Razer is shutting down its digital game store on February 28, 2019

If you bought or pre-order a game via the Razer Game Store, their website have post a number of FAQs which could answer your lingering questions.

Here’s the full text of Razer’s announcement.

Dear Gamers,

We regret to announce that Razer Game Store (gamestore.razer.com) will cease operations on February 28, 2019 at 0100hrs Pacific Time as part of the company’s realignment plans.

It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital game deals to you. We have been extremely fortunate to have you as part of our awesome community. Thank you for the support and making all this possible.

We will be investing in other ways to deliver great content and introduce game promotions through Razer Gold, our virtual credits system (https://gold.razer.com/). Do visit us there and stay tuned for more news.

Yours truly,
The Razer Game Store team

Blockchain-powered remittance startup SendFriend raises $1.7M from Ripple, Barclays and others

The News Asia;

Remittance startup SendFriend has raised $1.7 million in total capital from MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.

The funding follows the company’s November 2018 announcement to integrate Ripple’s xRapid solution to enhance the efficiency of cross-border payments.

China ride-hailing giant Didi to lay off 15 percent staff this year: source

Not a good start of the Chinese ride-sharing company, specially as it tries to establish a market presence in South America.

Josh Horwitz, reporting for Reuters;

Didi Chuxing will lay off 15 percent of its staff or about 2,000 people this year, a source said, marking the ride-hailing firm’s first major cut back as it grapples with regulatory scrutiny and public backlash over the murder of two of its users.

Didi CEO Cheng Wei said at a meeting with management that the firm would focus on core mobility services and cut business units considered not critical to its main ride-hailing business in 2019, according to the source familiar with the matter.

Pinduoduo

Pinduoduo is an innovative and fast growing “new e-commerce” platform that provides buyers with value-for-money merchandise and fun and interactive shopping experiences. The Pinduoduo mobile platform offers a comprehensive selection of attractively priced merchandise, featuring a dynamic social shopping experience that leverages social networks as an effective and efficient tool for buyer acquisition and engagement.

Chinese e-commerce challenger Pinduoduo is raising over $1 billion more

Jon Russell, writing for TechCrunch;

The company announced plans to sell 37 million shares in a move that will raise more than $1 billion, going potentially as high as $1.25 billion if underwriters exercise their full share purchase option. The secondary event will also see a number of existing backers sell a portion of their stock, those sellers including Sequoia China, Lightspeed China and Banyan, according to a filing.

You can read the full text of PDD’s announcement here.

Google, JD.com, Tencent confirm leads in GOJEK Series F fundraising

Prisca Akhaya T., writing for e27;

Ride-hailing unicorn-turned-on-demand service and payment platform GOJEK has confirmed the first closing of the ongoing Series F fundraising, with Google, JD.com, and Tencent leading the round. Joining the three are Mitsubishi Corporation and Provident Capital, among other investors.

The company said that the proceeds will be used to enhance GOJEK’s market leadership in Indonesia across transport, food delivery, logistics, mobile payments, and merchant services. Plus, it will be used to drive continued expansion across other markets in Southeast Asia. Its regional footprint includes the recent introduction of GOJEK in Singapore, GO-VIET in Vietnam, and GET in Thailand.

New Messenger Feature Gives You Ability to Remove Messages for Everyone

A long overdue feature, specially if you have more than 2 billion users in your platform, you’d think that this feature is already available.

Facebook;

Simply tap on the message you want to remove and select the option to “Remove for Everyone”. The removed message will be replaced by text alerting everyone in the conversation the message was removed. You will have up to 10 minutes to remove a message after it is sent.

If you want to remove a message just for yourself, you can still do that anytime by selecting “Remove for You”. When you choose this option, the message will be removed for you, but not for anybody else in the chat.

Honor 8X now in the Middle East

The Honor 8X will retail for SAR 949.00.

Here’s the specs of the new Honor 8X;

  • 6.5-inch LTPS display 2340p x 1080p, with 16,700,000 colors, 397 PPI , 19.5:9 wide screen
  • Kirin 710, Octa-Core (4 x Cortex-A73 2.2 GHz + 4 x Cortex-A53 1.7 GHz) CPU
  • EMUI 8.2 based on Android O
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 126GB internal storage, expandabl eup to 400 GB via microSD
  • 1080P full HD video recording and video playback
  • 16-megapixel (F/2.0 aperture) front-facing camera
  • 20-megapixel (F/1.8 aperture) + 2-megapixel dual-lens rear-facing camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF)
  • Bluetooth BT4.2 + BLE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz, support Wi-Fi hotspot and Wi-Fi Direct
  • Gravity sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope, Fingerprint sensor, Digital compass
  • Weight: 175 g
  • Dimension: 160.4 mm (H) x 76.6 mm (W) x 7.8 mm (D)
  • Colors: Phantom blue, Red, Blue and Black
  • 3750 mAh battery

Comelec to regulate social media campaigns for 2019 elections

Ira Arellano, writing for Yugatech;

Under the Comelec Resolution 10488, paid social media posts campaigning candidates will now be regulated. Section 6 of the resolution lists  “social media posts, whether original or re-posted from some source, which may either be incidental to the poster’s advocacies of social issues or which may have, for its primary purpose, the endorsement of a candidate only,” as part of lawful election propaganda. Others in the list include the usual pamphlets, leaflets, paid broadcasts, posters, streamers, and the like.

