Huawei ban: what does this it mean for you? [Updated]

Update: The latest moves in the issues surrounding Huawei see the brand losing relationships with more brands, as well as seeing retailers refuse to stock the phones. However, more details emerge about the possible Google Play Store rival and Huawei pledges to find a way around the chip issues,

Huawei has found itself at the center of a global tussle between the US and China after Trump’s administration placed the brand on the ‘entity list’, limiting the business US brands could do with it.

That led to Google blocking Huawei’s future access to Android updates, UK-based chip designer ARM has ceased all activities with the brand and multiple retailers and networks around the world to stop dealing with it for fear of sanctions from the US government.

While there has been a slight reprieve – on May 20 the US Commerce Department issued a temporary license for Huawei to work with businesses in the US, meaning US companies can resume their partnerships with the brand. 

However, this only lasts until August 19 and it’s unclear how Huawei will be able to gain the full license to work with US brands while the government considers it a threat to national security – and it hasn’t seemed to lead to a rekindling of efforts from companies like Panasonic or Microsoft.

So it seems, for now, that this is nothing more than a delay to a hugely difficult time for Huawei and in a few months the brand will no longer be able to offer access to crucial Google apps or gain access to vital technologies.

The company has already seen growth slow in the month of April as the ban began to cast a shadow, but since other brands have pulled out of relationships with Huawei, it’s expected that May offer even worse results.

However, Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei maitained a positive outlook for the brand, stating:  “We will certainly be able to continue serving our customers. Our mass production capacity is huge, and adding Huawei to the Entity List won’t have a huge impact on us. We are making progress in bidding worldwide,” Ren said. 

What does that mean if I have a Huawei phone?

Perhaps the most useful piece of information about current Huawei phones is Google’s statement issued to TechRadar:

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” a spokesperson told us.

That’s good news if you’ve just spent large amounts of money on a Huawei P30 Pro: as alluded to above, current devices from the Chinese brand will continue to get security updates and access to the Play Store for the foreseeable future, as Google has promised not to leave those out in the cold.

The temporary lifting of the ban will also allow the brands to prepare better Android support for current and future models, meaning that Huawei will be able to do bueinsess as it has been for a little longer – so current customers will be able to benefit for longer. Google has since resumed its relationship with Huawei, to enable it to deliver benefits for longer.

Huawei has also said to TechRadar that it will continue to do all it can to support all its phones currently out in the wild, and is looking at other implications of Google’s decision.

The company told us: “Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry.

Huawei Android ban

The Honor sub-brand of Huawei is also subject to the same constraints. Image credit: TechRadar 

“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.”

Huawei Australia has echoed the sentiment, and also claiming that  “those that are planning to buy a Huawei device in the near future” will not have to worry about the sanctions, according to Huawei Australia’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Jeremy Mitchell.

We’ve asked for comment regarding the recent lifting of the ban, but Huawei declined to comment.

Whether this will allow the flexible Mate X to launch with ‘full fat’ Android remains to be seen, but that’s likely to be a huge target for the brand as it’s spent enormous sums marketing that model since the unveiling in February and is keen to lock in its reputation as a technological leader.

It looks like the bendable phone will, at least, be delayed though – the CEO of UK network EE said, during the launch of its 5G networks, that the brand had temporarily paused stocking the phone while it worked to understand the implications of the trade ban.

UK retailer Dixons Carphone has followed suit, halting plans to bring the 5G handset to launch as planned while the UK gears up to enter the next phase of connectivity.

So while the fact current models will be offered updates, it’s unclear how long these will last for, and the fact networks are already getting jittery about the sanctions isn’t going to make anything easier for Huawei.

While most smartphone brands will only honor security updates for two to three years after launch of a new handset, one might expect this to be much shorter in the case of Huawei phones, given these new restrictions from Google.

What about future Huawei phones?

Image credit: TechRadar

Image credit: TechRadar

The move from Google means it will no longer work with Huawei directly on issuing updates to its system, and won’t give the company access to the Google Play Store. This is a potentially critical blow to the brand, which only recently spoke out about its plans to be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.

This means that if Huawei wants to keep using the Android operating system, it will need to use the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP), which is a free platform that any brand can use as an underlying foundation for its products.

