Links of the Day, 8/16/2008


Yoshitoshi ABe, creator of Serial Experiments Lain, has self-published his new manga via iTunes in 20 countries. Pochiyama at the Pharmacy includes both Japanese and English dialogue in one edition uses Ubiquitous Entertainment’s multilingual comic viewer software for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch devices, which may become a very viable option for people looking to crack the pro market in the future.

Video Games

Norwegian-based company Funcom is riding high on the success of its Age of Conan game, which has given the company second quarter revenues of $13 million. The company’s gradual worldwide distribution is a big key to its success – they plan to enter Russian, Polish and Asian markets by the end of next year. Remember, thinking global does not begin and end with the U.S. and Japan.

While publishing as a whole has been on a downward spiral lately, video game magazines are undergoing new growth. Future Publishing has reported sales increases for its magazines devoted to all three major gaming platforms, Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox.


Even the biggest of the big boys can screw up sometimes. The key to staying big is learning to handle the screwups with grace. Netflix recently experienced a major service disruption, and is now giving affected customers a 15% credit on their accounts.

The major players in the Web industry have come together to form The Harmony Project, which will create a universal standard for ECMA Script, which will be the basis for JavaScript. Given how universal JavaScript is nowadays, this will have a major effect on the development of future Web apps.


And the news from the newspaper industry just continues to be bad: Gannett, publishers of USA Today, said it is laying off 600 staffers and eliminating 1,000 jobs. The lesson to be learned here: Even though you’ve secured a post at one of the biggest-name companies in your industry, don’t think that means you’re necessarily set for life. Sudden change could come to anyone.

Links of the Day, 8/15/2008


Even the formerly wealthy are facing diminished job prospects in today’s market. The stories of these people are definitely a cautionary tale to know your industry and not overspecialize unless you have a plan to “re-specialize”

The New York Times takes a look at the psychology of home equity loans and how advertising helped push people into debt. As these practices receive more scrutiny, expect increased change of regulation of financial institutions and their advertising. Also, it’s a good reminder to be extra careful about debt.


Even the seemingly omnipotent dubbing companies can suffer hard times – 4Kids Entertainment reported mounting losses for the first quarter.

Video Games

Old favorite Atari continues to be hot – it has signed a deal to distribute British publisher Empire Interactive’s content in this country.

Also forming valuable partnerships is Electronic Arts, which has inked new deals with Grasshopper Manufacture and Epic Games. Any company that links in with a major-major is a company to keep an eye on.

The House of Mouse may be recruiting game experts in the future, as has added a video games portal.


Social networking enters its next generation, as tween-centered site Stardoll is claiming 20 million members. The tween market is definitely one to keep in mind for just about any geek-centered industry, as parents are VERY willing to spend money on them (two words: Hannah Montana.)

Links of the Day, 8/14/2008


North American publisher Digital Manga has launched a beta of an online rental site called eManga, in which subscribers pay a fee to “rent” a title and then have 72 hours to read it online. If it’s a success, it could mean a revolution in the distribution of manga, and maybe even conventional books – not to mention creating jobs for tech types.

To give you an idea of the global scope and reach of anime, a new study shows that it is on the air in more than 60 countries, meaning people might be able to find anime-related careers no matter where they move to!

Video Games

Old favorite Atari has returned to profitability in the first quarter based on the strength of its Dragonball Z and Alone in the Dark games.

The full kit version of Rock Band 2, the sequel to one of the Xbox 360’s biggest hits, has been delayed. Microsoft was supposed to get an early exclusive on the full version, but Xbox owners will now have to wait until other platforms get the game. Note to programmers: If you promise someone a limited-time exclusive, make sure you can deliver!

Bad news for Canadian-based Radical Entertainment: The Vancouver company is laying off 100 employees, just about half its staff. Radical was acquired some time ago by Vivendi, which merged with Activision recently.

FCC documents show that Sony is preparing a new PSP, although the only radical changes so far seem to be cosmetic. However, game developers should keep an ear to the ground for this one.


Computing is about to get faster than ever: USB 3.0 will deliver transfer speeds of up to five gigabytes per second, according to draft specification for a USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller Interface (XHCI) Intel has made available to chipset makers.

As if anyone had any doubts that digital music technology was a hot thing nowadays: Apple Inc. is now worth more than Google in net value.

NBC Universal will offer an online-only sci-fi series called Gemini Division on Monday. The series, featuring Rosario Dawson, will be available via NBC’s and Sci Fi Channel’s Web sites. Coming on the heels of NBC’s success with its Olympics streams, this may be the start of an age where YouTubers find their skills very, very wanted by very, very big companies.


Inflation is rising at the largest rate in 17 years. The end result is that things cost more period, something to keep in mind for any career moves, physical moves, and general budget planning. Furthermore, foreclosures are up again, so watch out if you’re getting car loans, home loans, credit cards etc. Also if you’re planning to move, look at the forclosure rate in the area, as that’s going to affect property values and safety.