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The Tech Weekender: Top news from the world of technology this week

Senate bails out semiconductor industry, Google and Apple suspend BGMI, Smartphone shipments declined in Q2 2022, and more.

July 30, 2022 / 03:49 PM IST
 The U.S. Senate passed sweeping legislation to subsidize the domestic semiconductor industry, hoping to boost companies as they compete with China and alleviate a persistent shortage that has affected everything from cars, weapons, washing machines and video games. The "Chips and Science" act provides about $52 billion in government subsidies for U.S. semiconductor production and an investment tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion. The legislation would also authorize more than $170 billion over five years to boost U.S. scientific research to better compete with China.
The U.S. Senate passed sweeping legislation to subsidize the domestic semiconductor industry, hoping to boost companies as they compete with China and alleviate a persistent shortage that has affected everything from cars, weapons, washing machines and video games. The "Chips and Science" act provides about $52 billion in government subsidies for U.S. semiconductor production and an investment tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion. The legislation would also authorize more than $170 billion over five years to boost U.S. scientific research to better compete with China.
Senator Bernie Sanders spoke out against the bill, questioning whether semi-conductor companies should get a ‘black cheque’ from the taxpayer after making billions of dollars in profit. Sanders’ also criticized industry players for shutting down over hundreds of plants and other establishments in the US, thereby eliminating over 150,000 jobs while moving most of their production overseas. While the bill passed despite Sanders’ criticism, house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi bought between $1 million and $5 million in Nvidia shares just head of the bill moving to a vote.
Senator Bernie Sanders spoke out against the bill, questioning whether semi-conductor companies should get a ‘black cheque’ from the taxpayer after making billions of dollars in profit. Sanders also criticized industry players for shutting down hundreds of plants and other establishments in the US, thereby eliminating over 150,000 jobs while moving most of their production overseas. While the bill passed despite Sanders’ criticism, house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi bought between $1 million and $5 million in Nvidia shares just head of the bill moving to a vote.
Google has suspended Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a popular battle royale game from South Korea's gaming giant Krafton, from Play Store in India citing an order from the government. In a statement to Moneycontrol, a Google spokesperson said: "On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India" While it is currently unclear why the government ordered to block BGMI, it comes just a year after Krafton launched the game in the country.
Google has suspended Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), a popular battle royale game from South Korea's gaming giant Krafton, from Play Store in India citing an order from the government. In a statement to Moneycontrol, a Google spokesperson said: "On receipt of the order, following established process, we have notified the affected developer and have blocked access to the app that remained available on the Play Store in India" While it is currently unclear why the government ordered to block BGMI, it comes just a year after Krafton launched the game in the country. The app was also unavailable on the Apple App Store from the late evening of July 28 in India.
The smartphone market is in is reportedly in decline. According to a report by Canalys, smartphone sales declined in Q2 2022. Global shipments fell to 287.4 million units as compared to 315.6 million units in Q2 2021. While Samsung and Apple both recorded marginal growth, smartphone shipments fell for Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. Analysts predict that supply chain shortage will no longer be the pressing issue for the industry as component orders decline and suppliers are concerned about oversupply.
The smartphone market is reportedly in decline. According to a report by Canalys, smartphone sales declined in Q2 2022. Global shipments fell to 287.4 million units as compared to 315.6 million units in Q2 2021. While Samsung and Apple both recorded marginal growth, smartphone shipments fell for Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. Analysts predict that supply chain shortage will no longer be the pressing issue for the industry as component orders decline and suppliers are concerned about oversupply.
Google is celebrating 10 years of the Android Play Store with a new logo, and a new offer on Google Play Points. Play Points are reward currency that you can accumulate by purchasing apps on the Play Store. Originally called the Android Market, the app store was rebranded to Play Store in 2012. During the celebration, Google is offering a booster on Play Points that can see you net about 10x the rewards, when you make purchases. These points can then be used towards discounts on your next purchase.
Google celebrated 10 years of the Android Play Store with a new logo, and a new offer on Google Play Points. Play Points are reward currency that you can accumulate by purchasing apps on the Play Store. Originally called the Android Market, the app store was rebranded as Play Store in 2012. During the celebration, Google is offering a booster on Play Points that can see you net about 10x the rewards, when you make purchases. These points can then be used towards discounts on your next purchase.
