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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Tuesday, April 7

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Tuesday, April 7

YouTube Kids blasted for ad-heavy content... new battery tech promises one-minute charge times... CurrentC payments coming mid-year

Google's YouTube Kids app features videos geared toward a younger audience.

Google's YouTube Kids app features videos geared toward a younger audience.

Child advocates slam YouTube Kids in complaint to FTC

The new YouTube Kids video app definitely isn't TV: If it were, its heavy advertising content and cheerful blending of commerce and entertainment would probably be illegal, because commercial television aimed at children is governed by strict regulations. Now a coalition is asking the FTC to investigate the service, which one expert called "the most hyper-commercialized media environment for children I have ever seen."

New battery technology could take charge times down to one minute

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new battery using aluminum-ion cells that can be recharged in about a minute and is safer than the widely used lithium-ion technology. The battery can survive 7,500 charging cycles without losing performance -- more than the typical 1,000 cycles from current lithium-ion batteries.

Retailer-backed CurrentC coming soon to mobile payments space

CurrentC, the mobile payments platform backed by some of the biggest retailers in the U.S. including Walmart, 7-Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Sears, Best Buy, Exxon Mobil and Gap, will launch in the next few months. Not much is known about it other than it is expected to merge payments and loyalty benefits. With rival offerings from Apple, Google and Samsung Electronics not yet seeing major takeup among consumers, there's still space for CurrentC to pick up steam when it launches around mid-year.

Judge lets woman serve divorce papers via Facebook

In another watershed moment for technology and the law, the New York Daily News reported Monday that a judge approved a Brooklyn's woman's request to use Facebook to serve divorce papers on her hard-to-find husband. She can use the social network's private messaging function to serve him with the divorce summons, but has to do that once a week for three consecutive weeks. It's complicated.

Microsoft likely done with major job cuts

Last week's Microsoft layoffs are probably the last big round of its restructuring, GeekWire reports. The software giant said last year that it would cut about 18,000 jobs.

Uber staffs up self-driving car project

Uber has listed a raft of jobs at the new Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh, its joint project with Carnegie Mellon University focused on developing self-driving car technology. To staff up, Uber is looking for engineers in the areas of robotics, machine learning, communications, traffic simulation, vehicle testing, and software and hardware development.

Samsung expects big drop in first-quarter profits

Samsung warned that its first quarter profits will likely drop by more than 30 percent, marking the sixth straight quarterly decline as it struggles to compete with Apple at the top of the smartphone market. Revenue is expected to be down 12 percent, the company said in its earnings guidance; it will report its full quarterly results at the end of the month.

Watch now:

Surveillance was John Oliver's topic on Last Week Tonight, and who better to interview about that than Edward Snowden?

One last thing

Now mobile apps can be works of experiential art: The New York Times reports on the new life coach app, Karen, created by British art group Blast Theory.

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Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
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