Sweden: 5g auction canceled after successful huawei lawsuit

The Stockholm Administrative Court has temporarily declared Huawei’s exclusion from the auction of 5G frequencies in Sweden invalid. The decision of the regulatory authority to exclude Chinese suppliers Huawei and ZTE from the auction can be appealed, the court announced in Stockholm on Monday evening. The rules concerning Huawei are not to be applied until further notice because the outcome of the proceedings is uncertain "be considered uncertain" . As a result, the regulatory authority PTS has cancelled at short notice the start of the auction planned for Tuesday.

Auction cancelled at short notice

In October, PTS announced the conditions for awarding a 5G license and explicitly excluded Chinese providers Huawei and ZTE from the 5G rollout. Network operators who would like to receive a usage permit for the auctioned frequencies must therefore refrain from using the Chinese suppliers. In addition, existing Chinese hardware that takes over central functions is to be replaced by 2025. The administrative court has now temporarily annulled these regulations following a complaint by Huawei.

The auction of the 3.5 and 2.3 GHz frequencies was supposed to start on Tuesday. It remains to be seen when the auction can start. It will depend largely on how long the legal battle over award conditions lasts. The administrative court stayed the rules for purposes of preemptive relief, but has not yet ied a decision on the merits of the case. "PTS will continue to analyze the decision of the administrative court and will examine the possibilities of launching the auction as soon as possible," the regulator said Tuesday", the regulatory authority said on Tuesday.

Microsoft: higher revenue than expected, cloud growth steamed

Microsoft’s fourth-quarter revenue increased, beating analysts’ expectations. The software company increased revenue 13 percent year over year to $38 billion. Analysts had amed about 36.5 billion dollars. Microsoft has thus in the 17. We are confident that we will exceed expectations in the second quarter in succession.

Although much of the revenue reported in Microsoft’s annual report is due to its cloud business, the growth of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform slowed from 59 percent to 47 percent in three months. As a result, the share price fell by more than two percent at times in after-hours trading on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, it naited at 181.22 euros. Apparently, investors had expected higher increases given the increased use of cloud services triggered by increased home offices during the Corona pandemic, and have now been disappointed by the results.

Profits and losses

In the Office segment, Microsoft was able to increase its revenues year-on-year. There, sales of commercial products and cloud services rose by 5 percent, while sales of consumer products increased by 6 percent. In the consumer sector, Microsoft was able to increase the number of Office 365 users to 42.7 million subscribers. Likewise, the career network LinkedIn contributed positively to the overall revenue with an increase of 10 percent.

Study: digitization helps achieve climate goals

Comprehensive digitization in mobility and transport, industrial manufacturing and buildings can contribute almost half to meeting Germany’s climate targets, according to an Accenture study. "Up to 120 megatons of carbon dioxide can be saved by 2030 in a best-case scenario", said Achim Berg, president of the digital association Bitkom, which commissioned the study.

This corresponds to almost every second ton of what Germany still has to save in order to achieve the climate targets it has set itself. "The faster and more consistently digital technologies are deployed, the more CO2 we can save in the future", Berg said according to the press release. With the Paris climate protection agreement, Germany committed itself in 2015 to achieving certain climate targets and introducing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, CO2 emissions were still at 805 megatons. In 2030, this may only amount to 543 megatons.

Speed of digitization crucial

The study examines a total of seven application areas for digital technologies in which a particularly large CO2 savings effect can be achieved. The results now presented relate to four areas, namely industrial manufacturing, mobility, buildings and labor Business. Agriculture, energy and health will follow by spring 2021.

Microsoft flight simulator: valve denies problems with steam return policy

The full version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available in the Microsoft Store and on Valve’s Steam gaming platform – and is causing frustration among some players on the latter. Because the way it is installed apparently cancels out the Steam return policy for this title. The result: a mass of bad reviews.

Typically, game buyers via Steam have the option to return a game after up to two hours of play and receive the payment amount back. If you buy Flight Simulator via Steam, you first download the actual launcher via Steam, which is about 1 GByte in size. This launcher in turn loads the game data after the obligatory login with a Microsoft account. The problem: Steam considers the active launcher as game time – and the launcher has to download over 90 GByte of data before you can take off.

This was allowed to take over two hours for most players, which usually precluded refunds. In a statement to the game magazine PCGamer Valve writes that the problem is known. Therefore, the time needed to download the game files will not be counted towards the time limit for the right of return.

Graphql: hasura opens in version 2 for new databases and speaks rest

Hasura has released version 2.0 of the GraphQL engine of the same name. After the processor was designed for PostgreSQL, the release aims at general database connectivity. At the start there are interfaces for SQL-Server and BigQuery. New interfaces should be able to be developed in a short time. In addition, the engine can now address multiple databases simultaneously.

More than a database

The first release of the engine had appeared in 2018 and had focused exclusively on a direct connection to PostgreSQL databases. According to its own statements, the team initially wanted to concentrate on the ecosystem and the community of the open-source database.

