Happy Chinese New Year! 🐲
Scott here replacing your regular Tristan who’ll be back tomorrow. Until then, let’s have a look at the latest claims against Chinese megacorporation Huawei.
Fun fact: My first-ever tech interview was with a high-flying Huawei executive (who I won’t name). In a room full of experienced journalists, I raised my hand to get in early with the first question — eager to prove my worth in front of my peers in the industry.
“So, like, how...how’s it all going?” I asked him.
Hearing his translator repeat it in Mandarin was most painful. Moving swiftly along!
Back in January at CES 2019, two startup employees had a meeting with Huawei representatives to pitch their new glass technology. The product, Miraj Diamond Glass, is said to be 6 times stronger and 10 times more scratch-resistant than Gorilla Glass — the most popular smartphone display protection in the industry. Huawei was interested.
What Huawei didn’t know was that the two employees, from a startup known as Akhan Semiconductor Inc., had previously been contacted by the FBI, and were entering the meeting with hidden recording devices.
Was Huawei targeting young U.S. companies to steal intellectual property ideas? Here’s the lowdown.
💾 The BBC visited Microsoft’s Redmond HQ to discuss what went right under CEO Satya Nadalla and how, last November, it once again became “the most valuable company on the planet” (BBC)
🍏 Apple just endorsed AT&T’s fake 5G E network (The Verge)
🦊 Mozilla will join Chrome, Safari and Edge in muting auto-playing videos. Yay. Engadget
🔋 Samsung Galaxy S10 might include 9-Watt reverse charging — could be quite nippy! (Android Authority)
📦 Amazon says claims that its facial recognition tech is race- and gender-biased are “misleading” (BBC). A previous version of the tool, called Rekognition, analyzed a photo of Oprah Winfrey and said the person pictured was “76.5% likely to be a man.” Yikes.
💰 Gerald Cotten, the founder of Canada's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Quadriga, tragically passed away recently. Apparently, Cotten had sole responsibility for handling the funds there, and there’s now $140 million worth of cryptocurrency that can’t be accessed. (BBC).
💲 And, in other money-related news, Google brought home a looooooot of cheddar in Q4 2018 (Android Authority)
🚀 SpaceX tested its Mars rocket engine and it looks incredible (Ars Technica).
🤥 Don't trust all of those health articles you see in your Facebook feed (Engadget). I’d extend that to all articles you see in your Facebook feed...
🦄 So-called unicorn Slack files for IPO (New York Times)
📧 6 ways to delete yourself from the internet (CNET).
👟 Puma wants ‘tech-savvy’ people to test its self-lacing shoes (The Verge). The last time my shoe connected with a phone I ended up owing a mate 200 euros...
Since we've been talking governments today, here’s something interesting from anti-corruption firm Transparency International. The firm recently released its global corruption index for 2018, which ranks 180 countries and territories on perceived public sector corruption. On its 100-point scale, 0 is "highly corrupt" and 100 is "very clean."
It’s not exactly scientific data, however, as it’s based on the perceptions of experts and business people
Nevertheless, it makes for a compelling glimpse at the global situation. Denmark, New Zealand, and Finland are at the top, but the U.S. doesn’t come out too badly at all.
And that’s a wrap! Thanks for having me, it’s been a blast, and I almost made the deadline too (Sorry about that! Tristan, we need you back here!)
Have a good one,
Scott Adam Gordon, Editor.
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