However, it along with the Google Play Store it won’t have access to the core Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Chrome – these are core elements of Google’s business that it’s not duty bound to make available to anyone.

Without access to the Play Store, Huawei would be forced to work directly with developers to get them to create versions of their wares for its phones. This situation would be similar to that of Amazon’s Fire OS, which is based on AOSP but has its own app store, as the retail giant seeks to control the platform its Fire tablets and Echo devices run on.

If Huawei does have to use AOSP, the consequences could be devastating, as access to a fully-stocked app store is crucial to the success of any modern smartphone – Nokia and Microsoft failed to make Windows Phones a viable alternative to Android and Apple’s iOS, even though both brands poured millions into developer tools and enticing the top app creators onto their platform.

However, Huawei has claimed that it’s been developing its own alternative to Android for nearly seven years, calling it a ‘Plan B’ that’s ready to go should it lose access to the services listed above – naming it the HongMeng OS, and claiming its alternative operating system will be launched either at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020, and would work across “mobile phones, computers, tablets, TVs, cars and smart wearable devices.”   

In the latest statement to TechRadar, Huawei said: “We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” which sounds like it already wants to generate some positive hype around its alternative OS.

However, Huawei also said it would rather continue working with brands like Google and Microsoft (whose Windows operating system runs on Huawei laptops) to offer the best experience – a sentiment it has since offered around all its suppliers, hinting strongly that it hopes to resume actions when this ban is lifted.

Huawei is also claiming that it can still create smartphones and other equipment with the components it has stockpiled, as well as creating new partnerships around the world. The brand has continued to state it believes working with international partners remains the best course of action – although has confirmed it’s looking at how to manage as much as possible within its own country.

Google Play Store

The Google Play Store is a key part of attracting users. Image credit: TechRadar.

”Huawei has been working hard on developing its own AppGallery and other software assets in a similar manner to its work on chipset solutions.” Ben Woods, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, told TechRadar. ”There is little doubt these efforts are part of its desire to control its own destiny.”

If Huawei loses access to the Google Play Store, it would take an enormous amount of investment to attract developers to create app options that would keep users of its smartphones happy – and you have to wonder whether the brand would feel it was worth continuing to make phones at all when faced with that kind of hurdle.

The same would also apply to Honor, the sub-brand of Huawei phones, in the future. Honor might have tried to distance itself from its parent company, but it’s been confirmed that it will be subject to the same sanctions.

However, the launch of that brand’s Honor 20 smartphone went ahead as planned and made no mention of the issues facing its parent company – so it’s clear that devices currently created and in the supply chain are still going to be supported in the Android ecosystem.

Since the news of the Android suspension, more details have emerged about Huawei’s plans for the App Gallery on the HongMeng OS: it’s been reported that the brand is offering app developers access to Chinese users, as well as financial incentives to networks to add its app portal to phones.

Developers would be able to simply and quickly tweak their Android apps to work on Huawei’s platform, and theoretically have access to a huge Chinese user base – although it remains to be seen whether Huawei phones will continue to be sold in strong enough numbers worldwide for developers to update and maintain their apps.

Is this ARM news truly damaging?

A huge issue facing Huawei is that chip designer ARM isn’t going to work with the brand for the short term. That may seem odd, as it’s a Japanese-owned brand headquarted in the UK, but as its designs use US-based technology, there’s a fear this could fall foul of the trade restrictions.

If Huawei can’t use ARM reference designs in its chipsets, it would be incredibly difficult and costly for the brand to replace them – and it may prove to be impossible, which would cast further doubt over the future of Huawei’s phone arm.

A Huawei spokesperson told the BBC: “We value our close relationships with our partners, but recognise the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically motivated decisions. 

“We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world.” 

The upcoming Kirin 985 chipset is not believed to be affected, which would mean Huawei might be able to release another cycle of smartphone before the ban truly causes issues, but partners and networks are already starting to react to the US’ trade license suspension.

However, the loss of ARM support might take a little longer to be felt than previously thought: Huawei has apparently been granted a permanent licence over key ARM technology from a few months ago, after it saw potential trouble ahead.

This would allow it to keep using these key chip designs for the foreseeable future in its phones, laptops and infrastructure equipment.

