Bitcoin is often hailed as the solution to the world’s remittance problems. It’s accessible to the unbanked, it’s nearly instant, and the fees are minimal compared to banks and other money transfer services. But perhaps the biggest obstacle to bitcoin remittances gaining serious traction is bitcoin itself. The complex, unfamiliar nature of the cryptocurrency keeps would-be users at bay.
Hong Kong’s Government intends to create apps that use smartphone functions to personalise public service delivery, it has been announced. In a public speech, Joey Lam, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer, said that “with the instantaneous and location-sensitive nature of mobile technology, we can provide timely alerts and reminders to citizens.” “We can also interact with them much more intelligently through more precise understanding of the issues they are facing as communicated through GPS or images.”
SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter plans to set up shop in Hong Kong early next year, focusing on ad sales instead of the one-to-many messaging service banned in China. The San Francisco-based service that has served as a platform for dissent and free speech wants to tap into booming growth in Greater China by selling ads to businesses such as exporters. US Internet titans Google and Facebook already have similar strategies in place.
Pacnet has officially opened its new data centre in Tianjin, China (TJCS1) to address growing demand for data centre and managed services in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. This was announced by the provider of integrated technology solutions in the Asia-Pacific region yesterday. The new facility provides Software-defined Networking (SDN) capability to give full network control to its customers to self-provision bandwidth on demand based on their business needs, the company said in a statement
Apps, cloud computing and open data are the top success stories from Hong Kong, according to Victor Lam, Deputy GCIO of the city government. Speaking in an interview with FutureGov, he said: “We have encouraged all departments to develop mobile applications for the convenience of the public, and have developed a portal on mobile applications in Hong Kong.” Currently, there are over 50 apps from departments on the government’s app store and the number is growing.
More than 500 of the thought leaders and captains of industry leading the global digital revolution in the public and private sectors will be congregating at the Hong Kong International Computer Conference (HKICC) at the end of this month (October 30-31, 2014) to work on the myriad ways information and communications technology (ICT) can not only build the Smart City of the future, but also by extension improve the lives of people across the world.
HONG KONG, Oct 25 ― How do you defend yourself against scores of tear gas wielding police while manning the barricades at Hong Kong’s protest camps? Unleash the wrath of Chinese deity Guan Yu. That’s just one of the options available to players of a new smartphone game which has swiftly become a hit among gamers and protesters in the southern Chinese city.
China’s internet is littered with companies that thrive in part thanks to the country’s strict censorship. Baidu, Weibo, and Youku are now web giants due to blocks put in place on Google, Twitter, and Youtube. The popular western photo sharing social network Instagram has eluded the Great Firewall until recently, operating freely and successfully in the Middle Kingdom. But the site and app became inaccessible from China starting near the end of September this year, likely due to the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that earned the ire of Beijing officials.
OTTAWA and BOSTON, October 15, 2014 – BTI Systems, an award-winning provider of cloud and metro networking software and systems to content, colocation and service providers around the world, today announced that Pacnet, a leading provider of integrated technology solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, is deploying the BTI 7800 Series Intelligent Cloud Connect platforms to interconnect Pacnet’s business-driven data centers in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
If it were up to George Fok Yiu-cheung, the managing director at PCCW Solutions, Hong Kong would take to the “cloud” and expand the local economy beyond its traditional financial services, retail and property markets. “I believe there is a future for information technology services here in Hong Kong, one that will provide us with vibrant economic growth. The city needs to evolve and diversify the services it provides,” Fok told the South China Morning Post.
HONG KONG, CHINA–(Marketwired – Oct 12, 2014) – Pacnet, a leading provider of integrated technology solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, received the prestigious Frost & Sullivan 2014 Asia Pacific Data Communications Product Line Differentiation Award. The accolade is a testament to Pacnet’s success in creating a differentiated value proposition for its data communications services in the region.
BEIJING: Anonymous, the nebulous online activist group that uses hacking to further causes it supports, has threatened a major blackout of Chinese and Hong Kong government websites, and to leak tens of thousands of government email address details. The group, under the banner of ‘Operation Hong Kong’ or ‘#OpHongKong’ and ‘#OpHK’ on Twitter, said on Friday it will launch a mass effort against Chinese government servers to bring down their websites via Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Saturday.
HONG KONG, Oct 6 — Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators finding it difficult to communicate over congested mobile-phone networks are downloading the application FireChat about 100,000 times a day in an effort to stay connected. Open Garden Inc’s FireChat, which gained popularity during protests this year in Iraq and Taiwan, allows users to send messages using Bluetooth or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, which is optimal for places where cellular networks are congested.
Schneider Electric is sponsoring Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s new Intelligent Building Laboratory (IB Lab) in the Department of Building Service Engineering, recently opened in the new green building Block Z, announced the energy management specialist. The new IB Lab, featuring Schneider Electric integrated building management systems, will facilitate effective teaching and learning of smart grid and building management systems, helping groom local professionals to address the need for talent in the building energy management sector.
As Hong Kong’s Occupy Central protests continue to gather momentum and attention, Hong Kong’s denizens are sharing photos of the moment on social media. But apparently , photos of the protests posted to WeChat by Hong Kong-based users are being censored, and are not visible for WeChat users in mainland China. For example, Hong Kong-based blogger Cam MacMurchy shared the screenshots below with Tech in Asia. On the left is an image from Hong Kong he posted to WeChat on September 30th.
Many observers of the ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong have noted how the protests remain extremely well-organized despite lacking centralized leadership. Supplies are well-distributed, rest areas are abundant, and protestors have even coordinated recycling initiatives. The movement’s efficient logistics are in no small part due to its leaders’ use of internet-enabled technology. But protestors are going beyond Facebook groups, WhatsApp conversations, and Twitter feeds in their efforts.
Protests in Hong Kong intensified on Sunday as young people flooded the streets to demand democracy reform, free from the shackles of mainland China. According to Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), those protests have so far generated over 1.3 million tweets from participants, eyewitnesses, and supporters from around the globe. As seen in the interactive chart created by Twitter’s number-crunchers (embedded below), things reached a peak around 11:30 PM local time on Sunday as Hong Kong police responded with tear gas to the peaceful crowd of tens of thousands of protestors at several points across the city. That peaked at a flow of 735 tweets per minute related to the Hong Kong protests.
BEIJING: China’s censors, who have barred most online discussion of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, have so far not blocked searches for the movement’s “Umbrella Revolution” nickname, although it may not survive much longer. Chinese Internet users were still able to post under the hashtag “Umbrella Revolution” in Chinese and English on Sina Weibo, China’s popular Twitter-like microblogging service, on Monday and Tuesday.
Surprisingly, as activists prepared to gather, a mobile app that that first caught the attention of the media last spring resurfaced among participants. FireChat, available for iOS and Android, is a mass chatroom app that lets communicate with one another over wi-fi and cellular networks, along with Bluetooth and Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework. The latter two features means that users can, in theory, chat “off-the-grid.” In anticipation of poor cellular network connectivity (and perhaps a deliberate network shutdown), student activist leader Joshua Wong posted a message urging people to download FireChat.
We’re seeing reports from users on Twitter that Instagram has been blocked in mainland China. It’s likely due to the protests happening in Hong Kong. Citizens in Hong Kong are protesting the government in Beijing to allow them to practice “full democracy.” If Instagram is blocked in China as the Twitter reports indicate, it’s likely to keep images of the protest, which include police firing tear gas at demonstrators, from spreading.