Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Bloomberg News introduced a Billionaires Index back in march in anticipation of the Facebook IPO and general interest in Mark Zuckerberg being propelled into the ranks of the world's wealthiest people.

Today's ranking of the world's richest people

I stumbled across this new resource looking for the rise and fall of net worth of David Wetherell, former CEO of internet holding company CMGI. Investments (and divestments for that matter) in companies such as AltaVista, uBid, Lycos and Yahoo! During the “Dot Com” boom placed Mr. Wethrell in the Forbes 400

“Look What Happened The Last Time A Website Had A Real-Time CEO Wealth Meter”

It is interesting to see what was and what could have been. One company that could have been the leader in Social Networking today was SixDegrees.com. SixDegrees was a pioneer that was ahead of its time. It failed to make traction because broadband internet which would allow photographs (headshots etc) to render quickly on a browser was not yet mainstream.

Inspired by the theory of six degrees of separation, sixdegrees is your personal on-line community where you have the ability to interact, communicate and share information and experiences with millions of other members from around the world, all of whom are connected to you.”

Wayback Machine has captured images

The SixDegrees patent, patent # 6,175,831 was filed back in Jan 17, 1997 and granted by the U.S. Patent Office back on Jan 16, 2001

“A networking database containing a plurality of records for different individuals in which individuals are connected to one another in the database by defined relationships. Each individual has the opportunity to define the relationship which may be confirmed or denied. E-mail messaging and interactive communication between individuals and a database service provider provide a method of constructing the database. The method includes having a registered individual identify further individuals and define therewith a relationship. The further individuals then, in turn, establish their own defined relationships with still other individuals. The defined relationships are mutually defined.”

Bloomberg news is reporting that the Facebook “IPO Makes Zuckerberg Richer Than Google Founders”

On the subject of Google there was a little known company Links2Go founded in 1994 (a.k.a Continuum, a.k.a TopicalNet) http://web.archive.org/web/19991104115723/http://www.links2go.com/
which used a technology strikingly similar to Google’s PageRank (“Backrub”) http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html

 The Links2Go test site was well received because it had the ability to automatically organize web content and to provide end users with highly relevant links pertaining to the topic of their query.”

And wasn’t ashamed to let websites  know they made the top of their Search Engine

During the course of our analysis, we  identify which links are most representative of each of the thousands of topics in Links2Go, based on how actual page authors, like yourself, index and organize links on their pages.
http://bit.ly/JlzUCN (November 1998)

“The Google search engine has two important features that help it produce high precision results. First, it makes use of the link structure of the Web to calculate a quality ranking for each web page. This ranking is called PageRank ... Second, Google utilizes link to improve search results.”

With a bit of nostalgia in the air I recall back in the day when there those that claimed they owned an “Internet Patent” also known as the “Freeny patent” which covered most if not all downloadable content over the web… essentially patenting the entire internet.   

“In 1983, in 36 pages of painstaking detail, inventor Charles C. Freeny Jr. sketched out his idea for a network of ``information manufacturing machines'' that could swap encrypted digital information over phone lines. The language of the patent defines this information as the content of ``tapes, videodisks, handheld calculators, handheld electronic games, greeting cards, maps, and sheet music,'' and it also specifies digital payment schemes.”

“"System for Reproducing Information in Material Objects at a Point of Sale Location," U.S. Patent 4,528,643 was invented by Charles C. Freeny, Jr  and granted by the Patent office in 1985 http://www.google.com/patents/US4528643

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Planetary Resources Inc., Moon & Donnie Darko

The Planetary Resources Inc. Announcement today had me thinking about ..well ...what else ...space and time in movies.

I re-watched Donnie Darko Recently and realized that the trampoline symbolizes a black hole. It is round and black like a black hole and the people jumping on the trampoline symbolize the chaos and distortion that surround a black hole. There are some that theorize that a black hol could be used as a wormhole for time travel and Donnie Darko is a Time Traveller movie with even our friend Steven Hawking's Book "A Brief History of Time" making an appearance in the film.

Another great Movie is Duncan' Jones' Moon It is about "Sam Bell" who "has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems."