What about other brands? What does this mean for the wider smartphone world?

iPhone XS

Image credit: TechRadar

(Image: © TechRadar)

While these sanctions don’t currently affect other brands, the message being sent is clear: global politics can have dramatic implications for the manufacturing and marketing of consumer devices that have become indispensable for billions of people.

While there’s currently no issue with brands headquartered in other parts of the world, a similar sanction could see other smartphone manufacturers forced into a costly rethink.

A few years ago Samsung seriously threatened a breakaway move from Google’s Android operating system, as it felt the search giant had too much control over the operating system on its Galaxy smartphones.

It worked to develop the Tizen OS, which is still used on devices like Samsung’s Galaxy smartwatches, triggering negotiations with Google about allowing more freedom for manufacturers.

(It’s worth noting that while Samsung did release smartphones based on Tizen, they were budget models, and didn’t come anywhere close to the success of its Galaxy phone range).

The big beneficiary here could be Apple – President Trump has long advocated for the brand to move its operations from China to the US, and exempted Apple from the trade tariffs imposed on China so that the brand wouldn’t have to raise its prices.

Huawei has been a thorn in Apple’s side of late, with the rise of the Chinese brand seeing it usurp its Cupertino-based rival in the worldwide rankings and become a serious competitor in the premium smartphone space – and Trump clearly wants to see the US tech giant do more of its business back home.

However, moving its operations from China would be incredibly costly for Apple, and it would still need to source many components from Asia to build future iPhones, so it’s unclear what the effect would be, both on the company and the US economy.

The loss of Huawei as a major player in the global smartphone market could also have a wider impact on the smartphones other vendors are pushing out. The Chinese brand’s aggressive development of new technological capabilities has forced rivals to significantly improve their devices and push out new advancements of their own, and any diminution of its influence would likely slow the rate of development.

Huawei’s smartphone camera prowess has arguably kickstarted a race to offer cameras that deliver ever-better sharpness, color and overall image quality in the last two years – the quality of the pictures it’s possible to take on a premium phone has improved dramatically as the brand’s P series has relentlessly pushed the boundaries of what’s possible.

The company is also in a race with Samsung to bring out the first widely available foldable phone – and the Huawei Mate X’s mere existence surely forced the South Korean brand to speed up its development of a bending handset, meaning consumers will get access to the technology earlier (although Samsung probably would have rather waited to deliver the Galaxy Fold…).

So is it all over for Huawei?

There is a glimmer of hope for Huawei’s continued use of Android and the capabilities that offers. 

The recent ban lifting means there’s a real chance that negotiations can be entered into with the US government, allowing the brand to prove itself ‘safe’ and move out from the middle of the trade war between China and the US. This is far from certain, but things certainly look a lot less bleak for the brand.

Google has also confirmed that it’s ‘reviewing’ the situation, and the implications of the US sanctions – it doesn’t want to limit the reach of its Android ecosystem, and US brands like Qualcomm are going to be severely impacted by the Huawei restrictions, so will likely lobby to have this decision re-examined.

However, if Google is forced to cut Huawei off from future Android security updates and access to the Play Store, then it could not only make things difficult for Huawei, but may cause consumers to view any Chinese brand with suspicion – and given the proliferation and technological prowess of the latest phones coming out of that country, that would also have a huge impact on the industry.

So while this move seems to only affect Huawei right now, it’s going to have a knock-on effect for the entire industry, and will most likely have implications for the next smartphone you buy – and it could also mean the rise of a new mobile operating system, and potentially a serious challenger to Android.

Instagram website was leaking user details for months

A security researcher has revealed that Instagram’s website leaked user contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, over a period of at least four months.

Data scientist and business consultant David Stier discovered that the source code for some of the social network’s user profiles included the account holder’s contact information whenever it loaded in a web browser. He notified Instagram regarding the issue shortly after he discovered it earlier this year.

The desktop version of the Instagram’s website did now show user’s contact information in their profiles but it was used by the photo-sharing site’s app for communication.

According to Stier, the contact information for thousands of accounts was exposed and private individuals including some minors as well as businesses were affected. Cybercriminals could have easily scraped this data from Instagram’s website to create an index filled with the contact details of thousands of the service’s users.

