Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone


The week is chaotic, filled with events, like a box of gifts that were chosen indiscriminately. Perhaps the most significant event was the flight to the ISS of the first private spacecraft. The first take-off was postponed due to bad weather, there was no limit to disappointment.

Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone

But on the second attempt they took off, and this is definitely good for astronautics, competition appears, the industry will shake up. Wherever there is competition and it is strong, everything starts to happen a little faster, and sometimes much faster. Therefore, it is great that this flight happened and there will be others, the industry clearly lacked this.

But in the box with events there was also a lot that it would be better not to come to light from there at all. Let’s start our issue with such a story around the United States and China. Go!


  1. Huawei’s CFO extradition to the US is the next part of the war for the future
  2. What is Wi-Fi 6E and why is it important to America, but not to the world
  3. Windows 10 major update breaks users’ computers
  4. Western Digital cheated consumers, and now the company will be sued
  5. Photo quality on iPhone SE and Galaxy A51 – non-obvious conclusions
  6. EMEA market is bound to fall – IDC opinion
  7. About Google Pixel Buds 2 – a shoemaker without boots

Huawei’s CFO extradition to the US is the next part of the war for the future

Our world has never been a peaceful place, but today this unrest is pouring into the streets of most countries in the world. The Internet has become a place that allows information of any kind to be disseminated in a very short time. The methods and strategies of Hong Kong, which were used by the protesters in this city-state, were unexpectedly adapted for the United States in a matter of hours, in the country more than two dozen large cities are engulfed in riots, chaos is growing. Because of this, Google even postponed the start of the new version of Android, the eleventh in a row. This is no joke, Google felt that this was not the best time to announce their new operating system. The exacerbation of the situation with China intervened in part in the company’s plans, the White House goes into conflict, and the same Google fell between a rock and a hard place. In particular, the question is now being raised to the company behind closed doors: “Who owns Android and why is Huawei still using it? Why the hell can’t you figure it out? ” Attempts to explain that there is Android without Google services comes across a misunderstanding, as in the old issue of Yeralash: “Did I send you for kefir? – Sent! – Was there no kefir? – Did not have. – Where’s the money?”. This is how Google is interested in whose Android is it and why Huawei is able to build something on it after all the bans. Perhaps the officials pretend that they do not understand the essence of the issue, it is more convenient for them. Maybe they don’t really understand this. But the fact remains that Google will be forced to withdraw the free version of Android from circulation, which will undermine the company’s policy, which has been pursued to this day. A year ago it seemed impossible, today such a move no longer seems fantastic.

The progress made by Huawei in building its services, which replaces similar ones from Google, is described in a separate article.

While we can say that it is possible to replace Google services with something and something, the solutions from Huawei are clearly not of that level. But the mass consumer has not yet realized this, has not tasted it. They do not carry them to the stores where the same Honor is sold on HMS, which means that the buyers are satisfied and do not experience any serious problems, or not much time has passed since the start of sales.

But the key moment in the fate of Huawei / Honor smartphones is the US pressure on all the pain points that are possible. This is an attempt to ban the purchase of chipsets and their production in TSMC, from September it will become impossible. Huawei’s response has already happened, and it is repeating last year’s strategy, the company is purchasing as many chipsets as it can, plus it has placed orders for chips from MediaTek, and is in talks with Samsung. Huawei is trying to create the maximum stocks of processors and other components in order to hold out at least until mid-2021. It is possible to hold out without flagships on a new generation of processors, but this is not so important. For the company, a key element of the strategy remains control over market share and the development of its own platforms, including the launch of processor production. And if anyone can do this, it will be Huawei. Not very easy, not as fast and painless as it might seem, but they will eventually do it, if big politics does not intervene.

The trade war is not only not abating, it is growing! Against the background of record levels of unemployment within the United States, a drop in production within China for five months in a row, record low demand in Europe and the United States, as well as a whole string of bankruptcies of large and small businesses, the continuation of the war looks like madness. But this madness is only growing, and there is no end in sight.

