Tag Archives: Corporate

Avanade + Accenture : 19th Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year!

Avanade and Accenture have just been recognised for a record 19th time as Microsoft’s Global SI Partner of the Year! Here is what you need to know…

 

Avanade + Accenture Celebrate 19th Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year!

On June 26, 2024, both Avanade and Accenture were recognised by Microsoft as its Global SI Partner of the Year for a record 19th time.

This accolade underscores both companies’ nearly 25-year partnership with Microsoft, and commitment to delivering cutting-edge innovation, world-class capabilities, and transformative client value.

Avanade and Accenture were also named Microsoft’s first-ever Global Business Transformation Partner of the Year for Copilot, recognizing their leading expertise in deploying and leveraging Copilot across the Microsoft ecosystem and driving substantial value with generative AI for organizations worldwide.

Recommended : Synology Computex 2024 Showcase + Interview!

Pam Maynard, CEO of Avanade, commented, “This is an incredible honor, one that confirms our commitment to creating value for our clients. In addition to our record-breaking 19th Partner of the Year win and receiving more global industry wins and finalist recognitions than ever before, it’s notable to be named the winner of the inaugural Copilot Transformation award, which highlights our close alignment with Microsoft on AI from the earliest days of Copilot’s development and deployment. As we look ahead to the opportunities offered by an ‘AI-first’ world, we will continue to leverage the expertise and insights of our global team to expand what’s possible with Microsoft technologies.”

Here in Malaysia Avanade unveiled its first generative AI lab for Southeast Asia last year, following the launch of its first Malaysian Digital Innovation Studio in Kuala Lumpur located at the Tun Razak Exchange in 2022.

Recommended : NVIDIA Computex 2024 Keynote Live Coverage!

“Our recognition as Microsoft’s Global SI Partner of the Year for the 19th time underscores the exceptional value our partnership with Microsoft and Avanade delivers to our clients,” said Chris Howarth, senior managing director and Accenture Microsoft Business Group lead. “By leveraging Microsoft Copilot and advanced generative AI technologies, we are not only enhancing our service offerings but also creating new opportunities for our clients to innovate and accelerate growth in their respective markets. This strategic focus empowers them to harness the full potential of their digital transformation, driving significant business outcomes.”

Both Avanade and Accenture have been at the forefront of developing AI solutions in collaboration with Microsoft for over a decade, most recently pioneering with generative AI application. As early adopters of Copilot, they have also played a critical role in previewing, developing, and deploying the full suite of Microsoft Copilots, enabling them to have market-leading offerings available on day-one of general availability.

Avanade and Accenture have continued this momentum with the rollout of industry-specific Copilots and Microsoft Agents for Copilot, showcased at Microsoft Build in May 2024.

This year, Avanade and Accenture received more Global Industry awards and finalist recognitions than ever before, including wins across Retail & Consumer Goods, Media & Telco, and Mobility & Transportation. They were also recognized as a winner or finalist in every Business Applications category.

Overall, Avanade and Accenture have been honored as winners in seven global categories:

  • Global System Integrator (GSI)
  • Global Business Transformation | Copilot
  • Global Industry | Retail & Consumer Goods
  • Global Industry | Media & Telco
  • Global Industry | Automotive, Mobility & Transportation
  • Global SAP RISE on Microsoft Cloud
  • Global Dynamics 365 Sales & Customer Insights

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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US Bans Kaspersky Software Over National Security Risk!

The US just announced a ban of Kaspersky Lab software, over national security concerns! Here is what you need to know!

 

US Bans Kaspersky Software Over National Security Risk!

On Thursday, 20 June 2024, the Biden Administration announced a ban of the sale of software made by Kaspersky Lab in the US, due to national security concerns. Unfortunately, this will also cut off updates for users who have already purchased Kaspersky software.

Kaspersky will generally no longer be able to, among other activities, sell its software within the United States or provide updates to software already in use.

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated that Russia’s influence over the Russian company posed a significant security risk:

Russia has shown time and again they have the capability and intent to exploit Russian companies, like Kaspersky Lab, to collect and weaponise sensitive US information.

Recommended : The Kaspersky Global Transparency Initiative Explained!

In response, Kaspersky issued a statement to AFP, denying the claim and saying that the US Commerce Department “made its decision based on the present geopolitical climate and theoretical concerns” and vowed to “pursue all legally available options to preserve its current operations and relationships”.

Kaspersky does not engage in activities which threaten US national security and, in fact, has made significant contributions with its reporting and protection from a variety of threat actors that targeted US interests and allies.

In addition to banning its software, the US Commerce Department also added two Russian and one UK-based unit of Kaspersky Lab to its Entity List, for allegedly cooperating with Russian military intelligence to support Moscow’s cyber intelligence goals. US companies are forbidden from providing goods or services to companies on the Entity List.

This is the most serious sanction affecting the Russian company after the US Department of Homeland Security banned its flagship antivirus software from federal networks in 2017, alleging ties to Russian intelligence. The DHS also pointed out that Russian law lets intelligence agencies compel assistance from Kaspersky and intercept communications using Russian networks.

Recommended : Kaspersky Lab Challenges DHS Ban Of Kaspersky Products

 

What Does US Ban Of Kaspersky Software Mean?

While the US has publicly announced its ban of Kaspersky Labs software, it doesn’t go into effect immediately.

The ban on sales of Kaspersky Lab software will only kick in on 29 September 2024 – 100 days after publication, to give businesses time to switch to alternative software. The ban also bars resales, and licensing of Kaspersky products in the US.

New US business for Kaspersky will also be blocked 30 days after the restrictions are announced. Sales of white-labelled products – software products sold or packaged under a different brand name, will also be banned.

Under the new rules, sellers and resellers who violate these restrictions will face fines from the US Commerce Department. Software users won’t face legal penalties, but are strongly encouraged to stop using Kaspersky software. However, critically – users will stop receiving updates for their software from 29 September 2024 onwards.

Russian companies are already subject to US export sanctions, but the UK-based unit of Kaspersky Lab will now be banned from receiving goods and services from US companies.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Synology Computex 2024 Showcase + Interview!

At Computex 2024, we had the opportunity to tour the Synology showcase, and interview Jason Sin about the new ActiveProtect and AI Console, as well as other forthcoming products!

 

Synology Computex 2024 Showcase!

At Computex 2024, Synology gave us an exclusive tour of their new ActiveProtect appliance, as well as other current and upcoming products!

At 0:36, we started with Synology’s upcoming scale-out file and object storage solution – the GS6200. Powered by GirdStation Manager (GSM), the Synology GS6200 supports between 3 to 96 nodes per cluster, offering up to 20 petabytes of raw capacity per cluster.

A full 96-node Synology GS6200 cluster is capable of supporting up to 150,000 simultaneous uploads and downloads. At 4:56, you can see the actual GS6200 cluster of six nodes in action. They also showed us what it looks like inside of a Synology HC6500 node at 8:36, which has 60 drive bays.

At 10:19, we had an in-depth look at the new Synology ActiveProtect appliance – what it does, and how does it accomplish its objectives. You can also see how easy it is for IT administrators to manage backups using the ActiveProtect Manager software.

Recommended : Synology Unveils ActiveProtect Data Protection Appliances!

At 17:00, Synology showcased its Office Suite of productivity apps, which will soon be enhanced by artificial intelligence. Those AI features will be managed and controlled through Synology AI Console, which will not only verify the API keys for your preferred generative AI services, it will also monitor AI usage, and perform de-identification – filtering out sensitive data in AI requests.

Synology also demoed its BeeStation NAS at 23:12, its Synology Photos app at 27:51, and its BeeDrive portable storage solution at 30:58. Finally, Synology showed us its latest surveillance systems at 33:23.

 

Synology Computex 2024 Interview With Jason Sin!

After the showcase t our, we had the opportunity to sit down with Jason Sin, the Sales Account Manager of Synology to talk about what Synology announced during Computex 2024.

Here are some quick points we gathered from our interview session:

Synology ActiveProtect DP-series

  • one SKU (DP7400) offering 140TB of storage capacity will be available in Q4 2024.
  • it achieves 99% reduction in data transmission through source deduplication.
  • it also speeds up backups through its integrated SSD cache.
  • while he was not able to share (at that time) the size of the SSD cache, Synology late revealed that the DP7400 appliance will use two 4TB SSDs in RAID 1.
  • it can keep costs low by automatically transferring “cold data” to cheaper archiving servers, while maintaining “hot data” in its local storage.

Recommended : AMD Computex 2024 Q&A With Dr. Lisa Su!

Synology GS6200

  • this is a scale-out file and object storage solution
  • it can support up to 150,000 concurrent transfers (uploads / downloads) per cluster

Synology Surveillance Systems

  • Synology provides AI features like AI analytics, human detection, facial recognition, people counting, etc.
  • Synology will be releasing two new cameras – a fisheye camera, and a zoomable camera which is designed for licence plate recognition, both with some AI features.
  • Synology Surveillance System centralises all cameras, and simplifies the job of the IT administrator.
  • Synology designs its own cameras, which are manufactured by a partner company.
  • They will launch a new camera that will upload all footage to the cloud, and will be subscription-based.
  • These cameras can be used with any NVRs, but if they are paired with Synology NVRs, they will support end-to-end encryption.

Synology AI Console

  • It will support key AI models like ChatGPT, Azure AI, and Gemini.
  • Synology is already using its own generative AI model for customer support service.
  • Synology is planning to eventually release its own generative AI model.
  • Synology AI Console will debut with DSM 7.2.2

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Synology Unveils ActiveProtect Data Protection Appliances!

Synology just unveiled new ActiveProtect data protection appliances with a highly-scalable architecture! Here is what you need to know…

 

Synology Unveils ActiveProtect Data Protection Appliances!

On 5 June 2024, Synology unveiled new ActiveProtect appliances during Computex 2024, starting with the ActiveProtect DP7400!

ActiveProtect is a new series of purpose-built data protection appliances that combine centralised management, with a highly-scalable architecture, to offer up to 2X faster backups, 2:1 deduplication, and up to 99% lower data transmission.

Quick Deployments

It takes less than 10 minutes to deploy the Synology ActiveProtect appliance, and just 15 minutes to start protecting your data.

IT teams can quickly deploy ActiveProtect appliances in minutes and create comprehensive data protection plans via global policies using a centralized console. ActiveProtect is designed to be intuitive, significantly reducing operational overhead.

Role-Based Access Control

Maintain control over data by granting access permissions such as workload restoration, and data viewing rights.

Protect Against Ransomware

Secure your data with flexible immutable backups. Instead of a fixed lock period of repository, Synology ActiveProtect offers a flexible lock period for your immutable backups.

You can also isolate your data with air-gapped backups – ActiveProtect supports physical and logical air-gapping through the firewall, by disabling network ports, as well as a shutdown schedule.

Recommended : AMD Computex 2024 Q&A With Dr. Lisa Su!

On-Demand Scalability

Scale your data with ease to meet changing business requirements, to support up to 2,500 sites and backup servers, and up to 150,000 endpoint devices and cloud accounts.

Each ActiveProtect appliance can operate in standalone or cluster-managed modes. Storage capacity can be tiered with Synology NAS/SAN storage solutions, C2 Object Storage, and other ActiveProtect appliances in the cluster.

Additionally, existing Synology Active Backup for Business deployments are manageable from the unified interface, providing high deployment flexibility.

Recover With Confidence

Leverage bare-metal or file-level restoration, or perform P2V (physical to virtual) or V2V (virtual to virtual) restoration to instantly recover data.

Guaranteed Data Backup

Detect and restore corrupt data, verify backups, and test your disaster recovery strategy in a sandboxed environment with a built-in hypervisor.

Fast And Efficient

Purpose-built ActiveProtect appliances leverage incremental backups with source-side, global, and crosssite deduplication to ensure fast backups and replication with minimal bandwidth usage. ActiveProtect is up to 7 times faster at backing up with a typical deduplication ratio of over 2:1, significantly reducing operating costs.

Recommended : Synology DiskStation DS223j 2-Bay NAS Review!

“The launch of ActiveProtect reflects Synology’s unceasing commitment to empowering our users with the tools to manage their most valuable asset—data,” said Philip Wong, Chairman and CEO of Synology. “In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses face unprecedented challenges in safeguarding their data. With the new ActiveProtect offering, we aim to empower organizations of all sizes to address cybersecurity challenges head-on.”

ActiveProtect centralizes organization-wide data protection policies, tasks, and appliances to offer a unified management and control plane. Comprehensive coverage for endpoints, servers, hypervisors, storage systems, databases, and Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace services dramatically reduce IT blind spots and the necessity of operating multiple data protection solutions.

