Salem, May 23 (AP/UNB) — Over the span of two years, a Chinese national in Oregon sent devices that looked like iPhones to Apple, saying they wouldn't turn on and should be replaced under warranty. He didn't just submit a couple of the devices -- he delivered in person or shipped to Apple around 3,000 of them.
Apple responded by sending almost 1,500 replacement iPhones, each with an approximate resale value of $600.
But the devices that Quan Jiang sent Apple were fake.
Jiang, 30, a former engineering student at a community college in Albany, Oregon, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to trafficking in counterfeit goods, the U.S. Attorney's office in Portland announced.
The presence of fake iPhones and other high-tech gadgets has become an issue in global resale markets, with some counterfeit versions operating so well it's hard for users to tell the difference between them and the genuine products. But in the Oregon case, the makers of the thousands of fake phones apparently didn't even have to bother with having working operating systems.
An Apple official quoted by Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Thomas Duffy in a court document exposed a vulnerability that Jiang exploited.
"Submission of an iPhone that will not power on is critical to perpetuating iPhone warranty fraud, as the phone will not be able to be immediately examined or repaired by Apple technicians, triggering the Apple iPhone replacement process as part of its product warranty policy," Duffy wrote, quoting Apple brand protection representative Adrian Punderson.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Portland said Jiang would import the counterfeit devices from Hong Kong and submit them to Apple using various assumed names. The genuine replacement phones Jiang received would be sold in China. Jiang's associate would pay Jiang's mother, who lives in China, who then deposited the money into Jiang's bank account.
Jiang received packages containing between 20 and 30 counterfeit iPhones from associates in Hong Kong between Jan. 1, 2016, and Feb. 1, 2018, according to court documents.
Apple realized something was amiss as early as June 30, 2017, when its legal counsel sent Jiang a "cease and desist" letter to an address in Corvallis where 150 warranty claims emanated. The lawyers said the company knew he was importing counterfeit Apple products, according to Duffy's affidavit. Jiang didn't respond, so the Apple lawyers sent a second letter.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case.
Apple rejected 1,576 warranty claims associated with Jiang, Duffy said. The 1,493 claims that resulted in replacement iPhones being delivered by Apple represented an $895,000 loss to the Cupertino, California-based company, Duffy wrote.
Brad Bench, who heads the Homeland Security Investigations office in Seattle, said in a statement that trafficking in counterfeit goods hurts the economy, legitimate businesses, and impact consumers directly.
Jiang faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $2 million fine or twice his proceeds, whichever is greater, when he is sentenced on Aug. 28. Under a plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney's office will recommend a prison sentence of three years, at least $200,000 in restitution to Apple.
And Jiang must forfeit his black 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250 coupe.
New York, May 23 (AP/UNB) — Are the female voices behind Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa amplifying gender bias around the world?
The United Nations thinks so.
A report released Wednesday by the UN's culture and science organization raises concerns about what it describes as the "hardwired subservience" built into default female-voiced assistants operated by Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
The report is called "I'd Blush If I Could." It's a reference to an answer Apple's Siri gives after hearing sexist insults from users. It says it's a problem that millions of people are getting accustomed to commanding female-voiced assistants that are "servile, obedient and unfailingly polite," even when confronted with harassment from humans.
The agency recommends tech companies stop making digital assistants female by default and program them to discourage gender-based insults and abusive language.
Dhaka, May 16 (UNB)- Local handset maker Walton has released its new 4G smartphone ‘Primo H8’ in a fresh version with 2GB RAM.
The attractively designed device comes in three different colors- Midnight Blue, Rose Gold and Twilight Blue.
Asifur Rahman Khan, Chief of Walton Cellular Phone sales department, said earlier the smartphone was released with 3GB RAM which has been well received by the users. Now another version of the phone with 2GB RAM has also been released to local market.
He said, the price of 3GB version is 7,999 BDT while the 2GB version 7,099 BDT.
