Here’s a rundown of what happened in the last week of tech and business news. First up, the five most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days, including plenty of discussion about AT&T and the iPhone, plus some advice on how startups should grow:

apple_crown2Analyst: iPhone secure against competitors, AT&T not so much — “As Palm, Google, and others roll out their smartphone platforms, you might think Apple should be worried about keeping the momentum going on its iPhone. Not so, says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in a note sent out earlier today — the competition just drives more people to Apple.”

AT&T says multimedia messaging for iPhones will go live September 25th — “AT&T has officially declared that MMS (multimedia messaging) service for the iPhone will begin on the 25th of this month. iPhone owners will finally finally finally be able to send and receive pictures, audio and video as easily as they now send text messages.”

3 drivers of growth for your business model. Choose one. — “Every startup needs to ‘pick a major’ among three drivers of growth. It’s simply too hard to focus on more than one.”

Inside peek: How The New York Times uses blogs — “At Google’s 10th anniversary of Blogger event on Tuesday, I was surprised how many of the blogging experts in the room were unaware of the broad and deep adoption of blogging tools at The New York Times, one of my several freelance employers. So with the help of the Times’ Technology section editor, Damon Darlin, I whipped up an insidery look at how the NYT uses WordPress to crank out hundreds of posts per day.”

Take-Two pays $20 million to settle litigation that sprang from game’s hidden sex scenes — “Take-Two Interactive Software said today that it reached an agreement to settle a securities class-action lawsuit that stemmed from its infamous ‘hot coffee‘ incident involving hidden sex scenes in a Grand Theft Auto video game four years ago.”

And here are five more stories that we thought were important, thought-provoking, or just fun, plus a plug for some awesome news from VentureBeat:

money-moneyIs it time for the venture capital “two-and-twenty” to end? — “Private equity is starting to get the hint. Is it time for venture capital to do the same?”

Cleantech due for a comeback? Khosla Ventures raises $1.1B, hires former Facebook CFO — “Looks like not everyone’s afraid of the ongoing shakeup of the venture capital industry. Khosla Ventures, the firm headed by Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla, has raised two funds totaling $1.1 billion to invest mostly into companies seeking to clean up the environment.”

About 24 percent of Xbox 360 game consoles fail within two years — “It looks like the Xbox 360 is the most unreliable video game console in history. Most gamers already know that. … But surveys are now showing the problems are extensive.”

Phones deliver doctor’s orders in Africa with FrontlineSMS — “Lucky Gunasekara calls himself a ‘guerrilla’ health care worker. Instead of burying his head in the books, the 25-year-old Stanford medical student is jaunting off to East Africa and training village health workers how to use an open-source SMS platform to keep track of patients.”

Al Gore to keynote GreenBeat 2009, the must-attend conference on the Smart Grid — Yep, that’s right: Al Gore will speak at our Nov. 18 conference on the Smart Grid. Find out more in this post, and on the GreenBeat 2009 website.

And here’s a final piece of VentureBeat news:

eldon1VentureBeat says good-bye to Eric Eldon — Eric, who was the editor of our digital media coverage, has joined Inside Facebook. You may have heard about this already, since he started the new job earlier this week. But we just wanted to take a moment to wish Eric the best and thank him for his great work. Eric wrote some of the most insightful, in-depth coverage of social networks around, and he also helped hire and mentor some of our writers (including the author of this post). Thanks Eric — we’ll miss you.