Weekend Update 1.11.09
There’s got to be a joke somewhere in the fact that Macworld, the Consumer Electronics Show and the AVN Awards (the “Pornies”) all happen during the same week. Maybe even one that hasn’t been played out 10 times over. All Things Digital was too busy covering two out of three this week to think of one.
Digital Daily was on hand at Macworld ’09 Monday. Despite the flurry of wonky reporting about the health and/or “imminent death” of Steve Jobs–put into perspective here by BoomTown–nothing too remarkable happened during Apple’s (AAPL) final appearance at the annual event. Phil Schiller did a solid job delivering the keynote in Jobs’s place, introducing a new 17-inch MacBook Pro with an eight-hour internal battery and some innovative updates to iWork and iLife. Schiller ended his keynote with the announcement of changes in pricing and digital rights management for iTunes, punctuated by the surprise appearance of crooner Tony Bennett. Apparently, as Bennett sang, the best is yet to come. Crack photojournalist Adam Tow was on hand to capture the keynote in its entirety–All Things Digital’s photo coverage can be found here.
MediaMemo reported from CES about the pervasive 3-D theme of the conference and wondered whether people would pay cash to see a football game in 3-D at a theater instead of just staying home. There was the ongoing litany of the casualties of the econalypse: “Semantic” ad network Peer39 shut down its ad operation this week, Hearst is about to pull the plug on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Forbes announced layoffs and Sir Howard Stringer announced the elimination of thousands of jobs at Sony (SNE). MediaMemo also caught the much anticipated introduction of Palm’s (PALM) new smartphone, the Palm Pre, and its new Web OS, a combo Palm deems superior to the iPhone and that many others consider Palm’s last chance for survival. The product’s success or failure will have a lot to do with its pricing, about which there’s much disbelief.
BoomTown had the lowdown this week on an amusing rumor about a Microsoft-backed (MSFT) run at Yahoo (YHOO), the emergence of Carol Bartz as the top prospect for Yahoo CEO and Microsoft’s deal with Verizon (VZ) and Dell (DELL) to distribute search. Jerry Yang submitted to the all-seeing eye of BoomTown’s Flip camera along with Yahoo President Sue Decker to talk about Yahoo’s new product, Connected TV. The camera also caught some chatty attendees and a few demos, including one of a new Disney (DIS) music product given by a guy who looked like a member of ZZ Top.
Speaking of ZZ Top, catch gadget godfather Walt Mossberg trying out some 3-D glasses on his annual odyssey around the convention floor. All he needs is a longer beard and a ’32 Ford and he could be a band member, too. Walt and colleague Katie Boehret caught many of the more interesting gadgets on video, and Walt previewed some more for FOX News.
More next week.