Archive | February 2008

The Time is Now

SMBs in ASEAN to spend US$13.4B ON I.T. THIS 2008
by: Jerry Liao

DO they have the money? How serious are they? Are they difficult to work with? Do they have technology appreciation? and the question goes on and on. Questions that a supplier ask when faced with Small and medium businesses (SMBs) clients. I guess a study made recently by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc. can answer the questions:

Small and medium businesses (SMBs, or companies with up to 999 employees) across key countries in ASEAN—Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines—are set to spend US$13.4 billion on IT this 2008, up 15% over 2007. This increase in spending is due to a boom in the economies of most of these countries and a rise in the number of SBs (small businesses, or companies with up to 99 employees).
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The Final Surrender

Toshiba Announces Discontinuation of HD DVD Businesses
by: Jerry Liao

When the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray formats was announced, everybody was so excited to try out both medium, to answer one simple questions – who has the better quality? Then the format war ensued. Some companies supported HD-DVD, and others supported Blu-Ray.

Articles describing the strengths and weaknesses of each format flooded newspapers and magazines. Each trying to prove their point. The tug of war between the two formats was so exciting that everyone was waiting for new updates and developments. But as they all say, It was fun while the ride lasted.

Toshiba Corporation recently announced that it has undertaken a thorough review of its overall strategy for HD DVD and has decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders. This decision has been made following recent major changes in the market. Toshiba will continue, however, to provide full product support and after-sales service for all owners of Toshiba HD DVD products.

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How to Say NO

Yahoo Chief Explains Rejection of Microsoft Bid
by: Jerry Liao

By now, most of you have heard that the Yahoo’s Board of Directors has rejected the offer of Microsoft. But that doesn’t mean that Yahoo is already out of the woods – not yet. After the announcement, other companies have send feelers to talk to Yahoo for a possible tie up or acquisition. As to who will company choose is still a question waiting for an answer.

But why did Yahoo rejected the Microsoft offer? It can be explain by a letter sent out a letter to the company’s shareholders by Yahoo’s chief executive Jerry Yang :

“The Board of Directors, after a careful review by Yahoo!’s management along with our financial and legal advisors, believes that Microsoft’s proposal substantially undervalues Yahoo! and is not in the best interests of our stockholders.

Most importantly, I want you to know that your Board is continuously evaluating all of Yahoo!’s strategic options in the context of the rapidly evolving industry environment, and we remain committed to pursuing initiatives that maximize value for all our stockholders.

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Strictly Illegal

Teenagers Less Likely to illegally Download from the Net if they know the Law
by: Jerry Liao

I recently visited the website of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) to determine the status of piracy worldwide, particularly Asia and the Philippines. What I got was a study Global Software Piray done 2006 but was released May of 2007. Vietnam topped the list at 88%, Pakistan (86%), Indonesia (85%), China (82%), Thailand (80%) and India / Philippines tied at (71%).

On the other hand, the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) recommends that 13 countries be placed on the Priority Watch List in 2008: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Mexico, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Ukraine. New countries which IIPA would like to see added to the Watch List this year include: Spain, Greece, Sweden, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Brunei, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Kazakhstan.

IIPA requested that United States Trade Representative (USTR) to conduct an out-of-cycle reviews of three countries to evaluate their progress on the issues identified in the submission: Italy, Philippines, and Thailand. Although IIPA is not recommending these countries for placement on a Special 301 list, it urges USTR to give heightened bilateral attention to eight additional countries which pose specific problems for U.S. industry. These are Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Is there a solution to software piracy? Maybe. But before we can find the solution, we must know the causes.

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Fault Lines

Workplace Autopilot threatens security risk perception
by: Jerry Liao

I have been saying all along that security is a process and not just a solution. You can have the right software, the right infrastructure, but if you don’t have the proper procedure or process in place, then you might as well throw away all your investments. To add to what I said, a recent survey indicated that working attitude is another area where we should give more attention to if we want to have an efficient corporate security in place – at least.

Safeguarding sensitive information – no matter how sophisticated the IT system – can never be foolproof, according to research by Leeds University Business School.

