China's ZTE pleads guilty to selling US tech to Iran

From CNET: ZTE has agreed to pay up to $1.2 billion in fines as part of a guilty plea to violating sanctions prohibiting sales of US technology to Iran.

The Chinese telecommunications equipment maker agreed to pay $892 million in fines and forfeitures for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and obstruction of justice, the US Department of Justice said Wednesday. The company will face an additional $300 million in penalties if it violates the terms of the agreement.

LG to launch mobile payment service in South Korea this year

From CNET: LG Electronics wants a chunk of the meaty mobile-payment market that is estimated to reach $780 billion worldwide this year.

The South Korean company told CNET on Wednesday that it will roll out its new mobile payment service via its LG G6 flagship smartphones in South Korea in the third quarter. The service will be called LG Pay.

Mozilla vies with Apple over future of web graphics

From InfoWorld: Mozilla has submitted a proposal to the the Khronos Group, the stewards of the OpenGL and the more recent Vulkan graphics APIs, for a next-generation web graphics API it calls Obsidian.

This submission comes a month after Apple submitted its proposal for WebGPU, a similar project that it intends to prototype directly into the WebKit browser project.

Airbnb adopts new brand name Aibiying in China

From PC World: Airbnb will rebrand its short-term home rental service in China as “Aibiying” and triple the size of its workforce in the country as it tries to woo a large but complex market for foreign tech companies.

Aibiying translates as ‘welcome each other with love,’ which is the kind of reception that Airbnb may require to compete with local platforms such as Tujia and Xiaozhu.

Oracle sets priorities for Java 9 bug fixes

From InfoWorld: Java 9 has moved to the second phase of its ramp-down process, with an Oracle official advising deferment of some bugs as the upgrade heads toward its July 27 release date.

In a recent bulletin, Oracle's Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java platform group, advised deferring new P1 (Priority) and P2 bugs that are either not critical or cannot be fixed in the release, which will be offered as Java Development Kit 9. P1 is the designation for the highest-priority bugs.

Apple iPad is a faster, cheaper iPad Air 2

From CNET: Apple announced on Tuesday morning that it will be dropping the price of the 9.7-inch iPad by $70. The tablet's A8X processor will be getting an upgrade too, jumping over to the A9 chip used in the iPad Pro. The upgrade will replace the iPad Air 2, but the iPad Mini 4 will live on, starting at $399.

The updated pricing will start on Friday, at $329 (£339) for the 32GB model and $459 (£469) for the 32GB WiFi with cellular service model. It's Apple's cheapest iPad, after the company decided to replace the iPad Mini 2, which started at $269.

Huawei sees switch to flash as right time to rethink whole storage infrastructure

From PC World: Huawei Technologies is going all flash with its latest enterprise storage system, the OceanStor Dorado V3.

It's part of the new storage-as-a-service (STaaS) offering the company unveiled at Cebit on Monday, with which it aims to deliver the same experience on-premises and in the cloud.

The Chinese equipment vendor is not the first to propose storage-as-a-service, but thinks now is the right time to make its move, as the convergence of big data, analytics and the internet of things increases the pressure on enterprise storage infrastructure.

ARM steps up chip performance to catch up with Intel, AMD

From InfoWorld: Can ARM chips compete neck-and-neck with Intel and AMD on benchmarks? That could be happening sooner than you think.

Starting next year, ARM processors will get significantly faster thanks to big changes in the company’s Cortex-A chip designs. ARM is taking a page from rivals like AMD that have focused on raising the performance threshold in chips.

Google finally lets you save your parking spot in latest Maps beta

From PC World: Google Maps is finally starting to understand the headache that is parking. Earlier this year it added a parking availability feature that let you know how hard it would be to find a spot at your destination, but the latest addition to the Maps beta is one we’ve been waiting years for.

Galaxy S8 and beyond: Samsung bets big on Bixby's AI

From CNET: Bixby is Samsung's new digital voice assistant, which will debut on the upcoming Galaxy S8. It will have its own dedicated button on the side of the phone, letting you communicate with the artificial intelligence in a sort of a walkie-talkie way. But Samsung's plan for Bixby, which it views as a "bright sidekick" to control your phone, doesn't stop there, said Injong Rhee, head of R&D for Samsung's mobile software and services operations.


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