News Of The Day 6/30/2011

Hellgate London is back, we may be kinda screwed economically, Twitter is under investigation, but Google+ looks good! let's get to the news.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have declining serious delinquency rates. Of course this is still high and we've got years to get it to normal. Is it just me or does it seem like around 5 years at this rate is what is needed for any normalcy?

A look at the kleptocracy involved in Greece and plenty of thoughts about it. I still think Greece is going to become a massive scapegoat while others try to get away scott free (or hope to). Eventually it's going to get ugly, but I think people will want to hold the EU and the Euro together enough to fix things – just not very fast.

MUST SEE: A nice infographic on the too big to fail mess. Read this then pass it around.

California going to levy sales tax on Amazon, Amazon responds. States are strapped for cash and sales are moving online – so this is going to keep happening. If enough states do it, Amazon (and others) won't have much choice. Here's an intelligent response to Amazon. My take is Amazon is risking making a lot of enemies in a fight it will, eventually loose, in a way that could hurt its prospects – and if they don't think competitors are just waiting to give them the shaft, they're wrong.

Some good thoughts on the challenges smaller cities face in business downtown. A good read if you're not in a megaregion – or even if you are.  With shifts in where people work, the changes may not be the same form smaller cities.  As the recovery is very "spiky" you're going to want to watch the spikes.

Geek Law:
Twitter is under FTC investigation. Why is a bit of a question – the author suspects is how they dealt with 3rd-party apps. Watch this as whatever it is might set a precedent.  I also don't think we have the entire story here, and am waiting to see what comes out.

Social Media:
Impressions of Google+ – Which is so far the same as mine – it seems pretty good.

It also seems Social Game developers like what they see as well. The 'Circles' seem to lead naturally to gaming interfaces and teaming.  If Social Game developers back Google+ that could be a big boost.

My take on Google+ so far is it's a Facebook competitor that's Facebook but not Facebook – as XKCD puts it so well. Its not exactly innovative, but it does things well and ties different functions together. I like it far better than Buzz and like some of the clean, simple designs.

The HP Touchpad seems to be flawed but not terrible – more shows potential than anything else.Well it seems to be getting a better response than the Xoom.

Video Games:
The troubled 'Hellgate London' is back as a free-to-play. I'm curious to see how this goes because it's literally a resurrection of a property – and may point the way to future similar endeavors.  What else is out there waiting to come back?

Meanwhile reactions to the shutting down of 'Star Wars Galaxies' are coming in. Some hard issues are discussed here. Watch THIS one because it may give you an idea of what can doom a game, when it can't be saved, and public reaction.

Finally there is a Beta for the Dragonball Online game. I'm curious about this because series creator Akira Toriyama is plotting it, and from what little I've seen, it looks surprisingly peppy and fun. DBZ is not exactly known for it's depth, but I can see it being a good basis for a fun actioner (and a success would inspire others).

QUESTION OF THE DAY: So what do you think is going on with Twitter?

Steven Savage