News Of The Day 3/9/2011

It's an onslaught of unoriginality in films, some new pricing challenges in books, and Acer is charging on! Let's check the news!

How are things in the Eurozone? Not good. High Greek unemployment, and Ireland still flailing.

Geek Law:
The EU's new cookie-tracking law may mess with startups. Imagine having to give consent for cookies on sites. Now imagine having to rewrite your sites. Now imagine the US and other companies not worrying about this law. You get the idea.

Al-Jazeera is in the news a lot because of it's coverage of Egypt and Middle East uprisings, and even Secretary of State Clinton's statements about the network and others trumping US News and this impacting US mindshare. Well Al-Jazeera isn't stopping, with a Children's channel and, seriously, a revolution tracking twitter dashboard.

Beyond Al-Jazeera's ambitions, this is also a point of consideration for the US News – has the more opinion-oriented, inflammatory style limited interest to the US (and limited it period)? Could other media competition be around the corner?

PLEASE. JUST. STOP. Universal is considering a 3D Reboot of the Doom film. Are we this out of ideas? Is risk avoidance this high? I dunno. Sadly I think the 'Doom' film's biggest flaw was trying too hard, but I don't think an attempt to redeem it is in order. I'm wondering if we're going to get near "critical remake" in Hollywood where it just because ridiculous and crashes film prospects.

Universal's wrangling is also part of the reason the Del Toro take on 'At The Mountains Of Madness' is on hold. It sounds like it could have been an 'Avatar of Horror' but now . . . not so much because of budget and rating concerns. And considering the Shoggoths are some of the scariest stuff in horror, it's hard to see it being toned down. More playing it safe it appears . . . and missing the chance to make a classic with the right man for the job.

As a breath of fresh air from unoriginality, there's Fandor, a kind of netflix for indie and other unusual films. This sounds pretty intriguing, though it's still beta. At a reasonable subscription fee, with likely cheap licensing, and a good fanbase I see this as a survivable model. I might even get a subscription myself. Smart move, good example of nicheing, watch this space for future developments (ranging from their demise at the hands of Netflix to success).

How John Locke sold tons of books at 99 cents. No, not the guy from Lost, the author. Some good advice and speculation here, and the big note – JUST GO FOR IT. I mean, seriously, with some basic knowledge you can get your book out. So do it.

Wow, food delivery service Grub Hub raises $20 million. It's an interest model, mixing mobile and web tech, restaurant-based commissions, different levels of restaurant involvement, and white label marketing. This sounds great at first blush, I may need to check it out – and you may want to send these guys a resume.

Acer's tablet orders are larger than expected, and they hope to overtake apple in 2 to 3 years. OK, not betting on the latter, but they make good stuff.

Video Games:
Sony is going to provide cloud storage for your saved games. Well, for certain subscribers, but think of what this does – removes the fear of loss and gives them a new revenue stream. Not a bad call, and probably a trend we'll see continue in cloudville.

Cryptic's new COO is co-founder Jack Emmert. I think it's a good move – I often feel Cryptic isn't fully living up to it's potential, and this could help them get over that. Maybe time to check job positions there?

So, Nitendo basically took a break from Wii support? Apparently. I mean things aren't bad for Nintendo, but it seems they're losing mindshare and are a bit behind despite some innovations and good stuff (some downloads are quite good. I think Nintendo has been pulled in many directions – and has some painful decisions coming up.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: So do you think Grub Hub can make it as a business?

Steven Savage