The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, January 8

The FCC chief is pulling in the same direction as President Barack Obama ... Samsung says profits will be down ... and more

FCC chief says he's in sync with Obama

The top US telecoms regulator is pulling in the same direction as President Barack Obama when it comes to net neutrality: "no blocking, no throttling and no paid prioritization," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a speech at CES. The full FCC panel is set to vote at the end of next month, and the question they face is how to place "just and reasonable" rules on service providers, he said.

Amazon wants your startup

There's a mysterious new project at, Re/code reports: it's hiring for a group that will build the "best end-to-end platform for startups." Sources speculate that it's all about developing relationships with young companies and convincing them to use the e-commerce behemoth as their main sales channel.

Samsung profit is getting squeezed by low end rivals

Samsung Electronics' strategy to capture market share with lower-cost smartphones appears to be cutting into profit as Chinese players ramp up their competitive game. In pre-earnings guidance it put out on Thursday, it noted that operating profit in the fourth quarter looks to be down about 37 percent.

FBI points the finger at North Korea again

US federal law enforcement is sticking to its story: North Korea was behind the Sony hack, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday. There's less agreement on the identity of the perpetrators within the cybersecurity community. But the feds believe they've nailed the perps based on such evidence as the fact that some emails from the hackers to Sony employees came from Internet connections used only by North Korea, Comey said at a cybersecurity conference in New York.

Macro malware makes a comeback

Bad actors are once again using Microsoft Office to deliver malware, an attack vector that's been out of style for years. Perhaps social engineering plus documents containing malware-ridden macros is a classic, like navy blue.

The Internet of beer

You can keep your cool 3D printers. Just give us the PicoBrew Zymatic, which was crafting fresh beer on the CES show floor and is billed as the world's first fully automatic all-grain brewing appliance.

Neil Young's Pono player hits stores next week

Rock legend Neil Young is finally bringing his high-quality digital music player to market: it will be available next week for about $400. The musician has long decried what MP3 and AAC compression do to good music.

Watch now:

As the song goes, "Oh show me the way to the next... 7-11"? Take a look at Sony's prototype smartglasses at CES, where Martyn Williams spies a world of convenience... stores.

One last thing

Necessity is the mother of invention: Amid all the connected devices at CES that may transform the well-connected home into the well-spied-upon home, there's a whole new section of the show floor devoted to protecting your personal privacy. Motherboard takes you on a quick tour.

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Tags business issuesamazon.comsecuritySamsung Electronicshardware systemssoftwareU.S. Federal Communications Commissionsonyinternet

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IDG News Service staff

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