Apple is engaged in a global effort to safeguard its next game-changing technology

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iPhone MicroLED Displays

Apple is working on a secret display technology that will soon be used in its products, including the iPhone. While Apple may be operating its MicroLED facilities in secrecy, in Taiwan first, and now in California, MicroLED tech isn’t exactly a secret, and Apple isn’t the only company working on the future of screens.

But Apple appears to be very aggressive about defending its innovations in a field that’s dominated by its rivals.

How is Apple protecting its own inventions related to a crucial piece of technology? By filing patents, of course. Not just anywhere, mind you, but in Korea, the home of Samsung Display and LG Display.

We’re used to seeing Apple file a ton of patents in the US, as the company, but The Korea Herald draws our attention to an increased patent activity in Korea.

Apple applied for 11 MicroLED patents in the region over the last 10 years while LuxVue Technology, a company that Apple purchased in 2014, applied for 23 MicroLED patents during the same timeframe. In total, Apple has more than 30 patents to defend its MicroLED screen innovations.

Samsung and LG have filed plenty of patents during the same period. Samsung’s Display unit has 24 patents, and LG Display applied for 35 patents. On top of that, Samsung Electronics also has 24 patents, and LG Electronics has 29 patents on MicroLED display tech.

MicroLED screens would help Apple reduce the thickness of the iPhone’s display while increasing power efficiency and screen performance. The Apple Watch is the first Apple device rumored to get a MicroLED display. One other application for MicroLED tech is AR and VR headgear. And Apple is reportedly building its own AR headset.

Moving display tech in-house could also help Apple protect some iPhone design secrets on top of reducing its resilience on competitors for this critical iPhone component. A few months ago, a report said that Apple is working on a secret iPhone project with LG so that Samsung can’t have access to it. That project, rumors said, concerns iPhones with foldable displays.

Until the Galaxy S9 rolled along, the iPhone X had the best OLED display ever made for a smartphone. That’s not all of Samsung’s doing. The Korean company might be the only company that manufactures OLED screens for the iPhone, but these screens are made according to Apple’s specifications. Also, Samsung’s OLED display deals with Apple were inked long before the iPhone X rolled out, which means Samsung had knowledge of Apple’s iPhone display plans well in advance.

Samsung, meanwhile, unveiled a 146-inch MicroLED TV at CES 2018. It’s unclear when the technology will be used in Galaxy phones.

Apple – BGR

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Broadcom ceases effort to acquire Qualcomm

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Qualcomm logo CES booth

Days after President Trump issued an order to block Broadcom from buying Qualcomm, the company has complied with that order.

Broadcom announced today that it’ll drop its effort to acquire Qualcomm. In addition, Broadcom will withdraw its independent director nominees that it had made for Qualcomm’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

Here’s Broadcom’s statement on today’s news:

“Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the Order. Broadcom will continue to move forward with its redomiciliation process and will hold its Special Meeting of Stockholders as planned on March 23, 2018.

Broadcom’s Board of Directors and management team sincerely appreciate the significant support we received from the Qualcomm and Broadcom stockholders throughout this process.

Broadcom thanks the independent nominees who stood for election to the Qualcomm board, not only for their time and effort but also for their unwavering commitment to act in the best interests of Qualcomm stockholders.

Broadcom appreciates the following statement from U.S. Treasury Secretary and CFIUS chair Steven Mnuchin on March 12: ‘This decision is based on the facts and national security sensitivities related to this particular transaction only and is not intended to make any other statement about Broadcom or its employees, including its thousands of hard working and highly skilled U.S. employees.'” 

Broadcom made an offer to buy Qualcomm for $ 130 billion last year, but that offer was shot down by Qualcomm. Since then, we’ve heard rumblings about Broadcom working to make another serious acquisition attempt, but earlier this week, President Trump moved to block any such deal from happening, citing “credible evidence” that a Broadcom acquisition of Qualcomm could threaten the national security of the US. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

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The Nokia 1 joins Google’s Android Go effort with removable Xpress-on covers

Google has been trying to re-engineer Android so it works better on lower-end devices. While Google has been attempting this for nearly four years with its Android One effort, the search giant rebranded with an Android Oreo “Go edition” for low-end phones back in December. Android Go is designed to run better on phones with 512MB or 1GB of RAM, thanks to OS tweaks and “Go” versions of popular Google apps.

