The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, March 9

Apple event promises Watch info ... Square pushes into more merchant services ... Google working on VR Android... and more tech news

The Apple Watch home screen

The Apple Watch home screen

Apple event Monday holds promise of more news on Watch

Apple enthusiasts will be tuning into the live-stream of the company's "Spring forward" event on Monday. It's expected to reveal more details about the Apple Watch, as well as information about pricing and sales plans. The event is a long-awaited dropping of a second shoe into the wearables market: last week's Mobile World Congress provided a venue for competitive launches, but the landscape wasn't complete without a clear picture of Apple's offering.

Square expands from simple device into merchant services

The simple mobile card reader that Square offers to small businesses to make it easier for them to accept payment cards is proving to be the thin end of the wedge prying open a bigger opportunity. On Monday, the New York Times reports, Square is rolling out even more services, instant deposits and protection for disputed purchases, that will deepen its relationships with small merchants. It already offers Square Capital, small short-term loans to businesses.

Google said to be working on VR version of Android

Google is developing a version of Android for virtual reality applications, the Wall Street Journal reported. The OS would be freely distributed, the report said, mirroring the strategy that made Android the most popular OS for smartphones. The move puts Google into a software arena where Facebook, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft and others are already engaged, with virtual reality seen as having promise far beyond just gaming.

Solar-powered plane starts round-the-world journey

A solar-powered plane took off from Abu Dhabi on Monday with plans to circumnavigate the globe on clean energy in a series of flights over the next several months, NBC News reports. Solar Impulse 2 weights 2,300 kilograms, is made of carbon fiber and has 17,000 solar cells built into the wing to supply four electric motors with renewable energy, and charge lithium-ion batteries that allow the plane to fly at night.

Microsoft goes after Kyocera's Android phones in patent case

Microsoft wants Kyocera to pay up for its use of intellectual property in Android phones, and it's now filed a lawsuit in Seattle. At the root of the claim is Microsoft's contention Android infringes on a number of its patents; other vendors including Samsung have signed licensing deals with the company.

Ulbricht seeks new Silk Road trial

Convicted Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht is seeking a new trial, as expected. His lawyer Joshua Dratel filed an appeal on Friday, the Verge reports, arguing among other things that prosecutors "failed to disclose evidence in a timely manner" and that the suppression of other evidence affected the trial's outcome.

Digital disrupts the CIA, too

It's not just traditional enterprises that have seen their businesses turned upside-down by technology: The U.S.'s spy agency is restructuring to deal with the digital world as well, the Washington Post reports. The re-org aims to increase collaboration and "significantly expand the agency's focus on digital espionage."

Watch now

Canonical's smartphone OS may be a small fish beside iOS and Android, but its interface brings some innovation to the market.

One last thing

Mexican drug cartels are suspected of abducting IT experts to build their tech infrastructure, Motherboard writes.

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IDG News Service staff

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