Weekend Update 05.08.10–Boys of Summer Edition

The flowers are blooming in Silicon Valley and the scoreboard shout-outs at AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants play, are stacked up, as all the fashionable little start-ups treat their staffs to a dog, beers and some baseball. AllThingsD continues to watch the seasons change from inside our dimly lit HQ, crumpled over computers, smartphones and tablets to keep the news flowing. We’re going to be as pale in August as we were in February, all in the service of our readers. We’re glad to have you, so read on and catch up on anything you might have missed from this warm and wonderful week.

BoomTown started off at what has become a magically bottomless trough of posts. Kara reported on yet another exec, this time Angela Courtin, SVP of Marketing, Entertainment and Content, scurrying down the gangway of the SS MySpace. Kara mused that while posts on executive departures from My Space and Yahoo have been plentiful lately, they can’t keep coming forever. Midweek, she got on a plane to Beantown and caught up with Walt Mossberg at MIT’s new Media Lab facility. The video she came back with features foldable cars, cities of the future, awesome electro-opera gloves and the weirdest glowing-eyed owl-thing Weekend Update has ever laid eyes on. Seriously: Worth a watch. Toward the end of the week, Kara got deep in a piece she wrote for the Washington Post, where she worked back when newspapers were king. She wrote about what she thought the world would benefit from being rid of, namely physical keyboards and computer mice. Full disclosure: She wrote the post on her Apple (AAPL) iPad.

Digital Daily was a posting machine this week, starting early with some bad news for Steve Ballmer and the Internet Explorer fanboys out there (theoretically there should be some right?). It looks like IE’s dominating market share dropped seven percent, down to 59 percent since this time last year, under pressure from other browsers, according to a Net Applications study. Midweek, John moved on to a post about recent speculation that low AT&T (T) data plan prices for the iPad 3G may indicate an extension of the exclusive deal between AT&T and Apple. John finished things off with a nice post that brings some perspective to all the Apple ogling by the press. The comScore (SCOR) report names Samsung as the top mobile device maker in the U.S. market, even if an analysis of media coverage volume might suggest otherwise.

Over at MediaMemo, Peter brought us a post early in the week on Google’s investment in Invidi, a start-up working on “addressable ads” in the TV space. We aren’t sure if Google (GOOG) is looking more Appley or if Apple is looking more Googley these days. From the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel files, Peter posted that Time Inc. saw gains in both ad and subscription dollars last quarter. The question remains: Will it be a V- or a W-shaped recovery? At least it’s not just a backslash. Delivering a much anticipated piece of news, Peter posted that it appears Facebook will finally start rolling out location services sometime in the next several weeks. Advertising Age reported that McDonald’s (MCD), the international corporate face of individualized services, will be a partner for the launch. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. At Mickey D’s, you can have it any way you want, as long as it’s the McDonalds way.


Personal Technology
this week was a little more of a conceptual piece than a gadget review, but Walt always mixes it up at the right time. He devoted his entire column to demystifying some of the concepts around cloud computing and explains what it may mean for Joe and Jane user. Walt seems keen on the change with allows flexibility and interoperation among devices, and his explanation brings it down to ground level. Katie rounded us out with a hands-on review of Microsoft’s new Kin One, a roundish little smartphone designed to be a social platform as much as a phone. She liked the design and execution in most areas, though felt that the polish on this first Microsoft smartphone reincarnation was a little lacking. Best of all? Seems like Kin’s constant wireless upload of all content to the cloud might be the feature to beat.

Thanks for tuning in, logging on and tweeting out with our new Meebo bar. We’re in the final countdown to the D8 conference now, and we’re ready to level up to full-tilt awesome. 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