The 2004 U2 iPod nearly didn't happen, was saved by beer

Remember the U2 iPod? It looks like a relic now, but at the time was quite the novelty -- an edgy black and red amid the sea of white, minimalist design Apple was pushing out.

Turns out it almost didn't happen. Vanity Fair has a lengthy story describing the design philosophies of Apple design head Jonathan Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson, as they get ready to showcase products especially designed for an auction next month organized by U2 frontman Bono's Product (Red) anti-H.I.V. campaign.

One of the best gems of the story describes how Ive … Read more

Al Gore and Bono invest in Biz Stone's mystery startup

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has picked up some interesting celebrity investors for his mysterious mobile startup, Jelly.

The list, published in a company blog post Thursday, includes rock star Bono, former vice president Al Gore, and Greg Yaitanes, the director of TV shows "Lost" and "Heroes."

"We chose angels like Al Gore, a partner at KPCB and chairman and co-founder of Generation Investment Management, Greg Yaitanes, a Hollywood director, and Roya Mahboob, an entrepreneur doing amazing work for women in Afghanistan partly because they work in divergent fields. Knowledge diversity is something we prize highly … Read more

McNamee says behavior on Facebook IPO is 'criminal'

As usual, tech investor Roger McNamee didn't hold back today, telling Bloomberg TV that the Nasdaq and Morgan Stanley are to blame for Facebook's IPO bungle as their actions on the stock "bordered on criminal."

McNamee, whose firm Elevation Partners (the private equity firm he co-founded with Bono) invested in Facebook, said the public offering put a spotlight on the "extreme corruption" in Wall Street and the IPO bungle was done on purpose to benefit Morgan Stanley.

"NASDAQ's behavior on this in my mind borders on criminal.I think Morgan Stanley's … Read more

The U.N. vs. the Internet: The fight escalates

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected this week to approve a resolution (PDF) strongly critical of growing efforts to transfer key aspects of Internet governance to the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the United Nations.

The resolution was introduced by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) as part of a hearing last month on the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications, which will convene in Dubai late this year to rewrite an international treaty on communications overseen by the ITU.

The WCIT process is secret, but proposals drafted by the 193 ITU member nations and nonvoting affiliate organizations … Read more

Elevation seeks $1 billion with help from U2's Bono

U2 frontman Bono is embarking on a solo tour but it doesn't involve music. A private equity firm co-founded by the musician is hitting the road to search for more money, according to Reuters.

Elevation Partners, which has invested heavily in social networking, is now looking to dig up $1 billion for a second fund, reports Reuters. The company's largest investment to date has been in Facebook, to the tune of $270 million, which came in three installments and valued the social networking site at $16 billion at the time. (The company is now estimated to be worth $… Read more

The 404 998: Where we draw the ace of spades (podcast)

Aunt Jill won't be here for our 1000th episode this Friday because she only works out of the CNET office on Wednesdays, so we're popping bottles prematurely because hey, it's the 90s.

Along with a light wine tasting, Jill also gives a quick duster on the state of the Greek debt crisis and the Dow cracking 13000 after almost four years. In return, we'll tell Jill about the wonders of Instagram and Kim Dotcom's release from the New Zealand prison system.… Read more

Google's response on new privacy policy ticks off congresswoman

Google apparently isn't making any friends in Congress after a hearing yesterday on the company's new privacy policy.

Called before a Congressional committee to address questions over the policy, Google officials were said to be less than "forthcoming" with their answers, according to Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), who heads the House subcommittee leading the investigation.

"At the end of the day, I don't think their answers to us were very forthcoming necessarily in what this really means for the safety of our families and our children," Bono Mack told reporters, according to The Hill.… Read more

Nirvana bassist defends Bono's antipiracy stance

Krist Novoselic, Nirvana co-founder and bassist, on Tuesday jumped into the white-hot online-piracy debate on the side of copyright owners and U2 frontman Bono.

"I love Twitter, and it's disappointing to see the service manifest itself as a lynch mob," Novoselic wrote in blog post titled "Why I agree with Bono" that appeared on the site of alternative newspaper Seattle Weekly. "Bono is the latest in a line of good people who get trashed in the continuing file-sharing controversy."

Novoselic is referring to an op-ed piece by Bono that appeared in The New … Read more

Buzz Out Loud Podcast 1138: Good luck with that, Bono

So, Bono has been listening to his manager and soaking up the idea that the Internet needs to be locked down before it ruins the video industry. This selfless act of Cassandra-like prophesying involves talking about how great the U.S. is at stopping child porn and how great the Chinese are at stopping anything they don't like. We point out a few holes in the theory there. Also, Google is doing everything. Seriously, if you even think fleetingly that Google might do something, well, apparently it already is.

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Bono risks becoming next Lars Ulrich

Ever since Paul McGuinness, manager of the rock band U2, began lashing out at Internet Service providers for allegedly profiting from and encouraging illegal file sharing, U2 fans have wondered whether McGuinness spoke for the band.

Bono, U2's outspoken frontman, cleared that up this weekend. As part of a op-ed piece in The New York Times, the singer argued that online file sharing is hurting music and film creators and placed much of the blame on bandwidth providers.

"A decade's worth of music file-sharing and swiping has made clear that the people it hurts are the creators,&… Read more