Tag Archives: Enterprise

FCC Commissioner Asks Apple + Google To Remove TikTok!

FCC Commissioner Asks Apple + Google To Remove TikTok!

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr just publicly asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores!

Here is what you need to know about the renewed heat on TikTok!

 

FCC Commissioner Asks Apple + Google To Remove TikTok!

On June 29, 2022, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr publicly called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.

This move came after leaked TikTok audio recordings obtained by Buzzfeed News revealed that ByteDance staff in China (and possibly the Chinese government) retained extensive access to data on US citizens.

Read more : TikTok Leak Showed China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

In his public letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the FCC Commissioner asked that TikTok be removed for “its pattern of surreptitious data practices”.

It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data.

But it is also clear that TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data – just some of which is detailed below – puts it out of compliance  with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to as a condition of remaining available on your app stores.

Therefore, I am requesting that you apply the plain text of your app store policies to TikTok and remove it from your app stores for failure to abide by those terms.

FCC Commissioner Carr also labelled TikTok as a “sophisticated surveillance tool” that is designed to harvest “personal and sensitive data“.

At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.

Indeed, TikTok collects everything from search and browsing histories to keystroke patterns and biometric identifiers, including faceprints – which researchers have said might be used in unrelated facial recognition technology – and voiceprints.

It collects location data as well as draft messages and metadata, plus it has collected the text, images, and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard. The list of personal and sensitive data it collects goes on from there.

This should come as no surprise, however. Within its own borders, the PRC has developed some of the most invasive and omnipresent surveillance capabilities in the world to maintain authoritarian control.

Carr ended his letter with an “ultimatum” of sorts – if Apple and Google do not remove TikTok from their app stores, they need to provide “separate responses” to him by July 8, 2022, explaining why TikTok does not contravene their App Store policies.

As of June 30, 2022, TikTok is still available to download in the US app stores of both Apple and Google.

If Apple and Google acts on the FCC Commissioner’s request, TikTok will only be removed from their US app stores. It won’t affect downloads in other countries.

Neither would it prevent users in the US from continuing to use TikTok. They just won’t be able to download it any longer, or update to newer versions.

 

FCC Commissioner Lists History Of TikTok Data Practices!

While the leaked TikTok audio recordings may have precipitated this open letter to Apple and Google, FCC Commissioner Carr pointed to a list of questionable data practices by TikTok in the past.

The list makes for really interesting reading, especially for those who are not up to date on TikTok’s privacy and data security issues :

  • In August 2020, TikTok circumvented a privacy safeguard in Google’s Android operating system to obtain data that allowed it to track users online.
  • In March 2020, researchers discovered that TikTok, through its app in the Apple App Store, was accessing users’ most sensitive data, including passwords, cryptocurrency wallet addresses, and personal messages.
  • In 2021, TikTok agreed to pay $92 million to settle lawsuits alleging that the app “clandestinely vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China (and to other servers accessible from within China) vast quantities of private and personally identifiable user data and content that could be employed to identify, profile, and track the physical and digital location and activities of United States users now and in the future.”
  • In March 2022, a report included current and former TikTok employees stating in interviews that TikTok delegates key decisions to ByteDance officials in Beijing and that an employee was asked to enter sensitive information into a.cn domain, which is the top-level domain operated by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
  • Earlier, in 2019, TikTok paid $5.7 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that its predecessor app illegally collected personal data on children under the age of 13.
  • India- the world’s largest democracy–has already banned TikTok on national security grounds for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting user data in an unauthorized manner.
  • Multiple U.S. military branches have also banned TikTok from government-issued devices due to national security risks, including the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.
  • U.S. government officials have also urged troops and their dependents to erase the app from their personal phones.
  • U.S. national security agencies have similarly banned TikTok from official devices citing national security risks, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the TSA.
  • The RNC and DNC have warned campaigns about using TikTok based on security concerns and the threat of officials in Beijing accessing sensitive data.
  • Citing data security concerns, private U.S. business operations have also banned TikTok from company devices, including Wells Fargo.
  • Once accessed by personnel in Beijing, there is no check on the CCP using the extensive, private, and sensitive data about U.S. users for espionage activities because compliance with the PC’s 2017 National Intelligence law is mandatory in China.

 

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Cloudflare Went Down, Knocking Many Websites Offline!

Many websites were knocked offline today, after Cloudflare suffered a major outage and went down!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Cloudflare Went Down, Knocking Many Websites Offline!

At around 6:30 AM UTC, Cloudflare – the popular content delivery network (CDN) went down, knocking large parts of the Internet offline.

This is ironic, because many websites rely on Cloudflare to not only speed up page loading for their users, but also to mitigate or prevent downtimes from DDoS attacks and server failures.

Cloudflare declared it a critical P0 incident at around 6:34 AM, noting that “connectivity has been disrupted in broad regions“. Instead of loading, all affected websites would show a 500 Internal Server Error message.

Tech ARP was affected, and so were many popular websites and online services like Discord, Omegle, Medium, Feedly, Epic Games, etc.

 

Cloudflare Now Up, After Down For An Hour!

They finally identified the issue about 23 minutes later. The fix took another 23 minutes, but by 7 AM UTC, they restored connectivity.

After monitoring for about an hour, the Cloudflare team declared the P0 critical incident “resolved”0 at 8:06 AM UTC.

Cloudflare has not revealed what caused the outage, but right now, most people are just glad that they resolved in within an hour!

 

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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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Chipmakers Brace For Noble Gas Shortage, After Russia Cut Supply!

Chipmakers worldwide are bracing for a noble gas shortage, after Russia cut supplies! Here is what you need to know…

 

Chipmakers Brace For Noble Gas Shortage, After Russia Cut Supply!

On June 2, 2022, the Russian government issued a decree stating that export of noble gases will be subject to Moscow’s approval until December 31, based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

This effectively cuts or limits the export of critical noble gases to “unfriendly” countries, and was a direct response to the fifth round of sanctions imposed by the European Union in April.

Russia and Ukraine were leading producers of noble gases since the days of the Soviet Union, and jointly supplied about 30% of the chipmaking industry’s supply of neon gas.

Both countries were closely intertwined in their noble gas supply to the world. Russia produced raw neon gas as a byproduct of its steelworks, and sent it to Ukraine for purification. That ceased with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 

How Badly Will Russia Noble Gas Cut Affect Chipmakers?

Noble gases like neon, argon, xenon and helium are critical in the production of microelectronics that power everything from computers to smartphones and cars.

Neon, in particular, plays a critical role in the optical lithographic process used to etch patterns on silicon wafers, creating circuits in semiconductor chips.

The state-of-the-art excimer pulsed laser used to create semiconductors, for example, requires an argon-fluorine-neon mixture, up to 95% of which is made up of exceptionally pure neon gas.

That’s why about 70% of the world’s supply of neon gas (about 540,000 tonnes) is used by the semiconductor industry.

Fortunately, Russia’s decision to cut noble gas supplies may have less impact that they assumed, because chipmakers prepared for such an eventuality.

The semiconductor industry used to rely on Ukraine and Russia for about 80% to 90% of their neon gas supply, but they started diversifying their noble gas supplies after Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014.

Over the last 7-8 years, they managed to cut down their dependence on Ukraine and Russia to about 30%. And the industry generally maintains gas reserves that would last 3-6 months.

China is the main beneficiary of reduced noble gas supply from Russia. Since the war started, Chinese noble gas producers said that their daily order enquiries have jumped 5X to 6X.

For now, the semiconductor industry does not need to reduce production, but the reduced market supply will mean noble gas prices will remain elevated for some time to come.

Needless to say – this will increase the cost of semiconductors, the cost of which will be passed onto consumers.

 

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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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TikTok Leak : China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

Leaked audio from internal TikTok meetings show that private user data has been repeatedly accessed from China!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Privacy Promise By TikTok : Overseas Data Stored In US + Singapore

For many years now, TikTok has repeatedly assured users that all data collected from users outside of China, stays out of China and is thus, not accessible to anyone in China.

To ensure that the Chinese government has no access to the data, one of the measures they took was to store all data collected overseas in servers located in the United States, with backups in Singapore.

This was explicitly stated in their New Privacy Policy :

We store the information described in the What Information We Collect section in servers located in the United States and Singapore.

Most people may not realise this, but they also added a caveat right after that, stating that their Corporate Group (in China) may remotely access the data…

When entities in our Corporate Group need information to help us provide the Platform, they remotely access the information pursuant to authorised and secure access controls.

 

TikTok Leak : China Repeatedly Accessed Private User Data!

Buzzfeed News recently received audio recordings from more than eighty (80) internal TikTok meetings, in which employees admitted that engineers in China accessed private user data.

This was despite a TikTok executive’s sworn testimony at an October 2021 US Senate hearing at the same time period, that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to the private user data.

Instead, the leaked audio revealed that US staff did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data. Rather, it was their colleagues in China who determined how and who accessed the private user data.

The leaked tapes ultimately show that TikTok may have misled lawmakers, users, and the public by downplaying the fact that their private data is readily accessible by employees in China, and potentially, the Chinese government.

Everything Is Seen In China

Eight different employees stated in nine statements that they had to refer to their colleagues in China to make those decisions.

Everything is seen in China“, said a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety department in a September 2021 meeting.

In another September 2021 meeting, a TikTok director referred to a Beijing-based engineer as a “Master Admin” who “has access to everything“.

There’s Some Backdoor To Access User Data…

Fourteen of the leaked audio recordings were with, or about, a team of Booz Allen Hamilton consultants that TikTok brought in to investigate how data flows through TikTok and ByteDance’s internal tools.

In September 2021, one Booz Allen Hamilton consultant told colleagues that the tools felt like they had backdoors to access user data :

I feel like with these tools, there’s some backdoor to access user data in almost all of them, which is exhausting.

Oracle Only Providing Storage For Project Texas

TikTok has been working on what they call Project Texas – securely storing overseas data in Oracle cloud servers to comply with CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States).

Project Texas is limited to protecting the private information of US users, like phone numbers and birthdays – details that are not publicly visible, or have been set to private.

Such data will be stored at an Oracle datacenter in Texas – hence the name, and would only be accessible to specific US-based TikTok employees.

However, TikTok’s head of global cyber and data defense made clear that Oracle was only providing the data storage space for Project Texas. Ultimately, TikTok would be setting up the servers, and controlling everything.

It’s almost incorrect to call it Oracle Cloud, because they’re just giving us bare metal, and then we’re building our VMs [virtual machines] on top of it.

Unique IDs Not Protected Information

In one of the leaked audio recordings from a January 2022 meeting, TikTok’s head of product and user operations announced with a laugh that the Unique ID (UID) will not be amongst the protected content under the CFIUS agreement.

The conversation continues to evolve. We recently found out that UIDs are things we can have access to, which changes the game a bit.

Other Data Not Stored On Oracle Servers

The problem with Project Texas is that it only addresses US users… and only a small subset of their data.

Everything else – including private user data from non-US countries – will stay in their US and Singapore servers that remain accessible to ByteDance’s Beijing offices.

 

Response By TikTok : 100% US Data Traffic Routed To Oracle

TikTok publicly announced on the same day – June 17, 2022, that it changed the “default storage location of US user data“, and that “100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure“.

Although they “expect” to fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US, they will continue to use their existing US and Singapore servers for backup, and delete US users’ private data over time.

While this may address some of the privacy concerns for US users, it does not address the other privacy concerns revealed in the leaked audio recordings… or the privacy concerns of non-US users.

 

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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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TnG eWallet Back Online After Going Down For Over 8 Hours!

All TnG eWallet services are finally back online, after going down for over 8 hours!

Here is everything you need to know!

 

TnG eWallet Down Earlier : No Payments Or Transfers!

At around 1 PM today, the TnG eWallet platform went down, preventing users from making payments or even money transfers.

One of our readers, Kent Ng, shared with me the error messages he received in the TnG eWallet app.

When he tried to transfer money, he received a Connection Time Out error. He couldn’t even pay for parking using TnG eWallet!

Initially, TNG Digital said that RFID transactions were affected, but a few hours later, they said that RFID can still be used, but you are limited to the balance in your TnG eWallet.

The automatic reload feature in the TnG eWallet is still down, so you cannot use RFID to go through toll booths if there is insufficient balance in your eWallet.

Please check your TnG eWallet balance, and make sure you have enough for the toll. Otherwise, please avoid using the TnG RFID lanes at toll booths until this issue is resolved.

You will have to switch to the Touch ‘n Go card, with or without SmartTAG, to pay at toll booths. Please make sure you have sufficient balance in your TnG card.

 

TnG eWallet Back Online After Going Down For Over 8 Hours!

After netizens complained about not being able to make payments, TNG Digital posted a short statement that they are currently working on a solution.

Dear valued user, 📣

We understand you’re experiencing a service interruption in your eWallet at the moment & may not be able to perform payments including RFID & PayDirect transactions. 🚫

Rest assured that we are currently rectifying this matter & will update you accordingly, as soon as it is back online. 🧐

We apologise for the inconvenience caused. Thank you for your kind patience & understanding. 🙏

The Touch ‘n Go eWallet team. 💙

About six hours later, they were still not able to restore payments. But the good news is that they say that TNG RFID will work at highway toll booths, as long as you have sufficient balance in your eWallet.

Touch ‘n Go Wallet is currently experiencing a technical difficulty and as such we are experiencing a disruption of all Touch ‘n Go Wallet services.

Touch ‘n Go cards and RFID can still be used in highways, transit and parking if you have sufficient balance.

You can reload all your Touch ‘n Go cards at physical reload points as usual.

We are working to restore our services as soon as possible.

At 9:35 PM – after over 8 hours of downtime – TNG Digital finally announced that all Touch ‘n Go eWallet are finally up and running!

Touch ‘n Go Wallet and its services are up and running.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused earlier and thank you for your kind patients.

They however noticeably did not reveal what happened to their platform, or explain why it took them so long to get it back online again.

We can only hope that they learned from this incident, and will put in place measures to prevent it from happening again…

 

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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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Watch Out For SVCReady Malware In MS Word Documents!

Please watch out for a new malware called SVCReady that is being embedded in Microsoft Word attachments!

Here is what you need to know about the new SVCReady malware!

 

Watch Out For SVCReady Malware In MS Word Documents!

The HP Threat Research just uncovered a new malware called SVCReady, which they first picked up on 22 April 2022 through HP Wolf Security telemetry.

SVCReady is being distributed in phishing emails with Microsoft Word attachments. On opening the infected Word document, an embedded Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) AutoOpen macro is used to run shellcode stored in the properties of the document.

Splitting the macro from the shellcode is a way to evade security software that would normally detect the malicious code.

Document properties containing shellcode, namely a series of nop instructions as represented by 0x90 values. Credit : HP

The SVCReady malware begins by downloading and loading its payload from the web, and connecting to its Command and Control (C2) server.

It then starts gathering and sending information to the C2 server like :

  • username
  • computer name
  • time zone
  • whether the computer is joined to a domain
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE|DESCRIPTION\System registry key
  • running processes
  • installed software

The SVCReady malware also connects to its C2 server every 5 minutes to report its status, send information, receive new instructions, or validate the domain.

Currently, the malware appears to only gather and send information. However, that will change as the malware persists in the system, and is capable of receiving both updates and instructions from the C2 server.

In fact, the HP team observed the SVCReady retrieve and load a Readline stealer payload on an infected computer. It’s a sign of things to come.

The HP team believes that the SVCReady malware is still in early development, with an influx of updates adding features like encrypted C2 communications, and detection evasion.

They also found evidence linking SVCReady to past malware documents by the TA551 (Shatak) group from 2019 and 2020.

SVCReady will eventually be used for more nefarious purposes once it is good and ready. Until then, the malware will stay hidden, lurking and waiting for its master’s commands.

 

How To Avoid SVCReady Malware In MS Word Documents?

The HP team discovered that the malware creates a new registry key, which could serve as a signature for security software to detect it : HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\CLSID\{E6D34FFC-AD32-4d6a-934C-D387FA873A19}

But until security software are updated to detect SVCReady, the best way to avoid this malware is simple – do NOT open Word document attached to emails!

If you regularly receive Word documents in your emails, please VERIFY with the sender before opening them.

These phishing emails are designed to look legitimate. So be very careful about what you open!

 

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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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Exasperated Apple Shifts Some iPad Production Out Of China!

Apple has gotten so exasperated that they shifted some iPad production out of China for the first time!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Exasperated Apple Shifts Some iPad Production Out Of China!

Apple has reportedly shifted some of its iPad production out of China, over the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Shanghai.

Strict lockdowns in and around Shanghai after a surge in COVID-19 cases have led to months of supply chain disruptions for Apple, even though their factories operated in a closed loop.

Apple built production lines in Vietnam with the help of China’s BYD, and will “soon start to produce” some iPads there.

Apple had asked Foxconn to move iPad and MacBook Pro production from China to Vietnam in 2020, with plans to manufacture a significant proportion of iPads there. However, a COVID-19 surge in 2021 delayed those plans.

Even though China has started to lift their Zero COVID restrictions in Shanghai, Apple is unlikely to reverse these plans to shift production to Vietnam.

This will be the second major production line to shift to Vietnam. Apple shifted almost 30% of AirPods production to Vietnam in the second quarter of 2020.

 

Apple Also Asked Suppliers To Build Up Inventories

Apple also asked multiple component suppliers to build up their inventories, to prevent supply chain disruptions from affecting production.

One of the people with direct knowledge of this issue said :

For example, component supplier X has a 40% share of Apple’s business in Jiangsu Province, which is a risky region of supply chain disruption, and supplier Y in another city accounts for the remaining 60% share.

Apple would want supplier Y to build enough additional components to match supplier X’s 40% share in the coming months in case production in Jiangsu is shut down again.

If China continues with its Zero COVID policy, it is likely that Apple and other companies will seriously look at shifting more of their production to other countries.

Supplies of electronics from China’s factories have been severely impacted by their strict COVID-19 lockdowns, even though some factories are allowed to use a closed loop system.

There is also worker welfare to consider – there is only so much they can tolerate the closed loop system, where workers are restricted to factory campuses for weeks on end.

In early May, workers at the Quanta factory producing MacBook laptops in Shanghai rioted over the closed loop system, and fled the factory.

 

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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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Samsung Display To Finally Shut Down LCD Business!

Samsung Display will finally shut down its LCD business in June, closing a chapter in its history!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Samsung Display To Finally Shut Down LCD Business!

Samsung Display originally sought to close its LCD business in 2020, even selling its LCD plant in Suzhou to CSOT, a Chinese company owned by the TCL conglomerate.

Their original 2020 plan to shut down their LCD business was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a surge in LCD prices. Samsung decided to continue their business, until end of 2022. However, LCD prices have fallen rapidly recently, with price pressure from Chinese and Taiwanese rivals.

Its parent company, Samsung Electronics, was their largest buyer; but even it has agreed to purchase displays from Chinese and Taiwanese companies like BOE Technology Group and AU Optronics Corps.

 

Samsung Display To Finally Shut Down LCD Business!

In light of such challenging market conditions, Samsung Display decided to close its LCD business six months earlier.

From June 2022 onwards, Samsung Display will stop producing LCD panels used for large TV screens, and focus instead on manufacturing OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) and Quantum Dot displays.

Employees from its LCD display business are expected to be transferred to its Quantum Dot display business.

 

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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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Foxconn To Build New 12-Inch Wafer Fab In Malaysia!

Foxconn just announced that they will be building a 12-inch wafer fab in Malaysia!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Foxconn To Build New 12-Inch Wafer Fab In Malaysia!

On 17 May 2022, Foxconn announced that their wholly-owned subsidiary, Big Innovation Holdings Limited (BIH) will form a joint venture company with Dagang NeXchange Berhad (DNeX), to build and operate a new 12-inch wafer fabrication plant in Malaysia.

Both DNeX and BIH have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on build and operate the new 12-inch wafer fab.

Under the MOU, DNeX and BIH will work together to “decide the location of the New Fab in Malaysia, financing structure of the project, and initial management structure and key personnel of the New Fab.

The new fab is expected to produce 40,000 wafers a month, using 28-nanometer and 40-nanometer process technologies developed in 2011 and 2008 respectively.

The 28nm and 40nm process technologies are not new, but they are still in high demand for less complex chips used in industrial, consumer electronics and automotive applications.

 

New 12-Inch Foxconn Wafer Fab In Malaysia : Not A Done Deal

While this is exciting news for Malaysia, it is not a done deal. Both companies only signed a Memorandum of Understanding, not a contract.

There are no concrete details of where the wafer fab will be located, or how much Foxconn will invest. It is also unknown how many jobs this project would create.

One would do well to remember the $10 billion project that Foxconn announced with the Trump Administration in July 2017.

Foxconn was supposed to build and operate a 20-million square foot manufacturing campus in Wisconsin, that would build flat panel displays, and create 13,000 jobs, in return for $3 billion in subsidies.

In the end, that massive flat panel project was abandoned and downsized into a network operations and storage centre worth about $672 million, creating only 1,454 new jobs.

 

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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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Touch ‘n Go eWallet Is Now Back On Apple App Store!

The Touch ‘n Go eWallet app was quietly restored to the Apple App Store, as quietly as it was removed earlier!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Touch ‘n Go eWallet Is Now Back On Apple App Store!

Apple quietly removed the Touch ‘n Go eWallet (TNG eWallet) from the App Store in the first week of May 2022.

The TNG eWallet download page earlier stated “App Not Available – The app is currently not available in your country or region“.

It was also removed from the App Store search listing. The Boost eWallet now appears, instead of the TNG eWallet.

Even though the Touch ‘n Go eWallet app is no longer available in the Apple App Store, you can continue to use it if you had already installed it earlier.

The TNG Digital team stated that they are working to resolve the issue with Apple, and confirmed that the app that is installed in your iPhone will continue to work with all features fully-functioning.

Fortunately, the Touch ‘n Go eWallet (TNG eWallet) app was quietly restored to the Apple App Store on 11 May 2022.

 

Was Touch ‘n Go eWallet NFC Feature Removed For Apple Users?

Neither Apple nor Touch ‘n Go eWallet stated why the TNG eWallet app was removed from the App Store.

At that time, believed Apple removed it because of the recently-added NFC top-up feature for physical Touch ‘n Go cards.

That’s because Apple Pay is the only mobile wallet / eWallet allowed to use the iPhone and iPad’s NFC capabilities  for contactless payments.

That limitation has resulted in an antitrust charge by the European Union :

The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores (‘Near-Field Communication (NFC)’ or ‘tap and go’), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.

The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay.

However, the newly-approved Touch ‘n Go eWallet version 1.7.73 continued to feature the NFC reload option.

Therefore, it seems more likely that Apple removed the app earlier due to the Face Verification feature in the Touch ‘n Go eWallet app.

