Tag Archives: Online

Online Game “Blue Whale” Blamed for Suicides Amongst Players
October 27, 2017 12:01 pm|Comments (0)

The Indian Supreme Court says online portals must spread awareness about the deadly game.

India’s Supreme Court is holding hearings by advocates who want the online game “Blue Whale” banned after blaming it for 100 suicides throughout the country, according to The Indian Express.

The game issues various challenges to participants over a 50-day period; on the final day, players are instructed to complete the game by committing suicide.

The phenomenon has recently been in the spotlight in Iran too, after two girls attempted to kill themselves by jumping off a bridge (one died, the other was critically injured). Authorities later found an audio message recorded by the girls, bidding goodbye to their parents and proclaiming they would “take their lives to complete the Blue Whale game”, according to local news agency Mizan Online.

Read: Facebook Takes Steps to Prevent Suicide

The game revolves around an anonymous “master” who assigns various self-harming activities that become incrementally more dangerous, with acts ranging from watching horror movies to self-mutilation. Users are encouraged throughout to post photos of their daily challenges online.

Read: What Twitter’s Future Could Depend On

Blue Whale appears to have origins in the Russian social-networking site VKontakte, and was criticized for the same deadly impact on Russian teens earlier in 2017, according to RFERL.

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Consumer goods firms harness online data to tap Southeast Asia e-commerce boom
October 23, 2017 12:00 am|Comments (0)

SINGAPORE/BANGKOK (Reuters) – When diaper maker DSG International (Thailand) wants to know what its customers are thinking, it often turns to Lazada, an e-commerce firm majority-owned by Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.N).

FILE PHOTO: The Singapore Lazada website is seen in this illustration photo June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

“From (their) data, we know mothers sometimes browse at night, so we can offer flash sales when we know customers are browsing,” says Ambrose Chan, the Thai company’s CEO.

Southeast Asia is the world’s fastest-growing internet market, home to 600 million consumers from Vietnam to Indonesia via Singapore, many of them tech- and social media-savvy. They are rapidly spending more time and money online. A Nielsen study in 2015 estimated Southeast Asia’s middle-class will hit 400 million by 2020, doubling from 2012.

Gross merchandise value of ecommerce in Southeast Asia will balloon to $ 65.5 billion by 2021, from $ 14.3 billion last year, predicts consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

Research firm Euromonitor forecasts internet retailing in Indonesia, for example, will more than double to $ 6.2 billion by 2021, and Thailand will increase 85 percent to $ 2.8 billion.

(For a graphic on Southeast Asia internet sales click reut.rs/2l3qULe)

Consumer goods firms, such as Unilever (UNc.AS) and Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido (4911.T), say the e-commerce boom allows them to push deeper into markets that can otherwise be difficult to understand and tough to penetrate due to poor retail networks and infrastructure.

“Data from Lazada has been used to position certain products where consumer preferences are different. For example, Thai customers like to buy diapers in special cartons, while Malaysians prefer multiple packs,” says Chan.

To reach more customers and get a better handle on their online behavior, consumer goods companies are forging partnerships with e-commerce firms like Lazada and fashion website Zalora.

POWERFUL, INSIGHTFUL

A customer who clicked on a 50 milliliter product may instead buy a smaller 30 ml product, said Pranay Mehra, vice president, digital and e-commerce at Shiseido Asia Pacific, noting that data and online selling experience can help firms bundle offers, decide on packaging and distribution, and influence where to set up a physical presence.

“This data is very powerful and very insightful, if used properly,” Mehra added.

Unilever, whose products range from Hellmann’s mayonnaise to Dove soap, said it is seeing more demand from rural consumers in developing markets like Indonesia and Vietnam.

RedMart’s President Vikram Rupani poses at their fulfillment centre in Singapore September 22, 2017. Picture taken September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

“With all our e-commerce partners, we’re using data to help us find innovative solutions to unlock key barriers of high cost delivery and poor credit card penetration in remote areas,” said Anusha Babbar, e-commerce director at Unilever Southeast Asia and Australasia.

The conglomerate, which works with the likes of Singapore online grocer RedMart, Indonesia’s Blibli and Vietnam’s Tiki, said it introduced its St Ives skincare brand on Lazada after seeing a trend towards natural products and shopper search data.

DATA AND LOGISTICS

“Traditional retailers will struggle to see customer behavior,” said Lazada Thailand’s CEO, Alessandro Piscini. “We can tell if a customer is pregnant from their search behavior.”

Slideshow (10 Images)

Lazada, he said, plans to use data science to help its merchants customize offers for specific customer groups based on age, gender and other preferences.

Zalora, which sells clothing and accessories online in markets including Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, said it was working on ad-hoc projects with some brands to help them understand their customers based on data.

Lazada and Zalora are among the few e-commerce platforms that operate in multiple Southeast Asian countries. But the region is becoming a new battleground as Amazon (AMZN.O) and JD.com (JD.O) make beachheads in Singapore and Thailand.

