Tag Archives: South Korea

Dell 40-Nation Survey : Employees Are Greatest Asset!

Dell 40-Nation Survey : Employees Are Greatest Asset!

Dell Technologies just conducted a new 40+ country survey to find out things have changed after two years of accelerated digital transformation!

Take a look at their results, and find out why most businesses consider employees as their greatest asset!

 

Dell 40-Nation Survey : Employees Are Greatest Asset!

After two years of accelerated digital transformation during the COVID-19 pandemic, 64% of IT leaders in Malaysia (APJ: 45%; Global: 50%) say their organisations know what it takes to digitally transform a workforce.

But after such rapid change, many employees now face the challenge of maintaining the pace. What’s more, more than two-thirds of the 10,500 respondents believe that their organisations are not able to engage with their employees properly when planning transformation programs.

The results suggest that after 2 years rapid transformation, businesses and their workforce are in need of time to recharge, reflect and refine before embarking on new or iterating projects.

The research also highlights how there is still the danger os digital transformation stalling, as 68% of Malaysian respondents (APJ: 72%; Global: 64%) believe that their employees’ resistance to change can lead to failure.

Over half or 57% of Malaysian respondents (APJ: 62%; Global: 53%)  fear that they will be shut-out of the rapidly-evolving digital world due to a lack of people with the right authority or vision to capitalise on opportunities offered by new technologies, like as-a-Service models.

Most organisations around the world – including Malaysia – realise the need to digitally transform, but they find digital transformation hard, and their people don’t always embrace change.

This human-technology friction is only compounded by the pandemic and what we end up with is businesses that are more digitally resilient, but many of their people are exhausted.

Today, businesses aspiring for sustainable success need to be asking themselves how they can thoughtfully and purposefully help their people navigate further change.

– Mak Chin Wah, country manager, Malaysia and general manager, Telecom Systems Business, South Asia, Dell Technologies.

 

Dell 40-Nation Survey : Readiness For Digital Change

Dell and independent behavioural experts also studied survey respondents’ appetite for digital change, and they found that only 8% of the Malaysian workforce – from senior business leaders to IT decision-makers and staff – are pursuing modernisation projects (APJ: 7%; Global: 10%).

Furthermore, 40% of Malaysian respondents are slow or reluctant to embrace change (APJ: 46%; Global: 42%).

Breakthrough Benchmark Malaysia APJ Global
Sprint: Will chase innovation and
trailblaze technological change.
8% 7% 10%
Steady: Poised to adopt technological
change, selected by others.
50% 41% 43%
Slow: Inclined to hold back and
observe / deliberate.
40% 46% 42%
Still: Tend to anticipate problems and
resist proposed technology innovations
based on perceived risk.
4% 6% 5%

 

Dell 40-Nation Survey : The Way Forward

The Dell study also charts a way forward for businesses to focus on keeping pace with digital transformation:

1. Connectivity

Businesses performed tremendous feats to connect, collaborate, and conduct business online during the pandemic, but the job is not done.

Around 76% of Malaysian respondents say they need their organisations to provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to work anywhere (along with the autonomy to choose their preferred working pattern) (APJ: 78%; Global: 72%).

In fact, they worry their employees might be left behind because they do not have the right technology to shift to a highly distributed model (where work and compute are not tied to a central place, but occur everywhere).

Technology alone is not enough. Businesses also need to make work equitable for employees with different needs, interests, and responsibilities, including the 82% Malaysian employees (APJ: 78; Global: 76%) that would like their organisation to do any of the following:

  • Clearly define their ongoing commitment to flexible work arrangements and the practicalities of making it work – Malaysia: 54% (APJ: 46%; Global: 40%)
  • Equip leaders to effectively and equitably manage remote teams – Malaysia: 41% (APJ: 42%; Global: 42%)
  • Empower employees to choose their preferred working pattern and provide the necessary tools / infrastructure – Malaysia: 49% (APJ: 47%; Global: 44%)

Read more : Dell Commissions Largest Solar Panel Globally In Malaysia!

2. Productivity

Every employee’s time is limited and there are now too few qualified candidates for open roles. To address these limitations, businesses can delegate repetitive tasks to automated processes and free-up employees to focus on higher-value work.

At present, 19% of Malaysian respondents say that their work is stimulating and not repetitive (APJ: 32%; Global: 37%). With the opportunity to automate more repetitive tasks, 81% of Malaysian respondents would look forward to learning new, sought-after skills and technologies, like leadership skills, courses in machine learning, or focusing on more strategic opportunities to elevate their role (APJ: 74%; Global; 69%).

However, businesses with limited budgets are concerned they will not be able to advance their workforce and compete.

3. Empathy

At their heart, businesses must build a culture, modelled by empathetic leaders, that treats people as their greatest source of creativity and value.

The research shows there is still work to do and empathy has to inform decision making – from simplifying technology for approximately half (Malaysia: 51%; APJ: 52%; Global: 49%) who often feel overwhelmed by complex technologies, to tailoring change programs to individuals’ skills (Malaysia: 54%; APJ: 50%; Global: 41%;) of employees believe their leaders do this).

Read more : Dell Survey On Remote Work Readiness In Malaysia!

 

Dell 40-Nation Survey : A Quick Primer

To find out how things have changed after two years of accelerated digital transformation, Dell Technologies conducted a survey across 40+ countries from all regions of the world, from August to October 2021.

Fieldwork was conducted by Vanson Bourne, and involved 10,500 senior business decision-makers, IT decision-makers and knowledge workers (employees involved in digital transformation).

In Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), 2,900 respondents across 11 locations were surveyed. The APJ locations include Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Malaysia, 200 number of respondents were surveyed.

On 22 September 2022, Dell Technologies presented their key findings at the Dell Technologies Forum 2022, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 

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Did BTS RM Beat Henry Cavill As World’s Most Handsome Man?!

Did RM (Kim Nam-joon) of the Korean boy band BTS beat Henry Cavill as the World’s Most Handsome Man?!

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

 

Claim : BTS RM Beat Henry Cavill As Most Handsome Man!

The Internet just went berserk with the news that Kim Nam-joon beat Henry Cavill as the World’s Most Handsome Man in the TC Candler survey.

Many websites went viral with articles claiming that the BTS band leader (also known as RM) dethroned Henry Cavill for the title. Here is just two examples :

BTS Member Kim Namjoon is now the most handsome man in the world by defeating Henry Cavill, says a survey by TC Candler.

Henry Cavill, was considered the most handsome man in the world. However, BTS leader has taken away the title from him.

The British actor Henry Cavill is undoubtedly the most popular actor presently. He is the number 1 Superman, ran with Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, is Geralt in The Witcher, and is a contender for the next James Bond.

However, he is still one place behind in the list of the most handsome men in the world. Although he dominated the list for quite a long time, according to netizens Superman doesn’t hold a candle to BTS leader, RM!

According to a recent survey that TC Candler conducted for the most handsome man alive, Kim Namjoon also known as RM raced ahead of him to take the number one spot. Although this is the first time for the Korean pop star, Cavill has been a permanent feature on the list.

Recommended : Did Henry Cavill Help Nephew Prove Superman Is His Uncle?

 

BTS RM Did Not Beat Henry Cavill As Most Handsome Man… Yet

The truth is – this is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created to generate hype for the page views and ad money, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Henry Cavill Was Never Voted World’s Most Handsome Man

As handsome as Witcher star Henry Cavill is, he was never voted World’s Most Handsome Man in any TC Candler annual lists.

