ORAN problems & other news

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ORAN

O-RAN in uncertain futureAlthough Europe’s four major telecom operators – Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Telefonica – had signed memorandum of understanding on the implementation of Open RAN (ORAN) based networks in Europe in early 2021, Rakuten Mobile’s ongoing operating losses have put uncertainty to ORAN’s future. Rakuten Mobile is the only major telecom operator to adopt the ORAN architecture for its 5G network, but the financial results of the company for the first quarter of 2021 showed an expansion of 265% on year in its operating losses to JPY97.2 billion (US$880 million), the largest in the past five quarters. The company’s operating margin also reached negative 141.7%, down 77.4% on year. However, Rakuten Mobile’s revenues still grew JPY19.1 billion and 38.5% from a year ago to JPY68.6 billion for the first quarter of 2021. The figures show the company has continued to see its mobile business growing, but the high costs from its operation kept the company suffering losses. – so what are the hidden costs of ORAN? What is different about this ORAN situation conceptually to the use of white boxes in complex enterprise IT systems? Would this question have pointed towards the kind of problems that ORAN has been encountering?

Banking

US Graduates Are Snubbing Junior Banker Jobs Citing Work-Life Balance – I think that they will be replaced by candidates from China, India and other countries instead

Consumer behaviour

Men are much less likely to read books by women | Canvas8male readers are significantly less likely to opt for fiction books written by women. Of the top ten best-selling female authors, including Jane Austen, Margaret Atwood, and Danielle Steel, only one of five readers are male, whereas for the top male authors, including Charles Dickens and JRR Tolkien, 45% of readers are women. Meanwhile, data on Goodreads shows that enjoyment levels are not impacted by sex – on Goodreads, men give an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 to books by women while they give books by men an average of 3.8 – Sieghart’s interpretation of the data misses a key assumption that many women authors write books that don’t appeal to the majority of male readers interests, where as she assumes that they are not accorded as much authority as male ones. Those that do enjoy the kind of content that these women authors write find as much enjoyment in it. Examples of authors that cross the gender popularity gap include Gillian Rubinstein (aka Lian Hearn), Ursula Le Guinn and JK Rowling. TL;DR – sometimes its the product doesn’t float their boat rather than sexism

In case you didn’t notice, nationalism in China at the moment is a bit cray – by Kevin Carrico – NSL can’t cancel me – TL;DR some Chinese academics believe that the US could have used a ‘Ming the Merciless’ style weather weapon to cause floods in China. A good number of Chinese netizens find this credible. Nationalism and gaslighting is a dangerous combination

Screen Use Strongly Linked to Failing Eyesight in ChildrenAfter over a year spent indoors staring at movies, TV, and video games, scientists say that near-sightedness and other vision problems are skyrocketing among children

Economics

The young ‘lie flat’ as China’s growth model begins to fray | Financial Times – the money quote in this article for me is “The bulk of China’s population is doing worse in net terms as housing affordability continues to worsen and access to education and health becomes ore and more costly” – sounds like a lot of western developed economies. The key question is what impact this unfairness might have on the relationship between the populous and the communist party of China

Germany

Handel mit China: Braucht Deutschland eine Wende? | Frankfurther Allgemeine Zeitungthere are more important things than doing good business in China. Germany’s foremost business paper editorial swipe at Angela Merkel and selected big German enterprises (Daimler Benz, Deutsche Bank, T Systems and Volkswagen Audi Group)- short of name checking them with IG Farben I couldn’t see what else FAZ could do

Innovation

China’s CATL unveils sodium-ion battery to diversify from lithium — Quartz – this was going to have to happen sooner rather than later due to the challenge of sourcing lithium. It will be interesting to see how recyclable these batteries are

Japan

China and South Korea car makers vying for SE Asia EV market – surprising that Japan isn’t in the mix given their factories in the region? For instance, Toyota has a major plant in China

Saitama man repeatedly steals food from store by making his phone say “PayPay♫” | SoraNews24 -Japan News- – clever mix of social engineering and mobile payments in Japan

Legal

UK’s Draft Online Safety Bill Raises Serious Concerns Around Freedom of Expression | Electronic Frontier Foundation – which attempts to tackle illegal and otherwise harmful content online by placing a duty of care on online platforms to protect their users from such content. The move came as no surprise: over the past several years, UK government officials have expressed concerns that online services have not been doing enough to tackle illegal content, particularly child sexual abuse material (commonly known as CSAM) and unlawful terrorist and extremist content (TVEC), as well as content the government has deemed lawful but “harmful.”

2022 Beijing Olympics: Sponsors Grilled on China Human Rights Abuses – Variety – AirBnB, Coca-Cola, Intel, Visa and Procter & Gamble are going to have a bumpy ride in their home market

Two arrested over online calls for boycotts, threats against Hong Kong broadcaster TVB | Hong Kong Free Press HKFPcontinuously and widely disseminated a large amount of messages through social media groups and pages, intending to smear the media organisation, and also to use threatening means to pressure different advertisers into stopping advertising with this media. [Their] goal is to cause reputational and financial damage,” said Superintendent Wilson Tam of the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau. – sounds like what pro-Beijing politicians have done on several occasions. Angry emojis organised was seen to be criminal damage

Marketing

Internet backlash against Fila sportswear after Hong Kong badminton player seen drenched in sweat | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP – that has screwed Korean owned Fila brand in terms of clothing performance

FundFemme – I think what the site is trying to do is good. The thing I don’t like about this is the cynical approach of WundermanThompson who are trying to distract and run crisis comms on their unfair dismissal of Chas Bayfield and Dave Jenner. The domain was registered on June 30th via Squarespace

Security

Chinese hacking group APT31 uses mesh of home routers to disguise attacks – The Record by Recorded Future

Phantom Warships Are Courting Chaos in Conflict Zones | WIREDBergman has found no evidence directly linking the flood of fake AIS tracks to any country, organization, or individual. But they are consistent with Russian tactics, says Todd Humphreys, director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. “While I can’t say for sure who’s doing this, the data fits a pattern of disinformation that our Russian friends are wont to engage in.”

Streetwear

Foot Locker targets Japan and sneakerheads with atmos purchase — Quartz – I can understand why Hidefumi Hommyo would want to sell, but I do wonder if the heat will move on from Atmos now the with the footlocker buy. More related content here.