Archive for December 3, 2018

ASUS Is The Most Valuable International Brand From Taiwan In 2018

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 3, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has been ranked as the most valuable international brand from Taiwan for the sixth consecutive year according to the 2018 Taiwan Global Brands Survey conducted by Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy. ASUS is estimated to have a brand value of US$1.619 billion. The annual Taiwan Global Brands Survey is recognized as a key indicator of how brands from Taiwan are performing in the global market. ASUS and the other brands that ranked in the top 20 of the survey were recognized during the 2018 Best Taiwan Global Brands Awards ceremony in Taipei, hosted by the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs.

ASUS has achieved a wide range of goals in 2018, and the company has continued to receive numerous international design and media accolades, demonstrating a commitment to world-class design and innovation. Thomson Reuters has named ASUS one of the Top 100 Global Technology Leaders of 2018. Fortune again recognized ASUS as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies, and Forbes named ASUS in its Global 2000: Top Regarded Companies ranking for the second consecutive year. Additionally, ASUS products have received a variety of prestigious awards, including 18 iF Design awards, 16 Red Dot awards, nine Good Design awards, and 22 Taiwan Excellence awards. These awards reaffirm the ASUS commitment to design excellence and dedication to creating products that exceed user expectations.

ASUS has been taking proactive steps to transform the business into a smart enterprise and is working on many ventures in the fields of AI, big data, cloud computing and IoT. During Computex 2018, ASUS launched VivoWatch BP, the first wearable blood-pressure tracker with ASUS HealthAI technology, and RT-AX88U, a new W-Fi router featuring next-generation Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) wireless networking for ultrafast concurrent Wi-Fi speeds of up to 6000Mbps. ASUS also pushed the boundaries of the PC category with the launch of the latest ZenBook series which features the innovative ScreenPad, and with the unveiling of Project Precog, a future PC concept that combines the world’s first convertible dual-screen notebook with artificial intelligence. In addition to these compelling product launches, the 13.3-inch ZenBook S ultraportable notebook won Best Choice of the Year, the most prestigious award at Computex.

Earlier this year at MWC 2018, ASUS launched ZenFone 5, the first smartphone series with advanced algorithms and big-data analytics to provide users with a unique set of intelligent camera and communication features. Several months later, ASUS and ROG unveiled a brand-new lineup of Z390 motherboards supporting the latest 9th Generation Intel® processors. These new motherboards also introduced ASUS-exclusive AI Overclocking technology, which makes automatic tuning faster and smarter than ever before.

More recently, ASUS has expanded the Zenbo project with the development of Zenbo Junior, a new AI-enabled robotics platform that enables developers, system integrators and business partners to create and deploy robotic solutions for various business applications and to engage with customers in novel and compelling ways. Zenbo Junior is a testament to the company’s passion for, and commitment to, developing new robotics technologies.

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) added more world-leading, game-dominating gear in 2018, including ROG Phone, the first gaming smartphone to feature a specially customized speed-binned 2.96GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform and Adreno 630 GPU; ROG Swift PG27UQ, the world’s first 4K 144Hz gaming monitor; and GeForce® RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards, the latest series of ASUS and ROG graphics cards based on the latest NVIDIA GPU architecture. ROG also added two new product categories with the ROG Thor power supply and the ROG Ryuo and Ryujin AIO CPU coolers. ROG motherboards and other products continue to break world records and receive international awards, contributing to the brand’s overall market success and No. 1 position as the best global gaming brand.

ROG also demonstrated a strong passion for gaming by collaborating with major game title companies on unique product-bundled campaigns and by tailoring various ROG products to maximize their gaming performance. ROG joined up with Activision and Intel to launch a limited-edition range of Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4 products in advance of the game’s official release on PC. ROG also worked with Tencent Games, China’s largest video game company, to tailor the ROG Phone for the widely popular Arena of Valor mobile game.

