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Tech Roundup: Amazon Cracks Whip, Mahalo Pays Users, Businesses Want Apple, More

Amazon accused of badly treating U.K. workers -- in the U.K. is allegedly forcing workers to report seven days a week are firing anyone taking a sick day. There's nothing like invoking Dickens at this time of the year, although the image is more typically A Christmas Carol and not a workhouse. [Source: Washington Post]

AMD thinking smaller -- AMD has launched some sub-$100 dual-core Phenom-based chip. And as prices are getting smaller, so may the staffing, as rumors abound of another potential round of layoffs in January. [Source: Ars Technica, DigiTimes]

Mahalo tries rewarding users -- Following the Microsoft concept of bribing -- uh, enticing users to a search service, Mahalo has started a community question/answer section of its site and is paying people for the quality of their answers. Hopefully someone there knows enough to tell which answers are right and wrong. Talk about a chance to tick off customers in bold new ways. [Source: Ars Technica]

Apple making headway among businesses -- There was a time that Macs were big in business. (Just ask anyone who used to write for MacWEEK.) Then PCs seemed to put an end to that. But according to a recent ITIC survey, the tide may have turned again, with over two-thirds of 700 companies polled expecting to allow end users to deploy Apple's machines. Expect IT departments to mandate black turtlenecks as a new uniform. [Source: Computerworld]

Critical software updates getting released -- or not -- As I've mentioned in the BNET blog before, Apple's cultivated stance as being impervious to attacks is so much blather. That becomes even clearer when the company is pushing out critical software fixes for Mac OS X. But Apple has company, as Microsoft has seen a "huge increase" in attacks on Internet Explorer because of an unpatched vulnerability. [Source: InfoWorld on Apple security and IE attacks.]