Breakfast of Champions 7/31: Hasbro's Facebook Scrabble lives (dies?) to torment users

Earlier in the week, Hasbro's lawsuit against the creators of the not-quite-Scrabble application Scrabulous on Facebook successfully shut down the popular game. This was much to the chagrin of yours truly and tens of thousands of other users -- but, I conceded, it was good of Hasbro to at least ensure that the official Scrabble application was up and running at the time.

Jinx!

srabbledown.jpg

That's right, the corporation emerged victorious in its anti-fun campaign, ruining the experience of potential customers throughout the U.S. and Canada -- and then borked their own version of the application the next day. It'll be down for weeks.

In an, ahem, unrelated development, the Indian brothers who created Scrabulous for the social networking site have a new game. It's called Wordscraper, and it doesn't have any set rules you must follow. It's just a blank board.

And yet, you can create your own board replete with double-word scores, triple-letter scores and the like. If the board happens to mimic Scrabble's exactly, well, what a happy coincidence.

Besides, it's not like you can play the game anywhere else on Facebook.

DAILY DISH: WHAT'S NEW AROUND THE SITE

Jonathan Kaminsky takes the list of diploma mill customers published by the Spokane Spokesman-Review and discovers our own private Homer Simpson: a Minnesota man whose degree in nuclear engineering appears fraudulent. The former employee of Xcel Energy found gainful labor a few miles east, in Wisconsin -- in the control room of a nuclear plant. Frank Grimes was unavailable for comment.

The Fringe Festival starts later today, and Christopher O. Kidder has a preview post to help you choose what to see. More in-depth previews, with interviews of prominent theater people, are available at our Fringe site.

In honor of Doomtree's first full-crew CD release -- and the resultant party tomorrow night -- Andrea Myers uses their new bike-friendly video as a jumping off point to show other bicycle-related videos. But what about this one? No love for Queen?

Our sports bloggers want two athletes in the decline phase of their careers to come to Minnesota, for very different reasonss. Judd Spicer says http://blogs.citypages.com/sports/2008/07/undoubtedly_iff.php, while Jonathan Kaminsky just wants to experience the schadenfreude of Brett Favre backing up Tarvaris Jackson.

"C'mon inside. Set a spell. Don't worry if we can't spell." I'm not necessarily in concordance with Rachel Hutton that spelling correctly correlates with producing good food, but "Mediterranean" is one of those words that you really ought to look up before spending money on a sign. Like "alternator," I guess, which is spelled "altenator" on a painted Washington Avenue auto shop repair sign that I pass every day on my way to City Pages world headquarters.

Photos of the month coming in a couple of hours! Be sure to check 'em out; July was quality.

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