News of the Day 4/30/2010

A chance for economic improvement, and tons of Apple news.  Let's get to the news!

The US Economy has had three quarters of economic growth. It seems consumer-driven as well, which makes me suspect more long-term sales and pent-up demand. Interesting takeaways and some thoughts:

  • Government spending shrank overall, despite stimulus spending, so this is consumer driven. This might be used for an argument for – or against – more stimulus. To be fair, I am biased towards more since I think it'll be needed, even though I loathe debt.
  • It's improving, but we still have a lot of unemployed people to get back to work. However unemployment seems stable
  • I'm still concerned about countries with more troubled economies, such as Greece, Japan, and Spain affecting any re-alignment. I am also concerned banks are not regulated properly.

Looks like we've got a criminal investigation of Goldman-Sachs coming up which surprises . . . well pretty much no one. This isn't a done deal, but considering Goldman's dismal performance in their latest hearings, they're looking very vulnerable, and the SEC, when it gets going, can be vicious and tenacious. I frankly consider this a good thing as this will lead to more airing-out of issues and better regulation, but you can be sure some of the findings will produce at least a few mini-panics and stock-market drops as the investigations reveal just how unstable some parts of the world economy are.

Canada gaining or surpassing US in educated immigration. Of course you've been hearing me talk about this for awhile – Canada has learned how to lure talent. Trust me, I've seen it in action.

Anime and Manga:
Gainax has a part-time, short-term position open. Will hire Japanese-literate people.

New Manga/art/illustration print quarterly starts up – F*X*T. Sounds interesting and contribution-worthy. THey're alsu using Kickstart for funding, which is worth investigating for your own projects.

A still from the Thor movie is out and it looks reasonably true to the character designed. Based on this and other discussions, it seems this has a LoTR-meets-Kirby feel (and if you squee over Tolkein and Kirby in the same sentence, you're like me). I'm actually more positive on the movie all the time as it seems to be keeping to its roots – plus combining heroic muscular guys with great hair, fantasy, and superheroics sounds like a way to appeal to, well, everyone. If it is indeed it will continue to embolden Marvel/Disney on their various projects (and of course may mean job openings).

Apple is shutting down Lala, which everone suspects means – and Apple's continual move to more services. Hmmm, if that's true, will we also see the iBookstore move to the cloud?

A comparison of iPad and Kindle, why iPad will probably win – and how Amazon can come out ahead anyway.
Amazon-Penguin tiff results in price cuts for Penguin books, apparently to make a point.

HP drops its Windows 7 Tablet Project to concentrate on Google/Android and, of course, Palm. I agree with this reporter, I don't know how to make Palm WebOS a go considering the limited market, but with a strong fanbase, maybe they see it as foundation-building. Not sure what HP is up to here, so I don't know what the impact will be for careers, jobs, and if HP is resume-worthy.

Steve Jobs discusses problems with Flash. Adobe appears to be moving on. Though blogs are playing this up as a big fight, it's actually being handled with civility as far as I'm concerned. Frankly I think Adobe is just givign up on the iPhone conflcit (but not the iPhone, I bet they are still hoping for some later deal) and moving on. What is odd to me however, is that few people are addessing Adobe's market dominance, though I suspect some of them are biding their time for HTML 5 (and if HTML 5 takes off prepare to see a shift in needed skills – and it appears Microsoft is big on HTML 5). By the way some people think this conflict will be good for media companies.

More on the Big iPhone Issue that looks more into who was involved, and with plenty of useful links. Unfortunately, it also makes it even more confusing, with go-betweens, ignorance, the fact the phone may have been lost for awhile, and people claiming to be from Apple wanting to search the sellers house. What's going on? I have no idea, and it's made all the more confusing by the fact this is Silicon Valley/Bay Area, which is pretty unusual anyway.

And if you haven't had ENOUGH Apple news, here's an interesting speculation that Apple's goal is a cloud-based device ecosystem and that it wants to get there before the PC market craters.

Get a profile of the ceo of Digital Sky Technologies, the Russian company (with some backing from all over the world, including China) that has a lot of investments in Silicon Valley. Remember they just got ICQ. My take? Watch this guy – he's got a science background (which I can assure you, helps with predictions), he plays smart and he plays long.

QUESTION OF THE DAY:Do you think we'll ever get the full story of the iPhone incident?

-Steven Savage