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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, March 23

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, March 23

EMC pools assets into data lakes... U.S. bill aims at ed tech companies... leaked FTC report could free European Commission to act on Google

EMC executives at EMC World 2014 on Tuesday. From left, EMC Information Infrastructure CEO David Goulden, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, and EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci.

EMC executives at EMC World 2014 on Tuesday. From left, EMC Information Infrastructure CEO David Goulden, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, and EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci.

EMC pools enterprise smarts to create data lakes

EMC is pulling assets from its conglomeration of businesses to help customers build data lakes using EMC storage, VMware virtualization and Pivotal big-data smarts. The Federation Business Data Lake debuting Monday will ingest and analyze data from diverse sources -- and may also show how EMC can make the diverse businesses it owns add up to more than the sum of their parts.

New US bill aims to limit use of student data

A new bill to be introduced in Congress on Monday aims to place checks on the collection and possible misuse of student data by tech companies that supply services to schools. The Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act prohibits companies such as online homework portals or email services from using or disclosing students' personal information for advertisement purposes, according to The New York Times.

Leaked FTC antitrust report gives EU cover to rule against Google

A leaked report by U.S. Federal Trade Commission staff gives the European Commission political cover to rule against Google as it moves forward with its own antitrust case. Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for making a ruling, will make up her own mind, but the 2012 FTC report, which blasts Google, will help dampen criticism that Europe just wants to tie the hands of successful U.S. companies.

Some Cisco IP phones open to unauthorized calls, eavesdropping

Cisco Systems' SPA 300 and 500 series Internet Protocol (IP) phones for small businesses have an authentication flaw that could allow remote attackers to make unauthorized calls or listen to audio streams from the affected devices. No patches are currently available, so administrators should put additional safeguards in place to protect the phones, such as strict firewall rules and IP-based access control lists.

Foxconn may make overture to Sharp again

Talks between Foxconn and ailing Sharp could resume, with the Chinese contract manufacturer saying over the weekend that it is willing to again negotiate an investment in the Japanese company, the Wall Street Journal reported. A deal that would make Foxconn a major shareholder in the display maker fell apart in 2013. It was expected to give Foxconn greater access to Sharp's LCD manufacturing capacity and advanced technologies.

Uber finds a partner in India's Times group

Beleaguered by Indian regulators and bad publicity, Uber Technologies has struck a marketing and distribution deal with the Internet business arm of a powerful Indian media conglomerate, the Times Group. The relationship gives Times Internet an opportunity to play in the market for ride-hailing smartphone apps: It will reportedly invest about $24 million in Uber.

Swiss warm to smartwatches but tech companies may be footing the bill

Swiss makers have stopped scoffing and are beginning to take a long look at smartwatches, spurred by new competition from Apple to consider adding digital functionality to their venerable watch designs. Those companies that have announced a digital line of watches may be just hedging their bets, rather than planning an overhaul of their products, and most of the development costs for their smartwatches may be coming from the tech companies, analysts told Reuters.

Post-mortem on wearables scare report finds little science

"Could Wearable Computers Be as Harmful as Cigarettes?" the New York Times asked last week. Well, no, says a Macworld dissection and autopsy of the NYT piece. The Times's public editor agreed, amending the article on Saturday to note: "Neither epidemiological nor laboratory studies have found reliable evidence of such risks."

Watch now

In the weekly World Tech Update video roundup, PlayStation launches a live TV streaming service, Nvidia fully reveals the powerful Titan X GPU and Ford powers up 500 robots to make trucks.

One last thing

Since the U.S. FCC approved a set of new net neutrality rules, politicians and advocates of all stripes have been furiously spinning their narratives about what the regulations mean for consumers, businesses, and the future of the net. Here's a guide to the facts and the fiction.

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