Alibaba Cloud launches Blockchain as a Service, China closes access to new games | Digital Asia
Digital Asia News Update
Alibaba Cloud offers Blockchain as a Service to global audiences
The cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, Alibaba Cloud, has announced their official offer of Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) to SE Asia, U.S., and Europe.
The cloud service provides a dual-platform based on blockchain technology, that will help customers build a secure environment for blockchain implementations. Using the cloud platform, customers can create their own BaaS applications on Alibaba Cloud’s platform.
“We are looking to empower many innovations across all industries. Our customers in China have already experienced our BaaS platform and we are excited to extend this service to other enterprise customers all over the world,” said Yi Li, Senior Staff Engineer and lead of Alibaba Cloud Blockchain Service.
Alibaba Cloud is the first blockchain service provider of Intel SGX security technology.
Alibaba Cloud’s BaaS supports automatic deployment, consortium blockchain management, smart contracts, user and certificate management, and SDK (Software Development Kit) applications, as well as a range of monitoring, operating and maintenance functions.
China blocks green channel for new games, pressuring away the gaming industry
China has taken a stance against the game license issue by halting the approval process of, banning monetising new games despite being the biggest market.
Before the decision was final, game licensing was granted through a green channel process to test domestic and foreign games. Since around August, the approval mechanism has been reviewed following government’s restructuring on the way it views violence, gambling, and other sensitive-themed games.
It remains unclear as to why Beijing authorities have chosen to take this step. Previously, all new games in China were registered with the culture ministry and checked for sensitive content. Another agency then granted licenses for commercialization.
It’s been reported that the new policy has threatened the operation of games companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. and NetEase Inc, who were relying on the green channel as a temporary solution to push through and gain one-month long monetisation.
It also encouraged the rise to a grey market where Chinese gaming companies have been selling their publishing licenses for as much as 500,000 yuan (US$72,000).
Now, China’s gamers have flocked to Steam, an online platform by Seattle-based Valve Corp., partnered with China’s Perfect World Co. who are still able to escape the ban.
Baidu to release AI-built translator, looking right at Google in the eye
China’s dominating search engine Baidu announced its simultaneous translation system that will debut on November 1, 2018, at the annual Baidu World tech. It is said to be the response to Google’s earbuds real-time translator of 40 languages.
Baidu claimed to be the only translator with anticipation capabilities and controllable latency, enabling users to adjust the trade-off between word delay and translation quality powered by deep learning.
The system will tap into a translation database, and it can “routinely predict” what subjects a speaker is about to discuss within a few seconds and address the latency arising from grammatical word order among different languages.
“Much like human simultaneous interpreters, as it’s critical for translation between distinct languages such as English and Chinese, or those with different grammatical structures such as English and German,” said Liang Huang, principal scientist of the company’s Silicon Valley AI lab and a leading scholar behind the project.
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He added that the system is not to replace human interpreters but to make simultaneous translation more affordable and cover the unfulfilled demand, reducing interpreter workloads.
Temasek Holdings announced an investment worth of US$85 million, directed at cybersecurity venture fund raised by Israeli cybersecurity startup builder Team8.
The cross-industry investment will bring upon chief information, technology, data and security officers of each investor to work with Team8’s research, recruiting, and business development teams to tackle cyber attacks.
Team8 is a combination of a think tank, startup incubator and venture fund set up by former officials of Israeli Defense Force’s Intelligence Unit 8200.. It has launched four companies, including Sygnia, and raised US$260 million and has been backed by the likes of Walmart, Airbus, SoftBank, Moody’s Investors Service, Dimension Data, Munich Re, Scotiabank, and Barclays.
Just a week ago, Singapore-based Temasek acquired another Israeli cybersecurity firm Sygnia, who was under Team8’s mentorship in its incubation.
Singaporean digital music platform BandLab acquires The Guitar Magazine, MusicTech
Singapore-based social music platform BandLab Technologies announced that it has acquired British music media brands The Guitar Magazine and MusicTech from Anthem Publishing.
The acquisition marks BandLab’s vision in facilitating music creators and connect music lovers. “The two brands will help BandLabs creating a connected world of music and provide more creative outlets,” said BandLab Technologies CEO Meng Ru Kuok.
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BandLab is a social music platform that creates a place for creators to make music and share the creative process with musicians and fans. The available features combine music making and collaboration tools like the cross-platform DAW, with social features like video sharing, messaging and discovery.
The acquisition comes a year after BandLab attempted to buy the remaining 51 per cent of Rolling Stone magazine it has yet to own, but lost to Penske Media, the publisher that owns publications like Variety and WWD. The Singapore firm bought 49 per cent of Rolling Stone in 2016 and had a right of first refusal for any offer for the rest of the magazine.
Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash
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