It’s the end of an era: Intel can no longer offer computer makers perks for using its processors, according to an antitrust settlement that the chip maker reached with the U.S. government. Meanwhile, BlackBerry users in some countries may find their e-mail service terminated if governments are denied access to the network’s secure data. Finally, employee paychecks may no longer be safe as hackers look for new revenue sources.
1. FTC settles antitrust complaints against Intel: Intel and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reached a proposed settlement over antitrust claims that the agency filed against the chip maker. The settlement prohibits Intel from arranging deals with computer makers to favor Intel chips and exclude competitors’ offerings. The deal also bans the company from retaliating against PC manufacturers that use other chip suppliers. The FTC filed its complaint in December and alleged that Intel coerced computer makers into using its products and stifled competition in the processor market.
2. Saudi Arabia to ban BlackBerry service on Friday: Research In Motion’s international business plans clashed with politics as several governments requested access to the encrypted data on RIM’s network. Saudi Arabia threatened to instruct carriers to suspend BlackBerry service on Friday, alleging that RIM’s offering violates government regulations. The United Arab Emirates said it will suspend BlackBerry service on Oct. 11 and Lebanon also wants to negotiate with RIM about accessing the company’s servers. Having access to data would allow the countries to improve national security and stop terrorism, the nations claimed. RIM said that no back door or master key to the data exists and only the customer can access the information.
3. Net neutrality deal may not see wider support: A report this week claimed that Verizon Communications and Google were negotiating a deal on network neutrality. Details on the talks were not available, but the effort goes against recent attempts by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to lead talks on the topic with ISPs and major Internet players — talks that the regulator cancelled in the wake of the news:
4. FCC calls off net neutrality negotiations: A day after news of the alleged Verizon and Google network management talks emerged, the FCC announced that it was ending its network neutrality negotiations. Since June the FCC has brought together ISPs and other Web heavyweights in an attempt to develop a network neutrality framework. The FCC’s chief of staff called the talks productive, but they did not produce a deal that preserved the Internet’s freedom.
5. SAP accepts liability in Oracle lawsuit: SAP will accept some liability in the intellectual-property theft lawsuit that Oracle brought against the company, but SAP will continue to challenge Oracle’s claim for billions of dollars in damages. SAP estimates the damages in the tens of millions of dollars. The move comes a few months before the trial in the three-year-old lawsuit starts. Oracle alleges that a former SAP service division illegally accessed its Web site and downloaded software support material.
6. Google drops Google Wave: Google’s Wave, which was introduced a year ago with the strength of tsunami, proved little more than a creek in the cloud computing space and was discontinued this week. Low user adoption means the end of Wave as a stand-alone product, but technology from the service will appear in other Google products, the company said. Most users could not figure out how to use Wave or determine the service’s exact function, which was supposedly to improve online collaboration and communication.
7. BlackBerry Torch 9800 could light your fire: RIM also made news this week beyond its political and security dust-up. The company released its latest smartphone, the BlackBerry Torch 9800. The device runs the new BlackBerry OS and has a touchscreen display and QWERTY keyboard. One review said the device is practical and offers business users multimedia functions common to most smartphones. However, some reviews said the phone doesn’t compete with more consumer-focused, multimedia-heavy devices, like the iPhone.
8. Canalys: Android takes the lead in the US and Android Growing Much Faster Than Expected, Say Analysts: Android, Google’s mobile OS, is capturing greater smartphone market share. Devices with the Android OS lead U.S. smartphone shipments in the second quarter, according to research firm Canalys. Compared to last year’s second quarter, Android phones experienced a growth rate of 851 percent. This increased demand for Android phones helps explain why this week analysts also predicated that the platform will be the world’s second-most used smartphone OS by the end of the year.
9. Trusteer finds 100,000 UK computers infected with Zeus: As if U.K. citizens didn’t have enough to worry about with their government’s debt and austerity measures, a security researcher discovered that 100,000 computers in the country are infected with a nasty piece of malware. The Zeus spying software records all information that passes through a browser and captures the traffic before encryption or immediately following decryption. Passwords to social-networking sites, financial information and corporate e-mails were just some of the data that researchers found when they searched a database that stored the information Zeus pilfered.
10. Hackers find a new target in payroll processing: Employee’s paychecks are no longer safe if a recent attack that targeted a company’s payroll system indicates the future of hacking. Hackers broke into a computer at a pharmaceutical company, accessed its third-party payroll software and attempted to redirect employees’ direct deposit funds into bogus accounts. A company executive said the hackers used malware to get the log-in and password of an employee who uses the payroll system. The attack failed, but it shows criminals are developing advanced schemes to steal money.