This week was a busy one in IT news, with the European Parliament giving the OK to the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, SAP being slapped with a US$1.3 billion penalty because employees of its now-defunct TomorrowNow subsidiary stole corporate materials from Oracle, and Attachmate's plan to buy Novell for a whopping $2.2 billion. And those were just the biggest of the headlines -- there was plenty more as well.
1. EU Parliament approves once-secret ACTA copyright treaty and European Parliament approves ACTA: The once top-secret ACTA will now head for a vote during meetings in Sydney Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.
2. Oracle awarded $1.3 billion in SAP lawsuit and SAP penalty in Oracle suit excessive, analysts say: SAP's argument that it should not have to pay more than $40 million for the materials that TomorrowNow employees stole from Oracle fell on deaf ears as a U.S. federal court jury ordered SAP to pay $1.3 billion. Some analysts said they thought that amount was excessive.
3. Why Novell is worth $2.2 billion to Attachmate and Attachmate to retain Novell Unix copyrights: Attachmate's announcement that it plans to buy Novell for $2.2 billion sparked questions about the worth of Novell, but the company still holds valuable assets, primarily Suse Linux.
4. BP ignored safety software advice to save time, oil spill investigators find: BP ignored safety software that pointed to stability concerns before its well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a presentation slide from U.S. investigators of the disaster. The slide was briefly posted at the Oil Spill Commission's website before being removed, but The New York Times published a screenshot of the slide, showing "risky" steps that BP and partners Halliburton and Transocean made to save time.
5. Report: 7-inch iPad 2 to have USB port, two cameras: A newspaper in Taiwan reported that iPad 2 will have a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port and two cameras -- features that are lacking in the first iteration of the tablet.
6. Acer unveils tablets to run Windows, Android: Acer showed off tablet computers this week that will run Windows and Android, adding some fuel to that ever-hotter market. Alas, the tablets are not due out for the annual holiday shopping frenzy, but should be available after the first of the year.
7. Teen gang admit huge Zeus Trojan fraud: A gang of teenagers in the U.K. admitted to being the brains behind an online forum that stole and marketed credit card numbers and other personal data worth some
8. Swedish judge confirms Pirate Bay convictions on appeal: Three of the defendants convicted of running The Pirate Bay, and therefore being accessories in committing copyright crimes, lost their appeals this week. Although the judge reduced the prison sentences of each, he also raised the amount of the fine they must collectively pay. A fourth defendant has yet to be tried.
9. Tim Berners-Lee criticizes Web leaders: Tim Berners-Lee in a lengthy essay for Scientific American took aim at Apple, Google, Facebook, Verizon and ISPs, among others, for actions that he thinks could harm the Web, creating "fragmented islands" that could mean users "lose the freedom to connect with whichever Web sites we want."
10. TSA and the freedom thing: We're the problem: A storm of protest has arisen in the U.S. as the Transportation Security Administration put tougher passenger screening measures into place, including the choice in some cases of travelers either submitting to a body scan or an "enhanced" pat down.