Freedom 251: Ringing Bells adds cash on delivery option

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Facing an FIR and defamation suit amid deepening mystery and now senior government officials raising serious questions over “Freedom 251” smartphone, its makers on Friday announced “cash on delivery” (COD) facility for those who have placed the order for the world’s cheapest smartphone. In a statement released here, Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha announced that the Rs.251 (less than $4) “Freedom 251” smartphone customers will now be required to make payment only when the smartphone is delivered to them.

MediaTek introduces new chip for health, fitness devices

TaiwanEnterprise Innovation — MediaTek announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona its first bio-sensing analog front-end (AFE) chip designed for health and fitness devices. The MT2511 enables bio signal acquisition through electrocardiography (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) simultaneously. It is extremely power efficient and provides lower active mode power consumption of less than 0.6mA while capturing PPG.

Honda CEO says ‘fundamental transformation’ is needed

JapanAuto News — TOKYO — When Takahiro Hachigo was abruptly named Honda Motor Co. CEO last year amid spiraling quality problems, he pledged to revive the troubled automaker through a back-to-basics focus on better cars and streamlined production. Nearly a year later, with Honda still battling quality issues, the veteran engineer is revamping that comeback plan.

Superloop reports net loss of AU$4m

AustraliaZDNet — Asia-Pacific fibre infrastructure company Superloop has recorded a net loss of AU$3.98 million for the first half of the 2016 financial year on revenue of AU$1.94 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was negative AU$3.51 million. Operating expenses amounted to AU$3.9 million, with AU$2 million of this arising from employee expenses and AU$1.1 million from professional services.

Aliyun and BGI revolutionise life sciences

ChinaMIS Asia — BGI Genomics has launched a genome analytics engine using Aliyun cloud computing. The beta version of this engine, BGI Online, is the first large-scale bioinformatics analysis platform on Aliyun. BGI Online is an important milestone towards sequencing an individual human genome within 24 hours, and is an outcome of an agreement signed in October 2015.

Thailand ranked 5th for threats

ThailandBangkok Post — Thailand ranked fifth out of 25 countries in Asia for cyber security risks last year, says Romanian internet security software company Bitdefender.  Globally, the country’s exposure to cyberattacks was ranked 11th. The rankings were based on the quantity of malware detected, said Michal Dominik, managing director of Bitdefender for Indochina. India, Indonesia, China and Vietnam were the top four for cybersecurity risks in Asia, respectively.

ASEAN’s digital economy can add US$1 trillion to GDP in next decade

APACeGov Innovation — ASEAN has the potential to leapfrog to the forefront of the digital revolution and become one of the top five digital economies in the world by 2025, according to a report by A.T. Kearney and Axiata, entitled “The ASEAN Digital Revolution”.  The growth of the digital economy could add $1 trillion to the GDP of ASEAN over the next 10 years, driven by an increase in broadband penetration, higher worker productivity and new digital industries such as e-commerce, mobile financial services, IoT and cloud computing.

The world’s 2nd largest cloud hosting company plans to launch data center in Bangalore

IndiaDigitalOcean today announced that it will launch its 12th global data center in Bangalore, India this year. Headquartered in New York City, DigitalOcean is considered the second largest hosting company in the world. Cloud hosting is a service that provides developers with servers to host software apps. For non-developers, the cool thing about this is that it’s kind of like having a giant open computer with tons of storage and the ability to easily access and share things.

China cracks down on social media, shuts down 580 accounts

ChinaTimes of India — BEIJING: Chinese authorities have suspended more than 580 social media accounts for spreading rumours, confusing people or going against the constitution, the media reported on Saturday. A statement issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) on Friday said the suspended accounts include those of “celebrities” of popular microblog Weibo who had thousands of followers.

How Singapore is powering Asia’s fintech boom

SingaporeTech in Asia — Singapore is the easiest place in the world to do business. The city-state has been ranked #1 in The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business study for the last 10 years. It’s not difficult to see why that is the case: the city has made great strides in positioning itself as a hub, is considered one of the foremost examples of a smart city (or in this case, a smart nation), and has a ton of initiatives to support its growing startup ecosystem.