In fact, both Henry Cavill and RM (Kim Nam-joon) from BTS were never even in the Top 5 of any TC Candler annual list ever!

So the claim that RM from BTS beat Henry Cavill for the top spot is already wrong.

Fact #2 : Voting Only Takes Place In December

TC Candler only opens voting for the 100 Most Beautiful Faces and 100 Most Handsome Faces in December of every year.

In other words, voting has not even occurred for the 2022 edition of either list, so any claim that RM (Kim Nam-joon) from BTS or Henry Cavill winning the 2022 list is false.

Fact #3 : TC Candler Refuted The Claim

TC Candler issued a statement on August 23, 2022, refuting the claim that Kim Nam-joon beat Henry Cavill as the World’s Most Handsome Man in their survey.

Statement:

For those who haver been asking and spreading the meme… No, we have not released the 2022 Lists yet. We only ever release the Top 100 lists in late December.

As much as we like both RM (Kim Nam-joon) and Henry Cavill, neither of them has ever been crowned the winner or even been in the Top 5.

Nothing has been decided in 2022 and nothing will be until we hold a vote in December.

If you see the meme or the news story floating around social media, please ignore and don’t share.

Thank you — TC Candler

Fact #4 : This Is Just Another Example Of Celebrity Fake News

This is yet another example of fake news created by celebrity blogs to drive traffic and increase page views for ad money.

Here are examples of other celebrity fake news that we debunked earlier:

Please be wary when you read viral celebrity news like this. Be sure to check if they are real before sharing!

 

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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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WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

The WHO has convened an emergency meeting on the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to 56 countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

On 23 June 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened an emergency committee meeting under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations to discuss the current monkeypox outbreak.

Chaired by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele and Dr. Nicola Low, this emergency WHO meeting on monkeypox is only open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The findings of this emergency meeting would be conveyed to the Director-General of WHO, on whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern, and also on potential recommendations on how to address it.

This meeting comes as an NGO called World Health Network (unrelated to WHO) issued a press release describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a “pandemic”, urging “immediate and effective action” from country and global health authorities.

This led to a bit of confusion, as their names and acronyms were similar (WHO vs WHN). To be clear, WHO has not declared a monkeypox pandemic.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

 

Over 4,000 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 56 Countries!

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 56 countries outside of endemic African countries, with over 4,000 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 918 100 1,018
United Kingdom 793 793
Germany 676 676
France 330 330
Portugal 328 328
Canada 223 45 268
United States 173 173
Netherlands 167 167
Italy 85 85
Belgium 77 1 78
Switzerland 52 52
Ireland 28 28
Ghana 18 18
Brazil 11 6 17
Israel 16 16
Australia 13 13
Denmark 13 13
Sweden 13 13
UAE 13 13
Austria 12 12
Poland 12 12
Mexico 9 9
Slovenia 9 9
Hungary 7 7
Czech Republic 6 6
Uganda 6 6
Romania 5 5
Argentina 4 4
Finland 4 4
Malta 4 4
Norway 4 4
Somalia 4 4
Chile 3 3
Colombia 3 3
Greece 3 3
Iceland 3 3
Bulgaria 2 2
Latvia 2 2
Morocco 1 1 2
Bahamas 1 1
Cayman Islands 1 1
Fiji 1 1
Georgia 1 1
Gibraltar 1 1
Haiti 1 1
Libya 1 1
Lebanon 1 1
Luxembourg 1 1
Serbia 1 1
Singapore 1 1
South Africa 1 1
South Korea 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Venezuela 1 1
Zambia 1 1
TOTAL 4,049 170 4,219

 

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Are Japan, Korea + China Going To Ban Microwave Ovens?!

Are Japan, South Korea and China going to ban microwave ovens because they emit unhealthy radiation?!

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

 

Claim : Japan, Korea + China Are Going To Ban Microwave Ovens!

People are sharing this message on WhatsApp, which claims that Japan, South Korea and China are going to ban microwave ovens because they emit “unhealthy vibrations and radiation”!

End of Microwave industry!!!!! Japan govt has decided to high dispose of all the Microwave Ovens in the country before this year end.

Reason for this ban: University of Hiroshima’s scientists researched and found that “radio waves” from microwave ovens cause greater harm to health over the last 20 yrs, than the US atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Sep 1945.

Experts found that food heated in microwave ovens has very unhealthy vibrations and radiation.

All the factories of “microwave ovens” in Japan are being closed.

S Korea announced plans to close all “microwave ovens” factories by 2021, and China by 2023.

 

Truth : Japan, Korea + China Are Not Going To Ban Microwave Ovens!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Hoax Started As Satire

This fake story started as a “satirical article” by the Russian “satire” website IA Panorama, with the title “Япония окончательно откажется от СВЧ-печей к 2020 году“, which translates as “Japan will finally abandon microwave ovens by 2020

Like other “satire” websites, IA Panorama creates outlandish stories that are designed to go viral. To avoid the “fake news” label, they put a disclaimer at the bottom of their article :

All texts on this website are grotesque parodies of reality, and are not real news.

Fact #2 : It Gets Recycled Every Year

This fake story gets recycled and shared on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc. every year, with the date and some minor details changed.

The original Russian story only said that Japan was going to ban microwave ovens. In the 2022 edition, that was expanded to include South Korea and China.

Fact #3 : Microwave Ovens Are Not Getting Banned

To be clear – microwave ovens are not getting banned. Not in Japan, not in South Korea, not in China, or anywhere else in the world.

In fact, China and Japan are the second and third biggest markets for microwave ovens in 2022!

Fact #4 : Microwave Ovens Do Not Make Food Radioactive

Microwave ovens work by generating electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range, that excites polar molecules in the food.

This dielectric heating produces thermal energy in a quick and efficient manner, albeit limited to the outer 25-33 mm of the food item.

It does not turn the food radioactive, because the microwave energy is converted into heat as it is absorbed by the food.

Fact #5 : Microwave Radiation Does Not Cause Cancer

The radiation produced by microwave ovens is non-ionising, like radio waves and visible light. The only non-ionising radiation that causes cancer is UV light.

It is unlike ionising radiation like x-rays, alpha and beta particles, and gamma rays, which are high-energy radiation that can change atoms by knocking off their electrons, thereby “ionising” them.

Even if you are exposed to microwave radiation, you won’t develop cancer. However, the microwave radiation will convert into heat when absorbed by your skin.

Fact #6 : Microwave Ovens Are Shielded

The microwave oven is designed to be a partial Faraday cage on five of its six sides, with a Faraday shield (the wire mesh) on its transparent window.

This keeps the microwave energy it produces within the oven, and protects the user from getting “cooked” as well.

If you have seen a Faraday cage demonstration at science shows (like this example below), it’s literally the same thing, just in reverse.

Fact #7 : Microwaved Food Is Safe

Food cooked or heated by microwave ovens are safe to eat. In fact, using the microwave to cook is a healthier alternative to frying or barbecuing foods.

That said, you need to use “microwave safe” wares. If you use plastic containers that are not microwave safe, they could not only melt, they can leach dangerous chemicals into the food.

So the danger lies not in the “nuking” of your food, but in the container you use to “nuke” your food.

