News of the Day, August 29, 2011

More fallout from the Steve Jobs departure, Skype launches an apps platform, and are those ugly, square bar codes a marketing force for the future? Let's kick off the week in news!


Jobs' Departure Will Test Employee Loyalty: Some career psychologists say employees will now find themselves asking if they worked for Apple as a whole or for Steve Jobs individually – and if the answer is the latter, they may consider leaving. (So will this send an influx of talent Google's way – and create more job openings at Apple? We'll have to see.)

Tim Cook's Biggest Challenges: In addition to the employee loyalty issue mentioned above, he's also facing unbelivably high expectations and the pressure to prove himself by spearheading "the next big thing." Some people don't have confidence he can do it – see Five Reasons Apple Won't Be the Same.

Social Media

Skype Lauches Limited Platform for Third-Party Apps: Developers who have ideas for third-party apps that work to enhance the features of Skype can now submit them for consideration. The service launched with a mere 20 apps, which means they are looking for more. However, keep in mind that Skype will not be selling the apps themselves – users must purchase them through the developer – so if you do creat: Se an app, don't expect Skype to do the distribution work for you.

Facebook Improves Picture Interface: Images now load bigger and faster – which is especially good news for people who use their Facebook accounts as portfolios to show off their art and photography.

QR Codes: Here to Stay?: Those are those funny square things that have been appearing in advertising lately. Scanning them with a smartphone equipped with the right app unlocks additional promotional material (they've been heavily used in Japan for awhile now). Some are questioning whether they'll be a flash in the pan fad, but Hamilton Chan of Paperlinks, which manufactures scanning software, argues that adaptation of the codes is on the rise and on its way to expansion in the future (he foresees when consumers will be able to order new blades for their shavers by scanning a code on their can of shaving cream). They're something that people involved in advertising/marketing should keep an eye on for the future, at least.


Read Comics in Public Day Held: This is a "geek holiday" conceived by the editors of the Daily Cross Hatch comics blog, who were tired of seeing geeks hiding their reading material of choice and wanted to encourage people to be out and proud about their comics habits. The day is always August 28 (which means it was yesterday, and there wasn't very much "in public" for those of us holed up because of Hurricane Irene) – but still notable here for the geek pride aspect.


HP Offers Free Apps to TouchPad Owners: People who picked up the tablet during the fire sale have until the end of the month to download six apps from the WebOS app store – valued, according to HP, "up to $14.99" – at no charge. (The promised new shipment of TouchPads from HP's warehouses hasn't materialized yet, by the way).

Job Market

What People Don't Understand About Job Searching: Potential employers want to see your accomplishments, not your job responsibilities – and they're put off by any sign that you're not taking your job search seriously. (So try not to make that cover letter sound so much like boilerplate).

Video Games

Sony Phasing Out Fictional 'Spokesman?': A fictional "vice president" of Sony named Kevin Butler has been at the center of its PS3 marketing for awhile now, announcing new releases via a Twitter account and in commercials. Now, the company claims that Butler is "leaving the company" for a startup started by his uncle. Clever marketing to set up a new release, or part of a PS3 image change in the wake of the Sonypocalypse? We'll have to see. (We can say, though, that the Butler campaign has been a rather clever one, though that kind of cleverness can usually be sustained only so long before it's, well, no longer clever).


Saw Director Wants to Remake Ninja Scroll: James Wan, the director of the horror franchise, said he was interested in working on such a project – although he didn't say whether he's specifically connected to a version optioned by Leonardo diCaprio's production company in 2008. The fact that there's so much interest in this particular property, though, indicates that Ninja Scroll has a high probability of being filmed – the only question is, by who.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Will Skype be able to attract developers with its third-party app policy? Or is the public too used to app store integration (see Apple) to want to hunt down apps from the developer itself? – Bonnie

Bonnie Walling Bonnie Walling (927 Posts)

  • Steven Savage

    My concern over Ninja Scroll is that, despite its bloodiness, putting someone from “Saw” in charge will take it even further over the top. Or get that expectation going.