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Google Cloud Functions adds support for Java 11

Google has announced support for Java 11 on its serverless computing platform Cloud Functions.

As a serverless platform, Cloud Functions run snippets of code without a developer needing to manage servers. Cloud Functions for Java 11 allows developers to write code in JVM languages like Java, Kotlin, Groovy, and Scala through the Functions Framework for Java, which is a functions-as-a-service framework for writing Java functions.

RELATED CONTENT: Java celebrates 25th anniversary following the release of Java 14

There are two types of functions in serverless computing: HTTP and background functions. HTTP functions are used to respond to HTTP events; Background functions are used to process events sourced from cloud and GCP services. The Functions Framework for Java provides an API that can be used to author those functions. It also provides an invoker for calling and running those functions, either locally or in any Java 11 environment, Google explained.

In addition to the Functions Framework for Java, Google is now offering out-of-the-box support for the Micronaut framework and Spring Cloud Function project. Developers can choose what framework they want to use and create HTTP and background functions using that framework’s model.

According to Google, some example use cases for functions are real-time data processing, handling real-time event streams, and intelligent applications like chat bots or video, image, and sentiment analysis.

“Java developers can now write their functions using the Java programming language (a language often used in enterprises) in addition to Node.js, Go, or Python. Cloud Functions allow you to run bits of code locally or in the cloud, without provisioning or managing servers: Deploy your code, and let the platform handle scaling up and down for you,” Guillaume Laforge, developer advocate for Google Cloud, wrote in a post.

Cloud Functions for Java 11 is currently in beta. Developers can try it out with their favorite JVM language and frameworks.

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Disney streaming exec Kevin Mayer becomes TikTok’s new CEO

Kevin Mayer, head of The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer and international business, is departing to become CEO of TikTok, as well as COO of the popular video app’s parent company ByteDance.

Founder Yiming Zhang will continue to serve as ByteDance CEO, while TikTok President Alex Zhu (formerly the co-founder of the predecessor app Musical.ly) becomes ByteDance’s vice president of product and strategy.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the amazing team at ByteDance,” Mayer said in a statement. “Like everyone else, I’ve been impressed watching the company build something incredibly rare in TikTok – a creative, positive online global community – and I’m excited to help lead the next phase of ByteDance’s journey as the company continues to expand its breadth of products across every region of the world.”

The news was first reported by The New York Times and subsequently confirmed in announcements from ByteDance and Disney.

Mayer’s role involved overseeing Disney’s streaming strategy, including the launch of Disney+ last fall, which has already grown to more than 50 million subscribers. He was also seen as a potential successor to Disney CEO Bob Iger; instead, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek was named CEO in a sudden announcement in February.

Mayer was likely an attractive choice to lead TikTok not just because of his streaming success, but also because hiring a high-profile American executive could help address politicians’ security concerns about the app’s Chinese ownership.

Over at Disney, Rebecca Campbell (most recently president of Disneyland Resort, who also worked on the Disney+ launch as the company’s president for Europe, Middle East and Africa) is taking over Mayer’s role, while Josh D’Amaro is taking on Chapek’s old job as chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products.

In a statement, Chapek said:

As we look to grow our direct-to-consumer business and continue to expand into new markets, I can think of no one better suited to lead this effort than Rebecca. She is an exceptionally talented and dedicated leader with a wealth of experience in media, operations and international businesses. She played a critical role in the launch of Disney+ globally while overseeing the EMEA region, and her strong business acumen and creative vision will be invaluable in taking our successful and well-established streaming services into the future.

Disney CEO Bob Iger immediately steps down from CEO position

 


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Is the e-commerce shift going to last?

Ashwin Ramasamy
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Ashwin Ramasamy is the co-founder of PipeCandy, an online merchant graph company that discovers and analyzes business and consumer perception metrics about D2C brands and e-commerce companies.

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Will ‘New Retail’ help D2C brands succeed offline?
D2C companies deliver customer delight and simplicity

E-commerce is taking off faster than ever. In the last couple of weeks, my Twitter timeline has been filled with operators gushing about how the weekends seem like Black Friday, even for non-essential commodities. Change is already here.

As we help thousands of businesses to move online, our platform is now handling Black Friday level traffic every day!

It won't be long before traffic has doubled or more.

