Category Archives: Technology

NYSE will Not Delist Three Chinese Telecoms After All



Recently, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced that it would comply with Executive Order 13959 and delist China Mobile Communications, China Telecommunications Corp, and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. Since then, NYSE has decided not to delist them.

On January 4, 2021, NYSE posted news titled: “NYSE Updates Guidance on Delisting Determination for Security of Three Issuers in Relation to Executive Order 13959”. From the news:

In light of further consultation with relevant regulatory authorities in connection with Office of Foreign Assets Control FAQ 857, available here, the New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) announced today that NYSE Regulation no longer intends to move forward with the delisting action in relation to three issuers enumerated below (the “Issuers”) which was announced on December 31, 2020.

At this time, the Issuers will continue to be listed and traded on NYSE. NYSE Regulation will continue to evaluate the applicability of Executive Order 13959 to these Issuers and their continued listing status.

The three issuers are: China Telecom Corporation Limited, China Mobile Ltd., and China Unicorn (Hong Kong) Limited. To me, it sounds like these stocks can still be bought and sold on the New York Stock Exchange. What changed?

Reuters reported that China will take “necessary measures” to safeguard the interest of its companies after NYSE began delisting three Chinese telecom firms. It also called on the United States to meet China half-way and put bilateral trade relations back on track. To me, it appears that China is hoping that president-elect Biden will have a different relationship with China than President Trump did.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the China Securities Regulatory Commission said on January 3, 2021, that the executive order was for political purposes and “entirely ignored the actual situations of relevant companies and the legitimate rights of the global investors, and severely damaged market rule and order.”


NYSE to Delist China’s Major Telecom Operators



The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stated that it would comply with Executive Order 13959 and delist the following securities: China Mobile Comunications (CHL), China Telecommunications Corp (CHA) and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU).

Executive Order 13959 was signed by President Trump on November 12, 2020. According to The Wall Street Journal, the executive order will block Americans from investing in a list of companies the U.S. government says supply and support China’s military, intelligence and security services. The ban starts on January 11, and investors have until November to divest themselves of their holdings.

There are 35 companies on the list – including China’s largest chip maker – as well as surveillance, aerospace, shipbuilding, construction and technology companies, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Guardian reported that China Mobile Communications, China Telecommunications Corp, and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited have the right to request a review of the NYSE’s decision. The Guardian also pointed out: All three firms are listed in the US and Hong Kong, and mostly earn their revenue by providing voice and data services in China. They all have little presence in the U.S.

The delisting of these companies by The New York Stock Exchange is a small part of a series restrictions that appear to be designed to stifle China’s ability to make money from U.S. technology. The various orders either cut off the access of of U.S. technology to several Chinese companies, or by requiring U.S. companies to obtain a license before selling technology to Huawei.

My understanding of this is that the delisting of certain Chinese companies from NYSE might cause them to lose some money. But, if The Guardian is right, the companies don’t make as much money in the United States as they make in China. I’m not entirely certain that the delisting will have much of an impact on those companies ability to thrive outside of the United States.


Huawei is Running Out of Smartphone Chips



Huawei Technologies Inc. is running out of smartphone chips. This was announced by the company at the 2020 Summit of the China Information Technology Association during a speech by Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer business.

Engadget reported that after September 15, 2020, Huawei won’t have access to the manufacturing it needs to continue making the Mate 40’s Kirin 9000 processor. According to Engadget’s summary of Richard Yu’s speech, Chinese chip manufacturers such as SMIC do not currently have the capabilities to make up for the shortfall. As a result, supplies of the Mate 40 would be limited.

In May of 2020, The U.S. Department of Commerce unveiled a rule that expanded U.S. authority to require licenses for sales to Huawei Technologies of semiconductors made abroad with U.S. technology. This new rule enabled the United States to expand its ability to halt exports to Huawei Technologies.

At the time, Reuters reported that the rule also affected Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd., which supplied Huawei with chips. According to Engadget, SMIC is two chip generations behind Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd., and just started producing a 14nm Kirin chip for Huawei.

The Associated Press reported that Richard Yu said that production of Kirin chips designed by Huawei’s own engineers will stop on September 15, 2020, because the chips are made by contractors that need U.S. manufacturing technology. Huawei lacks the ability to make its own chips.

The date September 15 keeps coming up. It is the same date that the executive order President Trump signed that would ban U.S. transactions with TikTok and WeChat. It is also five days before the endpoint of Microsoft’s discussions with ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, about Microsoft potentially acquiring TikTok. All of these things happening on the same date cannot possibly be a coincidence.


