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From digital regulation to crypto winter: we review the technological news of the year (II)

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On the penultimate day of the year, we publish the second part of the special report in which we collect what have been the big technological headlines that 2o22 has left us. In the first part of our report, we talked about the consequences it has had for the the technological industry, the war in *text muted*, how AI was (this time) changing the rules of almost everything known in computing, or how to the surprise of almost no one, the metaverse broke practically all its promises.

In this second part, we review the ambitions of the United States and Europe to gain greater market shares in the semiconductor sector, how the EU has spent a year regulating “in a big way”, or how for Bitcoin and other digital assets the long winter has come. Let’s start!

My own chip factory

Europe desperately needs more chips and semiconductors. And above all, it needs to show that the old continent can become technologically independent, building new supply networks that limit its dependence on Asian countries. This is one of the main messages that the different community institutions have repeated with more insistence in the last year.

To demonstrate this, in 2022 the member countries of the European Union have agreed to support a plan of 45,000 million euros to finance the manufacture of chips. This step brings the region one step closer to its goal of reducing reliance on US and Asian manufacturers for processors.

After its entry into force, the EU is expected to manage to capture 20% of the global chip manufacturing quota by 2030. Currently they only have 8%, a very drastic drop from the 24% they had in the year 2000. But it is that these movements are taking place simultaneously in different regions of the world and in fact, the main manufacturers assured a few days ago that they are willing to invest up to 50,000 million dollars in the construction of 84 new factories in the next two years.

While this is happening, the Spanish government has so far managed to get some interesting commitments, such as the first chip design center promoted by Cisco in the EU (it will be located in Barcelona) or Intel’s R&D laboratory.

Regulation of digital markets

The EU may not be the world’s largest R&D investor region or a technology champion. But it is a power when it comes to drafting legislation and various regulations. In fact, often the body of law that emerges from Brussels serves as an inspiration for other countries. And this year it has been regulated… and in what way!

In the first place, with its Digital Markets Act (DMA), its commitment to balance competition in the technology sector in Europe and put a stop to large technology companies. Its purpose is also to make it possible for smaller technology companies to compete with larger ones. Among the first measures that are born in the heat of the new law, the fact that Apple has to open its Appstore to third parties from 2024.

The European regulation has also imposed this year the deadline for new smartphones sold in member countries to adopt the USB-C connector as a charging port; has taken giant steps to ensure consumers the right to repair their devices and has just approved the new cyber resilience law, which will require manufacturers to make the necessary revisions so that their devices do not fall victim to cyber-attacks.

winter is coming

In 2022, the number of experts who have reached a similar conclusion has accumulated: if not to speculate, what are cryptocurrencies for? Not even values ​​as supposedly “serious” as Bitcoin have managed to demonstrate a modicum of reliability and the last year has become a veritable roller coaster that has brought these digital assets to their all-time lows.

A few months ago, Paul Kraugman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, compared the situation of this market with the bubble that was generated around housing and subprime mortgages, which gave rise to one of the worst economic crises in living memory. Time has not been slow to prove him right. In addition to the general collapse of the market, we have witnessed the bankruptcy of a giant like FTX, an exchange that reached more than 20,000 million dollars and that has vanished overnight. Digital currencies like Luna and its sponsor company, Terraform Labs, have turned out to be a huge scam, causing the loss of $40 billion and every few weeks, we have seen exchanges go bankrupt or whose owners have fled taking their money with them. your investors. Not even an institution like Binance seems completely safe right now.

The accumulation of such bad news has led analysts to speak of a long crypto winter in which it is not at all clear if it will end at some point to flourish in spring or if, as the CNMV stated in a recent statement, “digital currencies they are empty of content and are useless as an investment asset”. In any case, and in response to so much uncertainty, what the EU has done is what it knows best: regulate. Last July, the European Parliament approved a new regulation that in practice means ending the anonymity of transactions carried out using these assets.

The public cloud conquers Spain

Although there are practically none, in the last year the number of cloud regions in Spain has multiplied. In the second half of this year we have been able to see how Google Cloud, IBM, AWS, Microsoft and Oracle launched their dedicated data centers in our country, either building their infrastructures from scratch as in the case of AWS, or relying on third parties (mainly Telefónica) as companies like Oracle or Microsoft have done.

In all cases, the companies have highlighted that opening their region in Spain means drastically reducing latency for their clients’ critical business applications, greater availability of their services and, especially, the promise that European legislation is complied with. regarding privacy and data residence. All this in a context in which interest in the cloud is growing.

Recently, the consulting firm Forrester has published a study in which it details that the public cloud market will grow in the coming years to exceed one trillion dollars in 2026. In addition, it also indicates that infrastructure services will enter almost 496,000 million dollars for that same year.

Hybrid work is unstoppable

Recent years have shown that working remotely is just as productive and efficient as working at the office. And it is that although large companies like Apple have tried to get their employees to return to the workplace five days a week, the “rebellion of the office workers” has forced them to reverse their plans. Others, like Amazon, have slowed down the construction of new offices to assess the needs that derive from a new stage marked by hybrid work.

