Alibaba Establishes New DAMO Academy Research Institute

The Alibaba Group has announced that it will be investing some $15 billion to establish a new research institute. CEO Jack Ma believes that the time has come for the company to follow in the footsteps of the great technology giants like Microsoft and Intel, and begin contributing back to the world with its own scientific work.
DAMO is short for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum, and Outlook; which is at least an attempt at clarifying its end goals. Ma, on the other hand, outlined a more practical approach to wht DAMO will attempt to do. Primarily, that it should manage to outlive Alibaba as a company because the work done at the institute will be far more important than e-commerce.
Researchers at the labs will fill the same role as those in the academy’s western counterparts. Looking into problems that can be solved with the use of technology, and anything that could potentially be turned into a viable product. That said, Ma also emphasised that DAMO would be kept separate from the Alibaba Group to allow it to work independently.
Laboratories will be set up in seven cities across the globe. These will be in Beijing, Hangzhou, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Singapore, San Mateo, and Bellevue. DAMO is currently looking to staff these labs with top researchers; looking to recruit around 100 talented individuals to begin work.
Ma said that it is no longer the time for China to follow in the footsteps of the west. Instead, Alibaba has the advantage of being the late mover; having learnt from the mistakes of those that blazed the part before it. According to Ma, great companies must be able to solve great problems in the world.

Ultimately, Ma hopes that DAMO will be able to survive on its own. Drawing profits from patents and innovations created from the work of its researchers. That said, he admitted that companies cannot just rely on short-sighted goals of only making more money. Instead, they must invest in R&D to maintain the competitive edge and stay ahead through innovation.
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The Limited Edition League of Legends World Championship 2017 Touch n Go Card Is Here

Riot Games has released its League of Legends World Championship 2017 Touch ‘n Go card into the market. As per our previous report, the special edition TnG card comes with Malaysia-specific theme which incorporated wau bulan (moon kite) into its design.
Available immediately through Lazada Malaysia, the card is priced at RM 25. However, it doesn’t come with any pre-loaded value which means customers need to top it up themselves.

At the same time, Riot Games stated that only limited number of cards will be made available per day although it didn’t reveal on the exact number that the company will release on daily basis. Hence, LoL fans and TnG card collectors are advised to check the Lazada listing once again on the following day if the listing said sold out.
Riot has also pointed out that it will only be sold throughout Worlds 2017 period which will end on 4 November. With that, better make the move right away if you want to have your hands on the limited edition LoL Worlds 2017 Touch ‘n Go card.
(Source: Lazada Malaysia)
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Developer Discovers iOS Flaw that Tricks Users to Give Away Apple ID Password

If you are an iOS user, you would definitely have come across the pop up dialog above at some point. The prompt to key in your password for your Apple ID tied to the device can appear for various reasons, like updating iOS, when certain apps require access to iCloud, or when making in-app purchases. However, it has been discovered that hackers can use this method to steal passwords.
Developer Felix Krause recently found that the popup dialog could easily be replicated. A false password prompt looks identical to the real thing, and can easily trick even the most tech-savvy individuals. We are all so used to seeing the prompt asking for our password that we just key in the details without any hesitation. As Krause says, “Just ask your users politely, they’ll probably just hand over their credentials, as they’re trained to do so.”

Krause says that the problem has been around for many years. The reason for publishing his finding is to hopefully get Apple to close the loophole. So, what can you do to protect yourself now? Here are some suggestions by the developer:
How can you protect yourself

Hit the home button, and see if the app quits:

If it closes the app, and with it the dialog, then this was a phishing attack
If the dialog and the app are still visible, then it’s a system dialog. The reason for that is that the system dialogs run on a different process, and not as part of any iOS app.

Don’t enter your credentials into a popup, instead, dismiss it, and open the Settings app manually. This is the same concept, like you should never click on links on emails, but instead open the website manually
If you hit the Cancel button on a dialog, the app still gets access to the content of the password field. Even after entering the first characters, the app probably already has your password.

Check out Felix Krause’s blog for the full explanation of the flaw.
(Source: Felix Krause via: 9to5Mac)
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Honor Malaysia Teases Another New Device: Likely To Be Honor 6A

Honor Malaysia earlier this week has published a teaser on its Facebook page that is referring to a new smartphone that it will release in our market very soon. The company then provide a copy of image to members of the media as well as two additional photos and several descriptions regarding the device.
According to Honor Malaysia, the new smartphone features metal body with sandblasted finish and multi-function fingerprint sensor. Together with this description as well as the photo set, we believe that the new model is likely to be the Honor 6A.

Originally launched in China few months ago, the phone does indeed feature two characteristics that were mentioned above. It is also equipped with 5-inch 720p IPS display and powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor.
In terms of photography, the Honor 6A relies on a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera. Alongside 3020mAh battery, it also comes with two memory and storage options: 2GB RAM/16GB storage and 3GB/32GB storage which are priced at CNY 799 (about RM 512) and CNY 999 (about RM 640) respectively.

Then again, there’s always a possibility that our guess might not be correct phone. Nevertheless, we should find out the answer real soon as Honor Malaysia stated that the smartphone will be released in our market within October.
(Source: Honor Malaysia, Honor China)
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Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite Available In Malaysia For RM999

Huawei is releasing the MediaPad M3 Lite in Malaysia. With Huawei working closely with Harman Kardon on the tablet’s audio system, the MediaPad M3 Lite makes an interesting addition to Huawei’s line of tablets.
The Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite sports an 8-inch 1920 x 1200 display with “ClariVu” technology. According to Huawei, ClariVu enhances cinematic and reading experience by “blue light filtration and dynamic colour adjustment,” which provides eye-sight protection to the user.
Embedded in the MediaPad M3 Lite are dual stereo speakers with SWS3.0 Harmon Kardon audio. Other than that, the MediaPad M3 Lite also comes with an 8MP rear camera, an 8MP front-facing shooter, and a fingerprint sensor.

Other specifications of the MediaPad M3 Lite include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor paired with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 4,800mAh battery, and EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. It also comes in two colour options: Gold and Space Gray.
As a celebration for the launch of the MediaPad M3 Lite, Huawei is also slashing the price of the MediaPad M3 from RM1999 to RM1699 from 13 October onwards. The M3 Lite itself, on the other hand, will be available nationwide from 13 October 2017 at all Huawei Experience stores and Display Zones for RM999.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Might Have Its Fingerprint Sensor Under The Display

A feature that was sadly missing on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was an under-display fingerprint sensor. Fortunately, its upcoming successor – likely dubbed the Galaxy Note 9 – might actually come with the new technology.
According to KGI Security analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Samsung has already received part samples from various manufacturers that will allow the Korean company to implement an under-display fingerprint sensor on its upcoming devices. According to Kuo, either BeyondEyes or Samsung LSI – a subsidiary of the company – is most likely to strike a deal with Samsung.

It’s no mystery that many phone makers have tried to implement under-display fingerprint sensors on their devices, and it’s really quite an impressive technology. vivo, for one, actually unveiled such a sensor, although there isn’t exactly any consumer-ready products with such a feature yet.
If Samsung were to implement an under-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Note 9, it’ll be quite an accomplishment. However, there’s a chance other phone makers will beat Samsung to it – the Note 9 isn’t expected to be released anytime soon, after all.
(Source: Business Insider)
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Huawei Quietly Launches Android Oreo Beta Program For Mate 9

Just as the company is getting ready to launch Mate 10 next week, it seems that Huawei has quietly launches the Android Oreo 8.0 beta test for Mate 9. Apparently ,this is a limited run test before the company officially releases the update to the global audience.
We have seen screenshots of the new update on the Mate 9, and it looks like a lucky few will be experiencing the new OS update on their units. However, Huawei is limiting the number of beta testers; only 250 people will be chosen.

