99.co acquires UrbanIndo, an Indonesian property portal with 1.2M listings

Kevin McSpadden, writing for E27;

99.co, a Singapore-based real estate portal, announced today it has acquired UrbanIndo.com, an Indonesian property website with 1.2 million listings. The financial details of the deal were undisclosed.

The thing with these real estate portal or property listings, its more of a recognition brand thing. One property listing website may be very popular in one particular country but to another it’s unknown. That is why we see a lot of acquisition in this space.

One good example is Sulit.com.ph, since sulit is very popular in the Philippines, rather than competing directly with Sulit, Nasper just acquired Sulit and AyosDito.Ph to get to top spot. If they did decide to compete directly with Sulit and other local classified listings, I’m not sure if OLX be able to dominate the market like how they dominate now and probably will just be number 2 or 3 to Sulit.Ph and AyosDito.Ph.

Regulators In The Philippines Continue To Tighten The Screws On Esports

Ian Walker, writing for Compete.Kotaku;

Competitive gaming in the Philippines was dealt another serious blow after the recent signing of a resolution by the country’s Games and Amusement Board (GAB). In addition to mandatory drug testing for THC and methamphetamines, the resolution will require esports events to ensure all participants are officially licensed by the state as well as share profits with the GAB itself.

Despite being accepted last October, the details of Resolution No. 2017-21 were only just made public on January 10. Its stipulation that any competitive gaming event with a prize of over ₱10,000 PHP (or just under $200 USD) follow the GAB’s guidelines has organizers in the area worried about the effects it may have on tournaments in the Philippines, especially within the fighting game community.

The Philippines’ eSports industry is still in its infancy, this will surely slow it down if not kill eSports in the country.

It’s a shame since we have a lot of great players in the country and a potential to be a big eSports player in the region.

TV5 closing down news website InterAksyon.com

Melvin G. Calimag, reporting for Newsbytes;

After a brief seven-year run, local news website InterAksyon.com will formally cease its operations this year, Newsbytes.PH has learned.

And;

InterAksyon.com is the latest news outfit to be in the news for various reasons. Earlier, the local office of CNN dismissed about 60 workers apparently due to “right-sizing.” Online news firm Rappler, on the other hand, has been in the headlines because of the cancellation of its registration by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It’s unclear why they need to close the whole website, since the partnership between ESPN and TV5 will only cover sports.

iMac Pro now available in the Philippine

The starting price for the base model of iMac Pro is ₱295,990.00. While a configured iMac Pro with the specs below will cost you a whopping ₱742,950.00, and it will ship in 3–5 weeks.

  • 2.3GHz 18-core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz
  • 128GB 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory
  • 4TB SSD
  • Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of HBM2 memory
  • Magic Mouse 2 + Magic Trackpad 2 – Space Gray
  • VESA Mount Adapter Kit for iMac Pro – Space Gray
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad – US English – Space Gray
  • Final Cut Pro X
  • Logic Pro X

15-inch Surface Book 2 coming to all Surface markets

Microsoft;

Today, we’re excited to bring the power of versatility of Surface Book 2 to more people around the world. Pre-orders for Surface Book 2 15” will begin today in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Later, beginning in February and continuing through March and April, Surface Book 2 13” and 15” will roll out to Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. Check with Microsoft Stores, local retail or your commercial reseller partners for details on availability in your market.

Surface Book 2 was first launched last November 2017. You can find Surface Book 2’s full specs here.

SEC revokes Rappler’s registration

Carmela Fonbuena, writing for Rappler;

In a blow to press freedom in the Philippines, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the registration of news organization Rappler allegedly for violating the Constitution and the Anti-Dummy Law.

The SEC said Rappler violated constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities because of funds coming from Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar.

So it took SEC almost 3 years to come-up with a decision. I’m sure Rappler is not the only media company who uses PDRs to receive foreign investments.

Rappler’s followers can’t help but react to the news and use the hashtag #DefendPressFreedom;

Anyway, all is not lost, since Rappler will still operate as it “exhaust legal remedies”.