This week at Mobile World Congress, we’re starting to see the first Android Go handsets. The Nokia 1 is one of the first, and it’s designed to be an entry-level smartphone for a number of emerging markets. The Nokia 1 specs are minimal, and it runs on a 1.1GHz MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM, and just 8GB of storage. It’s a small and…

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Amazon, big finance spearhead healthcare effort without ‘profit-making incentives’

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Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase have announced plans to develop a program to pare down health care costs initially for their own employees, but with a suggestion that it could expand the effort to the rest of Americans in the future.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

Increase Performance in Cross-Browser Testing with Zero Effort – Here’s How


Are you used to getting a certain amount of data from your testing practices? Did you know that today you can extract more data from your existing testing practice…with zero additional effort. This all plays into the shift left movement that delivers insight – earlier and easier. When thinking about shifting left, you should answer one of these questions:

1. What new insights can I gain earlier?
2. How easy is it to implement?

Shifting left performance activities are top of mind for many engineering teams. The reason for this trend is because late discovery of extreme application latency typically leads to brand compromises on user experience in favor of time to market and/or the release may be delayed allowing an extended code undoing, a very expensive task for developers, and one teams are looking for eliminate.

The Challenge

There are various reasons why performance activities are usually done late, or outside the development cycle. Some of these include team structure, outdated perception of performance tests or the tools that are being used. This article will describe a web timing approach vs. the motivation and approaches to shifting left performance activities.

Web Page Timing

These are page level stats. Web page timers, defined in W3C Navigation Timing Specification isn’t necessarily new, however, they are very helpful in optimizing web content for various pages and browsers. The data is extremely detailed and readily available for analysis with almost all browsers supporting the API so you don’t need any special setup to collect and report these metrics.

Grabbing the page timers is fairly easy, simply leverage the following:

Map<String,String> pageTimers = new HashMap<String,String>();
Object pageTimersO =  w.executeScript(“var a =  window.performance.timing ;     return a; “, pageTimers);

Here’s an example of the timers resulting from a single page load:




Processing the timers can be done as follows:

long navStart = data.get(“navigationStart”);
long loadEventEnd = data.get(“loadEventEnd”);
long connectEnd = data.get(“connectEnd”);
long requestStart = data.get(“requestStart”);
long responseStart = data.get(“responseStart”);
long responseEnd = data.get(“responseEnd”);
long domLoaded = data.get(“domContentLoadedEventStart”);

this.duration = loadEventEnd – navStart;
this.networkTime = connectEnd – navStart;
this.httpRequest = responseStart – requestStart;
this.httpResponse = responseEnd – responseStart;
this.buildDOM = domLoaded – responseEnd;
this.render = loadEventEnd – domLoaded;

Now that we’ve got the page-level timers, we can store them and drive some offline analysis:




You can even decide within the test if you want to examine the current page load time or size, and pass/fail the test based on that:

// compare current page load time vs. what’s been recorded in past runs
public boolean comparePagePerformance(int KPI, CompareMethod method, WebPageTimersClass reference, Long min, Long max, Long avg){
case VS_BASE:
System.out.println(“comparing current: “+duration +” against base reference: “+ reference.duration);
return (duration – reference.duration) > KPI;
case VS_AVG:
System.out.println(“comparing current: “+duration +” against AVG: “+ avg);
return (duration – avg) > KPI;
case VS_MAX:
System.out.println(“comparing current: +duration +  against AVG: “+ max);
return (duration – max) > KPI;
case VS_MIN:
System.out.println(“comparing current: +duration +  against min: “+ min);
return (duration – min) > KPI;
System.out.println(“comparing current: +duration +  against AVG method was not defined N/A: “+ avg);
return false;}}

Web Page Resource Timing

So far, we’ve been talking about the page level timing. Web page resource timing is a more in depth review of both your code as well as any third party code that you are using.. This is good data because you can detect latency in page performance across any page and any browser, and already get a direction whether the issue relates to DNS discovery, content lookup, download etc.

In reality, when you’re doing this in cycle, the big changes will come from the content that is being downloaded. Large images downloaded to small screens over cellular networks, downloads of non-compressed content, repeated downloads of JS or CSS etc.

