Beth Callaghan

Recent Posts by Beth Callaghan

Weekend Update, 10/03/08

The week ending Oct. 3, 2008, was a momentous one and not solely because of ongoing McCain-Obama high jinks like Tina Fey’s encore as Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live” or the one and only Web site where you can decide the race in a Kung-Fu Election.

  • First and foremost, this week’s big slide on Wall Street hit tech stocks with a vengeance, too, disproving Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s assertion a little more than a week ago: “My guess is that the drama is New York and not here.” Ouch. But don’t say BoomTown didn’t warn you.
  • Ted Ullyot, Facebook’s new general counsel, has “strong ties to the Republican Party.” Including a stint in former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s office, where, as chief of staff, he handled the government’s response to the the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s indentity. “Ted’s arrival demonstrates we’re a little more grown up.” No word on whether or not you need to change your status immediately.
  • Unsurprisingly, the ad partnership between Yahoo and Google is on hold so the Justice Department can spend more time reading the small print. The much debated deal is now also much delayed.
    Google will spend the interim rolling out Clean Energy 2030, a $4.4 trillion dollar plan to transition the country from coal and oil dependence to clean energy. And to lower the gas and electric bills on all those Google data centers.
  • People have some strong ideas about the term “cloud computing”–if not about the concept itself. In September, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said, “Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anybody is talking about … It’s complete gibberish.” Well, Steve Ballmer doesn’t think so–though what he coyly announced this week at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference will go by another name. Or maybe not. Says Ballmer: “Let’s just call it for the purposes of today ‘Windows Cloud.'” Let’s.
  • Walt Mossberg lays out the different ways to make a Mac emulate a PC, including one option that’s just gotten better. He also answers readers’ questions, which this week include issues about following features from one version of Microsoft Office to another, dealing with malware, and embarrassing CD misidentifications.
  • And in a showdown at the iTunes Corral, Apple walked off into the sunset with its profit margin intact. It was threatening to shut down the iTunes Store if the Copyright Royalty Board were to raise royalty rates 66 percent–as had been proposed by the National Music Publishers’ Association.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus