Weekend Update 3.27.10–The Countdown Begins Edition

In case you are not yet worked up into enough of a lather, let Weekend Update help out. iPad apps are hitting the App Store, Jobs and Schmidt are brunching together and Apple (AAPL) has run out of iPads for Day One. Developers are leaking screenshots of their latest “HD” apps, and the whole of Silicon Valley is about to explode in a sonorous collective oh yeahhh, as if everyone in a 100-mile radius were dipping into a hot tub simultaneously.

But before we can report on pad-rapture oh-10, AllThingsD has one more week of hard-hitting tech news to bring right to your humorously ancient laptop screen.

Here we go.

BoomTown started off the week meeting with VC Kevin Efrusy. Efrusy, who is at Accel Parteners (best known as the Facebook VC), is a tech geek of the highest order. You don’t get a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford without having some chops. Kara coaxed the typically behind-the-curtains Efrusy into one of her signature Flip video interviews. She then covered Amit Singh’s move away from Oracle (ORCL) to head up Google’s (GOOG) international sales team. Kara rounded out the week with one of her reliably awesome viral video posts, this time about TED presenter, TV Chef and owner of the world’s largest tongue, Jamie Oliver. We dare you to watch the video and not stare at it.

This just in (Weekend Update is holding our finger to our ear for no reason): In a rare Saturday post, Digital Daily is reporting that launch day iPads are sold out. We’ve heard a rumor that AllThingsD interns will be dispatched, in lieu of staff writers, to wait in overnight lines for customers waiting waiting to buy iPads at Apple stores. More to come. In an awesome techno-geopolitical twist, John wrote about China’s Unicom dumping the Google search engine from it’s Android smartphones. This confirms Weekend Update’s suspicion about the coming robo-pocalypse. Even if you cut the head off an Android, the body lives on. And in final preparation for the big launch, John reported that Apple has finally taken possession of the iPad trademark, which had previously belonged to Fujitsu. No word on what that little chestnut cost, but we’ll bet it was more than Fujitsu had been making on the original iPad, an eight-year-old point-of-sale device that runs Windows.

MediaMemo dipped below the murky surface of Internet fame this week to try to tease out the identity of Merton, the Chatroulette improv piano guy. Turns out “Merton” is not Ben Folds as some suspected, but we’re glad there is someone left out there with a sense of humor. Peter went back to school later in the week to visit with the most recent graduates of Paul Graham’s Y-Combinator start-up school. He talked with NewsLabs creator Paul Biggar, who hopes to save journalism by supplying freelancers with the kind of support they might have gotten at, say, a newspaper. He wasn’t too clear on specifics, but he did say that revenue wasn’t going to be all about the ads.

Out in Mossberg Land, Walt and Katie had a full week of reviews of the stuff you care about. Katie gave readers a much needed roundup of a half-dozen sites that bring power (and discounts) to the people through group buying. She helps even the most un-savvy deal-hunter figure things out by breaking down sites like Groupon and Woot. Walt unboxed a new Tivo (TIVO) this week to have a peek at what the DVR company has been cooking. This iteration of the popular television-recording device was billed as mixing Web and TV content in new ways. Walt reported that the new device doesn’t actually have additional Web features compared previous models. The company did change the user interface, however, but Walt wasn’t entirely sold on the new version. Finally, Mossberg’s Mailbox had hints of mountains of mail to come, leading off this week with an iPad question. Walt answered as completely as he could, but for now, the iPad questions are based on Apple’s claims, not actual product testing. Walt went into detail over a question about a Lenovo Thinkpad he tested, and gave some more details to a reader who wanted to rid her browser of unwanted cookies.

Weekend Update wishes everyone a glorious first full week of spring, and asks that readers keep pleasant thoughts in their mind about the weather in Palo Alto this Friday night. We’ll probably be out there, rain or shine, but no one likes wet geeks.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald