Drone smuggler and Chinese police, battery sweater, Google eggs and more!
Preconditions for an economic war between the United States and China
Top executives in the Trump administration are demanding that China cut customs tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign capital to own local financial services companies, and increase semiconductor imports from the United States. If this is not done, the US will destroy Chinese imports to the US with customs duties. Which will lead to an open trade war.
The person who leaked this information was present (holding a candle) during negotiations between US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the Beijing side. The Wall Street Journal also reported on the demands of US officials in a letter sent to Beijing last week. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro also confirmed that President Donald Trump asked Mnuchin and Lighthizer to try to resolve trade differences with China. Later, Navarro gave an interview to CNBC, where he confirmed all of the above and expressed his cautious hope for the docility of China.
These negotiations come after Donald Trump's aggressive statements the week before last that he was going to increase customs duties (on trade with China) by $ 60 billion a year. At the same time, no specific goods or industrial areas were indicated, which could cause unpredictable consequences on world exchanges. The official grounds for such actions have already been expressed – China's violation of US intellectual property rights.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hua Chunying
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chuning replied that China's door is always open for negotiation, but that it should be done on the basis of equality and mutual respect (familiar words, isn't it?). Prime Minister Li Keqiang said last Monday that “we need to continue talking about the conditions under which the access of American enterprises to the Chinese markets will be facilitated”, assuring that China will treat foreign and domestic firms equally, will not force foreign firms transfer technology and strengthen intellectual property rights. These promises failed to calm Washington down.
Despite a constant stream of violent rhetoric from the Chinese state media, openly calling the United States “bullies” and promises of retaliation, Chinese and American officials are engaged in negotiations behind the scenes.
China's agreement to buy more semiconductors from the US gives no reason to believe that this will happen or even possible in principle. The fact is that American chips are very different from Chinese ones, as well as from the chips of the main suppliers of China – South Korea and Taiwan. It will not work to make smartphones in China if their element base is incompatible with each other. Last year, China imported $ 2.6 billion worth of chips from the United States (1% of China's total semiconductor imports), and it seems like it won't digest anymore.
WTO headquarters in Geneva. Looks pretty poor, doesn't it?
Agreeing in words, China immediately turned to the WTO and urged its members to unite to oppose Trump's demands, which are allegedly caused by theft of intellectual property. The media leaked the expression “we must drive this beast (USA) back into the cage of WTO rules.” On Friday, China responded to raising US tariffs on steel and aluminum by announcing plans to levy additional import duties of up to $ 3 billion. The taxable group includes fruits, nuts, wine and much more. Thus, China wants to force the US to pay for unnecessary American chips.
Why is this only a skirmish so far, and not the conduct of active hostilities? In China's economic arsenals, there is yet another leverage over the US that has not yet been used. Alex Wolf, senior economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments, points directly to the US transatlantic corporations, the lion's share of whose revenues are based on the use of China's manufacturing facilities. With a light stroke of a brush on rice paper, the head of China can bring companies Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, GM, Nike, etc. to their knees. The leader of the Chinese nation has the following tools to influence corporations USA:
- Introduction of new checks and rules;
- Prohibition of labor migration and tourism;
- Ban on the issuance of export licenses for intermediate goods;
- Increased tax burden on US corporations in China;
- Blocking foreign companies in the Chinese government procurement system;
- Other forms of discrimination.
The introduction of these restrictions will mean the outbreak of an open economic war.
What is all the fuss really about?
In trade agreements between the United States and China, and even more so in the WTO rules, there are no restrictions on trade that require compliance with a certain trade balance. No one can officially require their partner to buy more than they need, if this has not been agreed in advance. Nobody but Mr. Trump. China now sells $ 375 billion more to the US than the US to China. Trump demanded an immediate cut of this surplus by $ 100 billion. But this is just one grievance, another “injustice” is that the duty on foreign cars in China is 25%, while in the United States it is only 2.5%. According to the US government, imports of Chinese cars to the US in 2017 totaled $ 201.6 billion. This is approximately 8% of the total US imports of vehicles by value.
How will all this affect Russia and smartphones?
Imagine a certain Fedor who grows potatoes for sale. From year to year, his economy grew, and the profit received was invested in the means of production. New tractors were bought, new workers were hired, additional land was purchased, and funds were invested in developing new varieties of potatoes. But in one terrible autumn, our Fyodor could not sell his harvest. Stores refused to buy it, citing administrative restrictions. Feel sorry for Fedor? Certainly. But he is a hard-working, cheerful guy, and therefore he loaded his ZIL-ok with sacks of potatoes and took her to the city. You've probably seen such Fedorov – they leave the elevator onto the staircase and ring all the doors at once. If you open the door, you hear: 'Do you need a potato? Inexpensive! '.
It will be the same with Chinese smartphones. Bags with them will be distributed at bargain prices by semi-legal means not only in the Asian region, but also in all border regions, including Russia. All of this will certainly happen if a real trade war begins between the United States and China.
When the issue was already in print
China has once again outsmarted everyone and suddenly introduced tax breaks for domestic chipmakers, Reuters reported. All major manufacturers (non-screwdriver assembly) will receive a two to five year tax exemption, after which taxes will be levied based on the current situation. What does it mean? China won't get its tax money, and the US won't get Chinese money for American chips.
