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Tech Roundup: Apple iPod, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Activision

iPod shortage? -- Analysts are pointing to a sudden shortage of iPods in the distribution channel. Amazon has pushed lead times from 11 days to between three and five weeks. Given that Apple doesn't cut prices, this probably isn't a move to shore up margins, which means that someone badly miscalcualted a forecast, because consumer money will clearly go elsewhere. [Source: AppleInsider]

Bargain shopping -- It seems that consumers are willing to spend money this holiday season, but only if they get a good bargain. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

Google keeps tightening its belt -- Google is cutting back spending and running ads on previously ad-free Web services in the face of its share price dropping to less than half of its October 2007 high. But the solution isn't simply the end of free lattes. It's also reigning in research projects. [Source: Wall Street Journal, CNET]

DOJ was hours from charging Google -- When Google killed the potential deal with Yahoo, it turns out that the company was only a few hours away from the Department of Justice bringing an anti-trust suit. [Source: CNET]

IBM, Microsoft, Google, and others say let's make a deal -- High tech executive at major companies with large cash reserves are still interested in smart acquisitions. [Source: InternetNews.com]

Activision looks for more cash -- Activision Blizzard is adding ads and planning other cash-raising activities for its free online gaming site, Battle.Net. [Source: Ars Technica]