Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases we received from June 19 till the end of the week. This column updates regularly throughout the week.
Black Mirror Boosts T&Cs Search
London, June 20: The latest season of Black Mirror has led to a surge in searches for “Netflix terms and conditions,” with a 596 percent increase within three days of the season’s release. The first episode, titled “Joan is Awful,” highlights the consequences of accepting terms without reading them. People in the UK, Australia, and the US showed the most interest in Netflix’s terms and conditions. CasinoAlpha.ie suggests that policymakers should intervene to improve user understanding of agreements, as reading the fine print is often overlooked. Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker, explores the darker implications of technological advancements and has garnered numerous awards since its release in 2011.
Epson Triumphs in Design
Sydney, June 20: Six models of Epson printers and projectors have emerged victorious as winners of the esteemed iF Design Award 2023, recognized globally as one of the most prestigious accolades in the design industry. The iF Design Award, organized by iF International Forum Design GmbH, Hannover, has been celebrating innovative industrial product designs since 1954. To be honored with this award, designs must meet specific selection criteria, including practicality, workmanship, innovativeness, sustainability, functionality, usability, safety, aesthetics, and universal design. This year, the competition received an impressive 11,000 entries from 56 countries and regions, with judging carried out by a panel of 133 experts.
T’way Air Launches Incheon-Kota Kinabalu Flight
Sabah, June 20: T’way Air debuts its direct flight from Incheon to Kota Kinabalu, bolstering South Korea-Sabah connections.
Sabah’s allure to South Korean tourists drives its popularity as a preferred destination.
The launch of T’way Air’s route aims to deepen tourism links between the two destinations.
Sabah’s captivating natural wonders and cultural heritage attract South Korean visitors.
More direct flights are expected, including routes from Shanghai Airlines and AirAsia.
MR D.I.Y. Foundation Empowers Malaysians
Kuala Lumpur, June 20: Yayasan MR D.I.Y., a newly-launched foundation, aims to improve the lives of Malaysians through community impact programs.
The foundation is committed to organizing initiatives that provide assistance and relief to those in need, focusing on areas such as environmental protection, health and well-being, capacity-building, and arts and culture.
Puan Zaleha Mohd Mydin has been appointed as the foundation’s CEO, expressing her dedication to positively impacting society and working with teams, partners, and government agencies to uplift Malaysians.
Adrian Ong, CEO of MR D.I.Y. Group Berhad, praises Zaleha’s appointment, highlighting her role in driving community impact programs, including COVID-19 initiatives, and entrusting her with the foundation’s resources and support.
MR D.I.Y. Group carried out over 90 community impact programs in 2022, benefiting over 126,000 individuals and communities, and received an ESG award for its efforts.
Malaysians Support Economic Short-term Rentals
Kuala Lumpur, June 20: Malaysians overwhelmingly recognize the economic benefits of Airbnb, as revealed by a recent survey, with over 82 percent agreeing that it drives economic activity and allows locals to earn additional income, while strong support for short-term rental accommodations is also evident, as 60 percent believe it boosts suburban neighborhoods and tourism revenue, and 75 percent support the use of surplus vacant apartments for short-term rentals in selected areas; affordability concerns are a top priority for Malaysians, with rising costs being a major barrier to travel, but Airbnb offers a solution by providing more affordable and comfortable options for family travel, boosting Malaysia’s tourism industry, and enabling locals to generate extra income by renting out their homes; as travel rebounds, Airbnb experiences growing interest from Malaysians, with nearly 60 percent likely to travel with Airbnb in the next year and 40 percent considering becoming hosts, while Airbnb actively collaborates with the Malaysian government to establish comprehensive guidelines for short-term rental accommodations nationwide, ensuring fair and balanced regulations that support operators and promote responsible hosting.
