China Freezes $1.5 Billion of P2P Assets in Intensified Probe – BloombergWhat happened: Chinese police have frozen RMB 10 billion (around $1.5 billion) worth of assets across more than 380 peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders in a large-scale investigation spanning 16 countries.The operation, code-named “Fox Hunt,” has led to the arrest of 62 suspects since June.Why it’s important: Chinese authorities have been clamping down on the P2P lending industry that started flourishing in an under-regulated environment a decade ago.Rife with fraud, P2P lending has earned a bad name in China.Most infamously, it spawned the country’s largest Ponzi scheme in 2015.
The Singapore government has set aside an additional S$100 million (US$74 million) for small and medium enterprises, finance minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament today, as part of his annual budget speech.The fund, dubbed SME Co-Investment Fund III, will be co-invested into startups alongside venture capital firms and private sector investors.Here are more SME-related announcements:Enterprise Singapore, a government agency that helps local enterprises, will launch a new program called Scale-up SG.It is designed to help startup scale up by linking them up with private and public sector partners.The government will pilot an Innovation Agents program, which will help companies tap experts who can advise on innovating and commercializing technology.
Exclusive: China ride-hailing giant Didi plans Chile, Peru launches to take on Uber – ReutersWhat happened: Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi intends to launch its services in Peru, Chile, and Colombia, according to job listings and a company official.The company has already moved senior executives to South America to lead its expansion in the region.Didi has begun looking to fill positions relating to advertising, crisis management, marketing, and business development.Why it’s important: The move escalates the competition between Didi and its international rival Uber.The two companies are already battling for market share in Brazil and Mexico.
Oscars 2019 is just a week away.We still don't know who's going to host, but here's what we do know about the 91st Oscar ceremony.We know who's nominated -- and that Black Panther is up for best picture and might even have a slight chance.We also know how, when and where to watch the show online.This year the Oscars takes place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, Feb. 24.The whole event starts at 8 p.m.
Indonesia-based gaming platform PlayGame has secured an undisclosed investment from decentralized blockchain-powered protocol Tron Foundation.The newly acquired funding will allow PlayGame to fast-track its “proof of play” and launch its crypto payment gateway.It also plans to expand its platform to Japan, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia.Established in June 2018, PlayGame wants to “overcome the hurdles standing in the way of game developers,” such as “lack of transparency, piracy issues, inefficient payment calculation, and distribution.”The platform enables game publishers, developers, crypto-enthusiasts, and gaming communities to monetize the use of cryptocurrencies without affecting revenue.
多款“网约护士”App服务价格动辄数百元 安全问题引人担忧 – China National RadioWhat happened: After surveying private apps that provide at-home nursing services, China National Radio concluded that many are expensive and may pose safety risks.While convenient compared to service at public hospitals, app-based services such as injections are much pricier.In addition, the vetting process for nurses can be uneven.An app called “Gold Medal Nurse” (our translation), for instance, doesn’t display the hospitals where nurses work, or what kind of qualifications and licenses they hold.In addition, according to self-reported information, many of the app’s nurses have less than five years of experience.
Social media platforms should comply with a compulsory code of ethics overseen by an independent regulator to tackle harmful or illegal content on their sites, a Commons committee has demanded.In a major report, MPs warned that democracy is at risk from the “malicious and relentless” targeting of citizens with disinformation and adverts from unidentifiable sources, as they called for reform to electoral communication laws.The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee said ethics guidelines are needed to set out what is and what is not acceptable on social media, including harmful and illegal content that has been referred to the platforms by users or identified by the companies.If tech companies fail to meet their obligations under the code, then an independent regulator should be able to launch legal proceedings against them and have the power to issue large fines, the MPs said.They wrote: “Social media companies cannot hide behind the claim of being merely a ‘platform’ and maintain that they have no responsibility themselves in regulating the content of their sites.”The report also rounded on Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who was accused of showing “contempt” towards the committee by choosing not to appear before it last year.
Of all the questions my consulting clients ask, there is one that comes up more often than all the others combined.How do I vet manufacturers in China or India to minimize the risks of working with a company in a different country?”Here are six tips that I generally offer to help ecommerce businesses navigate the potentially treacherous waters of overseas manufacturing.Whether you visit in person or perform your inquiries remotely, there are certain questions you’ll want to ask every potential manufacturer on your list.Each one acts as a test that a manufacturer needs to pass before you trust it with your business.If they are unwilling to provide proof of relevant licenses, registrations, and samples of work, that’s a major red flag.
