Angry Birds go to the movies, J-rock comes to America, and Android is king of the smartphone hill – and gaining in tablets as well. Let's kick off the week in news!
Four Ways to Make the Right LinkedIn Contacts For Your Job Search: First clue: Start with your own E-mail inbox. Chances are more of your friends are on LinkedIn than you think.
What Happened to CNN?: One theory on why the once-mighty news organization has fallen – it's not so much about changing technologies as it is about the dumbing-down of its own brand. Perhaps this is a lesson on what happens to any kind of company when they fail to live up to their initial public branding anymore.
How to Fix NBC: TV insiders on moves Comcast should make now that the merger is complete. Look for lots of shakeups there in the near future, as well as more moves into new media – they may be looking for a lot more people with knowledge of streaming.
Android Tablets Gain on iPad in Fourth Quarter: The Galaxy Tab, which mounted a Christmas publicity blitz, was the main driver here. And if people are willing to go for an Android tab with a high price point, things might get more interesting once the flood of high-quality, more reasonably priced Googleblets hits the market later this year. (But it won't be the Motorola Xoom, which will cost even more than the Galaxy, landing at Best Buy priced at $700.)
The iPadification of the Web: How tablets are affecting site design, and why some people are just bypassing iPad-friendly sites entirely and redoing their content as apps. A trend that's vital for anyone who works with HTML to keep up with.
Kinect Now Fastest-Selling Gaming Device in History: Microsoft's motion-gaming device is now officially Serious Business. Game designers definitely need to take it seriously now – as does Nintendo, which just got one-upped at its own game big-time.
Android Now Top Smartphone Platform: Lik anyone at all is surprised. And the system it beat out was not Apple, but Symbian – the smartphone platform developed by Nokia. (Remember, this is for worldwide sales, not North America, where the battle was always Android vs. Apple). Yet more bad news for a company that's had more than its share.
New Version of Angry Birds is Movie Tie-In: Angry Birds Rio will feature characters from a new animated movie from the creators of Ice Age. The deal Rovio stuck with 20th Century Fox means their game will be promoted along with marketing for the movie. And the biggest juggernaut in contemporary gaming rolls on and on – Peter Vesterbacka, known as the "Big Eagle" of Rovio, has stated his intention to make his Birds the next Mario franchise, and he just may do it.
Toshiba Raises Profit Forecast: They may be known as an old warhorse of the laptop industry, but what's driving them now is chip technology – namely, the kind that power smartphones and tablets. A good example of a diversified company that will survive the switch from old ways of doing things to new – companies like this are always smart resume bets.
Verizon Terramark Deal May Spur Cloud Acquisitions: They bought the cloud computing company last week for $1.4 billion, and this may spur rivals like AT&T to do the same thing, officially making the cloud the newest battlefield of the Everything Wars. Cloud computing looks like it may be shaping up to be one of the biggest trends of the year, already.
Facebook Valuation Now Tops Amazon: They're now topped only by Google in terms of tech company value. That IPO is coming, it's just a question of when. Meanwhile, they may have a quiet competitor in new social network Tagged, which recently passed 100 million users - making their population bigger than that of LinkedIn. Call them a company to keep an eye on.
British Actor Cast as Superman: And DC's movie reboot is ready to move forward, now that Henry Cavill has been named the new Man of Steel. DC has had a lot more success on the small screen than the big lately, Batman aside – we'll see if this reverses that trend.
X Japan Signs With EMI Music North America: This is HUGE. FREAKING. NEWS as far as J-rock is concerned. For the uninitiated, X Japan is quite possibly the biggest J-rock band of all time, and its leader, Yoshiki, has lived in the U.S. for some time. He is going to be hosting a monthly show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, which could mean exposure up the wazoo for other Japanese bands, leading to interest in other acts from mainstream record companies and American tours. (An all-day J-rock festival? J-apalooza? Why not?) If you know these bands, career opportunities may be just about to open up.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will Big Anime and Big Manga throw their hats into the J-rock arena now, setting up labels to release music and videos by popular bands? – Bonnie