I don’t know about you, friends, but I wouldn’t play chess with them.
World's first drone-based smartphone smuggling
Chinese police have detained at least ten smartphone smugglers who used modern technology to make money. The benefit of the enterprise was in a simple thing – the delivery of refurbished iPhone from Hong Kong to China, which is prohibited by law.
At first glance, it seems that there is nothing difficult – just tie iPhone to the drone and fly over the fence. But one must understand that the efficiency of such transportation is extremely low, and the risk of being caught increases with each crossing of the border. This problem was solved with the help of cables (or lines) that the drone carried. And these cables were also seized by the Chinese police. One of the authors of TechCrunch, Devin Coldway, suggested that after transferring the cable, the drone played the role of a hoist, lifted the cable to a height, and a dozen smartphones slid to the other side, right into the hands of the accomplices. Devin's scheme:
However, judging by the photo, a budget Chinese drone is used, which is unlikely to be able to lift more than 2-3 iPhone. Most likely, on the other side, the cable was thrown over a bar (or tree branch) located at a height. In any case, the drone has finally turned into a smuggling weapon, as we all predicted in the comments under the drone reviews.
Chinese scientists have tied the battery!
When we talk about knitting, we imagine a sweater or mittens, scarves and winter socks. But it is difficult to imagine that a clock will glow right on their surface, play a cheerful backlight or display the weather. But thanks to the research of a group of scientists from ACS Nano, this will soon become a reality, and we are not talking about embedding electronics between the fibers of the yarn, by no means, the yarn itself will become an electronic device.
The development team is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Hong Kong Joint Research System Research Grant Council, Hong Kong City University and the Sichuan Provincial Science and Technology Department of China. The research itself is conducted on the basis of the American Chemical Society, which is a non-profit organization registered with the US Congress. The developers have introduced a rechargeable battery that is waterproof yet flexible like any knitted item. This battery can even be cut into pieces, but even then it will work. According to experts, research in the field of 'knitted' electronics solves the problem of the production of bracelets and straps for smart watches. This would make such a watch durable, flexible and reliable.
Previously, there has been limited success with combining 1D fibers with flexible Zn-MnO2 batteries, but many of them lose capacity instantly or are not rechargeable at all. Chunyi Zhi and his colleagues wanted to develop a rechargeable zinc-ion battery that retains its capacity while being waterproof and flexible. The method consists in twisting fibers of carbon nanotubes into yarn, and then covering one thread with zinc (anode), and the other thread with magnesium oxide (cathode). These two threads are twisted into a double helix and covered with polyacrylamide electrolyte, and then a layer of silicone. It turns out a thin and flexible battery thread. When tested, the knitted battery showed stable performance and high charge capacity. The tests also revealed that the battery can be stretched without losing its properties, as well as cut into pieces and tied again. During the presentation, a knitted battery easily powered a hundred polymer LEDs (Cross linked PAM in the photo), which were woven directly into it. Alas, this is all that is known, the publication of the remaining characteristics is waiting in the wings.
In the Birches before last, we showed developments for the production of a flexible chipset. It seems that all the pieces of the puzzle can come together and we finally see a fully flexible smartphone.
Google's 'Easter eggs'
It is not known whether it is a sin to write about Easter eggs not in the context of the bright holiday of Easter, which will be this year on April 8th. However, in the digital age, for most internet users and gamers, this word means a pleasant surprise. Whether it's a game or software, the hidden little cuddly gifts from the manufacturer are commonly referred to as 'Easter eggs'. This is already a rather old tradition, and, apparently, even Google programmers are not alien to it. Here are four of these Google Easter eggs.
Enter 'fidget spinner' (or just 'spinner') in the search bar of the browser or in the 'Google' application on the smartphone and use it. I do not know why it is needed, but it may be useful to someone.
The widget is equipped with a switch, using which you can select a rotating circle with numbers. A sort of analogue of the drum from the 'Field of Miracles'.
Rotating search results
In 2011, Google came up with the idea to rotate search results around its axis. Why this is needed is still a mystery, but if they did, then someone needs it !? Let's not post the animation, suddenly someone's head starts spinning. If you want to see what it is, just enter 'do a barrel roll' in the search box. Everything will rotate even when switching from general search to adjacent 'pictures', 'videos' as long as you do not change the text in the query input field.
Apparently, some at Google can't give up the old game. And she lives in the 'Google Pictures' section. Run a google search engine (browser or google app), click 'pictures' in the search refinement and enter 'atari breakout'.
It is quite comfortable to play on a PC, but it is already very difficult to play on a smartphone with HD resolution, the game simply does not fit. If the game does not start for you, then go to the browser settings and enable the 'full' version instead of the 'mobile' view.
Almost every modern smartphone has a gyroscope, and in order to use it, you do not need to install an additional application.
Just enter the phrase 'bubble level' in the Google app (or in a browser with Google search engine enabled) and use it.
If you know other Easter eggs, be sure to share them with the community. In the meantime, I propose to speak on the topic 'why are these Google Easter eggs'. What is it? Is it some weird marketing ploy, or is it just that programmers have nothing to do?