Entries tagged with “Asia”.

Map of the Pacific Rim.
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I’m not one much for tea parties.

I’m more of a coffee man, myself. As in, really strong coffee. As in, espresso.

Since I started working from home all the time I found really strong coffee to be mandatory in order to stay alert for those endless conference calls we virtual IBMers participate in.

But with all those out dropping tea into harbors virtual and otherwise yesterday, go ahead and make mine Oolong.

And despite what our Texas governor said yesterday, Texas has no plans to secede from the union…been there, done that, got the T-shirt.

Speaking of tea parties, though, today IBM announced the establishment of the first cloud computing lab in Hong Kong.

This new facility will provide a global hub for web messaging services in support of IBM’s cloud service portfolio.

LotusLive offers affordable, company-to-company social networking and online collaboration tools, and can help businesses work smarter (not harder) by allowing them to form their own virtual communities in the cloud.

This helps them better connect with their colleagues, partners, suppliers, and even customers from within and beyond their own firewalls.

The new lab is going to be located in the Hong Kong Cyberport complex, an IT center developed to foster innovation within the Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in giving LotusLive a test drive, IBM is offering no taxation on collaboration for a full 30-days. That’s right, you can LotusLive Engage gratis for 30 whole days!

You can’t afford NOT to collaborate when there’s full collaboration with no taxation!

I recently used one of the LotusLive basic services to participate in a panel discussion at a conference being held in Washington, D.C. a couple of thousand miles away.

Using the Lotus Sametime Unyte package, several hundred people in a big conference room were able to see my ugly mug projected on a big screen, and I was able to participate in the panel as if I were right there in the room.

It was very cool, and dare I say it, the next best thing to being there.

Full collaboration with no taxation. But you’ll have to bring your own tea.

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TOKYO - JUNE 26:  (L to R) Kazuo Hirai, Presid...
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Sony warned it would post a record $2.9 billion annual operating loss due to sliding demand and a stronger yen, and unveiled fresh restructuring steps to revive its ailing electronics operations. The operating loss will be Sony’s first in 14 years, underscoring deepening troubles for a company that has fallen behind Apple’s iPod in portable music and Nintendo in videogames, and is losing money on flat TVs.

“Sony needs further restructuring, not just cost-cutting but a revamping of its business operations,” said Naoki Fujiwara, a fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management.

Sony said it now expects an operating loss of 260 billion yen for the year to March, down from an earlier projection for a 200 billion yen profit and far worse than earlier media estimates of a loss of 100 billion yen.

The maker of Bravia LCD TVs and PlayStation game consoles said it would respond by accelerating restructuring, more than doubling a cost-cutting target for the year to March 2010 to 250 billion yen.

Sony said it would end TV production and design operations at one plant in Japan and consolidate those operations into another factory in the country. It plans to cut headcount by 30 percent in operations related to TV design worldwide.

Other measures include consolidation of resources for batteries and small and medium-sized liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, and pay cuts for directors and managers.

It expects restructuring charges to total 170 billion through the year to March 2010.

Last month Sony outlined a restructuring plan that included curbing investment, closing five to six plants and cutting a total of 16,000 regular and contract jobs globally to save 100 billion yen a year in costs.

But Sony’s management, led by chief executive Howard Stringer, faced criticism from analysts and investors who said more drastic measures were needed to streamline a sprawling empire that includes semiconductors, movies and insurance.

“Sony has to consider ways to lower fixed costs not only for its TV business but for the whole company. It will have to start cutting development costs in addition to production costs,” said Nomura Securities senior analyst Eiichi Katayama.

Sony attributed 340 billion of the 460 billion swing in its operating forecast to its core electronics division, as the slowing global economy depresses demand for its digital cameras, video recorders and flat TVs.

But it has also been hurt by the slide in the Japanese stock market, which sliced into the value of securities held by its financial unit. Slower sales in its game and movie divisions have also hit its results.

Illustrating the problems Sony faces, Japanese exports plunged 35 percent in December from a year earlier, with electronics sales to China and other parts of Asia among the worst affected as Western orders to Asian assembly plants dry up. The yen rallied nearly 20 percent against the dollar last year and hit a 13-year high of 87.10 on Wednesday.

Sony is not the only electronics maker suffering.

Rival Samsung Electronics this month reorganized itself into two major groups in response to the global downturn, while Panasonic has also cut its outlook and stepped up restructuring measures. Sony’s shares closed down 2.6 percent at 1,938 yen ahead of the revision, underperforming a 1.9 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average.

