Huawei Turns on Humour in Campaign to Win Over Germany

Huawei Turns on Humour in Campaign to Win Over Germany

China’s Huawei has turned to humour to burnish its reputation in Germany, as the under-pressure networks group seeks to defend its leading position in Europe’s largest market against concerns it poses a national security threat.

Billboards posted around Berlin ask whether fifth-generation mobile services will soon be more widespread than dog poop in the capital, while as Germany’s ruling party elected a successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel in Hamburg last week, Huawei’s stand was decked out with tongue-in-cheek slogans.

“Mutti – are we nearly in new land yet?” a sulking boy asks in one, an ironic reference to Merkel’s widely ridiculed comment in 2013 that the internet was “new land for all of us”.

Huawei is under increasing pressure outside China and its Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company’s founder, is being held in Canada as the United States seeks her extradition for allegedly misleading international banks about Huawei’s control of a company operating in Iran.

Meng denies wrongdoing and China has demanded her release.

Some US allies have barred Huawei from their markets citing national security concerns, and the Shenzhen-based global telecoms networks market leader can ill afford to lose its foothold in Germany, where it first set up operations in 2001.

“Our target group is very much decision makers,” Patrick Berger, head of media affairs at Huawei’s Berlin office, said of the campaign, launched a month ago as some German policy makers urged Berlin to consider excluding Huawei.

This followed US warnings that Huawei’s network gear could contain ‘back doors’ that would allow Chinese spies to hack into critical network infrastructure.

Germany’s interior ministry now says that it sees no legal grounds to exclude any vendor from supplying 5G gear, while the network regulator has included no security requirements in its blueprint for a forthcoming 5G spectrum auction.

Thinking ahead
The campaign is titled ‘Huaweiterdenken’ – a compound word translatable as “Thinking ahead with Huawei” – and seeks to highlight how its technology is helping people as lifestyles change.

Competitors say, however, that it smacks of desperation in an increasingly adverse political climate.

“The one stakeholder they feel they can still influence is the public,” one telecoms industry boss said.

To soothe concerns, Huawei, which sells services to Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland, has opened an information security lab in Bonn.

Germany’s information-security watchdog said this “significantly improved” its ability to scrutinise the information- and cyber-security of equipment.

Huawei is trialling a 5G project with Deutsche Telekom in Berlin ahead of the auction of licences in early 2019 that would unlock billions in network investments to enable connected factories, smart cities or self-driving cars.

Although some CDU leaders dropped by Huawei’s Hamburg stand, its public affairs team was not involved in any high-level meetings and the exhibition hall was separate from where Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was elected party leader.

“Our presence had nothing to do with the security debate,” Berger said. “And I can already tell you that we are going to be at the party conferences next year.”


Japan also planning to stop using Huawei and ZTE equipment

Huawei and ZTE have been no strangers to security and espionage scandals in recent years. And while it is hard to fully grasp the whole picture and accurately judge on any of the official accusations, it is already pretty clear that the two Chinese corporations are under direct fire by the USA. In fact, things have been unraveling very rapidly on an international scale for the pair, with many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the UK taking preemptive steps of their own.

Considering all this, plus the recent arrest of Huawei CFO it really comes as no surprise to hear that Japan is considering protective measures of its own. To be fair, unlike the ongoing US scandals, Japan’s alleged measures won’t be targeting and calling out Huawei and ZTE in particular. Instead the country is rumored to put in place certain general strengthened information security measures that will affect the two Chinese entities’ operations, among others.

This particular news has traveled rather slow, since it was first reported by the Yomiuri newspaper and then picked up by Reuters. It does, however, bring about a different air of certainty in the source, as well as potential severity of the situation Huawei and ZTE find themselves in.

Besides a potential loss in Huawei’s end user smartphone business, the more severe consequence the two Chinese corporations could be facing is a major hit to their enterprise branches. Both are major mobile infrastructure players. Huawei supplies some network equipment to NTT Docomo and KDDI Corp. Then there is also Huawei’s long-standing partnership with SoftBank Group Corp (Current owners of the US Sprint Corp) with existing plans to partner on 5G trial, which might now be in limbo, given the new developments.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has already expressed serious concerns about the Huawei and ZTE situation. ZTE’s Shenzhen stock has been in trouble, recently sliding down 5.7 percent in a global stocks sell-off after the Huawei CFO arrest. All the while, Huawei is unlisted from trading, so things are looking rather serious overall.


