News of the Day 4/19/2010

More Goldman Sachs news, Netflix continues their world domination efforts, the new iPhone shows up in a bar, and gaming education news!  It's your must-know progeek and profan news!

In Memorandum:
Carl Macek passes away. Macek is at times berated for some of his earlier work and its quality, but he did a great deal to make anime more accessible and make people more aware of it.

How to reignite your business network. Nice, simple advice that's quite useful

Goldman-Sachs a go-go – you may not be much of a geekonomist, but you want to at least try and keep up on this issue. A look at questions the suit raises. There's been several subponeas that went out in January from the SEC, so you may have an idea who's next. A roundup of articles. Plus the term 'GS' enters our lexicon.

Oh, and as a hint for the future? The SEC Panel was split along party lines. Yes, this will probably be politicized.  Further.

Global Warming? Business opportunity! A look at companies for whom climate change is an opportunity – or the very reason for their existance – and how climate change affects various industries. Must-read, just to get your imagination going and expand your view.

Anime and Manga:
Viz titles dominate the NY Times Manga Bestsellers – And are you surprised? Viz has a pretty powerful presence.

Netflix world domination tour, now stoping at Seagate media players, along with YouTube. Must I keep repeating how impressed I am with Netflix? They've clearly got a lot going for them, including a smart marketing/outreach department. I'd say the next question is, once Netflix is on every device possible (2-3 years or so?) what they'll do next.

Dragons beat screwed-up superheroes apparently as 'How To Train Your Dragon' trumps newcomer film 'Kick-Ass' by a quarter million dollars this weekend despite HTTYD being out for awhile. This surprises me a bit, though I am hearing 'How To Train Your Dragon' is a spectacuarly good film. Geek film versus geek film of a different time, advantage – family entertainment?

Is this Apple's Next iPhone – A look at a lost device that is apparently the real deal. Only now besides a lost phone, whoever lost this is going to have a lost job. More links at the end of this to really get more details. It looks like an improvement on a lot of levels. A very mysterious thing too – quite convenient how it was left/found . . .

Also some thoughts on what this new iPhone could mean for gaming. Looks like developers get two cameras to play with – so if you're doing iPhone development, you have something new to play with.

A long analysis of the question: iPad can topple the Kindle? Lots of good points in this article, including Amazon's publishing ambitions, the flaws in the current publishing model, and the place of Google. As usual, if you do any kind of writing and publishing, you need to keep track of this. I certainly am.

An expert predicts 1 out of 5 textbooks will be digital by 2014. I'd say that's on the money if not slightly lower than I'd predict. Considering the insane prices of textbooks and the ubiquity of various reader devices, this makes sense to me – and it means over time people will get more and more used to e-books.


Does American competitiveness hinge on clean energy? A column from one gentleman that thinks so. May give you some things to think about in your career.

Social Media:

Playdom hires ex-Yahoo exec as CTO. Playdom looks promising as they keep getting powerful talent. I'd call them resume-worthy.


Our friends at Digital Sky Technologies just invested $135 million in group discount company Groupon. DST, now with more Chinese cash as we noted, has its fingers in a lot of American internet and social media companies. Globalization at work (and DST seems pretty savvy), so keep an eye on where DST's money goes – it may tell you what the next big thing is, and it may tell you where potential jobs are. Plus anything this complex is worth watching if it affects your job.

Video Games:
Education in video games: Several schools create a 9th-grade program on video game development, and there's a Penny Arcade Scholarship. You know what to do, people.

7-11 enters the used game business – I suppose this means a decent income stream for them, but certainly makes hiring and staffing more complex. On the other hand this means games are so ubiquitous they're essentially like magazines you grab just to have something to do (my guess is that 7-11 would do really good in the DS market), or a quick "I forgot" gift.

Ubisoft to get rid of manuals, move all instructions into game. This is a trend I've been expecting – it's eco-friendly, and probably makes final production a bit easier and cheaper. Plus a few tweaks and you can make an updatable help system.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What other devices should Netflix pursue a presence on?

– Steven Savage