10 Things We Learned This Week

google tv eric schmidt

Photo: Associated Press

Google held its I/O developer conference, and thus dominates the big stories of the week. SAI held its slightly smaller Startup 2010 conference.

  • Android 2.2 (codename “Froyo”) has arrived. Everyone seems to agree that this is a huge update. Plus, it runs Flash!
  • Google’s other huge (and expected) announcement: Google TV. Here’s what you need to know about it, and here’s what it looks like.
  • Facebook’s privacy woes continued. There were reports of internal conflict at Facebook over the company’s new policies. Then it emerged that Facebook was (accidentally, it says) giving way too much information to advertisers. Still, we think this will blow over, and perhaps it’s finally beginning to.
  • Google has privacy problems of its own. The company is facing a class action lawsuit over the private wifi data recorded by its Street View vans. It isn’t clear that Google ever recorded data that could have been exploited, and there’s certainly no reason to think any data was exploited, so we still don’t think this is will be a big issue.
  • Another big announcement from Google I/O: the company is launching a first of its kind web app store, the Chrome Web Store. The idea is to do for web applications what Apple has done for mobile apps with the iTunes store. There seem to be more sceptics than believers so far, but the Sports Illustrated HTML5 app chosen to push the concept blew everyone away.
  • Redbeacon is the most promising startup in the land. Well, the most promising of the entrants to our Startup 2010 competition. Congratulations!
  • Australia now requires that people entering the country declare any pornography they have with them, including on their computers and mobile devices. Customs officials are digging through computers to make sure declared porn is above board. Gizmodo mulls over a few of the obvious reasons this is a terrible idea.
  • MarketWatch discovered that Steve Jobs traded in a huge pile of underwater stock options back in 2003 when Apple was at its low point. The momentary loss of faith cost him $10.3 billion.
  • Facebook made up with one of its key partners, FarmVille developer Zynga. The two companies struck a 5 year deal. They had been feuding over the revenue split on micropayments made within Facebook games. Facebook is pushing its own payment system, Facebook Credits, and will take a 30% cut of all transactions using them. Zynga will likely get some free ads. Meanwhile, its user base continues to shrink.
  • Somewhat unfairly, Apple continued to bear the brunt of the PR backlash over conditions at Foxconn’s gadget factories in China. An investigative reporter spent a month inside one of the facilities constructing iPads and iPhones, and painted a very grim picture of life there.

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