Trump Says He Asked Apple’s Cook to Look Into Helping Build 5G in US

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Thursday morning he had asked Apple CEO Tim Cook to look into helping develop telecommunications infrastructure for speedy 5G wireless networks.During my visit yesterday to Austin, Texas, for the startup of the new Mac Pro, & the discussion of a new one $billion campus, also in Texas, I asked Tim Cook to see if he could get Apple involved in building 5G in the U.S. They have it all – Money, Technology, Vision & Cook!l— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 21, 2019During his visit to a Texas plant on Wednesday, Trump met with Cook and asked “to see if he could get Apple involved in
building 5G in the U.S.  They have it all – Money, Technology, Vision & Cook!” Trump wrote in a tweet.Apple is not known to have made any investments in 5G telecoms infrastructure to date and is yet to release a 5G
device.  The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump met Cook on Wednesday during his visit to Apple’s upcoming campus in Texas, in the latest sign of a close
relationship between two of America’s most powerful men. This is not the first time Trump has used his Twitter
account to address Cook. In one of his latest tweets, Trump, who uses a government-issued iPhone, lamented the loss of the home button on some iPhone models because it forced users to swipe upward, rather than tap a button to unlock the phone.5G race
Trump has earlier said that the United States intended to deploy 5G services rapidly and plans to cooperate with
“like-minded nations” to promote security in next-generation 5G networks.
5G networks will offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than the current 4G networks, and serve as critical
infrastructure for a range of industries. Mobile operators have to upgrade their networks with 5G gear
made by the likes of China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, Sweden’s Ericsson and
Finland’s Nokia Oyj.
The United States has been pressing nations not to grant Huawei access to future 5G networks and alleged Huawei’s
equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company has repeatedly denied.
The U.S. Congress has been considering legislation to authorize up to $1 billion for small and rural wireless
providers to replace network equipment from companies such as Huawei.
Among U.S. firms, Qualcomm Inc is the dominant player in radio chips that help mobiles connect to networks and
Cisco Systems Inc that makes networking gear. Some of Apple’s rivals in the smartphone market – notably
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd – have already released
5G devices.
Apple, which is expected to release its first 5G phones in 2020, will be able to beat Samsung and Huawei to capture the top
spot by the end of next year, according to research firm
Strategy Analytics.Many carriers that are investing heavily to build 5G networks are also likely to put their marketing efforts behind 5G phones. 

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Trump Considering Whether Apple Should be Exempt From China Tariffs   

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday after touring a plant that assembles Apple Inc computers that he was considering whether to exempt the U.S. company from tariffs on imports from China.”We’re looking at that,” Trump said in answer to a reporter’s question about the tariffs, after touring a plant in Austin, Texas, with Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook that assembles the company’s Mac Pro desktop computers.Cook, who has a strong relationship with Trump, has sought relief for Apple from the U.S. tariffs, which are part of a months-long tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s largest economies.”The problem we have is you have Samsung. It’s a great company but it’s a competitor of Apple, and it’s not fair if, because we have a trade deal with Korea — we made a great trade deal with South Korea — but we have to treat Apple on a somewhat similar basis as we treat Samsung,” Trump said.Apple announced in September it would make its new Mac Pro computers in Austin. The announcement came days after U.S. trade regulators approved 10 out of 15 requests for tariff exemptions filed by Apple amid a broader reprieve on levies on computer parts.Earlier this month, Apple also asked the Trump administration to waive tariffs on Chinese-made Apple Watches, iPhone components and other consumer products.Trump has made boosting the U.S. manufacturing sector one of the goals of his presidency, taking to Twitter to pressure U.S. companies into keeping jobs at home.Earlier on Wednesday, Apple said it had started construction of a new campus in Austin that will employ 5,000 workers, with the capacity to grow to 15,000. It is expected to open in 2022.  

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Spain Has Permits to Build Giant Telescope Blocked in Hawaii

The director of a Spanish research center says a giant telescope, costing $1.4 billion, is one step nearer to being built on the Canary Islands in the event an international consortium gives up its plans to build it in Hawaii.
                   
Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute Director Rafael Rebolo has told The Associated Press that a building permit for the telescope has been granted by the town of Puntagorda on the island of La Palma.
                   
He said “there are no more building permits needed according to Spanish legislation.”
The international consortium backing the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope wants to build it atop Hawaii’s tallest peak. But some native Hawaiians consider the Mauna Kea summit sacred and their protests have stopped construction from going ahead since mid-July.

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US Military Aims to Telepathically Control Drones in Four Years

DARPA, the main research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, is funding researchers to develop wearable devices that would have military applications such as using the mind to control unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, commonly known as drones. Instead of using brain implants to achieve this, DARPA is looking for non-invasive to minutely invasive ways of interfacing with the machine. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee got a close-up look at one team’s work at Rice University 

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Google’s Do-Good Arm Tries to Make Up For Everything Else

Google’s head of philanthropy says the company is having “a lot of conversations” internally amid worries about the tech giant’s bottomless appetite for consumer data and how it uses its algorithms.
                   
