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iFive: Netbooks Flirt with Android, Hello BlackBerry App World, and Steve Jobs to Give Away Macs? in Today's Innovation News

While you were sleeping, innovation resolved not to be fooled again. Here's today's innovation news: 

1. The netbook market gets even hotter with a report that HP, Asus, Dell, and other PC makers are testing versions of the popular mini-notebooks with Google's Android software rather than Microsoft Windows. The repercussions would be huge: Some predict netbook prices could drop below $200 without Microsoft software, wireless carriers might offer an Android-powered phone and netbook as part of the same contract, and Intel would have to reinvent itself again because Android is optimized for ARM chips. [via WSJ's Justin Scheck and Nick Wingfield

2. Hollywood is succeeding in this economy, with movie box office up 12% over this same period last year, and the industry gearing up for a big summer—Terminator, anyone?—at the ShoWest convention for theater operators. Not only are the movies better, but the theaters seem to be trying harder too. AMC Theaters CEO Gerry Lopez, a Starbucks veteran, wants to fix the long-stale moviegoing experience with restaurant service (dinner and a movie!), opening up theaters to show communal events like the Final Four, and of course, "enhanced" concessions, including espresso. Because hyperalert and jittery is the ideal way to enjoy the latest CGI effects in 3-D. [via AP and Los Angeles Times' Richard Verrier]

3. If we've learned anything in life, it's that marketers care about consumers as people. Witness the rash of quasi-sympathetic programs for people who lose their job from Hyundai, clothier Jos. A. Bank, Walgreens, and others. "If you're in a job transition, you have to grab for all the gusto you can," says one laid-off worker who convinced Franklin Covey to give day planners to the unemployed. (Nothing says you're part of the 21st Century workforce quite like a Day Planner.) He continues, "I'm just waiting for Steve Jobs to say I've got a new Mac computer coming." Keep dreaming, you crazy dreamer. Save the date! [via Chicago Tribune's Sandra M. Jones

4. If you need a fix of smartphone lust today, you could follow the RIM's Blackberry App World announcement or read up on the iPhone 3.0 software beta. But if you want a design lust fix as well, check out Parisian design student Fabien Nauroy's Nokia concept phone, the Envelop'. [via AppleInsider's Sam Oliver via Techmeme; Coroflot via Core77's Rain Noe (aka hipstomp)]


5. April Fools' Day is upon us, and oh, the hilarity as the Internet unleashes its inner eight-year old. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington very drily recaps all the hijinks thus far. British newspaper The Guardian will publish every story as a tweet? Ha! It's funny because it's true. YouTube's upside down? Stop, you're killing me. No, really. Please stop. You are, in fact, draining my will to live. [via TechCrunch's Michael Arrington]