To bolster corporate sustainability performance, ASUS has established the ASUS 2020 Sustainability Goals to set quantitative targets based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the aim of better utilizing resources and decreasing negative impacts on the environment and society. ASUS continues to adopt new quantitative assessment tools, such as the Environmental Profit and Loss Report which assigns a monetary valuation to the environmental impacts incurred at each phase of production of laptops. ASUS has also launched a “circular economy” program for PC products, which reduces waste by employing various sustainability procedures during production and through product design that favors recycling. The circular economy program includes recycling, refurbishing, and digital-learning initiatives as well as volunteer programs that help underprivileged communities by providing access to technology and education.

ASUS remains committed to perfecting the digital user experience while evolving its corporate business practices and operations to create a smart enterprise that will build upon 2018 successes and continue to challenge the status quo of what it means to be a global technology leader.


Tumblr To Remove Adult Content From Their Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 3, 2018 by itnerd

Tumblr the blogging platform that was once part of Yahoo, but is now part of OATH which is in turn owned by the Verizon empire has had a tough go as of late. They were nailed by Apple for allegedly having child porn on the platform and as a result got the iOS version of their app pulled from the App Store. Strangely, the Android version wasn’t pulled. Read into that what you will. But in any case, that was two weeks ago and I am guessing that as a result of that, Tumblr is deciding to pull all porn from their platform. And from people in the know, Tumblr is full of porn. They’re doing this via a change in their Community Guidelines that goes live on the 17th of December. And they’ve been nice enough to tell you what is good and bad going forward:

Don’t upload images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples —this includes content that is so photorealistic that it could be mistaken for featuring real-life humans (nice try, though). Certain types of artistic, educational, newsworthy, or political content featuring nudity are fine. Don’t upload any content, including images, videos, GIFs, or illustrations, that depicts sex acts.

As you can imagine, this isn’t going over well with users of the Tumblr platform who want their porn. This Reddit thread is an example of what people think of this.

Now for my $0.02 worth.

I personally don’t care if anyone wants to surf for porn as long as it doesn’t involve something illegal, or it’s illegal in whatever part of the world you happen to be surfing for porn from. That’s why I think that this is a gross overreaction by Tumblr and their corporate masters. A better route to address the concerns of Apple would have been to go after the child porn that they found, which to be fair they are doing, without going after everything. But they chose not to do that and here we are talking about it. I think that Tumblr is going to get a massive drop in usage as a significant number of the accounts that are on there are porn related. That means less ad revenue, which in turn means less revenue for OATH and Verizon, which means that Tumblr is basically dead, and you can engrave the tombstone now.


Experts Weigh In On Marriott Hack

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 3, 2018 by itnerd

It’s now been a few days since the now epic Marriott hack that put 500 million people at risk of having their personal data be used for who knows what nefarious purpose. Experts have started to weigh in and the consensus is that this was avoidable. World famous hacker Kevin Mitnick was the first to weigh in:

But since then others have added their thoughts. Dan Dearing, senior director of Product marketing at Pulse Secure, a San Jose-based provider of secure network and mobile access solutions to 80% of the Fortune 500 companies had this to say:

Early reports stated that security experts working with Marriott determined that there had been unauthorized access of the Starwood network since 2014.

This type of “lying in wait” threat is driving many IT organizations to rethink how they secure their network to combat hackers who are sophisticated and  patient to wait for the big payoff. The new security buzzword that describes how companies can defeat this type of threat is “zero-trust.” Essentially, IT cannot trust anything or anyone inside or outside of their network. Instead, they must deploy security tools that help enable them to always verify who the user is, whether the user is authorized to access the desired application or data, and finally if the user’s laptop or mobile device meets the security standards of the company. Only if all three conditions are met is the user allowed on the network.”

From a legal standpoint comes Cathryn Culverhouse who is a solicitor at the city law firm DMH Stallard. Cathryn is an expert on data protection and GDPR regulations. And she had this to say:

“Marriott have today announced that they have suffered a major data breach following the hack of its database. The breach is thought to include the personal data of up to 500 million customers, including (but not limited to) names, addresses, passport numbers and account details. This is clearly sensitive personal information from which individuals can easily be identified. Such information getting into the hands of fraudsters could have severe consequences , especially in respect of identity or bank fraud.  