Fact #8 : Microwave Ovens Are Efficient

Microwave ovens are very efficient at cooking foods, saving both electricity and time. The fast cooking time also has the advantage of preserving the food’s nutrients.

Microwaving foods do require some preparation though, as the microwaves can only penetrate the outer 25-33 mm of the food item, and will be reflected by aluminium foil, metal utensils or containers, etc.

I hope you found this fact check article useful. Please help us fight fake news by sharing it out!

 

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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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Does US Have Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea?!

Is the US conducting biological warfare experiments at their secret labs in South Korea?!

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

 

Claim : US Has Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea!

Official Chinese state media outlets like Xinhua,  People’s Daily, China Daily, and their 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) are claiming that the US is conducting biological warfare experiments at their secret labs in South Korea.

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

China Daily Fri, Apr 15, 2022

US biolabs create fear in South Korea
XINHUA

SEOUL — South Koreans are gripped with fear over the prospect that US biological weapons laboratories operated by the US Forces Korea, or USFK, will transform the country into Washington’s “overseas hub” for biological warfare experiments.

The United States has flouted international conventions by steadily advancing its germ warfare program in the country. It sees South Korea as a country “friendly” enough to let the US military test lethal toxins without institutional hurdles.

 

Truth : US Does NOT Have Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea!

Now, I must first point out that it is impossible to prove a negative – that something that doesn’t exists, doesn’t actually exist.

But based on a complete lack of evidence, this is yet another example of Chinese propaganda warfare, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Story Has Been Repeated Since 2020

A quick check shows that the Chinese state media have been promoting the story of the US biological warfare labs in South Korea since April 2020, if not earlier.

So this story isn’t new. It was repeated in July 2020, and then in August 2021, before the current slew of coverage in March and April 2022.

Fact #2 : No Evidence Of US Biological Warfare Lab In South Korea

Despite waxing lyrical about the US military conducting biological warfare experiments in their South Korea labs, the Chinese state media offered ZERO evidence.

There is no evidence of biological warfare experiments being conducted in South Korea, and there is no evidence of US setting up laboratories for the research and development of such weapons.

Fact #3 : Anthrax Was Sent To 9 US States, Australia + Canada Too

Chinese state media claimed that US biological warfare experimentation was “exposed” when live anthrax samples were sent to the Osan Air Base in South Korea.

The truth is – the same anthrax samples were sent to 51 laboratories in nine US states, as well as Australia, Canada and South Korea.

So the claim that US sent anthrax to South Korea because they let the US military “test lethal toxins without institutional hurdles” is nonsense.

This incident was covered widely by the global press, so it is peculiar that Chinese state media would (intentionally?) misinform their readers.

Fact #4 : Anthrax Samples Were Used For Tests

These anthrax samples were mailed to those laboratories as part of ongoing efforts to develop field tests for anthrax.

These tests are usually conducted using dead samples of anthrax, because live anthrax would obviously be a biosecurity risk.

Fact #5 : Anthrax Samples Were Supposed To Be Dead

What the Chinese state media won’t tell you is that those anthrax samples were supposed to be dead.

In March 2014, the Dugway Proving Grounds – a US Department of Defense laboratory which conducts biosecurity research – irradiated a batch of anthrax samples with gamma rays to kill them.

In April 2015, they mailed the “dead” anthrax samples to 51 labs in the US, Canada, Australia and South Korea, by commercial postal services because the samples were supposed to be completely “dead”.

This incident was covered widely by the global press, so it is peculiar that Chinese state media would (intentionally?) misinform their readers.

Fact #6 : US Military Was Unaware Anthrax Samples Were Active

What the Chinese state media will also “forget” to tell you is that the US military was unaware that the anthrax samples were still active.

It was a commercial laboratory in Maryland that alerted the Pentagon on 22 May 2015, after they discovered that their sample had some active spores.

As CDC spokesperson Jason McDonald explained, the samples were quickly transferred to the CDC :

The samples are being carefully transferred to the CDC in Atlanta. They are starting to arrive, but cautioned that the samples need five more days to grow before officials can determine if they contain live anthrax.

While this was a deeply concerning accident that could have been disastrous, it was most definitely not an attempt to conduct biological warfare experiments in South Korea.

This incident was covered widely by the global press, so it is peculiar that Chinese state media would (intentionally?) misinform their readers.

Officials from the South Korea-U.S. joint working group conduct an on-site inspection of a laboratory at Osan Air Base, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday, about 70 days after the Pentagon admitted that live anthrax samples were accidently delivered there. / Joint Press Corps

Fact #7 : Anthrax Sample In South Korea Was Destroyed

The anthrax sample in South Korea was quickly destroyed, even though there was no evidence it was still active – the batch was simply assumed to have not been sufficiently irradiated.

The military destroyed the anthrax on Wednesday after the sample, which was thought to be inactive, was suspected of being live. None of the personnel in contact showed signs of exposure. But they were given exams, antibiotics, and in some cases, vaccinations.

The military stresses there was no risk to the public. The exposure happened in a contained lab environment on the Osan Air Base, which is 65 miles south of Seoul. It’s one of a number of bases that houses the estimated 28,000 American military personnel based in South Korea.

Fact #8 : No One Got Sick

Four lab employees in the states of Texas, Delaware and Wisconsin, as well as 22 military and civilian personnel at the Osan Air Base, were given antibiotics as a precaution.

However, no one got sick from the potential exposure to the anthrax spore samples. I have to stress – there was no actual evidence that anyone got infected by those anthrax samples.

Fact #9 : Anthrax Is Naturally Found In Soil

Despite its fearsome reputation, anthrax is a disease caused by bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis, that is naturally found in soil, and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.

While people can get infected by breathing in its spores, it usually does not spread from human to human.

As long as the anthrax samples were not being weaponised, the US did not contravene the Biological Weapons Convention.

The use of dead anthrax samples to develop or improve or certify tests for anthrax most certainly do not contravene the Biological Weapons Convention.

Fact #10 : USFK Must Report To Korea CDC When Importing Biological Agents

The South Korea-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was revised in 2015 to mandate that the USFK must file a report with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when importing any biological agents, including inactivated biological agents.

So the claim that the US military can bring in biological materials without informing the South Korean government is no longer true since 2015.

It is interesting that Chinese state media are still (intentionally?) not aware of that development…

Fact #10 : JUPITR Was Designed To Detect Biological Threats

Chinese state media claim that US biological warfare experiments are being conducted under the JUPITR program.

That’s nonsense, because JUPITR (Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition) is a bio-surveillance program.

JUPITR was set up to monitor for biological threats posed by North Korea, using new bio-surveillance analysis equipment like :

  • BioFire Film Array, which can process Dry Filter Unit samples in 5-6 hours, instead of several days
  • IQuum Liat, which is a sample-to-result molecular diagnostic system
  • 3M Focus

To be clear – JUPITR does not involve biological warfare experiments.

JUPITR Biosurveillance Station

Fact #11 : JUPITR Ended Development In 2018

Interestingly, Chinese state media (intentionally?) forgot to mention that the development of the JUPITR program ended in 2018.

While its passive early warning capability remains in place, there has been no further work done on the JUPITR program since 2018.

So I have to wonder why they are still harping on JUPITR in 2022… Do they really have nothing new to report on?

Fact #11 : CENTAUR Was Designed To Detect Biological Threats

The Chinese state media also claim that US biological warfare experiments are being conducted under the CENTAUR program, which is also nonsense.

