Apple's IPad, Oracle's Plan for Sun Share Limelight
While it seemed that all eyes were on Apple's unveiling of the long-awaited iPad this week, Oracle on the same day revealed its plans for Sun Microsystems' technology, while those at Sun braced for the merger and began their public goodbyes. We also had a flurry of financial reports this week and some Internet weirdness associated with President Barack Obama's first State of the Union address.
1. Apple announces iPad, Apple iPad: 25 unanswered questions, How does the iPad compare to netbooks? and iPad as netbook-killer concept ignites controversy: After months of rumors, speculation and fever-pitch media hype (for which we accept some responsibility), Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off the iPad tablet. While there was plenty of the customary swooning over a new Apple product to be found, the general consensus seemed to be: That's it?! We've been all excited for this?! Jobs insists that the iPad is better than a netbook, but that notion has ignited a debate.
2. Oracle to scale back Sun server line, make other changes Oracle hails Java but kills Sun cloud: Oracle began to lay out its plans for Sun technologies and products this week. Meanwhile ...
3. With emotion, Sun's long good-bye nears the finish and Sun's Scott McNealy: Thanks for a great 28 years: Sun leaders, including James Gosling, the father of Java, and former Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy offered public farewells to a company they have loved.
4. ACTA talks in Mexico to address transparency concerns: Secret talks that have been ongoing among nations aiming to craft an anticounterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) haven't seemed to draw a whole lot of attention, but for our money this is some seriously big news. Negotiators got together again this week to work on the measure in Mexico.
5. Congressional Web sites hacked near Obama speech, US House leaders ask for investigation into hackings and No lie! Wilson to respond to State of Union on Facebook: At about the time that President Obama's State of the Union speech began, dozens of congressional Web sites were hacked. U.S. House of Representatives leaders, predictably given their fondness for holding hearings, called for an investigation into the site defacements. Meanwhile, in an even freakier bit of related news, Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, gave a response to the speech via Facebook. His was not the official GOP response. For those who have forgotten, Wilson was the congressman who yelled out "you lie" during President Obama's speech on the now-stalled health-care reform.
6. Wall Street Beat: Economic concerns shadow tech profits: IT bellwethers including Microsoft and Apple released quarterly earnings reports this week, with good news from many on the financial front, but IT investors remained skittish.
7. EFF: Browsers can leave a unique trail on the Web: Web browsers leave a unique footprint for individual PCs with information that online advertising systems can then gather for purposes that concern privacy experts, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said. The EFF has created a tool that reveals the information that a browser collects. The EFF further warned that users should not be misled into believing that disabling cookies provides real protection.
8. FCC's McDowell: Net neutrality would face legal challenge: If the U.S. Federal Communications Commission goes forward with net neutrality regulations, its authority in that regard will be challenged in court, Commission member Robert McDowell said.
9. Microsoft posts Windows Mobile 6.5 SDK by mistake: The "oopsie" entry this week comes from Microsoft, which inadvertently posted the WIndows Mobile 6.5 software developers kit online. Some developers downloaded it before Microsoft yanked it off the Web, but had trouble using it, which was a good sign that it really was not ready for release yet. They reported that the SDK includes widget tools and an emulator for the most recent version of Windows Mobile.
10. 419 Internet scams on the increase: Although we find this news truly unfathomable, 419, or advance-fee, frauds on the Internet soaked victims for at least US$9.3 billion last year. Most of the scams continued to originate in Nigeria. We're scratching our heads over why it's so hard for people to resist responding to e-mails rife with misspellings, typos and bad grammar that want them to advance money to someone they have never heard of who promises the recipient fantastical wealth.