Business and Technology News from NUS

Month: July 2018

Discovering Bali as Seen in Hollywood


We’ve all seen the photos on Instagram, however, not all of us have witnessed Bali, Indonesia with our own eyes. Of course, those who have seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love immediately booked their next flight to Bali and we don’t blame them. Bali has always been a traveler’s destination, however, now with the help of social media, Bali is getting more attention than ever. With the sandy white beaches and luscious jungle surroundings, any traveler, from honeymooners to backpackers will quickly fall in love with the area. Though there are endless places to see and experience in Bali, there are some definite must-see things you need to see while you’re there.

Visit the town of Ubud

Though the movie Eat, Pray, Love opened the window for tourism, it also brought along many inauthentic tourists that are just there to say they were in Bali. However, if you want to get away from the tourists and experience Bali in its nature and beauty, then you need to visit the scenic and calming town of Ubud. If Bali is where you relax and reconnect with yourself, then Ubud is exactly where you need to be. Some of the best villas in Ubud will give you stunning views and the peace you need.

Go to the temples

There are literally thousands of temples throughout Bali, with it being known as “the land of 1,000 temples”. However, that’s a low number considering there are over 20,000 temples on the island. Not only will you get a stunning photo out of it, but you’ll be able to learn more about the Balinese culture. No temple is better than the other as they’re all built in different sizes and designs.

See a local shaman

Going to a Bali shaman can be a fun and eye-opening experience. Whether you believe in it or not, it doesn’t matter, you’re in Bali! There are some famous Bali shaman’s like Ketut Liyer who was in the movie Eat, Pray, Love but that doesn’t mean you need to go to him.

Live with a local

Though you should definitely experience staying in a stunning Bali villa, you should also take a couple days to stay with a local family in Bali. This is where you’ll be able to get a true experience of the island. They’ll teach you how to cook traditional Balinese food, take you to some local places and maybe you’ll even get a couple sentences from the local language.  

Devour the local cuisine

This is the moment where you need to take advantage of all the fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood that Bali has to offer. Bali’s major religion and culture are Hindu, so you’ll be able to taste an entirely different cuisine than what’s on the mainland. And don’t forget to take a sip of the most expensive coffee in the world made right in Bali. Bali jungle cat poop coffee may not sound delicious, but, you’re in Bali, so you might as well give it a try!

The Risks of Not Using a VPN

not using a vpn.jpeg

In today’s internet space, privacy is at risk. With the many firewalls, your system is still vulnerable to risk. Despite the notion that you might not be tracked, your internet service provider (ISP) can track all your browsing data. While there might not be someone specifically scouting for your data, many ISPs have the capability to compile browsing logs and sell your information to advertising companies. If you work remote and rely on wi-fi that’s available across coffee shops or hotels, restaurants and airports, it does not provide a secure environment for your data since wi-fi can be intercepted.

One of the best ways to make it harder for others to gain access to your online activity is through a virtual private network (VPN). What does a VPN do? It creates an additional layer of security between your system and a server. Put simply – it acts as a middleman and does your browsing for you. Here’s help on finding a VPN:

  1. Consider each VPN’s features:

Some VPN companies could prioritize speed, others encryption, and some others anonymity – it could be any focus area. Ensure what you’re looking for is what their priority is. Also check the security for the VPN you choose, and if it comes with a kill-switch.

  1. Check its compatibility:

Look out for VPNs that are compatible across most platforms, or at least on the ones you need. If you have a Mac but use an Android phone, then your VPN should have a platform for both.

  1. Easy, smooth interface:

Setting up a VPN and navigating it might throw a few hiccups for a new user. In case you’re not tech-savvy, a better option would be to choose a VPN with a short installation process and a simple user interface. Better yet? Some VPNs come with an option to set it up virtually, which leaves no room for manual intervention – making the process easier.

  1. Check if the customer service is reliable:

Since this is driven by tech, you will need to have a reliable point of contact or a dependable customer service hotline to get help if a bug or a glitch hits your network. The best bet would be to look out for ones that offer round the clock service, with an added perk if they have a live-chat feature.

  1. Does the company provide a money-back guarantee?

Make sure you’re not stuck with a service you do not wish to continue or a contract that is too long. Choose a VPN that will return your money back after a point of time if you’re not satisfied with the product.

If your biggest concern is privacy, then using a VPN is a great option. However, a more significant step in deciding which VPN is right for you is understanding the finer print.

How Invoice Factoring Can Impact a Business


A business owner should work hard on a daily basis to ensure their business remains successful. There are many ways of growing a business entity. One exceptional strategy is invoice factoring. This is a simple and straightforward procedure that involves turning due customer invoices into quick cash by selling them to a third party at a discount. This is a great strategy for a business owner whose large clientele base does not pay for goods and services upon purchase but needs funds to run the business.