The Comelec also requires all registered party lists and candidates to register their official website address, website name, official blog, and social media with the Education and Information Department of the agency. Any other page that endorses a candidate for its primary purpose, whether or not maintained directly by the candidate or their official representatives, will also be considered as additional social media pages of said candidate. All lawful election propaganda, including online election propaganda, will be covered under the limitations of campaign spending. They are also required to disclose whether they are paid for or provided free of charge.

The Comelec will also monitor individuals, such as paid influencers, supporters, and even online trolls, who create online content including but not limited to blogs, micro-blogs, and pages. They are required to submit reports of payments they have received for their posts, whether it is for or against a candidate.

Here are some of the prohibited forms of election propaganda during the campaign period relating to social media under Section 7 of the Resolution:

  • Broadcasting, Publishing, printing, posting, displaying any form of election propaganda for or against candidates that do not bear the words “political advertisement paid for by” followed by the true name and address of the candidate or party
  • Likewise, it is prohibited to broadcast, publish, print, display, or post any form of election propaganda for or against candidates that do not bear the words “printed free of charge“, “provided free of charge by”, followed by the true name and address of the media entity
  • For any broadcasting station, mass media entity, and the like to sell or give free charge of printing or advertising in excess of size, duration, or frequency
  • Printing, displaying or posting any form of election propaganda that violates gender sensitivity, violates the Magna Carte for Women, obscene or offensive
  • Exhibiting or displaying publicly through video sharing websites, television, theater, movie, concert, or anything that portrays the biography of a candidate played by an actor or media personality who is also a candidate

You can read the full text of Comelec Resolution 10488 here.

US announces criminal charges against Huawei, seeks to extradite its CFO

Taylor Hatmaker, reporting for TechCrunch;

A grand jury in Seattle has charged Huawei with conspiracy to steal trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of justice for the company’s alleged attempts to move potential witnesses back to China. The indictments grew out of a civil suit dating all the way back to 2014 in which T-Mobile sued Huawei for stealing trade secrets related to a robotic phone-testing device known as “Tappy.”

Major iPhone FaceTime bug lets you hear the audio of the person you are calling … before they pick up

Benjamin Mayo, reporting for 9to5mac;

A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.

In case you want to test or recreate the bug;

Here’s how to do the iPhone FaceTime bug:

  • Start a FaceTime Video call with an iPhone contact.
  • Whilst the call is dialling, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap Add Person.
  • Add your own phone number in the Add Person screen.
  • You will then start a group FaceTime call including yourself and the audio of the person you originally called, even if they haven’t accepted the call yet.

This is such a “humiliating” bug for Apple, since they’re a company that always make privacy and security as one of the selling point of their product.

Facebook shutting down Moments apps after February 25

Facebook Moments;

Moments Users –

We are sad to announce that we will be ending support for Moments, and after February 25 the app will no longer be available.

We know your photos and videos saved to Moments are important, so we want to help you keep them. Visit the Moments website at https://www.facebook.com/moments_app/export/ to choose from two ways to export your moments. You can either download them to your device, or create private albums on your Facebook profile.

You can also visit the Help Center at https://www.facebook.com/help/moments/ for more information.

Thank you for using Moments!

Huawei Launches 5G Multi-mode Chipset and 5G CPE Pro

Huawei;

Huawei officially launched its 5G multi-mode chipset Balong 5000 today – along with the first commercial 5G device powered by it, the Huawei 5G CPE Pro. Together, these two new products provide the world’s fastest wireless connections for your smartphone, your home, the office, and on the go.

These are great announcements but the problem with the ban by a number of countries from using 5G equipment tech by Huawei.

Facebook’s WhatsApp limits users to five text forwards to curb rumors

I’m not sure if this is a good idea, since a person can always use the copy-and-paste route to resend the message.

Fanny Potkin, Jessica Damiana and Ana Mano, reporting for Reuters;

Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) WhatsApp is limiting worldwide the number of times a user can forward a message to five, starting on Monday, as the popular messaging service looks to fight “misinformation and rumors”, company executives said on Monday.

Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The limit of five is in expansion of a measure WhatsApp put in place in India in July after the spread of rumors on social media led to killings and lynching attempts.

