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January 30 2014

Google Street View Says Japan Is Top Virtual Tourism Spot in Asia

The intimate looks at locations around the globe made possible by Google Street View has changed the way many of us look at the world. But according to a new piece of information revealed by Google, it turns out that our virtual tourism habits aren’t necessarily aligned with some of our real-world pursuits.

According to Street View program manager Ulf Spitzer, the top virtual tourism destination in Asia using Google Street View is Japan, with Mount Fuji at the head of the list. In fact, Japan occupies the top six most visited Street View location slots, followed by Taiwan and Singapore Read more...

More about Google, Google Maps, Street View, Japan, and Asia

January 28 2014

The Countries With the Fastest Internet Are All in Asia

Asia is solidifying its place as the world's epicenter for top-speed Internet access, according to the latest research from Akamai Technologies expected to be published later today.

The top four places, ranked by their average peak connection speeds, were in Asia. Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Singapore had the speediest broadband, in that order, according to the study that looked at traffic flowing through Akamai's global network from July through September. With Taiwan ranking No. 8, regions or countries in Asia made up half of the top ten.

Nearly all of the major Asia-Pacific markets tracked by Akamai improved their peak connection speeds by at least 12% compared with the previous year. Indonesia was the only one that dropped — a 30% decrease year-over-year to 9.7 megabits per second, putting the country at 115th on the list. India is the only major market in Asia that came in behind Indonesia, with an average peak speed of 9 Mbps. China's 11.3 Mbps average wasn't enough to break into the top 100, either. Read more...

More about Asia, Akamai, Mobile Data, Mobile Broadband, and Internet Speed

December 09 2013

Cold-Loving Cockroach Invades New York City

A new species of cockroach that can withstand freezing temperatures has taken up residence in New York, scientists confirmed.

The resilient critter, Periplaneta japonica, had never been seen in the United States until an exterminator spotted some strange-looking roach carcasses last year on the High Line, a mile-long park built on an old elevated railway in Manhattan. Researchers confirmed the identity of the species, which is native to Asia and notable for its ability to thrive in cold climates, unlike the American cockroaches that populate New York and take shelter indoors when winter comes. Read more...

More about New York, Asia, Bugs, Us World, and Us

November 08 2013

Storm Trackers Plot Super Typhoon Haiyan's Next Steps

Super Typhoon Haiyan roared through the Philippines with sustained winds up to 195 miles per hour, making it a candidate for the strongest storm ever observed

Haiyan is now making its way toward Vietnam, where it is expected to make landfall this weekendEsri's interactive map below tracks the storm's most current position. Select points in its path to expand pullouts of data provided by the National Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center:

On Friday afternoon Eastern time, Haiyan's wind speeds have slowed down to 130 miles per hour and will gradually weaken as it approaches Vietnam's eastern coast on Saturday. While the typhoon bypassed the Philippine capital city of Manila, it pummeled the Eastern Visayas region. At least three deaths have been confirmed. However, the number is expected to rise once aid workers are able to access the hardest hit areas and assess the damage Read more...

More about Weather, Maps, Asia, Us World, and World

October 03 2013

5 Billion People Will Use Mobile Phones by 2017

Four years from now, 5.1 billion people will be mobile phone users around the globe — almost 1 billion more mobile users than the 4.3 billion people worldwide using them now.

Asia, the region that will see the most growth, is already home to the most mobile phone users. Some 2.4 billion people there use mobile phones, a figure projected to grow to 2.9 billion by 2017.

Statista's chart, below, compares mobile phone penetration in 2013 to forecasts for 2017 in different regions of the world.

mobile phones

How do you think more mobile phones will impact the planet? Let us know in the comments below. Read more...

More about Mobile, World, Asia, Smartphones, and Tech

August 21 2013

Amid Uproar Over NSA, Malaysia Wants to Expand Its Spying Powers

The spying scandal roiling the National Security Agency in the U.S. may turn out to provide great air cover for other countries wanting to expand electronic surveillance.

Take the Malaysian government.

The official in charge of fighting graft in the Southeast Asian nation says that the government may soon use phone tapping and Internet monitoring to help root out corporate and government corruption, a huge problem that costs the country as much as $9 billion a year, as my colleague Liau Y-Sing reported from Kuala Lumpur.

Paul Low, the minister in the Prime Minister's Department of fighting graft, says the government is in early-stage talks and declined to provide specifics about how sweeping any new powers might be or how they'd be used. And it's unclear to what degree the government is already snooping on its citizens. Read more...

More about Surveillance, Asia, Government Censorship, Us World, and Politics

June 20 2013

Singapore Is Totally Covered in Smog

Singapore is absolutely covered in a thick smog, causing the city's worst pollution levels on record.

Forest fires raging in nearby Indonesia and carried over by the wind are to blame for the all-time-high reading of 371 on Singapore's Pollutant Standards Index. Residents are donning surgical masks outside in attempts to filter out some of the pollutants, while city officials say the conditions could last for a staggering several weeks or months.

