The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, January 14

IBM unwraps a new mainframe ... Samsung finally has a Tizen phone ... Valley firms try again to settle lawsuit with workers... and more news

IBM's z13 mainframe is tuned for mobile transactions

IBM's z13 mainframe is tuned for mobile transactions

IBM says its new mainframe can stalk fraud in real time

IBM took the wraps off a new mainframe computer on Tuesday, promising it will help customers to detect more fraud in real time and plow through billions of transactions generated each day by smartphones and tablets. The z13 gets a new processor design, faster I/O and the ability to address up to 10TB of memory--three times as much as its predecessor. It can house up to 141 processor units in a single system and run as many as 8,000 virtual servers.

Samsung's first Tizen-powered phone arrives

Samsung Electronics has finally delivered the first smartphone powered by its homegrown Tizen operating system, which was meant to break its dependence on Google's Android, but has struggled to get off the ground. The $92 Z1 makes its debut in India, where a low-priced offering is important.

Valley giants offer new settlement in tech workers lawsuit

Intel, Apple, Google and Adobe Systems have come up with a new offer to settle a lawsuit that alleged a secret agreement not to poach each other's tech employees. The judge in the case last year rejected a US$324.5 million settlement as too low, but the terms of the new settlement, reached with attorneys for employees who charged that a conspiracy limited their wages and mobility, haven't been disclosed. The new offer will be filed with the court Thursday.

Silk Road founder says he was not involved in its operation

As his trial began in New York Tuesday, Ross Ulbricht, the alleged mastermind behind the Silk Road underground online marketplace, is saying he started it as an experiment, but handed off operations a few months later when running the site became too stressful. Prosecutors aim to convince a jury in New York that Ulbricht is, in fact, "Dread Pirate Roberts," an anonymous handle for the person who facilitated more than US$1.2 billion in sales of unlawful and illegal goods on Silk Road from January 2011 until October 2013.

Number of U.S. visas for tech workers likely to grow

The warring U.S. political parties seem to agree on one thing: high-tech companies should be able to bring in more workers from overseas. Two bipartisan bills in the Senate would boost the number of visas and green cards available to high-tech workers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Google will build a store for its Lego-like phone

Components for putting together the customizable, modular Project Ara smartphone expected from Google sometime this year will be sold in an online store similar to Google's Play store. Hardware developers will be able to put modules in the marketplace and sell directly to consumers.

... but won't sign student privacy pledge

While competitors Apple and Microsoft have signed on to a Student Privacy Pledge that aims to safeguard data about kids that's collected by educational technology vendors, Google has declined, claiming that its policies already protect student data. However, the Wall Street Journal points out that the search giant joined up with a different industry self-policing group initiative a few years ago, but ran into trouble and paid a settlement to the government when its practices apparently strayed from the voluntary standard.

North Korean official site serves malware

Bad news for people who visited the website of North Korea's official news agency looking for information or statements during the recent Sony hack that's been blamed on that country's government. Turns out the Korean Central News Agency is hosting malicious code.

Suit, countersuit: Apple and Ericsson skirmish over royalties on LTE patents

Unable to agree on a fair royalty rate for Ericsson's LTE patents, Bloomberg reports that Apple and the Swedish telecom equipment maker have filed lawsuits against each other. The iPhone maker wants a court in California to rule on a fair royalty rate for the patents. Meanwhile Ericsson has sought out a legal venue known for its kindly disposition to patent owners, the District Court for Eastern Texas, to press its case for what Apple should pay.

Watch now

Is a Zipcar more than you need for buzzing around town? "How about a scooter?" this San Francisco startup suggests.

One last thing

Mark and Sasha may have the Oracle CEO titles, but this guy shares a special connection with Larry Ellison. Reuters looks at the man who might just be his successor.

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