Trade War consequences: China as innovation leader

China vs. U.S. tech race — who ends up stronger?

A key tenet of U.S. tariffs imposed against China is curtailing the illegal use of intellectual property by Chinese companies. An unintended consequence of the trade war is strengthening of Chinese tech leadership, as China’s tech giants, including Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu are developing their own AI microprocessors and mobile operating systems. The U.S. needs to develop and fund a national agenda for reaching new gains in technologies such as AI and 5G, says think tank CFR. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Countless examples throughout history confirm that competition is good. Competition is proving China to be swift and agile in moving from tech follower to tech leader. If trade wars are accelerating innovation in China, it stands to reason that the EU, US and India will step up innovation as well. Would open economies without tariffs reward innovation at the same rate? Perhaps the US agenda of greater enforcement of IP laws will be successful, especially when Chinese companies develop more IP than the US.

Apple CarPlay gets an update

Apple has made some useful updates to CarPlay, the app that enables your in car display to more easily display your iPhone screen. New features include a split screen, allowing you to see a map and media player at the same time. Also, a passenger can now look things up on other apps while connected to CarPlay and the car display still shows the map. The Apple Maps has been enhanced to make it more travel friendly. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: If your car isn’t compatible with CarPlay or Android Auto, then you need a new car. Integration between the car and the smartphone is perhaps the most important car feature aside from the actual car systems, and the ability to seamlessly integrate both in a safe manner will greatly influence the customer experience. Successful integration provides a powerful platform for entertainment and shopping, as Xevo, a division of Leer Corporation, has shown. Xevo’s growing list of merchant vendors are the preferred vendors that are easily displayed when you search for gas, tires, food or other services from your car.

Musk unveils Starship Prototype

Elon Musk’s SpaceX unveiled, this weekend, its enormous Starship rocket prototype. The large, stainless steel reusable craft will be flying in a matter of months, says Musk. What is not understood is the business model for such a large rocket – far larger than needed to launch satellites. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Musk’s unbounded thinking (and spending) put him in the realm of Steve Jobs, especially if SpaceX is able to make commercial space travel and delivery routine. SpaceX is years late in delivering on a NASA contract for Commercial Crew development, and Musk’s problems and cultural problems at Tesla suggest potential for problems at SpaceX. The Starship concept is way ahead of its time and the business model for a large, reusable rocket is, as of now, unknown, but perhaps that is not as important to Musk as being first at something truly revolutionary.

Motorola Razr re-boot: foldable

The popular Razr will come around again, this time, however, it will be a foldable — the new technology that has proven hard to bring to market. Motorola’s mobile assets are now owned by Chinese PC maker, Lenovo. The phone was supposed to have been delivered this summer, but now appears it will be a late year release. CNET

dis-rup-shun: While innovations in smartphones have continued along existing lines, providing better cameras, batteries and apps, it is time for something different. A phone that incorporates current technology (apps), the latest technology (foldable screens) and yesterday’s iconic memories (Razr) could be a hit and a great change from the status quo.

Target shows Amazon it’s not afraid

Target has figured out omni-channel retailing

Target’s earnings numbers, released this week, exceeded forecasts and reflected same store sales growth of 3.4%. Target has perfected omni-channel retailing, which combines online shopping with in-store pickup or same day delivery through its Shipt offering. Yahoo! Finance

dis-rup-shun: Competition makes companies better, and Target refuses to be crushed by Amazon. Target has determined how to offer both the convenience of in-store shopping and meet the demands of those who want products the same day without entering the store. Expect to see other retail outlets emulate omni-channel retailing — hybrid brick and mortar and online model, and expect Amazon to more aggressively experiment with physical stores.

Bose returns to the leading edge

Bose released a surprise, the Portable Home Speaker, that is both a Bluetooth portable, as well as a Wi-Fi multi-room speaker with voice support from Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, AirPlay 2, and Spotify Connect. TheVerge

dis-rup-shun: Bose, the coveted speaker brand of the 80s and 90s, let Sonos create and dominate the market for Wi-Fi music as it focused on the highly competitive Bluetooth speaker market. Over the past two decades, two segments of digital music grew in parallel: the Sonos-centered middle market whole-home replacement market, using Wi-Fi to stream music throughout the house, and the low-end portable Bluetooth music player. Bose and Sonos are bridging these segments with products that can both stream via Bluetooth at the lake, as well as be members of the whole-house Wi-Fi music system back at home.