Raspberry Pi 4 Now on Sale From $35



Eben Upton, Chief Executive Raspberry Pi Trading, posted on the official Raspberry Pi website that Raspberry Pi 4 is now on sale starting at $35. You can get yours from their approved resellers, or from the Raspberry Pi Store in Cambridge.

To support Raspberry Pi 4, we are shipping a radically overhauled operating system, based on the forthcoming Debian 10 Buster release. This brings numerous behind-the-scenes technical improvements, along with an extensively modernized user interface, and updated applications including the Chromium 74 web browser.

Highlights of Raspberry Pi 4 Model B include:

  • A 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A72 CPU (~3x performance)
  • 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM
  • Full-throughput Gigabit Ethernet
  • Dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports
  • Dual monitor support, at resolutions up to 4K
  • VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x
  • 4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video
  • Complete compatibility with earlier Raspberry Pi products

This is the first time they’ve offered a choice of memory capacities. 1GB is $35, 2GB is $45, and 3GB is $55. The price does not include sales tax, import duty (where appropriate) or shipping. They made more of the 2GB variant than the others, and intend to adjust the mix when they discover which one is most popular.

There are some new Raspberry Pi 4 accessories. One is an all-new two-part case (priced at $5). Those who would prefer to re-use an existing case can cut away the plastic fins on the right hand side and omit one of the side panels. There is also a new power supply, micro HDMI cable, a Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop kit, and an updated Official Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide.


App Camp for Girls 3.0 is on Indiegogo



App Camp for Girls logoApp Camp for Girls seeks to address the gender imbalance in technology professions by inspiring girls who are middle-school age with a broad introduction to the process of app development, from brainstorming to pitching their apps. You can support them by contributing to their Indiegogo campaign.

App Camp for girls is a one week, full time day camp program for middle school girls. Campers get the full experience of being an app developer, from brainstorming and designing coding and marketing. They use Xcode and MacBook Pros, the same tools that professional app developers use.

In 2013, App Camp for Girls launched their first camp in Portland, Oregon. In 2014, they were able to establish a second camp in Seattle, Washington. In 2015, they will launch the first Canadian camp in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The App Camp for Girls 3.0 indiegogo campaign is being done for the purpose of making it possible for them to expand throughout the United States. They have selected four new locations for 2016. Their equipment is shared between locations, so they will need two more sets of MacBook Pros and iPod touches to meet the needs of the additional locations. They also need to recruit and train organizers and volunteers, rend a location, order supplies, food, and other necessities.

At the time I am writing this blog, the App Camp for Girls 3.0 indiegogo campaign has 16 days left. It has obtained 41% of the funding it needs. They are a non-profit organization that can help girls to get involved in technology.


A Look Inside the 2015 Ford Edge



2015_ red edge
There’s no doubt that 2015 is going to be a huge year for advancements in car technology, and Ford is leading the race with the all new 2015 Ford Edge. The Edge is packed with innovations in performance, safety, utility, and entertainment.

The 2015 Edge is outfitted with several new features to help you keep track of your vehicle’s position and prevent collisions, both while in motion and while parking. Ford’s lane-keeping technology senses the vehicle’s position in traffic and alerts the driver to steer back into the correct lane if it has drifted. The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®), which warns you when another vehicle enters your blind spot, and a 180-degree front camera has been added in addition to the standard rear camera to give drivers additional coverage. Ford has also made parking easier with a cross-traffic radar alert system to warn drivers of oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking spot, as well as an enhanced active park assist system that helps to guide your vehicle into and out of parallel parking spaces.

The 2015 Edge introduces several new and improved safety features, including glove box knee airbags to cushion the knees of the front passenger in the event of a collision; inflatable rear safety belts to reduce head, neck, and chest injuries; and AdvanceTrac®  and curve control sensors that measure the roll rate of the vehicle and adjusts engine torque and brake pressure of all four wheels to give the driver better control of the vehicle.  The 2015 Edge also has heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel to make the driving experience more comfortable for everyone.

One of the most noteworthy features of Ford’s recent vehicle lineup is Ford Sync. The 2015 Edge is equipped with Ford Sync with MyFord Touch lets you effortlessly connect your smartphone to your vehicle via Wi-fi to give you in-car, voice-activated access to your music, apps, navigation, and more, right from your car dashboard. Ford Sync is now available for even more trim levels, making these exciting new innovations even more accessible.

