Apple, Google, and Meta to TikTok and Microsoft — Tech Giants Cutting Ties With Russia - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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Apple, Google, and Meta to TikTok and Microsoft — Tech Giants Cutting Ties With Russia

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, global technology companies have joined governments and the international business community in cutting ties with the world’s largest country over its ongoing military actions. Companies including Apple, Google, and Meta are restricting the availability of their products and services to Russian users. Similarly, AMD, Dell, TSMC, and Intel are…

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As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, global technology companies have joined governments and the international business community in cutting ties with the world’s largest country over its ongoing military actions. Companies including Apple, Google, and Meta are restricting the availability of their products and services to Russian users. Similarly, AMD, Dell, TSMC, and Intel are amongst the tech firms limiting or ending sales in the country. While some businesses are complying with new economic and trade sanctions, others have chosen to withdraw from Russia and Belarus voluntarily to distance themselves from its actions and to support Ukraine. The Ukrainian government itself has also urged about 50 additional tech companies, including those involved in gaming, esports, and Internet infrastructure, to impose restrictions against Russia for its ongoing actions in the country.In this article, we are listing the major tech companies that have so far cut Russia off from some or all of their products or servicesAppleShortly after the invasion started last week, Ukraine urged Apple to punish the Russian Federation by cutting all ties with the country. Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov requested Apple CEO Tim Cook to stop selling its devices and block access to the App Store in Russia. Apple earlier this week announced that it has stopped sales of the iPhone and its other devices in the country.The Cupertino giant also limited Apple Pay and other services as well as restricted users from downloading Russia’s state-run RT News and Sputnik News apps outside the country. Additionally, Apple disabled traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.“We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace,” the company said in a press statement.GoogleSimilar to Apple, Google removed RT from its news-related features and Google News search tool. The search giant also restricted news companies funded by the Russian government from advertising tools and some features on YouTube. Following these initial moves, Google blocked apps connected to RT and Sputnik from its Play store. The company also restricted Russian state media from using its tools to buy ads and from placing commercials on Google services including Gmail. Russia also notably restricted access to Google Pay and Apple Pay from some of its banks. On Friday, Google announced that it has suspended all advertising in Russia. “The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate,” the company noted in a statement.Meta — the parent company of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram — last week barred Russian state media from running ads and monetising on its social media network. It also blocked access to RT and Sputnik across the European Union. Additionally, Instagram introduced encrypted direct messages to help users in Russia and Ukraine conduct private conversations at this difficult time. Russia initially restricted Facebook access for clamping down on its propaganda — which the country referred to as “censorship” — on the platform. Facebook, though, responded and said that it refused to stop fact-checking and labelling content from state-run news organisations.TwitterJust like Facebook, Twitter started labelling tweets linking to Russian state-affiliated media as a move to inform users about the content potentially spreading a particular narrative. The microblogging network also halted ads in both Russia and Ukraine to ensure public safety. Earlier this week, Twitter said that it would continue to focus on reducing the visibility of content from RT and Sputnik on its platform. However, Twitter’s access in Russia has also been restricted to some extent.MicrosoftMicrosoft joined the ongoing tech restrictions on Russia by announcing earlier this week that it would not display any state-sponsored RT and Sputnik content on the Microsoft Start platform (including MSN.com). The software giant also removed RT news apps from the Windows app store and started de-ranking these sites from its search results on Bing. Users will now only see RT and Sputnik links if they clearly intended to search for these sites. Microsoft also said that it was banning all ads from RT and Sputnik across its ad network and would not place any ads on either site.“We are continuing to monitor events closely and will make ongoing adjustments to strengthen our detection and disruption mechanisms to avoid the spread of disinformation and promote instead independent and trusted content,” the company said.IntelEarlier this week, Intel announced that it had suspended all shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine. “We have launched an employee donation and matching campaign through the Intel Foundation that has already raised over $1.2 million (roughly Rs. 9,12,52,200) for relief efforts, and we are proud of the work our teams in surrounding areas including Poland, Germany and Romania are doing to aid refugees,” the company said.AMDSimilar to Intel, AMD announced that it was halting all its chip shipments in Russia and Belarus.TSMCTaiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) — the world’s largest contract chip manufacturer — joined other Taiwanese semiconductor companies to comply with government export controls to Russia.DellSimilar to the key chipmakers and chip manufacturers, Dell announced suspension of its sales in both Russia and Ukraine. The company said that it would closely monitor the situation to determine its next steps.TikTokAlongside platforms including Meta and Twitter, TikTok has started restricting users from accessing Russian state-owned media accounts including RT and Sputnik in the European Union.SnapSnap — the parent company of social media platform Snapchat — has started restricting ads in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The company also halted advertising sales to all Russian and Belarusian entities and clarified that it did not accept revenue from Russian state-owned entities.