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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, May 18

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, May 18

A United Boeing 737

A United Boeing 737

Security researcher took over airplane systems via inflight tech

Security researcher Chris Roberts apparently told the FBI that he had successfully hacked into an airplane's inflight systems numerous times over the last four years and took control of engine functions, according to a search warrant filed in court last month. Agents said that Roberts told them he hacked into in-flight entertainment systems by connecting an Ethernet cable to an electronics box under the airplane seat in front of him, and issued a command that caused the aircraft to climb.

Apple still trying to get mapping right, buys a startup

Apple has acquired Coherent Navigation to give its mapping services a boost, the New York Times confirmed after MacRumors reported the deal. Apple has been working to get mapping right since it moved away from relying on Google Maps, but has suffered some detours on the way.

License plate readers worried FBI lawyers, documents reveal

As license-plate-reading technology spreads and huge databases are built up across the U.S. that could be used to track innocent people's movements, it emerges that the FBI had its doubts, at least for a while. Wired reports that the FBI's lawyers recommended that it stop buying the devices in 2012. Seems that the moratorium was temporary, though.

Just click 'buy' -- coming soon to Google search results

Google will include a "buy" button in its search results on mobile devices in the coming weeks, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. Google will let shoppers store payment information, and products will still be sold and shipped by retailers. Macy's is apparently in talks to sign on to the program.

Alibaba sued over sales of luxury counterfeits

Alibaba is facing a lawsuit in New York federal court brought by luxury brands that are alleging the Chinese e-commerce giant is deliberately promoting fakes on its online marketplace. Attorneys for Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent say that Alibaba is knowingly helping an "army of counterfeiters" by directing consumers to their products when it's obvious that they aren't offering the real deal.

ARM moving fast on next high-end chip

ARM is in the advanced stages of development of its next high-end processor, and it could reach mobile-device makers by the end of next year. The company's designs are used in most of the world's smartphones and tablets, and its speedy development work reflects both the intense pressure to get new products to market quickly, and heightened competition from Intel.

European telcos split on sanity of blocking Google's ads

After some European mobile service providers were reported last week to be considering a scheme to block Google's mobile ads across their networks in a ploy to force the search giant to share revenue, a few other big carriers have stepped forward to say the plan is ill-conceived. Both Deutsche Telekom and Swedish operator TeliaSonera said they would not engage in the plan; a representative of the latter pointed out that Google's apps and services drive traffic, and data consumption, and tangling with it doesn't make sense.

Watch now

Sony's smart light bulb does more than illuminate the scene -- it also sets the mood with music. Check out this demo from Tokyo.

One last thing

SAP's latest campaign promises to make ERP simple, but customers turn to the vendor to solve complex problems. Can its new initiative succeed?


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