Google’s head of Android security David Kleidermacher claimed in an interview that "Android is now as safe as the competition" on the release of the company’s 2017 Android Security report, which seeks to reassure users that it is doing everything it can to protect them from malware and exploits. The problem is that Google can’t secure the 2 billion Androids it claims as its platform. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
On March 12, the U.S. National Academies, an independent organization that produces a vast number of reports on the world of science, medicine, and engineering, released their review of the draft of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). The assessment, produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), evaluates the ongoing progress of climate change and its impact on the United States.
The NC4A draft builds on evidence put forward by 2017’s Climate Science Special Report, which stated that “it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”
“As the pace of coastal flooding and erosion accelerates, climate impacts along our coasts are exacerbating preexisting social inequities as communities face difficult questions on determining who will pay for current impacts and future adaptation strategies and if, how, or when to relocate vulnerable communities,” the report reads.
Scientists working on NCA4 were initially worried the Trump administration would intervene or prevent this climate report from being released, as it contradicts the president’s stance on climate change — a stance that ultimately led to the U.S.’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the draft was released as intended.
There’s still more work to be done before the report’s full release later this year. The review committee suggests improving how the report conveys key information in order to appeal to a broader audience, as well as highlighting advances made since the last climate assessment was published.
“There’s a tremendous interest and demand for updated information and also examples of how various communities are approaching climate issues,” Daniel Cayan, a professor at the University of California at San Diego and a member of the review committee, told The Washington Post. “So, I believe that there’s a community of consumers that really are depending on the National Climate Assessment, and I would be very surprised if it does not continue and it is not sustained.”
After months of listening to Broadcom say flattering things about Qualcomm during its hostile takeover bid, it’s tempting to see Qualcomm as a prized jewel bursting with potential. But now that Broadcom’s pursuit has been permanently blocked due to national security concerns, it’s worth remembering that Qualcomm is a company with…Read More Apple – VentureBeat
There were rumors this week of a 50 percent reduction in Motorola's Chicago workforce and that the Moto Z line was finished. Given that we're still hearing about upcoming products for Moto Z phones like a VR headset Moto Mod, the news is confusing at… Engadget RSS Feed
Most drivers only need a sedan to navigate the sometimes pothole-ridden, but relatively flat, big city roads. But for many consumers, larger vehicles that could nail an off-road test drive seem to remain a must. And despite the fact that these often-massive sports utility vehicles (SUVs) not only cost more, but also pollute more, SUV sales continue to climb.
According to the latest data from an automotive research firm Jato Dynamics, the global demand for SUVs hit a new record in 2017, totaling 34 percent of global car sales for the year. The vehicles were particularly popular in North America, Europe, and China, despite the fact that all three regions struggle with severe air pollution — a problem that more fuel-guzzling SUVs is unlikely to solve.
Since the 1970s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to reduce air pollution by requiring automakers to improve vehicles’ fuel efficiency. However, for off-road vehicles and SUVs, pollution restrictions have remained lax.
SUVs are a middle-class favorite in the U.S., thanks to a marketing operation that successfully bypassed increasingly strict environmental rules. In order to penetrate consumer markets, U.S. automakers pitched SUVs as the new “family vehicle”. The rebranding was so effective that, to date, it still speaks to consumers more than modern electric or hybrid cars do.
Companies like Volkswagen continue to expand their SUV offerings — the German automaker, which currently offers only four off-road models, plans to increase those options to 20 SUV options within the next two years.
China’s Pollution Paradox
The juxtaposition between a global need to address pollution problems and consumers’ love for bigger, less fuel-efficient SUVs takes center stage in China. The pollution crisis choking Beijing and Shanghai prompted the Chinese government to drop coal in favor of solar and other clean energy sources. As the United States increasingly embraces a pro-fossil fuels agenda, China continues to champion global climate action.
One one hand, that could be because bigger vehicles are considered a status symbol, particularly among young people, but SUVs could also accommodate China’s growing family size after the government dropped its one-child policy.
A sustained growth in diesel-powered SUV sales, particularly as the vehicles’ electric counterparts struggle to take off, could significantly hamper China’s deliberate environmental conscientiousness.
Transportation accounts for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Industry trends like this one — in which SUVs continue to trump EV — have the power to tip the already precarious environmental scales towards increasing urban pollution, rather than decreasing it.
