Xiaomi And Hasbro Team Up For A Transforming Power Bank

It looks like Xiaomi and Hasbro are still working together. Images of a Mi Power Bank that transforms into Optimus Prime have surfaced on the internet. The leaks look real enough, although there has been no confirmation from either company.
The Optimus Prime Mi Power Bank is not the first crossover between Xiaomi and Hasbro. The two put out a transforming Mi Pad 2 last year that confused more than a few fans.
One improvement to the transforming power bank is that the leaked packaging info makes it sound like it’s a functional device. The package notes the existence of a 6500 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery inside the power bank.

In theory, this could be an elaborate hoax. However, Xiaomi and Hasbro have shown that they are willing to work with one another; meaning that there could be a grain of truth to the matter.
[Source: Seibertron]
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Grab raises USD$2.0 billion from Didi Chuxing and Softbank

The on-demand ride sharing app, Grab, has managed to raise USD$2.0billion from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp in their latest round of financing. The total sum is expected to be in the region of USD$2.5billion for this round of financing. This financing round is expected to be the largest in the history of Southeast Asia. Grab, which started off as MyTeksi has since moved regionally and also into the mobile payments space as well.
Grab, the competitor against Uber in Southeast Asia has multiple fronts ranging from third-party taxi hailing and private vehicle hailing, controls the market share. Dominating in both areas, the company continues to strengthen in the region as Uber goes through a patchy time battling lawsuits and leadership issues.
Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, said, “We are delighted to deepen our strategic partnership with DiDi and SoftBank. We’re encouraged that these two visionary companies share our optimism for the future of Southeast Asia and its on-demand transportation and payments markets, and recognise that Grab is ideally positioned to capitalise on the massive market opportunities. With their support, Grab will achieve an unassailable market lead in ridesharing and build on this to make GrabPay the payment solution of choice for Southeast Asia. We look forward to continuing to work with our valued partners in the future.”
Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, said, “Starting with transport, Grab is establishing a clear leadership in Southeast Asia’s internet economy based on its market position, superior technology, and truly local insight. By deepening our strategic partnership, DiDi and Grab reaffirm our shared commitment to innovating localized solutions to global urban development challenges from the world’s fastest growing marketplaces. Both companies look forward to working together with communities and policymakers across Asia to fully embrace the extraordinary opportunities in the upcoming transportation revolution.”
Photo of Forbes article page about Masayoshi Son on a ipad monitor screen through a magnifying glass
Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., said, “Grab is using technology to address transportation and payments, some of the biggest challenges present in Southeast Asia, and we believe Grab is a tremendously exciting company in a dynamic and promising region. SoftBank is excited to deepen this partnership and we look forward to continuing to support Grab’s journey.”
This new source of funding should value Grab to be around the USD$6 billion mark, whilst competitor Uber is currently valued at USD$50 billion. Lyft, on the other hand, is currently valued at USD$7.5 billion. Grab currently operates in 65 cities across Southeast Asia and has given around 620 million rides so far. The Grab app has been downloaded over 50 million devices boasting 1.1 million drivers across their private transportation networks such as cars, taxi, motorbikes, and carpooling services.
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Touch N Go Collaborating With Alipay To Introduce New E-Wallet Service

Touch N Go (TNG) is set to introduce a new e-wallet payment system based on technology from Alipay. The new service would be positioned in such a way as to cover as many vendors as possible, including those in markets and tea stalls.
The Star reports that the so called Touch N Go e-wallet is currently undergoing several evaluation processes before it can be released to the public. Despite this, details about the system are rather light.
TNG is one of the most widespread e-payment systems available in Malaysia. Although it’s largely limited to use on public transportation and highway toll booths. Adopting Alipay’s technology will presumably all TNG to expand into just about everything else.
Alipay is the financial arm of the Alibaba Group, which has been making aggressive inroads into Malaysia. Founder and CEO Jack Ma has been appointed as a special advisor to the government, while the company has announced that it plans to set up a regional hub in the country.
[Source: The Star]
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Google Finally Brings its Motion Stills App to Android

It took them a while, but it looks like Google is finally ready to release its Motion Stills to Android devices. However, since Motion Stills for iOS aims to turn Live Photos into sharable GIFs and Android does not have Live Photos, Motion Stills for Android is a little different.
According to Google, Motion Stills “lets you capture short videos and transform them into beautiful cinemagraphs or sweeping cinematic pans”. In other words, you can either take short three-second Motion Still clips, or capture in Fast Forward mode to take a timelapse-like video.

Motion Stills are just short clips of up to three seconds long. Once captured, you can choose to share as a video or as a GIF. Fast Forward is similar, however, you can take up to a minute long video. After that, similar to Hyperlase on iOS, you can speed up the video from two time to eight times the original speed. Since Instagram Hyperlase isn’t available on Android, this is a great alternative for users.
To make things even better, Motion Stills on Android lets you change the fast forward speed as you like, even after the video is shot and saved; you only get one chance to pick the speed on Instagram Hyperlase, and you will have to stick with it forever. Like Motion Stills on iOS, the Android version will also use Google’s “advanced stabilisation and rendering technology” to help videos appear smoother.
Motion Stills is available for free now on the Play Store.
(Source: The Verge)
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India looks to Apple to improve train speeds?

In a bizarre bit of news, India has sought out technology firm Apple, to help them speed up their trains especially between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata. Union minister Suresh Prabhu says that the Indian Government is looking to multiple tech companies to help them bring India’s trains to the next level according to Business Times India.
India currently has one of the largest and most complex rail networks in Asia and by collaborating with tech companies, India hopes to make their trains hit speeds of up to 600kmh. While it is normal to look towards tech firms for help, what is surprising is that Apple has been named in the report.
It is no secret that Apple has been trying to get into India by attempting to open Apple Stores there but so far has been held back by local regulations. In order to get chummy with local authorities, Apple has set up a development centre in Hyderabad back in 2016 which aims to employ up to 4,000 employees. The centre is working on Apple Maps development in collaboration with RSMI Pvt Ltd which provides geospatial and software services. On top of that, Apple is also manufacturing the iPhone SE in India.
Still, people are shaking their heads trying to figure out what exactly is Apple’s role in helping India raise the speeds of trains. Apple has been known to be working on self-driving and autonomous technology for cars and perhaps that bit of technology may be included in for the trains as part of its safety features to ensure that trains travelling at that speed know what to expect (especially if obstacles falls on the track). Alternatively, help from Apple may come in the form of navigation or software services but only time can tell.
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Intel Accuses Qualcomm Of Monopolistic Behaviour

Intel has officially accused Qualcomm of undertaking anti-behaviour. At the centre of this disagreement is Qualcomm’s license dispute with Apple, where the semi-conductor maker is trying to block sales of the iPhone in the US.
Qualcomm claims that Apple’s latest batch of iPhone uses unlicensed technology, and therefore violates US patent laws. Because of this, it wants the import and sale of the iPhone 7.
However, Intel’s take on the story is a little different. Instead, the company claims that Qualcomm’s move against Apple is a direct attempt to stifle competition in the mobile modem market. This is because a portion of iPhones ship with Intel made modems instead of Qualcomms.
There is also the situation of Qualcomm offering favourable licensing terms to Apple. In exchange, Cupertino would rely solely on Qualcomm made modems for its iPhones. A move that Intel is saying cripples competition and maintains the monopoly.
Of course, this may just be a matter of the pot calling the kettle black. Intel itself has faced a fine from from European Union for abusing its PC chip monopoly. Although, the EU has fined just about every large tech company for some sort of monopoly by now.
[Source: Intel]
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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Is Starring in a “Movie” with Siri

Apple has collaborated with various artists in the past, but this is perhaps the most interesting collaboration yet. Posted not too long ago on his social media accounts, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced that he will be starring in a movie with Siri. Yes, Apple’s very own virtual assistant.
Titled “The Rock x Siri: Dominate The Day,” the “movie” was teased with a poster featuring an arachnid-like machine, the space, and even Johnson in various settings (even on a…stage?). Oddly enough, Siri doesn’t seem to be shown on the poster much – aside from the credit and the iPhone Johnson is holding.

Now, this isn’t actually a “movie” per se: Johnson clarified that it’s really a “crazy fun commercial.” Posted just moments ago on Apple’s YouTube channel, it’s almost a four-minute advertisement. Not surprisingly, the commercial revolves around Johnson using Siri in various scenarios.

“I make movies for the world to enjoy and we also made this one to motivate you to get out there and get the job done,” Johnson wrote. The Rock x Siri: Dominate The Day is now available on Apple’s YouTube channel.
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Telegram Updated with Disappearing Media, Redesigned Photo Editing Tools and More

Telegram has just rolled out Telegram 4.2 update. It brings a new Snapchat-like disappearing media feature, redesigned photo editing tools, a new bio section for profiles, as well as faster speeds and improved security.
With Telegram 4.2, you can set a timer for the photos and videos you share. After the timer runs out, the media file will disappear forever, just like in Secret Chats. Similar to disappearing chat feature on other messaging platforms, if the recipient tries to take a screenshot of your disappearing file, you will get a notification immediately.

Speaking of sending photos, Telegram has also given its photo editing tools a complete makeover. Telegram 4.2 makes it faster and easier for you to “make your photos look amazing”.
If you head on to your profile page on Telegram, you will also see a new bio section. You can enter a short description of who you are like your age, occupation, or city. This is useful for those who join large groups, you know, for Pokemon Go boss raids, so you can have a slight idea of who you will be meeting.

Finally, as for speed and security, Telegram 4.2 now supports CDN caching.
“On top of this, as of 4.2, Telegram apps will rely on a CDN (distributed network) to cache publicly available photos and videos posted in massive channels (100,000+ members). This will result in significantly higher download speeds for tens of millions of Telegram users around the world.”
Check out Telegram now to find out more about Telegram 4.2 update.
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Razer Is Looking To Build A Gaming Smartphone

Razer is said to be looking to fund its own gaming related smartphone. However, it seems to be going through the more traditional route of raising funds by aiming for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong. A move that reports say has been on the cards for several years now.
Bloomberg reports that Razer is looking to use the Hong Kong IPO as a beach head into the lucrative Chinese gaming market. China is estimated to have a $25 billion (RM107 billion) market for gaming related products, although it has proven to be difficult to penetrate due to differing consumer behaviour and government regulations.
Getting a slice of the Chinese pie would help Razer begin development on its own smartphone. Although, it might be a little premature to assume that Razer’s mobile communications ambitions rely solely on having a successful IPO. After all, it has already acquired Nextbit in January.
Razer is hoping to receive a valuation of around $5 billion (RM21.42 billion) for its IPO. Which is still a substantial sum for the peripheral maker, and would provide quite a large warchest for it to begin competing in the saturated smartphone market.
[Source: Bloomberg]
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The Sony Playstation 4 Pro Is Now Going For RM1,479

After the Playstation 4 Slim was sold for a promotional price of RM999, it’s now the Sony Playstation 4 Pro‘s turn to receive a discount. Originally retailing at RM1,799, the Sony PS4 Pro can now be purchased for RM320 off.
To recap, the Sony Playstation 4 Pro comes with a 1TB HDD and features a couple of enhancements over the standard Playstation 4. The Pro variant of the PS4 allows gamers to play games with enhanced graphics (up to 4K resolution) as it has double the graphics power compared to the original PS4. Needless to say, gamers would require supported game titles and a HDR-supported 4K TV.

The Sony Playstation 4 Pro on promotion comes in black only and is covered by Sony Malaysia’s official one year warranty. Do take note that this offer is on a first come, first serve, while stocks last basis. So if you’ve ever wanted to get yourself a Sony Playstation 4 Pro, now’s the best time to do so. Visit the Lazada product page here.
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