News of the Day 10/21/2009

OK today's whole news is, like our last news, insanely publishing-centric. So strap in folks, because this is one wild day . . .

Nickelodeon acquires Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise – Expect them to tap this epically for cash, merchandise, etc.

Google partners with companies for a new music service. Looks like it involves some new features for music in google search – and an alliance with iLike, which was acquired by MySpace. Note these are alliances, not acquisitions, which bodes well for the allied services – and their employees. Hint, hint.

Not to be outdone by Google, Facebook will also do a music service. So far it seems the winners may be services like LaLa and users, but the Everything Wars are starting to get even more bloody confusing.

5 reasons the Barnes and Noble 'Nook' is a Kindle Killer – Pretty compelling reasons to tell the truth. I'm concerned that device diversion is going to make it harder for authors to get distribution as they may be limited or locked into certain e-readers. Though as the Nook reads PDF I'm more reassured on this end. B&N may have a winner here.

Hewlett-Packard jumps into the publishing fray. THere's Bookprep which publishes out-of-copyright books. There's also Mag Cloud that lets you turn wikia pages into magazine-like printings or do your own magazines. I certainly didn't see this coming – and the combinations of Wiki with publishing promises some intriguing possibilities – as well as hideous potential copyright battles.

Amazon versus Walmart? Target jumps into the fray? Books could become loss-leaders for stores? It's all in a day's analysis in the Everything Wars. Booksellers could suffer from a lot of these price battles, especially at discount stores. On the other hand I don't think the discount stores are interested in, say, Print-on-demand, or are they going to make their own e-readers – though they might sell some. More headaches in the book world.

Social Media:

Microsoft is supposedly going to sign deals with Facebook and Twitter to include updates and Tweets in searches for Bing – Not sure it's true, worth watching – and worth seeing if other deals get signed. Oh, and if Twitter makes any more. Good news for Facebook and Twitter if true.

Apple's declared war on the PC, and the PC is eating itself – A must-read article for anyone remotely touched by tech. I hadn't considered how the netbook market would affect PC's at this level, and it's fascinating reading because it could affect what you use, what you program for, and what you deploy at work.

Video Games:
Transmission Games shuts down – Always sad to see closures in the industry.

Game outsourcing company Babel teams up with Enterbrain to service their customers – Sure testing and localization doesn't sound exciting, but there's a lot of it, it pays the bills – and it can be more interesting than you may think. Nice bit of UK/Japanese synergy here – if you're in the UK, look Babel up, sounds like they're thinking ahead and made a good deal.

– Steven Savage