Technology and Telecommunications

Germany Must Close Digital Tech Gap Between, Merkel Chief of Staff Says

Germany Must Close Digital Tech Gap Between, Merkel Chief of Staff Says

Chancellery chief Helge Braun said this week that Germany has to bridge the digital technology gap between it and leading economies. Merkel’s chief of staff also said that Germany has to promote and not impede the use of artificial intelligence. The Chancellor’s cabinet will reportedly be presenting an AI strategy sometime next week that will help Europe’s biggest economy to adjust to the internet era. Braun revealed that the government would focus on improved data gathering, AI research, retain skilled workers, encourage startups, and how to position digital regulation that does not impede technology. Source: Reuters

Cambodian Providers Hit by Massive DDoS Attacks

Cambodian Providers Hit by Massive DDoS Attacks

Cambodian telecoms EZECOM, SINET, Telcotech, and Digi were reportedly hit by large-scale DDoS attacks last week. The DDoS attacks, which totalled nearly 150Gbps, caused a downtime that lasted for around half a day. A number of smaller attacks persisted throughout the week, significantly slowing down internet speeds. The reasons behind the attacks were unclear as there were no political or civil unrest in the country and the affected ISPs have not reported ransom demands. There were also no chatter on social media about any hacktivist campaigns, but it is being suspected that inter-ISP sabotage may be the reason based on […]

Narita Airport to Trial Facial Recognition Tech to Clear Customs

Narita Airport to Trial Facial Recognition Tech to Clear Customs

NEC senior vice president Ryouji Hayashi recently revealed that his company will be providing Japan’s Narita International Airport with facial recognition technology which will be used to confirm the identity of passengers in lieu of physical identification documents. NEC says that an “electronic procedure gate” will be used to move passengers as the customs inspection area. Travelers can confirm their identity at a kiosk terminal while a smartphone app will also be made available to help passengers register baggage contents and passport information. The Japanese tech company added that they have already provided biometric identification systems to around 50 airports […]

China’s Xi Urges Global Cooperation for “Fair and Equitable” Internet

China’s Xi Urges Global Cooperation for “Fair and Equitable” Internet

In his speech this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that greater global cooperation is needed in developing a fairer and more equitable internet. The message, which was read at an internet conference in the northern city of Wuzhen, follows the recent troubles of Chinese tech firms brought by trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. However, Xi had been pushing for a bigger role in global internet governance and is calling on nations to recognize Beijing’s “cyber sovereignty” and let countries control and censor their internet as they see fit. Source: Reuters

FCC Tells US Companies to Stop ‘Robocalls’

FCC Tells US Companies to Stop ‘Robocalls’

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai told major providers and various other US companies to launch a system that would prevent the abuse caused by “robocalls” and other nuisance communication received by American consumers. According to YouMail, a company that blocks and tracks robocalls, there were an estimated 5.1 billion unwanted calls last month, up from 3.4 billion in April. Pai says that there is a need for call authentication so that consumers can answer their phones with confidence. He adds that hopefully such as system will be up and running by next year. Source: Reuters

Zuckerberg: Apple is Facebook’s Biggest Competitor in Messaging

Zuckerberg: Apple is Facebook’s Biggest Competitor in Messaging

At an earnings call with investors this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that the company’s biggest competitor in the messaging space is Apple’s iMessage, a built in service in the iPhone and other Apple devices. In response to Cook’s recent criticisms of Facebook, Zuckerberg said that one of the main reasons people prefer their services, especially WhatsApp, is because of its stronger record on privacy. Zuckerberg further explained that WhatsApp is completely end-to-end encrypted, does not store messages, and does not store the keys to messages in China or anywhere else. He also emphasized the importance of such measures […]

Alibaba-Linked Firm Opens Biggest Robot-Operated Warehouse in China

Alibaba-Linked Firm Opens Biggest Robot-Operated Warehouse in China

Cainiao, an Alibaba-backed Chinese logistics company, announced last Tuesday that it has opened a warehouse manned by around 700 robots to deal with the demand from Singles Day, an annual shopping festival run by the ecommerce giant. The warehouse, considered to be the biggest robot warehouse in the country, was opened in the eastern city of Wuxi. Cainiao VP Ben Wang says that the increase in efficiency brought by the robots has translated into significant savings. Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang meanwhile said at a Beijing event earlier this month that they are expecting Cainiao to process over a billion packages […]

French Telecoms Authority to Tackle Skyrocketing 5G Bandwidth Prices

French Telecoms Authority to Tackle Skyrocketing 5G Bandwidth Prices

France’s telecoms regulator, Arcep, told Reuters this week that it is trying to tackle a dilemma relating to skyrocketing costs of 5G radio frequencies that the country’s telecom operators may need to pay. Arcep head Sebastien Soriano says that the regulator plans to use the 3.5 GHz band out of three being offered for 5G (1.4 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz). However, the frequencies may not be sufficient and scarcity could drive up auction prices. Soriano explained that while mobile spectrum auctions are typically considered “easy money-makers” in times of low state revenues, the high cost could hamper much-needed […]

Grab Rolls Out New Safety Features, Improved Data Privacy

Grab Rolls Out New Safety Features, Improved Data Privacy

Grab announced this last Monday that it has rolled out new features on its app that will increase the safety and data protection of both its drivers and riders. The Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant said that it has strengthened the Grab platform with features such as driver fatigue monitoring system, emergency SOS features for drivers, driver and passenger validation system which should help bring down accidents and prevent crime. Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling said that the features the company has introduced as part of its Safer Everyday Tech Roadmap should raise the bar for safety standards of the transport […]

Microsoft Partners with Southeast Asian Ride-Hailing Company Grab

Microsoft Partners with Southeast Asian Ride-Hailing Company Grab

It was reported this week that Microsoft has invested an undisclosed amount in Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab. The two companies will also be collaborating on technology projects involving big data and artificial intelligence. In an announcement last Tuesday, the companies said that they will be exploring how they can use mobile facial recognition, image recognition and computer vision technologies to improve the pick-up experience. Grab, one of the dominant ride-hailing firms in the region, has already raised $2 billion in investment money out of its $3 billion target. Source: Reuters

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