Enterprise

Report: Huawei to lose support from ARM, hampering its own chipsets

Things are getting even worse

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Despite Huawei’s gradual loss of support from US-based companies such as Google, Intel, and Broadcom, the Chinese manufacturer has faith in its ability to produce its own replacements. However, with the latest development, even that strategy may be facing a potentially catastrophic obstacle.

BBC has reported that chipset designer ARM informed employees to halt all business with Huawei. ARM is a vital resource for most mobile devices, because even though some brands like Samsung and Huawei can produce their own system-on-chip (SoC), the technologies need to be licensed from ARM before production.


Since ARM is based in the UK, this added blacklisting wasn’t seen as a possibility at first. Unfortunately, the company appears to be complying with the US’ trade ban, the reason being that its designs hold “US origin technology.”

Huawei’s semiconductor firm HiSilicon creates the Kirin processors found in the majority of the company’s smartphones and tablets. Most, if not all, require the ARM license. According to the same report, the upcoming Kirin 985 is clear of the ban, but anything after that will most likely have its production halted.

While Google and Huawei were given an additional 90 days to sort these issues out, no such order was given to ARM just yet, saying that the closed communication takes effect immediately. Huawei hasn’t given a statement about this as of writing.

Huawei is said to have enough components and licensing to last several months to a year of production, but that would only be a short-term solution. What lies ahead for Huawei may only get worse as more bad news rolls in.

Enterprise

Facebook will launch a cryptocurrency called Libra in 2020

In partnership with Mastercard, Visa, Uber, and many others

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Image credit: Facebook

Facebook is more than just social networking. They’re also a hardware company and a software developer. Soon, the social media giant will also serve financial services using their own cryptocurrency called Libra. With the creation of Libra is a new Facebook subsidiary named Calibra, which will handle the company’s global currency powered by blockchain technology.

According to Facebook, Libra is aimed to help people save, send, or spend money even if they don’t have a bank account. Basically, Calibra will be a financial service app that uses Libra for its transactions. It’ll allow users to use Libra on mobile and send to almost anyone.


It’s worth noting that Libra isn’t like Bitcoin. Libra will be a form of digital money backed by a reserve of assets. Moreover, Facebook is not alone in this venture.

While Facebook is building Libra, it’ll be supported by venture capital firms, crypto firms, nonprofit organizations, and massive corporate financial, technology, and telecommunications service providers. The list includes Mastercard, Visa, Coinbase, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Spotify, Uber, Lyft, and Vodafone.

Image credit: Libra/Facebook

The end goal is to create a truly mainstream cryptocurrency. Libra is envisioned to be a decentralized global form of payment. It’ll be used to buy almost anything. It’s also planned to be used for loans and credit.

Any financial transactions will require personal information and privacy isn’t Facebook’s strongest suit. Although, the company says Calibra will not share account information or financial data with its servers or any third party without the customer’s consent.

By 2020, Calibra will introduce a digital wallet for Libra which will be available in Facebook’s Messenger, WhatsApp, and as a standalone app. Calibra is still in its early stages and Facebook will have to take an extra step to overcome the hurdles this new cryptocurrency has to face, especially when it comes to privacy.

Facebook promises to give updates about Calibra in the near future. For now, those interested to be first in line can sign up here. Additionally, more information regarding Libra is available here.

SEE ALSO: Basics of cryptocurrency: Risks and benefits

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Enterprise

Huawei on getting to top spot: ‘This process may take longer’

Admits that there are other priorities

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By now, it’s become clear that the US trade ban saga against Huawei won’t end any time soon. Despite the support of fellow tech companies and occasionally positive news, the Chinese manufacturer realizes that solving this issue is top priority.

It was made even more evident after Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group, admitted that there’s been a change in Huawei’s plan to reach the number one spot in smartphone market share.


“We would have become the largest in the fourth quarter (of this year) but now we feel that this process may take longer,” said Shao Yan.

The New York Times states that he didn’t elaborate on reasons for this shift in strategy, but it’s an apparent response to the trade ban the US has been imposing on the tech giant.

Recently, Huawei overtook Apple for second place in global smartphone market share to trail behind only Samsung. Chipping away at the South Korean brand’s spot will have to take a break for now.

