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  1. Huawei will launch their new flagship phone, the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, later this month at an event in Munich, Germany. But it seems that the new Mate 30 and future Huawei phones will not have access to Google services and apps. Huawei has already confirmed that their new device will launch running Android – despite the uncertainty following US President Trump’s ban on the Chinese tech giant. While it is possible to run Android without Google, it is hard to imagine that consumers in the West and outside mainland China will be willing to purchase the new flagship phone from Huawei – no matter how great its design and features are – if it won’t be sold and bundled with Google apps and services like Maps, Gmail and the Google Play store. Personally, I think it would be refreshing to be able to use an Android phone without any Google/NSA spyware embedded within the device. But I’m not sure the experience would be that great. After all, apps are crucial, and the lack of any major first-party apps was a big reason for the failure of Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how Huawei will work around this Google ban with their new Mate 30 flagship device – as well as future phones. What do you think? Would you be willing – and able – to use an Android phone without access to Google apps and services?
  2. Donald Trump threatens with punitive tariffs against EU and France following the approval in the French parliament of a 3% digital services tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. So why this strong response from the US and Donald Trump? I think it’s because of two main reasons: Firstly, and the most obvious reason IMO, is because the US political establishment is heavily influenced by corporate lobbyists – TBH the whole US political discourse has been profoundly corporatized in recent decades – and that includes lobbying from the US tech sector. Just see this article from the Guardian on how the tech industry now dominates the US lobbying industry. Secondly, these tech giants are a central part of the extensive and global spy network that the US government manage against both its enemies and allies. Leaks have for example shown how NSA's top-secret spy program Prism has direct access to Google Apple and Facebook servers. Obviously, any perceived threats against these tech giants cannot be tolerated by the US government – Trump’s response is just his usually blunt honesty/stupidity.
  3. How much is your data actually worth? It's worth so much that Google is paying Apple billions to be the default search engine on the iPhone. Last year Google paid Apple $9 billion and in 2019 they will pay a whopping $12 billion to remain Safari's default search engine on Apple devices. Google to Pay Apple $12B to Remain Safari's Default Search: Report FORTUNE.COM The report also said it's likely a fraction of what Google gets out of the deal. That's crazy! Spending $12+ billion to get people to use a "free" search engine and service.
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