Lazada Thailand will focus on partnering with fast-moving consumer goods companies to maintain its lead, Piscini said, and is expanding its logistics footprint across a region that has poor roads, clogged cities and thousands of often remote islands.

To be sure, online still contributes a tiny portion to consumer goods companies’ sales, but some local firms are going beyond partnerships and investing in their own e-commerce capabilities.

Thailand’s top consumer goods manufacturer Saha Group (SPI.BK) (SPC.BK) has seen online sales of some of its brands rise tenfold since it began a partnership with Lazada in June, but online still represents just 1-2 percent of total sales.

Saha is using e-commerce data to customize offerings.

“We now make real-time offerings to customers. Before, promotions would be seasonal,” Chairman Boonsithi Chokwatana told Reuters.

The company, whose products include instant noodles, toothpaste and laundry detergent, is investing 2 billion baht ($ 60 million) in logistics to support its e-commerce ambitions, including a 21-storey warehouse and a big data team, he said.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in SINGAPORE and Chayut Setboonsarng in BANGKOJK; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Doctors take inspiration from online dating to build organ transplant AI
January 17, 2017 6:05 am|Comments (0)

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When Bob Jones performed one of Victoria’s first liver transplants in 1988, he could not imagine that 29 years later he’d be talking about artificial intelligence and online dating.

Jones is the director of Austin Health’s Victorian liver transplant unit in Melbourne, Australia, and along with his colleague Lawrence Lau, he has helped develop an algorithm that could potentially better match organ donors with organ recipients.

Comparing it to the metrics behind dating site eHarmony, Jone said they planned to use the specially-designed AI to improve the accuracy of matching liver donors and recipients, hopefully resulting in less graft failures and fewer patient deaths. Read more…

More about Organ Transplants, Artificial Intelligence, Liver Transplants, Melbourne, and Australia


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Report: PlayStation 4 ‘slim’ surfaces in online ad
August 21, 2016 9:35 pm|Comments (0)

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What is this slimmer, matte black PlayStation 4 console that’s up for sale online?

Seller Adam is offering what appears to be a boxed-for-retail PlayStation 4 that looks distinctly different from any version of the console that’s been sold to date. The listing on Gumtree, a U.K. site for classified ads,  refers to the hardware as a “slim line model” and carries a £295 ($ 385) asking price.

Before you cry hoax — a reasonable conclusion, to be sure — consider this: on Sept. 7, Sony is hosting a “PlayStation Meeting” in New York City. The last event bearing that name, held in 2013, featured the reveal of the PS4. Read more…

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Online gaming may boost school scores. Social media? Not so much.
August 13, 2016 6:45 pm|Comments (0)

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If you or your kids are avid gamers, here’s some good news: All that strategising may have a beneficial impact on school results. Whether regular Facebook use is a drag on one’s English test scores — that’s another question.

A study conducted by Alberto Posso, a professor at Australia’s RMIT University, found that teenagers who played online video games regularly were often able to improve their school scores. 

Students who were daily social media users, however, tended to under perform in maths, reading and science. “The results suggest that a student who uses online social networks on a daily basis will also obtain a grade in math that is 20 points lower than a student who never uses this type of social media,” Posso said in the report. Read more…

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You Can Watch 8 Minutes Of That Cheesy Mr. Robot Horror Film Online
July 30, 2016 6:55 am|Comments (0)

The previous episode of Mr. Robot finally gave us an origin story for the F Society, specifically where the group got its weird, Monopoly Man-inspired mask that has become its symbol and it comes from a fake 1980s horror film that you can watch online.

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Proposed senate bill would kill online privacy as we know it
April 8, 2016 6:50 pm|Comments (0)


Apple and the FBI both started to veer toward the same stance in the San Bernardino iPhone case: we need better policy. It’s on its way, but if passed, it’s certainly not the policy Apple had hoped for. The latest version of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016 requires companies provide government with “intelligible data” or “technical assistance” to access encrypted data when presented a court order. In a joint statement, senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein noted: “The underlying goal is simple: When there’s a court order to render technical assistance to law enforcement or provide decrypted information, that…

This story continues at The Next Web


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Analysts Expect United Online to Announce $0.13 Earnings Per Share (NASDAQ:UNTD)
February 20, 2016 6:05 am|Comments (0)

The Communications segment provides Internet access services and devices, including dial-up, mobile broadband, digital subscriber line (NASDAQ:UNTD), e-mail, Internet security, Web hosting, and voice services. The Content & Media segment offers social …


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5 Affordable Ways to Get Your Business Noticed Online
October 3, 2015 5:25 pm|Comments (0)

GoDaddy, Web.com, and other domain retailers combine domain registrations with their own web page design and hosting. … Lastly, it’s also worth checking out WordPress, which offers themes that are flexible enough to look truly customized. As your …


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Radware’s Attack Mitigation System Helps Protect Online Tech, Hosting/Cloud …
September 13, 2015 8:55 pm|Comments (0)

MAHWAH, N.J., Sept. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Radware® (NASDAQ:RDWR), a leading provider of cyber security and application delivery solutions ensuring optimal service level for applications in virtual, cloud and software defined data centers, …

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