News Of The Day 8/12/2011

Economic meltdowns,casting rumors, and more!

Crush Object Barry Ritholtz notes we may already be in a recession, or at least on the cusp of one. Maybe we got our double dip already . . . damn it. Follow closely, it may be time to play it safe again – or keep playing it safe.

The Street looks at myths politicians want you to believe about economics, and there's a few surprises in there for even an econogeek like me (in my case, millionaire distribution, and I'm rethinking corporate organizational ideas). A good read to keep you thinking.

Meanwhile Barry invites Dylan Ratigan goes on a rant about the economy that's surprisingly heartfelt. Remember the last time an economist went on a rant we got the tea party.

Anime and Manga:
A roundup of the JManga panel at SDDC and a transcript here. Sounds like an integrated site with lots more than manga, aiming for broad appeal – but starting with the hardcore fans. Needless to say you need to pay attention to this if you want to work with manga and related industries – because a success could make this a serious powerhouse (and oh, imagine if they had an indie line . . .).

Benedict Cumberbatch is talking to Marvel? For those not familiar with him, he applied to be The Doctor, was a smash hit in BBC's updated "Sherlock", did a two-man stage play of Frankenstein, and will be Smaug in "The Hobbit" (Across from his Sherlock co-star). My take is that if true he's being considered for Doctor Strange, a role he'd do excellent in – and this could produce good cross-ocean marketing. He's an actor To Watch anyway, but I'd like to see what's next if his star keeps rising – since it means properties he's attached to have a good chance of success or at least money.

Kindle cracks down on eBook spammers which I'm all for. Sounds like they didn't panic and are handling this rationally.

HP cuts Touchpad prices to compete with Apple – of course new ones are coming anyway.

Yes, Tablets are the future, but the presence is still kind of miserable. I'm starting to think Tablets may be used as a kind of perverse loss leader for awhile, at least for the current generation – to loose or not make money but lock people into a brand. Of course they're worth working and developing for, but the marketing variability – and potential strategy changes – could change your job if you're a tablet dev. I'm especially concerned that, if companies use tablets as loss leaders they won't give them much support and attention until they're more profitable.

Netflix testing an interface for kids. Sounds like they're practicing a demographic-specific system – which may not seem any big shakes, but consider their presence on many devices and focus on streaming – having a kids-only, lockable, etc. menu is going to be a good sell to parents.

Side note, how much do you think a cheap Netflix-only device for TV would need to go for to make it viable? Just wondering.

Video Gaming:
Nintendo being pressured to move to iPhone. No I don't think they'll do it – yet. But I've been saying this for about a year – Nintendo could do well as a software-only company. However they have chosen a strategy that, though erratic, seems to work for them so far.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What would Nintendo moving to iOS and/or Android devices mean for developers?

Steven Savage