The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, April 20
- 20 April, 2015 22:09
The Nokia N1 tablet has a 7.9-inch screen
Is Nokia on the way back to the phone market?
When it sold off its device business to Microsoft, Nokia seemed to be saying goodbye to the mobile phone market it once helped define. But now sources tell re/code that projects in development at the small Nokia Technologies division indicate it's plotting to return when it's no longer under contract restrictions that prevent it from directly selling or licensing phones under its brand.
DOJ said to be leaning against Comcast-Time Warner deal
Attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice are looking unfavorably on the proposed merger of two U.S. cable and Internet giants, Bloomberg reported. Lawyers in the antitrust division may this week recommend blocking Comcast's bid to buy Time Warner for $45.2 billion.
IBM server partnership with Chinese Teamsun raises fears
IBM is licensing its Open Power server technologies to a Chinese company, Teamsun, which until recently had the avowed goal of eliminating IBM, Oracle and EMC from Chinese infrastructure. International commerce analysts seem divided on whether IBM has done anything wrong, the New York Times reports.
Russian hacking group exploits Flash and Microsoft flaws
A Russian hacking group used flaws in some Microsoft code and Adobe's Flash to attack an important but unidentified "international government entity," according to a security firm. The Adobe flaw was patched Tuesday while the Microsoft flaw has yet to be fixed, according to FireEye. An interesting aspect of the hack was that the group, dubbed APT 28, barely tried to hide its identity, using infrastructure and tools from previous attacks.
Airplane hacks are off-limits as comic material
Joking about hacking airplane systems using the on-board Wi-Fi is not a good idea, as security researcher Chris Roberts learned last week. He was questioned by the FBI and had his electronic devices seized after joking on Twitter in mid-flight about the possibility of messing with the flight systems on the plane he was on. Then for good measure, United wouldn't let him fly -- to the RSA security conference, of course.
Sony launches Xperia Z4 -- but it's only for Japan for now
Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z4, has a faster processor and a better selfie camera than its predecessor, but it's certainly not the breakthrough that will change the fortunes of the Japanese giant in the smartphone market. While Sony has only announced plans for it to ship in Japan, it's got support for English, Chinese and some European languages to suggest it will appear in other markets as well.
Insurer offers a discount if you let it track your moves
What's the difference between getting a discount if you let a corporation monitor your every movement, and paying a financial penalty if you want to preserve your privacy? Those who argue that privacy is fast becoming something only the rich can afford can now point to insurer John Hancock, which has become the first to offer ratepayers a discount when they use Fitbit wristbands that enable exercise tracking, Computerworld reports.
What's in the box? More voices join demand to inspect algorithms
The way tech companies' algorithms shape behavior and even thoughts was a hot topic at last week's Global Conference on CyberSpace in the Hague, with tech experts pointing out the social and ethical consequences of how supposedly neutral bits of code are manipulated. And in France, legislators called for search engines to disclose how their ranking algorithms work to prove the results are fair and non-discriminatory, TechCrunch reported.
Last Week Tonight presenter John Oliver is fine with trolls as long as they stick to intimidating goats, but he's not happy with them controlling innovation in the computer industry.
One last thing
What is it about Slack that has given it a $2.8 billion valuation? Here's a look at why the enterprise communication company has people talking.