The Huawei rollercoaster continues as Google gets a green light to license Android again

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Barely a month after the U.S. government placed a ban on companies doing business with Huawei due to an unspecified national security threat, President Donald Trump has seemingly softened his hard stance. In a press conference at the G20 Conference Saturday, he announced that “American companies will continue” to do business with the beleaguered telecom giant.

While it’s unclear whether that extends to the 5G network technology that Huawei is developing, it most certainly applies to Google and Android. Under the terms of the previous ban, Google was barred from selling an Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.

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The Raspberry Pi 4’s Most Interesting Quirks

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The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is finally here, a $35 device that packs a lot of useful technology on a single circuit board you can hold in your hand. It might even be your next budget computer, assuming you can stomach some of the trade-offs enthusiasts have identified in their early testing.

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DisplayPort 2.0 launches, promising 8K video support by late 2020

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While U.S. broadcasters are still mired in 1080p, foreign markets are already looking at 8K video—and that’s exactly what the new generation of DisplayPort technology, DisplayPort 2.0, is designed to address.

In late 2020, the first products incorporating the new DP 2.0 standard are expected to be made available, according to the Video Electronics Standards Association, or VESA. DP 2.0 can use the existing DP connector that appears on many high-end desktop PCs, or be carried over cabling that uses the standard USB-C connector—though you’ll still need a PC with DP 2.0 silicon to support it. 

DP 2.0 offers three times as much bandwidth as DP 1.4a, the current standard. While DP 2.0 keeps the four available data lanes as its predecessor, the available link rate has been increased up to 20Gbps per lane with 128-bit/132-bit channel coding. That translates into a maximum of 77Gbps, with support for 8K video: 7680×4320 at 60Hz, with full color 4:4:4 resolution at 30 bits per pixel for HDR.

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Creative Super X-Fi Air review: Surround-sound magic inside Bluetooth headphones

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Earlier this year we reviewed the new Super X-Fi Amp from Creative, and since then it’s continued to amaze me and the people I demo it for. Now Creative has taken the same amazing audio processing technology and jammed it into a pair of over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones called the Super X-Fi Air. Unfortunately the headphones themselves are not as amazing as the tech they contain, but they still offer some great features for the price.

Creative SXFI Air Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

Super X-Fi technology

To recap what Super X-Fi is, it’s audio software processing that simulates a surround-sound speaker setup, and accurately reflects that setup with just a pair of stereo headphones. It does this by taking scans of your ears and face and pairing it with positional audio algorithms—a special mixture that has not been done before in the consumer audio space.

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Are Huawei laptops safe? Intel, Microsoft promise support, but the future remains uncertain

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As the U.S. Government’s ban on Huawei grinds on, the biggest questions consumers likely have are whether that Matebook laptop on Amazon is safe to buy, or whether the Huawei machine they’ve already bought is safe. After all, if Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and other U.S. tech companies can no longer sell chips to the Chinese tech company, isn’t the company basically dead to you?

The answer likely depends on whether you care about Huawei’s future as a PC maker, or if you only care about your particular future with a Huawei laptop.

What the U.S. ban on Huawei means

The ban on Huawei, enacted in May, essentially forbids U.S. companies from doing business with the tech giant. Obviously, if Huawei is unable to buy CPUs from Intel or AMD, or graphics chips from AMD or Nvidia, let alone memory and storage from other U.S.-based companies, it likely means any future Huawei PC laptops are in limbo.

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Best wireless charger: Ditch the headache of cables with our top pick

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As convenience goes, wireless charging can’t be beat. You simply drop your phone onto the charger and walk away. Gone is the headache of managing cables that inevitably break or get lost.

Until recently, the main drawback to wireless chargers has been slow adoption and slow charging. This style of charging is still not ubiquitous, but you can now find Samsung, LG, Sony, and Moto phones that support it on the Android side, and Apple has adopted it for its iPhone lineup as well. And the technology itself is finally reaching a point where its speed is easier to live with, too.

Now that it’s a good time to go out and grab a stand or pad, we’ve tested some of the most popular models out there for both Android and iPhone, and discovered our favorites among the bunch. Read on for our findings, and check back periodically for our latest updates.

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Trump tariffs on Chinese goods could cost you $120 more for notebook PCs, say Dell, HP and CTA

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Dell, HP, Intel, and Microsoft warned that Trump Administration tariffs levied on Chinese imports would raise laptop prices by as much as 19 percent or $120, no matter which manufacturer made them. 

In a public comment attached to the proposed action filed Wednesday, the four companies cited a Consumer Technology Association report issued this week that said the tariffs would add about $120 to the average price of a laptop, beginning in the popular back-to-school and holiday seasons. Laptops purchased from Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo would cost 21 percent more, the CTA found. 

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