Technology

Today’s cache | US Tech Firms can now work with Huawei, and more

File photo.

File photo.  

United States will amend its prohibitions on the country’s firms that do business with Huawei.

GitHub is planning to replace the word ‘master’ on its platform with an alternative term in an effort to reduce unnecessary reference to slavery.

Apple has launched a Mac version of its Developer app a week before the company’s WWDC. The app will allow users to access WWDC on its platform.

Australia’s Federal Court has fined Sony Europe over false and misleading representations about digital refunds on its website.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has agreed to testify before a committee that is reviewing antitrust practices in large technology companies

Amazon CEO agrees to testify before US House of Representatives

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has agreed to testify before a committee that is reviewing antitrust practices in large technology companies, Cnet reported.

In a letter dated Sunday, seen by the news agency, Bezos has written to the House of Representatives about his decision to testify before them.

"We are committed to cooperating with your inquiry and will make the appropriate executive available to testify,” attorney Robert K. Kelner, of Covington & Burling, which is representing Amazon for the antitrust investigation, said in note.

“This includes making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other CEOs this summer.”

The timing and format for the testimony is being worked out, Kelner added.

Amazon has so far given over 225,000 pages of document to support the investigation, the law firm said.

The investigations are targeted at Amazon’s use of its private labelled products to compete against other retailers selling on the ecommerce giant’s platform.

The Federal Trade Commission, the Justice Department and the US House of Senate are adding pressure to investigate Amazon and few other large tech firms over monopolistic practices.

The issue gathered pace after an article by Wall Street Journal said Amazon workers used sales information from other companies in their database to set prices on the company’s own products.

In response, Amazon said that it does not access vendor data and has policies against such use of data.

Sony fined in Australia over for misleading customers on digital refunds

Australia’s Federal Court has fined Sony Europe over false and misleading representations about digital refunds on its website, ZDNet reported.

The court has slapped a AU$ 3.5 million in penalty against the Japanese technology company.

In May 2019, Australia’s competition commission had said that Sony has mislead consumers on several counts by denying them the right to refund for faulty digital games.

In its accusation, the competition watchdog alleged that Sony Europe’s terms of service did not have consumer guarantee rights on aspects of quality, functionality, completeness, or performance for any digital games between October 20177 to May 2019.

The court found the allegations to be valid as the terms of service cannot be restricted, excluded or modified.

It ruled that Sony Europe mislead four consumers who believed they purchased faulty PlayStation games.

These four consumers were not given refunds when they reached out to Sony. Customer representatives in the company had said that Sony does not give refunds for games that have been downloaded, or if 14 days had passed since the purchase.

The company, to a fifth customer, had said that it will not provide a refund unless the game developer authorises it.

“What Sony told these consumers was false and does not reflect the consumer guarantee rights afforded to Australian consumers under the Australian Consumer Law,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

“Consumers can obtain a repair, replacement, or refund directly for products with a major fault from sellers and cannot simply be sent to a product developer.”

Apple launches Mac version of its Developer app

A week before its worldwide developers conference (WWDC), Apple has launched a Mac version of its Developer app.

The Cupertino-based company had initially released the app in late 2019, which was available on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users.

The app provides developer stories, news, videos and other educational information.

The allows users to view WWDC sessions and has a new interface to search for earlier sessions of the conference.

This could be a great area for users to tune into to the upcoming WWDC event next week. Apple had earlier said this will be a online-only event and will start on June 22nd, and run through June 26th.

GitHub to replace ‘Master’ on its platform

GitHub is planning to replace the word ‘master’ on its platform with an alternative term in an effort to reduce unnecessary reference to slavery, ZDNet reported citing the company’s CEO.

Microsoft-owned code-hosting platform may use terms like ‘main/default/primary’ and ‘secondary.’

It also plans to get rid of words like ‘blacklist’ and ‘whitelist,’ and change them with ‘allow list’ and ‘deny/exclude list.’

GitHub uses the term ‘master’ for default version of a source code repository. From there, developers fork a version to build secondary versions, and add their codes. These changes are later merged into the ‘master.’

The move has galvanised the open source developers community so much that the several Git projects are considering an official switch to neutral coding language. Discussions are going on on the portal’s Issues section.

The idea behind changing names in the coding world comes after protests in the US spurred by Black Lives Matter movement has amplified concerns on using racially-loaded terms.

The tech community is putting efforts in changing the language from software applications, source code and online services.

A software engineer at LinkedIn had said in a tweet that he intends to update “a bunch of libraries” by removing racially-loaded phrases with a neutral alternative.

Google Chrome is also considering the use of ‘main’ instead of ‘master’ on its default branch of the browser’s source code.

US companies allowed to work with Huawei

United States will amend its prohibitions on the country’s firms that do business with Huawei, Reuters reported.

The amendment will allow US tech firms to work with Huawei on 5G and other technology standards for next generation networks.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed the move in a statement to the news agency.

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation,” Ross said.

“The department is committed to protecting U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging U.S. industry to fully engage and advocate for U.S. technologies to become international standards.”

The rule change that has been signed off by the US Commerce Department is waiting to be put out on the Federal Register as early as Tuesday. It change order was sent on Friday.

In its public announcement on Monday, the US Commerce Department remarked that the country’s participation in setting standards “influences the future of 5G, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.”

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 5:58:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/todays-cache-us-tech-firms-can-now-work-with-huawei-and-more/article31844786.ece

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