The Primo H8 features a 5.45-inch full-view HD+ IPS display with 1440X720 pixel screen resolutions. It sports a 1.3 GHz Quad Core processor, 3GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB internal storage (expandable up to 64 GB) and PowerVR Rogue GE8100 GPU along with 3,200 mAh battery.
Runs on Android 8:1 Oreo operating system, the new device features 8-megapixel auto focus rear Sony camera with LED flash. It also sports another 8-megapixel front facing Omnivision selfie camera.
Some other attractive features of the dual-SIM supported phone is face unlock, fingerprint sensor and OTG support, full HD video playback etc.
Customers will also enjoy instant replacement warranty for 30 days for the phone along with one-year regular service warranty.
In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls.
Huawei would be the largest business ever subjected to the controls, a law enforcement measure that requires it to obtain U.S. government approval on purchases of American technology, said Kevin Wolf, who had been the assistant secretary of commerce for export administration in the Obama administration.
"It's going to have ripple effects through the entire global telecommunications network because Huawei affiliates all over the planet depend on U.S. content to function and if they can't get the widget or the part or the software update to keep functioning then those systems go down," he said.
Asked if that could include barring Apple from selling its Android operating system, which Huawei uses on its handsets, Wolf said it would be premature to say until he's seen a published order from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security to be sure of the scope.
The executive order declares a national economic emergency that empowers the government to ban the technology and services of "foreign adversaries" deemed to pose "unacceptable risks" to national security — including from cyberespionage and sabotage.
While it doesn't name specific countries or companies, it follows months of U.S. pressure on Huawei. It gives the Commerce Department 150 days to come up with regulations.
Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade war that partly reflects a struggle for global economic and technological dominance, and Wednesday's actions up the ante.
The export restriction is a "a grave escalation with China that at minimum plunges the prospect of continued trade negotiations into doubt," said Eurasia Group analysts in a report.
"Unless handled carefully, this situation is likely to place U.S. and Chinese companies at new risk," the report said.
It appears the law invoked in Wednesday's executive order, the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, has never before been declared in a way that impacts an entire commercial sector. It has routinely been used to freeze the assets of designated terrorists and drug traffickers and impose embargoes on hostile former governments.
The order addresses U.S. government concerns that equipment from Chinese suppliers could pose an espionage threat to U.S. internet and telecommunications infrastructure. Huawei, the world's biggest supplier of network gear, has been deemed a danger in U.S. national security circles for the better part of a decade.
U.S. justice and intelligence officials say Chinese economic espionage and trade secret theft are rampant. They have presented no evidence, however, of any Huawei equipment in the U.S. or elsewhere being compromised by backdoors installed by the manufacturer to facilitate espionage by Beijing. Huawei vehemently denies involvement in Chinese spying.
Huawei said blocking it from doing business in the United States would hamper introduction of next-generation communications technology in which the company is a world leader.
"We are ready and willing to engage with the U.S. government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security," the company said in a statement.
The restrictions "will not make the U.S. more secure or stronger," the company said. It said the United States would be limited to "inferior yet more expensive alternatives," which would hurt companies and consumers.
A senior U.S. administration official, who briefed reports on condition of anonymity, said in a hastily arranged call that the order was "company and country agnostic" and would not be retroactive. Officials said "interim regulations" were expected before final rules were set but were vague on what that meant.
In a statement, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai called the executive order "a significant step toward securing America's networks."
"It signals to U.S. friends and allies how far Washington is willing to go to block Huawei," said Adam Segal, cybersecurity director at the Council on Foreign Relations. Many in Europe have resisted a fierce U.S. diplomatic campaign to institute a wholesale ban on the Chinese company's equipment in their next-generation 5G wireless networks.
Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a former telecoms executive, called the order "a needed step" because Chinese law compels Huawei to act as an agent of the state.
The order's existence in draft form was first reported by The Washington Post last June. Segal said that with U.S.-China trade talks at a standstill, the White House "felt the time had finally come to pull the trigger."