Rappler, however, will continue to operate as it files the necessary motions for reconsideration with the courts. It will continue to defend and uphold the freedom of the press, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

KODAK and WENN Digital Partner to Launch Major Blockchain Initiative and Cryptocurrency

Business Wire;

Today Kodak and WENN Digital, in a licensing partnership, announced the launch of the KODAKOne image rights management platform and KODAKCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.

Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform. KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform can efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers.

Another legacy company jumping on the blockchain and cryptocurrency trend. I can understand the blockchain part, since the tech has a lot of potential outside cryptocurrency, but creating your own cryptocurrency, which they are calling kodakcoin, I’m not sure about that.

Ofo

Founded in 2014 and based in Beijing, China, ofo is the world’s first and largest station-free bike sharing platform. ofo is committed to providing the best short distance transportation solution, solving the “last mile” transportation problem by turning the last mile into a green, low-emission trip.

To date, ofo has connected more than 10 million bikes to over 200 million users in more than 20 countries: Australia, Austria, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US. The platform generates more than 32 million daily transactions and has provided global users in 250+ cities with over 5 billion efficient, convenient, green rides.

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing to launch bike-sharing brand

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Didi Chuxing, one of the largest ride-sharing companies in the world, today said it will launch a bike-sharing brand.

The company has already launched a bike-sharing feature within its app, which hosts its partner brands such as Ofo.

Didi is an investor in Ofo, which recently raised US$700 million in Series E funding round led by Alibaba.

The ride-hailing giant has also signed a partnership to host Bluegogo, another bike-sharing platform. As per some reports, Didi is also an investor in Bluegogo.

CES 2018: Nikon announces the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR Super Telephoto Zoom Lens

Nikon;

Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR, a super-telephoto zoom lens with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter and compatible with Nikon FX-format digital SLR cameras.

The AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR is a super-telephoto zoom lens that covers a broad range of focal lengths — from 180 mm to 400 mm — when used with an FX-format camera. In addition, the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR is the first NIKKOR lens for Nikon SLR cameras to be equipped with a teleconverter. The built-in 1.4x teleconverter enables extension of the maximum focal length to 560 mm.

Here are the primary features of the AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR;

  • Super-telephoto zoom lens with coverage of a broad range of focal lengths beginning at 180 mm and extending to 560 mm when the built-in 1.4x teleconverter is used
  • Built-in 1.4x teleconverter which can easily be activated/deactivated while looking through the viewfinder
  • Tripod collar ring that enables smooth switching between horizontal and vertical orientation
  • Zoom ring that is easily operated while holding onto the tripod collar
  • Adoption of a fluorite lens element and magnesium alloy has achieved a light weight of approximately 3,500 g/7 lb 11.4 oz
  • Dust- and drip-resistant structure that prevents dust and drops of water from entering the lens
  • Nikon’s exclusive highly durable fluorine coat that effectively repels dust, water droplets, grease, and dirt
  • The latest optical design that includes the use of one fluorite lens element and eight ED glass elements for extremely sharp and detailed rendering that is compatible with high-pixel-count digital cameras
  • The latest optical design and the use of Nano Crystal Coat enable clear images in which ghost and flare are effectively suppressed
  • High maximum reproduction ratios with close-up shooting at telephoto positions (0.25x when the built-in teleconverter is not used, 0.36x when activated)
  • The exclusive design of this lens with a built-in teleconverter ensures optimal optical and AF performance
  • The VR mechanism offers camera shake compensation equivalent to a 4.0-stop* increase in shutter speed in NORMAL mode; users can choose from NORMAL and SPORT modes
  • Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism that enables stable exposure control

The AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens will be available in March 2018 for a suggested retail price of $12,399.954.

Apple just release the iOS 11.2.2 update for Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre

Apple just release the iOS 11.2.2 update for Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre.

Here’s what Apple is saying about the security content of iOS 11.2.2.

Released January 8, 2018

Available for: iPhone 5s and later, iPad Air and later, and iPod touch 6th generation

Description: iOS 11.2.2 includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715).

