Enterprise

Apple and Google release contact tracing software all over the world

Here’s how it works

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Last month, Apple and Google announced a monumental partnership to mutually develop contact tracing software critical to today’s pandemic. When released, the APIs will aid public health officials to detect the potential spread of the virus and to contain it before getting out of control.

Recently, both companies have finally released the first phase of their software. The APIs will begin shipping to 22 countries on five continents who requested access to the software.

Because of the naturally controversial issue of privacy, Apple and Google have also released joint statements explaining the technology to concerned individuals. First of all, the technology is completely opt-in. By default, it is turned off; users have to enable the technology manually. Further, during this first stage, consenting users must download their location’s public health app, as suggested by officials.

How it works

Once the technology is enabled, the consenting device will generate unique and random Bluetooth identifiers which change every 10 to 20 minutes, ensuring true privacy. If a user tests positive for the virus and logs it onto their region’s health app, the system will alert the devices belonging to individuals that the infected users came into contact with. Potentially infected users will then receive alerts and instructions on how to proceed next.

The contact tracing system will collect information at least once a day, ensuring up-to-date schematics of the virus’ transmission across a location. Only public health authorities will have access to the information collected. Further, Apple and Google promise to deactivate the technology once the public health crisis is over, much like Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight.

In the coming months, Apple and Google will release the second phase of the technology. By then, the software will operate through the device’s operating system, doing away with a separate app once consent is provided.

Helping the world

After the API’s delivery, the system is now a region-wide prisoner’s dilemma. Interested individuals have to rely on other people consenting to the technology as well. Whether or not the general populace will consent to the technology remains to be seen. Regardless, Apple and Google have created revolutionary technology to aid in the public health crisis.

“Today, this technology is in the hands of public health agencies across the world who will take the lead and we will continue to support their efforts,” Apple and Google said.

SEE ALSO: Google blocks 18 million phishing emails related to Coronavirus

Enterprise

Xiaomi overtakes Apple as third-best smartphone seller

Improves over last year’s performance

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Since Huawei’s struggles throughout the past year, the rise of other Chinese companies became inevitable. Now, we finally have proof. Fresh from a successful run, Xiaomi has overtaken Apple as the third-best smartphone seller during the third quarter of 2020.

As estimated by Gartner, Xiaomi bagged 44.4 million smartphone sales in the previous quarter. For reference, the Chinese company sold only 32.9 million smartphones in the third quarter of 2019, marking a huge increase from last year’s performance.

As a result, Xiaomi moved from fourth place to third place in Garter’s rankings. The company edged out Apple, who sold only 40.6 million smartphones in the same period. While Apple holds on to 11.1 percent market share, Xiaomi will now enjoy 12.1 percent of the total market.

Besides Xiaomi, Huawei was another big mover — at least in terms of units sold. Compared to an impressive 65.8 million smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2019, the struggling company fell to only 51.8 million units sold. Albeit still impressive, Huawei is now farther away from the top spot occupied by Samsung’s 80.8 million smartphones sold.

Speaking of which, the South Korean company moved almost 2 million more units from the previous year. Now, Samsung holds on to 22.0 percent of the market share.

In other news, OPPO, another Chinese rival to Huawei, slightly performed less this year: selling 29.9 million smartphones (compared to 30.6 million units last year) for the fifth spot below Apple.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi launches 5000mAh ZMI Power Bank, it’ll also warm your hands

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iPad and MacBook production to shift from China to Vietnam

Apple’s preparing for the worst

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Foxconn’s moving some iPad and MacBook production lines to Vietnam at Apple’s request. Apple intends to take a step back to protect its manufacturing might due to the ongoing trade hostilities between the US and China

According to a Reuters report, the new assembly lines in Vietnam will be operational in the first half of next year at Foxconn’s Bac Giang province. It’s not clear how much production is being moved, but the fact that a shift is already on the table means even the mightiest American company isn’t immune to the trade war.

