KOTA KINABALU: People needing legal advice and information can do so soon at a planned Digital and Artificial Intelligence Legal Aid Centre that will be launched here in November. [...]
Netflix partners with WEF Digital Asean to further develop 4.0 IR
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Advertising is one of the most important components that can affect a...
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The first issue of 'Plates' magazine centres around the theme of rice. – Pictures courtesy of Tan Dee May
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Print is dead, haven’t you heard?At least it seems that way as more and more traditional print media such as newspapers and magazines are switching to a digital-only platform.Who has time to flip through the pages of a magazine such as The Atlantic when you can just read it on your smartphone?Which may make it all the more bewildering that someone would be starting a print magazine now.That’s the case with Plates, a biannual food culture magazine that focuses on the stories behind commonplace ingredients.Every issue centres on a single ingredient; the recently-published inaugural volume revolves around rice, with the stories intentionally avoiding the clichéd torrent of celebrity chef interviews, restaurant reviews or listicles.
A table of shared plates in a village in Kalaw, Myanmar.
Founder and editor Tan Dee May, a Chevening scholar, explains, “Plates uses food as a medium for conversation to explore the meatier issues."We’re more interested in under-reported stories and to find out about a person’s relationship with the food."Such angles differ from the more commercial lifestyle titles, who might be more inclined to produce stories that their advertisers can relate to.”Tan has travelled extensively, especially to places where English isn’t used widely, such as Myanmar, Kosovo, Albania and Colombia.She found food a common denominator, a bridge: “Sharing a meal with someone can really tell you a lot about that person.”Now that more and more people are getting the reading material digitally, however, it can be an uphill battle capturing an audience for a print publication.
'Plates' founder Tan Dee May (left) and Dole, a peanut farmer from the Dongthu tribe, sharing a laugh.
Tan isn’t looking to convert digital fans into purely print consumers though. Instead she sees the digital space as a complementary platform, building a community of readers organically and attracting the attention of independent bookstores across the globe.“I get most of my news and updates online too. But for long-form and in-depth stories, I prefer to purchase print magazines such as National Geographic and TIME. There’s just something about having a physical, tangible copy to bring with you — from the beach to a waiting room — that you’re able to peruse and absorb without any alerts or notifications.”Plates is clearly a labour of love for Tan; the primary revenue stream for her business comes from the actual magazine sales. She says, “My current ‘business model’ is to just spend within my means and to seek out long-term, authentic partners. At present, I cover all expenses out-of-pocket. This ‘model’, of course, would be a nightmare for any accountant reading this.”Now that the magazine is finally published, there is a proof of concept and Tan has been applying for art and journalism grants. She adds, “Crowdfunding is also on the list. I truly believe in the necessity and value in this storytelling project that uses food as a medium for conversation, which is why I’m willing to invest the time and money.”Starting and running a print-based business might be challenging but Tan appreciates having autonomy over her own time.She says, “If there’s a story in a remote area that pops up, I can leave almost immediately. I have a go-bag with travel essentials on standby."If I need to extend my stay because someone on ground has invited me along for another lead, I can fully immerse myself in the field and the story gathering process.”
A 'gotong-royong' session with the villagers of Long Semadoh Naseb (left). Pages from 'Plates' showing how to wrap a zhang rice dumpling (right).
Tan contrasts this with working at an online portal that requires quick and multiple turnarounds daily. She explains, “Unless you’ve been given a budget for a long-form investigative piece, there’s really no time to fully dedicate yourself completely to a story."When you’re on the ground, circumstances change and you learn that the narrative you had in your head is different to what is actually happening. I definitely think travelling solo has helped me adapt quickly to situations.”There is a universal appeal to Plates, given its food theme with a social slant. Tan hopes to reach out to an audience who could be desensitised to social issues by packaging more substantial issues in a way that is more palatable to the casual reader.Beyond its target readership, Plates is also dependent on a global network of stockists to extend its range. The magazine is currently stocked in Los Angeles, USA and Milan, Italy.Tan shares, “I’m currently working towards establishing partnerships with more independent creators and business owners — both locally and internationally. This isn’t just limited to writers, but would include indie bookstores, indigenous artists and curators.”What Plates aims to serve is food for thought: how it connects everyone. Tan says, “On many occasions, food was the bridge between language and cultural barriers.
