Beth Callaghan

Recent Posts by Beth Callaghan

Weekend Update, 03.07.09

chiatwitWill [insert company name here] find a viable revenue strategy any time soon? Everyone’s hustling, that’s for sure. It’s this week’s theme.

BoomTown was there Thursday when Facebook announced a new look for profiles and homepages that incorporates a “timeline” or “stream” of realtime updates. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “This creates a continuous stream of information that delivers a deeper understanding for everyone participating in it.” It’s also reminiscent of some other sites, not that it’ll matter much in the long run. Speaking of Twitter, BoomTown got impatient waiting around for its revenue strategy to materialize and went ahead and started a “Twitter Business Plan Count-Up.” The Chia-Twit has potential, but the winning financial strategy so far, by a mile, is the “Snuggie-Tweet.” BoomTown describes it best.

MediaMemo was all (well, almost all) about old media vs. new media. This week. Hulu, which lets you watch Fox and NBC shows on your computer, has been playing tug-of-war with Boxee, which lets you watch Web video on your TV. Hulu and its TV programmer owners don’t really want you to have that option–the resulting standoff could be long and interesting. MediaMemo also reported on MegaVideo, the Chinese site that makes it easy to watch pirated TV shows and movies online, noting that Hollywood’s Napster moment has probably just arrived. Universal Music Group–which has already had its share of Napster moments–is discussing a music site with YouTube. According to MediaMemo, it would be the most likely way to benefit both YouTube and UMG–not to mention music fans.

Digital Daily must be getting tired of that same old economic refrain. Among the highlights of this week’s crappy news: the jobless rate in Silicon Valley is at 9.3 percent and getting higher. At least Google (GOOG) may be getting some big love soon–Vivek Kundra, President Obama’s chief information officer, famously switched 38,000 workers from Microsoft Office to Google’s Web-based office suite as chief technology officer for the District of Columbia. No word yet on office software for the new White House, but here’s hoping for a more secure Google Docs. DD also noted the lack of a release date for Palm’s (PALM) new Pre from Sprint (S). Apparently it’ll be a while longer before anyone finds out if the Pre really is an iPhone-killer.

On the Personal Technology front, Walt Mossberg gave Apple’s (AAPL) new Safari browser a mixed review, and offered his first impressions of Kindle software on the iPhone. In Mossberg’s Mailbox, Walt answered questions about reading periodicals on Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle 2, keeping a monitor from going to sleep in the middle of a movie, and the benefits of a netbook for traveling. And in the Mossberg Solution, Katie Boehret took an early look at a new Oodle-powered Facebook Marketplace, and reported on its pros and cons.

Spring forward. More next week.


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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