EC goes after Microsoft, Sun buys MySQL and Oracle buys BEA

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Electric supercar running flat

Tesla, the alleged electric sports car, is still having problems. The company is laying off staff this week and warning those that have pre-ordered that the car will arrive with an interim transmission.

Are Greens really good for you?

The British government needs to wake up and write a biofuels strategy, according to the Royal Society. The boffins point out that no one has worked out whether or not fuels from crops are actually carbon neutral or what impact they'll have on agriculture. Biofuel. Good thing/bad thing?

Next week sees the EU release its targets for how much renewable power the UK should be using by 2020. The drip, drip of leaks suggests the EU will demand the UK find 15 per cent of its power from renewable resources by 2020.

ID cards slip again

A delayed government IT project? Good Lord, whatever next? It emerged this week that the deadline for ID cards is slipping again. The first ID cards for immigrants will be handed out from November, and foreign nationals entering and leaving the country won't be counted before December.

BBC's in everyone's bad books

The BBC might have already outraged the open source community with its Windows-only media player, but now politicians are getting in on the act. The Public Accounts Committee accused Beeb director general Mark Thompson of being blinded by new media into illegally promoting Microsoft.

Despite complaints over operability, BBC figures released this week showed that not everyone hates the iPlayer.

Apple iPhones

Controversy over how well the iPhone is selling in the UK isn't going to go away. O2 confirmed this week it is not allowed to release iPhone sales figures. And neither is Carphone Warehouse.

Also this week: China says no to the iPhone, but IBM says yes.

EC goes after Microsoft again

Another week and another anti-trust action for Microsoft. The software giant is accused of broadly similar crimes to those it was found guilty of late last year.

The European Commission accuses it of illegally tying its browser to its operating system and witholding vital interoperability information from rivals. Of course, the case isn't going to be over any time soon, but the worry for Microsoft is that cash cow Office is one of the targets and so is the company's .NET framework - a keystone of future software releases.

Storage goes solid

It's taken a while for the price to creep down, but EMC is the first vendor to announce the move away from spinning discs and onto solid state storage for its high-end products. Advantages are slightly faster response times and less energy burned. They sure ain't cheap, but it's the way the industry is going.

IBM revels in bumper Q4

IBM's seen the credit crunch and it just doesn't care. Big Blue brought in $98.8bn and made profits of $10.4bn. There's more here on why IBM thinks the market downturn is very different to the bursting of the dot-com bubble.

Intel's doing OK too

More financials this week from Intel, which got punished for what looked to us mere mortals as decent results. Revenue grew 11 per cent to $10.7bn and net income jumped more than 50 per cent. But the markets weren't so impressed.

Swings and roundabouts at DVLA

It was good news, bad news for the DVLA this week. The National Audit Office, not normally starry-eyed, congratulated it for doing a good job on technology projects.

But the next day, the Scottish National Party (SNP) revealed the agency had sold off 5.3 million people's driving records since 2002. The SNP reckons it's time for the practise to be reviewed.

BEA bows to Oracle

It's been a long time coming, but BEA has finally agreed to be taken over by Oracle. The two came close last year but fell out over price. Oracle upped its offer and BEA's board said yes.

And that wasn't all. Sun is buying the web's favourite open source database company, MySQL, for $1bn. Does Sun's buy amount to a strategy? Ashlee's analysis is here, or you can listen to Radio Reg for more thoughts on what this means for Sun and MySQL users.

EDS cuts jobs

Outsourcing giant EDS is doing a bit of outsourcing itself. It is offering almost 3,000 staff voluntary redundancy, but insists it is only looking for an actual headcount cut in the low hundreds.

Secure as a secure thing

The success of VoIP phones means this year they'll be an increasing security risk.

A bit like the scareware for Macs - being attacked by hackers is almost a sign of success.

This week also saw a mysterious web infection that's hit several hundred websites, and we were warned of the danger of vulnerable home routers.

Possibly going after Blunkett's dunce's hat, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith promised to, like, take all the nasty websites off the internet. Phew! We're glad she's got that one sorted. Maybe she could do something about all this rain next...

Darwin Awards

Apart from spreading terror, the internet was really invented for spreading news of the Darwin awards. This year's prizes even brought a reworking of that old joke comparing computers and cars. One runner-up managed to kill himself by using his laptop while driving. His computer didn't crash, but he did. More dead geniuses here.

Also in the genius channel this week, Tom Cruise proves the value of internet video and will Batman be the best film of 2008?

Finally, thank you to the Polish scientists who've uncovered the perfect leg length.

That's it from us this week. Thanks for reading and enjoy a dry weekend. ®

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