Links of the Day, 8/30/2008

Retailers are closing, and malls will be affected. Shopping, it seems, has a cascade effect. Video games may be a hot commodity at the moment, but how will GameStop be impacted by slower mall/shopping traffic? (GameStop itself, by the way, has reshuffled its senior management, naming Daniel DeMetteo, formerly COO, as its new CEO).

Some fancy stock options that people at top companies got are now worth less, or even underwater. Of course financial industries are the most affected, but just a reminder of how far this mess spread. Also as companies look at other forms of compensation, expect more public attention on that .. .

As noted before, the FDIC may need to borrow money if there’s a string of bank failures. Which means, your tax dollars. This also means if there’s more failure the recession/downturn will go on even longer and credit will be even tighter. The FDIC is also preparing by getting more space and employees – a good pre-emptive move, but not encouraging.


American Media, which mainly publishes tabloids and muscle mags, is refinancing as they’ve got $570 million of debt to deal with. All I can say is “ouch” – and that yet another blow to publishing appears to be coming.

Do smaller gadgets mean more safety problems? – A little something rarely talked about in technology.

Yet another “No matter how big you are, watch your step” cautionary tale: Bloomberg was left with red faces after they accidentally uploaded an obituary for Steve Jobs. Given that the Apple and Pixar head has been battling pancreatic cancer, this created a flurry of concern.

Comcast has said it will set an official limit on the amount of data users can upload and download each month. This is huge technology news and could set off a ton of legal challenges.

Video Games
First in a series on the megatrends of game design – This article is interesting mostly for the economics and what it means for development. Modular and downloadable content actually lets companies apply faster, iterative development methods – so they can add more and fix things faster if they use methods like SCRUM/Agile. Fast software development methods also have more bang for the buck, so I expect that to encourage more modular design.

Will Wright blasts E3 as the walking dead – – He’s not alone, really. The question is what comes next? (Leipzing? Hello?)

Merger news in the gaming industry yet again: Mega-mega Square Enix is planning a friendly takeover of Tecmo.

Wedbush Morgan Securities predicts that Nintendo may develop a new handheld gaming system due to weakening sales of the DS in Japan. The DS is doing just fine here, though, so it’s questionable whether the company will want to ditch it on these shores. Something to keep an eye on for the future. Nintendo as a whole, by the way, is in very good shape, having increased its full-year profit forecast by 26%.

Najesco Entertainment has been warned by the New York Stock Exchange that it may be delisted due to falling profits. Its stock has, for the past 30 consecutive trading days, closed below the $1.00-per-share minimum required for continued inclusion.


The live-action Voltron movie, which was dropped by production company New Regency earlier this month, appears to be back on track. Television director Max Makowski, who is also preparing a big-screen adaptation of ’70s TV show “Kung Fu,” is set to direct.

Links of the Day, 8/18/2008


New Regency, a production company based at Fox, has announced it has dropped plans for a live-action Voltron movie, though another company, Relativity, is considering picking it up. The fact that the project got another potential investor so quickly shows that the mainstream is quite serious about anime.

Dubbers Bang Zoom Entertainment are currently looking for several interns – the postions are unpaid, but they could help you get a foot in the door in the anime industry.

Video Games

The gaming industry continues to be profitable even in a soft economy: Casual DS game maker Ubisoft is considering a stock split and will bring the matter to a vote at its shareholders’ meeting next month.

Electronic Arts has said it may not renew the offer to acquire the stock of fellow gaming company Take Two, which expires at midnight. However, the two parties are said to still be in talks, and it’s possible a new deal is coming in the future.


Is Fox News interested in developing the online reporters of tomorrow? The company has reportedly taken a minor share in Palestra, a student video reporting site.

The U.S. is currently lagging far behind the rest of the world in television technology for mobile devices – people in other countries can receive regular, free TV broadcasts on their cell phones. The slowness in going to all-digital broadcasting is being cited as one reason. The piece is a good bit of market research, and shows areas where tech developers should definitely be looking in the future.


Blurbings LLC, a recently-launched company, allows writers to buy and sell book blurbs – the promotional quotes that appear on the back of a book. Writers need all the help they can get nowadays, no matter what the source, since bookstore sales were down in June.