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The Top 10 Stories in IT This Week

Contrary to how the week might have seemed, what with leaked classified documents all the headline rage, Google actually took a hefty number of headlines this week. The European Union opened an antitrust probe into the company's business practices, Google was found guilty of trespassing in a lawsuit related to Street View, it altered its search engine and promised to do better to protect copyrights.

1. Google targeted by EU antitrust probe: The European Commission is looking into allegations that Google has used its dominate position in search to push its other services, including those related to online advertisements.

2. Google Street View guilty of trespassing: A Pennsylvania couple proved this week that it really is not always about the money when a company gets sued. "This is one sweet dollar of vindication," Aaron and Christine Boring said of the $1 they were awarded in damages after a judge ruled that Google had trespassed when a Street View vehicle photographed their property in Pittsburgh after gaining access via a private road.

3. Google search engine now detects bad businesses and

Google pledges improvement in copyright protection: In two other bits of news, Google has developed an "algorithmic solution" to lower the search rankings of businesses that get low customer ratings, and the company promised to do better when it comes to protecting copyright material on its sites.

4. FTC calls for online do-not-track list to protect privacy and How the FTC's 'do not track' idea may affect your site: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission proposed an online "do-not-track" list that would protect Internet users' privacy, which has obvious implications for website owners, including businesses.

5. Oracle to take on IBM with Sparc clusters and Oracle highlights Solaris Unix plans: We have to hand it to Oracle -- no matter what you might think of its acquisition of Sun, the deal sure has given Oracle spark.

6. Verizon LTE network to go live Dec. 5 and Verizon's LTE pricing: Good deal or gouge?: Verizon Wireless will turn on its LTE (Long-term Evolution) high-speed wireless network in 38 U.S. cities Sunday, setting off a debate about whether its prices are a good deal or a rip off.

7. Wall Street Beat: Tech stocks hit yearly high: Tech stocks hit a yearly high on Thursday. Combined with robust retail sales at the start of the holiday shopping season -- Cyber Monday online sales were off the charts -- and the European Central Bank's moves to ease the debt situation in Ireland and Portugal, the news helped ease investors' worries.

8. Inside the labs at Microsoft, HP and IBM: Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and IBM all place a premium on research and development, with a look inside their labs showing how each company goes about R&D.

9. WikiLeaks incidents stoke IT security angst, WikiLeaks back online, moves to a new domain and Amazon: Government didn't force WikiLeaks ban: The release of stolen classified U.S. diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks website is giving pause -- as well it should -- to IT security professionals, who have a stark reminder of the perils of insiders. Otherwise, WikiLeaks is trying to stay a step ahead of the ever-growing list of those who want to see the site shut down.

10. Zynga acquires Words with Friends Developer Newtoy: We keep hearing that Zynga -- owner of the popular FarmVille game -- is a hot company to keep an eye on and its acquisition this week of mobile gaming developer Newtoy is yet one more reason for that.

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