“Organizations are tasked with maintaining overly complex and costly data protection strategies, and we aim to solve all the challenges at once with ActiveProtect,” stated Jia-Yu Liu, Executive Vice President at Synology. “ActiveProtect is the culmination of extensive research, development, and experience working with our customers. We are confident in delivering a solution that will exceed modern businesses’ expectations.”

 

Synology ActiveProtect : Models + Specifications

At Computex 2024, Synology only officially unveiled one ActiveProtect model – the DP7400, which is a 2U rackmount appliance.

However, Synology also revealed to us that DP7400 will be followed by two other ActiveProtect appliances – a 2U all-flash array appliance, as well as a thinner 1U rackmount appliance.

Recommended : 4TB Synology Plus (HAT3300-4T) Hard Disk Drive Review!

Specifications Synology ActiveProtect DP7400
Form Factor 2U
Processor AMD EPYC 7272
RAM 64 GB
Management Port 1 x 1GbE
LAN ports 2 x 10GbE
HDD Drives 10 x 20 TB
RAID Type RAID 6 + 1 Hot Spare
SSD Cache 2 x 3840 GB (RAID 1)
Usable Storage 140 TB
Source Data Capacity 83.5 TB
Source Device Limit 350
SaaS Account Limit 3,300

 

Synology ActiveProtect : Cost + Availability

The Synology ActiveProtect DP7400 will be available for deployment in Q4 2024. There is no timeline for the other two unnamed ActiveProtect models.

Synology will offer a simplified storage-based licence for the ActiveProtect appliance:

  • only hardware cost for the first year, with free software licence
  • only software cost for the second year onwards.

While Synology did not reveal the price of the ActiveProtect DP7400, the line-up is expected to provide up to 90% in annual savings over its competitors.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Go Back To > Computer | Enterprise | Tech ARP

 

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Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

How WithSecure Offensive Security Drives Business Resilience!

Find out how WithSecure harnesses the power of offensive security to drive business resilience and enhance protection for its clients!

 

WithSecure Drives Business Resilience Through Offensive Security!

WithSecure (formerly known as ‘F-Secure Business’) is harnessing the power of offensive security in its co-security and co-monitoring products and services. This revolutionary approach is designed to anticipate and mitigate cyber threats by understanding them from an attacker’s perspective.

During the SPHERE security conference 2023, WithSecure’s Chief Product Officer, Antti Koskela, shed light on their game-changing offering called ‘attack surface management.’ This managed service offers a comprehensive view of vulnerabilities in a company’s cloud-based estate.

As a result, WithSecure’s focus on the digital perimeter empowers businesses to reduce their overall attack surface, enhancing their cybersecurity posture in the ever-evolving threat landscape.

Recommended : WithSecure Takes Offensive Security Approach To Cloud Threats!

 

How WithSecure Offensive Security Drives Business Resilience!

WithSecure also introduced three groundbreaking services that amplify their commitment to ‘outcome-based security’ and ‘co-security’. This groundbreaking development was revealed by WithSecure Executive Vice President (Solutions) Scott Reininga, also at the SPHERE security conference 2023.

Reininga underscored WithSecure’s unparalleled expertise in offensive security, revealing that they are the home of one of the world’s most proficient offensive security teams. This team, a fusion of penetration testers (pentesters), red, blue and purple teamers, has profound knowledge of adversary tactics, tradecraft, and techniques.

Penetration testing is a cybersecurity practice that aims to discover vulnerabilities in a system by simulating controlled attacks. Their goal is not to cause damage but to pinpoint weaknesses for rectification. This proactive method, which can involve exploiting software vulnerabilities or simulating social engineering tactics, is key in any comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, offering a practical evaluation of potential risks rather than a theoretical one.

Our relentless pursuit of research and system testing allows us to uncover system vulnerabilities proactively. This crucial data is the building block of our products that are proactive, minimally disruptive, and crafted from the perspective of an attacker.

– Scott Reininga, WithSecure Executive Vice President (Solutions)

These insights were unveiled by Reininga during his recent product launch event titled ‘Co-security and co-managed services for partners’. He was joined on stage by WithSecure Vice President (Offering and Customer Experience) Niko Isotalo.

Expanding on WithSecure’s strategic approach, Isotalo said that the company’s outcome-based security framework model “connects Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and board members, offering clarity about the interplay between security outcomes and business objectives.”

This alignment clarifies the indispensable role of security in the core business framework to board members.

– Niko Isotalo, WithSecure Vice President (Offering and Customer Experience)

Recommended : Avanade Launches New Generative AI Services!

Reininga and Isotalo unveiled the three new offerings during their joint session. The first, termed “co-monitoring,” is a partnership model. WithSecure validates the genuineness of security incidents before alerting the duty manager, effectively curbing false alarms.

WithSecure collaborates with clients to supervise their digital ecosystems, particularly during periods when they are stretched thin on resources. This service, providing support beyond standard working hours, can also deliver round-the-clock monitoring if necessary.

Isotalo further introduced the second service, incident readiness software, recognising that many organisations lack comprehensive incident readiness plans.

Our software simplifies the creation, testing, and updating of such plans, which serve as essential shields against cyber threats.

Recommended : 5 Strategies for Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

Focusing on the urgency of immediate incident response, Reininga introduced the third service, an incident response retainer.

Our incident response retainer provides unlimited incident response within the critical initial 72 hours of an event. We eliminate the need for negotiation about budget and resource allocation.

We engage consultants rapidly, supported by our globally lauded 24/7 incident response team and top-tier threat intelligence unit, guaranteeing our customers industry-leading service level agreements (SLAs).

By integrating offensive security acumen, co-monitoring capabilities, incident readiness software, and swift incident response, WithSecure empowers organisations to effectively safeguard their digital assets and curtail the impact of potential breaches.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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WithSecure Takes Offensive Security Approach To Cloud Threats!

WithSecure is harnessing the power of the offensive security approach in tackling evolving cloud threats!

 

WithSecure Takes Offensive Security Approach For Cloud Threats!

In a shifting cybersecurity landscape, WithSecure (formerly known as ‘F-Secure Business’) is harnessing the power of offensive security in its co-security and co-monitoring products and services. This revolutionary approach is designed to anticipate and mitigate cyber threats by understanding them from an attacker’s perspective.

During the recent SPHERE security conference 2023 in Helsinki, Finland, WithSecure’s Chief Product Officer, Antti Koskela, shed light on this approach.

We’ve done identity assessments for many cloud-based companies, unveiling weaknesses in their cloud platforms.

Our offensive security approach is about understanding the attack surface of a cloud-based estate. We focus on the digital perimeter, which is crucial to reducing the overall attack surface.

Koskela went on to explain that WithSecure has distilled this insight into an innovative managed service offering called ‘attack surface management’. This service provides a comprehensive view of a company’s vulnerabilities, including IP addresses, port vulnerabilities, exposed APIs and web services, identity matters, patching levels and more.

With more open architecture, control over your attack surface becomes paramount. ‘Zero trust’ alone isn’t the answer as human errors happen. Our holistic approach helps mitigate this.

Recommended : Avanade + Accenture: 2023 Microsoft Global SI Partner of the Year!

WithSecure’s product suite integrates various cloud-native solutions to deliver protection based on specific client requirements. This collaborative process, termed ‘co-security’, is driven by the security and business outcomes defined by the clients. Koskela emphasised the tripartite focus of their solution:

It’s about process, people, and technology. We collaborate to secure the outcomes, letting company directors steer the course of business.

Our WithSecure Elements platform is the cornerstone of our technology, built collaboratively with our clients.

Koskela acknowledged the evolution of the IT industry, from client-server in the ‘90s to hosted services in the 2000s, cloud computing in the 2010s and cloud-native in the 2020s. He underscored the need for a new security approach to match the evolving business environments:

The cloud offers agility, speed, cost-efficiency. But with new technologies come new security considerations.

WithSecure has been proactive, creating solutions for every technological shift – be it firewalling and endpoint protection during the hosted services era, or data security and VPNs for the cloud computing era.

And now, with the rise of cloud-native tech, we’re helping clients to understand and secure their digital perimeter through our offensive security approach.

Recommended : 5 Strategies for Negotiating Airfare Discounts with SAP Concur!

WithSecure Chief Product Officer, Antti Koskela (left), and APAC Regional Director Yong Meng Hong (right)

 

WithSecure Elements Picking Up In APAC

Since its mid-2021 debut, WithSecure’s Elements platform has gained considerable momentum here in Malaysia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. This comprehensive cybersecurity platform has made its mark by providing organisations with a unified solution to their security needs.

Elements equips enterprises with the insight, adaptability, and technology to tackle evolving threats and changing business environments.

Offering unified endpoint protection across devices, clouds and servers, Elements consolidates everything from vulnerability management and collaboration protection to detection and response into one easy-to-navigate security console.

– WithSecure Asia-Pacific Regional Director Yong Meng Hong

Yong further emphasised that the cloud-based Elements platform provides real-time visibility across an entire IT infrastructure, simplifying how enterprises manage their cybersecurity.

Flexible licensing options, including fixed-term subscriptions and usage-based billing, ensure that organizations can tailor their cybersecurity services according to their specific needs.

Elements offers centralised management capabilities, giving IT managers a comprehensive overview of their enterprise’s IT infrastructure, enhancing their reassurance and control.

Today, WithSecure is globally recognised, trusted by a myriad of enterprises to safeguard against cyber threats, while also protecting tens of millions of consumers through over two hundred service providers and telecommunications partners.

For organisations looking to navigate the cloud’s security challenges, WithSecure’s offensive security approach could be just the safeguard they need.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Public Bank Founder Teh Hong Piow Dies At 92

Public Bank founder and Chairman Emeritus Teh Hong Piow died today, at the age of 92.

 

Public Bank Founder Teh Hong Piow Dies At 92

Public Bank just announced that its founder and Chairman Emeritus, Tan Sri Teh Hong Piow died peacefully at 10:20 AM today, 12 December 2022, at the age of 92.

Teh Hong Piow was born in Singapore on 14 March, 1930, and studied at the Anglo Chinese School there. He began his banking career in 1950, as a clerk in the Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Ltd.

Ten years later, he joined Malayan Banking as a manager, and in 1964, was promoted to the position of general manager at just 34 years of age.

Teh left Malayan Banking two years later to set up Public Bank on 6 August 1966, with its first branch at Jalan Gereja, Kuala Lumpur. Several months later, Public Bank was listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on April 6, 1967.

He stepped down as Public Bank CEO in July 2002, and was appointed as a non-executive chairman. He retired in December 2018, and was conferred the title of Chairman Emeritus in January 2019 and remained a non-executive director.

Teh Hong Piow was ranked 4th in the Forbes list of richest men in Malaysia, with a fortune worth US$5.7 billion (RM25 billion).

He leaves behind his wife, Puan Seri Tay Sock Noy, whom he married in 1956, and their four children.

 

Public Bank Statement On Death Of Founder Teh Hong Piow

On 12 December 2022, Public Bank CEO Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tay Ah Lek released this statement on the death of the bank’s founder and Chairman Emeritus:

Announcing the Demise of YBbg. Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Teh Hong Piow

It is with deep sorrow we announce that our Chairman Emeritus, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Tch Hong Piow, the Founder of Public Bank, has passed away peacefully at 10:20 am today at the age of92. Tan Sri Teh’s passing is a great loss to the Public Bank Group. On behalf of the Board, Management and staff of the Public Bank Group, we extend our most heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to Tan Sri Teh’s family.

Tan Sri Teh founded Public Bank in 1965 at the age of 35. He was appointed as the Chief Exccutive Officer and Managing Director of Public Bank since its commencement of business operations on 6 August 1966. He relinquished his CEO position and was re-designated as Non-Executive Chairman of Public Bank on 1 July 2002. He retired as the Non-Executive Chairman of Public Bank on 31 December 2018, and was conferred the title of Chairman Emeritus and Adviser of Public Bank on 1 January 2019, and remained as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Public Bank.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Business | Tech ARP

 

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Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Olga Taran Refutes Kremlin + Crypto Links To Husband’s Death!

Olga Taran refutes claims of Kremlin and crypto ties to her Russian billionaire husband, Vyacheslav Taran, who died in a helicopter crash!

 

Earlier : Russian Billionaire Vyacheslav Taran Dies In Helicopter Crash!

Russian billionaire Vyacheslav Taran died in a helicopter crash in rather mysterious circumstances on Friday, November 25, 2022.

On that fateful day, he was flying from Lausanne, Switzerland in a single-engined H130 helicopter back to his home in Monaco, when it crashed near the resort town of Villefranche-sur-Mer in good, clear weather.

He was supposed to be travelling with another unidentified passenger on this flight, but that passenger cancelled at the last minute.