“We have pledged over $15 million (roughly Rs. 114 crore) in humanitarian aid to support organisations providing direct relief to the people of Ukraine,” the company said in a statement.Snap notably has roots in Ukraine and a massive office in the country’s capital Kyiv.ViberMessaging app Viber — owned by Japan’s Rakuten Group — said that it would remove advertising in Russia and Ukraine. It also launched a programme for free Viber Out calls in Russia and Ukraine to let its users reach any phone number in 34 countries around the world, without requiring a tariff plan. The company said that blocking its service in Russia or any other country would “harm the people of Ukraine by preventing free, private and secure communication and eliminating a key communications channel for fighting disinformation.”NetflixAlongside social media and messaging platforms, over-the-top (OTT) services have joined the ongoing restrictions against Russia. Netflix has refused to air Russian state TV channels in the country including Channel One.RokuSimilar to Netflix, Roku — the maker of streaming TV boxes — recently said that it would bar RT from the list of content available to its users in Europe.SpotifyStreaming giant Spotify removed all content from Russian state-sponsored outlets RT and Sputnik and closed its office in the country. It also said that it had examined “thousands of podcast episodes since the start of the war” and limited users’ access to podcasts owned and operated by media outlets tied to the Russian state. The streaming service is, however, currently open for access to Russian users.OracleHours after Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked for sanctions earlier this week, Oracle suspended all its operations in Russia.SAPBusiness intelligence software giant SAP announced that it would pause all its sales in Russia as a result of the invasion in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government also expressed plans to urge about 50 additional tech companies, including those involved in gaming, esports, and Internet infrastructure to impose restrictions against Russia for its ongoing actions in the country.Electronic Arts (EA)US video game company Electronic Arts (EA) has removed the Russian national team and all Russian football clubs from FIFA 22. The company also announced plans to remove Russian teams from its National Hockey League-themed game, NHL 22.CD Projekt RedPoland-based game developer CD Projekt Red — well known for the role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 — said that it is halting all sales to Russia and Belarus. It also started working with partners to suspend digital sales and cease deliveries of physical products and games as well as copies distributed on the GOG store to both countries. In a separate report to investors, the company noted that the cumulative share of Russia and Belarus in its product sales and in sales revenue obtained through the GOG platform over the past 12-month period was 5.4 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.PayPalPayPal — the leading online payments platform — stopped accepting new users from Russia. The company has also blocked some users and banks in the country.NokiaTelecom giant Nokia stopped deliveries to Russia in order to comply with sanctions imposed on the country.EricssonAlongside Nokia, Ericsson has suspended deliveries to Russia, CEO Borje Ekholm informed its staff in a memo that was reviewed by Reuters.CiscoUS IT conglomerate Cisco has stopped all business operations in Russia and Belarus and is working to provide humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in a letter to its staff said that the company was its accelerating efforts to protect organisations in Ukraine from cyber threatsGoDaddyInternet domain registrar and Web hosting provider GoDaddy announced earlier this week that it would no longer support new domain name registrations with the .ru extension from March 1. The .ru extension represents Russia. Although existing customers can continue to use and renew their .ru domains, the company is not allowing registrants to sell or transfer these domain name to any party for profit.DuckDuckGoPrivacy-focussed Web search engine DuckDuckGo has paused a partnership with its Russian counterpart Yandex over the ongoing military actions in Ukraine.In addition to these tech companies, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has parted ways with Moscow’s Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. Automakers such as Ford, Volvo Cars, and Daimler Truck as well as manufacturers including Boeing have suspended operations in Russia. Ready-to-assemble furniture company IKEA, fashion outlet H&M, and winter clothing maker Canada Goose Holdings are also pausing their business in the country to support Ukraine.Disney, Warner Bros, and Sony Pictures have also suspended the release of their films in theatres in Russia. Warner Bros pulled The Batman from releasing in the country, while Sony Pictures announced halting of its planned releases including the upcoming title Morbius from Russian theatres.For details of the latest Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo, and other product launches from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2022 hub.