In fact, the new Touch ‘n Go eWallet version 1.7.73 now lacks the Face Verification feature. Their FAQ also stated that :

Face verification is being upgraded for iOS users, this feature will be temporarily disabled. Kindly use your PIN as alternate authentication.

The previous version of Touch ‘n Go eWallet could have contravened this App Store Review Guidelines rule :

2.5.13 Apps using facial recognition for account authentication must use LocalAuthentication (and not ARKit or other facial recognition technology) where possible, and must use an alternate authentication method for users under 13 years old.

But at least Apple iPhone users can rest assured that they will continue to get the latest Touch ‘n Go eWallet app. They just have to live without the Face Verification feature for now…

 

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Why Was Touch ‘n Go eWallet Removed From App Store?!

The Touch ‘n Go eWallet app was just removed from the Apple App Store!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Touch ‘n Go eWallet Removed From Apple App Store!

Apple quietly removed the Touch ‘n Go eWallet (TNG eWallet) from the App Store a few days ago.

The TNG eWallet download page now states “App Not Available – The app is currently not available in your country or region“.

It was also removed from the App Store search listing. The Boost eWallet now appears, instead of the TNG eWallet.

Interestingly, the download page in the official Touch ‘n Go eWallet website is also not functioning, with a 404 error – Page not found.

It is however still available in the Google Play Store, so Android users can still download it just fine.

Even though the Touch ‘n Go eWallet app is no longer available in the Apple App Store, you can continue to use it if you had already installed it earlier.

The TNG Digital team stated that they are working to resolve the issue with Apple, and confirmed that the app that is installed in your iPhone will continue to work with all features fully-functioning.

This does not mean the removal is to be taken lightly. Until the app is restored to the App Store, you will no longer be able to update the app.

Over time, you may lose out on new features. But more importantly, you will no longer receive security and fixes.

 

Why Was Touch ‘n Go eWallet Removed From App Store?!

Neither Apple nor Touch ‘n Go eWallet stated why the TNG eWallet app was removed from the App Store.

However, I believe Apple removed it because of the recently-added NFC top-up feature for physical Touch ‘n Go cards.

That’s because Apple Pay is the only mobile wallet / eWallet allowed to use the iPhone and iPad’s NFC capabilities  for contactless payments.

That limitation has resulted in an antitrust charge by the European Union :

The European Commission has informed Apple of its preliminary view that it abused its dominant position in markets for mobile wallets on iOS devices. By limiting access to a standard technology used for contactless payments with mobile devices in stores (‘Near-Field Communication (NFC)’ or ‘tap and go’), Apple restricts competition in the mobile wallets market on iOS.

The Commission takes issue with the decision by Apple to prevent mobile wallets app developers, from accessing the necessary hardware and software (‘NFC input’) on its devices, to the benefit of its own solution, Apple Pay.

If this was the reason for the TNG eWallet app’s removal, it will be yet another example of Apple’s egregious anti-competitive nature, and yet another strike against their walled garden.

If they continue to lock down the NFC feature on the iPhone / iPad to force the use of Apple Pay, they will invite more anti-trust actions, and possibly turn people to the Android platform.

Unfortunately, there’s really nothing much Apple users can do.

 

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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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Did China Lock Down Shanghai To Spite US Over Ukraine?!

Did China lock down Shanghai, not to fight COVID-19, but to spite US companies over the Ukraine war?

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

 

Claim : China Locked Down Shanghai To Spite US Over Ukraine War!

People are sharing an article by Kanthan Pillay, which claimed that China locked down Shanghai not to fight COVID-19 but to spite US companies over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It’s a rather long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Shanghai Lockdown Not Because Of Covid -19!!

Two weeks after Russia’s forces moved into Ukraine, China locked down Shanghai.

Let me hit you with some bullet points:

More than 800 multinational corporations have regional headquarters in Shanghai . Among them, 121 are Fortune Global 500 companies, including Apple, Qualcomm, General Motors, Pepsico.

More than 70 000 foreign companies have offices in Shanghai. More than 24 000 of these are Japanese.

 

Truth : China Did NOT Lock Down Shanghai To Spite US Over Ukraine War!

I have read many conspiracy theories about China and the Ukraine War, but this has to be one of the stupidest I have read to date.

I cannot believe I have to actually explain why China did not lock down Shanghai just to spite US companies over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But here we go…

Fact #1 : China Has Been Locking Down Cities Since 2020

First, I should point out that China has been locking down cities since the COVID-19 pandemic started in Wuhan.

This isn’t a new tactic. China locks down entire cities as part of their COVID Zero policy.

In fact, China locked down 4 additional cities in the first two months of 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine :

  • 4 January : Yuzhou, Henan province
  • 11 January : Anyang and Zhengzhou, Henan province
  • 7 February : Baise, Jilin province

It is therefore ridiculous for Kanthan Pillay to claim that China locked down Shanghai to spite US companies.

Fact #2 : Shanghai’s COVID-19 Outbreak Began On 28 February

Ironically, Shanghai’s COVID-19 outbreak began on the same day Russia chose to invade Ukraine – 28 February 2022.

I’m surprised Kanthan Pillay did not suggest that the Chinese introduced the Shanghai outbreak as part of a false flag operation to spite US companies. LOL!

Fact #3 : Shanghai Lockdown Only Started A Month Later

Kanthan Pillay falsely claimed that China locked down Shanghai two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine. Why two weeks? Why not immediately?

In any case, Shanghai only adopted “area-separated and batch-separated control” on 28 March 2022 – a month after their COVID-19 outbreak started, and a month after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Only a week later – on 5 April 2022, did Shanghai put the entire city under lockdown.

Read more : Did US Refuse WHO Investigation Of Fort Detrick?!

Fact #4 : Hong Kong Has More Regional HQs Than Shanghai

In his first “bullet point”, Kanthan Pillay said that more than 800 multinational corporations have their regional headquarters in Shanghai.

What he does not point out to you is that Hong Kong has almost twice as many regional headquarters as Shanghai – 1,457 as of 2021.

If the Chinese wanted to “attack” US companies by targeting their regional headquarters, they would do better to lock down Hong Kong.

But wait – Hong Kong is still NOT under lockdown, even with a massive surge of Omicron cases.

Fact #5 : Regional HQ Not As Important As Factories

Kanthan Pillay does not seem to understand that regional headquarters are not as critical to US companies as the factories that produce goods for them.

Many employees of these regional headquarters can conduct their work from home, even hold meetings virtually from anywhere in the world. So using regional headquarters and design centres as examples of Chinese sabotage is stupid.

Factories, on the other hand, cannot produce goods virtually. Hence, factories that produce goods for US companies are far more important than regional HQs and design centres.

Fact #6 : Shanghai Lockdown Affects All Companies

Kanthan Pillay is apparently unaware thatChina’s lockdown of Shanghai is not limited to US citizens or companies.

The Shanghai lockdown affects all residents, whether they are Chinese citizens or foreigners. Similarly, Chinese companies are affected just as badly as their Western counterparts.

Even more importantly – there are far more Chinese companies in Shanghai than Western companies. More Chinese citizens are being employed by Chinese companies in Shanghai, than Western companies.

If China intentionally locked down Shanghai to spite US companies, they would be sacrificing their own economy to do that.

The Chinese are not quite so stupid as to cut off their noses, just to spite their own faces.

Read more : Is Malaysia Going To Supply Russia With Semiconductors?!

Fact #7 : TSMC Shanghai Fab Is Not State Of Art

Kanthan Pillay also seems to be unaware that the TSMC plant in China is not state of the art, and does not manufacture 7 nm or 5 nm chips as he alleged.

The TSMC Fab 10 foundry in Shanghai was completed around the end of 2004, and produces 8-inch wafers using old 0.25 micron and 0.35 micron processes from the 1990s.

Fact #8 : Shanghai Semiconductor Companies Not Affected By Lockdown

Despite the entire city of Shanghai being under strict lockdown, its semiconductor companies continued to maintain full production.

They managed to achieve this through closed-loop systems, where most employees work on-site while others work remotely from home.

Both TSMC and SMIC say that they are maintaining full production in Shanghai using such closed-loop systems.

Fact #9 : Companies Can Shift To Other Countries

Kanthan Pillay ludicrously believe that China shut down Shanghai to deliver “a body blow to global giants in the US sphere of influence“.

Multinational companies, especially those from the West, can and have shifted to other countries or states, if conditions become unfavourable.

Some have already started shifted production from China to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

If China did really do this just to spite US companies, it would be one more reason to shift their operations to other countries. It’s not like they can only build factories in China.

Fact #10 : Chinese Sacrifice Will Not Help Russia

What Kanthan Pillay does not explain is WHY on Earth would China sacrifice its own people and economy to help Russia?

And how does crippling Shanghai’s economy help Russia? Sure, Tesla will miss its production target… again, but so what?

These are public-listed companies, not the US government. Whatever happens to these companies won’t have a material effect on the US government, only its shareholders.

Needless to say – it won’t sway Western sanctions on Russia, and it certainly won’t help Russia in any way.

Read more : What Should China Worry About Russia-Ukraine War?

Fact #11 : Western Economies Are Still Doing Fine

Kanthan Pillay ended his article by claiming that such actions by Russia and China have “brought the economies of the Western powers to a grinding halt“.

I have no idea what he has been smoking, but it must be some fantastic shit, because none of the Western economies are remotely close to collapsing!

In fact, the US Fed just made the biggest interest rate increase in 22 years, announcing a 0.5% interest rate hike to tackle inflation.

Other Western economies are poised to similarly raise their interest rates. They would not be raising interest rates if their economies were collapsing as Pillay alleged.

The Kanthan Pillay article is nothing more than a meaningless self-masturbatory fantasy.

Unfortunately, it’s being widely shared by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) and pro-CCP netizens.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out!

 

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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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Is Malaysia Going To Supply Russia With Semiconductors?!

Is Malaysia preparing to break Western sanctions, and supply Russia with electronics and semiconductors?!

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

 

Claim : Malaysia Preparing To Supply Russia With Semiconductors!

People are sharing a GizChina article that claims that Malaysia is preparing to supply Russia with electronics and semiconductors against Western sanctions!

Here is what the article says… It’s long so please feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

It looks like Malaysia is prepping to supply electronics and semiconductors to Russia amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine. This piece of information has been confirmed by the Malaysian Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Bala Chandran Tharman.

 

Truth : Malaysia NOT Preparing To Supply Russia With Semiconductors!

The truth is – GizChina made up this story, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Mahathir Is No Longer Prime Minister Of Malaysia

GizChina does not seem to be aware that Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has not been the Prime Minister of Malaysia since he stepped down on 24 February 2020.

They hilariously used the photo of Dr. Mahathir with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was taken at the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore, in 2018.

Mahathir wasn’t even mentioned in their article. They could have used a photo of the Malaysian Ambassador to Russia, Bala Chandran Tharman…

Please don’t tell them they thought that this was a picture of the Malaysian Ambassador to Russia with Putin…

Fact #2 : GizChina Offered No Evidence

GizChina offered ZERO evidence that Malaysia is preparing to go against Western sanctions, and supply Russia with semiconductors.

The writer, Vinay Patel, claimed that “this piece of information has been confirmed by the Malaysian ambassador to the Russian Federation, Bala Chandran Tharman“.

However, he offered no evidence to back up that claim. There was no link to any statement, or a quote of Bala Chandran confirming that Malaysia would be supplying Russia with semiconductors.

Fact #3 : Bala Chandran Did Not Say Malaysia Will Supply Russia With Semiconductors

Despite other sources claiming that Bala Chandran made that claim to RIA Novosti and Sputnik News, I could find no reference in their official websites.

The only legitimate news source I could find was a Bernama report on 23 April 2022, which stated :

In another development, Bala Chandran believes Malaysia would consider an opportunity to sell semiconductors and electronics to Russia.

“The Malaysian industry is market-oriented and I am absolutely sure that any request from the Russian party concerning such products will be considered,” the ambassador said.

He stressed that he was not aware of any current talks on the issues between the two countries.

Bala Chandran, as far as I can tell, never said that Malaysia would go against Western sanctions, and actually supply Russia with semiconductors.

He only said that “Malaysia would consider” the “opportunity to sell semiconductors and electronics to Russia“.

This is no different from a lady telling you that “she would consider” going out on a date with you. That could possibly happen, but it does NOT mean she actually agreed to go out on a date with you.

Fact #4 : Malaysia Is A Democracy With A Market Economy

Bala Chandran also pointed out that the Malaysian market is “market-oriented“. Malaysia has a market economy, and is not controlled by the government.

Malaysia is also a democratic country, not an autocratic / authoritarian state like China, where the government has massive power to control private / public enterprises.

In short, the Malaysian government cannot and does not dictate who Malaysian companies should sell to. Even if Malaysia wanted to sell semiconductors to Russia, it cannot simply order companies to do so.

Bala Chandran also clarified, he isn’t aware of any ongoing conversations at the government level. In other words, the Malaysian government itself has made no effort to sell or market semiconductors to Russia.

Fact #5 : Malaysia Does Not Own Semiconductor Companies

Malaysia has a number of homegrown semiconductor companies that provide critical support to multinational corporations like Intel, AMD, Agilent, Renata, Osram, Infineon and Broadcom.

However, they are private and public-listed companies and not owned by the Malaysian government, or beholden to it. Practically all of them have ties to Western companies that have to comply with Western sanctions against Russia.

Therefore, the Malaysian government cannot dictate who these companies should supply their products and services to. It can only say that “any request from the Russian party concerning such products will be considered“, and nothing more.

Fact #6 : Even Chinese Companies Are Avoiding Russia

Despite China coming out against economic sanctions imposed on Russia, Chinese companies are studiously avoiding breaking Western sanctions.

Even Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, explicitly said that “China is not a party to the crisis, nor does it want the sanctions to affect China.

Companies placed under US sanctions, for example, will have all of their US assets and banned from trading with US companies.

If China does not dare to break Western sanctions against Russia, do you really expect Malaysia to break them? Do you expect private and public-listed companies to break Western sanctions?

As a warning shot, Singapore electronics wholesaler Alexsong Pte Ltd. was placed under US sanctions for facilitating “transactions that helped Russia evade sanctions“.

The truth is, for most companies, the Russian market is much too small to risk losing access to Western markets, capital and technologies.

Variants of this FAKE NEWS are now being shared in pro-Russia and pro-China websites.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check article out!

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Zoom Ramps Up APAC Team For Era Of Flexibility!

Zoom just announced that they ramped up their APAC team to meet demands for what they call the Era of Flexibility!

 

Zoom On The Era Of Flexibility In APAC!

On 26 April 2022, Zoom Video Communications, Inc (NASDAQ: ZM) announced that they just ramped up their senior leadership team for APAC, as well as key business momentum updates for the Asia Pacific region.

This announcement comes as APAC undergoes a critical transformation into a hybrid future, driving demand for secure, seamless, and connected experiences across virtual and physical channels. This is accompanied by an explosion of digital-native organisations born in the digital age and in the cloud, underpinned by the rise of a generation who has grown up in the presence of modern information technology.

Zoom believes that their capabilities across meetings, chat, phone, rooms, events and contact centre – all within a video-first paradigm – will help to address these evolving needs and provide a unified platform experience.

While customers desire hyper-personalisation and total convenience across virtual and physical touchpoints, the integration of video capabilities via the Zoom platform has allowed a range of organisations, spanning a variety of sectors including healthcare, education, and financial institutions, to reimagine the customer journey.

To meet employee demand for greater flexibility and freedom of choice, Zoom will also enable the ‘work-from-anywhere’ workforce, providing the technology required for enhanced collaboration, productivity, and inclusivity in hybrid teams.

 

Zoom Ramps Up APAC Team For Era Of Flexibility!

To keep up with demand of what they called the Era of Flexibility, Zoom announced several new additions to their senior leadership team in key APAC markets :

  • Lucas Lu, Head of Asia (ASEAN, South Korea, Hong Kong SAR, and Taiwan). Lu joins Sameer Raje, General Manager and Head, India and SAARC, and Michael Chetner, Head of ANZ to drive business traction in the respective territories within APAC. Lu is an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience, serving multiple leadership roles in global organisations across the technology, oil and gas and telecommunications sectors.
  • Cathy Yum, Head of Marketing, APAC, brings two decades of experience in building high-performing teams and delivering business goals and objectives for some of the world’s biggest technology giants. Yum plays a pivotal role in driving Zoom’s go-to-market strategies.
  • Gina Kuek, APAC Leader, People Experience Business Partner, comes with a wealth of experience in developing people and creating positive workplace cultures, and will champion Zoom’s culture of care as it expands across Asia.
  • Jacob Pereira, Head of Partners, APAC, is responsible for Zoom’s partner ecosystem and overall channel growth in the region. He has served in senior leadership positions in high performing technology companies.
  • Raj Natarajan, Head of Customer Success, APAC, comes with a proven track record of driving innovation and transforming business outcomes with some of the world’s most successful brands. In his current role, Natarajan oversees Zoom’s customer success initiatives in the region with a strong team of Customer Success Managers.

Zoom is also accelerating the region’s innovation and helping organisations create and grow their businesses on the Zoom platform. In APAC, these organisations include Australian retail platform Brauz; Vietnam’s business communication platform GapoWork; Singapore-headquartered ed-tech platform LingoAce; and Indonesia’s largest cellular operator Telkomsel.

Through the Zoom Developer Platform, developers, platform integrators, service providers, and customers are able to easily build apps and integrations, or integrate Zoom’s core technology into their products and services to deliver enriched video experiences to their end users.

Beyond its core video communications offering of Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars, Zoom has seen strong demand in the region for products like Zoom Rooms, Zoom Phone, and Zoom Events. In FY22Q4, Zoom closed its largest Zoom Rooms deal in APAC with a customer deploying more than 3,300 Zoom Rooms to drive hybrid work across their offices.

 

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IBM z16 : Industry’s First Quantum-Safe System Explained!

IBM just introduced the z16 system, powered by their new Telum processor with an integrated AI accelerator!

Take a look at the z16, and find out why it is the industry’s first quantum-safe system!

 

IBM z16 : Industry’s First Quantum-Safe System!

On 25 April 2022, IBM officially unveiled their new z16 system in Malaysia – the industry’s first quantum-safe system.

IBM Vice President for Worldwide Sales of IBM Z and LinuxONE, Jose Castano, flew to Kuala Lumpur, to give us an exclusive briefing on the new z16 system, and tell us why it is the industry’s first quantum-safe system.

IBM Z and LinuxONE Security CTO Michael Jordan also briefed us on why quantum-safe computing will be critical for enterprises, as quantum computing improves.

Thanks to its Telum processor, the IBM z16 system delivers low and consistent latency for embedding AI into response time-sensitive transactions. This can enable customers to leverage AI inference to better control the outcome of transactions before they complete.

For example, they can leverage AI inference to mitigate risk in Clearing & Settlement applications, to predict which transactions have high risk exposure, and highlight questionable transactions, to prevent costly consequences.

In a use-case example, one international bank uses AI on IBM Z as part of their credit card authorization process instead of using an off-platform inference solution. As a result, the bank can detect fraud during its credit card transaction authorisation processing.

The IBM z16 will offer better AI inference capacity, thanks to its integrated AI accelerator offering up to 1 ms of latency, expanding use cases that include :

  • tax fraud and organised retail theft detection
  • real-time payments and alternative payment methods, including cryptocurrencies
  • speed up business or consumer loan approvals

As the industry’s first quantum-safe system, the IBM z16 is protected by lattice-based crypto graphs – an approach for constructing security primitives that help protect data and systems against current and future threats.

 

IBM z16 : Powered By The New Telum Processor!

The IBM z16 is built around the new IBM Telum processor, which is specifically designed for secure processing, and real-time AI inference.

Here are the key features of the IBM Telum processor that powers the new IBM z16 system :

  • Fabricated on the 7 nm process technology
  • Has 8 processor cores, clocked at over 5 GHz
  • Each processor core has a dedicated 32 MB private L2 cache
  • The eight 32 MB L2 cache can form a virtual 256 MB L3 cache, and a 2 GB L4 cache.
  • Transparent encryption of main memory, with 8-channel fault tolerant memory interface
  • Integrated AI accelerator with 6 TFLOPS compute capacity
  • Centralised AI accelerator architecture, with direct connection to the cache infrastructure

The Telum processor is designed to enable extremely low latency inference for response-time sensitive workloads. With planned system support for up to 200 TFLOPs, the AI acceleration is also designed to scale up to the requirements of the most demanding workloads.

Thanks to the Telum processor, the IBM z16 can process 300 billion inference requests per day, with just one millisecond of latency.

 

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Fact Check : What China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

People are sharing a post by Li Guangman on what China should worry about the Russia-Ukraine War.

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

 

Li Guangman : What China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

Chinese and pro-China netizens have been sharing this post by Chinese blogger Li Guangman on what lessons China should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It’s a very long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Some worries brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war (says Li Guangman)

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the robbery behavior in the entire Western world broke many Chinese people’s perceptions, which made me feel a strong and deep worry.

PS. I have no idea who Li Guangman is, but apparently, some Community Party folks think he’s important, and have been sharing his posts.

 

Li Guangman Is Wrong About Why China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine

I have no idea if Li Guangman actually wrote that post, but one thing is for sure – it is full of misinformation.

I’m not going to focus on what lessons China should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but I will show you what can be easily and factually proven false in that viral post.

Fact #1 : Corporations Do Not Sanction Countries

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Internet service providers and social media platforms announced sanctions against Russia after they invaded Ukraine.

That never happened, because corporations don’t issue sanctions. Those corporations only decided to stop working with Russia, after Western countries announced sanctions against Russia.

  • Cogent Communications, which is the second-largest Internet connectivity provider in Russia, terminated their contracts there on 4 March 2022 to comply with EU Regulation 2022/350.
  • Lumen terminated their services in Russia on 8 March 2022, to comply with sanction requirements.

Fact #2 : Corporations Chose To Stop Doing Business In Russia

Many corporations decided to stop doing business in Russia, mainly because they are public-listed companies that are answerable to their shareholders, and their customers worldwide.

For many, the limited Russian business they conduct is not worth risking their worldwide business, especially when the rest of the world is stridently against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Automotive : Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan
  • Aviation : Boeing and Airbus
  • Finance : Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, Western Union, Moody’s, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup
  • F&B : Burger King, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nestle, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Yum Brands (KFC and Pizza Hut)
  • Energy : BP, Exxon, Shell, Equinox
  • Big Tech : Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nintendo, Sony, Spotify, TikTok
  • Hotels : Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott

There is also the issue of sanctions – Western sanctions may also prohibit them from selling their products and services to Russia and/or Belarus.

Fact #3 : US Did Not Launch “Disconnection Action” Against Russia

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that the US launched disconnection action against Russia. That never happened.

The easiest way to do that would be to get ICANN to remove Russian domains from the Internet, which would prevent anyone from accessing any server in Russia.

