iFive: Facebook Surrenders, Pepsi Lightens Up, and Boxee Opens Pandora's Box in Today's Innovation News

While you were sleeping, innovation obsessed about, well, everything. Here are today's top stories:

  1. Facebook to Whiners: Enough already! The social network's director of product Christopher Cox fell on his sword last night about Facebook's latest controversial redesign. Good. Facebook really did have a lot of nerve to upgrade its free service. [via The Facebook Blog via Techmeme]
  2. Lighten up, Pepsi! I'm starting to worry that someone over there has an OCD-like tendency to change the company's product packaging. The soda-and-snack titan is now rolling out an "Eco-Fina" (ugh) Aquafina water bottle that's--are you sitting down?--2.8 grams lighter than the current one. "It has to feel lighter and more flexible, but it can't feel squishy," opines PepsiCo's vice president of packaging innovation and development about the water-bottle experience. "It can't feel like you're holding a bag." The only ones left holding the bag are the Aquafina drinkers also on Facebook. Bad day for those poor saps. [via WSJ's Valerie Bauerlein]
  3. Cheap-chic obsessives start celebrating the latest British invasion as retailer Topshop will open its New York flagship next week. The only people more giggly than teen girls are retail analysts. [via New York Observer's Meredith Bryan]
  4. Early-adopter darling Boxee isn't just for video obsessives any more. It announced its latest bridge from the PC to the living room with its "new 'bleeding-edge' alpha version"--techie code for "Good luck, nerds"--featuring support for streaming-music service Pandora. The new partners' first dance song? "Baby Come Back" (if you're under 40, it's the song from those Swiffer ads), in honor of Boxee's upgraded browser that tries, yet again, to get Hulu content back on its service. [via VentureBeat's MG Siegler and Boxee CEO Avner Ronen's blog
  5. Starting a company in today's business climate only seems crazy. In a welcome economic indicator, Atlanta gets its own version of Silicon Valley-Cambridge startup molder Y Combinator, as a group of noted local tech entrepreneurs band together to form Shotput Ventures, nurturing new Web ideas with seed money and advice. It's not too late for Y Combinator to franchise, is it? [via Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Thomas Oliver]

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