Korea's quirky messaging apps go on offensive in text-happy Indonesia
By Miyoung Kim and Andjarsari Paramaditha SEOUL/JAKARTA (Reuters) - South Korea's pioneering mobile messaging apps have taken their oversized emoticons to Indonesia, intent on breaking the dominance of BlackBerry Ltd's BBM messaging service in one of the world's most active social media markets. Kakao Corp has hired pop stars and Naver Corp unit Line Corp has partnered Samsung Electronics Co in a country whose capital Jakarta boasts the most users of Twitter Inc's microblog by city, according to researcher McKinsey & Company. BBM has long been Indonesia's most popular messaging app, with Facebook Inc's $19 billion buyout target WhatsApp in pursuit.
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 17:11:47 -0400
Loss of employees on Malaysia flight a blow, U.S. chipmaker says
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Employees of Freescale Semiconductor who were on a Malaysia Airlines flight presumed to have crashed were doing sophisticated work at the U.S. chipmaker, a company spokesman said on Sunday. The 20 Freescale employees, among 239 people on flight MH370, were mostly engineers and other experts working to make the company's chip facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur more efficient, said Mitch Haws, vice president, global communications and investor relations. "It's definitely a loss for the company." None of Austin, Texas-based Freescale's most senior executives were on board the Boeing Co 777-200ER airliner that vanished from radar screens about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on Saturday. The employees who were on board, 12 from Malaysia and eight from China, came from a range of disciplines and they were part of a broad push by Chief Executive Officer Gregg Lowe to make Freescale more efficient and cost effective, Haws said.
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 19:12:54 -0400
IBM factory strike shows shifting China labor landscape
By John Ruwitch SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A wildcat strike at an IBM factory in southern China illustrates how tectonic shifts under way in the country's labor market are emboldening workers to take matters into their own hands, raising risks for multinationals. More than 1,000 workers walked off the job last week at the factory in Shenzhen, bordering Hong Kong, after managers on March 3 announced the terms of their transfer to new ownership under Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. Lenovo agreed in January to pay $2.3 billion for International Business Machine's low-end server business. The strike, which continued into Sunday, fits a growing pattern of industrial activism that has emerged as China's economy has slowed. A worsening labor shortage has shifted the balance of power in labor relations, while smartphones and social media have helped workers organize and made them more aware than ever of the changing environment, experts say.
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 01:22:49 -0500
Softbank unit invests in Alibaba-backed online education firm
HONG KONG (Reuters) - An online education company backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday that a unit of Softbank Corp had made a strategic investment in the company for an undisclosed amount. The investment in TutorGroup from SBI Group, formerly known as Softbank Finance Group and one of Asia's biggest venture capital firms, follows a capital raising of nearly $100 million for TutorGroup in February from Alibaba, Singapore state investor Temasek Inc and China's Qiming Venture Partners. ...
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 23:25:29 -0400
Tencent to buy 15 pct stake in JD.com in challenge to Alibaba
By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings Ltd will buy a 15 percent stake in e-commerce firm JD.com for $214.7 million, as the two seek to challenge Alibaba Group Holding's dominant position in online shopping in China. Tencent also plans take an additional 5 percent of JD.com on a post-IPO basis, and Tencent President Martin Lau will take a seat on JD.com's board of directors. Although Alibaba is by far China's most dominant e-commerce firm, it has been losing ground to Tencent on mobile as smartphone and tablet usage has surged over recent years. Under the agreement, JD.com will take control of Tencent's own, unsuccessful e-commerce businesses, which will be 100 percent owned by JD.com.
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 22:11:05 -0400
AT&T cuts wireless data charges for individual customers
(Reuters) - AT&T Inc said on Saturday it is cutting wireless data charges for individual customers who have no annual service contract, as the No. 2 U.S. mobile operator attempts to better compete with rival T-Mobile US Inc. Customers having one smartphone with no annual service contract will now pay $65 per month instead of $80 for a plan that includes 2GB LTE wireless data, unlimited talk and text messaging, unlimited international messaging and 50 GB cloud storage. The latest plan follows price cuts AT&T announced last month for families and customers who share large data plans, as well as its offer of a $200 credit to customers who switch to its network. AT&T has been fiercely competing with smaller rival T-Mobile U.S. after T-Mobile spent several quarters directly marketing to AT&T customers.
Sat, 08 Mar 2014 14:16:45 -0500
Sony and Panasonic announce the Archival Disc, a new optical disc standard for long-term storage
Aiming to offer a long-term storage option in disc form, Sony and Panasonic have announced the new Archival Disc format that will store between 300GB and 1TB per disc. The companies are bigging up the non-HDD form factor for its hardiness to temperature and humidity. They're also promising "inter-generational compatibility" between different formats as the standard matures -- but we'll believe it when we see it.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 02:20:00 -0400
UK Prime Minister wants a 'permanent technological revolution'... and movies downloaded in a second
David Cameron outlined his Spectrum Strategy for the UK's digital future, touching on 5G mobile broadband, better use of existing wireless frequencies and (as we keep hearing) the internet of things. In a speech at CeBIT 2014 in Hanover, he said: "This is a world on fast forward, a world of permeant technological revolution. Countries like the UK and Germany will only succeed if we have a relentless drive for new ideas and innovations."
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 02:03:00 -0400
Panasonic's 4K-ready Lumix GH4 priced at $1,700, ships in late April
Panasonic promised it would deliver a GH mirrorless camera capable of recording 4K video for under $2,000, and now we know just how far under that is. The Lumix GH4 camera body and its 16MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor will cost $1,700, while the optional YAGH pro audio/video interface unit is available for an extra $2,000. The pre-order listings on Panasonic's website currently show an estimated ship date of late April.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:43:00 -0400
Hackers claim bankrupt Mt. Gox still has customers' bitcoins
Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox lost$400 million worth of bitcoins in February. Its management said the amount was stolen after hackers exploited a transaction bug to divert the funds, but some of Mt. Gox's users are not so sure, suggesting insteadthat the exchange's owners pocketed the cash. Forbes reports that the group gained access to the personal blog and Reddit account of Mark Karpeles, Mt. Gox's CEO. The hackers claim that Mt. Gox still has access to 951,116 bitcoins
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:11:04 -0400
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