Week in review: Web pioneer bashes Apple, SXSW attendees slam Twitter keynote

Here’s our summary of the week’s business and tech news. First, the most popular stories we published in the last seven days:Google pays web pioneer to bash Apple — Tim Bray isn’t as well-known as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, but the guy has had a leading role in defining the Internet. When he announced this week that he’s joining Google as an evangelist for the Android platform, he published a blog post that was pretty critical of competitor Apple, and which VentureBeat’s Paul Boutin found “off-putting.”

Fastest site on the web: The IRS? — Performance monitoring service Gomez has released its annual list of major websites with the best overall responsiveness as measured by Gomez over the entire year 2009. Surprise winner: IRS.gov, a site that uses images sparingly and pushes off large documents to PDF format for downloading, rather than trying to serve them as Web pages.

Facebook ousts Google as most popular U.S. site — Facebook is now the most popular site in the U.S., according to analytics firm Hitwise. In the week ending March 13, 2010, Facebook surpassed the previous most popular site, Google, in terms of overall traffic for the week.

Google admits Buzz mistakes, tries again at SXSW — A product manager from Google told attendees at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas that Google had misstepped by launching its social network, Google Buzz, too broadly and too promiscuously. In the future, said Google’s Todd Jackson, the company will pre-test new features rather than roll them out to all customers at once.

Twitter launches “At Anywhere” platform, integrates tweets, profiles across the web — Twitter CEO Ev Williams demonstrated a new platform this week that will spread the microblogging network’s profiles, tweets, and possibly advertising across the web.

And here are five more stories we think are important, thought-provoking, or fun:

Evan Williams tries to do-over SXSW interview via Twitter — Although Twitter co-founder and and chief executive Evan Williams made a couple of interesting points during his keynote interview (and announced the ‘At Anywhere’ platform mentioned above), the consensus was that it did not go well. Following the tradition of journalist Sarah Lacy’s similarly-criticized interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW in 2008, where Zuckerberg staged a second interview where he engaged more directly with the audience, Williams offered to answer more questions over Twitter.

Sony shows what an epic game really is with God of War III — Sony’s role in video games seems to be to remind us every now and then what an epic game is all about. It did so again with the launch of God of War III for the PlayStation 3.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek vague on US launch, company has 320,000 paid subscribers — European music streaming service Spotify now has 320,000 paid subscribers, said chief executive Daniel Ek, speaking at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin. But he couldn’t give a firm date on when the service would come to the United States.

FCC announces National Broadband Plan — The FCC finally unveiled the National Broadband Plan following months of speculation. The plan — for how to extend internet access to all American citizens — marks the first time that broadband access, and internet access in general, have been given considerable government attention in America.

EPA, Energy Dept. sharpen Energy Star’s teeth — The Energy Star program has successfully broken into the mainstream consciousness. But before last year, it seems like the label didn’t mean much. Now government agencies are making good on their promise to be tougher about who gets certified and who doesn’t, and they’re kicking the effort up another notch.


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