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Apple Is Reportedly Working on 15-Inch MacBook Air for 2023 Release, Another 12-Inch Laptop in Progress

Apple plans to expand the lineup of laptops using its new, speedier in-house chips next year, aiming to grab a bigger share of the market, people with knowledge of the matter said.The company is working on a larger MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen for release as early as next spring, said the people, who…

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Apple plans to expand the lineup of laptops using its new, speedier in-house chips next year, aiming to grab a bigger share of the market, people with knowledge of the matter said.The company is working on a larger MacBook Air with a 15-inch screen for release as early as next spring, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. This would mark the first model of that size in the MacBook Air’s 14-year history. Apple is also developing what would be its smallest new laptop in years.The new models underscore Apple’s strategy to use homegrown processors to make gains in a market led by Lenovo and HP. The company began splitting from longtime partner Intel in 2020 and announced its latest chip, the M2, at a developers conference earlier this week. Better performance and new designs have helped spur a resurgence for the Mac lineup, which accounts for about 10 percent of Apple’s sales.The 15-inch model under development is a wider version of the 13.6-inch MacBook Air that Apple announced this week. That design, unveiled at the developers event Monday, is thinner than recent models, relies on the M2 chip and abandons the previous wedge-shaped frame. It’s considered to be the biggest overhaul to the MacBook Air since it was introduced by Steve Jobs in 2008.Apple had previously considered a 15-inch variation for this year’s MacBook Air, but shelved those plans to focus on the 13.6-inch version. Still, even that model will take time to reach consumers. Despite the unveiling this week, supply-chain constraints will prevent it from going on sale until July.Apple has also begun work on a new 12-inch laptop and is considering launching it at the end of 2023 or in early 2024. If Apple moves forward with the release, it would represent the company’s smallest laptop since it discontinued the 12-inch MacBook in 2019.A spokesperson for Cupertino, California-based Apple declined to comment on the company’s plans.Apple debuted its last 12-inch laptop in 2015 with a slim frame, but the device was criticised for keyboard failures and sometimes sluggish performance. It’s unclear if the new 12-inch laptop would be a low-end device or a higher-end machine that’s part of the MacBook Pro line, which currently comes in 13.3-inch, 14.2-inch and 16.2-inch sizes.Between 2003 and 2006, Apple also sold a 12-inch version of the PowerBook, the predecessor to the MacBook Pro. And it briefly offered a MacBook Air with an 11.6-inch screen. Apple’s new Mac processors, based on the same architecture as the iPhone and iPad, are designed to let the company boost performance inside of slimmer casings.Apple is also planning new high-end MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips for as early as the end of 2022, though the release date may slip into early 2023. These new 14-inch and 16-inch models, codenamed J414 and J416, won’t be radically new products beyond offering the speedier chips. Apple is also releasing a new 13-inch MacBook Pro next month with the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air.The M2 Max chip in the next high-end MacBook Pros will include 12 main processing cores and up to 38 graphics cores, up from a maximum of 10 processing cores and 32 graphics cores in the current models. New versions of the Mac mini and a revamped Mac Pro are also in testing within Apple, Bloomberg has reported. And the company is already working on an M3 chip destined for a future iMac and other products.The shift away from Intel chips has been a success for Apple so far, helping boost Mac revenue significantly. The company reported $10.4 billion (roughly Rs. 80,900 crore) in Mac sales during the fiscal second quarter, nearly double the $5.4 billion (roughly Rs. 42,000 crore) it generated in the second quarter of 2020, before Apple made the switch.Apple is also planning to release a larger version of the iPad Pro next year, Bloomberg has reported. The new model will take advantage of new multitasking capabilities included in iPadOS 16. And the company is readying new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros for later this year.© 2022 Bloomberg LP

