Weekend Update 10.24.09–Drinking From the Fire Hose Edition
We knew it had to happen. There was no way the great white–and blue, and whatever color Yahoo (YHOO) is–search engine sharks could resist the fire hoses full of text chum Twitter produces 24/7. Heck, Twitter even chops its textual fish heads into lovely bite-sized chunks.
Wednesday morning, Boomtown opened with the exclusive confirmation we’d all been waiting for: Microsoft’s Bing search engine had inked deals with Twitter and Facebook. The age of real-time is upon us. As if the world weren’t complicated enough, Microsoft (MSFT) opened its own Apple stor… er, Microsoft stores to challenge Apple’s (APPL) retail success. Kara went in like lion and out like Carl Icahn this week with a Friday profile of the mogul. Icahn, activist investor and owner of the world’s best name to precede “haz cheezburger,” quietly left Yahoo’s board this week waving a flag of defeat at CEO Carol Bartz.
Digital Daily took a hard look through the Windows this week. John covered the Microsoft’s release of the new leaner, meaner Windows 7. John’s conclusion: Microsoft’s lucky number could be seven, even if that’s just because it’s anything but Vista. Hopefully they programmed this one with 20 percent more customer goodwill. John reminded us this week that you never can tell what John McCain is going to do next, unless you follow the money. Maverick McCain introduced a bill to prohibit the Federal Communication Commission from implementing the Net neutrality rules it released in recent weeks. Digital Daily wasn’t too surprised to see Sen. McCain take the bold position, as it’s squarely in front of the same telecom industry that has been so generous to him in the past. To round things out, John covered a particularly interesting legal chess game/slap fight between Nokia and Apple. Nokia (NOK) may have sued Apple (AAPL) over cellphone patents, the analysts say, as a way to fend off possible suits in the other direction over Nokia’s multitouch assets.
MediaMemo makes sense of that crazy New York state of mind. That clarity was more valuable than ever this week when Demand Media got in our faces. Peter explained Demand’s model for flooding the net with cheap news stories designed to maximize clicks and add revenue. We’ll have to see how the “content by the numbers” game plays out. In the latest installment of the Condé Nast saga, Peter brought news of a new attempt to grab some of those new media dollars. GQ Magazine will offer its December issue in an iPhone version. This move comes during a round of downsizing all over the Condé empire. While Condé Nast’s strategy seems to be to get users to pay for something they couldn’t get before, it appears that Hulu plans to ask users to pay for something they can currently get for free. Hulu doesn’t know how it will happen yet, but the video service is looking for a way to begin monetizing its vast collection of movies and TV shows. If the company goes with “Hulu Plus” as a subscription option, maybe Peter will get a nod to the naming rights.
Walt spent his column inches this week on the evolution of the Mac. Midweek, Apple released refreshed versions of the iMac and MacBook, as well as the new Magic Mouse. All signs seemed positive with the new products, which feature updates like a larger screen option for the iMac and a rounder, more lovable case for the white plastic MacBook. When Walt went out to check the mail, Mossberg’s Mailbox was again full of Windows 7 questions. Walt discussed some of the new low-vision features in Windows 7, explained the admittedly complicated price points and told readers where to download the operating system.
Katie brought a sparkle to the week with a review of Goby, the self-proclaimed search engine of fun. While she was impressed by the concept, she spotted some gaping holes in search returns, like hundreds of missing events she knew to be on the calendar and others that had already come and gone. Goby might be a great idea, but Katie won’t be relying on it until things like accuracy and timeliness are better addressed.
Weekend Update can make two promises for what’s coming next. First: If it is happening in tech, you will find it at AllThingsDigital. Second: Weekend Update promises to keep the ghost puns to a minimum in the next edition.