Patent Brawls & Vibrant Video – The Week In Tech

on Friday, Aug. 5th

Financial markets got you down? Global economic collapse imminent? Luckily there’s more than one way to keep score. Who needs money when you have status? It’s the Game of Buzz!

UP

  • MICROSOFT: How strange is it for the once mighty Redmond Giant to be cast in the role of the underdog? Yet that’s what we’ve seen this week in the war of words between Microsoft and Google over the Novell patent portfolio that a consortium of tech companies, including Microsoft but not Google, acquired this summer. Some folks at The Goog have been making loud noises about how the consortium is out to get ‘em. Thing is, the others asked Google if they wanted to come out and play.Now there are lots of complicated reasons as to why this would have been a bad idea for Google, but reason doesn’t matter in the Game of Buzz. Top men at the two companies have been having it out via Twitter (neutral ground, apparently) and Google has been coming across like a big baby, while Microsoft seems friendly for once.
  • APPLE: While the rest of the tech giants get to squabbling over why they can’t be best friends, Apple has a series of tiny little PR victories, the likes of which keeps the technorati passionately in love with the Cupertino kids.
    First word leaks out that the upcoming iCloud service not only will have a suite of webapps — just like its predecessor MobileMe — but they’re following the iPad app design and looking very, very good.

    Meanwhile, the second-gen Apple TV got a little software update that brought TV show purchases to the system, and also letting users access previously acquired iTunes video content. Even more fun: Vimeo, the best filmmaking community on the web, now has its own channel on the Apple box. It’s a grace note, but one that has the indie community smiling. As an Apple TV owner I can honestly say the inclusion of Vimeo is a dream come true.
  • LINKEDIN- The company had its first earnings call as a public entity this week, and as part of the call announced that they were adding two new users a second.Which prompts the question: really? Linkedin?

DOWN

  • GOOGLE: We’ve already gone over the patent trouble, but Google’s PR problems just don’t stop this week. There’s been a real dust-up over real names on the evolving Google+ service. No less an internet authority than danah boyd, the reigning expert on the online habits of youth and the kind of old school netizen who can get away with using all lower case letters for her name, has taken Google to task for attempting to enforce a “real names or the highway” policy. While the debate is far from over — and if Google+ is for anything it’s debate — boyd’s arguments carry a lot of weight and wisdom. Prediction: Google caves or compromises by the end of August.

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Tribeca’s Storyscapes Returns For An Epic Second Year

The Tribeca Film Festival leapt into the vanguard of transmedia art last year with the inaugural edition of Storyscapes, an event led by TriBeCa’s Director of Digital Initiatives Ingrid Kopp.

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Simple Machine Announces Micro-Festival Grants

We’ve been keeping up with Simple Machine, the independent film curation tool for festival and art house programmers, since running across their booth at South By Southwest last year.

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Transmedia Beat: Bernie Su’s “Emma Approved” Monetization Secrets

Disclosure: I’m one of the organizers of Transmedia LA, so take any excessive positivity with a grain of salt.

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First Ever Crappy Awards Target SF’s Tech Industry

Inspired by the sly tradition of the Razzie Awards, which commemorate the worst of Hollywood, San Francisco fair housing advocates are kicking off “The Crappy Awards” tonight in the city’s art’s district.

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Image Disruptor: Flag Looks To Upend Photo Printing Through The Magic of Free

Flag, a photo printing start-up that is holding a barnstorming 14-day Kickstarter campaign right now, turned up on my radar this week thanks to John Gruber’s Daring Fireball.

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