News of the Day 7/8/2010

Plenty of motion in Social Media, takes on the world, and we may have more Hulu membership levels. Gear up for fannish career news!

One of the things promising to make trouble for banks for a decade or more? commercial real estate and bad loans to prop up . . . commercial real estate loans. A nice reminder that we may not see the end to the problems of the Great Recession for awhile.

Wells Fargo is eliminating 3,800 jobs. Ouch.

Comics: is broadening the platforms it runs on. Their goal, frankly, is to make their service available everywhere. They're also big on creating a comics standard. Also they're apparently courting Zuda creators and have connections to DeviantArt. Sounds like Graphic.Ly is going to be a big advocate for standards and widespread comics technology as opposed to a more limited, restrictive approach. So let's see who that makes their allies . . . and enemies.

Weird Al Yankovic may have a new film project. Ok it's not career-relevant, but it's WEIRD AL YANKOVIC.

It doesn't get much cooler than stem cell research, and drug/stem-cell researcher iPerian got a cool $22 million in investment. Maybe they need your resume . . .

Social Media:
Facebook is still at it! They're acquiring a reccomendation site called NextStop, and is making a deal with Malaysian company MOL to exchange MOLPoints for Facebook credits. The former is not surprising (though Yelp may not be happy). The latter show's Facebook's seriousness about penetrating the Asian market (which may good for you tech types with language skills). Also keep in mind Facebook credits may not be profitable for a few years – Facebook is probably thinking both immediate and long-term.

Playdom continues its roll as well; they acquired MetaPlace which has some sweet technology. My guess is that Playdom is up to some big plans (probably involving MMO-like games as well), so I'd keep them on your target company list, as well as seeing how their rivals react.

Yahoo has a future due to it's neutrality? OK not sure what to think here, so this is presented for your analysis.

Hulu's chief is open to an ad-free version, of course at a higher price, since Hulu Plus is basically paying for better access. Smart move to jump on this so quickly – and similar to what we called. Kudos to Hulu.

Video Games:
AuroraFeint raises $4 million for an Android Game Network. They want to duplicate their (apparently small) iPhone network, and up the Android game purchasing experience. Pretty ambitious, and though their current network is small, that investment and the Android platform promise to make it interesting. Resume-worthy?

Ouch. Firaxis lays off 20 people.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will Hulu's membership idea with add-free and add-holding paid memberships work, or will people demand they be the same?

– Steven Savage