Vice President Jacqueline Fuller wouldn’t comment on specific data privacy controversies dogging Google lately, but says she shares other concerns many have about Big Tech. Cyberbullying. Hate speech amplified online. The impact of artificial intelligence on everything, from jobs to warfare.
                   
“As a consumer myself, as part of the general public, as a mother, it’s very important to understand what am I seeing, what are my children seeing,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press in Paris, where she announced new grant winners Tuesday for projects aimed at teaching digital skills to poor, immigrant, rural or elderly users.
                   
The philanthropic arm she runs, Google.org, is like the company’s conscience, spending $100 million a year on non-profit groups that use technology to try to counteract problems the tech world is accused of creating, abetting or exacerbating.
                  
“Across the world we want to make sure we’re a responsible citizen,” she said.
But can Google’s do-good arm make up for everything else? At least it’s trying, she argues.
                   `
“The company is having a lot of conversations around things like access to information and access to data and making sure there’s no algorithmic bias,” she said.
                  
Public outrage has grown over Google’s use of consumer data and domination of the online search market, with governments stepping up scrutiny of the company.
                   
Just in the past week, nine groups called for the U.S. government to block Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness-gadget maker Fitbit, citing privacy and antitrust concerns. Then Google came under fire for a partnership with U.S. health care system Ascension that the Wall Street Journal says gives the search giant access to thousands of patient health records without doctors’ knowledge. Both companies say the deal is compliant with health-privacy law.
                   
Fuller wouldn’t comment specifically on either case, but said, “We take our users’ trust very seriously.”
                   
She also insisted that the company has a very vibrant discussion'' internally about sexual misconduct, human rights and other problems that have tarnished Google's reputation.
                   
Its philanthropic arm is focused lately on using artificial intelligence to help society, for example by providing better access to health care and more effective emergency services. It's also working on ways to limit the damage of the breakneck developments of AI, notably after employee departures and public pressure over a Pentagon contract pushed the company to pledge it wouldn't use AI in weapons development.
                   
Among projects Google.org is funding are those that help users create and share digital resumes or map job opportunities, as the company tries to figure out “how can we anticipate some of the impacts of AI in an economy, and understand how can we make sure that everyone has access to jobs that are not only interesting now but jobs that are going to be here in the future,” Fuller said.
                   
Google is also holding a competition this year in Europe for projects on “how we can keep children safe,” she said.
                   
Digital literacy is crucial, she said:
All of us need to discern what is truthful of what I see online. How do I ask the questions of who is sponsoring this content.”
                   
In Paris, Fuller announced the winners of Google.org’s latest “Impact Challenge,” contests it holds around the world for non-profits using technology for good. Ten groups won grants worth a total of 3 million euros for projects helping the millions of people in France who lack the basic digital skills that are increasingly crucial for everything from paying taxes to finding a job.
                   
Despite its philanthropic efforts, Google’s critics remain legion _ even within the tech universe.
                   
Former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris argues technology is shortening our attention spans and pushing people toward more extreme views. He couldn’t get Google to tackle these problems when he was there, so he quit and is pushing for change through his Center for Human Technologies.
                   
He says companies like Google won’t change voluntarily but that the tech world has undergone a “sea change” in awareness of problems it’s caused, thanks in part to pressure from a frustrated public. 

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US Extends License For Businesses to Work With Huawei by 90 Days

The United States on Monday granted another 90 days for companies to cease doing business with China’s telecoms giant Huawei, saying this would allow service providers to continue to serve rural areas.President Donald Trump in May effectively barred Huawei from American communications networks after Washington found the company had violated US sanctions on Iran and attempted to block a subsequent investigation.The extension, renewing one issued in August, “will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.”The department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security.”American officials also claim Huawei is a tool of Beijing’s electronic espionage, making its equipment a threat to US national security — something the company denies.Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company’s founder and CEO, was arrested in Canada last year and is now fighting extradition to the United States on fraud and conspiracy charges tied to US sanctions.The battle over Huawei has also landed squarely in the middle of Trump’s trade battle with Beijing.US officials initially said the two were unrelated as the Huawei actions were strictly law enforcement and national security matters but Trump has suggested a resolution could involve some common ground concerning Huawei.Following the near-collapse of US-China trade talks in May, Washington added Huawei to a list of companies effectively barred from purchasing US technology without prior approval from the US government.But, since companies have said they need time to begin to comply with the change, Trump has granted a series of limited reprieves, which officials say allow only “specific, limited” transactions involving exports and re-exports.

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