“Apple requested the move,” a person with knowledge of the plan told Reuters. “It wants to diversify production following the trade war.”

Foxconn has announced a US$ 270 million investment to create a new subsidiary in Vietnam called FuKang Technology. Furthermore, the manufacturing vendor aims to make televisions in the plant for clients like Sony.

This will be the first time Apple has moved its iPad assembly line out of China. However, it’s also not surprising because the Cupertino giant started chalking redundancy plans months ago. Apple has announced a multi-billion dollar investment in India to expand its existing iPhone assembly line.

Trade War just isn’t pretty for anybody

While the trade war and ongoing hostilities between the US and China are yet to affect Apple directly, it intends to take no chance. It’s also considered a pragmatic reaction because many giants like Huawei, ZTE, and ByteDance have been caught in the middle, decimating their future ambitions and scope of expansion.

While American companies are yet to face the wrath directly, the deteriorating situation has prepared them to create back-up plans. Similarly, many other technology giants like Nintendo are also shifting their facilities to Vietnam in search of political stability and a business-friendly environment.

Read Also – Trade War: China’s loss is everyone’s gain

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Dyson to hire 400 engineers in the Philippines for its new software R&D lab

The company believes in the country’s young and great engineering talent pool.

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Technology company Dyson — the one behind those revolutionary hair styling tools and vacuums — is opening a new software lab in the Philippines. The company plans to hire 400 Filipino engineers with aims to develop embedded software for a new generation of intelligent machines.

“The Philippines is home to bright, young engineers who share Dyson’s ambition to develop technologies for the future,” Dyson Chief Operating Officer Scott Maguire said.

“Dyson has been growing in the Philippines for this reason and it is a nation that clearly celebrates both engineers and technology,” Maguire added, noting the existence of good technical universities in the country.

“We hire a lot of people straight from university. I came from university into Dyson,” admitted Maguire. “Our culture is very much about young, bright engineers filled with energy,” he added. “We’re confident that the talent pool is there.”

In 2016, Dyson opened its Philippines Advanced Manufacturing (PAM) facility in Laguna. The facility, which is responsible for producing the company’s Hyperdymium motor, spans ten thousand square meters and employs 600 people. This particular motor is at the heart of the company’s vacuums, the Supersonic Hairdryer, and the AirWrap.

The new software lab will be located in Alabang and is part of Dyson’s GBP 2.75 billion investment in future technology. The company is hoping to double its product portfolio by 2025. It’s also expected to accelerate the development of new Dyson machines that are often tasked with solving everyday problems intelligently.

It will also form part of Dyson’s global Research, Design and Development team, which spans, USA, UK, Shanghai, Singapore, and Malaysia. 

Dyson recognizes Filipino talent

The announcement of the new software lab comes at the heels of a Filipino being the first ever sustainability winner of the James Dyson Award (JDA).

Called the AuREUS system, it’s invented by Filipino electrical engineering student Carvey Ehren Maigue from Mapua University. AuREUS is a material derived from rotting fruits and vegertables and can be attached to a pre-existing structure or surface to harvest UV light. It then converts it to visible light to generate electricity in a way that traditional solar panels can’t. Carvey’s ingenuity impressed James Dyson himself and received a prize of PhP 1,900,000.

Beyond the Philippines

The major investment in R&D also brings interesting developments in two other countries.

In Singapore, Dyson is progressing plans to open its new global head office complex. Its R&D facilities will also be expanded to cover a growing number of fields including machine learning and robotics.

A new University research program is also set to be established to drive product development. Plans are also being made for a new advanced manufacturing hub in the country.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the company is delving deeper into robotics research and AI, investing in the Dyson UK Innovation Campuses both Malmesbury and Hullavington. Both campuses employ over 4,000 people and are expected to drive new research in fields of study including products for sustainable healthy indoor environments and well-being. 

Roles in the Philippines software lab will include embedded software engineers, automation test engineers, program managers, release train engineers, and more.

Interested? Candidates can now express their interest here or submit their application to [email protected].

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