Links of the Day, 8/17/2008


Volume 30 of Naruto recently dropped out of the USA Today list of 150 best-selling books in the country after a six-week run on the charts. This kind of success definitely shows how wide distribution has gotten for these titles.

Video Games

Sony is denying rumors of another price cut for the Playstation 3. The company cut the price of the machine about a year ago, which has had a positive effect – it’s closing in on a tie for second place in game console sales with the Xbox 360. (So remember, folks, the 360 is a very viable option when programming cross-platform!)


Good news for developers of mobile phone apps: Sun has open-sourced its Java UI toolkit, which includes a full set of “ready-made graphical components”, along with support for fonts, themes, animation and transition effects, according to the company.

The number of people using Google is up slightly this summer, while the number of people using Microsoft’s sites is down a bit. (Keeping things interesting to draw eyes to your site is vital no matter how big you are!)

As if we needed more proof that today’s YouTubers could be tomorrow’s network employees, NBC is reporting more than 31 million video streams of its Olympic content have been accessed from its Web site.

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.)