Steve Jobs' health not behind the keynote snub, says the one story with an actual source

It feels kind of silly to do a whole post about just this, but as anticipated, speculation about Apple chief executive Steve Jobs’ health is once again spiraling out of control following the announcement that he would not give the Macworld keynote address this year. But the reason for Jobs’ no-show at Macworld is purely political, sources inside Apple tell CNBC’s Jim Goldman.

iTunes adds 3-movie rental for $0.99

Apple’s $0.99 movie rental of the week on iTunes has always been a great idea. At such a low price point, it spurs activity and undoubtedly showcases just how easy it is to rent a movie through iTunes. And now Apple is sweetening the pot even more by offering not one, but three $0.99 rentals of the week.

Palm launches an app store that's already half the size of the iPhone's and ten times Android's, but…

When Apple launched the App Store this past summer it became, if nothing else, the thought leader in mobile innovation. Now everyone’s playing follow the leader. BlackBerry, Symbian, Microsoft and Google Android have all built, announced or are at work on their own “app stores.” And today, another big name joins them: Palm.

MySpace announces Top 8 of 2008 awards, vampires win

Hold onto your trendy fedora hats, MySpace just released its “Top 8 of 2008″ awards, presumably because Top 10 lists are just so 2007. The lists include the top eight site searches in the categories of music, film, comedy, technology and video. Things I didn’t want to learn? Dane Cook remains the top comedian on MySpace (though his detractors have their own MySpace profile).

Twitter has made Dell $1 million in revenue

Everyone loves talking about Twitter’s business model — because there isn’t one yet, and they’ll keep talking about it until there is one. But it’s becoming more clear that while a business model is of course important, Twitter is perhaps the perfect example of a company that can afford to take its time in finding the one that is perfect for it. That’s because other businesses are building so much on top of the micro-messaging service and using it for their own services. If worst came to worst, and Twitter had to sell, there would probably be a bidding war of a magnitude that would make it seem like this country wasn’t in the midst of a recession.

The iTunes DRM-free plot (and smoke) thickens

Rumors have been circulating for weeks of odd DRM-free happenings in the iTunes music store. Of all the major music labels, Apple only has a deal with EMI to sell its music without digital rights management, yet reports from overseas keep indicating that other labels are already in the iTunes store with DRM-free music as well. The latest of these reports shows a screenshot from the French version of iTunes with previously protected music, now being sold as “iTunes Plus,” the name of iTunes’ unprotected offering, Epiccenter reports.

Yahoo Mail, other properties get more social, open

Yahoo gave journalists more details about its “open strategy” at a briefing in San Francisco today, when team members unveiled new features for Yahoo Mail, the Yahoo Homepage, and a number of other tools and properties. Yahoo has already done a lot of talking about this initiative, through which turns Yahoo into a social network, of sorts, that third-party applications can plug into. But as with other platforms, it’s hard to judge without seeing actual applications, so today’s demonstrations made the potential much clearer — and it looks promising.

The iPhone gets a sex app to thwart perverted thieves

Just a week ago, you could make the argument that Apple was a bunch of prudes when it came to the App Store. Not only were they not allowing sexually explicit applications in the store, but even sexually suggestive and just plain old crude apps were being banned as well. Then came an NC-17 game with cartoon violence, then came an app that makes farting sounds, then another one (and another)…and today brings yet another racy gem: iDateMe, an app that features a picture of two people having sex.

Poo Price: Did a crude iPhone app sneak in background task capabilities? (Probably not.)

This week, Apple eased up on some of its rules for iPhone App Store. Whereas before it seemed a bit prude in rejecting games with racier content matter, after a week that saw both an NC-17 game released and not one, but two games that simply make farting sounds, Apple seems to be asking for all things crude. As the saying goes: Be careful what you ask for.

I Love Katamari rolls onto the iPhone

The appeal of Namco’s Katamari Damacy game franchise is kind of hard to explain. Basically, the object is to roll a ball around a level and pick up as much junk as you can to make the ball bigger. It sounds lame, but it’s fun to play and kind of addicting. And its gameplay seems like a perfect match for devices with an accelerometer — like the iPhone and iPod touch — so it’s really no surprise that Namco has just released a version, I Love Katamari, today in the App Store.

Can't get into Sony's Home? You're not alone

I’ve been trying to get into Sony’s Home since yesterday. I was in the closed beta. But now that they’ve opened it up to 15 million people in an open beta, it’s like nobody is answering the phone. Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold posted this on the Sony game blog:

The new risque Apple allows Pull My Finger into the App Store after all!

Apple definitely appears to be changing its stance with regards to certain applications it will allow in the App Store. A couple days ago we saw the first NC-17 game be approved, now today Pull My Finger, the app that was once rejected by Apple for being of “limited utility” — which read a lot like “too crude” — has been approved for sale in the App Store!

A slight tweak in the App Store promotes paid apps

Apple has a problem with the App Store — but it’s a problem many companies would love to have: It’s growing too quickly. What worked when there were only 500 applications doesn’t work as well when there are more than 10,000. Amid growing criticism that the App Store is catering to the lowest common denominator by highlighting applications in a way that the cheapest will be most popular, Apple has made a small tweak, AppleInsider notes.

Reader poll: Will the game industry sales keep rising in December?

Some technology companies are seeing their worst December sales in memory. But the video game industry is expected to post an increase in sales in December compared to a year ago. Do you believe that will happen? In November, U.S. video game sales grew 10 percent, reinforcing the perception that games are resistant to recession. Please leave your comments.

Twitter in Gmail will further distract me from using it for email

I love that Gmail is adding a massive amount of functionality to its service via its Labs area (which allows you to test new features). In the past several weeks, we’ve gained the ability to send SMS chat messages from Gmail, to send video messages and to create to-do lists. I can also access Google Calendar and Google Docs data from small widgets in my Gmail sidebar. And today, a widget has appeared that may let me to close yet another tab in my browser window: TwitterGadget.