Last Saturday, President Donald Trump finally reversed his iron-fisted ban on Huawei. On the surface, Huawei’s fortunes have presumably reversed. However, Trump’s unpredictable words have never been the most reliable indicator of change. Days after his verbal announcement, not much has changed officially.
Internally, Huawei is still technically banned on American soil. Despite Trump’s pronouncements, the greater American government has seemingly refused to relinquish the Chinese company. Following Saturday’s conference, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, has clarified the ban’s lifting. According to Ludlow, Trump remains focused on cybersecurity concerns. Rather than a complete reversal, the lifting will only cover “general merchandise” — products that are readily available in other countries. Basically, Huawei is still banned from US-exclusive products.
Further, American lawmakers are still including Huawei on their blacklists. The company is still a security risk for the American government.
Unfortunately, the Huawei situation has only reverted to an earlier state. Huawei can once again conduct its business on American soil. However, it is still a touchy entity within the territory.
According to Ludlow, the ban’s lifting is still undergoing a tenuous process. Anticipating the end of the US-China trade talks, the government is formulating a more definitive policy.
As such, affected American companies — like Google — have not issued a statement yet. At the very least, they have quietly resumed their business with the Chinese company. Google is still operating within the temporary window provided by the government. Microsoft has resumed Huawei laptop sales on its official stores.
Though still roiling in uncertainty, the situation is enjoying a wave of optimism. Companies are starting their businesses up again. Consumers are regaining their faith in the once-fallen brand. The controversy is likely far from reaching a conclusion. However, Trump’s announcement is offering a much-needed reprieve from the turmoil. Anything can still happen; at least, we now have some time to breathe.
Inspiring quotes from Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit 2019
Motivation you need to get through the week
The annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit happened this week in Singapore, and the last three days has been nothing short of inspiring. It’s all about women learning from women and empowering women, so if you were not there to hear them yourself then we are here to spread the word.
I don’t know who needs to hear these right now, but here are quotes from some of the amazing women at the summit to help get you through the week.
On being a woman entrepreneur and #girlboss
“Make sure you are purposeful in where you devote your energy; it is not an infinite resource.” Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc
“Not everyone of your employees will like you and those who do will not like you all the time.” Meghan E. Butler, Contributing Writer, Fast Company
“We don’t want our women to have to choose between career and family.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
“One of the most difficult responsibilities of a founder is giving your team hope when you have none.” Roz Chow Koo, Founder and CEO, CXA Group
“Still function like a startup even when you are a corporate so you remain nimble.” Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc
On failure, growth, and realizing your potential
“We aren’t so much human beings as we are human becomings, because we are always working on what we will be.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
“Failure is simply the opportunity to try again.” Dr. Jemma Green, Co-founder and Chairman, Power Ledger
“You wouldn’t be where you are today if everything had gone to plan. It’s the hardships and the failures that makes the successes so much more meaningful.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
On empowering women
“The generation before mine thought that women did not need to be educated much, just enough to look after the children.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
“Under-qualified men are getting jobs that women won’t even apply for. Women are just as smart, talented, and committed but we second guess ourselves we hold ourselves back. We need opportunities to dream big, believe in ourselves, and turn thoughts into action.” Sherry Boger, Infrastructure and Platform Solutions Group Vice President and General Manager, Intel
“Surround yourself with those who lift you up. We can do far more together than we can ever do on our own.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
“When we invest in women, we invest in the future; communities prosper, economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose.” Karen Quintos, EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Dell Technologies
“With women still traveling miles to collect clean water, women empowerment can’t take place. When women can’t feel safe on the streets, women empowerment come.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
Huawei is firing hundreds of workers
From their research department in the US
After everything, Huawei should be enjoying its recent influx of good news. Burdened by more than a year’s worth of uncertainty, Huawei was finally freed from America’s serpentine grasp. Recently, US President Donald Trump reversed a landmark ban that would have eventually killed Huawei’s business. Huawei is getting back on track.
However, instead of resting on its laurels, Huawei is still in panic mode. The Chinese company is gearing up for an extensive wave of layoffs in America. According to the Wall Street Journal, they will fire hundreds of employees from a pool of 850 workers. The pink slips will reportedly come from Huawei’s research and development division called Futurewei Technologies.
Additionally, Futurewei’s China-born employees can opt to relocate back to their home country, ensuring their continued employment with the company. Unfortunately, the company’s American employees won’t share the same privilege. Some employees already know about their impending fate. Meanwhile, Huawei is still planning more firings in the future.
Huawei’s recent layoffs stem from the continued pressure by the US government. If the country remains hostile, it’s best to relocate to a safer territory. Besides the loss of jobs, Futurewei’s relocation confirms Huawei’s renewed dedication to keep its future developments under wraps.
Despite the increased optimism, Huawei is still preparing for the worst. The company is building its resistance against geopolitical threats in the future. Unfortunately, we don’t know what this means for Huawei’s future outings yet.
Google is listening to your private conversations
They admit to the leak
Have you ever worried about voice assistants listening in on your private conversations? Apparently, your paranoia was right. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Google has admitted to the unsolicited voyeurism of its consumers’ voice recordings.
Like most voice assistants, Google Assistant records and analyzes its owner’s voice for intelligible commands. Consequently, Google Home responds with the adequate function requested by the user.
Unfortunately, artificial intelligence is still an imperfect art, dependent on human intervention. Currently, Google employs a team of analysts to improve their speech recognition technology. These experts contribute to the voice assistant’s efficiency. Whenever a user says “Hey, Google,” the device sends the conversation to Google’s servers, allowing experts to listen in. Thankfully, Google’s team listens to only “around 0.2 percent of all audio snippets.” Further, these snippets shouldn’t contain any sensitive user information.
Sadly, humanity isn’t perfect. “We just learned that one of these reviewers has violated our data security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data,” Google said in a statement. As a rule, Google’s experts can’t transcribe or transfer conversations. The Dutch leak is a clear violation of Google’s policies.
In response, Google’s security team is already on the case. The company has already found the leak. In addition, they are also reviewing their safeguard policies to prevent future mishaps from happening again.
Regardless, the company’s blunder is a huge dent on voice recognition technology. Previously, Amazon also committed the same mistake with its Alexa technology.
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