Roundup: All the news that was not about the Apple iPad

Considering that almost all of our news yesterday rotated around the launch of Apple’s new tablet device, here’s the latest (non-iPad) action:

Not so fast, Google Books – Google has reached a revised agreement with authors that looks less like a monopoly in digital books that the first one, but still not everyone is happy about it. Amazon, Hachette and other publishing giants have filed official objections claiming the new deal still violates the U.S. Copyright Act.

Google Maps debuts personalized suggestions — Now when you start typing in a search query in Google Maps, the site will list suggestions for what you might be looking for based on your past browsing history. If it gets it wrong, you can even edit what it calls up so that it gets to know you better fast.Microsoft sues BitTorrent a tracker for $43M — The software company has launched a major lawsuit against Lithuania’s largest BitTorrent site, Linkoanija, operated by Kestas Ermanas. The site is actually one of the ten most visited web properties in the country, indicating how widespread privacy has become overseas.

Oracle to fire then hire after Sun takeover — With Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems all but certain, CEO Larry Ellison has said that workforce cuts at Sun will be deep, potentially outnumbering the 2,000 engineering and sales employees the company plans to hire immediately thereafter.

Netflix reports 36 percent bump in profits — The streaming video and rental service announced its fourth quarter results, highlighting its addition of 1.1 million customers over the three-month period, and earnings of $30.9 million, up 36 percent from the $22.7 million brought in in Q4 2008.

LS9 breeds superbugs for rapid biofuel making — The company says it has engineered a microbe capable of converting cellulosic materials like woodchips and switchgrass directly into usable biofuel, cutting out a lot of time and expense and making green fuels more practical.

twitter-bird-bigTwitter follows Google into censorship battle — Twitter’s Evan Williams told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the micro-blogging site is developing a way to make sure that its content isn’t being censored by governments in countries like China and Iran.

Facebook growing its Palo Alto footprint — The social networking company is taking over a new 235,000 square-foot building in downtown Palo Alto in March, adding to its still mostly empty 135,000 square-foot space on California Street.

Open source needed in climate change battle — The current pace of innovation and market adoption in the green sector is too slow to effectively address climate change, argues Ingres CEO Roger Burkhardt. But open standards and open source software could speed it up.