Igloohome, a Singapore-based startup that creates smart digital door locks, announced that it is partnering Allianz Malaysia to bundle Igloohome products with the insurer’s customizable home insurance plan, Smart Home Cover.Through local reseller Hafele Malaysia, Allianz Malaysia customers and homeowners in Malaysia now have the option to upgrade their existing locks to Igloohome’s smart locks – Deadbolt 2S, Keybox 2, and Smart Mortise – depending on their preference and security needs.Igloohome launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for its Smart Padlock model in October last year, raising nearly US$158,000 – 295 percent of its original target.The Singaporean startup’s smart locks can be unlocked by bluetooth keys and time-sensitive PIN codes sent over text, email, or online messenger apps.
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Jinri Toutiao parent company Bytedance is recruiting employees from embattled Chinese smartphone maker Smartisan, shortly after licensing its patents amid the content giant’s push into online education.Rumors of Smartisan employees being asked to sign new contracts with Bytedance have circulated on the Chinese internet since Tuesday.According to Jiemian (in Chinese), dozens of staff members were given contracts at Smartisan’s Beijing headquarters with “Welcome to Bytedance” on the cover.Employees were reportedly asked to abandon equities and annual leave, among other benefits, they had at Smartisan.Human resource personnel from Bytedance have also reportedly been resident at Smartisan’s Beijing office recently.A Bytedance spokesperson confirmed the ongoing recruitment of Smartisan workers to TechNode, adding that it forms part of the “normal talent flow” between the two companies.
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“We’ve got some pluses and minuses at the top line”IBM, for six long years dogged by persistently falling revenues, gained a head of steam in 2018, reporting Q4/full-year results late Tuesday that beat analyst expectations and sent shares ratcheting upwards.Some standouts: a 52 percent rise in consolidated net income to $8.7 billion; a return to full-year revenue growth and, perhaps most welcome, a rise in cloud revenue of 12 percent to $19.2 billion.On a conference call IBM’s CFO Jim Kavanaugh pointed to a strong signings quarter, with 16 transactions over $100 million each for the company’s technology services and cloud platforms division.IBM Results: Two Divestments, Red Hat Shareholders’ Green LightThe company has meanwhile been sloughing off legacy product lines, over the last six weeks divesting its marketing commerce software, and Seterus mortgage business as it bids to narrow focus.
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We have an Echo, an Echo Dot, two Kindles, two Amazon Prime credit cards, Amazon Prime Video on our TV, and two Prime accounts.So, suffice to say, Amazon is getting a good chunk of my money and a lot of my data.Its global empire also includes Amazon Web Services (AWS), the vast server network that provides the backbone for much of the internet, as well as Twitch.com, the broadcasting behemoth that is the backbone of the online gaming industry, and Whole Foods, the organic backbone of the yuppie diet.Airbnb, for example, is a famed user of AWS, but I can search for a holiday home there.That’s how Dhruv and I discover a major flaw in our blocking technique.AWS has huge buildings of servers around the world, while CDNs have a larger number of smaller ones.
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FTC case continues as chipmaker starts defenseAnalysis Qualcomm has launched its rebuttal of antitrust charges by claiming it's just too damn good at its job.America's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has taken the chip designer to court in the States, accusing it of using its control of "standard-essential patents" (SEPs) to cut unfair deals with device makers, while refusing to license those vital cellular communications technologies to rivals in order to maintain its leverage.Last week, attention focused on Apple's billion-dollar, five-year exclusive agreement with Qualcomm to supply iPhone modem chips: an investigation that yielded contradictory information over who was screwing over who.This week, Qualcomm will get to make its case and – while it is not denying that it forces manufacturers to sign "no license, no chips" contracts before getting their hands on its cellular modems – it claims that the move is not an antitrust issue but simple recognition of the fact that its Snapdragon technology is better.And, it said, as rivals have caught up with it in the past few years, its market share has started to fall.
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Forget flowers and chocolates; nothin’ says “I love you” like a new piece of tech.To save you the trouble of doing all that deep research yourself, we here ate TechRadar Middle East has scoured the interwebs to find this timely selection of tech gift ideas for any budget, and every one of them will tell your better half how special they are.Plus, this premium smartwatch is available in a range colours to suit everyone.It looks very much like a traditional wristwatch, smart and dapper, and is feature packed with an impressive four-day battery life.And there are two colour options to choose from.The latest addition to the Fitbit range offers a decent price point, sleek design, and a number of fitness features to track various kinds of workout routines.
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Plus: Potential meteoroid snapped crashing into surface during total lunar eclipsePic Within the next six years, the European Space Agency hopes to drill into the Moon and extract oxygen and water, paving the way for astronauts to eventually live on the rocky satellite.The ESA this week signed a one-year contract with ArianeGroup, an aerospace biz specializing in space shuttles and ballistic missiles, to bring the project to reality.The goal is to shoot an Ariane-64 rocket carrying all the drilling equipment needed to the Moon before 2025.ESA helped fund the development of the Ariane-64 rocket back in 2015, coughing up €2.4bn (£2.1bn, $2.7bn) for two different types of rockets: the Ariane-64 and Ariane-62 based on the design of the Ariane-6.Equipped with two or four solid motors, the Ariane-62 and 64 rockets, respectively, can carry payloads of up to 10,500 kilograms.
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Since 2010, we’ve signed on to more than 30 solar and wind projects across the Americas and Europe, making us “the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.” Today, we’re adding a fourth continent to our clean energy portfolio: Asia.Google has signed a long-term agreement to purchase the output of a 10-megawatt solar array in Taiwan.The deal is in collaboration with the Taiwanese government as well as industry stakeholders like Diode Ventures, Taiyen Green Energy, J Energy, and New Green Power.Taiwan’s recently amended Electricity Act allows non-utility companies to directly buy renewable energy and decrease their carbon footprints.“We’re the first corporate power purchaser to act on this renewables-friendly change to the law,” said Google in a statement.According to the company, poles will be mounted into commercial fishing ponds to elevate 40,000 solar panels several feet into the sky.
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The department's officials hope to cancel the IT giant's lucrative government contracts if allegations that folks have been cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars are proven true.The department's complaint [PDF] was submitted Tuesday, and will be heard by the Dept of Labor's Office of Administrative Law Judges.The allegations, lodged by the Dept of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), arrived hard on the heels of a civil class-action lawsuit, filed last week in California, also accusing the cloud biz of pay discrimination.Amid the Dept of Labor's allegations is the claim that Big Red prefers to scoop up foreign Asian graduates on the cheap, sponsor their US immigration visas, and then keep a relatively low ceiling their wages.We're told that if you happen to be Asian and a recent college graduate – particularly an Indian grad – Big Red will favor you over other university-age candidates, and offer you a job in America as a level-one professional techie.Whites, Hispanics, and African Americans were all unfairly snubbed during the recruitment process of college-age kids, according to the department's complaint.
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2019 is not only the year of punch hole camera cutouts, it could also be the year of the foldable phones.Of course, not all OEMs will be able to jump on that trend, unlike with cutouts, but those that do will be racing for the best possible foldable design.Samsung’s way is, of course, just one and it seems that Xiaomi already has its own version in the works.And if it manages to pull it off, it could very well steal the spotlight.No one has come up with the ideal foldable phone design yet.With Samsung’s design, the larger screen folds in and requires a second screen on the other side to make the phone usable even when folded.
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The modern pickup is as much a technical marvel as it is a workhorse, and so the 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty wastes no time in loading up on gadgetry.Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Trailer Sway Control hit all the tech basics, but they’re joined by some more unusual features too.The ProGrade Trailering System gives the 2020 Sierra HD 15 viewsWith 910 lb-ft of torque on tap from the Duramax 6.6-liter turbo-diesel engine, the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty is unsurprisingly built with towing in mind.Indeed, GMC is expecting the truck to handle more than 30,000 pounds hitched to the back.When you’re dealing with that sort of load, you need as much help with trailering as you can get.
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Chinese tech giant Baidu has filed a RMB 5 million (around $735,000) lawsuit against Bytedance and the operator of professional networking platform Maimai for defamation and copyright infringement.Baidu filed the suit over a Maimai ad that appeared on Bytedance’s content aggregator Jinri Toutiao, according to the Haidian District People’s Court (in Chinese).Baidu says the ad contains a play on words alluding to Baidu’s slogan.The search giant claims that the ad, first spotted in August, used Baidu’s office building as a backdrop for the text: “I heard my company’s culture has changed from simple and reliable [jian dan ke yi lai, 简单可依赖] to simple and shameless [jian dan ke yi lai, 简单可以赖],” changing one character to play on the company’s slogan.In China’s cutthroat online content and advertising industry, such a legal battle forms part of the intensified competition in the sector.Bytedance, now the world’s most valuable startup, is locked in a fierce rivalry with Baidu as well as social media giant Tencent.
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India-based investment platform Groww raised US$6.2 million in a series A round led by Sequoia India.Y Combinator, Propel Venture Partners, and Kauffman Fellows also participated in the fundraising.The company will use the newly acquired capital to launch new products and investment options, as well as scale its technology.Launched in April 2017, Groww is the brainchild of ex-Flipkart employees Lalit Keshre, Harsh Jain, Neeraj Singh, and Ishan Bansal.The platform offers direct mutual fund investment plans catering to “millennial investors.”Keshre, Groww’s co-founder and CEO, says millennials’ interests for investments are moving towards financial products instead of real estate and gold.
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If you’ve been holding off on a laptop upgrade until the next big thing in screen tech arrives, Samsung Display has some excellent news for you.As we’ve seen in smartphones and tablets, OLED has no shortage of advantages for mobile devices.In the case of this particular 15.6-inch screen, Samsung Display is particularly excited about how it meets the DisplayHDR True Black specification, developed by VESA.That includes black colors that are a hundred times richer than previous HDR standards, and high-contrast almost up to the level of the human eye.Compared to LCD panels, meanwhile, the new Samsung Display screen offers a 1.7x higher color volume.That should mean better clarity for outside viewing, along with less image degradation from bright sunlight.
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Anyone still at their posts, please stop these address takeovers... please, helloo?In an emergency directive issued within the past few hours, IT staff still manning their posts during the partial US government shutdown are advised to lock down their domain name settings for their .GOVs and other official web addresses.Uncle Sam's techies have been told to use fresh, strong passwords for DNS settings, enable multi-factor authentication to thwart unauthorized changes to their domains, make sure web addresses resolve to the correct IP addresses, and monitor logs for signs of shenanigans.The instructions were issued after Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) became aware of miscreants compromising the DNS infrastructure for “multiple executive branch agencies."The total number is at least six, according to Washington DC-based CyberScoop.Earlier this month, infosec biz FireEye reported a similar domain hijacking campaign designed to redirect Middle Eastern government emails through Iranian IP addresses.
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Long live Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet!Google has never really had a long-lasting and unified messaging solution so it was no surprise when it announced that Hangouts would be retired in favor of two apps that provided functionality previously found in a single service.There’s no need to panic yet, though, because it’s going to take a while for that to happen.Meanwhile, Google is urging G Suite admins to slowly take the steps to transition their users to the two new apps.The ball will formally start rolling on April 16 this year.On that date, G Suite domains will see some changes and admins might have to take action, whether they like it or not.
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Being watched by facial recognition cameras while walking around schools is not a scenario out of science fiction anymore.Lockport City schools have been installing a facial recognition-enabled system that will supposedly detect dangerous people on campus – and alert the police.Schools in Broward County are adding a surveillance system that can supposedly recognize unusual behavior (though not with facial recognition).There are deep concerns about how much tracking these systems do, the impact on privacy, what it means for the rights of the students being watched, and the security of the data generated.In schools across China, facial recognition cameras are being installed in gates, canteens and even classrooms to watch over students.But it’s said to be less about preventing crime and more about helping schools and teachers manage students.
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This week, Tech in Asia Jobs features tech startups that are hiring in Asia.Drop us an email at jobs@techinasia.com to find out how.GoodNotes is a top-rated app for digital handwritten notes on iPad and iPhone.It was created from the founder’s frustration of taking readable and reusable notes on his first iPad.Based in Hong Kong, the team is made up of talented individuals who have mostly built and launched their apps on their own time.If you’re an Apple fan, you’ll be pleased to hear that they combine leisure activities such as wine-tasting at Napa Valley with their annual trips to Apple Worldwide Developers Conference!
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There’s a reason why Apple’s products are highly prized despite being highly priced.The company is famous for its attention to detail and near-perfect balance of form and function.Lately, however, questions have been raised about whether the company still has what it takes to keep up that image.Because from ugly antenna lines to bending phones and tablets to fragile and expensive laptop screens, Apple seems to be making too many compromises for the sake of looking good.The MacBook Pros with Apple’s controversial Touch Bar strip isn’t exactly new but there are some issues that only crop up after prolonged use.While wear and tear are only natural in the course of a mechanical product’s life, a $2,000 product should probably last longer than a year.
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Not all smartphone users are after the greatest and most expensive handsets money can buy.Many are perfectly fine with a serviceable and affordable smartphone that will hopefully last them throughout the day.For them, mid-range phones like the Moto G series could be more than enough.But while Motorola’s G phones have once been hailed as the best bang for buck mid-tier phones you could get, leaks of the Moto G7 models suggest this year might disappoint fans.It’s not really about the design, which is pretty much as you might expect from smartphones on this tier.While the Moto G7, based on leaked live photos, will adopt the trendy waterdrop notch, it doesn’t come with the thin bezels usually associated with that screen-expanding design.
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