Both Vyacheslav Taran, 53, and the 35 year-old French helicopter pilot were killed in the crash.

The deputy public prosecutor of Nice who visited the crash scene, said that the fault of a third party could not yet be ruled out.

Vyacheslav Taran is the co-founder of the trading and investment platform, Libertex, as well as the founder and CEO of the Forex Club group of companies.

Recommended : Russian Billionaire Vyacheslav Taran Dies In Crash!

As I noted earlier, Taran’s unexpected death will likely spur conspiracy theories, coming just two days after Tiantian Kullander died in his sleep, and just weeks after Nikolas Mushegian apparently drowned after tweeting about an alleged plot by the CIA and Mossad to murder him.

It also seems to be a dangerous time for Russian businessmen, who are dying in mysterious circumstances both in Russia, and overseas. Just in September alone:

  • 28 September 2022 : Pavel Pchelnikov allegedly shot himself on the balcony of his Moscow apartment.
  • 21 September 2022 : Anatoly Gerashchenko died after falling down a flight of stairs in Moscow.
  • 10 September 2022 : Ivan Pechorin fell from his boat and drowned at Cape Ignatyev in Vladivostok.
  • 1 September 2022 : Ravil Maganov – the chairman of Lukoil, “fell out of a window” in the Kremlin Hospital.

 

Olga Taran Refutes Kremlin + Crypto Links To Husband’s Death!

Vyacheslav Taran’s wife – Olga Taran – who is the Editor-in-Chief of HelloMonaco, spoke out just days after the accident against the allegations that her husband was involved with the Kremlin, or was a Russian spy.

She also pointed out that Vyacheslav left Russia in 2008, and supported Ukrainian charities since 2014.

As you know, Viacheslav Taran died in a tragic helicopter crash last week. I have lost a loving husband and a father of three of our children. It is intolerably painful for me to realize that we will never see him again. But, it is even more difficult to stay silent when someone is spreading lies about my beloved Viacheslav.

The Ukrainian news website UNIAN.net published a story that my husband allegedly was a billionaire and was involved in money laundering for Russian elites and on top of that they claimed him to be a Russian spy. All of this is outrageous and manifests an absolute and utter lie. My husband never had any connections to the Russian government or any political affiliations. He left Russia to pursue and focus on his business interests back in 2008.

Moreover, since 2014 my late husband has constantly supported charitable foundation Changeonelife.ua and since the very first days, when the war broke down, Viacheslav with his friends created Pristaniste.me a charitable foundation for Ukrainian refugees in Montenegro which accepted first refugees on 5th of March, 2022 and still is actively helping the Ukrainians in need.

This attack is unfair to Viacheslav who always actively supported supported Ukrainian people through his charity foundations, especially children who lost their parents.

Furthermore, I urge all Western journalists who cite UNIAN.net to stop spreading the lies (Will Steward and Rachael Bunyan from Daily Mail, Aliki Kraterou from The Sun). My children have already been bullied because of these accusations and I am concerned for their safety.

I understand that you do not know Viacheslav personally and reading these cynical articles one may consider them to be true, but everyone who knows Viacheslav, including the entire Monaco community knows it to be an absolute lie.

Please do not tarnish his good name and memory. We still have not received Viacheslav’s body due to the investigation and each day brings unbearable pain.

Olga Taran

Recommended : Tiantian Kullander Dies Unexpectedly At 30!

Olga Taran later issued another statement, refuting that her husband’s death was anything “mysterious”, or related to the recent deaths of crypto entrepreneurs like Tiantian Kullander and Nikolai Mushegian.

She pointed out that cryptocurrency was simply one of the markets he invested in, and that he was not a “crypto billionaire” because he invested more into blockchain and cryptocurrency than he ever got out of it.

Following the tragic death of Vyacheslav Taran, a devoted husband and loving father of three, we have been greatly distressed by the publication of false and inaccurate information that has tarnished his name and we would like to set the record straight.

Vyacheslav Taran was a successful businessman and serial entrepreneur, who was also an investor in various fintech startups, including some that worked with cryptocurrencies. He was definitely not a “crypto billionaire” and one might argue that he invested more in blockchain and crypto technology than he ever got out of it.

We categorically deny that he was involved in any way with the Russian Intelligence services or the Russian government in any capacity and we also categorically deny that he was involved in money laundering for Russian “elites” or in any other illegal activity. These are completely unfounded fabrications and outright lies, which have compounded our grief at this very difficult time.

Vyacheslav Taran was born in Russia but had lived and worked overseas since 2008, before settling in Monaco with his family more than a decade ago.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are still being investigated, mainly because of the nature of the accident. It is obviously a lengthy process, as is any investigation into accidents involving any type of aircraft. There is nothing “mysterious” about it and everyone should wait until the investigation is fully completed before jumping to conclusions or speculating about crazy conspiracy theories. We fully support the authorities in their investigation and eagerly await their findings being made public in due course.

Our beloved Vyacheslav was also a great philanthropist, having contributed to numerous charity organisations and was the co-founder of the Change One Life Foundation, which to this day has helped more than 30,000 orphaned children find families and live fulfilling lives.

Above all, he was a loyal and supportive friend, husband and father and we would politely request that his memory is not dishonoured by false information or baseless speculation.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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China Caught Lab Workers Paid To Spread Covid-19?!

Did China just catch 250 lab workers who were paid by the West to spread COVID-19?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : China Caught Lab Workers Paid To Spread COVID-19!

The Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens are now promoting a video as evidence that 250 lab workers were just caught spreading COVID-19 in China for Western countries!

China wonders why there is no end to covid, it turns out that there are 250 laboratory people who are accomplices of the West to spread the virus, have been arrested by the police, it can be confirmed that the punishment is death by firing squad.

Western countries have a cheap & effective way to stop China’s progress. . .

 

Truth : China Did Not Catch Lab Workers Paid To Spread COVID-19!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Video Was Taken From Kuaishou

The original video was posted on Kuaishou – a Chinese short-video platform like Douyin / TikTok, by a user called 水果花花 (Fruit Blossoms) on November 30, 2022.

Fact #2 : Video Was About Fake / Wrong PCR Test Results

My Mandarin isn’t good, but with a ton of help from Chai, I was able to determine that the video was not about lab workers spreading COVID-19 in China.

Instead, the narrator of the video was talking about a person called Zhang Shanshan who is backed by Zhang Hezi (who may or may not be her father) who owns a company which conducts PCR tests.

Unfortunately, the company was found to be falsifying test results, because they can make more money from more testing. Allegedly, that is why whenever they open up a new testing centre, there is a surge of COVID-positive cases.

The video did not mention anything about these lab workers spreading COVID-19, only that they were falsifying or making mistakes in PCR test results.

Here is a rough transcript of what the narrator in the video was saying:

On the 27th (November), Zhang Shanshan was said to be connected to 35 Nucleus Gene Technology, which was related to the incident of PCR test forgeries.

This company is Lanzhou Huaxi, which Zhang Shanshan was the supervisor. Based on the research of netizens, Zhang Shanshan was backed by Zhang He Zi, who owns 62 companies, of which 33 was managed by Zhang Shanshan.

According to info, Zhang He Zi enrolled into China Medical Univerity, specialising in DNA. After his Masters, he setup one of the first DNA test labs in China.

In the recent years, they opened 37 PCR test centers all over China. The strange thing is – wherever they open (a test centre), there will be outbreak in that area. And within a few days of the company registration, mass nucleic acid tests were ordered. Their business was skyrocketed. If there is no dark secret behind this, they must be really good at prediction.

Questions raised:

1. In 2022, sixteen He Zi Huaxi companies were setup. Registration time was within these 3 months.

2. What’s the greatest is – being a new setup company with unconfirmed capital, they managed to dominate the local nucleic test business, which should be an open tender by the government. Within just 3 months, they managed to expand their business empire and predicted the trend of COVID spread. After their business registration, the local city started to have outbreak and mass testing – which was the reason of the Lanzhou test results inconsistency. This is not an isolated case.

If this has become a business, the pandemic will never end. We must break this profit chain in order to have the air of freedom again.

Incidentally, here are some translations of the labels in the video:

后梅当初 : Back then
被告人: 希望审判长 少判我一点 : Defendant: I hope the presiding judge will give me a milder sentence
被告人: 少判我一点 : Defendant: Please give me a shorter sentence
一副手铐 锁住一个人 : A pair of handcuffs for each person

Fact #3 : Arrested Lab Workers Not Accused Of Spreading COVID-19

The lab workers, including Zhang Shanshan, were arrested because they were accused of giving false PCR test results, either intentionally or due to negligence.

They are all from the Chinese testing company called Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Go. which is being accused of falsifying or improperly conducting PCR tests.

To be clear – the lab workers were not accused of helping Western countries spread COVID-19.

Fact #4 : There Were Only 8-9 People In The Video

If you look carefully at the video, there were only 8-9 lab workers who were standing trial in that courtroom.

There is no evidence of 250 lab workers being arrested in China for falsifying or mishandling PCR testing, never mind working for Western countries to spread COVID-19.

Fact #4 : Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Co Is Under Investigation

Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Technology Go. (核子基因科技) is currently in hot water after on-site inspection by local authorities in Lanzhou (in the northwest province of Gansu) found inconsistencies in their PCR test results.

On November 25, 2022, the Lanzhou Municipal Health Commission reported that when they transferred people who tested positive in tests conducted by Nucleus Gene, some of them had green health codes which meant that their PCR test was negative.

Their investigation found that the staff of the Lanzhou Huaxi laboratory (华曦医学检验灾验室, owned by Nucleus Gene) mistakenly entered the wrong information into the health code database.

Recommended : US Intel : Xi Jinping Won’t Accept Western Vaccines!

Fact #5 : Nucleus Gene Accused Of Multiple Crimes

Chinese media outlets have accused Nucleus Gene of crimes like manipulating test results to create demand for more tests.

Since April 2020, Nucleus Gene has been fined at least 10 times for mishandling test samples to lying and manipulating test results, as well as forging medical certifications.

Nucleus Gene was also fined for hiring unqualified personnel to handle test samples, and wrongly labelling people as COVID-19 positive.

Fact #6 : Zhang Shanshan Allegedly Supervises 38 Testing Companies

After recent Nucleus Gene testing controversy came to light, Chinese netizens began looking into its supervisor, Zhang Shanshan.

They found that Zhang Shanshan allegedly supervises 35-38 medical testing companies across China, most of them only registered in recent months.

In fact, the Lanzhou Huaxi laboratory was only registered in August 2022, with a capital of 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million), and immediately secured a large contract to provide PCR testing in Lanzhou.

Netizens joked that, “Where her company is found, that’s where a pandemic breaks out!”, and “Give an umbrella seller the ability to make rain, will the rain stop?”.

While it is not confirmed, Zhang Shanshan is allegedly the daughter of Zhang Hezi, who owns Nucleus Gene – the parent company which was established in Shenzhen in 2012.

He [Zhang Hezi] told us himself that he had a daughter who was studying abroad. He didn’t say what his daughter’s name was. My friends said his daughter’s name is Zhang Shanshan.

Recommended : New Symptoms + Dangers of Omicron BA4, BA5?!

Fact #7 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda

This is just another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

All of the wumao articles and videos that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.

Please help us fight fake news – SHARE this article, and SUPPORT our work!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Russian Billionaire Vyacheslav Taran Dies In Crash!

Russian crypto billionaire Vyacheslav Taran has died after his helicopter crashed near Monaco!

 

Russian Crypto Billionaire Vyacheslav Taran Dies In Helicopter Crash!

Russian billionaire Vyacheslav Taran is now the third cryptocurrency entrepreneur to die under mysterious circumstances in recent weeks.

Vyacheslav Taran is the co-founder of the trading and investment platform, Libertex, as well as the founder and CEO of the Forex Club group of companies..

On Friday, 25 November 2022, he flew from Lausanne, Switzerland in a single-engined H130 helicopter back to his home in Monaco, when it crashed near the resort town of Villefranche-sur-Mer in good, clear weather.

He was supposed to be travelling with another unidentified passenger on this flight, but that passenger cancelled at the last minute.

Both Vyacheslav Taran, 53, and the 35 year-old French helicopter pilot were killed in the crash.

The deputy public prosecutor of Nice who visited the crash scene, said that the fault of a third party could not yet be ruled out.

Recommended : Tiantian Kullander Dies Unexpectedly At 30!

Taran’s unexpected death will likely spur conspiracy theories, coming just two days after Tiantian Kullander died in his sleep, and just weeks after Nikolas Mushegian apparently drowned after tweeting about an alleged plot by the CIA and Mossad to murder him.