It is a "low-cost signal of resolve from the Trump administration," Segal said, noting that there is little at stake economically.
All major U.S. wireless carriers and internet providers had already sworn off Chinese-made equipment after a 2012 report by the House Intelligence Committee said Huawei and ZTE, China's No. 2 telecoms equipment company, should be excluded as enablers of Beijing-directed espionage.
Last year, Trump signed a bill that barred the U.S. government and its contractors from using equipment from the Chinese suppliers.
The FCC also has a rule in the works that would cut off subsidies for companies that use any equipment banned as posing a national security threat. Huawei's handsets are virtually nonexistent in the U.S., and last week the FCC rejected a Chinese phone company's bid to provide domestic service .
Huawei says it supplies 45 of the world's top 50 phone companies. But only about 2 percent of telecom equipment purchased by North American carriers was Huawei-made in 2017.
The domestic economic impact will be restricted mostly to small rural carriers for whom Huawei equipment has been attractive because of its lower costs. That could make it more difficult to expand access to speedy internet in rural areas.
Blair Levin, an adviser to research firm New Street Research and a former FCC official, said the order is likely to widen the digital divide.
Roger Entner, founder of telecom research firm Recon Analytics, tweeted: "Banning Huawei in the U.S. has the FCC in a conundrum: Low cost Huawei equipment helps to build out broadband in rural America faster." He wondered if the FCC would subsidize small rural carriers.
Requests for comment from a group representing small carriers, the Competitive Carriers Association, were not immediately returned. Administration officials told reporters they will welcome comments from the telecommunications industry as regulations are set.
They did not say whether subsidies would be considered.
Early this year, the Justice Department unsealed criminal charges against Huawei, a top company executive and several subsidiaries, alleging the company stole trade secrets, misled banks about its business and violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. The sweeping indictments accused the company of using extreme efforts to steal trade secrets from American businesses — including trying to take a piece of a robot from a T-Mobile lab.
The executive charged is Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company's founder. She was arrested in Canada last December. The U.S. is seeking to extradite her.
Nokia 4.2 is all set to launch in India today, and the company has been rolling out multiple teasers in the run up to the launch, reports NDtv.
The phone was introduced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 exhibition in Barcelona, and it is finally ready to hit the shelves in the country. The phone's key features include a dedicated Google Assistant button and a power button with a LED notification light, both of which have been teased by the Nokia Mobile India Twitter handle in the past. A separate teaser also showed the back of the phone, similar to the Nokia 4.2, further cementing the imminent India launch today.
HMD Global's latest teaser on Twitter suggests that the Nokia 4.2 pink colour variant showcased at MWC will make its way to India as well. The Nokia 4.2 is a part of the Android One program, and features a rear fingerprint sensor and a dual rear camera setup aligned vertically at the back. It comes with a dedicated Google Assistant button and a LED notification light on the power button, as teased before.
Nokia 4.2 price
Although the official Nokia 4.2 price in India will be revealed later today. Its global price does offer an indication of what we can expect. The phone starts at $169 (roughly Rs. 11,700) for the 2GB RAM + 16GB storage variant, while its 3GB RAM + 32GB storage model is priced at $199 (roughly Rs. 13,800). We expect to see a similar pricing in the country.
Nokia 4.2 specifications
The dual-SIM (Nano) Nokia 4.2 runs Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box and features a 5.71-inch HD+ (720x1520 pixels) a-Si TFT display along with a 19:9 aspect ratio and 2.5D curved glass protection. Under the hood, the phone has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC, paired with up to 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. There is also a microSD card slot (up to 400GB).
For photos and videos, the Nokia 4.2 has a dual rear camera setup that includes a 13-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.2 lens and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.2 lens. There is also an 8-megapixel selfie camera at the front -- along with an f/2.0 lens.
The Nokia 4.2 packs a 3,000mAh battery and measures a 148.95x71.30x8.39mm.Connectivity options on the Nokia 4.2 include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, Micro-USB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Also, sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light, proximity sensor, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.