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Trump tells Apple to make products in US

NEW YORK (Reuters): US President Trump tweeted on Saturday that Apple Inc (AAPL.O) should make products inside the United States if it wants to avoid tariffs on Chinese imports.

The company told trade officials in a letter on Friday that the proposed tariffs would affect prices for a “wide range” of Apple products, including its Watch, but it did not mention the iPhone.

Trump, speaking on Friday aboard Air Force One, said the administration had tariffs planned for an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Trump tweeted that “Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now.”

Apple declined to comment.

The technology sector is among the biggest potential losers as tariffs would make imported computer parts more expensive. Apple’s AirPods headphones, some of its Beats headphones and its new HomePod smart speaker would also face levies.

“The burden of the proposed tariffs will fall much more heavily on the United States than on China,” Apple said in its letter.

 

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Turkcell, Nokia collaborate on 5G technology

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Turkey’s leading GSM operator Turkcell and Finland-based mobile phone giant Nokia have signed an agreement to develop new technologies, Turkcell announced Friday.

“Two companies will work on the Internet of Things (IoT), smart automobile technologies, online medicine, and automatization for the Turkcell network,” it said in a statement.

Joint projects will contribute to Turkey’s target to become one of the leading countries in the field, the statement read. 5G refers to the fifth generation, mobile wireless standard technology.

Gediz Sezgin, Turkcell’s deputy general manager for networks, said: “With the project, 5G will be commercialized in Turkey and we will take important steps to produce future technologies.”

Mikko Lavanti, the head of Nokia Central Asia and Central Europe, said: “This agreement, which shows Nokia’s confidence in Turkey, makes possible to prepare 5G network substructure jointly.” Turkcell spearheaded GSM-based mobile communication in Turkey when it started operations in 1994.

Since then, it has continuously expanded its services based on mobile, audio and data communication.

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Facebook to invest $1bn in Singapore data center

SINGAPORE (Agencies): Facebook said on Thursday it will invest more than $1 billion to build its first data centre in Asia in Singapore, slated to open in 2022.

Facebook’s facility will be located in the west of the island, near where Google is expanding its Singapore data centres in an $850 million investment as mobile growth, e-commerce and cloud computing demand rise across the region.

“This will be our first data centre in Asia,” Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure data centres, Thomas Furlong said at a press conference with local authorities in Singapore.

He said the facility was expected to open in 2022 depending on the speed of construction.

Facebook said in a statement the 170,000 square meter facility represented an investment of more than S$1.4 billion ($1 billion) and would support hundreds of jobs.

Facebook has a number of data centres in the United States as well as Ireland and Sweden, and it is building a facility in Denmark.

“The data centre isn’t country specific to where users are located…it’s a dynamic process,” said Furlong.

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Google launches new search experience for job seekers

Monitoring Desk

KARACHI: Google has unveiled a new search experience making it easier for job seekers in the region to find employment opportunities from popular job listing websites, online classifieds and companies.

The new feature is built directly into Google Search to provide a comprehensive listing of jobs across the web. At launch, job search will have hundreds of thousands of job listings from thousands of sites, including Mustakbil.com, PaperPK.com, Bikroy.com, Ikman.lk and Xpressjobs.lk.

Job seekers can now search for “part-time jobs,” “software developer jobs” or similar unique job-seeking queries, to pull out a special module that can be expanded to a more immersive experience. Clicking on any job in this listing opens an at-a-glance view of comprehensive information about the posting such as job title, location, whether it is full-time or part-time, and several other important details – from summaries and links to reviews and ratings of the employer by trusted sources, to the commute between the workplace and home.

The feature will then direct people to the job listing page on the respective website to learn more information or submit their application.

Built to work both on mobile and desktop, job search comes equipped with a number of tools, making it easier for job seekers to find opportunities that fit their unique needs.

With smart filters for categories such as job type, location, posting date, or company type, people can get customized results with a couple of taps. Job listings can also be saved or shared with friends and colleagues, and people can sign up for alerts to receive notifications when relevant new listings are posted for those searches.

 

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New iPhone likely to be unveiled on Sep 12

Monitoring Desk

TAMPA: Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone at a September 12 press event in California.

Most Apple observers expect the company to unveil a number of new models and a release date for its next iOS operating system.

Bloomberg reports it could expand the iPhone X design and name across its entire phone lineup with more sizes, colors and prices.

