Huawei Hits US FCC With Lawsuit Over “Unlawful Order” To Ban Company

Ever since the US government’s banhammer was brought down on Huawei, the Chinese brand has been embroiled in a tooth-and-nail war against that decision. Earlier today, the company took action yet again by filing a lawsuit against the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over what it calls an “unlawful order” to ban it from doing business in the country.
The lawsuit was filed in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The lawsuit claims that the FCC had unlawfully and unanimously voted in November to ban both Huawei and ZTE equipment from being used in projects already paid for by the US commission’s Universal Service Fund (USF).
Adding on to that point, Huawei also says that the FCC commissioners and its chairman, Ajit Pai, failed to provide evidence that the Chinese brand was a security threat and “ignored the facts and objections raised by Huawei and rural carriers” when the FCC first entertained the idea back in 2018.

The FCC’s fear of Huawei being a national security threat isn’t completely unfounded. The Chinese telecommunications brand and its founder, Ren Zhengfei, are known to have extremely close ties to both the Chinese Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army. Further, Chinese laws also require it to fully adhere to its country’s intelligence services’ requests for data and information. and to keep said requests a secret from the world.
Huawei argues that the FCC ban is more likely to affect US citizens living in rural areas, as most of its telecommunications equipment were built in areas that major US vendors had considered too remote, had difficult terrain, or because the area just didn’t have a big enough population. To that end, Huawei argued that it was providing a service to those rural areas by “connecting schools, hospitals, farms, community colleges, and emergency services.”

At this point, it’s difficult to say if Huawei can win this lawsuit. As it stands, US courts typically give federal agencies like the FCC “a tremendous amount of deference”, but to be fair, it doesn’t mean that a victory is out of the company’s reach.
(Source: Techspot, Ars Technica, New York Times, TechCrunch)
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Malaysia Progresses To Playoffs For Three Titles At The 2019 SEA Games

One of the most groundbreaking esports competitions of our time is taking place right now in the Philippines, where esports is being featured as a medal event at the SEA games for the first time in history.
Malaysia’s national esports squad is doing their very best to compete against the best players in SEA to bring home a gold medal. The first day of the esports event at the SEA games took place yesterday, where the group stage matches for three games were carried out. They are Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), Hearthstone and Starcraft II.

After the first day, our players have made it out of the group stage and progress to the playoffs for the aforementioned games.
In MLBB, team Malaysia did exceptionally well by finishing at the top of the group. This secured them a position in the upper bracket finals against Indonesia.

In Hearthstone, Hendry Yew also put on a fantastic individual performance to finish in the top of his group. This earned him his own spot in the upper bracket finals where he will be playing against Singapore.
This means Malaysia is guaranteed to earn two medals out of the six esports titles featured at the SEA games!
There is also still hope for Malaysia to earn a medal from StarCraft II as well. Kien Khun Yap (better known in the esports community by his IGN: Ranger), still has a chance to progress to the finals by advancing through the lower bracket of the playoffs.
Although he scored a great 4-1 in Group A of the StarCraft II Group Stage, Ranger unfortunately finished in 2nd place of the group behind MeomaikA from Vietnam. This means that he will start the playoffs campaign from the disadvantageous position of round 2 in the lower bracket. He will now need 3 more wins in order to secure a medal for StarCraft II.

Congratulations to our esports representatives for their performance so far and all the best to them for their remaining matches!
The playoffs for Hearthstone, StarCraft II and MLBB will be completed today. The competitions for the remaining titles at the SEA games will kick off tomorrow. You can watch team Malaysia’s matches live on Razer’s Youtube channel, while more information such as results and match schedules can be found on the SEA Games website.

