Australia’s Customs and Border Protection will install 92 facial recognition terminals in international airports as part of an $18 million deal with Portuguese smart-gate manufacturer Vision-Box. The contract represents a switching of smart-gate vendors for Customs – Vision-Box rival Morpho had been the provider of choice to date for the agency. Morpho delivered around 61 electronic gates at arrival terminals as part of a $53 million agreement with the border security agency that is due to continue out to 2019.
NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecom has called a meeting of Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) to discuss net neutrality on April 27. “A committee has been constituted in Department of Telecommunications to examine various aspects of net neutrality. The committee has decided to have interaction with MAG representatives. Accordingly, a meeting will be organized on April 27,” a DoT circular sent to MAG members said. MAG was constituted by Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) in February 2014.
Beijing Higher People’s Court explained why it asked a Chinese government agency to review a company’s voice recognition patent validity, which has a dispute with Apple. On Tuesday, the court ruled in favor of Apple for a patent case. It said the voice recognition patent of Shanghai Zhizhen Network Technology should be declared invalid and asked the Patent Review Committee under the State Intellectual Property Office to review it.
The owners of the Dallas Buyers Club film want iiNet and a number of other internet service providers to hand over the details of 4700 alleged copyright infringers within two weeks. The parties were back in court today following Justice Perram’s ruling earlier this month that iiNet, Internode, Dodo, Amnet, Adam Internet and Wideband Networks hand DBC LLC the customer details of those the rights holder claims shared its film online without authorisation.
Shipments of smartphones by Taiwan makers totaled 83.03 million units in the first quarter of 2015, down 27.4% from the previous quarter but up 52.5% from a year earlier period, the government-backed MIC (Market Intelligence and Consulting) has estimated. In terms of production value, total production in the first quarter of 2015 reached US$16 billion, decreasing 25.9% from a quarter earlier, as ASP shed to US$193 from US$199 during the same period, MIC said.
There were 1.294 billion subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of the end of March 2015, growing 0.35% on month and 3.65% on year, and 475.90 million (36.78%) of them were 3G users, 161.93 million (12.51%) were 4G users and 899.84 million (69.54%) were mobile Internet-access users, according to statistics published by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
SHENZHEN, China, April 22 — China can only ensure its information security in the long run if it keeps its market open to the best technology products, be they foreign or domestic, Huawei’s rotating chief executive Eric Xu told Reuters yesterday. Xu’s remarks are a rare example of a top Chinese CEO openly questioning the direction of Beijing’s information security policy, already a source of concern for countries that fear it will limit opportunities for their technology firms.
Consumer complaints during the first quarter of 2015 for Internet shopping increased by 174.4% year-on-year to 24,100 cases, according to statistics published by State Administration for Industry and Commerce of China. The State Administration revealed that China’s nationwide industry and commerce administrative units received a total of 1.701 million consumer complaints, reports and inquiries in the first quarter of 2015, representing a year-on-year increase of 18.7%.
China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities. Clicking on a new “City Services” tab inside Alipay Wallet draws up a menu with options to book hospital appointments, pay for parking tickets, settle gas and water bills, and even buy gasoline. Users can also look up information regarding traffic and public transportation, and manage other minor bureaucratic tasks.
Malaysia has signed a new deal with a private sector analytics firm to help achieve its goal of becoming a regional Big Data hub. The Malaysian Development Corporation (MDeC) and SAS have signed an agreement to set up a Centre of Excellence that will build and test Big Data proofs of concepts for government and commercial use. The centre “will mobilise the country’s top BDA [Big Data analytics] experts to develop national high-impact use cases and proofs of concepts to drive BDA adoption and innovation”, said Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer at MDeC.
NEW DELHI: After telecom and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad backed an open internet three days ago, a note prepared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for a meeting of the committee on net neutrality said the concept may help the government’s Digital India programme and ensure equitable and inclusive development. The meeting, held on Friday, was the second since the panel was set up with officials from the Licensing and Finance Wing of DoT as well as the home ministry and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to study the matter and submit a report to the government by the second week of May.
After vying against each other in mobile payment, online retail, and taxi-hailing, Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba have taken their battle to a new field–government smart city initiatives. Several announcements from both Tencent and Alibaba over the past month suggest the two firms are deepening their involvement in local government’s initiatives to improve administrative efficiency and transparency.
China’s banking regulator last week temporarily suspended controversial cybersecurity rules demanding technology vendors hand over their source code to the state, exposing the practical challenges of the nation’s campaign to cut dependence on foreign technology. In a notice reviewed by Reuters, Chinese regulators said the decision on the rules, which would have effectively replaced foreign tech products with domestic alternatives, came after “financial institutions in the banking industry and related parties put forward opinions for improvements and proposed changes”.
The Philippines plans to roll out free Wi-Fi to nearly 1000 cities by November, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has said. This week it tendered for the PHP 1.408 billion (US$31.6 million) project to set up Wi-Fi hotspots in 997 cities. Town plazas and parks, public schools and universities, libraries, government hospitals, train stations, airports, city halls and central government offices will all have free Wi-Fi, according to the Terms of Reference for the project.
Some policies need many agencies to pull together, and affect huge numbers of people, all with different views on how an issue should be resolved. These more complex topics are called “wicked problems”, and Peter Ho, Singapore’s former Head of the Civil Service, has dedicated a big chunk of his career to tackling them. Ho exclusively caught up with FutureGov in the towering office of Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to discuss how governments should create structures, use technology, play policy games and include citizens to design solutions for the world’s toughest problems.
Often the development of a new government web site is top-down: leaders decide that they need a new site, and then the work slowly begins. But two public servants in Western Australia have come up with an alternative way of pushing forwards their government’s digital delivery. Their new project, Ready Steady Gov, provides free web templates based on an open source CMS so that any agency can quickly upgrade their web site, for free.
XI’AN: The historic city of Xi’an in northwest China is busy developing a new software city inspired by the Bengaluru model. Local authorities are looking up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for assistance in this regard and want him to sign a contract with the Chinese government to this effect during his visit next month. Prime Minister Modi is expected to visit Xi’an, which is also Chinese president Xi Jinping’s birthplace, as a reciprocal gesture.
As globalisation makes the world ever more connected, the number of tough challenges like pandemics, financial crises and terrorism increase. Peter Ho, Singapore’s former Head of the Civil Service has dedicated a big chunk of his career to monitoring these strategic shocks, finding new ways to prepare for them and reduce their impact. Ho established Singapore’s Centre for Strategic Futures in 2009, a think tank within government that studies emerging issues and their implications on Singapore, and develops tools and conversations with agencies to help them consider an uncertain future systematically.
Australia is upgrading its 30 year old welfare payments system to encourage more people to transact online and to cut the cost of administering payments. Changes to the system, which manages welfare payments to retirees, job seekers, families and the disabled, will allow it to share data with other agencies in real-time, so that citizens don’t have to provide information twice, said Minister for Human Services Marise Payne. For instance, students will not have to update the government when they graduate from school or change jobs, the Department of Human Services said.
US chipmaker Qualcomm is making every effort to minimize the negative impact of its record fine of US$975 million for antitrust violations in China, reports Sina’s tech news portal. The reports said Qualcomm’s first mission is to begin collecting royalties in China again, as many clients delayed their royalty payments due to the then unsettled antitrust investigation which may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.