News of Interest

Xiaomi and Huawei to Enter US Market

Mark Gurman, Yuan Gao, Scott Moritz and Selena Wang writing for Bloomberg:

“Huawei Technology Co. and Xiaomi Corp. are in talks with U.S. wireless operators about selling flagship smartphones to American consumers as soon as next year, according to people familiar with the matter. The handset makers are negotiating with carriers including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., said the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Talks are still fluid and it’s possible no agreements will materialize, they said.”

Firstly, I am surprised Huawei and Xiaomi have not entered the US market via carrier channels already.

Secondly, and this is purely in my own observation, the people I know using Huawei or Xiaomi phones are generally people who used to buy Samsung phones. The iPhone has never been the market leader by market share. Samsung has. Clearly Apple is doomed.

App Store Pre-orders

Following on the developer bad news from the banning of template generated apps from the App Store some good news! Apple has introduced pre-ordering of apps to all developers along with the option to provide discounted pricing. This will certainly be boon in terms of drumming up interest and pre-orders.

App Store Introductory Pricing (and Free Trial Periods) for Subscriptions

Apple have also added introductory pricing to auto-renewable subscriptions. This option allows the developer to offer the app for free or at a lower price for a defined amount of time. While this is not “trial period” leading to a once off purchase. It is a step in the right direction and will certainly help developers nudge would-be customers over the purchasing line.

200 – 300%

Vincent Laforet writing about his experience with the new iMac Pro:

“Whether you’re editing 8K RED video, H.264 4K Drone footage, 6K 3D VR content or 50 Megapixel RAW stills — you can expect a 200-300% increase in performance in almost every industry leading software with the iMac Pro.

I’ve seldom seen a jump this dramatic before on any new generation of Macs — 20%-30% speed increases are the norm … NOT 200%-300% increases. That’s SIGNIFICANT.”

That performance increase really does seem significant – was the jump in performance from iPhone 7 -> 8 -> X that much?

More Uber Underhandedness

Andrew J Hawkins writing for The Verge:

“At first glance, the Jacobs letter an incredibly detailed accounting of multiple unlawful actions by the ride-hail company. He alleges that Uber’s secretive Strategic Services Group (SSG) “frequently engaged in fraud and theft, and employed third-party vendors to obtain unauthorized data or information.” He also accuses Uber security officers of “hacking” and “destruction of evidence related to eavesdropping against opposition groups.” And he says Uber’s ex-CEO Travis Kalanick knew about a lot of it.”

Seems to me Uber under Kalanick invested an awful lot of time, effort and money into areas other than actually improving their service and product.

At least it seems like new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will not be putting up with any of it:

“With regard to the allegations outlined in Ric Jacobs’ letter, I can tell you that we have not been able to substantiate every one of his claims, including any related to Waymo. But I will also say that there is more than enough there to merit serious concern. As I hope you’ve seen over the past 2.5 months, I will always be fair when people admit mistakes or bring hard problems to me. But let me be clear: I have drawn a line. I will not tolerate misconduct or misbehavior that was endorsed or excused in the past. Period.”

CDC Gets List of 7 Forbidden Words

Lena H. Sun and Julia Eilperin writing for The Washington Post:

“Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden terms at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden terms are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.”

I have another 7 words as a suggestion for a response to this list.