In another life I’d Be… Fred the donkeyEvery Monday morning we fire five questions at a C-suite tech industry interviewee.Today we’re pleased to be joined by Meshh CEO Caroline McGuckianBiggest Challenge for your Clients?For our clients, measuring and understanding human behaviour is key to developing powerful insights that can help them get the most out of their experiential marketing and events.The data serves no purpose to the client if it can’t help to strengthen their own operations or develop a better understanding of their customers.
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Last week, over a hundred journalists from Southeast Asia flocked to Singapore to cover the unveiling of Lazada’s next moves.Meanwhile, Tech in Asia has been here all along.Most media outfits covered the basics.On the other hand, we approached the coverage with our deeper understanding of ecommerce in the region.If you haven’t, read my story on Lazada’s announcements where I mapped out how the company’s next moves could impact its future.Also, check out our reports on Southeast Asian ecommerce over the past few months:
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Also: Boeing delays, and InSight to try diagnostic hammering to catch glitch in actAstronauts may have swapped a set of ISS batteries, but it may be a little while yet before they get a ride on Boeing's finest in this week's round-up.Spacewalking 'nauts swap ISS batteries (iFixit teardown not required)Demonstrating that it is possible to design battery-powered tech with power-packs that can be switched out, two astronauts ventured out of the orbital outpost last week to replace the NiH2 batteries on part of the station's truss with brand spanking new Li-ion devices.Hence the spacewalk, which saw NASA 'nauts Anne McClain and Nick Hague exit the airlock at 08:01 EDT (12:01 UTC) and return at 14:40 EDT 18:40.McClain and Christina Koch will head out on 29 March to work on a second set of battery replacements on a different power channel in the same area of the station.
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The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is working on two variants of its popular Switch game console, and aims to unveil them this summer.According to the outlet’s sources who have used both devices, they’re apparently not just ‘Lite’ and ‘Pro’ versions of the existing Switch, but are more varied than that.The pricier of the two is expected to come with ‘enhanced features targeted at avid videogamers,’ but it’s not going to be as powerful as Sony’s PS4 Pro or Microsoft’s XBox One X.That would imply that 4K HDR gaming is out of the question, but it’s possible that it could include features for streaming game footage directly to platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.The other model is supposedly a successor to Nintendo‘s aging 3DS handheld, the latest version of which was released back in 2015.Again, we don’t have details of what to expect here, but it’s safe to assume that you’ll get a higher resolution screen, support for higher fidelity graphics, and better cameras for photos and face tracking.
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Amazon India is hosting Fab Phones Fest for mobiles and accessories from March 25 till March 28.The e-commerce giant is offering upto 40% discount on smartphones across various budget categories and accessories.The sale has a couple of popular phones like the OnePlus 6T and Mi A2 up for grabs in addition to some good exchange offers on phones like LG V40 and Nokia 8.1.We have listed below some of the best smartphone deals that are currently live on Amazon India.The Mi A2 features a bright display and is powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.Realme U1 at Rs 8,999
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It’s Monday, which means there’s a weekend’s worth of cryptocurrency and blockchain news to catch up on.Despite giving up on its proprietary cryptocurrency, Citibank isn’t ready to leave the world of blockchain for good.A recent job posting from the bank suggests it’s doubling down on blockchain and distributed ledger technology, The Block reports.Video streaming platform Twitch quietly removed its support for Bitcoin BTC payments recently, some Redditors are claiming.Indeed, it could just be another instance of a business removing support for something that no one actually uses.BMW, Intel, and consumer insights firm Nielsen, have partnered with a blockchain project backed by Singapore’s government, CoinDesk reports.
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Hong Kong-based ecommerce startup Trusu has been acquired by ZipX, a unit of logistics company Lenton Group.Full financial details were not disclosed, though Trusu confirmed to Tech in Asia that the deal includes cash and equity in Zipx.Aimed particularly at Hong Kong’s large number of foreign expats, Trusu allows consumers in the Fragrant Harbor to order a range of household, leisure, and other products from US retailers.Users can search for goods by the name of the retailer that sells them in the US – for example, Amazon, Costco, or Walmart.The service then automatically prices products in the buyer’s local currency, inclusive of all shipping and duty costs.Customers can pay using their local credit cards via its website.
