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September 29, 2006

So 10 minutes ago: A review of the week

Posted by Mark Watanabe at 3:15 PM

Top tech news
-- Aren't we all tired of Pattie Dunn yet? Or Mark Hurd, non-Magnum PIs or lawyers upon lawyers? Evidently not in D.C. The cast of characters in the Hewlett-Packard corporate spying scandal (on the likes of fellow byte-stained journalism wretches, no less) moved to the other Washington on Thursday, Dunn told her story, Hurd apologized and the Fifth Amendment rose in popularity.

Microsoft
-- Zune price set: $249.99. Market launch date: Nov. 14.
-- In another bid to be one cool, 70,000-employee company, Microsoft secured "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson to help on the content-provider end of the Xbox 360 family.
-- Happy 15th birthday, Microsoft Research.

Digital media
-- Google partners with King County on a trip planner for transit riders. Early verdict: It may have missed the bus.

Telecom
-- If you live in Bothell, Redmond, Kirkland, Everett or Mount Vernon, you may have seen Verizon folks working on bringing fiber to your door. It's part of $22.9 billion the company is spending to rewire its network for cable TV and high-speed Internet connections. If you live in Brier or Kenmore, your time is coming soon.

Funding
-- Seattle-based Twisted Pair is getting a $9 million initial round of venture capital (link) for its efforts to build software that allows walkie-talkies, phones, cellphones and computers to interact ...quot; something helpful in emergency situations. Interestingly, CoCo Communications, a neighbor of Twisted Pair, is working on similar technology.

Quote of the week
"It's a sad day for this proud company. Something has really gone wrong at this institution."
-- Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the HP scandal

Meaningless comparison of the week
The aforementioned $22.9 billion Verizon is spending on its fiber initiative. That amounts to almost five tunnels to replace the Alaskan Way viaduct -- or enough to rebuild the roadway eight times. Verizon, of course, is expecting to offset the outlay with $4.9 billion in savings from fiber's reduced maintenance cost vs. copper.

If you missed it ...
As Web 2.0 started taking hold, the idea of everyone becoming a reporter -- a citizen journalist -- seemed to be the future. Is it? Kim Peterson surveyed the landscape and found not a lot of success so far, but the influence of grass-roots journalism has been felt in spots.

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