iFive: Craigslist Fallout, Samsung’s iPad, IBM’s Super-fast chip, Google China Warning, Mark Hurd Lands at Oracle

While you were holidaying, the world spun on and new stuff happened. Here’s today’s quick summary.

While the U.S. holidayed for Labor Day, the rest of the world just … um … labored, and news happened. But if you’re using Facebook to check the facts then beware–there’s a huge new phishing scam out there, predating.


1. The fallout on Craigslist’s “Adult services” segment continues. Now it’s pulled down the “offending” segment, albeit with a spiky, snarky CENSORED bar across the segment on its menu, many people are claiming victory. This is mainly politicians clinging to whatever cause they think will garner votes, but some novel thinking suggests it may be sheer media pressure that was the biggest factor. And still others are now concerned, using arguments like those used for legalization of drugs, that by pushing these services underground the situation for sex trafficking may actually be worsened for those poor unfortunates involved. It’s a classic case of sweeping the matter under the rug, since the Craigslist-censoring “cure” doesn’t do anything to stop the trade. Expect to red lots about this in the papers for days yet. Go reactionary American media!

2. Some think Samsung’s Galaxy tablet PC is the strongest competitor yet for Apple’s iPad, but early indications on its pricing suggested Samsung may have shot itself in the foot by pulling an–ironically enough–Apple-like expense trick, with figures in the $1,000 bracket. Now Samsung has responded, late, with a price of around $300 to $400 for its 7-inch Android Galaxy Tab. These words come from the president of the Samsung division in question, Shin Jong-kyun, so we can probably trust ’em even while we’re not sure if this is before or after carrier subsidies (in the U.S. market). It still seems expensive, and with persistent rumors about Apple’s own 7-inch iPad “mini,” we have to wonder if Samsung’s slate will be as much of a success as Shin is trumpeting: One million to be sold by the end of 2010.

3. Computers get faster and faster. It’s a fact, like hot coffee will burn you and there’ll always be a teaspoon hiding at the bottom of the washing-up bowl. This doesn’t mean new breakthrough’s aren’t amazing though: And IBM’s just pulled off another “World’s Fastest Processor” trick. It’s the experimental z916 four-core chip, which ticks along at 5.2 GHz and can do 50 billion instructions per second–all without the need for ridiculous liquid-nitrogen cooling that other super-processors use. Astonishing. You won’t be seeing it in your desktop machine immediately, but it does point the way for the future. Or is that really the job of Fujitsu’s Venus chip, with a speed of 128 billion calculations per second?

4. Google’s former China chief has unusual words for Google’s executive team: Be very careful in China. Why’s this unusual? Firstly it’s rare to hear such starkly negative words against the world’s biggest search engine, particularly from someone so senior. But the biggest shock is what he’s criticizing–not Google’s political stance, or even really its business thinking. Nope, Kai-fu Lee suggests that it’s technology that’s at fault. Google’s innovations haven’t been fast enough, and local competitor Baidu is now catching up. And it’s Chinese, and it’s good enough for people to use it reliably. Google’s been quiet about the China situation for months, and has been busily releasing innovation after innovation outside its core search business. Is it time Google made searched its soul about its intentions?

5. Mark Hurd, recently let go from HP amid sexual harassment allegations, has accepted an offer from Oracle to join the world’s third largest software company as co-president. It helps that he’s close friends with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who’s dissed HP’s decision as “cowardly.” Hurd shares his duties with current Oracle president Safra Catz (awkward!). No word whether his new post includes an expense account for former Playboy models who may also be named Jodie Fisher.

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