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The Huawei rollercoaster continues as Google gets permission to license Android again

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The Huawei rollercoaster continues as Google gets permission to license Android again

Just a few months ago the US government placed a complete ban on the companies doing business with Huawei. The decision was taken due to an unspecified national security threat. However, it seems that President Donald Trump has now softened his stance. In a press conference at the G20 conference held on Saturday, he announced that: “American companies will continue” to do business with the telecom giant.

However, it is still not clear whether it includes 5G network technology that is developed by Huawei. But it is definitely applied to Android and Google. As per the terms of the previous ban, Google was stopped from selling an android license to Huawei. This means Huawei phones could use the base open-source code. But it didn’t have access to all the important Google and PlayStore applications.

Although Trump didn’t particularly mention about Qualcomm, Google or Intel in the announcement, however, he made a point of calling out the “complex and highly scientific” products that are developed by US tech companies.

“What we’ve done in Silicon Valley is incredible and nobody has been able to compete with it, and I’ve agreed to allow them to continue to sell the product to Huawei.”

The ban may not have taken effect due to a 90-day reprieve, but it was definitely having an impact on the development of future products. Huawei has confirmed that they were working on the development of their own OS. They were also taking help from other China brands such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo as partners. Now that Google is allowed to provide an android license to Huawei, the company needs to decide whether they want to carry on with their project or go back to Google. This is affecting the functioning of the company.

Despite all this one thing that is still there is that Huawei is not allowed to sell its smartphones in the US. However, Trump didn’t shut down the possibility either, saying the two countries “will have to save that to the very end” of their negotiations over tariffs.

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VMware acquires ML acceleration start-up Bitfusion

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VMware acquires ML acceleration start-up Bitfusion

Today, VMware announced that it has acquired Bitfusion which is a former participant in the Start-up Battlefield Competition. Bitfusion was one of the very first companies to help businesses increase their complex computing workloads on GPUs, FGPAs, and ASICs. Four years earlier, in its iteration, the company was focused on AI and machine learning. It also focused more on other areas of high-performance computing. But surprisingly that shifted as the interest in AI and machine learning in recent have increased.

VMware is going to use Bitfusion’s technology, which is vendor and hardware agnostic, to bring similar capabilities to its customers. They are particular planning to integrate Bitfusion into the vSphere platform.

Krish Prasad, senior vice president, and general manager of VMware’s cloud platform business unit writes:

 “Once closed, the acquisition of Bitfusion will bolster VMware’s strategy of supporting AI and machine learning workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators.”

He also added:

 “multi-vendor hardware accelerators and the ecosystem around them are key components for delivering modern applications. These accelerators can be used regardless of location in the environment, on-premises and in the cloud.”

Prasad also said that in order to get the most out of hardware accelerators like GPUs, many of the enterprises deploy them on bare metal. VMware, however, doesn’t agree that this leads to poor utilization and poor efficiencies. Prasad also writes:

 “This provides a perfect opportunity to virtualize them, providing increased sharing of resources and lowering costs.”

Bitfusion’s software platform decouples specific physical resources from the servers they are linked to in the environment. There are focusing on GPUs. However, the platform can be extended to support other accelerators like ASICs and FGPAs. It is also known to work across AI frameworks, clouds, networks and formats such as containers and virtual machines.

According to a VMware blog:

 “In many ways, Bitfusion offers for hardware acceleration what VMware offered to the complete landscape several years ago.”

Both the companies have not disclosed the price of the acquisition, Bitfusion had raised $5 million in 2017 and a smaller, strategic investment from Samsung Ventures in 2018.

 

 

 

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Nintendo Brings New Switch Model With Better Battery Life

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Nintendo Brings New Switch Model With Better Battery Life

Nintendo, the Kyoto headquartered Japanese video game major, has announced the arrival of new Switch console “Switch Lite”. However, according to a report published by The Verge Nintendo is bringing a revision to the original Switch system announced earlier this month. As per the report, the new version will be identical to the original but improvement in battery life. Compared to the earlier battery life of 2.5 to 6.5 hours, the updated version will provide battery life between 4.5 and 9 hours, great news for all Nintendo lovers.

As detailed in FCC filing earlier last week, the tech major made some changes in the console processor and memory. This could be the possible reason behind enhanced battery life.

The Switch comparison page of Nintendo lists model number HAC-001(-01) with better battery life, with the highlight of previous version performance. The new hardware comes with serial number starting with XKW as compared to XAW in the previous version.  The new version is likely to hit the U.S. market in the middle of August. The new version Switch model will cost the same in the range of $280 to $300.

Apart from the promise of enhanced battery life, the new version is more or less the same. If you don’t have an issue with the battery life your current console, you can keep on enjoying the older version and wait for battery life feedback to come.

The battery life of the Switch depends on the game that is being played, Nintendo noted when the Switch was first launched adding that factors like network functionality and screen brightness could also have an effect on battery life.

Apart from the Switch revision announcement made on Wednesday, Nintendo also announced the new Switch Joy-Con colors.

Earlier on July 12, Nintendo announced the arrival of a smaller and cheaper version of the hybrid console– the Switch Lite. This new console with a smaller screen does not output video to TVs. Its place of detachable Joy-Cons, the new version has dedicated control inputs.

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Apple dropped another Automatic Mac Software Update to Address Further Zoom-Related issues

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Apple dropped another Automatic Mac Software Update to Address Further Zoom-Related issues

Apple vs. Zoom fight reached level two on July 16, when the Cupertino headquartered mobile giant issued a second silent security update to Macs to address the vulnerabilities created by the software automatically installed by video conferencing apps RingCentral and Zhumu, using the Zoom technology.

Earlier on July 10, Apple issued a silent update to remove the web server ending the drama over Zoom’s use of a hidden web server on Macs.

Following Apple’s Safari update making it mandatory to seek user approval every time to open a third-party app, the video congress major Zoom made some changes in software to work around the update so that it could save users from that one extra click.

The software installed by these two apps, which are basically white labels with security flaws of Zoom, are able to respond to commands allowing websites to open up Mac’s webcam during a video conference without seeking any permission. Interestingly, uninstalling of the apps did not remove the secondary web server.

When security researcher Jonathan Leitschuh first raised the concern over these vulnerabilities Zoom first defended the use of a web server but buckled under pressure to issue an update to remove the webserver.

Zoom’s chief information security officer, Richard Farley, told The Verge that the company didn’t believe there was anything wrong with its software and added:

“Our original position was that installing this [web server] process in order to enable users to join the meeting without having to do these extra clicks — we believe that was the right decision.”

He added, further that the webserver:

 “was [at] the request of some of our customers. But we also recognize and respect the view of others that say they don’t want to have an extra process installed on their local machine. So that’s why we made the decision to remove that component.”

 

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