Steve Jobs taking medical leave of absence

From CNET News.com: Apple has confirmed that CEO Steve Jobs will step down from his CEO post while recuperating from a hormone imbalance. His absence will stretch until the end of June.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer, will run the company during Jobs' absence, according an e-mail Jobs sent to Apple employees that was released to the media.

Jobs said in the e-mail:

Toshiba Nears Final Stages of Negotiations to Acquire Fujitsu’s Hard Drive Biz

From X-bit Labs: Toshiba Corp., a maker of various electronics, is reportedly in the final stages of discussions to acquire hard disk drive (HDD) business of Fujitsu. The move will expand potentially profitable business for Hitachi and will take the money losing unit away from Fujitsu. What is surprising is that estimated cost of the deal is below the price of Fujitsu’s HDD biz which was discussed during Fujitsu – Western Digital talks earlier.

Microsoft issues first Windows 7 beta patch

From InfoWorld: Microsoft issued its first patch for the just-released Windows 7 beta on Tuesday, but it passed on plugging a hole in an important file-sharing protocol that it fixed in older versions of the operating system.

Blockbuster Deal to Put Movies on Many Digital Devices

From PC World: Blockbuster and Sonic Systems are teaming up to make digital content available on a wider range of electronic devices, the companies said on Wednesday.

Sonic Systems, perhaps best known for its Roxio disc-burning software, will provide a back-end digital content delivery system under the multiyear agreement as Blockbuster seeks to bolster its online offerings for a greater range of devices and in different formats.

Google Launches Reseller Program for Apps Premier

From PC World: Google will launch on Wednesday a reseller program for the paid version of its Apps hosted collaboration and communication suite.

The program will allow, for the first time, third parties to resell Apps Premier, which costs US$50 per user per year.

Resellers can be IT service providers, VARs, system integrators, consultants, software vendors and ISPs of any size anywhere in the world.

Psystar: We bought Mac OS fair and square

From CNET News.com: Psystar is still tilting at legal windmills in its battle against Apple, this time asserting its right to do whatever it wants with products obtained legally from Apple.

Intel price cuts coming

From CNET News.com: Intel is planning price cuts to its lower-end mainstream quad-core processors on January 18.

Barron's Tech Trader Daily first reported the news, citing Pacific Crest analyst Michael McConnell.

These cuts are happening because of the recent introduction of Advanced Micro Devices' 45-nanometer Phenom II and "Shanghai" Opteron processors.

50 Million PlayStation 2 Consoles Sold in North America

From DailyTech: 50 million PlayStation 2 consoles have been sold in North America. Despite being nine years old, the console is still selling well and is the most played console of 2008 according to a Nielsen study. In November, 206,000 PlayStation 2 units were sold.

According to NPD numbers, the original Microsoft Xbox sold 14.5 million consoles and the Nintendo GameCube sold 12 million consoles. In the United States alone 43 million PlayStation 2s have been sold.

Western Digital to Unveil 2 TB HDD this Week

From Tom's Hardware: The WD20EADS will be part of Western Digital's Caviar Green series. It will have 32 MB of cache, a seek time of 8.9ms and will run at either 5400RPM or 7200RPM. The drive is expected to have four 500 GB platters.

Information about the WD20EADS first appeared when online retailer Czech Computer listed it on their website back in December 2008, however they have not indicated any stock up to this point.

Bill Watkins Out as Seagate CEO

From DailyTech: Bill Watkins should be a familiar face to regular DailyTech readers. Watkins has served as CEO of Seagate since 2004 and is known for his rather abrupt tone when it comes to talking about technology.

Watkins made headlines in late 2006 for his comments on the HDD industry. "Let's face it, we're not changing the world," said Watkins in December, 2006. "We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

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