However, the United States never made such a request. Only Ukraine asked ICANN to do this, but ICANN refused their request.

It is also a very silly claim to make, because it actually benefits the US and Western nations to maintain Internet connectivity to Russia, which allows them to reach out to Russian citizens with the truth.

Fact #4 : Russia Blocked Western Social Media

In fact, Li Guangman (intentionally?) left out the fact that the Russian government itself blocked or restricted access to Western social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The truth is – it does not benefit Russia to let their citizens access uncensored information about their invasion of Ukraine. That’s why they blocked access to Western social media platforms.

This is where Russia is attempting to mimic China in its control of what information citizens can access. China is the undisputed leader in Internet censorship.

Fact #5 : Russia Prepared To Cut Itself Off The Internet

Li Guangman also (intentionally?) left out the fact that Russia was more than prepared to cut itself from the Internet.

The Russians started working on the ability to cut themselves from the Internet in the early 2010s, testing that ability in 2019 and in subsequent years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also signed into law, a set of 2019 amendments called the Sovereign Internet Law (Закон о «суверенном интернете»), that lets the government cut Russia off the rest of the Internet.

Fact #6 : SWIFT Is Controlled By EU, Not US

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) messaging network is not American, but Belgian, based in La Hulpe, Belgium.

As a cooperative society under Belgian law, SWIFT is owned by its members – financial institutions, not countries. In fact, its current chairman is Yawar Shah of Pakistan, while its CEO is Javier Pérez-Tasso of Spain.

Li Guangman (intentionally?) forgot to point out that the United States and Britain had been pushing for Russia to be banned from SWIFT, but EU nations refused earlier.

In the end, the European Union agreed to remove seven Russian banks from SWIFT, instead of the entire country.

The EU also excluded Sberbank (largest bank in Russia) and Gazprombank from the SWIFT removal, so they could still buy oil from Russia.

All proof that SWIFT is controlled by the EU, not the US.

Fact #7 : SWIFT Is Just A Messaging Service

SWIFT is a messaging system that securely transfers “messages containing the payment instructions between financial institutions involved in a transaction“.

It is not a payment system, and therefore, does not hold any funds. Neither does it perform cleaning or settlement services.

After a payment instruction has been initiated through SWIFT, the corresponding financial institutions must then “settle” the transaction through a payment system, like TARGET2 in Europe.

Fact #8 : SWIFT Removal Is Only An Inconvenience

While removal from SWIFT is a big deal, it is not the end of the world for those seven Russian banks, because it is merely a messaging system.

Banks can use alternative methods like faxes (yes, they still exist!) or alternative messaging systems like Russia’s own SPFS, China’s CIPS and India’s SFMS.

  • VEB is largely focused on domestic projects, and uses SPFS for overseas transactions
  • Sovcombank says that other sanctions already block it from making overseas payments, so the SWIFT removal has no impact
  • Promsvyazbank said that it had prepared for SWIFT removal, so it will not have a significant impact
  • VTB and Otkritie said that they would not be impacted

So Li Guangman’s claim that SWIFT removal is a weapon of war is… absurd and melodramatic.

Fact #9 : No One Ever Said Satellites Are Safe From Attacks

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Western nations had earlier claimed that “satellites are safe and will not be attacked“.

No country ever said that. In fact, the United States Space Force was formed, in part, to protect US satellite communications.

The US Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations, General David Thompson even shared in November 2021 that :

Both China and Russia are regularly attacking US satellites with non-kinetic means, including lasers, radio frequency jammers, and cyber attacks… every single day

Li Guangman seems incredibly naive and ignorant about daily attacks on satellites, because the alternative explanation would be that he knew but intentionally chose to mislead you.

Fact #10 : Anonymous Is Not A Government Organisation

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Anonymous is “some government organisations”.

  • Anonymous is a decentralised collective of anonymous hactivists… hence, its name.
  • It is not a government organisation.
  • It has previously attacked several Western governments, including the United States
  • Dozens of people associated with Anonymous cyberattacks have been arrested in the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, India and Turkey.

This is common knowledge, so it is peculiar that Li Guangman is so ignorant about Anonymous… or believes that people are stupid enough to believe him.

Fact #11 : Anonymous Did Not Hack Russian Space Agency

Technically, Anonymous did not hack the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), which was really hacked by their affiliates – NB65 and v0g3lSec.

They never shut down the Russian space control centre, or took any Russian satellite out of control. All those are lies that Li Guangman apparently concocted.

Roscosmos Chief Executive, Dmitry Rogozin also denied the claim, saying that “The information of these scammers and petty swindlers is not true. All our space activity control centers are operating normally.

So you have to ask yourself – why would Li Guangman lie about this? These are all on public record. Does he believe that you are so gullible that you would believe everything he says?

Read more : Anonymous Affiliates Are Attacking Russian Space Agency!

Fact #12 : Sanctioned Assets Were Frozen, Not Seized

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that the assets of Russian government and private individuals were looted (stolen) by Western banks / governments.

As part of sanctions against the Russian government, Western countries also sanctioned certain Russian individuals, including the super-rich Russian oligarchs.

However, their assets were frozen, not seized. At least, not yet.

All individuals sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, for example, will have their assets frozen. Those assets would be locked up, and cannot be sold or accessed in any way.

The owner has to get a licence from the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to do anything – even to just pay property taxes, or fix a leaking roof.

That’s different from the government actually seizing the frozen assets – this requires the government to first prove that they are linked to a crime. Until that happens, the assets have not been “looted”.

According to Michael Parker, head of the anti-money laundering and sanctions practice at Ferrari & Associates :

These cases need to be built, there has to be a showing of some sort of underlying theory of forfeiture, there has to be a reason that they are forfeited. The mere fact that somebody the United States has said is a target owns this asset isn’t enough to form a basis of seizure under U.S. law.

Fact #13 : Only Assets Of Sanctioned Individuals Were Frozen

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that ALL assets belonging to the Russian government and private individuals were stolen by Western banks / government.

Not only were they not stolen, only assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and the Russian government were frozen. The assets of other Russian individuals were not affected.

Chinese netizens need not be overly concerned about their money stashed in Western banks.

Even if China decides to do something similarly evil like Russia, and invade another country, Western banks will only be forced to freeze the assets of those in power, like Chinese President Xi Jinping, for example.

Fact #14 : Less Than US$1 Trillion Frozen So Far

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Western countries froze US$8 trillion worth of assets.

On 5 March, UK Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg tweeted a chart that showed the value of Russian bank assets that were being sanctioned. That was actually criticised as being overly optimistic, but let’s assume it’s true.

That’s a total of £537.6 billion pounds, or US$703.7 billion. Even if you add US$15 billion of assets targeted by sanctioning seven Russian oligarchs, the total is still under US$719 billion.

So Li Guangman overstated the amount of sanctioned Russian assets by some 11X… if not more.

Fact #15 : Switzerland Only Adopts Military Neutrality

Li Guangman appears to be confused by the concept of “Swiss neutrality”, which refers to military neutrality – Switzerland will not be involved in armed or political conflicts between other states.

Switzerland, however, pursues an active foreign policy, and is frequently involved in peace-building processes globally.

Fact #16 : Switzerland Has Adopted EU Sanctions Since 1998

Li Guangman appears to be living in the past, claiming that Switzerland abandoned its neutrality to sanction Russia.

While Switzerland declined to be part of EU, it has been adopting EU-only sanctions for the past 24 years!

  • 1998 : EU sanctions against Yugoslavia
  • 2000 : EU sanctions against Myanmar
  • 2002 : EU sanctions against Zimbabwe
  • 2006 : EU sanctions against Uzbekistan and Belarus
  • 2022 : EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus

Fact #17 : Tech Companies Have To Comply With Sanctions

Li Guangman appears to be surprised that tech companies are complying with sanctions.

Of course, tech companies have to comply with sanctions. If they don’t, they would be legally liable and punished with fines and other legal actions.

In fact, Russia just announced sanctions against a wide range of American officials, including US President Joe Biden. They are expecting companies to comply with those sanctions as well.

We should also remember that China imposed sanctions of her own on US individuals and organisations, and expected companies to comply with their sanctions.

Did he expect companies to only comply with Russian and Chinese sanctions, but not those from Western countries?

Fact #18 : Russia Started The Conflict

Li Guangman claimed that Russia invading of Ukraine is “a real all-out war waged by the entire Western bloc against Russia“. What utter nonsense.

Western nations have repeatedly warned the world that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine since November 2021, even as Russia and pro-Russia forces derided them.

As early as December 2021, US President Joe Biden even threatened Russia with sweeping Western economic sanctions if it invaded Ukraine.

Russia repeatedly denied it was going to invade Ukraine, dismissing those warnings as “hysteria”. But they were lying, and ultimately invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

So let me be clear to Li Guangman and his supporters – the invasion of Ukraine was a war that Russia actively chose to initiate.

This was not a war “waged by the entire Western bloc against Russia“. This was a war that Russia waged against Ukraine.

Until today, the United States and NATO have repeatedly refused to directly defend Ukraine against attacks by Russia. So to call it an “all-out war” is also ludicrous.

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Please help us FIGHT FAKE NEWS by sharing this fact check out!

 

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Intel Condemns + Leaves Russia Over Invasion Of Ukraine!

Intel joined over 600 other companies in condemning and leaving Russia over its invasion of Ukraine!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Intel Condemned Russia Over Invasion Of Ukraine!

A week after Russia invaded Ukraine, Intel issued a press release condemning the invasion, and announcing a stop to all shipments to both Russia and Belarus.

While Belarus did not directly participate in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it continues to be a willing partner in the invasion, allowing Russian troops, tanks and aircraft to attack Ukraine from their territory.

This announcement on 3 March 2022 effectively cut off supply of Intel chips to both countries.

Intel condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and we have suspended all shipments to customers in both Russia and Belarus. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this war, including the people of Ukraine and the surrounding countries and all those around the world with family, friends and loved ones in the region.

We are working to support all of our employees through this difficult situation, especially those with close ties to this region. We have launched an employee donation and matching campaign through the Intel Foundation that has already raised over $1.2 million for relief efforts, and we are proud of the work our teams in surrounding areas including Poland, Germany and Romania are doing to aid refugees. We will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine and the global community in calling for an immediate end to this war and a swift return to peace.

 

Intel Leaves Russia Over Invasion Of Ukraine!

After Russia’s initial attempt to seize Kyiv and topple the Ukrainian government failed spectacularly, Russian forces began a wholesale bombardment of Ukrainian cities.

Even worse, it was recently discovered that Russian forces raped and massacred Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha.

All those atrocities may have made it untenable for companies like Intel to even maintain a local presence while waiting out the war.

On 5 April 2022, Intel announced that they immediately suspended all business operations in Russia.

It is unknown what will happen to their 1,200 employees in Russia, but Intel says that it is now working to support those employees.

Intel continues to join the global community in condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine and calling for a swift return to peace. Effective immediately, we have suspended all business operations in Russia. This follows our earlier decision to suspend all shipments to customers in Russia and Belarus.

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this war, particularly the people of Ukraine and the surrounding countries and all those around the world with family, friends and loved ones in the region.

We are working to support all of our employees through this difficult situation, including our 1,200 employees in Russia. We have also implemented business continuity measures to minimize disruption to our global operations.

Intel joins over 600 companies that have withdrawn from Russia, according to the Yale School of Management.

They include major brands like 3M, Adidas, Amazon, Cisco, Ikea, LVMH, Mastercard, McDonald’s, VMware, Visa, Western Union.

