FCC votes in new U.S. net neutrality rules
As widely expected, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to approve new net neutrality rules by reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility, to the cheers of many tech companies and consumers and the jeers of large broadband providers. The rules will prohibit broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic and from offering paid traffic prioritization services, but they will almost certainly face a court challenge from the likes of Verizon Communications, AT&T and Comcast. The decision “preserves the ethos of permissionless innovation that’s always been at the heart of the Internet,” Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, said in a video shown at the commission meeting.
IBM pumping $4 billion into cloud, mobile and analytics
As it struggles with industry shifts that have disrupted its traditional business, IBM will dedicate $4 billion in spending this year to cloud, analytics and mobile technologies. It expects to see payback by 2018 in the shape of $40 billion in annual revenue from those areas, executives said at the company’s annual meeting.
EFF says attackers are using security flaw found in Superfish, other software
Researchers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation say they’ve found evidence that attackers have exploited a security vulnerability that’s in the Superfish adware most notoriously preloaded onto some Lenovo PCs, as well as in other programs, Gregg Keizer reports. The problem comes from a widely used code library that ultimately can allow bad actors to redirect traffic to their own fake websites—and the EFF says it’s found that is happening.
HP said to be in talks to buy Aruba
Hewlett-Packard is negotiating to buy Aruba Networks, the New York Times reports. The maker of Wi-Fi access equipment had a market value of about $2 billion as of market close on Tuesday, before news of the talks broke.
Facebook steps up suicide prevention tools
Friends who are concerned by others’ despairing posts on Facebook can now trigger a few more helpful resources from the social network—in addition to acting in real life, perhaps by calling emergency services, of course. If you report a worrisome post by someone in your network, Facebook will present that user with a message of concern as well as pointers to suicide prevention resources. It’s not surprising that the company is concerned about mental health: A 2013 study linked a high degree of Facebook use to increased feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Apple issues March 9 invites, Watch expected
Apple sent out invitations to a March 9 event that’s expected to be the official public launch of the Apple Watch. Apple watchers hope to find out when the device will go on sale in the U.S. and when it will debut internationally.
Ericsson wants iPhone sales blocked in patent dispute
The skirmish between Ericsson and Apple over wireless patents is heating up, with the Swedish company firing another few legal salvos on Friday: it asked the US International Trade Commission to block sales of iPhones and iPads that it says infringe its LTE patents, and it filed complaints in federal court in Texas requesting damages and injunctions against Apple. A previous licensing deal between the two expired in January, and having failed to come to new terms, they turned to the courts with dueling lawsuits last month.
Amazon might one day 3D-print your order on its way to you
Amazon has filed several patent applications that would allow it to 3D-print items on demand from the inside of a fleet of specially equipped delivery trucks, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s a blue-sky vision right now—it may not even be awarded the patents, or act on the idea—but an intriguing one nonetheless.
On your video news review for the week Samsung Electronics faces a complaint from a privacy group on eavesdropping TVs, Google debuts YouTube Kids to generate content and marketing opportunities and we let you know what trends we’ll expect at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
One last thing
Lenovo’s Superfish debacle—where poorly designed adware exposed users to a serious security risk—has put so-called bloatware in the spotlight. So how do you get rid of all the junk that PC makers pre-load on your machine? Brad Chacos has some ideas.