Google to roll out public beta of Android Nougat 7.1.2

Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google;

The next maintenance release for Android Nougat — 7.1.2 — is just around the corner! To get the recipe just right, starting today, we’re rolling out a public beta to eligible devices that are enrolled in the Android Beta Program, including Pixel and Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices. We’re also preparing an update for Nexus 6P that we expect to release soon.

Android 7.1.2 is an incremental maintenance release focused on refinements, so it includes a number of bugfixes and optimizations, along with a small number of enhancements for carriers and users.

You can apply for the Android Beta Program here.

Department of Agriculture to talk to Pres. Duterte to take over Project NOAH

Emmanuel Pinol Agriculture Secretary just announced on Facebook that they want to take over Project NOAH. Hopefully, Project NOAH will have a new lease under the Department of Agriculture.

I just cannot see why would the Government kill a useful tool like Project NOAH, specially with the strong Typhoons that are “visiting” the country. Unless of course they plan to replace it with a better “tool”.

Trump’s Next Immigration Move to Hit Closer to Home for Tech

Peter Elstrom and Saritha Rai, reporting for Bloomberg;

President Donald Trump’s clash with Silicon Valley over immigration is about to become even more contentious.

After the new president banned refugees and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft and others railed against the move, saying it violated the country’s principles and risked disrupting its engine of innovation. Trump’s next steps could strike even closer to home: His administration has drafted an executive order aimed at overhauling the work-visa programs technology companies depend on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

U.S. version of Saudization – Americanization!

DOST Project NOAH in danger due to lack of funds

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

The Department of Science and Technology’s real-time weather platform called Project NOAH is in danger of being terminated due to lack of funds, according to local news.

It’s sad to see a project as essential as Project NOAH be terminated just because their not included in the priority list of the Government.

Ant Financial buys US-based money-transfer company for US$880 million

Kevin McSpadden, reporting for E27;

Ant Financial, the Jack Ma-owned fintech company, has acquired the US-based money transfer service Moneygram in a deal worth about US$880 million.

The acquisition marks a significant step into the Western market for Ant, which has never acquired a US-listed company. Ant was spun off from Alibaba ahead of the e-commerce giant’s IPO in 2014 and has grown into the most dominant fintech company in Asia.

LTFRB orders Wunder and Angkas to cease operations

LTFRB announced that Wunder and Angkas to stop their operation, since they are considered as Transport Network Company (TNC), similar to Uber and Grab.

Wunder, a car-pooling service from Europe, while Angkas is a professional on-demand motorcycle taxi service.

LTFRB made the announcement on their twitter account.

For Angkas;

For Wunder;

Globe blocks more than 165 M spam/scam messages in 2016

Globe Ph;

Following an accelerated campaign versus unwanted spam/scam messages, Globe Telecom blocked more than 165 million of such messages in 2016, aided by the use of a comprehensive and fully automated mechanism to rid its network of unwanted and unsolicited text messages. In parallel, Globe also disconnected from the network last year around 1,700 prepaid numbers found to have been used as sources of spam/scam messages.

That’s a lot of spam/scams!

Testing ways for people and businesses to engage on Messenger

Eddie Zhang – Facebook Product Manager;

This week we are launching a very small test in Australia and Thailand that gives businesses the opportunity to place ads on the Messenger home screen. This means that a business is able to place an ad in an area of Messenger below your recent conversations, similar to how we surface birthday notifications or where we let you know if a friend is currently active on Messenger. No one will see an ad in a conversation without clicking on an ad experience on the Messenger home screen or starting a conversation with a brand – these test ads won’t originate in your conversations. The test group of people in Thailand and Australia will start to see these ads in the coming weeks.

More ads!

Flipkart

Flipkart is India’s leading ecommerce marketplace with more than 80 million products across more than 80 categories.

The company was launched in 2007 by a team of 2. Today the company is valued at $6 billion.

Fidelity joins Morgan Stanley, cuts Flipkart’s valuation to $6 billion

Nivedita Bhattacharjee, reporting for Tech in Asia;

A fund managed by US-based mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments has cut Flipkart’s valuation, pegging the company at around US$6 billion, filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission showed.

This is the latest in a series of valuation markdowns that India’s biggest ecommerce company has seen over the past year. In November 2016, Morgan Stanley had pegged Flipkart’s valuation at US$6 billion, which is in sync with Fidelity’s latest assessment.

Pangilinan wants Facebook execs to explain in Senate hearing

NewsBytes Ph;

After social media giant Facebook said that it is taking misinformation seriously, Sen. Francis Pangilinan said he wants the officers of the social media platform to attend the Senate hearings once scheduled to explain to the public how they are weeding out fake news from their website.

Here are some links to start;

Hugo Barra to leave Xiaomi for the clean air of Silicon Valley

Nivedita Bhattacharjee, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Hugo Barra, arguably the most public face of Chinese electronics company Xiaomi, is quitting after three and half years at the company. Hugo was vice president of Xiaomi’s international business.

The comments on the articles suggests that he was fired but the company and Hugo would make it look like he left the company in good terms.

We may never know the real reason why he left, unless of course Hugo disclose it himself.

Foxconn invests in bike-sharing startup Mobike

Steven Millward, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Weeks after securing US$215 million in funding, Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike has received investment cash from Foxconn.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, sees Foxconn helping with manufacturing of the startup’s smart bikes, which can be unlocked, paid for, and locked again using an app. The plan is to double annual production to 10 million as Mobike expands to new cities across China.

Phishing ‘Facebook’ app makes the rounds in FB groups

Carl Lamiel, reporting for Yugatech;

Be cautious with what you download online: A phishing app disguised as ‘Free Facebook’ app makes the rounds off several well-known local groups, phishing your information and account in the process.

The fact that the app is called ‘Free Facebook’ users should be wary. It’s also best that you download only from Google Play Store.

For additional security you may also want to disable the “Unknown Sources: Allow installation of apps from unknown sources.“, you can do this by going to SETTINGS then SECURITY.

Sociolla

Sociolla is Indonesia’s trusted and most complete online shopping destination offering authentic beauty products e.g. make up, skin care, hair care, fragrance and beauty tools serving women across Indonesia.

Sociolla was founded in January 2014 by

Indonesia’s Sociolla bags series B from Japanese fashion portal, East Ventures

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Sociolla, an ecommerce site for all kinds of cosmetics and beauty products just freshened up with a new round of financing.

The startup’s series B comes from Istyle, a Tokyo stock exchange-listed fashion company that operates, among other things, popular beauty website @cosme in Japan. East Ventures also participated in the round. The terms weren’t disclosed.