Eric Johnson

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ATD Week in Review: Steve Ballmer’s Legacy and the “Elegant” Golden iPhone

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Asa Mathat / AllThingsD.com

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week:

  1. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will retire within the next 12 months; here’s his memo to employees announcing the decision. The news spiked Microsoft’s stock, and — as Ina Fried explains in this essay — his tenure as CEO won’t have a pretty legacy, “mostly due to larger external trends that were impossible to resist, and stubborn management by Ballmer who tried too hard to resist them.”
  2. Sources confirmed to AllThingsD that yes, Apple’s next iPhone will be available in gold. But it’ll be “elegant,” they promise: “Think champagne, not ingot.”
  3. Liz Gannes delved into the history of Google Autocomplete, the search feature built by Kevin Gibbs that tries to intuit what you want before you can finish typing. Similar features have now become common all over the Web. “What started as a signature moment for Google became the de facto standard,” designer Dan Saffer said.
  4. On a similar note, Netflix is applying its computer intelligence to your watch list. Why? So it can take in what you say you want to watch and tell you what you really want to watch more effectively.
  5. Gartner said in its annual Hype Cycle report that Big Data is “at or near the peak in the hype cycle, when expectations are inflated and out of sync with what is deliverable in reality.”
  6. Tesla’s Model S appears to be even safer than previously assumed: In a crash test administered by the NHTSA, the electric sedan broke records … and the roof-testing machine.
  7. At Gamescom in Germany, Sony announced the PlayStation 4’s release dates: Nov. 15 in the U.S. and Nov. 29 in Europe. But when Microsoft will launch its rival next-gen console, the Xbox One, is still unknown.
  8. Transportation service Uber has hailed a pile of money, like ATD said back in July: A $258 million fundraising round, valuing the company at $3.5 billion.
  9. As its turnaround efforts continue to stumble, HP’s top ranks are getting all shook up: Enterprise boss Dave Donatelli and CMO Marty Homlish have been reassigned to new roles within the company.
  10. Yahoo properties got more unique U.S. visitors than any other company’s — yes, including Google’s — in July, according to Comscore.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus