News of the Day 2/18/2010

Facebook and Paypal's cooperation may increase their dominance. France's government may take more control of the country's access to the internet. If you're going to rule the world – you need to be aware of today's latest progeek news!

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The Federal Reserve may say the recession is over, but it's not exactly over equally across industries. Some tasty charts for econogeek perusal, but the basic takeaway is even if the recession is over, recovery and stability varies across industries. I myself think we might be out of one – but could easily fall back in – and recovery is easily 9-15 months away.

DC Comics Leadership changes – Dan Didio and Jim Lee are the co-publishers. Geoff Johns is Chief Creative Officer. More info here. I myself don't have a reaction to the individual choices, but now that DC Entertainment has it's leadership in order, I want to know what's next. It's a changing market of Marvel-Disney, manga/mahwa/mahua, superhero properties, and so on. So now that they're organized what will they do – and of course who will they hire so you can get the right people a resume or portfolio . . .

Geek Law:

France's got some nasty new internet censorship laws working its way through the government system. If these go through it'll be one of the, if not the, most restrictive policies on the internet in a democracy today. Sounds to me like it's a bit of an election stunt, but stunts have consequences. I'm also curious as to the impact on French business and trade. On the plus side this law and the political stunts around it sound stupid enough and dangerous enough to at least serve as a bad example to other countries.

Morgan Spurlock and Joss Whedon MAY be teaming up to do a documentary on the San Diego Comic-Con, and may want to find geeks to follow. Again, may. But if this is true it's going to get geek culture enormous exposure, and I'd expect in the hands of those two it'd be reasonably done.

Interesting bit of synergy – apparently the trailer for the new Season of Doctor Who will run in some cinemas in the UK as a trailer, before Alice in Wonderland. Interesting promotional idea – plus a good example of geek synergy.

Social Media:

Facebook now takes paypal – Giving people a familiar way to buy credits, and good for both companies. A good boost for both, and it may present some new business opportunities.

Google adds real-time search – Twitter gets a 9% traffic boost.

Amazon creates a Kindle app for the Blackberry – And so the spread continues – and so you authors have to pay attention. I'm starting to think that Amazon is NOT going to phase out the kindle as separate platform, merely create an entire range of "kindle tech."

Breakdown on use of Netflix and streaming video – Which is pretty telling. Just under 2/3 of users with broadband use the streaming service, and there's more breakdown of the numbers. There's also some analysis that makes the interesting point that Netflix represent's a trusted brand, which probably helped them a great deal – never underestimate the power of branding, even when that brand faces changes. I don't think their future is entirely guaranteed of course, but I get the impression they've got a surprisingly solid base for survival – what do they do with it is the question.

Video Games:
Simultronics has turned internally-used MMO tools into the worldbuilding tool Hero Engine. Now that part of the company will spin off. So if you're in gaming, you may have a new tool – and with a spinoff, there could be hiring at Simultronics or the Hero Engine spinoff. I've often said tools and middleware is a good place to be!

Zynga opens an Indian Studio – Sounds like they want both the presence and access to the talent. Not sure if this affects their hiring elsewhere – though I am sure rumors will start shortly they plan to ship overseas.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: DC Entertainment has got it's leadership in order for comics. What do they need to do in this market to survive and prosper?

– Steven Savage