Huawei fires an AI salvo

Huawei, despite its ban by the Trump Administration, has released its NVidia killer AI chip set, called Ascend 910. The chip is designed for AI data centers that require fast processing of large amounts of data to quickly establish data profiles. The chip set will compete head on with Qualcomm, Intel and NVidia, among others. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Earlier this week Cerebras unveiled its giant, AI-optimized processor, signaling a new segment for silicon manufacturers who will serve cloud data centers, autonomous vehicles, drones and robots. Expect a host of similar offerings from Intel, NVidia and Qualcomm as they pursue this specialized category of microprocessors.

Google Photos enables text search in pictures

A new feature in Google Lens, part of the Google Photos app, enables one to search through pictures for text strings, then copy and paste the text using optical character recognition (OCR) technology. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: A number of expense tracking apps have long supported photos of receipts to input data, but this process relied in part on people to assist with character recognition. Greater ability to convert photos to text means students can snap pics of the whiteboard rather than write notes, product managers can circulate sensitive data from photos of competitors’ conference notes, and people can archive their photos by date, based on images of newspapers, magazines or other dated documents that may appear in the photo. Expect select word processing applications to offer a photo-to-text conversion feature.

Apple teaches Facebook a privacy lesson

Apple iOS 13 big on privacy

iOS 13, to be released in September, changes the way voice calls over the Internet work. iOS 13 will not allow these apps, such as Whatsapp and Facebook to connect calls if they are not open and actively in use. This move is designed to enable users to know when an app is running, and therefore tracking their location and sites visited — as opposed to apps constantly collecting information in the background. Forbes

dis-rup-shun: Applause to Apple for taking a stand for consumer privacy. While this move will not change the fact that consumers give away a tremendous amount of data everyday by choice, it does draw a line for a new industry standard on when apps can “spy” on their users. Apple’s move will not be easy for Facebook, as apps must be rewritten, and let’s hope other phone makers such as Samsung and Google follow Apple’s lead. 

Samsung’s smart speaker MIA after one year

Samsung’s answer to Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod, the Samsung Galaxy Home, is a year (and counting) late to market. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: Questions: Why does a company that is a proven innovator struggle to develop a product long released by its chief competitors? What slice of the consumer electronics market is left after Amazon and Google, a distant second, have flooded the market with voice compatible devices? Answers: Samsung, being late to the market, must be trying to do something truly unique that others aren’t, and hence the delay. If not, then the product will not get much traction outside of being built in to Samsung devices, as Amazon has already won voice control for toasters, microwaves, light switches, etc. Of course, Amazon’s arch rivals, like Walmart, may be anxious to promote Galaxy Home at the expense of Amazon’s devices.

Trump bars companies from working with Huawei (again)

The ban, beginning August 13th, targets Hauwei, ZTE, Hytera, and Hikvision, all Chinese companies with potential, according to the White House, of spying. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Months ago, the President prohibited companies from working with Huawei, then granted many exceptions, then backed off on the campaign against the company. Now, with an escalating trade war, focus again is on locking Chinese tech firms out of U.S. markets. It looks like its time to take Chinese trade off the table for several years. Many industries were hoping to resume business as usual after a few months of posturing, but now it the business plan needs to be revised to remove Chinese customers from the mix.

Apple locking batteries, making replacement more difficult

Apple’s latest models come with a software lock — one that cannot be reset by unauthorized Apple repair shops who replace the battery. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: Given that smartphones are now about $1000, and given that we are likely to keep them longer, we are more likely to replace the battery to get one more year of use. To have to now go to an Apple store to do so is inconvenient, and a real disservice to small businesses who are conveniently located on every street corner to fix cracked screens and replace batteries. Apple isn’t making any new friends with this move.

Machine Learning capable of chronic disease prevention

AI used to prevent kidney failure

Alphabet’s AI division, Deep Mind, worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to develop an algorithm that accurately predicts kidney injury up to two days before it occurs. Kidney injury is an often fatal condition frequently occurring among hospital patients and difficult to detect until its onset. The algorithm is effective at identifying patients who are highly likely to have kidney damage in time to effectively treat them. Financial Times

dis-rup-shun: This exciting use of machine learning, improperly termed AI, relies on vast amounts of hundreds of patients’ records to ‘feed’ the algorithm. This same analysis is promising in detecting many other diseases such as breast cancer, heart disease and others, and will eventually become the primary form of diagnosis, relying primarily on data and secondarily on trained medical professionals. This transformation of the medical industry and relief from a shortage of medical professionals, however, will be stunted by the problem of patient privacy. In order to build effective data sets that are the foundation of detection algorithms, tens of thousands of patient records must be de-personalized for protection of privacy — a thorny issue that HIPPA is designed to prevent.