Sam Bell's name is no accident and his initials S.B. are code for a Spiral Barred Galaxy. "Edwin Hubble classified these types of spiral galaxies as "SB" (spiral, barred) in his Hubble sequence, and arranged them into three sub-categories based on how open the arms of the spiral are." .....The current hypothesis is that the bar structure acts as a type of stellar nursery, fueling star birth at their centers. The bar is thought to act as a mechanism that channels gas inwards from the spiral arms through orbital resonance, in effect funneling the flow to create new stars.


We learn in the movie that the station on the moon is in fact a nursery of sorts (i'm trying not to give a spoiler here).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

This post has been repurposed by the author

This post has been repurposed by the author 5/6/12

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

THQ, Marvel (o.k. Columbia Pictures) and The Mysterious Lumber Liquidators

Apologies and Credit to Rain Monkey on Fark

SOURCE: http://www.facebook.com/theamazingspiderman

The Advertisements placed in the Ad Card Slots in this Subway Car are Fake. Or should we say that the ads are actually engineered specifically for this Spiderman movie. Notice the Yellow ad in the Middle is for "Lumber Liquidators." An ad for Lumber makes absolutely no sense if it is targeting NYC commuters who live in apartment buildings.... but as mentioned, these ads are not genuine subway ads but actually product placement...

Here are some interesting tidbits:

On the Board of Directors of THQ sits the ex Chief Executive Officer of Lumber Liquidators. You might be asking yourself right now what the heck a guy who sells lumber knows about video games??? But if you click the link from Forbes you will see that Mr. Jeffries used to run the Show at Electronics Boutique later known as EB Games, now a subsidiary of Gamestop

Both Lumber Liquidators and THQ use the same marketing product placement firm Hero

"A Lumber Liquidators advertisement makes it into the publicity shot of Columbia Pictures upcoming event film "The Amazing Spiderman....Freedom fighters safeguard a Lumber Liquidators location in the demo of THQ's upcoming FPS game "Homefront."....The title character for "Chuck" wears a t-shirt with the title character for the "de Blob 2" video game...."

THQ on Hero

Lumber Liquidators on Hero

Sunday, April 8, 2012

THQ a.k.a THQI stock trade Marvel / Disney Connection

Apparently Marvel/Disney doesn't have the resources to develop Marvel Video Games in-house---otherwise why would they have outsourced the game to Ubisoft?  With the licenses expiring the time is (was?) ripe for Marvel to develop games in-house.  They could have bought THQ for pennies on the dollar.  But It appears that Mickey Mouse is just plain Goofy.

UPDATE: 5/10/12 Ubisoft creating ‘Avengers’ video game for Kinect, Wii U

UPDATE 6: 5/6/2012:   Forbes Again claims Disney Interactive to Produce Marvel Games

yet...  Recently-registered domain name (avengersbattleforearth.com), has sparked speculation that the UbiSoft may publish the game!....

Avengers: Battle for Earth domain points to Ubi tie-in

To release this thing while Avengers is still burning hot, could UbiSoft http://www.ubi.com buy what has already been produced by THQ and code from there?---Could UbiSoft and THQ play nice together?

Ubisoft talent poaching case Court rules in case sparked by THQ's hiring of former Assassin's Creed boss

Check for yoursefl --- go to geektools.com
and type in

and you will see that

Administrative Contact: Marvel Characters, Inc. 

Domain servers in listed order:

Although Avengers IP reverted back to Marvel, does THQ still own the code for the game they produced?

UPDATE 5: LOL. If you have a problem with a Marvel video game, please contact the product's manufacturer directly.

UPDATE 4: Sega, possibly to save themselves from losing Marvel License tried to acquire the old (Avengers) THQ Development Team http://www.joystiq.com/2011/08/11/sega-australia-boss-shows-interest-in-acquiring-ex-thq-talent-do/
Ex-THQ developers form indie studio Three Phase Interactive

UPDATE 3: Marvel Games @ MarvelBlip on Twitter
Run by Marvel Studios' own Chris Baker (), Eric Adams and Todd 'TQ' Jefferson. All Marvel games, all the time.
https://twitter.com/#!/marvelblip   {Just trying to figure out an org chart here - so is Marvel or Disney running the show for Marvel Video Games?   Why isn't Disney Interactive sending out Twitter Messages and Marvel Studios is?}---BTW "Sr. Games Manager at Marvel Entertainment" Eric Adams used to be a "Sr. Producer" at THQ.  While at Marvel Eric Supervised the licensing side of production for THQ's Marvel Super Hero Squad console games and was the lead on THQ's canceled Avengers game.
 UPDATE 2: Disney Interactive lays off 200 as video game unit shifts focus (Article From 2011)
Co-Presidents John Pleasants and James Pitaro announce a sweeping reorganization of the group's money-losing digital media division, including the closure of a development studio.
"...{Disney} shifts away from expensive console games to focus on online and mobile entertainment...."

