Idiotic PR Alert – Call of Duty Tweets Fake Terror Attack

Update: Call of Duty have now changed their Twitter name back to @CallofDuty, which earlier read as Current Events Agg. The embedded tweets below now look more representative of the game.

In a fit of inspired viral marketing, which was not at all tacky and inappropriate, the official Call of Duty Twitter account scared the Hell out of unsuspecting followers by reporting a made-up terrorist attack on a densely-populated area in Singapore.

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648905858529759232

To aid the ruse, the verified Call of Duty account changed its name to the rather obfuscating ‘Current Events Aggregate’, posing as a genuine news outlet, which just happens to be a breach of Twitter’s terms and conditions – a verified Twitter account is not permitted to change key information that might obscure the reason it was verified – for reasons of, y’know, fooling people into thinking that this was something other than a cheap promotional stunt.

A series of tweets followed, painting a picture of death and destruction in the fictional Singapore bombsite:

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648943510268284928

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648925311623655425

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648913308238643200

https://twitter.com/CallofDuty/status/648944146644905988

The final tweet reads, “That was a glimpse into the future fiction of #BlackOps3,” but might as well say, “Gotcha!”. Even if people weren’t fooled by it, using the imagery of tragic real world events, out of context, to push your factory-churned product is deplorable. Bombs, quarantine zones, and martial law, all to sell a few video games. Stay classy, Activision.

Singapore Restaurant Starts Using Drone Waiters

A Singapore restaurant, facing a dearth of waiting staff, has decided to utilise robotic drones to shuttle food from the kitchen to the diners.

The helicopter drones were developed by tech company Infinium in response to an epidemic shortage of food industry servers.

The flying waiters take a pre-programmed path to each table, navigating its environment thanks to infra-red sensors placed around the restaurant.

Source: BBC

Blackberry Hasn’t Given Up

BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said today that the Asian market is critical to the recovery of his company, but he will not be pushing hard into the Chinese sector just yet.

Chen commented that for BlackBerry, the Chinese market isn’t currently on the top of this to-do list. This is reportedly due to China being very concerned about data security issues making Blackberry do some extra yards to work around this fact. However, Blackberry have confirmed that they will be focusing on markets in India and Southeast Asia – in particular Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

An ex-coworker told me once that some nightclubs in Singapore require you to own a Blackberry device for you to be allowed into their premises, so you’d think that BlackBerry would have that market on a leash. Now whether this is true or not is another story, but either way it proves that BlackBerry as a company is though of very highly in that region.

In regards to the Chinese issue, Chen told today’s APEC forum:

“If we choose to expand our business in the Chinese market, it takes too long to win a reasonable market share, even if we have this time and money, I might choose our business for a region that has been reflected in the market, such as India and Southeast Asia.”

In 2012, there were reports claiming that the Indian government had allowed Blackberry to view some of its encrypted data, further rendering the Chinese government suspicions of any possible plans of company expansion in their region. Even given this information, Chen commented that this will not stop their research into increasing share in the Chinese market, stating: “Although the data is very sensitive issue, we still have a chance.”

BlackBerry is something that we haven’t really heard much of recently, especially due to the iPhone 6 release and many Samsung heavy-hitting marketing campaigns. Is the ‘business phone’ market something you still find relevant? Let us know your thoughts.

Image courtesy of IT home

Singapore Plans to Get Rid of Illegal Websites with New Law

Singapore is said to have its Law Ministry cooking up a law since April, similar to what is currently in effect in the UK, which will amend the Copyright Act and force ISPs to block infringing websites.

Indranee Rajah, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law, has said that the law will give copyright owners “greater ability to protect their rights in the online space”. In doing so, all websites presenting copyright infringing content will be blocked.

“The prevalence of online piracy in Singapore turns customers away from legitimate content and adversely affects Singapore’s creative sector,” Rajah said.

