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.

Links of the Day, 6/27/2008


• Web-based businesses will be able to make their site addresses more personal than ever before: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a not-for-profit organization that oversees the naming scheme for web sites, has voted to adopt a policy that will allow companies to purchase new top-level domain names ending in almost whatever suffix they choose.

• The ever-booming online music industry is about to become a full-blown battlefield: Three shareholders of Napster are seeking election to the company’s board, claiming Napster has not done enough to hold off rival Apple/iTunes and Internet piracy.

• After holding off a takeover bid by Microsoft, Yahoo is reorganizing with an increased focus on online advertising. Apparently, the trail blazed by Google is the necessary path to any kind of online success nowadays.

Video Games

• The ongoing drama at LucasArts rolls on: It turns out that many of the people laid off in the company’s recent round of staff cuts were key members of the team developing its highly-anticipated The Force Unleashed game, which has led to renewed speculation about just what is going on at the company. It may be wise not to send your resume there just yet.

• If you think the PSP is an also-ran and not worth programming for, think again: The device is massively popular in Japan, where it was the top-selling game system last week. And, as we all know, where Japan goes, America very often follows . . .

• Game Center CX, a popular Japanese TV show which features comedians attempting to play super-tough retro games, recently debuted at the New York Asian Film Festival and producers are seeking to officially bring it to these shores. If it comes here, it may be an Iron Chef-size cult hit, with related marketing, tie-ins, etc., so this is one to keep an eye on.


•Anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea will make its Japanese debut next month, with an American release planned at a later date. Showing that the film, and anime in general, are being taken very seriously by the American mainstream, the producers include Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, who worked on several Steven Spielberg projects.

• In a sign of what may be the future of anime distribution on both sides of the pacific, a new mecha-girl anime, Strike Witches, will be distributed online worldwide the same day it airs on TV in Japan.

• Classic mangaka and manga continue to be highly marketable and bankable. Fushigi Yuugi creator Yuu Watase has announced she will work on a new manga with a supernatural theme in addition to continuing the FY spinoff Genbu Kaiden, while the long-running Macross franchise is about to spawn a new sequel manga, Macross Frontier.


Authors may have a harder time getting word out about their works through traditional means in the future: Word has it that book review pages might be an endangered species at Tribune Media papers, which recently announced they would reduce their number of pages.

However, there is good news on the book distribution front: The Southern Independent Booksellers Association is taking its marketing directly to the people, via blogs and an E-mail newsletter.
-Bonnie mini-review

 This is not exactly a review, but it’s a quick look at .
is a great resource for finding out salaries for different careers, in
specific locations, all for free.  One enters a particular title, a zip
code, and after a few selections (and some ads) you get a nice
mathematical salary breakdown.

I’ve found it very useful and reliable – the numbers provided
usually match up my other research and experience, and the provision of
a ranged breakdown of salaries is very useful.  If you’re going to
negotiate for pay or are recruiting, you’ll want to go to

There are also a variety of other features, mostly ones that cost
money – more comprehensive breakdown, information targeted at
recruiters, and more.  I’m sure these are probably good – the free
portion is very good – but I frankly haven’t had any reason to explore
them at all.

So I can’t call this a full review as I’ve used the site for exactly one
thing.  However, it’s definitely worth your time to take a look at.  If
nothing else, go on and see where your current pay rate stacks up.