CENTAUR, which is short for “Capabilities to Enhance NBC Threat Awareness, Understanding & Response“, is an early warning system that looks for biological threats in South Korea.

To ensure that such a system works, the USFK (US Forces Korea) uses samples of dead pathogens (like the anthrax samples mentioned earlier) to test its detection capabilities.

The USFK has publicly announced that they do not use live samples for testing, after a few dozen people protested against the CENTAUR program.

We hold the health and safety of our service members, civilian employees, family members and Korean neighbors in the highest regard. The CENTAUR system is safe. USFK does not and has never used live agents for testing.

Photo credit : Yonhap

Fact #12 : Biological Warfare Banned In 183 Countries

Biological warfare has long been banned by the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) that was signed on 10 April 1972, and came into effect on 26 March 1975.

As of January 2022 – 183 countries have become party to this treaty, which means they agreed to stop development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological weapons.

Fact #13 : Biological Labs Are Essential To All Countries

What the Chinese state media (intentionally?) don’t mention is that biological labs are a necessity in ALL countries.

Biological labs do not conduct biological warfare research, because that is banned in 183 countries under the BWC (see Fact #12).

Instead, they are on the forefront of a country’s biosecurity defences, and are absolutely essential in developing tests and cures (including vaccines) for new and emerging diseases, like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

In fact, China itself has a number of biological labs, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is located right at the epicentre of the first COVID-19 outbreak.

It would be hypocritical and (intentionally?) misleading for Chinese state media to demonise biological labs. After all, they are ESSENTIAL to every country’s national security, including China’s.

Read more : Did GSK Make COVID-19 In Their Wuhan Lab?

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese state media and their 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

Please help us fight such malicious fake news – SHARE this fact check far and wide!

 

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Moderna Expands To Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan + HK!

Moderna just announced that they are expanding to four countries in Asia Pacific – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong!

 

Moderna Expands To Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan + HK!

On 15 February 2022, Moderna announced that it is expanding its commercial network across Asia by creating new subsidiaries in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

These new subsidiaries are meant to support the delivery of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, and may not involve research and development, or manufacturing.

Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel recently mentioned though that he hopes to “establish one or two new vaccine plants in Asia“.

In May 2021, Moderna announced a collaboration with the South Korean government to explore research and manufacturing in South Korea.

At the end of December 2021, Moderna announced that it would build an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Victoria, Australia.

“2021 was a year of impact for Moderna, and I am proud to see continued growth in 2022 as we expand our presence in Asia. After a decade of pioneering the development of our mRNA platform, we were ready to play a critical role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic globally,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

“With the addition of four subsidiaries in Asia, we look forward to new opportunities to leverage our mRNA platform to help solve health challenges, including those with a high burden of disease in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel was recently the subject of speculation and misinformation, after closing his Twitter account. You can read all about it here.

Read more : Did Moderna CEO delete Twitter account and dump his stocks?

 

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AstraZeneca + Sinovac Booster Dose Approved In Malaysia!

The AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccine booster doses have been approved in Malaysia!

Here is what we know so far…

 

AstraZeneca + Sinovac Booster Dose Approved In Malaysia!

On 17 November 2021, the Malaysia Drug Control Authority (DCA) agreed to give conditional approval for the use of the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines as booster dose in Malaysia.

Both AstraZeneca and Sinovac booster doses were approved for all individuals 18 years and above who received the same primary series vaccine.

This is homologous vaccination, the opposite of heterologous vaccination being carried out right now with Sinovac recipients receiving the Pfizer booster dose.

Read more : Sinovac Vaccine Recipients To Get Pfizer Booster Dose!

The DCA also announced the conditional registration of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by SK Bioscience Co., Ltd. in South Korea. Malaysia has now approved three AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers :

  • AstraZeneca Nijmegen B.V., Netherlands
  • Siam Bioscience Co., Ltd., Thailand
  • SK Bioscience Co., Ltd., South Korea

 

How Will AstraZeneca + Sinovac Booster Dose Be Given In Malaysia?

The AstraZeneca and Sinovac booster dose will be given after these intervals :

  • AstraZeneca : 6 months after Dose 2
  • Sinovac : 3 to 6 months after Dose 2

While both vaccines have been approved as booster doses, it does not mean that everyone will get to receive them.

The COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force – Booster (CITF-B) will target specific groups to receive these booster doses, which will be detailed later…

Read more : Can You And Should You Get A Sinovac Booster Dose?

 

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Did China Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World?

Did China provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world, while America dropped hundreds of thousands of bombs instead?

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

 

Did China Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World?

Sinophiles have been sharing an infographic comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to the last three American Presidents – Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

It shows that China under Xi Jinping provided 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world, while America under President Bush, Obama and Trump dropped over 240,000 bombs.

 

Truth : China Did Not Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World

The truth is this is just Chinese propaganda and well, FAKE NEWS, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : China Did Not Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on 23 September 2021 that “China has provided 1.2 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organisations“.

So even if we take their word for it, China most definitely has NOT provided 2 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to the world.

Data analytics company, Airfinity, puts China’s worldwide COVID-19 vaccine exports slightly lower – at just 1.1 billion doses to 123 countries, as of 8 October 2021.

No matter how you slice this salami, China has not come close to providing the world with 2 billion vaccine doses.

Read more : Are Top 4 COVID-19 Vaccines From China?

Fact #2 : Provided Does Not Mean Donated

The misleading “infographic” tries to imply that China “donated” 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world.

Note how it uses the same word – “provided” just like the Chinese Foreign Ministry. It is a curious use of the word, since other countries would have either used “exported” or “donated”.

The use of the ambiguous word “provided” is no coincidence, as China wants the world to think of it as benevolent and generous. The truth is much less impressive.

Most Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines were SOLD for profit, not donated for the good of their fellow men.

There’s nothing wrong in selling vaccines. It is simply FALSE to imply or claim that China donated 2 billion vaccine doses.

Fact #3 : China Is A Stingy Vaccine Donor

Despite their implied benevolence, China is a notably stingy donor.

China only started donating to COVAX on 3 February 2021, pledging 10 million doses of their Sinopharm vaccine.

Not only was that a paltry 0.3% of the 3.3 BILLION doses secured by COVAX at that time, it took them almost 3 months to manufacture those 10 million doses.

China pledged to donate a total of 100 million vaccine doses, with around 37 million doses delivered by 1 October 2021.

That pales in comparison to the United States, which donated more than 190 million doses as of 13 October and has pledged to donate more than 1.1 BILLION vaccine doses11X more than China.

Read more : Did China Contribute 60% Of COVAX Vaccine Supply?

Fact #4 : China Is A Stingy COVAX Donor

COVAX – the worldwide initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines – does not rely on donated vaccines. It relies primarily on financial aid, which allows it to directly purchase vaccines to distribute.

You can check how much each country or organisation donated in the latest COVAX donor list.

China did not contribute a single dollar to the COVAX Facility until 6 August 2021, when they announced a single US$100 million contribution.

That may sound impressive, until you actually compare their contribution with what the rest of the world is contributing…

COVAX Donors Contribution In USD
United States 3,500 million
Germany 1,070 million
Japan 1,000 million
United Kingdom 733 million
Sweden 538 million
European Commission 489 million
Italy 470 million
Canada 384 million
Sweden 296 million
France 242 million
South Korea 210 million
B&M Gates Foundation 206 million
Switzerland 162 million
Saudi Arabia 150 million
Norway 141 million
Spain 122 million
Netherlands 108 million
Australia 100 million
China 100 million

China could only match Australia, donating LESS THAN HALF what South Korea donated and just 10% of what Japan donated donated to COVAX, despite being the world’s second largest economy.

