Internet and online games giant NetEase on Thursday released its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2018, reporting substantial year-on-year growth in e-commerce and gaming revenue.NetEase recorded net revenues of close to RMB 20 billion (around $3 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2018, increasing by almost 36% year-on-year.Within that RMB 20 billion, close to RMB 7 billion was from e-commerce, and around RMB 11 billion was from online game services, a 43.5% and 37.7% increase respectively compared to the same period a year earlier.The total net revenues of the company in 2018 increased 24% year-on-year to more than RMB 67 billion.The growth in NetEase’s e-commerce revenue came from its e-commerce site Kaola and Yanxuan, both of which saw rapid growth in the past year.Kaola, the largest cross-border retail e-commerce platform in China, is reportedly in talks to merge with the cross-border retail business of Amazon to further expand.
Facebook is spending a lot of money on talking to lawmakers about the rules that will govern its business.It has said repeatedly in recent months that it welcomes more legislative control, not least federal US privacy laws.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said just yesterday, in fact, that some sort of "societal guardrail framework" will give users confidence that Silicon Valley's unchained giants aren't just doing whatever they want.And now, after regulatory movement in Britain and Germany, Wall Street is starting to get nervous.Earlier this month, Germany's antitrust regulator clobbered Facebook with a landmark ruling, designed to stop the firm collecting and combining data from sources outside its main site, such as WhatsApp and Instagram.And in the UK, whispers about a regulatory framework for Facebook became shouts when a committee of lawmakers — which has just completed an 18-month investigation into disinformation that focused heavily on Zuckerberg's company— said there should be "large fines" for firms who fail to act on harmful content.
Bytedance reached by authorities for potential listing on Shanghai’s new tech board – SCMPWhat happened: Media giant Bytedance has reportedly been contacted by authorities for a potential IPO on the Technology Innovation Board in Shanghai, South China Morning Post reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.The people also said Bytedance is not as eager to go public as it was at the end of 2018, saying that the company doesn’t want to draw greater public scrutiny and is considering other means of raising capital.Why it’s important: Before the Shanghai tech board opportunity came up, Bytedance was considering going public in either New York or Hong Kong, according to SCMP.The recently added option of going public on Shanghai’s tech board could prove to be both an opportunity and a threat to the owner of Jinri Toutiao and Douyin, also known as TikTok.While the board promises looser trading limits than others in China, going public on it could place Bytedance under further scrutiny from both the Chinese public and the Chinese government.
Apple saw its biggest iPhone sales decline in almost three years over the holiday quarter, according to new Gartner data.That ties in with an overall pattern of declining smartphones sales globally.But Chinese brands bucked the trend, with Huawei and Oppo boosting phone sales thanks to their broad appeal in emerging markets like China and India.Part of the reason Apple is losing market share is because it doesn't offer a cheap iPhone and relies on existing owners upgrading their phones.Smartphone sales slowed for almost every phone maker during the crucial holiday quarter, but Apple was hit worst out of the five biggest smartphone makers.Read more: A short trip to India showed me just how badly Apple is screwing up in the world's biggest democracy
Ant Financial’s payment service Alipay will start charging a fee on credit card repayments next month, a move that comes amid rising operational costs and tightening regulation.From March 26, the Chinese payment giant will start charging 0.1% on monthly repayments in excess of RMB 2,000 (around $300) to “ensure the sustainable development of its credit card repayment service,” an Alipay spokesperson said in a statement shared with TechNode.The fee will not be applied to credit card bills below the monthly threshold, while users that exceed it will be able to use their membership points to increase the quota without incurring fees.Alipay is not the only payment service that has been forced to start digging into their customers’ pockets.In August, rival WeChat Pay expanded its credit card bill pay fee policy from charging users who spend more than RMB 5,000 per month to also include all credit card repayments.The government’s tightening regulatory control over the payment industry, which is aimed at reducing financial risks, has had a significant impact on platforms’ revenue streams.
“Buckle your seatbelt, the future is about to begin.”Those were the words of Samsung’s CEO DJ Koh on stage at Samsung Unpacked, the launch event for a phone that’s going to shape the way we use smartphones for the next decade.Koh was actually talking about the new Galaxy S10 range when he said the above, but it’s far more pertinent to today's real showstopper: the Samsung Galaxy Fold.There’s no magical, pinch-and-zoom interface that the iPhone brought.But what we saw on stage tonight in the Galaxy Fold, a handset that folds outwards to show a large 7.3-inch screen, was the Promethean phone that we’ll look back on in years to come, a device that sparked a change in the desires of phone buyers.The main draw is being able to start a task on the 'phone' screen and seamlessly open up the phone to continue on the large 'tablet' portion - it looks so impressive, but that doesn’t mean design compromises weren’t made.