Since then, there have been two fundamental requests from the user base, especially in the enterprise environment: First, multi-tenant connectivity of multiple instances, and second, integration of different workloads, taking into account, for example, the different requirements for processing time series versus those with coarse transaction volumes.

Machine learning: github launches test flights with ai co-pilots for programming

GitHub has launched a technical preview of machine learning (ML) assistant Copilot. The operators of the version management platform refer to it as "AI Pair Programmer": Like pair programming, the virtual assistant is supposed to give suggestions on how to improve or replace the source code.

The system is based on OpenAI Codex, an AI system designed to convert natural language into source code. OpenAI is behind the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) language model. GitHub parent Microsoft had invested $1 billion in the company in 2019, which switched from a non-profit business to a capped-profit model two years ago.

copilot when coding

Microsoft uses GPT-3 since May for the low-code platform Power Fx, in order to translate requirements formulated in natural language into Power Fx syntax. OpenAI Codex, in contrast to GPT-3, is specifically designed for code generation. Thus, a large part of the training data for the ML model consists of public source code. This puts Codex in competition with the ML-based code completion tool Tabnine.

Study: blue light filters contribute to better sleep

Blue light filters in smartphones and computer displays have become popular in recent times. Researchers at the University of Salzburg have now investigated whether they really do contribute to better sleep. Their preliminary result: yes, partially, they write in the scientific journal Clock Sleep. Short-wave light not only influences circadian rhythms and evening sleepiness, but also sleep physiology and wakefulness in the morning. Using a blue light filter in the evening reduces these negative effects.

For their pilot study, psychologists Sarah Schmid and Christopher Hohn sent 14 young men to a sleep laboratory for three nights. Beforehand, they had to read the same texts in the same font size on a smartphone with and without blue light filters as well as on paper for 90 minutes, they describe in their paper. The titles were "The Kangaroo Chronicles: Views of a noisy marsupial", "555 popular misconceptions: Why Angela Merkel is actually a West German, eggs don’t have to be discouraged and peanuts are not nuts" and "13 against the summer hole: 13 authors – 13 stories – 13 x Lesespab".

Throughout the night, their bodily functions were continuously monitored. Polysomnography was used to measure brain waves, eye movements and muscle activity, as well as body temperature regulation and changes in the hormones cortisol and melatonin.

Imessage for android planned internally at apple - but shot down

The legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple brings more internals to light: Apple’s head of services Eddy Cue wanted to bring iMessage to Android as early as 2013, according to internal company emails – and he did so at full speed. They had "the best messaging app" and should be urgently "Industry standard" make, Cue wrote to other top managers. A few employees are already working on it, but it has to become an official project.

The manager apparently feared a takeover of WhatsApp by Google, which was under discussion at the time. "Do we really want to lose one of the most important mobile apps to Google?", Cue asked in the email.

No strategy to poach WhatsApp users

Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi faulted the lack of a strategy to make iMessage the main messenger. Why would someone switch from WhatsApp to iMessage who hardly has any "iOS friends" have, Federighi said in his response to Cue. iMessage is "nice", but you need more than a "marginally better app", to entice users to switch their social network. In the absence of a clear strategy, he said he was concerned the move would only "remove an obstacle for iPhone families to give their children Android devices", said Federighi.

Income with tariff: more money with fewer working hours

IG Metall annually collects data from employees in the information technology and telecommunications industry and uses it to produce a pay analysis. Income is a synonym for the bulky term remuneration. For the current study, the income data of 41 employees were collected in 120 companies.700 employees identified. That’s quite a lot, and the result is initially not very spectacular: overall, there was very slight income growth for employees in the ITC industry last year. They were at 0.2 percent.

You can call that stable, or you can call it stagnant. After all, even in Corona times, industry associations such as Bitkom complain about a shortage of IT specialists. It doesn’t seem to be that big with this small salary increase.

Pay scale makes the difference

Far more remarkable is the difference between salaries in companies covered by collective bargaining agreements and those in companies without. These employees with collective bargaining agreements earn 14 percent more than those in companies without collective bargaining agreements. IG Metall explains that this is due to the positive effect of collective bargaining. A collective agreement is binding if the employer belongs to the employers’ association and the employee to the trade union that concluded the collective agreement.

Meow! Attacks on elasticsearch and mongodb servers, motive unknown

Security researcher Bob Diachenko and the security research team he leads at the British company Comparitech are currently monitoring active attacks on Elasticsearch and MongoDB databases worldwide. If the unknown attackers succeed in breaking in, they delete the entire database content and replace it with combinations of the text string "meow" with random numbers.

A search for "meow" with the IoT search engine Shodan currently provides more than 1700 affected Elasticsearch and almost 700 MongoDB installations worldwide – and the trend is rising. Germany accounts for more than 130 Elasticsearch search hits.

Motive for attack still unclear

How the "Meow"-attack is carried out in detail, Diachenko does not describe it. Opposite Ars Technica he does suggest that the attackers are looking for databases that can be modified without credentials and then delete them using scripts written for this purpose.