Companies like LinkedIn, have explained this year that teleworking is one of the best tools that companies have to deal with phenomena such as the “great resignation” that has affected thousands of employees around the world and although in Spain it is true Although the number of people working remotely has decreased in the last year, it is still double the number that could do so before the pandemic. In the case of technological positions, up to 61% of those offered in Spain allow remote working at least two days a week.

What scares managers the most, however, is that they are not very clear on how to measure the productivity of workers and one of the “less beautiful” consequences of this phenomenon is that the sale of surveillance software has skyrocketed.

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EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S, new 24.1-inch professional monitor

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The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is a monitor aimed at professionals that mounts a 24.1-inch panel and has, as you may have imagined, a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. Its maximum brightness is 410 cd/m2, it has a contrast of 1,350:1, it reproduces 1,070 million colors and it is capable of covering the 99% of the Adobe RGB color space.

This EIZO model brings a series of clear improvements over the previous generation. Among the most important changes we can highlight the inclusion of a USB Type-C connector, that offers up to 70 watts of charge, and that we can use to charge a laptop while we use it with said monitor (simultaneous data and power).

Another important addition to the EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is that it comes with an adjustment report that measures the state of the screen at the time of shipment, a feature that previously it was only available on CG series professional monitors.

Maintaining its commitment to the environment, EIZO has eliminated any type of plastic from the packaging and materials that accompany the wiring. This monitor is also more efficient, as it It has a consumption of only 26 watts.

The rest of its specifications are completed with a response time of 19ms, it has DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, it has a USB Type-C connector, as we have already said, it has two USB 3.0 and it has two other USB 2.0 ports. we can use it both horizontally and verticallysomething that the most creative professionals will undoubtedly like.

This monitor is mainly aimed at content creators, designers, video and photo editors, illustrators and cartoonists. It is height, swivel and tilt adjustable, which translates into good ergonomics and great versatility when it comes to integrating into different work spaces.

The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S comes with a 5-year warranty covering each and every component, and is also subject to the zero bad pixel policy, which is covered for six months from the launch date. Taking into account the investment that we have to make to buy this monitor, it is totally normal, since its price in Spain will be around 800 euro.

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Microsoft Extends ESU Support for Windows Server 2008 and R2

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When an operating system ends its life cycle, Microsoft usually considers the possibility of offering extended support, which usually ends up being paid, or may be subject to some type of special condition. The latter is what has happened with Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, two operating systems that have ended their life cycle and are no longer supported in 2020.

The thing is that Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 still have a significant user baseand for this reason Microsoft has decided an additional year of support of the ESU type, acronym for “extended security updates”. This is good news for companies that still use the operating system, but it has one important condition, and that is that it will only be available to those who are Microsoft Azure customers.

This extended period of security updates will be active until January 9, 2024. If you are wondering if this will be a free program, I can tell you that it is not, and that Microsoft will bill it as it normally does with extended support programs.

In case you are wondering why so many professionals are still using Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 the answer is very simple, because in more than one case upgrading to a new operating system requires significant expenses that can derive from a hardware renewal, from a prolonged period of inactivity, from updating and developing new applications if necessary or from a little of everything that we have just said.

Microsoft has confirmed all the versions of Windows Server 2008 that will be able to benefit from this year of extended support, and we have listed them as is:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 7.
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7.
  • All Azure virtual machines (VMs) running Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 operating systems on Azure, Azure Stack, Azure VMWare Solutions, or Azure Nutanix Solution.

It does not seem that they are going to give more extensions once this is finished, so if your company is using any of those operating systems you should be clear that time is running out, and that in a matter of a year you will be tied to an operating system without support that could become a time bomb in terms of security.

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Apple will abolish the position of Head of Product Design

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The departure of Jonathan Ive from Apple was one of the most shocking news of 2019, not in vain are we talking about what was Head of Product Design in that company, responsible for some of its most successful products, and a professional who was part of the bitten apple company for more than 30 years.

It is true that at first there was no complete break between Ive and Applesince both continued to work together through an independent agency founded by the former executive, but in the end both parties decided to put an end to their adventure, and a final separation was confirmed last July.

The position that Ive left was filled by Evans Hankey, but we know that this executive also plans to leave the company in the coming months. What will happen then with the position of Head of Product Design? The normal thing would be to look for a new professional that lives up to that position, but according to a new report presented by Bloomberg it won’t be like that.

The apple company will abolish the position of Head of Product Design, and the product design team will report to and report directly to Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams. To avoid internal problems, Apple will give more important roles to the designers of key products for the apple company, but it seems that this has not been liked by everyone, and that some employees are upset with Apple’s decision.

The truth is that, if we analyze the situation that existed previously, it is not as important a change as it might seem at first glance. Evans Hankey acts as the liaison for the design team, but in the end it depended on Jeff Williams and had to answer to himso with this move Apple would be eliminating an intermediate position that in the end would not be “essential”, and would simplify the hierarchical structure of the product design team.

It is also important to note that this change reinforces the position of Jeff Williams, a high-profile executive at Apple who many see as Tim Cook’s possible successor. We’ll see how the situation evolves, and if Apple is really able to get on without a Head of Product Design.

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