Sunday, June 26

Technology

China’s Forced Technology Transfer Policy: Takeaways for the Developing World
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China’s Forced Technology Transfer Policy: Takeaways for the Developing World

By: Sebastian Marrero Workers in an automobile factory in Beijing, China. China’s economy has historically been an ambitious one. Traditionally focused on  low-value-added, low-wage textiles and clothing manufacturing, China has in recent decades asserted itself as a burgeoning superpower in the global economy. Industries such as semiconductors, information technology, and robotics have seen enormous growth in recent decades due to policies geared towards mixing government planning with elements of private enterprise. Beginning in the early 1980s, ambitious economic reformers like Deng Xiaoping laid a mixed economy foundation that allowed small to medium-sized enterprises to perform robust R&D, onboard foreign talent, and manufacture its own technologies while receiving unb...
Down But Not Out: SMIC’s Rocky Path Forward
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Down But Not Out: SMIC’s Rocky Path Forward

By: Edward Ding December 18, 2020 was a particularly bad day for SMIC, China’s largest semiconductor manufacturer. The U.S. government blacklisted dozens of Chinese companies, including SMIC, and effectively restricted their purchase of advanced U.S. technology. SMIC, already behind foreign competitors in terms of chip technology, found its plans for catch-up innovation further complicated; its production processes were and continue to be significantly reliant on American tools, equipment, and components. The blacklist’s detrimental effect has yet to fade, but SMIC is likely turning to a different, domestically-oriented path to the technological frontier. Semiconductors, also known as chips, are an essential part of virtually all modern electronics. Products ranging from smartph...
The Key Trends of Fintech
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The Key Trends of Fintech

By: Ke Tang The discussion of how technology can revolutionize the financial system is a heated topic. There is an increasing number of financial institutions starting to integrate their offerings and services with technology such as blockchain. As fintech (financial technology) and digitalization of the financial services industry are developing, fintech startups are facing more capital financing demand. SPACs provide a viable way for fintech startups to go public and acquire the funds necessary for expansion. The relatively easier operation and shorter timeline make fintech SPACs heated in 2021. Two key trends of fintech are consolidation and digitalization, which is evidenced by the SPAC IPO of Dave. Fintech company Dave went public via a SPAC merger in early January 2022. Da...
Zero-Days: The Billion-Dollar Arms Market You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
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Zero-Days: The Billion-Dollar Arms Market You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By: Geneva Bass The market for zero-days began with $10 and a pair of crocodile cowboy boots. In 2002, a Texan named John P. Watters bought the cybersecurity company iDefence for an Alexander Hamilton and the determination to restore profitability after months of hemorrhaging millions.  A zero-day is a computer-software vulnerability. It’s a bug, an undiscovered mistake in code. Its name originates from the fact that once a zero-day becomes known, the code developer has exactly zero days to fix it before it can be exploited. Under the direction of Watters in 2003, iDefence built its competitive advantage on alerting its clients to vulnerabilities it discovered by paying hackers zero-day bounties. IDefence became the first company to publicly offer bounties for zero-days....
Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband Expands Vandy Coverage Following C-Band Deployment
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Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband Expands Vandy Coverage Following C-Band Deployment

By: Shane Mumma Vanderbilt students, staff, and faculty who have 5G Verizon phones on supported plans may have noticed something new beginning on the second day of class of the Spring 2022 semester: greater access to Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband network across campus. The coveted “5GUW” symbol that was once a rare sight is now a frequent occurrence on my phone while trekking around Vanderbilt. On January 19, Verizon activated its C-Band spectrum of 5G Ultra-Wideband following a lengthy dispute with airlines claiming delays and safety concerns could arise from its eventual deployment. Airlines believed that C-band signals could disrupt airplanes’ radar altimeters, which planes use to detect their altitude—an exceptionally important function when visibility is low.  Following t...
Squid Game Token Cryptocurrency Scam: What Went Wrong?
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Squid Game Token Cryptocurrency Scam: What Went Wrong?

By: Neelesh Raj As a result of the popularity of the South Korean Netflix series Squid Game, the developers of a cryptocurrency named after the Squid Game token made off with nearly $7 million. According to its website, which has now been deleted, the coin marketed itself as a "play-to-earn cryptocurrency," which encouraged investors to risk their hard-earned money into a currency which they actually could not sell. Many investors put in lots of money, in which one of them would exit as the winner of the contest, starting with 456 squid coins (roughly $6.3k) to play in the first game and up to $210,000 to play in the final round.  The term used to describe such a scam is known as a “rug pull,” which happens when the promoter of a digital token draws in buyers, abruptly halts tr...
Avoiding Surveillance Capitalism: Corporate Social Responsibility in Tech Companies
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Avoiding Surveillance Capitalism: Corporate Social Responsibility in Tech Companies

By: Eric Wang With advancements in internet technology, mass distribution of information has become accessible to people worldwide. Accompanying these improvements, information technology corporations also developed marketing and promotion tools to attract more growth in user rates and page views. However, customers are impacted dramatically due to their disadvantages in protecting themselves from the overwhelming information flow's harm. One study conducted by researchers at Yale University shows that the spread of biased news and information is altering the public's perspectives on large-scale civic issues, including climate change and environmental protection. Hence, the independent organizations formed by expertise in the IT field should be established to monitor Silicon Valley com...
Pulling the Rug on Squid Game
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Pulling the Rug on Squid Game

By: Lexi Blakes This past September, Netflix’s hit series Squid Game debuted at No. 1 with over 3 billion minutes viewed in its first week of streaming, easily gaining the title of “most popular show in 2021”. Squid Game is a Korean television series that acts as an allegory to greed, capitalism, and the prison of debt. The show explores the extent to which money has power in our lives and how shamelessly society’s wealthiest exploit others. Viewed in more than 142 million households globally, its viewership made it 7-times more popular than the most-watched episode of “Game of Thrones”, breaking boundaries of achievement for entertainment.  In recent weeks, Squid Game’s message of how money corrupts is clearer than ever. The creators of a new cryptocurrency scam, called the “S...
Can Lucid Be the Next Tesla?
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Can Lucid Be the Next Tesla?

By: Ke Tang Competitions in the electric vehicle industry are intense. Multiple electric vehicle startups are making promises to transform the automobile industry and beat Tesla, but only a few of themare performing well. Lucid Motors, a startup founded in Newark, California, is one of the playersin the EV industry with an ambitious game plan to come up with “the best car in the world.” Lucid’s mission is to inspire the adoption of sustainable transportation by creating themost captivating luxury electric vehicles centered around the human experience. On July 23,2021, Lucid Motors completed the previously announced merger with CCIV (Churchill CapitalCorp IV) through a SPAC deal. Bank of America served as the financial advisor of Lucid Motorsand Citigroup served as the M&A adviso...