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Tech news, HAT-slanted 
Issue 126

Donald J. Trump, CEO at Google

Google has complied with an executive order requesting US companies blacklist Huawei. The company will no longer supply Google Play Store, Maps, or Gmail to Huawei phones. 

This doesn’t matter in China - there the OS of the phones has been provided by open-source Google code (as it is everywhere else) but the apps haven’t been available previously anyways. Everywhere else Huawei’s phones, the most numerous on the planet (likely 30% of all of Europe’s last quarter), will be significantly impacted,and while the company reportedly has a Plan Bs in the form of its own services and apps, the argument one supposes is that they would have been better executing plan A. 

The analysis I read is that “this will make its phones very hard to sell.” Existing apps on a Huawei phone will not stop working, but buyers used to Google’s services will be loathe to purchase one over a competitors’ alternatives. Updates to apps over time are another matter entirely. Plus Huawei said that it spends more than $1 out of every $7 of its annual $70 billion procurement budget buying equipment from U.S. companies. I suppose they’ll find some other way to be spending that money shortly. 

Stocks in five companies that all ceased business operations with Huawei looked like they fell following the news, so this doesn’t look (yet) like it’s helping anyone - although that’s kind of the point I suppose. If there isn’t any pain to the intended affectants, there isn’t much incentive for the powerbrokers to reconcile perceived wrongs. I’m also not sure how I’d want to be positioned at the outbreak of a trade war if I’m being honest, but I doubt it would be as a front-line prizefighter - for either side. Feels to me as though that’s the role both companies have been boxed into. (or chosen?)

Maybe the retaliation will be Game of Thrones?

Yours in HAT,

Leila Trilby, Editor-in-chief

The present

The past

NY taxi medallion price, tracked over the past few decades. Spoilers: $200k / per, to over $1,000,000 / per, and then crash. Largely the fault of manipulation and corruption.

How effective are baseline security measures?

The doghouse

A database hosted on AWS, that was not protected by a password, has been found that contains more than 49 million records of contact information and public profile data from Instagram. It was growing by the hour when TechCrunch broke the story. I still don't get this stuff ("this stuff" = how databases can live on Amazon undetected like this, how it's possible we don't know where they came from, etc etc).

Fun weekday headlines from the NY Post: "China’s new ‘social credit system’ is a dystopian nightmare." From the piece, "a low score can ruin your life in more ways than one. Say you arrive at the Beijing airport, intending to catch a flight to Canton 1,200 miles south. The clerk at the ticket counter turns you away because — you guessed it — your social credit score is too low. Not only are you publicly humiliated in the ticket line, you are then forced to travel by slow train. What should have been a three-hour flight becomes a 30-hour, stop-and-go nightmare." Fun.

A WhatsApp vulnerability was also discovered that allowed hackers to install spyware into your phone. (Well not your phone but you know)

HAT News

Norveg. Big thank yous to the team at Evry for their invitation to talk at Insight 2019. I got to meet the CEO, who's nephew's building a carpentry innovation business (just thought you should know).

Moah Wah-ick. Exciting stuff happening in Academia - will keep you posted.

Live data. New features coming that you will see nothing of: real-time tracking of usage and adoption data for every HATDeX customer. I'm very excited (you're allowed to be understandably under-impressed).

Jonathan Holtby, HAT Community Manager

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