2020 iPhones May have 120Hz Displays; Huawei Apparently Helped North Korea with 3G; Equifax- Fined up to $700 Million by FTC; Etsy Picks up Music Marketplace Reverb

About this time of the year…a couple months before the next iPhones drop, we always get rumors about the NEXT year’s models. Here’s a fresh one from macrumors.com…the 2020 iPhones may have a switchable refresh rate for the screen from 60 Hz to 120 Hz. The faster refresh rated gives a smoother on-screen experience. They have apparently been talking with screen makers LG and Samsung about the feature. The iPad Pros already have a variable refresh rate, but use LCD panels…the top line phones have OLED. The higher rate is particularly cool on video and games. It’s early…might not happen…so stay tuned!

The US has slapped strict sanctions on huge Chinese telecom Huawei, which has long been suspected of stealing US tech. Now, gizmodo.com has picked up a Washington Post story that Huawei helped build out a 3G wireless network for North Korea, violating the sanctions. Still unknown is how much the Chinese firm was involved. A company called Panda International did a lot of the work, but it appears it may be a cutout used by Huawei. Huawei denies the report. They are already under the microscope by the Department of Justice for fraud, obstruction of justice, and stealing trade secretes from T-Mobile.

Remember a couple of years ago when there was a big flap over hackers stealing credit data on 147 million Americans from credit bureau Equifax? The FTC does, and they just hammered out a settlement with the company that could mean up to $700 million in fines. Techcrunch.com says it would be the largest fine ever issued by the FTC by quite a bit…around 20% of Equifax’s 2018 revenue. The UK already fined them the equivalent of $624,000, the maximum under the regulation there at the time. Equifax will also have to endure third party security assessments every two years.

Etsy is buying Reverb, a marketplace for new and used musical instruments and electronic gear. The cash deal is worth $275 million according to venturebeat.com. Etsy is something of an eBay for instruments and gear. You may never have heard of it, but I bought a really great retro ‘recording’ sign for my home studio for a very nice price. Instead of expensive (and industrial looking) cast aluminum, it’s in a beautiful wood case. Much nicer for a home. Etsy says they plan to continue running Reverb as a standalone brand.

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