Remember the detention of Huawei CFO at the airport in Canada? She is the daughter of the founder of the company. Detention outside the legal framework while in transit to another country, and this was done at the request of the United States. Initially, she was not charged, then they were made public, and they are very similar to what Huawei is accused of – of all mortal sins, but, as usual, no evidence was presented. For China, this is a security issue with political overtones. If China cannot protect a woman in a key position, then what about ordinary Chinese?

Ms. Meng was detained in December 2018, after which she was awaiting a hearing under house arrest in a small house that was filmed for her. Canada last Wednesday tentatively approved the extradition of Ms. Maine to the United States, with the next round taking place on June 15. Lawyers argue that such hearings in Canada can take years, but there are several political issues in the case against Ms. Maine. For example, the Canadian authorities began to collect evidence of guilt before Maine’s arrest, while even formally she could not violate Canadian laws. In the United States, one of the key accusations is that Ms. Maine traded with Iran, which is under US sanctions. This accusation has not been proven, but there are no sanctions against Iran in Canada, so according to Canadian law, she could not violate anything. Assistant Chief Justice Holmes argues that Canada shares the values ​​of the United States and therefore an independent court will make the right decision. For Canada, the extradition of Ms. Meng will mean an open confrontation with China, the consequences will not only be political, Canada will be cut off from most of the latest technological developments, as well as Chinese factories. It will not be difficult for China to bring down the Canadian economy; this country can pay a very high price for the support of the United States.

All indirect signs indicate that the United States is preparing for a protracted trade war with China. This is a war for future markets, for supremacy in technologies and the same 5G. And the United States is making every effort to reduce dependence on Chinese companies at any cost. This is the next topic, which, oddly enough, is driven by politics, and to a lesser extent by technology.

What is Wi-Fi 6E and why is it important to America, but not to the world

We have not yet seen the spread of conventional Wi-Fi 6, when a version of this technology with the E prefix appeared, and a number of manufacturers offer chipsets for the production of devices – smartphones, routers, industrial solutions. The technical details often drown the meaning of what is being hurriedly done in the United States, and most importantly, why such a solution is being created.

Currently, Wi-Fi uses two frequency bands – 2.4 and 5 GHz. In the US, at the end of last year, frequencies in the 6 GHz band were made available, this is the third band. From that moment, manufacturers could certify their solutions, and the market received an impetus for development. Outside the United States, this range is practically nowhere available anywhere, in Russia it will most likely be closed to Wi-Fi, however, the same situation is in most countries of the world.

The technological advantage of the third band is clear, and it is described simply – you can create high-performance, high-speed Wi-Fi networks, both for home, office use and for industry. They will be relatively inexpensive, anti-jamming, and compete with industrial 5G networks. That is, to provide the stadium with communication, it will not be necessary to focus on 5G, such a connection can be built on Wi-Fi 6E.

Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone

Qualcomm last week showed a whole set of their Wi-Fi 6E solutions, partners will begin receiving them in late 2020, that is, in 2021 we will see them in real products. To a greater extent, these solutions are for the B2B segment, users do not crawl to regular Wi-Fi 6 very quickly and do not understand the differences from previous routers, their necessity (although such solutions should be praised and chosen for the Mesh option, these are new-level routers for home, and they’re just a cut taller than previous generations). Other companies have similar solutions. I would venture to suggest that in a number of flagships support for Wi-Fi 6E will be added, but it will not become mass in smartphones in the coming year – the product will become more expensive, there is no need for technology from end consumers. Only America is interested in this technology as long as it is. And this is also an alternate airfield in a trade war – to try to protect yourself from the lack of developed 5G networks when Chinese companies are denied access to technologies. Note that while the United States was using sanctions and playing this card, it was Chinese companies that were cut off access to American technologies, the opposite has not happened yet, and it is only a matter of time.

