The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, February 19

Samsung buys LoopPay ... Qualcomm getting set to roll out 64-bit mobile chips ... Ex-GM CEO warns Apple off the car business

Samsung pushes into mobile payments with LoopPay acquisition

Samsung Electronics is stepping up to Apple and Google on the mobile payments front: On Wednesday it said it would buy LoopPay and roll it into its mobile division. The Massachusetts startup's technology is, like competitors, basically a virtual wallet for payment cards, but it works with existing magnetic card readers in the U.S.

Qualcomm getting set to roll out 64-bit mobile chips

Qualcomm is readying new chips for mobile devices that are the first to implement its homegrown 64-bit architecture. The design will appear first in high-end Snapdragon chips for premium products, and test units will be shipping by the end of the year.

Former GM chief warns Apple off the car business

The retired CEO of General Motors told Bloomberg just what he thinks of the rumors that Apple wants to get into the auto business with its own electric car. "I think somebody is kind of trying to cough up a hairball here," Dan Akerson was quoted as saying. He added that investors should be wary of "the long-term prospect of getting into a low-margin, heavy-manufacturing" business.

Apple accused of poaching staff for new battery division

If Apple is developing an electric car, it needs some serious battery technology, and it might look to a company like A123 to find the talent. The Massachusetts maker of advanced batteries is taking Cupertino's richest company to court, accusing it of poaching workers in order to build its own competitive battery division, Law360 reports.

Google warns that new rule would let government search computers outside the U.S.

Google has come out strongly against a proposed amendment to federal criminal procedure rules, saying it could be used by the government to search computers abroad. The amendment is meant to permit warrants for searching computers across multiple U.S. districts, but nothing in the proposed change would prevent access to computers and devices worldwide, Google's legal director for law enforcement and information security said.

U.S. net neutrality debate is coming down to the wire

With the U.S. Federal Communications Commission about to enter a quiet period in advance of its vote on stronger net neutrality rules and reclassifying the Internet as a utility, lobbyists for both sides are making their last pushes to be heard. Advocates for stronger rules said they have generated about a million messages sent to Congress and the FCC, while opponents of more regulation say they've mustered 100,000 letters to Congress and 220,000 signatures on petitions.

U.K. parliamentary report says Internet should be classified as a utility

A new report in the U.K. House of Lords warns that the country is lagging others in high-speed Internet access, and one of its recommendations is that the net be reclassified as a public utility, Ars Technica reports. That mirrors the current proposal in the U.S., although the report doesn't lay out the legal framework for making it happen.

Watch now

Take a tour of Mitsubishi's home of the future in Tokyo.

One last thing

Maintaining your privacy online is an increasingly complicated matter. Doing it right may require more than just knowledge: it may mean spending money, says the Christian Science Monitor.

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IDG News Service staff

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