Foxconn, Sharp extend takeover talks deadline: Source

JapanTimes of India — KYO/TAIPEI: Sharp and Foxconn agreed on Friday to extend a deadline for takeover talks by 1-2 weeks, a person familiar with the matter said, after the Taiwanese firm had put the deal on hold to clarify “new material information.” Sharp, a loss-making Japanese display maker, announced on Thursday it had decided to sell a two-thirds stake to Foxconn, in a deal worth an estimated $5.8 billion.

Samsung intros 256GB UFS storage for mobile devices

KoreaDigi Times — Samsung Electronics has announced it is now mass producing 256GB embedded memory based on the Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 standard, for next-generation high-end mobile devices. The newly introduced embedded memory features performance for mobile devices that exceeds that of a typical SATA-based SSD for PCs, claimed the company.

Singapore-based big data startup to enter Japan through new investment

JapanTech in Asia — Singapore-based big data startup Crayon Data announced today it received a cash injection by Japanese general trading conglomerate Mitsui & Co. The amount invested in the startup is undisclosed. The deal opens the way into the country for Crayon, that “hopes to soon map the tastes of Japan.” As in other territories, the startup says it will focus on banks, hotels, advertising, and media. Mitsui will also put Crayon’s tech to use in its own subsidiaries.

Flipkart to increase technology team’s headcount by 50%

IndiaTimes of India — BENGALURU: Flipkart will spend more on technology this year, as it ramps up its online capabilities, especially in mobile, thereby boosting the headcount of its technology and engineering teams by at least half. This comes at a time when India’s largest ecommerce firm is locked in a battle for supremacy with arch rivals Amazon and Snapdeal.

North Korea linked to Sony hack attack: researchers

North KoreaIT News — A new report into the damaging attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has uncovered a long-active hacking group that may be connected to North Korea. Security vendor Novetta, working together with Kaspersky Labs, Symantec and AlienVault, has produced an extensive report into the attack  which it said was initiated by hackers dubbed the Lazarus Group.

Korea’s Gmarket, Japan’s Rakuten partner to boost cross-border trading

KoreaEnterprise Innovation — Korea’s  e-commerce shopping mall Gmarket  and Japan’s Internet shopping mall retailer Rakuten have partnered to boost cross-border trading in both countries. Henry Chun, Head of Gmarket, and Masato Takahashi, Managing Executive Officer, Rakuten, recently signed the agreement in Tokyo. Under the agreement, Gmarket will launch an online flagship store on Rakuten Ichiba featuring mini-shops that will offer Korea’s diverse fashion and beauty products to Rakuten’s membership base of over 100 million users.

Flipkart to shut down grocery delivery app Nearby

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Leading Indian e-commerce player Flipkart has announced that it is shutting down its hyper-local service ‘Nearby’. The app was launched five months back in order to experiment grocery delivery in Bengaluru. Flipkart Nearby provides wide range of products ranging from daily use items such as toothpaste, soap, groceries to various personal and baby products. The app consists of several categories including branded food, groceries, beverages, dairy and eggs.

Huawei, Vodafone put up NB-IoT Open Lab

ChinaEnterprise Innovation — Huawei and Vodafone have agreed to establish the world’s first  NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) Open Lab. Under the agreement, this NB-IoT Open Lab initiative will drive strategic technology innovation and promote the ecosystem relating to NB-IoT technology. Using pre-standard NB-IoT technology prior to full standardization, the Lab will enable the right development environment which is expected to greatly enhance the efficiency of future NB-IoT ecosystem ramp-up.

Nissan Leaf cars vulnerable to remote hacking

JapanIT News — The world’s best-selling electric car, the Nissan Leaf, can be remotely hacked thanks to unsecure application programming interfaces (APIs) supplied by the car maker, two security researchers have found. Security researchers Troy Hunt and Scott Helme have demonstrated that the unsecured APIs combined with the VIN number of a car – which is easily visible through a car’s windshield – could allow attackers to remotely control features like the air conditioning and heated seating.

