The Verge

YouTube Go beta launches in India

Chaim Gartenberg, reporting for The Verge;

Google announced today that a public YouTube Go beta is now available for users to try out in India. The new app is a redesigned version of the YouTube Go app announced last September, which is specifically focused on offering an improved experience in areas with poor connectivity.

e27

Whatfix raises US$3.7M Series A to allow businesses to create interactive help guides on websites

Sainul Abudheen K, reporting for E27;

Whatfix, a SaaS startup that allows enterprises to create interactive help guides on their websites, has raised INR 24 crore (US$3.7 million) in Series A round of funding, led by Indian VC firm Stellaris Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Powerhouse Ventures.

Marquee angels, including Gokul Rajaram (Product Engineering Lead at Square), Girish Mathrubootham (Freshdesk CEO), Aneesh Reddy (Capillary Technologies CEO) and US-based investor Vispi Daver, have also joined the round.

Startups

Ayopop

Ayopop is a e-payment platform, where users can charge or load credits to their account via credit card, bank transfer, or thru other payment options.

Ayopop is based in Jakarta, Indonesia and c-founded early 2016 by Chiragh Kirpalani and Jakob Rost.

Tech in Asia

Payments company Ayopop raises $1m seed funding

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Indonesia’s Ayopop specializes in bill payments, which means it wants users to pay for things like their phone bills, electricity, and internet services through its app.

Ayopop launched about a year ago and has been angel funded so far, with some investment from venture capital firm Gree Ventures.

Business Insider

AOL and Yahoo plan to call themselves by a new name after the Verizon deal closes: Oath

Avery Hartmans and Julie Bort, reporting for Business Insider;

When Verizon merges Yahoo with AOL after its acquisition of Yahoo closes, the newly created division will get a new name. That new name is Oath, sources tell Business Insider.

That’s one weird name for the two of the most iconic internet company. Whoever owns oath.com or oath.net will one lucky SOB! 🙂

Here’s a tweet from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong about the new name of the combined internet companies.

e27

Grab inks Kudo acquisition agreement, appoints new head of cashless payments solution

Anisa Menur A. Maulani, reporting for E27;

Rumours have been circulating around Indonesian startup communities since February 2017 that Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab has acquired Indonesian O2O e-commerce platform Kudo.

After a period of silence, today Grab finally confirmed that it has signed an agreement to acquire Kudo.

This acquisition will surely help Grab Pay gain more ground.

Yugatech

Google shuts down its Map Maker service

Kevin Bruce Francisco, reporting for Yugatech;

Back in 2008, Google has launched its Map Maker service as a way to improve and update the existing Google Maps data for all users. Fast forward to 2017, the California-based company has pulled the plug but its essence is being transferred so that we may still use it.

TechCrunch

Apple is developing its own graphics chips for future iPhones

Jon Russell, reporting for TechCrunch;

Apple is one of only a handful of phone makers to develop its own mobile processors, but now it appears that the U.S. firm will go one step further and design the graphics component itself, too.

Apple is tight-lipped about the technology that powers its products, but long-time partner Imagination Technologies has revealed that Apple has told it that it will cease to use its intellectual property for GPU chips within 15-24 months. That’s apparently because it wants to use its own home-spun alternative.

For a company who wants to control every aspect of their most popular product, its just a matter of time before they decide to develop their own GPU. Apple already develops its own CPU, OS and full control of the App ecosystem, controlling both the CPU and GPU will be a big advantage for Apple, specially with the reports that the iPhone company is developing its own AR/VR/MR technology.

Here’s the full text of Imagination Technologies press release;

Discussions with Apple regarding license agreement

Imagination Technologies Group plc (LSE: IMG, “Imagination”, “the Group”) a leading multimedia, processor and communications technology company, has been notified by Apple Inc. (“Apple”), its largest customer, that Apple is of a view that it will no longer use the Group’s intellectual property in its new products in 15 months to two years time, and as such will not be eligible for royalty payments under the current license and royalty agreement.

Apple has used Imagination’s technology and intellectual property for many years. It has formed the basis of Graphics Processor Units (“GPUs”) in Apple’s phones, tablets, iPods, TVs and watches. Apple has asserted that it has been working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology.

Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information. This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it.

