Here’s our rundown of the week’s business and tech news. First, the most popular stories VentureBeat published in the last seven days:

ray-ozzieMicrosoft’s Ray Ozzie: Apps don’t make your phone special — “It’s not the applications available on the various platforms that will be the differentiators, Ozzie said, even though that’s what many companies and writers seem to focus on.”

Microsoft’s Xbox Live chief on banning modders and browsing Facebook photos on TV — “It’s a cat and mouse game. These were people that were pirating software.”

Modern Warfare 2 continues to blow away entertainment records — “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has set the all-time entertainment industry record, generating $550 million in sales in its first five days on the market.”

Updated: Modern Warfare 2 banned in Russia due to civilian massacre scene — “Activision Blizzard released this statement today: Reports that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been banned in Russia are erroneous.”

Former Microsoft evangelist Don Dodge joins Google, discovers Gmail — “Don Dodge, the Microsoft startup evangelist whose layoff earlier this month was much-bemoaned in the tech community, has landed on his feet, and then some.”

And here are five more stories we thought were important, thought-provoking, or fun, including coverage of our Smart Grid conference GreenBeat 2009:

algoreGreenBeat: Live-blogging Nobel Prize winner Al Gore — “The single largest solution is efficiency and the Super Grid, or the Smart Grid, plays a crucial role in several aspects of a comprehensive plan to solve the crisis.” (You can also check out our summary of Gore’s remarks.)

Politics and policy needed for the smart grid. Soon. — “At GreenBeat 2009’s Politics and Policy session, the prevalent theme was the need for a simple, efficient legislation and regulation package for the U.S. power system.”

Twitter COO Dick Costolo: Revenue is on and advertising is coming soon — “The big takeaways are that Twitter is making more than $4 million a year, but won’t specify how much, and that’s through the recent data-sharing deals with Microsoft and Google.”

Google aims to release Chrome OS netbooks by holiday season 2010 — “Although there’s been some hope that Google might launch the operating system in early 2010, Vice President of Product Marketing Sundar Pichai said Google plans to work with manufacturers to bring Chrome OS netbooks to market in time for next year’s holiday season.”

Offerpal Media sets standards to lock out scam offers — “Burned by a scandal in its offer business over inappropriate promos, Offerpal Media is moving to set standards that forbid offers that are misleading, deceptive or otherwise objectionable.”