The Deal to Save ZTE Won’t Resolve US-China Tensions

The Trump administration just came to an agreement to lift crippling sanctions against Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE. Ending the sanctions banning US companies from selling hardware or software to ZTE could save the company, which announced last month that it had suspended its major operations due to the restrictions. But the tensions between the US and China are far from over.

Congress is investigating both Google and Facebook over their dealings with Huawei and other Chinese firms. Meanwhile, the US memory-chip-maker Micron is among three companies under investigation in China for price fixing. And those are just the latest moves in an ongoing “cold trade war” between the US and China, which constantly threatens to erupt into a full-blown trade war.

But this latest trade news also shows how interconnected the two countries’ economies are, despite escalating tensions between their governments. ZTE’s and Huawei’s products depend heavily [...]  read more

Facebook notifies 14M users of a bug that made status posts public 

In a statement provided to Engadget, Facebook chief privacy officer Erin Egan wrote: “We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. We have fixed this issue and starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time. To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before – and they could still choose their audience just as they always have. We’d like to apologize for this mistake”.

The bug became active on May 18th and Facebook started releasing a fix on the 22nd, though they didn’t revert everyone’s status settings until the 27th. It happened when the platform started building a ‘featured items’ section in profiles for users to highlight content of their choosing. Those were set to be publicly visible, but Facebook accidentally extended that setting to all new posts.

Facebook has reset [...]  read more

Apple introduces the A.I. phone

At Apple’s WWDC 2018 – an event some said would be boring this year with its software-only focus and lack of new MacBooks and iPads – the company announced what may be its most important operating system update to date, with the introduction of iOS 12. Through a series of Siri enhancements and features, Apple is turning its iPhone into a highly personalized device, powered by its Siri A.I.

This “new A.I. iPhone” – which, to be clear, is your same ol’ iPhone running a new mobile OS – will understand where you are, what you’re doing, and what you need to know right then and there.

The question now is will users embrace the usefulness of Siri’s forthcoming smarts, or will they find its sudden insights creepy and invasive?

Siri Suggestions

After the installation of iOS 12, Siri’s Suggestions will be everywhere.

In the same place on the iPhone Search screen where you today see those Siri suggested apps to launch, you’ll begin to see other things Siri thinks you may [...]  read more

Ikea’s smart speaker prototype doubles as a shelf

 In case you missed the news late last year, Ikea is teaming up with Sonos to create a new series of smart speakers that goes by the name SYMFONISK. 

Today, prototypes of the speakers were shown off at Ikea’s Democratic Design Day event in Sweden and they’re … well, interesting.

There will be a number of speakers in the range – which Ikea says will be more affordably priced than regular Sonos speakers – with the one pictured up above doubling as a shelf or hang beneath a kitchen cabinet without seeming out of place.

Ikea hasn’t nailed down a specific release date for the line-up (other than a vague “sometime after summer 2019” that it mentions in a blog post on its website) but claims that the first of these prototypes is within earshot.  

The motivation behind SYMFONISK is to create a series of speakers that “save space, get rid of cords, make clutter invisible, and bring sound and music into the home in a more beautiful way” according to  Björn [...]  read more