DOJ on Google, PC Demand Takes off

The big news of the week is still to come at this writing, with the U.S. Department of Justice expected to weigh in on the Google book-search deal. We were otherwise taken by the astounding percentage of spam and malware posted by "users" at blogs, chat rooms and message boards. The main news of note for a whole lot of people who love "Star Trek" and Macs, perhaps in equal measure, will undoubtedly be found at the bottom of our list, though.

1. We've reached the day, if not the appointed hour apparently (thus, the missing link), for the U.S. Department of Justice to reveal its concerns about Google's settlement deal with authors and publishers regarding the rights to distribute digital copies of works.

2. PC demand takes off ahead of Windows 7: Demand for desktop and laptop PCs improved in July and August compared to earlier in the year, indicating strong market demand, according to analysts. The turnabout is "something special, because the expectation was that many people would delay purchases until after Windows 7 came out in October," said Manish Nigam, head of technology research in Asia for Credit Suisse. We cannot resist placing that breath of fresher IT-related economic news high up in this week's list.

3. Spam, malware dominate online user comments, Websense reports: We confess to being taken aback by Websense's finding that 95 percent of "user-generated comments" at blogs, chat rooms and message boards are either spam or malicious.

4. Skype founders sue eBay: What's going on? and Second lawsuit threatens Skype sale: Skype's founders filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against eBay, which could block eBay's attempt to sell a majority stake in Skype to private investors. A second lawsuit filed at week's end also places the sale in jeopardy.

5. Nortel users should hope for best, prepare for worst: Customers are being advised to closely monitor Avaya's planned purchase of Nortel's enterprise assets so that they don't wind up with nasty surprises when it comes to product integration and the like.

6. Adobe to buy Omniture for $1.8 billion: Adobe Systems plans to buy Web analytics company Omniture for US$1.8 billion, one of the bigger acquisition deals of late in terms of the money involved.

7. First glimpse: Microsoft Office Web apps: The Web-hosted versions of Microsoft's Office productivity suite were quietly released as a technology preview this week, allowing select users to give the apps a whirl. InfoWorld's Neil McAllister offered an early look and found that while they lack some features he would like to see, they're "off to a strong start."

8. Windows 7 touch: Dead on arrival: InfoWorld's Galen Gruman was eager to try out the touch feature in Windows 7, but he has been less than impressed and has begun instead to wonder whether touch will remain "useless" for most PC users.

9. WiMax in 2010: Too little, too late?: WiMax is, at long last, expected to be available in more than 80 U.S. cities by the end of next year; and while the wireless broadband technology will undoubtedly have a lot of customers, it is likely to be usurped by the competing LTE (Long-Term Evolution).

10. Gene Roddenberry's Mac to be auctioned: We would be remiss if we didn't include the news that "Star Trek" founder Gene Roddenberry's Mac is going to be auctioned off, given that, as Ken Gagne notes in his Computerworld blog, fans of the show and of Apple are some of the most rabid there are -- and we're quite sure that the fan base has a whole lot of crossover.

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