Facebook said that it was investigating the issue this week but did not provide further details into its findings. 

This isn’t the first time that data from Instagram was leaked online and the company is also investigating a database filled with user information left unsecured by a marketing company called Chtrbox.

Stier found evidence that user’s phone numbers and emails had been in Instagram’s source code since at least October by examining archived versions of Instagram profiles. He first reported the issue to the company in February and it was fixed in march.

Unfortunately, the contact information is still available on the Instagram app from users who opted into letting others contact them through the app. This is a bit better than including this sensitive data in the site’s source code but not by much as hackers could use social engineering to obtain this information for themselves.

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Google Assistant just got smart enough to track the New York City subway

Google Assistant and Google Pay are making navigating New York City a little easier this month thanks to new subway and bus integrations with the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

Starting today, millions of NYC residents and tourists can ask Google Assistant when the next subway and bus is coming. We tried it out and have some thoughts below.

And, starting May 31, Google notes that the MTA will launch its contactless payment system, OMNY (short for One Metro New York), at certain bus and metro stations. This will let users skip the time-consuming MetroCard kiosk.

Google Maps will play a part, too, letting you know which accept stations accept Google Pay in addition to offering the usual real-time tracking of trains and buses.

We tested it out already

We just asked our Google Home speaker, “Okay, Google, when is the next 7 train coming.” It told us the wait time for the next two trains in each direction.

That’s infinitely more helpful when you’re getting ready in the morning or running out the door for work. It should make a long New York City commute a little easier.

While this helpful Google Assistant assist launched today, we have to wait until May 31 to test out the contactless Google Pay portion of today’s announcement.

Even when it does launch, it won’t immediately cover the whole MTA network and is designed for one-off pay-per-ride commuters. It’s a pilot program designed for select subway stations and on Staten Island buses.

The initial subway stations on the list are on the 4-5-6 lines between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. We plan to be first in line to test it out anyway.

Global expansion and feature expansion

New York City is joining a list of over 30 cities getting similar features. Those cities include London, Singapore, and Moscow. It’s also joining other cities that already have these features, such as Chicago (the first 5G city in the US).

All of this goes a little further toward cementing Google’s position as an all-in-one solution for getting around. Beyond driving, walking, and cycling directions, Google has also included details on ride sharing services and is even working on a feature to locate Lime electric bikes and scooters

Being able to use Google Assistant know when trains are coming, and then to pay with Google Pay, just further rounds out the package the search giant has on offer.

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Nvidia teases something ‘super’ for GeForce graphics cards

Nvidia already launched its Turing graphics lineup over the last eight months or so, but it looks like something new and ‘super’ is on the way.

Ahead of Computex 2019, it looks like Nvidia has a new graphics card in store, likely something that will compete with the AMD Navi cards rumored to be revealed next week. 

This comes by way of a cryptic video that appeared seemingly out of nowhere today. It’s just a few seconds long, but Nvidia is certainly trying to build up the hype.

But, what is it? The video doesn’t drop any hints this time around – instead it just looks like a closeup on an engraving of a ‘Super’ logo, in the same style as what the Nvidia RTX Founders Edition cards feature. So, is this a new graphics card – it’s on the GeForce YouTube channel, so we know it’s a gaming product.

This is just speculation, but it could be Nvidia teasing ‘super’ variations of its existing RTX lineup, said to feature faster VRAM to better compete with AMD’s Navi cards. Nvidia Turing Founders Edition cards already get hot under load, so we might see improved coolers on any overclocked parts.

Either way, Computex is quite literally around the corner at the time of writing, so we’re sure we’ll find out what this ‘Super’ graphics card is during the show.

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Nintendo at E3 2019: what we want to see from the special Nintendo Direct video

Nintendo will be at E3 2019, once again opting to host a special Nintendo Direct E3 livestream rather than holding a live press conference.

Last year saw Nintendo dropping big announcements, such as the official reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Party, alongside news that Fortnite was coming to the Nintendo Switch. And we’re expecting the House of Mario to have a bigger and better livestream at E3 2019.

