News Of The Day 2/24/2011

(Sorry this went up late, we'll still have today's news)

A look at why Ireland's economic bubble burst. It actually is more crazy than I thought, including mixture of private-sector corruption, public-sector patronage, and now a massive immigration issue – as in people leaving.

Get some insight into the MERS mess. It looks like the folks there are confident of support from the government – though the current plan being kicked around by the government seems to be a weird grab-bag to me.

And this is from FORBES: How 'financialism' is destroying America. A simple but concise point that focus on short-term gains and shareholder value undermines capitalism and society.

Geek Law and More:
The FTC is going to look at the impact of freemium games. I could have seen this coming.

Anime and Manga:
Oh this is interesting: Kodansha and Dai Nippon acquire Vertical, an American company that does a lot of Japanese translations. Well we've been waiting on Kodansha's big moves, and here you go – that's a big one as 50% of their titles will be Kodansha. Hey, why have the Japanese companies make deals here when they can just buy or start companies . . . Cool Japan has deep pockets.

Remakes and re-imaginings continue, including, I kid you not, The Bodyguard. Also there's a sort of remake/spinoff/re-take on Hellraiser.

Is Disney aiming to add youth horror to it's mix while the Princesses take a break? Henry Selick's new studio is working with them on a film called Shademaker – and he has a hell of a background, including some creeptastic stuff. Also they're in San Francisco, so keep an eye on this to see what it says for Disney's direction (if they find one) and job oppose.

Ouch. Medical tech bigwig Medtronic is cutting 2000 jobs. Sounds like they're a bit directionless.

io9 looks at agribusiness trends that are going to run into problems.

Social Media:
LinkedIn is blocked in China, possibly due to the Twitter connections. Interesting article, and a good look at issues with China, Social Media, and local competition. The Chinese market has many unique demands (politics aside) that can be difficult to meet – but expect people to try for that big, big market.

Disney bought Togetherville a kid-friendly social network. I can see many reasons to have bought them – from using it as a Disney brand to a method to get people into their network to ad sales – but let's see what happens. I'm still getting a handle on Disney's directions.

Social Media tech company Syncapse raises $25 million. Don't know much about them, but that is a nice chunk of money.

Software As A Service: lands $48 million in investment. is a big SaaS storage/collaboration site that's getting a lot of use (indeed, I use it). More CorpTechPocalypse on it's way it appears – they've got quite a presence and can leverage this money. Probably, so send your future Storage Overlords a resume.

OK, I'm finding the fact Lifetime has two more Natalee Holloway-related projects a tad creepy.

Dogpile on Netflix time, it seems everyone wants someone to pony up for their use of bandwidth from metered usage to an outright tax for infrastructure. This is on top of the whole Level 3/Comcast mess. I feel for Netflix (who I feel is an outstanding company and service), but we're running into a lot of real issues, from infrastructure to sheer greed. How they navigate these waters will affect not just them (though I expect they're virtually unkillable), but will affect taxes, bandwidth usage, and more. I give it a decent chance (slightly higher than 50%) that Netflix gets more political to deal with this – which may have many implications.

Video Games:
Deep Breaths People! There is apparently going to be a Doctor Who MMO. Sounds like it uses the TARDIS as a hub system and people play folks recruited by the Doctor. The game company, Three Rings, created the beloved Puzzle Pirates MMO, so it's an interesting, if short, pedigree being applied to the game. Will it work? I have no idea, there's not enough to say, but it is intriguing, and shows the BBC's continuing commitment to the property.

In a cool move, Gearbox wants to hear from Duke Nukem contributors to make sure they're properly credited. Smart, classy, community-building, and helps avoid legal nastiness, very smart. I still say watch Gearbox, company with a lot of potential – and some serious smarts.

Steven Savage