Today in Tech: Watch the Super Bowl ads, AOL buys Huffington Post

February 7, 2011, 11:00 AM UTC

A curated selection of the weekend’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.

Photo: YouTube
  • Still revved up from last night’s Super Bowl shenanigans? You can relive the best parts — or well, the commercials at least — via YouTube’s annual AdBlitz voting contest here. And if that’s not enough, check out CNNMoney’s excellent roundup of rejected ads for extra laughs. (YouTube and CNNMoney)
  • AOL bought The Huffington Post for $315 million. CEO Tim Armstrong officially broke the news in a company-wide memo late last night and says the acquisition will bring AOL’s userbase to 117 million unique monthly visitors. The site’s founder, Arianna Huffington, will now serve as Editor in Chief of the Internet giant’s combined web properties, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, and Mapquest. (TechCrunch)
  • Google’s top Middle East executive and political activist Wael Ghonim will be released from Egypt’s government detention today. Last year, Ghonim was one of four administrators running a Facebook page that became a virtual headquarters for protestors in the time leading up to recent events. Though he became a central symbol of the antigovernment protests themselves, his exact role during the actual events remains unclear.  (Wall Street Journal)
  • Several senior members of Nokia’s group executive board will likely get the boot as part of a company shake-up planned by new CEO Stephen Elop. According to a source, those execs won’t know their fate until they’re briefed on his plans the day before an analyst’s meeting this Friday in London. Other positions that may need filling: head of operating systems and head of research and development. (Wall Street Journal)

Photo: JP Mangalindan/Fortune
  • Remember the snappy Motorola Xoom tablet we manhandled and fell for at last week’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb launch? Well, turns out that love comes at a price — a steep one. If an allegedly leaked Best Buy ad is to be believed, the Xoom will launch Thursday, February 24 for a mind-boggling $799. Verizon data plans will match those of the Galaxy Tab’s: starting at $20 per month for a 1 GB allowance all the way up to a 10 GB limit for $80. Not only that, but if tech pundits are reading the fine print right, customers may also need to pony up for a minimum of one month’s worth of data to “activate WiFi functionality.” (Engadget)
  • Early impressions of the News Corp.’s iPad-exclusive tablet newspaper, the Daily, are in, and so far, they’re mixed. While many critics seem to agree it’s well-designed and features some interesting content, there also seems to be some serious loading and crashing issues for some. “The average user doesn’t want to problem solve to try an app,” writes Staci D. Kramer, of paidContent. “He or she just moves on.” John Gruber of Daring Fireball agrees. “I’m sure that’s how they justify this deplorable launch time,” he said. “If readers are going to spend 20, 30, maybe even 40 minutes reading the Daily each day, a one-minute launch time isn’t significant. But they [the Daily’s editors] are wrong. It is significant, because the first minute is the most important minute. That’s the minute where the reader makes their impression of The Daily. Waiting is death.” In response, Editor in Chief Jesse Angelo emphasized that addressing the technical issues is a major priority. (paidContent)

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