So what are we expecting? Mainly, we’re hoping Nintendo will offer more solid details on titles which have already been announced such as Pokémon Sword and Shield, Link’s Awakening Remake and Luigi’s Mansion 3 – not to mention Animal Crossing on the Switch

But we’re also hoping there’s a few unannounced titles on the way too, third- and first-party alike. If we’re being really optimistic, there could even be news about the new Nintendo Switch – but it’s not super likely given the lack of concrete rumors.

Nintendo’s livestream usually lasts between 45 minutes and an hour, but that’s not much time to cram our entire wishlist in. So we’ve gathered together a list of the things we would most like to see from Nintendo at E3 2019.

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Pokémon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield (Image credit: Nintendo)

(Image: © The Pokemon Company)

Nintendo has already announced that Pokémon Sword and Shield will be hitting the Nintendo Switch in late 2019, with the next generation of Pokémon games seeing players traversing the brand new region of Galar (based on Britain). 

While we already know the new core Pokémon games will bring with them fresh Pokémon to train, we don’t know much about these outside of the starter options. We also don’t know much about the game’s new features (or which will be making a return) or how Sword and Shield will differ, if at all.

Therefore, we’re hoping Nintendo will fill in all these details during E3 2019, including providing us with a firm release date for the games.

Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing (Image credit: Nintendo)

Animal Crossing (Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo has remained pretty tight-lipped since announcing last year that Animal Crossing will be coming to Nintendo Switch sometime in 2019.  

While we did get a lovely trailer to accompany the announcement, it didn’t actually give any details of new gameplay mechanics, or even which characters would return from previous games.

Now that we’re halfway into 2019, we think it’s about time that Nintendo spilled the beans on Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch – and it probably will. We’re expecting Nintendo Direct at E3 2019 to offer a heap of details about the upcoming Animal crossing game, as well as a firm release date for the highly-anticipated title.

Link's Awakening Remake (Image credit: Nintendo)

Link’s Awakening Remake (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake was announced during a Nintendo Direct earlier this year. Nintendo revealed we’ll see the remake of the 1993 GameBoy classic on Nintendo Switch in late 2019 but, once again, didn’t confirm a solid release date. 

Apart from dropping an announcement trailer (that sees Link and friend’s rejigged into 3D), Nintendo didn’t give any more details about the remake. What will be the same? What will be different? We don’t know yet, but we’re hoping Nintendo will use E3 2019 to reveal all the juicy details.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

Luigi's Mansion (Image credit: Nintendo)

Luigi’s Mansion (Image credit: Nintendo)

Luigi just doesn’t learn his lesson when it comes to haunted houses – and we’re very glad. Nintendo announced last year that Luigi’s Mansion 3 will be hitting the Nintendo Switch in 2019. 

No solid details about the spooky new installation of Luigi’s flagship franchise have been released as of yet. However the announcement trailer showed Luigi creeping through a haunted mansion with ghosts bursting out from behind cleaning supplies as he battles them with his trusty new Poltergust G-00.

Much like with Pokémon Sword and Shield and Link’s Awakening, we’re expecting Nintendo to confirm the release date for Luigi’s Mansion 3 at E3 2019 as well as offering up a few more details about what we can expect from the long-awaited sequel. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Image credit: Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Image credit: Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was revealed at last year’s E3, taking up the majority of the Nintendo Direct livestream. Following a successful launch in December last year, Nintendo is now focusing on DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

We’ve already seen Piranha Plant and Persona’s Joker added to Smash’s roster as part of DLC, but who is next on the cards? We’re pretty in the dark about which character will join Smash’s lineup yet, but we’re expecting Nintendo to shed some light on this at E3 2019. 

While we’re hoping for Doom’s Doomslayer, Banjo Kazooie and Crash Bandicoot, we’re not holding out hope…

More third-party games

L.A. Noire (Image credit: Team Bondi)

L.A. Noire (Image credit: Team Bondi)

More and more third party games are emerging on Nintendo’s hybrid console, and we’re expecting even more to be on the way. This will likely be in the form of some indie favorites, AAA titles and even newly announced games fresh from E3 2019. 

Skyrim and LA Noire were examples of ports done right, making last-generation games feel fresh thanks to some interesting Switch control integration and the sheer novelty of playing them on the go. We’d like to see some more beloved games make their way to Switch this year – a Grand Theft Auto title seems to be a popular request that we can get on board with.