(Source: SEA Games // Image Credits: Mineski.net, Liquidpedia // Featured Image Credit: The Star)
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Amazon Graviton2 Processor To Go Up Against Intel Xeon And AMD EPYC CPUs

Amazon recently announced Graviton2, its 2nd generation processor that are designed for use in servers and data centres. Announced at the company’s annual AWS re:Invent conference, the processor is based on the 7nm die lithography and uses ARM’s Neoverse N1 CPU architecture.
According to Amazon, Graviton2 is designed to work on three different EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances: general purpose, compute-optimised, and memory-optimised. In regards to its performance, the brands says that Graviton2 will be capable of delivering up to “a sevenfold performance increase” in comparison to its predecessor.
Additionally, Graviton2 features a 64-cores layout, as opposed to the initial rumours that the CPU will be powered half that number at 32-cores. On a technical level, Graviton2 showed significant improvements over its predecessor in certain per-vCPU benchmarks. The new processor saw an increase of 24% in SPEC CPU 2017 floating point, and a 44% boost in SPEC CPU 2017 integer.
Image source: Petri.
The announcement of Graviton2 is also another clear sign of Amazon’s intent of moving ARM processors into the data centre ring. As pointed out by TechRadar, the data centre realm is an area that is currently dominated by Intel and its Xeon processor, albeit under threat of invasion of AMD and its own EPYC data centre CPUs.
(Source: TechRadar via AnandTech // Image: AnandTech)
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Malaysia Progresses to Playoffs for StarCraft II, Hearthstone and Mobile Legends at the SEA Games 2019

One of the most groundbreaking esports competitions of our time is taking place right now in the Philippines, where esports is being featured as a medal event at the SEA games for the first time in history.
Malaysia’s national esports squad is doing their very best to compete against the best players in SEA to bring home a gold medal. The first day of the esports event at the SEA games took place yesterday, where the group stage matches for three games were carried out. They are Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), Hearthstone and Starcraft II.

After the first day, our players have made it out of the group stage and progress to the playoffs for the aforementioned games.
In MLBB, team Malaysia did exceptionally well by finishing at the top of the group. This secured them a position in the upper bracket finals against Indonesia.

In Hearthstone, Hendry Yew also put on a fantastic individual performance to finish in the top of his group. This earned him his own spot in the upper bracket finals where he will be playing against Singapore.
This means Malaysia is guaranteed to earn two medals out of the six esports titles featured at the SEA games!
There is also still hope for Malaysia to earn a medal from StarCraft II as well. Kien Khun Yap (better known in the esports community by his IGN: Ranger), still has a chance to progress to the finals by advancing through the lower bracket of the playoffs.
Although he scored a great 4-1 in Group A of the StarCraft II Group Stage, Ranger unfortunately finished in 2nd place of the group behind MeomaikA from Vietnam. This means that he will start the playoffs campaign from the disadvantageous position of round 2 in the lower bracket. He will now need 3 more wins in order to secure a medal for StarCraft II.

Congratulations to our esports representatives for their performance so far and all the best to them for their remaining matches!
The playoffs for Hearthstone, StarCraft II and MLBB will be completed today. The competitions for the remaining titles at the SEA games will kick off tomorrow. You can watch team Malaysia’s matches live on Razer’s Youtube channel, while more information such as results and match schedules can be found on the SEA Games website.

(Source: SEA Games // Image Credits: Mineski.net, Liquidpedia // Featured Image Credit: The Star)
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The Official Lenovo 12.12 Sale Is Here; Save RM1500 On Lenovo Legion Y740 And Win A Trip To E3 2020

Missed out on 11.11 and Black Friday deals, and not ready to leave 2019 empty handed? Lenovo’s got you covered! This coming 12.12, Lenovo will be having a special promotion on their online store where you can save over RM1600 on selected PCs and laptops, as well as other attractive deals on other devices.
The Lenovo 12.12 Sale will see products such as the ThinkPad X395 laptop discounted at 38% off, and the ThinkCentre M720 tower PC at 30% which also includes a purchase-in-purchase discount of 15% on Lenovo monitors. Aside from that, you also wouldn’t want to miss saving RM150 on Lenovo’s sleek and powerful 15-inch IdeaPad 330s laptop.
Perhaps the most enticing attraction from this sale is the high performance, RTX-equipped Lenovo Legion Y740 gaming laptop which is discounted at RM1500 off from its original retail price.

