5 more tech deals that need to happen

Earlier this month, Microsoft made the deal of the year when it agreed to purchase enterprise social networking service Yammer. Meanwhile, the IPO market is dead after Facebook’s much-discussed botched issuance and subsequent valuation slide. Suddenly, going public is out, while getting bought is very in.

Too lazy for Pandora? Songza’s music concierge will suggest the right tunes to match your mood

Back on March 5th, streaming music service Songza released a new feature on its web app called Concierge. “We found in studies that the main thing people disliked about Pandora and Spotify was having to work at discovering new music,” Elias Roman, co-founder and CEO, told me during a visit to the VentureBeat offices yesterday. “They end up listening to the same Bob Dylan playlist four times a day and it’s killing them inside.”

Instagram is Apple’s No. 1 app of 2011 in a year heavy on fun and sharing

If you made plans for your weekend, you might want to kiss them goodbye.  Apple yesterday released its iTunes Rewind 2011 list, with the 40 top  iPhone and iPad apps of the year. The iTunes store now has more than 500,000 apps in it, but  this year’s top apps list shows that fun is the dominant theme. Games and social networking tools dominated, and photo sharing tool Instagram was chosen as the No. 1  app of the year.

Aol’s new online radio service is powered by pros, not your friends

Aol Radio has relaunched. With all the buzz around super-social music apps like Spotify and Turntable.fm, you’d think the company would have jumped on that trendy bandwagon. But the new Aol Radio will be powered by Slacker Radio. While there will be some social integrations in a few months, social media is not a primary source of data for an programmatic, algorithmic approach to serving up songs.