Even more embarrassingly, China donated LESS THAN HALF what the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a private organisation – donated to COVAX.

But not to worry – Russia didn’t contribute a single cent to COVAX. So Chinese propagandists would do better to compare China’s contributions against their northern brethren, instead of their western rivals.

Fact #5 : China Is No Angel

China may not have dropped bombs on other countries like the United States, but it is no angel.

While the United States dropped bombs on terrorists and sometimes innocents caught in “The War On Terror”, China conducted its own “War on Terror” in its Xinjiang Province by rounding up between 1-3 million Uyghur Muslims and putting them into internment camps, which they call “vocational education and training centres”.

Now, there is no equivalence between dropping bombs on people, and imprisoning them to use as slave labour. But it would be foolish for anyone to believe that China is an angel.

China has aggressively threatened Taiwan, continuously sending flights of military planes into their ADIZ (Air Defence Identification Zone).

China also took over islands and features in the Paracel and Spratly Islands that belonged to other countries, and built military installations on them, including airfields, radar and radio stations as well as missile defences, and actively use them to threatened passing ships.

China even sent their troops to engage the Indian army in aggressive melee and face-off skirmishes on their border, resulting in deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and approximately 43 Chinese soldiers in 2020.

China’s conduct within their own country and internationally, has shown that the Middle Kingdom has no qualms ignoring international laws and destroying people’s lives, to get what they want.

That makes China no different from other superpowers abusing their economic and military strength to bully smaller and less powerful nations.

 

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

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

 

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Why You Should Only Buy Genuine Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks!

Find out why you should only use genuine Dr Clo disinfectant sticks, and how to identify the real deal!

And don’t forget to WARN your family and friends about counterfeit disinfectant sticks!

 

Why You Should Only Buy Genuine Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks!

There are many chlorine dioxide products in the market, but Dr Clo disinfectant sticks have superseded them to become the market leader.

Unfortunately, that has led to a proliferation of counterfeit disinfectant sticks that could put your life at risk, so Dr Clo Malaysia reached out to us for help to warn you all.

Here are some reasons why you should only buy genuine Dr Clo disinfectant sticks :

Reason #1 : Guaranteed Safe ClO2 Concentration

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks have been designed to emit chlorine dioxide at just 0.01-0.02 ppm, which is 10X below the ClO2 exposure limits set by NIOSH and OSHA in the United States.

They are able to do this by emitting chlorine dioxide through their special porous body, instead of a single hole like counterfeit products.

Dr Clo even shared with us a document on their internal measurement of chlorine dioxide, showing ClO2 readings of 0.01 ppm and 0.02 ppm.

Counterfeit disinfectant sticks cannot deliver this safe rate of chlorine dioxide emission, because they have a regular plastic body with a large hole to emit the chlorine dioxide.

Not only do they not provide even emission of ClO2, they have to emit much larger concentration from their single exit hole to achieve the same coverage.

Reason #2 : Long Lifespan

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks are filled with enough chlorine dioxide to deliver up to 50 days of non-stop coverage (without exposure to direct sunlight or high temperature).

Even in direct sunlight or in high temperature conditions, they will last at least 30-40 days.

In a perfect environment – like a fridge where it is enclosed and cool with no exposure to sunlight – they can even last up to 3 months!

Counterfeit disinfectant sticks certainly do not last as long. In fact, there’s no way to know how long they actually last!

Reason #3 : Built-In Indicator

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks have a built-in indicator that tells you when they empty.

Once activated, the indicator will gradually turn yellowish to show that it’s actively emitting ClO2. Once it becomes transparent again, this indicates that it is starting to run low.

You can replace it immediately, but the stick will still emit ClO2 for another 7-10 days, giving you time to purchase replacements.

Counterfeit disinfectant sticks lack this indicator, so it is virtually impossible to know when they run out!

Reason #4 : Korean Quality

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks are all manufactured in South Korea, and subject to stringent quality controls by the NON Corporation.

Counterfeit disinfectant sticks may look like the real deal, but do you really know what they contain?

Reason #5 : Product Liability Insurance

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks are all covered by a Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance product liability insurance (82013139323) worth KRW 500,000,000 – about US$432 thousand or RM 1.8 million!

Counterfeits and copies are, of course, not covered by such liability insurance – yet another reason to stay far away from them!

Now that you know WHY you must only buy genuine Dr Clo disinfectant sticks, find out HOW to identify the real deal!

 

How To Identify Genuine Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks!

If you purchase Dr Clo disinfectant sticks online, make sure you check the box. Every genuine Dr Clo disinfectant stick sold online will have a unique QR code sticker.

If you don’t see this QR code sticker, then this is a counterfeit disinfectant stick.

But please note that Dr Clo disinfectant sticks sold at big chain retailers and pharmacies like Watson’s may lack these QR codes, but are all genuine.

Make sure you check the QR code using any QR code scanner. If it is a genuine Dr Clo disinfectant stick, you will be directed to a page that confirms it’s a genuine product :

Dr Clo disinfectant sticks are also ALL made in Korea by NON, and will usually have its US FDA registration and international patent number printed on the box.

If you come across a disinfectant stick that’s made by a different manufacturer, or a different country – that’s a sure sign that it’s a counterfeit or a copy.

Finally, only genuine Dr Clo disinfectant sticks will come with a built-in indicator. This is not only important to let you know when it runs out, it is a sure sign you have a genuine disinfectant stick.

Counterfeit or copies of the Dr Clo disinfectant sticks do NOT have this indicator. Make sure you steer clear of them!

Now that you know HOW to identify genuine Dr Clo disinfectant sticks, find out WHERE to buy the real deal!

 

Where To Buy Genuine Dr Clo Disinfectant Sticks!

Here in Malaysia, you can buy genuine Dr Clo disinfectant sticks from these authorised retailers :

 

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Malaysia Gets First Batch Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine!

Malaysia just received the first batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine!

Find out this means for the COVID-19 vaccination program in Malaysia!

 

Malaysia Gets First Batch Of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine!

On 25 April 2021, the Malaysia Health Minister announced that the first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 8:20 PM on Friday, 23 April 2021.

The 268,800 doses was purchased through the COVAX vaccine sharing scheme, and are enough to vaccinate 134,400 people.

These AstraZeneca vaccine doses were manufactured in South Korea by SK Bioscience, and approved for use in Malaysia on 2 April 2021.

This is a small fraction of the 6.4 million vaccine doses that Malaysia agreed to purchase from AstraZeneca in December 2020.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine : A Quick Primer!

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine.

It uses a chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – which has been modified to prevent replication, to introduce a DNA sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Once injected, the vaccine enters the cell and “teaches” it to produce the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and express them on its surface.

These spike proteins triggers the immune response to create antibodies that will protect you against the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 

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Malaysia Approves AstraZeneca Vaccine By SK Bioscience!

Malaysia has conditionally approved the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, manufactured by SK Bioscience!

Find out this means for the COVID-19 vaccination program in Malaysia!

 

Malaysia Approves AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine By SK Bioscience!

On 2 April 2021, the Malaysia Ministry of Health announced that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by SK Bioscience received conditional approval.