The proofing and editing process of the first issue of 'Plates'.
"Whether it was used to round up a group of backpackers to adjourn to the only Thai restaurant in a city in Kosovo; a shopkeeper in Ecuador reciting names of ingredients around the store in Spanish; or being invited to join in on a very generous catch of the day of shrimp and fish by a group of Albanian men, who didn’t speak a word of English, on a remote beach campsite.”Plates is now stocked at selected independent bookstores in the Klang Valley (Silverfish, Snackfood and Litbooks), Penang (The Warung), Los Angeles (Now Serving) and Milan (Reading Room).The next issue, Durian, will be out later this year. Readers can keep an eye out for the pre-order window at www.plate [...]
Media Prima Digital, announced a partnership with global digital media company Ziff...
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The allure of digital assistants means consumers still keep using and acquiring them. — Picture courtesy of BMW Group AG
WASHINGTON, Aug 3 — A series of privacy missteps in recent months has raised fresh concerns over the future of voice-controlled digital assistants, a growing market seen by some as the next frontier in computing.Recent incidents involving Google, Apple and Amazon devices underscore that despite strong growth in the market for smart speakers and devices, more work is needed to reassure consumers that their data is protected when they use the technology.Apple this week said it was suspending its “Siri grading” program, in which people listen to snippets of conversations to improve the voice recognition technology, after the British-based Guardian newspaper reported that the contractors were hearing confidential medical information, criminal dealings and even sexual encounters.“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy,” Apple said in a statement, adding that it would allow consumers to opt into this feature in a future software update.Google meanwhile said it would pause listening to and transcribing conversations in the European Union from its Google Assistant in the wake of a privacy investigation in Germany.Amazon, which also has acknowledged it uses human assistants to improve the artificial intelligence of its Alexa-powered devices, recently announced a new feature making it easier to delete all recorded data.The recent cases may give consumers the impression that someone is “listening” to their conversations even if it’s rarely true.“From a technology perspective it’s not surprising that these companies use humans to annotate this data, because the machine is not good enough to understand everything,” said Florian Schaub, a University of Michigan professor specializing in human-computer interaction who has done research on digital assistants.“The problem is that people are not expecting it and it is not transparently communicated.”Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst with Creative Strategies, agreed that humans are needed to improve the technology.“People have a somewhat unrealistic expectation that these assistants will by magic just get better eventually, that they can do machine learning and get better on their own, but right now we’re still at the beginning of AI, and human intervention is still important,” she said.According to the research firm eMarketer, nearly 112 million people—one-third of the US population—will use a voice assistant at least monthly on any device, with many using AI-powered devices for searches, music and news or information.A Microsoft survey this year of consumers in five countries found that 80 percent were satisfied with their experience with digital assistants. But 41 percent of those surveyed said they had concerns on privacy, trust and passive listening.Unfounded fears? Some of the privacy fears surrounding smart speakers are based on false assumptions, analysts note.The devices don’t record or transmit information until they are “activated” with a keyword or phrase such as “Hey, Siri” or “Alexa.”But “there is always a risk of false activation,” Schaub noted.“You have to trust the device and the company making the device that the microphone is only locally processing until the activation word is heard.”Ryan Calo, faculty co-director of the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, said that while the devices are not listening, there remain concerns over access to conversations.“If employees are hearing things they shouldn’t have access to, that is really a red flag, it’s a bad practice,” Calo said.Boiling the frog Calo said the privacy concerns around digital assistants are likely to grow as the devices expand their capabilities.“I worry about a trend where these systems begin to listen for more than just your affirmative command—it could listen for breaking glass or signs of distress, or a baby crying. All of a sudden the system is listening for all kinds of things and the frog gets boiled by incrementally heating the water,” he said.Calo also expressed concern that devices may be turned on remotely, a potential threat to civil liberties.“If law enforcement gets a warrant, it could turn your Echo into a listening device,” he said.Schaub said consumers are also concerned that data from the devices may be used for ad targeting.“People want these benefits but without allowing their data to be used against them,” he said.Still, the allure of digital assistants will mean the market is likely to keep growing.Schaub said one way to reassure consumers would be to build privacy features directly into voice commands so users can understand how their data is used and make better choices.“Companies should see this as an opportunity to engage with customers about how they are protecting them,” he said. — AFP [...]