Vivo NEX to hit Europe for €849

The vivo NEX with a pop-up selfie camera arrived back in June, and slowly made its way outside China. You can buy the phone in plenty of countries, including India, Russia and Malaysia, but is yet to reach European soil. A rumor appeared today, suggesting vivo NEX is indeed coming to Europe and it’s going to cost €849.

When vivo introduced the NEX S, it was priced at CNY4,498, which is equal to €570. It also had a variant for CNY4,998, which translates to €630. Even if we add import fees and other taxes, the €849 tag is exceptionally high, given that the dual-screen vivo NEX 2 is just around the corner. Alternatively, that could be the price for the new phone and the source just mixed up the info.

vivo NEX 2 front vivo NEX 2 back


Volvo Switching to Android Operating System for Next-Gen Interface

Volvo used the 2018 Los Angeles auto show to announce its connectivity projects. The automaker is currently developing a new Android-based multimedia system in cooperation with Google, which will bring apps such as Google Maps and Spotify into the car. This new system will seamlessly integrate all operating systems and allow the automaker to expand its connected services beyond its current offerings.

At a roundtable discussion, Google and Volvo executives revealed that their intent is to allow an individual to bring their life into the car with a multitude of apps. Currently, Volvo and Amazon offer a delivery service that drops off packages to your vehicle. Volvo says it will offer seamless connectivity with all operating systems and bring third-party services into the vehicle but with a priority on safety. That means games are relegated to rear-seat passengers and ads won’t be shown to you. Volvo will also allow drivers to control their information and give them the ability to stay anonymous; however, staying incognito will prevent one from accessing the full capabilities of the built-in apps.

Autonomous driving will also play a key role because Volvo is learning how to restructure its software from Google. Henrik Green of Volvo’s R&D arm says the automaker is now relying less on third parties for software; instead, it is creating its own in order to allow for new functions like over-the-air updates sooner. Green and Google executive Mickey Kataria did concede that vehicle software updates won’t happen as quickly as they do on mobile devices.

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Green also revealed that 5G connectivity will be integrated into upcoming vehicles. The existing CMA and SPA platforms will receive the upgrades starting with the Polestar 2. Polestar 3, which will debut the second-generation SPA platform, will come standard with 5G connectivity and the new Android-based multimedia system. The second-generation SPA platform will also feature an integrated computer that will run all infotainment and Level 5 autonomous driving functions.

Volvo says that it will roll out its new interface globally but will have a special version for the Chinese market due to government restrictions on Google. iFly will replace Google voice for voice commands, and Autonavi will be the navigation app; however, the interface will remain Android based. Expect to see the new system by 2020.


Motorola One Power to receive Android Pie update in the “next few days” [Updated]

Lenovo-owned Motorola announced the Motorola One Power Android One smartphone back in late August this year. The smartphone was then launched in India in late September with a price tag of ₹15,999. Even though the One Power was launched after Google released Android Pie – the latest version of Android – it came with Android 8.1 Oreo which was released last year. However, those who have been waiting to get a pie of Android Pie on their One Power will be glad to know that Motorola has confirmed to roll out the update pretty soon.


Motorola has started sending out notifications to One Power users, informing them that the company will start rolling out Android Pie update in the “next few days”. While, the company hasn’t shared any specific timeline for the roll-out of Android Pie update, we are speculating that Motorola will start seeding the Android Pie update for One Power users by next week.


The Motorola One Power is an Android One smartphone, which means it runs stock Android and comes with the promise of two years of Android version updates and three years of security updates. The One Power is a mid-range smartphone though. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 SoC which is paired with 4 GB RAM. The smartphone boasts a 6.2-inch notched display and rocks dual cameras at the back. You can check out full specifications of Motorola One Power down below.