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It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender, but not so much that it makes you want to head to the kitchen to wreck your own handset.Scientists at the University of Plymouth in south-west England recently threw an old iPhone into a blender so you don’t have to.But they didn’t do it for fun.Instead, they wanted to analyze the materials that constitute a smartphone, partly in a bid to encourage people to recycle their devices once they’re done with them, and to consider more carefully the use of so-called “conflict minerals” in their gadgets.As the video at the top shows, the team smashed the iPhone into fragments and dust before mixing it at 500 degrees Celsius (about 930 degrees Fahrenheit) with a powerful oxidizer to allow the researchers to perform a detailed analysis of the phone’s ingredients.As you’d expect, they discovered it contained an array of mined materials that included iron, silicon, and chromium.
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Xiaomi has teased its new Mi Notebook Air launch for tomorrow.The company will be unveiling the notebook in China on March 26.On its official Weibo handle, Xiaomi teased the weight of its upcoming Mi Notebook Air as 1.07 kg, which turns out to be lighter than the MacBook Air.Xiaomi launched the original Mi Notebook Air back in 2016.The device was set up as a direct rival to Apple's MacBook Air, with its thinness and light weight, and with similarities in the designing.Now Xiaomi claims to have developed an even lighter notebook, weighing 1.25 kg, lighter than even Huawei's MateBook 12 which weighs 1.3 kg.
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Private equity firms have sealed a $3.4bn (£2.58bn) deal for UK satellite operator Inmarsat, sending its shares up seven per cent in early morning trading.The agreement will see the successful bidders pay $7.21 (546p) per share for the firm, a premium on its Friday close price of 506.2p.Shares rose seven per cent to 542p in early morning trading.The offer comprises $7.09 in cash for each share, as well as a previously announced $0.12 final dividend to be paid to shareholders on 30 May.Buyers comprise Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.Their deal for the UK business concludes talks that started in the new year as Inmarsat felt the pressure of competition from a mix of old and new rivals.
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WhatsApp seems to be testing another weapon in its arsenal to battle fake news – a label for messages forwarded five times or more.Last week, WABetaInfo reported that in a new beta version of its Android app, WhatsApp added counts for how many times a message has been forwarded, as well as a ‘frequently forwarded’ label.On its own, this feature will alert users about viral messages; the idea, presumably, is to encourage them to question the veracity of the contents of such messages doing the rounds on the platform.But on the flip side, the new label might encourage people to forward the message along to as many people as possible, because it’s going viral.The company said in January that during its trial of the feature in India, it saw a 25 percent reduction in forwards.But, it’s hard to quantify if that has actually helped to reduce bogus news from being circulated.
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Welcome once more to Who, Me?, our weekly trip down memory lane for Reg readers who have cringeworthy yet humorous stories to share with the rest of us.Our first tale this week is from reader "Ned", who was working as a mainframe systems programmer back in the '80s when he managed to shut down a data centre with an office cubicle panel."We were asked to help move some office cubicle panels out of a room inside the data center," he said."When I put the panel down to hit the door release, I'll never forget the nasty little clunk as the top of the panel moved about an inch closer to the wall," Ned said."I realised exactly what that had to mean, and everything started going quiet… Our boss took it surprisingly well, I must say."At the time, one of his customers had had a major refurb of their large computer suite, with a new addition of "bright shiny Emergency Power Off [EPO] buttons" all over the room.
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The two tragic crashes of Boeing’s best-selling 737 Max planes increasingly look to be caused in part by a malfunctioning automated system—and the pilots’ lack of training around how to deal with it—that was designed to keep the aircraft from stalling out.The final reports aren’t in yet, but the similarities between the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that together killed 346 people, and the log of complaints from other pilots about the system, all point to trouble with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.In short, a combination of an unfamiliar, potentially faulty automation system and a crew that was not adequately informed in how to operate or override that system probably led to both crashes, according to preliminary finds.In 2004, the Future Aviation Safety Team (FAST), a group first convened in 1999 by a consortium of international flight regulators and co-chaired by Brian E. Smith of NASA Ames Research Center, published a report on “Increasing Reliance on Flight Deck Automation”—a trend that was already underway.The report termed this “automation surprise,” and it accurately describes what appears to have happened to the pilots attempting to overcome the MCAS system to keep their Boeing Max planes from going down.(‘Automation surprise’ is such a potent and useful term, it’s one that can be applied to how we get confounded and overwhelmed by unfamiliar automated systems more generally.)
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Min-Liang Tan is the sort of CEO who will say “dick move” on camera and play a round of Apex Legends with you.His company, Razer, is a staple in the gaming and esports industries and known for a selection of high-end hardware – everything from smartphones and laptops to keyboards and even mouse pads – designed with gamers in mind.While he’s always excitable, it’s what 5G could bring to gaming that really sparked his enthusiasm.But streaming services like Google Stadia or Microsoft xCloud shift all the grunt work to servers in the cloud, allowing even the cheapest devices to run the most demanding games.“You still need a client,” he says, pointing out that no matter what, people will still need something to play the game on or control it with.“I think our user interfaces business, our peripherals business, is going to do incredibly well.”
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Which are the startups that are on the path to becoming the next big thing?In this regular post, we give you an overview of the companies that have raised money in the past week, as well as those we think investors should look at.Instarem, a fintech startup that enables cross-border money transfers, closed its US$41 million series C round.Vertex Growth Fund led the funding round, with Atinum Investment participating in the latest investment.AnyMind Group, an AI solutions provider, closed its US$21.4 million series B round with funding from VGI Global Media and Tokyo Century.It also acquired Moindy Digital, a Thai influencer marketing network.
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After a series of furloughs, pay cuts, and a plant closure, embattled electric vehicle (EV) maker Faraday Future (FF) appears to have seized on a second life.A Chinese gaming company plans to invest millions of dollars to be the sales agent for its upcoming vehicle model V9.According to an announcement released Sunday by Faraday, the company has signed an agreement with Shanghai-based internet company The9 Limited to form a joint venture, with both sides owning 50% of the new company.The joint company will manage the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of Faraday Future’s new V9 in China, a flagship luxury EV model designed and developed by Faraday.The9 is putting $600 million into the JV, but Chinese media is reporting rumors that Hong Kong-based financial firm AMTD Group and US investment bank Maxim are also involved in the deal, citing a person familiar with the deal.The JV is expected to reach an annual production capacity of 300,000 units and roll out the first batch of V9 vehicles for order in 2020.
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Luckily, my favorite psychopath and fashion victim managed to flee the scene.Season 2 of the Emmy-nominated TV drama starts 30 seconds after that.Eve is also running away from Villanelle's very chic apartment, and she's still shaking because of what's happened.The camera follows Eve as the not-yet-full-fledged-spy descends the stairs of Villanelle's Parisian apartment building.She gets a phone call from her boss, the always impeccably dressed Carolyn (Fiona Shaw), and ends up at the Gare du Nord buying an unhealthy amount of candy while waiting for her return train to London.Oh's performance as Eve mechanically eating blue-colored marshmallows out of a red and white striped paper bag should be enough to win her another Golden Globe.
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Huawei has only been in the laptop business for about three years, a relatively short time compared to industry veterans like Apple, Dell, Lenovo and others.So when it made a premium 14-inch laptop with a gorgeous (though somewhat derivative) all aluminium body, top-notch specs, a stunning screen, and tricky pop-up webcam, and then priced it at just £1,300 as if all those other features weren’t enough, it transformed the MateBook X Pro into my favourite ultraportable laptop of 2018.: A premium 14-inch laptopPrice: Starts at €1,600 (around £1,370); UK pricing TBALike: Gorgeous build, excellent screen, updated specsDon't Like: Huawei's OneHop sharing is neat, but somewhat limited; more expensive than last year's model, annoying SSD partition
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Intel has been granted a preliminary injunction in its trade secret theft claim against former engineering manager Doyle Rivers, who left to work at Micron.The court order [PDF] requires Rivers to not possess, use, or disclose any confidential Intel information related to the company's 3D XPoint or Optane products, including personnel working on those products, and gives him three business days to return any confidential data in his possession.Daniel Sakaguchi, a partner at Alto Litigation in San Francisco, who is defending Rivers, told The Register by phone that the order was mutually agreed upon.The silicon vendors parted ways last summer to develop the technology independently.The defendant, Rivers, left Intel last September and joined Micron.In November, Intel sued Rivers claiming that he'd violated his contract by taking secret Intel information with him on a USB drive.
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Apple’s much-anticipated March 25 event is almost upon us, with the company expected to unveil its video-streaming service, among other goodies.The presentation will be streamed live from the Steve Jobs Theater in the grounds of its new Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, but the build-up is a little different than usual.You see, Apple has already cranked up the livestream — or something that looks very much like a livestream — with a multi-camera view showing a completely empty theater.ell, empty but for a few quirky happenings that intermittently break the silence.Those watching the stream have so far reported seeing an on-stage poetry reading, a piano performance by Schroeder, iMessage exchanges between Tim Cook and NBA star Kevin Durant, missed calls from Captain America’s Chris Evans, a macOS screen saver, and a woman performing twirls.If you hadn’t already guessed, at least some of the skits appear to be teasers for some of the content we can expect to see on Apple’s TV service when it’s unveiled at Monday’s event.
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