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.

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

Apple Passes Coca-Cola as Most Valuable Brand

Best Global Brands 2013

Source: Interbrand

APPLE is the new most valuable brand in the world, according to a closely followed annual report.

adco-articleInlineThe report, to be released on Monday, is from Interbrand, a corporate identity and brand consulting company owned by the Omnicom Group that has been compiling what it calls the Best Global Brands report since 2000. The previous No. 1 brand, Coca-Cola, fell to No. 3.

Not only has Apple replaced Coca-Cola as first among the 100 most valuable brands based on criteria that include financial performance, this is the first time that the soft drink known for slogans like “It’s the real thing” has not been No. 1.

Apple’s arrival in the top spot was perhaps “a matter of time,” Jez Frampton, global chief executive at Interbrand, said in a recent interview. Apple was No. 2 last year, climbing from No. 8 in the 2011 report.

“What is it they say, ‘Long live the king’?” Mr. Frampton asked. “This year, the king is Apple.”

The 2013 report begins: “Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Interbrand has a new No. 1 — Apple.”

The report estimates the value of the Apple brand at $98.3 billion, up 28 percent from the 2012 report. The value of the Coca-Cola brand also rose, by 2 percent to $79.2 billion, but that was not sufficient to give Coca-Cola a 14th year as Interbrand’s most valuable brand.

Although “Coca-Cola is an efficient, outstanding brand marketer, no doubt about it,” Mr. Frampton said, Apple and other leading technology brands have become “very much the poster child of the marketing community.”

That is underscored by the brand in second place in the new report: Google, which rose from fourth place last year. In fact, of the top 10 Best Global Brands for 2013, five are in technology: Apple; Google; Microsoft, No. 5, unchanged from last year; Samsung, 8, compared with 9 last year; and Intel, 9, compared with 8 last year.

Samsung’s ascent followed the company’s adoption of a new brand strategy called the Brand Ideal, which includes “a greater focus on social purpose,” Sue Shim, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Samsung, said by e-mail. That reflected research indicating American consumers would switch brands to “one that was associated with improving people’s lives,” she added.

I.B.M. — No. 4 in 2013, down a notch from 2012 — is ranked as a business services brand. Otherwise, technology would account for six of the top 10.

“Brands like Apple and Google and Samsung are changing our behavior: how we buy, how we communicate with each other, even whether we speak with each other,” Mr. Frampton said. “They have literally changed the way we live our lives.”

Among other transformative technology brands that performed well in the new report was Facebook, which climbed to 52 from 69 last year, its first year on the list.

However, not all technology brands fared well. BlackBerry, which tumbled last year to 93 from 56 in 2011, has disappeared from the list. And Nokia, which dropped to 19 from 14 in 2011, finished this year in 57th place — “the biggest faller” among the 100, Mr. Frampton said.

Among nontechnology brands, a notable addition to the list was Chevrolet, at 89, the first General Motors brand to rank among the Best Global Brands.

“It feels good to hit the list for the first time,” Alan Batey, global head of Chevrolet at G.M., said in a telephone interview. “It’s a great first step, but we’ve got a long way to go. There are a lot of big brands in front of us.”

The milestone reflects how General Motors has been “making a conscious effort to globalize Chevrolet,” Mr. Batey said, selling the brand in 140 countries in ads that play up attributes like “value for money and designs that move hearts and minds.”

Commonwealth, the creative agency for Chevrolet, “played a key role” in helping the brand make the list, he added. Commonwealth is part of the McCann Worldgroup division of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

Last year, when Coca-Cola finished atop the Best Global Brands list for the 13th consecutive time, an executive at the Coca-Cola Company acknowledged the streak but noted that “nothing lasts forever.”

A year later, the executive, Joseph V. Tripodi, executive vice president and chief marketing and commercial leadership officer, had this reaction: “Of course, we would like to remain on top of the list forever. That said, we are honored to continue to be included among such an esteemed group of global brands, and we congratulate Apple and Google, both valued partners of ours.”

“We’ve seen the value of technology brands rise as they create new ways for people to stay connected virtually,” Mr. Tripodi said by e-mail. “We understand this, as the lasting power of our brand is built on the social moment of sharing a Coca-Cola with friends and family.”

“Creating these simple moments and delivering on our brand promise each and every day remains our focus,” he added, “as we continue to grow the value of brand Coca-Cola for decades to come.”

