News of the Day 1/22/2010

High unemployment, Japan in trouble, Borders on the brink, and . . . German Media versus Google? It's depressing news day today, so take two Red Bulls and call me after you read the news . . .

A chart that nicely illustrates American Credit Card Debt – And it will depress you as well. Though I'm interested to see that 22% of American households DON'T have credit cards.

43 states had increased unemployment in December – Some of it pretty ugly. More good relocation information, but let's face it everyone is pretty much in trouble.

Anime and Manga:
Has Japan Jumped the Shark asks Roland Kelts. Though Kelt's work often focused on popular culture, he also notes Japan is losing ground in gadget-tech and more. If Japan truly reaches irrelevance that's a major geekonomy shake-up – but I imagine that if it happens, it will be during a phase where Japan becomes less prominent while other countries and areas have their stars rise.

Geek Law:
Class Action Suit over Microsoft Points? Not sure about the case, but Microsoft Points have been taking heat for awhile anyway. Microsoft's considered moves to cash transactions anyway, which frankly may be easier.

Borders seems to be having troubles – including not paying smaller publishers on time. They may have retained a bankruptcy team already. Another shift in publishing may be happening – life without borders would raise the stock of Barnes and Noble and Amazon . . .

How Apple Tablets will save the Earth – Actually a fun speculation on just how these e-media devices change supply chains and use of resources. Fun and interesting, but also a good example of out-of-the-box thinking (and a possible marketing tact).

German Media groups team up to start their own web ad network – Specifically targeting Google. It's all cleared by the EU's competition department. It also might be the seed of a larger Eurozone effort – so this could act as a check on Google.

Video Games:

BBC is looking to get into gaming – Which would probably mean a Doctor Who game. BBC embracing the multimedia world? Which lucky developers or studios could so this (hint, hint?)

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Who stands to benefit the most from a Border's bankrupcy/shutdown?

-Steven Savage