Our merchants aren't stopping, neither are we. We need 🧠to scale our platform.https://t.co/e2JeyjcEeC pic.twitter.com/6lqSrNUCte

— Jean-Michel Lemieux (@jmwind) April 16, 2020

Looking at the above graph in this Tweet from Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux — and the passing, contextless mention of “Offline2Online” — we got curious.

Beyond just the anecdotal evidence, we looked for signs that tell us e-commerce is being adopted at a faster pace. One way to ascertain that is to look at the historical data of how Shopify has been onboarding merchants for the last two years on a monthly basis, and compare that with what happened this year in Q1.

All of these data points come from PipeCandy’s own data platform that tracks close to 750K+ Shopify merchants with historical data for each:

new domains using shopify each month

New domains using Shopify each month

While 2020 started on a faster clip than 2018 and 2019, February and March have seen nothing short of jaw-dropping growth in merchant numbers for Shopify. In those two months alone, Shopify seems to have onboarded more merchants than in the whole of 2018.

The softening you see in April is a result of the lag in the way our systems validate and confirm the data and not a slowdown in Shopify per se. The e-commerce embrace is real.

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SD Times news digest: erwin Data Intelligence Suite update, Red Hat supports Quarkus, and Gatsby’s round of funding for modern development

The latest version of the erwin Data Intelligence Suite provides new AI-driven metadata matching, data lineage analysis, data model integration, and an enriched business user experience to speed enterprise data governance and literacy.

“Business transformation has to be based on accurate data assets within the right context, so organizations have a reliable source of truth on which to base their decisions,” said Adam Famularo, the CEO of erwin, Inc. “erwin provides an intuitive, robust data governance platform with the catalog, lineage, glossary and visualization capabilities needed to evaluate the business in its current state and then evolve it to serve new objectives.”

Users can automatically harvest, transform, and feed metadata from a wide array of data sources, operational processes, business applications, and data models into a central catalog. 

Additional details are available here.

Red Hat announces support for Quarkus
Red Hat advanced Java on Kubernetes by delivering Quarkus as a fully-supported runtime for cloud-native development. 

With Quarkus, users are getting a fully Red Hat supported technology, which includes an active community, continuous updates, and a fast release cadence, the company explained.

According to Red Hat, Quarkus helps increase developer productivity by working out-of-the-box with popular Java standards, frameworks, and libraries. It also increases operational efficiency and increases cost savings because it has low memory consumption.

Gatsby round of funding for modern web development
Gatsby raised $28 million in series B funding to expand its modern web development tool and framework.

Gatsby is an open-source web development framework granting a customizable and extensible way to build websites and web apps — with built-in optimizations that simply guarantee today’s modern website table stakes of performance, security, and scalability, according to the company. 

“Web presence and performance has never been more critical to a brand’s success, yet website technology has been stuck in the 2000s era without an easy path to modernization. Gatsby solves this problem with a first-of-its-kind ecosystem that productizes modern tooling and brings together all the best ways to build the web,” said Shardul Shah, partner at Index Ventures, which led the investment round. 

Fluree announces new JavaScript library
Fluree’s new JavaScript library will deliver blockchain-backed data directly to front-end apps to removes the overwhelming complexity of retrieving data in today’s legacy, microservice and API-driven architectures.

Paired with Fluree-React and native GraphQL support, developers can wrap UI components directly with nested graph queries for automatic re-renders.

“Layers of data retrieval result in unreliable data, buggy apps, security vulnerabilities and excessive overhead. By removing the need for these extra layers, Fluree JavaScript Library enables lightning-fast query responses and opens up a path to real-time applications with no additional overhead,” Fluree wrote in a post.

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Buzzy Ethereum wallet app Argent comes out of stealth

Argent is launching the first public version of its Ethereum wallet for iOS and Android. The company has been available as a limited beta for a few months with a few thousand users. But it has already raised a seed and a Series A round with notable investors, such as Paradigm, Index Ventures, Creandum and Firstminute Capital. Overall, the company has raised $16 million.

I managed to get an invitation to the beta a few months ago and have been playing around with it. It’s a well-designed Ethereum wallet with some innovative security features. It also integrates really well with DeFi projects.

Many people leave their crypto assets on a cryptocurrency exchange, such as Coinbase or Binance. But it’s a centralized model — you don’t own the keys, which means that an exchange could get hacked and you’d lose all your crypto assets. Similarly, if there’s a vulnerability in the exchange API or login system, somebody could transfer all your crypto assets to their own wallets.