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Lenovo Tab P12 Pro tablet, Yoga AIO 7 Desktop Launched in India: All Details

Lenovo has launched two new products in the Indian market today. First, Lenovo has launched the Tab P12 Pro tablet that is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC and gets a 12.6-inch touchscreen. Second, Lenovo has launched the Yoga all-in-one (AIO) 7 desktop powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 5800G SoC and AMD Radeon…

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Lenovo has launched two new products in the Indian market today. First, Lenovo has launched the Tab P12 Pro tablet that is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC and gets a 12.6-inch touchscreen. Second, Lenovo has launched the Yoga all-in-one (AIO) 7 desktop powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 5800G SoC and AMD Radeon RX 6600M 8GB graphics. Both, Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 desktop and Lenovo Tab P12 Pro are currently only available for purchase on online stores. Let’s take a look at the pricing and other specifications of the new Lenovo tablet and AIO desktop.Lenovo Tab P12 Pro pricing and availabilityThe company has launched its new tablet, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro, in India for a price of Rs. 69,999. It is currently available for purchase on Lenovo.com, Amazon, and Lenovo exclusive stores in Storm Grey colour with an all-metal build. The tablet will be available through other offline retails channels soon.Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 pricing and availabilityLenovo Yoga AIO 7 desktop has been priced in India at Rs. 1,71,990. The desktop is currently available for purchase through Lenovo.com and Amazon in Cloud Grey colour option. It will also be available in Lenovo offline retail stores later.Lenovo Tab P12 Pro specificationsThe Tab P12 Pro features a 12.6-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 16:10 aspect ratio and 2,560×1,600 pixels resolution. The touchscreen gets S-Stripe RGB subpixel layout for reduced graininess. The tablet supports Dolby Vision and gets colour gamut of 107 percent NTSC with up to 400 nits of brightness. For eye protection, the tablet comes with low-blue light emissions certification from TUV Rheinland. It uses SLS surround sound JBL speakers, quad audio channels, and Dolby Atmos integrated with Lenovo Premium Audio tuning for providing enhanced sound quality. The tablet will support Android 11 and later versions of the operating system.The tablet is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC with Adreno 650 GPU and gets up to 8GB RAM + 256GB UFS 3.1 onboard memory. It also gets expandable storage option of up to 1TB. It features a massive 10,200mAh battery pack that delivers battery life of up to 14.6 hours for streaming online videos. The Tab P12 Pro is 5.63mm thin and weighs 565g. The display is surrounded by thin bezels and it is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The tablet also gets an 8-megapixel selfie camera along with a 13-megapixel wide rear camera and a 5-megapixel ultra wide rear camera.To get more functionality from the tablet, users can easily attach the optional keyboard with the help of the four-point pogo pin, and can make it stand horizontally with the help of its folio stand. The tablet is also being coupled with the Lenovo Precision Pen 3 stylus in India that auto pairs with the Tab P12 Pro, charges wirelessly, and has low latency. Lenovo is also offering Accidental Damage Protection One with the tablet that users can add to the package.Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 specificationsLenovo’s new desktop, Yoga AIO 7, has been claimed by the company to be world’s first all-in-one desktop to feature a 27-inch IPS touchscreen with 4K resolution that supports 100 percent sRGB colour standards. The display is designed to deliver 360 nits brightness and gets a borderless design on three sides as well. The desktop gets JBL Harman-certified stereo speakers. The screen of the desktop comes with tilt and turn adjustments because of the ergonomic hinges. The AIO is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 5800H SoC with up to 45W thermal design power that allows users to run AAA gaming titles without any additional rendering time for 3D graphics. The desktop also features the AMD Radeon RX 6600M GPU with 8GB RAM.Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 (pictured) display can deliver up to 360 nits brightnessPhoto Credit: LenovoThe new Lenovo desktop comes with a 1TB SSD and runs on Windows 11. The Yoga AIO 7 also gets a removable 5-megapixel camera with its connector being on top. It will also come with a wireless keyboard and mouse, both in silver colour to match Cloud Grey colour of the desktop. Lenovo is offering a base warranty of 3 years onsite.For connectivity, Lenovo Yoga AIO 7 features multiple ports. On the left side, it gets one USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, one USB Type-C 3.2 Gen 2 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack for output and input. At the rear, it gets two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, one HDMI-out 2.0 port, an Ethernet port, and the power connector.

