Stock joys, new toys, and bad boys colored in the week that was.

You say you want a TiVo-lution...
A lot has happened to TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) over the years. It has gone from being just a noun to being a verb as well. It has gone from being one of the more exciting Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations to meandering in the low single digits after DirecTV (NYSE:DTV) and key executives moved on. Finally, there's good news! Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced that it would be offering its more than 20 million subscribers a TiVo-branded software service. It would work with its customers' digital video recorders, whether or not they are TiVo boxes.

That's great news for TiVo in many ways. For starters, despite being the name in this booming niche, only one out of every three digital video recorders sold these days is made by TiVo. And with TiVo taking deep financial hits by subsidizing hardware sales with meaty $100 rebates, this is really the best move for TiVo. The patent-rich pioneer can now collect passive royalties, and that will clearly provide better margins and help TiVo penetrate the market further than it could on its own -- or even with DirecTV.

And you think your kids want all of the expensive toys?
It was a heated bidding battle for the beleaguered Toys "R" Us (NYSE:TOY) retail chain, yet for those who held on after the company put itself on the auction block last year, it looks like that move will finally pay off. The toy giant accepted a $6.6 billion buyout offer from a consortium of investment firms.

With its share of the toy retailing market having dwindled to just 16% -- falling further and further from leader Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), which is moving one-quarter of all playthings being sold stateside these days -- Toys "R" Us needed a spark. Because that was unlikely to happen while the company was still public and held accountable every three months, this is the best move for the big-box chain. Somewhere in the fine print of this deal, you know it will read "some assembly required," as there will likely be some closures. There will also likely be a massive makeover. Step into a Toys "R" Us in a year or two, and you may not recognize the place if the investment firms assemble savvy freethinkers to put the retailer back on the growth path.

Weak end at Bernie's
Bernie Ebbers, the CEO who oversaw the $14 billion crumbling of WorldCom -- now MCI (NASDAQ:MCIP) -- was found guilty on nine counts in one of the costliest corporate-fraud cases in history. His defense had claimed that he couldn't be held culpable because he wasn't aware of the accounting shenanigans taking place at his company. Guess what? The excuse rang hollow to jurors, who were presented with evidence that showed Ebbers to be far more aware of the inner workings of WorldCom.

If there is someone nervously biting his nails right now, it's Enron's Kenneth Lay. He has been clinging to the same argument as Ebbers, claiming he didn't know that his now-defunct company was cooking its books. Every jury is different, but the precedent has been set, and Lay's legal counsel would be well-advised to have the former Enron chieftain be more forthcoming when his case comes to court.

Want to read more about the stories that rocked the week that was?

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't own any of the companies mentioned in this story, though he always wondered why a toy store would use a giraffe as a mascot. He wants to thank Mac Greer, producer of The Motley Fool Radio Show, for suggesting the "Weak End at Bernie's" quip. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.