This week in Google
There's never a dull moment following Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), but this past week was particularly busy. It started on Monday, when Google and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) announced a deal for Big G to provide ads on eBay's site outside the United States.

Google then provided headline fodder, when CEO Eric Schmidt was appointed to the board of directors at Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL). A lot of conspiracy theories were bandied about. No one was suggesting that Google and Apple would one day merge, but a tantalizing possibility was suggested by MarketWatch's John Dvorak: that the move was a prelude to Apple acquiring Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW). Google the matchmaker? Fancy that. But it's more likely that the deal just represents a quality company landing a quality noggin to sit in the boardroom. However, speculation is a lot more fun than the reality.

Then we had the revelation that the company's books.google.com book-search site will let visitors print public-domain books at home. Google has had a rocky relationship with book publishers in the past. Even if this only covers older, freely available books, it won't make publishers happy to see more competition for their coveted readers.

AOL rocks if it rolls
It's time for Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) to prove that it can rock out with the big boys. The company is beefing up its digital music offerings with AOL Music Now. The jukebox service will compete with other music subscription services like RealNetworks' (NASDAQ:RNWK) Rhapsody and Napster (NASDAQ:NAPS).

Perhaps more importantly, it will also compete with AOL itself. In turning away from its Internet-service-provider model to become a free Web-based portal, AOL has a lot to prove. Will folks not using AOL want an AOL.com email address? Will a company that has long been portrayed -- however incorrectly -- as the Internet on training wheels be considered hip enough on this side of the millennium?

Launching a successful music service would naturally help make AOL cooler, or at the very least, less uncool. Jam. It's tasty on bread. It's what great musicians do. It's what AOL has gotten itself into. Let's see if it can jam its way out of this jam.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield-wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does own not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.