Furthermore, only Huawei Mate 9 with the MHA-L29C432B194 firmware will be able to participate in this program. If you are one of the lucky few, you will need to download the Beta Friendly User Test from Huawei and cross your fingers that you are chosen.
Since the program will end on 3 November, it is likely that the update will be rolled out just before or by the end date. As the Huawei Mate 10 launch is just around the corner, the official release of the update must not be far.
(Source: Huawei via )
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NVIDIA Unveils Drive PX Pegasus: Made To Power Fully Autonomous Vehicles

Most users know NVIDIA as the company that helped them enjoy their video games via GeForce graphics card. However, the company is also deeply involved in many other emerging field within the computing including artificial intelligence (AI), and autonomous vehicles.
In order to help to push the boundaries within these two segments, the company has unveiled its latest AI computer which is codenamed Pegasus. Its main aim is to power fully autonomous vehicles with SAE J3016 rating of Level 5 which is the highest tier of driving automation as defined by SAE International.

Positioned under its Drive PX paltform, the new system is equipped with two Xavier AI processors alongside two more next-generation (right after Volta) GPUs. It also comes with controller area network, Flexray, and multiple 10Gbit Ethernet connectors.
With memory bandwidth that is more than 1TB per second, the system also features 16 high-speed sensor inputs for camera, radar, lidar, and ultrasonics. Capable of performing 320 trillion operations per second, the Drive PX Pegasus is generally ten times more powerful than Drive PX 2.
NVIDIA Drive PX 2: the predecessor to NVIDIA Drive PX Pegasus.
Since the field has yet to reach maturity, don’t expect to see Drive PX Pegasus-powered vehicles anytime soon. Nevertheless, NVIDIA automotive partners can expect to see the system to be available to them in 2018. We are definitely eager to see how Drive PX Pegasus will affect their work.
(Source: NVIDIA)
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Nokia Halts Further Development On OZO VR To Put More Focus On Digital Health

Nokia today has announced that it will be halting the development of its virtual reality camera, OZO and related hardware. According to the official statement released by the company, the current rate of growth within the VR market which is lower than Nokia’s expectation is the main reason behind the halt.
The decision will apparently affect up to 310 staff in Nokia Technologies which itself has around 1,090 staff with most of them located in Finland, United States, and United Kingdom. Despite the halt, Nokia will continue to honor its commitments with existing customers.

At the same time, the Finnish company will increase its effort in the digital health space. Nokia is planning to do this by taking full advantage of Nokia Health which was formerly known as Withings when it was acquired by Nokia in 2016.
Originally introduced in 2015, the OZO ecosystem which revolves around OZO+ spherical stereoscopic 360 camera as its core is designed for content creators that want to dabble in VR and mixed reality. Despite the claim by Nokia, VR is still being touted as a popular trend within the industry which is why it is rather unfortunate to see OZO being shelved away.
(Source: Nokia)
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Report: Apple to Bring Face ID to Next Generation iPad Pro

It looks like Apple might be bringing its Face ID facial recognition system to more devices. According to reliable analyst, Ming Chi-Kuo of KGI Securities, Apple will be bringing its TrueDepth camera system to the next generation iPad Pro, enabling Face ID on the device.
Unfortunately, Ming Chi-Kuo does not have the full detail yet. The analyst only expects Apple to bring the TrueDepth camera to the flagship 12.9” and 10.5” iPad Pro models as opposed to the cheaper iPad units.

Kuo also did not specify how Apple would implement the new camera system and biometric technology into the iPad Pro. Apple could retain the same design, leaving the Home button and Touch ID in tact, or it could bring the new iPhone X design to the iPad Pro. Hopefully it’s the latter, especially if Apple wish to bring a consistent user experience between the iPad and iPhone. Bringing its TrueDepth camera to the iPad could also increase adoption of the technology.
“We predict iOS devices to be equipped with TrueDepth Camera in 2018F will include iPhone X and 2018 new iPhone and iPad models. Because of this, we believe more developers will pay attention to TrueDepth Camera/ facial recognition related applications. We expect Apple’s (US) major promotion of facial recognition related applications will encourage the Android camp to also dedicate more resources to developing hardware and facial recognition applications.”
But of course, nothing is final for now. The iPhone X, the first and only device with Face ID at the moment, is not even out yet, and it makes sense for Apple to gauge the user experience with Face ID before it make any future plans. Preorders for the iPhone X in selected countries will begin on 27 October, and will go on sale starting from 3 November 2017. However, according to reports, availability will be limited as Apple is facing production problems for the facial recognition sensor.
(Source: MacRumors)
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