Asian job portals find niche on Net

By Julian Matthews
Published in ZDNet, Dec 29 2000

Dotcom demises and corporate belt-tightening has refocused interest on one bright spot on the cloudy Internet horizon — online recruitment services. More job-seekers are posting resumes on the Web, while more employers are turning online to save on hiring costs.

KUALA LUMPUR - Staff cuts and the looming specter of an economic slowdown in 2001 are likely to see increased traffic in job portals. In the last year, most online recruitment services claim usage has been on the rise, and are busy regionalizing their operations in anticipation of growth.
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Online Tiger Sale Offer Condemned

Published on Newsbytes, By Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, 2000 OCT 25 (NB) — A Thai zoo owner’s proposal to sell tigers over the Internet in an attempt to save the big cats from extinction has been condemned as “ludicrous” by Traffic, an international wildlife trade watchdog.

“We are appalled at the mere suggestion of tigers or tiger parts being traded online,” said Traffic International Communications Manager Sabri Zain. “The suggestion that selling tigers over the Net will save them from extinction is ludicrous. The reverse may indeed be more likely. There is the very real possibility that it may even fuel a renewed demand that will drive tigers over the brink of extinction,” he said via e-mail.

Traffic is the joint wildlife trade monitoring program of conservation organization World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and IUCN, the World Conservation Union.

Chuvit Pitakpornpallop, a prospective lawmaker who owns a zoo with about 30 tigers in Thailand’s northeast, made the suggestion in the Bangkok Post on Sunday.

Chuvit, who is standing in upcoming elections under the Thai Rak Thai Party banner, said that if Thailand amended its laws to allow commercial production and sale of tigers online, about 20,000 could be raised domestically over the next decade and wipe out black market demand.

Sabri countered that there appears to be no sound scientific basis for those figures. “Tigers are not cattle. The idea that a single country can ‘raise’ a population of tigers in captivity that is almost four times the total number of tigers in the wild today is far-fetched, to say the least. Previous experience with tiger farms has shown that breeding tigers can be fraught with problems,” he said.
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‘Alien’ substance caused Dell notebook battery to ignite

By Julian Matthews, ZDNet Asia
October 23, 2000 7:36 PM PT

KUALA LUMPUR - An ‘alien’ substance was mixed into the production process of the battery that caused a Dell customer’s notebook to burst into flames and prompted a recall last week.

“As a result of analysis, we defined the cause of the short circuit that occurred in one cell was due to mixing of an alien substance at one production process,” said Yoshiyuki Arikawa, a spokesperson of battery-supplier Soft Energy Company, a unit of Japanese consumer giant Sanyo Electric Co Ltd.

In the e-mail response to ZDNet Asia, Arikawa did not define what the ‘alien’ substance could be or how it entered the production process. Bloomberg, quoting another Sanyo spokesperson, reported Tuesday that “a piece of metal found its way into the battery.”
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Dell Asia Pacific notebooks are flame-free

By Julian Matthews
17 October 2000

‘Flaming notebook’ harks back to Apple incident in 1995 also involving Lithium-Ion batteries.

KUALA LUMPUR — Dell Asia Pacific has confirmed that none of the notebooks shipped out of its two factories in Penang and China has faulty batteries that can cause units to burst into flames.

“None in Asia. Batteries shipped with our notebooks manufactured at our plants in Penang and Xiamen are not affected,” said Judy Low, spokesperson of Dell Asia Pacific.

She said the recall applies specifically to batteries sold with Dell notebooks shipped directly to customers in North, Central and South America from June 22 through September 15, 2000, and in Europe, the Middle East and Africa from June 22 through October 4, 2000.

Models that may be affected include the Latitude CPiA, CPiR, CPtC, CPtS, CPtV, CPxH and CPxJ, and Inspiron 3700 and 3800.

Dell Computer Corporation recalled 27,000 suspect batteries Friday after one US corporate customer reported a battery in a Dell notebook short-circuiting in a puff of smoke and catching fire. No one was injured in the incident.
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Dell.com: Reinventing the Supply Chain

By Anita Devasahayam and Julian Matthews

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, SEPT 30, 2000, DOTCOM.COM

You have to hand it to Dell Computer Corporation — when it comes to the Net, the company gets it. The statistics speak for themselves. By late 1996, early days yet in e-commerce evolution, Dell.com was already raking in US$1 million in online sales — daily. Each quarter, those figures have leapt, making for great public relations fodder.

Today, while dotcoms grope in the dark in search of a small torch called Profitability, Dell’s 50 million-bucks-a-day site is a blinding beacon of invincibility. More than 50 percent of the company’s revenues are derived through the Internet. By 2001, it is projecting to grow that share of sales to 70 percent. You needn’t be a seer to predict what the ultimate goal is.

In Asia Pacific, Dell’s Web transactions hover at about US$1.8 million daily. But it wasn’t always like that. Ooi-Wong Wai Kin, vice president of information technology of Asia Pacific, recalls how in 1996 when it launched its maiden regional website in Penang, sales on Day One stood at all of four orders. Suffice to say, Michael Dell was hopping.

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Will The Real Nissandotcom Please Stand Up

By Julian Matthews, Malaysian correspondent, Newsbytes
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA,
03 Aug 2000, 7:59 PM CST

Using one’s own name for a dotcom may sound logical, but what if you just happen to share the name with a major corporation or celebrity? Well, be prepared to shell out the legal tab to protect it. Ask Mr Uzi Nissan, he should know.

An Israeli-American born in Jerusalem, Nissan registered the domain name nissan.com in May 1994. The site was to expand his Raleigh, North Carolina-based computer business called the Nissan Computer Corporation (NCC) started in 1991.

Nissan first got wind that the Japanese auto-maker Nissan Motor Co Ltd was upset with him when their senior legal counsel sent him a letter expressing “concerns” in July 1995. “I chose not to respond because I believed it was clear we were a computer company and that there was no conflict,” he explains on his Web site ncchelp.org.

That same month in 1995, however, just to be safe, Nissan registered a trademark for Nissan Computer and a logo in the State of North Carolina. In March 1996, Nissan also registered the domain name nissan.net to expand into Internet dial-up services as well.

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Malaysian ISP Admits “Human Error” In Security Fiasco

By Julian Matthews, Newsbytes

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Government-funded research corporation and Internet service operator Mimos Berhad admits that a staff member carelessly placed a large number of confidential company files on a publicly accessible Internet server.

Mimos Chief Operating Officer Dr Mohamed Awang-Lah said in an e-mail response to Newsbytes on Sunday that the incident was the result of “human error” and “carelessness.”

“One of our staff created a directory on a server and accidentally made it publicly accessible. The staff member uploaded the files for back-up purposes without taking adequate measures to protect them,” he said.

Dr Mohamed said “appropriate action” will be taken against the errant staff member but declined to say whether this would result in her dismissal. Read more

Malaysian Wafer Fabs Get US Ex-Im Bank Loan Boost

By Julian Matthews

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved loans worth $760 million to support two fledgling Malaysian wafer fabrication projects.

A spokesperson for the bank said its board of directors approved on Wednesday a $673.8 million long-term direct loan to wafer fabrication plant Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

This is the second loan extended to a Malaysian wafer fab start-up in three weeks. On May 4, the board had approved a $86.5 million guaranteed syndicated loan to 1st Silicon (M) Sdn Bhd, another wafer fab being constructed in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak.

The loans lend credibility to Malaysia’s long-held ambitions to get into wafer fabrication services or the “front-end” of the semiconductor industry.
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Ericsson free phone offer is a hoax

By Julian Matthews
Thursday, April 13 2000

KUALA LUMPUR–An email promising a free handphone from Swedish telco giant Ericsson and circulating among Asian Internet users is a hoax, confirmed a company spokesperson today.

“Ericsson is not giving away free phones. The chain mail is a fraud and there is no person with the name of Anna Swelund working at Ericsson. At Ericsson, we are constantly looking at new, innovative ways to market ourselves, chain emails is not one of them,” said Peter Bodor, public relations manager of Ericsson Mobile Communications in an email response.

Bodor said the company first detected the fake mail at the end of March and has received about 1,000 mail since, mainly from Europe, and also from the US and Asia.

He added, however, the volume did not crash its mail server.
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Handspring Visor lands in Asia

By Julian Matthews, CNET.com
Wednesday, March 08, 2000 10:33 PM

KUALA LUMPUR–Palm rival Handspring Inc is set to enter the Japanese market with a localized version of its Visor handheld computers by next quarter, says co-founder Donna Dubinsky.

“Our plan is to be in the Japanese market by second quarter this year. We have already established an office in Tokyo. We intend to enter Asia via Japan first, then into other markets,” she responded in an email to CNET Malaysia.

She added the company has not finalized plans for localized versions of the Visor in other Asian markets yet. “We can’t really do Korean or Chinese versions until Palm localizes the PalmOS into those languages.” Handspring is a licensee of the Palm operating system.

Dubinsky and co-founder Jeff Hawkins were also both co-creators of the popular Palm series, the current market leaders in the handheld computing space.
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