Asia leads in mobility spending

APACEnterprise Innovation — Enterprise and consumer spending on mobile devices and related software and services in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will grow at a CAGR of 3% from $514 billion in 2015 to $578 billion by 2019, making it the largest region in the world in terms of mobility related spend, according to IDC. IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Mobility Spending Guide shows software revenues will double from today’s levels, reaching $2 billion by 2019 as the app economy blossoms across the region.

Southern Philippines Medical Center moves to the cloud

PhilippinesEnterprise Innovation — Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City is moving to the cloud. It recently acquired licenses for Microsoft Office 365, which combines the Microsoft Office desktop suite that their hospital executives, doctors, nurses, and employees have long been used to with cloud-based versions of the latest collaboration and communication tools.

4G, mobile payments game changer for financial inclusion: Economic Survey

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Enhanced mobile payments technology along with 4G introduction will prove to be a game changer, facilitating the implementation of government’s social sector schemes in a faster and more secure manner, says the Economic Survey. Besides, connectivity through optical fibre network will also help transform the delivery of these programmes and boost the telecom sector growth.

China, Taiwan IC firms ramp 16nm chip orders at TSMC

TaiwanDigi Times — China- and Taiwan-based IC design houses including MediaTek, HiSilicon Technologies and Spreadtrum Communications have placed 16nm chip orders with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and begun to step up their pace of orders, according to industry sources. Apple is another key customer of TSMC’s 16nm technology for 2016, the sources indicated. Orders from Apple, and TSMC’s other main mobile SoC clients based in China and Taiwan, will fill the foundry’s 16nm process capacity in 2016, the sources said.

Foxconn delays Sharp takeover after finding “liabilities”

JapanIT News — Foxconn has put its takeover of Sharp on hold after discovering previously undisclosed liabilities, sources said, throwing the acquisition in doubt and sending shares of the Japanese electronics maker tumbling. Loss-making Sharp yesterday announced it had agreed to be bought by Foxconn, a contract manufacturing firm formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co and major Apple supplier.

Singapore firms face escalating cloud challenges

SingaporeMIS Asia — Companies in Singapore currently use around three cloud service providers (CSPs), but they are expected to increase usage to an average of four to five CSPs by 2018; and this growth will escalate the challenges of cloud management. This is according to a recent Rackspace research conducted by IDC Connect, which surveyed 250 IT professionals from Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

IDA issues outage guidelines for cloud service providers

SingaporeChannel News Asia — SINGAPORE: There will be more clarity regarding the processes and responses by cloud service providers (CSPs) should there be a downtime, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).  A set of Cloud Outage Incident Response (COIR) guidelines were issued on Friday (Feb 26) by IDA Assistant Chief Executive Khoong Hock Yun, which drew on the combined work and feedback of enterprises and public agencies to enhance CSP resilience capabilities.

Thousands of apps running this code leak personal data

ChinaTimes of India — SINGAPORE/BEIJING: Thousands of apps running code built by Chinese internet giant Baidu have collected and transmitted users’ personal information to the company, much of it easily intercepted, researchers say. The apps have been downloaded hundreds of millions of times. The researchers at Canada-based Citizen Lab said they found the problems in an Android software development kit developed by Baidu.

Qantas to use NBN satellites for free onboard wi-fi

AustraliaIT News — Qantas will tap into the NBN’s Sky Muster satellites to offer free wi-fi inflight from next year, the airline announced today. Qantas has partnered with broadband services provider ViaSat to conduct trials on a single Boeing 737 late this year in expectation of a full rollout across its domestic fleet of A330s and B737s early next year.

Xiaomi Mi 5 with Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM, ceramic body unveiled at MWC 2016

ChinaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Xiaomi has unveiled its Mi 5 smartphone, the company’s flagship model for 2016, at its first appearance at Mobile World Congress. Among the key features of the new smartphone include materials like metal and ceramic, Snapdragon 820 chipset, brighter screen, and better camera. Like last year’s Mi 4 model, the new Xiaomi Mi 5 has a 5.15-inch screen that is 30% brighter.

SKT to show off 20Gbps 5G tech at MWC

KoreaTelecom Asia — SK Telecom is demonstrating what it calls the world’s first functioning 5G network at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. The 5G platform can provide a 20 Gbps transmission speed over the air – which meets the performance requirement set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for the next generation of mobile networks, SK Telecom said in a statement.