ACTA Leak, MS-Yahoo Search, Kneber Botnet

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The week opened with the busy Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and ended with the leak of part of a document related to secret negotiations to craft an anticounterfeiting trade agreement. In between, Microsoft and Yahoo got the go-ahead on their search deal, Google got the OK to enter the energy business and a massive botnet was revealed. There was enough unsavory news to lead us to end the week contemplating bobsledding and our dream home office, because sometimes we all just need a little break.

1. Leaked ACTA draft reveals plans for 'Net clampdown: Secret negotiations among nations that aim to develop an anticounterfeiting trade agreement include rules that would combat copyright violations on the Internet by making ISPs (Internet service providers) liable for illegal content, according to a section of a confidential draft agreement. News regarding ACTA has been sparse, what with the talks being secret and all, but sources close to the negotiations have periodically leaked information to the press.

2. Microsoft-Yahoo search deal cleared by EC, DOJ, Microsoft-Yahoo can now take on a common enemy -- Google and Implementing search deal a tough task for MS, Yahoo: The European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice each approved the search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo, putting that story back into the headlines again. As implementation of the deal gets under way, we expect to make room for more related news in future weekly lists.

3. Kneber botnet hit 374 U.S. firms, gov't agencies, Kneber just another botnet? and Botnet revelation shows darker underbelly of malware: The Kneber botnet held our attention at the end of this week after its existence was revealed Thursday. Once we got past the enormity of it -- 74,000 compromised computers at 2,400 companies -- we started to ponder the larger ramifications related to how the botnet operates.

4. Microsoft unveils Windows 7 phone software, Windows Phone 7 wins praise but trouble lurks and Windows Phone 7 Series: first impressions: Microsoft's Windows 7 phone software stirred things up at the Mobile World Congress this week. In addition to the news story, CIO's Shane O'Neill says it's about time for Microsoft to get with that program (and has a few other thoughts on the matter as well), while PCWorld's Ginny Mies gave the software a test run.

5. Reports: Internet attacks traced to Chinese schools: The cyberattacks that originated in China reportedly have been traced to schools in that nation. Nice course of study, that.

6. Google gets US approval to buy and sell energy: Well, we all know that Google does not have its tentacles in quite enough markets.

7. Watching the creative destruction of the mobile industry at MWC and Best of MWC 2010: Highlights from the world's largest mobile show: There was a ton of news out of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (yes, besides Windows 7 phone software).

8. Adobe working to fix security bug in Download Manager, Security boost in OpenOffice 3.2 update, Google fixes Buzz flaw and Mozilla patches critical Firefox bugs: In one handy spot we offer you a roundup of security patch news, as this seemed a big week for that kind of thing.

9. How supercomputers helped the U.S. bobsled team: We confess a fondness for Olympic bobsledding and were therefore delighted to see that Todd R. Weiss over at PCWorld was turned loose on a technology angle for that sport.

10. The ultimate home office: Bring on the bling: Halfway through winter, we're feeling a little weary here at Top 10, even though this week marked the opening of Major League Baseball's spring training camps, which always cheers us up. With a few more days to go, though, before we delight in those two words we love to hear, "play ball," we decided to end this week's list with Bill Snyder's dream office, seeing as how the start of a new season is always a time of sweet dreams.

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