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AMD Roadmap Update Points to RDNA 3 GPUs Launching This Year, ‘Zen 5’ CPUs in 2024

Just weeks after announcing the first details of its upcoming Ryzen 7000 series desktop CPUs, AMD has disclosed an outline of its consumer and server products roadmap for the next two generations. The news comes from AMD’s Financial Analyst Day, during which CEO Dr. Lisa Su spoke about the company’s plans to capture a part…

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Just weeks after announcing the first details of its upcoming Ryzen 7000 series desktop CPUs, AMD has disclosed an outline of its consumer and server products roadmap for the next two generations. The news comes from AMD’s Financial Analyst Day, during which CEO Dr. Lisa Su spoke about the company’s plans to capture a part of the projected $300 billion market for high-performance computing solutions. While the event is geared towards financial analysts and shareholders, disclosures about AMD’s competitive positions in various markets include information about upcoming products. The company also now has a new slogan: “Together we advance”.In the consumer market, AMD’s upcoming ‘Zen 4’ CPU core architecture will be the basis of the ‘Raphael’ generation of desktop CPUs, which will come to market as the Ryzen 7000 series before the end of this year. This will be a high-end product line using a 5nm manufacturing process, and AMD promises an 8 – 10 percent uplift in IPC (instructions per clock) performance as well as at least a 25 percent improvement in terms of performance per Watt. 4nm versions are also planned, though it isn’t clear what the segmentation will be. Zen 4 will also power the upcoming ‘Genoa’ line of Epyc server CPUs as well as a new line of ‘Bergamo’ based on a density-optimised variant called Zen 4c for cloud-native computing applications. ‘Genoa-X’ variants will feature AMD’s integrated 3D V-cache, a vertically stacked layer of high-speed memory on top of the CPU die. Another product line codenamed ‘Siena’ will target a new market in intelligent edge and communications equipment.  Following that, ‘Zen 5’ is a ground-up redesign planned for release in 2024 and should further improve performance and efficiency as well as introduce new optimisations for AI and machine learning for consumer Ryzen CPUs codenamed ‘Granite Ridge’. These CPUs will use 4nm and 3nm processes. The next Epyc generation will be codenamed ‘Turin’ and should be released in late 2024. AMD also confirmed that its next GPU microarchitecture, codenamed RDNA 3, will allow for a chiplet-based modular GPU design and will use a 5nm manufacturing process. It’s said to deliver a 50 percent improvement in performance per Watt. A 4th-gen Infinity Architecture interconnect standard will allow AMD to integrate third-party chiplets allowing for heterogenous platforms and increased customisability for clients.RDNA 3 will be seen in next-generation ‘Navi 3’ discrete GPUs, launching as the next Radeon RX series of products later this year. This architecture will build on RDNA 2, which has been used by multiple game console manufacturers this generation, hinting that the next generation will continue to leverage AMD’s hardware. RDNA 3 will also be integrated into upcoming ‘Phoenix Point’ mobile CPUs based on the Zen 4 architecture in 2023, with ‘Strix Point’ following in 2024. For professional markets, the CDNA 3 architecture and XDNA, which is the result of AMD’s acquisition of Xilinx, will help drive significant performance gains for new products in the AI and high-performance compute space. New Instinct MI300 accelerators for AI training and Alevo smart NICs for confidential computing are also expected to add to the company’s data centre portfolio.AMD sees growth in PC, console and cloud gaming as well as interactive metaverse applications and 3D content creation. Xilinx IP will be integrated across product lines to drive performance in AI inference and training workloads for consumers and enterprises. The company is also working on a unified AI software roadmap to make development more cohesive across various products.  

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