The new law is said to take effect starting this August, having copyright owners apply to the court in Singapore without needing to establish the liability of the network service provider. THis means that the copyright owners do not need to issue a previously mandatory take-down notice, having the court itself dealing with such actions now.

However, though ISPs can block the websites, it cannot stop users from taking advantage of a VPN software and accessing the restricted websites. For example, the popular torrent website, The Pirate Bay, even has their own proxy redirect website, which grants users access to their so-called ‘restricted’ website. The ban in question seems to apply, as in the UK, for people attempting to type in just the website address and not the bypass techniques, rendering the actual link restriction almost obsolete.

Thank you CNet for providing us with this information

Asia Reported To Be The Leading Place For Top-Speed Internet Connectivity

Study shows that the fastest internet connection, in the world, is in Asia. Latest study from Akamai Technologies, Asia is considered the epicentre for top-speed Internet access, having Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Singapore as the top 4 on the list.

Akami states that most of Asia improved their internet speeds compared to last year with at least 12 percent, which is quite impressive. However, Indonesia was the only one to see a 30 percent drop each year, achieving a 9.7 Mbps average connection, placing it on the 115th place on the list.

India appears to be the worst of them all, having a 9 Mbps connection speed, and even China’s 11.3 Mbps was not nearly enough to place it on the top 100 on the list. But as you would expect, people in Singapore, Japan and South Korea were among the top five countries on the list, having exceeded 100 mobile-data connections per 100 inhabitants., according to the International Telecommunication Union.

“Internet – and particularly broadband Internet – has become a key tool for social and economic development, and needs to be prioritized, even in the world’s poorest nations,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure said in a statement last year.

Besides Asia, in the top 10 top-speed internet countries, there were some European countries as well. Israel has achieved a 5th position with a 47.7 Mbps average connection, followed by Romania and Latvia on the 6th and 7th positions, with internet speeds of 45.4 Mbps and respectively 43.1 Mbps. The US and UK however appear to be kicked off the top 10 list, having the UK placed on the 16th position with 35.7 Mbps and the US coming in on the 13th place with 37 Mbps. Now how about that?

Thank you Bloomberg for providing us with this information.

AMD Announces Proposed Sale And Lease-Back Of Its Singapore Facility

Despite AMD’s most recent quarterly results showing a slight improvement over a long period of decline, AMD are still in a difficult financial situation. AMD has announced that it will sell and lease-back its Singapore facility to help raise much needed funds. This is similar to the deal AMD did with its Texas campus where the sale and lease-back deal helped to raise $164 million for them. That deal was done with Spear Street Capital and helped ease losses for the first quarter results of 2013.

AMD Singapore is considering selling its Singapore Facility located at 508 Chai Chee Lane, Singapore 469032 to HSBC Institutional Trust Services (Singapore) Limited. The deal would generate approximately $46 million for AMD after all the net fees and would help give AMD’s financial performance a push in the right direction. The deal would need final approval from Singapore’s JTC corporation to get the go-ahead.

This is part of AMD’s wider plan to return to at least break-even figures as fast as possible by reducing investments and capital in non-core parts of the business. AMD’s Singapore branch will continue to operate as normal and is still an important part of AMD’s global operations, employing 500 staff.

Image courtesy of AMD

Tablet Sales Will Hit 381 Million By 2017 Says Analysts

Forrester Analysts predict that by 2017 we could see 381 million tablets per year sold. They suggest that by 2017 one in eight people on earth will be a table user as existing sales of tablets will mean there will be about 905 million tablets in use.

By 2017 they claim that 60% of “online” Americans will own a tablet, 42% of European “online” consumers will have one and in the developing world figures will be much lower. In the developing world penetration rates are expected to be below 25% aggregate. In wealthier markets like Singapore and South Korea they are expected to still do well.

Of the total sales only 18% will be enterprise purchases meaning 82% of total sales will be made up from consumer purchases.

Image courtesy of ASUS