The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, February 5

Health insurer gets hacked ... Twitter's Costolo says the trolls are out ... Silk Road mastermind is guilty ... and more news

It's up to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to boost the network's user numbers now.

It's up to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to boost the network's user numbers now.

Hackers break into health insurer Anthem

As awareness of the steep costs of medical identity theft grows, U.S. health insurer Anthem said Wednesday that its systems have been breached by hackers and an as yet unknown amount of data on its customers and employees has been compromised. It has 37.5 million subscribers for its health plans, and more than 68 million people are served by affiliated companies under the brands Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Empire Blue Cross, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink and DeCare.

Twitter CEO vows to tackle trolls

Twitter's ugly underside of harrassment and abuse is driving away users, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in an internal memo obtained by the Verge in which he took personal responsibility for the company's failures to do much about the problem to date. "We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years," Costolo wrote. He also said, "We're going to start kicking these people off right and left and making sure that when they issue their ridiculous attacks, nobody hears them." So far, there are no details about just how the company plans to do this.

Silk Road mastermind found guilty on all charges

It took a Manhattan jury just over three hours on Wednesday to agree that the prosecution had made its case against Ross Ulbricht, finding him guilty on all counts of conspiracy related to running the notorious Silk Road underground online marketplace. He faces a potential sentence of life in prison for narcotics conspiracy, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit computer hacking and money laundering.

South Korea says no thanks to Uber proposal

With Seoul already saturated with taxi service, the South Korean government is clearly not interested in finding a way to add Uber Technologies to the mix. It has rejected a proposal that the U.S. ride-hailing app company put forth for registering its drivers, has taken the opportunity to remind all that Uber is illegal and is working to get a bill passed in parliament to ban online services like it.

U.K. mobile market continues rollup with BT buy of EE

BT has agreed to acquire mobile operator EE in the U.K. for £12.5 billion (US$19 billion) reflecting growing consolidation in the market. The mobile operator had 24.5 million direct mobile customers at the end of 2014, and 3.7 million MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) customers. The British telecommunications giant will pay a combination of cash and stock to EE owners, Deutsche Telekom and Orange.

Proposed U.S. net neutrality rules to cover mobile and wired Internet

As expected, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has proposed net neutrality rules based on reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility and will ask fellow commissioners to approve that approach later this month. The rules would apply to both wired and mobile broadband service, even though an earlier attempt by the agency to regulate net neutrality held mobile carriers to a lower standard. Carriers are expected to challenge the reclassification in court.

Facebook's problems with EU privacy laws aren't going away

The European Union's data protection authorities aren't backing down on Facebook's new privacy policy, and have formed a task force to look into aspects that they say may "flagrantly go against general privacy laws in Europe. Among other things, they don't like how Facebook follows users off its site, collecting information on them as they go, or that it's claiming the right to use information from user profiles for commercial purposes.

Silicon Valley is booming -- for upper income males

While the thriving Silicon Valley economy added 58,000 jobs in 2014, the San Jose Mercury News reports that increase has been "accompanied by a yawning income and gender gap."

Men with a bachelor's degree are making about 61 percent more than women with the same qualification, while the median income of men with graduate degrees was 51 percent higher than for similarly credentialed women. The newspaper also pointed to statistics showing a widening differential between upper and lower income people, that indicates a shrinking middle class.

Samsung doing a fab job for Apple

Looks like Apple still needs smartphone archrival Samsung Electronics for something: Its advanced semiconductor fabrication capabilities. Apple's next-gen chip for mobile devices, the A9, is reportedly going to be made by Samsung because the South Korean company has an edge with 14-nanometer process technology. Re/code says that Apple would like to throw more work to manufacturer TSMC but the Taiwanese fab is still at 20 nm.

Watch now

Fighting fires onboard U.S. Navy ships is a dangerous task -- one that this humanoid robot, developed at Virginia Tech, is designed to tackle.

One last thing:

An exhibit on "Cloud Couture" offers a vision of wearable computing that goes way beyond the wrist.

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Tags BTorangeinternetUber TechnologiesAnthemAppleconsumer electronicssecuritydata breachSamsung ElectronicsU.S. Federal Communications Commissiontwittergovernmentdeutsche telekomsilk road

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IDG News Service staff

IDG News Service
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