News

ZTE faces ban from using Qualcomm, Android on their phones

War against Chinese products continues

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Caught with their hands in the wrong cookie jar, ZTE is now facing US sanctions that might ultimately alter their phones in the future.

Since the souring of US-China relations, the Chinese telco brand has maintained a tenuous relationship with the American government. Over the past few months, lawmakers have threatened to ban Huawei and ZTE over issues of national security.

Now, a new ban is stopping US companies from selling their hardware and software to ZTE.

The American government implemented the legal blockade as further punishment for ZTE’s violations against US policy on trading with Iran. As with China, Iran is not in good standing with the US. Both US and non-US companies are mostly forbidden from shipping US goods to Iran.

Last year, ZTE pleaded guilty to offenses against this policy. As a result, the US imposed fines and mandatory sackings of the key players in the conspiracy. However, the company has failed to comply with the sanctions in full, keeping most of the involved employees on their payroll.

In retaliation, the US imposed the trade ban for US companies. Also, the British government has issued warnings to their telco industry against using any of ZTE’s services.

The ban threatens to cut off ZTE’s supply chain, which relies heavily on US hardware. ZTE’s current lineup uses parts from Qualcomm, Google, and Dolby.

When fully implemented, the ban will prevent ZTE from using Qualcomm’s mobile processors and even Google’s licenses for Android. It will create a gap that ZTE needs to fill with non-US alternatives.

While they can surely find Chinese alternatives for parts, ZTE will have trouble in maintaining their foothold in the industry. The telco landscape notoriously recognizes the superiority of branded products like Qualcomm and Google over lesser-known alternatives.

Currently, ZTE is already negotiating with partners over the future of their smartphones. In the meantime, ZTE’s future remains unclear.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

Gaming

A Japanese company tried doing work meetings in Animal Crossing

WFH just got better

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Image source: Livedoor

Today, New York City banned the use of Zoom in schools and universities. In the past few weeks, the city trained its teachers and employees in using the platform to maintain some sort of semblance amidst the pandemic. However, after numerous reports about Zoom’s security, the world is quickly changing its perspective on easily accessible teleconferencing software.

Naturally, with Zoom’s quick exit as the world’s most reliable platform, everyone is looking for an alternative. In Japan, a company tried a meeting in the cutest possible place today, Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Over the weeks since its debut, Animal Crossing: New Horizons took the world by storm. In short order, the adorable simulation game invited friends to virtual desert island paradises from all over the world. It replaced a sense of community lost in today’s pandemic.

Reported by Livedoor, a Japanese publication, the Japanese company tried the game as a platform to work from home. According to the report, an employee invited its editorial staff to a single desert island. Besides meeting, the staff even went on a fishing trip together.

Image source: Livedoor

Though fun, the experiment was less than stellar. After concluding the meeting, the writer listed down the few but critical disadvantages at working in Animal Crossing’s island paradises.

For example, the game can’t facilitate file transfers or private person-to-person chats. Also, usernames are almost impossible to recognize. Adding contacts on the island involves alphanumeric codes assigned to each Nintendo Switch user. And, of course, it’s hard to focus on actual work with island chores always lurking in the background.

As an adorable game, Animal Crossing: New Horizons fails as a productivity pusher. That said, the game is one of the most relaxing gaming experiences on this side of the pandemic era.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo announces Switch ports for Borderlands, Bioshock, and more

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Enterprise

Apple donates 20M masks, will make 1M face shields a week

Also teaming up with 3D printing companies

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Apple, considered to be one of the most valuable brands in the world, is taking the lead in fighting the global Coronavirus pandemic. The company has already donated 20 million face masks across the globe. CEO Tim Cook says they’ve also started manufacturing face shields with the capacity of churning out 1 million every week.

The announcement comes amid reports of massive equipment shortage for healthcare staff. Most countries were not prepared to tackle the virus-backed pandemic and essential resources like masks, gloves, protection suites, and more. To bridge this gap, the company said its working with governments to distribute supplies where they are most needed.

Cook further explained that each box has 100 face shields that are fully adjustable and can be assembled in a couple of minutes. Currently, their looking at a target of shipping 1 million face shields, and will slowly ramp up production in the near future. These shall be distributed within the U.S. Cook confirmed that the first batch of face shields was delivered last week to a few hospitals in Silicon Valley.

With an ongoing company-wide effort, product designers, engineers, and suppliers are working together to ensure a seamless flow of equipment.

Apple is also joining hands with 3D printing based startups and companies to leverage the technology and utilize it in a constructive way for the crisis. These companies have also succeeded in 3D printing face shields and backing of a giant like Apple could help them massively as far as management and distribution chain is concerned.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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Gaming

Final Fantasy VII Remake final trailer

Get hyped!

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From the time it made a huge splash in E3 2015, we’ve been glued and have been waiting anxiously for this game to come out. And now, it’s finally upon us. The Final Fantasy VII Remake is coming and this is the final trailer with just days away from the April 10, 2020 release.

If you pre-ordered the game, you already pre-load it now so you can play right away on April 10. Square Enix also shipped the game early to some areas earlier than scheduled considering the Coronavirus situation that has everyone on lockdown.

With the game coming, it’s highly likely PlayStation gamers will now have more incentive to stay home.

Watch the final trailer.

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