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What A Long Strange Week It's Been

Verizon sell-out and throttle, Google Honeycomb non-announcement and the Internet drain made this week's news more bizarre than usual.

I'm not much for rounding up weekly news. If you paid attention, you know what happened. It was not a slow news week. It was a strange one.

And trippy, too.

Google got the industry press hot and heavy with a press event scheduled on their campus on Wednesday. Either new tablets from Motorola or Samsung featuring Android 3.0 were expected to at least be announced there, but nada.

Fact is, there was precious little news for all but developers -- and a big tease for the rest of us, as Fritz Nelson points out in his funny and so danged true analysis.

Then we hear Verizon sold out of its first round of Verizon iPhones -- they underestimated, apparently, the misery of the dropped iPhone call or, at least, the fear of it. They literally ran out of inventory for current Verizon customers.

After all that hype, it's interesting Verizon wasn't drinking it's own Koolaid. But even more interesting, word got out that Verizon was planning on making sure performance was better on its phones by the throttle method -- heavy users on unlimited plans would get slower performance. This instead of dropped calls.

Maybe AT&T should've thought of that.

Not quite the improvement we expected, is it? But it's ironic that Verizon's surprise influx of customers has it coming up with contingency plans to avoid the uber-annoying dropped call AT&T iPhone problem.

And what's this about no more Internet addresses? (I recall Bob Metcalfe predicting a long time ago that the Internet would fail under the weight of email -- he was wrong and literally had to eat his words. But this is ridiculous.

According to four non-profit net admin groups, we're all plumb out of IPv4 addresses.

"This is a major turning point in the ongoing development of the Internet," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN's president and CEO, in Tom Claburn's story in InformationWeek.

Without even going into the sheer silliness (okay, stupidity) of talk of a kill switch for the Internet in the event of emergency -- when the Internet was created fo exactly that in the first place -- you can see it was a weird and wacky news week.

I'm interested to see whether next week, with a planned HP announcement and rumors of multiple Palm devices (sporting WebOS or its own OS) and HP devices on the docket, gets even weirder. HP competing with itself? Is it dumb, crazy or crazy like a fox? We'll see.

Maybe HP is just burying the competitors it buys ala Compaq or DEC? Fritz and I will explore that next week.

Late next week, a lot of Silicon Valley will be draining from SFO to attend the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Looks like we're all going to need that long plane trip to screw our heads back on.

For the InformationWeek, TechWeb and the upcoming BYTE.com, I'm Gina Smith.

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