MWC 2020 Cancelled, STMicro Withdraws from Embedded World 2020 due to COVID-19

MWC 2020 Canceled

We’ve already covered the impact of the coronavirus on shipping and manufacturing from China, and it now looks like it may take longer than expected before things go back to normal. The WHO has now an official name for the disease: COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease 2019), and the impacts of the virus go far beyond China, and two large events usually taking place in February will either be canceled or scaled back. After several companies decided to pull out of the event, GSMA decided to completely cancel Mobile World Congress 2020 (aka MWC 2020): Since the first edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem. With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make …

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Coronavirus Update: Many Chinese Companies to Stay Closed at Least until February 17

Coronavirus factory closed china

About 10 days ago, I wrote a post about the impact of the coronavirus on manufacturing and shipping from China. At the time, we knew the Chinese New Year “holiday” was extended until February 10 in order for the authorities to contain the outbreak. That meant manufacturing would be impacted, and not much will ship from China during that time period. At the time, we were also told packages shipped from China were safe as it took several days and the virus would just die off on the way. But there have been some updates since then. First, a new study shows the coronavirus may stay alive on surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days at room temperature. So I’m not sure what that means for packages sent via courier services like FedEx or DHL. The previous link offers some solutions: … but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen …

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Coronavirus Impact on Manufacturing and Shipping from China

Coronavirus manufacturing china

Unless you are living under a rock, you may have heard about the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China. The Hubei province, and much of China, is in complete lockdown with many businesses closed, and people staying home as the government extended Chinese New Year for a few days until the epidemic is under control. This should obviously have an economic impact, at least in the short term, for the next few weeks or months since people are asked to stay home, and so much of what we consume is manufactured in China. And indeed, I’ve seen more and more companies announcing delays due to the virus, and I’ll provide some examples. Freetronics, an Australian company selling boards and other electronics products, has issued a notice explaining they are directly impacted since they work with manufacturers are based in Wuhan, Beijing, and Shenzhen: Bare PCBs for both Freetronics and SuperHouse products are mostly produced by Gold Phoenix, which is located in …

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Reminder: Sometimes Crowdfunding Campaigns Go Wrong

crowdfunding campaigns fail

Many products are launched via crowdfunding campaigns, and in theory, both the business and end-users benefit from the opportunity. It helps companies evaluate the demand before committing to large expenses, and reduce their financial risk, while end-users pledging in a crowdfunding campaign will be the first-ever to get the product, and often at a significant discount compared to the eventual retail price. But the flip-side is that they are risks for backers, they did not just buy a product online, but bet on the developers to deliver the products. Sometimes the project fails due to incompetence, unexpected challenges, or even fraudulent behavior from the developers. I remember one project where one of the developers just decided to buy a house with the funds raised instead of developing the promised 3D printer. I was reminded of this important point by email this morning, as I covered TAIHE Gemini 15.6″ full HD or 4K portable display last year, with the project ending …

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WiFI 6E Aims to Leverage 6 GHz Unlicensed Spectrum

WiFi 6E

If you live and/or work in an urban environment, you may have noticed 2.4GHz WiFi may not be so reliable as too many people are using the frequency leading to interference. 5 GHz WiFi is here to help, but with the Internet of Things more and more WiFi devices will come online in the next few years, and there won’t be enough capacity using 2.4 and 5 GHz. 60GHz WiFi (802.11ad/802.11ay) may not work for IoT since the signal would not go through walls. That’s why the Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced WiFi 6E, and upgrade of WiFi 6, that can leverage 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum and expand the bandwidth available for Wi-Fi. I’ve taken the US spectrum wall chart from 2016 to show where WiFi 6E would stand, and it looks pretty crowded to me with mobile, fixed and satellite applications using the 5.925 to 7.125 GHz spectrum to be used by the new Wi-Fi standard. Wi-Fi 6E may soon …

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Sigfox Targets Worldwide Coverage with Satellite Launch

Sigfox Satellite

LPWAN technologies such as NB-IoT, Sigfox, and LoRa deliver low power, long range communication at low bitrate and can be used for asset tracking, environmental monitoring, water & electricity meters, and so on. The line-of-sight range between the closest gateway and nodes is usually 10 to 20 km, and coverage can be expanded by connecting several gateways to form a network. However, this is not workable in all locations worldwide, so Sigfox plans to launch a Sigfox satellite in collaboration with Eutelsat in order to provide coverage in places like large deserts such as the Sahara desert, the two poles, as well as oceans as explained by Franck Siegel, chief operating officer at Sigfox. This will for instance enable tracking and monitoring of oil platforms and vessels. The press release does not explains much except Sigfox and Eutelsat will test the first Satellite in H2 2019 before the commercial launch of the “ELO” constellation in 2020. An article on ConnectedBaltics, …

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GearBest Database Was Left Unsecured For 2 Weeks

gearbest unsecured database

GearBest is one of the most popular Chinese online stores, and we often feature products sold by the company on the website. However, VPNMentor research team headed by Noam Rotem, a  hat hacker and activist, discovered a serious security breach in Gearbest, where their database was completely unsecured for a period of time. Specifically the research team was able to access the following databases in March 2019: Orders database with products purchased, shipping address and postcode, customer name, email address, phone number Payments and invoices database with order number, payment type, payment information, email address, name, IP address Members database with name, address, date of birth, phone number, (unencrypted) email address, IP address, national ID and passport information, (unencrypted) account password They discovered 1.5+ million records in total. They managed to login successfully to two accounts from the database breach for testing. Payment information included data related Boleta (used in Brazil) and Oxxo (used in Mexico) which would allow potential …

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How to Import Google+ Account and Communities to MeWe

Google+ Export Data

Google+ for consumers is going to definitely shutdown on April 2nd, and as written previously I had been looking for an alternative, and ended-up going with MeWe Ad-free, Privacy Focused Social Network. I created my own account, as well as two groups for development boards & SBCs and mini PCs & TV boxes. Many users have joined MeWe because of Google+ upcoming closure, so it made sense for the company to create an importer so that all posts, and communities can be imported from Google+ into MeWe. Mark Weinstein, MeWe CEO & founder, has now announced the release of Google+ Importer and instructions in a PDF sadly written in Microsoft Word… The steps are fairly simple: Go to https://takeout.google.com and click on “Deselect All” Select Google+ Circles, Google+ Communities, and Google+ Stream (apparently Google+ Likes is not needed), and make sure to check the format to JSON whenever possible as shown in the screenshot below. Click Next Step, and make …

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