To get cash flowing, a business owner has to take caution and make sure that they know their clients well. When one does not keep track of his or her cash flow, a lot of things might happen when looking for money to run the business. In such incidents, one will not find a bank that will provide a business loan at a time they they need working capital. Factoring invoices can be a great option when a company is facing cash flow problems.

There are notable benefits that come with factoring of invoices as a solution to getting the much-needed cash for operating daily business undertakings. They include:

  1. Get money fast – at times business owners can experience problems applying for loans or seeking credit from banks. If they apply for finance and succeed, the process may also take longer to have the funds released. But with invoice factoring, the process is simple and business owners can get the extra cash they need fast.
  2. Increase the value of the business and expand it as anticipated – factoring is a financing criterion that will help grow any business entity. As receivables from clients grow, this will also mean that a business owner has a reliable access to more cash and a readily available working capital. For any business to grow there should be a steady cash flow.
  3. Boost revenues – with the available capital from receivables, it will be easy to change the way a business owner handles other new business opportunities. They will sign new contracts without worrying about where to get the working capital. Factoring therefore gives a business owner control over the business and easy access to cash.

In conclusion, business owners should take into consideration any investment opportunity that comes their way. One strategy that they can embrace is invoice factoring as it gives them a chance to hire more workers, access new opportunities and buy more stock when their competitors are struggling. The factoring process is simple but a business owner can still seek help from financial advisors if stuck or don’t know how the procedure works.

360 Degree Safari Photographs, Just Some of the Emerging Travel Technology


It is always a great idea to travel around the world whether on vacation, corporate tours, or business. Touring is one of the best ways to relax, meet new people and avoid stress. It all starts by knowing where to tour, when to go and what to do. For such an adventure to be amazing, an individual has to know what makes the best safari. So, they need to plan in advance. A traveler can opt for a safari agent or plan to do it on their own.

Fortunately, the advent of technology has changed how people perceive the safari industry. Traveling successfully and enjoying all the adventures is now easy for every traveler thanks to the advancing technologies. One of these advancements is the 360º safari technology.

Easy Way to Enjoy Dream Safaris

The 360-degree technology has presented travelers with a chance to go to places they have never been before and capture the best pictures. It is a new technology that offers an individual immense touring experience that they will live to remember. It has been greatly used in gaming and in cinemas.

Travelers can enjoy the best photography and videography experience by taking 360-degree photographs and videos while on tour. This means that he or she will be able to view any site in any direction and see what bare eyes could not capture. All they need is a camera and a phone that can shoot on 360 degrees while on safari.

No safari tour can be complete without a few souvenir photos and videos. Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms also support 360-degree uploads. Therefore, one can upload a few of these photos and videos to share the experience with the world. This technology has enabled travellers to share stories about nature and tourism.

Moreover, the 360-degree safari technology is bringing power to the people. It is now easy for one to plan where to travel as there is a lot of research on best destinations available for avid safari lovers. So, one does not have to waste time looking for a safari agent and spend more money in the process.

When it comes to finding accommodation while on tour, one does not have to waste time visiting hotels to assess the available facilities. There are hotels that allow guests to use 360-degree cameras to capture moments around the hotels. One can therefore find these images online and select one that appeals to them. This technology will give the visitor a perspective of the hotel that photos uploaded by hotel owners will not give. Hence, he or she can make the right choice.

The Bottom Line

The 360°safari technology is a virtual reality experience that can be used to inform and motivate holidaymakers. One can easily customize their safari and make it more enjoyable with this great technology. It can also help them set a budget that will meet their needs. It’s time for travellers to make their experiences better by embracing the new technologies.

Technologies that are Changing Sports


Technology has made a tremendous impact on every aspect of our society, ranging from healthcare and government to education and business, in recent times. People are able to gain information quickly, communicate directly and grow ideas efficiently, thanks to technology. The world of sports is no different. Timer services are making every millisecond count in sports such as Formula-1 and athletics, while the hawk-eye technique is making it possible to track the trajectory of balls in cricket and tennis. Special cameras allow the movement of players and balls to be monitored in football, while goal-line technology helps ice hockey and football referees to decide whether the ball is within the playing arena.

Prominent Sports Technologies


The Hawk-eye technology, as the name suggests, analyzes the flight and trajectory of the object used in sports with the help of 6-7 high-end cameras deployed above the field of play. Referees are able to make quick and error-free decisions by analyzing the ball movements, thereby minimizing the criticism from players and spectators. This technology is being extensively used in cricket, football and rugby league.

Video Technology

Everything is live in today’s sports on the home TV, as well as on myriad devices such as smart phone and tablet. Video refereeing means that decisions can be made quickly and accurately. Video analysis allows coaches and analysts to look at a player’s performance and incorporate necessary changes into training regimes.