Motorola One Power Specifications

  • CPU: 1.8 GHz Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • GPU: Adreno 509
  • Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo (Android 9.0 Pie rolling out soon)
  • Display: 6.2-inch Full-HD+ (2246 x 1080 pixels) 19:9 Max Vision display with a brightness of 450 nits
  • Rear Camera: 16 MP + 5 MP with Portrait Mode, 4K Video Recording and LED flash
  • Front Camera: 12 MP with Portrait Mode and Flash
  • Internal Storage: 64 GB
  • External Storage: Expandable up to 256 GB via microSD card (dedicated slot)
  • SIM: Dual SIM
  • Connectivity: 4G VoLTE, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3.5 mm headphone jack, USB Type-C
  • Other: Fingerprint Scanner, Dolby Audio, Google Lens, Widevine L1 Certification, P2i Water-Repellent Coating
  • Battery: 5000 mAh with 15W TurboPower Charging


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Teased to Be Faster and Offer More Storage; Sales Said to Begin From August 24

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Teased to Be Faster and Offer More Storage; Sales Said to Begin From August 24


  • Galaxy Note 9 may be faster and have more storage
  • Its market availability in Europe tipped for August 24
  • Note 9’s cases and covers showcased in leaked renders

Samsung is just two weeks away from launching its latest flagship – Galaxy Note 9 – in the market. The company has already started teasing the upcoming smartphone via several videos. While a teaser hinting at a bigger battery life in the Galaxy Note 9 was posted earlier, two new videos have suggested a few other features. Based on the latest teasers, the Galaxy Note 8 successor is said to be faster than its rivals and also come with bigger storage options. Meanwhile, rumours surrounding the Galaxy Note 9 are still pouring in, suggesting that the phone will go on sale starting August 24. Interestingly, one of the reports has also claimed that the handset will no longer need the DeX Pad to get a desktop experience.

Ahead of the Galaxy Note 9 launch, several leaks have been surfacing on the Internet for a while now, and some of them are in line with what Samsung is suggesting. Earlier this week, Samsung had teased the presence of a bigger battery in the Galaxy Note 9. While it could be a key highlight of the smartphone, the company has now released two more teasers hinting at the smartphone’s storage and speed. As per a previous report, the Galaxy Note 9 is expected to get a variant with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of inbuilt storage. Other reports have claimed that the smartphone will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC.

In two 30-second videos posted on YouTube, Samsung is teasing a smartphone widely speculated to be the Galaxy Note 9. While one video flashes the words “Never have enough storage? A lot can change in a day,” while another video says “Phone too slow? A lot can change in a day.”


The videos also show the date of the Samsung Unpacked event, August 9, which is when the Galaxy Note 9 launch will take place.


Meanwhile, as per popular tipster Ronald Quandt, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will hit the shelves on August 24. According to the tweet, the smartphone will be available for pre-orders until August 23, and buyers will receive their handsets on August 24. Some previous reports had also suggested the same date of sale for the upcoming smartphone.

Coming to latest leaks regarding specifications, as per a WinFuture report, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will no longer need the DeX Pad, the accessory that offers a desktop experience. Until now, this device was required to connect the handset to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. According to the new report, the Galaxy Note 9 will only require a USB Type-C cable and a display port adapter to connect to a bigger display.

While we already know that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will come with a new S Pen, a new report has leaked the alleged design of the stylus. A report in WinFuture showcases the Galaxy Note 9 S Pen in all its glory. The same report has also leaked renders of the various Galaxy Note 9 cases and covers. While previous reports had claimed that the S Pen will double as a Bluetooth controller for the Galaxy Note 9. However, the images do not suggest the availability of any such functionality.

Additionally, the leaked images show a Protective Silicone Cover, Clear View Cover, LED View Cover, and Silicone Cover of the Galaxy Note 9. The report says that The the Protective Silicone Cover will upgrade the Galaxy Note 9 with military-grade protection. These renders also suggest the colour options the Galaxy Note 9 may be launched with – Black, Blue, Brown, and Purple.