At heart, Argent is a non-custodial Ethereum wallet, like Coinbase Wallet or Trust Wallet. You’re in control of the keys. Argent can’t initiate a transaction without your authorization for instance.

But that level of control brings a lot of complexities. Hardware wallets, such as Ledger wallets, ask you to write down a seed phrase so that you can recover your wallet if you lose your device. It requires some discipline and it’s hard to understand if you’re not familiar with the concept of seed phrases.

Even Coinbase Wallet tells you to back up your seed phrase when you first create a wallet. “We see them as advanced tools for developers,” Argent co-founder and CEO Itamar Lesuisse told me.

That’s why a new generation of wallets tries to hide the complexity from the end user, such as ZenGo and Argent. Creating a wallet on Argent is one of the best experiences in the cryptocurrency space. Your wallet is secured by something called ‘guardians’.

Trust your friends

A guardian can be someone you know and trust, a hardware wallet (or another phone) or a MetaMask account. Argent also provides a guardian service, which requires you to confirm your identity with a text message and an email. If you lose your phone and you want to recover your wallet on another phone, you need to speak to your guardians and get a majority of confirmations. If they can all confirm that, yes, indeed, your phone doesn’t work anymore and you want to recover your crypto assets, the recovery process starts.

Let’s take an example. Here’s your list of guardians:

Argent’s own guardian service
Two friends who are also using Argent
A Ledger Nano S hardware wallet

In total, there are five different factors involved, you including. If you lose your phone, you can recover your wallet by downloading Argent on another phone (factor #1), asking Argent’s guardian service to send you a text and an email to confirm your identity (factor #2) and confirming your identity with the Ledger Nano S (factor #3).

You have reached a majority and the recovery process starts. You’ll get your funds in 36 hours so that you have enough time to cancel it it’s a hijacking attempt.

But you could also have downloaded the Argent app on another phone (factor #1) and pinged your two friends (factor #2 and #3) directly. If they can confirm the same sequence of characters (emojis in that case), the recovery process would start as well.

“I’m interested in social recovery, multi-key schemes,” Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said in a TechCrunch interview in July 2018. It’s not a new concept as social media apps already use social recovery systems. On WeChat, if you lose your password, WeChat asks you to select people in your contact list within a big list of names.

In Argent’s case, social recovery adds an element of virality as well. The experience gets better as more people around you start using Argent.

In addition to wallet recovery, Argent uses guardians to put some limits. Just like you have some limits on your bank account, you can set a daily transaction limit to prevent attackers from grabbing all your crypto assets. You can ask your guardians to waive transactions above your daily limits.

Similarly, you can ask your guardians to lock your account for 5 days in case your phone gets stolen.

Betting on Ethereum

Argent is focused on the Ethereum blockchain and plans to support everything that Ethereum offers. Of course, you can send and receive ETH. And the startup wants to hide the complexity on this front as well as it covers transaction fees (gas) for you and gives you usernames. This way, you don’t have to set the transaction fees to make sure that it’ll go through.

The startup plans to integrate DeFi projects directly in the app. DeFi stands for decentralized finance. As the name suggests, DeFi aims to bridge the gap between decentralized blockchains and financial services. It looks like traditional financial services, but everything is coded in smart contracts.

There are dozens of DeFi projects. Some of them let you lend and borrow money — you can earn interest by locking some crypto assets in a lending pool for instance. Some of them let you exchange crypto assets in a decentralized way, with other users directly.

DeFi aims to bridge the gap between blockchains and financial services

Argent lets you access TokenSets, Compound, Maker DSR, Aave, Uniswap V2 Liquidity, Kyber and Pool Together. And the company already has plans to roll out more DeFi features soon.

Overall, Argent is a polished app that manages to find the right balance between security and simplicity. Many cryptocurrency startups want to build the ‘Revolut of crypto’. And it feels like Argent has a real shot at doing just that with such a promising start.


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SD Times news digest: HackerRank announces remote hiring solution, Embarcadero RAD Studio 10.4, Qt 5.15 LTS documentation and Qt for Android

HackerRank announced a new remote hiring solution and the formation of the independent Skills Advisory Council to standardize hiring.

The company made updates to CodePair to facilitate a significant piece of the hiring process that has shifted from on-site interviews to remote.  

