News of The Day 2/19/2010

DC's new leaders have Bright Ideas after Blackest Night. An alliance emerges in publishing. Sony looks at a universal controller. It's your must-read news for profans and progeeks!

Using the internet in your job search – Good advice we hear all the time – compiled into one article.

It's always good to learn from others about careers. Here you get an overview of how Bob Newhart went from accounting to comedy. He'll also be discussing it at several upcoming events. Fun tidbits, some inspiring ideas, and great anecdotes from the famous comedian.

Your real forclosure fear may be commercial real estate. Though the article focuses on Washington DC, it covers the national issue as well. This has the potential to be the next real estate bubble – and could mean a double-dip recession. I also am curious about foreign purchases of properties and the effect that will have economically and politically. It's not just the housing market, folks . . .

Lots of people left banking in 2008? Not quite, many bankers and traders went to related companies.

Richard Florida's got your geek chart fix here, looking at just what makes those happy cities happy. Big issue seems to be happines correlates mildly with a lot of stuff, but good human/intellectual capital is the major factor.

Anime and Manga:
The ever-impressive Roland Kelts discusses How Anime has to mature into its own brand not play to the home market. The time, he says, is now.

io9 interviews the new bigwigs at DC Entertainment. Sounds like their goal is to be #1, and that means more multimedia and more talent cultivation, and perhaps a broadening focus. Sounds like some opportunities may come out of this for people . . . but let's see how it turns out. Dirk Deppey is positive because he sees good long-term planning. 

Scribd makes a deal with Author Solutions putting their titles on the Scribd site as well. The deal sounds good for authors from the start, but I don't know if the increased reach will be significant for them – and Author House's model, though complete, does require rather hefty up-front fees. I don't think this will steal business away from other publishers (Amazon's ClearSpace, Lulu) so much as make Author House a better deal for people who use it. I'm more interested in seeing what future alliances can bring.

Social Media:
Facebook to extend its payment options – And these options give them a cut. Somehow I feel that Facebook is going for a mix of WoW Auction and Gaia – and there's a LOT of virtual cash changing hands. Besides the expansion, look for more legal/privacy/virtual good questions to come up regarding this. Expect competitors to look at it and realize Facebook has become a "meta-auction" of various games and want a piece.

Introducing ResearchGATE, a Facebook for scientists to help them share ideas. Social media AND scientific discussion? It could only get geekier if it's mascot was a mecha-driving anime catgirl with a deck of Magic: The Gathering cards. On a serious side, as we've seen before, specialist communities can thrive and prosper. This is a good case study. Sad note – they don't appear to be hiring yet.

Hulu on iPad? Probably going to be a subscription. Analysis of the inevitable Hulu-iPad interface. I tend to agree that's the likely model – "premium device, premium service". I also think frankly Hulu could take advantage of the inevitable tablet market anyway. A good read.

Video Games:
Bonnie will have to fan herself off after this one: Sony files patent for a universal gaming remote. I could take this a lot of ways, but I think it's a mix of A) their throw-it-at-the-wall mentality, B) potentially sneaking into other markets or retromarkets, and C) a bit of one-upsmanship in adaptability. With C) think of it this way – you make a console and it has one controller and any others are bought. With a universal controller you could, in theory, have games for the same console use different control schemes designed just for the game. My guess is Sony has a heavy interest in that despite other advantages. Also, if this thing starts becoming real, look out for the wave of imitators – remember what the Wii spawned?

Is speed a driving factor in the game industry – A good read. I'd say yes – and moreso lately. Gaming is now living in the "internet time" so many others have dealt with in the past. Take your time on this one – and consider how it may also compare, to, say, e-fiction . . .

Women's-interest group for the game industry spins off of IGDA. As gaming still is coping with it's "all male" image in the industry, I can see a need for this. For you women who want to break into gaming, this may be worth joining as well as the IGDA.

Want to break into ghostwriting? Here's a starting guide to a surprisingly lucrative – and widespread – career.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Sony's universal gaming remote – oddball idea, or a chance to change the controller market?  Or something else?

– Steven Savage