Beth Callaghan

Recent Posts by Beth Callaghan

Weekend Update, 8.22.09–The Musical Chairs Edition

musicalchairsThe week ending Aug. 21 began Aug. 17 with another round of digital musical chairs–BoomTown reported that David Dickman, VP of West Coast sales for Yahoo (YHOO), will be leaving the company at the end of the month for Warner Bros. to work in digital sales. Also, after a five-month tour of Europe and its finer Web establishments, Yahoo seems poised to name a new international head. MySpace made a move this week to fix its ad sales operation by bringing in Media Link and Wenda Millard, who chatted with BoomTown Thursday from somewhere near Slovenia.

Digital Daily came bearing sad news on Monday: The Apple (AAPL) event scheduled for Sept. 9 will not have anything to do with a tablet computer. Just music. And from an organization vulnerable to Palm (PALM) poachers. Presumably, all managers present will be exercising caution and using peripheral vision. Netflix (NFLX) was the recent recipient of good news, as John reported this week: Analysts’ research shows that the DVD-by-mail business has a lot of life left in it. Now, if Google (GOOG) will just stay out of that business. The search giant, in any case, might be a bit preoccupied by the Open Book Alliance and that group’s opposition to its Google Book Search Settlement, the $125 million deal that will allow Google to digitize and monetize some 18 million books. Probably won’t be preoccupied for long, though.

MediaMemo returned this week with an explanation for why the relatively mediocre iPhone camera has become the favorite camera on Flickr: It’s already in your pocket, and no one wants to carry another gadget around. Which is likely to become a more common refrain as high-end handsets grab more marketshare than ever and the quality of secondary functions improves. Another common refrain: The one where media companies start charging for content, and people start paying. News Corp. (NWS) (which owns this Web site) is working on assembling the critical mass of publishers it believes is necessary for making this possible.

Over in Personal Technology, Walt Mossberg reviews a robotic investment adviser called Cake Premium and points out some of the reasons you may or may not want to follow its suggestions for what to do with your 401(k). From Mossberg’s Mailbox, Walt answers questions about Windows OS upgrades on the Mac, and some follow-up questions about DriveSharp. In The Mossberg Solution, Katie Boehret tests out Rosetta Stone’s (RST) Totale, a web-based language-learning system that might be the next best thing for immersing yourself in another culture.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle