Weekend Update 3/20/10–The Broadband Plan Edition
BoomTown traveled to Washington, D.C., this week for festivities surrounding the 25th anniversary of the registration of the first .com domain name, and while in our nation’s capital–in addition to lugging a giant binder containing a paper printout of the National Broadband Plan to various historic spots for educational opportunities–dropped in on Blair Levin, executive director of the plan and former FCC exec. Levin shared his thoughts about the scope of the plan and some of the challenges it faces on the way to implementation. Elsewhere, at an event for the .com domain anniversary, former President Bill Clinton gave a keynote that focused, naturally, on health care and global warming. He made up for it, apparently, when he sat down with VeriSign (VRSN) CEO Mark McLaughlin for an entertaining interview. Of course, Clinton probably wasn’t as entertaining as Kathy Griffin–Kara also attended a dinner honoring the star of “My Life on the D List” at which Griffin shared some R-rated Twitter action words.
The release this week of a flood of documents pertaining to the Viacom (VIA)-YouTube lawsuit shed light on a lot of interesting data–and a lot of, uh, not-so-interesting stuff. Peter Kafka was on duty this week to discern the difference, so you don’t have to. Among the highlights: YouTube’s pre-Google finances revealed, how YouTube split up Google’s (GOOG) billions, proof that Viacom wanted to buy YouTube four years ago, and a whole lot of emails, but no smoking gun. It’s all on MediaMemo.
Over at Digital Daily, John Paczkowski wondered if the licensing of its webOS could be a salvation for Palm (PALM), and later in the week, whether Palm’s dismal third-quarter earnings mean the beginning of the end. John also reported that given details revealed Monday morning, Windows Phone 7 could make Microsoft (MSFT) a contender in the mobile operating system wars. Microsoft isn’t the only company having a good month, however–Mac sales during February were up 43 percent for the month, after a 36 percent spike in sales during January. Accordingly, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has declared 2010 the “Year of the Mac.”
In Personal Technology this week, Walt took a look at two new ThinkPads from Lenovo. A departure from Lenovo’s standard template, they sport lower prices and new designs, and both got good grades. Watch the video of Walt’s comprehensive review and then check out his appearance on WSJ’s “Digits” for more on the new ThinkPads and a discussion of Google’s upcoming foray into television. At Mossberg’s Mailbox, Walt answered readers’ questions about sharing e-books and wiping hard drives. And in the Mossberg Solution, Katie Boehret tested Xobni Mobile, an app that generates contact info for everyone users have ever communicated with in Microsoft Outlook. So far Xobni is available for BlackBerry only, but word is, the company’s considering apps for Android and the iPhone.
More next week.