What can I say here? Absolutely nothing, most of the technologies and their promotion are no longer technological advantages, but an attempt by individual countries to isolate themselves from the world, to create fragmented systems. And it is obvious that the lack of versatility will lead to higher prices for everything, the development of the same devices with slightly different characteristics for different countries is a utopia and it is expensive. But this is the US policy, in which the country is not supported even by the closest allies, they continue to choose solutions from Huawei, since the latter are cheaper and best of all that companies directly dependent on America can provide.

Windows 10 major update breaks users’ computers

Be careful, as Microsoft has released the biggest update for Windows 10 and prompted its users to install it. The 2004 update is the new version of Windows 10 May 2020, all media resources from Microsoft claimed that the version of Windows is stable and no problems were found in it. This version has already been used by beta testers of the company, that is, presumably all glitches and errors should have been identified.

Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone

In fact, this version of the software turned out to be a disaster, as the list of errors on the official Microsoft page began to grow before our eyes, and the company even suggested not updating those who are not sure of the consequences. You can look at the problems with this update here, the list is constantly being updated.

Let me briefly dwell on the most “amusing” problems. For example, Realtek Bluetooth drivers conflict with the new version of Windows, it is impossible to connect two devices at the same time, only one. For those who use a mouse and keyboard without wires, this is bad news – you will have to choose one!

On branded tablets and computers of the Surface line (Pro 7, Laptop 3 and others), and not only on them, reboots and shutdowns are observed. The problem is with network adapters and in Always Connected mode, something went wrong in it.

There are problems with drivers for NVidia video cards, certain versions cause a blue screen of death, the same story with adapters from Intel in certain configurations. Synaptics drivers (this is not about monitors anymore!) Also cause a blue screen of death.

If you observe the development of this story, only one question arises – were any tests of the stability of the system carried out? The feeling that no one really asked this question and in the end it turned out what happened.

The advice is simple – do not rush to update with pens to the new version of Windows, well at least this version did not have automatic updates, otherwise the pain and screams would be universal. But the whole situation raises many questions, from the outside it looks strange. First, victorious reports about what a cool system we made, and then such an unexpected failure in quality and a growing wave of problems. For some, they may be uncritical, but someone may simply lose their working machine for a while. Don’t experiment, wait for Microsoft to do its job well.

Western Digital cheated consumers, and now the company will be sued

The crisis occurs primarily in the brain, and the market puts everything in its place. If you lie to your customers, sooner or later they will come to your soul. Western Digital has several product lines, the flagship is WD Red, such drives are advertised as the most productive, as well as fault-tolerant, the company suggests using them in NAS.

Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone

Hard drives are not the most popular storage medium today, they are gradually giving way to SSDs. Nevertheless, in the same NAS with RAID arrays, the use of such disks is justified, they are quite reliable, and the cost of storing a unit of information is adequate.

What happened? In the US and Canada, Hattis Law has filed a class action lawsuit claiming that WD defrauded its consumers about the performance of the discs it sold. You can get acquainted with the claim and join it here.

Here’s a short list of drives that WD used slow write technology that didn’t match their positioning and class:

  • 3.5 ″ WD Red 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB (SKUs: WD20EFAX, WD30EFAX, WD40EFAX, WD60EFAX)
  • 3.5 ″ WD Blue 2TB, 6TB (SKUs: WD20EZAZ, WD60EZAZ)
  • 2.5 ″ WD Blue 1TB, 2TB (SKUs: WD10SPZX, WD20SPZX)
  • 2.5 ″ WD Black 1TB (SKU: WD10SPSX)

You cannot join the lawsuit from Russia, but you can contact both the seller and the WD representative office, since your rights were violated, and you were sold the wrong product that was originally declared for its characteristics.

RAID today uses drives with CMR or PMR technology, while WD uses SRM technology (slow, unreliable, and just cheaper). Using such disks in a NAS with RAID arrays is pointless, as it leads to possible data loss and poor performance. WD knew about it, but they went for it anyway. This story is a great illustration of the fact that outwardly respectable companies not only lie directly, but then also deny their lies. The crisis is putting everything in its place, including those practices that can be considered unambiguously unacceptable on the market.

