News Of The Day 3/31/2011

Didn't see the layoff coming at SOE, or the Microsoft/Google Lawsuit in the EU . . it's a surprising day today!

Geek Law:
Microsoft brings an antitrust suit against Google in the EU. Now I have some potential issues with Google, but this smacks of pure desperation on Microsoft's part – not to mention it makes them look bad.

Anime and Manga:
Forgot this – Kodansha brings back Love Hina and Tokyo Mew Mew. I stand by my theory they – and others – plan to leverage their backlog.

If this wasn't a Johnny Depp vehicle I'd be more annoyed, but the Fifth Pirates of the Caribbean script is in the works. Starting to see a lot of pre-emptive scripting aren't we? As much as I enjoy Depp's work (in many things), this feels like another cases of the Unoriginality we're all complaining about.

Movie attendance is down 20% since last year. OK I could get snarky, but I feel bad for people operating the theaters. But between the bad films, other options, and the remakes, what are they left with. Maybe it's time to consider the Theater idea has had its time.

A look at Amazon's Cloud Music release, which is really getting an odd reception (from "meh" to "cool" to "lawsuit"). I agree this'll lead to legal clashes – but the cloud IS the future, and Amazon is backing it.

Google joins the NFC forum – the Near Field Communications forum, you know the people into mobile-swipe communications. Certainly gives you an idea they want a piece of the action – or feel they need to catch up. I think they want to just be in on it in case – just like anything else. Might be some oppos at Google around NFC . . .

Foxconn loses a lot of money this year. This is the largest assembler of technology in the world (and no stranger to controversy). Not sure what this means – but it's big enough I want you to know about it.

I forgot that MTV has a somewhat Twlight-esque Teen Wolf Remake. No really. How did I miss this? Did I repress something?

We might need a chart for this one. Fox tells Time Warner to stop streaming channels on Time Warner's iPad App. So basically Time Warner lets subscribers see stuff on another device – an iPad – and Fox (and also Scripps) don't like it. Time Warner is also fighting – and it will affect the future of similar apps. Watch this space for what happens when it comes to content distribution and rights – and to watch assorted companies people are annoyed with annoy each other.

Video Games:
Sony Online cuts 3 studios and 200 jobs – They've had some trouble (The Agency), and it's a tough market. But that's a big cut – and it seems to be dedicated to focusing on existing properties. May want to watch yourself if you want to work at Sony Online (or are there now and survived the cuts). Also a reminder gaming is still having its issues.

HEADS UP: GameSalad gets $6 million in VC and they want to enable people to make games – even make them socially. Now these are 2D games, so it's no Unity engine, but they do seem to have an idea of how people want to be empowered to make games. I'm not sure of their long-term prospects (I see them as a company that's bought, buys, or folds into others), but I like what I see – as does Disney's Steamboat Ventures. May be worth a resume – and also worth watching to see if "apps everywhere" mean more tools like this.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is Microsoft's Google lawsuit going to backfire on them at all – and is it a sign of desperation?

Steven Savage