EU Says OK to Oracle-Sun, Rambus-Samsung Deal

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The European Union gave the green light to Oracle's plan to buy Sun Microsystems. We expect one of next week's top story entries will be about Oracle's plans for Sun. Otherwise this week, Rambus and Samsung settled a legal dispute and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that her department will unveil initiatives to fight Internet censorship, which provoked ire from China. And, of course, there were more rumor rumblings and reports based on anonymous sources regarding Apple's tablet, which could well take top billing in next week's IT news.

1. EU gives Oracle-Sun deal go-ahead, Oracle will reveal Sun road map next week and Java's future uncertain under Oracle's grip: The European Commission cleared the way for Oracle to buy Sun Microsystems. So, Oracle will let us know its plans for Sun next week. Meanwhile, some in the Java community are worried that Oracle will keep a tighter grip on Java than Sun has.

2. Rambus and Samsung reach settlement agreement and Samsung, Rambus deal could spur development of new memory technologies: Rambus and Samsung Electronics settled their differences in a long-running legal spat, leading analysts to opine that the deal could push development of new memory technologies, as well as lead Rambus to settle more of its pending legal disputes.

3. Clinton: US gov't will push harder against Web censorship, Clinton praised for Internet freedom speech and China slams Clinton's call for Internet freedom: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew praise for a speech in which she announced that the State Department is working on several initiatives to fight Internet censorship. The Chinese government was not, however, among those who approved of what she had to say.

4. Widespread attacks exploit newly patched IE bug: Attackers have nailed hundreds of Web sites using a recently patched flaw in Internet Explorer. (By the way, Firefox 3.6 was released this week.)

5. Users still make hacking easy with weak passwords: We can only sigh heavily as we report that most users still make it easy for hackers by using weak passwords, including such brilliant ones as "123456."

6. Wall Street Beat: Tech earnings stay strong: Google made almost $2 billion last quarter, with other IT bellwethers also releasing strong earnings reports.

7. Report: Apple looks to repackage content for tablet, New York Times plans to charge for some online access and New York Times paid content: A plan that could work: Apple is working on ways to present content on its forthcoming tablet, which we expect will really and truly be announced next week at the big press event the company has scheduled. We also got word this week that The New York Times will implement a "metered" online pay model next year.

8. HP and Fujitsu staff stop work in biggest strike yet and Workers strike at Nokia's Indian factory: In IT labor news, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu employees in the U.K. went on two separate strikes, while Nokia employees at a handset factory in India also went on strike.

9. MIT creates picture-driven programming for the masses: A new graphical scripting language developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will allow users with basic understanding of Python to program using screen shots rather than lines of code. How cool is that?

10. Linux Foundation: Microsoft's talking smack on Windows Mobile: Ah, but we love a little cat fight! The latest smackdown is between the Linux Foundation and Microsoft and started when Robbie Bach, who is in charge of mobile at Microsoft, said at CES that Linux is too complex with too many versions for phone carriers to deal with. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin fired back, posting on his blog that the problem with Windows Mobile isn't just with the technology, but also with the business model. And while, yeah, working with Linux is probably more complicated, since when is choice a bad thing? We await Microsoft's response.

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