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Sample The Web’s Top tech stories for the week of July 19th-25th, 2009

Reminder: this list is largely culled from taking a look at my 500+ feeds in Fever’s Hot section for the past week.

  1. Our first story this week tells you how incredibly slow this week was for tech news: Google Latitude arrived for the iPhone as a web app and I joked that it was the targeting system for Google Laser. Many people seemed downright outraged that this was released as a web app rather than a standalone app, and according to Google, this was at Apple’s request, so that there wouldn’t be confusion between the Apple-designed Maps app on the iPhone. I really don’t see why Apple cannot let Google design a separate program, or better yet, actually work together with Google to add Latitude functionality to the Maps app. I mean, there are countless other Maps competitors already available on the App Store (MapQuest and all the Navigation programs) and Brightkite already does what Latitude does, and better. Yeah, nevermind. Just skip Latitude and get Brightkite if you want to know where your friends are.
  2. Amazon acquired Zappos. This was probably the only story this week that was really newsworthy, in my opinion. I wasn’t expecting this move, although I think it makes great sense for Amazon. It makes less sense for Zappos, but the word on the street is that Zappos investors Sequoia pushed strongly for the deal as they wanted some liquidity. This was my favorite tweet about the acquisition.
  3. Apple reportedly had 91% of the above-$1000 computer market for the month of June. Of course, very few of the astonished reporting out there paid much attention to that “for the month of June” qualifier, nor did they take note that this was in a recession, nor did anyone bother to ask how many dollars were spent in that bracket in total. I didn’t do any of this legwork either, but I did note that everyone was amazed at this news, when, quite possibly, 91% of this market in June could be far less than the 66% they reportedly had in the boom time of Q1 2008. I also wondered what Apple’s percentage of market for sub-$1000 computers might be, considering that that is most likely the much larger market right now.
  4. AppleInsider found the week so slow that it resuscitated the Apple Tablet rumor with some new found sources. I’d like this to end up being true, because I’d like to buy one (more on my thoughts on the iTablet in this older post), but there is still no factual evidence that it is true. Again, because it’s a super slow tech news week, hacks who don’t know what they are talking are making all types of ludicrous predictions straight out of their asses about this rumored device as if it were gauranteed real, and they’re getting Techmeme placement for it.
  5. TechCrunch continued its Twitter hack expose story from last week with a discussion of the anatomy of the Twitter attack.
  6. Multiple people were having trouble with their Visual Voicemail on their iPhones thanks to AT&T’s lackluster support for the feature and complained loudly about it. My voicemail continues to work fine, so I don’t have anything really to report on this story other than: I would expect we’d be seeing these same problems with other carriers too, simply because it’s an Apple system, not a carrier-defined system.
  7. YouTube started testing 3D videos this week. I don’t get the entire 3D craze, nor do I understand why someone would want to apply it to YouTube’s shoddy low-quality videos, so I found this story yawn-able.
  8. Google Earth added the ability to explore the moon for the anniversary of our landing on the moon.
  9. Another return of an Apple rumor story: all the iPods are supposedly getting cameras and microphones. This rumor is primarily based on 3rd party cases (just as it was last time it appeared a few weeks ago and was largely dismissed as unlikely; this time, for some reason, everyone decided that it must be true).
  10. A hacker reported that the iPhone 3GS has encryption that is largely useless for business. I think this probably holds true for 99% of cellphones, so it’s really kind of more non-news that everyone hollered about because it’s Apple related and they were trying to hit their traffic numbers in a slow summer week.

There were more stories this week, but they were all even more boring than the ones above. Hopefully next week, some real newsworthy stuff will happen and it won’t just be another rumor-mill week of nothingness news.