To bring you up to speed, the remarkable Lenovo Legion Y740 gaming laptop comes equipped with an anti-glare 144Hz Full HD IPS display, which is also driven by NVIDIA’s powerful RTX 2060 GPU that provides you the best visually and graphically. Under the hood, the laptop maintains its superb gaming performance with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB DDR4-2666 RAM, 1TB 7200rpm hard drive, and a 256GB NVMe SSD.
For gamers who are usually on the go, the Legion Y740 is one of the thinnest gaming laptops around that weighs only at 2.2kg, and could last over 5 hours of usage on a full charge. Aside from enjoying the awesome discount when ordering the Legion laptop, you’ll also stand a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles, USA and attend Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2020!

So don’t miss your chance, and check out all of the products on discount during Lenovo’s 12.12 Sale. To read up more on the Lenovo Legion Y740, ThinkPad X395, IdeaPad 330s, ThinkCentre M720 tower and many others, head on over now to Lenovo’s Online Store!
This article is brought to you by Lenovo Malaysia.
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JJ Abrams Addresses Why Kylo Ren is Seen Fixing His Helmet in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Trailer

One of the biggest concerns going into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the possibility of director JJ Abrams retconning certain story beats brought about in The Last Jedi. Regardless if you’re a fan of Episode VIII or not, retcons are never fun as it tends to reduce the events that came before or mess with a narrative flow. Put your hands up if you’re still bummed that Iron Man destroyed all his suits and retired in Iron Man 3 only to act like it didn’t happen in Age of Ultron?
Anyway, in the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, we see Kylo Ren fixing the helmet he smashed against the wall in The Last Jedi. Naturally, people have looked to that quick moment in the trailer as a sign of a retcon. Was JJ Abrams unhappy that Rian Johnson decided to smash Kylo’s helmet? It doesn’t appear to be that way. In an interview with Collider, Abrams mentioned that there are proper story and character reasons for Kylo to fix his helmet.
Part of it is about his commitment to the Dark Side. As you’ll see, he’s becoming Supreme Leader…his focus has been a little bit more on practical matters. He’s assumed that position within the First Order. It represents his re-committing to the Dark Side, to the Knights of Ren, and then because of a very specific thing that he’s about to go do. As you see in the story, there’s a reason for it. It might not be clear at this moment.

Similarly, the actor who plays Kylo Ren, Adam Driver, also talked about the profound nature of Kylo Ren’s mask.
Hopefully [in The Rise of Skywalker], there’s a good moment where you really see him. Maybe, I hope. We were talking to people before about masks and that’s such a huge iconography of Star Wars that we took for granted that we had to reimagine. What is it about someone who hides himself? Or presents a person to the world, but underneath is something different. Maybe there’s a moment in this [movie] that’s surprising.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to hit Malaysian cinemas this 19 December.
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Apple May Release An iPhone Without The Lightning Connector In 2021

If the iPhone had one iconic, signature feature, it’s Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. So imagine an iPhone without it. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, one such iPhone may make its appearance in 2021.
MacRumors has obtained Kuo’s research note with TF International Securities, which illustrates his iPhone launch predictions of 2020 and 2021. In it, Kuo mentions that the highest-end iPhone will not only drop the Lightning connector, but will not feature any port at all.
Kuo also predicts that this highest-end iPhone will launch in the second half of 2021. It remains to be seen if it will be a one-off, or the first of many iPhones without the Lightning connector. It also odd that Apple will go with the nuclear option immediately, rather than transitioning to using USB-C.

In addition to the wireless iPhone, he predicts that Apple will have another launch in the first half of 2021. This earlier launch will likely be featuring an iPhone SE 2 Plus. Based on the name, it’s possibly a larger version of the iPhone SE 2 that’s scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2020.
If these predictions are true, this would mean that Apple will start launching iPhones biannually. It’s also interesting to see that the iPhone SE 2 will not be launched together with its Plus-sized variant.
(Source: MacRumors)
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Goodbye Ahmad Idham: FINAS CEO to be Replaced?