Earlier this month, a US National Park Service safety manager sent a “rogue” email alleging the improper storing of radioactive material at a Grand Canyon facility frequented by children, the Arizona Republic reports.According to safety, health, and wellness manager Elston “Swede” Stephenson, three 5-gallon containers of uranium ore were kept near a taxidermy exhibit at the Grand Canyon’s Museum Collections Building for 18 years until they were discovered last year and quietly disposed of.“If you were in the Museum Collections Building (2C) between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were ‘exposed’ to uranium by OSHA’s definition,” reportedly read the email Stephenson sent to all Park Service employees on 4 February.According to the Arizona Republic, Stephenson’s email explained the uranium was in a park headquarters basement for decades before it was moved to the museum building in 2000.He wrote that the buckets were stored near a taxidermy exhibit that tours for kids stopped at.“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” Stephenson told the Arizona Republic.
A flash game available on the Environmental Protection Agency website since at least early 2017 made surprising use of copyrighted music from Nintendo's 2006 game Yoshi's Island DS.Recycle City Challenge is an extremely simple educational Web game that asks players to answer basic questions about how to reduce waste and energy use.But yesterday, fan site Nintendo Soup was among the first to publicly notice that the Web game used a looping version of Yoshi's Island DS' "Underground" theme in the background.The music, which played in a version of Recycle City Challenge accessed by Ars as recently as this morning, has since been removed from the live version on the EPA's website.You can still hear it in this Internet Archive copy of the site, though, and compare that directly to the same song on the Yoshi's Island DS soundtrack.Perhaps not coincidentally, a file named "yoshidsunderground.mp3" containing a copy of the song in question was in a music subfolder on the EPA website (as cataloged in this Internet Archive link) until earlier today.
The Galaxy S10's in-screen fingerprint scanner may look just like the one on the OnePlus 6T, but don't be fooled.Samsung's flagship Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus are the first phones to use Qualcomm's ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint technology, which uses sound waves to read your print.Related to ultrasound in a doctor's office, this "3D Sonic Sensor" technology works by bouncing sound waves off your skin.In-screen fingerprint readers are a hot trend in phone design because they don't take up any room on the phone face, and require less groping around than a sensor embedded on the phone's power button or back casing."Security and biometrics have been integrating into mobile platforms at a rapid pace," Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm senior vice president of mobile technology, said in December at Qulalcomm's yearly tech summit in Hawaii.The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor built into the screen layers replaces iris scanning as the biometric sensor of choice on the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus in particular.
At this point, it’s practically impossible to go outside without seeing white earbuds sticking out of people’s heads, and with sales of Apple AirPods expected to rise to between 50 and 55 million this year, that phenomenon probably won’t go away anytime soon.Meanwhile, over in Samsung’s camp, while the company is no stranger when it comes to making wireless headphones, none of the previous Gear IconX earbuds ever solicited the same kind of hype Apple’s dangly competitors receive.The Galaxy Buds also feature touch sensitive sides that can tapped to perform various functions like pausing music or skipping to the next song.But that could all change soon because by bringing its latest pair of Bluetooth earbuds under the Galaxy umbrella, Samsung is signalling that it thinks it finally has a worthy rival to the AirPods, and in classic Samsung fashion, the company is trying to use to superior tech to make its case.Listed at £139 the Galaxy Buds jump out to an early lead over the £160 AirPods thanks to their price.But more importantly, Samsung claims the Galaxy Buds offer six hours of music streaming or five hours of talk time on a single charge, slightly better than the five hours of music and two hours of Apple says its AirPods deliver.
On Feb. 20, a former employee of Beijing-based apartment rental platform Ziroom was tried at the Tongzhou District Court for illegally obtaining a large amount of personal data.The trial is ongoing, but the evidence presented so far is damning.In total, over 800,000 entries of personal information were discovered on a laptop, iPhone, and USB drive seized by authorities.Some 70,000 of those were traced to Ziroom customers, Beijing News reported (in Chinese).According to the court’s procuratorate, she joined the company in April 2017.The data theft was discovered in the first half of 2018 after Li had left the Tencent-backed enterprise.
More than a decade ago, Logitech delighted gamers with the MX518, a high-precision mouse tooled for players who wanted performance without all the bells and whistles – and a modest price point.It’s now reviving the classic with a couple of upgrades that should make it worth a look for today’s gaming enthusiasts.The wired body of the G Series MX518 is largely unchanged from the original design: it’s got the same comfortable shape, eight programmable buttons, and glossy finish on the top panel.That seemed to be good enough for more than 15 million folks who bought the MX518 through its lifetime, starting in 2005.But this time around, it’s got Logitech‘s Hero 16K sensor, that allows for a range of up to 16,000 DPI.It’s the same one that’s on the G502 Hero that I’m currently using, and I can attest to its accuracy in both gaming and graphics applications.