In just 10 days, more than 15,000 visitors have thronged the National Art Gallery (NAG) in Kuala Lumpur.
The draw? Leonardo da Vinci is in town.
There’s an Italian-made touring exhibition, featuring digital reproductions of 17 of the master’s works, including his first painting, Annunciation (circa 1472) and the more popular ones, like The Last Supper (c. 1495) and Mona Lisa (c. 1503).
Perhaps, we should say that everyone’s at the NAG because Mona Lisa has come a-calling. She’s proving to be quite a hit at this exhibition, with an endless stream of selfie-ready visitors flashing smiles to rival hers.
Here’s your chance to take photos of – or with – the true-to-scale reproduction of the famous lady herself.
Does it matter that it isn’t the real Mona Lisa but a mere reproduction – albeit, a high-quality one? Judging by the numbers, the answer is no.
It is a record-breaking feat for the NAG since its relocation to its current address in 2000, with visitor numbers hitting the four digit mark every day since the exhibition opened on July 15.
The Leonardo da Vinci name is a great pull, and the exhibition is attracting many people who don’t often go to art museums and galleries, if at all. These reproductions of Leonardo’s paintings have practically blitzed social media in Malaysia. No prizes for what is the most popular work.
If you didn’t know better, you’d think NAG opened a bubble tea cafe. There is word that NAG might extend its gallery hours to cater to the hordes.
Most new visitors to NAG were also willing to pay for this exhibit, clearly not aware that this is a free admission art institution. Malaysians actually putting value to art? That’s food for thought.
One of the show’s early visitors, Timothy Johnson and his family, for instance, have been to art exhibitions abroad, but they have never stepped into the NAG.
The daily walk-in crowd for Leonardo Opera Omnia has broken NAG’s attendance records, with 15,000 through the door in the exhibit’s first 10 days. Photo: Bernama
Until Leonardo Opera Omnia, that is.
“It doesn’t matter that we only get this (repro) exhibition in Malaysia. This show is an innovative and ambitious project which aims to share Italian art and cultural heritage made possible through digital paintings. Ashamed to say that this was our first time visiting the National Art Gallery but I’m glad that we did. While the main show is the Leonardo one, there was quite enough of good local flavour to keep us occupied including some emerging local artists,” says Johnson, senior vice president, marketing, product and partnerships at INTI Education Group.
NAG’s current Bakat Muda Sezaman (Young Contemporaries 2019) exhibit, featuring a crop of exciting Malaysian artists, is most ready to welcome the spillover crowd from the Leonardo show.
And would Johnson visit the NAG again, even after this Leonardo exhibition is over?
“I’m always looking out for new stuff so I will definitely return to the gallery with my five-year-old daughter, who really enjoys art. Besides the Leonardo da Vinci show, we also checked out the other exhibitions while we were there,” he adds.
Even Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin popped in for a look at the exhibition.
He posted on Facebook: “Exploring Leonardo Da Vinci’s Opera Omnia at our very own National Art Gallery. Amazing works of art brought to our doorstep. I urge all of you to visit our National Art Gallery and indulge in this fantastic piece of history.”
Kelvin Oon, a freelance photographer, admits that purists will not even bother with such a show.
Leonardo’s monumental mural The Last Supper is the pride of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. In this exhibit at NAG, the entire mural has been reproduced in accurate detail. Photo: Low Lay Phon/The Star
“This sort of exhibit will divide opinion. The art community will say it is wasting gallery space. On the flipside, the art newbie and the ordinary public will be thrilled to see such a show. It’s great to see NAG so busy … in fact, buzzing!” says Oon.
“It’s like a ghost town here on most weekends, and suddenly there are thousands of people. If it takes a reproduction show to get the masses through the door, I’m all for it,” he adds.
Seira Sacha, a lawyer, reckons the NAG needs this unexpected boost in attendance.
“Art is for all. And yet it seems that nobody knows about the existence of NAG. Most people don’t even know where it is. It’s a big shame,” says Seira.
“With all the Insta feeds filled with Leonardo (at NAG) selfies and photos, especially from young people, I’m hopeful there will be a new audience clued in on what’s happening at NAG. Even the KL Biennale didn’t create such a frenzy! There is a demand for art. Make no mistake here. The pressure, in a good way, is on the NAG programming team to keep this momentum going with more interesting exhibits, and not rely on reproduction shows,” she adds.
Leonardo Opera Omnia, conceived by the Italian public television subsidiary RaiCom with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, is presented here in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy and the National Art Gallery. It is curated by Prof Antonio Paolucci.
Cristiano Maggipinto, ambassador of Italy to Malaysia notes that Leonardo is considered one of the greatest geniuses in the European Renaissance.
The exhibit brings together 17 works from Leonardo, which are rarely seen together. Photo: Bernama
“He was not only a painter, he was also an architect and a scientist. With the paintings (reproductions) in this exhibition, we also show his study on how birds fly, and how they can be applied to machines. He wanted to know everything so he studied everything. If there is one word I would use to describe him, it would be curious,” he says.
Amerrudin Ahmad, senior curator at NAG says that [...]
WASHINGTON (July 26): President Donald Trump threatened France with “substantial reciprocal action” over plans for a new digital tax that affects U.S. technology companies.
“If anybody... [...]
Dentsu Aegis Network’s 2019 global survey of 1,000 CMOs and senior-level marketers...
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It’s time for you to learn from the best! Hando Sinisalu is...
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The Musang King durian comes wrapped in paper and plastic, and the 1.8kg fruit is sourced from Exofruits Industry in Melaka. — SoyaCincau pic
PETALING JAYA, July 15 — Durian lovers in China can now order Malaysia’s popular Musang King durians from Alibaba’s Hema Fresh stores. China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian had recently managed to buy a frozen Musang King from one of the “New Retail” stores in Beijing.His visit was shared on the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia Facebook page and it was mentioned that the ambassador was a big promoter of Malaysian durian. The Musang King durian was wrapped in paper and plastic, and the 1.8kg fruit came from Exofruits Industry in Melaka.Malaysia had started exporting frozen whole durians to China last month after it had received approval from the General Administration of Customs China. There are a total of five companies that were given the green light to export to China. Prior to this, Malaysia could only export durian in the form of frozen pulp and paste.In case you’re wondering, Hema (aka FreshHippo) is Alibaba’s attempt to reinvent retail through a digital experience. The store is actually a fulfilment centre for online deliveries but it is also open to walk-in customers that prefer to pick their own fresh goods which include meat, fruits and seafood.Customers can place orders via the Hema app and pay directly via Alipay. For those who prefer to order online, Hema offers a guaranteed 30-minute delivery if you’re within a three km radius from a Hema store. — SoyaCincau [...]
A dashcam can act as a witness when something goes wrong on the road, recording the date and time, and even your exact location and speed, thanks to built-in GPS. [...]
by AFP/ pic by AFP
France on Thursday rejected a US investigation into its plans to tax internet giants which could trigger punitive tariffs, saying “threats” were not the way to resolve disputes.
“Between allies, I believe we can and must resolve our differences in another way than through threats,” Economy Minister Bruno le Maire (picture) told the French Senate ahead of a vote.
If the law is passed, as expected, France will become the first major economy to impose a tax on internet heavyweights.
Dubbed the GAFA tax – an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – the legislation will impose a levy of 3.0 percent on total annual revenues of the largest tech firms providing services to French consumers.
Le Maire said he was warned about the so-called Section 301 investigation during a “long conversation” with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday.
“It is the first time in the history of the relationship between the United States and France that the US administration has decided to open a procedure under Section 301,” he said.
This type of investigation is the primary tool the Trump administration has used in the trade war with China to justify tariffs against what the United States says are unfair trade practices.
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The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) today urged members of the public to be cautious of unauthorised Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Digital Asset Exchanges (DAX)
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It seems that Kingdom Digital, a Malaysia-based digital and social marketing agency,...
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UN member states are set to sidestep a call for a moratorium on commercial spyware, deciding instead to commission a study of how digital technology affects human rights, according to a draft UN human rights resolution seen by Reuters. [...]