The Tech 10: Sony Picks up Petrodollars, Facebook Finds Politics and Shoppers Flock Online

Note: John Paczkowski is on vacation and won’t be writing or posting videos until he returns next Monday, Dec. 3.

To keep you abreast of tech news while he’s away, we’re compiling a daily digest of 10 must-read tech stories. Our Tech 10 appears below.

  1. Slick Deal for Sony? A Dubai investment firm owned by the emirate’s ruler sonylogohas acquired a “substantial” stake in Sony. The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal typifies the growing appetite of Middle Eastern oil producers awash in petrodollars for diversifying their investments.
  2. Facebook, Political Animal: The social-networking site is jumping on the campaign bandwagon in a partnership with ABC News,facebook/abcnews the TV network announced today. Facebook members can now digitally track ABC reporters, watch videos and take part in polls, debates and even influence how the news is covered.
  3. TGICM (Thank God It’s Cyber Monday): Black Friday may one day take a back seat to Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving when online retailers entice bargain-hunters with discounts similar to those offered by offline marketers on the day after Thanksgiving, the New York Times reports.
  4. But No Blues for Online Retailers on Black Friday, Either: Online spending on the day after Thanksgiving zoomed 22% compared to last year, according to comScore. That boosts the total of online purchases to more than $9 billion for the season to date, up 17% over the same period in 2006.
  5. Zune Is No. 2, in a Good Way: Microsoft’s Zune posted strong Black Friday online sales, playing second fiddle only to sales of Nintendo’s Wii, according to preliminary figures released by Electronista.
  6. News Corp. Aims to Serve: Online ads, that is. The media giant’s Internet division will debut an online network to sell ads across Rupert Murdoch’s many holdings (which include this site) as well as other media companies, possibly by the first half of 2008, Reuters reports.
  7. Take That, Sacré Downloader! Cracking down on online piracy, the French government is proposing to pull the broadband connections of those who illegally download movies or music online, according to dBTechno News, which notes that President Nicolas Sarkozy has floated a “three strikes” policy to fight Internet pirates.
  8. Hollywood Sues ‘Pirates’ Pirate: Maintaining that film piracy in China costs the U.S. movie industry hundreds of millions annually, the Motion Picture Association is suing Chinese Web site for providing bootlegged copies of such movies as “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” to an Internet cafe in Shanghai. The Times Online says the MPA is seeking about $432 million in damages on behalf of five studios.
  9. china.probe.moon.pic

  10. Look! Up in the Sky! Original Content–From China. Signaling its entry into space exploration, China today released its first picture of the moon from its Chang’e lunar probe. The photo’s “symbolic importance perhaps rivals its scientific value,” Wired reports.
  11. Data Deep-Freeze? Microsoft plans to build a data facility in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, according to a report in Data Center Knowledge. The center is expected to host 10,000 servers in a region attractive to Microsoft not for its rough winters but its stable electricity supply.

–posted by Associate Editor John Sullivan