Weekend Update, 3.21.09–March Madness Edition
Technically, the term refers to the frenzied flow of games and the intensity of the contenders for the NCAA Championship crown. But the NCAA doesn’t have a corner on “March Madness”–those descriptors work well in other instances, too. To wit:
BoomTown posted from various spots in Europe this week, yet managed to follow the geek-tastic goodness of Silicon Valley’s own contender, Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak, who competed while injured this week on “Dancing With the Stars”–and escaped elimination via the love of viewers in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Another founder made the headlines this week–BoomTown noted that Steve Case appeared at a huge pep rally at Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL. Case and former AOL exec Ted Leonsis gave their support (and a lucky green tie) to new CEO Tim Armstrong. Elsewhere, Pure Digital, the maker of BoomTown’s favorite gadget–the ever-present Flip digital video camera–sold itself to Cisco (CSCO) for $590 million in stock, and BoomTown urged Silicon Valley to remember it’s not immune to the recession, to put its nose to the grindstone and to avoid party-hearty inanity.
Guess no one’s taking heed of the warning, though: MediaMemo reports that no one’s getting anything done at work–CBS (CBS) says its March Madness Web traffic is up 57 percent compared to last year. On top of that, television viewership rose various percentages throughout the week. MM wasn’t watching much basketball this week, though–there was plenty to blog about: The New York Times (NYT) cracked down on unauthorized use of its photos; Discovery Communications (DISCA) announced a patent infringement suit against Amazon and its Kindle Reader; Palm (PALM) delivered dismal third quarter results, putting even greater pressure on the success of the Pre; and in a Q&A with BusinessWeek editor Stephen Adler, Steve Ballmer said he’s open to a phone call from Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz whenever she’s ready to talk. Oh, and in case you were wondering what happened at SXSW, MediaMemo got a Google (GOOG) guy to explain it.
Digital Daily’s March Madness started with a liveblog of Apple’s St. Patrick’s Day press event to unveil version 3.0 of its iPhone OS, a chronicle of the myriad features displayed onstage and a live photoblog to back it up. DD noted that sales of the iPod touch and iPhone have outstripped RIM’s (RIMM) combined BlackBerry sales by a factor of… well, by a LOT. Kind of supports the data that say mobile Web use doubled over the last year. Which is good, because Mac sales were no good in February.
In Personal Technology, Walt Mossberg reviewed the latest release of Microsoft IE8 (MSFT), its most comprehensive release in many years. His verdict? Mixed, of course. In Mossberg’s Mailbox, Walt talked to readers about the many models of BlackBerry phones and how they differ from one another, the new iPod shuffle and its earphone compatibility and upgrading Vista to Windows 7. In the Mossberg Solution, Katie Boehret reviewed the Ee Top, Asus’s first foray into the all-in-one PC market.
More next week. Go Woz!