“While hiring in many categories has slowed or stopped, the market for tech hiring is expected to bounce back rapidly. We are future proofing our solution not for the new normal but for the forever different,” said Vivek Ravisankar, the co-Founder and CEO of HackerRank. “With these new product enhancements, we’re ensuring our customers can meet their business objectives and accelerate their innovation while maintaining a world-class experience for their candidates and for their hiring managers.”

The solution features virtual whiteboarding and interviewer guidelines as well as scorecards and candidate packet.

Additional details are available here.

Embarcadero RAD Studio 10.4 now available
Embarcadero announced RAD Studio 10.4 to accelerate native Windows development and to add code insights for Delphi developers. 

Version 10.4 delivers improvements for Windows 10 VCL (Visual Component Library) desktop development, Delphi multi device development, and developer productivity that optimizes application performance while reducing the time developers spend building and maintaining code.

One key feature includes the introduction of the Language Server Protocol (LSP) to standardize inter-process communications between the RAD Studio Code Editor and the Delphi language server. 

Qt 5.15 LTS documentation and Qt for Android
Qt revamped the documentation for its upcoming release of Qt 5.15, including new content on how to use Qt for Android. 

Other topics that have been improved include extending Qt applications to use custom Java classes or assets and the packaging structure, dependency version management between the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) and Qt, how to work with Android services, and how to build and use OpenSSL with Android. 

Additionally, the latest release of Qt Creator brought substantial improvements for Android development. Additional details are available here.

GitHub makes credits more visible in Security Advisories
GitHub is making credits more visible so that anyone visiting an advisory can see who contributed. Saying thanks to those contributors is now a core part of the Security Advisory workflow. 

“Giving credit is simple—when editing a Security Advisory, use the Credits area at the bottom to search for the GitHub user you wish to credit, and press Enter,” GitHub wrote in a blog post.

IBM Data Asset eXchange
The latest updates to the Data Asset eXchange adds a host of new data-related assets and user experience enhancements. For existing data sets, seven new Watson Studio notebooks as well as three Watson studio projects and a new batch of exploratory notebooks that accompany the DAX data sets were added. 

IBM Data Asset eXchange (DAX) is an online hub for developers and data scientists to find free and open data sets under open data licenses.

The company said it is working on improving the way DAX displays data set previews and began adding data glossaries and detailed metadata sections to provide users with extra context behind a data set’s features and use cases.

Additional details are available here.

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Help wanted: Autonomous robot guide

COVID-19 knocked the wheels off the economy, but one nascent tech job not only kept rolling, it picked up speed.

Teleoperations — or more specifically, teleops for autonomous delivery robots — is still a niche job within an industry that has yet to dive into the deep end of the commercialization pool. However, the job, in which a human remotely monitors and guides autonomous robots, has seen growth along with rising demand for contactless delivery over the past several months.

And it appears that COVID-19 inadvertently expanded the labor pool — at least for Postmates.

On-demand delivery startup Postmates partnered last year with Phantom Auto, an autonomous vehicle teleoperations company. Postmates uses Phantom Auto’s software development kit to remotely monitor, guide or operate its fleet of cooler-inspired autonomous delivery robots known as Serve.

The partnership is part of Phantom Auto’s efforts to diversify beyond autonomous robotaxi applications to a logistics business targeting sidewalks, warehouses and cargo yards — all the places where autonomy and teleoperation are being deployed today.

Momentum for delivery robots

The so-called “race” to deploy self-driving trucks, robotaxi services and other applications of autonomous vehicle technology on public roads had slowed long before COVID-19 appeared. Deployment timelines moved as engineers dug into the harder-than-expected challenges of validating and verifying that their self-driving vehicle technology was safe enough to operate without a human operator behind the wheel. The smaller less capitalized startups have tried to pivot, some unsuccessfully.

COVID-19 has slowed development even further with one exception: autonomous delivery robots that operate on sidewalks or in bike lanes — not roads. Startups like Refraction AI, Starship Technologies and Postmates have experienced an uptick in demand as COVID-19 prompted cities, counties and states to issue stay-at-home orders. Autonomous robots, once considered novelties, have become accepted and even sought after. For instance, Nuro’s R2 delivery robots are being used to move medical supplies around two stadiums in California that were converted into COVID-19 treatment centers.

postmates-phantom-wfh

A Postmates employee monitors one of the company’s autonomous delivery robots. Photo: Postmates

As COVID-19 swept into the U.S., Postmates executives came to the conclusion that this was going to be a long ordeal. The company had already sent its engineering staff to work from home, but its teleoperators were still in coming to the company’s operations centers.

