News Of The Day 5/27/2011

It's a heaping helping of news on this Friday, from interesting regional economic trends, to plenty of Sony news, and your inevitable some-lawsuit-in-Mobile. Get reading, we've got a lot of big issues:

A look at regional unemployment rates- and the drop in the midwest. Interesting read, and it looks like a boost in agri and manufacturing has helped (neither of which I expected). That might be a helpful primer to the rest ofthe meandering economy.

India's outsourcing companies are having some problems keeping up. So I wonder who's going to replace them – but that may not be a country, that could be a CorpTechPocalypse type event where they're replaced with methodology and technology.

Geek Law:
PayPal Sues Google over possible trade secrets due to their hiring of a former employee. I need a chart to keep track of this. It sounds it may be legit on the surface, but as it's timing comes right after Google's big deal on mobile payment, it seems awful strategic. Mobile and advanced payment systems might be a new, wide-ranging legal battleground at this rate considering all the potential players. Maybe this belongs under 'Everything Wars' as well . . .

Anime and Manga:
Kadokawa and Dwagon up their partnership with mutual investment. Sounds like a general tightening of things between the two companies, but I wouldn't be surprised at an eventual merger. I also want to see what they do outside of Japan.

Change alert! Ziff Davis has hired for two tech news/review-oriented positions. That smells like job oppos to me if they're changing focus or better yet adding new focus – and they have another acquisition comming apparently. It also makes me wonder if there's space for more tech news/reviews, then I look at the dismal state of some sites and realize . . . yes there is.

E-media sales are the big increases at b2b publishers. Totally not surprising – and considering how everyone is heading into e-publishing, a good area to move your technical skills into (especially if you got nailed by the CorpTechPocalypse).

Most Android apps are hardly downloaded at all. Not surprising, but if you do apps, you need to be aware of this (I'm starting to think this will lead to a lot more cross-promotion and even changing the idea of what Apps ARE).

Video Games:
A look at – and interviews with the people of – Pocket Gems. A discussion of mobile, free-to-play, and the market follows. What's interesting to me is, beyond those subjects, Pocket Gems focuses on a very craftsmanlike approach to their work (and in the glut of games out there you notice Craftsmanship). A good read, and as they recently got a nice $5 million investment you may want to send out that resume.

Here comes Disney Universe which sounds like a kind of Phatasy Star-esque semi-MMO. It apparently takes place in a grab-bag of Disney and related worlds, using an action-platformer type gameplay. Certainly a ripe opportunity – and Kingdom Hearts worked – plus it's Disney. Of course this also sounds like the kind of thing that could get screwed up horribly (after sinking a ton of money into it) because there's many ways to do too much or too little. This may also explain some of Disney's recent issues of focus and other moves. So, get your resume ready, and watch the potential launch dates (since this could be a doozy of a buzzkill if it launches during a title you're working on).

PSN finally back in Asia. I am not sure people really care that much anymore – we knew it was coming, but still . . .

Also, Sony is still kinda straightening it all out anyway.

Finally, regarding the PS4, Sony sounds like they're willing to drop unprofitable/bad ideas early which actually works well with their throw-it-at-the-wall strategy.

QUESTION OF THE DAY:With e-publishing becoming a norm, will it pass through an internal-to-external phase, or is it going to be more outsources and not have its own "CorpTechPocalypse"?

Steven Savage