News Of The Day 7/5/2011

China is in the new.  Also, some other stuff, but, man . . .

Attention is like Real Estate. Seth Godin does it again.

Portugal has been downgraded to Junk status by Moodys. It's not only Greece, so remember no matter what happens to solve the Greek crisis, other countries are having problems too and that can keep the world economy unstable.

Some of the Greek deal seems awful like a bad CDO – or in layman's terms, it's got game-playing going on for investors to treat a loss as . . . not. Definitely some ass-covering here.

China may be in its own construction bubble. Some interesting charts here. I'm not sure this means that they really have a bubble in the traditional sense (considering they're ramping up infrastructure that should pay off), but this won't continue forever. Since China is playing a bigger and bigger part of the Geeknonomy, it's a good idea to follow what's happening (say, if construction suddenly drops off for whatever reason and affects the economy).

Japan's next economic boom may be deep sea mining of rare earth elements. That's welcome news after the disaster, and could affect China's economy (on top of the surplus of rare earths). Also if Japan does exploit these resources, how fast they can do it may be a good tip off of future possibilities for how fast others could take similar actions.

So why is crime down in some cities despite the lousy economy? The answer appears to be diversity breeds safety and happiness, and immigration may play a big role. A lot to think about for your next relocation, and it may explain a few things about the Megaregions so important to the Geekonomy.

It seems Brightcove is moving to Boston and is hiring. Now they're a cool video tech firm anyway, but I'm including this in Demographics to note that there's been a trend of companies moving into Boston. Keep that lovely city high on your location preferences, and do check the list in the article about who's been heading there.

A look at Comixology which is pretty revealing. They certainly seem to have the right background, energy, and attitude.  Since I don't think everyone trying to do eComics is going to make it, this raises my opinion of them.

Batman:Live looks enjoyably triply. Actually what I dig the most is the sort of Mick Jagger take on the Joker  Though there are comparisons to the disastrous Spiderman Musical, this is really a different creature entirely, more of a play with acrobatics than anything else. Unfortunately now it will be judged in light of the web-slinging debacle.

This is interesting: the Star Trek (remake) video game will be canon and develop the Kirk/Spock relationship. This tells me a few things: 1) People are aware of folks love of canon, 2) Games now can be seen as legitimate canon development tools, 3) This is newsworthy. Considering the K/S relationship, from friendship to slash, is legendary, this shows some good marketing and continuity savvy.

(I also say this as a person that felt the remake film was a BRILLIANTLY cast and acted piece that had a throwaway plot. So I'm mixed.)

Wait, what? A successful paywall site? It sounds kind of limited (it's Slovakian), but let's see what happens. It sounds like a good, tight team-up of interests.

Net Freedom:
Just about everyone hates the PROTECT IP act including law professors. This law is rather draconian, sounds like a recipe for disaster and I suggest keeping up on it – it's got innovators and investors worried.

Amazon acquires UK bookseller The Book Depository. I wonder wether this is just easier for Amazon to expand via acquisition, if it's shoring up resources, or what.  This may also affect hiring potential at Amazon if they're going to go on more of a buying spree.

Outages and Security:
PSN Japan comes back on line after a long, long outage. By now I'm not sure who cares or how Sony recovers from the extended outage. In the words of Fluttershy: yay

Social Media:
Twitter buys BackType. And what does BackType do? They have tech that lets you check the business impacts of Twitter posts. Do I sense a new (probably paid) Twitter service available?

Hmmm, is Facebook afraid of Google+? They did block a Chrome extension for contact exports.

Speaking of Google+, Picasa and Blogger are going to be renamed as part of it. To me that shows how serious they are, that these could lead to even more services (everyone gets a blog?), and that some rearguing may be coming, which could affect opportunities.

Keeping up our China-Centrism, there's this somewhat panicked post on China wanting a stake in Facebook. Tone of the article far aside, note that sovereign wealth funds. (you've been hearing about 'em here) may be targeting Facebook.  I'm hoping this brings more attention of the role and potential role of such funds in the Geekonomy.

Microsoft will provide Bing technology to China's search engine, Baidu, powering their English queries. Well that gives Microsoft an up in a growing Market (kinda China-oriented here today, aren't we?). This of course could backfire, but it is a good deal for them right now, and tells me China may be the area that some businesses ally with in order to beat back other big competitors (say Google, Amazon . . .).

Some developer is not happy with the Amazon App Store. Follow these complaits, it may give you an idea of what Amazon has done with the store, and if they resolve them or not it points out their future strategy.

MUST READ: How Apple stays ahead technically. This is a great, smart article on just how they do their magic with good deals, thinking ahead, and more.

Netflix continues world dominance plans by expanding to 43 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Frankly with their continued success, I think their biggest barriers would be China, France, and maybe Russia. Note, interestingly, they are only offering streaming in these countries . . . go on, send 'em a resume, you know you want to.

So it still sounds like we'll see a PS4 in 2012. Not sure what's going on here, we keep getting conflicting news.

Brilliant. If you die in AdventureQuest, you have to watch ads. I kinda like that, it's rather clever – and sells ad space.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: So, where do you think China is going in the Geekonomy?

Steven Savage