Download our latest podcast here.

The swearing in of U.S. President Barack Obama and the other presidential inauguration activities generated massive Web traffic Tuesday, leading to site slowdowns but not to a general meltdown of the Internet. With intense and widespread interest in the ceremonies and festivities, especially President Obama’s oath of office and inaugural address, millions of people had been expected to tune in online, especially those without TV access while at work.

Among those experiencing significant slowdowns were the sites of ABC, CBS, Fox Business, the L.A. Times, NBC, National Public Radio, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, according to Keynote Systems, an Internet measurement and testing company. Government sites that buckled under the traffic included those of the White House, the U.S. Senate and the National Park Service.

IBM on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2008 earnings of US$3.28 per share, a 17 percent increase year-over-year, but said total revenue for the quarter dropped 6 percent to $27 billion.  Software revenue grew 3 percent, but Global Technology Services and Global Business Services fell 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, an indication that customers are pulling back somewhat on IT projects. However, IBM also reported service engagements worth $17.2 billion, including some 24 deals with a price tag higher than $100 million.

Qualcomm has acquired Advanced Micro Devices’ handheld chip division for about $65 million, looking to bring greater multimedia capabilities to handsets based on its chips.  The deal, which closed Monday and has already been approved by regulators, will help AMD focus on its core businesses of making x86 CPUs and high-end multimedia chips, according to a joint statement from the companies. Qualcomm bought graphics and technology assets, intellectual property and other resources from AMD, and will offer to hire design and development teams from the company, they said. The teams are working on 2-D and 3-D graphics, display, audio and video products.

Google continues to trim off its underperforming services, this time cutting one that had been met with skepticism when it launched but nevertheless garnered some support. On Tuesday, the search giant announced it would close its Print Ads service. The program launched in 2006 and was met with raised eyebrows because it meant Google, an online specialist, would be venturing into print. Print Ads allowed anyone with a Google AdWords account to buy advertising in the print editions of any newspaper that joined the program. AdWords is Google’s online advertising platform.  While Print Ads started out with 50 newspaper partners, it now has more than 800, Google said.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

Share on LinkedIn Share with Google+