News of the Day 9/23/2009

5 steps for freelancers (or anyone) to easily use social media – Nice advice.

Staycations are here to . . . uh stay . . . and it shows in tourism expenditures. Seems to parallel the 2001 drop as well – only I think it's going to keep falling.

Our stock market rises are due to a weak dollar? A pretty technical piece, but I post it for the econogeeks reading this. Basically a weak dollar makes borrowing easier, so people leverage that. It isn't a recovery folks . . .

Where high-speed rail makes sense – A nice look at just what would be the best places for high-speed rail. A bit of a thought provoker – being aware of this may help you in your future decisions of location – what potential do you see in improved public transport in said area?

Sounds like sothe original live Cowboy Bebop Script would be too expensive to film – According to would-be Spike Spiegel Keanau Reeves. I think that's actually a GOOD sign that the script was over the top since it sounds like it wasn't restraining itself. I want to see how this goes as CB has good crossover potential to make an SF film that would appeal far beyond anime audiences – and that could lead to more adaptions (though I suspect the DBZ film didn't help, it was so cheap flash-in-the-pan I think the damage was contained). I'll also admit I feel Reeves could do a decent Spike – not my first choice, but he seems to love the property a lot and that gives him an edge.

A nicely ranty-essay on how to leverage free in online publication.

Social Media:
SGN, a social game company I never heard of, is raising money and hiring big names – Well I've heard of them now. I also want to watch what they're up to (plus, note they're hiring folks). Career speculation moment – is there enough change and opportunity in the social game market you could whip up a successful company from scratch? If so, how do you tell who out there will make it?

You may have heard about the proposed Net Neutrality rules, but you may not have known of an effort to cut FCC funding to protest them. Apparently the protest-punishment was stopped.

Video Gaming:
Wii price to drop to $199 – According to best rumor-evidence. I buy it. So if my calculations are right, now the ball is back to Sony to come up with some way to sell more stuff. I myself think the Wii 2 is more likely as the Wii has kind of done all it can.

Activision pulls Wolfenstein from German shelves due to swastika in game – They tried to remove them all to comply with German, law, but apparently missed one. The entire story may not be known yet. I suppose such things happen – just in an international gaming market you have to work extra hard because such things DO happen.

I'm mixed on reporting rumors, but there is one bouncing around the geekosphere that Microsoft is considering buying EA. Again it's a rumor, but this one is getting buzz and is big enough I want to watch. It would create a gaming monolith and shake up a lot of industry relations – while investing Microsoft further outside their initial sphere of interest (and diversifying them further), and of course making them the one for everyone to take down.

– Steven Savage