News Of The Day 5/13/2010

Deficits aren't what we think, the new Marvel MMO isn't what was expected, Facebook may not be where they expect, and more and more expectations aren't the same. What you can expect is your must-know Geekonomic news!

The danger of deficits is . . . nothing? Some fascinating discussion that may get a bit wonky, but will make you think. Deficits for countries may not matter as long as the country can still raise money. I still have trouble wrapping my head around this, but hey, it makes you think and that's good . . .

For those of you who have followed our Eurozone discussions (both of you), some tasty, tasty graphs about Eurozone economic issues courtesy of potential crush object Der Spiegel.

More banks facing scrutiny: Eight appear to be in the sights of the NY Attorney General for decieving ratings agencies. Why is this important? A) If it reveals a lot of ugliness it could create some panic, B) It will hopefully lead to more financial regualtion which is good for the economy, C) It will hopefully help suss out what rating agencies were doing rating banks and investments that were in reality pretty lousy.

Wow, lots of new England companies getting investments. As much as I love California, New England seems to be increasingly geektastic (with more cold and better chowder). I will say you can't leave it out of a geek job search – especially Boston (near the top of my list if I ever have to relocate again).

Anime and Manga:

Viz won't be cancelling any lines or products despite it's troubles. Most of the cuts were publicity and art – which can be outsourced.

Media Blasters offers streaming. Though the series in questions are fanservicey to say the least. I guess they know it'll get attention, though I do wonder as to the reactions of the larger public. Either way more streaming in anime . . .

Rollercoaster Tycoon, the movie? Apparently. Probably in 3D. No, I have no idea why this exists, and there are so many more properties to licence. For that matter, can we get a Brutal Legend animated series?

Avatar sequel announcement in a few months – Part of me says they can't top the original film. They I remember this is James Cameron, the living anomoly. Either way it's gonna get a lot of attention, and of course further push SF and 3D into the mainstream – though it seems to be just about there anyway.

Amazon's eBook bestsellers will list free ebooks separately, which strikes me as an appropriate thing actually, considering the use of these lists.

Social Media:
The Diaspora 'Open Facebook' project raises its target amount. They did this via Kickstarter, a kind of money-raising/funding site that I'm seeing in the news more and more. Interesting for competition with Facebook, also interesting in the use of a new financing model – and if you work in social media, you certainly want to pay attention to this.

Facebook has called an all-hands meeting on privacy, considering the withering attention they've gotten as of late. A reminder of how up can turn to down in the field of social media tech – and that social pressure works on social media companies. Let's see what comes of this – because the shine is off of Facebook now, and this could mean a seismic shift in social media space. However, I also remember the endless predictions of the death of Twitter so I'm making no guesses. Just remember what Facebook does will affect many others.

Or maybe, as this author notes we take social media too seriously. I tend to agree, but that's because social media plays on our social natures.

For that matter, here's a graph of how Facebook's privacy features work.

And the Apple/Adobe ragefest continues as Adobe targets Apple in its ad campaign. Can't say I'm impressed – and considering how much of some markets are owned by Adobe, it sounds a bit hypocritical to criticize freedom. I don't see this as an effective campaign tactic. I see no way this will end particuarly well.

Video Games:
Looks like Bonnie wins again: The Playstation 3 seems to be doing better all the time. I will certainly credit Sony's hardheaded endurance for a lot of the improvement. Still not thrilled with the menuing system and the OS support, but I hope for improvements. This may signal an eventual shift in the politics and economics of the Big 3 companies.

Marvel's Super Hero Squad MMO is coming soon. This is an interesting take – because it's a game where one can play existing heroes, and its in the cuter, more family-friendly SHS style. An interesting potential market approach here – limited by age, but able to tap the same audience that, say, Wizardry 101 hoped to tap (before they became the unexpected cross-age hit they were). Let's see what happens here, this may dovetail well with Disney strategies. I suspect this was in the plans for awhile, and thus this further made the Disney acquisition make sense.

A great analysis of Zynga past, present, and future which points out the way the company may go – or have to go. A good read, check it out.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: With the Marvel MMO, Free Realms, Wizardry 101, and more are we in the age of the Family Friendly MMO?

-Steven Savage