When the year started, Samsung was poised for a blockbuster year. Aside from a promising Galaxy S10 series launch, the South Korean company anticipated a colossal Galaxy Fold launch. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Last month, the earliest Galaxy Fold units crashed and burned into critical flaws. Experienced by reviewers, the Galaxy Fold’s protective layers broke too easily. After much folding, the units broke down.
Soon after, Samsung recalled every released unit worldwide. The brand issued a warning and a promise to investigate. Further, Samsung cancelled the Galaxy Fold’s official launch date. Previously, the foldable smartphone was set for an April 26 opening. Samsung put off the Galaxy Fold’s launch date indefinitely. Fortunately, Samsung promised a new launch date soon.
Now, a couple of weeks have passed. Samsung has not declared a new launch date. Instead, the brand has issued a warning through an email.
Reported by Reuters, Samsung will automatically cancel all preorders by May 31. Unfortunately, the brand cannot confirm an official fix or a new date.
According to US regulations, Samsung can hold preorders only until the end of May. As such, the brand is forced to cancel them. However, Galaxy Fold customers can still hold their reservations, if they notify Samsung in advance.
“If we do not hear from you and we have not shipped by May 31st, your order will be canceled automatically,” the email said. Sadly, the new notice does not bode well for the Galaxy Fold’s (and the foldable smartphone’s) future. Samsung is supposedly shipping a million units this year.
If it launches, the Galaxy Fold will cost US$ 1,980.
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.
Huawei can still get banned again in the future
Ban’s lift only temporary, official says
By now, the whole Huawei situation is more confusing than anything. Naturally, Trump’s initial announcement ushered in a wave of optimism across the industry. Huawei was finally free once again. The company’s reinstatement should have ended the entire saga. Unfortunately, things aren’t going as planned.
As reported earlier, the American government still held on to the Chinese company. Despite assenting to Trump’s announcement, US lawmakers kept Huawei on their blacklist. Huawei is still in political limbo.
Finally, the US has announced an official statement regarding the ban’s lifting. According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the government will issue trade licenses to approved companies who deal business with Huawei. The licenses will depend on whether a product is a threat to national security. Unfortunately, this isn’t a crystal-clear definition. Ultimately, government officials will subjectively judge products according to their own whims.
If anything, the relaxed ban will likely save Huawei’s consumer business. The company’s consumer devices aren’t the government’s focus right now. The government will likely issue consumer licenses much more liberally.
Unfortunately, the relaxed ban might mean nothing in the long run. According to economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the reversal is only “for a limited time period.” In other words, Huawei isn’t out of the woods yet. Should trade talks fall apart (or if Trump decides so), the government can ban the company once again.
Currently, Trump is negotiating trade policies with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The fate of the US-China trade war is still up in the air. Accordingly, Huawei is still clamped in American jaws as a bargaining chip. Huawei’s troubles just can’t seem to end. Will we ever see the end of the war against Huawei?
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