The PCGuide Weekly Roundup – August 23rd
It’s Sunday and that means it’s PCGuide weekly roundup time. As usual, we’re going to give you a small insight into the latest news from the tech world as well as any guides we’ve published on the site. As always, if you fancy reading the full stories, head over to the individual articles where we’ll go into a bunch more depth
This week has been another TikTok-fest thanks to the plethora of breaking news that comes from the company itself as well as everything that’s been happening around the bans and speculation for the future. At the beginning of the week, we saw Trump, again, meddling in the platform’s business by extending the ban of TikTok by an additional 45 days.
Previously, ByteDance had until September 20th until all US transactions with the Chinese technology company were blocked and punishable by law. Now they have until November 12th. Since Microsoft’s talks to potentially purchase TikTok in the US were set to end on September 15th anyway, it’s unclear whether the newest order will affect sales, but it definitely gives Twitter a little bit of legroom to broach a potential collaboration (aka Vine 2.0).
The new order does have some more information in it, though, which might help to appease the myriad tech companies who complained to the white house last week about a lack of clarity in the previous order: ByteDance must destroy any TikTok data from US users, as well as any data collected from TikTok precursor app Musical.ly (which was bought by ByteDance in 2017), and report to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States once all the data has been destroyed.
With other companies interested in the purchase of TikTok (which we’ll get onto next), let’s see if that ban gets extended even further.
Now, let’s talk about another company that’s in the running for the purchase of TikTok.
The American tech company, Oracle has held preliminary talks with ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) and “and was seriously considering purchasing the app’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand,”.
As stated earlier, Microsoft was the first to enter the race to acquire the short-form video app and is expected to have completed talks by September 15, although they refused to divulge us any more information until then, so it’s unclear how things are going to pan out. Last week, it seemed that Twitter had also entered the race on the hunt for a collaboration reminiscent of Vine. But, most don’t believe Twitter is a credible alternative to the multi-billion dollar tech giant due to its questionable ability to finance the deal.
Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, is one of the richest men on the planet and, contradictory to the rest of Silicon Valley, is vocal in his support for President Trump, and appears to have his full support. During a speech in Yuma, Arizona, this week, Trump stated that Oracle would be “a great company” to take over TikTok.
With Trump’s official endorsement, it could solve TikTok’s problems with the ban if Oracle were to buy them out but again, it’s all a waiting game at this moment in time.
That’s enough TikTok news, for now, let’s look at what else has been happening in the industry this week.
We’ve seen IBM teaming with Samsung to create a new processor chip, Apple extending its independent repair shop scheme to Mac computers, the US tightening restrictions on Huawei, and Zoom opening a new data center in Singapore.
Looking initially at IBM teaming up with Samsung, they’ve announced a whole new chip named Power10.
According to Reuters, the Power10 chip will be able to handle “three times the workload of its predecessor,” and has been designed specifically for the use of businesses inside data centers. The Power10 chip will be able to work on artificial intelligence computer tasks up to “20 times faster than its predecessor than its previous generation of chip”.
IBM’s Power10 chip will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics, using the company’s 7-nanometer chip manufacturing process.
Great to see two juggernauts coming together to bring advancements in technology instead of being at loggerheads.
Now, let’s talk about another huge tech company Apple. Being constantly attacked for their lack of third-party support, it seems they’re becoming more lenient for their Mac products by extending its independent repair shop scheme.
First rolled out in the USA, the independent repair shop scheme saw Apple selling parts and providing free training courses to independent shops and businesses. The scheme is now active in over 32 countries and 140 businesses in total, spanning over 700 locations.
The move is likely because Apple saw an uptick of 21.6% in quarterly Mac sales to $7 billion last month, as many employees shifted to working from home so expanding this scheme into Mac territory seems to make a lot of sense.
Huawei is continuing to have a bad time of it in the US with tighter restrictions being put on its supply chain.
The new restriction banned suppliers from selling chips made using US technology to Huawei without a special license. According to Reuters, who first reported on the new restrictions, the US Commerce Department “will also add 38 Huawei affiliates in 21 countries to the U.S. government’s economic blacklist”.
The new sanctions close any loopholes in the so-called “game-changing” announcement that came in May and prompted the UK to exile Huawei from its 5G enterprise.
It seems Huawei is in the bad books of a lot of countries, let’s see if they’re able to even bounce back from this.
Finally, it seems Zoom has expansion on the horizon with a new datacenter being opened up in Singapore.
According to Bloomberg, “the San Jose, California-based company worked with Singapore’s Economic Development Board in setting up the new data center, bringing the total to 18 sites globally”.
Although Singapore temporarily banned the use of Zoom in educational settings in the early months of lockdown because of a problem with ‘Zoom Bombing’, which saw strangers hacking into private calls, often making offensive and inappropriate remarks or showing obscene images, more than 400 schools in the city-state now use the platform.
Signs that the Zoom bubble hasn’t burst quite yet and there could be a bright future on the horizon for the company.
That’s all the news dealt with, let’s look and the guides and features we’ve published this week. We’ve looked at the best drawing tablets for computer animation and illustration, hopefully improving your all-round animation game as well as the best GPUs for animation so your PC won’t overheat after the thousand layers you’ve got in your graphic. For how-tos, we’ve had a focus on mice with guides for how to a clean mouse pad and how to connect a wireless mouse.
Last but not least, we’ve given you the chance to get your hands on the Corsair K55 keyboard with our weekly giveaway, head to the giveaway page on the website and get your free entries in.