News of the Day, November 30, 2011

Xbox sales speed up while the Web slows down, and is Office for iPad in your future? And now, the news!


Microsoft Preparing Office for iPad?: There's no official word from Microsoft yet, but rumors are circulating that a version of their flagship product (well, other than Windows itself) will arrive on Apple's tablet next year. This will go a long way toward legitimizing the tablet as a legitimate business tool, not just something to have fun with – so be ready for big changes if it happens. Meanwhile, for a look at how the traditional version of Office is trying to hold off Google Docs for the love of small businesses, look here.

Computer Security/Web Technology

Apple Issues Patch for Flashback Trojan: Infections of OSX are rare, but they do happen, and in this case, it happened in the form of a Trojan masquerading as a Flash update. Common sense is at work here – don't install any Flash update unless it comes from Adobe itself. (Given Apple's issues with Flash in the past, we're finding it rather ironic that this is the form that the malware takes). Security for Apple may be a more viable career path than you realize.

Are We Building a Fatter, Slower Web?: The average page download size has jumped 25%  since this time last year — 626 kB per page to 784 kB. The main culprit: JavaScript. So here's the challenge – figure out a way to get these bloated sites to slim down and load faster without sacrificing image quality. In an era when more and more browsing is done via mobile devices – both tablets and smartphones – this is increasingly important, and slimmer, faster Web sites will be increasingly welcome.


New Star Trek Film Gets Release Date: The film will open on May 17, 2013 – although it doesn't have an official title yet. (We do know, however, that the composer for the first film is coming back for this one). Given how the original film rejuvenated the franchise, you can expect this one to be another hit – and perhaps revive Trek as a TV show as well.

Video Games

Square Enix Ramping Up for New RPG Project: Dragon Quest developer Ryutaro Ichimura is heading it up, and the concept artwork tends to suggest a game that's closer to Elder Scrolls than Final Fantasy (meaning that super-hit Skyrim seems to be having a very wide influence). It also seems they're aiming it at the post-PS3/Xbox 360 generation of consoles – which seems to be where the industry as a whole will be aiming pretty soon.

Xbox 360 Enjoys Best Sales Week Ever: Fueled by the Kinect, over 960,000 consoles were sold in the United States alone last week, making it the console's biggest one ever – and meaning there's going to be an awful lot of people looking for Xbox games in the year ahead.


Canada's Largest Newspaper Publisher Lays Off 400: It's not just on the American side of the border that publishers are struggling: Quebecor Inc. is eliminating 400 jobs from its Sun Media division, which publishes newspapers across the country. No word yet on which departments are being hit, but rounds of layoffs anywhere in publishing are never a good thing.

Rolling Stone, US Weekly Coming to iPad: Wenner Media, which publishes the two titles, is the latest to take the plunge onto the electronic frontier (apparently, publisher Jann Wenner did a complete about-face on the subject, since he previously said that E-publishing was "crazy"). The publications are expected to make their debuts on Apple's device early next year, with Rolling Stone initially offering an electronic version of its special Beatles issue.


Amerimanga Title To Resume Next Year: Jen Lee Quick's Off*Beat was among the American manga titles that suddenly found itself without a publisher when Tokyopop folded. Quick said that the title would be completed next year, though she didn't say whether it would be through self-publishing or if she had made a deal with another traditional publisher. The fate of Tokyopop's international titles have been up in the air – one (King City) was revived by Image Comics, though other artists have still been left hanging. And here's an important lesson – when you sign that publishing contract, make sure you have a Plan B if your publisher goes under, even if it's self-publishing. With the state of flux that the industry is in nowadays, any kind of safety net is smart.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What can be done to prevent the Web from getting slow and bloated? – Bonnie

Bonnie Walling Bonnie Walling (927 Posts)

  • Serdar (Genji Press)

    I took a quick glance at the web-bloat article, and two things aren’t taken into consideration: server-side compression and client-side caching. Both can make a lot of difference. If I have a JS library that loads for my site, it only needs to load once before it’s cached — and both JS libraries and web pages themselves are highly compressible. Many servers just don’t have that enabled by default, from what I can tell.
    So turn on compression and enable client-side caching as aggressively as you can.
    And stop writing so many sites that could easily be delivered as simple static pages but have turned into bloated infini-scroll jQuery-powered abominations! A static web page is not a bad web page.