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Huawei is spying on you, says US government

Officials express concern over China

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Hate for the “Made in China” label continues. In a recent hearing, heads of American national security testified against China-bred smartphone brand, Huawei.

The US government’s distrust comes from an alleged disparity between American values and those upheld by the Chinese company. Officials argued that such a company shouldn’t hold a favorable position in their national telco industry.

At the hearing, officials also pleaded for American consumers to boycott Huawei phones. The officials claimed that using them will invite data theft and espionage.

Distrust against the Chinese company is already part and parcel of the US telco industry. Just last month, lawmakers filed a bill to prohibit US officials from using Huawei and ZTE phones.

Prior to the bill, Huawei also suffered a huge blow against its market share in the US when a partnership with US telco AT&T suddenly fell apart. Rumors sparked that government pressure urged AT&T to pull away from the deal.

The recent moves against Huawei are just the latest in a saga that dates as early as 2010.

In their defense, Huawei issued a statement assuring users that their phones pose no risk against cybersecurity. The China-made brand hangs out at the top with Samsung and Apple as one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers.

While Huawei has been relatively safe from spyware scandals, Lenovo, another China-made tech maker, has been heavily reprimanded recently for installing malicious software on their phones.

On the other hand, officials praised American companies for preventing Chinese smartphones from dominating the market. The American telco industry is currently led by Korean company, Samsung.

Regardless of the feud, cybersecurity is a concern that rose to the top in light of recent controversies against both tech brands and governments. Regardless of who’s right, both sides share the responsibility in keeping consumers safe.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 2i receives face unlocking feature in latest update

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EMUI 10 is rolling out this month

Dark mode + faster UI

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Huawei smartphone users have something to forward to look this month. The company is rolling out the new EMUI 10 to some of its smartphones. The rollout is gradual and many more will receive the update in the coming months.

For now, the smartphones receiving the update include the P30 Pro, P30, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20, Mate 20X (4G), and Nova 5T. Go to “System” > “System” > “Software Updates” to install EMUI 10.

In the coming months, Huawei will gradually roll out EMUI 10 to these smartphones:

  • Porsche Design Mate 20 RS
  • Porsche Design Mate 10
  • Porsche Design Mate 10 RS
  • Mate 20X (5G)
  • Mate 20 Lite
  • P30 Lite
  • P20 Pro
  • P20
  • Mate 10
  • Mate 10 Pro
  • Nova 4e
  • Nova 4
  • Nova Lite 3
  • P Smart 2019
  • P Smart Pro
  • P Smart Z

An update notification will pop-up for these users when the EMUI 10 is ready for their devices. It’s always better to stay up-to-date with the latest system updates, so you won’t risk yourself from numerous malware in the wild.

Dark mode, revamped app interfaces, and more

EMUI 10 builds on Android 10 in a useful way. Headlining the new version is a global dark mode that lets users comfortably see UI elements at night. Plus, Huawei revamped the UI of its camera and contacts app. The redesign takes its inspiration from magazine layouts with huge titles and grid layout for comfortable navigation. aPlus, the UI animations are faster and more responsive than before.

Elsewhere, EMUI 10 brings improved performance and security for its users with intelligent resource allocation and an isolated secure system. Power users will come to appreciate the new multi-screen collaboration  which lets them mirror their smartphones’ screens to their Huawei PCs.

SEE ALSO: EMUI 10: Three features for a more intelligent system

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Realme Buds Air: Affordable true wireless earbuds

Cheaper ‘AirPods’

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Seems like everyone’s making true wireless earbuds now so Realme decided to join in the fun as well with the Realme Buds Air.

In true Realme spirit, the Realme Buds Air promises to offer quality performance at a competitive price. The company claims it’s the first in its price segment to implement a dual-channel transmission tech for enhanced audio. This helps with minimizing latency which should be perfect for mobile gaming fans — a segment of the market that Realme has been aggressively catering to.

In terms of sound quality, Realme says it has a 12mm bass sound driver that “delivers intensive and powerful audio quality without compromising richness and fidelity.”

While it doesn’t have any fancy noise canceling tech, the company says it does have the capability of filtering out noise. This should help with day-to-day calls and your music listening sessions.

The Realme Buds Air also has a built-in Google Assistant so you can use voice command for various things. It’s also easy to control. You simply need to tap the buds to control what you’re listening to.

It also has the ability to to pause when you take the them off and will resume what you’re playing once you put them back on.

Just like its look-alike — the Apple AirPods — these earbuds comes with a charging case that you can juice up wirelessly or through USB-C.

Pricing and availability

The Realme Buds Air comes in three colors: white, black, and Realme’s signature yellow. It will sell for PhP 3,990 starting January 22, 2020.

As an initial offering, it will be available at a special discounted price of PhP 2,990 on Realme’s official Lazada store on the following dates: January 22, 29, and February 6.

Realme is also giving away a free wireless charging pad to the first 100 customers. There will also be special vouchers on Realme’s official Facebook page from January 22 to February 6. The vouchers will further lower the price of the realme Buds Air by PHP500.

To entice more buyers, customers who will purchase both a Realme smartphone and a Realme Buds Air enjoy an additional discount of Php 1,000.

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Facebook mistranslated Chinese president’s name to something vulgar

Blames glitch in system

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Translation technology is at its best yet. For example, Facebook can already translate Filipino colloquialisms correctly. Even without the formal sentence structures, the feature puts out the smoothest translations. In fact, you might even think that it came from human intervention, rather than a machine.

Unfortunately, for all its wonders, artificial intelligence is still imperfect. Sometimes, translations are still wonky. And more rarely, a translation can even mess up a name.

Recently, Facebook’s algorithm has hilariously butchered one of the most iconic names in the world — Chinese President Xi Jinping. When translated from Burmese (Myanmar’s official language) to English, the president’s name is displayed as “Mr. Shithole” on the social media network.

The glitch appeared during Xi Jinping’s recent trip to Myanmar to discuss upcoming infrastructure deals. Naturally, Burmese news reports popped up on Facebook. Translations were downright unflattering. One headline even read “Dinner honors president shithole.”

Once discovered, Facebook quickly issued an apology for the mess. Apparently, Facebook’s Burmese database did not include President Xi Jinping’s name, resulting in the awkward guesswork. Further tests proved that words starting in “xi” also resulted in a similar kerfuffle.

To its credit, Facebook is now patching the issue out of the system. If anything, the mix-up is a humorous pit-stop in today’s volatile climate, especially with the controversies involving both Facebook and China.

SEE ALSO: Facebook rolls out new interface with dark mode

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