Victorians Are Sports Obsessed
London, June 20: A recent study reveals Australia’s most sports-obsessed states and territories based on Google search data. Victoria emerges as the most sport-obsessed region, with AFL dominating the searches. South Australia closely follows in second place, with AFL as the most popular sport. Tasmania ranks third, with AFL taking the lead once again. The Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, and the Northern Territory round off the list, each showcasing its unique sports preferences.
Sony’s Catchlight Festival holds Mentors Day
Sydney, June 20: The Catchlight Film Festival, presented by Sony, is back for 2023, attracting filmmakers of all levels to showcase their talent and creative use of Sony equipment.
Renowned cinematographer Stefan Duscio ACS, director Gracie Otto, and award-winning screenwriter Yolanda Ramke are the judges for this year’s festival.
The Mentors Day event provided an exclusive opportunity for previous winners, Ash Gray and Olly Sindle, to receive guidance from industry heavyweights Michael Boughen, Yolanda Ramke, and Angus Clunies-Ross.
Participants praised the festival and Mentors Day, expressing gratitude for the invaluable insights and inspiration gained.
The Catchlight Film Festival is now accepting entries for its 2023 edition, open to films predominantly shot using a Sony camera and with no restrictions on production date.
Submissions will close at 11:59 pm on Sunday, 25 June 2023.
The judging process will begin on Monday, 26 June, and finalists will be notified starting on Monday, 31 July 2023.
For comprehensive information and complete terms and conditions regarding the 2023 Catchlight Film Festival here.
Epson dominates AV Awards
Sydney, June 21: Epson’s EH-TW6250 4K PRO-UHD projector wins the under $2500 Award, offering superior image quality and gaming capabilities. The projector utilizes Epson’s 4K PRO-UHD technology, resulting in incredible brightness, enhanced color, and superb image detail. With an advanced 3LCD design and true 3-chip technology, it delivers 2,800 lumens of color and white brightness, while projecting up to 500 inches for an immersive experience.
The EH-LS12000B 4K PRO-UHD laser projector wins the over $5000 Award, redefining 4K theatre-quality expectations. Featuring a laser array light source, next-generation image enhancement, and expanded HDR10+ support, it delivers impressive brightness, color accuracy, and image detail. The projector’s unique laser optical engine ensures uncompromising quality and a long lifespan of up to 20,000 hours.
Installation is made simple with the EH-LS12000B’s 3-axis motorized lens, allowing precise shifting without picture distortion. A front exhaust and highly sealed optical unit ensure minimal light escape, keeping viewers fully immersed in their content.
Value-Based Marketing Revolutionized Shopee
Kuala Lumpur, June 21: One thousand two hundred Malaysian sellers at Shopee’s Seller Summit embraced Value-Based Marketing. The event allowed sellers to incorporate online consumer trends and new marketplace features. Ten value-based sellers demonstrated unique values through user experience and storytelling. Shopee unveiled platform initiatives to enhance logistics, payments, and customer engagement. Successful sellers discussed meeting the needs of value-based consumers. Made-in-Malaysia stores on Shopee showcased local economic inclusion. The event empowers sellers and promotes a more inclusive digital economy.
MBC: Driving Climate Action
Kuala Lumpur, June 21: AICB and ABM host the Malaysian Banking Conference (MBC) to address the banking and financial sector’s role in climate action and just transition. Keynote and special ministerial addresses to be delivered by government officials. MBC brings together industry leaders, experts, and regulators to discuss ESG initiatives and develop solutions for a sustainable economy. AICB CEO and ABM Executive Director express hope for advancing climate action in the banking sector. MBC features distinguished speakers covering topics such as ESG policies, green financing, and social issues, among others.
Becoming Millionaires With Super-Rewards
Sydney, June 22: Super-Rewards, Australia’s leading superannuation cashback program, is helping millennials become millionaires by earning super contributions through their everyday spending activities. The program offers cash-back rewards into any super account in Australia through its mobile app and browser extensions, with over 500 online retailers and 1,000 physical stores participating. Top-performing retailers like Virgin Australia, Apple, and The Good Guys have contributed approximately $1 million to the superannuation pool in the past year through rewards paid to Super-Rewards users. The CEO of Super-Rewards emphasizes the importance of superannuation in retirement planning, especially with the rising cost of living and the potential phasing out of the pension by 2040. Younger Super-Rewards members, particularly millennials, can accumulate significant rewards from dining, leisure, and travel expenses, potentially earning up to $50 Super-Rewards per month without additional effort, putting them on track to join the millionaire’s club in retirement.
Freshworks Boosts AI Efficiency
Sydney, June 22: Freshworks introduces Freddy Self-Service, Freddy Copilot, and Freddy Insights to make generative AI more accessible and efficient across various departments. These AI enhancements, showcased at Freshworks’ Q2 ’23 Launch event, have reduced task completion time by up to 83 percent in sales, marketing, and support. Freddy AI empowers support agents, salespeople, marketers, IT managers, HR professionals, and developers with workplace assistants to maximize productivity. Freshworks leverages its domain expertise to offer contextual assistance, automate monotonous tasks, and provide actionable insights through Freddy Copilot, Freddy Self-Service, and Freddy Insights. With the integration of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service, Freshworks ensures the privacy and security of customer data while harnessing the power of generative AI.
Australian Government Acquires Intermodal Site
Sydney, June 22: The National Intermodal Corporation completes the acquisition of a 1,100-hectare site in Melbourne’s northern growth corridor for an intermodal terminal precinct.
The Beveridge site is endorsed as the southern end-point of Inland Rail, offering efficient container services and enhancing competition in the rail freight sector.
The development will enable double-stacked container services for freight trains to Perth and Brisbane, and provide freight services across Melbourne and to Sydney.
The large landholding includes a 500-hectare environmental buffer, ensuring amenities for future occupants and surrounding communities.
National Intermodal aims to have a preliminary terminal available by 2025, with a fully integrated terminal operational by 2028/29, creating employment opportunities and transforming the supply chain.
Paessler and PATLITE Drive Digital Transformation
Sydney, June 22: Paessler and PATLITE join forces to accelerate digital transformation in Southeast Asia by combining IT network monitoring and operational technology (OT) expertise.
The partnership aims to provide comprehensive visibility into customers’ entire infrastructure, bridging the gap between IT and OT systems.
Paessler’s PRTG network monitoring solution will be integrated with PATLITE’s OT products, enabling organizations to monitor both IT and operational infrastructure.
The collaboration offers simplified joint solutions, including the PATLITE Network Tower Light and Paessler PRTG monitoring software, to enhance productivity and process understanding.
The alliance empowers organizations in Southeast Asia to achieve a holistic view of their infrastructure and improve operational efficiency.
Epson Wins Red Dot Design Award for Innovative Products.
Sydney, June 22: Epson’s SureLab D500 series, inkjet printers, industrial robot, and projector receive prestigious Red Dot Design Awards.
SureLab D500 printers offer compact design and eco-friendly features, while inkjet printer models cater to various industries.
The industrial robot GX8 combines high-speed operation and accuracy in a smart body size.
CO-FH02 projector delivers high brightness and versatile functionality in a compact form.
Epson’s innovative designs are recognized for their aesthetic appeal and practicality.
Carbon Measurement for Esports
Kuala Lumpur, June 23: Energy Expert analyzes carbon emissions from temporary construction at the Olympic Esports Week, providing data-driven insights.
The tool compares the impact of materials and equipment, helping organizers make sustainable choices.
Alibaba Cloud’s solution allows for the identification of emission sources, quantification of carbon footprints, and visualization of sustainability performance.
Through digital alternatives and reusing materials, significant carbon dioxide emissions reductions were achieved.
Alibaba Cloud supports the IOC’s digital transformation and aims to tackle carbon emissions in the esports industry.
Minetech Wins RM6.75 Million Contract
Kuala Lumpur, June 22: Minetech Resources Berhad’s subsidiary, Minetech Construction Sdn Bhd, has been awarded an RM6.75 million contract for the construction of road and drainage systems in the Banting Industrial Park, Selangor.
The project is expected to be completed within five months and will contribute positively to Minetech’s revenue, earnings, and net assets for FY2024.
In addition to this contract, Minetech recently secured a roadworks project worth RM2.56 million and a contract worth RM36.7 million for the development of a 3MW mini hydropower plant.
The company remains focused on growing its financial technology and renewable energy businesses while seeking opportunities in civil engineering and bituminous products.
Minetech’s financial performance continues to improve, with adjusted EBITDA turning positive in FY2023.
Aneka Jaringan Secures Projects
Kuala Lumpur, June 22: Aneka Jaringan secures RM168.0 million substructure projects. Two projects were awarded by Overseas Union Garden in Kuala Lumpur. Projects expected to be completed within 23 months, boosting earnings and net assets. Aneka Jaringan expands operations in Indonesia and anticipates further growth. The successful listing of the first tranche from private placement raised RM7.6 million.
Dataiku Revolutionizes Generative AI
Sydney, June 23: Dataiku, the platform for Everyday AI, has announced breakthroughs in Generative AI enterprise applications, safety, and tooling, which have the potential to accelerate real applications with real safety. Dataiku’s Generative AI Use Case Collection provides a leap forward in applying Generative AI in the enterprise by offering 16 real business use cases and moving away from custom projects to industrial-scale development and deployment. They have also introduced the RAFT Framework for Generative AI use cases, which helps enterprises prepare for future AI regulation by providing actionable steps for responsible and transparent AI implementation. Dataiku is turning prompt engineering into an enterprise activity with Prompt Studio, allowing more people to become proficient prompt engineers, while AI Prepare enables a wider population of users to interact with data and build production-ready data transformations. The Generative AI Use Case Collection, RAFT Framework, Prompt Studio, and AI Prepare are now available, and additional platform capabilities will be released in the coming months.
Australia’s Most Traded Shares Revealed
Sydney, June 23: According to recent data from global fintech group Plus500, Tesla holds the title for the most frequently traded share in Australia. The information, derived from Plus500’s exclusive trading feature called +Insights, covers the period from May 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023. Alongside Tesla, Apple and Amazon secure the second and third positions as the most traded shares by volume.
Interestingly, three Australian companies, namely Pilbara Minerals, BHP Group, and Fortescue Metals, feature among the top ten most actively traded shares. These mining and metals companies have garnered significant trading interest over the past 12 months, with Pilbara Minerals ranking the highest among them. It’s worth noting that these Australian companies are the only representatives from the nation within the national top ten.
Xbox Game Pass Prices Soars
Sydney, June 23: Xbox Game Pass prices surge globally, including in the UK, Canada, and Australia, amplifying concerns amidst the cost-of-living crisis.
Increasing reliance on gaming subscriptions for accessing content and additional services adds a financial burden to consumers and threatens console purchases.
Microsoft’s recent announcement of price hikes for Xbox Game Pass sparks worries about affordability, potential cancellations, and the risk of rendering devices obsolete.
Indivisible Game’s investigation into online gaming subscriptions highlights the most affordable and value-driven service, exposing Microsoft’s price increase as lacking corresponding additional benefits.
Rising subscription costs in gaming services like Xbox Game Pass pose challenges for existing customers and deter potential console buyers, exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis.
Adyen Partners with Shopify
Sydney, June 23: Adyen and Shopify join forces to simplify e-commerce for enterprise merchants, tackling payment complexity and enhancing customer journeys.
Adyen’s global payment platform supports Shopify’s enterprise expansion, offering diversified commerce solutions for scalable revenue growth.
The Adyen payment app on Shopify’s platform provides flexible payment experiences for enterprise merchants, without operational complexities.
Integration allows merchants to easily accept major cards, wallets, and local payment methods, removing previous payment hurdles.
The partnership enables streamlined commerce, payments, and back-end integration, empowering enterprise merchants to scale efficiently.
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