Vivo was the first phone maker to come up with the elevating camera solution to bezels, a design that has been copied or modified by others.With the Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition and Vivo APEX 2019 concept, it almost seemed that the company was abandoning its own innovation.Instead, Vivo is actually making that innovation accessible to more users by putting it in its latest V series phone, the Vivo V15Pro.With that elevating camera, a triple camera system, and more AI features than you can remember, the Vivo V15Pro aims to bring cutting-edge technology, and buzzwords, to a broader market.With the Vivo V15 Pro, most of the complains seemed to have been addressed.In fact, cameras are one of the biggest upgrades that the V15Pro has over the trailblazing NEX S. Instead of an 8 megapixel popup camera, it has a whopping 32 megapixel sensor that actually performs a lot better in practice than its spiritual predecessor.
The technology first appeared on the Vivo Apex concept phone, before arriving on the Vivo Nex S, and now, on the Vivo V15 Pro.The Nex S was filled with cutting edge tech at the time, as well as being large and quite expensive, but the V15 Pro is more mainstream, and shows how quickly brand new innovations filter down to regular smartphones today.Front camera, security, and designVivo has gone all out with the front camera on the V15 Pro.We’ve used face unlock with a pop-up camera before on the Oppo Find X, but it was a feature missing from the Nex S. The camera is ready to go and the screen unlocked all in less than two seconds, and it’s activated by swiping up on the lock screen.We’d say it’s slightly slower than face unlock on a Huawei phone like the P20 Pro, but more reliable, and about the same as face unlock on the iPhone XS, just less secure.
The following is an abridged translation from the personal blog of Chinese investor and entrepreneur Li Xiang, who was once described by media as China’s Elon Musk.Xiang is the founder of several car-related businesses, including CHJ Automotive and US-listed Autohome, currently valued at US$9.3 billion.Looking back on the my last few years as an angel investor, it would be fair to describe my investment returns as extremely bad.I think I have been a pretty good entrepreneur, in contrast.My company reached a leading position in its market and has produced strong economic returns for both our investors and our team.But among our angel investments, there are only a handful of successes – and to be frank, those were pure luck.
The Trump administration is moving forward with its Space Force plans, officials have announced.Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4 today for establishing the Space Force under the Department of the Air Force, though the proposal still has to be submitted to Congress.Trump has been hawking the Space Force since summer 2018, initially presenting it as a separate military branch that would work alongside of — but ultimately be separate from — the Air Force.Instead, the directive aims for the Space Force to be established as a new branch within the USAF.The future Space Force undersecretary will report to the USAF secretary.The Air Force previously expressed resistance to the idea of a Space Force that operated independently, citing issues with the fact that many Space Force personnel would be pulled from the Air Force.
Not all data is created equal, with marketers and media owners now demanding better quality data instead of the scale game that defined much of the nascent days of the big data era.This growing awareness was exemplified by the enforcement of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the EU and the drafting of the similarly-spirited California Consumer Privacy Act midway through 2018, not to mention the repeated scandals that have engulfed Facebook throughout the past 12 months.An August 2018 study of more than 300 senior U.S. marketers by the American Marketing Association, Duke’s Fuqua Business School and Deloitte indicated that while only a minority (10 percent) of participants were “very worried” about their use of third-party data and privacy concerns, the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction.For instance, 9.4 percent reported that they have decreased their use of data in the previous 24 months while 11.4 percent said they planned to tone this number down over the proceeding two years.While many have interpreted GDPR as the EU targeting the largest online media industry’s Silicon Valley-based names, certain complainants have alleged that the very fundamentals of all ad tech are not compliant with the legislation and data watchdogs there are beginning to issue heavy fines.Nonetheless, marketers still want to use data when it comes to personalizing their communications but oftentimes their own first-party data sets lack the scale to best home a mass campaign.
Xbox One will follow on March 11.Synthesis, like previous expansions, will add a new meta-game that offers unique progression and a new challenge.Through your journeys in Path of Exile, you will meet a character named Cavas, who will open a portal to one of his memories — a side map full of monsters.If you’re successful, you’ll be rewarded with a Memory Fragment.The goal is to arrange the fragments in a way that provides a path to the best loot, without creating a stack of modifiers that makes completing the map too difficult.Chris Wilson, the co-founder of Grinding Gear Games, says customization is the goal.
In the quest to design more efficient solar cells and light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a team of engineers has analyzed different types of defects in the semiconductor material that enables such devices to determine if and how they affect performance.Rohan Mishra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, led a widespread team of researchers -- including Washington University, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and at the University of Missouri-Columbia -- that studied the structure and properties of the commonly occurring planar defects at the atomic scale, which spans only a few tenths of a nanometer.Mishra's team studied lead-halide perovskites, a new class of high-performance semiconductors that are being explored for the next-generation of low-cost solar cells to enable conversion of solar energy into electricity with high efficiency.In conventional semiconductors, these defects can decrease their electrical conductivity and the solar energy-to-electricity conversion efficiency; however, in lead-halide perovskites, there are differing experimental reports on the activity of grain boundaries.Mishra's team explained why in Advanced Materials, Dec. 3.Using atomic-resolution electron microscopy, Arashdeep Singh Thind, a graduate student in Rohan Mishra's lab, studied grain boundaries in crystals (see arrows).