I wonder if you have such discs? Do you feel cheated if you own something from WD Red?

Photo quality on iPhone SE and Galaxy A51 – non-obvious conclusions

I am preparing a comparison of the iPhone SE 2020 and the Galaxy A51, since the model for 40 thousand rubles should somehow outperform the device, which costs 20 thousand rubles. And while I was preparing this comparison, I latently thought that one 12-megapixel iPhone SE camera could outperform the four Galaxy A51 cameras in some way. Many people convinced me of this, they insisted that it should be so by definition. And the cameras in Samsung are fake, and Apple has learned to blur the background only on one camera programmatically, but Samsung is not able to do anything like that (he did not answer that it appeared a long time ago and has already passed the stage, now it is possible to install a separate module for blurring the background, it better than program modes).

Let’s take a look at Samsung’s “inoperative” as well as “useless” modules to see how they can shoot against the backdrop of the “camera-best” iPhone SE, which costs twice as much.

So here’s a shot of a flower, just wanted to take a photo of the pollen.

These are shots using a separate macro module. Let’s take a look at how the iPhone SE does it.

Doesn’t know how. And this is understandable, since the focal length of the camera is completely different and it is simply not intended for macro photography at such distances. It so happens that you are limited by the capabilities of iron and can not do absolutely anything. But you can shoot beautiful colors, a kind of abstraction.

Okay, let’s say it’s unfair to offend the flaws of the iPhone SE and Apple’s camera savings. Let’s take a look at how the main camera captures common scenes on the Galaxy and iPhone. A flower garden in a flower bed.

These are two images from the Find the Ten Differences series. If you peer for a long time, then you will probably see something, but for most of them these are definitely the same images (in the Galaxy, the 12 megapixel mode, did not set the resolution to 48 megapixels, since it has noticeably higher detail).

In the photo of the pig, both devices also worked plus or minus the same. Surprise? Although each has its own drawbacks, the iPhone has a digital back, Samsung has a smeared mushroom edge. But essentially the same thing.

We are having heavy rains, and here is a photo of the spillway. Galaxy wins in color and detail.

The milestone, the color rendition is noticeably brighter on Samsung, the picture is playing.

This does not mean that the iPhone always loses in color rendition, for example, here I like the SE picture better, but this is rather a rarity, it does not happen often.

Here’s another module on the Galaxy A51 that allows you to take wide-angle shots.

Alas, the single camera in the iPhone SE is not capable of taking wide-angle shots, it is simply impossible. And to argue that a single camera easily replaces those multiple cameras in the Galaxy A51 is somewhat naive.

But the pictures on the front camera make those who use the iPhone regret, the SE left the 7 megapixel camera, it has poor detail, poor color reproduction. See for yourself by looking at my unshaven face.

In absentia, I believed that at least in the camera, the iPhone SE would show something like that, which costs 40 thousand rubles. But here it turns out that he can do much less than the Galaxy A51, which costs half as much. Yes, and removes no better, and often the same or even worse. So believe after that those who argued that this device is much more interesting and better in terms of the camera, despite the fact that there is only one module. One module, they said, but what a! So now I’m interested in finding out which module is there and how it stands out so much.

This week there will be a comparison of the Galaxy A51 and the iPhone SE. Of course, even for Apple it should be a shame to drive such a hack, and doubly for that kind of money. But let’s wait for the comparison, it will be fun, I promise.

EMEA market is bound to fall – IDC opinion

IDC decided to talk about their vision of the smartphone market in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), our country is also part of it. So, in the second quarter, the delivery forecast is as follows: $ 19 billion, in pieces it is less than 63 million smartphones. Year-on-year, the drop in money will amount to 25%, while we are seeing an increase in the average price of a smartphone sold, which also says a lot about the drop in sales in units, it will obviously be large.

Markets will fall unevenly, for example, in Spain, sales are expected to drop by 30%, it is argued that in Russia the decline will be very serious, since the first quarter was successful. No figures are given for the Russian market, but I can say that in April the decline in sales was about 25%, in May we see this trend continuing. That is, this is the average for all countries, the same 25%, however, in our case these are pieces, in money the fall is not so noticeable.

