Today in Tech

November 17, 2010, 9:25 AM UTC

Every day, the Fortune staff spends hours poring over tech stories, posts, and reviews from all over the Web to keep tabs on the companies that matter. We’ve assembled the day’s most newsworthy bits below.

“Who wouldn’t aspire to be Google? But we’re not a Google, we’re Yahoo.”
— Carol Bartz, Yahoo CEO. (Third Age)

  • Bartz took to the stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco earlier this week and revealed some interesting tidbits: she sees Facebook as competition, believes instant results regarding the company’s attempted turnaround is unfair, and defined the Yahoo brand as standing for “content, communications, media, technology (and) innovation.” (Third Age and cnet)
  • At Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting, Steve Ballmer responded to a question from a frustrated shareholder about whether the company should break up. Said Ballmer: “I don’t think it would be useful. I think it creates economic dis-synergies, in fact. … Our Office business doesn’t fit neatly, it’s not a consumer business only, or an enterprise business only.”
  • Alternative payments service PayNearMe, geared towards the 60 million or so Americans lacking bank accounts or credit/debit cards, raised $16 million from Khosla Ventures, August Capital, True Ventures and Maveron. (Xconomy)
  • In the latest round of Adobe and Apple’s war of words, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen broke down the company’s differences into black and white: “Anyone who wants to design for a multiplatform world is our customer. Apple would like to keep it closed and proprietary. Well, let the games begin.” (CNNMoney)
  • Facebook hired Cory Ondrejka, former CTO of Second Life creator Linden Lab, along with the assets of his startup, Walletin. Details about the hire, not to mention what Ondrejka’s startup actually did, remain scant. (All Facebook)
  • The good news about Apple’s press event today: The Beatles catalog is finally available on iTunes. The bad? No cloud-based iTunes, as Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster had speculated. (Fortune)
  • A team of MySpace vets, including former COO Amit Kapur, launched Gravity, a web personalization startup that aims to one day offer a Web publisher service that will personalize content for readers. (VentureBeat offers the example of pressing a site-embedded “Personalize” button that would rearrange content on any given web site based on user interests.) So far, the company has raised $10 million from August capital and Redpoint Ventures. (VentureBeat)
  • “By birthright, Palm should have been very successful… but it lost its way,” said former Palm CEO Jon Rubeinstein of the company. “It’s a very similar story to what happened with Apple.” (eWeek)
  • Sixteen months after it started the arduous Apple approval process, Google’s Voice app is (finally) ready to go. While it’ll include all the usual bells and whistles — cheap international calling rates, free texting to U.S. numbers, and voicemail transcription — new features will include push notifications and Direct Access Numbers. (Fortune)
  • RIM posted a video pitting the BlackBerry PlayBook head-to-head with Apple’s iPad. Judge the results for yourself. (Fortune)