New Year Kicks off With CES, Google's Nexus One

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The new year in IT news kicked off this week with the annual gadget-and-gear extravaganza, the Consumer Electronics Show. Apart from CES, Google got in on the news action, announcing its Nexus One smartphone, which provided (yet) another lesson about why it's not a good idea to get all hyped about rumors and speculation around new products that may or may not be all that when they are officially announced. Unless, of course, those products are from Apple.

1. CES 2010: Hot new tech gear, CES 2010 projects post-recession optimism: Netbooks, 3D HDTVs and games, smartphones, networking gear, new chips and much, much more are on display this week at CES in Las Vegas. Our IDG colleagues are attending the show speeches and demonstrations and canvassing the expo hall to check out the latest news.

2. Report: Ballmer to unveil tablet computer before Apple, Ballmer's CES keynote and the incredible disappearing tablet and Project Natal hitting Xbox 360 this year: But one anticipated bit of CES news didn't quite pan out -- The New York Times cited unnamed sources saying that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would show off a touchscreen tablet computer at his show-opening keynote Wednesday night, stealing some thunder from Apple's rumored tablet (see number 10). Ballmer did show off tablets during his talk, which sounds like it was a bit of a yawner, but not the hotly anticipated Courier tablet. He did, however, say that Microsoft's full-body game control system, dubbed Project Natal, will be out in time for the 2010 holidays, which will spell joy for many an Xbox 360 user.

3. Google takes wraps off Nexus One, Google introduces ... just another smartphone, Google's Nexus One phone: Questions and answers and Nexus One another another tactic in Google's ad-revenue strategy: Speaking of hot anticipation -- Google unveiled its Nexus One phone this week and it turns out to be just another Android-based smartphone. The Nexus One can only be obtained from Google, and is not currently available in any retail stores where a potential buyer could actually, you know, see and touch one before deciding whether to buy it. The phone costs US$529, unlocked, or $179 with a T-Mobile contract (and read that early-termination fee fine print).

4. Outlook 2010: Since we're still greeting people with "happy new year," we thought we'd include Network World's fine package of 2010 outlook stories high up in our list. There's a lot of interesting analysis to dig into with the package.

5. CyberSitter files lawsuit against China over Green Dam: CyberSitter, the aggrieved Web software filtering vendor, slapped the Chinese government, two Chinese software makers and seven major computer makers with a $2.2 billion lawsuit for their distribution of Green Dam Youth Escort, the Web-filtering package mandated by the Chinese government. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, contends that the defendants misappropriated CyberSitter trade secrets, infringed copyrights and engaged in unfair competition and conspiracy in distributing Green Dam.

6. Aol voluntary layoffs program falls short: Not enough Aol employees decided to go for a "voluntary" layoff program aimed at trimming 2,500 jobs from the newly independent company, which was spun off from Time Warner last month, so now the involuntary layoffs will begin.

7. Y2K all over again in 2010? and SpamAssassin '2010' bug blocked e-mail across the world: Some computer systems could not read the year 2010 properly, causing turmoil for some cash-card users and point-of-sale machines. There were also problems with Symantec's network-access control software, which checks spam and virus definitions to make sure they are up to date and the open-source SpamAssassin antispam engine that many ISPs use.

8. Vexed tech wants SAP and Oracle to shut up shrieking servers: If you find yourself feeling vexed about your job you can take solace that you are not Michael Pulk, who runs Pulk & Co., a network service provider that has data-center space in the same facility as some servers that belonged to TomorrowNow, the now-defunct SAP division that is central to a lawsuit Oracle filed against SAP. Alarms have been sounding on TomorrowNow servers for weeks, but because of the legal wrangling between SAP and Oracle, Pulk can't get any relief from the racket.

9. Official: Apple acquires mobile advertiser Quattro Wireless: Apple moved into the mobile advertising business, buying Quattro Wireless.

10. Apple tablet to ship in March? and Report: Apple scheduling Jan. 27 media event: Rumors have heated up that Apple would announce its long-awaited tablet, dubbed the iSlate, this month with shipments expected to begin in March. Then came word that Apple is planning a Jan. 27 press conference -- or, rather, "media event" since this is Apple we are talking about -- to announce a major new product.

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