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Huawei faked several of its phones’ benchmark scores

Will launch a ‘performance mode’ to compensate

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Do you use benchmarks to judge phones? As the market matures, the once-lauded measurement has slowly deteriorated in integrity. Nowadays, most consumers review user experience, rather than read unquantifiable benchmarks scores. In fact, test scores have now ballooned to unintelligible hundreds of thousands.

As the benchmark nears natural obsolescence, companies have started hammering the final nails in the measurement’s coffin. Indirectly proving the test’s nearing extinction, Huawei and sister company Honor have abused the benchmark test to their advantage. Both companies have been caught faking their phones’ test scores.

Recently, tech website AnandTech has discovered the companies’ anomalies. Apparently, both Huawei and Honor have altered their phones’ responses to certain benchmarking apps. When users open these apps, the phones automatically ramp up their performance specifically to pump up the test’s numbers.

Basically, when you run a benchmarking test on these phones, the resulting score artificially amplifies how the phone really runs.

To be more specific, AnandTech proved this with popular benchmarking apps, 3DMark and GFXBench. Additionally, the affected phones include the Huawei P20 Pro, the Nova 3, and the Honor Play.

In response, 3DMark has officially delisted the phones from its catalog. The ban will remain until Huawei implements a fix for the fakery.

Surprisingly, Huawei has not denied the allegations. In fact, the company has indirectly confessed to the crime.

In a statement, Dr. Wang Chenglu, Huawei’s director of software, cites “other manufacturers also [misleading] with their numbers.” Additionally, he states that it is already “common practice in China.”

To further add evidence against their case, Huawei has announced a new “performance mode” for the upcoming EMUI 9.0. The new option will allow users to “overclock” their phones at the cost of more power. Ultimately, the company hopes that the boost will allow the phones to live up to their advertised benchmark scores.

Still, the damage remains. Like another fakery issue, Huawei has made the curious decision to puff up its high scores, despite already enjoying rave reviews.

Very likely, the shady marketing tactic will not bode well for Huawei’s perception in countries where it’s weak. Particularly, the company is still in hot water with the US government.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20: What to expect

Enterprise

Huawei acknowledges the US ban is hindering its sales

But the US government isn’t ready to negotiate

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For the first time since the U.S. imposed trade sanctions on Huawei, the company has acknowledged that its sales have been affected. Even though the company’s revenue grew by almost 20 percent to nearly US$ 121 billion, it says the numbers could’ve been higher had the sanctions not been imposed.

Last year, Huawei was added on a U.S. blacklist known as the Entity List. It restricted American firms from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant. For the end-user, it meant that Huawei phones won’t have Google apps pre-installed out-of-the-box. Two of its most recent flagships — the Mate 30 and the P40, were released without licensed Google apps.

Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman, told CNBC that they’re projecting a revenue loss of US$ 10 billion due to the ban. The ban hasn’t come to full effect yet, but it’ll be extremely damaging for their international expansion plans in the future. The company wants to transact with Google, but the U.S. administration has left no choice for either of them.

The ban has not only sealed off the American market for the company, but it also can’t source components and other software technologies from American counterparts. Google is just one of these examples. Huawei can’t even acquire Intel processors for its laptops.

Huawei never had a considerable smartphone market presence in the North American country. This is not a big deal for the company in its home market China because Google apps have been banned there for years now.

As a mitigation plan, the company accelerated the development of its own operating system called Harmony OS, but it’s restricted to TVs for now. To bridge the gap of missing Google apps, the company has also been actively pushing its own suite of apps via Huawei Mobile Services.

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Apps

Airbnb sets aside $250 million for hosts affected due to cancellations

Protecting the hosts, the real assets

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Airbnb announced it has set aside US$ 250 million to help hosts recoup some of the income they lost as a result of the company’s Coronavirus policy, which lets travelers cancel trips and get a full refund.

The hosts weren’t particularly elevated with the idea of full refunds and sought to social media to show their disappointment and frustration. Many relied on business from Airbnb as their primary source of income and were now suddenly running out of cash flow.

While Airbnb’s decision greatly helped the guests (their users), it put all the financial burden on the hosts. Many have posted videos explaining how the company’s decision has been one-sided and the hosts are the only assets Airbnb has.

The company usually gets a 12 percent cut from the amount guests pay. But when guests cancel, the company refunds those fees to them. Ultimately, about 88 percent of the returned amount to travelers comes out of the hosts’ pockets.

As the world economy faces plunging stock markets and unprecedented unemployment claims, short-term rental hosts are assessing their own sudden loss of revenue. To help them recover and get through these tough times. Airbnb has set aside $250 million and its spokesperson said the company expects that sum will be enough to cover any losses that are made.

There’s no doubt that every industry across the world has taken a hit due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. But, the travel industry is has come to a sudden halt worldwide. With countries blocking off their border for foreigners, travelers or backpackers are non-existent right now. The aviation industry alone is bound to receive a humungous $50 billion bailout package from the U.S. government.

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News

Singapore will make Coronavirus tracking app technology freely available

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind – Neil Armstrong

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Singapore will soon open-source (open up) a smartphone technology that helps track citizens’ encounters with Coronavirus carriers. Called TraceTogether, it’s developed by the government to prevent community-spread of the fatal virus that has killed thousands worldwide.

The government is urging citizens to run so that if they encounter a Coronavirus carrier, it’s easier to trace who else may have been exposed to the virus. Why run? Because that plunges your chances of contracting the virus since the encounter will barely be a second. Not to forget, it’s an excellent way to exercise. This way, health authorities are in a better position to detect, treat, and quarantine affected patients.

To reserve a user’s privacy, Singapore’s app is opt-in and doesn’t track users through space, instead, it records who you have encountered. If you come across someone who was exposed, the app will exchange four essential bits of information — a timestamp, Bluetooth signal strength, the phone’s model, and a temporary identifier or device nickname.

On the other end, If a user has diagnosed positive, they enable the health authorities to access their app data to identify people who had close contact with the infected individual.

Addressing privacy concerns, the government has assured that the user’s data is never accessed and all their personal details remain safe. If you’re still paranoid, you can simply check the app settings to confirm whether the app has access to your files, contacts, and other essential hardware.

Now, Singapore is ready to share their app and its back-end technology with the whole world.

From Israel to South Korea to China, governments around the world are using technology to track the Coronavirus outbreak as they race to stem its spread. In China, government-installed CCTV cameras pointed towards the apartment door of those under a 14-day quarantine to ensure they don’t leave.

Germany hopes to launch a similar smartphone app within weeks to help trace Coronavirus infections. Even they’ve shown interest in replicating the Singaporean model. And now that the technology is freely available, it’ll be easier for countries to adopt and adapt than to start from zero.

The Indian government has also launched an app called Corona Kavach (literally meaning Corona Shield) to track individuals by their smartphone locations and curb the community spread of Coronavirus. It’s built on the same concept that Singapore’s government has worked on. But, it’s still in beta. With a population of 1.3 billion and one of the worst healthcare systems, the country is highly vulnerable to the virus. Again, the government promises data privacy.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s how Facebook is trying to fight coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Coronavirus: Where to donate

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