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Higher-end phones help Huawei rake in the cash

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Huawei Technologies’ shift to selling high-end smartphones is paying off. The more expensive devices helped almost double the company’s handset revenue in this year’s first half.

Although Chinese brands have a reputation of selling cheap, low-end products, Huawei is out to make itself into a top provider of premium phones.

On Wednesday, it revealed some of that progress, noting revenue from its handset business totalled US$7.23 billion over the previous six months, up 87 percent year on year.

Huawei is seeing the average selling price of its phones rise at the same time as demand goes up: Its smartphone shipments during the period rose 39 percent on a year earlier.

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Sony enters drone business with winged vertical takeoff craft

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Sony is getting into the drone business with winged machines that take off vertically and could be used in everything from agriculture to construction.

The electronics giant’s mobile arm said Wednesday it will establish a company next month called Aerosense with Tokyo-based robotics firm ZMP.

The joint venture will develop its own drones and offer drone services to business users starting in 2016. The services will include measuring, surveying, observing and inspecting facilities.

Aerosense drones could be deployed in applications such as surveying remote mountain areas or gathering imagery before the construction of a high-rise building.

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California turns to jamming tech to disable pesky drones

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Legislators in California are considering jamming technology to disable drones that interfere with firefighting work even though federal regulations prohibit its use.A pair of bills introduced this week in the California legislature call for jail ti…

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Online ad industry tries to stamp out click fraud

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The online advertising industry is marshaling a fresh effort to fight click fraud, which steals money from advertisers and undermines faith in online campaigns.The latest effort is focused on automated traffic caused by bots from within data centers…

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AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV appears headed for approval with conditions

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AT&T’s acquisition of DirecTV appears headed for approval, with Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission circulating to commissioners an order recommending approval, although with some conditions.

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division also announced Tuesday that it will close its investigation into the around US$48 billion deal.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division said in a statement that the division had concluded that the combination of AT&T’s land-based Internet and video business with DirecTV’s satellite-based video business does not pose a significant risk to competition.

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FTC sues identity protection service LifeLock again

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Identity protection service LifeLock said Tuesday it is prepared to go to court after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a fresh lawsuit alleging the company has failed to protect its users’ data and deceptively advertises its services.

LifeLock settled for US$12 million with the FTC and 35 attorneys general in 2010 for allegedly making false claims about what its service could protect consumers against.

The FTC filed a new lawsuit on Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona that contends LifeLock hasn’t complied with the 2010 settlement, which also required it to protect users’ data better.

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New York judge rules against Facebook in search warrant case

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A New York judge ruled Tuesday that Facebook has no legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of search warrants served on its users, highlighting the limits to online companies’ abilities to protect user privacy.

Last year, Facebook appealed a court decision requiring it to hand over data, including photos and private messages, relating to 381 user accounts. The data was sought as part of an investigation by the New York County District Attorney’s office into a disability fraud case.

Other companies including Google and Microsoft filed briefs supporting Facebook’s move, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Nadella: Despite cloud push, on-premises products still matter to Microsoft

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Microsoft is pushing hard to get businesses to use its Azure cloud platform, but CEO Satya Nadella said Tuesday that the company hasn’t given up on its products tailored for companies that still have on-premises data centers.

“Overall, I start even with the worldview that my server business is not some legacy business,” he said during a conference call with financial analysts. “We fundamentally think of our servers as the extension of the cloud; I even describe it architecturally as the edge of our cloud.”

Nadella was responding to a question about Microsoft’s server revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter, which rose 4 percent year over year. Microsoft’s server products actually gained market share from competitors in the quarter, according to Nadella. What’s more, he said that the company’s success comes from a wide variety of products targeted at businesses with on-premises workloads, including Sharepoint, Exchange Server and Lync Server.

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CTIA: FCC transparency guidelines ‘irrational’

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The wireless industry’s chief lobbying group today issued comments on part of the FCC’S Open Internet Order that went into effect last month, saying that provisions requiring better disclosure of network management, performance and pricing figures are unfair and burdensome.

CTIA lawyers wrote in an official submission to the FCC that the increased transparency called for in the order would require vastly more effort and money than the commission estimated, and said that the rules should be delayed and their requirements eased.

+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD:New industry group to bring web-scale tech to the enterprise + Report: Microsoft paying $320 million for cloud security provider Adallom

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SunEdison drops $2.2B to acquire Vivint Solar

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SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, announced a definitive agreement to buy Vivint Solar, one of the largest providers of residential rooftop solar systems.
The deal accelerates SunEdison’s efforts to become a leadi…

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