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Processor1.8GHz octa-core
Front CameraYes
Resolution1440x2960 pixels
OSAndroid 8.1
Rear CameraYes
Battery Capacity4000mAh
Also See
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (Black sapphire, 32GB) – OFFER
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (Black, 32GB)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Midnight Black, 64GB, 6GB RAM)


Sunset Overdrive confirmed to be coming to PC

Sunset Overdrive confirmed to be coming to PCAnumber of signs over the past month have strongly suggested that Sunset Overdrive is due for a PC release, and now Xbox’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb has confirmed it’s on its way. In a tweet posted today, Hryb announced that Sunset Overdrive is gearing up to make its debut for Windows 10 PCs, and

For anyone who has been following the latest rumors and leaks closely, Sunset Overdrive’s PC release won’t come as a surprise. The game received an ESRB rating earlier this month in the U.S., following a similar rating by the Korean Game Rating and Administration Committee in May. Then, a preorder page was briefly listed on Amazon before being taken down a short time later.

There’s no confirmed release date just yet, but the Amazon preorder page indicated that the game could be headed for a November 16 launch on PC for $20. The game is expected to launch on both Steam and the Microsoft Store, as well as on physical discs.

In any case, we’ll learn much more when tomorrow’s episode of This Week on Xbox drops.

more information will be revealed in an interview with Insomniac Games founder and CEO Ted Price on the next episode of This Week on Xbox


Google: Android Pie will hit more devices by the end of 2018 than Oreo in 2017, thanks to Project Treble

With major system upgrades landing each year, it feels as though most devices are farther behind than they’ve ever been. Despite the fact that Android Pie still has no presence on Google’s monthly distribution numbers, the company still expects Pie to hit more devices by the end of this year than Oreo saw last year.

In a blog post this week, Google gives a quick update on its efforts with Project Treble. One tidbit in the post is that Google has some big expectations for what Treble will be able to do for the Android ecosystem in terms of delivering major updates.

So far, we’ve only seen a handful of manufacturers roll out updates to Android Pie or launch devices with the OS. That includes Google, obviously, as well as Essential, Sony, OnePlus, and Nokia. That’s barely made a dent in the numbers, though, with Pie still not even showing on Android’s distribution numbers as of last month.

Despite that, with just a month to go, Google expects more devices to be running Pie by the end of 2018 compared to Android Oreo’s numbers in 2017. As a point of comparison, in January of 2018, Oreo was on 0.7% of devices.

Going forward, all devices launching with Android 9 Pie or later will be Treble-compliant and take full advantage of the Treble architecture to deliver faster upgrades. Thanks to Treble, we expect to see more devices from OEMs running Android 9 Pie at the end of 2018 as compared to the number of devices that were running Android Oreo at the end of 2017.

Treble’s goal is to close the gap on updates, making it easier for devices to launch updates faster than ever before. For some OEMs, that’s been true. Essential gave Treble a lot of credit for its day-one Android Pie update.

There’s seemingly hope for other OEMs as well. Samsung, for example, didn’t start rolling out Android Oreo until February of 2018, but it will launch Pie in January of 2019 for a handful of devices. Considering that update comes with a major refresh to the company’s own software layer, I’d say that’s good progress. Hopefully, we’ll see even further progress over the coming years.


Did Walmart choose to put Flipkart deal over Binny Bansal probe?

If the investigation into Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal’s conduct found him guilty, Walmart would have inherited a mess. Photo: AFP

In a statement announcing the resignation of Binny Bansal as Flipkart group chief executive on Tuesday, Flipkart’s owner Walmart Inc. said that an internal investigation found “a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to a charge of “personal misconduct”. About two months after the US retail giant agreed to buy Flipkart, Walmart was faced with a transparency conundrum of its own: should it disclose to its shareholders that the founder of the company that was to be its biggest-ever acquisition was facing an allegation of sexual misconduct?

The subsequent chain of events shows that Walmart chose to prioritize the closing of the Flipkart deal over disclosing the probe into Binny’s conduct.

A Walmart spokesperson did not immediately respond to queries raised by Mint.

Walmart agreed to buy 77% in Flipkart for $16 billion in May. As part of the Walmart-Flipkart deal, Flipkart co-founder and executive chairman Sachin Bansal was forced out after clashing with the then board. Flipkart’s other founder and group CEO Binny Bansal took over the title of chairman after Sachin’s exit.

