The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Tuesday, July 21

Mainframes mainstay of IBM results... Tech lobbying booms... Uber takes to courts

IBM's z13 mainframe

IBM's z13 mainframe

New mainframe slows sales decline at IBM

Sales fell 13 percent in the second quarter at IBM, and profit dropped 16 percent -- but things could have been worse if it weren't for sales of the recently launched Z13 mainframe. IBM blamed much of the decline on a strong dollar and the sale to Lenovo of its low-end server business.

Tech companies go on a spending spree in Washington

IBM could have boosted its results by $1.8 million in the second quarter by eliminating its spending on lobbyists. Instead, it increased its spend by 7 percent. Other companies spent more, however: Amazon doubled its lobbying budget to $2.15 billion, while Facebook's expenditure on lobbying rose by a quarter to $2.7 billion in the quarter. Apple and Intel each spent about $1.25 million, both up from the year-earlier quarter. Alone among the big tech companies, Google cut spending to $4.62 million -- but at that level, it's hard to tell whether peer pressure or thrifty new CFO Ruth Porat were behind the reduction.

Uber will use courts to convince Europeans it's right

Days after a case pitting ride-hailing service Uber against Spanish authorities was referred to the highest European court, Uber's public affairs head for the continent said the company will consider further legal action to defend its disruptive business model, the New York Times reports.

Apple to announce results, including first full quarter of Watch sales

Apple will announce its results for the quarter to June 27 after market close -- but it won't be breaking out numbers for the Apple Watch, which went on sale three days before the quarter began. The company will bury the figure in an "other products" category, alongside Beats headphones and the declining iPod, says the Wall Street Journal.

Another automotive hire suggests Apple may be planning an autonomous vehicle

Apple's "other products" category could one day include an autonomous car, a Wall Street Journal article about the company's recent hire suggests. A previous rumor that the company was moving into the automotive market fizzled when the company revealed a fleet of vehicles for recording streetside imagery. Why, then, does it need the production chops of Doug Betts, former global quality leader at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, when that handful of cars is already built?

Qualcomm considers break-up, significant job cuts

Qualcomm could announce the lay-off of up to 10 percent of its workforce during a conference call to discuss its earnings on Wednesday, Forbes reports. The company is also considering a plan to break itself up following pressure from an activist investor. While the smartphone industry is booming, things turned sour for Qualcomm when major customer Samsung Electronics decided to use internally developed chips for its flagship S6 smartphones.

When stolen data can 'phone home'

In the wake of the massive data breach at surveillance vendor Hacking Team, in which 400GB of documents were taken, companies are looking for ways to find out who is leaking their data, and who's looking at it once it leaks. CSO takes a look at tricks for making stolen data phone home to say where it has ended up.

No ordering THC on your HTC, says Google

Google is harshing the mellow of Californians who smoke pot for medical reasons by refusing to distribute Android app Loud Cannabis in its Play Store. The app allows users to order cannabis from local growers. The company behind it, Green Exchange, says it is in compliance with Google's developer guidelines prohibiting programs that promote illegal activities because it's legal to buy cannabis in California on a doctor's recommendation.

Patch now

It's plain Tuesday, not "Patch Tuesday," but Microsoft wants you to patch your Windows PC all the same. A flaw in the code for displaying OpenType fonts allows hackers to remotely take control of a machine. The flaw was reported by researchers sifting through the trove of leaked Hacking Team documents, reports Computerworld. Microsoft has issued a patch for versions of Windows from 7 through the as-yet unreleased Windows 10 to fix the vulnerability.

Watch now

The ideal holiday destination for tech fans: A hotel staffed by robots.

One last thing

The New York Times investigates the mysterious case of the hairless head in the clueless photo booth.

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Tags business issuesGoogleIBMMicrosoftsecurityUber Technlogieshardware systemsqualcommHacking TeamApple

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IDG News Service staff

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