Home > Uncategorized > Rojo: Rotten Apple; Google-Bombing Lives; Online Debates

Rojo: Rotten Apple; Google-Bombing Lives; Online Debates

Top Stories For the Week of April 23 – April 27

 Is Apple rotten at the core? Just when it seemed Steve Jobs had ducked the worst fallout from Apple’s option-granting scandal (via Blogging Stocks), former Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson says Jobs was more involved with backdating – and possibly deceiving Anderson about it – than previously thought (via Engadget). Meanwhile Anderson, who the SEC forced to cough up $3.5 million in ill-gotten gains plus a $150,000 fine, has somehow been hired into another position of trust – at buyout firm Elevation Partners. The scandal also passed entirely over  Gen Y’s head; 21-27 year olds call stripped-down, plain-talkin’ companies like Apple, Trader Joe’s, JetBlue and Vitamin Water their most trusted brands, blogs Consumerist.

Meanwhile, if you still think there’s no bubble 2.0, Search Engine Land flags a survey declaring Google the world’s most valuable brand at $66.4 billion, handily beating GE, Coke and Toyota, which actually make stuff. It’s unquestionably the most efficient brand, blogs Valleywag, measuring GOOG’s high brand ranking against its microscopic marketing spend. Privacy groups like EPIC and U.S. PIRG don’t like Google’s purchase of DoubleClick and asked the FTC to investigate (via Mashable!), fretting that GoogleClick will track both searches and Web-site visits (via NewsFactor Network).  Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert demonstrated that no matter how hard Mountain View tries, Google-bombing is alive and well. Giant brass balls, anyone?

Back on less speculative ground, Business 2.0 reports that Spanish hotspot company FON and Time Warner Cable will let customers set up and use FON hotspots in the U.S. Om Malik sees this as a straight play against T-Mobile, while Fractals of Change observes that Time Warner has no mobile-phone profits to lose, plus consumers win from cable-telco competition.

Major newspapers continued struggling with sagging first-quarter ad revenue, blogs Forbes.com, including at Tribune Co., which badly needs cash to help pay down debt from its ongoing sale (via washingtonpost.com). Even the past bright spot, online ad revenues, showed slowing growth, blogs PaidContent, although a newspaper consortium’s deal with Yahoo! may provide a boost.

 Speaking of which��� Yahoo!, the Huffington Post and Slate are combining to produce two online-only presidential debates, one for Republican candidates and another for Democrats, blogs Download Squad. PBS’s Charlie Rose will moderate and field questions from online viewers, and while MyDD wonders whether the debates will be participatory enough, Blogcritics figures online questioners have to be an improvement  over hand-picked journalists.

But GOP and Dem candidates aren’t waiting for the general election to mix it up. Drudge caught Rudolph Giuliani warning of a “new 9/11” if Democrats win in 2008, leading Barack Obama to accuse Giuliani of making 9/11 the punchline of another political attack. Also this week, John McCain officially jumped in the presidential race but disappointed NewTeeVee when it didn’t share the video. Of course there’s always McCain’s Bomb Iran clips if you need something in the meantime.

In entertainment, even bigger news than Liberty and Justice‘s flash that Jennifer and Vince are back together is the Sheryl Crow/Karl Rove dust-up over who Rove works for: Crow or “the American people” (via Idolator). Too bad both Crow and Rove are confused about the structure of the executive branch, blogs DCist.

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