If it is consolation, Coca-Cola remains far ahead of Apple and Google in likes on Facebook fan pages. Coca-Cola has 73.2 million, compared with 9.8 million for Apple and 15.1 million for Google.

Source: The New York Times

Blackberry in $4.7bn takeover deal with Fairfax

On Friday, Blackberry announced 4,500 jobs cuts in a bid to stem huge financial losses.

Blackberry said in statement that Fairfax, its largest shareholder with about 10% of the stock, had offered $9 a share in cash to buy the company.

But Blackberry said it would continue to explore other options while negotiations with Fairfax continued.

On Friday, Blackberry announced 4,500 jobs cuts in a bid to stem losses.

The Canadian company said it expected to make a loss of up to $1bn after poor sales of its new handsets. In August, Blackberry said it was evaluating a possible sale.

On Monday, the company announced that it had “signed a letter of intent agreement under which a consortium to be led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered to acquire the company subject to due diligence”.

The statement continued: “Diligence is expected to be complete by November 4, 2013. The parties’ intention is to negotiate and execute a definitive transaction agreement by such date.”

However, Blackberry said it was not in exclusive talks with Fairfax and would continue to “actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter into negotiations” with other potential buyers.

Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, Fairfax’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for Blackberry, its customers, carriers and employees.

“We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to Blackberry customers around the world.”

‘End game’

Brian Colello, analyst at Morningstar, said that taking Blackberry private would allow the company to reorganise without being under the glare of Wall Street investors.

He said: “Based on the company’s disastrous earnings warning on Friday, I think a deal had to happen and the sooner the better. This is probably the only out for investors and the most likely outcome.

“The benefit to this sort of takeover is the ability for Blackberry and the consortium to reinvent the company without public scrutiny. It appears that the end game is going to be whether Blackberry can emerge as a niche supplier of highly-secured phones to enterprise customers and governments.”

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, also said that a deal with Fairfax would give Blackberry breathing space to assess its strategic options.

“Early indications suggest a retrenchment to the business market. Wider structural changes such as spinning off Blackberry Messenger and cutting back on hardware are also likely be carefully reviewed.”

Blackberry’s financial problems came to a head this year following disappointing sales of its new Z10 model smartphone.

Released in January – after many delays – the phone has failed to enthuse consumers.

Blackberry shares, which fell 17% on Friday after its jobs cut announcement, rose just over 1% on Monday.

Source: BBC News

Apple Has Officially Released iOS 7

iOS-7-logoApple has officially released iOS 7, the long awaited revamp of its mobile operating system.

“iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it’s like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users,” notes Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Apple engineered iOS 7 to take full advantage of the advanced 64-bit technologies in iPhone 5s, including the native 64-bit kernel, libraries and drivers. All the built-in apps have been re-engineered for 64-bit, and iOS 7 provides a seamless developer transition with Xcode support and the ability to run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps. iOS 7 also provides deep integration with the new Touch ID sensor and takes full advantage of the new iSight camera sensor to enable new features like automatic image stabilization, Burst Mode and Slo-Mo video with 120 fps. Combined with the new Camera App in iOS 7, iPhone 5s provides up to two-times faster auto-focus, faster photo capture and better dynamic range. iOS 7 is designed to complement the gorgeous exteriors of iPhone 5c, with matching wallpapers and translucency that carry the color through the entire experience.

Highlighted New Features:

  • Control Center, which gives you quick access to the controls you want in one convenient place with just one swipe from the bottom of your screen;
  • Notification Center, now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with a simple swipe, and the new Today feature gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events;
  • Improved Multitasking that gives users the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and iOS 7 pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background;
  • AirDrop, an entirely new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby;
  • New Camera app filters so you can add real-time photo effects, a square camera option, and you can quickly and easily switch between your four cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe;
  • A redesigned Photos app that introduces Moments, a new way to automatically organize your photos and videos based on time and location;
  • Full-screen browsing with Safari’s new redesigned user interface, the new smart search field helps simplify searching, and there’s a new view for your bookmarks and your Safari tabs;
  • Siri with new male and female voices,* Twitter search integration, Wikipedia integration and Bing web searching within the app; and
  • iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store, combined with features only iTunes can deliver.

Additional new iOS 7 features include a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock, that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased; FaceTime audio for high quality calls over a data network; and new ringtones, alarms, alerts and system sounds.

Source: iClarified