Enterprise

Huawei and Google release official statements regarding trade blacklist

Existing users shouldn’t worry

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The tech world erupted earlier today when a Reuters report claimed that Google is blacklisting Huawei devices after an executive order by US President Donald Trump imposed a trade ban between Huawei and the US.

To be specific, Huawei may not buy equipment from US companies without the approval of the North American government. At the same time, US companies also aren’t allowed to deal with Huawei for parts and services.

It was the deadly blow dealt after a years of accusations between the two camps. Previously, fellow Chinese brand ZTE experienced similar banning on North American soil because of concerns over security and data breaches.

With this order in action, Google must pull out its apps and services from future Huawei devices. These include YouTube, Gmail, and the Google Play store itself. To add insult to injury, other US-based tech companies have followed suit in the trade ban, namely Intel, Broadcom, and Qualcomm.

Fortunately — and this is the most positive spin to this developing story — Google released a statement explaining that existing Huawei products will continue to function and won’t be affected by this blacklisting.

The keyword here is existing, meaning Google isn’t promising support for future Huawei products. This hopefully doesn’t mean that other Chinese brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus will go through the same fate as Huawei’s.

Huawei had its own statement to share, and it’s just as reassuring to existing users:

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry. Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

The sentence in bold may be the biggest takeaway here. Not only is Huawei committed to providing promised firmware updates and support for current Huawei device holders, sub-brand Honor is part of the company’s reassurance, as well.

This also confirms that current Huawei and Honor users don’t have to sell or trade away their gadgets. Even a newly bought unit from the companies’ present lineups will work just fine with Google’s services and apps.

In effect, only future products will be affected, which brings into question how Honor will treat the Honor 20 launch in London tomorrow, as well as what the landscape will look like by the time Huawei’s flagship Mate 30 rolls in.

Additional questions at the moment are: How will upcoming Huawei smartphones look and function without an Android operating system? Will Huawei release its own OS in time for the next batch of handsets? Will American companies soon block trades with other Chinese manufacturers, too? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.

Enterprise

Microsoft unveils new logos for Windows

It’s called Fluent Design

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Image source: Microsoft

It’s been a while since Microsoft updated its designs. The current flat logo has existed since 2012 when the company launched Windows 8. After seven years, the dated design needs an update.

Right on cue, Microsoft has officially announced a hundred new logos for both its operating system and its apps. The redesign — officially titled Fluent Design — introduces richer colors and dynamic motion.

In contrast, the incumbent logo design spins off from yesteryear’s flat design. At the time of its launch, the minimalist design philosophy incorporated a pleasing consistency across the entire Microsoft ecosystem. After years of colorful, three-dimensional, and dysfunctional designs, the world needed a more uniform design to latch on to.

Image source: Microsoft

Now, the cycle begins anew. After years of uniformity, the world is ready to take dynamism back. According to Microsoft’s new Medium post, the redesign is a fluid combination of both consistency and innovation. It combines the familiar with something new. Unlike the static tenets of flat design, Fluent Design brings gradients back into the fold. The new logos are bolder, sexier, and more attractive to the eye.

Though still officially in development, the redesign has already launched silently through Microsoft Edge’s new logo. As reported before, the new logo burst forth from the browser’s unfortunate association with the dated Internet Explorer. The other logos range from essential icons to more optional software; from Documents to Microsoft Office.

The unveiling also hints at a new look for Windows’s own logo (pictured in the ribbon above). Whereas the current one has only a single shade of blue, the new logo has three shades. Though only a slight change, it reflects the redesign’s overall theme: incorporate the old with the new.

The redesign’s official launch is still forthcoming. Regardless, it’s a good look for the software.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s Surface Duo is a foldable Android phone

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Samsung: ‘We’re more secure than any other brand’

Your data is safe

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The digital age ushered an era where cybersecurity issues pose a threat to our personal safety and big risks in businesses and the economy. As if the world isn’t cruel, violent, and scary enough, we’re all forced to stay on our toes and double up our guard.

Several data breaches and news about tech companies spying on us has been alarming to say the least. “Is our data still safe?” is the common question among concerned individuals.

Recently, the CxO Innovation Summit 2019 — a data and security conference held by VST-ECS Philippines — was mounted in Boracay. GadgetMatch had an exclusive interview with executives from Samsung Global and Samsung Philippines.

Samsung’s series of unfortunate events

In a press conference, Samsung discussed its attempts to protect its consumers’ data. Samsung recently faced a series of unfortunate mishaps concerning security and privacy, causing concerns among its loyal customers.