By mid-March, stay-at-home orders began in San Francisco and Los Angeles — the two markets where Postmates operates its autonomous delivery bots. Soon after, Postmates made its move and turned teleoperators, or fleet supervisors as they call them, into a work-from-home job.

“We had this recognition that this isn’t really going to be a two or three-week phase,” Ali Kashani, Postmates’ vice president of special projects said in a recent interview. “We realized that we have a role to play here — we can actually do something.”

Postmates decided to ramp up the deployment of its Serve robots, which would require more teleoperations workers. These autonomous robot guides are needed to make sure the Serve bots make it safely to and from their destination.

Using Phantom Auto’s software, a Postmates fleet supervisor can monitor a robot from thousands of miles away. The supervisor will jump in to help the bot navigate the first and last 15 feet to a restaurant or the recipient or if it needs help crossing a busy street.

These robot guides can assist using a couple of methods. The human teleoperator can provide input to the system, something as simple as a thumbs up or thumbs down to help the bot make the right choice. The employee can also use a hand-held remote controller to steer, accelerate and slow down the bot in real-time.

Instead of cramming people into its operations centers, Postmates took the tech to employees’ homes. The company, along with an assist from Phantom Auto, set up at-home workstations, upgraded their internet and developed new standard operating procedures to ensure that managers could monitor their connectivity more effectively.

Postmates had its fleet supervisors working from home a few days after the first shelter-in-place orders kicked off in mid-March, Kashani said.

That seemingly obvious move might never happened had it not been for COVID-19. Under normal operating procedures, fleet supervisors worked in Postmates’ centralized operation center facilities in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

When it moved the job to employees’ homes, Postmates discovered it had a much larger labor pool to pull from. Postmates can now employ workers who live far from its offices or people with disabilities who might have difficulty traveling from home.

The company has increased its fleet supervisors by 30% since San Francisco issued its shelter-in-place order March 17. Postmates wouldn’t share exact employee numbers.

Kashani said demand for robot deliveries was never the problem. “The limitations in this kind of business is just how many robots can you build and deploy?” Kashani said. And the more robots that are deployed, the more fleet supervisors are needed.

 


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Report reveals new technology priorities to deal with COVID-19 pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact businesses, enterprises are beginning to shift their priorities. A new report revealed 95% of organizations are changing technology priorities, and 87% of technologists are using this as an opportunity to display their value to the business. 

AppDynamics, a Cisco company, released “The Agents of Transformation Report,” which looks at how organizations are dealing with the pressures of COVID-19 and the accelerating rate of digital transformation.

“Our world changed almost overnight. With no chance to prepare, IT departments are facing a brand new set of priorities and challenges, and technologists are suddenly under immense pressure to deliver the infrastructure, applications and security required to maintain world-class digital experiences, both internally and externally. And they’re having to do this in real-time, through a period of massive change, often while working remotely,” the company wrote in a blog post

Respondents report the pandemic has highlighted some weaknesses in their digital strategies causing enterprises to speed up digital transformation projects.

“Organizations are urgently having to adapt their go-to-market strategies, as well as create and launch new digital services and applications in the current environment. As a result, technologists are being asked to deliver major transformation projects in previously unthinkable timeframes – all the while ensuring flawless customer experience,” the company wrote.

According to the report, digital customer experience is now the business priority with 88% of technologists agreeing. The problem is getting the resources and support to make that priority shift. The biggest challenges teams have faced in the wake of the pandemic include managing spikes in website traffic, lack of unified visibility and insight into performance, and managing mean time to resolution. In order to get the support and resources they need, technologists pointed to needing clear goals and objectives, real time data at the point of need, autonomy and accountability, and the freedom to experiment and take risks. 

Eighty percent of technologists stated that the ability to quickly respond has positively changed the perception of IT within their organization. 

Other key findings of the report include: 81% believe COVID-19 is the biggest technology pressure they have ever had to deal with; 61% feel under more pressure than ever before; and about 64% are being asked to perform tasks they never had to before. 