It also seems to be a dangerous time for Russian businessmen, who are dying in mysterious circumstances both in Russia, and overseas. Just in September alone:

  • 28 September 2022 : Pavel Pchelnikov allegedly shot himself on the balcony of his Moscow apartment.
  • 21 September 2022 : Anatoly Gerashchenko died after falling down a flight of stairs in Moscow.
  • 10 September 2022 : Ivan Pechorin fell from his boat and drowned at Cape Ignatyev in Vladivostok.
  • 1 September 2022 : Ravil Maganov – the chairman of Lukoil, “fell out of a window” in the Kremlin Hospital.

 

Libertex Group On Death Of Co-Founder, Vyacheslav Taran

In an official statement, the Libertex Group confirmed its co-founder’s death, and described Taran as “kind-hearted, polite and humble”.

It is with great sadness that Libertex Group confirms the death of its co-founder and Chairman of Board of Directors, Vyacheslav Taran, after a helicopter crash that took place en route to Monaco on Friday, 25 November 2022.

The Board of Directors of Libertex Group and company employees extend their most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the Taran family. Vyacheslav is survived by his wife Olga and three children.

Vyacheslav Taran was a fintech entrepreneur and a published author, with long-standing experience in the financial industry. In 1997, he co-founded what was to eventually become the trading and investing platform Libertex.

A well-known and highly respected businessman, described as kind-hearted, polite and humble by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him, Taran was a true visionary. His vision and direction have made Libertex what it is today: his “dream company to work for” that he often described to colleagues in speeches and internal memos as “a company whose services and products I use myself and am willing to recommend to my relatives and friends.”

Taran was also devoted to giving back to the community and always rushed to help those in need, particularly children. He co-founded Change One Life, a charitable foundation helping children from orphanages and child-care institutions to find families and live fulfilling lives. To this day, Change One Life has helped more than 30,000 orphaned children.

Vyacheslav Taran will be missed more than words can express, and everyone at Libertex will eternally be grateful for what he has accomplished.

We kindly ask that during this difficult and extremely painful time, the family’s privacy is respected.

Libertex Group would also like to extend its condolences to the family of the pilot.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Tiantian Kullander Dies Unexpectedly At 30!

Tiantian Kullander – the co-founder of cryptocurrency company Amber Group, has died unexpectedly at 30 years of age!

 

Tiantian Kullander Dies Unexpectedly At 30!

The co-founder of cryptocurrency company Amber Group, Tiantian Kullander, has died unexpectedly at 30 years of age.

According to a spokesperson for the Hong Kong-based Amber Group, Kullander passed away in his sleep on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, but provided no cause of death.

Known as TT, Kullander began as a market trader for Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley, before co-founding the Amber Group in 2017. He is survived by his wife and son.

Kullander’s sudden and expected death will likely spur rumours amongst anti-vaccination activists, as well as conspiracy theorists, coming just weeks after another crypto millionaire died unexpectedly.

On October 28, 2022, Nikolas Mushegian – an early developer of MakerDAO died at 29 years of age, apparently drowning a few hours after tweeting about an alleged plot by the CIA and Mossad to murder him.

Recommended : Died Suddenly : More Lies In Antivax Video Exposed!

 

Amber Group On Death Of Co-Founder, Tiantian Kullander

The Amber Group is a cryptocurrency trading platform, whose success propelled him to make the Forbes 30-under-30 list in the Asian Finance and Venture Capital category in 2019.

The Amber Group was valued earlier this year at US$3 billion, and was in the process of raising another $100 million.

In an official statement, Amber Group said that Kullander had devoted his heart and soul to the company, leading by example:

It is with the deepest sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the passing of our friend and co-founder, Tiantian Kullander, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep on November 23, 2022.

Tiantian (or “TT”, as he was lovingly known) was instrumental to the founding of Amber and a pillar of our success. He put his heart and soul into the company, in every stage of its growth. He led by example with his intellect, generosity, humility, diligence and creativity.

TT was a respected thought leader and widely recognized as a pioneer for the industry. His depth of knowledge, his willingness to collaborate and his desire to always help others benefited countless start-ups and individuals. His insights and creativity inspired many projects, people and communities.

Besides co-founding Amber and building it into a multi-billion fintech unicorn, TT sat on the Board of Fnatic (one of the world’s most successful e-sports organizations) and founded KeeperDAO (the first on-chain liquidity underwriter) before giving it back to its community.

We lost a great partner and a true friend in TT and words cannot express our sorrow at this time. TT’s legacy will live on and we will work even harder to make Amber the category-defining leader of our industry, as this was TT’s ambition and dream.

TT was a devoted husband, a loving father and a fierce friend. His passing is a tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He is survived by his wife and their beloved son. We kindly request that you respect their privacy during this difficult time.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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What Zoom Announced @ Zoomtopia APAC 2022!

Here is a short summary of what Zoom Video Communications Inc. announced at the Zoomtopia APAC 2022 conference!

 

Zoomtopia APAC 2022 : What Is It?

Zoomtopia APAC 2022 was the Asia Pacific edition of Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM)’s annual conference.

Hosted virtually on Zoom Events (obviously), Zoomtopia APAC 2022 featured a distinguished array of guest speakers, as well as announcements on Zoom Phone and other products.

  • Education: Developing the next generation of changemakers with digital innovation
  • How to unify communication and collaboration in the new world of work
  • The Trust Imperative: How you can build (or destroy) trust in a hybrid world
  • Financial services: How secure digital collaboration tools are transforming the future of finance
  • Is Voice DEAD? The future of conversation is in the cloud
  • Reimagine the future of customer experience in a video-first world
  • Improve the Customer Experience and Agent Productivity with Conversational AI
  • What’s new with Zoom Phone?
  • Zoom Events Product Tour
  • How to Create a Buying Experience Your Customers Love with Zoom IQ for Sales
  • The Future of Asynchronous Collaboration
  • Transforming for the Future Office: Enabling the Flexible, Hybrid Workplace

Eric Yuan, CEO and Founder of Zoom, also shared his vision for Zoom at Zoomtopia APAC, distilling the next phase of Zoom’s evolution and the key innovations that will underpin the Zoom platform in this new era.

“We have always been a company built to connect and bring people together. As many people around the world start rethinking what really makes them happy, we want to empower them to zoom in on what matters.

Zoom’s vision for the future is about bringing physical and digital environments together in new ways to create more inclusive, immersive, collaborative experiences. 

We are focused on giving organisations, their employees and customers a platform that works best for them, their lives and their workflows.”

 

What Zoom Announced @ Zoomtopia APAC 2022!

For those who could not make it, here is a short summary of what Zoom Video Communications Inc. announced at the Zoomtopia APAC 2022 conference!

New Zoom Platform Innovations

Zoom has launched more than 1,500 features and enhancements on the Zoom platform this year.

The Zoom Mail and Calendar clients work together with the communication and collaboration offerings already available within Zoom Meetings, Phone, Whiteboard, and Team Chat. Now, teams can move quickly and seamlessly from email to a video meeting, elevate a chat message to a phone call, collaborate on projects and early next year, they can share out whiteboards, all without ever leaving the Zoom app.

Zoom also rolled out Zoom-hosted email and calendar service options available in  beta, directly integrated with the Zoom platform, ideal for businesses without dedicated IT services looking for enhanced privacy in their business communications.

Zoom also introduced Zoom Spots – its virtual co-working space. Coming in 2023, Zoom Spots is a video-enabled persistent space, integrated with the Zoom platform, to help foster inclusive discussions, keep colleagues connected and bring the fluid interactions of in-person work to distributed, hybrid teams throughout their day.

Fuelling APAC Innovation Together With Customers

In his keynote, Ricky Kapur, Head of APAC at Zoom, was joined by Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), and Australian online employment marketplace SEEK.

Highlighting innovative use-cases in which Zoom was utilised for each of these organisations, the speakers discussed the role of Zoom in driving digital inclusion, transforming employee experience as well as reshaping the future of banking, among others.

Zoom is also collaborating with workspace on-demand marketplace Switch (part of JustCo Group), to equip physical work booths or co-working spaces in Singapore with video-conferencing capabilities. This will take the work-from-anywhere model to the next level, as individuals will be able to comfortably attend virtual meetings at a location of their choice.

Continued Growth Of Zoom’s Partner Ecosystem In APAC

Since the Zoom Up Partner Programme was launched in March 2022, over 800 channel partners across APAC have signed up for the programme, comprising of over 25% of Partner Demand Centre adoption globally.

These partners which are focused on helping customers address their communication and collaboration needs yield 35% in channel contribution to the overall Zoom business in APAC.

As of FY23Q3, Zoom has onboarded DMOA as its new distributor in South Korea, adding to Zoom’s extensive APAC partner ecosystem which includes Dicker Data in Australia, Tradewinds in New Zealand, rhipe in Asia, and Savex Technologies in India.

The strength of Zoom’s partner ecosystem has contributed to the resounding success of Zoom Phone, which hit four million seats globally in just 3.5 years.

Building A Platform APAC Users Can Trust

As trust becomes the business currency of the future, Zoom is accelerating efforts to keep security and privacy of its platform at the forefront, and building a platform users can trust.

Amongst the company’s host of updates announced at Zoomtopia APAC 2022, its latest security offerings include:

  • an end-to-end encryption feature (in Beta stage) as part of Zoom Mail Service (also in beta stage),
  • advanced encryption for Zoom Phone voicemail, and
  • the rollout of automatic Zoom client updates for enterprise customers (to help users take advantage of Zoom’s latest features and security updates).

Zoom has also recently completed the Australian Information Security Registered Assessor Program (IRAP) assessment, demonstrating that Zoom’s products are well-positioned when judged against Australian security standards for delivering communications services to the Australian public sector.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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SAP: Malaysian Companies Yet To Gain From Sustainability Plans

New research from Oxford Economics and SAP has revealed that Malaysian companies have yet to gain from their sustainability plans.

 

SAP: Malaysian Companies Yet To Gain From Sustainability Plans

Sustainability goals are a key part of any company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts, but many companies still find it difficult to derive significant value from their sustainability strategies.

Verena Siow, President and Managing Director of SAP South East Asia, share key findings from new research from Oxford Economics and SAP that showed that Malaysian companies have yet to gain from their sustainability plans.

While 60% of businesses don’t think it’s difficult to be sustainable and profitable at the same time, just 4% say that they actually benefited significantly from their sustainability strategies.

That may be due to a disconnect between the organisations’ plans and its actions. While 63% of Malaysian businesses have a clearly communicated sustainability plan, only 23% have incentivised leaders to achieve those goals, and only 33% say that their employees are active participants in their efforts.

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It is an encouraging sign that businesses across South East Asia are increasingly mindful of sustainability practices along their entire supply chain, including those of their suppliers.

There is no time to waste to move beyond strategy and to achieve real, tangible results. In three years, almost a third of businesses expect significant value from their sustainability strategy – and we believe that with the right focus, this number can be even higher.

Public, private and plural partnerships are quintessential to affect the required change for a green economy in ASEAN. Business leaders in South East Asia should not perceive sustainability action as a risk mitigation measure only. It is an opportunity to realize new sustainable revenue streams, find new efficiencies, and build new business models based on low-emission, circular, and ultimately regenerative concepts to benefit both the organization and for our society at large.

 

Regulatory Compliance : Sustainability Driver + Challenge In Malaysia

Sustainability strategies are largely driven by regulatory compliance in Malaysia, with survey respondents noted that these are the primary drivers in their businesses:

  • the threat of regulatory mandates : 52%,
  • operational efficiencies : 54%, and
  • market reputation (48%).

That focus aligns with regulatory compliance being the second biggest benefit derived from sustainability so far (39%), behind only reduced carbon emissions.

It’s clear that organisations may need to refocus their strategies to achieve greater value from sustainability. Too much focus on compliance was cited as the third highest challenge to sustainability success by Malaysian respondents, trailing only the lack of reinvention of business strategy and ineffective data.

 

Data Is Key To Improving Sustainability Outcomes

According to the survey, the key to improving sustainability outcomes will be the effective use of organisational data to make more informed decisions.

Accurate data was ranked as among the most significant activities to help reach carbon reduction goals, only trailing sustainable sourcing and monitoring energy among respondents.

Unfortunately, ineffective data for decision-making is considered a moderate challenge for 75% of Malaysian businesses. The research also found that:

  • less than a quarter (23%) businesses have calculated their total organisational carbon output,
  • although a majority (77%) have begun the process in some areas.

Of the businesses who have made begun measuring their carbon, only 33% actually made changes to their processes based on the data. More obviously needs to be done.

Just over a third (35%) of Malaysian respondents said they had invested in data analysis to measure sustainability in their business, while half (50%) said they were training staff how to capture sustainability data.

