News Of The Day 1/3/2011

Internet in Canada may have a reversal again, Verizon throttles high-bandwidth users (but not in the way you expect), and Colbert and Stewart are worth a TON of money. Let's find out where the backlogs are in today's news!

The US economy: sucking slightly less.

Productivity is slightly up in the US.

Various numbers I hear bandied about it sounds like we've got quite a few more years to go . . .

What did the loss of the internet do to Egypt's economy? How about a loss of $90 million? Thats about 3-4% of the country's economic output – and you can bet companies working in Egypt are now a hell of a lot less trusting.

Unemployed youth had some role in the Egyptian uprising – and youth unemployment is an issue all over the world. Some good insights on both Egypt and on global issues. Interesting point – "more education" isn't the answer as it needs to be the right kind at the right time.

Geek Law:
In Canada, Industry Minister Tony Clement says the government will overturn the CRTC devision on internet usage-based billing – if the CRTC doesn't. Tamara already covered this so let me know for our friends in the states and elsewhere, this will clearly become an example case.

Could Rdio be a kind of Netflix of Music? Some people are investing $17.5 million thinking it is. Plus they throw in some social media elements. I'm not sure it can work, but the model they're using has been validated (Netflix), and they've got cash. Plus some of their competitors haven't been too bright – though Apple is their most serious threat. Might be resume-worthy, and worth keeping track of to see how their model works.

Borders probably could file for bankrupcy at the end of the month. We're sadly not surprised.

Props to Epocrates for their IPO. A nice smart company with a good idea for getting medical records and information out, I'd give them a ring and a resume. It's also nice to see a non-"event" IPO out there.

– Most interesting point to me is that people are getting used to multisource content. That makes me wonder about the future of microtransactions for content.

Are cleantech companies missing the boat on how they should work? Good questions to ask and hopefully answer.

Verizon is going to throttle high-bandwith data users – Admittedly in a way that doesn't shaft other people, but this still isn't going to be popular.

How much would you pay to get "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" on your streaming service? If you're Hulu, $40 to $50 million. Yeah, I know, I keep thinking it's wrong too, but wow. As Hulu hasn't been looking too organized I'm not sure how much thought went into this – but if these prices are legit it might help those of you working in video/streaming scale pricing plans.

Video Games:
OUCH. THQ posts a record loss

MUST READ: A great analysis of the success of Minecraft. Goes beyond some of my previous analysis, focuses on tribal structure (very Godin) and in general is just damn well written. Go and learn.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: So what effect will Canada's experience have on other countries – and how fast?

Steven Savage