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US tech honchos slam Trump’s new visa restrictions

In fiscal year 2019, the US government awarded more H-1B visas to Amazon than any other firm, according to GeekWire.

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Sundar Pichai

San Francisco, June 23 : From Tim Cook to Sundar Pichai, top technology leaders in the US have come out in the open to criticise US President Donald Trump’s latest crackdown on immigration.

Through an executive order on Monday, Trump suspended till the end of the year the H-1B visas prized by Indian professionals. The freeze will not affect those already in the US on the H-1B and the other work visa categories being put on pause.

“Immigration has contributed immensely to America”s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today”s proclamation – we”ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was deeply disappointed by the new proclamation.

“Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the enduring promise of the American Dream. There is no new prosperity without both. Deeply disappointed by this proclamation,” he said.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stressed that “immigration is central to America”s story, and it”s central to my own family”s story.”

“My family escaped danger and found a new home in America,” she said in a tweet.

Wojcicki said that YouTube would “join Google in standing with immigrants and working to expand opportunity for all.”

In fiscal year 2019, the US government awarded more H-1B visas to Amazon than any other firm, according to GeekWire.

The new proclamation also drew criticism from the company which termed the action “short-sighted”.

“We oppose the administration”s short-sighted action. Preventing highly skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America”s economic recovery puts America”s global competitiveness at risk,” an Amazon spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Microsoft President Brad Smith also condemned the move.

“Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world”s talent or create uncertainty and anxiety. Immigrants play a vital role at our company and support our country”s critical infrastructure. They are contributing to this country at a time when we need them most,” he said in a tweet.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he very much disagreed with the action.

“Very much disagree with this action. In my experience, these skillsets are net job creators. Visa reform makes sense, but this is too broad,” he said in a tweet.

Facebook and Twitter also condemned the new visa restrictions.

Tech

iPhone 12 may arrive in October, Apple Watch and iPad in Sept

While the iPhone 12 models will ship in October, Prosser claimed the iPhone 12 Pro models will not be available until an unspecified date in November.

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iPhone 12

Apple is reportedly planning to hold its iPhone 12 event in the second week of October, with pre-orders to take place later that week and shipments to start the week after that.

In a recent tweet, Jon Prosser, a reliable Apple insider said that the iPhone maker may hold an event on Tuesday (October 13) and would accept pre-orders for new iPhone 12 models from October 16, and will deliver the new devices starting on October 23.

While the iPhone 12 models will ship in October, Prosser claimed the iPhone 12 Pro models will not be available until an unspecified date in November.

In addition, Prosser also said that Apple will release the Watch Series 6 and an unspecified new iPad during the week of September 7.

Earlier, Prosser said there is also the possibility that a later iPhone 12 launch event could allow more people to attend in-person.

The late announcement will give the Cupertino-based tech giant time to reopen more stores in different markets that are closed due to pandemic.

Apple is expected to launch four new iPhones under the iPhone 12 series which would include two premium variants.

iPhone 12 Pro will come in 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch sizes and may feature a high refresh-rate 120Hz ProMotion display, as presently seen on iPad Pro.

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Apple Watch future models to use micro-LED display: Report

Micro LED has the double advantage of offering less power consumption than the current Apple Watch screens, and of being thinner, too.

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apple

San Francisco, Aug 12 : Apple is reportedly planning to use a micro-LED display instead of an OLED panel in its future Apple Watch.

Apple could be using the MicroLED Display panel for the seventh-generation Apple Watch.

However, the upcoming Apple Watch, the sixth-generation model, will continue to have an OLED panel, reports DigiTimes.

Apple is investing around $330 million in the Taiwan-based company for a micro-LED factory that will manufacture displays for future iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and other devices from Apple.

According to the report, Lee Biing-jye, chairman of Epistar which is the largest LED manufacturer in Taiwan, said that smartwatches will become the first major applications of Micro-LED. But the time for mass adoption may be 3-4 years.

A watch’s 300 x 300 pixels would require around 300,000 micro LEDs, he was quoted as saying.

Micro LED has the double advantage of offering less power consumption than the current Apple Watch screens, and of being thinner, too.

The main barrier to adoption is the micro-LED manufacturing process, which is complicated – glass substrates are used which need a lot of testing.

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TikTok monitored device data in violation of Google policies: Report

While it is not clear why TikTok used the tactic to collect device data, it could be linked with its advertising goals.

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Tik Tok

San Francisco, Aug 12 : TikTok secretly collected device data for months via its Android app using a technique that Google prohibits developers from using without consent of users, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Although the practice came to an end in November, the finding could add to the woes of the short video-sharing platform which is facing threat of a ban in the US over its data protection practices.

TikTok’s Android app tracked MAC (media access control) addresses — unique hardware identifiers for networked devices — for at least 15 months over 2018-19, according to the WSJ report on Tuesday.

TikTok managed to hide the tactic through an “unusual added layer of encryption”, according to the report.

The short video-sharing platform owned by Chinese unicorn ByteDance reportedly took advantage of a security hole to collect the data.

It is not known if iOS users also fell prey to such tactics which were banned several years ago by both Google and Apple.

When the Journal reached for a reaction, TikTok said that MAC addresses are not collected by the current version of the app.

While it is not clear why TikTok used the tactic to collect device data, it could be linked with its advertising goals.

While Google did not comment on the loophole, it said that it was investigating the finding.

The news of TikTok collecting MAC addresses of Android users comes after iOS 14 revealed that the app was accessing iPhone clipboards more than necessary, Android Authority reported.

The finding comes in the same month the US President issued an executive order, prohibiting transactions by any entity in the country with its Chinese owner within 45 day.

TikTok was among the 59 apps that India banned in June.

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