  1. AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Solution for Injection
    Registrant : None (under COVAX Facility)
    Manufacturer : SK Bioscience Co. Ltd., South Korea

This conditional approval would allow the AstraZeneca manufactured by SK Bioscience to be used in the Malaysia COVID-19 vaccination program.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine : Why Second Approval In Malaysia?

Unlike the earlier conditional approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in the Netherlands, these AstraZeneca vaccines are manufactured by SK Bioscience in South Korea and provided through the COVAX Facility.

Therefore, there is no Product Registration Holder (PRH) for these vaccines in Malaysia. The Malaysia Ministry of Health will instead appoint a licensed importer to manage the logistics.

The WHO had earlier issued an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) for this AstraZeneca-SK Biosience vaccine on 15 February 2021.

COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) is a global initiative to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The COVAX Facility is the platform by which this initiative purchases approved COVID-19 vaccines and distributes them to the developing world.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine : A Quick Primer!

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, is a viral vector vaccine.

It uses a chimpanzee adenovirus – ChAdOx1 – which has been modified to prevent replication, to introduce a DNA sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Once injected, the vaccine enters the cell and “teaches” it to produce the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and express them on its surface.

These spike proteins triggers the immune response to create antibodies that will protect you against the real SARS-CoV-2 virus.

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

If you have already purchased the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, here is a step-by-step guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

As we pointed out earlier, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is not for everyone. But if you are able to benefit from it, here is our guide on how to plan your travel and book your tickets.

Step 1 : Log into your BIG Member account.

Step 2 : Make sure your BIG Member profile name is exactly the same as the name in your passport.

Step 3 : If necessary, please change your profile name to match your passport.

You only have one (1) chance to change your name and you cannot change it once your first flight redemption is confirmed, so make sure you do it before redeeming your first flight!

Step 4 : Go to Deals and look at the My Purchases tab for your AirAsia Unlimited Pass.

If you cannot locate your Unlimited Pass after purchasing, check back after a few hours. If the problem persists, email AirAsia at support_deals@airasia.com.

Step 5 : Generate your Unique Code.

Step 6 : Click Apply Now, and the page will refresh to show a flight search page.

Step 7 : Select your destination and travel date.

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass allows you to redeem these flights :

  • From Kuala Lumpur (return) : Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney, Changsha, Chongqing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi’an, Amritsar, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Sapporo (Chin Chitose), Osaka, Fukuoka, Tokyo (Haneda), Tokyo (Narita), Jeju, Seoul, Busan, Taipei

  • From Bangkok (return) : Brisbane, Shanghai, Sapporo (Chin Chitose), Osaka, Tokyo (Narita), Nogoya, Fukuoka, Seoul

  • Others (return) : Taipei – Osaka, Taipei – Okinawa, Osaka – Honolulu

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money, Unless…

Flights with seats listed as 100% OFF are available to be booked by AirAsia Unlimited Pass holders.

If your selected flight has no 100% OFF sign, that means the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is NOT available for the selected date, or the selected date falls on the Embargo Period.

AirAsia defines the Embargo Period as a travel blackout period, during which you cannot use the Unlimited Pass. It includes these upcoming holidays in Malaysia :

Step 8 : Insert your Unique Code into the “Promo Code” field.

You will see the airport taxes and fees payable for that sector, with the total payable taxes and fees at the black box at the bottom for the return trip.

Here is a list of mandatory government taxes and fees for a 2-way return trip for available destinations :

Step 9 : Add your baggage, meals and seat allocations!

Step 10 : Complete your booking by paying the necessary taxes, fees and add-on fees.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Warning!

AirAsia would like us to remind everyone that your Unlimited Pass cannot be returned, refunded or transferred.

They will also void your Unlimited Pass if you are no-show for 3 consecutive times for your confirmed flights.

So make sure you REALLY want to fly to those destinations on those dates before booking!

 

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AirAsia Unlimited Pass : A Waste Of Money, Unless…

The AirAsia Unlimited Pass promises UNLIMITED AIR TRAVEL to five countries, for a whole year!

But frankly speaking – the AirAsia Unlimited Pass is A WASTE OF MONEY, unless you fit a certain set of criteria.

Find out if you fit that small set of criteria, because if you don’t – do NOT sign up for the AirAsia Unlimited Pass!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : What Is It?

Stung by the Airbus bribery scandal and the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, the AirAsia Unlimited Pass promotion is their effort to stem the bleed.

From 29 February to 7 March 2020, AirAsia BIG Members can purchase the Unlimited Pass which would give them the right to purchase tickets to seven sectors, as many times as they wish – for a year :

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • China
  • Taiwan (only Taipei) *thanks for the heads-up, Goldfries!
  • India
  • United States (only Honolulu)

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Destinations + Embargo Periods!

That sounds like an AWESOME deal, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want unlimited air flights to all five countries for a whole year?

However, AirAsia threw in so many caveats, the Unlimited Pass is almost useless… unless you are willing to put up with the hassle.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : TLDR Advice

For those who don’t have the time to read, here is our quick summary of what you need to know :

  1. COVID-19 will prevent / discourage you from using the Unlimited Pass for many months.
  2. You are limited to flights over 4 hours, and only with the D7 or XJ carrier codes.
  3. You are NOT guaranteed tickets, because there are limited promo seats on each flight.
  4. The Unlimited Pass also may not apply during peak periods like weekends, public holidays and school holidays.
  5. Families should NOT bother with the Unlimited Pass. Holidays should be fun, not torture.
  6. You must be willing to book your ticket, and be seated, separately from anyone you are travelling with.
  7. It is best purchased and used by retirees, or singles / couples who have flexible working arrangements and can travel on working days.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Why It’s A Waste Of Money

Reason #1 : Remember COVID-19?

Four of those five countries are in the throes of fighting COVID-19, and it is unlikely that India won’t be affected soon. And the COVID-19 coronavirus is spreading, not receding.

So how likely do you think you will be travelling to those countries over the next 12 months, even if there is no travel ban?

IMHO, many people will not be travelling (voluntarily) to China, Korea, Japan and Australia in the next 6 monthsat the very least.

Reason #2 : You’re NOT Guaranteed A Flight

With tourism falling off the cliff over the next few months, not only will people cancel their flights, so will airlines.

Even if you are fearless, it doesn’t mean AirAsia will be fearless as well, or stupid enough to fly an almost empty plane just because you insist on flying.

As stated in their rules (see below), buying the Unlimited Pass does NOT guarantee you to a flight. It is up to them to decide whether you qualify for a flight to your destination.

Reason #3 : Severe Limitations On Tickets

It’s stated in their Q&A (conveniently located in a separate page) that :

  • tickets are limited, and not available for all flights or destinations, or time periods, especially public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • only long haul flights of over 4 hours with the carrier code D7 or XJ are allowed.
  • you can only buy it for direct flights, no connecting flights allowed.
  • every passenger must book the flight individually – you cannot book as a group, even if everyone has the Unlimited Pass.
  • you must be 12 years or older, and have your own BIG Member account.

These limitations are designed to reduce your ability to fly as often as you would like using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass. Families, for example, must be willing to be seated separately.

Unless you are single or a couple, and able to travel during work days, you may not even have the opportunity to use the AirAsia Unlimited Pass at all!

Recommended : AirAsia Unlimited Pass Guide : Planning Your Travel!

