Technology and Telecommunications

Uber to Give Drivers New Protections

Uber to Give Drivers New Protections

Uber announced this week that it will be giving its drivers additional coverage and compensations such as sick leaves, parental leaves, and bereavement payments. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company had “focused too much on growth and not enough on the people who made that growth possible”, adding that Uber called drivers “partners” but didn’t always act like one to them. However, unions have questioned the new protections that will be made available to all Uber drivers and Uber Eats delivery couriers across Europe, saying that a similar injury and illness insurance had been offered by the company in […]

Chinese Researchers Uncover Flaws on BMW Car Computer Systems

Chinese Researchers Uncover Flaws on BMW Car Computer Systems

Chinese security firm Keen Lab recently found 14 separate bugs on the computer systems of BMW vehicles which, according to the researchers, may even allow hackers to take partial control even while in use. The researchers said that by plugging in infected USB sticks, as well via contactless means including Bluetooth and the vehicles’ own 3G/4G data links, they were able to compromise the cars and identify the security flaws. The Tencent-owned cybersecurity firm shared a year’s worth of findings with BMW, who said that it will be working on fixes immediately.   Source: BBC  

French President to Tech Giants “There is no free lunch”

French President to Tech Giants “There is no free lunch”

Last Wednesday, French president Emmanuel Macron warned the executives of tech giants such as Microsoft and Facebook that “there is no free lunch” and that he would like them to contribute more to society. Macron is said to be pushing to transform France into a “startup nation” which will draw significant investments from technology and artificial intelligence. He is also leading European efforts to obtain more taxes from tech companies. Macron is also set to hold talks with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on tax and data privacy during the Tech For Good summit this week. Source: Reuters

Grab, Maybank Partners for Adoption of Mobile Wallet in Malaysia

Grab, Maybank Partners for Adoption of Mobile Wallet in Malaysia

Ride-hailing firm Grab and Malayan Banking Bhd revealed last Monday that they will be partnering to push the adoption of the GrabPay mobile wallet in Malaysia which will be launched in beta in the next few weeks.   Grab, which received its e-money license from Bank Negara Malaysia in 2017, has already made GrabPay available in other countries in various applications. However, Malaysia will be the second market where the wallet can be used to pay in restaurants and shops Source: Reuters

Connected Alarm System Flaw Leaves Cars Completely Vulnerable to Hackers

Connected Alarm System Flaw Leaves Cars Completely Vulnerable to Hackers

Two researchers disclosed this week that a bug in a popular internet-connected vehicle management system could give hackers enough access to track a vehicle’s location, collect user information, and even cut out the engine. The system, developed by a telematics company called Calamp, is said to be used in a good portion of  modern vehicles which owners may not even be aware of. One such app called Viper SmartStart, which allows users to locate, start, and control their car from their phone, uses a Calamp modem to connect to its cloud-based servers The researchers also said that they were able […]

Vietnam Mulls Formal Antitrust Investigation Into Grab-Uber Deal

Vietnam Mulls Formal Antitrust Investigation Into Grab-Uber Deal

Last Wednesday, Vietnam’s trade ministry said that it may launch a formal investigation into Grab’s acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asia business, stressing that the transaction could be blocked since an initial probe found that the combined market share of both ride-hailing firms in Vietnam was over 50% percent, as per the nation’s law. It is unclear what kind of impact Vietnam’s move will have on the deal, which is already being scrutinized by other countries such as Singapore, the Philippines, and Malaysia. However, lawyers and analysts say that there is little that can be done to stop Uber from leaving […]

China Lauds Trump Move to Save ZTE Jobs

China Lauds Trump Move to Save ZTE Jobs

China this week praised US president Donald Trump for vowing to save jobs affected by the suspension of Chinese telecom giant ZTE in the US. In a tweet, Trump said that he is working with President Xi to get ZTE back in business citing his concerns about the massive job loss in China, adding that he had already given instructions to the Department of Commerce to act on it. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang praised Trump’s efforts and said that they will be in close communication with the US on the matter. US observers however, noted that the move was […]

FCC Announces Termination of Net Neutrality Rules on June 11

In a notice last Thursday, the US Federal Communications Commission announced that the landmark 2015 U.S. open-internet rules will cease on June 11, with the new rules taking effect right after. FCC Commissioner and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel said that the agency had failed to listen to the American people and had been unsympathetic to their belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land. The Senate will still be voting on whether to reject the repeal of the Obama-era rules, but it was noted that it may only be a losing battle. Source: Reuters

Australia Considers Blockchain for Trade Supply Chain Visibility

Australia Considers Blockchain for Trade Supply Chain Visibility

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has reportedly proposed the use of blockchain technology to modernize the government’s approach to the country’s trade process. The DHA told the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth last Thursday that it is looking at emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT) for a suitable framework. A department spokesperson said that since a majority of traders are trusted and interact in a secure and transparent supply chain, the use of blockchain technology should improve the veracity, validation, and analysis of intelligence and trade data. Source: ZDNet

ZTE Ceases Main US Operations Due to Ban

ZTE Ceases Main US Operations Due to Ban

China’s second biggest telecom equipment manufacturer, ZTE, said Wednesday that the ban imposed by the US government has prompted the company to shut down its main business operations in the country. Washington hit the phone maker with a ban last month for violating US export restrictions when it shipped components and technology to Iran. A spokesperson said, however, that they are appealing to have the ban changed or even reversed and have already submitted a request to the U.S. Commerce Department. At present, ZTE has suspended its online stores on its own website and on Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform Taobao. […]

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