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

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China defends surveillance plan by pointing to U.S.

The Chinese government is calling out U.S. opposition to its new anti-terror law, saying that it’s similar to what other countries are doing as they ask tech companies to hand over information that they need to fight terrorism. On Wednesday, China’s parliamentary spokeswoman tried to play down the impact the proposed legislation might have on foreign tech businesses, who have complained about having to turn over encryption keys and create “back doors” to enable government surveillance.

Apple’s plans for larger iPads put off to second half

A larger, 12.9-inch iPad is widely expected from Apple this year but now the Wall Street Journal reports that design decisions and supply constraints have led the company to delay production from the second quarter to the second half of 2015. Sources told the paper that it’s also considering adding USB 3.0 ports, which would be a first for the product family.

IBM adds AlchemyAPI to Watson services portfolio

IBM is buying computing services provider AlchemyAPI to add to its Watson-branded cognitive computing offerings. AlchemyAPI’s set of services are meant to help developers augment their applications with machine-learning capabilities; about 40,000 developers have used the company’s services.

U.S. pushing for drone privacy rules

Face it, what really spooks people about drones is the idea that they can hover nearby and spy on us. The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration would seem to agree: It plans to host a series of meetings aimed at developing best practices for protecting privacy for both the commercial and private use of the unmanned aircraft systems.

Silicon Valley no-poaching suit close to approved settlement

In the end, the Silicon Valley firms accused of colluding to keep tech workers’ salaries in check and limit their job prospects will get away with what is for them a financial slap on the wrist, as a judge looks set to approve a $415 million settlement in the case, re/code reports. The offer is just $90.5 million more than one the judge rejected as insufficient; Apple, Google et al are not admitting guilt in agreeing to the deal.

There’s life beyond Android and iOS at MWC

Only a handful of Windows 10 handsets were on display on the show floor of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, but with some device and chipmakers announcing their intentions to support the Microsoft OS on smartphones, there may be a good deal more available by year end. Alcatel One Touch, Acer and Intel all talked up plans for supporting Windows 10 handsets. There were also other OS makers vying for a niche at the show: Canonical and Finnish start-up Jolla were stand-outs for their willingness to try something completely different.

One year later, MtGox’s missing millions are still a mystery

The anniversary of the implosion of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange MtGox has just passed, and authorities are no closer to finding out what happened to bitcoins worth nearly half a billion dollars at the time. The company blamed hackers who exploited a bug in the bitcoin system, but meanwhile the value of the missing cryptocurrency has shrunk to about $180 million at the current bitcoin price of $277.

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PC World picks winners and losers from all the gear its reporters saw at Mobile World Congress 2015.

One last thing

One of the must-have workforce talents for the past couple of years has been data science. But now companies are looking for data artists who can “tell the story behind the data,” IT World says.

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