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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, March 4

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, March 4

Alibaba opens U.S. cloud service... IBM puts OpenPower servers in cloud... Eric Schmidt meets European antitrust chief... and more news

The Alibaba Group logo at company offices in Hangzhou, China.

The Alibaba Group logo at company offices in Hangzhou, China.

Alibaba opens its cloud for business in U.S.

Alibaba is set to compete for cloud services with Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine and Microsoft Azure with a new data center in California, the first outside China for the Aliyun subsidiary. It is initially targeting low-hanging fruit: the U.S. operations of Chinese companies. But its use of proprietary technology may be a turnoff for prospective customers who are wary of cloud lock-in.

IBM plugs its OpenPower servers into the cloud

IBM wants to show that its Power processors are a good alternative to Intel's x86 chips in the cloud market, so it's rolling out an infrastructure-as-a-service using OpenPower servers. The SoftLayer division is starting the Power move with a data center in Texas but will later roll out the service worldwide.

Schmidt meets European Commission competition chief on antitrust

As the company's antitrust woes in Europe drag on, Google chairman Eric Schmidt finally sat down with the EU's new Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. Nothing much was revealed about what went on at the Monday meeting. Google was said to be close to a settlement last year with previous competition czar Joaquín Almunia, but that fell apart amid a sea of protest from complainants who want to see Google sanctioned strongly for allegedly abusing its dominance in search.

Wheeler: FCC is referee, not regulator

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler was in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday defending the body's vote last week to implement net neutrality rules. His key point: the FCC isn't going to regulate the Internet, but referee it. It will put in place "a structure that says Internet activity should be 'just and reasonable' and with somebody to throw a flag when they aren't."

Legal downside of Lenovo's Superfish debacle grows

After Superfish adware bundled with Lenovo laptops opened a big security hole for unwary users, the company has been working furiously to repair the damage, but it's also having to fight legal fires. In addition to dealing with four federal lawsuits filed against it, it's now contending with an investigation by Connecticut's attorney general into whether preloaded "bloatware" may have violated laws against unfair or deceptive trade practices.

Internet.org wants to reach 100 countries in a year

The free Internet service launched by Facebook to bring more connectivity to the developing world is aiming to have a presence in 100 countries next year. Internet.org is currently in just six countries, but "We like big, ambitious goals at Facebook," said its chief Chris Daniels at Mobile World Congress. It's got 7 million customers in Columbia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, India and Zambia, many of whom are now paying a fee for more advanced data services.

Uber Technologies buys deCarta for mapping, local search

Uber is acquiring deCarta, a Silicon Valley mapping and location services company that could help give users of the ride-hailing service more data on when their ride will get there, and keep their drivers headed in the right direction. The technology from deCarta already powers location services in cars from GM and Ford, and devices from Samsung Electronics and BlackBerry.

Sony updates Morpheus headset with bigger, faster screen

Sony has given its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset a high-resolution OLED display that can render 120 images per second, and is also larger than its LCD predecessor. The prototype headset for immersive video gameplay is set for release in the first half of next year.

Watch now

Intel unveiled new chips for the mobile market in Barcelona. PC World takes a look at how they speed up games on a tablet.

One last thing

If you're not keeping up with daily reports from the courtroom where tech VC Kleiner-Perkins is defending a gender-discrimination lawsuit, the Verge has a summary of the Silicon Valley dirt that's being aired.

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