Glue the tiles to the gameboard, making sure to line up the quarter hours correctly. I added a blank tile to the word "twelve" so that it would center correctly. Later, I'll stencil a black star on the blank tile. (No, I can't draw a star to my satisfaction and, yes, I need a stencil to draw practically anything.)

1. Disembowel your old clock. I used an old $3, plastic kitchen clock to make mine. Clock movements cost about $7 and the hands that come with are tiny. I thought about gluing coffee stirs or something to the tiny hands and attaching little Scrabble tile stickers to spell out "hours" and "minutes", but then I thought better of it. Might have been too precious. *Make a note of how the second, minute & hour hands attach to the movement. I did not make a note, so I spent 20 minutes trying to figure it out.*

2. Poke your clock movement through the hole and glue to back of board.

3. Put your clock hands on.

4. Put battery in clock movement and set the clock.
comfortably.



I think I spent under $10 on the clock, including materials and battery. If you don't inherit an old Scrabble game, I'd recommend checking thrift stores instead of buying new. If you do buy a new one, caveat emptor.

I've seen a newer version of the board that's all multicolored and swirly, so check out the box for the look you like.

A Scrabble Story





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Post: A Scrabble Story / 03.01.2008

A Scrabble Story


When I was a kid, my dad, grandparents, and various other family members always wanted to play Scrabble. I loathed the game, maybe for the simple reason that it took forever and I had a short attention span. Or, maybe because I just didn't know as many words as they did so it was just hard to play. My dad would double my score if I didn't need him to help me, and I would still get the least amount of points.

For the longest time it was basically impossible for me to ever win a board game... EVER. Okay, I know what all of you parent types are saying. It doesn't MATTER if you win. Okay, sure, that's great the first few times you lose but EVERY TIME? I mean, someone throw me a bone once in awhile you know?


That has all changed now... I actually enjoy playing scrabble now that my vocabulary is maturing. I still can't do actual crossword puzzles without going insane, but I LOVE to play scrabble, and I'm getting pretty friggin good at it too. In fact, I've been beating John every single time we play, and I would say he has a bigger vocabulary than I do. My score is consistently in the 230 - 330 mark and getting higher the more I play.

I have decided that I have a goal with this. I'm going to get so good, and then play a match with my Dad. Now, for those of you who don't know the extent of how much my Dad loves Scrabble -- the man seriously plays a game EVERY day on his computer.

If he has a good game, he will write down the final board on a piece of paper (however, I don't really understand this very much, especially after I took a picture of one of my games -- you forget why it was so special and the only time I ever had the desire to go look at it again was to illustrate this post, but hey, different strokes for different folks). He used to try and get my brother and I to play all of the time. The man just loves Scrabble and he is very good at it.


Now, Voxers. I have a question. I know there are places online to play Scrabble... but is it possible that I could play with an opponent of my choosing?

For example, could I tell my dad to get on a website at a certain time and meet me for a game? I will probably be able to answer my own question in a few minutes actually... but you know.

Scrabble?




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Post:
Scrabble? / 02.01.2008


Scrabble?


Or just keyboard :p.

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