Apple event lacks buzz of past showcases

Apple announces iPod, iTunes changes; McCain campaign releases "lipstick" ad; AOL launches new homepage; and more.

Apple used the September 9 “Let's Rock” event in San Francisco to announce various changes to its iPod product line and iTunes downloading service. After poking fun at premature reports of his death, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled new iPod features and a new design for the iPod Nano, as well as a fresh version of iTunes that recommends purchases based on a user's music collection.

BusinessWeek reports that, unlike past events, Apple failed to wow attendees at this showcase, as Jobs only “calmly walked through a series of more workaday announcements, all of which had been predicted in the blogosphere in the previous days and weeks.”

Jobs also said that NBC will allow its TV lineup to again be sold on iTunes, a year after the two sides disagreed over the pricing of NBC programs. Techdirt sees NBC's decision as “capitulation,” and an admission of defeat.

Also:

John McCain's campaign releases an ad hitting Barack Obama for his “lipstick on a pig” comment.

Two prominent US Catholic bishops release a statement criticizing Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden's publicly stated views on abortion.

Several student lenders agree to follow a marketing code.

AOL unwraps a new homepage and Web sites aimed at women, pop-culture fans, and video game aficionados.

Countrywide tells customers via a letter that a former employee might have sold their loan information.

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