The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, April 23

Facebook's mobile traffic dominates... Google, Box step up enterprise tools... Russian malware targeted the White House

What if your whole online experience is just Facebook?

What if your whole online experience is just Facebook?

Facebook's mobile shift shows through in financial results

It doesn't seem so long ago that analysts were fretting over Facebook's mobile playbook, but now the social media giant is monetizing a user base that is increasingly on smartphones and tablets. In reporting its financial results Wednesday, it said that a solid majority of its advertising revenue for the first quarter came from users on mobile devices, the New York Times reports.

Facebook gives Android phones souped-up caller ID

Facebook wants to move even closer to the core functions of your Android smartphone, with a new dialer app called Hello that uses Messenger to call your friends. The company also says it can give you better security with enhanced call-blocking, and uses the Facebook database to identify callers, PC World reports.

Google, Box boost enterprise efforts

Google is stepping up its efforts make its Chrome browser and Chromebook computers central to the workplace, it said Wednesday. It will let Chromebook users access files stored on the Box cloud services as easily as they can access Google's own services. And for its part, Box wants to move beyond its legacy as a storage, sync and sharing service and toward its higher calling as a platform company, with a new Developer Edition that will allow enterprises to build applications on top of its service without using the Box user interface or requiring users to have a Box account.

...And Google rolls out Project Fi mobile phone service

As expected, Google took the wraps off its own-brand mobile phone service Wednesday, and it's an MVNO offering with a twist. Called Project Fi, it combines traditional wireless service from Sprint and T-Mobile with Wi-Fi, using about a million wireless hotspots, the New York Times reported. It's only available to users of Google's Nexus 6 phone, though, and costs $20 per month plus $10 per gigabyte of data.

Malware clues point to Russia in White House, State Department hacks

The hackers who got into White House and U.S. State Department systems last year used malware that bears strong similarities to cyberespionage tools suspected to be of Russian origin, say researchers from Kaspersky Lab. The malware has a lot in common with tools used to attack NATO members and European governments over the past two years; Moscow-based Kaspersky didn't say it, but others believe those tools are the work of the Russian government.

Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable hits a roadblock at the FCC

The planned merger of two behemoths in the U.S. broadband Internet access and cable TV markets has hit a snag: the Federal Communications Commission wants to hold hearings on whether the $45 billion deal is in the public interest, the Wall Street Journal reports. It said that the would-be partners also met on Wednesday with officials of the Justice Department, where there is concern about the effect on competition if one company controls 57 percent of the market for broadband Internet service and 30 percent of the pay-TV market.

Cyberthreat bill passes U.S. House vote

Legislation that encourages sharing of cyberthreat information passed the U.S. House in a 307 to 116 vote on Wednesday, despite concerns that the law could expose consumers' private information. The Protecting Cyber Networks Act shields companies from customer lawsuits when they voluntarily share data on hacks. Privacy advocates also have concerns about the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act, which is scheduled for a vote on Thursday. If that passes as well, the two bills will be combined and sent on to the Senate.

Don't have a Tesla in the driveway? Put one in your house

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors knows something about battery technology, and now it's aiming to bring that to consumers and utilities in a new way. Next week it will announce battery lines aimed at those markets, to make it easier to store power from renewable sources like solar panels, Computerworld reports.

Watch now

Fold is a new content management system from the MIT Media Lab that helps authors add context to their stories in a richer form than hyperlinks.

One last thing

What's next for Moore's law on its 50th anniversary? Chip analyst David Kanter lays out some ideas for how Intel can keep up the growth in processor power.

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IDG News Service staff

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