Honor Arabia announces Honor View 20

Here’s the specs of the Honor View 20;

  • 6.4 inches, 2310×1080 pixels, FHD+ display with 16.7M colors, 398 PPI, Multi touch-sensitive screen
  • 7nm Huawei Kirin 980 Dual-NPU AI Chipset
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB Internal storage
  • Magic UI 2.0.1 (Android 9.0)
  • Front camera: 25MP
  • Dual-rear camera : 48MP + 3D Camera
  • Bluetooth BT 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 2.4G: 802.11 b/g/n,MIMO+TAS,
  • 5G: 802.11 a/n/ac
  • Fingerprint sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Digital compass, Gravity sensor, Gyroscope
  • Weight: 180 g
  • Dimension: 156.9 mm (H) x 75.4 mm (W) x 8.1 mm (D)
  • 4000mAh battery

Avaiable in Red and Blue, you can pre-order the Honor View 20 for SR 2,299 and will ship on January 30, 2019. Those who will pre-order the phone will receive freebies that includes 10000mAh PowerBank and Monster Earphones 2.

VCs give us their predictions for startups and tech in Southeast Asia in 2019

Jon Russell, reporting for TechCrunch;

With a VC corpus that now numbers dozens of investment firms, TechCrunch asked the people who write the checks what is on the horizon for 2019.

The only rule was no more than three predictions — below, in no particular order, is what they told us.

A great read for those following the startup and tech space in Southeast Asia. In a nutshell, more VC money will come in to the region, AI and e-commerce will the space to watch for, and it’ll be India, Indonesia, China and still Singapore will be the country that will benefit from this coming VC monies.

Apple announces #ShotOnIphone Challenge

Photos from the previous #ShotOnIphone campaign, even those that not curated by Apple, are stunningly beautiful and if not for the hashtag you’d think that those photos are professionally shot using SLR cameras.

Apple;

Apple is kicking off 2019 by celebrating the most stunning photographs captured on iPhone, the world’s most popular camera, by inviting iPhone users to submit their best shots.

From January 22 to February 7, Apple is looking for outstanding photographs for a Shot on iPhone Challenge. A panel of judges will review worldwide submissions and select 10 winning photos, to be announced in February. The winning photos will be featured on billboards in select cities, Apple retail stores and online.

Here’s how to submit your photos;

Post your best photo taken on iPhone to Instagram or Twitter with the #ShotOniPhone hashtag to participate in the the Shot on iPhone Challenge. Weibo users can participate as well using #ShotOniPhone#. In the image caption, note which model was used. Alternatively, you can also submit the photo in its highest resolution to shotoniphone@apple.com with the file format ‘firstname_lastname_iphonemodel.’ Photos can be straight from the camera, edited through Apple’s editing tools in the Photos app or with third-party software. Submissions for photos begins at 12:01 a.m. PST on January 22 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PST on February 7. You must be 18 years of age or older to participate, and this challenge is not open to Apple employees or their immediate families.

Microsoft will no longer support for Windows 10 Mobile after December 10, 2019

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

The Redmond giant has announced in a support page that it will stop providing updates for the mobile platform later this year. This comes after lesser devices are capable of receiving major updates from the company, and manufacturers have stopped producing smartphones that bear the mobile operating system.

Once the date hits December 10, 2019, the company will stop seeding security fixes and updates to all supported handsets with Windows 10 Mobile including its Enterprise editions. Microsoft urges its Windows 10 Mobile users to make the switch to Android or iOS, and install the company’s own apps through their respective app stores.

Indonesia’s Go-Jek acquires majority stake in Coins.ph

Extra;

After being rejected to operate its ride-sharing service in the Philippines, it looks like Go-Jek is not giving up on investing in the country as they announce that they acquired a majority stake in Philippines’s blockchain fintech company Coins.ph.

Financial details of the detail was not disclosed but in a report on TechCrunch, Go-Jek paid $72 million for a controlling stake in the Philippine Fintech company. The deal will also be the biggest investment that Go-Jek made.

HomePod available in China starting Friday, January 18

Apple;

HomePod, the innovative wireless speaker from Apple, will be available in mainland China and Hong Kong markets starting Friday, January 18. HomePod delivers stunning audio quality wherever it’s placed, playing any style of music. It’s easy and fun for everyone to use in the home, provides unmatched stereo sound with a stereo pair that offers a wider, more immersive soundstage than traditional stereo speakers, and works together with an Apple Music subscription to stream millions of songs directly to HomePod.

It’s a good thing that the Apple HomePod supports Mandarin and Cantonese. The price is expected to be around RMB 2,799.

Huawei employee arrested in Poland on espionage charges

Jon Porter, reporting for the Verge;

Polish authorities have arrested two individuals and accused them of conducting espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, the Polish TV channel TVP has reported (via BBC). One is a Chinese man who is the head of Huawei’s sales in the country, according to The New York Times, while the other is a Polish national and employee of the telecoms provider Orange Polska. The network has recently worked with Huawei to build its next-generation 5G network.