Software- and computer-based works of art are fragile--not unlike their canvas counterparts--as their underlying technologies such as operating systems and programming languages change rapidly, placing these works at risk.These include Shu Lea Cheang's Brandon (1998-99), Mark Napier's net.flag (2002), and John F. Simon Jr.'s Unfolding Object (2002), three online works recently conserved at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, through a collaboration with New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.Fortunately, just as conservators have developed methods to protect traditional artworks, computer scientists, in collaboration with time-based media conservators, have created means to safeguard computer- or time-based art by following the same preservation principles."The principles of art conservation for traditional works of art can be applied to decision-making in conservation of software- and computer-based works of art with respect to programming language selection, programming techniques, documentation, and other aspects of software remediation during restoration," explains Deena Engel, a professor of computer science at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.Specifically, Engel and Phillips adhere to the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works' Code of Ethics, Guidelines for Practice, and Commentaries, applying these standards to artistic creations that rely on software as a medium."For example, if we migrate a work of software-based art from an obsolete programming environment to a current one, our selection and programming decisions in the new programming language and environment are informed in part by evaluating the artistic goals of the medium first used," explains Engel.
In our daily lives, we can find many examples of manipulation of reflected waves such as mirrors to see our reflections or reflective surfaces for sound that improve auditorium acoustics.When a wave impinges on a reflective surface with a certain angle of incidence and the energy is sent back, the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence.This classical reflection law is valid for any homogenous surface.Researchers at Aalto University have developed new metasurfaces for the arbitrary manipulation of reflected waves, essentially breaking the law to engineer the reflection of a surface at will.Metasurfaces are artificial structures, composed of periodic arranged of meta-atoms at subwavelength scale.Meta-atoms are made of traditional materials but, if they are placed in a periodic manner, the surface can show many unusual effects that cannot be realized by the materials in nature.
Twitter said Friday that it hid a tweet that appears to be from the account of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for violating its rules against making violent threats or wishing for the death of a person.The flagged tweet, which still pops up in Google search results, references a decision in 1989 from the Supreme Leader of Iran at the time that called for the killing of British-Indian author Salman Rushdie following the release of his controversial novel "The Satanic Verses.""Imam Khomeini's verdict regarding Salman Rushdie is based on divine verses and just like divine verses, it is solid and irrevocable," the tweet stated.Some Twitter users complained the tweet incited murder.When Twitter determines that a user violates its rules, the company doesn't allow the user to tweet again unless he or she removes the offending tweet.In the meantime, Twitter replaces the tweet with a notice that mentions that it's unavailable to users of its site.
Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, based on the Eisner-winning comics by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way and Brazilian artist Gabriel Bá, takes dysfunctional family drama into the big leagues of superhero action.The high concept: Seven children, born at the same time, on the same day, are adopted by an eccentric entrepreneur and trained to become superheroes.While it's not really revealed what caused them to drift apart, it's clear the siblings' antagonistic and crusty relationships with one another hide a familial love.You'll see characters time-travel, teleport short distances, conjure up dead ghosts, and even throw very accurate knives.And while knife throwing seems pretty mundane, and talking to dead people isn't altogether new, it's the way Umbrella Academy puts it all together that makes you squeal with glee.Tom Hopper plays Luther, Number One, who has a small head on a huge hulking body and unlike his siblings has a more mundane power in the form of super strength.
Everyday it seems like there are rumors and leaks about another company working on a foldable phone.Xiaomi, Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Motorola all are rumored to have a bendable or foldable phone in the works.On Thursday, Apple updated a patent that showed drawings of a foldable clamshell phone.This is a continuation of a patent filed in 2011 for an iPhone with a flexible display.What makes this new patent particularly interesting is the timing.On Wednesday, Samsung is expected to show off more of its folding Galaxy X phone.
