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Sample The Web’s Top tech stories for the week of July 26th-August 1st, 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. Everyone flipped out at the news that Apple blocked the official Google Voice app from being accepted to the App Store, that it also removed the 3rd party Google Voice apps that had been in the App Store for quite some time (and the developers of these apps reacted), and the reporting turned into outrage, people swearing off the iPhone in disgust, and eventually a sort of mob-mentality, virtual witch hunt, or finger-pointing game where people switched back and forth from blaming AT&T to blaming Apple, and then rejoiced at the news that the FCC is getting involved. While I think it sucks that the Google Voice application and many other applications have not been accepted to the App Store, I must admit that I’m not fond of the belly-aching conjecture about why with no real information to back any of that conjecture up that has exploded online, nor do I think the FCC should be getting involved since Google Voice is not a VOIP telephony service. And you know what else? Google Voice works fine via Mobile Safari on the iPhone. Also, I wonder how many of the people who exploded in outrage over this news even have a Google Voice account yet? It’s not like it’s a widely used service yet. That being said, what I would really like to see here is Apple and Google working together on an Apple application that plugs into Google Voice, just like they did on the Maps program on the iPhone. Aside: if you think of the iPhone as a closed gaming platform, like the PS3, the Xbox 360, or any of the portable gaming platforms, you’ll see that they are the most open of this group of companies with a walled-garden approach to software acceptance.
  2. The second big bit of news this week was Twitter launching a new homepage, which I think is a clear positioning of Twitter as a search product. Twitter’s interest has shifted away from actively pulling in new Twitterers.
  3. The news of the Yahoo! and Microsoft search deal this week prompted my friend Jason Calacanis to proclaim Yahoo! committed seppuku today. Having helped Jason build Mahalo in its first 18 months, I agree 100% with his take on “what Yahoo should have done,” although I do think “seppuku” is a bit of a hyperbolic statement; Hyperbole can be somewhat par for the course coming from Jason ;-).
  4. Anil Dash wrote an interesting post Apple: Secrecy does not scale. Although part of me loves all this, I don’t think Apple’s profits agree.
  5. My pal Ryan Block called bullshit on Ben Charny of the WSJ’s claim that Apple would be attending CES 2010. At reading this I thought: so much for Old Journalism being reliable. And then I thought, what’s up with Ryan posting this on Engadget? Ryan could have posted it on his personal blog, and he could (I think, should) have posted it on his recently launched startup gdgt, but instead, he posted it on the AOL-owned property for which he used to be editor. Looking at gdgt’s traffic, there’s lots of peaks and valleys here and here, but I’m not seeing any plateaus. So I’m not sure why he wouldn’t post on his new site and get the traffic there, unless it was a dice roll to see if Engadget would bring more traffic through the byline at the bottom of the post that links to gdgt. Also, as Editor Emeritus of another AOL property, TUAW, I wonder what AOL’s thinking is in this and if Ryan was paid for the post.
  6. David Pogue started a “take back the beep” campaign. *yawn* I have an iPhone so I don’t have this problem.

And that’s about it. Nothing really amazing this week besides the Yahoo Microsoft deal. The rest was just a bunch of tech writers getting outraged at various things while they waited for some real news to happen.

Full-disclosure: I own a small amount of Time Warner (granted to me as a former AOL employee), Yahoo!, and AT&T stock. I also bought my Mahalo stock options, so I’m keenly interested in Jason Calacanis’s continued success with that company.