Apple reportedly pays big bucks to buy, shut down iCloud.net

From CNET: Apple doesn't want any talk of clouds redirecting you to non-Apple products.

In its quest to dominate the iCloud game, the company recently bought out an Asian social network which had registered the iCloud.net domain.

AppleInsider was told the Cupertino, California-based company paid $1.5 million for the domain, but CNET was unable to verify the claim. It wouldn't be unlike Apple to shell the money out, with the company rumoured to have spent $4.5 million on a similar deal in 2011.

Apple was contacted for comment, but did not immediately respond.

Samsung starts production of new 10-nm Exynos 9 Series chip

From PC World: Samsung unveiled Thursday a new octa-core application processor that combines a custom CPU with a gigabit LTE modem and a separate processing unit for security applications, leading to speculation that it could be designed into the new flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone that the company is expected to launch soon.

The Exynos 9 Series 8895 is already in mass production and Samsung expects the chip to be designed into smartphones, VR headsets, and automotive infotainment systems.

Verizon plans 5G trial service in 11 cities this year

From InfoWorld: Lab tests of pre-standard 5G wireless with multi-gigabit speeds are evolving into trial services that users can actually enjoy in the real world – though not necessarily while walking around with a smartphone.

Verizon said Wednesday it will launch pre-commercial 5G service in 11 markets around the U.S. by the middle of this year, joining rival AT&T in aggressively deploying the future technology.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, carriers are expected to announce more upcoming 5G trials.

AMD's Ryzen launches March 2, outperforming Intel's Core i7 at a fraction of the price

From PC World: Ryzen is here. AMD said Wednesday that it plans a “hard launch” of its first three Ryzen processors on March 2. The highly anticipated chips promise to outperform high-end parts from Intel and undercut their prices by as much as 54 percent.

​Lyft rolls out to 54 more US cities in Uber blitz

From CNET: Lyft is making a play to catch up to rival Uber.

The ride-hailing company announced Thursday that it's expanding to more than 50 additional US cities. This is Lyft's largest expansion yet, bringing the total number of cities it's in to nearly 300.

"In just the first two months of 2017, we've introduced Lyft to nearly 100 new cities, thanks in large part to today's launch," said Jaime Raczka, Lyft's head of early stage markets and expansion. "We look forward to continuing this rapid momentum."

LinkedIn will help people in India train for semi-skilled jobs

From PC World: Microsoft has launched Project Sangam, a cloud service integrated with LinkedIn that will help train and generate employment for middle and low-skilled workers.

The professional network that was acquired by Microsoft in December has been generally associated with educated urban professionals but the company is now planning to extend its reach to semi-skilled people in India.

Intel's Atom is underwhelming no more: New chip packs 16 cores

From InfoWorld: Intel's Atom was mostly known as a low-end chip for mobile devices that underperformed. That may not be the case anymore.

The latest Atom C3000 chips announced on Tuesday have up to 16 cores and are more sophisticated than ever. The chips are made for storage arrays, networking equipment, and internet of things devices.

The new chips have features found mostly in server chips, including networking, virtualization, and error correction features.

ARM buys Mistbase and NextG-Com to extend its reach in IoT

From PC World: Chip designer ARM has a new strategy for the internet of things: to offer complete solutions "from application software to antenna."

ARM has typically left it to licensees of its microprocessor designs to add their own wide-area radio modems and other circuitry essential for the chips at the heart of smartphones and other connected devices. That's the case with Qualcomm, for example, which packages ARM's processor core with its own LTE modems to deliver the chips at the heart of Apple's iPhones.

China's Uber-slaying ride hailer reportedly going global

From CNET: After acquiring Uber's operations in China last year, Didi Chuxing is taking steps to ascend to the global stage.

The Chinese ride hailer is testing an English version of its smartphone application and the ability to accept payment by international credit cards, reports the South China Morning Post.

A full English interface is expected to be rolled out in China this spring, according to The Beijinger, quoting reliable but unnamed sources.

SAP license fees are due even for indirect users, court says

From InfoWorld: SAP’s named-user licensing fees apply even to related applications that only offer users indirect visibility of SAP data, a U.K. judge ruled Thursday in a case pitting SAP against Diageo, the alcoholic beverage giant behind Smirnoff vodka and Guinness beer.

The consequences could be far-reaching for businesses that have integrated their customer-facing systems with an SAP database, potentially leaving them liable for license fees for every customer that accesses their online store.

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