Indonesian capital threatens to ban Uber car app

TARGETED: The Indonesian capital is threatening to shut down controversial smartphone car-hailing service Uber due to licensing issues a week after it officially launched in the city, an official said. — AFP

TARGETED: The Indonesian capital is threatening to shut down controversial smartphone car-hailing service Uber due to licensing issues a week after it officially launched in the city, an official said. — AFP

JAKARTA: The Indonesian capital is threatening to shut down controversial smartphone car-hailing service Uber due to licensing issues a week after it officially launched in the city, an official said Wednesday.

Jakarta authorities are just the latest to target Uber, an app that has sparked protests from taxi drivers in several countries as it allows customers to hail private rides via their phones.

“In our opinion, the service Uber provides is just like a taxi service, but it doesn’t have a licence to operate as one in this city,” Jakarta transport agency chief Muhammad Akbar told AFP.

“Registered taxis in Jakarta have to meet certain standards, including some to do with safety, so if Uber wants to operate here, it must be held to the same standards — otherwise it’s not fair.”

Authorities are concerned that Uber’s service will undercut the current market for taxis and that the company may evade tax if not registered legally, Akbar said.

The agency is working with the ministry for IT and communications to have the app shut down, Akbar said, adding that it had invited Uber to a meeting a month ago but never received a response.

Uber could not be immediately contacted for comment, but has fended off similar criticism in the past by explaining its service merely links customers looking for a ride with those who have a car, and does not own or operate its own fleet.

Uber began by linking users of its apps to luxury car operators, but then decided to offer a broader selection of cars and include a ridesharing option.

In Jakarta, it currently only links to services offering paid-for trips in upmarket cars.

The California-based app, operating in 170 cities spread across dozens of countries, is the most prominent of several that are shaking up the traditional taxi landscape in cities around the world.

Uber has already faced significant resistance from regulators in several countries, who accuse it of unfair competition and lack of standards.

Jakarta is flooded with some 20 million people on any given work day and taxis are a common mode of transport in the congested city, which is poorly covered by public transport. — AFP

沙首家电子广告平台 ~ JuiceSky闯出蓝海

Sin Chew Daily News - 22 May 2014周末到了,不懂要去哪里消遣?肚子饿了,不懂哪里找好吃的?要添新衣了,不懂哪家服饰店有折扣?很简单,只要下载全沙巴第一的电子商业广告平 台JuiceSky,所有的问题都可迎刃而解.上架逾两年、全年浏览量达400万的JuiceSky,成了本地各领域商家宣传的新宠,让商家与消费者的关 系更为密切.

萤火虫生长期作比喻

JuiceSky创办人之一的刘驟强指出,JuiceSky会以萤火虫为电子商业广告平台的吉祥物,因萤火虫孵化效应的4个生长阶段恰恰反映了网络宣传的生态系统.

刘 骤强表示,萤火虫在产卵时,正如一间正要启动的公司,需要完整的规划,而JuiceSky可以从旁协助,让客户了解网络宣传方式.萤火虫的卵经孵化后,将 进入幼虫阶段,刚成立的公司犹如幼虫般脆弱,广告也鲜少人知,JuiceSky就会在这时候为客户在当地的媒体进行宣传.

“幼虫经过几次的蜕皮后会变成蛹,萤火虫虽然看起来是完全静止的,但内部则渐渐进行着从幼虫的形态变化到成虫的过程,在这期间也就是让客户参与各界的活动及组合,提高客户对外的曝光率,酝酿着下一次破蛹而出的最佳时机.”

“当萤火虫成功蜕变为成虫时,也就意味着客户的广告已经达到最有效率及速成的宣传方式,好比四处飞翔的萤火虫,带着那微弱的光芒照耀着世界的每一个角落.”

颠覆传统经商手法

JuiceSky 突破了传统的商业手法,以更生动及吸引人的方式,全年无休地为用户提供更快、更准确的资讯.该公司的制作团队巧妙地利用现今时代的手机全球定位系统功能, 即使客户的地理位置不是很理想,用户也能透过卫星导航的协助找上门.此外,一些乏人问津的广告也不必担心会被该平台冷落,因这些广告可藉着优化的谷歌搜索 引擎(Google Search Engine Optimization)被寻见.

刘骤强表示,JuiceSky里人气最旺的饮食类 广告,平均每年每个广告可达25万的浏览人次.就算是最不热门的广告,也可达每年逾8千的点击率,对客户来说已算是一个不错的反映.客户可透过 JuiceSky管理平台得知用户统计,即时得到消费者统计汇报,为客户带来更大的便利.

此外,透过该平台举办的JuiceSky People’s Awards最佳人气奖活动、微电影竞赛和赢取旅游套票等活动,不仅加强客户与用户之间的互动,更成功吸引和接触到更广大的用户群.

刘骤强表示,JuiceSky每年都会将所赚得的一部分回馈社会,受惠的团体为沙巴亚庇博爱辅导中心.

他 表示,JuiceSky这个商标的成立也是很有趣的,因它本是JuiceAPac(Join Us In Company Expansion-Asia Pacific)的缩写,然而现在该公司涉及的是云端上的商业平台,因此把Juice带上了云端(Sky),成立了今天JuiceSky.

Google overtakes Apple as world’s top brand: survey

OVERTAKEN: US search engine Google has overtaken rival technology titan Apple as the world's top brand in terms of value, global market research agency Millward Brown said Wednesday. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2014

OVERTAKEN: US search engine Google has overtaken rival technology titan Apple as the world’s top brand in terms of value, global market research agency Millward Brown said Wednesday. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2014

PARIS: US search engine Google has overtaken rival technology titan Apple as the world’s top brand in terms of value, global market research agency Millward Brown said Wednesday.

Google’s brand value shot up 40% in a year to US$158.84bil (RM511.38bil), Millward Brown said in its 2014 100 Top BrandZ report.

“Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships,” said Benoit Tranzer, the head of Millward Brown France.

Google Glass is Internet-linked eyewear for which the firm has joined hands with Luxottica, a frame giant behind Ray-Ban and other high-end brands, to sell the new product in the United States.

 “All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google,” Tranzer said.

Apple, which dominated the top position for three straight years, saw its brand value fall by 20% to US$147.88bil (RM476.09bil).

The top 10 of the 100 slots were dominated by US firms. IBM was in third place at US$107.54bil (RM346.22bil), a fall of 4%, followed by Microsoft at US$90.19bil (RM290.36bil) — a 29% rise.

Fast food chain McDonald’s ranked next at US$85.71bil (RM275.94bil), followed by Coca Cola at US$80.68bil (RM260.03bil), it said.

China led in the insurance sector with Ping An valued at US$12.4bil (RM39.96bil) and China Life at US$12bil (RM38.67bil).

French luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton ranked 30th overall but was the top luxury brand with a value of more than US$25bil (RM80.57bil).

Brand value is calculated on the basis of the firms’ financial performance and their standing among consumers. — ©AFP/Relaxnews 2014

China bans use of Microsoft’s Windows 8 on gov’t computers

LATEST SETBACK: China has banned government use of Windows 8, Microsoft Corp's latest operating system, a blow to a US technology company that has long struggled with sales in the country. — Reuters

LATEST SETBACK: China has banned government use of Windows 8, Microsoft Corp’s latest operating system, a blow to a US technology company that has long struggled with sales in the country. — Reuters

BEIJING: China has banned government use of Windows 8, Microsoft Corp’s latest operating system, a blow to a US technology company that has long struggled with sales in the country.

The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban on installing Windows 8 on Chinese government computers as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products, posted on its website last week.

The official Xinhua news agency said the ban was to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system, which was widely used in China.

“We were surprised to learn about the reference to Windows 8 in this notice,” the company said in a statement. “Microsoft has been working proactively with the Central Government Procurement Center and other government agencies through the evaluation process to ensure that our products and services meet all government procurement requirements.”

 “We have been and will continue to provide Windows 7 to government customers. At the same time we are working on the Window 8 evaluation with relevant government agencies,” Microsoft said.

Neither the government nor Xinhua elaborated on how the ban supported the use of energy-saving products or how it ensured security.

China has long been a troublesome market for Microsoft. Former CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly told employees in 2011 that, because of piracy, Microsoft earned less revenue in China than in the Netherlands even though computer sales matched those of the United States.

Last month, Microsoft ended support for the 13-year-old Windows XP to encourage the adoption of newer, more secure versions of Windows. This has potentially left XP users vulnerable to viruses and hacking.

“China’s decision to ban Windows 8 from public procurement hampers Microsoft’s push of the OS to replace XP, which makes up 50% of China’s desktop market,” said data firm Canalys. — Reuters

eBay Accounts Hacked, Users Encouraged To Change Passwords Right NOW!

ebay Hacked!Internet auction site eBay has left users of its services, including PayPal, with reason to be concerned after posting a message up on the community page urging users to change their passwords. Since the original message popped up a short while ago, the company has stepped out and clarified the situation, noting that a hacker may have “compromised a database containing encrypted passwords,” although was also keen to stipulate that only “non-financial data” had been affected.

It’s always concerning when a major company with hundreds of millions of accounts – particularly one with links to finances – reveals that it may have been hacked, and the way eBay dealt with a potential breach today leaves much to be desired. Instead of being clear from the onset, an empty message popped up on its community page insisting that users should change passwords, although the actual body of the post was non-existent.

Panic naturally ensued, with users worried that their PayPal accounts could have been cleaned out, but in actual fact, it does appear that the issue is relatively low-key. Nevertheless, there has been a breach, and so if you’re an eBay user, it’s definitely worth changing your password if only for peace of mind.

Thankfully, large-scale security issues seem to be getting fewer and farther between as companies look to beef up on security, but even with the robust measures in place, human-made software will always inherently be imperfect. But while eBay and its own PayPal service can probably sweep this one under the rug, let’s hope that any future outbreaks or security lapses are dealt with in a more efficient manner than we’ve seen today.

After all, having users panicking about their personal info and financial data is something that, you hope, a company like eBay would want to avoid at all costs, and even though we’re very much relieved that accounts haven’t been hacked en masse, the company will probably want to have a quiet word with its PR team.

So, to sum up, if you’re an eBay or PayPal user, go ahead and change your password as soon as you can. The likelihood of you being hacked seems mightily slim anyway, but just to be on the safe side, don’t make it easy for a chancing hacker.

Source: Redmond Pie

Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion

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In a play to dominate messaging on phones and the Web, Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion.

That’s a stunning sum for the five-year old company. But WhatsApp has been able to hold its weight against messaging heavyweights like Twitter (TWTR), Google(GOOGFortune 500) and Microsoft’s (MSFTFortune 500) Skype. WhatsApp has upwards of 450 million users, and it is adding an additional million users every day.

Referring to WhatsApp’s soaring growth, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call, “No one in the history of the world has done anything like that.”

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app for smartphones, according to OnDevice Research.

Buying WhatsApp will only bolster Facebook’s already strong position in the crowded messaging world. Messenger, Facebook’s a standalone messaging app for mobile devices, is second only to WhatsApp in its share of the smartphone market.

Related: 5 key moments that changed Facebook

Similar to traditional text messaging, WhatsApp allows people to connect via their cellphone numbers. But instead of racking up texting fees, WhatsApp sends the actual messages over mobile broadband. That makes WhatsApp particularly cost effective for communicating with people overseas.

That kind of mobile messaging services have become wildly popular, with twice as many messages sent over the mobile Internet than via traditional texts, according to Deloitte. But most of the messaging industry’s revenue is still driven by text messaging.

On the conference call, Facebook said it is not looking to drive revenue from WhatsApp in the near term, instead focusing on growth. Zuckerberg said he doesn’t anticipate trying to aggressively grow WhatsApp’s revenue until the service reaches “billions” of users.

WhatsApp currently charges a dollar a year after giving customers their first year of use for free. WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum said on the conference call that WhatsApp’s business model is already successful.

That indicates Facebook bought WhatsApp to add value to its existing messaging services, as well as for the long-term potential of the company.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 for similar reasons: As young social network users gravitated towards photo-sharing, Facebook wanted to scoop up what could have eventually become a big rival.

Like Instagram, WhatsApp will function as an autonomous unit within Facebook, with all the existing employees coming in as part of the deal.

Facebook (FBFortune 500) said it will pay WhatsApp $4 billion in cash and $12 billion in stock. WhatsApp’s founders and staff will be eligible for for another $3 billion in stock grants to be paid out if they remain employed by Facebook for four years. Koum will also join Facebook’s board of directors.

Source: CNNMoney