News Of The Day 12/2/2011

And this is our last day of "regular" news. We're going to be moving towards a different format:

  • No more daily roundups. Instead the individual members (and those of you regular readers that contribute articles) will focus on posting news – and analysis – as it happens and as they deem necessary. This will be more erratic, but let's face it, the news is erratic anyway.
  • More specialized. We're going to encourage people to post on their specialties.  That means we want YOU to join us!
  • All the time. No more news bound to one day – we're going to try and do it as it happens.

And now – the news! In kind of the above format (but still a roundup)

Massachusetts engages in a lawsuit against the big banks over foreclosure and loan violations. This also includes nightmare-shell-org MERS. This might well shatter any settlements out there, and the assessment of Yves Smith sounds like it's pretty tight. However . . .

GMAC said they won't do mortgage lending in Massachusetts and is encouraging other banks to follow. Of course with things like Move Your Money this could backfire. San Jose moves a lot of money out of big banks, there's a move afoot in Portland for similar activities, so bullying like this could backfire big time (especially if it produces a state-by-state cascade).

Geek Law:
HTC and Samsung get hit by a lawsuit over the recent tracking software scandal. Congress, in the form of Al Franken, is already on this mess, so it has a chance to go big and get quite scandalous – and it doesn't help that Carrier IQ seems to have lousy PR. Not sure where this one is going to go, but it seems a lot of companies are worried, so their actions may have impact (or throw napalm on the fire).

Did you notice verizon building a bandwidth empire? Probably not. Well, they are. This could mean plenty of expanded opportunities, as well as additional regulatory and competitive attention. Of course based on the above little tracking incident, I'm betting on more regulatory attention – depending on the political situation.

The Asus Transformer prime is looking sweet though the software doesn't seem to keep up with it. I'm impressed with what I've seen, and based on my past experienced with Asus, this machine has me tempted (and the last time I shelled out that much money was for an HD TV). Based on this and a LOT of other reviews it's sounding like the Transformer Prime is competitive with the iPad . . . except with software. Then again, that's a good niche for your career, isn't it?

The Kindle Fire basically is second only to the iPad at least in the short term. Again "short term" – so lets see what the results are. It's going to promote Amazon, sure, but it could promote non-iPad tablets in general (like, say . . . the Transformers Prime). I understand it's app store is kind of fussy though.

Video Games:
Zynga's IPO is December 16th. I figure by about mid-January the drop of stock price will occur. We've seen this with Groupon (despite a rebound), Zynga's got problems, and the market is too short-term focused. I can't see how this will work out in the long-term (short-term of course some people will make out like bandits). I'm concerned enough about Zynga I'd put them on the "do not work for" list as is, but think a pump-and-collapse of stocks could make them even less desirable. Also, watch what happens to their stocks as it could kill IPO enthusiasm.

Steven Savage