Reason #4 : Forced To Pay Full Price

Flying as a group will be problematic, because there are limited seats available for the Unlimited Pass.

What will likely happen is that a few members of your group will be able to use their Unlimited Pass, while the others will have to pay full price for their tickets.

The way out would be to split the group up, and fly on separate flights. But obviously, this makes travel much more of a hassle.

And remember – even if you get to fly out with the Unlimited Pass, you may not get to do so on the way back. You may have to pay full price, unless you are able and willing to adjust your return date according to what’s available for the Unlimited Pass.

Reason #5 : Fuel, Baggage + Other Fees

Even if you manage to several flights using the Unlimited Pass, they aren’t free. You will still need to cough up extra money for ancillary fees.

Budget airlines like AirAsia make a large percentage of their profits not from flight tickets, but from ancillary revenue – administrative fees, baggage fees, assigned seat fees, flight insurance, cancellations, documentation, meals, merchandise, fuel surcharges, etc.

In Q3 2019, almost a quarter of AirAsia’s revenue came from such ancillary sources – a whopping RM 686 million. And unlike revenue from flight tickets – they have relatively low costs – and so they contribute substantially to the airline’s PROFITS.

Frequent AirAsia travellers will also tell you that these ancillary fees often cost as much as, or even more, than the flight tickets!

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : Who Should Buy It?

Based on the severe restrictions AirAsia places on the Unlimited Pass, the best people to buy it should meet these requirements :

  • retired, single or a couple
  • able to travel on normal working days
  • would like to travel to those 5 countries
  • willing to put up with booking / travel hassles

Everyone else should not bother. Really. Travel should be fun, not a torture.

And we should point out that the target group above can often get free or heavily discounted flights on AirAsia without the Unlimited Pass. Thanks for the screenshots, Nigel!

So all the Unlimited Pass does is “force” you to travel more on AirAsia – they won’t make money from your flights, but they will make their money from your ancillary fees.

 

AirAsia Unlimited Pass : The Caveats

AirAsia conveniently lists the caveats of the Unlimited Pass in two sections in a separate Q&A page, which we have combined and summarised here (with our emphasis) :

  • It is only applicable on direct long haul flights of over 4 hours with carrier code D7 & XJ.
  • It excludes flights to Bali, Singapore, Jeddah and all Fly-thru routes. Embargo period applies.
  • Flight redemption is limited and may not be available for all flights, all destinations including public holidays, school breaks and weekends.
  • Promotions which are applicable for bookings made via airasia.com and AirAsia Mobile App are limited to regular base fare only and shall not include Premium Flex or Value Pack bundled category.
  • All applicable taxes, fees or charges imposed by the regulatory bodies must be paid at the time of purchase unless otherwise stated.
  • It is available for BIG Members within Malaysia who are at least 12 years of age on the date of departure and the passenger must be the BIG Member who made the booking. Each AirAsia Unlimited Pass is assigned to one (1) passenger only with one (1) BIG Member account.
  • You can only book for yourself, and cannot select multiple passengers using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • In the event any travel agency or party other than an individual BIG Member purchased the AirAsia Unlimited Pass and subsequently made flight bookings using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, AirAsia shall have the right to cancel/forfeit such AirAsia Unlimited Pass and the flight bookings, without any liability on the part of AirAsia to such agency, third party or any passenger.
  • AirAsia reserves the right to cancel or forfeit your Unlimited Pass, if you miss more than three (3) flights.
  • The AirAsia Unlimited Pass cannot be sold, bartered, assigned or transferred to another person. Any attempt to transfer the AirAsia Unlimited Pass or book travel using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass for someone other than the holder of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will result in immediate forfeiture of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • Upon purchasing the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, the passenger shall have the right to book and fly on AirAsia X and Thai AirAsia X flights to Australia, India, China, Korea and Japan for an unlimited number of times, subject to full and final payment of any applicable airport charges, taxes and regulatory fees, or other charges.
  • Use of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will not earn any BIG Points, and flights flown using the AirAsia Unlimited Pass will not count towards any offers or bonuses. Redemption of BIG Points is also not allowed for the purchase of the AirAsia Unlimited Pass.
  • When purchasing the AirAsia Unlimited Pass, passengers must ensure their details in the BIG Member account (i.e. name and date of birth) are as per passport or identity card. These details will be used for booking during the redemption process.
  • The AirAsia Unlimited Pass is non-refundable.

 

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Samsung Galaxy A51 Contest : #AwesomeNyer!

Samsung is giving you the opportunity to win a trip to Korea and the Galaxy A51 in their new #AwesomeNyer contest! Here are the full details!

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 #AwesomeNyer Contest : The Prizes!

From 11 February to 12 March 2020, you can dance your way to a trip to Korea and a FREE Samsung Galaxy A51 smartphone!

Winners Prizes
4 x Grand Prize Winners One (1) Samsung Galaxy A51
One (1) economy class ticket to Korea
3 Days 2 Nights Hotel Accommodation
2 x Consolation Prize Winners One (1) Samsung Galaxy A51

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 #AwesomeNyer Contest : How To Win?

For a chance to win one of those six prizes, all you have to do is…

  1. Follow @SamsungMalaysia on Instagram
  2. Download the dance music here, or watch it on this YouTube video.
  1. Record a video of yourself performing the gestures perfectly!
  2. Post the video on your Instagram feed with the hashtags #AwesomeNyer #GalaxyA51 #danceAwesome and tag @SamsungMalaysia
  3. Make sure your Instagram profile is set to public!

The winners will be decided by :

  • the total number of Likes the video submission receives
  • the total number of votes by a panel of judges appointed by Samsung Malaysia

Each video submission will be judged according to the following criteria :

  • The ability to perform the gestures perfectly according to cues in the song
  • Creativity and originality of submission

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 #AwesomeNyer Contest : Terms + Conditions

Duration

The Samsung A Series: #AwesomeNyer Challenge (“Campaign”) will commence from 11 February 2020, 6pm to 12 March 2020, 11.59pm (“Campaign Period”).

Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) Sdn Bhd (interchangeably referred to as “Samsung” or “Organiser”) shall reserve the right to shorten or extend or cancel the Campaign Period at its sole discretion without any prior notice.

Samsung’s server is the official time- keeping device for this Campaign.

Eligibility

This Campaign is open to all Malaysians :

  • aged 18 years and above as stated on their NRIC/Passport (as of 10 February 2020); or
  • children aged 13 years and above but have not attained 18 years of age as stated on their NRIC/Passport (as of 11 February 2020)

By participating in this Campaign, each participant (interchangeably referred to as “Participant”, “You” or “Your”) agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

For Participants aged 13 years and above but have not yet attained 18 years of age, such Participant’s parent/guardian warrants and agrees that the Participant including his/her parent/guardian shall irrevocably be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

All rules and regulations and instructions issued by Samsung from time to time will be deemed incorporated in these Terms and Conditions. Samsung reserves the right to amend the Terms and Conditions at any time, without prior notice.

Employees or agents of the Organiser or any of its group companies or their families or households or anyone connected to this Campaign are not eligible to enter.

 

Samsung Galaxy A51 Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy A51 is available in three colour options – Prism Crush Black, Prism Crush White and Prism Crush Blue, with a fourth colour option of Prism Crush Pink in some countries.

It has a recommended retail price of RM 1,299 / ~S$436 / ~US$314 / ~£242 / ~A$467. Here are online purchase options :

 

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Samsung Presents Julian And His Magical Skates!

