Friday, December 23, 2011

Businessweek Dec 12 Issue: Vegas Real Estate Fraud, OnLive Video Games, TV Remotes, Tableau Data Analysis

Quite a few interesting pieces from the Dec 12 issue of Businessweek.

Cover story by Felix Gillette was The King of All Vegas Real Estate Scams on fraud run amok in the area of faulty condo construction. It's a fascinating look at the illegal practice of taking over homeowner association boards and then funneling damages and repair contracts to businesses tied to colluding board members. Not surprising to read of something like this given legal Vegas real estate practices like buying larger and walking away from old property, but the scam described by Gillette shows a remarkable amount of fraud and deception.

Also from this issue were three smaller pieces that each dealt with interesting companies and topics previously noted on this blog...

- OnLive Mobile Helps Gamers on the Go is on the cloud gaming service from startup veteran Steve Perlman and stood out both with Perlman being someone I've linked to previous BW features on and with the described OnLive efforts around online tablet and smartphone gaming.

- Voice Control, the End of the TV Remote? covers innovation already occurred and especially to come in the future around the home television. Topic is especially interesting given rampant speculation about what Apple may eventually bring (in conjunction with the iPhone and iPad) to the TV market.

- Pat Hanrahan's Tableau Analytics Software provides a brief look at data analysis tools way beyond simple Excel in terms of both user interface and display of information. It's an interesting subject area and Hanrahan as a guy (and his Tableau Software by extension) is interesting with his time spent as an early stage Pixar engineer and two Oscars awarded for animation work.