News of the Day 6/4/2009

Cool Tools:
30 sites for writing freelancers. With some good sites in general.

Start a project to get more employable – I am bang alongside this idea. Quite simply having a good project of any kind (personal, a side project at your job, etc.) is a great way to get organized, build skills, and expand your horizons. If you're a fan/geek/otariiman you probably have plenty of things you do on the side anyway!

Is the US and Europe headed for a brain drain – I can't say myself, with the economic uncertainty and globalized technologies. If someone from Manpower is raising this possibility, I'd pay attention to it. It may affect your job or job opportunities.

Where's the next Silicon Valley? – Apparently relatively near the current Silicon Valley, or all the way on the East coast. Canada also seems to be doing quite well. Keep an eye on these areas for your career – yes it may not be the current Silicon Valley, but maybe you don't want to live there (as much as I love Silicon Valley, not everyone is up for living here). Also may be a good list to keep track of if you have to relocate.

Anayst figures Google's e-books will put pressure on Amazon to drop prices – Admittedly a kind of what we'd expect, but this is a detailed analysis. A good read, and a bit of ammo in your pocket to explain the subtleties of e-books and publishing to bosses, co-workers, etc.

Ouch. Moody's Investor Service (the financie research organization) reccomends papers get out of the printing business if they can't reduce their high costs. Note that credit ratings are pretty low for papers as is, so not a good sign. Now admittedly there's been reasons to not take everything Moody's says at face value, but still interesting.

Coin-counting machine company Coinstar is getting into social gaming – Of course, in currency. They're also working with Facebook and will leverage their existing kiosks. An odd thing to be sure, but I include it both for its implications (Facebook further into virtual currency) and as an example of an out-of-left-field corporate strategy that shows how big virtual currency is getting.

Intel buys Wind River – Never heard of them? Wind River is big into embedded technology. A good sign Intel is thinking smaller and more embedded – they're willing to spend a huge amount of money in a troubled economy to boot.

A look at meeting the lucrative team market in writing

Youtube to broadcast a film at the same time as its premier – Using a branded separate page. Another possible strategy to help them become profitable, and it leverages their considerable presence. I've seen more and more branding approaches in social media, it's easy to do, so I suspect this is the future of a lot of online media strategy. Watch this if you're a marketer, or a developer (after all, maybe you'll have to build one of these pages . . .).

Hulu possibly to start charging? Not much to go on. I'd say if it starts soon, that may be too early in the game and it could hurt them.

Video Games:
We haven't seen much from Fan-to-pro crush Object Emergent Development Technologies until now – where THQ is Going to use them. THQ, SquareEnix . . . EDT is racking up quite the client list. Polish those resumes – and while you're at it, don't forget gaming middleware and services is big business all over!

And in annoying news, Activision is suing to preven the release of Brutal Legend. Some pretty snarky statements here. I just want the game out, because a Heavy-Metal themed fantasy-action game with Jack Black voicing a roadie with a magical guitar and axe? What more needs to be said?

– Steven Savage