Samsung Mobile B2B Asia’s Corporate VP and Chief Revenue Officer David Kim stated how Samsung isn’t the only one that suffered from malicious attacks. He reiterated how the company uses Knox as a security measure along with its authentication factor. Kim explained, “You can only control the hardware, software, and who access the phones.”

The executive added, “There are also Wi-Fi and networks. If someone can sneak in your network, they can sneak in your email.”

Samsung believes they’re more secure than any other brand. Kim confidently claimed to GadgetMatch, “We don’t have a perfect security rating, but we are well received. That’s why the White House is comfortable with us.”

Amidst the issues surrounding the company, Samsung also took pride in how they’re one of the few companies that organically make their hardware components and develop their software.

Knox makes the difference

Samsung’s Product Manager Anton Andres supported the claims, stating how Samsung’s Knox sets them apart. “The main difference is the Knox platform. It has two components: Platform security and the solutions we offer in the market like Knox Manage and Knox Configure.”

The young executive demonstrated, “Knox Platform is embedded on a smartphone. At first, it was just a security platform that automatically encrypts and decrypts information every time you boot up the device.”

Andres further explained how the Knox Platform has multi-layers of security. “First is the hardware chip. If a device — like a Samsung Galaxy S8 — was compromised and reset, Knox automatically blows the fuse.”

“If you have corporate or personal info, your data is automatically wiped, preventing any data leakage and security risks.”

Be careful of what you download

Similar to Huawei’s warnings, Andres warned about downloading third-party apps and keyboards. Though it may customize your keyboard to your liking, it can compromise your security. Andres believes the challenge is the keyboard loggers, which sends your credentials to third-party servers every time you put your credentials.

“If you access your mobile banking credentials on a third-party keyboard, they can phish your information,” Andres said. “With Samsung Knox, we identify specific applications and URLs. Once identified, Knox automatically hides your information to prevent potential threats.”

Currently, Samsung is constantly updating the Knox Platform and its security solutions. Recently, the Samsung Galaxy A50s highlighted Knox. The Korean company is also looking for more ways to make Knox easily understandable for everyday consumers. Presently, the Knox Platform is limited to Samsung devices while Knox Solutions are compatible with Android, Windows, and iOS.

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Huawei: ‘We do not touch data’

The Chinese company denies espionage allegations

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Security and privacy have been a major issue in this era. Following the tech controversies relating to espionage, banning, and data breaches, people can’t help but wonder if their data is still safe.

In a conference held by VST-ECS Philippines in Boracay Island, CxO Innovation Summit 2019 was mounted to tackle data and security. GadgetMatch had an exclusive interview with Huawei, discussing how the Chinese company handles their consumers’ data and what they are doing to protect it.

The Government should protect your data

GadgetMatch first met with Patrick Low, Principal Architect for CTO Office of Huawei Enterprise Business Group. Low discussed how consumers’ data are being acquired everywhere. For instance, a surveillance camera in a public or private space can provide facial recognition — another form of identifiable data.

Low stated how our data do not belong to us, not even him — an executive from the Chinese company. Expounding, he says the moment we sign up on websites and different platforms, we trade our data in exchange for using their services. Low also demonstrated how Blockchain gives the user their data back, however, it isn’t adapted widely in the Philippines yet.

The Huawei executive further explained that despite the acquisition of our data, sensitive information is protected through policies formed by the government. Even so, the Principal Architect further pressed “Having a policy or rules is just a start, at the end of the day we need to enforce it.” Low cited how Singapore and Australia’s Data Protection Acts allow authorities to enforce through informing — which must be followed by developing countries.

“We do not touch data”

When asked regarding the spying accusations thrown at the company, Low simply stated “We do not touch data. That’s a policy from top-down.”

“Huawei has not been caught or found out in any way to be violating personal rights. Because of the media and diplomatic situations, Huawei is always guilty. It’s difficult for Huawei to handle.” Low added.

The executive then demonstrated Huawei’s strategy to protect data, such as creating servers and encrypting it. Low added that only applications have the requirement to hold user data. According to Low, any application — WhatsApp for instance — analyzes and sends your data back to where the app’s server is located. In this case, it’s being sent in the United States.

“We do not touch data. That’s a policy from top-down.”

Low then warned about the applications you are downloading through APKs and even in Google Play Store. Low advised to always check your sources, the app’s server location, and read the terms and conditions we skip regularly.

Moving forward, Huawei takes cybersecurity very seriously. Low stated, “If we are caught doing anything wrong without the user’s consent, we’re going to face a lot of problems. If something wrong happens, the company will suffer deeply.”

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