Roundup: Games Grow, More Companies Offer More Perks
Game Industry Continues to Grow: The video game industry will continue growing at a rapid pace, says Gartner, with game-related spending reaching $112 billion by 2015, up from $67 billion in 2010. It'll hit an estimated $74 billion this year. It’s little surprise that the fastest growing segment is mobile gaming, while traditional home console gaming may be peaking. “Mobile gaming will grow from 15 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2015,” according to Gartner's report. The New York Times More Stories of Tech Boom Job Perks: While high-powered engineers and product developers work late into the night creating the next big thing, they're also enjoying perks not seen since the heady days of 1999. Companies say the fierce competition for talent among startups is the cause. Free company-wide gourmet meals are now routine, and game rooms, music rooms, nap rooms and even cruises are now par for the course. The Wall Street Journal Tech Talent Shortage Could Hurt Business: According to a report issued by Fitch Ratings, tight and/or fragmented labor supplies are hitting the tech industry. The inability to find appropriately skilled workers indicates some level of structural unemployment -- an economic scenario in which joblessness remains high because of a mismatch between laborer skills and employer needs -- rather than a lack of consumer demand. In the tech sector, for example, companies are being forced to lay out more and more generous stock options in order to attract the best talent. The Huffington Post Mid-Year IT Hiring Brightens: A Moody’s Analytics forecast of 148,000 new technology jobs nationally by the end of 2011 is echoed — somewhat — by the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. It finds that 7 percent of CIOs expect to add employees to their departments in the third quarter of 2011, while 4 percent anticipate cutbacks. The net 4 percent increase is down from the previous quarter, but represents overall good news about the IT employment outlook. Datamation Verizon to End Unlimited Data Plans: The days of all-you-can-eat mobile Web access are just about gone. Verizon Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile provider, stopped offering customers unlimited data service plans on yesterday. That means the heaviest users of mobile Web access will soon be paying more. Verizon plans to charge $5 more per month than AT&T, which stopped offering unlimited data services last year. Under the new terms, customers who limit their data use to 2 gigabytes will pay $30 a month, the same as what they’ve been paying unlimited data use. AT&T charges $25 for 2 GB of data and offers a $15 per month plan for those who use only 200 megabytes. Verizon customers who use more than their plan allows will pay $10 for every extra gigabyte. Users can also sign up for a $50 monthly plan for 5 gigabytes, or $80 for 10 gigabytes. Reuters Social Media Wars Could Have Business Impact: Battle lines have been drawn as Google pre-launched its nascent social network Google+, which includes the ability to create discrete subgroups of friends and the ability to video chat with up to nine people. Facebook answered by announcing that Skype video calling will be integrated into its network, although no group video chat will be enabled. With Microsoft poised to acquire it, Skype’s blending with Facebook is seen as a Microsoft-Facebook alliance designed to combat Google, their mutual foe. CNET Upcoming Tech Events Excellence in Government: Managing in a Cutback Climate July 11—Washington, D.C. In an era of pay freezes and severe budget cuts, federal managers need to be more creative and efficient to retain talented employees, compete with the private sector, and execute on high-importance performance initiatives. On Monday, July 11, hear from experts in workforce planning and human resources organizations about the most effective practices in hiring, training, collaboration, and leadership development. Email Management for Today's Business Needs July 13, 2:00 PM ET—Online Join this AIIM webinar to examine e-mail management from a current ROI perspective. Learn practical steps to get your email under control and be integrated into your business processes so seamlessly that it is easy and second-nature for staff to maintain your email management plans. IDC's Tech Outlook 2011 Emerging Markets July 14—San Mateo, CA With continued pressure to succeed, many companies, and the investment community covering them, are looking to worldwide emerging markets to grow their business. Everyone wants a piece of the opportunity, but it's risky to assume these inconsistent markets are anything like what you've targeted before. Emerging markets can offer hypergrowth opportunities, but often amidst hyper-competition and a widely diverse customer landscape. Emerging markets are only a growth opportunity if you know what you're getting into. Green Data Center and Cloud Control July 19-21—Boston This conference will foster an educational environment that allows you to analyze new techniques that will not only help our environment, but also save your organizations time and money. Industry experts and executives will gather to experience unique networking opportunities and relationships that will last beyond the event. Topics will include: Reducing Energy Consumption & Improving Efficiency, Management Best Practices, Evolving Innovations and Deployment Strategies, and Storage, Automation, and Virtualization. Fortune Brainstorm TECH July 19-21—Aspen, CO Come to this marketplace of ideas that assembles the world's top technology and media thinkers, operators, entrepreneurs, innovators, and influencers. These leaders inspire a conversation that informs Fortune's editorial coverage throughout the year. FOSE 2011 July 19-21—Washington, D.C. The FOSE Conference serves the federal, state and local government technology market as well as the broader international and commercial technology community as a forum for bridging ideas and innovations between the public and private sector—and provides forward-looking view of upcoming federal IT initiatives that impact the private sector.