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By Karthik Mudaliar
The United States government adds more Chinese firms to its trade blacklist
by Karthik Mudaliar
The United States Government is adding a bunch more Chinese firms to its trade blacklist. The firms have been added to the US Entity List for their alleged assistance in the Chinese military's quantum computing efforts like counter-stealth and counter-submarine applications, and the ability to break encryption or develop unbreakable encryption.
The ban is part of the trade war between the US and China that first started in 2019 when the US Department of Commerce put Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to the Entity List that bars anyone on it from purchasing parts and components from US companies without government approval. The eight tech firms that are now blacklisted have either acquired or attempted to acquire US-origin items to support Chinese military applications.
According to Reuters, the US Commerce Department also added several entities and individual from China and Pakistan for contributing to Pakistan's nuclear activities and ballistic missile program. In addition to China and Pakistan, a total of 27 new entities were added to the blacklist from Japan and Singapore as well.
The Chinese firms that are now blacklisted include Hangzhou Zhongke Microelectronics Co Ltd, Hunan Goke Microelectronics, New H3C Semiconductor Technologies Co Ltd, Xi'an Aerospace Huaxun Technology and Yunchip Microelectronics among others for their support of the military modernization of the People's Liberation Army. The list also includes Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, QuantumCTek and Shanghai QuantumCTeck Co Ltd.
Live Shopping on Twitter set to begin Sunday as Jason Derulo and Walmart team up
by Paul Hill
Twitter has announced that it will be launching Live Shopping on Twitter later this week. The new service will allow businesses to host live events with tabs that contain items that customers can purchase seamlessly. To increase buzz around the service’s launch, Walmart and Jason Derulo will be holding a 30-minute event from 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 28.
The event on Sunday will be held as a variety show where Derulo will show off electronics, home goods, apparel, season décor, available through Walmart during Cyber Week. Derulo will also be joined by special guests to make the show more interesting.
Commenting on Twitter’s latest feature, William White, Chief Marketing Officer at Walmart, said:
Twitter said that it’s also working on two other features pertaining to shopping on its platform that are due to arrive in the future. First, it said that it will be giving more merchants in the United States access to the Shop Module which launched earlier this year; the expansion is due in the coming weeks. Second, Twitter says it will start testing a new way to house merchant onboard and product catalogue management tools via the Twitter Shopping Manager. This will allow merchants to better control how they appear on the social network.
Motorola reveals the Moto G Power 2022 and it'll cost just $200
by Paul Hill
In a blog post, Motorola gave us the details of the upcoming Moto G Power which customers in the United States should be able to pick up in the coming months at the low price of $200. The budget phone will include a three-day battery, a powerful 50 MP camera, an ultra-wide display for viewing content, and a minimum of 64 GB built in storage, although, a 128 GB option will be available too.
Like many cheap phones, Motorola has managed to cram in a big battery on the Moto G Power. This time, a 5,000mAh battery will be included and should allow you to use your device for three days without a single charge. If you use the device to listen to music, it will run for 110 hours, watching video is possible for 18 hours, and using social media constantly on the device will see the battery last 17 hours.
Another peculiarity with these low-end phones is their ability to come with a decent camera setup. The new Moto G Power includes a 50 MP main sensor with Quad Pixel technology that increases low-light sensitivity by four times. This means, even in low light, you will get sharp bright images. There’s also a dedicated Macro Vision camera that brings you two-and-a-half times closer to the subject of the photo allowing you to capture even more detail. If you want to snap photos from the front and rear cameras at the same time, you can do this on the Moto G Power with Dual Capture mode.
The storage space on the new phone can be a little tight depending on which version you buy. The $200 model comes with just 64 GB of storage while a slightly more expensive $250 version include 128 GB of built in storage. If you still need more space after this, just plug in a microSD card and add up to 512 GB of additional storage.
The phone also includes a 6.5” Max Vision HD+ display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 90 Hz refresh rate making it ideal for gaming or browsing the web. The device is powered by an octa-core processor too which should allow it to handle most tasks easily.
In the United States, the new device will be available at Republic Wireless and Metro by T-Mobile in the coming months. The device will subsequently launch on Verizon, Boost Mobile, Xfinity Mobile, AT&T, Cricket, Uscellular, and Google Fi. If you want to get it unlocked, it will be available at Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Motorola.com early next year. The Moto G Power will also arrive in Canada in the coming months.
By Karthik Mudaliar
TSMC agrees to not leak sensitive client information upon US transparency requests
by Karthik Mudaliar
Taiwan's TSMC, which is the world's largest contract chipmaker and a major Apple Inc supplier, has put out an official statement saying that it will not leak sensitive data. The statement was put out in accordance with a US request for greater transparency in the supply chain. Although the company's statement shows its willingness to protect its clients and customers, there's no mention to what degree they would agree to such a compliance request.
TSMC lawyer Sylvia Fang, in a statement to Reuters, said:
Last month, the White House had made a request to automakers, chip manufacturing companies, and others to provide information on the ongoing semiconductor crisis that has forced a surge in price for existing chips, while cutting US auto production. The request was made to Detroit's Big Three automakers, Apple, Daimler, BMW, GlobalFoundaries, Micron, Microsoft, Samsung, TSMC, Intel, and Ampere Computing.
Recently, information about the iPhone 14 was leaked even before the iPhone 13 was released. Leaks like these have made Tim Cook put out an internal memo saying "people who leak confidential information do not belong [at Apple]", which was ironically leaked itself. Moreover, chipmakers like TSMC know well in advance what Apple and other companies are planning, which allows the scope of potential harm in the form of leaks to the respective companies.
Both the TSMC and the Taiwan Government have repeatedly said that they are doing everything they can to resolve the chip shortage. In addition to that, TSMC has also pledged to spend $100 billion over the next three years to expand chip capacity amid the global shortage.
Regardless of that, Taiwan's government has also said that although they respect US commercial law and rules, they will back up the Taiwanese companies if they receive any "unreasonable requests."
Google's Grace Hopper subsea Atlantic cable lands in the UK
by Paul Hill
Google has announced that its Grace Hopper subsea cable has landed in the UK from the U.S., just days after connecting Spain to the U.S. too. According to the search giant, the new cable will improve the resilience of the Google network that provides its consumer and enterprise products.
The company said that Grace Hopper is the first Google-funded cable to connect to the UK. It said that it recognises the importance of technology in the country, noting its contribution to the economy has been growing around 7% year on year since 2016. By strengthening its network, the tech sector in the country, which has grown 40% in the last two years, will benefit. Not only that, but 10% of all job vacancies in the UK are in tech roles.
Commenting on Grace Hopper, Jayne Stowell, Strategic Negotiator, Global Infrastructure, Google Cloud, said:
One of the interesting things about Grace Hopper is its use of switching architecture that provides network flexibility and resilience to protect against failures and unexpected traffic patterns. Once the cable is switched on, you should expect a more reliable Google services experience.