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It seems like the folks at Sony Computer Entertainment are having a great success with their brand new baby, the PlayStation 4. After managed to sell more than 1 million units within 24 hours of the PS4′s launch in North America, the release of the console in Europe, Australasia and Latin America last weekend have further increased the number to 2.1 million units.
Since the console will also reach our shores very soon, expect the numbers to go up very soon. After all, there is virtually nothing than can stop them from achieving that as Xbox One is not yet officially available in this region at the time being. In fact, Xbox One is expected to arrive in Asia only towards the end of 2014.
Hence, there is plenty of time for SCE to strengthen PlayStation position in this region. There might be some pricing issues but then again, PS4 does has the advantage of being the only next generation consoles to be officially available in our market.
So, who’s buying a PS4 later this month?
[Source: PlayStation Asia Blog]
With a design that looks pretty similar to Windows 8 user interface, Maybank recently have deployed a brand new UI for Maybank2U which is one of the most popular online banking service in Malaysia. While the Live Tiles-like design looks pretty good in general and is aligned with the bank’s official website, the release of the new UI doesn’t seem to go very smooth for Maybank.
A general observations on their Twitter feed and Facebook page showed that there are no short of complaints from users regarding Maybank2U new design. Most of the complaints revolved around the slow loading speed of the site which I experienced it myself.
Hours after the rollout, the bank finally reverted back to the old Maybank2U interface just less than an hour ago and all things are fine in this world once again. So far, Maybank didn’t mention any specific details behind the performance issues of the new site but we do hope they will be able to rectify all of them before deploying the new UI once again.
On the same day as the arrival of Waze on Windows Phone 8 (much to the rejoice of WP users throughout the world), the company have apparently made a visit to Malaysia. One of their reasons to be here in the country is to announce their new partnership with Astro Awani.
Thanks to the collaboration, Astro Awani have now become the third international broadcast partner for the popular navigation and mapping company which is also part of Google. By utilizing Waze’s community-based mapping technology, the channel are planning to deliver daily traffic updates throughout all Astro Awani’s platforms in early 2014.
An example of how broadcasters used Waze for traffic updates in their news program.
Waze apparently have around 1.5 million users in Malaysia and more than 3,300 out of 110,000 map editors throughout the world that actively contributed to Waze’s Driver Generated Live Maps are actually Malaysians. With such a thriving Waze community here in Malaysia, Astro Awani have certainly got themselves a good real time traffic monitoring platform to help them deliver traffic updates to their viewers next year.
[Source: Astro Awani]
They are not here in Malaysia (so far) but in case you are not aware of it, Microsoft have their own physical retail stores in Canada, Puerto Rico, and United States called Microsoft Store. Consumers also have the option to shop online through Microsoft Store’s official website and now, the company have also extended the store’s reach to eBay with the opening of Microsoft Store over there.
While one might expect Microsoft Store on eBay to mirror the offerings on the company’s own online store, that is apparently not the case. The products at Microsoft Store on eBay are currently limited to Surface and Xbox 360 as well as refurbished units and related accessories while the Microsoft Store’s website offers way more products including games, software, PCs from other OEMs and Windows Phone devices. To give Microsoft’s the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that the company have yet to roll out proper deals and populate the Microsoft Store on eBay since it is still quite new.
If you somehow eager to shop there, there is one small issue: the Microsoft Store on eBay only ships to United States. Then again, you most probably already have the answer to that issue if you know your way around online shopping.
Note: APAC region does have its own Microsoft Store on the web but it is nothing like its United States’ counterpart. For example, the choices for Malaysian customers are limited to Windows 8.1 and Office.
[Source: The Official Microsoft Blog]
Some said it is a done deal but many didn’t realized that there are actually many steps involved in order for Microsoft to make Nokia’s devices and services division as theirs. However, the extraordinary general meeting between Nokia shareholders that took place earlier today which was aimed to get their approval on the deal is certainly one of the biggest step of them all.
Eventually, the result that came out from the meeting are in favour of the EUR 5.44 billion (RM 23.37 billion) deal which also includes licensing arrangement between both companies. According to one of the sources below, an overwhelming 99.7-percent of Nokia shareholders that participated in the vote choose to go with the deal.
So, what’s next then? As the whole deal is still subjected to regulatory requirements, it is expected to be completed in 2014 – just as what both companies have pointed out when they announced the deal back in September. For now, I believe that it is still business as usual for both parties although it is certainly not going to stay that way for long.
As mentioned earlier, out of all banks that we reached out on Monday (including our own national bank), Affin Bank is the only one who actually responded to us regarding the F grade rating that their online system received from SSL Labs. Here is the statement in full as provided by the bank’s Head of Consumer Marketing, Product Management, and Strategy, Mohd Azhar Shahbudin.
“Thank you for highlighting the test results of the Qualys SSL Labs Report.
At AFFINBANK, we endeavour to continuously upgrade our system to ensure that it is secure and customers can perform transactions with peace of mind.
The test results have been noted (including the report that AFFINBANK’s Corporate Internet Banking – cib.affinonline.com scored an “A”), and we will review and ensure the necessary action be taken, if necessary.”
Upon our survey (since Affin’s CIB site was not part of BolehVPN’s original test subjects), the site is indeed rated A by the SSL Labs test. Furthermore, the bank also have apparently performed a system update on their consumer online banking system earlier today although the site is still graded as F by SSL Labs at the time this article is written.
With that, it certainly shows that Affin Bank is definitely more than capable of providing secure online banking platform for their customers. Just that they might need to work a little bit more for the consumer section of AffinOnline.
Earlier this week, a HTTPS security test session on local online banking services by a local VPN provider BolehVPN have gained attention from many users due to the F grade rating that were given to a number of the services in the test. These services include the hugely popular Maybank2U as well as its enterprise counterpart Maybank2E together with AffinOnline, i-Muamalat and myBSN.
While HTTPS security is just one of several security methods (an important one, nevertheless) that banks have implemented over their online bank services, the results raised concerns among a lot of users. So, here’s a great news for Maybank customers out there: Maybank2U and Maybank2E are now rated with the A grade by SSL Labs’ tool that BolehVPN used in their test.
However, the same thing can’t be said about AffinOnline and i-Muamalat as their SSL Test grade still remained at F. That being said, AffinBank have responded to our query with their take on the test results in which we will discuss in subsequent post. As for myBSN, the test is not able to resolve the domain name as of 950pm due to unknown reason.
Apart from AffinBank, the rest of the banks that we have contacted earlier this week which include Bank Negara Malaysia still have no responded to our request for their official comments. Well, at least Maybank have went directly into action and optimized their site’s HTTPS security settings immediately. Their swift reaction is rather commendable and should be able to put the mind of concerned customers at ease.
In a follow-up to their discovery earlier today, BolehVPN have conducted another round of HTTPS security test for nine additional Malaysia-based online banking services that missed out in the company’s first test session. It turns out that there are actually quite a number of F grade online banking services that are run by our local banks out there.
According to the test results, three out of those nine services – namely Affin Bank, Bank Muamalat and Bank Simpanan Nasional – are given the F grade. Apparently, the online banking services provided by all three of them are highly vulnerable to denial-of-service and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Hence, we have reached out to all three banks above to obtain their reaction regarding the security rating by SSL Labs and the steps that they are planning to rectify the issue. We have also extended our inquiry to Bank Negara Malaysia for their opinion on this matter.
As for those who are keeping tabs on the test results, Standard Chartered, CitiBank, and OCBC now joins CIMBClicks as the top ranked Malaysia-based online banking services as determined by the test by Qualys SSL Labs.