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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, January 15

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, January 15

Intel earnings coming ... Xiaomi's phablet is thinner than iPhone 6 Plus ... Facebook goes for enterprise social network ... and more

The Xiaomi Note weighs at only 161 grams.

The Xiaomi Note weighs at only 161 grams.

Intel earnings may bring a ray of sunshine

Intel is expected to report almost 30 percent growth in Q4 earnings on Thursday, says Investor's Business Daily, powered by strong PC sales during the Christmas shopping season and solid server demand. Intel is one of the first big tech companies to report in this round of fourth-quarter earnings.

Xiaomi is coming after iPhone 6 Plus with an even thinner phablet

The latest Android handset from Xiaomi aims to overshadow Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, with a sleek design, cutting edge specs, and a starting price less than half that of the competition. Unveiled Thursday, the Xiaomi Note phablet will go on sale in China on Jan. 27 for a starting price of $376 without a contract. The 5.7-inch device is 0.15 mm thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Facebook muscling in on enterprise territory

Facebook confirmed that it's starting a pilot test of a desktop service and mobile app for so-called Facebook at Work, an enterprise-level social and collaborative network for the workplace. For those of us trying to keep our work and personal lives separate, there is good news: Employees' documents or information shared on Facebook at Work will not be connected to their personal Facebook pages.

Samsung denies talks to buy BlackBerry, but a deal could help both

Samsung Electronics and Blackberry have denied a report that the companies were in talks for a US$7.5 billion buyout of the struggling Canadian smartphone company. But the idea of a deal has its backers: buying BlackBerry would help Samsung as it tries to address security-conscious government and enterprise customers, analysts said.

Google cooks up food-truck idea to sell Project Ara phones

The food truck was one of the first mobile innovations to serve humankind, with trucks delivering hot food to construction workers well before spreading out more recently to serve trend-chasing clientele. Now they've inspired Google with a plan to sell its upcoming modular Project Ara smartphones from roaming retail outlets. The first trucks will hit the road in Puerto Rico, and customers will be able to design, print and assemble their own custom handset in under five minutes.

Obama ready to fight ISPs' power with executive action

Laws in 19 states that limit consumer broadband options were targeted by U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday. The laws, which the white house says were largely penned by ISPs, have prevented municipal broadband projects from going forward. Federal approvals for municipal broadband could allow for more competition that might lower costs and increase speeds.

New York AG wants to lower the bar for mandatory hacking reports

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to propose legislation Thursday that will require hacked companies to report data breaches even if only email IDs and passwords are leaked, reported The New York Times. Under current rules, companies are required to report data breaches only if sensitive data like credit card information, driver's license and Social Security numbers are disclosed in a breach.

Watch now

Modbot is creating Lego-like components for building robots. The developers give Nick Barber a look behind the scenes.

One last thing

Groups seeking to define the standards that will make the Internet of Things a working reality, not just hype, have moved into high gear. Stephen Lawson describes the jockeying over whose technology will be used to link objects as diverse as wearables, home appliances, parking meters and industrial equipment.

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