News Of The Day 3/30/2011

Lots of movie news, a catfight in gaming, Zipcar may go public, and Salesforce . . . well keeps being awesome. On with the news!

A helpful infographic on Japan's Power Grid to gie you an idea of what's going on.

No growth in business establishments since 2007 – in short, there hasn't been growth in places to DO business in some time. There may be many reasons for that, but it's an interesting trend.

California appears to be having an employment recovery, at least in Silicon Valley and San Diego. Of course the state government is still pretty paralyzed, but it's nice to see some progress.

I'd really not put Florida on your relo list. It's basically got legal bribery set up for state legislators. I mean, seriously, the heck?

Yes, I had to add automotive today – because Zipcar may be filing for a public offering. What is Zipcar you ask? It's a car-sharing company that uses a variety of technologies – and common sense – to create a sort of pick-and-go car rental company. I think they'll do quite well, they have a smart business idea that will only get more appealing over time.

It's better, but still not buying the new Wonder Woman costume, though it does work better in action. My theory, below, is that DC may be wanting to use a Justice League movie as a kind of reboot, and that may explain why this product seems so oddball.

Looks like that deal with Microsoft didn't help. Nokia's rating was cut for the first time ever by the S&P. I'm not sure how they're going to fare in the future, but nothing I see looks promising.

Here we go again, more sequels and spinoffs – but of good stuff. The Penguins of Madagascar get a film which isn't surprising except it took this long – and I wonder if the magic is gone. There's also a kind of Monsters, Inc. prequel in the works.

Is Sucker Punch causing problems for Zach Snyder?. I'd say not yet, but there are rumblings, which may mean he finds Warner/DC leaning on him further on the film. On the other hand, I do approve of his casting, it has a pleasantly experimental feel.

Adding onto the Snyderdom – apparently his Superman won't be the one in the Justice League film. At this rate the Justice League film feels like it's own reboot anyway. Is that the plan? Use the JL film to sort of restart everything . . . again? No idea here.

Pfenex launches an e-commerce site to buy proteins. That's just plain neat, and clever. And hey, they're in San Diego, so if you want to work for a neat and clever science company that's thinking ahead . . . Also, will other companies follow suit? Is there a chance for creating science-based e-good sites?

Social Media:
Google introduces the +1 Button, basically their version of Facebook's 'Like' button. However this is going to plug into their search, friends, and even into ads. It's a seemingly small choice, but think of the synergy it has – all without taking on Facebook directly. Get ready to get that button on your sites . . .

Perinneal (and personal) Crush Object Salesforce buys web monitoring company Radian6 for $340 million. Radian will make it easier for people to monitor social news interactions about their companies and products, which is another sign of Salesforce's continual move to provide more services. It's also a sign they can throw around 1/3 a billion dollars.

Roku to be on shelves at Best Buy.

Video Games:
Nintendo says the 3D launch was it's best handheld debut ever. We still need to see numbers, of course.

Signs that the Ultima franchise may be revived. That property has a well-regarded legacy overall (even if there are some past questions on the MMO). A restart of it could be profitable – but also sounds a tad cynical.

A Rovio dev fires back at Nintendo comments on cheap games. Included to illustrate the inevitable catfight.

Self-Published author's outburst over review goes viral. Remember going viral is NOT always a good thing . . .

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is the Justice League movie a chance to reboot for DC?

– Steven Savage