The loss of a CD by HM Revenue & Customs in November 2007 containing personal and financial details of over 7 million families claiming child benefit was swiftly followed by assurances that such a mistake would never happen again. Earlier this week, an agency of the Department for Health admitted that over 4,000 NHS smartcards, giving potential computer access to patient records, had been lost or stolen – and nearly a third of these in the last year alone.

But no matter what steps an organization takes, they will always run the risk of being compromised by human psychology and the way we perceive risk on a day-to-day basis, says Professor Gerard Hodgkinson, Director of the Centre for organizational Strategy, Learning and Change (COSLAC).

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Time for Change

MODU – Make New connections
by: Jerry Liao

What do you do if you find your phone old? What do you do if you want your mobile phone do have a new look?

More often than not, you go to a shop and look for a new casing. Or buy some accessories like bling-blings for your mobile phone. Or go to a nearby Gmask shop and have your mobile phone wrapped with your preferred design. And if budget is not a problem, perhaps you’re going to buy a new phone.

Mobile users will do everything to be stylish. Sometimes functionality takes a back seat. Design first before features to some. Would it be great if we can have both? A new design everytime we want to coupled with quality features? Very achievable with the availability of MODU.

modu announced a fundamental shift in the mobile handset industry by launching the world’s first modular mobile phone, supported by variety of ecosystem partners. At the heart of the ecosystem is modu – a tiny, sleek mobile phone that is fully functional and easy to use. The modu can be slipped into a wide variety of modu jackets – stylishly designed phone enclosures – and modu mates – modu-enabled consumer electronics devices. modu’s ecosystem offers boundless possibilities in a simple and affordable way.

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Bid for Power

Microsoft Makes $44.6 billion Dollar Offer for Yahoo!
by: Jerry Liao

In one of my TV interviews early this year, one the things I said that will happen this 2008 is the possibility of Microsoft buying Yahoo. Both Microsoft and Yahoo wants to win the web battle, but is face with a very strong adversary – GOOGLE. So if they can’t beat Google by themselves, why not combine the strength of both and let’s see what is going to happen. We’ll, we don’t really have to wait that long, because just last week Microsoft says it has offered to buy Internet search engine Yahoo for $44.6 billion.

In a letter sent by Microsoft President Steve Balmer to Yahoo!’s Board of Directors, Balmer cited the following reasons why Microsoft is interested in acquiring Yahoo!:

– Scale economics: This combination enables synergies related to scale economics of the advertising platform where today there is only one competitor at scale. This includes synergies across both search and non-search related advertising that will strengthen the value proposition to both advertisers and publishers. Additionally, the combination allows us to consolidate capital spending.

– Expanded R&D capacity: The combined talent of our engineering resources can be focused on R&D priorities such as a single search index and single advertising platform. Together we can unleash new levels of innovation, delivering enhanced user experiences, breakthroughs in search, and new advertising platform capabilities. Many of these breakthroughs are a function of an engineering scale that today neither of our companies has on its own.

– Operational efficiencies: Eliminating redundant infrastructure and duplicative operating costs will improve the financial performance of the combined entity.

– Emerging user experiences: Our combined ability to focus engineering resources that drive innovation in emerging scenarios such as video, mobile services, online commerce, social media, and social platforms are greatly enhanced.

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Asian Workers to Get Biggest Pay Hike

Philippines forecasts as the Fifth Asian Country to receive largest Salary Increase
by: Jerry Liao

The year of the Rat is fast approaching and almost all fortune tellers are saying that the new year will be a great year for us. Great year they say? Does that mean we will be more prosperous? It seems we are heading toward that direction because the surveys agrees with what the fortune tellers are saying.

Asian workers are to continue receiving the highest salary increases worldwide, according to ECA International’s Salary Trends Survey 2007/2008, with average figures for the region forecast to be 7.3% – well above the global average of 5.9%.

ECA’s Salary Trends Survey 2007/2008 contains information collected from multinational companies about actual salary increases for 2007 and predicted salary increases for 2008. Including data analysis in the context of economic conditions, the survey is used by international companies to monitor and benchmark company salary levels in local markets around the world.

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