The last time the smartphone market fell was in the third quarter of 2009, as a consequence of the financial crisis. For IDC, forecasting the future has always been an extremely weak skill, so it is impossible to take seriously the forecast of sales and platform shares in the EMEA region. But the sign is worth seeing just for reference.

Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone

If you rewind the IDC data and agree that no one could have predicted the pandemic, it turns out that up to this point, market estimates were somewhat at odds with reality. It’s just that this discrepancy was not critical, not so striking. The forecast, given until 2024, does not take into account a lot of factors, and this is just fortune-telling on the coffee grounds, like the story about the dominance of today’s Windows Phone with a noticeable market share in its time (and this system is no longer there, that’s a bad luck). Alas, we are waiting for a kind of decline of Europe, which has not yet been determined, has not been felt by anyone. Markets will fight for survival, it is difficult to talk about such rapid growth, probably, the situation, due to various reasons, will be much more complicated than it can be imagined. It is pointless to even give estimates of the future market without describing different scenarios, such data are divorced from reality, they are simply suspended in the air.

But this report is interesting because of how the mood in the corporate environment has changed, no one needs big growth figures, everyone is waiting for the fall that has already happened. To some extent, this scares many companies and their employees, layoffs this year will number in thousands of people in corporations, and they will come in waves. A survival game for everyone, without exception. Finding a safe haven will not work, there are no more such in our world and will not be expected in the coming years.

About Google Pixel Buds 2 – a shoemaker without boots

The level of trust in large companies is such that people think they are good at everything they do. For example, smartphones from Google are so good that they can compete with manufacturers who specialize in hardware and know how to work with it. This is a misconception, and unlucky users, faced with the failure of certain components in smartphones, begin to change their attitude under the influence of circumstances. As they say, life itself teaches them by their own example. The defect rate in the Pixel line is prohibitively high, one or another problem constantly emerges. And the reason is how the work is organized inside Google, devices are dealt with in such a way that it is just right to grab your head.

Spillikins # 592. Time of crisis and big trials for everyone

The Google Pixel Buds 2 wireless headphones went on sale recently, but there are already massive complaints. The sound during playback is interrupted for one to two seconds, then playback continues. This is annoying, agree. The problem manifests itself more often outdoors than indoors. For a product that costs $ 179 excluding taxes, that’s odd to say the least.

While people are waiting for the new firmware on the forums, we can guess what happened to these headphones and why they behave like this. I do not have a crystal ball, but similar problems were present in several products that came out a couple of years ago. The root of the problem was always the same – the incorrectly configured codec in the headphones clogged the memory, and this all began to manifest itself in conditions when there was external interference from other devices. It is sometimes difficult for engineers to assume that people use their headphones not in sterile laboratories, but in real conditions, when dozens of other people also use their headphones and not only.

When the industry first faced this problem, a solution was found very quickly. In some headphones, the memory capacity was increased, somewhere the sound quality was lowered, so that the stream would creep into tough technical constraints. But this is a story that has already been lived and passed by all manufacturers. The fact that Google again stepped on this rake says a lot about the culture of development, the training of engineers and their horizons. This whole situation with childish mistakes surprised me, the years go by, and nothing changes at Google.

On the other hand, the example of Microsoft shows that engineers begin to understand their own hardware and be able to change it well only after 3-4 years of constant work, so that not all is lost for Google headphones, they will someday become better. But you don’t expect that from a company of this level, right?

PS Have a nice week. In our area, rains have charged, as if it is already autumn. There is not just a lot of water, the record for daily precipitation has been broken several times already. The lawn is so wet that it has turned into a kind of swamp, there is no sun. The forecast promises a whole week with such rains, which is a pity. I hope your weather is happier than in our area.

I want to wish you to be healthy, reasonable and calmly do your job. Throwing today will not give anything good, be careful. Good luck in good deeds.

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