Nintendo Switch 2?

Nintendo Switch (Image credit: TechRadar)

Nintendo Switch (Image credit: TechRadar)

Color us optimistic, but we’re hoping Nintendo will announce the new Nintendo Switch at E3 2019. It is very, very unlikely but we can always hope. 

New Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch 2, Switch Pro, Switch Mini, or a pair of new Switch consoles – whatever the new handheld from Nintendo is called, there’s going to be at least one other Switch model coming down the line at some point soon. Not necessarily at E3 2019, but maybe. 

Mostly all we have to go on at the moment is rumors but, with the PS5 and next Xbox on the horizon, a Nintendo Switch 2 announcement at E3 could really steal this year’s show – and Nintendo is pretty good at surprise announcements…

Metroid Prime 4

Metroid Prime 4 (Image credit: Nintendo)

Metroid Prime 4 (Image credit: Nintendo)

Metroid Prime 4 has had a rocky development road since it was announced back at E3 2017 with a logo and little else. A brand new Metroid Prime title for the Switch got fans hyped, but they were disappointed to find out Metroid Prime 4 is even further away than initially expected as Nintendo scrapped the project and decided to start again with the help of developer Retro Studios. 

We’ve not heard anything about Metroid Prime 4 since then, so we’re expecting Nintendo to provide a development update during its Nintendo Direct at E3 2019 – even if it’s just a short one. 

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Nvidia says something “super” is coming…

Winter is coming. Well, so is something “super” from Nvidia.

Not to be left out of the news cycle, Nvidia on Thursday teased, well… something, with a mysterious YouTube video that pretty much just featured the word “Super” in the style of the metallic logo used on its popular graphics cards.

Nvidia something super is comingnVIDIA

Nvidia’s teaser isn’t a new tack of course. The company has long been known for building hype around upcoming product launches by engaging consumers with puzzles and challenges. 

The big question is, what exactly is the Super that’s coming and when?

The lazy guess is that it’s a new brand to put on the rumored upgraded GeForce cards with faster memory. Those cards are expected to be a clap back at AMD’s upcoming Navi cards, likely to come at Computex or E3.

But could Super be something more? A mic-drop of epic proportions like, say, 7nm-based GeForce cards? Or maybe a new Shield Console? Everyone’s guess is as good as ours.

The timing on Super is also open for speculation. With the Taipei-based Computex trade show set to kick off next week with major announcements from AMD and Intel, Nvidia could be attempting to pull focus with a surprise showing of this so-called “super” thing. Nvidia CEO Jenson Huang has been known to drop new GPUs out of the blue. For example, in 2015, Huang shocked gamers by giving Epic Game’s Tim Sweeney an unannounced GeForce Titan X on stage. 

At least, unlike Game of Thrones’ “Winter is coming” foreshadowing, we won’t have to wait six seasons for answers. Let’s hope Nvidia’s “Super” will be more satisfying than GOT’s finale to boot.

Rock out this Memorial Day weekend with a killer price on the Anker SoundCore Boost speaker

No matter how good your playlist is, a bad Bluetooth speaker can kill ruin your Memorial Day party. But Amazon’s got a great price today on one of our favorites: the Anker SoundCore Boost Bluetooth speaker is just $51Remove non-product link when you check the coupon box in the listing, down from a list price of $80 and the lowest price we’ve seen.

This small speaker is discreet enough to slide into any room’s decor, but still brings a solid sound profile, especially when it comes to bass. It’s also water-resistant, with an IPX5 rating, and features a pretty decent battery life; in our review, we noted that it ran for about 11 hours while playing quietly with the bass boost on, so it shouldn’t have a problem lasting through your cookout. You can also use this speaker to take calls with the help of its built-in microphone.

In our review, we gave the SoundCore Boost 4 stars out of 5, and noted, “For pure sound, the SoundCore Boost is definitely among the best IPX5 water-resistant speakers [we’ve] heard—especially at lower volume. For the price, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better speaker.” And this discount makes that price even sweeter.

[Today’s deal: Anker SoundCore Boost Bluetooth speaker for $51 at AmazonRemove non-product link]

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