The Tech 10: Google's Wireless Bid, Facebook's Cash Flow and Motorola's Mojo

Note: John Paczkowski is on vacation and won’t be writing or posting videos until he returns on Monday.

To keep you abreast of tech news while he’s away, we’re compiling a daily digest of 10 must-read tech stories. Our Tech 10 appears below.

  1. Auction Action: Confirming the expected, Google announced today that it would indeed apply to bid for wireless spectrum in the Federal Communications Commission auction in January, writes Kevin J. Delaney in The Wall Street Journal, adding that if the search giant grabs a wireless license, it could become a provider of mobile phone and Internet services, among other things.
  2. Facebook Gets a $60 Million Infusion… Hong Kong mogul Li Ka-shing has invested $60 million in Facebook, reports BoomTown’s Kara Swisher, who notes that the billionaire businessman has the right to invest another $60 million.
  3. … And Pulls Back on Privacy: The social-networking site, under siege from Move.On and its own members, as well as from “Landmark Partner” Coca-Cola (which, says Louise Story of the New York Times, is holding off on participating in the social-advertising feature) has announced changes to its new Beacon ad system. Observes Om Malik: “Facebook finally backed down, more or less acquiescing to the demands of those concerned about its seemingly blatant abuse of privacy of its fast-growing user base.”
  4. Rise and Fall of Motorola Magnate: Ed Zander, CEO of the zander.mugelectronics manufacturer whose mojo with the Razr cellphone brought the company big gains, is resigning in the face of equally disappointing declines to rival Nokia over the last year, The Wall Street Journal reports. Greg Brown, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed Zander.
  5. Sprint Rejects a Suitor: Sprint Nextel has turned down a $5 billion investment offer from Providence Equity Partners and SK Telecom of South Korea in exchange for sacking its management, according to the New York Times.
  6. Big Brother Online: Government agencies worldwide are increasingly using the Internet to spy on and conduct cyber attacks on their enemies, according to an annual virtual criminology report by McAfee, writes Jon Brodkin of Network World, noting that the U.S. joins China as one of the biggest employers of Internet espionage.
  7. Kiwi Teen in Botnet Probe: New Zealand police have held for questioning a teenager suspected of leading an international cyber-crime group, according to the BBC, which adds that the group allegedly hacked a million computers to steal millions from people’s bank accounts.
  8. Publishers Want Web Respect: Launching an effort to bring them more power to say what content search companies may make available, publishers have developed a framework to inform online search engines that certain pages, directories or sites must not be indexed, reports eWeek, noting that supporters of the measure to respect copyright include the Associated Press, Reuters play.station.3and the Association of American Publishers.
  9. Sony Hears On-Demand Demands: Starting early next year, users of Sony’s PlayStation 3 will be able to download high-definition video to their devices, according to Variety, which adds that each download will cost about $1.85.
  10. Exploding Cellphone Death Greatly Exaggerated:The Korean quarry worker whose death was blamed on an exploding cellphone was actually killed by a co-worker, who admitted he concocted the story after accidentally hitting his colleague with a drilling vehicle, the Associated Press reports.

Posted by Associate Editor John Sullivan.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik