Apart from officially launching its new LTE-enabled DG SmartPlan postpaid plans and the equally new weekly mobile internet prepaid package yesterday, the telco has also provided an update on the current state of its network during a media event before.
According to the telco, DiGi’s network is much better than before. Frankly speaking, that is one bold claim.
Many have been expecting for worst when the website of the famed Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox went offline earlier this week and true enough, the company has since filed for bankruptcy protection. The filing and the subsequent announcement was made in Japan – where the company is based at – earlier today.
Some days, one doesn’t have the will to work. However, it isn’t always possible to sit around and slack off. Especially with the boss around. However, it is possible to provide the illusion of working while actually engaging in other activities. More importantly, stricter workplaces may attempt to block proper entertainment websites, so one will have to get crafty about things.
Naturally, these solutions work best if nobody can see your screen. Although a couple may managed to escape detection by people who aren’t paying too much attention.
BlackBerry has announced their next two phones in the Z3 and Q20. The 5inch Z3, which was codenamed Jakarta, will be launched in Indonesia in April – with more markets to join it after than. This might be a strategy from BlackBerry to alternate between Indonesia and Malaysia for the initial market. The Z3 is only 3G capable, which is a little disappointing; but BlackBerry CEO John Chen promises that there is an LTE version due for release.
Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service has finally made the change over to the new OneDrive name. OneDrive is more than just a cosmetic name change and brings several new features. These include camera uploading on Android, improved document sharing, and better video streaming.
Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, who recently set up operations in Singapore, held a press conference in the Lion City earlier this morning, sharing with members of the media its immediate plans for the country. In addition to announcing the release date for the very, very aggressively-priced Redmi smartphone, the company had more details to share.
Since the company decided to enter our consumer market in 2011, Huawei‘s brand recognition among Malaysian consumers has steadily growing. Hence, the company obviously has no intention to stop anytime soon and has aim to expand its reach in our market even further in 2014. To do that, Huawei Malaysia’s Country Director for Consumer Business Group, Gary Xu has announced the company’s plan to open several flagship stores in Kuala Lumpur this year.
After an aggressive acquisition drive in 2013, it doesn’t appear that Internet giants Google is stopping anytime soon: the company has announced that it has acquired another startup, SlickLogin. This comes after a string of startup acquisitions and the high-profile acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering firm that designs robots for the Pentagon.
Google Malaysia today has announced that developers that are based in Malaysia are now able to publish paid apps to Google Play. Prior to this, Malaysian developers that would like to publish paid apps on Google Play would need to go through extra steps such as setting up bank account in other countries as the Google Wallet Merchant registration is not opened to Malaysian developers.
The timing of this announcement couldn’t be better since Google Play customers in Malaysia are now able to purchase apps in our native Ringgit Malaysia currency starting this week. As Google have already notified all Malaysian Google Play developers regarding this news, expect to see the rise of paid apps or free apps with in-app purchases from local developers on Google Play very soon.
We also hope that this latest move by Google will be able to increase the quality of Malaysian-made apps as well. Who knows, the next big app might be made by a fellow Malaysian.
[Source: Google Malaysia @ Google+]
The rumour has turned out to be true: Sony will be selling off its VAIO PC division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), as confirmed by the company’s announcement earlier today. The company has also announced that Sony will be splitting its TV business into a new, wholly-owned subsidiary. The reason behind both of these moves is because Sony believes that both divisions will not be able to return to profitability within the end of it 2013 fiscal year on 31 March 2014.
As part of the deal, Sony’s PC business will be transferred to a new company that will be opened and operate by JIP. Based in Nagano Technology Site which is the current home of Sony’s PC business operation, the new company is expected to absorb around 250 to 300 current Sony employees that are involved in Sony’s PC business. 5-perecent out of the new company’s capital will also come from Sony’s pocket.
With that, all the product planning, design, and development under Sony’s PC division will cease very soon. In fact, Sony will also cease PC manufacturing and sales after rolling out its Spring 2014 line-up. That being said, Sony has guaranteed that customers will continue to receive after-sales service for their VAIO products even though the company no longer in the PC market.
Once everything in place, the new owner of Sony VAIO PC division will concentrate the brand’s effort in Japanese market first. That means, the availability of VAIO devices under the new ownership will be initially limited to Japan only although the company has stated that it will continue to evaluate other markets outside the country.
As for its TV business, Sony believes that the split will help drive the division to be more competitive and efficient. The company is also planning to put more focus on high-end TV models starting from next fiscal year while at the same time, Sony also plans to launch new models in emerging market that are specially developed to cater local needs.
All in all, both moves will result in a reduction of around 5,000 staff by the end of Sony’s 2014 fiscal year. Out of this number, 1500 people will be from Japan while 3500 people will involved staff from the company’s operations throughout the world.
Rumours coming out of Bloomberg and Reuters are saying that Sony is looking to dispose of their loss making PC division. The announcement could be made as soon as tomorrow, and could possibly include the VAIO brand. The plan will apparently involve selling the division to investment fund Japan Investment Partners.
There are also talks of a potential deal for a joint venture with Lenovo. This venture would see Lenovo taking over the PC division. Engadget reached out to Sony for a comment on the matter and was directed to a statement made a couple of days ago,
“A press report on February 1, 2014 stated that Sony Corporation (“Sony”) is discussing with Lenovo Group (“Lenovo”) the possible establishment of a joint venture for the PC business. As Sony has announced previously, Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but the press report on a possible PC business alliance between Sony and Lenovo is inaccurate”.
PC sales have been on a decline with sales dropping as much as 10 percent in 2013. Sony has been very successful with its mobile and video game divisions, which makes their PC division the least profitable venture for the company. While it has not commented on the possibility of a sale, the company has said it plans to revise the product and manufacturing strategy for the Vaio unit as smartphones and tablets chip away at it PC business.
ARM is a well-known name in smartphones and tablet world due to the fact that plenty of processors for both type of devices are built using ARM architecture. As the architecture enables these processors to have lower power consumption, several companies have showed interests on the architecture with the intention of adopting it for servers and data centre usage.
One of them is AMD who has officially announced its 64-bit ARM-based processors for servers called the Opteron A1100. Previously codenamed as “Seattle”, the 28-nm AMD Opteron A1100 processor comes with either four or eight Cortex-A57 cores that run at a speed of at least 2GHz and supports up to 128 GB of RAM.
Here is list of other features that AMD has packed into the ARM-based Opteron A1100 processor:
- Up to 4 MB of shared L2 and 8 MB of shared L3 cache
- Configurable dual DDR3 or DDR4 memory channels with ECC at up to 1866 MT/second
- Up to 4 SODIMM, UDIMM or RDIMMs
- 8 lanes of PCI-Express Gen 3 I/O
- 8 x Serial ATA 3 ports
- 2 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports
- ARM TrustZone technology for enhanced security
- Crypto and data compression co-processors
At the same time, AMD has also announced a development kit in a MicroATX form factor that consisted of the new AMD Opteron A1100 processor itself together with a reference board and Fedora-based Linux environment as well as a set of tools and applications. The processor will begin sampling this March while servers and OEM announcements are expected to happen in Q4 2014.
Although AMD will not be ditching its x86 processors any time soon, the company is pretty confident of the bright future that ARM-based server processors might have. Plus, it is also confident that it will be a leader in the segment. Well, being one of the early adopters might able to help the company to achieve that.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has announced that he will be halving his pay. This comes as the console maker suffered another loss making year, with a total operating loss of 35 billion Yen in 2013. Other Nintendo executives will also take a pay cut of between 20 and 30 percent.
The reduced salary won’t last forever, as Nintendo has also announced that it is only in effect for five months. A move that is puzzling as this was mentioned to be a cost cutting measure. While it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine the company making a profit again in the second half of 2014, previous earnings have fallen well below what they were projected to be.
Nintendo is facing stiff competition from both Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. A lack of triple A titles like Battlefield 4 and Assassin’s Creed have hampered sales. Despite this, the Nintendo 3DS handheld console is still doing well against the PlayStation Vita. In recognition of this, Nintendo has also announced that it will be bringing DS games to the WiiU through a virtual console.
Another shock move by the Japanese manufacturer is that they may be looking to license out their existing character rights to other companies. This is apparently to increase exposure for their games and hardware. It’s difficult to see this actually happening, but nobody will argue if BioWare gets to remake the Metroid series.
19 months after acquiring it, Google today has announced that it has agreed to sell off Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for USD 2.91 billion (RM 9.71 billion). While the amount looks pretty big, it is far cry from the amount that Google originally paid to acquire it in 2012 at USD 12.5 billion (RM 41.73 billion).
Even though Google has agreed to offload Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, the company will still retain majority of Motorola’s patent portfolio. Nevertheless, Lenovo will still receive license to those patents in addition to 2,000 patent assets together with Motorola Mobility’s brand and trademark portfolio. Not to forget, Motorola Mobility’s future product roadmap as well.
This move came just one week after Lenovo agreed to acquire IBM’s x86 server business for an almost similar amount of money at USD 2.3 billion (RM 7.70 billion). Since Lenovo’s acquisition over Motorola Mobility will only be done once it goes through the usual procedures and approved by authorities, business is as usual at the time being for all related parties.
All in all, it is going to be interesting to see if Lenovo is able to replicate its success with IBM’s Think brand for Motorola Mobility.