Yahoo buys fashion website Polyvore

 A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in Rolle, 30 km (19 miles) east of Geneva, in this file picture taken December 12, 2012. Reuters/Denis Balibouse


A Yahoo logo is pictured in front of a building in Rolle, 30 km (19 miles) east of Geneva, in this file picture taken December 12, 2012.
Reuters/Denis Balibouse

Yahoo Inc said on Friday it agreed to buy fashion start-up Polyvore to help drive traffic and strengthen its mobile and social offerings.

Yahoo, which did not disclose terms of the deal, said Polyvore will accelerate its ‘Mavens’ growth strategy.

The company has been focusing on four areas — mobile, video, native advertising and social — which it calls Mavens, to drive user engagement and ad sales as it battles intense competition from Google Inc and Facebook Inc.

Revenue from Mavens made up about one-third of the company’s total revenue in the quarter ended June 30.

The Mavens portfolio includes BrightRoll, mobile app network Flurry, mobile ad buying platform Yahoo Gemini and blogging site Tumblr.

Polyvore, the brainchild of 3 ex-Yahoo engineers, was started in 2007.

The Mountain View, California-based company allows users to mix-and-match articles of clothing and accessories and customize them into “sets”.

Polyvore’s co-founder and CEO Jess Lee was earlier part of Google Inc’s associate manager program, which Marissa Mayer headed before joining Yahoo as CEO.

Source: Reuters

 

Telekom Malaysia stated internet slowdown caused by network reconfiguration exercise

Telekom Malaysia

TM caused the Net to slow to a crawl yesterday and now we know the reason — in a statement it said that it had unintentionally updated traffic routing information which caused congestion and packet loss to its international connection during a network reconfiguration exercise.

This had affected the Internet traffic flow for some of its customers, as well as some international traffic routes.

The Internet slowdown started at about 4.30pm yesterday and was rectified in two hours, according to the telco.

Customers who have any enquiry or require further assistance can e-mail TM at help@tm.com.my or tweet to it via @TMConnects on Twitter.

Source: The Star Online

Jaring, the first Malaysian ISP, winds up

NET PIONEER: Mohamed was instrumental in introducing the Internet to Malaysians.

NET PIONEER: Mohamed was instrumental in introducing the Internet to Malaysians.

As Malaysia’s pioneering Internet provider goes into liquidation, its first CEO feels a sense of loss.

Anyone old enough to remember the obscenely loud dial-up modems may recall the country’s first Internet provider – Joint Advance Research Integrated Networking, better known as Jaring.

Jaring, which started off as the RangKom (Malaysia Computer Network) project in 1987, has ­finally closed its doors and is ­undergoing liquidation as of April 23.

The news didn’t sit well with many netizens, including the visionary Dr Mohamed Awang Lah who played an instrumental role in the company’s direction from 1992 until 2010.

 The former chief executive officer of Jaring was disappointed to see the end of the company that ­introduced the Internet to Malaysians.

While many of us today take the Internet for granted, it wasn’t an easy sell back then and he should know as he is fondly remembered as the father of the Malaysian Internet.

“It took a long time to convince people who were responsible for computer systems in various ­organisations to adopt the Internet for their networking,” he says.

“At that time, it was only ­universities that were interested. Companies didn’t get on board until the mid 90s. They were worried that once connected to the Internet, their expensive computers would be shared by others and the ­security of their information would be ­jeopardised.”

Jaring’s first dial-up service was considered pricey, as back then the Net was pretty basic and was ­mainly used for e-mail and discussion groups.

Dinesh Nair, director of ­developer experience and evangelism at Microsoft Malaysia, says: “In 1992, the cost of being on the Internet would have been at Telekom rates – 13sen per local call irrespective of time. A couple of years later, it was switched to 4sen per minute but Jaring fought back and got the 1511 special number at 1.5sen per minute.”

To continue building the ­country’s Internet infrastructure Jaring had to battle for funding from the Government – it was a huge challenge but it secured RM470mil in 1996 for a five-year period.

But, sadly, it wasn’t enough to keep it at the forefront as a new challenger had appeared a year earlier – TMNet, Telekom Malaysia’s subsidiary.

“Jaring wanted to continue ­building the infrastructure but it did not have the necessary Network Facility Spectrum licences until it was just too late to catch up,” says Mohamed.

By 2002, TMNet had become the largest ISP, boasting over 1.5 million subscribers with Jaring coming a distant second with a little over half a million users.

At the time, Mohamed told The Star that Jaring faced ­considerable challenge, primarily from ­“telecommunications network providers that charged high leased line rental rates, and who refused to allow access to their networks for certain Internet access services.”

In 2006 Jaring was taken over by the Finance Ministry and it was sold to Utusan Printcorp last year.

Mohamed, now the executive director of fibre-optics provider Neutral Transmission Malaysia Sdn Bhd, is modest about his ­achievements.