We would like to acknowledge Jann Horn of Google Project Zero; and Paul Kocher in collaboration with Daniel Genkin of University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland, Daniel Gruss of Graz University of Technology, Werner Haas of Cyberus Technology, Mike Hamburg of Rambus (Cryptography Research Division), Moritz Lipp of Graz University of Technology, Stefan Mangard of Graz University of Technology, Thomas Prescher of Cyberus Technology, Michael Schwarz of Graz University of Technology, and Yuval Yarom of University of Adelaide and Data61 for their assistance.

Canva is now a Unicorn

Steven Millward, writing for Tech in Asia;

Nearly five years after Melanie Perkins, a former graphic design software tutor, first launched Canva as a Photoshop-for-people-terrified-of-Photoshop online tool, the startup is worth US$1 billion dollars following its latest round of funding.

She has just pocketed US$40 million from investors including Sequoia Capital to further grow Canva, which has users designing graphics with its intuitive tools in 190 countries and 100 languages. Its 10 million users make 1 million new designs each day.

Globe and Smart to suspend mobile services during the Black Nazarene Procession

Here’s the official announcement from Smart and Globe.

@LiveSmart

@talk2GLOBE

Cities that will be affected by the mobile service suspension are;

  • Quiapo
  • Manila
  • Quezon City
  • Mandaluyong
  • Makati
  • and cities near the procession route

Spotify hit with $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit

Reuters Staff;

Music streaming company Spotify was sued by Wixen Music Publishing Inc last week for allegedly using thousands of songs, including those of Tom Petty, Neil Young and the Doors, without a license and compensation to the music publisher.

I don’t understand why a company like Spotify can let this slide, I mean their entire business rely solely on licenses and copyrights.

Uber Eats launching in the Philippines

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

Uber’s food delivery service Uber Eats is launching in the Philippines, according to the company’s online classifieds.

This will not be the first time a company/startup to take a shot at the food delivery service in the Philippines. Most of them are no longer operating, though Grab, Uber’s main competitor in Southeast Asia, also offer food delivery service called GrabFood.

Salarium

Salarium derives its name from the Latin word for “salary,” “soldier,” and “salt,”’ which all have the same root word: “Sala.” In ancient Rome, soldiers were paid their salaries in salt, which at that time was valued more than gold.

Salarium is a SaaS end-to-end payroll management company that provides enterprise solutions for small and large businesses.It is headquartered in Hong Kong and has office in Manila, Philippines.

Philippines’s payments solutions firm SALPay partners with Unionbank to develop blockchain wallet; raises US$7M via ICO

Sainul Abudheen K, writing for e27;

Payroll solutions company Salarium Payments (SALPay) has partnered with Unionbank of the Philippines to use the latter’s digital banking platform EON to develop its blockchain wallet SALPay 3.0.

SALPay will create a co-branded Visa card programme connected to the wallet.

And;

SALPay is currently in the process of raising US$20 million via initial coin offering (ICO). With just three days left, the company has already raised around US$7.1 million.

It’s just a matter of time before financial institutions uses blockchain technology with their respective platform. Since blockchain have been proven to be a secured and effective way of recording transactions.

A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance

Apple;

We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.
First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

A great response by Apple regarding the battery issue. They also admitted hat they’ve communicated the whole “slowing-down” your phone poorly.

As great as this message is, this issue will likely haunt Apple as a company and their business, and those ridiculous lawsuit will likely continue.

WeChat rolls out ‘instant games’ you don’t need to install

Steven Millward, writing for Tech in Asia;

Already China’s most-used app, WeChat wants to make itself even more ubiquitous by allowing people to find and play games inside the messaging app.

WeChat, which has nearly a billion users, today rolled out a handful of what it calls “mini games.” They’re specially created games that work only within WeChat and don’t require downloading or installing.

SoftBank acquires a 20 percent stake in Uber

Sean O’Kane, writing for the Verge;

Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group has bought a 20 percent stake in Uber, completing a months-long process, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move drops Uber’s value by about 30 percent from around $70 billion to $48 billion — a reflection of the trouble that the ride-hailing company has experienced across 2017.

Softbank will soon own a piece of every tech company in silicon valley. 🙂