News Of The Day 6/14/2011

Thoughts on if the current slowdown is temporary or a double-dip recession is happening. It's got some good data, but isn't exactly committal.

A focused by powerful legal smackdown against MERS in New York. If you're following the issue it's worth taking a look at – and looking at the comments. I'm still wondering when/if this issue is going to expand further into consciousness – say . . . around a campaign . . .

Geek Law:
Apple strikes a patent agreement with Nokia, essentially settling their litigation battle. Well, for now. I'm wondering if Nokia is going to start playing patent troll at this rate (they have enough unsurety as it is). They could even be a not-so-secret weapon for Microsoft – and some people think Android may be next.

Anime/Asian Culture/Manga:
Yu-Gi-Oh has set a guineas records as the best-selling trading card to date. Man, has it been 12 years? Looks like it's still going . . .

Virtual star Hatsune Miku's Anime Expo Concernt is so big not all seats can be sold. It just keeps rolling – and I wonder if the phenomena is going to ever get its own American or European equivalent (hint, hint, you creative people).

Google invests $280 million in residential solar power. Always diversifying it seems.

A rumor that Amazon is going to stream movies to its branded tablets? Yeah, I'm not surprised, though it's nice to have a bit more of a reliable source.

How Rich Antoniello turned a magazine into an online ad network that's highly choosy.

Gartner says Microsoft will beat Apple mobile-wise by 2015. Challenge accepted . . .

The Small Business minister of Australia predicts bookstores will be mostly wiped out by online shopping in 5 years. I'm not sure about 5 years, but I do agree with him that A) there will be less stores, and B) businesses may need to be aware. I myself am trying to imagine the social shifts that could occur in such a world as well . . .

Now an arrest of 32 people in Turkey suspected of hacking possibly thought to be members of Anonymous. As usual I'm suspicious that they're using Anonymous as a cover to arrest these people, but I can say that regarding hacking "shit is getting real" very quickly these days.

LulzSec launches attachs on various gaming sites. It's a pretty hefty load of attacks. Thoughts on this A) These things are just proof of the need for better internet security and the opportunities there, and B) I don't think they're winning any friends anymore.

Considering the recent issues of hacking and hacktivism (and the bizarre legal and political activities in France), I'd watch to see if concerns offer hacks and security metastasizes into cultural memes. If it gets into a bunch of films and TV, if it keeps in sensationalistic news, then you may see a lot of political and social actions on hacking – most of it, doubtlessly, ill-advised.

Social Media:
Facebook was quick to counter claims of a decline. Well with tons of IPO value you can kind of understand it – and you have to move fast in the age of social media. Still it seems like they're a bit oversensitive.

Pandora's IPO is coming on 6/15. So let's see how much people want IPOs post-LinkedIn.

Some pretty noteworthy venture capitals – E-retail market targeted TellApart raises $13 million, Parking App maker Streetline raises $15 million(For a parking app? Wow!), and Lego Universe-alike Roblox raises $4 million. Some pretty odd stuff here, which has my attention. But Streetline's $15 million haul for a dead-practical application is pretty telling – its smart and simple.

Comcast is trying to work with Facebook and other firms for a 'next generation TV experience' which I'm guessing is pretty much the same as what Apple and Google are trying, and what Amazon might well do.

Video Games:
Well, the overall consensus is Duke Nukem is at best lame, so here's a review that seems to sum up the low points. The main issues seem to be the offensiveness-that's-not-funny making the lameness even worse – and the offensiveness seems to be really bad. I'm a fan of Gearbox, both historically and for the insanely awesome 'Borderlands,' so I'd like to think they can move beyond this salvage operation.

Steam is allowing micro-transaction games. This is considered a big deal because of the move to freemium/free-to-play receiving some validation. Smart move by Steam.

Video Game Sales hit a four year low – Now that's games, consoles, and accessories. It doesn't sound like it includes microstransactions, some DLC, and so on. But it's something to watch – and to figure out why (or if this is an anomaly).

Want to keep up on cleantech? There's a site for that.

QUESTION OF THE DAY:Amazon's movie streaming is obvious – so what do you think they'll do that most people aren't seeing?

Steven Savage