Consumers tire of expensive phones — leading to softer tech economy 

Consumers were raised on carrier subsidized handsets — meaning a new phone required only a few hundred dollars out of pocket. Given that the latest smartphones from Apple and Samsung cost around $1000 and are no longer carrier subsidized, sales are slowing. Apple’s sales are down 15% and Samsung 11%, according to a number of sources. Consumers are increasingly embracing less expensive phones made by Chinese companies Xiomi, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo. Huawei, despite sanctions from the U.S. government, has achieved a worldwide market share of 15%, a sliver behind Apple’s 16%. ExtremeTech

dis-rup-shun: We have seen cellphone incumbents Nokia, Motorola and Blackberry rise and fall in stunningly swift succession. Surely Apple and Samsung won’t miss the call to offer more variety of price points and let upstart “value players” quickly grab market share, followed by growing consumer approval of the new brands. In the cutthroat electronics business, fast is often not fast enough, and smartphones are a very large driver of the tech economy and associated stock prices.

The confusing world of streaming music players 

Selecting the right streaming music speakers for the right setting is increasingly difficult with many new form factors and options. Wired profiles the major options from Sonos, with prices from $50 to $1100.

dis-rup-shun: As a teenager, the holy grail of music enjoyment was owning a giant receiver (what’s that?) and speakers that were at least waist high. Today, the majority of music fans don’t understand file compression and the loss of high fidelity that came with digital music, and very few understand the best architecture for a whole home audio system. Wired or wireless? Digital to analog or all digital? Sonos is the new Bose, and all but very discriminating aficionados will be content with a digital streaming music player.

T-Mobile Sprint merger: do you approve?

Sprint T-Mobile merger: good or bad?

T-Mobile has been cleared by the Justice Department to acquire Sprint. This is the third attempt by the carriers to combine forces. 13 states are suing, claiming the deal will reduce competition and increase prices. The carriers have promised to freeze prices for three years and will give away some of their services and spectrum to Dish Networks, already an owner of significant spectrum, so that it may launch a fourth wireless network service, thereby not reducing the number of competitors. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The best argument for approving the deal is that three big carriers will continue to be ‘cutthroat competitive’ to win market share. AT&T and Verizon are not likely to be less aggressive in the market given the merger, but will be more aggressive, given that the new T-Mobile will be a third giant. T-Mobile with Sprint will be financially stronger to accelerate the race to deliver 5G networks and Dish will be the weak ‘also ran’ that must introduce creative plans for niche customers but even so will likely not be profitable. Given that the merger will not reduce market competitiveness and will accelerate 5G, the DOJ made the right decision.

Capital One data breach exposes 140,000 SSNs

A data breach and subsequent posting of SSNs and Capital One bank account numbers was announced. One perpetrator, 33 year old Paige Thompson, was arrested and charged in Seattle. The breach will cost Capital One between $100 million and $150 million.

dis-rup-shun: Seems that Seattle is increasingly the epicenter of tech innovation, good and bad. It turns out that Thompson briefly worked for Amazon. This breach is another reminder that higher standards are required for storing personal information. Encryption and its keys must be stronger such that access to personal data must be limited to only a handful of traceable employees at even large corporations.

Banned Huawei reports 23% increase

The Chinese tech giant that has been banned by the U.S. and many Western partners, experienced strong growth, mostly by selling more smartphones in China. The gains come at the expense of Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Apple. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, Huawei may be saying. On the other hand, Huawei’s challenge — selling 5G infrastructure gear across the planet, remains a challenge with increased sanctions. The power of the consumer — the power to make or break companies such as Apple and Motorola and Nokia (remember when the Razr and Nokia candy bar phones were “it”) — has floated Huawei. Could it be Chinese nationalism causing consumers to favor Huawei smartphones, or are they just that good?

