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Cisco quits set-top box market, sells business to Technicolor

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After ten years of making networked set-top boxes, Cisco Systems plans to quit the business, selling its Connected Devices division to French firm Technicolor, the companies said Thursday.

Although Cisco will stop making video customer premises equipment for service providers, it will continue to develop software and cloud services to help telcos deliver IPTV and other video services to their customers, Cisco’s business development director Hilton Romanski wrote in a blog post.

The companies plan to collaborate on developing video products for service providers, he wrote, and that collaboration will include Romanski taking a seat on Technicolor’s board.

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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, July 23

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Qualcomm plans cuts, may spin off assets

Qualcomm will lay off about 15 percent of its workforce and may separate its chip and patent businesses in a major realignment of the company that is designed to cut annual costs by about $1.4 billion. The company, a major player in technology that’s used in mobile phones, will cut back the range of its investments in new product areas to focus those efforts on data centers, small cells and the Internet of Things.

If Apple Music isn’t already under federal scrutiny, pressure demanding a probe grows

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Fall 2015 Android phone preview

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In this ever-changing world of Android, it can be hard to keep up with what’s going on. There are new rumors sprouting up almost every other day, generating buzz for phones that even we didn’t see coming.

To keep up with all the hearsay, we put together a helpful listing of all the Android phones we’re expecting to see in the coming months. Some will be here sooner than you can read through this entire page, while others we’re expecting to arrive as late as October. 

Galaxy Note 5

galaxy note 4 actuallyFlorence Ion

Will the Galaxy Note 5 be as impressive as its predecessor?

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Hacker: ‘Hundreds of thousands’ of vehicles are at risk of attack

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A security expert who recently demonstrated he could hack into a Jeep and control its most vital functions said the same could be done with hundreds of thousands of other vehicles on the road today.
Security experts Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek…

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Line aims lightweight chat app at developing countries

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Japanese mobile chat firm Line has launched a stripped-down version of its popular chat app to increase its user base in developing countries, where lower-end smartphones are commonly used and network infrastructure is not as advanced.

Line Lite is a lightweight version of the dominant chat app in Japan, tipping the scales at under 1MB and installing in one-twentieth the time it usually takes.

It has Line’s iconic cartoonish emoticon characters, which are also known as stickers, as well as text chat, but lacks audio and video calls as well as the app’s timeline and other features.

The app is being initially launched in 11 countries including India, Pakistan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico and Egypt. The company plans to add countries as well as app features in the future.

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Walmart to boost its e-commerce investment in China

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China’s e-commerce market hasn’t been easy for Walmart to crack, but the U.S. shopping giant isn’t giving up. The company is investing even more in its e-commerce operations there, by taking full control of a Chinese online retailer.

On Thursday, Walmart bought up the remaining shares of Yihaodian, after previously owning 51 percent in the Chinese company. Financial details were not announced, but the move will accelerate Walmart’s online expansion in China, the U.S. retail giant said.

Walmart’s move was made possible by the Chinese government’s recent decision to open the e-commerce market to more foreign investment. Last month, a Chinese regulator removed restrictions that barred foreign investors from taking a 100 percent stake in any e-commerce operation in the country. Before that, foreign investors such as Walmart had to enter into joint ventures with local Chinese players.

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Senator calls for investigation of Apple’s music streaming policies

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Apple’s licensing terms for competing music streaming services may be raising prices for consumers, a potential unfair competition issue that should be investigated, a U.S. senator alleged Wednesday.

Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat representing Minnesota, called on the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to probe whether Apple’s licensing terms for streaming music apps puts competing companies at a disadvantage.

Apple charges a 30 percent fee for in-app purchases and prohibits app developers from telling users that lower-cost products may be available to customers directly from their websites, Franken wrote in a letter to the agencies.

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Cell service at US airports varies from first class to middle-seat coach

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Need something to watch on a flight? You can download an episode of your favorite show in less than a minute and a half on Verizon Wireless at Atlanta’s airport—or spend 13 hours doing the same over T-Mobile USA at Los Angeles International.

The comparison of 45-minute HD video downloads illustrates the wide variation in cellular service at U.S. airports, which RootMetrics laid out in a report for the first half of 2015 that’s being issued Thursday. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson is the best place to go mobile and Verizon covers airports best overall, but just like security lines and de-icing delays, it all depends.

RootMetrics tested mobile data connections using all four major carriers at the 50 busiest airports in the country, checking not just for speed but for how long it took to get on and how well the connection stayed up. The tests took place in well-used places like ticketing, baggage claim and terminal gates. RootMetrics didn’t test voice service or Wi-Fi networks.

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Nigerian scammers buy exploit kits to defraud Asian businesses

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A small group of Nigerian scammers is using more sophisticated methods to defraud mostly Asian businesses, including buying exploit kits and malware from experienced coders, according to a new report from FireEye.The security company said the group …

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Oracle tries to beef up copyright case against Android

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With Oracle and Google headed back to court soon to resume their dispute over Android, Oracle is seeking to update its lawsuit to reflect the huge gains Android has made in the five years since the case began.

Oracle says new facts could strengthen its argument that Google’s use of Java in Android was not protected by “fair use,” which permits copying under limited circumstances and is a key part of Google’s defence.

Oracle filed its original lawsuit in 2010, accusing Google of copying some of the basic Java programming interfaces into Android. Since then, Google has released six major versions of the OS and the software has “come to permeate the fabric of our society,” Oracle said in a letter filed Wednesday in San Francisco district court.

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