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Apple’s Tim Cook urges China to continue to open up its economy

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Apples Tim Cook urges China to continue to open up its economy

BEIJING: Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Saturday urged China to keep opening up its economy as local rivals bit into the profits of the US tech giant caught in the crosshairs of a trade spat between Beijing and Washington.

“We have seen China continue to change and evolve… We encourage China to continue to open up,” he said during a speech at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday.

“We see that as essential not only for China to reach its full potential, but also for the global economy to thrive.”

Apple in January revealed that it took a hit in the “Greater China” region, where revenue plunged almost 27 percent in the most recent quarter.

The dip had been expected following the company’s revenue warning in December, where Apple admitted that iPhone sales and overall earnings would be below most forecasts, citing economic weakness in China and trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.

Lower priced local rivals such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo have also been nibbling at the California tech giant’s market share in China.

Cook has been a critic of the US-China trade war that has spooked global markets. Last year, he used the China Development Forum as a venue to urge leaders of China and the US to let “calm heads prevail” and to avoid an escalation of tariffs.

Most of Apple’s flagship products are assembled in China, leaving the California tech giant acutely vulnerable to Trump’s tariffs.

During his speech on Saturday, Cook called for partnerships based on “openness and trust” where world players can work together to solve some of the biggest problems facing the planet including poverty, inequality and climate change.

 

 

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World’s highest operating weather stations installed on Mt. Everest

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Himalya

ISLAMABAD: The National Geographic Society has announced the successful installation of the worlds highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest to provide researchers, climbers, and the public with near real-time information about mountain conditions, the media reported.
“The multi-disciplinary team installed the world’s two highest operating automated weather stations at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m), as well as three other weather stations on Mount Everest,” Fae Jencks, Director, Marketing and Communications at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement.
The other stations were placed at Phortse (3,810 m), Everest Base Camp (5,315 m) and Camp II (6,464 m), the statement said, adding that each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction, The Himalayan Times reported.
Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region.
The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the globe, the statement added.
“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 meters, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time.”
From April to June, an international team of scientists, climbers, and story-tellers, led by the NatGeo Society and Tribhuvan University and supported in partnership with Rolex, conducted a scientific expedition to Everest, believed to be the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, it claimed.
With team members from eight countries, including 17 Nepali researchers, the expedition team conducted trailblazing research in five areas of science that are critical to understanding environmental changes and their impacts: biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology, and mapping.

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Instagram, PlayStation hit with outages

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Instagram PlayStation hit with outages

SAN FRANCISCO: An Instagram outage on Thursday left users of the Facebook-owned social network flocking to Twitter to vent frustration.

The website DownDetector.com showed a spike in reports of Instagram being unavailable in the afternoon, nearly hitting 54,000 before diving back down.

“Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing their Instagram accounts. We are now fully recovered and apologize for the inconvenience,” an Instagram spokesperson said in a statement.

The company did not elaborate on the cause or extent of the outage.

People using the #instagram hashtag on Twitter posted that attempts to access the service on mobile apps or computers had been met with messages such as “couldn’t refresh feed” or “something went wrong.”

Along with complaints and animated gifs playing on the inconvenience, some offered words of wisdom.

“Imagine if Instagram and social media closed every day at 6 pm like a shop,” read a tweet from the account of @stevebartlettsc.

“We would all be forced to meet up and speak to each other in real life, to be present with our families, to work out, to go outside, to read, to make art, music… eurghhh, nevermind.”

Meanwhile, some gamers trying to access the PlayStation network on Thursday were also met with error messages.

“We’re aware that some users are experiencing issues logging into PSN. Thank you for your patience as we investigate,” the official Ask PlayStation Twitter account said.

According to DownDetector.com, the outages were concentrated in northern Europe and Britain, as well as in several parts of the United States and Brazil.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook says CEO did not ignore personal data issues

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Facebook says CEO did not ignore personal data issues

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not knowingly violate an agreement with the regulator supervising the company’s management of users’ personal data, the social media giant said Wednesday as it addressed an issue that has been under federal investigation for the past year.

Facebook was required to provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with emails, some from 2012, suggesting that Zuckerberg was personally aware of but neglected to address the fact that external applications had access to massive amounts of personal data without Facebook users’ knowledge, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The newspaper added that it did not have access to the documents but that anonymous sources had described their contents.

“We have fully cooperated with the FTC’s investigation to date and provided tens of thousands of documents, emails and files,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

“At no point did Mark or any other Facebook employee knowingly violate the company’s obligations under the FTC consent order nor do any emails exist that indicate they did.”

The FTC reopened investigations into whether Facebook violated a 2011 settlement with the regulator on protecting user data following revelations last year that personal data from tens of millions of users was hijacked by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica as it worked on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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