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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, June 11

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Thursday, June 11

Google gets on smart cities bandwagon... eBay, PayPal hit a nerve with robocall provision in use terms... Spotify arms for battle with Apple

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City

Google wants in on this "smart cities" thing too

Google has launched Sidewalk Labs, a New York-based company that will develop technology to make urban transportation and government more efficient, as well as lower the cost of living and cut energy use. The search giant is a little late to the party: Cisco, IBM and Microsoft are already heavily invested in this space, and the European Union has a major Smart Cities initiative as part of its Digital Agenda.

Ebay, PayPal scrutinized for claiming robocall rights in user agreements

Users who agree to the new terms of service from eBay and PayPal appear to be giving up their rights not to suffer from robocalls and marketing text messages, and the New York attorney general's office is complaining about it in letters to the companies, the New York Times reports. The move comes shortly after Uber unveiled a new policy in which it claimed the right to harvest its users' contacts lists so that it could spam those victims with marketing offers.

Spotify builds its war chest as Apple Music comes gunning

Spotify won't sit idle while Apple makes a play for the streaming music business, and it has secured a new investment round of $526 million to defend its position. That values the Swedish startup at about $8.5 billion. The new funds will help it expand: last month it launched a new version that added podcasts and video content.

Microsoft's giant Surface will ship in September

Microsoft's huge, wall-mounted touchscreen for businesses, the Surface Hub, will ship in September and cost between $7,000 and $20,000 -- top dollar buys you the 84-inch, 4K version, PC World reports. Pre-orders start July 1 for the Windows 10 device, which is aimed at office collaboration with whiteboard and video-conferencing features.

Duqu spyware runners targeted Iran talks

There's new evidence that the Duqu spyware uncovered by security researcher Kaspersky has links to Israeli interests: The malware platform compromised the computer networks of several hotels and venues that hosted negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. The cyberespionage tools were originally discovered in 2011 and are believed to be related to Stuxnet, the computer worm developed by the U.S. and Israel to sabotage Iranian nuclear plants.

Apple sends out camera-equipped fleet to try to beef up its maps

Apple's mapping service has lagged Google Maps since its error-riddled release, but the company continues to work to improve it. Now it's confirmed that camera-equipped cars which have been spotted in several U.S. cities are collecting data for future updates of Apple Maps, indicating that it may be planning to copy Google Maps' Street View.

European cloud startup emphasizes privacy over US rivals

It may not own its own data centers, but cloud storage startup Zettabox bets it will be able to compete against bigger rivals by guaranteeing customers that their data will be housed in Europe. Its offering anticipates the approval of stricter data protection rules in the European Union. Based in London and Prague, it's a small fish in a sea of whales, with funding reportedly under €10 million.

How polluted will the air in Beijing be tomorrow? Microsoft has an app for that

Hazardous air quality levels are a common problem in major Chinese cities, and now Microsoft has brought big data analysis to bear. Its computing models can forecast the air quality in 41 cities in the country and deliver the information via its Your Weather app. It takes official data from government air quality monitoring stations and then uses weather data to predict the pollution levels two days in advance.

Watch now

Sony has some new cameras that may convince you to take along a point and shoot, not just your smartphone, on your next vacation. World Tech Update takes a look.

One last thing

If you're tech savvy, you dismiss those flashing pop-ups screaming that "Your PC may be infected!" with an eye-roll. But many other people call that number and wind up overpaying for mediocre security tools. Jeremy Kirk examines the underside of antivirus marketing.

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Slideshows

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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