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Science publisher IEEE lifts ban on Huawei reviewers – TechCrunch

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After a temporary ban, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, commonly known as the IEEE, announced on Monday it has lifted curbs on editors and peer-reviewers that work for Huawei and the Chinese firm’s affiliates.

The reversal is yet another example of the regulatory murkiness in the U.S.-China trade negotiations. In response to the U.S.’s order to bar American companies from conducting businesses with Huawei without government approval, the New York-based scientists’ association last week restricted Huawei and affiliated firms from its peer-review process.

The IEEE said then that the ban should have a “minimal impact” on its members around the world and assured that Huawei was still allowed to submit papers, attend IEEE-hosted conferences and participated in other activities that are open to the public.

The IEEE said it’s revoked the ban on Huawei after consulting the U.S. Department of Commerce on whether the export control restrictions apply to its own publication activities. The association did not provide further details on the exemption, but the move seems consistent with the temporary reprieve that Huawei received from the Commerce Department, as Eurasia Group’s head of geo-technology Paul Triolo pointed out:

Here’s the rule detailing the exemption from the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is an agency of the Department of Commerce:

4. Engagement as Necessary for Development of 5G Standards by a Duly Recognized Standards Body: BIS authorizes, subject to other provisions of the EAR, engagement with Huawei and/or the sixty-eight non-U.S. affiliates as necessary for the development of 5G standards as part of a duly recognized international standards body (e.g., IEEE—Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; IETF—internet Engineering Task Force; ISO—International Organization for Standards; ITU—International Telecommunications Union; ETSI- European Telecommunications Standards Institute; 3GPP—3rd Generation Partnership Project; TIA—Telecommunications Industry Association; and GSMA, a.k.a., GSM Association, Global System for Mobile Communications).

“Our initial, more restrictive approach was motivated solely by our desire to protect our volunteers and our members from legal risk. With the clarification received, this risk has been addressed,” the IEEE said in a statement.

The curbs, though short-lived, has sparked a major backlash in the global academic community, with professors from top-tier universities like Zhang Haixia at Peking University resigning from the IEEE boards in protest of the ban.



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New Mobvoi TicWatches won’t run Wear OS 3 at launch, upgrade in 2022

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Google turned the excitement around its next major update to its Wear OS platform and doused it with the cold water of uncertainty. After teasing the improvements that Wear OS 3 would bring to the table, Google left people hanging on whether existing smartwatches, especially those released within the past year and a half, would even get the upgrade. Mobvoi is one of the few that has publicly committed to Wear OS 3, but it seems that there’s a small catch to its promise.

There’s still some confusion and plenty of questions about Google’s plans for the Wear OS 3 rollout. Few smartwatch manufacturers have ever committed to upgrading existing models to the upcoming Wear OS release. There has been speculation that Google raised the minimum hardware requirements for Wear OS 3 that made those older smartwatches incompatible.

Even that, however, isn’t completely clear. The only new smartwatch launching this year with Wear OS 3 that we know so far is Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Watch 4. Mobvoi, the only one so far to use the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform, just launched a new smartwatch, but that didn’t run the new Wear OS. Now it seems that this will be the same story for the next TicWatch devices for the rest of the year until 2022.

In a statement to 9to5Google, the company reveals that its TicWatch Pro 3 (GPS and LTE models) and the new TicWatch E3 will be eligible for a Wear OS 3 upgrade coming in the mid to second half of 2022. It also notes that future TicWatches will be the same, implying that these, too, will launch with the current version of Wear OS, not Wear OS 3.

The good news there is that Mobvoi will upgrade those future smartwatches, but it does leave some doubt whether it will be able to make good on that promise. After all, there’s still more than a year before it rolls out the promised update, and a lot can happen before then. It also still leaves the situation for other smartwatches unclear, leaving consumers uncertain how to move forward with Wear OS 3 just around the corner.

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Windows Your Phone Apps feature could be expanding to more phones

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After giving up on its own attempts at creating its own mobile platform, Microsoft switched to integrating Windows better with Android and iOS. Not all phones or mobile platforms are created equal, of course, and Microsoft has struck a sweet deal with Samsung for even deeper integration that’s exclusive to a select number of Galaxy phones. One of those features includes the ability to run an Android app from the phone in its own window, a feature that might soon be expanding to other phones or at least other Samsung phones.

In addition to a poor choice in naming, Windows’ Your Phone has a confusing number of features that depend on what phone you have. The most basic is Link to Windows, which lets you seamlessly transfer files between an Android phone and a Windows device. Phone Screen, on the other hand, mirrors the entire phone’s screen on the desktop, allowing you to interact with it while keeping your phone away.

And then there’s Apps, which lets you run those Android apps in their own windows. Like the other three features, however, these are mostly exclusive to Samsung’s phones. More recent premium flagships even get extra perks, like the ability to run multiple apps at once.

@ALumia_italia now reveals that the list of supported phones for Your Phone’s “Apps” feature could be expanding. A screenshot reveals a Galaxy A52 having access to a list of Apps, ready for launching any time. The Galaxy A52 supports Phone Screen, also shown in the screenshot, but not Apps.

Just like the Your Phone itself, there is still some confusion over what this means. Microsoft might simply be expanding the compatibility list to more Galaxy phones, or Microsoft could finally be bringing the feature to phones outside of Samsung’s line. The latter, however, requires that Microsoft open up Your Phone itself to other manufacturers’ devices, and one can only hope that will be the case soon.

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Chromebooks and tablets growth in Q2 2021 beat global chip shortage

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Just when things were starting to look up for consumer computing devices last year, 2021 brought its own big problem that’s shaking up more than just the tech industry. PCs, tablets, and Chromebooks enjoyed a surge in interest and sales in 2020 because of new work from home and remote schooling arrangements, but this year’s ongoing component shortage threatens to upset those gains. Despite that bleak scenario, tablet shipments managed to grow in Q2 this year, with Chromebooks showing the biggest wins.

According to IDC’s numbers, Chromebooks grew by 68.6% in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. The 12.3 million units that the market shipped may not be as large as the previous two quarters but still comes close to those. HP has the highest growth at 115.7% year-over-year and also has the lion’s share of that market.

The rapid growth of the Chromebook market has been attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, for better or worse, as Google’s Chrome OS continues to spread to new markets. The market analysis company shares that there is a noted uptick in Chromebook sales in Europe, while some countries in Asia are starting to look into the devices for use in schools.

Compared to Chromebooks, tablets had a more modest growth of 4.2%, with 40.5 million units sold. Considering how close tablets were to obsolescence, that’s still a significant improvement. Apple still leads the market with a 31.9% share, while Samsung is at a far second at 19.6%.

Nothing lasts forever, of course, and there are already concerns that this positive status for Chromebooks and tablets could start deteriorating soon. Due to supply concerns, some manufacturers seem to be focusing on more profitable Windows laptops instead. Demand for tablets, on the other hand, is expected to slow down sooner in comparison.

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