virgin_mobile_logoWhat does the Sprint-Virgin hookup actually mean for cellular customers? — “The answer is … probably nothing,” claims my fellow New York Times Gadgetwise blogger Roy Furchgott. As a guy who reports doggedly on the wireless industry, Roy’s immediate response to the deal is that it won’t close until the end of this year at the earliest. Until then, Sprint and Virgin Mobile will operate as two separate companies. After the deal closes, he reports, Sprint has no plans to shut down its existing prepaid cellular sub-band, Boost Mobile, in favor of Virgin’s prepaid brand. In short, Sprint paid about $100 per subscriber to capture Virgin’s loyal customer base, and that’s all they did.

Microsoft-Yahoo search and advertising deal will be announced in the next 24 hours — According to multiple sources in touch with Rupert Murdoch’s one-woman Yahoo reporting division, Kara Swisher, “The online search and advertising deal between Microsoft and Yahoo has been struck and will be announced within the next 24 hours.” The two companies have been perennial second-placers behind Google for years. The partnership will allegedly be a straight revenue share with no up-front payment. Microsoft’s lovely-to-look-at new search engine Bing will become the default search engine (or “decision engine,” as they prefer to call it) on Yahoo. That gives Bing 30 percent of the search-or-decision-engine market. Google has 65 percent. I’ll write this all up again as a bullet list after the deal is confirmed, if only for myself.


AT&T is taking the heat for removal of Google Voice apps from iPhone App Store — We were sure it was Steve Jobs who ordered the removal of apps that bring Google Voice, a free voicemail service with goodies like multi-phone support and autobot transcription of messages to text, to the iPhone. But reliable Apple pundit John Gruber at Daring Fireball says his insidery sources confirm that AT&T complained about iPhone users eating up AT&T’s already scare network resources to use Google’s voicemail instead.

Online dating doesn’t necessarily lead to real-world marriage — Sites like EHarmony and claim to bring large numbers of brides and grooms together. A Pew Internet & American Life Project study reported that three million Americans had entered into “long-term relationships or marriages” with people they met on dating sites. But Pew didn’t state how many actual marriages were accounted for. The Wall Street Journal picks apart the over-zealous self-reported success stats flogged by dating sites.

chr1sa1Wired editor says, “Maybe media will be a hobby rather than a job” — Chris Anderson says he and his staff no longer use the words journalism, media or news because they’ve become meaningless 20th-century aphorisms. Anderson is one of the few advanced thinkers in the business who can explain himself coherently, and Spiegel interviewer Frank Hornig came to play hardball. The result is a worthwhile two-page article much, much longer than 140 characters.

leaderboardVentureBeat rocking solid as #4 source on Techmeme Leaderboard — Compared to our buddies at TechCrunch, AllThingsD and Business Insider, we at VentureBeat totally suck at self-promotion. I guarantee you’ll never see one of us on a panel about managing your personal brand. So it’s with great surprise and humble awkwardness that we point out that VentureBeat has been holding steady as the fourth most frequent source of stories posted to much-obsessed-over newstracking site, Techmeme. An informal survey found that “credibility” is what people think we bring to the table.

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