Lawyers clean up after games biz settles with homeowners sick of zombie playersPokemon Go will soon let people ban its virtual pets from around their houses following a legal settlement with homeowners fed up with zombie kids.It's been two years since the game became an international fad, with millions of smart phone users wandering around real streets trying to catch Japanese animated animals by flinging virtual balls at them.The game's enormous success brought a range of subsequent problems, from thugs hanging around popular Pokemon Go spots and robbing geeks at gunpoint, to privacy-busting security holes, to a spike in car accidents and injuries as people either drove around while playing or zombie-like players wandered in the road.A police station in Australia grew so fed up with people wandering in to hunt down virtual critters that it put up signs warning them that any players will be arrested and put in cells.A hospital in Oregon also formally complained to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that zombie-players were wandering into private areas of its facility in order to play the game.
And, in this case, a love for Star Trek inspires some beguiling sketch work.Twitter user @SerinaTirek, inspired by her passion for Star Trek: Discovery in particular, has filled up her feed with incredible, detailed sketches from this era and past eras of Trek.Spoilerfree rough sketches for StarTrekDiscovery s2ep3 "Point of Light" - lots of women power , and thankfully a bit of Stamets (still my absolute fav of favs) pic.twitter.com/mtznkmBoi2She’s put out some great paintings, too, in a similar style.An unexpected side-effect of the wonderful series StarTrekDiscovery is the amount of energy I suddenly felt putting into painting.It's a kind of therapy for me to sit here and paint what I dearly, dearly love .
Here's another milestone on the road toward Star Wars: Episode 9.Filming on the final movie in the saga has wrapped, director J.J. Abrams announced Friday."There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast," Abrams tweeted, while sharing a photo of cast members hugging.The tweet only sparked fan interest in the eventual announcement of the film's title."Now we just need that title reveal along with a few trailers to get us all psyched for December," wrote Samuel James.Actor Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO, has been teasing hints about the title, and star Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, has also joked about it.
And even when you do get around to it, it can be needlessly complicated, requiring your loved ones to provide proof of your death, deleting your accounts, and possibly downloading your information so as not to lose it.What is a “legacy contact?”If you want to plan ahead for a time when you’re not around, you can choose a particular friend to look after your account.This person is your legacy contact, and they’ll be allowed to have limited access to your account after your death.To designate a legacy contact, go to your settings.Under the “general” tab, you’ll find an option that says “Manage account.” This is where you can also deactivate your account while you’re still alive, as well.
Alibaba affiliate and Alipay parent Ant Financial’s acquisition of London-based payments and currency exchange company WorldFirst marks Ant Financial’s first big move in the UK.“Alipay and WorldFirst’s capabilities and international footprints are highly complementary,” Ant Financial said in a statement shared with TechNode, adding that the tie-up will add WorldFirst’s international online payments and virtual account products to Alipay’s existing technology solutions.Ant Financial expects to further expand its customer base through the acquisition of the UK payments firm, especially in the area of cross border e-commerce.Ant Financial did not disclose the size of the acquisition, however, British broadcaster Sky News reported in December that the acquisition was likely to worth about $700 million.WorldFirst, founded in 2004, has years of experience working with Chinese businesses that trade globally.The company has been taking steps to become one of the first foreign companies to be granted a license to operate in China’s fintech sector.
Based on those results, it's looking to increase the price this year and set a goal of exceeding 10 million subscriptions by 2025.Read more: Vox Media is asking people to help cover the high cost of making videos with a $4.99-a-month membership programWith all the widespread layoffs in media lately, the question looms of how online news can be financially viable.The Times plans to hire more journalistsThe Times has a number of things going for it that other publications don't.When it comes to the breadth of reporting in the Times, she said, "I'm not sure we have a peer."
The e-commerce giant quietly rolled out video ads in search results six months ago and has been shopping it to performance and brand marketers with a minimum spending requirement of $35,000 to $50,000.Agencies cited issues with creative, price and data as main reasons the ad format has been sluggish to take off with clients.Amazon is clamoring for ad budgets from big brands to prove that its platform is more than an e-commerce machine, but agencies say that the company's pitch for video dollars has a few snags.In the past week, General Mills-owned Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Procter & Gamble's Tide, CoverGirl, Brawny and online cosmetic brand Elizabeth Mott have run such video ads.The ads match Amazon's lucrative targeting data with short product videos that appear in search results when shoppers are looking for specific products.Amazon is testing the ad format in a small beta program where brands can only buy them directly through an Amazon sales representative.