News Of The Day 1/27/2011

Sony, Sony, and much more stuff. Oh and Sony. It's your Geek News Time – HOOOOOOO!

China Plans to tie several cities into one big megaregion. This is intriguing to me for obvious reasons – it represents an organized attempt to build a megaregion and address the potential issues of such place (that is if the promises can be believed). See what happens here, you amateur demographers and urbanists – it may be a good laboratory study. (I also suspect it may relate to China wanting to change it's land usage.)

Housing price changes are uneven. Richard Florida thinks that the market is stabilizing in some of the metros. I'm not 100% sure this will maintain, but he has a point.

Geek Law:
A new pro-net neutrality bill is in the senate. As I said, this fight is going to go on for awhile.

Is Demand Media the the future or a content mill? Plenty of questions no answers. I'd also ask if in a future of more apps and feeds and filters if this can last.

Here's a clever idea: Canadian wireless/cable provider Rogers has an entry level smartphone.

A look at Amazon's Kindle Singles program for smaller works (plus some other news). What's interesting to see is the various publicity deals around Singles as well. How will it work, not sure, but let's just say I plan to examine it deeply . . .

Social Media:
LinkedIn looks closer to IPO. Being a LinkedIn fanboy (have you seen the experimental map?) I'm all for this and think LinkedIn will do well – I also suspect they'll speed it up before the Facebook inevitable IPO.

The cats are back – Thundercats that is. It's back to the 80's as always, though this looks pretty decent design-wise, and some good staff behind it.

Hulu suddenly seems to be pulled in multiple directions. A further examination of what happened to it and why is here. It sounds to me like the people behind Hulu came together out of a fear of Netflix and others – but then were happy to turn around and try and have the best of all worlds.

Looks like Crush Object Netflix is going for heavy Facebook integration.

Video Games:
There's an Everquest II mobile app for some in-game communications. Not impressive, but an obvious course of additional software – that would also keep people engaged.

Nintendo's profits aren't too hot.

Playcast raises $10 million dollars for cloud gaming. My skepticism aside, this appears more and more viable.

Video Games -Sony:
Yes, we have a guide to Sony's NGP (oh, hell PSP2). A quick summary is here and a hands-on is here. It is slick, I have to say.

Also slick is their Xperia Play, which really is a kind of Playstation phone that runs Android and so far some emulators.

Now with this Sony is also making android games of previous titles and looking at Sony-branded android platform. Note that this would be a TON of popular games, many beloved and insanely popular, and thus an incredibly leverageable backlog.

Now for those of you following this, that means there's a new PSP. There's a gaming-oriented Sony phone. Sony also is working on an android-based game distribution/conversion platform. Yes, it's Sony's throw-it-at-the-wall strategy that we all love, but with something different – a broader approach.

Sony isn't jumping ship so much as it seems to be adding more to what it does. I felt (and hope to write more) on the possibilities of an Age of Ecosystems, but what I think Sony is doing is making SEVERAL ecosystems (at least 2 or 3) and then see what parts of those to keep.

In short, imagine a kind of Apple-like ecosystem evolving out of, not gradual evolution, but more of a kind of Cambrian explosion of things. Thats roughly what I think Sony is doing.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will Sony's two (or three) pronged strategy work?  Is it even intended for long-term?

Steven Savage