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Phil Muncaster

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Alibaba float could make Facebook's look like small change

Chinese tat bazaar e-commerce and cloud giant Alibaba Group has finally announced plans to IPO, but in something of a surprise it will take place in the US rather than Hong Kong. The firm, which runs China’s hugely popular Taobao and T-Mall e-commerce platforms, could be valued as high as $200 billion and may even raise more …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Mar 2014
india

Apple India to put mini-shops in suburbs to flog entry-level kit

Apple’s ramping up its presence in India with the launch of a range of small brick-and-mortar stores selling mainly entry-level iPhones and fondleslabs, according to a local report. The shops will be set up by disties Redington and Ingram Micro, as well as other partners, in the neighbourhoods of major and tier two cities, …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014
management regulation2

Japan preps new law to bolster government cyber defences

Japanese lawmakers are urgently preparing a new bill designed to allow the government’s information security agencies cut through the bureaucracy that is crippling their ability to deal with online threats. The proposed law would give the National Information Security Centre (NISC) and its Government Security Operation …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Mar 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Galaxy S5 launch parties to fizzle in Samsung's back yard

The launch of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5 could be derailed in its home market after the South Korean government slapped a business ban on the country’s three largest operators. The 45-day ban will prevent SK Telecom, KT Corporation and LG UPlus from signing up new customers, selling new phones or …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Mar 2014
Great Wall of China

Communist party boss blames Kunming knife attack on VPNs

The Communist Party’s chief official in western China’s Xinjiang region has blamed online videos and virtual private networks (VPNs) for the knife attack at Kunming station last week that left 29 dead and dozens injured. Speaking during a meeting at the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, Zhang Chunxian …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014
management regulation1

Google facing $5 BEEELLION antitrust fine in India

Google may be in the midst of securing a deal on its long-running search dispute with the European Union, but it’s still facing a possible $US5bn (£3bn) fine from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over allegations it has abused its market leading position in the internet search space. Local laws state that the CCI can …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014
Steve Jobs and John Sculley

John Sculley set to take on Apple in India with budget smartmobes

John Sculley, the former Apple CEO best known as the man who fired Steve Jobs, is making a move in the Indian smartphone market with a new venture which will sell Rs.12,000 ($US197) handsets to the masses. Inflexionpoint, the global “IT supply chain company” he founded, owns China-based distributor Dragon Technology, which will …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Mar 2014

China bans TXTing and Tweeting in Parliament

Delegates at China’s largely ceremonial parliament, the National People’s Congress, have been warned to keep their smartmobes firmly in their pockets during the annual ten-day snoozefest meeting. Such is the temptation to relieve the boredom at the Congress, which does little more than rubber-stamp decisions already made by the …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Mar 2014
Borked computer keyboard

Twelve million hit as Korea suffers ANOTHER massive data breach

The South Korean government was forced to launch an inquiry today after another massive data breach rocked the country, time the theft of account information belonging to 12 million customers of telco KT Corp. The Incheon Metropolitan Police said on Thursday it arrested two hackers and the CEO of a telemarketing firm last week …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Mar 2014
Traffic in Beijing during period of heavy pollution

China to blow away smog with DRONES

China is set to unleash a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles to clear the smog from its skies as part of Beijing’s newly declared “war on pollution”. The smog-busting drones were designed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China and will be tested later this month at airports and ports, according to a Chinese language Xinhua …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Mar 2014
Grannote fujitsu laptop notebook elderly old users

Delhi police forget passwords to corruption portal, ignore 600 crimes

The Delhi police failed to respond to over 600 complaints forwarded to it by India’s anti-corruption agency for eight years because they couldn’t access a designated online portal. The portal was launched in 2006 to ensure any complaints sent to the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) regarding a particular Delhi government …
Phil Muncaster, 06 Mar 2014
NASA 'Blue Marble' image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft

Japanese space boffins set to map the world in 3D

Japan is set to take a major lead in the development of global 3D mapping by stitching together three million satellite images to compile a digital map of the planet. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said it will use images acquired from the Daichi Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS). The satellite was …
Phil Muncaster, 06 Mar 2014

Asian messaging companies are closing in on WhatsApp

While the world picked its jaw from the floor after Facebook decided to fork out $US19 billion for WhatsApp, operators of other messaging services probably broke into huge grins. And the grinners were probably in Asia, where several local players have been quietly amassing loyal user bases that look like they could rival …
Phil Muncaster, 05 Mar 2014

China's mobile underground revealed in new report

China plays host to a vast and highly sophisticated “mobile underground” where cyber criminals can buy the tools to launch attacks for as little as 100 yuan (£9.70), according to a new report from security vendor Trend Micro. The Mobile Cybercriminal Underground Market in China is the firm's follow up to two separate reports on …
Phil Muncaster, 04 Mar 2014

Chinese government builds its own 'ChinaSo' search engine

The Chinese government is having another pop at the local search market after merging two previous failures into a new service, dubbed ChinaSo. The search engine has risen from the ashes of Jike, launched three years ago by Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, and Panguso, which was launched by Xinhua in the same year …
Phil Muncaster, 04 Mar 2014

Pakistan's YouTube ban may end after Google removes anti-Muslim vid

Google has been forced to take down a controversial anti-Islam YouTube video in a move which could pave the way for the site to finally be unblocked in Pakistan. A US appeals court ordered the web giant to remove the “Innocence of Muslims” film which caused widespread rioting and scores of deaths and injuries across the Muslim …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Mar 2014
Japan

Japanese boffins build 'earring PC' for hands-free computing

Japanese boffins have unveiled a prototype of a tiny 17 gram PC which can be worn like an earring and operated by facial expression. The awkwardly named “Earclip-type Wearable PC” is being developed at Hiroshima City University, according to AFP. Crammed onto the device are a chip,storage, GPS, compass, barometer, speaker, …
Phil Muncaster, 03 Mar 2014
DNA

Google sticks its servers behind genomics alliance

Google is throwing its considerable weight, and cloud servers, behind a global genomics alliance with the aim of advancing medical research for future generations. The Chocolate Factory announced today that it is joining the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, which it describes as an “international effort to develop …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Feb 2014
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Facebook cans Windows and Firefox Messenger apps

Facebook took another step away from the desktop on Thursday with the announcement that it’s canning its Messenger app for Windows and Firefox from next week. The social network said support will end on March 3, in the following brief message sent to users: We're sorry, but we can no longer support Facebook Messenger for …
Phil Muncaster, 28 Feb 2014
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Lenovo banks on $1 BEELLION Moto turnaround in SIX quarters

Lenovo boss Yang Yuanqing has boasted that he can wipe Motorola Mobility’s $1bn-a-year (£600m) losses in just six quarters once his firm takes the helm at the handset maker. Yang told Bloomberg on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress this week that he could make the turnaround without the need to cut any jobs. “Don’t be …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
Fujitsu F-07C Windows 7 phone

Fujitsu says SAYONARA to smartphone chip JV

Fujitsu has decided to end its aspirations to be a smartphone semiconductor player after dissolving a joint venture with NEC and NTT just 18 months after its launch. Access Network Technology Limited was established by Fujitsu in August 2012, with the firm taking a majority 52.8 per cent stake. Its Fujitsu Semiconductor …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014

Toshiba floats enterprise cloud storage-as-a-service

Toshiba has entered the cloud storage game with a new enterprise-grade service designed to deliver SAN and NAS capabilities to cloud provider customers. The Toshiba Cloud Storage Array Service is being rolled out from March 1 with a focus on Quality of Service, even for huge data volumes. It’s based on the Virtual Private …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014
Suitcase bulging with cash

Samsung chairman wins £500m legal fight with brother

A legal battle that threatened Samsung's stability has ended after company chairman Lee Kun-hee’s brother decided not appeal a court decision against him. Older sibling Lee Maeng-hee ended the two year legal dispute over their inheritance by accepting a Seoul appeal court’s decision to reject his demand for a 940 billion won (US …
Phil Muncaster, 27 Feb 2014

Apple throws sueball at China's patent office over Siri clone

Apple has decided to take on the might of the Chinese government over an on-going Siri patent dispute by throwing a sueball at the State Intellectual Property Office and a Shanghai-based technology firm. Cupertino decided on the lawsuit after it failed to declare Zhizhen Network Technology’s patent for Siri-like voice assistant …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Feb 2014

Taiwan Mobile unveils Granny-tracker smart bracelet

State-of-the-art smartwatches and wearables are garnering many of the headlines at the Mobile World Congress this week, but in Taiwan a local operator has a different idea – a smart bracelet designed specifically for the elderly. The wearable device is fitted with NFC technology so that the user can swipe it over an NFC-enabled …
Phil Muncaster, 26 Feb 2014

China's web giants unite to defuse Windows XP bombshell

A gaggle of Chinese web firms have come together with a plan to protect Windows XP users in the Middle Kingdom for at least the next two or three years, according to local reports. The unusual step will see messaging giant Tencent, search engine Sogou, software company Kingsoft and several others offer technical support for XP …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Feb 2014
hand with thumb up

LinkedIn censors self to launch in China

Business social network LinkedIn has trumped Facebook and Twitter by launching a localised site for China, although the US firm admitted it would be subject to government censorship requirements. The English language version has been used by professionals in China for over a decade and has over four million users, but the firm …
Phil Muncaster, 25 Feb 2014
flag.South Korea

South Korea green lights Stuxnet-like code weapons to nark NORKS

The South Korean government has approved plans to develop a Stuxnet-like virus to disrupt Pyongyang’s missile and atomic capabilities, according to local reports. The plans are part of a new defence ministry strategy designed to enhance Seoul’s offensive capabilities, in a bid to counter a North Korea which has been increasingly …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Feb 2014

Robot army to police football World Cup

Hooligans planning to disrupt the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer will have to arm themselves against an unusual foe, after the South American country announced plans to police venues with military-grade robots. The Brazilian government has signed a $7.2 million deal to buy 30 so-called PackBots from Massachusetts-based biz …
Phil Muncaster, 21 Feb 2014

Korean credit card companies hit with 90-day, $100m sales ban

Three South Korean credit card firms which are thought to have exposed the personal data of 20 million customers have been forced to suspend all new business for three months in a blow which could cost them nearly $100 million. Korean regulator the Financial Services Commission (FSC) said the firms were not allowed to sign up …
Phil Muncaster, 20 Feb 2014
creative commons - must credit clarence: *www.sxc.hu/profile/clarence

Conspiracy theories rage as 100 website defacements hit Singapore

Singapore is on high alert after over 100 local web sites were defaced, including several run by the opposition Reform Party. A total of 103 sites were hit in an attack on Monday launched from an Indonesian IP address, according to Zone-H, an archive of defaced web sites (h/t TechInAsia). The majority are now either offline or …
Phil Muncaster, 20 Feb 2014
india

India launches its very own VIKASPEDIA

The Indian government has launched Vikaspedia, a multi-lingual online portal designed to push important information out to the masses. Despite its name suggesting this is an Indian version of Wikipedia, the project is at present more of an e-government/open data push intended to share knowledge in five key areas: agriculture, …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Feb 2014
Smartphone user on Tube

Opera launches public beta of data-saving app

Norwegian browser-maker Opera Software has announced a limited public beta of Opera Max – a new app designed to let users get more out of limited data plans. Opera has offered "off-road mode" in its browser for a while now, with the feature promising to reduce the amount of data consumed by the application. Last year turned that …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Feb 2014
Fujitsu wearable glove smart device

Fujitsu testing NFC smart glove and HUD combo

Fujitsu has leapt aboard the wearable technology bandwagon with an NFC-enabled smart glove fitted with gesture recognition, which could boost the productivity of field workers without getting their mobiles dirty. The unnamed glove device is designed to work best with a head-mounted display (HMD). As such, a user could tap an …
Phil Muncaster, 19 Feb 2014

Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests

Indian IT services giant Tata Consulting Services (TCS) has said as many as half of its visa applications to the US are now being rejected as Washington continues to clamp down on immigration ahead of a new bill passing through Congress. TCS global head of human resources, Ajoyendra Mukherjee, told news site Livemint that the 50 …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Feb 2014
Great Wall of China

Dropbox unblocked in China ... for now

Sync 'n’ share service Dropbox is available again in China almost four years after the Great Firewall decided to block it, but it may struggle to pull in punters given the large number of local rivals that have launched in the meantime. Dropbox was banned by the authorities in May 2010 in a typically Chinese way; without warning …
Phil Muncaster, 18 Feb 2014

Foxconn to staff: ‘Put down the drill and launch a start-up!’

Foxconn boss Terry Gou wants to let a hundred flowers blossom at the contract manufacturing giant, with new plans to support up to five spin-off companies every year in a bid to strengthen the firm by supporting entrepreneurship. Chairman Gou, who has seen the company he founded 40 years ago grow into a multi-billion dollar …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Feb 2014
K-Glass

Korean boffins launch K-Glass for hands-free Google Glass-ery

Boffins at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are predicting the end of the smartphone era after launching their answer to Google Glass – a head mounted display (HMD) dubbed K-Glass. The hands-free wearable features a 65nm augmented reality chip which KAIST claims is 76 per cent more energy efficient …
Phil Muncaster, 17 Feb 2014
Photo of Orange's Frederic Dufal showing off the Tizen browser's web standards compliance

Tizen teasing continues as new members join but none pledge devices

Tizen, the mobile operating system driven by the Linux Foundation, has added 15 new members including Chinese smartphone maker ZTE and Japanese operator Softbank Mobile. Other major names now on board include Chinese search giant Baidu and US operator Sprint, bought last year by Softbank. The remainder of the 15 comprise mainly …
Phil Muncaster, 14 Feb 2014

China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux

China’s homegrown answer to Windows has gone the way of the dodo after failing to make an impact on the domestic market for operating systems. Red Flag Linux has terminated all staff contracts and gone into liquidation, according to a notice pinned to the door of its deserted headquarters in Beijing, spotted by TechInAsia. The …
Phil Muncaster, 14 Feb 2014

China's smartphone market slows down

The juggernaut that is the Chinese smartphone market slipped a gear for the first time in 27 months in 2013's fourth quarter, declining 4.3 per cent from the previous three months, according to IDC. The bean counter’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed that 90.8 million units were shipped in the last quarter in …
Phil Muncaster, 14 Feb 2014

China's censors censor press censorship report

China’s "Ministry of Truth" has been busy again today, ordering websites inside the Great Firewall to delete all mention of its lowly position, fifth bottom, on the latest Press Freedom Index report from Reporters Without Borders. The directive from the State Council Information Office on Tuesday, obtained by China Digital Times …
Phil Muncaster, 13 Feb 2014
Grumpy cat

'Demon Killer' who tied SD card to cat pleads not guilty

An ex-IT bod accused of masquerading as hacker "Demon Killer" to infiltrate PCs and send out a string of murderous threats in 2012 has protested his innocence at the opening of his trial in Tokyo District Court. Yusuke Katayama, who was an employee at an unnamed technology company, was finally nabbed in February 2013 after …
Phil Muncaster, 13 Feb 2014
Intel Edison

Intel Labs 'geeks' flash Edison kit to El Reg: We do it for the BIRDS

Intel’s recent Edison launch was much more than a tilt at the burgeoning wearables space – Chipzilla has been working on designs for everything from a smart birdfeeder to a paper notebook on which the user can compose emails, according to a chief boffin. Dr Randolph Wang is chief scientist at Intel Labs China, where he had up to …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Feb 2014
Doctor Who: The Robots of Death

Google, Foxconn team to build ROBOT ARMY

Contract manufacturer and long time Apple-assembler-extraordinaire Foxconn is now helping Google achieve its ambitious plans in the robotics space, according to the Wall Street Journal. The two firms have apparently been working on something since last year. People familiar with the matter told the paper that Google’s new robot …
Phil Muncaster, 12 Feb 2014

Chinese mobe-makers in pincer movement to corner Qualcomm

China’s mobile phone industry has turned up the heat on Qualcomm after submitting a damning report to government regulators in an on-going antitrust investigation into the US chip giant. China’s Communications Industry Association, consulted 20 out of its 30 key member companies before submitting its findings to the National …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Feb 2014
Photo of Kim Jong-un using an archaic computer

North Korea to switch on the interwebs

North Korea has agreed to allow internet access within its borders, or at least within the bounds of an industrial park run jointly with firms from the South. Pyongyang officials have agreed to open a business centre in the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the first half of the year, which will initially house 20 internet-connected …
Phil Muncaster, 11 Feb 2014

James Dyson plans ROBOT ARMY to take over the world

British vacuum cleaner wizard James Dyson is sticking £5m into a new project with Imperial College London (ICL) designed to produce robots that can help out with household chores. His eponymous company will stump up some of the cash for the lab over five years, with another £3m coming from elsewhere. Some 15 scientists, …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Feb 2014

Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

The Vietnamese developer of hugely popular smartphone game Flappy Bird hit the self-destruct button on the title over the weekend after complaining that it had ruined his life. In a message that has now been retweeted over 135,000 times, Hanoi-based Dong Nguyen wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday: “I am sorry 'Flappy Bird' users …
Phil Muncaster, 10 Feb 2014

Indian internet tunnelers trump Chinese web deniers

Asia accounts for four of the world’s top five VPN-using countries, although Indian netizens are more likely to hide their location than those in China, according to new research. Out of 28 per cent of global users who tunnel through the internet, only one fifth do so because they don’t want to be spotted by government snoopers …
Phil Muncaster, 07 Feb 2014