Recommended : Chop Cheong Bee Now A Leader In Smart Farming!

 

Malaysian Companies Need Sustainability Leadership

Action on sustainability is needed urgently in Malaysia, and has to be driven from the top down.

Beyond the impact on the environment, just 21% of Malaysian businesses say that their workforces are not even aware that missing sustainability targets will drive customers to their competitors.

Businesses that have obtained value from their efforts have these qualities :

  • they set clear expectations at the strategic level,
  • they apply the transformative power of technology and data management, and
  • they engage with important audiences such as employees, supply chain partners and policymakers.

“Sustainability leaders go beyond vision to ensure that sustainability initiatives are acted upon,” said Edward Cone, editorial director, Oxford Economics. “They communicate with key constituencies both inside and outside the company, and they use integrated technologies to measure and track performance in a way that drives accountability.”

 

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NetApp BlueXP : A New Unified Hybrid MultiCloud Control Plane!

NetApp just introduced BlueXP – a new unified control plane for hybrid multicloud environments. Here is what you need to know.

 

NetApp BlueXP : A New Unified Hybrid MultiCloud Control Plane!

On November 3, 2022, NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) announced the availability of NetApp BlueXP – a unified control plane designed for easy hybrid multicloud management for storage and data services across on-premises and cloud environments.

NetApp BlueXP allows users to manage their broader hybrid multicloud data estate, including on-premises unified storage and first-party native storage with the leading public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and AWS.

Offering a simple, yet powerful experience driven by AIOps, BlueXP delivers integrated, broad data service capabilities to deploy, automate, discover, manage, protect, govern and optimize data, infrastructure, and the business processes that support them – with the flexible consumption options required in today’s cloud-led environment.

“We are excited to deliver a whole new, unified cloud experience that is simple, secure, sustainable and cost effective,” said Sanjay Rohatgi, Senior Vice President and General Manager, NetApp Asia Pacific & Japan. “With BlueXP, our customers and partners in Asia Pacific can better compete in the hyper-dynamic digital economy of tomorrow and realize the full potential of a true hybrid multicloud world.”

NetApp BlueXP is the preferred method to manage NetApp ONTAP, NetApp’s industry-leading data management software, both in the cloud and on-premises.

The latest release of ONTAP, announced today, contains over twenty major innovations including a new tamper-proof snapshot feature and integrated AIOps-driven anti-ransomware protection, making ONTAP the leading option for secure data storage.

In addition, an expansion of NetApp’s innovative unified multi-protocol technology allows simultaneous NAS file and S3 object access to the same data, increasing the flexibility of ONTAP as a repository for massive data lakes used for today’s modern AI/ML pipelines.

“Organisations today have increasingly moved to hybrid multicloud environments to accelerate their digital transformation and drive growth, even in uncertain times. But in managing these environments, companies face daunting challenges and inefficiencies that can impede innovation.”

“With BlueXP, NetApp is leading the way to a more ‘evolved cloud’ to simplify and automate critical operations across on-premises and public clouds in order to help organizations drive business impact and improve customer experience.”

“Today’s cloud environments are complex. Organizations are looking for a better cloud experience – simpler, streamlined, governed, and optimized for performance and cost across their entire hybrid multicloud environment,” said Archana Venkatraman, Research Director, Cloud Data Management, IDC. “An ‘evolved cloud’ is one of the most grounded, AI-driven, and practical approaches to cloud management as a whole – and organizations will quickly benefit from migration to operations, to FinOps, to innovation.”

“With the launch of BlueXP, NetApp is uniquely positioned to help organizations unlock the promise of the cloud by making infrastructure, applications and data true assets to their business,” said George Kurian, Chief Executive Officer at NetApp. “By taking an evolved cloud approach, customers can integrate cloud into their architecture and operations, eliminate complexity and increase their speed of innovation to deliver quickly on the business outcomes that matter most.”

 

NetApp BlueXP Capabilities

NetApp BlueXP capabilities include:

  • Unified Storage Management: The SaaS-delivered BlueXP global control plane gives a single point of visibility and management over wide-ranging hybrid multicloud environments. This includes the ability to manage NetApp AFF, FAS, StorageGRID, and E-Series on-premises storage, as well as the major clouds with Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, Azure NetApp Files, Google Cloud Volumes Service and Cloud Volumes ONTAP, all in a single console.
  • AIOps-Driven Health: Integrated AI/ML-driven automation reduces manpower demands, resource loads, and risk profile, while AI-enabled health and status monitoring not only alerts of infrastructure and workload issues, but offers proactive guidance to avoid trouble scenarios. BlueXP integrates NetApp’s leading Active IQ technology for always-on telemetry across the hybrid multicloud.
  • Cyber Resilience: Unified control of data protection and security with an integrated zero-trust model. A single ransomware dashboard provides company-wide visibility into ransomware vulnerabilities with the ability to fix many issues automatically with a single click.
  • Governance at a Glance: A complete view of the digital estate to monitor compliance and permissions. The AI/ML capability audits both user and data level activity, immediately detecting anomalies and taking prescribed actions.
  • Seamless Mobility: Integrated data movers allow for copying, syncing, tiering, and caching data across all major clouds and the data center as easily as “drag and drop.” Integrated security and efficiencies ensure data is protected in transit and stored on the lower-cost storage tier possible.
  • Flexible Consumption: BlueXP allows customers to only pay for the capabilities they need, billed on usage. A Digital Wallet allows for licenses for data services to be easily interchanged as an enterprise’s needs change. NetApp Keystone, the leading Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) offering, is integrated into BlueXP to allow customers to manage their consumption-based data center storage side by side with their cloud storage.

 

NetApp BlueXP Offer

NetApp currently has a special BlueXP offer for new users (excluding current Cloud Manager users):

  • 30 days of free BlueXP data protection
  • 30 days of free BlueXP tiering
  • 1 TB of free BlueXP governance and ransomware protection.

Just register here for the NetApp BlueXP offer!

 

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iPhone Factory Under Lockdown, As Employees Flee!

The massive iPhone factory in Zhengzhou is now under another COVID-19 lockdown, after thousands of employees fled!

 

iPhone Factory Now Under COVID-19 Lockdown!

On Wednesday, 2 November 2022, China placed the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone under a new COVID-19 lockdown. This is where Foxconn has its largest iPhone factory, employing about 200,000 workers

The Zhengzhou industrial zone, located in the Henan province, was placed under “silent management” measures with immediate effect, and last for one week – until November 9, 2022.

  • all residents are barred from going out
  • only approved vehicles are allowed on the road

Foxconn said in a statement that its campus will continue operating under a “closed loop” management system, in which employees sleep, live and work in a bubble, isolated from the rest of Zhengzhou and the world.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that such a lockdown could cut production of Apple iPhones by as much as 30%, and that Foxconn was working to boost production at their Shenzhen factory to make up for the shortfall.

Read more : Apple Freezes Use Of China’s YMTC NAND Chips!

 

Employees Have Been Fleeing iPhone Factory For Days!

For several days now, Foxconn employees have been fleeing the Zhengzhou factory, after some workers were placed under quarantine following a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Foxconn employees also complained of poor food quality, and a lack of medical care for those who tested positive.

On Sunday, 30 October, Foxconn said that it would not stop them from leaving, and many workers chose to walk back to their hometowns.

Videos of those employees climbing over fences, and walking away from the factory went viral. So did photos and videos of those Foxconn workers trekking across fields in the day, and long roads at night.

Some people were walking amid wheat fields with their luggage, blankets and quilt. I couldn’t help but feel sad.

Those videos galvanised volunteers from nearby villages to put out food and drinks for the workers. Foxconn and several local governments finally arranged transportation for them.

Workers who were transported back to their hometowns were quarantined on arrival. A belated measure that should have been initiated earlier.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

[/su_note]

 

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KPJ Apologises Over Kolam Incident, Suspends Staff!

KPJ Healthcare just apologised over the vandalism of their Deepavali kolam by their own staff, and suspended the two employees involved!

 

Viral Video Of KPJ Klang Hospital Staff Vandalising Kolam!

A video went viral on WhatsApp and TikTok, claiming that a KPJ Klang employee vandalised the Kolam decorative art at his own hospital.

A staff at KPJ Klang. How utterly disrespectful. And he knew he was being videotaped.

MHS Selangor has spoken to the PIC in KPJ Klang. The culprit has been suspended immediately. KPJ Klang is preparing a public apology statement and will be releasing it soon.

The video shows a man, dressed in a blue Baju Melayu with a black songkok shoes, defacing the Kolam that was created for Deepavali at the KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital.

The video appears to be recorded by a lady who eventually commented with humour, “Vandalism”.

 

PDRM Arrested KPJ Klang Staff Over Vandalised Kolam!

On 31 October, Northern Klang Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Vijaya Rao a/l Samachulu 31 October, ACP Vijaya Rao announced that two KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital employees had been arrested on suspicion of deliberately causing disharmony.

The man in the video, and the person who recorded the video, both voluntarily surrendered themselves to the district police headquarters to have their statements recorded at about 11 PM the night before.

The two suspects, in their 20s and 30s, were then arrested and remanded for three days, starting today (Monday, 31 October 2022), for investigation under Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

Read more : PDRM Arrests KPJ Klang Staff Over Vandalised Kolam!

 

KPJ Healthcare Apologises Over Kolam Incident, Suspends Staff

On 30 October, KPJ Healthcare initially posted a non-apology statement, stating that they would launch an internal investigation.

But several hours after the police confirmed on 31 October, that the two people involved in the incident were KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital staff members, the healthcare provider finally issued an apology.

KPJ Healthcare also announced that they suspended both employees pending further investigation.

03:50PM, 31 October, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 October – KPJ Healthcare Berhad (“KPJ Healthcare” or the “Company”) would like to publicly apologise to all Malaysians, particularly to the Indian community, with regards to a video that has gone viral at one of our premises.

As a healthcare service provider, KPJ Healthcare celebrates and upholds diversity and inclusion of the varied cultures in Malaysia.

KPJ Healthcare does not condone such acts and in no way does it reflect our culture, values or our practices.

We are disheartened by the irresponsible act of these individuals and they have been suspended pending further investigation. Further to this we have lodged a police report on the matter and will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities on this matter.

In the meantime, the artis of the kolam called for calm, and urged everyone to stay united and peaceful.

First and foremost, I would like to thank every one of you who spoke up on this kolam issue regardless of religion and race. For your kind information, our hospital management and higher authority have taken appropriate action on the irresponsible behaviour of the related staff.

Therefore, I kindly request you guys NOT to make the issue viral anymore. Let us stay united and peacefully in this multiracial country. Thank you once again. Love and peace to all Malaysians.

 

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PDRM Arrests KPJ Klang Staff Over Vandalised Kolam!

PDRM just arrested two KPJ Klang employees for vandalising the Deepavali kolam in a TikTok video that went viral!

 

Viral Video Of KPJ Klang Hospital Staff Vandalising Kolam!

A video went viral on WhatsApp and TikTok, claiming that a KPJ Klang employee vandalised the Kolam decorative art at his own hospital.

A staff at KPJ Klang. How utterly disrespectful. And he knew he was being videotaped.

MHS Selangor has spoken to the PIC in KPJ Klang. The culprit has been suspended immediately. KPJ Klang is preparing a public apology statement and will be releasing it soon.

The video shows a man, dressed in a blue Baju Melayu with a black songkok shoes, defacing the Kolam that was created for Deepavali at the KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital.

The video appears to be recorded by a lady who eventually commented with humour, “Vandalism”.

 

PDRM Arrests KPJ Klang Staff Over Vandalised Kolam!

At around 9:15 PM on 30 October, Northern Klang Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Vijaya Rao a/l Samachulu, announced that a case has been opened against the man who was seen vandalising the kolam decoration.

In response, the Bandar Baru Klang police station chief filed a report regarding the video and the case is being investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code with causing disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will.

He will be called in to give his statement on Monday. We urge the public to be careful with their behaviour and to not do anything that would disrupt national harmony.

The police statement appears to suggest that the man has already been identified, and summoned for questioning on Monday, 31 October. However, it does not mention whether the man, or the person recording the video, is an employee of the hospital.

That changed the next day, when ACP Vijaya Rao announced that two KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital employees had been arrested on suspicion of deliberately causing disharmony.

The man in the video, and the person who recorded the video, both voluntarily surrendered themselves to the district police headquarters to have their statements recorded at about 11 PM the night before.

The two suspects, in their 20s and 30s, were then arrested and remanded for three days, starting today (Monday, 31 October 2022), for investigation under Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

 

KPJ Healthcare Issued Statement Over Vandalised Kolam

While the viral video clearly shows the man defacing the kolam, it was not clear earlier if the man worked for the KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital, as he was not wearing an official KPJ uniform.