UPDATE 1: 4/21/2012 FORBES: More Marvel The Avengers Games Heading Home Soon From Disney
"Once Disney bought the comic book giant, they switched all game development to Disney Interactive."


Updated 4/11/2012

Video Game Company THQ (Ticker Symbol THQI) market capitalization , once $2 billion, dips below $35 million


Sega lost its licenses to produce video games for Marvel and now Marvel is ...looking for publishing opportunities...

"previously reported in September 2011 that the license for the characters had reverted back to Marvel – hence, no more Sega – and that they were looking for publishing opportunities from other potential partners. With Jefferson hinting at incoming announcements, perhaps they found someone?"

THQ cancelled their latest Marvel game to concentrate on their own intellectual property. Marvel seeks new home for THQ cancelled avengers game
September 21 2011

I suspect that the opportunity Marvel is looking for is to produce Video Games "in-house" and the smartest and easiest way to do so is with a THQ acquisition.

Here is an interview with TQ Jefferson, VP games production for Marvel

Q: What role do video games play today for Marvel?

Jefferson: Over the past decade or so, video games have become more and more important as a means to reach out to existing fans, find new ones and to innovate in the ways that we present our characters and tell stories.

Q: Will Sega still be making Thor, Captain America and Iron Man games?
Jefferson: There are no current plans for additional Marvel games to be published by Sega.

{Marvel seems to be displeased with LICENSED games}

Q: Do you think we're seeing fewer movie-licensed games today in the industry, and why do comics seem to be the exception?

Jefferson: In my opinion, the biggest afflictions affecting movie-licensed games is the amount of development time and a strict adherence to retelling the story of the film in the form of a game. The former is easy to understand -- less development time means less time to design, produce and polish the game, resulting in a poor or lesser-quality experience. The latter is a little more subtle, but I can sum it up thusly: ... In order to hit the expected amount of gameplay, you need to embellish, add additional characters, story, subplots and objectives to make a more robust and satisfying experience. That’s where a lot of movie licenses fall down – lack of content.

SOURCE: Hollywood Reporter

Marvel is very aware why THQ cancelled it Avenger's game. If THQ was under Marvel's control ...well then it wouldn't be a licensed game would it. Nothing wrong with a girl playing a little hard to get.

The Avengers: The Video Game leaks, cancelled by THQ in 2011

Comhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gific Books are a dying Business --- Not to say that Marvel is---Marvel is Thriving thanks to a Disney Acquisition. Marvel is already producing its own movies at Marvel Studios (and has been even prior to the Disney acquisition). Movies are a Leap from Comic books... but video games not so much. One could argue that video games are the next best thing and it's a bit surprising that Marvel took the leap from Comic Books straight to film....Moreover, Video Games are more lucrative than movies (in general we are not speaking of Marvel specifically here) --- Infographic Of The Day: Videogames Pwning Hollywood In Release Week Sales http://visual.ly/game-over-game-vs-movies
Here is a Huge List of video games based on Marvel comics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_games_based_on_Marvel_comics --notice that Marvel has not published any of them --- they are all licenses.

--- so why haven't they been producing their own video games????

This is where Di$ney comes in

Disney CEO comments on publishing Marvel games

"Iger revealed that Disney may soon start publishing games on Marvel properties. Iger didn’t elaborate on when or how Disney would begin publishing Marvel video games so it could be some time before we see a Spider-Man game with a Disney Interactive label instead of an Activision one.