Notably, Chinese companies like Alibaba, Didi, HUAWEI, Tencent and Xiaomi continue to operate in Russia.

 

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How Central Medicare Leveraged Ruckus For Digital Transformation!

Find out how Central Medicare leveraged Ruckus network technologies to digitally transform and rapidly expand their business!

 

Central Medicare Undergoes Digital Transformation + Rapid Expansion

Central Medicare Sdn. Bhd. (CMSB) is a nitrile glove manufacturer, that started with a single manufacturing facility with 6 production lines and an annual manufacturing capacity of 1.1 billion nitrile gloves in 2015.

Based in Teluk Intan, Perak, Central Medicare has been undergoing a massive expansion and digital transformation plan that started in 2019.

They expanded to 27 production lines delivering an annual capacity of 8 billion gloves in 2020, and 34 production lines with an annual capacity of 11.6 billion in 2021.

 

How Central Medicare Leveraged Ruckus For Digital Transformation!

Peter Cheong, the IT Assistant Manager of Central Medicare, recently shared how they leveraged Ruckus network technologies for digital transformation during their rapid expansion plans.

As Central Medicare added more production facilities, it was becoming complicated to manage the rapidly expanding digital network.

After a thorough evaluation process that included top brands like Cisco, Aruba and Juniper, the IT team decided to leverage Ruckus network technologies for their new digital network.

They started creating their new digital network in 2016, using Ruckus ICX7150 network switches, and Ruckus ZoneDirector 1200 with R500 and R600 series wireless APs.

Both Ruckus switches and wireless APs allowed them to link and manage their different facilities in a centralised, unified manner.

The Ruckus wireless APs also allowed them to create an isolated Wi-Fi network for their customers and suppliers to use, hardening their network security.

The team also liked how Ruckus’ centralised management interface is so user-friendly, making it easy to manage for people who are not IT-savvy.

On top of that, the Ruckus KnowledgeBase is so comprehensive and easy-to-use that they can self-manage their network, without requiring any technical assistance.

All those advantages allowed the IT team to remotely manage their network during the COVID-19 pandemic MCO lockdowns.

The reliability of Ruckus network also shone through during the pandemic – Peter stated that they have not experienced a single failure, since they implemented their Ruckus network 5 years ago.

Central Medicare plans to continue leveraging Ruckus network technologies as they continue to expand their business and production facilities in 2022.

 

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KKM : MySejahtera Was NOT Sold To Private Company!

The Malaysia Ministry of Health has clarified that the MySejahtera app and its data was not sold to any private company.

Here is what you need to know!

 

Claim : MySejahtera Was Sold To Private Company!

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed that MySejahtera will be sold to a private company – MySJ Sdn. Bhd. through direct negotiation.

The MySejahtera application was rolled out in April 2020, under the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM). It was built by KPISoft (now Entomo) as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.

According to his statement, the government appointed MySJ Sdn. Bhd. through direct negotiation to take over MySejahtera on 26 November 2021.

Then in December 2021, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) proposed that the government should take over MySejahtera since it is now “an integral part of the national health system”.

 

KKM : MySejahtera Was NOT Be Sold To Private Company!

On 27 March 2022, the Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin issued a press statement, clarifying that the government did not sell MySejahtera to any private company.

Here are the key points of his statement on the claims that MySejahtera was sold to MySJ Sdn. Bhd. :

  1. On 26 November 2021, the government decided that MySejahtera is owned by the government, and the Ministry of Health (KKM) was appointed as the main owner of the application.
  2. The government did not pay KPISoft any money for the development of MySejahtera, which was carried out from 27 March 2020 until 31 March 2021.
    This was based on the company’s offer to let the government use the app for one year for free, as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
  3. After the CSR period ended on 31 March 2021, the government agreed to extend the use of MySejahtera, and work with KPISoft to expand its features.
  4. On 26 November 2021, the government ordered KKM to form a Price Negotiation Committee comprising of stakeholder agencies to negotiate the purchase and service maintenance of MySejahtera for two (2) years.
    The scope of the procurement and management of the MySejahtera app included operating MySejahtera, system development including additional modules, maintenance, datacenter management and third-party services like Google Map and Places API, as well as SMS services.
  5. On 28 February 2022, the Ministry of Finance approved KKM’s procurement of the MySejahtera app.
  6. MySejahtera data has been under KKM’s supervision from the first day it was used, and the data is processed according to KKM procedures.
  7. KKM does not share MySejahtera data with any government agency, or private companies.
  8. All data from the MySejahtera app are uploaded to a cloud server network, and can only be accessed by the MySejahtera app only.

In short, the MySejahtera app was not sold to any private company, and was purchased by the Ministry of Health with approval from the Ministry of Finance on 28 February 2022.

 

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Fact Check : Pfizer Delisting Itself On Nasdaq + NYSE?!

Is Pfizer really delisting itself on the Nasdaq and NYSE?! Was it due to the recent release of their COVID-19 vaccine documents?!

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

 

Claim : Pfizer Is Delisting Itself On Nasdaq + NYSE!

People are excitedly sharing messages and articles claiming that Pfizer is delisting itself on both the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)!

According to these messages and articles, Pfizer is delisting itself in both stock exchanges over the recent release of their COVID-19 vaccine documents with 9 pages that allegedly listed 1,291 side effects.

This example of what’s being shared is long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

Arena Pharma moved higher after Nasdaq announced a delisting notice for Pfizer Inc, U.S. investment research platform Seeking Alpha reported on March 8.

 

Truth : Pfizer Is NOT Delisting Itself On Nasdaq / NYSE!

This is yet another example of anti-Pfizer, anti-vaccine FAKE NEWS being created and propagated by anti-vaccination activists. Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Pfizer Is Not Delisting Itself On Nasdaq / NYSE

I had already addressed this earlier, when they claimed that the NYSE delisted Pfizer.

Now they are claiming that Pfizer is delisting itself on Nasdaq or NYSE, but that is also complete nonsense.

Anyone who takes just 2 seconds to look at the NYSE or Nasdaq website, or even Google, would realise that Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is still listed on both stock exchanges.

Not only is Pfizer still on Nasdaq and NYSE, its stock price actually went up by 2.17% on 11 March 2022!

Read more : Did NYSE Just Delist Pfizer Over Vaccine Scandal?!

Fact #2 : Pfizer Delisted Its 0.250% Note From NYSE

This new fake news is based on two recent Pfizer announcements. The first is a Form 25 submission that Pfizer filed with the SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) on 7 March 2022.

Pfizer submitted that Form 25 to delist its euro-denominated 0.250% notes – basically debt with a payable interest of 0.25% that matured on 7 March 2022.

In short, Pfizer paid off that matured debt with interest, and consequently removed the notes from the NYSE. It’s even stated in the description of their 7 March 2022 SEC filing on the Pfizer website.

Notification filed by National Security Exchange to report the removal from listing and registration of matured, redeemed or retired securities Initial Filing Amendments

The Pfizer common stock (PFE) remains on the NYSE and Nasdaq, and is being actively traded as we speak.

Fact #3 : Companies Can’t Go Private By Simply Delisting

Public-listed companies can go private, but not by simply notifying the stock exchange.

They have to first purchase shares from a majority of the shareholders, before they can even think of going private.

Even if that happens, the process can take four to six months to complete. It doesn’t just happen over a few days, with a simple notification to the stock exchange.

Fact #4 : Pfizer Delisted Arena Pharmaceuticals

The second Pfizer news that this fake story is based on is their delisting of Arena Pharmaceuticals from the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

Pfizer announced that it completed its acquisition of Arena Pharmaceuticals on 11 March 2022, and so Arena’s shares of common stock were delisted that day.

Again, Pfizer was not delisting itself, it was delisting the common stock of its (now) wholly owned subsidiary, Arena Pharmaceuticals.

Fact #3 : G-Times News Is Infamous For Fake News

This fake story appears to be created by G-Times News, a website owned by Guo Media – a company associated with Guo Wengui (also known as Miles Guo) and Steve Bannon.

Guo is an exiled Chinese businessman, and both Guo and Bannon are infamous for creating and spreading misinformation.

Naturally, both Guo and Bannon are often featured in G-Times News coverage. It doesn’t make them prescient, just pretentious.

Please help us fight fake news, by sharing this fact check with your family and friends!

 

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Ranhill Selects Maxis As Voice + Cloud Provider!

Ranhill just selected Maxis as their voice and cloud connectivity provider!

Here is what you need to know…

 

Ranhill Selects Maxis To Boost Voice + Cloud Connectivity

On 12 January 2022, Ranhill SAJ Sdn Bhd (Ranhill) selected Maxis as their voice and cloud connectivity provider, leveraging their portfolio of converged solution capabilities.

Maxis will now connect 77 Ranhill sites across Johor, including their headquarters and water treatment plants through its Managed Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN).

Once implemented, the higher bandwidth and resilient network will allow Ranhill to have real-time visibility of their data, allowing them to make quicker and better decisions to increase productivity and efficiency of their 2,000 employees.

“We are pleased to be selected by Ranhill as their connectivity, voice and cloud solutions provider. Through our unique capabilities and experience, we are able to offer Ranhill a fully managed service portfolio from onboarding right up to 24/7 support with greater cost effectiveness and flexibility.  As their partner, we want to ensure that their connectivity needs are met so that they can operate efficiently and have the peace of mind of being well prepared for their digital transformation journey and to Always Be Ahead in a changing world, said Paul McManus, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Maxis.

“Selecting Maxis as our service provider and partner is an integral step to realising our vision of becoming a world-class water utility company. By connecting all our sites with the latest technology from Maxis, we will be better equipped to support the people of Johor through efficient management of quality water supply. We now have the necessary infrastructure and platform to unlock the benefits of digitalisation as part of our on-going effort to further enhance customer experience,” said Nor Ifuan Md Nor, Chief Executive Officer, Ranhill SAJ. 

Maxis will also address Ranhill’s voice communication needs, providing high quality voice services, which is particularly important in rural areas.

Maxis and Ranhill are also exploring future collaboration related to Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services and cybersecurity, as part of Ranhill’s next phase of digitalisation of their organisation.

 

Maxis Managed SD-WAN Services That Ranhill Will Use

The Maxis managed SD-WAN services that Ranhill will use, runs on Cisco Meraki technology, which simplifies operational tasks like configuration, management and maintenance through automation and intelligence.

Ranhill will have access to a converged connectivity solution that is flexible, scalable and cost-effective. On top of that, the built-in security in SD-WAN also enables end-to-end secure communications, and network-wide security policies.

 

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Intel To Build New $7 Billion Chip Plant In Penang, Malaysia!

Intel just announced that they are going to build a new $7 billion chip packaging and testing facility in Penang, Malaysia!

 

Intel To Build New $7 Billion Chip Plant In Malaysia!

On 16 December 2021, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger officially announced a $7 billion (RM30 billion) investment to build a new chip packaging and testing facility in Penang, Malaysia.

The new Intel facility will add advanced chip packaging capabilities, as well as expand their existing assembly test manufacturing and die preparation capability in Malaysia.

This investment continues Intel’s 49-year old presence in Penang, and is expected to create over 4,000 Intel jobs, as well as 5,000 construction jobs for Malaysians.

The new facility will not address the current semiconductor shortage though, as it will only begin production in 2024.

Intel has two new plants in Arizona, United States, that will also become fully-operational in 2024; with further plans to invest up to €80 billion (US$90.5 billion) to build new chip plants in Europe.

