John R. Opel, who made IBM a colossus, dies at 86 John R. Opel, who presided over IBM in its final period of dominance in the information-processing industry and oversaw the company's move into personal computers, died on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla. He was 86. His death was confirmed by Jeff Wickham, a son-in-law, who declined to disclose the cause. Mr. Opel (pronounced OH-pel) joined IBM as a salesman in 1949, as the computer age was just dawning, and served as the company's chief executive from January 1981 until January 1985. The NY Times

Republicans introduce bill pushing Internet sales taxes The days of tax-free Internet shopping may soon be coming to an abrupt end, if two Republican senators have their way. Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee are currently preparing to introduce new legislation that would allow states to force and other out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes. The New American

A quick look at OCZ's 2.15 SSD firmware (BSODs begone?) For months, we've heard reports of folks experiencing blue-screen-of-death errors when running solid-state drives based on SandForce's latest SF-2281 controller. This so-called BSOD bug appears to affect all drives based on the controller, although SandForce claims that only "isolated" hardware configurations pose problems. The Tech Report

Yahoo investor Daniel Loeb demands board ouster of co-founder Jerry Yang A major Yahoo shareholder believes the slumping Internet company would be better off without Jerry Yang on its board as it mulls a possible sale. In a Friday letter to Yahoo's board, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb asserts Yang has too many conflicts of interest... Huff Post

Anonymous abandons plan to expose Mexican drug cartel collaborators A plan by the international hacker movement Anonymous to expose collaborators of Mexico's notorious Zetas drugs cartel has come to an abrupt end. A US activist backed away from publishing the names after an alleged counter-threat of mass retaliatory killings. Guardian

Half of Facebook users 'can't keep up' with site's snooping policies During the last two years, Facebook has made a bewildering number of changes to its site - many of which can see personal data being laid open to advertisers, 'friends of friends' or the world. These changes often happen with no warning, and little explanation. Daily Mail

Is VMware's dominance of the virtualization market under threat? A new survey seems to show that VMware's iron grip on the enterprise virtualization market is loosening, with 38 percent of businesses planning to switch vendors within the next year due to licensing models and the robustness of competing hypervisors. Ars Technica

Large amount of Mass Effect 3 footage leaks, Bioware apologizes This week, Microsoft began it's "Fall Preview" program for the new Xbox 360 dashboard. The preview program allows users to try the next generation dashboard before the rest of the world, but for many users it came with an extra treat – Mass Effect 3. Neowin

Japanese K supercomputersmashes 10 petaflop barrier The Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science said that its K Computer, cuirrently listed as the world's fastest supercomputer, has become the first system of its kind to break through the 10 Petaflop/s (PFlops) barrier. Tom's Hardware

World's most powerful laser to tear apart the vacuum of space A laser powerful enough to tear apart the fabric of space could be built in Britain as part major new scientific project that aims to answer some of the most fundamental questions about our universe. The Telegraph

Hubble directly observes the disc around a black hole A team of scientists has used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe a quasar accretion disc --- a brightly glowing disc of matter that is slowly being sucked into its galaxy's central black hole. Space Telescope