Currently most of the Marvel video game properties belong to a variety of companies such as Activision (Marvel comic universe, Spider-Man/X-Men film properties), Sega (Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America film properties) and THQ (Marvel animated properties). Activsion has the Marvel license locked up for a few more years but the exact contract details for Sega and THQ aren’t known. So it’ll be interesting to see how Disney goes about publishing Marvel games and whether it’ll be a case of waiting for the existing contracts to expire or if Disney will simply buy out the remaining contracts and throw bundles of cash at companies like Activsion and Sega. "

Disney Plans High-Quality Executions of Marvel Content


"The recent Disney results also echoed the belief that Marvel games would be good for the higher-end, more "hardcore" Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 demographic which some Disney properties have a more difficult time reaching.

However, since a number of third-party game publishers currently have agreements with Marvel -- for example, Sega for the upcoming Iron Man 2 game {Note: This is an article from 2 years ago! Sega recently lost its Marvel licenses...}-- it appears that it may be some time before all major Marvel properties free up for Disney control in terms of video games {The time is now!}.

As for what branding these titles would be released under, Disney's Wadsworth told Gamasutra: "If we do things under the Marvel brand it may just be [marked on the box] under the Marvel brand." He added that it also might be a joint Marvel/Disney brand in some cases."

This is what Marvel would be buying....A TEAM.. or should we say THQ's teams

"Darksiders 2 was a lot quicker to get done because we already had an established team, they were experienced and we had already made one game. When we first did the first Darksiders we had four people at the beginning. We didn’t even have a decent sized team for over a year. We didn’t have an engine. We were still building the technology and the tools. We didn’t have designers…we didn’t have anything. So it’s hard to count the first year and a half, or so, of the first game. But we did get Darksiders 2 done in half the time, because we already had a team ready. Building a good team, literally, takes years.

Says Joe Madureira of THQ's Vigil Games...

But wait, who is Joe Madureira?

Joe Madureira has done a lot of things. He’s worked as a comic book artist for Marvel Comics, and even created his own comic series under the Wildstorm label called Battle Chasers. ... Madureira (Joe Mad to his friends) and David Adams eventually left NCSoft and founded Vigil Games in 2005. Since then, Vigil Games has been acquired by THQ, and is currently shepherding the post-apocalyptic franchise Darksiders. At a recent preview event for Darksiders 2 I sat down with Joe Mad, Creative Director on Darksiders 2, to talk about his transition from comics to video games, the core tenets of the Darksiders franchise and even secret Nintendo assassins.
SOURCE: http://playstationlifestyle.net/2012/03/22/mad-about-darksiders-2-joe-madureira-speaks-to-playstation-lifestyle/

Fast Forward to the Present: 4/3/2012 Marvel begins changing titles of employees (o.k. employee) working on Licensed Video Games from "Manager of Licensed Games" to "Interactive Manager"

"Ryan Penagos: My guest this week is Chris Baker Manager of Licensed Games.... oh no? no?
Chris: My Title recently changed to Interactive Manager
Ryan Penagos: Congratulations
Chris: It's not a promotion its a title change ...but hey I'll take it
Ryan Penagos: Yeah, well that signals something I assume...


THQ has worked on successful video games for Marvel previously (look on bottom left)

Google Search marvel site:thq.com
About 195,000 results

Google Search thq site:marvel.com
About 176 results

Food For Thought: {What if we were to replace the word(s) "movie" and "motion pictures" with the words "Video Game" below?}
"Marvel used to license out the rights for motion pictures in their characters to other film studios, because Marvel could not afford to make their own motion pictures. Therefore, it was more profitable for Marvel to license out the rights in an exchange for a substantial fee and a percentage of the gross proceeds from the films.....
Back before Marvel started making its own movies, it was very beneficial to them to license out these movie rights to other studios. Unfortunately, now that Marvel has its own studios and is making their own comic book hero movies, they cannot just terminate their licensing contracts for some of the most popular heroes in the Marvel Universe. Marvel has no option now, but to wait for the other studios to break one of the licensing contracts or to buy the rights back, that is if the studios are willing to sell. "
SOURCE: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/steveorjoey/news/?a=41001 Please read this article the author has put a lot of thought into this

Marvel gets Blade and The Punisher screen rights back, more movies coming?

Both of these characters have had three movies apiece now, but both have been off the big (and small) screen for some time. And now, Marvel Comics CEO, Joe Quesada, has confirmed that the rights have duly reverted back as a result.

For marvel to become immediately immersed in Video Games ...it needs only buy a company like THQI

Youtube: GAMING NEWZ: Tekken Marvels At Darksider's Tag