I bet the computer you're reading this on is your tech pride and joy. But it's no comparison to the PC that's just been sold at auction in London--a unit that probably can't even access the web: It's one of the limited clutch of Apple 1 PCs. Its bare-bones carcass went for $213,000. While you ponder that small change, here's the rest of the news:
1. German tech giant SAP has just been ordered to pay U.S. tech giant Oracle a giant copyright fine: $1.3 billion in damages, which is about the same amount the E.U. fined Intel for anti-competitive shenanigans. SAP had been using a wicked piece of hacking software called Titan to wholesale rape Oracle's website of patches, updates and other code that was created for its customers. The CEO at the time of this evilness? The guy who's recently replaced Mark Hurd at HP.
2. A new report from IDC reveals that Apple computer sales growth over the last quarter was close to 30%--an impressive enough figure by itself. When you consider that IDC's data suggests the rest of the PC industry grew at a mere 9.7%, it's a whole new Macs vs. PCs game. It means Apple's stealing more and more market share, and becoming less of a minority seller.
3. The fringe industries of the digital health care craze on the Net aren't behaving themselves: A complaint has been lodged with the FTC that some online health sites are sharing too much personal health data of their clients with marketers. Google is one of those accused of aggressive patient "profiling" and data sharing, with one worry being that employers and insurers may be getting access to medical info they have no business seeing.
4. The Huffington Post is partnering with deals sites like Groupon in order to get in on the hot new craze of location-based sales. Yes, I know you're slightly confused--I also thought HuffPo was a news portal, not a money-grabbing ... oh, wait. CEO Eric Hippeau explains that the site's "increased the amount of content we produce covering local events" so the next logical step is to help consumers by offering local vouchers and deals.
5. Proof that the e-reader as a stand-alone device is doomed to have a brief moment in the sun? Amazon's Black Friday deals include an old-generation Kindle 2 for a tiny $89. Commoditization like that isn't a good sign for a nascent high-tech industry. Just ask Apple's competitors in the MP3 player market.
To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.