“Marriott are likely to be investigated by the ICO and could receive a hefty fine (up to 4% of their annual global turnover) given the large scale breach of sensitive information. This is likely to have a damaging impact on the hotel’s reputation.  

“If a customer of Marriott has been affected by the breach they should be notified by Marriott without delay – although delay is not defined within GDPR and such a timeline will depend on the circumstances.

“Customers who may have been affected should visit the website set up by Marriott ( to obtain more information, including details of the year-long subscription to a fraud-detecting service in the US, UK and Canada that Marriott are providing to their customers free of charge.

“These customers also have a potential claim against Marriott for compensation in respect of any losses.”   

Finally, there’s Nick Wyatt, Head of Tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, who offers his view on how the company can turn the disaster into a positive:

“Marriott cannot afford for this to happen again and so must now invest very heavily in improved detection and response-based technologies such as deception-based solutions, endpoint detection and response, software defined segmentation, and behavior analytics.

“GlobalData forecasts that by 2021, global cybersecurity products and services revenues are expected to reach US$140bn, up from US$114bn in 2017 and breaches like this present a great opportunity for cybersecurity consultants like Accenture, IBM, KPMG, PwC, FireEye, Herjavec Group, and Root9B. Other hotel companies cannot afford to ignore this issue and these companies can profit greatly as a result.

“In the more immediate term, Marriott must show that it is employing post-breach consultants to help take all actions possible to protect critical digital assets.  Such firms will also look to identify the characteristics of the hackers in a bid to pre-empt further attacks. If Marriott can demonstrate that it is using such services, its claims of reducing future data security risks will have far more credibility.

‘‘Marriott has a chance to repair the reputational damage inflicted by shaping the future for the better and being seen as the catalyst for improved industry standard systems would be a great fillip. It must seize this opportunity to turn a great negative into a positive.”

This hack has the potential to be the biggest hack in history….. Until the next one. Thus I hope that companies large and small are looking at this hack and taking the advice of experts such as these so that they don’t become the next victim and put their customer’s data and information at risk.

Bragi Reveals First Applications Of nanoAI

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 3, 2018 by itnerd

Bragi, the company behind The World’s First Hearable , confirmed in February of this year its long-term plan of developing AI on IoT devices. Nine months after the introduction of nanoAI, Bragi discloses the first pilot applications of its technology in cooperation with various industry leaders.

The amount of IoT devices deployed worldwide is exploding across all industries and cloud computing is overwhelmed with challenges that prevent IoT from scaling. For this reason, the center of data production and computing is transitioning from the cloud to the edge creating the need of IoT devices with a small but power efficient footprint.

nanoAI is a comprehensive ultra-efficient technology suite that enables computing and data analysis on the edge with the lowest memory and processing footprint to date; therefore, supports IoT devices to scale by reducing latency, increasing security and privacy and lowering cloud storage costs.

The development of this technology has allowed Bragi to further expand, besides the wearable industry, into the industrial, smart city and transportation industries.

As a first enactment of Bragi’s expertise within the wearable industry, the company offers a platform that provides smart features and tailored service integrations to customers belonging to the consumer electronics, logistics, industrial and governmental sectors. Thus, innovative business models and value propositions can be created allowing a next generation user experience of wearables. The offered technology is based on Bragi’s next generation IoT platform and the first deployment of customer specific solutions will be available Q2 2019.

Within the industrial, smart city and transportation industries, nanoAI can be applied in multiple ways and can retrofit existing solutions. nanoAI provides predictive maintenance capabilities to recognize malfunctioning parts in machinery, optimizes monitoring within an urban environment and provides the building blocks needed to support new business models within logistics.

The further development of Bragi’s B2B business unit has come with the acceptance of the company as a member of Industrial IoT Council, its inclusion in the appliedAI Ecosystemafter being recognized among the top 100 AI startups in Germany, and in the Nvidia Inception partner program.

For more information about Bragi nanoAI, visit