Netizens said that he was a customer service officer there working the front desk. However, it didn’t help that KPJ Healthcare released a public statement that declined to both identify the man and the person recording the video as their employees, and apologise for their action.

The KPJ Healthcare statement only stated that it does not condone any act of disrespect among its staff (abuthen?) and within the compound of any of its hospitals.

It also stated that KPJ Healthcare launched an internal investigation into the video, and stern actions will be taken “should” their staff be involved.

08:28PM, 30 October, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 October 2022 – KPJ Healthcare Berhad (“KPJ Healthcare” or the “Company”) wishes to inform that we have been made aware that a video allegedly depicting one of our staff conducting unprofessional behaviour is making rounds in the social media.

KPJ Healthcare does not condone any act of disrespect among its staff and within the compound of any of its hospitals. We have launched an internal investigation into the video and stern actions will be taken should our staff is involved.

KPJ Healthcare is committed to the highest level of professionalism and we do not compromise on ethical values.

Any further updates will be communicated through our official channels.

Thank you.

Public Relations
Group Marketing & Strategic Communications
KPJ Healthcare Berhad

In light of what we now know, that seems like a case of their PR team trying to avoid apologising for what their staff did. I’m not a PR practitioner, but IMHO, that move will likely backfire.

It wouldn’t have taken them more than a few hours to determine the identity of the persons involved, since they have access to CCTV video feeds in their own hospital.

They could have stepped ahead of the news. Instead, they left it to the police to reveal that the two were really KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital employees.

 

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Starlink Donation : What A Brilliant Way To Make $$$!

Elon Musk just stumbled on a great way for SpaceX to make more money – add a Starlink donation option!

 

Starlink Donation : Way Out For Elon Musk + Brilliant Way To Make $$$

Right after being forced to withdraw his demand for more Starlink funding, Elon Musk just found a fortuitous escape hatch for that PR debacle, and a new and brilliant way to make more money!

Chipper CEO Ham Serunjogi tweeted a day earlier that he would be happy to donate money to donate Starlink to schools and hospitals in Uganda.

Musk jumped on it and asked if anyone else would be interested to donate Starlink to places in need.

Are there others that want to donate Starlinks to places in need?

Without waiting for a poll or positive response from his legion of fans, the SpaceX CEO announced 6 minutes later that SpaceX will add a donate option for Starlink.

Ok, we will add a donate option to Starlink

It took Elon Musk only 6 minutes to realise the genius of the idea. A Starlink donation option would kill two birds with one stone.

Not only would it absolve him of the need to (partially) donate to Ukraine or Iran, or impoverished communities, SpaceX gets to financially benefit from those donations, AND reap the PR benefits on top of that!

That’s a pay nothing, and get all three FREE deal right there! What is there not to like?

Read more : Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

 

Elon Musk + SpaceX Do Not Need A Starlink Donation Option!

Call me a cynic, but this is nothing more than a ploy to enrich SpaceX by squeezing the common people to donate Starlink.

Of course, we don’t yet know how the Starlink donation option will work – it was just a declaration of intent. But neither Elon Musk nor SpaceX actually need to add a Starlink donation option.

SpaceX received and continue to receive tens of millions of dollars in donations to provide Starlink to Ukraine, and we know that because their letter of demand leaked inconvenient details – some 85% of Starlink terminals were donated by third party entities like:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

In other words – there are already institutions donating vast amounts of money to fund Starlink for such “places in need”. Elon Musk himself can fund a lot of CSR projects with his wealth of over $200 BILLION, even if he ends up buying Twitter.

Elon Musk didn’t become a multi-billionaire by donating his money; and despite signing the Giving Pledge in 2012, he has done very little of it.

What is clear though is that neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk need us common folks trying to make ends meet, to donate Starlink.

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Why Is Ham Serunjogi Even Asking For A Starlink Donation Option?

I don’t even understand why Ham Serunjogi is publicly asking Elon Musk if there’s a way to donate Starlink to schools and hospitals in Uganda.

As far as I can tell – SpaceX hasn’t even applied for regulatory approval for Starlink in Uganda. So donating to Uganda is a non-starter, the question moot. Pointless.

But if Ham Serunjogi or any other rich technopreneur wants to help connect “places in need” under Starlink coverage, they can simply order and pay for Starlink. As the Nike motto says – Just do it!

Unless the purpose is to get some nice PR without actually doing anything, or heavens forbid – to give Elon Musk a way to switch the topic away from SpaceX’s less than heroic donations to Ukraine.

Here I lay to rest my cynicism, in hopes that I’m wrong, and Ham Serunjogi and other rich people will do their bit to bring Internet connectivity to people who don’t yet have access.

 

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Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

Elon Musk has officially withdrawn SpaceX’s demand for more Starlink funding in Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

Elon Musk was seen as a saviour to Ukrainians, after his company – SpaceX, shipped thousands of its satellite terminals to Ukraine, and activated its Starlink satellite Internet services.

But he came under fire after a SpaceX letter demanding more funding leaked, exposing how most of Starlink service in Ukraine was being funded by third party entities, including the US, UK and Polish governments.

The backlash resulted in an angry “The hell with it” retort by Musk, which could either mean he was going to continue subsidising a small part of Starlink services in Ukraine, or he was just being sarcastic.

That was finally clarified when he tweeted that SpaceX officially withdrew its request for (additional) funding.

SpaceX has already withdrawn its request for funding

He could barely hide his indignation at being “exposed” for only subsidising a small percentage of Starlink services in Ukraine, with his follow-up tweet to “clarify” that SpaceX was only getting paid for 42% of Starlink users in Ukraine.

To be precise, 25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service

While that sounds “bad”, the truth is – SpaceX was charging an ultra-premium $2,500 for its Starlink service in Ukraine, when most users only needed the much cheaper $500 connectivity, or the $60 consumer connectivity.

That’s like charging them for Gigabit broadband, when they only need 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps connectivity. The cost is the same, but the company gets to claim that they are being fleeced, when the truth is – they are looking to profiteer off a country desperately trying to fight off a Russian invasion.

Come on, Elon…

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk / SpaceX Is Making Money Off Starlink In Ukraine!

As a capitalist and a corporation respectively, Elon Musk and SpaceX are entitled to profit off the Starlink satellite service. But it is also important to note that Ukraine has offered SpaceX a unique opportunity to showcase the advantages of the Starlink system.

The overwhelmingly positive media coverage of Starlink’s importance in the Ukraine War is something money can’t buy. So it is important that Elon Musk and SpaceX do not abuse their unique position, to focus on profit, profit, profit.

Not only do they stand to lose that positive news coverage, it could also open a bag of worms… like when the leaked letter exposed that SpaceX was not as charitable as everyone thought.

According to the leaked SpaceX letter, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

That service cost was also brought into question since it was their top-tier pricing, when the majority of users in Ukraine only needed the much cheaper $500 per month connectivity, and consumer connectivity only cost $60 per month. It looked like SpaceX was profiteering off Ukraine’s desperation.

The SpaceX letter naturally rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

Let’s hope that Elon Musk and SpaceX has learned their lesson on trying to profit off the Ukraine War…

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Earlier : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

 

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Intel’s Habana Labs Cuts Over 10% Of Workforce!

Artificial intelligence chip developer, Habana Labs, just laid off over 10% of its workforce, just as Intel plans to layoff up to 20% of its employees.

 

Intel’s Habana Labs Cuts Over 10% Of Workforce!

Intel acquired artificial intelligence chip developer Habana Labs in 2019 for $2 billion. The acquisition allowed Habana Labs to rapidly increase its workforce from 180 people to over 900.

That breakneck expansion has not only come to a shuddering halt, it is being reversed – Habana Labs is laying off 100 of their employees. According to an Intel statement:

Habana Labs assesses and updates its technical and business focus from time to time in order to adapt to the current business reality and to continue and improve its competitiveness.

As part of these processes, it makes adjustments to its workforce and the balance between different disciplines from time to time. This is a normal process which occurs constantly and allows Habana to continue and develop attractive and competitive products and solutions.

Habana Labs was founded by David Dahan and Ran Halutz in San Jose in 2016, for the purpose of developing processors optimised for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications.

Both Dahan and Halutz were former executives of PrimeSense Limited, which was acquired by Apple for $360 million in 2013. Its first investor and chairman was Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz.

Recommended : Intel Planning Major Layoffs, Amid Market Downturn!

Habana Labs Cuts Employees Before Major Intel Layoffs

Habana Labs functions as an independent unit within Intel, which is why it announced its layoffs before Intel announced its own major layoffs later this month.

According to Bloomberg News, Intel is planning major layoffs of its staff, “as early as this month” – around the same time its third quarter earnings report is announced on October 27.

This reduction in headcount will be substantial, affecting Intel sales and marketing team the hardest – around 20% of their members are expected to receive pink slips.

This decision comes after two years of booming sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, and just as Intel is set to receive billions in funding from the US government under the CHIPS Act.

The PC market is currently struggling due to high inflation, new US-Chinese tech restrictions, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gartner recently announced that worldwide PC shipments only totalled 68 million units in the third quarter of 2022 – a 19.5% drop from a year ago. This was the steepest market decline it recorded since it started tracking the market in the mid-1990s.

 

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Intel Planning Major Layoffs, Amid Market Downturn!

Intel is planning major layoffs of its staff, due to declining demand for its chips, even as it is set to receive billions in funding from the CHIPS Act!

 

Intel Planning Major Layoffs, Amid Market Downturn!

According to Bloomberg News, Intel is planning major layoffs of its staff, “as early as this month” – around the same time its third quarter earnings report is announced on October 27.

This reduction in headcount will be substantial, affecting Intel sales and marketing team the hardest – around 20% of their members are expected to receive pink slips.

This decision comes after two years of booming sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, and just as Intel is set to receive billions in funding from the US government under the CHIPS Act.

The PC market is currently struggling due to high inflation, new US-Chinese tech restrictions, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Gartner recently announced that worldwide PC shipments only totalled 68 million units in the third quarter of 2022 – a 19.5% drop from a year ago. This was the steepest market decline it recorded since it started tracking the market in the mid-1990s.

Read more : Intel’s Habana Labs Cuts Over 10% Of Workforce!

On October 11, 2022, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announced a new path for growth during this economic downturn – the creation of an internal foundry model for external customers, and Intel product lines.

Intel will also create an IDM 2.0 Acceleration Officer under the leadership of Stuart Pann. IDM is short for Integrated Device Manufacturing.

IDM 2.0 is Intel’s plans to become a major provider of semiconductor foundry capacity in the US and Europe to serve customers globally.

 

Intel Not Alone In Layoffs During This Market Downturn

Intel wouldn’t be alone in cutting jobs. Meta and Microsoft had already announced layoffs. Meta quietly laid off about 12,000 “underperforming” Facebook employees recently, while Microsoft announced in July 2022 that it laid off almost 1,800 employees.

Even Sundar Pichai – the CEO of mighty Alphabet hinted at the possibility of layoffs, saying he wanted to make Google 20% more efficient and that could include cutting its headcount.

Many other corporations have also been laying off employees amidst the global economic slowdown and high inflation that is fuelling recession fears – Tencent, Alibaba, Tesla, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, etc.

 

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Apple Watch Explodes, Apple Tries To Cover It Up!

An Apple Watch Series 7 exploded recently, and Apple tried to cover it up. Maybe that’s why there’s not much uproar over it!

 

Apple Watch Explodes, Apple Tries To Cover It Up!

An Apple Watch Series 7 user recently reported to 9to5Mac that his smartwatch overheated, started smoking and eventually exploded!

The user recently noticed that his smartwatch was getting much hotter than usual, and that the back of the Apple Watch Series 7 had cracked.

watchOS also started showing a warning about needing to shut down due to the high temperature. This happened while he was in his own home where the temperature was just over 70°F / 21°C.

He immediately called Apple Support, and his call got escalated through multiple levels, eventually landing in the hands of a manager who told him not to touch the watch until he heard back from them.

The next morning, the Apple Watch was even hotter to the touch, and the heat actually shattered its display!

When he picked it up to take photos to send to Apple Support, it started making “crackling sounds” and “exploded” just as he threw it out the window.

The exploding Apple Watch Series 7 left burn marks on his couch, and he visited the hospital emergency room out of an abundance of caution over the potential of lead poisoning from the burning Apple Watch.

When he reached out to Apple, he was told that his case was a “top priority”, and that he would receive an update by the “following Monday”. Apparently, it wasn’t top priority enough to deal on a weekend…

Eventually, he waited until Wednesday, October 5, 2022, to hear back from Apple – it arranged to pick up the Apple Watch for further tests in its labs.

