11.28.09 Weekend Update–Black Friday, Blue Saturday Edition
Everyone in the retail world was waiting with bated breath yesterday to find out if the current economic pinch would make consumers fight harder in the discount trenches or simply sound the retreat. Either way, the AllThingsD team was at its post this week bringing you tech and trends to keep you ahead of the pack.
Kara was sorely disappointed when she realized she wouldn’t need her yoga mat for her piece on Asana, which, as it turns out, isn’t a pose that helps you channel your chi, but rather, a high-profile start-up from two former Facebookers aimed at addressing the workplace collaboration and communications space. Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz together invested $9 million in an attempt to tip the karmic balance in Asana’s favor. Kara showed no fear in a post this week addressing head-on the what-ifs raised by our spicy chairman, Rupert Murdoch. Rupe has threatened to remove content from search giant Google (GOOG) and Kara decided to fill everyone in, from the inside out. AllThingsD went a little bit Hollywood late in the week and Kara reminded us all to set our TiVos to catch our very own Katie Boehret on “The Martha Stewart Show” where she was scheduled to showcase a few cool gadgets for the holidays.
Digital Daily wasn’t quite as Zen this week, covering a few of the scintillating conflicts that always seem to plague the holiday season. It was a case of bickering brothers and Psystar style early in the week as Apple readied the deathblow against the Mac clone retailer. Apple (AAPL) claims that Psystar computers that ship with Mac OS cut too close to home and must be eliminated. Apple may be sandblasting a soda cracker just a little here as Psystar has already filed for bankruptcy. John followed up with some thoughts on foreign policy. It seems that Senators John Kerry and Orrin Hatch put on their best Hawaiian shirts, black socks and leather-man sandals this week to play the obnoxious Americans intent on bossing around the European Commission. While there was no word on whether they made a fuss about not getting ketchup with their French fries, they did encourage the EC to hurry up and approve the pending Oracle (ORCL)-Sun (JAVA) deal. Sticking with the European vacation theme, John finished out the week with news that Apple and wireless carrier O2 would begin selling iPhones at Tesco supermarkets in the U.K. We assume that, like all things sold in British grocery stores, Tesco iPhones will also come with tikka masala and malt-vinegar options.
MediaMemo was back up to full speed this week, and while we don’t blame Peter for doing his civic duty last week, we’re glad he’s back on the job. He has been closely following the decline of advertising dollars that have been blamed for everything from the death of newspapers to Lou Dobbs “going rogue.” Peter reported that Yahoo upped the ante this week with a meta-advertising campaign targeted at, yep, ad executives. That’s one way to drum up business, or so believes the team at the new Yahoo (YHOO). In another startling revelation about media consumption, the Olswang media law firm reported that iPhone consumers tend to be willing to pay for some content. Peter echoed the same, reporting some purchases of his own. In yet another story about a potential grab for media dollars, Peter reported that Hulu, the online television giant, grew in both content and viewership. Peter reminded us that viewers everywhere are holding their breath for when the juggernaut throws up that pay wall.
Katie held down the Mossberg fort this week and did so even while simultaneously appearing on TV. Quite a feat, but lady geeks have special two-places-at-once powers. Back underground at Mossberg HQ, she reviewed Clicker, a Web site aiming to be the place to find any TV program you might want to watch. The service will point you to wherever a particular episode may live in electronically viewable format and does so without cluttering results with the Web’s video jetsam. She praised the service on the whole, but warned that it’s not a magic bullet. If you are directed to a site that features a pesky proprietary media player, you will still have to make the download. She said that the user account on the site will even let you use it like an online TiVo (TIVO), alerting you when shows have posted and building you a playlist.
Please take care while nursing your Post Retail Stress Disorder this weekend, and take solace that while you may never fully use that knee again, you did get your four-dollar toaster. Tune in next week: Weekend Update will bring you the all-meat, no filler account of the week’s events at AllThingsD.