Internet crosses oceans through 380 underwater cables

Today, Internet communications from continent to continent rely on not just a few submerged cables, but 380 which are owned and operated by telcos as well as by Google, Microsoft, Huawei and others. While cables are frequently disrupted by ship anchors, fishermen and seismic activity, the ability to re-route traffic means most outages are not noticed. CNN

dis-rup-shun: The space race, often covered by, seeks to provide a more economical means of covering the globe with network services through satellites in constant orbit, rather than vulnerable undersea fiber. Companies that control the physical Internet infrastructure are guaranteed a financial advantage for essentially now until the end of civilization.

Companies work around Chinese export bans

Does the economic invisible hand know any boundaries?

The Trump tariffs have been aimed at China’s telco giant, Huawei, more than any other Chinese company, with the U.S. prohibiting sales of certain products by U.S. companies and by those of its trade partners. Now microprocessor vendors Intel and Micron have determined that many of their products do not violate the ban, and have resumed selling to Huawei. CNN

dis-rup-shun: The politics behind the trade ban are based on two premises: Chinese companies such as Huawei have violated patents, and the U.S. cannot afford for China, therefore Huawei, to be the leader in 5G technologies. If you are a multinational company based in the U.S. but heavily dependent on selling to all major global companies to meet 2019 sales projections and shareholder expectations, do you pursue all sales opportunities, or do you act in a nationalistic fashion to advance the U.S. 5G agenda? The industry leaders have spoken.

The smartphone notification dilemma

Smartphone apps are now providing as many as 73 notifications per day to average users, or roughly every 15 minutes of awake time. App researchers consider if our society should develop appropriate norms for the number of messages we receive and then expect tech providers to conform, or will people continue to have to make constant decisions about when they choose to interrupt their actions, conversations and thoughts. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Smartphone etiquette continues to be uncharted, and given the legitimate business messaging that occurs on the smartphone via Slack, Teams, WeeChat, SMS, iMessage, LinkedIn, and email, to name a few, banning smartphone usage in the conference room is doubtful. Blending attention at home with work alerts, or at work with personal alerts is a skill that must be mastered for success in both domains. A smartphone free zone, meeting, or experience will be transformational to those that get to experience it.

Air traffic control system getting prepared for drones

Raytheon is the company that develops tracking technology for the U.S. air traffic control system. It has signed an agreement with AirMap, a company that maintains the largest unmanned aircraft tracking network, in order to integrate drone tracking into its commercial and military aircraft tracking system. Airmap has $43 million in funding and currently works in the Czech Republic, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: The rate of drone innovation is outpacing regulation, such that effective delivery networks will be ready before regulators are. As an important global infrastructure provider, Raytheon will help bring commercial drone usage to market in the next half decade.

Selling school assets for better wireless

A national dilemma is brewing as spectrum once reserved for educational institutions and often unused may be auctioned off for 5G development by large carriers. Much of the Educational Broadband Service has remained unused, however some school systems have leased the spectrum to carriers who have generated revenue from the assets. Critics of the resale plan are concerned that the sale of spectrum will still not help with the problem of serving rural residents who remain without high speed broadband facilities. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Rural broadband infrastructure is simply a cost that no one wants to bear, as the economics will never work. Spectrum licenses should be sold with the requirement that the buyer fund or directly supply some portion of rural infrastructure to get the job done. If rural communities have access to leading-edge communications infrastructure, workers can reverse migrate from cities and relieve rising cost of living pressures.

Cracking Amazon’s Choice

Trying to understand Amazon Choice features products in each category called “Amazon Choice.” Wired tries to figure out what it takes to nab the Choice label, as this spot drives staggering volumes. Choice products are not the most or least expensive, and they can change quickly. For those that shop using voice commands and a smart speaker, Choice makes voice shopping easier.

dis-rup-shun: Cracking the code behind seemingly arbitrary Amazon Choice picks is tough, but it is clear that the company is a master of psychology, understanding that consumers want lots of choices AND are overwhelmed by too many choices and need a recommendation. Why not offer both? Differentiation has always been the key to sales success, and never before has it been so important.

