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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Qualcomm is a firehose of product and standards announcements these days. On Oct. 20, I think I received something like a dozen announcements of one sort or another. I’ve written before about how the company manages to maintain its focus, even when under great stress. And now that Qualcomm is out from under a heap of lawsuits, it’s back in full flower as a technological cornucopia.

Of all the possible choices of what to highlight from among various recent developments, I found the joint announcement by the company and a small firm named Jacoti to be the most compelling for the simple reason that it involves the technology of hearing, and, as mine gets progressively worse, the topic has increasingly attracted my attention. …


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Landscape in Provence, Paul Cézanne, 1900

Years ago, as I was cycling through the Swiss Alps, I had time to observe the local goings-on while riding uphill for what could be a dozen kilometers in one go. Because I was hauling 20 kilos of pack, I had to grind slowly up these stretches in a tiny granny gear.

On more than one occasion, I passed through public works: the road, bridge, and tunnel repairs necessary at all times in a region of moving tectonic plates and constant water drainage from glaciers, fast rivers, and weather. One day, on my way toward a pass to Italy in the far south of the country, I passed a roadwork, initially unassuming, the tableau of which etched itself more and more deeply into my mind over the years. The project was being done right. …


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It ain’t pretty

We normally don’t get to see this stuff. It happens behind closed doors off the hush of carpeted hallways. But in the recent public hearing in front of the U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee, an email trail from 2016, dug up by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, was read into the record. …


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Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

I used to think public outreach by private companies was just hot air, but my view is changing.

I am a cynic from way back. When I was 10, my parents assembled the kids in the living room and explained to us that my dad was moving to an apartment across the river to be “nearer to his work.” Within a few short years, I learned that my mom kicked him out because he had been having multiple affairs and she was fed up with it. I started distrust young.

The protection of cynicism was a good survival mechanism and a comfort until it wasn’t. At least half the things that haven’t gone right for me over a lifetime were the result of excess suspicion. I assumed the other party wasn’t acting in good faith. One in 10 times, they weren’t, and I probably saved myself something. …


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Businessmen should no more make public policy than the Pied Piper should run a daycare.

Elon Musk, who has never since the day he was born taken a breath that wasn’t in his own personal interest, is now purporting to make public policy.

That’s right. He’s going to make decisions that affect you and me. This past week, California Governor Gavin Newson had to remind Musk that he remains in the private sector, subject to regulation at all levels, including the county. But that didn’t stop Musk from declaring that he would open the Tesla plant in Freemont, despite an Alameda County order not to do so. …


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Lawn crews wield gas blowers in Spring

Yard Crews: Symptom of a Society Gone Overboard

During this period of corona-lockdown, the soundscape out here in the soon-to-be-leafy suburbs west of Boston has changed dramatically in the past month or so. We lost two high-level contributors of machine noise when the pandemic hit: commuters and airplanes.

I’ve been here more than four decades, and we’ve always had cars, but the scrum, the manic sprint in and out of the city has gone off the charts in the last 15 years or so. …


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Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

It was heartening, in a way, to see Apple and Google kiss and make up recently. At least over this: The two agreed to work together on software that will turn both their platforms into coronavirus tracking devices to help fight the pandemic.

A decade gone are the days when Apple founder Steve Jobs promised to kill Android, after Eric Schmidt, who sat on the boards of both Apple and Google, somehow managed to convey the key ideas of Apple’s iOS-based smartphone to Google engineers, who were then able to copy the essential nature of it to create Android, which went on to dominate the smartphone unit market in much the same way that Microsoft usurped the PC market from Apple in the 1990s. …


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Dancers at the Moulin Rouge cabaret — Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1890

Many years ago, when I was still in my twenties, I spent a year in France. I had dropped out of my white collar career, disgusted with what life was bringing me, taken a bicycle, and gone to Europe with no particular plan other than to ride, carrying my kit in saddlebags, and see what each day would bring. After that first summer (of what would turn out to be three spent in various Western European countries), I had to find a place to hole up for the winter. I chose Paris.

One of my former distributors had told me in an offhand way while I was still his data communications equipment supplier, that if I ever wanted to come to France, he would hire me. So, I looked him up, and, after some shenanigans with the French government about work papers, and some slight of hand that got me an apartment near the Centre Pompidou in the middle of the city, he took me on as a document translator and general English speaker. …


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Photo by Marcis Berzins on Unsplash

John Chambers Offers a Glimpse Through Murky Waters to the Changed-Forever World Ahead

As we settle in to a coronavirus world, we face a greater degree of uncertainty than at any time in living memory. The next few quarters are a cipher we cannot read. We dread the coming months. We know they’ll be bad, but we have no idea how bad. The water we’re swimming through is black. We are thrashing in a pool without bottom.

While we wait in shock for the virus tsunami to pass over, we turn to videoconferencing and chatting to bide our time and be sociable while also distant. Zoom gets big points here. The company scaled up its operations almost instantly — starting in January, when end user video traffic began to spike in China and the rest of East Asia due to the growing pandemic — by leasing more virtual machines from the likes of Dell and Amazon. …


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Photo by Jack Sloop on Unsplash

There’s a fault line in the coming world of 5G, and it falls pretty much between the radios.

On one side, ARM and a vast range of partners are all over the trillion expected Internet of Things (IoT) devices out at the periphery — all the smartcams, doorbells, store beacons, fitness trackers, earbuds, home hubs, home robots, motion detectors, smart locks, voice controllers, thermostats, smart lights, smoke alarms, smart plugs, pollution monitors, smart switches, highway beacons, smart sensors, medical monitors, building monitors, in-car systems, and many more. By virtue of its relentless focus on low power consumption, the ARM ecosystem stands to inherit the market for the myriad devices on the outer ring. …

About

RogerKay

Technology Analyst

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