At the just concluded ChinaJoy Expo 2011, Rovio Mobile Ltd. announced a slew of Angry Birds merchandises in China – namely, shoes, hat, bags and also, mooncakes (reported by a China-centric tech site M.I.C. Gadget). The Angry Birds creator will be using the mooncakes to celebrate the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival) with Angry Birds fans in China. In addition, there will be a “Mid-Autumn Festival” theme edition on Angry Birds Season, which will be released in early September 2011 (Moon Festival falls on September 12th this year).
Broadband provider YTL Communications today launches Yes Life for iOS app and making its voice/SMS services available on Apple iOS devices. The app turns iPad and iPod Touch into mobile phones and users can make and receive calls. When someone calls your Yes 018 mobile number, all your iOS devices will ring simultaneously. Quite nifty! Yes Life app is also available on Mac OS and Windows platforms.
Apple will release free iOS updates next week, responding to the ongoing iPhone tracking fiasco. Specifically, the updates will fix some bugs and alter the way iOS functions, with regards the use of location services:
- reduces the size of the crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower database cached on the iPhone,
- ceases backing up this cache, and
- deletes this cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.
These upgrades are mostly invisible to end-users. Apple also released series of Q&A to address some of the concerns raised during the past 1 week, since the discovery of iPhone tracker.
Android smartphones are becoming more desirable than the iPhones in the US smartphone market, according to the latest survey report by The Nielsen Company. 31% of the respondents in the latest January-March 2011 survey they are planning to get an Android smartphones as their next smartphone, an increase from 26% recorded in July-September 2010. Both RIM and Microsoft came in distant third and fourth, with 11% and 6% respectively.
Imagine a room, a command center of sorts, illuminated by dozens of monitors in front of which nameless observers sit scrutinizing the data displayed before them. On the room walls are bigger displays; one showing the map of the country, some showing overhead views of several cities while others track the movements of selected individuals, identified only as numerics. On the door we see an emblem; not the crest of the Central Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency… but an Apple.
This imagery is not from Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State, but rather it was what came to my mind when I read about the discovery made by two security researchers – Pete Warden, Founder of Data Science Toolkit and Alasdair Allan, Senior Research Fellow, University of Exeter, that the Apple’s iOS 4.x mobile operating system records the user’s location for iPhone and iPad into a hidden file on the devices, named “consolidated.db”.
Terato Tech, one of the hottest startups in Malaysia, rejected a grant offered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), in a rather strong-worded letter. The Reza Razali Managing Director of Terato Tech wrote: we at Terato Tech are not serial grantpreneurs. The grouses mentioned in the letter include lengthy application processing (MCMC took 14 months to process the grant application) and below-than-expected grant amount. In the letter, the also suggested to MCMC “to do away with commission members/chairman who are active members of the business community.”
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is the regulatory body for the communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia, under the provisions of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998) and the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998).
YTL Communications released some performance statistics of its Yes 4G services, for the period between its launch in November 19 2010 and (possibly) March 04 2011.
||November 19, 2010
||Total Active Users
||Total Voice Minutes
||Total Voice Minutes per user
 =  / 
||Text Messages Sent
||Total Text Messages Sent per user
 =  / 
||Total Data Usage
||Total Data Usage per user
 =  / 
Seven months after it was released in the US, the iPad finally (officially) arrives in Malaysia. Better late than never right? After all, we’re only getting it four months after it was officially launched in our neighbor Singapore.
The good news is that now Malaysians are finally able to buy an IPad that is covered by full official support and warranty, as opposed to those covered by shop warranty and support if you were to buy them from, say, Lowyat Plaza.
Below is a list of prices of the various iPads which will be made available through Mac stores and Apple shops in the Klang Valley and Penang:
- 16GB: RM1,549
- 32GB: RM1,849
- 64GB: RM2,149
On the data plan front, there’s Maxis who is offering three plans:
- Entry 3.5GB – RM70 per month (available for postpaid and prepaid)
- Super 6.0GB – RM90 per month (available for postpaid only)
- Premium 15.0GB – RM200 per month (available for postpaid only)
Barely a week ago, YTL launched its Yes 4G mobile broadband service in Malaysia. Yes, it has been a wobbly start. First, their early subscribers were informed the range of 018 numbers may not be able to make or receive calls from numbers on other networks due to not being able to interconnect with these other networks. Then, they faced serious issues with their website which was not up and running properly for more than 15 hours after its launch. These teething problems had resulted in a backlash from Yes early subscribers who were frustrated by their inability to access Yes’ website.
GreyReview has obtained some explanations (published below, in verbatim) from YTL Communications, via its PR agency, on issues surrounding the Yes launch:
Attack on Yes.my
The threat was detected an hour after the launch. We started noticing that a large number of requests sent to www.yes.my could not be made by human users due to the nature of IP addresses and their sheer volume.
Looks like the rates for Yes, the new 4G broadband service, powered by YTL Communications have been leaked (intentionally?) on Twitter by @albnok. His tweet on Wednesday evening claiming “the cat is out of the bag” is accompanied by what appears to be an official bunting which would probably go public on Yes’ official launch, which is scheduled to be 6pm on Friday, 19th November 2010.
More like a teaser, the picture reveals that for 9 sen, Yes offers 3mb of data, 1 minute usage and 1 sms on a pay-as-you-use basis, which is actually quite reasonable as it translates to only 3 sen per mb of data. By comparison, TuneTalk offers 5 sen per mb and that is on EDGE.
I think the newly launched Path is a burst of fresh air in an increasingly congested, me-too social networking space. Path allows you to create and curate a more personal social network, that matters to you more. It is a simple yet elegant photo sharing application and the company is co-founded by @DaveMorin (the ex-Facebooker who posted this 100 million users mark in 2008) and @ShawnFanning (ex-Napster) and funded by rockstar investors (full list here).
Mobile, social photo sharing is in vogue these days. Startups in this marketspace include Instagr.am and picplz. However, Path offers a different social networking experience. It takes a different approach from established social networks – Facebook with mutual following (you follow someone, the other person must Accept it) and on Twitter, you ‘pull’ others’ status updates to your stream (you can Follow anyone with public profile). But, on Path, you Share (or ‘push’) your photos (or moments) to your friends. But, your friends can easily stop your moments from appearing on their Paths.