Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tech News of the Month - July 2009

Misc. Headlines
  • Microsoft and Yahoo reach deal on search: The MicroHoo partnership finally went through, with a 10-year agreement with search and ads. Yahoo will use Microsoft's Bing search engine, while continuing to sell search ads. Henry Blodget called the deal "awful". I'm just glad it wasn't a full acquisition. I don't want Microsoft taking over and running Yahoo mail, messenger, finance, fantasy sports, and other apps. As important as the quality of the apps is my data on them.
  • Amazon recalls (and embodies) Orwell's '1984': Apparently the copy was illegal, but the removal was enough to cause a high school student to initiate a class action lawsuit. Hey, I would have been upset too if I lost a book, and more importantly the use of my notes, if I were in school (but probably not upset enough to file a lawsuit).
  • Senators push nationwide ban on texting while driving: I live in California, and texting while driving is already illegal here, so I'm fine with making it the same way for the rest of the country.
  • Techdom’s Two Cold Wars: Great article on why Google and Microsoft don't want to invest too much in competing against each other head-to-head. The idea is to avoid mutual assured destruction.
  • Twitter internal data breach: A hacker accessed Twitter internal documents via accounts of employees. TechCrunch detailed the anatomy of the attack itself, as well as some of the information in the documents (with Twitter's consent). There's lot of interesting information in there, including Twitter's plans to be the first to reach 1 billions users.
  • Trent Reznor quits Twitter: I understand why he would want to quit using Twitter, but I think having the account deleted was a bit extreme. I mean, anyone who wants to stop using Twitter can just stop posting, and direct the emails straight to the trash. Oh well.
  • Facebook gets $6.5 bln valuation with share sale: Existing investor Digital Sky will take a larger stake, and employees will be able to sell shares at $14.77 per share. It makes sense in this economic environment, with the IPO market practically at a stand-still. I wish companies would do this more often, it benefits employees (and therefore benefits the local economy) - even though in this case Marc Andreessen said in an interview that it would be a "mistake" to sell now.
  • Facebook Farce: Top British Spy Exposed on Facebook: Wow, I am neurotic about exposing personal information online, but that is a real doozy.
  • Apple Tablet: Sounds like the mythical Applet tablet may become reality yet. Speculation is that the device will be released in late 2009 or early 2010.
  • Amazon buying NetFlix? This rumor hasn't panned out yet - instead, Amazon acquired Zappos.
Upcoming / Under Development
Releases / Launches / New Features
  • Yahoo's new homepage design integrates with other sites, is more interactive: try it out at
  • Twitter revamps homepage, followers list, following list: I like the new homepage, which has a nice design and emphasizes real-time search. The pages for signed-in users has not been resdesigned yet, so I'm looking forward to updates there.
  • Major League Baseball has an iPhone app for streaming live games
  • Google Voice Apps For Android And Blackberry
  • Ghost released the beta version of its operating system in the cloud. I saw a demo of the web-based virtual desktop at Web 2.0 Expo earlier this year - even though I had a lot of questions and concerns, they had some pretty good answers for everything I asked about.
  • Kazaa relaunches as legitimate music site
Liquidity Events (Mergers, Acquisitions, IPOs)
Earlier News
See my previous post for news from earlier in the month of July.

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