News Roundup: The US is at loggerheads with Huawei, ZTE, and Kaspersky

A roundup of the week’s technology news including Apple’s sort-of apology, Nintendo Cardboard, and French tech terms.

A roundup of the week’s technology news including Apple’s sort-of apology, Nintendo Cardboard, and French tech terms.


US refuses to play nice

Why can’t we all just get along? In the same week Kaspersky is filing an injunction against being banned from US Government systems, now a US Representative is pushing to exclude Huawei and ZTE as well. The proposed ‘Defending U.S. Government Communications Act’, put forward by Texas Republican Mike Conaway, would prevent the US Gov. from using any technology from Huawei, ZTE, and any subsidiaries.

“Chinese commercial technology is a vehicle for the Chinese government to spy on United States federal agencies, posing a severe national security threat,” Congressman Conaway said in a blog. “Allowing Huawei, ZTE, and other related entities access to U.S. government communications would be inviting Chinese surveillance into all aspects of our lives.”

Just last week AT&T pulled out of a deal with Huawei, possibly due to government pressure, and  IDG Connect writer Phil Muncaster has previously explored the growing tensions between the US and foreign companies.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning is running for Senate. Manning announced the move in a Tweet, and will be running in Maryland against Ben Cardin as a Democrat. 


Security news

The Intel and Meltdown/Spectre fallout continues. Google says its patches don’t impact performance, while the likes of VMWare, Lenovo, and Red Hat delayed or pulled patches after problems arose.

And to top it off, F-Secure recently found another flaw, this time in Intel’s Active Management Technology.


  • The World Economic Forum’s newest report names cybersecurity and cyberwarfare up there with climate change, inequality, and global war as major risks to the world.
  • Kaspersky has discovered some especially nasty Android spyware called Skygofree
  • GE posted some nation-state level malware to the VirusTotal public malware repository


Apple undoes the great device slow down

Apple is to include a setting that allows customers to turn off the code which slows down older iPhones in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns. The new option will likely appear in March as part of iOS11.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently spoke to ABC News about the issue, saying people ‘weren’t paying attention’ when they put the slow-down code out, but also that Apple “should have been clearer.”

“We deeply apologize for anybody that thinks we had some other kind of motivation.”


Veeam has acquired N2WS, Smartsheet has snapped up Converse.AI, FireEye has got its hands on X15 Software, WatchGuard Technologies now owns Percipient Networks, Coinbase has acqui-hired Memo.AI, BMW has snaffled Parkmobile, and Assembla has purchased MacOS Subversion client Cornerstone.

Microsoft Azure has made some gains against AWS recently, but the company is killing off its HealthVault Insights apps.

Samsung has said it wants to double its revenue from African markets over the next five years to make up 20% of the company’s total revenue.


Nintendo Cardboard

After its launch in 2014, Google Cardboard quietly launched a revolution in the Virtual Reality space by making VR easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Many copied the idea, while Google adapted it to include Raspberry Pi housing for smart speakers.

It seems Nintendo took a look and wanted in on the action. Labo is a series of impressive cardboard creations which house the Switch and its controllers in all kinds of innovative ways. Everything from a keyboard and fishing rod to robots and guns. It’s not quite as low-key as Google’s cardboard efforts, but very impressive.