Home > Uncategorized > Sorry AOL; iPod Killer; MySpace Beast

Sorry AOL; iPod Killer; MySpace Beast

Top Stories for the Week of July 24 – July 28

 How do you pay for your sins from Bubble 1.0? Steve Case, co-founder of AOL, apologized this week for the company’s merger with Time Warner (via Yahoo). “Sorry” doesn’t cut it, blogs Valleywag considering the deal snuffed roughly $200 billion in shareholder value (Case’s newest business venture is in healthcare-insert your joke here). But Case is once again just apologizing for the deal’s execution, says Techdirt, while insisting it could have succeeded if the delivery and creative sides had cooperated.

 Microsoft is working it’s own delivery angle with its new iPod killer called Zune, blogs Ubergizmo. But Om Malik wonders why create another closed media player system? Wouldn’t it make more sense to let in Real Networks, MTV, Napster and others for brand differentiation? Meanwhile, TechCrunch found two places where creative and delivery are humming along nicely. Three Rhode Island college students created Amie Street, which combines ease of uploading and listening to music with powerful social tools for recommending songs. Then there’s the inevitable porn version of YouTube-PornoTube Beta-with all videos tagged and browsable via tag cloud or by straight or gay content.

In other tech news, Amazon is getting into the video download service, Amazon DV, which will offer a download-to-burn option but also requires a software download for DRM. Red Herring figures pricey new services like this-which Amazon needs to compete with everyone from Toys R Us to Best Buy-are why Amazon’s revenue took that 58 percent hit last quarter. Technorati also relaunched and got a fresh round of financing, including a new Discover feature that puts Technorati in competition with Techmeme to be the blogosphere’s newspaper. And Web 2.0 isn’t just companies that do cool things; it’s also become a highly recognizable graphical vocabulary. John Battelle links to a site where people are “Web 2.0”-ing well-known corporate logos, from Quaker Oats to Alaska Airlines.

News Corp.’s quest to make money from the MySpace beast continues. A giddy Fox Interactive Media president Ross Levinsohn sees MySpace as a “peer recommendations framework for leads on everything and anything” including children’s playgrounds in L.A., while a calmer Washington Post article touts the harder road of getting MySpacers to watch ads, subscribe and buy (via Read/Write Web). Speaking of revenue models, several blogs report on a $1 billion YouTube valuation-what are the founders smoking, considering that much of YouTube’s core content is copyrighted? And don’t forget the lack of revenue and those huge bandwidth bills. Still, Lifehacker passes on an easy way to subscribe to your favorite YouTube video tags: try “http://www.youtube.com/rss/tag/elvis+presley.rss” for “Elvis Presley”. And if you’re missing music videos and  sports clips on YouTube, try Gotuit, which just launched with a deep library of premium content and near-instantaneous video play.

Political bloggers had plenty to cover this week too: Iraq’s president Noori al-Maliki visited the White House and President Bush pledged to move more U.S. troops into Baghdad in an attempt to restore order there (via Huffington Post ). Maliki’s visit is touchy because, as Think Progress writes, he hasn’t joined many Arab leaders and condemned Hezbollah for starting the current round of fighting with Israel. But at least President Bush is admitting the Baghdad situation is “terrible,” writes Andrew Sullivan. It’s not so hot in northern Iraq, either, where Talking Points Memo says Turkey is running out of patience with deadly attacks by Kurdish separatists within Iraq.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continues to ignore calls for a cease-fire in Lebanon in favor of more enduring solutions (via Huffington Post).  The only silver lining for the U.S. now is that jihadis may shift their resources from Iraq to Lebanon, writes Blogs of War. Back in D.C., Scotusblog covers the controversy over “signing statements” President Bush has attached to certain legislation. The American Bar Association opposes the statements, in which the president specifies his objections to laws and even an intent to not enforce certain parts of them. On the lighter side of politics, Stephen Colbert asks NAACP chair Julian Bond for help in picking a new-black-friend (via Comedy Central).

In sports, despite needing a hip replacement, American Floyd Landis pedaled to glory and won the 2006 Tour de France. Other peloton racers couldn’t believe that Landis’ breakaway ride-the day after his disastrous mountain stage-was anything but suicide. Tour de France 2006 rounds up reaction to the most exciting Tour in years. But was it too good to be true? Floyd tested positive for high levels of testosterone after his Stage 17 triumph, and may be stripped of his victory. Say it ain’t so.

 Finally in entertainment, Ken Jennings, who won 74 times on Jeopardy!, blasted show host Alex Trebek as a robot-and then as merely a cyborg with some Canadian organic parts-on his Web site, according to Yahoo News. The NY Post and AP also picked up the story but it turned out to be all satire. Brad and Angelina’s kid Shiloh is synthetic now, courtesy of Madame Tussaud’s wax museum (via Just Jared). Speaking of synthetic, Paris Hilton immortalized herself again saying: “Every decade has an iconic blond like Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana, and right now I’m that icon.” And Britney Spears ��� who is 7 months pregnant-was ordered by doctors to cut down on the Cheetos. Seriously.

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