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PNG sticks with Huawei for subsea cable: Report

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(Image: Huawei Marine)

Huawei will continue building out a submarine cable network interconnecting Papua New Guinea despite pressure from Australia, the United States, and Japan, according to a report by Reuters.

The report said PNG’s Public Enterprise and State Investment Minister William Duma told Reuters that the nation had “an existing agreement” with Huawei.

“It’s about honour and integrity; once you enter into a deal and an arrangement, you go with it,” Duma reportedly told Reuters, adding that Huawei has already completed around 60 percent of the project.

“It’s a bit patronising”, he reportedly added in relation to counter-offers allegedly being pushed by Australia, Japan, and the US.

Huawei Marine had in October 2016 announced that it would be helping PNG build out an 8Tbps, 5,457km national submarine broadband cable network alongside the government’s telco PNG DataCo across 14 main cities and population centres, along with a link to Jayapura, Indonesia.

Earlier this year, the Australian government had used AU$200 million in foreign aid to lock Huawei out of supplying a subsea cable connecting Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands with Australia.

Vocus was subsequently awarded the AU$137 million contract by the Australian government to construct the cable.

“Awarding the AU$136.6 million contract to delivery partner Vocus is a major milestone and signals the start of the physical installation of the Coral Sea Cable System,” former Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said in June.

“Australia will deliver and majority-fund the cables, with financial co-contribution from both PNG and Solomon Islands.”

Vocus said the Coral Sea Cable System, which is expected to be complete by the end of next year, will use multi-terabit technology. It will now commence a “comprehensive program of survey, manufacture, and deployment activities”, the company added.

The telco is also set to build out a domestic submarine cable network in the Solomon Islands to link Auki in the Malaita Province, Noro in the Western Province, and Taro in the Choiseul Province with the Honiara landing point, which will be jointly funded by Australia and the Solomon Islands.

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had in April confirmed the subsea cable would be built, saying that the federal government would provide the “majority” of the funding for the project, which will also land in Port Moresby.

During the week of political turmoil that saw Turnbull and Bishop step down from their roles, and Scott Morrison installed as Prime Minister of Australia, Huawei was then banned from participating in any 5G deployments across the nation due to supposed national security issues stemming from concerns of foreign government interference in critical communications infrastructure.

US President Donald Trump has also been cracking down on Chinese involvement in the American tech sphere, including through draft legislation barring the sale of national security-sensitive technology to China, and blocking government or contractors from buying telecommunications equipment and services from Huawei and ZTE.

Huawei in July told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the US should not miss out on its world-leading technology, pointing out that its exclusion would drive up consumer costs.

United States Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner then reportedly told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban Huawei from taking part in its 5G networks.

Huawei in September denied similar reports that the Indian government had excluded it from taking part in joint 5G trials, saying it is currently proposing a set of solutions to support the government’s requirements for a nationwide 5G rollout.

South Korea’s largest carrier left Huawei off its list of 5G vendors, with SK Telecom announcing in September that it would be going with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung.

Huawei is still actively participating in 5G across the United Kingdom and New Zealand, however.

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The Real Reason America Banned The Land Rover Defender

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The 1993 Land Rover Defender 110 was sold in the United States, but it was extensively modified to meet the safety regulations required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Unlike the models that were sold abroad, the U.S. version of the Land Rover Defender 110 was fitted with brush guards, a roof rack, an external roll cage, and an air conditioning system (via Autoweek). The Land Rover Defender 90 was introduced to the North American market the next year to replace the 110 models.

As fate would have it, Land Rover’s dream to continue selling the Defender 90 in the United States was cut short in 1998 when new airbag regulations came into effect. As per the regulation, all new vehicles sold in the United States were to be fitted with airbags on the front passenger and driver seats. Ironically, Land Rover installed dual airbags in other models that were available in the North American market, like the Discovery (via the IIHS). The Defender wasn’t given the same treatment, so it was ultimately banned because it couldn’t meet the safety regulations.

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The Incredible And Controversial Evolution Of Elon Musk’s Neuralink

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During a 2021 interview with the Wall Street Journal, Musk outlined his desire to put a Neuralink chip in a person at some point in 2022. During the interview, Musk described the device as “safe,” “reliable,” and “something that can be removed safely.” Musk again confirmed the first patients the device would be tested on would be people who suffer from serious, debilitating spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegics and tetraplegics (people who have lost the ability to voluntarily control the movement of multiple limbs). The world’s richest man went on to say he is “cautiously optimistic” about Neuralink’s chances of success.

Although Neuralink is still waiting for FDA approval, some of the company’s direct rivals have been given the green light to proceed with human testing. New York-based Synchron Inc., which has been around since 2012, got the go-ahead in 2021 and announced the enrollment of their first patient in early May 2022 (via Businesswire). Like Neuralink, Synchron is developing a product that will allow the human brain to interface with existing electronic devices. Synchron also intends to use its device to improve the lives of people with debilitating medical conditions. So Neuralink may one day change the world, but there’s a good chance another company will get there first.

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Apple’s New Privacy Commercial Puts Data Brokers On Notice

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Since then, we’ve seen a number of other options added, some of which this new commercial — called, simply, “Data Auction” — calls out. Some are active, like Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari, which when activated will use machine learning to figure out what in websites is functional and what is for tracking, and then block the latter. More recently, it has also gained the ability to hide your IP address, too.

That’s something Mail Privacy Protection does as well, as well as blocking the so-called “invisible pixels” which can report back to data brokers whether or not you opened an email. Obscuring location in a more granular way is something Apple has been exploring for a while now: iOS 14, for example, introduced the ability to share approximate location with apps and sites. Rather than giving exact coordinates, it narrows your position down to a roughly 10 square mile zone; enough to get local recommendations and news, but nothing more specific.

Other additions have focused more on awareness. App Privacy Report, for example, shows which apps have tapped which hardware and software permissions on your iPhone and iPad, including a list of the domains that app might be contacting in the background. Safari Privacy Report does much the same thing, only for website trackers.

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