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Samsung to bring new features in mid range phonesSamsung to bring new features in mid range phones

Monitoring Desk

SEOUL: Most new features come first in the flagships, but this time Samsung is planning to start taking a different approach. Head of Samsung’s mobile division, DJ Koh, said that the company plans to change its smartphones strategy and is now focused on differentiating mid-range phones ahead of flagship phones.

The CEO said the South Korean giant is changing its smartphone strategy for its mid-priced Galaxy A series of smartphones.

Koh further said that Samsung is planning to bring in cutting-edge features to its cheaper models first instead of introducing this new technology into the flagship Galaxy S and Note series of devices.

This move comes just after when a global sales of Samsung smartphone went slowdown and now a company is feeling a bit of the pressure. According to CNBC, Sales in its mobile division fell 20 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2018 with the company attributing it to lower-than-expected sales of its high-end Galaxy S9 device.

The other major reason is the Chinese mobile manufacturer, Yes, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are all offering high-spec devices at cheaper prices, which is also putting pressure on Samsung.

 

 

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Apple’s self-driving car faces first crash

SAN FRANCISCO (Agencies): An Apple Inc self-driving car was rear-ended while merging onto an expressway near the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters this month, the company said in an accident report posted on Friday that confirmed the iPhone maker is still in the race to build autonomous vehicles.

Apple executives have never publicly spoken about the company’s self-driving car program, but filings in a criminal court case last month confirmed that the company had at least 5,000 employees working on the project and that it was working on circuit boards and a “proprietary chip” related to self-driving cars.

Apple is entering a crowded field where rivals such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo unit and traditional carmakers such as General Motors Co’s Cruise Automation, as well as startups such as Silicon Valley’s Zoox, are pouring billions of dollars into cars that can drive themselves.

On Aug. 24, one of Apple’s Lexus RX 450h self-driving test vehicles in “autonomous mode” was merging south on the Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale, California at less than 1 mile per hour when it was rear-ended by a 2016 Nissan Leaf going about 15 miles per hour, according to the report posted on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.

 

The accident happened at about 3 p.m. as the Apple vehicle had slowed and was waiting for a safe gap in traffic to complete the merge, the report said.

Both vehicles sustained damage but there were no injuries, the report said. Under a safety plan filed with California regulators, a human driver must be able to take control of Apple’s self-driving test cars.

An Apple spokesman confirmed that the company had filed the report but did not comment further. He declined to respond to questions about whether the trailing car could have been at fault.

Apple’s efforts remained shrouded in secrecy until years after its rivals like Google had begun testing on public roads. The iPhone maker’s first public acknowledgement of interest in the field came in a letter to U.S. transportation regulators in late 2016 urging them not to restrict testing of the vehicles.

Last year, Apple secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California. It has been testing cars on the road since last year and now has permits for more than 60 vehicles. Apple researchers also last year published their first public research on cars, a software system that could help spot pedestrians more readily.

The safety of self-driving cars has become a source of concern for U.S. transportation regulators this year after one of Uber Technologies Inc’s vehicles struck and killed a woman in March in Arizona, prompting the company to shut down its testing efforts for a time. Uber has said it plans to have self-driving cars back on the road by the end of the year.

The California DMV said it has received it has received 95 autonomous vehicle collision reports as of Aug. 31. Dozens of companies have received permits to test self-driving vehicles on California roads, but those permits require the presence of a human safety driver.

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Now anyone can check your chat with new WhatsApp backups 

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD: Would you store WhatsApp backups without encryption?In an FAQ, messaging platform WhatsApp has given details of a deal that allows users to backup to Google Drive without worrying about storage costs. It will only apply to users that run the app on Android. Heavy users of the app will welcome this move. It will free up space on their device and allow them to restore to another device. To sweeten the announcement, backups won’t count towards Google Drive limits.

Like anything that sounds too good to be true, so it this. About halfway down the FAQ that gives details on how to backup WhatsApp adds the line:

For anyone who relies on WhatsApp to communicate securely, this backup option is not for you. It is likely to have businesses, journalists and rights activists looking for an alternative. None of these groups will want their messages suddenly accessible by hackers or anyone who can get to a users Google Drive account.

This is yet another piece of bad news for WhatsApp after researchers said they could hack into the app earlier this month.

The only people who will be breaking open the champagne here are law enforcement and governments. They have often complained that WhatsApp is being used by criminals and terrorists and the encryption is hampering their work.