Ring adds more smart lighting

Ring, an Amazon company, has released a new line of outdoor lighting that uses motion sensors, Wi-Fi, and connects to a home hub. The “smart” occurs when a motion sensor detects movement, turns on the light, and activates a camera, and vice-versa. The lighting additions complement the company’s offerings of doorbell, cameras, and security hub and sensors.

dis-rup-shun: The biggest growth in the smart home market is coming from point solutions, such as Alexa, Ring, Hue, and smart locks. These devices present a simple and affordable value proposition. Consumers get it. The billion dollar question is, can these point solution sellers surround their hits with layers of products which, voila, create a system that merits monthly subscription fees? The answer for Ring and Alexa appears to be yes, as they are tirelessly adding to their ecosystems in a Legos or Garanimals manner, increasing options, value and revenues.

Stanford prof launches 105 satellites 

The KickSat-2 project (2 for second attempt), a project born at Stanford with the support of Cornell, launched 105 tiny, cracker-sized square satellites from the International Space Station this past March. The tiny satellites are in low orbit and communicate with one-another and with a base station on Earth. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Nano satellites are small, less expensive, and specialized in function. Corporations and organizations that prefer a private communications device could become users of this technology in the future. Who needs a personal satellite? There was a time when people thought mobile phones were just for special people.

Trade war spurs Chinese semiconductor business

As the U.S. government’s fight with China’s Huawei has resulted in starving the company of many technology components, China is pushing hard to accelerate its own semiconductor industry. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The impact of the escalating trade wars, regardless of being quick or drawn out, will undoubtedly change the global economic mix, as China commits to never being in this position again. The trade wars will make for a stronger, more independent China that will begin to demonstrate its strength in 24 to 36 months with its own technology breakthroughs.

How China can bruise Apple and slow the global economy

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22.3″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.22.3″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]If China retaliates for Huawei’s banishment

Wired offers some damaging scenarios for Apple if Chinese leaders decide to pay back damage to state influenced telecom maker, Huawei. China could offer some severe blows to the world’s largest company that derives 19% of its revenues in China by:

  • Interfering with Apple’s supply chain and manufacturing that take place in Shenzen
  • Placing limits on Apple’s retail stores or on its online app store
  • Requiring certain Chinese manufactured components to be included in iPhones
  • Fueling a nationalist campaign against buying Apple

dis-rup-shun: Apple moved much of its production to China’s Foxconn several years ago, and the company should hope that Chinese authorities are still appreciative of the action. Apple’s performance is undoubtedly a lever of global economic health that, if pulled by China, will certainly contribute to economic turbulence in the year ahead.

Google, Amazon and now Facebook want you to use their home portal

This week Amazon released a new version of its home portal, Echo Show 5. Also this week, Facebook released software to make it easier to send content from a smartphone to the Facebook Portal device, and to place video calls to the device. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun:  Facebook Portal is a quality hardware device if you like using Facebook messenger for calls, and like a large photo viewing screen. Will smartphone apps increase demand for the in-home device? This product is expensive and appeals to a niche market – the Facebook Messenger junkie. Without the home automation device support offered by Amazon Echo, and without the integration with the Google search engine that Google Home offers, the Portal remains a specialized device taking up valuable counter space. And, by the way, Amazon and Google are selling their devices at a loss, seeking to be the razor that will sell their growing portfolio of services (blades). Facebook will have to add functionality to Portal and sell at a deep loss to succeed with devices. This device just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

iRobot knows how tall is your grass 

iRobot, the $1 billion maker of Roomba vacuums and Braava robotic mops is now offering a robotic lawn mower, the Terra, which, unlike prior products that navigate with cameras, uses beacons buried in your yard to guide the device.  ZDNet

dis-rup-shun:  iRobot is launching robotics 2.0, devices that reuse both data as well as code bases to know more about your home. After cleaning your floors, iRobot’s devices have mapped your home using cameras and now have the intelligence to clean up a bathroom or work in specific areas, as well as pass that information on to other devices such as the robotic mop. The map of your home is stored in Amazon’s cloud and will someday be shared with other authorized devices with a need to know.