CEO of FINAS Ahmad Idham sent social media into a frenzy a few weeks ago, when he urged the government to censor contents on Netflix and other streaming platforms. He claimed that these platforms are filled with content that could be harmful to children and youth of Malaysia. Naturally, most of us started flipping proverbial tables all over social media. After all, parents can literally filter out content they find inappropriate for their kids, by creating kid/teen-friendly profiles and set up digital locks.
Not to mention, Ahmad Idham sounds incredibly pretentious and hypocritical considering a couple of years ago, he produced, directed and starred in a film — Pencuri Hati Mr. Cinderella — where the leading lady gets roofied and raped and the rapist’s only repercussion is to marry the girl.

However, a few days later, the Chairman of FINAS, Datuk Hans Isaac rubbished off Ahmad Idham’s ideas, stating that FINAS will not be the moral police as Netflix can be filtered by users themselves. Now, it looks like Ahmad Idham’s position as the CEO of FINAS may no longer be safe. According to Astro Awani, Ahmad Idham will most likely be replaced by someone else sooner rather than later.
Ahmad Idham was initially offered a two-year contract by the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, to be the CEO of FINAS. The contract is set to expire in March 2021. That said, Idham is going on leave for three months starting next month, after which he may not be returning to FINAS. Translated from Astro Awani:
Based on the at the current situation, it looks like Ahmad Idham will not be returning to FINAS next March. The reason provided is that he needs some time off to settle personal issues.
FINAS has not confirmed the matter.
Click here to read why we think media censorship is bad for Malaysians.
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Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2: Merging Extended Reality with 5G, Supports Up To 8K Video Content

While Qualcomm might be known for their mobile chips, the company’s reach is certainly much wider than that. On Day 3 on the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2019 at Hawaii, the company shifted its attention from mobile to other platforms including extended reality (XR).
This was done through the announcement of Snapdragon XR2 Platform which offers twice the CPU and GPU performance of Snapdragon 835 Mobile XR Platform. It also able to support 1.5x shade processing as well as 1.5x pixel and 3x texel rates.

The platform is also able to support resolutions of up to 3K by 3K per eye at 90 fps as well as 8K 360-degrees videos running at 60fps or 120fps if tuned down to 4K resolution. HDR10 and HDR10+ color processing is also supported by Snapdragon XR2.
With the ability to support up to 7 concurrent cameras, the platform is designed to provide highly accurate head, lips, and eyes tracking as well as 26-point skeletal hand tracking. A custom-made computer vision processor also gives Snapdragon XR2 the ability to recognize scene, and 3D reconstruction.

Naturally, the platform also able to deliver 3D spatial audio which is important in order to provide good XR experience. An always-on, low power Hexagon DSP adds voice activation and context detection for the Snapdragon XR2. Not forget, the Snapdragon XR2 is also able to support 5G connectivity which make it good candidate for stand-alone mobile headsets of the future.
Speaking about future, there is no exact release date for Snapdragon XR2 at the moment. However, given the nature of the platform which are meant to be adopted directly by OEMs, companies, and developers, it should be only a matter of time before we see a Snapdragon XR2-based headset making its debut in the market.

At the same time, Qualcomm will continue to produce Snapdragon XR1 as well which is now being positioned to deliver XR experience for the mainstream market.
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Next Apple iPhone Rumoured To Be Using New Qualcomm Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner

Since its debut with the Samsung Galaxy S10 series and further application on the Note10 series, reception for Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner has been rather mild. Despite the average reviews, it seems that Apple is unfazed and is planning on installing the in-display security feature in future iPhones.
The Cupertino giant intends on installing Qualcomm’s new 3D Sonic Max ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. That was recently announced during its annual Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii. Moreover, a report by MacRumors also says that Apple is partnering up with the Taiwan-based touchscreen manufacturer, GIS, in order to develop iPhones that will be able to utilise the under-display security technology.
Apple’s decision to use Qualcomm’s fingerprint scanning technology is rather – for lack of a better word – surprising. The two tech giants are renowned for their legal brawlings and lawsuits; at one point, Qualcomm got Germany to ban the sale of specific iPhone models in the European country, forcing Apple to recall said models.

However, back in April of this year, both Qualcomm and Apple surprisingly made peace with each other, even go so far as to sign a six-year licensing agreement with each. As well as announcing that they were dropping all litigations and lawsuits against each other.
(Source: CNET via MacRumors // Image: Techspot)
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