News Of The Day 6/13/2011

Legal actions, police actions, why Groupon will fail, changes to Windows development . . . what a day in geeky career news!

We've had six weeks of stock market declines. And the evidence usually indicates this is followed by a rally – or a crash/correction. I'm not sure myself, so I present this interesting data.

Geek Law:
iCloud communications sues Apple over the iCloud name – and to be fair, they seem to have a pretty open case and no malice. I'm with the author – I think they'll settle. I just have to wonder though did Apple do any research on the name – because it seems this would have come up pretty easily.

HP is in the initial stages of creating a digital music service – apparently starting with an outreach to entertainment. OK so now everyone is apparently doing this – though HP does seem to be thinking a bit radically as of late, so it may be a more "outrageous" approach. Certainly they seem the Ecosystems evolving and may want a part of it – or not to be left behind.

On the other hand? With all these music services, they either can't all survive, will be spun off/merge to get wider reach, or will survive and evolve. You need to be aware of what's up – though with everyone jumping on this bandwagon, it may be a place for your career or services.

Thoughts on what Amazon should do with it's Kindle iPad App. Some good thoughts – and I'd missed the use of HTML5 apps to go around Apple. Complicated, complicated again – and a reminder that in Ecosystem times, these little wars aren't over by a long shot. (And if you're a developer you're at least looking into HTML 5, right?).

Speaking of Kindle, Radio Shack is now selling it. Yeah, I keep forgetting they're around (oh, how far they fell from the time I bought resistors there). Of course in an age of gadgetization, Radio Shack might just be poised for a comeback as a kind of all-device store – . . . hmmmm. Keep that in mind for later.

Security, Outages, and More:
Codemasters, the game developer, got hacked. So, age of more hacks or are we just hearing more about them now?

Looks like Anonymous attacked a Spanish police site after the arrests. I still think the arrests had little to do with Sony. I also think Anonymous could become a convenient scapegoat for hacked companies, and am curious as to how their public image will evolve.

Nintendo and Epic are hacked too.

Social Media:
Facebook growth slows for the second month in a row. Whats weird? It's loosing people in developed nations, while gaining them in the developing world. That's actually pretty important since it may mean they've got an obvious growth cap – and that could affect stock value when the IPO rolls around. It also may be a good indicator that specialist initiatives like Backpane are viable because a market cap hints at untapped potential.

Oh, and it looks like Facebook's IPO could top $100 billion.

Asus is apparently selling a ton of Ee e Pad Transformer tablets. Well, let's see if it's worth it – but it IS Asus.

Cafepress to go public. I don't think they'll get a rush like LinkedIn – but if they DO, then I'd take it as a sign of an existing or potential bubble. Watch this space. Oh, and it might be worth sending them a resume if they're getting all ambitious – San Mateo is a lovely place.

MUST READ: Why Groupon Is Poised For Collapse. A deep analysis of Groupon's practices and business that point out definite flaws. A lot of this reminds me of issues in the financial industry that led to the economic collapse, and it sets off my warning bells. I always figured Groupon was un-viable due to the inevitable issues that always come up with advertising, but the flaws in their model are explored in detail here. My cynicism is further increased – and note that a Groupon collapse could be one of (many) phenomena that get people to pull back from the tech market.

MUST READ PART II: THE MUSTREADENING: Development for Windows 8 is going to change radically – As it appears to be heavily based on web standards. If you've never been a Microsoft programmer, it's usually a constant ritual of keeping up – to give you an idea, I stopped programming 8 years ago and at this point the dominant dev technologies are largely things I never had to deal with. Well the next step, Windows 8, sounds pretty damn radical, and it may mean programmers have a lot to learn and adjust to. If you're keeping up with Windows, or want to develop for it, keep up with this news.

On the other hand if you work with a Windows competitor, this is awesome news because they're going to make things much harder on devs. And on a third hand, this sounds like Microsoft is trying to change radically as predicted here.

HBO wants to adapt Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' into a six-season arc. Remember my theory that HBO might become The Epic Adaption Network? This would be that and then some – since getting six seasons would have to expand on the book. This is a big bet on HBO's part, and I'm seeing all sorts of possibilities – that they could become an Epic Engine (and suck up all sorts of after-broadcast profits), that they become a kind of production/distribution house, etc. Certainly it's courageous, and those working on or with media properties may want to eye HBO.

Video Games:
Nintendo président Fils Aime is interviewed and discusses the Wii U. He seems pretty adamant the Wii U controller is not going to be a tablet substitute or even a DS replacement. He's a bit dodgy about some things, so I don't think we're getting it all, needless to say.

THQ closes two of it's studios.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will Microsoft's move to changing development – again – help or hurt Windows 8?

– Steven Savage