News of the Day 12/18/2009

Someone seizes control of Twitter's DNS, Google may get its hands on Yelp, Mozilla thinks it can get its fingers into mobile aps. Let's keep those hand metaphors going, and hand you off to the latest career news for geeks, fangirls, fanboys, and more!

TOP STORY: Twitter apparently hacked – This is a continually-updated story at TechCrunch. It appears to be a DNS hack, so it's not as "compromised" as it could be. The hackers' claims (written in atrocious english) appear to be from a government-backing group, but there's really no way to know what's going on right now. Despite the humiliation, this again boosts Twitter's profile because they're WORTH attacking (and if this is a faction of the Iranian government, let me note that you're absolute morons and you've made yourself look worse. Nice job).

Anime and Manga:
Crunchyroll adds classic anime Cobra to its lineup. I know it's not exactly news when Crunchy adds something, but still . . . and for a bit of speculation how much backlogged anime is out there waiting to give companies easy profits?

Bella Pictures gets $10 million of venture capital. Bella is a wedding photography firm with a heavy online presence. Sounds like that's paid off. I've watched Bella grow over time and think you want to watch them, they seem to have found a good niche. Plus ten million?  People – polish the resumes and help 'em spend it.

Firefox wants a piece of the mobile app market? They say they can kill off the app store, but we know how likely that is in the short term. Sounds like the new Firefox mobile is app-oriented (sounds like Chrome, doesn't it?). However we have a bold prediction of Jay Sullivan, VP of Mobile at Mozilla – he thinks that the diversifying mobile market is going to make developers go back to the web since it's common. Some may laugh at the idea of mobile web apps, but then again we laughed at web apps years ago – and now the web pretty much is used for app delivery, even if you don't call it an app.

Sony gets a deal to put the Wall Street Journal and N.Y. Post on its e-reader – Makes them just a bit more competitive against Amazon.

Social Media:
Fan-To-Pro constant Link Object Dean Takahashi reports on Facebook's work on A game dashboard for their site. This would help gaming, help game developing, and probably keep me from being tired of hearing about Mafia Wars (if it organizes news better). Facebook's specific support of gaming suggests they want to keep courting game developer's and players – good news for those people (and possible jobs). Now let me speculate if they want to release this so you can, say, get to it on a console . . .

Google in talks to acquire Yelp? Apparently so. Beyond the obvious synergy, this gives Google a big hand in more local markets – and as we know local markets are getting a lot of attention in company's e-strategies. Good deal for Google, of course, but I'm sure this will raise opposition to their reach just a bit more. However if it goes through you know you can expect some layoffs.

OK Developers, here's a roundup of how to get your apps noticed. It may also be a good read for those of you in marketing, PR and advertising.

Avaya in talks with Skype – Not sure what's up yet.

YouTube shorts lands director a movie deal with one of the Rami's to boot. A bit of encoruagement out there to you budding filmmakers.

Video Games:
More to-do with deals between the Screen Actor's Guild and the videogame industry. More relevant if you're in gaming or want to act, and a good example of the politics behind what seem to be simple elements of the things we love.

Crispygamer (game news and reviews) acquires GamerDNA (social networking/ads) in what appears to be a perfect match. Not huge news yet, but the synergy between the two seems good and GamerDNA's console-oriented focus could be promising (or legally complex). Not resume-worthy yet, but more worth watching to see what's happening in gaming social media, where an awful lot of potential has yet to be realized.

EA to open new studio in Atlanta? Let's see if they go for it. Oddly EA and related studios are the only ones I've heard seriously complaining about California's costs, which makes me wonder if that's true or an excuse. Big note here – EA ruled out Texas (which surprises me as that's often a big place to go for saving money), which makes me think other factors may be in play. There IS good reason to put studios nearer the east coast because of the existing and growing amount of IT talent there.

QUESTION FOR THE DAY: Could Twitter raise it's profile by taking a stand more supportive of Iranian protestors?

– Steven Savage