Jobs appears, Moto's Cliq, Microsoft opens up

This is just a guess, but with a lot of the world easing out of its summertime state of mind and everybody who is sidetracked playing "The Beatles: RockBand," which came out Wednesday, the inclination for making news has remained subdued. Although Apple made a splash, with CEO Steve Jobs showing up for his first public appearance since he returned to work, and Motorola made a run at headlines, too.

1. , and : Apple is the only company we know of that can stage an "event" where it does not roll out new products that match expectations or rumors and still generate enormous buzz. Shoot, Jobs showing up on stage in his first public appearance since he returned from a six-month medical leave after a liver transplant was just about enough to make the Earth stand still. Even though the event didn't bring with it any standard-bearing gadgets or PCs, new nanos and lower iPod prices were news of note.

2. and : Motorola's first Android-based smartphone, the Cliq, will be out in the fourth quarter complete with the new Motoblur social networking integration service, which sounds like it could be really handy for those who are into social networks. The company aims to expand software development of part of that service.

3. : Microsoft has helped found and is funding the CodePlex Foundation, whose Web site says it aims to "complement existing open source foundations and organizations, providing a forum in which best practices and shared understanding can be established by a broad group of participants, both software companies and open source communities."

4. : An Oracle ad addressed to "Sun customers" gives an inkling of what Oracle has in mind for Unix if its plans to acquire Sun Microsystems go through. Oracle says in the ad that it will spend more on Sparc and Solaris development than Sun does and that it will boost service and support with "more than twice as many hardware specialists than Sun does now." That's all well and good, but analysts said that the ad does not really answer questions that a lot of Sun customers have about what the merger means for them.

5. : The U.S. Department of Justice wants more information from Microsoft and Yahoo about their proposed search partnership. A Microsoft spokesman said the company expected to be asked for additional information, but it declined to provide details about what else the DOJ wants to know.