“What’s all the fuss about?” Curiosity over why people are protesting the Snapchat redesign seems to have inspired a new wave of users to try the app. Snapchat downloads in the U.S. went up 41 percent to 76 percent in the week following the redesign’s February 6th rollout compared to the week before. Read More Mobile – TechCrunch
Though HomePod integrates with Apple’s HomeKit, and even shows up as a smart home accessory within the iOS Home app, it cannot be used as a part of an automated trigger or custom scene. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s atypically specific comments yesterday establishing the iPhone X as Apple’s best-selling iPhone model, a report from Business Korea doubles down on claims that Apple will discontinue the device this year. The report suggests that Apple’s component orders are falling at an unusual rate, in the process impacting many South Korean companies.
According to the report, Apple’s sole iPhone X screen supplier Samsung Display has told partner firms that Apple has already cut screen orders from 40 million to 20 million for this quarter, will drop from 20 million to 10 million next quarter, and plans to bring the number down to zero in the second half of this year. As Business Korea notes, the declining screen orders strongly imply the iPhone X’s discontinuation, as Apple only buys OLED iPhone screens from Samsung Display; thus, Samsung’s orders directly reflect total iPhone X production.
Whether Samsung can be relied upon for accurate information in this situation is questionable, due in part to Samsung’s status as a key rival and major supplier to Apple. The companies’ relationship is famously frayed, having survived lawsuits and public spats largely because the Korean company has remained uniquely capable of supplying various components Apple requires. In recent times, Samsung and Apple have jousted for the title of global smartphone leader, swapping places from quarter to quarter.
It’s possible — though not likely — that Samsung is being cut out of Apple’s screen supply loop. Samsung’s biggest Korean competitor, LG, was understood to be Apple’s preferred choice for OLED screens, but reportedly fell short of the standards demanded for the iPhone X. LG might have remedied its screen production concerns, and Apple could be planning to bring LG’s screens into the supply chain mid-cycle. But the Business Korea report is more likely to be correct. Recent analyst guidance suggests that Apple will debut an iPhone X replacement and a Plus-sized model this year, making discontinuation of the current model possible.
Business Korea reports that Samsung Display is working to offset the decline in Apple purchasing by offering excess OLED screens to Chinese smartphone manufacturers — a decision that may speed the adoption of high-quality OLEDs in iPhone competitors. In that regard, Apple’s pitch that the iPhone X represents “the future” of phones may wind up being true even sooner than expected.
Apple reported its first quarter 2018 financial results today, posting quarterly revenue of $ 88.3 billion on sales of 77.3 million iPhones, 13.17 million iPads, 5.1 million Macs, and $ 8.471 billion in services. As expected, the revenue once again represents a record for Apple, though sales of each of the company’s key products’ was either roughly flat or slightly down from last year’s holiday quarter, when it sold 78.3 million iPhones, 13.08 million iPads, and 5.37 million Macs.
“We’re thrilled to report the biggest quarter in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, “with broad-based growth that included the highest revenue ever from a new iPhone lineup.” Cook also provided a little detail on sales of the iPhone X, which he said “surpassed our expectations and has been our top-selling iPhone every week since it shipped in November.”
Overall, revenues were up 13 percent year over year, with atypically strong 26 percent growth in Japan contrasting with 10 percent growth in the U.S. and 11 percent growth in China. Standout changes in revenue came from the iPhone, services, and “other products,” which saw increases of 13, 18, and 36 percent respectively, reflecting higher iPhone average selling prices and the increased popularity of both Apple Music and Apple Watch. By comparison, the Mac fell 5 percent year over year in both revenues and unit sales.
As the performance of individual product lines wasn’t record-breaking, Apple focused on a positive milestone: overall device sales. “We’ve also achieved a significant milestone with our active installed base of devices reaching 1.3 billion in January,” said Cook. “That’s an increase of 30 percent in just two years, which is a testament to the popularity of our products and the loyalty and satisfaction of our customers.”
Apple CFO Luca Maestri also noted that the company’s “[c]ash flow from operations was very strong at $ 28.3 billion, and we returned $ 14.5 billion to investors through our capital return program.” EPS was up 16 percent.
Apple’s board of directors declared a cash divided of $ 0.63 per share of common stock, payable February 15 to shareholders of record as of the close of business February 12.
For Q2 2018, Apple is offering a revenue guidance range between $ 60 billion and $ 62 billion, and gross margin between 38 percent and 38.5 percent, comparing with Q2 2017’s $ 51.5 billion to $ 53.5 billion range, and 38-39 percent gross margin.