"We can’t tell how this [haze] problem is going to develop because it depends on the burning, it depends on the weather, it depends on the wind," Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a news conference on the smog as quoted by the Wall Street Journal. "It can easily last for several weeks and quite possibly it could last longer until the dry season ends in Sumatra, which may be September or October." Read more...

More about Singapore, Asia, Pollution, Us World, and World

May 11 2013

Windows 8 Releases Kooky Ads in Asia — But in What Language?

Microsoft released a series of off-the-wall ads in Asia that promote its Windows 8 operating system using kooky visual analogies.

"Beautiful and Fast," above, shows three bare-faced women racing to apply a full face of makeup in 10 seconds. The final woman, apparently representing Windows 8's attractive and efficient interface, succeeds.

"The Power of Touch," below, shows three men in a watermelon-carving competition, with the last contestant — again, representing Windows 8 — producing an intricate carving of a bird using only touch

"Multitask," below, shows two men playing the piano while simultaneously engaged in a ping-pong match with each other. The video is an apparent analogy for Windows 8's multitasking capabilities Read more...

More about Microsoft, Asia, Business, Advertising, and Apps Software

August 21 2012

Data Cables Link China and Taiwan for First Time

Four minutes' worth of Internet traffic flowed this week over the first data cables linking China and Taiwan.

The undersea cables cost four Chinese and Taiwanese telecoms $6.4 million to build and represent more than just a simple communications link between the two nations.

Relations between China and Taiwan have been tenuous since 1949 -- Taiwan views itself as an independent nation, but the Chinese government wants it reunited with mainland China.

However, the cables are the latest product of the countries' recent efforts to improve ties through new transportation routes, communication networks and other economic links. Taiwan's president, Ma Ying-jeou, has emphasized the i…
Continue reading...

More About: Taiwan, World, asia, china, internet

May 27 2011

Sony Set To Bring PSN Back Online in Asia

After a long period of downtime, Sony has announced that it will start restoring its PlayStation Network in some Asian countries on Saturday.

The company recently restored the network, which had been incapacitated by a series of hacker attacks for nearly a month, in most parts of the world. But users have still been waiting for PSN to get back online in Asia.

That’s about to change — for some countries, at least. According to a statement from the company, it will first restore online gaming and chat in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand on Saturday. PSN will remain down in South Korea and Hong Kong until further notice.

The restoration of PSN was delayed in Asia, as authorities in some countries had asked Sony to prove it had taken security measures to protect the customers’ data.

Sony is also offering a “Welcome Back” gift package to users in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, similar to gift packages offered in other parts of the world.

As Sony slowly cleans this mess, the cost of the PSN hack and the resulting downtime has built up: Sony directly lost $171 million due to the incident. The damage to its reputation, as well as the loss of users’ trust, might end up hurting Sony even more.

More About: asia, gaming, online, playstation network, PSN, sony

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:

February 09 2011

Facebook Opens Office in Hong Kong

facebook image

Facebook plans to open an ad sales office in Hong Kong, in an effort to strengthen its presence in the region.

The move comes not long after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s visit to China, where he was seen visiting the Beijing headquarters of China’s largest search engine, Baidu.

“By continuing to build our presence in the region, Facebook will be able to directly provide full support to advertisers here and help them create and execute campaigns that will have a meaningful impact on their businesses,” said Blake Chandlee, vice president and commercial director of Asia Pacific, Latin America and emerging markets.

Facebook has been banned in mainland China since 2009, but it’s available in Hong Kong and Taiwan. This latest move by Facebook is another step toward conquering the Asian market, after opening an office in Singapore in September 2010.

Image courtesy of Flickr, smemon87

[via Asia Media Journal]

More About: asia, china, facebook, Hong Kong, office, social networking

For more Business & Marketing coverage:

December 04 2009

RUMOR: Friendster to Be Sold for $100+ Million

Do you remember Friendster? Several years ago, it was one of the hottest startups and social networks around, long before MySpace or Facebook hit the scene. Google even tried to acquire it back in 2003. But while it’s on the decline in the western world, it’s a powerful force in Asia, where it is one of the most popular Web sites in nations such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Indonesia.

According to Reuters, the social network is not only moving to lock in its Asian audience, but it’s about to get a new Asian owner as well. Fresh off a redesign aimed at its Asian userbase, Friendster will be sold by the end of the year to an Asian buyer for an amount north of $100 million.

The company, which has been private since its inception in 2002, was founded by programmer Jonathan Abrams and received investments from several venture capital firms totaling around $50 million. Now it’s led by CEO Richard Kimber, a former director of Google’s South Asian affairs.

It’s no surprise to us that Friendster’s focus on the Asian market would eventually result in an Asian owner. Friendster, while mostly ridiculed and forgotten in the U.S., is still one of the world’s largest Web sites and has room to grow within Asia. Considering its rapid decline in the U.S., Friendster could have done a lot worse.

Did you use Friendster back in the day or are you a current user? We want to hear your Friendster stories (or ridicule) in the comments.

Reviews: Friendster

Tags: asia, friendster

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