With news of protests all over the world recently, I confess that technology news has been a relief lately for me. Even tech headlines saw some ugly politics leaking in this week, and we also heard about a fishy scam in the startup world as well.
But before you throw in the towel on humanity and jump the next escape pod to Mars, there were a few space-age gadgets that point to a promising future here on earth. Read on to find out more in our staff picks from this week’s Asia tech news.
Charle’s pick: Upgraded Railway Ministry Site Already Broken
This week we reported about the Railway Ministry’s new site upgrades, then immediately saw them fail. That shouldn’t be much of a shock, but it is when you factor in the site’s price tag: $52 million. WTF, China.
While I disagree with my colleague’s label of ‘corporate suicide’ here, I do think that Baidu creating a Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands doodle on its homepage was irresponsible, leveraging a socially volatile and occasionally violent situation for its own benefit. The subsequent PR spin was impressive, but if Baidu’s purpose was really to encourage a rational response to the island dispute, then planting a big red flag in front of half a billion Chinese net users on your homepage (a bold political/emotive stance) is an odd way to go about it.
Enricko’s pick: Australian Entreprenurs Aim to Reinvent the Light Bulb With LIFX
Improving traditional light bulbs with smartphones? I love this idea! Why didn’t anyone think of this before? The idea does look awesome, the challenge definitely lies in the execution. But if it works? Wow! It could revolutionize to the light bulb industry for the next decade.
Steven’s pick: Google Shuts Its China-Only Music Service
Despite surving the shutdown of the Google.cn search engine during Google’s spectacular stand-off with censorship-lovin’ authorities, its China-only music service got killed off on Friday. An official Google blog post confirmed that the Google China music streaming and downloading service wasn’t proving popular enough – good news for rival Baidu and its own musical offerings.
Andrew’s pick: Dear Whatsapp, Aren’t You Threatened By WeChat?
I’ve been complaining about Whatsapp ever since I started using WeChat. And I couldn’t agree more with this piece. Whatsapp just failed to innovate. Aren’t you sick and tired of downloading updates, going from version 1.1 to version 9.9, only to realize that there are hardly any changes at all? For god’s sake Whatsapp, just innovate already!
Willis’s pick: The Red Herring Awards Scam
I think the Red Herring Awards have pissed off many entrepreneurs and I’m happy to make this scam known publicly, just so entrepreneurs can avoid it in the future.
Minghao’s pick: Docomo Gives a Sneak Peek at Futuristic video-Phone Glasses
This report about a concept video-phone glasses device reminds me of the Google glasses launched a while back in Google IO conference. With new smartphones with almost identical features being launched every week, have smartphones has already reached it’s peak of innovation. After Apple, who will be next to innovate?
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