Showtime for the Mac daddy
Everyone knew that Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) was going to make a video-based announcement on Tuesday. The "It's Showtime" press invitations all but iced it. What did we get? Well, we came up dry on the long-rumored iPhone front (wait for the "Call Me" press event invitations for that). However, the iTV looks like it will do just fine when it is introduced early next year. Along the way we will have beefier iPods -- now with up to 80 gigs of storage capacity -- just in time to do battle over the holidays with Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) daring entry into Apple's turf, the Zune.

I'll admit to laughing when I first heard that Mr. Softy was trying to make a go at the iPod market. After all, it's not a brand that many associate with hipness or dependability. I'm still steaming over my clunky Xbox 360 and the $139 I'm out in repairs due to its "three red rings of death" hardware breakdown.

However, the specs on the Zune are pretty intriguing, especially the Wi-Fi possibilities. Microsoft may be barking up the wrong tree, but at least it's doing so with a pretty smart dog.

Lonelygirl15, we hardly knew ya
Now that one of the more compelling "clip culture" stories has been exposed as a scripted series -- I hear it was an HP board member that snitched (just kidding) -- we can turn our attention to the next person out for Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame. Then again, most of these clips are shorter than an egg timer.

What's that? The Lonelygirl story is taking a delicious twist as a macabre ritualistic whodunit? Nice. To be frank, I was never one for the voyeuristic nature of the series, but now my interest is piqued; the creators of the videos are now under pressure to raise the bar and make it truly stand out as viral entertainment.

A tip of the CAPS cap
After a ridiculous amount of prep work, Motley Fool CAPS was launched to the public as a beta service on Wednesday. As an engaging -- and free -- investor experience, registered users can fill out mock portfolios and make buys and sells along the way.

It would be a fun feature even if it was just soup for one, but it's really a community feast. The real power of CAPS is that you can tap into the collective knowledge of your fellow individual investors to gauge prospects, lean on pitches, and unearth stocks that may be right up your alley.

If you want to make David Gardner excited, just ask him about CAPS. In a nutshell, it's social networking for investors. Crack open that nutshell and it's just one more way that you can use the power of the Internet to become a better investor.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Microsoft is an Inside Value selection.

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 not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.