Apple also sent him a document asking him to agree not to share his experience with anyone. Fortunately, the Apple Watch user declined to sign the document, so he could share his story. Otherwise, we would never have known about an Apple Watch Series 7 exploding!

 

Apple Watch Explodes vs. Samsung Phone Batteries Bloating

It is inevitable that comparisons will be made between this story of an Apple Watch actually exploding, and the recent complaints by influencers that their Samsung phone batteries were bloating.

First, let me point out that in both cases, we cannot determine cause and effect merely from a few cases (in the saga of bloating Samsung batteries) or one case (this example of an exploding Apple Watch).

Apple sold over 100 million Apple Watch models since December 2020, and Samsung sells over 270 million smartphones every year. So it is important to frame both incidences in that context.

While exploding or bloating batteries are a real danger that we must all be aware of, it is an unavoidable risk of using lithium-ion battery technology.

When the drama over bloating Samsung batteries first exploded (pun intended!), many people asked me for my opinion as I too have many smartphones that I keep for comparison tests.

I shared that so far, the only Samsung phone to bloat was an old Galaxy S7 edge from 2017, and many other smartphones from ASUS, Xiaomi, etc. have bloated on me. In fact, a realme smartphone is slowly splitting itself in two from a battery bloat in front of me right now.

So it isn’t exactly a “brand problem”. In fact, the worst brand for battery bloating in my personal experience is Apple. My 15-inch MacBook Pro suffered no less than THREE (3) sets of bloated batteries in just 3 years. So Apple fans really should not laugh at other brands over battery issues.

All lithium-ion batteries have an innate risk of bloating, catching fire, or even exploding. That is something we must all acknowledge.

Read more : Did Exploding Samsung Smartphones Kill 3 In Florida?

Of course, better design decisions and stringent quality control can greatly reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of such dangerous incidences. When hundreds of millions of lithium-powered devices are being manufactured every year, it is inevitable that many of them will bloat after some time, and a few will catch fire and may even explode.

That is why airlines forbid travellers from storing lithium-ion batteries, or devices with lithium-ion batteries, in their check-in luggage. That’s to ensure that if a fire does break out, it would be noticeable to the cabin crew, and can be tackled quickly.

What is most concerning though what happens when companies are made aware of battery issues. Do they take you seriously and treat you right? Or do they try to shut you up, to protect their reputation and sales?

What Samsung did was assuring, but probably only because they learned their lesson from the Galaxy Note7 battery saga. Apple did not suffer through such a traumatic event, and it shows.

Perhaps they should go through a similarly traumatic experience. Then maybe they will treat their customers a little better. The way they treated me when I reported my MacBook Pro’s bloated batteries is why I steadfastly refuse to ever consider buying an iPhone.

And trying to cover up this case of an Apple Watch exploding? That’s just not right…

 

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PayPal Retracts New $2,500 Fine After Backlash!

PayPal just retracted a new $2,500 fine that it was planning to introduce. Here is what you need to know…

 

PayPal Retracts New $2,500 Fine After Backlash!

On Sunday, October 9, 2022, PayPal quickly retracted a new policy that would have allowed it to fine its users $2,500 for spreading misinformation.

But instead of apologising for planning to introduce such the $2,500 misinformation fine, PayPal claimed that the updated Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) was released “in error”.

An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. Our teams are working to correct our policy pages. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.

This awkward, inelegant reversal came after the potential policy changes drew media attention, and much criticism on social media.

Even former PayPal President David Marcus came out to blast the company over its plans to fine its customers if it disagrees with their views.

It’s hard for me to openly criticize a company I used to love and gave so much to. But @PayPal’s new AUP goes against everything I believe in.

A private company now gets to decide to take your money if you say something they disagree with. Insanity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted his agreement with Marcus, “Agreed“.

Even though PayPal reversed its course, it doesn’t sound like it understood why so many came out so strongly against the new AUP. Its response was tone deaf and obtuse.

 

The $2,500 Misinformation Fine PayPal Wanted To Introduce

The $2,500 misinformation fine was part of a major update of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that was supposed to take effect on November 3, 2022.

PayPal wanted to expand its existing list of prohibited activities to include the “sending, posting, or publication of messages, content, or materials that meet certain criteria.

PayPal’s prior policy already forbade “hate”, “intolerance”, and discrimination, but the new policy would explicitly be applied to specific “protected groups” and “individuals or groups based on protected characteristics” like race, religion, gender or gender identity, and sexual orientation”.

Those who break the new rule against misinformation and hate speech may be subjected to “damages, including liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation, which may be debited directly from your PayPal account“.

In other words, if PayPal determines that you are spreading misinformation, it has the right to deduct $2,500 from your account, for each violation.

The new AUP would require users to agree to accept that the penalty is “presently a reasonable minimum estimate of PayPal’s actual damages” for the violations, as well as damage to its reputation.

While I hate fake news creators, and have spent countless hours writing fact check articles, this is a step too far. There is simply no check or balance in the new PayPal AUP.

History has shown that tech companies make tons of mistakes in detecting and deciding on what is fake news, and what’s not. Some of my fact check articles have been labelled by Facebook, LinkedIn and even Google as fake news, and it takes considerable effort to get them checked and whitelisted.

Is PayPal going to compensate those who it wrongly decided has contravened its AUP for misinformation? Is there even an avenue for aggrieved parties to easily and quickly dispute such actions?

Nothing PayPal has done shows that any forethought went into this new AUP. It is therefore not surprising that even FCC Brendan Carr came out to describe this as “Orwellian”.

PayPal reserves the right to take your money if you post a message that PayPal decides is “misinformation,.

This is why it is so vital that state and federal legislatures pass laws that prohibit discrimination by tech companies and protect free speech.

The best solution to this problem is to do what venture capitalist David Sacks advised – “Get your money out of PayPal right now

 

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Google Pixelbook Is Dead, But Chromebook Lives On!

Google just cancelled their next Pixelbook, and dissolved the team behind it, but don’t worry – the Chromebook lives on!

 

Google Kills Pixelbook + Dissolves Team

Google just cancelled the next-generation Pixelbook laptop that was supposed to debut next year. They also dissolved the team developing it, and transferred its members to other teams.

This sudden decision came after Google said in May 2022 that it planned to continue its Pixelbook laptop business.

Then in July, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he wanted to slow down hiring and cut some projects :

In some cases, that means consolidating where investments overlap and streamlining processes. In other cases, that means pausing development and re-deploying resources to higher priority areas.

It looks like Google decided that their next Pixelbook would be a waste of resources, and killed it to shift their resources elsewhere.

 

Google Pixelbook Is Dead, But Chromebook Lives On!

While there will no longer be a new Pixelbook laptop in 2023, that does not mean Google has given up on ChromeOS or Chromebook laptops.

In fact, Google likely canned their Pixelbook project because their OEM partners are doing a great job of producing a plethora of good or even great Chromebook laptops.

As Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh pointed out at Google I/O 2022 in May, the Chromebook market had matured and would last a long time.

Google have always developed hardware as a way to push the envelope, and to show its partners what can be achieved. It doesn’t benefit Google to directly compete with its partners.

Now that OEM partners like Acer, Lenovo and HP are offering Chromebook laptops in a wide range of price points and configurations, it just doesn’t make sense for Google to muddle the market with a new Pixelbook.

 

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IBM Expands Power10 Server Line With New Models!

IBM just expanded the Power10 server line with new mid-range and scale-out systems with flexible consumption options!

Here is what you need to know…

 

IBM Expands Power10 Server Line With New Models!

IBM announced a significant expansion of its Power10 server line on July 12, 2022, with the introduction of new mid-range and scale-out systems.

The new IBM Power10 servers tout improved performance, scalability and flexibility with new pay-as-you-go options for clients looking to deploy new services quickly across multiple environments.

Joining the Power10 E1080 server that was introduced in September 2021, are these new models :

  • Power10 Midrange E1050 – a 4-socket rack server
  • Power S1014 – a 1-socket, 4U server
  • Power S1022 – a 2-socket, 2U server
  • Power S1024 – a 2-socket, 4U server

These new servers offer 2x more cores, and more than 2x more memory bandwidth than the previous Power generations.

 

IBM Partners Ready To Leverage Power10 Server Capabilities

The newly expanded IBM Power10 Server Line now offers a flexible and broad range of servers for data intensive workloads such as SAP S/4HANA, and SIBS from Silverlake Axis.

The Power10 Midrange E1050 server, for example, delivers scale (up to 16 TB) and 4-socket performance for clients who run BREAKTHROUGH with IBM for RISE with SAP.

Regional banking solution provider, Silverlake Axis, is also ready to leverage the increase compute capabilities and scalability of the new Power10 servers for their Integrated Banking Solution – SIBS.

“Today’s highly dynamic environment has created volatility, from materials to people and skills, all of which impact short-term operations and long-term sustainability of the business,” said Steve Sibley, Vice President, IBM Power Product Management.

“The right IT investments are critical to business and operational resilience. Our new Power10 models offer clients a variety of flexible hybrid cloud choices with the agility and automation to best fit their needs, without sacrificing performance, security or resilience.”

 

 

IBM Offers Power10 Server Line With Flexible Consumption Options

IBM also recently announced new flexible consumption choices with pay-as-you-go options, as well as by-the-minute metering for IBM Power Cloud.

These flexible consumption models offer clients more opportunities to lower their cost of running OpenShift solutions on IBM Power, compared to alternative platforms.

In addition, the IBM I subscription offers clients a comprehensive platform solution with hardware, software as well as support and services included in the subscription price.

 

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Did China Make 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions?!

Did China successfully fabricate 7nm chips, despite US sanctions on advanced chip manufacturing technology?

Well, yes, but not quite. Here is what you need to know about China’s mysterious 7nm chips!

 

China Made 7nm Chips In Spite Of US Sanctions!

A TechInsights report recently concluded that China has successfully created 7nm chips since last year.

This caused quite a ruckus, because it essentially meant that China jumped two generations ahead in chip manufacturing technology!

The TechInsights team bought a MinerVa mining ASIC which used a custom chip that has been manufactured by China’s SMIC since July 2021.

When they examined the chip, they discovered that it was fabricated on a 7nm process that appears to be a “close copy” of a 7nm process used by TSMC – the Taiwanese foundry giant.

The MinerVa chip is small – at just 19.3 mm², with 120 chips populating the MinerVa board. Each mining ASIC has 3 of these boards, for a total of 360 chips and a total power consumption of 3300 watts.

This discovery is deeply concerning to many people, because it meant that China has more advanced chip manufacturing technology than is even available in the United States or EU.

After all, US sanctioned the sale of advanced chip manufacturing technology to China – which was meant to crippled China’s ability to manufacture such chips.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer used this report to stress the danger of delaying the $50 billion subsidy package for semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.

Members of both sides know that America’s chips crisis is sending shock waves across the economy.

It is endangering our national security. […] China’s top chips maker has now likely advanced its tech by two generations, threatening U.S. competitiveness.

But the situation really isn’t as dire as many people make it out to be…

 

SMIC / China Barely Made Those 7nm Chips

After the report was released, the Internet fell into two main camps – American politicians and China hawks bemoaning the “loss” of Western chip making advantage, and pro-CCP netizens celebrating it.

First, let me start by congratulating China / SMIC on achieving this feat despite being hobbled by US sanctions on crucial chipmaking technology.

Whether China / SMIC “copied / stole / bought” the technology knowhow from TSMC whose 7nm process it closely resembles, it is still a remarkable achievement.

That said, SMIC / China barely made those 7nm chips, and here are the reasons why…

SMIC manufactured these 7nm chips using older Deep Ultraviolet Lithography (DUV) machines, instead of the state-of-art Extreme Ultraviolet Light (EUV) lithography machines made by Dutch company ASML.

This isn’t extraordinary in itself – TSMC and Samsung had much earlier developed 7nm process nodes using the older DUV machines. However, this comes at the cost of “increased process complexity and design rule restrictions“.

That is likely why the MinerVa chip is not only very small, it actually lacks SRAM (Static Random Access Memory) that is critical in processors that run our computers and smartphones.

The simpler design and small size allow SMIC to obtain sufficient workable chips, even with a poor yield. However, the cost of chip would be much higher than if it was manufactured on a higher-quality process.

So for all intents and purposes – this should be considered as a niche / prototype 7nm process, and not a true 7nm process node.

On top of that, SMIC apparently isn’t capable of producing large quantities of these 7nm chips, suggesting either a yield problem, or difficulty in scaling up.

MinerVa has not been able to deliver the mining ASICs based on these SMIC 7nm chips in large numbers. A Bitcoin mining company – Stronghold Digital Mining, for example, said that it ordered 15,000 miners from MinerVa but only received about 3,200 units as of March 2022.