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Computers

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Dell embraces a circular economy

Sustainability is at the core of everything Dell does

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As consumers our top considerations when buying a new device are specs, performance, value for money, and design. We rarely think about the impact we and the technology we use have on the environment. The only time we probably ever do is when we need to dispose an irreparable phone or a dinosaur laptop. When that moment comes, we also don’t know exactly what to do or where to bring our old devices.

Fortunately there are companies like Dell that think ahead and consider the entire lifecycle of their products — from sourcing materials, to manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and recycling — and beyond. This approach is called a circular economy.


In a traditional, linear product cycle, recycling or refurbishing is thought of at the end of the product’s life, if at all. In Dell’s circular economy, the concept of waste is designed out of the system. This means sustainability is at the core of everything that they do. Here are some ways Dell is minimizing their footprint as a company while helping us consumers reduce ours as well:

Trade-in and recycling programs, not just for Dell products

Through Dell Reconnect, you can take that old computer sitting in your attic to a Goodwill store for recycling or refurbishing. The program also provides green jobs, and ensures that no environmentally sensitive materials are sent to landfills. The same program allows you to recycle or send back used ink cartridges responsibly as well.

If you’re due for an upgrade, the company can also recycle your old laptop for you, no matter the brand. You may also trade in any eligible piece of electronics, including smartphones and consoles, to earn a gift card that you can use to buy yourself a shiny new Dell laptop.

Packaging made of bamboo, mushrooms, straws

Photo from Dell

To solve mountains of packaging problems we face after unboxing a new device — large fancy boxes, plastic, and foam — Dell has come up with the 3Cs packaging strategy, which stands for cube (size and shape), content (material choice), and curb (recyclability).

For Dell, wasted space inside any packaging is just that — wasted — so the company is continuously finding ways to minimize the amount of material needed to create packaging, as well as reduce box sizes so as to fit more products in storage and during shipping.

More importantly, Dell uses the best possible material to protect the product, and consider that which makes most sense for each region by using what’s locally available. In 2009, Dell was the first to use packaging made from bamboo. Not only is it a renewable alternative to petroleum-derived foams, the bamboo they use also grows near their manufacturing facilities.

In 2011, Dell started developing cushion packaging made of mushroom, which has a smaller footprint compared to the usual protective foam, and is compostable. Recently, the company also started taking ocean-bound plastics like straws back to the economy where they can be reused to make the trays found inside Dell boxes.

The company reuses boxes up to 7 times before they are recycled. So when you buy a new laptop and the box is not in its most perfect form, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In certain markets, Dell also rewards customers for returning packaging that can be refurbished and reused.

Ink made of smog

Photo from Chakr Innovations

Here’s an unexpected way Dell is putting waste back into the economy and using locally available materials at the same time. Traditionally seen as a pollutant, the company is using ink made from smog in India to print some of its packaging.

A startup called Chakr Innovations developed the device called Chakr Shield which captures 90% of particulate matter emissions from diesel generators. The captured soot is then turned into carbon black, which is used to make ink. Dell is the first to use the ink on a larger scale and it works just as well as regular ink.

Backpack made of recycled windshields

Photo from Dell

Dell doesn’t just make computers and printers, they also make a whole array of accessories, and some of them are made with sustainability in mind. The Dell Pro Backpack 15 is made with a more environment-friendly solution-dyeing process. It’s also water-resistant, which is made possible by a layer of coating that’s made from reclaimed windshields.

Jewelry made of used computers

Photo from Dell

In its effort to reduce waste dumped in landfills, Dell also reclaims gold from motherboards through its recycling programs, reuses them to make not only new motherboards, but jewelry as well. So that old laptop you’re going to trade in for a new one? Parts of it will end up on someone’s finger or ears at some point, not in a developing country that becomes a dumpsite for other companies and countries.

Photo from Dell

Vivian Tai, Head of Global Environmental Affairs for the APJ region says the company is integrating sustainability efforts not for Dell’s benefit, but to provide better value for customers. She says sourcing and bringing what many consider “waste” back to life is challenging but is important to the company. Just this year, Dell already reached two of its 2020 goals: recover two billion pounds of used electronics and use 100 million pounds of recycled-content, plastic and other sustainable materials, one full year ahead of schedule.

Next time you need to buy a new laptop, take sustainability into consideration, too. Technology plays a big role in making our lives easier, and the good that it can do should not end at that but also extend beyond its usual lifecycle. It’s not just big companies who benefit from minimizing our ecological footprint — it’s also us, consumers, and the generations that come after us.

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