eWEEK Newsbreak December 9th 2010

This week, Google rolled out its long-awaited and delayed Google eBookstore, offering hundreds of thousands of paid titles and more than 2 million free titles, totaling 3 million-plus works. What differentiates Google eBooks from those services is that there is no dedicated device for the books to run on. Google encourages users to search and pay for hundreds of thousands of titles from publishers and read them on their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, as the content is tethered to the cloud, not specific devices; Facebook has been raising concerns over security ever since it went public, especially for those of you who use applications, such as Mafia Wars or Farmville. The main concern is that these applications are then sending your information out to third-party companies. Facebook has felt the pressure and during the next few weeks, the social networking site plans to roll out a new application dashboard to mobile users. According to Facebook, the dashboard will give mobile users a detailed view into what information they have shared with different applications and Web sites, and the ability to adjust those settings "on the go." In addition, the Applications and Websites section of its privacy settings will display a full list of applications being used and when these apps last accessed their information; Analysts say 2010 saw little growth and a lot of movement to rent or lease talent rather than hand out full-time salaries and benefits. Some see 2011 in the same light: Plenty of work and business for contractors, consultants, and managed service providers. According to Janco Associates, business and analytical skills coupled with technology experience are highly sought-after skills; At the Gartner Data Center Conference at Las Vegas this week, Unisys and Rackspace rolled out private cloud offerings that combine cloud computing efficiencies, cost savings, and scalability, with the convenience and security of managed hosting services. Then, Oracle on Dec. 8 launched Exalogic Elastic Cloud X2-2, a new-generation Java application infrastructure for virtual machines. The announcement was made at OracleOpenWorld Brazil in Sao Paulo. Elastic Cloud X2-2 is the cloud middleware expressly designed for Oracle's SPARC Exalogic, which is the company's new hardware platform for cloud systems. Its sister product, Exadata, is the SPARC database server.