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  • TECH

    Apple sours as rivals rise

    Life, James Hein, Published on 04/12/2019

    » Apple can't seem to win a trick these days. Overall phone sales in Europe picked up during the last quarter but iPhone sales did not follow the upswing and ended up 4% down on the same quarter last year. The problem is that the latest models are not giving many users a reason to upgrade. Their battery replacement programme and bad sales in China have not helped either. Overall market share worldwide has dropped from 20.8% to 18.6%. By comparison, Samsung has increased their share to over 35% in the same market. Huawei, in second place, sits about the same on 22.2%. Xiaomi is still in fourth place but well behind the others at 10.5%. The biggest impacts predicted going forward are 5G and Brexit though in reality I don't think the latter will have any real impact other than short term. The most popular Samsung models were the Galaxy A10, A20e, A40 and A50.

  • TECH

    In 2020, China heads into 1984

    Life, James Hein, Published on 23/10/2019

    » China will have 626 million CCTVs installed by 2020. That's close to one for every two people in the country. By the end of 2019, any application for Internet access will require first having your face scanned. In 2020, if you want to surf the web you will first have to pass a facial recognition process. If you are recognised and your social score is high enough you will be able to connect. This directive comes from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Technology.

  • TECH

    Envisioning the future

    Published on 01/08/2019

    » It's all about disruption: An ageing population, robotics, a cashless society. The question is: How will our people and the economy cope?

  • TECH

    Local e-commerce players ramp up price war

    Business, Suchit Leesa-nguansuk, Published on 11/07/2019

    » Thailand's e-commerce price wars are intensifying as online retailers sacrifice margins by cutting product prices and offering discounts while reducing subsidies on shipping to ease losses.

  • TECH

    The borders of security

    Life, James Hein, Published on 22/05/2019

    » It's becoming more common for agents at some borders to demand your device passwords so they can check what you have on them. Given the power of the modern smartphone, partially indicated by the cost of the top-end models, this makes sense, as they are basically mini notebook computers. If you really want to protect your data, keep it elsewhere.

  • TECH

    The internet grows darker

    Life, James Hein, Published on 08/05/2019

    » Social media has reached danger levels of influence and like anything powerful it can be used for positive or negative purposes. In countries like China you can say as many good things about the government on social media as you like but anything negative typically triggers a rapid response. The US and UK has its own sets of problems, with a tug-of-war between liberals and conservatives over the truth, with each side seeking to banish the other from social media. Self-defined open, inclusive and balanced social media platforms like Twitter are removing accounts on one side of politics in countries before elections, effectively meddling in elections.

  • TECH

    Human override here to stay

    Life, James Hein, Published on 10/04/2019

    » Computers are useful tools and they will emotionlessly churn through thousands of operations in the blink of an eye to produce whatever results they were programmed to do. Most of the time the results are welcomed. When it comes to malware the results generate a different reaction, and then there are those spaces in the middle. The situation surrounding the Boeing 737 Max MCAS aircraft and the recent crash is an excellent example. The latest analysis would seem to indicate that the computer engineers made some choices that have had unintended consequences. In this case overriding the wishes of the pilots by assuming the plane was crashing, when it wasn't, and not allowing the human pilots to correct the computer's decisions.

  • TECH

    T2P lays out $1m for digital lending

    Business, Suchit Leesa-nguansuk, Published on 25/03/2019

    » Financial solutions firm T2P Co is investing US$1 million (31.7 million baht) to set up a digital lending business to serve rapidly growing demand in online financial services.

  • TECH

    AI-aided hope on the horizon

    Life, James Hein, Published on 13/02/2019

    » Despite some of my criticisms in the past there are some excellent examples of emerging artificial intelligence technologies. I've mentioned some of these from the medical world in earlier articles but a new one caught my eye this week, figuring out in which hotel a picture was taken. No, not to help people remember where holiday snaps were taken but to track down human trafficking where pics of women are taken to sell them for sex. The three groups behind this identification technology are from George Washington University, Temple University and Adobe, all in the US. Like many AI systems a large amount of source data is used and to help with this more than a million images have been collected from 50,000 hotels worldwide. Using all the room elements in backgrounds a neural network is being trained to identify a hotel chain and then a location.

  • TECH

    An English-always app workaround

    Life, James Hein, Published on 30/01/2019

    » On a recent overseas trip I noticed that some of my Android phone Google-related apps would change language settings and feeds based on the country I was in. Unless you can read in multiple languages this is really annoying. Even more so is that this behaviour is the default one and apparently unchangeable. If you are using Google as a browser you can at least stop this when browsing by using the URL google.com/ncr where the "ncr" stands for No Country Redirect. The result is an English always result regardless of where you may be in the world at the time.

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