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The Weekly Round-Up: Step away from the kettle - there are billions at stake here!

You pop out for a cup of tea, and it's one mega-buy after another...

You pop out for a cup of tea, and it's one mega-buy after another...

The silly season: the lazy journalist's favourite time of year: the boss is on holiday and so is everyone else, and there is quite literally nothing happening in the world except long lunches, a bit of aimless desk tidying, and writing up the odd whimsical story. Nice and peaceful.

Not this year.

The IT industry has gone into acquisition overdrive, causing tech hacks the world over to leap into action.

Earlier this week the Round-Up got up to make a cup of tea and by the time he got back, Google had made a bid for Motorola Mobility.

cup of tea

Pop out for a cup of tea, and what happens?Photo: naama under Creative Commons licence

Suddenly the airwaves were filled by pundits predicting the next huge domino to fall as the rest of the mobile computing industry tried to figure out what this meant for them.

The thing this reminds the Round-Up of most is his student days and games of Risk in smoky rooms filled with indie music where huge armies were amassed and built up to the point where millions of troops lurked in tiny but strategically placed nations... waiting.

Then someone actually made a move to win the game triggering a frenetic assault on all fronts by those woken from their stockpiling stupor. Victories were normally acrimonious with allegations of truce-breaking. Ahh, such happy days.

But back in the real world, it's all about patents - having missed out on one set of patents, Google decided to do things in grand style and grab a whole company instead.

The other possibility is that Google wants to set itself up as an integrated hardware and software company. Strange days, indeed.

Then, last night, as the Round-Up was making another cup of tea, the second mega-story of the week dropped, with HP deciding to go big on its enterprise software-and-services play, shedding its PC unit, killing off its webOS devices and making a multibillion pound offer for Autonomy.

Phew! Fearful that more tea drinking will cause yet another IT mega-merger, the Round-Up is now switching to coffee for the rest of the month.



Picture yourself lying on a Mediterranean beach, a cool breeze wafting over your skin and fine white sand coating the soles of your feet. All you can hear is the sound of the waves gently brushing the shore.

Now imagine your boss lying next to you in an inappropriately small...

...swimming costume asking you where that report is that he asked for a week ago.

You explain that he would have had it by now if he hadn't already asked you for another paper on the company's risk strategy.

Not the point, he replies, maybe if you were better at delegating he'd have had both reports.

Not very relaxing, is it? You deserve a break from everything and by logging in your work inbox it's like having the miserable sod lying next to you on the beach demanding you rub sun cream on his shoulders before fetching him an ice cream.

Now, if you're anything like the Round-Up you struggle to separate your personal life from your office life.

We may be in the summer months by but 'logging in' to your work email via your BlackBerry or other soulless personal communications device when you should be enjoying the beach or the tour of the local vineyard instead is ruining your holiday time.

We can't help it and apparently psychiatrists and psychologists are getting concerned by the behavior.

The need to stay connected often reflects far deeper psychological challenges such as anxiety about one's job, lack of trust about delegating - and perhaps even the skill to do so - depression about dealing with the backlog on return, inflated feeling of self-importance or simply a terrible and uncontrollable addiction to email and social networking.

Luckily there's help at hand. silicon.com this week published five tips on how to manage emails when you take a welcome two week break.

Naturally, the Round-Up isn't going to tell you what they are - you're going have read the story - Five ways to untether yourself on leave,but it will share one rather dramatic approach with you.

Apparently, email overload is such a problem that some take a cavalier approach and have all incoming emails deleted automatically. Instant inbox zero and a profound feeling of satisfaction.

It's the email management equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying 'la la la I can't hear you' to all your colleagues - and if you can't do it in real life, why not try it via email?



And finally this week: as everybody knows, Twitter is basically a playground for gigantic egos.

You know those inflatable sumo suits? That's kind of the scale of egos bouncing about on Twitter all the time. But showing off too much can actually be quite annoying (apparently) and lead to people unfollowing you.

So for those of you who are desperate to get new followers (or just hold onto the meager few you have already) silicon.com has put together a list of the things you should stop doing, right now in Seven ways to get unfollowed on Twitter

Advice includes "crunch your numbers quietly" (you'll have to read the whole piece to find out what that means), and it also warns against third-party apps into Twitter: "You may listen to Achy Breaky Heart and Remember You're A Womble every day but do you really want Spotify to share that with the world? Hmm, thought not." Wise words indeed.

Alternatively, if you have loads of Twitter followers you can't wait to get shot of, it's also a handy seven point checklist for that, too.