This week there is a lot of stuff going on in this strange new world of ours.
The financial markets are crumbling around us and thousands of people are going online to find new jobs. Still other companies, like Best Buy, are in a buying mood and are snapping up other companies with an eye on the future. Google certainly has an eye on the future and it looks like it's about to enter the mobile phone space.
Here now our picks of the week:
Will They Call It Bapster?
Best Buy announced Monday that it planned to buy the digital music service Napster for $121 million. Looks like Napster has come a long way, from a dorm room at Northeastern University, to the scourge of the music industry, and now a piece of a corporate giant. Best Buy hopes to compete with Apple's dominant iTunes service and its iPod music players.
The deal makes sense and is pretty simple. Best Buy, one of the largest sellers of CDs, and Napster, once the best-known name in digital music, will offer digital subscription services to about 700,000 Napster subscribers in a challenge to Apple. Apple holds more than 70 percent of the digital music market in the United States, so it's going to be a pretty tall order to best it.
Best Buy said Monday it would pay $2.65 a share for Napster, nearly double its closing price Sept. 12. Shares of Napster, which is based in Los Angeles, rose $1.17, or 86 percent, to $2.53.
Who knows if they are actually going to challenge the crew from Cupertino, but we wish them luck.
The Android Cometh
Google's new Android phone will be announced during a New York press event Tuesday. According to the Wall Street Journal, HTC Corp. plans to manufacture the phone with a slide-out keypad and it will be sold on the T-Mobile network.
It will cost around $199 with a two-year contract. Nobody has gotten their hands on the phone so we really don't know if it's a quality product, but Google has a pretty good track record.
We only hope that this doesn't turn out like the Microsoft Zune, a product released as an alternative to the market leader, but not one that is vastly different or better.
Need a Job?
With the collapse of the financial service sector a lot of newly out-of-work financial professionals are looking for new jobs. Lucky for them, finding a new gig has become a lot easier. Online job searching is more targeted, more Web-friendly and a ton more efficient than it used to be. But the sites can only help you find the job, they really can't help you with the interview.
Some of the sites we like are Alumwire, which is meant for recruiters to get access to alumni networks, and Indeed, a meta-search engine that collects listings from all sorts of job sites.
There are also more specific sites for caregivers and housekeepers like Hireahelper for local help. What will we have have next? Outofworkbroker.com?