NewsBytes 2019 #1 - Waze tips for Thaipusam, new LG ThinQ AI TV, SalamWeb, Mastercard drops name, Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019 and more


What's uppppp TechNaversss! NewBytes is back and it's gonna be our first 2019 edition! It's a bit late but we had a slow startup and now we are picking up some steam. There were plenty of things happening over the past three weeks, the most notable one would be the #10YearsChallenge "conspiracy theory", CES 2019 also happened over the week before, and many many smartphones were released such as Huawei's first Punch Fullview phone - Nova 4, the budget-friendly HONOR 10 Lite and HONOR Band 4 series, the magnetic slider Xiaomi Mi MIX 3, the rather late  Razer Phone 2 and finally, Samsung also announced the upcoming Galaxy S10 launching date in San Francisco, California. 

Out of all the major announcements mentioned above, the one that I would like to comment on is the Razer Phone 2. In all honesty, not that I have anything against the gaming brand, but I just thought that they came a bit too late into the Malaysia market. I personally think they have underestimated the Malaysian mobile gamers here, as they did skip the first Razer Phone. This allowed ASUS Malaysia to quickly capture the hearts (including mine <3) with the ROG Phone. So whatever the Razer Phone 2 has, so does the ROG Phone with better gaming capabilities such as the AirTriggers, bigger storage space and gaming accessories availability. Sure, the Razer Phone 2 has IP67 water-resistant grade but seriously, who games nearby the pool or beach?

But I digress, there is more news below so let's just get to it!


The Best & Worst Time to Drive in KL This Thaipusam

First up and probably the most important NewsBytes of this week - Thaipusam! Well, more like giving you tips on when is the best and worst time to drive in Kuala Lumpur during the holiday. Provided by Waze themselves, below are three steps to avoid the dreaded traffic jam:

#1 Waze’s Prediction for Best and Worst Time to Drive in Kuala Lumpur

  • January 20th, 2019
    - Worst time: 10-11am
    - Best time: 7-11pm
  • January 21st, 2019
    - Worst time: 4-5am
    - Best time: 8-9pm

#2 Plan Your Drive for Thaipusam
Waze users can also stay ahead of traffic by using the Planned Drive function to notify them when to leave in order to reach Batu Caves - or their destination of the day - on time. Planned Drive can also sync with a phone’s calendar to help coordinate the day in a stress-free fashion.

#3 Stay Alert with Live Updates
While you are on the road, turn on your Waze app to get driving directions, live traffic reports and alerts about car accidents, road conditions and hazards. You may also identify new and faster routes with the help of the app. Turn on the navigational voice so you can stay alert and keep your eyes on the road when you drive!

There you go, drive safe!


New LG ThinQ AI with second-generation α9 Gen 2 intelligent processor debut at CES 2019

LG NanoCell TV Range.jpg

During the CES 2019 event, LG Electronics showed plenty of products and gadgets, but one of them is a new flagship TV lineup - the ThinQ AI is powered with the latest and second-generation α (Alpha) 9 Gen 2 intelligent processor with deep learning algorithm for a higher level of AI picture and sound experience quality. Also thanks to the new algorithm, it's able to enhance and analyse the content source for the best viewing pleasure possible.

In addition, it's also able to connect with Amazon Alexa as well as a built-in Google Assistant. This will allow users to engage in a conversation with voice recognition with the Home Dashboard, which that makes it possible to control a wide variety of smart home devices directly from the TV. For more information, you can check out at their website right here


SalamWeb, World’s First Shariah Compliant Internet Suite of Services


Then in Malaysia, apparently there is a new web browser called SalamWeb Browser launched by SalamWeb Technologies MY Sdn. Bhd. and as the name implies, it's a web browser for Muslims around the globe to discover, connect, and contribute in a free, safe online environment. Besides that, there's also SalamNews, SalamChat and SalamSadaqah.

Endorsed by Amanie Shariah Supervisory Board, in conformity with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation's (MDEC’s) Islamic Digital Economy Mi'yar, SalamWeb’s products have been thoughtfully designed to optimize the Islamic way of life. For instance, SalamWeb Browser has some inbuilt features called Qibla compass, prayer timings and a custom news feed aggregated from verified news sources. And there's even SalamProtect, an advanced content filter. Much wow.

If you're curious to know more, you can visit their website right here to find out more.


Mastercard evolves its brand mark by...dropping its name?


So what does dropping its name mean? What's happening here? Well, basically it's just as the title says - the name "Mastercard" will no longer appear on its recognizable Mastercard Symbol. But why? According to Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Mastercard, it's just for modern simplicity sake.

"And with more than 80 percent of people spontaneously recognizing the Mastercard Symbol without the word 'mastercard,' we felt ready to take this next step in our brand evolution. We are proud of our rich brand heritage and are excited to see the iconic circles standing on their own."

He then continued: “We live in a time where, increasingly, we communicate not through words but through icons and symbols. Mastercard has had the great fortune of being represented by two interlocking circles, one red, one yellow, since its founding in 1966, said Michael Bierut, partner at Pentagram. Now, by allowing this symbol to shine on its own, Mastercard enters an elite cadre of brands that are represented not by name, but by symbol: an apple, a target, a swoosh. Mastercard's two interlocking circles have always represented their commitment to connecting people. Now, that commitment is given greater presence by Mastercard's status as a symbol brand."

Fair enough, good point and cool story bro.


Alibaba predicts Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019

Meanwhile, Alibaba's DAMO Academy, which is a global research program published their own Top 10 Technology Trends in 2019. Interestingly, the O cut-out display is not one of them but I guess it's not really part of technology, but more to aesthetic design. Anyway, check out the list below:

Trend 1: Real-time urban simulation becomes possible
More resources will be allocated to technologies powering an intelligent “city brain” and its applications, while a city simulation model reflecting the real-time impulses and movements of a physical city can be built to facilitate the optimization of city governance. More cities in China are expected to have a “city brain” in 2019.

Trend 2: Speech AI in certain areas to Pass Turing Test
As speech intelligence technology advances, real-time text-to-speech on mobile devices would be almost identical to human speech, even passing the Turing test in certain conversations, such as ones using a robotic voice to alert about delivery status. Rules and regulations need to be established to regulate the industry, to avoid misusing the technology in advertisements, harassing phone calls and fraud.

Trend 3: Specialized AI Chips on the Rise
Memory-centric AI chip architecture based on the latest-generation of 3D-stacked memory technology will become mainstream. In addition, brain-inspired neuromorphic computing chips will gain momentum, while researchers seek killer applications. Specialized AI chips may challenge the dominant position of GPUs for AI training in data centres.

Trend 4: Super-large graph neural networks (GNNs) will equip machines with common sense
GNNs that combine with deep learning can link end-to-end learning and inductive reasoning together, which might be able to address issues, such as relational reasoning and explainability that couldn’t be tackled by deep learning before. Robust GNNs can function like a human brain that consists of neurons, equipping machines with common sense, comprehension and cognitive capabilities.

Trend 5: Restructuring of computing architecture
The heterogeneous computing architecture with FPGA, GPU and ASIC, along with emerging memory devices, are driving the evolution of traditional computing architecture. In the foreseeable future, the fundamental changes to computing architecture, underscored by the transition from CPU-centered general computing to Domain-specific computing driven by applications and technology, will accelerate the arrival of AI and the quantum-computing era.

Trend 6: 5G networks will enable new applications
The fifth generation of wireless technology (5G) will see a significant increase in wireless bandwidth, enhancing the peak speed of the 4G network nearly 100 times. This will speed the development of 4k/8k ultra-high-definition videos and immersive interaction based on AR/VR. Additionally, with features like high reliability, low latency and large capacity, 5G networks will enable the development of new areas, such as vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems and the Industrial Internet.

Trend 7: Digital identity will become your second ID Card
Biometric and liveness detection/anti-spoofing technology is reshaping people’s identification and verification. From phone unlock door access control to dining at restaurants, checking out at supermarkets, entering train stations, passing an airport security check and seeing doctors in hospitals, biometric technology are playing an increasingly important role in making trust simpler and our daily life better.

Trend 8: More-prudent developments in autonomous
The advance of vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems will foster the development of autonomous driving. In the next two to three years, new technological progress should be seen in certain commercial areas, such as logistics and transportation, with fixed-route public transport and unmanned delivery for commercial buildings and campuses.

Trend 9: Deployment of blockchain applications speeding up
People are more rational about the prospects of the blockchain, which was once much overhyped. The deployment of blockchain applications with sustainable commercial value is expected to speed up. More and more blockchain applications will be seen in our daily life, such as cross-border remittances, supply-chain financing, electronic invoices and tamper-proof judicial records.

Trend 10: Data-protection technologies will thrive
Governments around the world intend to enact/implement more stringent policies and regulations on data security. Corporates will need to invest more in protecting individual data privacy. Traceability technologies across systems, such as watermark, and data-asset protection technology, including advanced anti-crawlers against strong cyber attacks, will be more broadly adopted.


New 3DMark Android v2.0.4589 update

For the gadget testers, the 3DMark bench test app now has a new update. Catered to the Sling Shot Extreme benchmark, the update modifies the Vulkan version of the Sling Shot Extreme test to enable a fairer comparison with scores from the OpenGL ES 3.1 version. With this, Vulkan scores will improve on many devices and it's recommended that the Vulkan scores from previous versions should no longer be used to compare devices.

Other than that, this update also fixes an unrelated issue that could cause the API Overhead feature test to fail on newer devices. To know more about the new update, you can check out this page right here.


TikTok Celebrated 2018

Pic 2 - Ushering in 2019 in style with TikTok creators and Malaysian cel....jpg

A bit outdated but TikTok closed its success in 2018 with style. Just a few weeks back ago, they celebrated a TikTok Year-End Party in Malaysia with their fans and creators from all over the world including Malaysia, Indonesia and Korea. For Malaysians, they were gathered at APW Bangsar with special guests including popular Malaysian creators including the ultra-talented Pong siblings, Jeii and Gaston, Findy Yong (#1 TikTok creator in Malaysia), Ai Wahida (1 Million Audition winner) and Nurul Nurizzati or popularly known as Rose Nicotine (artist and comedian).

Meanwhile, global creators such as Elina Karimova and An Eunwoo from South Korea, along with Dinda Cassanova and Tiara Adhelya from Indonesia also lent their star power to this event, which was attended by local celebrities such as Aiman Tino, Kaka Azraff, Izzue Islam, Diana Danielle, Fasha Sandha, Kamal Adli, and Farhan Kapor.


That's all folks, stay tuned for more NewsBytes at