Google has said that it will allow the authorities to view footage from smart home cameras without a search warrant, in case of emergencies. The Amazon-owned Ring faced criticism from security advocates last month, after it announced that it had let police see home security footage in more than 10 cases. Privacy and security advocates say these warrantless procedures undermine the rights of citizens and there will be an increasing "temptation for police to use it for increasingly less urgent situations".
Google has said that it will allow the authorities to view footage from smart home cameras without a search warrant, in case of emergencies. The Amazon-owned Ring faced criticism from security advocates last month after it announced that it had let police see home security footage in more than 10 cases. Privacy and security advocates say these warrantless procedures undermine the rights of citizens and there will be an increasing "temptation for police to use it for increasingly less urgent situations".
Asus recently dropped new ROG gaming laptops in India. The line-up included the Asus ROG Flow X16, ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, new Zephyrus G14 and G15 models, and a new version of the ROG Flow X13. The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 features a starting price of Rs 2,49,990, while the ROG Zephyrus G14 and G15 boasts a starting price of Rs 1,46,990 and Rs 1,57,990, respectively. The ROG Flow X16 and Flow X13 start from Rs 1,71,990 and Rs 1,21,990, respectively. The new Asus ROG laptops features AMD Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics. Check out our review of the ROG Flow X16 here.
Asus recently dropped new ROG gaming laptops in India. The line-up included the Asus ROG Flow X16, ROG Zephyrus Duo 16, new Zephyrus G14 and G15 models, and a new version of the ROG Flow X13. The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 features a starting price of Rs 2,49,990, while the ROG Zephyrus G14 and G15 boast a starting price of Rs 1,46,990 and Rs 1,57,990, respectively. The ROG Flow X16 and Flow X13 start from Rs 1,71,990 and Rs 1,21,990, respectively. The new Asus ROG laptops feature AMD Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics. Check out our review of the ROG Flow X16 here.
 Realme has launched a bouquet of new devices for the Indian market. The company has introduced the follow-up to last year's Realme Pad - Realme Pad X, the Watch 3, Buds Air 3 Neo and a Realme Flat Monitor. The Realme Pad X features a starting price of Rs 19,999, while the Realme Flat monitor is priced at Rs 12,999. The Realme Watch 3 has been priced at Rs 3,499, while the Realme Buds Air 3 Neo and Realme Buds Wireless 2S are priced at Rs 1,999 and Rs 1,499, respectively.
Realme has launched a bouquet of new devices for the Indian market. The company has introduced the follow-up to last year's Realme Pad - Realme Pad X, the Watch 3, Buds Air 3 Neo and a Realme Flat Monitor. The Realme Pad X features a starting price of Rs 19,999, while the Realme Flat monitor is priced at Rs 12,999. The Realme Watch 3 has been priced at Rs 3,499, while the Realme Buds Air 3 Neo and Realme Buds Wireless 2S are priced at Rs 1,999 and Rs 1,499, respectively.
Asus launched its compact flagship smartphone for 2022 this week. The Asus Zenfone 9 is the latest smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset and comes on the heels of the ROG Phone 6 series. The Asus Zenfone 9 is priced at EUR 799 (Roughly Rs 64,700) for the base 8GB/128GB model. The Zenfone 9 is expected to launch as the Asus 9z in India, although Asus has not provided any details about its availability in the country.
Asus launched its compact flagship smartphone for 2022 this week. The Asus Zenfone 9 is the latest smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset and comes on the heels of the ROG Phone 6 series. The Asus Zenfone 9 is priced at EUR 799 (Roughly Rs 64,700) for the base 8GB/128GB model. The Zenfone 9 is expected to launch as the Asus 9z in India, although Asus has not provided any details about its availability in the country.
Gmail's new Material You redesign will be going live for everyone in the coming weeks. Google has updated the familiar Gmail interface with the design language and made it easier to switch between several apps from one location. If you don't like the new design, you can still go back to the old one using a new quick settings button, which will then ask you to confirm if you want to go back to the old design.
Gmail's new Material You redesign will be going live for everyone in the coming weeks. Google has updated the familiar Gmail interface with the design language and made it easier to switch between several apps from one location. If you don't like the new design, you can still go back to the old one using a new quick settings button, which will then ask you to confirm if you want to go back to the old design.
Carlsen Martin
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