Finally, a really smart (and beautiful) universal remote control

A new universal remove from Sevenhugs is separate remote for every device. Based on beacons placed discretely in your primary viewing room, the Sevenhugs remote knows which device you are pointing to and “changes” its layout to take on the attributes of each individual device. Sevenhugs

dis-rup-shun: Though the year is 2019, universal and smart remotes are still often very difficult to set up and frequently inconsistent in their operation, not to mention that some important control functions get lost or omitted from some universal devices. The elegant design and small size makes this remote one that will not have to be hidden away before parties. Its blank touchscreen changes according to the device it is pointed to. Now that’s smart.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Hitting China where it hurts

Chip designer ARM ceases work with Huawei

ARM is the UK based company that licenses the semiconductor design spec used by most smartphone chip makers. Although the company is not based in the U.S., it has stated that many of the design elements in its specification originated in the U.S., therefore it can not lawfully license its design to Huawei. Gizmodo

dis-rup-shun: This second blow to China’s equivalent of Microsoft or Apple, coming on the heals of Google announcing that it will not license Android to Huawei, essentially finishes off the smartphone division of Huawei. If China chooses to get even, first it bans its contract manufacturers from building certain products designed in the U.S., then prohibits the sale of certain components to U.S. companies and poof, there goes the majority of non-South Korean (Samsung) smart phone business. That would be ugly.

Cannondale Treadwell smart bicycle

Cannondale’s new exercise bike, designed not for racers but for ordinary people who like tracking their fitness, features a sensor on the front wheel which tracks speed, distance and location. The data is uploaded to a special smartphone app, and there is a mount for the smartphone — turning the smartphone into a cycle computer. Wired

dis-rup-shun: There is one piece of this product that seems to be missing, or at least has not been described — it is the bike’s role in an online community. Either by posting (bragging) personal fitness progress to one’s social media accounts, or by being a part of a Peloton-like competition of peers, the bike needs to create an alternate reality to create a viral following. Measuring personal progress for one’s own satisfaction only works for a small audience — and that audience will want a racing bike.

Amazon spends $1.2 billion last quarter on new acquisitions

The company’s growing profits are leading to an increase in investments in emerging companies. Several Amazon investments are in the autonomous auto industry, including car companies Rivian and Aurora. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Bezos, through aerospace company, Blue Origin, is conquering space. Amazon is aggressively investing in the autonomous and auto industries and his ambitions are far greater than delivering packages. The company, no doubt, seeks to disrupt Uber and Lyft, as well as city busses, Ford, Chevy and Toyota. The company will continue to boldly charge in every direction, experiment and unafraid of failures.

Xbox and Playstation play together

Xbox and Playstation teaming up

Sony’s and Microsoft’s gaming console divisions have formed an alliance to stream gaming content from the cloud. The alliance will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud services to provide a better gaming experience to users of Xbox and Playstation. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Google has announced its Stadia gaming steaming platform and has the incumbents looking for ways to blunt the new offering. By making certain that the Xbox and Playstation experiences are as good as it gets, the players hope not be displaced by Google. Google, however, has a reputation for providing great experiences at great prices, mostly free. Another example of how competition benefits the consumer, as the gaming experiences, offerings and prices of all providers will be getting better immediately.

Amazon Alexa Guard turns Echo into a security device

Amazon has activated the Alexa Guard service, which listens for sounds of breaking glass, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors. If detected, Alexa sends an alert to the account holder’s smartphone to tell them of the potential emergency. These features join Alexa’s capabilities of controlling lights and alarm systems. CEPro

dis-rup-shun: Alexa is on its way to running every system in the home and car. Now we know Alexa is not only listening for her name, but is also listening for certain alerts. This could be a path to Alexa offering many home management services, like telling owners that their AC compressor is more noisy than usual and is likely to fail, or that the refrigerator is working harder than normal and a repair person is on their way.

Google terminating Huawei’s Android License

Gizmodo reports that Google is pulling Android from Huawei, making it impossible for the phone maker to continue offering a feature rich smartphone. This move follows Trump’s executive order that banned U.S. companies from buying telecom equipment from companies that pose a threat to the U.S.

dis-rup-shun: This move will hobble Huawei’s race to catch Samsung and LG in the smartphone department and will lead to retribution from China. Expect China to ban sales of something important to U.S. manufacturing, but not labor.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise announces purchase of Cray Computers

HPE announced they will acquire Cray supercomputers for $1.3 billion. HPE wants to develop a high-performance computing as a service platform for specialized needs when large volumes of data must be analyzed in the era of AI and machine learning.  ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: This acquisition is an attempt for HP to find some differentiation for its cloud service offerings, given that the lucrative cloud business is hot and Microsoft is offering some features to make its cloud more attractive than Amazon. It seems that HP has a real knack for purchasing companies that have already peaked. Apollo Computer, Compaq, Palm, Snapfish, EDS, are a few companies whose growth was already slowing when HP absorbed them.