In India, the government has a long running battle with WhatsApp arguing that it is stopping them investigating rapes and murders. They also accuse it of spreading misinformation and provocative content. In July, WhatsApp said it was looking at ways to limit the number of times messages could be forwarded.

This move now allows authorities to issue a warrant to Google in order to access a users messaging backup. If successful, they would be able to see all the chats that a user has backed up. Intelligence services may not even wait for a warrant. They could choose to simply hack into a users Google Drive account and copy the data. The same could be done by other hackers looking for information that they could exploit.

What cannot be done is to backup a seized phone and then access the data. This is because the setup process requires access to WhatsApp on the local device. The user has to be logged in to create the backup process.

Transferring the message store “as is” from the device was one option. However, the key used to encrypt the data is stored on the device. Extracting and saving it is not the simplest of tasks. WhatsApp could have written a utility that would have helped the user do this but then it would need to store the key securely in Google Drive.

Another option would have been to provide the user with a way to encrypt the data themselves. This could be as simple as asking for a password before the data was transferred.

A third option would have been to create a proper backup app. This could help the users encrypt their data and even setup multi-factor authentication in order to access it later. They would also have the ability to backup wherever they wanted – Google, Microsoft, Box, Dropbox, company server, home computer, etc. Such a wider set of options seems like a missed opportunity.

WhatsApp has made its mark as a secure messaging application. Users like it because it keeps all their conversations secret. Only those involved in a conversation can see the messages. Despite pressure from many governments, most recently India, WhatsApp has made it clear it cannot decrypt messages.

There is a question over why Google Drive and why only Google Drive. It could be that it was the easiest option given that this only applies to Android devices running WhatsApp. However, there are suggestions in Internet chat groups that this could be a more sinister move.

Last year, Google was caught monitoring what people were storing in its apps. In what Google later blamed on a botched update, some users were locked out of their accounts for violating the company’s content policies. Like many Internet companies, Google is under pressure to scan for unacceptable content and block it. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that it would be doing some form of scanning.

The vast majority of content inside WhatsApp backups is likely to be mundane. However there will be messages that are not so innocent. Photos sent between two individuals, business users exchanging confidential data and journalists talking to sources. None of these would expect Google or anyone else to be mining their WhatsApp backup. But if it isn’t encrypted then it’s fair game.

 

 

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China’s ZTE production back to normal,says new Executives

BEIJING (Agencies): Production at China’s ZTE Corp is back to normal after the lifting of a US ban and its carrier network business will return to a standard growth track in 2019, according to the firm’s newly elected chairman and chief executive.

China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker was crippled in April when the United States banned American firms from selling it parts, saying the company broke an agreement to discipline executives who had conspired to evade US sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The ban, which became a source of friction in Sino-US trade talks, was lifted in July after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties, allowing the firm to resume business.

“As of today, the main operating business has resumed completely. The production mission for August has resumed to normal and R&D is resuming rapidly,” the Securities Times newspaper quoted Chairman Li Zixue as saying at a shareholder meeting at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Tuesday.

ZTE confirmed the comments to Reuters on Wednesday.

As part of the settlement deal with Washington, ZTE, which relies on US suppliers for core components, also overhauled its management team and appointed a new chief executive and chairman.

“We can definitely say the company is still in the front line in the communications industry,” CEO Xu Ziyang said at the meeting.

“Our orders have been great and are in line with that of July and August last year,” he said, adding that the company hoped to see its network operating business resume a normal growth path in 2019.

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Vivo X23 looks like a Copy of Oppo R17

Monitoring Desk

BEIJING: Vivo X23 is just a few days away and will be launched on September 6. As the launch date of Vivo X23 is getting near we are getting more leaks and rumors regarding the device. After the revelation of different color options and launch date on the official site of Vivo, the Chinese company has posted Vivo X23 Live images on its website.

Today someone has posted X23 images, showing upcoming handset from all angles.

Oppo R17 and X23 were also compared side to side. Tough both devices look similar, there are few differences such as positioning of the dual rear camera and their screen notches.

Vivo X23 is rumoured to come in Phantom Purple, Magic Night, and Phantom Red.

However, there is no information that whether this upcoming device will have bezels or not. Not even there is any information about the notch.

Oppo R17 will come with the new 10 nm process Snapdragon 670 chipset that is recently introduced. It has octa-core CPU in a 2-6 configuration – 2x Kryo 260 cores for performance at 2 GHz and 6x Kryo 360 cores for efficiency at 1.7 GHz.