The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Friday, January 16

Servers boost Intel results ... Xiaomi wants in on smart homes ... Prosecutors try to catch their Dread Pirate Roberts ... and more

Xiaomi wants to use its phone as a hub to control other smart appliances.

Xiaomi wants to use its phone as a hub to control other smart appliances.

Servers push Intel's Q4 to new heights

In a promising start to earnings season, Intel reported profits of $3.7 billion for its fourth quarter on Thursday, up 39 percent from a year ago. Its server business contributed $4.1 billion in revenue, up 25 percent from the fourth quarter last year.

Xiaomi has a plan for the smart home, too

Xiaomi is looking beyond the smartphone market: At Thursday's launch of a phablet meant to eat into iPhone 6 Plus market share, the Chinese company said it has plans for the smart home market. It wants home-appliance partners to install its smart module into washing machines, refrigerators and the like. Then its smartphone apps would be the smart-home control hub.

Google Glass org shakes up as Explorer sales to consumers halted

Is Google just giving Glass more time -- and space -- to refine itself for a relaunch, or is there trouble for the smart eyewear? It is stopping consumer sales of the $1500 Explorer edition and shaking up management at the unit. Glass is moving out of the Google X research lab and will be a business unit led by Ivy Ross, reporting to Nest Labs CEO Tony Fadell.

Marriott backs off on effort to block guests' Wi-Fi

After paying a hefty fine in the U.S. last year for illegally blocking hotel guests' personal hotspots so they would be compelled to pay for the Marriott's own pricey Internet service, the hotel chain has now backed off on a request to regulators to allow it to resume the practice. An activist group called Care2 gathered 14,000 signatures on a petition to the FCC opposing the plan, and was claiming victory on Thursday.

Prosecutors say they caught their pirate red-handed

The trial of the man charged with masterminding the Silk Road online market in illegal wares was well underway in New York on Thursday, as prosecutors laid out their case and told of how law-enforcement caught Ross Ulbricht online using the handle Dread Pirate Roberts. His attorney has an answer for that, of course...

But MtGox's Karpeles says he's not the pirate you are looking for

After his name was dropped by the defense in the trial of accused Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht, Mark Karpeles, former CEO of the failed bitcoin exchange MtGox, denied involvement in the now-shuttered underground marketplace. Ulbricht's lawyer said Karpeles was an early suspect in the investigation, but he told us via email, "This is probably going to be disappointing for you, but I am not Dread Pirate Roberts." He did acknowledge that his company hosted a website that was used to market Silk Road.

Cities cheer Obama's broadband move

Cities that have been fighting for a repeal of state laws banning municipal broadband are applauding President Barack Obama's proposal this week to come to their aid. Members of the 55-city Next Century Cities group watched a live video stream of Obama's announcement and "there was a lot of cheering in the room" when he said he would encourage federal regulators to green-light local networks, according to a city manager from Missouri.

No job too small on this hacker-for-hire site

Hiring a hacker to pry break into someone else's system isn't just for big companies and governments anymore: The New York Times reports on a new site where anyone can find the right geek for their job, whether you want into your ex-girlfriend's email or your employer's accounts. The founders think they've set it up to stay on the right side of the law.

Watch now

Wonder how hydrogen fuel cells power cars? Catch this explainer featuring a new model at the Detroit Auto Show.

One last thing

Is proposed cybersecurity legislation a threat not just to the bad guys but to IT security pros as well? Robert Graham argues the case in Obama's War on Hackers.

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Tags Marriottbusiness issuesTony FadellRoss UlbrichtMark Karpeleshardware systemsinternetXiaomiGooglesecurityIvy RossMtGoxlegalsoftwareintel

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