19:55 PM

Newswatch: Consolidation may give rise to virtualization software -NYTimes

Tuesday 8am Silicon Valley news report:

Cash in Hand, Technology Giants Go Shopping -NYTimes

As the computer business has matured, companies that handcraft products for top performance face a harsh reality: Standard equipment can now handle most business tasks, and what matters most to customers now is large scale — and the low prices that come with it.

Google improves image search, adds news timeline -MercuryNews

The problem, said Radhika Malpani, director of engineering, is that "a picture really is worth a thousand words." So if someone is trying to a find a certain image of a rocky beach, it's not particularly helpful to type words like "beach on rock" into Google. The new image search tries to solve the problem by letting users click on a "similar images" link. If an initial search returns an image that's similar to the one a person has in mind, he or she can use the link to dive deeper into the Web.

French Plan for Fighting Illegal Downloads Faces Opposition From Brussels -NYTimes

The French proposal has pitted music and film companies fighting widespread piracy against broadband operators, software makers and free speech advocates, who object to government intrusion into the Internet.

Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems -NYTimes

Lawrence J. Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and chief executive, and Scott G. McNealy, Sun’s co-founder and chairman, have been two of Silicon Valley’s closest allies over the last 20 years. Their companies turned into two of the superstars of the Internet build out, and both executives made ribbing their rival Microsoft a favored pastime.

Oracle Agrees to Acquire Sun Microsystems -WSJ

Though Sun posted losses in three of its last four quarters, Oracle executives insist that it can make the transaction pay off quickly. They estimated that Sun will contribute more than $1.5 billion to Oracle's operating profit--excluding charges and other items--in the first year, increasing to over $2 billion in the second year.

Oracle-Sun: Whither MySQL? -WSJ

As investors and analysts digest this morning’s Oracle-Sun news, some are wondering what will happen to Sun-owned MySQL, and whether combining the Oracle and MySQL database businesses would represent an antitrust concern.

A Ticked-off HP Is Coming Out Against Cisco With Both Guns Blazing -Sys-Con

It calls the stuff Matrix and says it will automate data center processes complements of a Matrix Orchestration Environment (MOE), basically a console that can do template-based provisioning, consolidation, recovery and capacity planning.

Somber year for RSA Conference on cybersecurity -SFGate

Companies are decreasing their investments in security, at least in some areas, in order to save money, said Chenxi Wang, an analyst at Forrester Research.
They buy what they need to comply with federal security regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley but are investing less in security for applications, like browsers, even though more than 75 percent of attacks are now targeted there, she said.

Washington, D.C. will be 1st to get free mobile TV -AP

The companies backing the technology in the so-called Open Mobile Video Coalition said Washington was chosen as a test market because the city is full of tech-savvy viewers who pay attention to local news. Attention from politicians and regulators probably doesn't hurt either - the coalition has earlier pointed to the usefulness of free mobile TV broadcasts in case of emergencies and disasters like hurricanes.

Microsoft CEO "very surprised" by Oracle-Sun deal -Reuters

Ballmer also said the economic crisis was the right time to invest in innovations, adding Microsoft will spend a total of $9 billion on research and development this year.

South Korea's "prophet of doom" blogger acquitted -Reuters

Since the arrest, legal experts have questioned whether authorities had legal grounds to prosecute individuals on views aired in online media. The conservative party of President Lee Myung-bak has been pushing for a tough law on cyber slander.

Electric power-train firm eyes China's buses -SFGate

With Adura's power train, a bus can travel 100 miles between charges, Bush said. Hook up the power train to a hybrid engine, and a bus traveling 130 miles in a day can get fuel mileage of 50 miles per gallo

Microsoft Applications From China Mine the Web -LATimes

The lab, Microsoft's research base in East Asia, has produced one application that maps a person's connections to friends and colleagues when a user searches for the person's name, said Wei-Ying Ma, assistant director at the lab. Clicking on the line between two people gives a pop-up summary of their relationship.

How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write -WSJ

Think of it as a permanent, global book club. As you read, you will know that at any given moment, a conversation is available about the paragraph or even sentence you are reading. Nobody will read alone anymore. Reading books will go from being a fundamentally private activity -- a direct exchange between author and reader -- to a community event, with every isolated paragraph the launching pad for a conversation with strangers around the world.

Programming newbies make apps for iPhone -SFGate

So far, nearly 1 billion apps have been downloaded. Some software developers have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars off of one application. The iPhone software development kit - which provides tools and resources for creating apps - has been downloaded 800,000 times.

The Case of AT&T’s Incredible Shrinking Broadband Tiers -NYTimes

Time Warner Cable may have backed off its plans to meter broadband for now, but AT&T still has tiered broadband trials going on in Reno, Nev., and in Beaumont, Texas. And judging from one consumer’s experience with the trial, AT&T has backed off of its planned efforts to offer a 150-GB-per-month download tier — and it doesn’t inform users of the caps until after they’ve ordered service.

Adobe in Push to Spread Web Video to TV Sets -NYTimes

Now Adobe Systems, which owns the technology and sells the tools to create and distribute it, wants to extend Flash’s reach even further. On Monday, Adobe’s chief executive, Shantanu Narayen, will announce at the annual National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas that Adobe is extending Flash to the television screen. He expects TVs and set-top boxes that support the Flash format to start selling later this year.