Powered by Ford’s new 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine, the 2015 Ford Edge Sport is even more powerful than the previous 3.7-liter V6 model, with a 25 percent increase in torque, giving the Edge Sport an incredible total of 315 horsepower for ultimate speed and performance power.

The 2015 Edge Sport boasts an improved suspension with high-strength boron steel antiroll bars that are 26 percent stiffer against bending forces and 14 percent stiffer against twisting forces. Comfort and performance is further enhanced with the new electric power-assisted steering system, which improves both steering and parking by 30 percent. This makes for a smoother, quieter ride for both everyday commuting and open-road adventures.

The 2015 Ford Edge and the 2015 Ford Edge Sport will be available starting this spring. The 2015 Edge starts at $28,100, and the 2015 Edge Sport starts at $38,100.


Say Goodbye to the DVD Player



DVD

I remember getting my first DVD player and the movie “The Waterboy”. I also remember streaming my first movie in “Hulk”. Years since, people have debated about losing the tangible disc and moving to streaming. Eventually we knew the DVD would become a thing of the past. As technology improved and new devices came out this year, we may have seen the last viable use for the DVD. Here is why:

Blockbuster
Blockbuster

Blockbuster Goes Bye-Bye, Streaming Video Grows

Blockbuster video rentals closed up in November. This was after a long run and competing with Netflix, followed by Red Box machines. When DISH network bought out Blockbuster, they gave it a home. Its apparent that DISH didn’t want to get into the physical video rental business. So the doors closed.

Netflix tried to close their DVD rental doors a couple years ago with the whole Qwikster debacle — a move that almost killed the company. Somehow they came back stronger than ever, pushing more streaming TV shows and introducing quality shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Add to that promotions — such as the launch of Chromecast: Netflix gave 3-month subscriptions to the first buyers.

I have to admit, I still have my Netflix subscription…

Since Netflix switch to TV show-based content over movies, newer movies take a lot longer to show up on the service. That is where Amazon is leading the pack. You can rent or own the home digital rights of a movie or TV show instead of going down to the store and picking up the box.

Well, at least, kinda…

This last week Disney made Amazon pull back owners rights of holiday movies. It brought up some issue about if you actually own a video. Will that stop millions from buying movies? Probably not.

ChromeCast

Streaming Getting Better

Google Chromecast did two things. They brought the streaming app device down to an affordable price (not that it wasn’t already with the Apple TV and Roku). Chromecast also extended the life of older LCD TVs.

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on TV’s with apps inside, they could get a cheaper TV and a set top box to run their content. Sure, the TV is not 1080p 120 Hz, but how many homes care about that type of quality? Especially if the TV is in the bedroom or even since our generation spent years staring at a Cathode Ray Tubes with full satisfaction.

Ultimately, they just want to get Chromecast and Netflix, then possibly cut their cable.

Netflix_Web_Logo

Netflix and YouTube in 4K (2160p)

Time to move to bigger and better video quality. 4,000 pixels – or 2160p. At CES, we will definitely be bombarded with 4K television technology — and we will LOVE it.

Even though some home theater experts have adopted 4K, home Internet speeds don’t really take into account 4K streaming just yet. A 4K video will take 6-12 Mbps connection. DSL won’t be able to handle that, especially if you surf and watch at the same time.

Nonetheless, we move forward. Netflix announced earlier their popular “House of Cards” series will be shot and streamed in 4K. YouTube already has 4K video available, although if you try to stream via Roku or Chromecast, it will most likely try to push the 720p version first. 

iPad 2 Smart Cover

Tablets, Game Consoles, Computers Go DVD-less

Even the computer is losing the DVD drive. Current Mac models don’t come with any type of optical drive. Tablets and smartphones also are disc-free. As desktops lose ground to tablets, the DVD will join the floppy disk, Zip drive and tape backup.

The Pawn Shop Effect

The best way to watch the DVD market is to watch the resale of the DVD. Major chain Pawn America runs a special on Tuesdays for DVDs. In May, they started special events where DVD movies only cost $1.

While newer titles might fetch your more, if you pawn a DVD title, they will most likely buy it at .10 cents so they can make .90 cents.

With all these factors (along with others such as DVR technology and flash drives), 2014 looks to be the year we finally lay the DVD optical disc format to rest. Blu-Ray discs still have value, but the DVD player will definitely be placed with the old TV and VCR down in the basement or garage.