News of the Day 8/25/2009

25 things that are going extinct – Mostly business/economic/culture wise. An amusing and intriguing read to make you think about how the world is changing. Give you any ideas for your career?

You may want to move to North Dakota? The economic picture doesn't look half bad. I'll stick with California for now thanks.

Freaky numbers: there's more horsepower in American cars and trucks than power plants. Makes you think about efficiencies and so forth. Also, really, it's a good example of geeky math work.

Yep, expect more foreclosures. I suppose I don't also have to mention I still think it's an awful time to buy a house. Well, I dunno – check out North Dakota.

Why Venture Capital will shrink – and why this may not be bad – Basically it's too risky right now, may have been overdone anyway, and is expected. However the author argues (very lengthily, and for econo-fans) that it's not going to go away, will probably be better, and frankly Silicon Valley isn't even going to notice.

Sony goes all out with THREE versions of it's e-reader. Yes. Three. It looks like they're working to be very competitive with the Kindle and then some – and are open to other deals. The e-book wars are still hot and going apparently – so tech types watch for openings and those of you writing want to watch your e-distribution deals VERY CAREFULLY for maximum exposure.

Yahoo purchases Arabic portal site Maktoob – sites potentials for ads, etc. Yes, Yahoo is hitting the Middle East market. They're looking to change what they do, expand offerings, and I'm betting they see this as a chance to beat others in radically different markets. Side note, recall what I've been saying about Crunchyroll and regional markets as good targets for fannish niches – and even more in this case.

Did Chrome OS kill Android Netbooks – Looks like it may have. Asus dropped the idea. I can see the reasons for dropping it, and wonder if this was intentional or a side effect on Google's part. For those of you wondering about developing on Android but for Netbooks, look like it's time to go to Chrome OS.

Youtube is rolling out a partnership program – Basically a way to monetize your content if it meets certain standards. Only in the US for now. Still, another revenue stream for google and others, maybe those instructional videos you did on cosplay can be worth something more . . . and monetizing even a simple effort may sound good to a client or potential employer.

Hulu won't be rolling into the UK until 2010 – Giving competitors an edge and further reminding us that some of the video wars involve complex licensing agreements.

Video Games:
Synergy Alert, a Dragonball Z MMO is in the works. Now we may laugh at the idea of an MMO where it takes 3 hours to punch someone in the face, but I admit to some curiosity. The feel of the preview is punchy-actiony-fun, with dare I say it a family feel? My intuition tells me to see how this goes – I can easily see a DBZ MMO being a middle ground between hardcore and casual MMO if it keeps this lighthearted spirit and makes beating the utter bejezus out of colorful monsters easy and fun. Secondly, how many anime could make good MMO's – Full Metal Alchemist? Assorted Gundams? Could be something to look out for – or suggest if you're in the right position . ..

Sony is losing money on the PS3 slim, but seems to be making a profit when you toss in all the peripherals, software, etc.

Game marketing weirdness: Guild Wars/Aion cross-game promotional. Buy a particular Aion item . . . unlock a special emote in Guild Wars. Odd, but perhaps inspiring to the marketing-inclined.

– Steven Savage