Expert Tip:

(How can developers get immediate actionable insight to optimize the page performance? This is where the resource timing API comes to play.  There are great insights about every object that the browser requests: the server, timing, size, type etc. )

Again, to obtain access to the resource timing object, all that needs to be done is follow the following:

List<Map<String, String>> resourceTimers = new ArrayList<Map<String, String>>();
ArrayList<Map<String, Object>> resourceTimersO =   (ArrayList<Map<String,Object>>) w.executeScript(“var a =  window.performance.getEntriesByType(resource) ;     return a; “, resourceTimers);

And here’s an example of the data that is available. Lots of good stuff in here:







Each page would have a long list of resources like the above. You can summarize all the objects into types and produce a summary of totals and some distribution stats:

Below, for example, one can summarize the resources by type for each execution:

Or finally, simply gain access to all the resources directly:

Execution Time Comparison/Benchmarking

So far, we’ve gotten access to the raw data and conducted some level of analysis with it. At the beginning of this article we defined shift left as ‘deliver insight, early and easily’. Now, how about, given a web page, we set a ‘baseline’, and from then on, every execution, we would measure the responsiveness, provide a pass/fail, and provide a full comparison of the current page data vs. the ‘baseline’. Well, with a little code, that’s possible too:

Here’s the top-level, page level summary of current vs. ‘baseline’ run:

There isn’t a material difference in the number of items, but you can see that the page load time is almost 3 seconds longer. From a first look, it seems the rendering time is the one extended.


Now, here’s the comparison between the type summary:





This table compares the total items, size and duration by type against the baseline. It’s not surprising there aren’t any new types of content introduced in this page, nor are there massive changes in the number of elements per type given the last run was just a few days earlier.

Still, despite the fact that in total there is only one additional image, it appears images drive the most latency in loading the page.

To take a closer look, here are the images with the largest load time.





Interestingly, also images that were part of the older page, still took longer:


Putting It All Together

As we’ve seen, it’s possible to examine page responsiveness across different browsers. It’s also possible to compare the page and resource metrics against a previous run to extract action for optimization, or detect a defect. The nice thing is that this can be done for any test: smoke, regression, even production. It does not require any additional infrastructure as it simply runs within the target browser. Results can be embedded into your reporting solution and overall, performance can be part of your agile quality activity.

Code reference

The code used for this project is available as open source at

Follow up projects

  • More Performance Activities
    • HAR file: In addition to direct analysis of the page resources and metrics, it is also possible to analyze the HAR file. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there are API-based analyzers readily available (most are web UI-based tools) but perhaps one can be built.
  • OCR-Based Analysis: Some tools (including Perfecto) offer visual based analysis for measurement of actual content render time. The accuracy of such measurement isn’t as high and the details available aren’t as easily translatable into action. Still, it’s a good method to measure user experience performance across screens. The OCR approach works well also for native apps.
  • Other tools: Google page speed, YSlow etc.
  • Other
    • Security: Similar to the performance testing, given the servers and resources downloaded are detailed in the logs, it should be possible to indicate the set of servers and countries contributing to this web page. Possibly not all are acceptable, that would be good to know and easy to add to the agile cycle.

Looking for more information on performance testing? Click here to read.

Perfecto Blog

SolydXK Plasma Rewards Effort With Stunning Results

SolydXK is a Debian-based Linux distribution that comes with a choice of the Xfce or KDE desktop. The latest edition of SolydXK, released this month, provides a state-of-the-art Linux platform. Since I first reviewed the SoldXK distro back in 2013, it has grown into a reputable Linux offering built around two popular computing options. Those two desktop options drew me to the Linux OS years ago. Both have their strong points. Xfce is one of the older workhorse desktops and is a choice I often make when looking at new distro releases.

Weekly poll results: the Xperia XA2 duo is Sony’s best mid-range effort yet

Sony unveiled three phones at CES and the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra got a warm reception in last week’s poll. There’s no clear favorite, the votes for these two are nearly evenly split (the Ultra wins by a nose). Many appreciated the upgrades that Sony brought to the XA line-up, things like 4K video recording and bigger battery. Sony’s screens are also held in high regard, especially now that the smaller phone made the jump to 1080p resolution. The revamped Xperia design didn’t go over so well, however, people found it stale and many harped on the bezels. The Xperia L2 was mostly… – Latest articles

Apple Sues French Activist Group in Effort to Stop Store Protests

Apple is suing a French activist group in an attempt to stop a slew of protests at its brick-and-mortar retail locations in the country that have been happening for some time.

