Silicon Valley Morning Briefs: Oracle-Sun Rising

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    NASA's Mars rover rolls into its fifth year on the red planet.

    European Union Clears Oracle/Sun Deal
    This was not a surprise. The big question today will be: What will Oracle do with the remaining Sun employees? Oracle will still need approval from some other countries, notably Russia, but that's expected.

    Oracle will hold a press/analyst/customer meeting on January 27 to discuss. Of course, most people will be at the Apple event that day.

    Clinton Calls For Global Uncensored Internet
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a historic speech from the Newseum in Washington this morning, establishing America's position in favor of a "free and uncensored Internet" throughout the world. Much of this of course has its roots in problems Silicon Valley companies have had in China.

    China Says Google Tiff "Over Interpreted"
    Meanwhile, China's number two foriegn minister said that his country does not want the tiff with Google to affect Sino-American relations. This is the second time Beijing has made such a statement.  He Yafei said he thought commenters and bloggers were "over intepreting" the situation.

    Obama To Call For Less Risk Taking By Banks
    Remember the Depression?  Yeah, that was a bad time.  Banks did crazy things and contributed to the destruction of the American economy.  As the Depression came to a close, a couple of lawmakers, Glass and Steagall, came up with the Glass-Steagall Act (Congressman Steagall wanted to call it the Steagall-Glass Act) that said banks can't take depositors' money and take nutty risks with them. Banks, the new law said, needed to act like banks and not get involved in other business.

    Then came the go-go 1990s, culminating in 1999, when the Senate largely removed all those restrictions, forging the way for super-banks like Citi or Wells Fargo. These banks have two faces -- the savings and loan part that we're all familiar with, and the investing part, which got involved in mortgage backed securities and other investments that ultimately caused our latest crisis.

    President Obama will today ask Congress to consider many of the same restrictions found in the old Glass-Stegall Act.

    Amazon.com Readies for the Apple iPad
    Amazon.com, maker of the Kindle e-book reader, has introduced apps for its device, starting with a Sudoku game.  As the Wall Street Journal has said over and over, Apple will next week announce its own tablet computer which should be able to download books and give Kindle a lot of competition.

    Amazon will also open the Kindle to third party developers, the same strategy that paid off so well for Apple's iPhone.

    Apple to Introduce All-You-Can-Watch TV
    In the latest blow to cable and satellite, Apple will reportedly use that same announcement to unveil a new payment system for its iTunes tv shows, where for one fee you can watch as much as you want.  It's possible the arrangement will be for Disney's ABC network to begin with. (Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder of Disney stock and sits on the board).

    Pick Your Pixel
    NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO) has taken in more data than all previous Mars missions combined.  NASA is now turning the MRO's camera over to the people: You can go to the public suggestion page to offer your ideas on a place on the Red Planet you think should be photographed.