Story Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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WASHINGTON - APRIL 6:   U.S. President George ...
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PricewaterhouseCoopers and security vendor Finjan expect insider fraud and cybercrime to rise as IT jobs are lost. Desperate IT workers who have been laid off will go rogue in 2009, selling corporate data and using crimeware, reports have predicted. The credit crunch will drive some IT workers to use their skills to steal credit-card data using phishing attacks, and abuse their privileged corporate computer access to sell off valuable financial and intellectual information, forensic experts have warned.

Both PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and security vendor Finjan are forecasting that the recession will fuel a significant rise in insider fraud and cybercrime in 2009.

A PwC forensic expert claimed the financial-services sector is already investigating a rising number of staff frauds, while Finjan cited evidence of a trend in 2008 for unemployed IT staff in Eastern Europe and Asia to use crimeware toolkits to launch phishing attacks and seed malware to steal financial details.

Neil Ysart, senior manager of forensic services at PwC, said: “People from the financial sector are all saying the same thing: there is a rise in internal investigations as everyone has seen a rise in suspected fraudulent activity.”

“There are certain types of fraud where an understanding of technology would make it easier to circumvent controls and IT staff have the knowledge to do that — for example, the theft of data at telcos,” Ysart said.

“There was a range of very well-documented frauds that took place during the recession in the early 1990s and it does not take a great deal of insight to realize we will see an increase at a time like this,” he said.

Forensic specialists at PwC are advising businesses to mount extra checks on areas where staff will be most tempted to defraud the company, such as expenses, access to sensitive customer data or massaging performance figures to win a bonus. Of the use of crimeware, Finjan’s report states: “Having the large number of layoffs of IT professionals all around the world, especially in the USA, we expect a rising number of people willing to ‘give it a try’ and to get stolen credit-card numbers, online-banking accounts and corporate data that they can use to generate income.”

A recent report by security vendor McAfee also found there is a risk that cybercrime may further slow the speed of UK economic recovery, a sentiment echoed by the joint architect of the UK’s Police Central e-Crime Unit, Charlie McMurdie.

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IT spending in the Asia-Pacific region will grow at a slower rate in 2009. But Asian economies will fare better during the current economic crisis than those in the West, according to a study. IT spending in the Asia-Pacific region will grow at a slower rate in 2009 than in 2008, but Asian economies will fare better during the current economic crisis than those in the West, according to Springboard Research.

The research company expects growth in IT spending in the Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan) region to be 7.1 percent in 2009, a decrease from 10.2 percent in 2008.

Springboard’s Asia-Pacific IT Market Predictions 2009 released Thursday, noted that even though all countries in the region will be affected by the economic crunch, the degree of fallout will vary.

India and China will continue to grow, albeit at lower rates, the analyst said. The two countries’ relative strength in IT spending will help power the region’s growth and increase their dominance in the Asia-Pacific IT market.

Mature IT markets in export-oriented economies such as Taiwan will be most affected. Similarly, those heavily dependent on the financial services industry including Hong Kong and Singapore are at risk of a significant IT spending slowdown in 2009, Springboard predicted.

Thailand will also experience comparatively slower growth as it deals with both the economic crisis and its ongoing political troubles that have increased business uncertainty in the country.

According to Springboard, Indonesia and Vietnam will face relatively lower risk of a spending cutback, as the combination of limited existing IT investments and solid domestic demand in these countries will ensure ongoing IT expenditure.

“Even with slower growth, Asia will continue to emerge as a critical region for IT vendors and we will continue to see a substantial shift in investment moving to Asia and other global emerging markets,” Dane Anderson, Springboard’s CEO and executive vice president of research, said in a media statement Thursday.

“While the crisis will affect Asia, it will also further cement the region as crucial to any global company’s growth strategy moving forward,” he noted.

The report added that over the next two to three years, the economic crisis will help drive the ongoing transfer of wealth, power and innovation from the West to the East.

Multinational vendors will continue to view Asia as a critical growth market for IT, Springboard said. It expects many more U.S.-based companies to transfer more resources–budgets and people–into the region and set up special teams at their corporate offices to focus only on emerging markets.

“Many of the larger IT vendors are already doing this and these initiatives will continue to expand, with other mid-tier vendors also adopting this strategy,” the research firm said in the report. These investments will help continue the education and awareness of IT within the region, which will help spur on more IT spending, especially in the small and midsize market space.

Springboard added: “We therefore believe that an increase in Asian IT spending will be an early indicator that the crisis is abating. At the end of this crisis, we will see Asia emerge as a much bigger part of many companies’ global strategies–both from IT vendors investing more in the region as well as other vertical industries funneling more investments into Asia; thus creating the opportunity for more IT spending related to these investments.”

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It’s a good year for swimmers at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. World records are being set at an astonishing rate in this division of sport specifically. So what gives? Have the swimmers discovered a new, super-charged breakfast food, or maybe; is there something in the water?

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