iFive: Zuckerberg’s Donation, Verizon’s Secret Charges, Windows 7 Phone Launch, Android Tablet Woes, China’s Litterbug Rocket

Garfield hated Mondays and some people think it’s a terrible way to spend one seventh of your life. But Monday’s child is fair of face, so in the spirit of this latter sentiment: Here’s the early Monday news, digested:

Did you see The Social Network yet? If you’ve been living under a rock, and wondering what we’re talking about, it’s the controversial movie about the early days of Facebook. It’s actually very controversial, if the press fuss is to be believed, and people are asking if it’s more movie than biopic. Can you guess Facebook’s Monday exec meeting agenda?


1. Mark Zuckerberg is a nice chap, or so you’d believe if you watched Friday’s Oprah when he revealed his $100 million challenge grant for the schools in Newark. The plan, hatched with Mayor Cory Booker, is intended to boost the city’s ailing education, and not to attract attention away from the launch of The Social Network.The thing is people are beginning to ask a big question about it all, which casts it in a weird light: Since Facebook’s not gone public, where exactly is this money coming from?

2. Verizon’s paying up to $90 million to its customers. No cause for a red-tinted “hooray!” since it’s a record rebate for overcharges. 15 million customers will, sometime over the next six weeks, get notified of a $2 to $6 refund (though in some cases it’s “large” enough to warrant a check). It’s reportedly due to mistaken data fee sessions which these clients never initiated. Sound dodgy? Yup–the FCC has just revealed it’s investigating if underhand things went on.

3.Windows 7 Phone fans rejoice! Microsoft HQ has finally revealed when your torment will end: October 11th, with a New York special event. T-Mobile is on-board, with some smartphone handsets pre-packed with Windows to challenge the iPhone/Android/BlackBerry dominance of the smartphone market. Set your alarms for 3:30 p.m. EST MS geeks–the news feeds will be jammed from then. Or possibly not, depending on how strong the OS actually is on serious testing.

4. This is bad news for Android fans, hoping their Google open source OS will challenge the iPad’s lead in the tablet PC market: LG, one of the most massive names in consumer electronics, has just announced it’s canceling its plans for an Android tablet at the moment–due to unsatisfactory performance from the current version. So there’ll be no Android 2.2 “Froyo” tablet from LG, which’ll certainly influence other maker’s plans too. And we’ll probably have to wait until 2011 sometime for a new effort from LG.

5. Hooray for China! Their latest effort to put a satellite into orbit around the Moon was a roaring success on Friday, as the Chang’e-2‘s Long March rocket successfully sprang from the launch pad, staged in mid-flight, and put the plucky spaceship on a course to the Moon. Fortunately, China’s nearby farmers weren’t out in the fields because hefty pieces of spent rocket fell on their land.

To keep up with this news, follow me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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