He says: “I believe that if I did not start it someone else would. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time with good support to make it happen.”

Source: The Star Online

China shuts 50 websites and social media accounts

A picture illustration shows a WeChat app icon in Beijing, December 5, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

A picture illustration shows a WeChat app icon in Beijing, December 5, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Petar Kujundzic

China has closed 50 websites and social media accounts for violations ranging from pornography to “publishing political news without a permit”, Beijing’s cyberspace watchdog said on Tuesday.

The government is pursuing a crackdown on unwanted material online. Critics say the increasing restrictions further limit free speech in the one-party Communist state.

Authorities shut 17 public pages on the mobile social messaging app Weixin, also known as WeChat in English, as well as 24 websites and 9 channels or columns on websites, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a statement on its website (www.cac.gov.cn).

The Weixin accounts were shut down during the past two months, the state-run news agency Xinhua said.

Some of the other offences listed by CAC include publishing fake information under the guise of the government or media, and publishing information related to gambling or fraud.

Jiang Jun, a spokesman for the cyberspace watchdog, said the CAC would regularly publish a “black list” of violators, according to the statement.

Last fall, Xinhua said the cyberspace watchdog had closed nearly 1.8 million accounts on social networking and instant messaging services since launching an anti-pornography campaign earlier in the year.

In 2014, authorities received almost 11 million reports of what was described as harmful information online, Xinhua reported separately on Tuesday.

In November, Chinese officials called for controls on the Internet to preserve stability.

With a population of 1.4 billion and 632 million people online, China is a market no one wants to miss out on. But it also has the world’s most sophisticated online censorship system, known outside the country as the Great Firewall.

It blocks many social media services, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Google, along with many rights groups sites and some foreign media agencies.

Source: Reuters

 

Apple granted patent for GoPro-like wearable cameras

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. Picture taken June 26.

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. Picture taken June 26.

Apple Inc has been granted a patent for a wearable camera that could possibly challenge action cameras made by GoPro Inc.

The patent, which cites specific weaknesses in GoPro’s cameras, includes details about a camera system that can be mounted on bike helmets or scuba masks, Apple said in an application filed with the U.S. Patents and Trademark Office.

Shares of GoPro, whose cameras can be mounted on helmets, surf boards, bikes and dog harnesses, fell as much as 15 percent.

Apple’s newly patented camera system can also be used under water to take pictures and record sounds, according to the application.

A potential entry by the iPhone maker into the action camera market could also put pressure on privately held Polaroid Corp, which makes the small and colorful Cube cameras.

JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna, however, said it was premature to assume that Apple would soon launch a wearable camera.

“It does not seem to me that launching an action camera accessory is the most logical product extension for Apple to pursue right now,” Gauna said.

Apple declined to comment, while GoPro was not immediately available for comment.

“I think that it will have about the same impact on GoPro as the iPhone has had on camera makers and that impact is that there are fewer cameras sold but the number isn’t zero,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.

Videos shot with GoPro’s cameras have created a buzz on the Internet, attracting millions of views on YouTube.

Olympic gold medal winning snow boarder Shaun White and 11-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater are among well-known athletes who have endorsed the cameras.

Intellectual property blog Patently Apple reported earlier in the day that Apple’s patent, which was filed by the company in 2012, incorporates some intellectual property from Eastman Kodak Co that the company acquired in November 2013.

With Tuesday’s decline, GoPro shares are now down 51 percent since their high of $98.47 last October. Still, the stock is up 73 percent since its IPO last June.

“We look at it as a buying opportunity at JMP, because what we saw out of the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas last week is that GoPro remains the undisputed leader in the action capture device category,” Gauna said.

GoPro shares were down 11.8 percent at $50.10, while Apple was up 1.37 percent at $110.76 in late-afternnon trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Source: Reuters

 

BlackBerry works with Boeing on phone that self-destructs

The Blackberry sign is pictured in Waterloo June 19, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch

The Blackberry sign is pictured in Waterloo June 19, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd is working with Boeing Co on Boeing’s high-security Android-based smartphone, the Canadian mobile technology company’s chief executive said on Friday.

The Boeing Black phone being developed by the Chicago-based aerospace and defense contractor, which is best known for jetliners and fighter planes, can self-destruct if it is tampered with.

The Boeing Black device encrypts calls and is aimed at government agencies and others that need to keep communications and data secure.

“We’re pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on a conference call held to discuss its quarterly results.

“That, by the way, is all they allow me to say.”

The BlackBerry Enterprise Service, or BES 12, will allow clients such as corporations and government agencies to manage and secure not just BlackBerry devices on internal networks, but those that run on rival operating systems such as Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

The Boeing phone uses dual SIM cards to enable it to access multiple cell networks and can be configured to connect with biometric sensors and satellites. Boeing has begun offering the phone to potential customers.