Top tech headlines: how bin Laden's death spread on the web, new BlackBerry devices

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The Independent Tech

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending May 6 include social networks changing the way breaking news is reported, Apple's new Thunderbolt iMacs, Microsoft shaking hands with Research In Motion, Spotify rivaling iTunes with new syncing features and MP3 download service, and RIM unveiling new BlackBerry Bold Touch handsets.

Osama bin Laden's death in the social media age
The news of Osama bin Laden's death spread like wildfire this week, no more so than on social networks like Twitter. A Twitter user by the name of Keith Urbahn was the first to reputably report that US soldiers had killed the terrorist. By the time US President Obama appeared on TV to share the news with the rest of the world, #osama was trending on Twitter and more than 4000 tweets per second were spreading across the social networking site. Twitter user @ReallyVirtual unwittingly live-tweeted the events leading up to terrorist Osama bin Laden's death.

Apple debuts new iMac with Thunderbolt

Apple showed off new models of its popular all-in-one iMac desktop computer. Under-the-hood improvements include powerful new features and high-speed connectivity. The iMac will be the first desktop machine to feature Thunderbolt I/O connectivity, a high-speed USB-like data transfer technology.

RIM and Microsoft shake hands on BlackBerry and Bing

During BlackBerry World, a conference held by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM), Microsoft and RIM announced that Microsoft's Bing would become the preferred search provider and map application on BlackBerry devices and the default search and map services on RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. "It seems that Microsoft has the most to gain from this partnership, while RIM will get some undisclosed 'investment' to buy its loyalty," commented PCWorld.

Spotify takes on iTunes with iPhone, iPod syncing and MP3 store

European-based music streaming service Spotify gave users the ability to seamlessly manage music on iPod, iPhone and Android devices without the need to open up iTunes. The company also launched an MP3 store where users can create and buy their own MP3 playlists. "That's a huge hit against iTunes," said Business Insider.  

RIM adds a touch screen to its iconic BlackBerry Bold smartphone

RIM unveiled two new (almost identical) smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Bold 9930, aka the BlackBerry Bold Touch. The BlackBerry Bold Touch features the company's much-loved keyboard, a new touchsensitive screen and RIM's latest smartphone operating system, (OS) BlackBerry 7 OS. Bloggers praised the 'premium' feel of the device but added, "we can't shake the feeling that we're looking at the device RIM should have shipped last summer instead of the lackluster [BlackBerry] Torch."