Further, Imagination believes that it would be extremely challenging to design a brand new GPU architecture from basics without infringing its intellectual property rights, accordingly Imagination does not accept Apple’s assertions.

Apple’s notification has led Imagination to discuss with Apple potential alternative commercial arrangements for the current license and royalty agreement.

Imagination has reserved all its rights in respect of Apple’s unauthorised use of Imagination’s confidential information and Imagination’s intellectual property rights.

A further announcement will be made in due course.

This announcement contains inside information.

Tech in Asia

Finally, Google’s Android beats Microsoft’s Windows as world’s most popular OS

Malavika Velayanikal, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Google’s Android has finally usurped Microsoft’s Windows’ throne as the world’s most popular operating system. dependent web analytics company StatCounter found that Android topped the total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined at 37.93 percent. Windows is at 37.91 percent – second for the first time. This is based on global internet usage data for March.

Not a surprising stats.

Since the number of phones sold is greater than the number of windows PC sold. Android’s lead will still increase in the coming year and I can see iOS devices overtaking Windows in the next 5 years or less.

Blog Updates

Weekly Sponsorship

I was planning to open the blog for sponsorship by the 2nd half of the year but since there are a lot of people and companies wanting to partner or promote their products and services via the website, and that it’s the first day of April or the start of 2nd quarter of the year, so I’m now opening the site for weekly sponsorship.

I previously accept weekly sponsorship before I relaunch the site but it was not that successful hopefully this time it will be. In a nutshell weekly sponsorship are sponsored post usually (150 plus words) article that will be written by me or the sponsor. It may or may not contain an image from the sponsor and its linked back to a url provided by the sponsoring party.

It will be the only sponsored post for the whole week, as you can see I’m not running any ads on the site, so your sponsored article will get maximum exposure.

Sponsorship are published at the end of each week (Friday at 12:00 AM), since this is the time where the site has the most traffic. Then a note with a link will appear on the sidebar for the entire week, thanking the sponsor for their support. I will also share the article to all my social media accounts.

I will publish dedicated page provide more details on how you or your company can run weekly sponsorship on the site but for now, if you have question about weekly sponsorship, you can get in touch with me via the contact page.

Cheers!

Facebook

Introducing Live Location in Messenger

Facebook;

Today we’re excited to announce a new way to share your location in Messenger. Our new Live Location feature makes it simple and seamless for you to choose to share where you are with your friends and family. This is rolling out globally and is available on both iOS and Android.

Newsbytes

Report: PH is global leader in botnets, banking Trojan malware

NewsByte Ph;

A recently released report by an Internet security firm has revealed that the Philippines is the top country globally for botnets and banking Trojan malware.

In the inaugural “Asia Pacific State of Malware Report 2017” conducted by Silicon Valley-based Malwarebytes, the study noted that the Philippines is a haven for botnets with detection for the malware nearly four times as many as the second ranked country, Indonesia.

You can read MalwareBytes’ full report here.

Samsung

Samsung to Set the Principles to Recycle of Returned Galaxy Note7 Devices in an Environmentally Friendly Way

Samsung;

Samsung Electronics has established three principles to ensure that Galaxy Note 7 devices are recycled and processed in an environmentally-friendly manner.

First, devices shall be considered to be used as refurbished phones or rental phones where applicable.

Second, salvageable components shall be detached for reuse.

Third, processes such as metals extraction shall be performed using environmentally friendly methods.

Those 2 million+ recalled Note 7 units has to go somewhere and since the only exploding part of the Note 7 is the battery, it makes sense for Samsung to recycle components of the phones and extract precious metals that can be use again.

Blog post

Apple releases iOS 10.3

Most of the features that Apple introduced in the iOS 10.3 will not be useful to me except for the new Apple File System, which focuses on encryption. To get the update, you can go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > SOFTWARE UPATE, to get the update.

Here’s the complete release note of iOS 10.3;

iOS 10.3 introduces new features including the ability to locate AirPods using Find my iPhone and more ways to use Siri with payment, ride booking and automaker apps.

Find My iPhone

  • View the current or last known location of your AirPods
  • Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them

Siri

  • Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
  • Support for scheduling with ride booking apps
  • Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
  • Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council

CarPlay

  • Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps
  • Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album
  • Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music

Other improvements and fixes

  • Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices
  • New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices
  • Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature
  • Support for searching “parked car” in Maps
  • Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk
  • Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons
  • Home app support for accessory battery level status
  • Podcasts support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows
  • Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting Location & Privacy
  • VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
https://support.apple.com/HT201222

Nintendo

Nintendo releases Super Mario Run for Android

Like with the iOS version, you need to pay $10 in order to unlock and play all 3 modes.

Apple

Apple Introduces iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition

Apple;

Apple® today announced iPhone® 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish, in recognition of more than 10 years of partnership between Apple and (RED). This gives customers an unprecedented way to contribute to the Global Fund and bring the world a step closer to an AIDS-free generation. The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone will be available to order online worldwide and in stores beginning Friday, March 24.

Here are other RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus photos that Apple released.

Calling these RED iPhone an eye candy will be the most appropriate description.

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at $749 (US) from Apple.com and Apple Stores, and from Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone joins iPhone 7 finishes in jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold.
  • Both special edition models are available worldwide beginning Friday, March 24, and start shipping to customers by the end of March in the US and more than 40 countries and regions, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and United Arab Emirates. Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Turkey and other countries will follow in April.

Apple

New 9.7-inch iPad Features Stunning Retina Display & Incredible Performance

Apple;

Apple® today updated its most popular-sized iPad®, featuring a brighter 9.7-inch Retina® display and best-in-class performance at its most affordable price ever, starting at $329 (US). Designed for unmatched portability and ease of use, along with incredible performance and all-day battery life, iPad is the world’s most popular tablet and the primary computing device for millions of customers around the world. Through the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for iPad, customers can do even more, from learning to code with Swift Playgrounds™ and reading books on the large screen to boosting productivity through Microsoft Office and using multitasking features like Split Screen.

We will soon see or hear rumors of a different type of iPad specially before this year’s WWDC.

Apple

Apple Introduces Clips: The Fun, New Way to Create Expressive Videos on iOS

Apple;

Apple® today introduced Clips, a new app that makes it quick and fun for anyone to create expressive videos on iPhone® and iPad®. The app features a unique design for combining video clips, photos and music into great-looking videos to share with friends through the Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social networks.

Clips also introduces Live Titles™, a breakthrough feature that lets users create animated captions and titles using just their voice. Fun effects including comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters help bring out the personality in videos made with Clips.

Instagram

New: Save Your Live Video to Your Phone

Instagram;

Starting today, you’ll have the option to save your live video to your phone at the end of a broadcast. While live videos will continue to disappear from the app when you’re done, this update gives you the flexibility to hold onto your video and re-watch it later, especially if something exciting happens during your broadcast that you want to remember or share.

After your live broadcast ends, tap Save in the upper right corner. You’ll only be able to save your video — not the comments, likes, number of viewers or any live interactions. After saving, tap Done and your live video will be saved to your camera roll but will no longer be available in the app.

In order to save Instagram Live Video, you should be using Instagram 10.12 for both iOS and Android.

TechCrunch

Alibaba invests in WayRay, a maker of augmented-reality dashboards for smart cars

Catherine Shu, reporting for TechCrunch;

After launching its first car last year, Alibaba is digging deeper into the automobile industry. The Chinese Internet and e-commerce behemoth is the lead investor in smart car tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Series B round, the startup announced.

Founded in 2012, WayRay makes holographic navigation systems. According to its funding announcement, WayRay has already spent $10 million of its own capital, as well as previous venture funding, on the technology that underpins Navion, an augmented-reality dashboard that overlays directions and other information onto a driver’s view of the road. The company plans to launch a consumer version of Navion in 2017.

Tech in Asia

IFC injects $2m in SeedPlus to fund early stage startups in Asia

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a US$2 million equity investment in SeedPlus, a seed stage venture fund based in Singapore, to support early stage technology entrepreneurship in Asia.

SeedPlus is a collaboration between four investment firms – Jungle Ventures, Infocomm Investments, Accel Partners, and RNT Associates.

Investor

SeedPlus

SeedPlus, a seed stage venture fund based in Singapore. The firm invests S$500k to 1M in early stage companies on market terms. Once the investment is in place, they’ll help you to grow to profit or the next round of funding through our network and our full­-time operating partners.

SeedPlus is a network of networks. Between Jungle Ventures, PwC, Google, Accel Partners and Infocomm Investments,

Philippine Daily Inquirer

MMDA: How about an Edsa fee?

