News of the Day 1/6/2010

It's CES. Microsoft is doing everything, Mac is doing one thing, ASUS is doing their things!  It's a thing-filled day today!

By the way, Bond Rating Agencies Still Suck. These guys need a bureaucratic and ethical enema so they can go back to doing their job (in a more well-regulated way).

Geek Law:
The Top 30 law firms involved in gaming. Progeeks into law, you know what to do.

Jersey Shore star Snooki/Nicole/Zhu-Zhu Pet Orange is going for big time branding. She's pulling another Paris Hilton. This is a good time for me to re-plug the book "Starstruck" as an excellent guide to the culture and money behind such events.

Social Media:
LinkedIn to go public in 2011? I'm very positive on a LinkedIn IPO – it may in fact send the company to further heights when the cash starts flowing, which means further opportunities. However I am concerned, as the article states, they could get drowned out by a big IPO by Facebook or Zynga, so my guess is they either speed it up to beat them – or wait until those are done and then go IPO later. Potential issue – if Facebook and/or Zynga do an IPO and the prices spike then crash, it could make LinkedIn and others hold off. (Please filter the above comments through the understanding LinkedIn is one of my Crush Objects).

Technology – Apple:
The Mac App Store Opens today. It appears to be game-dominated – but what has me interested is just what's there, many games I didn't suspect would be brought over for Mac, some I'm quite fond of or curious about (such as Puzzle Quest). I think the iPhone and iPad have associated the Mac brand with gaming far more, and with the fact so many games don't get ported to Mac, there's a real market there.

Technology – Microsoft:
Kinect will have conference and Avatar expressions? OK I have to say Kinect is starting to impress me much, much more. Now it's time for us progeeks to see how this technology expands and is used since Microsoft got it right – in fact it's very hackability shows its power. My take? Microsoft is going to use this to do more innovative control schemes (say . . . on Tablets?)

Windows System on a Chip? Well Microsoft can't exactly avoid that market, but considering past history, I'll believe it when I see it. The ambition show here is encouraging (and may lead to job opportunities) but Microsoft's history is a little spotty.

Microsoft reveals it's tabletop 'Surface' at CES. I have no idea what the point of this is.

A good roundup of Microsoft at CES here. It's pretty much Windows everywhere, but what interests me is how XBox fits into all of this – since that gives Microsoft a leg up on fellow ecosystem competitor Apple. There's not too much surprising here beyond, frankly, a more aggressive ecosystem push than I expected. I think Microsoft has a clear strategy, I'm not sure they can pull it off.

Keep an eye on this: a new digital format, UltraViolet is springing up – with a heavy emphasis on DRM as well as sharing. This is the kind of thing that gets missed early on, but it's backed by an interesting group of stakeholders, from HP to Netflix. Watch this one.

EBay's Mobile sales increased substantially in 2010. Try over 3 times. A reminder of the power of mobile these days, and the massive cultural shift involved.

Fan-to-pro crush object ASUS' EEE Slate is on pre-order from Amazon. Looks very, very sweet.

Boxee is making deals with CBS, doing an iPad App, and is involved in Vudu 3D. Despite ups and downs they're still at it. I think the Google/Apple announcements sucked the oxygen out of the room for awhile – and that so many video choices are actually going to make the market confused and annoying for consumers.

Video Games:
OMGPOP raises $10 million. Nice, simple, straightforward. Send 'em a resume.

Seriously, Sega puts games in toilets in Japan. Write your own jokes.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you give UltraViolet any chance to take off?

Steven Savage