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UK government reverses course on Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks

Conservative members of the United Kingdom’s government have pushed Prime Minister Boris Johnson to draw up plans to remove telecom equipment made by the Chinese manufacturer Huawei from the nation’s 5G networks by 2023, according to multiple reports.

The decision by Johnson, who wanted Huawei’s market share in the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure capped at 35 percent, brings the UK back into alignment with the position Australia and the United States have taken on Huawei’s involvement in national communications networks, according to both The Guardian and The Telegraph.

The debate over Huawei’s role in international networking stems from the company’s close ties to the Chinese government and the attendant fears that relying on Huawei telecom equipment could expose the allied nations to potential cybersecurity threats and weaken national security.

How Huawei is dividing Western nations

Originally, the UK had intended to allow Huawei to maintain a foothold in the nation’s telecom infrastructure in a plan that had received the approval of Britain’s intelligence agencies in January.

“This is very good news and I hope and believe it will be the start of a complete and thorough review of our dangerous dependency on China,” conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told The Guardian when informed of the Prime Minister’s reversal.

As TechCrunch had previously reported, the Australian government and the U.S. both have significant concerns about Huawei’s ability to act independently of the interests of the Chinese national government.

“The fundamental issue is one of trust between nations in cyberspace,” wrote Simeon Gilding, until recently the head of the Australian Signals Directorate’s signals intelligence and offensive cyber missions. “It’s simply not reasonable to expect that Huawei would refuse a direction from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Given the current tensions between the U.S. and China, allies like the UK and Australia would be better served not exposing themselves to any risks from having the foreign telecommunications company’s technology in their networks, some security policy analysts have warned.

“It’s not hard to imagine a time when the U.S. and China end up in some sort of conflict,” Tom Uren of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) told TechCrunch. “If there was a shooting war, it is almost inevitable that the U.S. would ask Australia for assistance and then we’d be in this uncomfortable situation if we had Huawei in our networks that our critical telecommunications networks would literally be run by an adversary we were at war with.”

U.S. officials are bound to be delighted with the decision. They’ve been putting pressure on European countries for months to limit Huawei’s presence in their telecom networks.

“If countries choose to go the Huawei route it could well jeopardize all the information sharing and intelligence sharing we have been talking about, and that could undermine the alliance, or at least our relationship with that country,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, according to a report in The New York Times.

In recent months the U.S. government has stepped up its assault against the technology giant on multiple fronts. Earlier in May, the U.S. issued new restrictions on the use of American software and hardware in certain strategic semiconductor processes. The rules would affect all foundries using U.S. technologies, including those located abroad, some of which are Huawei’s key suppliers.

Huawei admits uncertainty following new US chip curbs

At a conference earlier this week, Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping admitted that while the firm is able to design some semiconductor parts such as integrated circuits (IC), it remains “incapable of doing a lot of other things.”

“Survival is the keyword for us at present,” he said.

Huawei has challenged the ban, saying that it would damage the international technology ecosystem that has developed to manufacture the hardware that powers the entire industry.

“In the long run, [the U.S. ban] will damage the trust and collaboration within the global semiconductor industry which many industries depend on, increasing conflict and loss within these industries.”


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Google and Apple release Exposure Notification API

Google and Apple partnered up to build Exposure Notification technology that will enable apps created by public health agencies to work more accurately across Android phones and iPhones.

“Exposure Notification has the specific goal of rapid notification, which is especially important to slowing the spread of the disease with a virus that can be spread asymptomatically,” Apple and Google said in a joint statement.

Exposure Notification aims to expand on the contact tracing approach by using privacy-preserving digital technology to tell someone they may have been exposed to the virus.

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Public health organizations can embed the technology into their own apps. Each user gets to decide whether or not to opt-in to Exposure Notifications; the system does not collect or use location from the device; and if a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, it is up to them whether or not to report that in the public health app.

“User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps,” Google and Apple added.

Developers can build a notification system that employs random, rotating keys and identifiers to convey positive diagnoses in addition to data such as associated symptoms, proximity, and duration.

When a user has a confirmed or potential exposure to COVID-19, the framework identifies them as affected and shares their diagnosis keys to alert other users to potential exposure and when a potentially exposed user role is assigned, the framework determines whether a set of temporary exposure keys indicate proximity to an affected user. The app can then retrieve additional information such as date and duration from the framework.

Additional details are available here.

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