 

Intel’s New $7 Billion Chip Plant In Malaysia : Diversity Is Key!

The new Penang plant appears to be part of Gelsinger’s plans to diversify chip production globally to avoid any production shock from geopolitical troubles (think Taiwan vs China), or natural disasters from earthquakes and climate change.

Gelsinger had earlier warned, “Taiwan is not a stable place. Beijing sent 27 warplanes to Taiwan’s air defence identification zone last week. Does that make you feel more comfortable or less?

That drew the ire of TSMC Chairman and CEO, Morris Chang, who remarked that Gelsinger does not have “enough time” to take Intel back to the top (of the semiconductor industry).

While Intel did have an earlier retirement age limit of 65 (Gelsinger turns 61 in March 2022), that was since been extended to 75.

So Intel under Gelsinger may have a chance to wrest back significant market share from TSMC, before he retires.

 

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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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CommScope-RUCKUS Showcase @ Bayview Georgetown!

Bayview Hotel Georgetown recently invited me for an exclusive look at their complete CommScope-RUCKUS network upgrade!

Find out what they did, and why they went with CommScope-RUCKUS!

 

CommScope-RUCKUS Showcase @ Bayview Georgetown!

Bayview Georgetown started work on a massive RM 1.7 million digitisation project in 2020, which took several months to complete.

A major part of that project involved the complete replacement of their existing network using CommScope-RUCKUS networking products from end-to-end.

The Bayview team was so happy with the upgrade that they invited me for an exclusive look at their brand new CommScope-RUCKUS network, which now offers guests fast and reliable Internet connectivity at their hotel.

Leslie Lim, the Regional Manager in charge of Information Technology at Bayview International Hotels & Resorts also explained how he designed the new network, and why he opted for CommScope-RUCKUS networking products from end-to-end.

 

Fast, Reliable Internet : A Major KSP At Bayview Hotel Georgetown

Bayview Hotel Georgetown is a 340-bed hotel in Georgetown, Penang. It is one of two hotels run by Bayview International Hotels & Resorts, the other being Bayview Beach Resort which is right by the Batu Ferringhi Beach.

While the Bayview Beach Resort is full of tourists, their Georgetown hotel caters more to business travellers who expect fast and reliable Internet connectivity.

That’s why Bayview Georgetown embarked on a major upgrade of their Internet connectivity in 2020, in partnership with Fortesys – the official distributor of RUCKUS networking products and solutions in Southeast Asia.

Ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry has become extremely competitive. Hotels like Bayview Georgetown will need to rely on the latest networking technologies to get ahead of the competition.

 

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Chop Cheong Bee Now A Leader In Smart Farming!

This is how Chop Cheong Bee has now become a leader in smart farming!

 

Chop Cheong Bee Now A Leader In Smart Farming!

Datuk Jeffrey Ng Choon Ngee, General Manager of Chop Cheong Bee Sdn Bhd (CCB), recently explained how they are now a leader in smart farming.

Having established CCB in 1997, his business has grown from marketing live chickens, to managing 14 poultry farms throughout Melaka that supply Malaysian consumers with 1.5 million chickens every month!

“Traditionally, poultry farming was done manually, with plenty of people overseeing the poultry farms. This method poses numerous risks such as diseases and contact between human and chickens,” he said.

“We use technology to improve poultry farming methods and elevate our production efficiency and output. Our aim was to provide the best care possible for the chickens while minimising the risks of poor production and mortality to reduce the operational costs.”

As a result, CCB was able to establish numerous poultry farms, with the objective of turning those farms into profitable assets with high profit margins.

Among the solutions they implemented was the SAP Business One (B1) business management software, which allowed them to connect and and streamline processes for greater efficiency.

CCB has also implemented Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. Data from sensors can be streamed in real-time; such as the amount of feeds and water consumed by the chickens, the ambient temperature and lighting exposure, as well as changes in chickens’ weight and so on.

“The best part about the system is that the workers do not need to be there physically to know all this information. Using a smartphone, the worker can just snap pictures or take videos of the farm, the houses and the chicken and immediately consult with the veterinary experts via text messages or video calls,” explained Datuk Jeffrey. “Our operations are now more efficient than ever before.”

 

Chop Cheong Bee @ SAP Roundtable With Mydin

Datuk Jeffrey was speaking at a media roundtable organised by SAP entitled A Growing ASEAN, A Hungry Population: Building Resilient and Sustainable Food Supply Chains’ held recently.

Also in attendance was Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad IT Director Malik Murad Ali who shared on how this homegrown Halal hypermarket and retail chain grew from being a store in Kelantan in 1957 to a nationwide network of more than 50 stores, presence in seven major malls and multiple retail outlets.

Mydin had also digitised its processes to realise greater productivity and efficiencies.

Meanwhile, SAP Malaysia Managing Director Hong Kok Cheong who had hosted the Malaysian session said that tackling food waste in Southeast Asia and Malaysia is an issue should be prioritised.

“There is a growing need for safe, and fresh food and the answer is greater digitalisation efforts and integration, collaboration across industry players – and gaining visibility into where products come from, how long they’ve been in transit, and when they’re set to expire. Retailers and suppliers need to document the who’s, what’s, where’s, and when’s of every aspect of the food supply chain, not only for consumer safety and protecting their brands – so that there’s more accurate traceability standards,” said Hong.

All this leads to supply chain visibility – and more efficient direction of the region’s food sources, especially when it comes to fresh produce.

“Businesses need to have a ‘digital core’ to become intelligent enterprises with streamlined efficiency across operations, integrate with partners and suppliers. This way there’s accountability to stakeholders and consumers – track and manage sustainability, coupled with the origin of food being produced,” said Hong.

 Long and short of it all, businesses need better visibility to predict demand, consumer tastes and preferences (via intelligent insights), so they can meet the demand with the optimum resources, and avoid overordering/service that can result in wastage,” concluded Hong.

 

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2021 Acer Chromebook Laptops : What You Need To Know!

Acer introduced SIX new Chromebook models in 2021, offering a wide selection of affordable laptops with long battery life.

Here is what YOU need to know about the six new Acer Chromebook laptops!

 

2021 Acer Chromebook Laptops : What You Need To Know!

Acer introduced SIX new Chromebook models in 2021, in a variety of sizes and form factors with long battery life.

  • 14-inch Acer Chromebook 314
  • 17.3-inch Acer Chromebook 317
  • 14-inch Acer Chromebook 514
  • 14-inch Acer Chromebook Enterprise 514
  • 13.5-inch Acer Chromebook Spin 713
  • 13.5-inch Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713

In this article, we are going to take a look at the six 2021 Acer Chromebook laptops, to see what they offer, and how they compare with each other!

2021 Acer Chromebook 314

Weighing only 1.5 kg, the 2021 Acer Chromebook 314 (CB314-2H/CB314-2HT) is an ultra-portable laptop designed for students.

Its 14-inch IPS display has a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and optional touch controls. It supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and comes with a 720p HDR webcam.

Powered by the MediaTek MT8183 octa-core processor, it can provide up to 15 hours of battery life.

2021 Acer Chromebook 317

The 2021 Acer Chromebook 317 (CB317-1H) is targeted at users who want a large display for multitasking and streaming content.

It has a large 17.3-inch display with a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and anti-glare coating. It also comes with a large keyboard (with optional backlighting) with a numeric keypad and a large touchpad.

There is also space for two full-sized upward-facing speakers to give you a more immersive audio experience.

The 2021 Chromebook 317 is built around the latest Intel Celeron processors with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and up to 10 hours of battery life.

2021 Acer Chromebook 514

The 2021 Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W/CB514-1WT) is built around the 11th Gen Intel core processors, with up to 10 hours of battery life.

Thanks to its metal top cover and reinforced design, it is MIL-STD810H rated for military-grade durability. On top of that, its touchpad is protected against scratches and corrosion with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass.

It supports the latest Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless connectivity, and comes with two full-function USB Type C ports with Thunderbolt 4, and a backlight keyboard with an optional embedded fingerprint reader.

2021 Acer Chromebook Enterprise 514

The 2021 Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W/CB514-1WT) is built around the 11th Gen Intel core processors, and MIL-STD810H rated for military-grade durability. On top of that, its touchpad is protected against scratches and corrosion with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass.

It supports the latest Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless connectivity, and comes with two full-function USB Type C ports with Thunderbolt 4, a HDMI port and a backlight keyboard with an optional embedded fingerprint reader.

It also features a Full HD MIPI webcam, and speakers powered by a Smart Amplifier, with support for DTS Audio.

Its Chrome Enterprise operating system features integrated manageability features to help your company cut costs, streamline operations and reduce security risks by letting you deploy, update and manage all your devices remotely.

2021 Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The 2021 Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W) is the world’s first Intel Evo platform-verified Chromebook.

It features a premium aluminium chassis that is MIL-STD 810H rated for military-grade durability, in a convertible form factor. Its 13.5-inch VertiView display has a resolution of 2256 x 1504, giving you 18% more vertical screen space.

Built around the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, it only weighs 1.37 kg and is less than 17 mm thick. Its fast-chargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours, and can get 4 hours of battery life with a quick 30 minute charge!

 

2021 Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713

The 2021 Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713 (CP713-3W) is the world’s first Intel Evo platform-verified Chromebook with Chrome Enterprise manageability built-in.

It features a premium aluminium chassis that is MIL-STD 810H rated for military-grade durability, in a convertible form factor. Its 13.5-inch VertiView display has a resolution of 2256 x 1504, giving you 18% more vertical screen space.

Built around the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, it only weighs 1.37 kg and is less than 17 mm thick. Its fast-chargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours, and can get 4 hours of battery life with a quick 30 minute charge!

 

2021 Acer Chromebook Laptops : Specs + Price Comparison

Here is a quick specifications + price overview of the 2021 Acer Chromebook laptops :

Specifications Chromebook 314 Chromebook 317 Chromebook 514
Enterprise 514
Chromebook Spin 713
Enterprise Spin 713
Type Laptop Convertible Laptop
Size 14-inch 17.3-inch 14-inch 13.5-inch
Display Resolution 1920 x 1080 2256 x 1504
Processor MediaTek MT8183 Intel Celeron 11th Gen Intel Core
Connectivity Wi-Fi 5 Wi-Fi 6
Battery Life 15 hours 10 hours
Weight 1.5 kg 2.4 kg 1.5 kg 1.37 kg
Starting Price USD 269.99
EUR 329
USD 379.99
EUR 399
USD 599.99
EUR 549
USD 699.99
EUR 769

 

2021 Acer Chromebook Laptops : Where To Buy?

Here are some online purchase options for the 2021 Acer Chromebook laptops (prices accurate as of 9 Nov 2021) :

United States

United Kingdom

Australia

Malaysia

 

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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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3 Days Later… Roblox Is Finally Up + Running Again!

Three days after they fell off the face of the Earth, Roblox is finally UP and RUNNING again!

Roblox’s CEO explains what happened…

 

3 Days Later… Roblox Is Finally Up + Running Again!

Ever since Roblox went down on 29 October 2021, they have been saying that they are “making progress” and even “identified an underlying internal cause of the outage“.

But frustrated kids… and adults who are kids at heart, spent the weekend walking around like zombies because they could no longer get their fix of Arsenal or Piggy.

Just kidding! Many of them turned to Minecraft or Among Us, because who can go a weekend without games?

Anyway…. 3 days later… Roblox finally announced that they “identified root cause and solution” and “are working on getting things back online“.

And about 7 hours later, they managed to get Roblox up and running globally!