In July, Walmart received a complaint from a former Flipkart employee against Binny. She alleged sexual misconduct, people familiar with the matter said. This misconduct was alleged by her to have happened in 2016, by which time she had left the firm, they said.

Walmart hired an external law firm to investigate the matter.

But as important as the investigation, was the question: how does it handle the communication of the matter?

While it had agreed to buy Flipkart, Walmart was yet to get approval from the Indian anti-trust regulator. If the investigation into Bansal’s conduct found him guilty, Walmart would have inherited a mess.

After its joint venture in India with Bharti Enterprises blew up spectacularly partly because of ethics issues, the American company couldn’t afford another corporate governance disaster.

Eventually, Walmart decided against disclosing the information about the investigation into Binny’s conduct.

In August, Walmart closed the Flipkart acquisition after getting the approval of the Competition Commission of India.

“Even though the investigation (into Binny’s conduct) was started in July and Walmart did not close the deal till August, there’s a reason why the companies did not disclose that Bansal was being investigated. At that point, there was no assumption that he was guilty. So, if Walmart had disclosed that Binny was being investigated, it would have maligned his reputation unnecessarily—more so if he was found not guilty later. And, as it turns out, he was not found guilty of misconduct. So, it didn’t make sense for Walmart to disclose the investigation at that time,” said a person directly familiar with the investigation.

Even so, experts are now questioning the way Walmart dealt with the investigation into Bansal’s conduct.

On Tuesday, Walmart said the probe did not find any evidence to support the allegation made by the complainant.

But it revealed “lapses in judgement” on Binny’s part and showed “particularly a lack of transparency, related to how Binny responded to the situation”, Walmart said.

One consultant who had worked with Walmart said its handling of the matter was poor.

“This is really bad handling on Walmart’s part. If they were worried about Binny’s reputation, then it’s not like the statement they issued helps matters. It is clear that no one—Walmart or the Flipkart investors—would have wanted to jeopardize the deal by disclosing the complaint in July. If they had disclosed it then, it’s very much possible that some shareholder in the US would have asked them to keep the Flipkart deal on hold until the investigation was complete,” the consultant said.


Five ways to know if your gadgets will expose your data

Women holding their mobile phones are silhouetted as they walk on an overpass at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino - GF20000046605

Everyday gadgets can pose security risks beyond the microphones on your smart speaker or the camera on your laptop.

Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit behind the web browser Firefox, created a shopping guide by studying 70 popular internet-connected products and highlighting the minority that actually passed standard security requirements. Some that failed, such as the Anova Precision Cooker Sous Vide or the Amazon Kindle, may not even be the kind of products that consumers generally associate with being vulnerable to misuse of user data.

Mozilla worked with Consumers International, a global consumer-advocacy group, and the nonprofit Internet Society to determine the standards each product should meet.

“This points consumers in the direction of what they should be looking for when it comes to minimum security components,” Ashley Boyd, vice president of Advocacy for Mozilla, told Quartz.

Here is how the requirements highlight the fundamental ways internet-connected products can fail when it comes to protecting your data:

Communications are not encrypted

When network communications are encrypted, it essentially means that only the sender and the receiver are able to access the information, and it can’t be eavesdropped on or modified in transit. If there is no encryption, “the security of the device really depends on the wifi network,” Boyd says. “If they’re connected to an insecure wifi network, someone else who is within range could connect to the product and possibly take control of it.”

Boyd uses the example of the Anova Precision Cooker, whose communications are not encrypted. And since the device can even be controlled from a mobile app using wifi, meaning you can direct it from another room, or as Mozilla suggests, even another continent, a hacker could swoop in and ruin your meal. Another example is the FREDI Baby Monitor, which doesn’t encrypt data. That means that without a secure network, someone else could be monitoring your child, or you.

No security updates

Mozilla’s requirements state that a product must be enabled to support automatic security updates by default. If it doesn’t, this means that companies can’t address vulnerabilities in a timely matter and at scale. If you’re using an internet-connected device that hasn’t been updated in a while, there’s a chance it isn’t fully equipped to deal with the most recent forms of privacy intrusions.