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Tech Roundup: Game Companies Hunt Pirates, Bad Oracle Consultants, Green Google Investments, and More

Activision Blizzard chases individual game pirates -- Clearly some in the gaming community have been watching the RIAA a bit too closely. Activision Blizzard has been suing individuals who have pirated its game Call of Duty 3. Out of six people so far pursued, three settled for $100,000, one for $25,000, and one for $1,000. Apparently the individuals are being told that if they hire a lawyer, the settlement fee goes up. No wonder -- it's hard to believe that an experienced lawyer would let a client settle for an amount that could be far in excess of a judge in a copyright case might allow, given the circumstances. [Source: Ars Technica]

Oracle customers hate its consulting partners -- During Oracle's OpenWorld trade show last week, VendorRate had a booth and got 600 users to rate about 200 vendors of Oracle consulting services. When you look at the numbers for the lowest rated consultancies, which included Accenture, CapGemini, IBM, AT&T, HP, and even Oracle's own consulting arm, looked a lot like the customer satisfaction numbers that you might see for cell phone companies. That's a pretty sad statement. [Source: ZDNet Between the Lines]

Google invests green in green -- Google is quickly becoming a force in clean technologies. In fact, during the third quarter, Google was the number two investor in cleantech investments by deal count, putting money into five start-ups. However, it does seem to be limiting its cash exposure, putting down $18 million. But it's all over the map in strategy, including green vehicles, geothermal, and high-altitude wind power. [Source: earth2tech].

Silicon Valley chokes on IPO dust -- Venture capital firms live for selling off their successes, which raises the question of how they can exist when the market is dry. VC exits via either IPOs or acquisitions were down two-thirds according to one report and consisted of just one IPO and 58 M&A deals according to another. When investors can't get their money out of successes, they don't have it to invest in new ventures. The median time for VC-backed companies to bring in the big paycheck increased to 6.1 years -- which, in perspective, is still shorter than it was maybe or two ago. But that tidbit probably won't make anyone happy. [Source: Red Herring]

Microsoft puts its head into the cloud -- Steve Ballmer announced a new operating system intended for developers who write cloud applications. He provided few details at a conference other than saying the upcoming "Windows Cloud" is different from the version of Windows that will succeed Vista. [Source: InfoWorld]

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