 

Roblox CEO On What Happened…

Roblox founder and CEO, David Baszucki, later shared a little on what happened and why it took them so long to get the problems fixed.

  • it was a combination of several factors
  • there was a subtle bug in their backend service communications that is triggered under heavy load
  • a core system in their infrastructure became overwhelmed
  • it was not due to external traffic or any particular experience (e.g. Chipotle promotion)
  • the failure was due to the growth in the number of servers in their datacenters

So it looks like it really did not involve whacking their servers with a crowbar, or praying to them…

The good news is – there has been NO LOSS of player’s data, and your Roblox experience should be fully back to normal!

 

3 Days Earlier… Roblox Went Down HARD

Here’s a quick round-up of what happened three days ago, for people who have no freaking idea what happened.

A couple of days ago, Chipotle announced that they would open a virtual restaurant in Roblox, which will give away free burritos, virtual costumes and exclusive items. There’s even a fun Boorito Maze to try out!

But about 30 minutes after that Chipotle event kicked off, Roblox started experiencing problems, which snowballed until their entire platform and website fell off the face of the Earth.

That was THREE DAYS AGO… and since then, all we know is that they have been working hard to figure out what went wrong, and no, it was not Chipotle’s fault.

Read more : Roblox Down More Than 2 Days, Not Because Of Chipotle!

 

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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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Roblox Down More Than 2 Days, Not Because Of Chipotle!

Roblox, has been down for MORE THAN 2 days now, but apparently, it has NOTHING to do with the massive Chipotle promotion!

Here is what we know so far…

 

Roblox Down More Than 2 Days

Roblox first experienced issues at around 7 AM on 29 October 2021, which initially affected only Games and Account Information.

But that snowballed and the entire Roblox gaming platform and website went offline, forcing them to issue a terse tweet saying that they are “working hard to get things back to normal”.

Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to be making much progress because Roblox has been down for more than two days!

That’s an eternity for an online gaming platform, especially a massively-popular one for kids… on a weekend!

At about 11 PM on 30 October, the Roblox website announced that it is “currently in maintenance mode to allow for internal work to be completed“.

More than 6 hours later – Roblox remained offline, with another round of assurance that they’re working on the problem :

Did they get locked out of their servers like Facebook earlier this month? Sounds far worse, if you ask me…

Read more : Did 13 Yr Sun Jisu Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram?

 

Roblox Went Down Not Because Of Chipotle

On 26 October 2021, Chipotle announced that it would open a virtual restaurant in Roblox, offering $1 million in free burritos!

Fans would be able to visit the virtual Chipotle restaurant to score a free burrito, by dressing up in new Chipotle-inspired Halloween virtual costumes.

They would also be able to navigate the Chipotle Boorito Maze to unlock exclusive Roblox items!

Some irate players have suggested that Roblox went down because of this Chipotle promotion, a hypothesis that had some teeth because the issues started occurring about 30 minutes after Chipotle promotion kicked off!

However, Roblox later claimed that the downtime was NOT related to the Chipotle promotion :

We know that this outage was not related to any specific experiences or partnerships on the platform.

At 5 AM on 31 October, Roblox shared that they “believe” they identified the problem :

We believe we have identified an underlying internal cause of the outage. We’re in the process of performing the necessary engineering and maintenance work to get Roblox back up and running ASAP. Thanks for your patience.

Well, Chipotle’s fault or not, kids and adults who are kids at heart around the world will be eagerly waiting for Roblox to get back online again!

Until then, enjoy these funny memes and comments by Roblox fans!

 

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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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Facebook, Instagram, Messenger + Workplace Down Again!

Just days after going down for SIX HOURS, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Workplace went down AGAIN!

Find out what happened!

 

Facebook, Instagram, Messenger + Workplace Down Again!

Just days after all of Facebook’s services went down for six hours, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Workplace went down AGAIN!

At around 3:22 AM on 9 October 2021, they went down again… with people reporting that they were unable to log into their accounts, or send messages.

Fortunately, this time it didn’t take down WhatsApp and it took their engineering team just under 2 hours to get those Facebook services restored.

 

Why Did Facebook, Instagram, Messenger + Workplace Go Down Again!

Again, Facebook blamed another faulty “configuration change” for this downtime, but did not announce any details on what actually happened.

But coming right after an extraordinarily long downtime just days earlier and public testimony by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, this new downtime may be shorter but is no less grievous.

It will feed growing opinion that Facebook has too much services under its control, and it’s dangerous and even folly to let a single company control so many social networks and communication services.

Regulators will no doubt be spurred by this new incident to look at breaking up Facebook.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said that the major Facebook outage highlighted the danger of relying on just a few big players, underscoring “the need for more rivals”.

Even Russia jumped into the fray, stating that Russia was right to develop its own Internet platforms and social networks.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the recent 6-hour outage of Facebook services “answers the question of whether we need our own social networks and Internet platforms“.

We will be looking forward to Facebook Engineering’s explanation of what happened, and whether it involved cutting through doors to get to their servers…

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

 

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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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Was Facebook Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker?

Was Facebook taken down by a 13 year-old Chinese hacker?

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

 

Claim : Facebook Was Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker!

On 4 October 2021, Facebook and ALL of its messaging and social media platforms went down for about six hours, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram!

Several websites, as well as people on Twitter and Facebook started claiming that Facebook was taken down by a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Jiso / Sun Ji Soo.

There are quite a number of these claims, so just SKIP to the next section for the facts!

International media claimed that “China” was behind the suspension of social media services in the world.

According to Reuters, a Chinese hacker named “Sun Jisu” is responsible for stopping the services of “Facebook”, “WhatsApp” and Instagram, and added that the Chinese hackers are only 13 years old.

The Chinese hacker “Sun Ji Su” has topped the famous search engines and Twitter platforms during the past minutes, after disabling WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook today 2021 in all countries of the world, amid questions among activists about the details of this information.

 

Truth : Facebook Was Not Taken Down By 13 Year-Old Chinese Hacker!

The story of a 13 year-old Chinese hacker taking down Facebook is just fake news created by fake news / clickbait websites to go viral and get money through ads.

Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : International Media Did Not Blame China

On one blamed China for the bizarre 6-hour downtime of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

The international media referred to cybersecurity specialists who pointed at DNS failure as the most likely cause, not a state actor like China.

Clickbait / fake news websites intentionally added that false claim to “trigger” Chinese netizens and Sinophiles to share their fake news.

Read more : US Refused WHO Investigation Of Fort Detrick For COVID-19?

Fact #2 : Reuters  + NYT Did Not Report On Any Chinese Hacker

Reuters did not report that a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu was responsible for the bringing down Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Neither did the New York Times write about a 13 year old hacker attacking Facebook.

These are complete lies that are easily verified with a quick check on the Reuters and New York Times websites.

Fact #3 : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu / Sun Jiso Does Not Exist

There is no 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Ji So / Sun Ji Soo. He does NOT exist.

In addition, that is a Korean name, not Chinese – a mistake that a non-Asian person would make.

Fact #4 : That Was An Old Picture Of Wang Zhengyang

The fake news websites used a picture of Chinese hacking prodigy, Wang Zhengyang, speaking at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference.

Wang Zhengyang was 13 year-old at that time, and would be 20 years old this year – 2021. Here are two more pictures of him speaking at that event.

Wang Zhengyang at 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference

Fact #5 : Facebook Services Were Brought Down By Configuration Changes

Facebook services were not brought down by a hacker, but configuration changes their own engineering team initiated internally.

Facebook’s Vice-President of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, confirmed that “configuration changes” on their “backbone routers” caused the 6-hour long failure.

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Fact #6 : Access Problems Were Caused By Same Servers

Facebook run their internal systems through the same servers, so they became inaccessible when those servers were taken offline.

This included security systems that controlled the fob door locks, with a New York Times reporter tweeting that Facebook staff were unable to gain access to an unspecified office using their keycards.

However, many Facebook staff are working from home due to COVID-19 precautions, so this was only a big problem for engineers trying to gain access to the Facebook data centre in Santa Clara, California.

At no time was this security issue caused by a hacker. It was due to the same servers that went offline.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Now that you know the truth, please SHARE this fact check with your family and friends!

Also, please STOP SHARING fake stories created by fake news / clickbait websites!

 

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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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Did 13 Yr Sun Jisu Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram?

Did the 13 year-old Chinese hacker, Sun Jisu, hack Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, causing them to fail for more than 6 hours?

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

 

Claim : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu Hacked Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram!

On 4 October 2021, Facebook and ALL of its messaging and social media platforms went down for about six hours, including Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram!

Some websites and people on Twitter and Facebook started claiming that the failure was due to a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Jiso / Sun Ji Soo.

There are quite a number of these claims, so just SKIP to the next section for the facts!

International media claimed that “China” was behind the suspension of social media services in the world.

According to Reuters, a Chinese hacker named “Sun Jisu” is responsible for stopping the services of “Facebook”, “WhatsApp” and Instagram, and added that the Chinese hackers are only 13 years old.

The Chinese hacker “Sun Ji Su” has topped the famous search engines and Twitter platforms during the past minutes, after disabling WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook today 2021 in all countries of the world, amid questions among activists about the details of this information.

 

Truth : Sun Jisu Doesn’t Exist, Did Not Hack Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram!

The truth is – this is just fake news created by fake news / clickbait websites to go viral and get money through ads.

Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : International Media Did Not Blame China

No mainstream media blamed China for the bizarre 6-hour downtime of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Practically all of them referred to cybersecurity specialists who pointed at DNS failure as the most likely cause, not a state actor like China.

Clickbait / fake news websites intentionally added that false claim to “trigger” Chinese netizens and Sinophiles to share their fake news.

Read more : US Refused WHO Investigation Of Fort Detrick For COVID-19?

Fact #2 : Reuters  + NYT Did Not Report On Any Chinese Hacker

Reuters did not report that a 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu was responsible for the bringing down Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.

Neither did the New York Times write about a 13 year old hacker attacking Facebook.

These are complete lies that are easily verified with a quick check on the Reuters and New York Times websites.

Fact #3 : 13 Year-Old Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Soo Does Not Exist

There is no 13 year-old Chinese hacker called Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Su / Sun Ji So / Sun Ji Soo. He does NOT exist.

In addition, Sun Jisu / Sun Ji Soo is a Korean name, not Chinese. This is a mistake that a non-Asian person would make.

Fact #4 : That Was An Old Picture Of Wang Zhengyang

The fake news websites used a picture of Chinese hacking prodigy, Wang Zhengyang, speaking at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference.

Wang Zhengyang was 13 year-old at that time, and would be 20 years old this year – 2021. Here are two more pictures of him speaking at that event.

Wang Zhengyang at 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference

Fact #5 : Facebook Services Were Brought Down By Configuration Changes

Facebook services were not brought down by a hacker, but configuration changes their own engineering team initiated internally.

Facebook’s Vice-President of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, confirmed that “configuration changes” on their “backbone routers” caused the 6-hour long failure.

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

He also asserted that it was a faulty configuration change, and no user data was compromised.

Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

Fact #6 : Access Problems Were Caused By Same Servers

Facebook run their internal systems through the same servers, so they became inaccessible when those servers were taken offline.

This included security systems that controlled the fob door locks, with a New York Times reporter tweeting that Facebook staff were unable to gain access to an unspecified office using their keycards.

However, many Facebook staff are working from home due to COVID-19 precautions, so this was only a big problem for engineers trying to gain access to the Facebook data centre in Santa Clara, California.

At no time was this security issue caused by a hacker. It was due to the same servers that went offline.

Read more : Why Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram Went Down!

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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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