In view of the coming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Samsung prepared a short feature film entitled Julian and His Magical Skates, as a special tribute to Malaysia’s first national figure skater – Julian Yee. Amazingly, the entire video was recorded and illustrated on the Samsung Galaxy Note8, with its S Pen!

 

Samsung Presents Julian And His Magical Skates!

To Samsung, the phrase Do What You Can’t carries a very profound meaning – to never be complacent, to keep defying barriers, and ultimately achieving the impossible.

“Julian and His Magical Skates” is the telling of Julian’s journey to the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, and a reiteration of Samsung’s “Do What You Can’t” message to inspire others to break barriers to fuel meaningful progress and realise their dreams.

Samsung jumped at the chance to support Julian Yee, because he is a prime example of what it means to Do What You Can’t. Against all odds, Julian is today an Olympic contender in a sport that isn’t even common in Malaysia.

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The Production Of The Video

The video was fully recorded and illustrated with the Samsung Galaxy Note8 and its S Pen.

Mr Chan Woei Hern, Executive Creative Director of Ensemble Worldwide Malaysia, who was commissioned to produce this brand film, shared that,

The best technologies are often the simplest ones. Like a pair of skates or the S Pen. Two seemingly ordinary tools, but in the right hands or in Julian’s case, feet, it can capture people’s attention and imagination.

As we heard Julian’s story, we wanted to get into the mood of Do What You Can’t as well. And that meant scripting, sketching and creating the story entirely from scratch with a Galaxy Note8 and S Pen.

That’s the magic of technology at work. We’ll be releasing a behind-the-scenes video soon, shot entirely on a Galaxy Note8 as well, so everyone can experience the journey as we brought the video to life.

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South Korean Cyberattacks – From Military To ATM

Following a detailed malware analysis, Kaspersky Lab researchers have connected two South Korean cyberattacks affecting their defence agency as well as 60 ATMs and over 2,000 credit cards.

The malicious code and techniques used in both cyberattacks share similarities with earlier cyberattacks widely attributed to the infamous Lazarus group.

At the Kaspersky Lab Palaeontology of Cybersecurity conferenceSeongsu ParkSenior Security Researcher, Global Research & Analysis Team, APAC, detailed how Kaspersky GReAT researchers traced the disparate South Korean cyberattacks and found the similarities that connected them.

Don’t forget to check out the other Kaspersky Palaeontology of Cybersecurity presentations!

 

South Korean Cyberattacks – From Military To ATM

In August 2016, a cyberattack on South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense infected around 3,000 hosts. The Defense Agency reported the incident publically in December 2016, admitting that some confidential information could have been exposed.

Six months later, at least 60 South Korean ATMs, managed by a single local vendor, were compromised with malware. The incident was reported by the Financial Security Institute and, according to the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), resulted in the theft of the details of 2,500 financial cards and the illegal withdrawal in Taiwan of approximately US$ 2,500 from these accounts.

Kaspersky Lab researched the malware used in the ATM incident and discovered that the machines were attacked with the same malicious code used to hit the Korean Ministry of National Defense in August 2016. Exploring the connection between these attacks and earlier hacks, Kaspersky Lab has found similarities with the DarkSeoul malicious operations, and others, which are attributed to the Lazarus hacking group.

The commonalities include, among other things, the use of the same decryption routines and obfuscation techniques, overlap in command and control infrastructure, and similarities in code.

What Is The Lazarus Group?

Lazarus is an active cybercriminal group believed to be behind a number of massive and devastating cyberattacks worldwide including the Sony Pictures hack in 2014 and the $81 million Bangladesh Bank heist last year.

Preventive Measures

In order to reduce risk, Kaspersky Lab recommends implementing the following security measures:

  • Introduce an enterprise-wide fraud prevention strategy with special sections on ATM and internet banking security. Logical security, physical security of ATMs and fraud prevention measures should be addressed altogether as attacks are becoming more complex.[adrotate group=”2″]
  • Ensure you have a comprehensive, multi-layered security solution in place. For financial organizations, we recommend using specialized solutions with Default Deny and File Integrity Monitor capabilities such as Kaspersky Embedded Systems Security. These solutions can detect any suspicious activity within the payment devices infrastructure. We also recommend implementing network segmentation for ATM or POS devices.
  • Conduct annual security audits and penetration tests. It is better to let professionals find vulnerabilities than to wait for them to be found by cybercriminals.
  • Consider investing in threat intelligence so that you can understand the rapidly evolving and emerging threat landscape and can help your organization and customers to prepare. Find out more at intelreports@kaspersky.com.
  • Train your employees so they can better spot suspicious emails that could be the first stage of an attack.

Don’t forget to check out the other Kaspersky Palaeontology of Cybersecurity presentations!

Next Page > The South Korean Cyberattacks Presentation Slides

 

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South Korean Cyberattacks Presentation Slides

Here is the complete set of slides from Seongsu Park’s presentation on the South Korean cyberattacks.

Don’t forget to check out the other Kaspersky Palaeontology of Cybersecurity presentations!

 

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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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Inaugural APAC Internet Governance Academy Launched

Seoul, South Korea – 62 youths from 14 Asia Pacific (APAC) economies are being groomed as future leaders as they attend the inaugural Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy. Held at Yonsei University in Seoul, the five-day workshop on Internet governance and Internet-related topics was officially launched by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today.

The Academy aims to improve participants’ understanding of how the Internet works, the “bottom-up consensus building” model of Internet governance, which has helped shape the Internet as we know it today, and how they can take part in shaping the evolution of the Internet for the next generation.

“The Internet is not controlled by any single person, organization, or government. For the Internet to develop and cater to the needs of our region – of which half of the world’s Internet users reside – we need to get involved in the various platforms that discuss, develop and evolve the Internet,” said Jia-Rong Low, Vice President and Managing Director of ICANN’s Asia Pacific Hub.

“I would like to thank KISA and Korea for their partnership and leadership during the development and launch of this program. The next billion Internet users will likely come from our region, and today’s students are the leaders of tomorrow. We hope that after this academy, they can participate in ICANN, and other relevant platforms, to shape the future of the Internet,” Low added.

 

APAC Internet Governance Academy

The Academy will introduce participants to various Internet governance platforms, such as the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), as well as organizations involved in Internet governance work. Speakers from these organizations, such as the Korea Internet Governance Alliance (KIGA), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Society (ISOC), will share their experiences and work.

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Yoonhong Cho, Vice President of KISA added, “I am very delighted to see the KISA-ICANN joint project on capacity building for the Asia Pacific region bear such fruitful results, in the form of APIGA. In partnering with ICANN and with the strong support and significant contribution from our 11 sponsor organizations, I believe that the inaugural Asia Pacific event will be fully utilized as an incubating platform for the next generation of global leaders for the future Internet.”

ICANN and KISA received more than 120 applications from all over the APAC region. Successful applicants are required to attend 25 hours of online learning prior to the five-day workshop in Seoul. After the Academy, they will be invited to participate in regional and global Internet governance events, such as the 57th ICANN public meeting, which is being held in Hyderabad, India, from 3-9 November 2016.

The academy is also an extension of ICANN’s youth engagement program, which aims to reach out to the next generation and groom future leaders. Another program is NextGen@ICANN, which is held on the sidelines of ICANN Public Meetings.

 

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