For China / SMIC to present a true “threat” as far as chipmaking is concerned, it would have to be capable of manufacturing MILLIONS of chips, not thousands.

Regardless of whether the Americans are howling in despair, or the pro-CCP netizens are howling in delight, China really does not have true 7nm chipmaking capability for mass production yet.

And even if they somehow manage to improve and scale up this 7nm DUV process, they cannot make more advanced chips without EUV machines made by ASML.

As long as the Dutch government holds firm on blocking sale of ASML’s EUV machines to China, this is likely as far as they can go… unless they invade Taiwan, which is where TSMC is based and has the world’s most advanced chip manufacturing facilities.

 

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China Fines Didi Global $1.2 Billion For Violating Laws!

China just fined Didi Global a whopping $1.2 billion for violating its cybersecurity, data security and privacy laws!

 

China Fines Didi Global $1.2 Billion For Violating Laws!

On Thursday, 21 July 2022, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced that Didi Global breached the country’s cybersecurity law, data security law, and personal information protection law.

The Chinese cyberspace regulator fined Didi Global 8 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), as well as a personal fine of 1 million yuan ($148,000) each on Chairman and CEO Cheng Wei, as well as President Liu Qing (also known as Jean Liu).

The facts of violations of laws and regulations are clear, the evidence is conclusive, the circumstances are serious, and the nature is vile.

Didi Global responded to the regulator’s announcement with a contrite statement “sincerely” accepting the judgement and penalties :

We sincerely accept this decision, and resolutely obey it. We will strictly follow the penalty decision and the requirements of relevant laws and regulations, conduct comprehensive and in-depth self-examination, and actively cooperate with supervision and complete rectification carefully.

We will take this as a warning and further strengthen the construction of cyberspace security and data security, strengthen the protection of personal information, and earnestly fulfill our social responsibilities. We will serve every passenger, driver and partner well, and realize the safe, healthy and sustainable development of the enterprise.

 

What Did Didi Do To Incur China’s Wrath?

According to an FAQ by the CAC, its investigators started their investigation of Didi in July 2021.

After conducting an extensive investigation, they found that Didi conducted data processing activities that “seriously affected national security”, and refused to comply with “the explicit requirements of regulatory authorities” and conducted “malicious evasion” of regulatory supervision.

They also stated that Didi Global committed 16 violations of China’s laws, including :

  1. Didi illegally collected 11.9639 million screenshots from its users’ mobile phone photo albums.
  2. Didi excessively collected 8.323 billion pieces of its users’ clipboard information, and application list information.
  3. Didi excessively collected 107 million pieces of passenger face recognition information, and 53.5092 million pieces of age group information, 16.3556 million pieces of occupational information, 1.3829 million pieces of family relationship information, and 153 million pieces of taxi address information.
  4. Didi excessively collected passengers’ evaluation of the drivers, when the app is running in the background, and 167 million pieces of precise location (longitude and latitude).
  5. Didi excessively collected 142,900 pieces of driver education information, and 53.976 billion pieces of “intent information”, 1.538 billion pieces of resident city information, and 304 million pieces of non-local business/travel information.
  6. Its users are frequently asked to provide “telephone permissions” while using its services.
  7. Inaccurate and clear description of user personal information processing, including device information.

The CAC noted that Didi started its bad practices in June 2015, and continued even after the Cybersecurity Law was implemented in June 2017, the Data Security Law started in January 2022, and the Personal Information Protection Law was implemented in November 2021.

 

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Apple settles Butterfly Keyboard lawsuit for $50 million!

Apple just agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the controversial butterfly keyboard used in its MacBook laptops!

 

Apple Sued For Controversial Butterfly Keyboard!

Apple introduced the controversial butterfly keyboard mechanism to their MacBook laptops from 2015 to 2019, to make them slimmer.

The butterfly mechanism uses mirrored switches that expand like wings, unlike the typical scissor mechanism used in laptop keyboards which uses two interlocking switches that click together when the key is pressed.

While the butterfly mechanism made the keys thinner, they also made the keyboard prone to trapping dust and debris, resulting in sticky and/or easily broken keys.

Apple added a membrane to the butterfly mechanism, in an effort to make it quieter while keeping debris out; but it didn’t help. Small design changes in 2019 also did little to improve the keyboard.

The Wall Street Journal even printed a famous typo-ridden column to demonstrate the butterfly mechanism’s issues in 2019.

Two law firms – Girard Sharp LLP, and  Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP – then bought on a class action lawsuit, claiming that Apple was aware of the problem but failed to rectify the problem and do enough in supporting customers who experienced the problem.

 

Apple Settles Butterfly Keyboard Lawsuit For $50 million!

On July 18, 2022, Apple filed a $50 million settlement in San Jose, California, to settle the class action lawsuit over its butterfly keyboard.

If approved by a judge, the law firms can claim up to $15 million out of the $50 million settlement, for legal fees. Apple denied any wrongdoing, and did not offer any comments.

The rest of the settlement would be used to pay customers who bought a MacBook, MacBook Air, and most MacBook Pro laptops between 2015 and 2019 in seven US states :

  • California
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Washington

Under the proposed settlement, customers who had issues with their butterfly keyboards in those states will receive :

  • up to $395, for those who had to replace multiple keyboards
  • $125 for those who had a single keyboard replacement
  • $50 for those who had to replace key caps

Apple dumped the butterfly keyboard for the more traditional scissor mechanism keyboard in 2019, with the introduction of the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Magic Keyboard.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Why Elon Musk Backed Out Of Twitter Deal!

It’s official – Elon Musk moved to officially terminate his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter!

Find out why he backed out, and if he can really do that!

 

Buyer’s Remorse : Elon Musk Backs Out Of Twitter Deal!

On Friday, July 8, 2022, Elon Musk moved to terminate his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter.

According to the official SEC filing, Musk is ending the deal because he believed that Twitter was “in material breach of multiple provisions” of the April 2022 agreement he signed to buy Twitter.

For the past month, Mr. Musk has been clear that he views Twitter’s non-responsiveness as a material breach of the Merger Agreement giving him the right to terminate the Merger Agreement if uncured.

Thus, Mr. Musk has been clear about his requests, his right to seek such information, and his view regarding Twitter’s material breach of the Merger Agreement.

Elon Musk’s lawyer pointed out to Twitter’s Chief Legal Officer, Vijaya Gadde, that Twitter failed to provide “much of the data and information” repeatedly requested by Musk “over the past two months” :

  • Information related to Twitter’s process for auditing the inclusion of spam and fake accounts in mDAU (monetizable Daily Active Users)
  • Information related to Twitter’s process for identifying and suspending spam and fake accounts.

Twitter shares fell nearly 6% in after hours trading immediately following the news, after ending the day down 5%.

Twitter board chair Bret Taylor responded that they will pursue legal action against Elon Musk for reneging on the deal :

The Twitter Board is committed to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr. Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement.

We are confident we will prevail in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

The April 2022 deal actually allows Elon Musk to terminate the deal, but he has to pay a cool $1 billion termination fee. It looks like he is trying to get out of that, by blaming Twitter for not providing him with information.

 

Elon Musk Backing Out Of Twitter Deal : Was It Ever In Doubt?

The writing was on the wall right after Elon Musk agreed to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.

Instead of celebrating the purchase with champagne, he started raising doubts about actually going through with the deal.

Even though he claimed he wanted to buy Twitter to eradicate bots, he started to complain that Twitter did not provide him with the data he needs to evaluate the number of bots and fake accounts on Twitter.

Then in May – just a month after agreeing to buy Twitter – he put the deal “on hold”. In June, he directly threatened to walk away from the deal.

His contradictory moves are perplexing considering the fuss he kicked up to buy Twitter – buying a ton of shares, and then turning down a board seat while threatening a hostile bid.

Even more perplexing – Elon Musk explicitly waived due diligence, in his eagerness to sign the April 2022 contract to purchase Twitter.

It was not like Musk didn’t know about Twitter’s bot and spam problem. He knew. He also chose to waive due diligence… and he chose to sign a contract.

It is possible that Musk is pressuring the Twitter board to renegotiate the purchase price, now that Twitter shares have fallen significantly. Twitter shares have fallen about 32% – down from $54.20 when he announced the offer, to just $37 on Friday, when he moved to terminate the deal.

It is also possible that Musk is forced to renegotiate the deal, because Tesla shares that he relied on to finance Twitter’s purchase has taken a beating since he signed the deal. Tesla shares have fallen about 31% – down from $985 when he announced the offer, to just $682 when he moved to terminate the deal.

Ultimately, the Twitter deal may go through at a lower price, or this will end up in court with an expensive breakup lesson for Elon Musk.

 

Elon Musk – Twitter Saga : A Timeline

Here is a quick timeline summary of the Elon Musk – Twitter saga :

March 28 : Elon Musk says he seriously thinking about building the “next Twitter”

April 4 : Twitter announces that Elon Musk had purchased 9.2% of Twitter shares, worth about $2.9 billion

April 5 : In an effort to ward off a hostile bid, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal offered Musk a Twitter board seat, which he accepted.

April 10 : Elon Musk reverses his decision to join the Twitter board, implying he intends to mount a hostile bid.

April 14 : Elon Musk offers to pay $54.20 per share to buy 100% of Twitter, valuing the company at $43.4 billion.

April 15 : Twitter board announces a poison pill defence to block Musk’s anticipated hostile bid.

April 25 : Twitter board accepted Elon Musk’s offer to purchase the entire company at $54.20 per share, and take it private. Both parties agreed to pay a $1 billion termination fee, if either party reneges on the deal.

May 13 : Elon Musk announces that the Twitter deal is “temporarily on hold” pending “details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.” He then quickly “clarified” that he is “still committed to acquisition”.

June 6 : In a legal letter to Twitter Chief Legal Officer, Vijaya Gadde, Elon Musk alleged that Twitter was “actively resisting and thwarting his information rights”, and that he reserves the right “not to consummate the transaction” and “to terminate the merger agreement”.

July 8 : Elon Musk officially moved to terminate his Twitter purchase agreement.

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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ViewSonic Launches New Corporate + Education Solutions!

ViewSonic just launched new solutions for the corporate and education segments!

Here’s a quick look at the new ViewSonic LED projectors, and the ViewSonic Studio!

 

ViewSonic Launches New Corporate + Education Solutions!

Thanks for the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those working in the corporate and education industry are looking for a hybrid approach to combine in-person and online meetings and education.

Capitalising on the increased demand in those market segments, ViewSonic is introducing two new 3rd Generation LED projectors, as well as their Hybrid Ecosystem ViewBoard Interactive Display.

3rd Gen ViewSonic LED Projectors

ViewSonic is offering two new 3rd Generation LED projectors – the LS500WHE and the LS550WHE, both offering a maximum brightness of 3,000 ANSI lumens, as well as greater energy efficiency, and a longer lifespan.

The ViewSonic LS500WHE delivers 125% Rec.709 colour gamut, with 50% lower power consumption, and an LED light source that does not require replacements (thanks to its 30,000 hour lifespan), and is mercury-free.

Its optical engine is sealed against dust, with an IP5X rating, ensuring optimal image quality regardless of the environment. And the LS500WHE offers a 360-degree tilt angle projection to support floor and ceiling projections.

The ViewSonic LS550WHE is a short-throw version that offers all of the LS500WHE’s capabilities, with a 0.49 short throw lens, together with horizontal and vertical keystone correction, as well as 4-corner adjustments to eliminate crooked or distorted images.

ViewSonic LS500WHE (left) and LS550WHE (right)

ViewSonic Studio For Education Tech Solutions

ViewSonic also launched the first ViewSonic studio in Malaysia, which offers educators and policy makers access to their latest edtech solutions, like the ViewBoard Interactive Display, and the myViewBoard visual learning software suite.

The ViewBoard interactive display has made significant inroads in the Malaysian education system, taking up 43.5% of the market share up to Q1 2022.

ViewSonic hopes to expand on this through their myViewBoard software suite, which would allow for Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies (SCALE-UP).

The integration of the ViewBoard interactive display, with their myViewBoard software suite will allow classrooms to adopt group work, with better engagement through enriched content and an immersive learning system.

 

ViewSonic Corporate + Education Solutions : Price + Availability

The new ViewSonic corporate and education solutions are available with immediate effect.

Here are the launch prices for the 3rd Generation ViewSonic LED projectors :

  • LS500WHE : RM3,599 (about US$815 | £672 | A$1,187 | S$1,137)
  • LS550WHE : RM3,999 (about US$905 | £747 | A$1,319 | S$1,263)

Online purchase options in Malaysia :

Online purchase options in Singapore :

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!