Jovic Yee, reporting for Philippine Daily Inquirer;

Days after announcing that it would no longer implement the modified odd-even scheme, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it was studying the possibility of charging a fee for every private vehicle that will use Edsa.

The agency’s chief said the study was being conducted with the help of the government of Singapore, where “congestion pricing” has been in effect since the 1970s.

If implemented, this will technically turn EDSA into a tollway. I suspect people/car owners will still be paying to pass through EDSA, which will make little to no difference in the traffic condition of EDSA.

Unbox

NDRRMC and Smart Launch the Nationwide Emergency Cell Broadcast System

Camille Vidan, writing for Unbox Ph;

The NDRRMC will be in charge of ECBS advisories.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Smart Communication rolled out on Tuesday the nationwide emergency cell broadcast system (ECBS) for quick dissemination of emergency and disaster alerts to mobile users.

Yugatech

Intel buys autonomous vehicle technology firm MobilEye

Daniel Morial, writing for Yugatech;

For $15.3B, Intel agreed to but Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm MobilEye on Monday to develop driverless systems for automakers. MobilEye is one of the largest players in autonomous vehicle tech and it recently teamed with Intel on BMW’s iNext self-driving platform.

Another major technology company pouring tons of money in autonomous vehicle technology.

Microsoft

So.cl is saying farewell as of March 15, 2017

So.cl Team on Microsoft’s Fuselabs;

Socl has been a wonderful outlet for creative expression, as well as a place to enjoy a supportive community of like-minded people, sharing and learning together. In supporting you, Socl’s unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love. Through you we’ve been able to introduce many interesting ideas such as:

  • Collages; beautiful posts of content discovered through search and auto-assembled
  • Riffs; themed conversations based on community inspiration
  • Automatic Translation; seamlessly spanning languages and culture
  • Collections; telling your story through collections of posts
  • Picotales, Video Parties, Blinks, Kodu – new ways to create and share

From the very beginning, we’ve been amazed by your creativity, openness, and positivity. Thank you so very much for sharing your inspirations with us.

The So.cl Team

So.cl (pronounced “social”) is an experimental social media network by Microsoft’s Fuselabs.

Vulcan Post

I Run A Business, Here’s Why I Will Never Hire Anyone Religious

Guest Post at the Vulcan Post;

When I hire, my priorities are simple—work efficiency and the right fit for our company culture.

My company is constantly on the lookout for talent, so I review up to 20 applications a week. Out of these, perhaps about a third look suitable on paper.

So how do I filter them down, aside from the obvious basic qualifications and skills?

I look at religion, or to be clearer, religiousness. I’ll admit, if there is a person in a tudung, that’s a minus for me. It makes me think twice.

Tudung is the Malaysian equivalent of hijab.

The fact that the author did not include his name says a lot about the article and Vulcan Post, the website that published the article. It feels more of a click bait than anything else.

I understand where the author is going and coming from because at the end of the day, its his business and company, but the fact remain is that the author is scared of accountability, if he’s really firm in his belief he should have used his name and not hide in the shadows.

Vulcan Post’s response to the flak that they receive is not helping as well.

It’s also worth noting that Vulcan Post uses Facebook for your their commenting system that shows the full name of the person commenting.

Startups

iflix

iflix is a Malaysian subscription video-on-demand service owned by Iflix Sdn Bhd, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

e27

iflix raises over US$90M to be the Netflix of Asia, Middle East and Africa

Yon Heong Tung, reporting for E27;

Kuala Lumpur-based Internet TV service iflix has raised over US$90 million from Liberty Global, an international TV and broadband company; Zain, a Middle Eastern and Africa telco; and a private consumer business investment management firm in Africa.

iflix had partnered with Zain last month to launch ‘iflix Arabia’ in the MENA region.

iflix appears to be expanding to market where Netflix has little or no presence at all.

Startups

Fave Group

Fave is a marketplace for discounted offers on things to eat, do, see and experience in your city. Users can get up to 70% discount from restaurants, cafes, spas, salons, gyms, etc. There are currently more than hundreds of deals in listed in the service.

Fave is also available to all iOS and Android users. The Fave group was spun off from Malaysian fitness subscription service KFit.

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