Beth Callaghan

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Weekend Update: 9.12.2009–Now in Eight Shiny New Colors

jobs-2.0 While the highlight of the week was undoubtedly Apple’s Rock and Roll event on Wednesday featuring Steve Jobs 2.0, that was only the anodized aluminum, candy-colored, video-shooting cherry on top of another week of tech sector reporting from All Things Digital.

BoomTown was abuzz with Pixis, Plums and power this week as Kara focused on tech that wasn’t Apple, and reminded us that lady geeks hold the power in Silicon Valley.

While Apple was gathering clouds for its Rock and Roll storm, Palm (PALM) released the teeny Pixi, designed, Palm hopes, to steal some of that Apple (AAPL) thunder. The Pixi smart phone, while smaller and thinner, reported Kara, has fewer features and less power than the already available Pre.

Small can be good in the world of tech, and BoomTown reported that a certain Nordic tech behemoth thinks so too. Nokia (NOK) announced that it had acquired “microsocial networking” start-up Plum, whose signature offering allows users to build smaller, more intimate electronic social networks.

Kara did it “like a boss” this week and highlighted the tech sector mavens from Fortune magazine’s annual list of most powerful women. Ursula Burns of Xerox (XRX), IBM-er (IBM) Ginni Rometty and Oracle (ORCL) President Safra Catz were among those at the top. BoomTown will be at the upcoming conference associated with the Fortune list, so look for Kara’s Flip video interviews with these Titanias of tech.

It was nice of Apple to release new iPods just in time for John’s birthday this week, and Digital Daily returned the favor with high-bandwidth, hard-rockin’ coverage of Apple’s music-themed event, complete with live photos and blogging. John liked the video feature of the new iPod nano, but focused on the biggest news of the week–Apple’s upgraded CEO.

Digital Daily’s Apple coverage didn’t stop at The Steve. Ever since announcement of the exclusive Apple-AT&T (T) partnership, current and would-be iPhone freaks have speculated as to what kind of deal will be struck when that contract expires. John reported that iSuppli prognosticators think the agreement may be extended when it runs out in 2010.

John closed out the week with Twitter leaks about the newest incarnation of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Google-toppler (GOOG), Bing. Microsoft showcased Bing 2.0 at the annual company meeting, which some employees took as a green light to tweet away about the unreleased product. Microsoft HQ was more tight-lipped, telling John only that the rollout would happen over the next few months.

MediaMemo followed the money this week–specifically advertising dollars. A year after the Lehman collapse, Peter cited a MediaPost survey that showed some growth in ad spending. In a down market, Peter reminded, sometimes the only place to go, is up. Let’s hope so.

Not to be left out of Apple’s party, MediaMemo covered the release of an iPhone app from RealNetworks (RNWK) that brings all-you-can-eat music for a monthly fee. Wall Street barely blinked at the deal, but changes may come if the service catches on as competitor Spotify has in Europe.

And while the NFL won’t let players tweet from the end zone, it is upping its tech quotient by bringing blacked-out games to your Internet browser. MediaMemo reported that the lower-attendance games would be available to tech-savvy sports nuts–after midnight on game day. Get out the Fritos and espresso, guys, its game time.

True to form as the Lincoln of our very own Mt. Techmore, Walt’s address this week was aimed at helping the wayward get back on track with a bevy of new iPhone navigation apps. This new breed of high dollar apps harnesses the power of the iPhone 3GS to replace those ever present dash top GPS navigation units.

Walt extended his techno-presidential benevolence with another installment of Mossberg’s Mailbox. Networked storage, Quicken for Mac and the ominously impending switch to Windows 7 were all up for discussion.

At the Mossberg Solution, Katie tested Postbox, software designed to bring novel management solutions to your inbox. Developed by some of the guys from Mozilla, Postbox does offer lots of great features, Katie said, even if the switch to the new tools might not be easy for all.

Lots more shiny new tech talk next week. Stay tuned.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik