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This Week in Technology: Rwanda, PlayStation, and More


Rwanda Launches First Made In Africa Smartphone

A tech company in Rwanda launched two new smartphones on Monday. The group, named Mara Group, described the devices as the first “made in Africa” models. The new release hopes to boost Rwanda as an up-and-coming technology hub.

Mara Group named the two models Mara X and Mara Z. In addition, they will run off of the Android operating system. They will cost 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190) and 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130) respectively. And, they will compete directly with Samsung’s phones, who cost marginally less. However, CEO Ashish Thakkar said it was targeting customers willing to pay more for quality.

PlayStation 5 To Launch By End Of 2020

Sony announced that the PlayStation 5 will launch by the end of next year. Marketed as an improvement over the PS4, the console will feature new controllers and comes with a solid-state drive. Plus, the console’s graphics will be updated as well. The new controller will use enhanced vibration to deepen the immersion of the player.

However, there are currently no pictures of the console. In addition, Sony hasn’t announced what games will release alongside it. Sony’s competitor, Microsoft, also has a console releasing around the same time. The console, named Project Scarlet, will have the same upgrades that the PS5 has.

EU Pledges To Regulate Digital Currencies

The EU’s financial commissioner pledged to regulate digital currencies on Monday. This comes as a reaction to Facebook’s Libra announcement, which the EU considers a risk to financial stability. “Europe needs a common approach on crypto-assets such as Libra,” Valdis Dombrovskis told EU lawmakers in a confirmation hearing. “I intend to propose new legislation on this.”

Adobe Shuts Down Photoshop In Venezuela

Adobe cut Venezuelan access to their products in order to comply with new US sanctions. Back in August, President Trump banned trade with the country in an attempt to pressure President Nicolás Maduro to step down. Because of that, Adobe said that citizens will have until October 28th to download the programs, at which time accounts will be deactivated. Currently, it is unclear if other firms will follow suit.

US Adds 8 Chinese Firms To Blacklist

The US added 8 Chinese firms to a trade blacklist on Monday. This includes some of China’s top AI developers and visual surveillance firms. And, this move is expected to impact not only them but also their suppliers, customers, and financial backers. The US added them because of China’s mistreatment of Muslim minorities.