News of the Day 1/19/2010

Get depressed over the economic news and the plight of Borders. Get elaited by Apple's mysterious announcements. Get curious about SquareEnix. It's news you can use for profans and working geeks – let's check what's up in the Geekonomy!

Kotaku needs an intern.

Andy Robisnon discusses his steps to career success and asks if you've mastered them. Some good questions here for careerists.

What to do if your industry is declining or dying – Some great advice here, especially the first (change industries) which is exactly what I did. This is one to read slowly and carefully.

A chart-riffic look at bank bonuses and compensation – Guess what, plenty of people at banks are raking in the cash and it's been a trend for some time. Also takes a look at how the "too big to fail" approach may have led to consolidation that's even more dangerous.

Ouch. Illinois is close to insolvency and it sounds particuarly nasty. Not sure they'd be a good place on your relocation list – though these days I'm not sure what IS a good bet.


Microsoft has it's own smartphone plans with Project Pink? Considering the jumping-on-the-bandwagon we see I can buy it. Most interesting is the idea it may involve X-box integration, which could create some of the synergy that other products have. It seems like they're awful late to the party, but would have a big install base to play off of if it ties into the X-Box. What I see as more viable is not what they do in a year, but their plans for the next generation – they could manage an OS/X-Box/phone integrated package.

Reality check: Avatar surpassed Titanic in money, not attendance, well not yet. A reminder to atch those statistics thrown around when determining 'top-of' and 'best-of' rankings.

Holiday sales at Borders disappointing. Definitely not looking good for them.

Apple has a big announcement on January 27th – Tablet? New service (using LaLa)? I have no idea, but pathetic geek I am, I'm waiting with baited breath.

On the apple subject, just why Apple may have needed LaLa for a cloud-based music service. Come to think of it, that may be useful in e-reading as well . . .

Will the Apple Tablet need a frenzy of buying to be worthwhile? Some thoughts on the subject.

Finally someone gets it: The hack of Google is important, but so is the fact it was done by a government. This changes people's business needs and approaches in China, and leads one to ask just who else has been targeted? How much do we not know?

Video Games:
Square Enix announces a covertable bond worth $386 dollars. To take out the econospeak, it's a kind of non-stock investment, a repayable bond, that can be converted to stock. It's a way to raise money. As to WHY Square Enix is raising money is another question. Refinancing debt definitely seems to be part of it, but the article author thinks an acquistion is in the works. My guess is both actually, and that Square Enix wants to expand its holdings and diversify in this market. So if you're in gaming, ask yourself if your company is an acquisition target. As per my podcast yesterday, I also am unsure how promising Square Enix is as a stable employer if they're gearing up for major transitions.

Cryptic Studios overwhelmed by beta players for Star Trek Online. Very encouraging for them. We all know of course STO will sell like crazy, the question is how it will survive over time. In my experience Cryptic is very good at delivering the necessary basics without overcomplicating things, so the initial rush really isn't a good measure of viability.

Want to get into indie games? A guide to promoting them at events. Another great gamasutra article to make you think.

Sony is going to continue the God of War Franchise. Honestly, does Kratos have anyone else left to kill?

QUESTION OF THE DAY: So just what is Square Enix up to? Are they looking to expand – or to restructure ala EA?

-Steven Savage