Top 10: Michael Jackson and the 'Net, Nortel woes, Apple's porn app

CNN may have said it best: "How many people does it take to break the Internet? On June 25, we found out it's just one -- if that one is Michael Jackson." The death of the iconic pop star at the age of 50 underscored how much so many of us rely on the Internet for information and to connect with our social networks for commiseration and comfort. And for more than a few of us, the screeching halt of AIM, Google, Twitter and other sites made it tricky to do our jobs. While there was other news this week that mattered more in the larger IT world, nothing else came close to dominating attention and headlines worldwide.

1. Michael Jackson's death knocks Google and Twitter offline, Jackson's death a blow to the Internet and Michael Jackson spam spreads, malware attacks likely : A massive surge in Internet traffic occurred as word circulated that Jackson had been taken to the hospital in cardiac arrest, leading to Google, Twitter and various news sites being inaccessible, and also explained why we suddenly were booted off of AIM at the end of the work day in Boston. Thankfully, the telephones were still working. As always with a major news story, the spammers and malware-creating miscreants quickly started to seep out of the woodwork to do their dirty deeds.

2. Avaya reportedly offering $500M for Nortel enterprise biz and FAQ: What's going on with Nortel?: Nortel is said to be close to selling its enterprise division to Avaya on the heels of news that it is close to selling certain wireless assets to Nokia Siemens. The "deconstruction" of the company raises a lot of questions that Network World endeavored to answer.

3. App Store adult content: Now you see it, now you don't and Does Apple owe banned 'Hottest Girls' an apology?: Updates of the great porn application controversy continue apace at week's end, fueling a debate about adult content at Apple's App Store.

4. Northrop Grumman data found in Ghana market: Journalists investigating global electronics recycling bought a computer and hard drive for US$40 in Ghana that turned out to have belonged previously to U.S. government contractor Northrop Grumman. They discovered "hundreds and hundreds of documents about government contracts" on the discarded machine. Some of the documents were marked "competitive sensitive" and involved contracts with NASA, the Transportation Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Sigh.

5. Update: Nokia, Intel team up on mobile architectures: Nokia and Intel are working together on a new mobile computing device and chipset architectures in a collaboration that also includes open-source mobile Linux software projects.

6. Study: Top CEOs still shunning Twitter, Facebook: Just two CEOs from the Fortune 100 have Twitter accounts, while just 19 of them have bothered to set up Facebook pages and none of them have a personal external blog, according to a research report. OK, so CEOs are, presumably, really busy, but that finding suggests that "they're disconnected, disengaged and disinterested," noted UberCEO.com's editor. It also means they're failing to understand the communication methods that their customers (not to mention their employees) turn to a lot.

7. New chips don't deliver, Facebook says: The latest server processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices fail to deliver the performance gains the companies have promised, according to a Facebook executive.

8. PC shipments bouncing back, says Gartner: PC shipments will still be sluggish this year compared to last year, but Gartner tweaked its forecast, saying it expects shipments to drop 6 percent rather than its previous prediction of 6.6 percent. That bodes well for a 2010 market recovery, the research firm said.

9. Google begins adding new customers for voice service: Google is accepting some new users of its Google Voice service, almost two years after it acquired Grand Central and its voice technology. Google Voice allows users to have one phone number that will ring them at home, work and on mobile devices, along with central voicemail they can access online.

10. Tennessee hospital confirms Jobs' liver transplant: We promise that we will try our best to get through next week without a story about any of Steve Jobs' internal organs. This week, though, the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis, Tennessee, confirmed that Jobs underwent a liver transplant there two months ago. The Apple CEO took a medical leave of absence from January until this month and is said to be back at work part time.

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