Jobs Appears, Moto's Cliq, Microsoft Opens up

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This is just a guess, but with a lot of the world easing out of its summertime state of mind and everybody who is sidetracked playing "The Beatles: RockBand," which came out Wednesday, the inclination for making news has remained subdued. Although Apple made a splash, with CEO Steve Jobs showing up for his first public appearance since he returned to work, and Motorola made a run at headlines, too.

1. Apple's music event, in holiday colors, Summary: Camera-equipped nano highlights Apple's iPod changes and Apple's 'Rock and Roll' music event: New product gallery: Apple is the only company we know of that can stage an "event" where it does not roll out new products that match expectations or rumors and still generate enormous buzz. Shoot, Jobs showing up on stage in his first public appearance since he returned from a six-month medical leave after a liver transplant was just about enough to make the Earth stand still. Even though the event didn't bring with it any standard-bearing gadgets or PCs, new nanos and lower iPod prices were news of note.

2. Android-based Motorola Cliq coming in Q4 and Motorola eyes expanded app dev role for Cliq: Motorola's first Android-based smartphone, the Cliq, will be out in the fourth quarter complete with the new Motoblur social networking integration service, which sounds like it could be really handy for those who are into social networks. The company aims to expand software development of part of that service.

3. Microsoft forms, funds new open-source foundation: Microsoft has helped found and is funding the CodePlex Foundation, whose Web site says it aims to "complement existing open source foundations and organizations, providing a forum in which best practices and shared understanding can be established by a broad group of participants, both software companies and open source communities."

4. Oracle breaks silence on Sun plans in ad: An Oracle ad addressed to "Sun customers" gives an inkling of what Oracle has in mind for Unix if its plans to acquire Sun Microsystems go through. Oracle says in the ad that it will spend more on Sparc and Solaris development than Sun does and that it will boost service and support with "more than twice as many hardware specialists than Sun does now." That's all well and good, but analysts said that the ad does not really answer questions that a lot of Sun customers have about what the merger means for them.

5. DOJ expands review of planned Microsoft-Yahoo agreement: The U.S. Department of Justice wants more information from Microsoft and Yahoo about their proposed search partnership. A Microsoft spokesman said the company expected to be asked for additional information, but it declined to provide details about what else the DOJ wants to know.

6. Microsoft enterprise licensing deals still challenging: Directions on Microsoft issued a report saying that it's more complicated than ever for companies to deal with Microsoft's software licensing, even though the company supposedly has been trying to make it easier.

7. Hacker Gonzalez pleads guilty to 20 charges: Albert Gonzalez, 28, pleaded guilty in a U.S. federal court to 19 counts of conspiracy, computer fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft related to the massive security breach that led to more than 40 million credit and debit card numbers being stolen from TJX, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble and the Sports Authority. He also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in hacks into the Dave & Buster's restaurant chain, which he was indicted for in New York.

8. IFA coverage: The IFA electronics show in Berlin led to a load of stories this week, along with videos, including one featuring pop star Lady Gaga, who was on hand to announce new headphones.

9. The history of steganography: We enjoyed Tim Greene's lesson on the history of steganography, looking at undetectable methods of encrypting messages

10. The Beatles: RockBand and Courtney Love demands recall of Guitar Hero 5: Will Herring at GamePro thinks that "The Beatles: RockBand" really is all that, worth every bit of the hoopla in the world of "plastic-guitar" games. On the other hand, Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, is not so keen on his avatar as it appears in "Guitar Hero 5," based on her posts at Twitter. Or at least we think that's what her posts say -- we're leaving it to GamePro to translate them for us.

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