News of the Day 1/18/2010

Sony has problems, Google turns its eye internally, IE is on the skids, and a company you never heard of gets $20 million dollars to solve the advertiser/revenue/distribution problem of media. Welcome to My Fantasy Zone, it's career news for progeeks and profans!

I beleive in good planning and review, so let me say I love this post on 25 Questions to ask yourself every Sunday. Must read!

Must-see delicious interactive career chart! NPR gives us a look at the decade ahead in jobs. Nice simple summary of trends you'll want to watch, use, or panic over.

The future of business Journalism – A bit specialized, but after this horrible economic meltdown, just what is going to happen with business journalism after what looks to be an awful failure. If you think about it this is on top of journalism itself having issues . . .

Anime and Manga:
Anime and manga getting more mention in popular culture?

Are Advertising Agencies soon to be obsolete? – Sadly not nearly enough analysis for my taste, but the question is extremely valid. Advertising has both changed, and is only part of the big picture anyway. Worth your time if you work in media, marketing, or marketing-heavy jobs.

Guvera raises $20 million in venture capital – And who are they? Good question because they came out of nowhere. Their goal seems to be to create a media delivery system that smooths the whole producer/advertiser/consumer issue of who gets paid for what when, and dealing with annoying ads and branding. It sounds a bit overly ideal and unpolished, but $20 million is noteworthy and it at least seems ambitious. I personally think that the entire advertising/marketing model that is pursued is ancient and inefficient (and annoying), so I welcome their experimentation.

Android usage increases 200% over the last quarter, partially at the expense of iPhone. I consider this to go into the "unsurprising" category, but let's face it in this economy the predictable is at times surprising when things are so confusing. Nexus One doesn't seem to be doing so hot, but my theory, as always, is its just there to keep things stirred up and maintain a Google presence.

Avatar takes Best Drama Golden Globe – Which means that it's got good shot in the Oscars. This is big news for fandom and geekonomics as it appears to be validating the wide-ranging importance and acceptance of several things: movie tech, 3D tech, and science fiction (the money isn't hurting acceptance either). This is a big victory for fannish and geeky things, and I expect there will be quite an impact on other films and media – and unfortunately, plenty of bandwagon-jumping. More Golden Globe breakdown at Geeks of Doom. Apparently Avatar is #3 on the all-time highest grossing films – and climbing.

Fan-To-Pro Crush Object Asus jumps into the e-reader market. It supports flash over it's 3G connectivity and will have a very powerful battery. Unfortunately, the market is so overloaded I'm not sure this is going to stand out. Asus is good at delivering solid product, but as this won't be out until late 2010 I already expect e-reader brands to be dying off by then.

The government of France reccomends people not use Internet Explorer, right after the German government did the same. A double-blow to a browser with declining market share, and another hit on Microsoft. Seeing more governments interested in cybersecurity (after the entire Google-China mess) is a good thing, but also means that companies and their tech will be under a more watchful eye. That's not going to change as the internet and globalization push us even closer together – and though I'm for good policy on tech, it can backfire as people figure out what to do.

On the subject of Google, there appears to be an investigation going on internally, and that's leading to speculation that the hack was an inside job. That's rumor at this point, so we'll see (and you know our ambiguous relationship with rumors here at Fan-To-Pro). This also brings up the inevitable that Google will have to change their security measures both internal and external after the entire China incident. As they handle so much important information, new and better measures are almost inevitable – which may make the place a little less fun to work and keep Google further in the spotlight (see the IE story above). Take a look at how strict Apple is on rumors to get an idea of just how cautious (or overcautious) a company can be when security is on the line . . .

Video Games:
Platform sales contracted in 2009 – Mostly due to Price cuts except, apparently for Sony, which had more trouble. The article suggests the PSP is no longer viable.

DJ Hero gets a sequel – Admittedly you got to give people value for the hardware they bought, but I wonder. Still Activision knows what they're doing. I remain skeptical – but you know me and strange peripherals.

Is game funding fundamentally broken? I think that it's had issues for some time.

Finally in Geek news, Ryan Kopf of Upcoming Cons and Mai Otaku, who we interviewed before, just created an instant anime convention.  We want to know Ryan's secret, and suspect he's secretly an army of clones.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will Sony ditch the PSP or try and evolve it to something else? By now it seems inevitable something has to be done.

– Steven Savage