The California tech giant is filing a lawsuit against Attac (the Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Aid to Citizens), after about 100 of its proponents occupied the company’s flagship store in Paris in December. The group, among others, has been protesting what they call “wide-scale tax evasion” by Apple, French news outlet The Local reported.

Attac has protested Apple for a variety of reasons in the past, but most recently, its main focus has been Apple’s alleged tax avoidance strategies in Ireland and other tax havens. Last November, the “Paradise Papers” implicated Apple in a wide-ranging report on the illegal tax strategies of the world’s wealthiest people and corporations.

An Apple spokesperson told Agence France-Presse on Thursday that it respected Attac’s right to free expression, but maintained that the flagship protest “put the security of (its) customers and employees at risk.”

Apple is seeking 3,000 euros (about $ 3,600) from Attac, but the main point of the lawsuit seems to be putting a halt to further protests in its stores. Apple asked for a court order barring Attac from staging further protests at its Apple Store locations — or else face a fine of 150,000 euros.

During the Paris store protest, Attac members blocked the store for several hours on a typically busy pre-Christmas shopping day. They only left the location when Apple employees assured them a meeting with management. According to The Local, Apple did meet with representatives of the group and asked them to refrain from holding further protests due to security concerns.

While Apple maintains that they “fully recognize” Attac’s right to expression, the activist group tells a different store. Dominique Plihon, a spokesperson for the organization, said the lawsuit is a means to “gag Attac and prevent us from holding new citizen actions to condemn tax evasion by multinationals.” Philon added that Apple accused Attac of “vandalism,” but insisted that their actions had been “peaceful,” “symbolic” and resulted in no permanent damage to property.

Previous protests staged by Attac supports include a demonstration on the iPhone X launch day, in which protesters dumped loads of apples from the roof of an Apple Store location while demonstrators carried signs saying “Apple, pay your taxes” in Aix-en-Provence, France.

In August 2016, the European Commission concluded that Apple had been negotiating favorable tax arrangements with the Irish government — ones that resulted in about $ 14.5 billion in back taxes owed.

The aforementioned “Paradise Papers” suggested that Apple allegedly transferred the bulk of its untaxed funds to the island of Jersey, which is largely exempt from European Union tax regulations and doesn’t typically tax corporate income.

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Apple Predicted to Buy Netflix Soon in Effort to Revive TV Offerings

Apple ended 2017 by acquiring British music app Shazam for $ 400 million, but the tech giant doesn’t plan on stopping these major acquisitions any time soon.
As Business Insider reports, analysts claim that the company could be working on plans to buy popular streaming service Netflix and that a deal could happen this year.

According to Citi analysts Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant, there’s a 40 percent chance that the American tech firm will acquire Netflix within the next few months. This, they claim, could happen as a result of US President Donald Trump’s corporation tax cut. Companies that make products in America are also being given tax breaks.

Through these cuts, Apple has more cash to plough into acquisitions. It’s estimated that Apple has around $ 252 billion in cash, and a lot of it is kept abroad. But with Trump’s business-friendly tax laws in mind, the company will be able to bring more of this money to the US. And Netflix would, of course, come at a hefty price tag.

Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of a business intelligence firm, claims that Netflix will be worth $ 300 billion over the coming years.

Suva and Merchant, who work at analyst firm Citi Research, have ranked the companies Apple is most likely to buy. Netflix is at the top of the list. This isn’t the first time that they’ve made stark claims. Before Disney acquired Fox’s studio and TV business, Citi predicted that there was a 20-30 percent chance that Apple and Disney would join forces.

Although iTunes and Apple Music have been huge successes for the company, it’s failed to launch a TV or movie service that can rival the likes of Netflix.

Of course, things would change if a deal did happen, and the analysts believe that Apple has more than enough money to make this happen. “The firm has too much cash – nearly $ 250 billion – growing at $ 50 billion a year. This is a good problem to have,” Suva and Merchant said.

“Historically, Apple has avoided repatriating cash to the US to avoid high taxation. As such, tax reform may allow Apple to put this cash to use.

They added: “With over 90% of its cash sitting overseas, a one-time 10% repatriation tax would give Apple $ 220 billion for M&A or buybacks.”

iDrop News

Three Amazon video content development executives jump ship for fledgeling Apple production effort

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Apple is further growing its stable of video streaming executives, poaching three high-level staffers from Amazon with one who will retain focussed on children’s programming development.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News