HANS device

HANS (Head and Neck Support) device is a safety device worn by race drivers to reduce the likelihood of head and neck injuries. It is a U-shaped device that is placed behind the neck, with its two arms rested over the chest and connected to the helmet by two anchors on each side, to minimize wild swinging of the neck in case of a crash.

Wearable Computers

Wearable computers allow real-time tracking of a sportsman. Wearable devices monitor heart rates, pulse rates, hydration, and temperature, and the number of collisions and jumps that occur during a match. This data comes in handy for trainers and doctors who are helping the players to win a tennis tournament or any other sports. The incidents of dehydration and heart attacks among sports persons have dramatically declined in wake of the introduction of wearable devices.

Ingestible Thermometer Pills

Indigestible pills are being used to supervise visceral organs, temperature and heart rates of athletes. These pills, when swallowed, move around the gastrointestinal tract and transmit vital information to the medical experts for the diagnosis and treatment of health issues at an elementary stage.

Smart Helmets

Smart helmets lower the risk of brain injury through the use of sensors and magnet technology. The sensors disperse the force of collisions and the magnet helps in spreading and absorbing the impact, thereby decreasing the chances of a head injury. Moreover, the helmet intimates the coach and sideline staff about the collision, thus facilitating real-time concussion diagnosis and treatment.

To conclude, technology is here to stay in the field of sports. It is promoting well-being of the players and making sports cleaner.

Software Developers Violating the Privacy of Gmail users


According to a Wall Street Journal report, software developers are able to scan through the emails of millions of users who signed up for email-based services. Google had agreed to stop its computers from scanning Gmail users inbox last year, wanting users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount”. Still, hundreds of outside software developers are able to continue doing so. In some cases, an employee of a software development company is able to access and read through user emails.

Gmail has 1.4 billion users with 2 out of 3 active email users running a Gmail account. Gmail has more users than the 25 other largest email providers does combined, which include Microsoft and Verizon Communications Inc, which was formed after they obtained the Yahoo email servers.

At a time when privacy concerns are the top of the technology news chain, Google and Gmail are in a bad position. In these cases, the software development companies that are reading the user emails were granted access to do so by those users when they signed up for their service. These developers do have to go through a vetting process where Google required that they have an acceptable use agreement.

The two companies at the hands of the current scandal are companies that help users find shopping deals or manage their travels. The apps are Return Path, which is based out of New York City, and Edison Software, which is based out of San Jose, California. Return Path analyzes over two million users’ inboxes and sends the data that they compile about those emails to marketers. Edison Software is similar, but is only used to help organize users’ email inboxes. However, the employees of the company have read hundreds of user emails in order to create a new feature for the company. Neither of the businesses’ privacy policies include mentions of other humans or employees being able to view the private emails of their user base.

A statement on the Return Path blog reads, “As anyone who knows anything about software knows, humans program software – artificial intelligence comes directly from human intelligence… Any time our engineers or data scientists personally review emails in our panel (which again, is completely consistent with our policies), we take great care to limit who has access to the data, supervise all access to the data.”

Similarly, Edison Software defended their policies but agreed to stop the practice. “Our email app was mentioned in the context of our engineers having in the past the ability to read a small random sample of de-identified messages for R&D purposes. This method was used to guide us in developing our Smart Reply functionality which was developed some time ago… We have since stopped this practice and expunged all such data in order to stay consistent with our company’s commitment to achieving the highest standards possible for ensuring privacy,” a statement from CEO Mikael Berner said.

European Copyright Laws Impacting World

DMARC20180414064-1280x640.jpgThe European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee last week advanced a copyright law that is affecting the world. Next week, another session of Parliament will vote on it. If it passes through that channel, it then moves through another process with other European institutions that could come to a final decision by the end of the year. This new directive seeks to make copyright infringements online harder and ensures compensation for content. It is supposed to help provide order through the online channels.

The new law includes a “link tax”, which means that if a writer wants to link to something by quoting it, they need a license to do so. It also forces platforms that accept user-generated content, like Instagram and WordPress, to filter out content that might violate another person’s copyright. This means that even GIFs may decrease in creation- although the European Commission claims that that won’t be an issue because if someone finds that their memes are being taken from online platforms, they can appeal the removal of them so that they are reinstated.

However, the anticipated new law is already causing issues throughout the world. United States news sources like the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily news are no longer available for European readers in the EU to read. These websites all went dark for Europe once the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became a law at the end of May and even file recovery won’t bring their archives back. Sources like the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Baltimore Sun are also suffering negative effects from this new law.

Tronc and Lee Enterprises, both media publishing groups, are seeing the most stress from the GDPR. The websites through Tronc read, “Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market.”

Lee Enterprise, which runs 46 daily newspapers in 21 states, also has a statement on their website, which reads, “unavailable due to legal reasons”.

Under GDPR, companies that work in the EU or provide services to those within the EU must prove that they have a lawful basis for processing personal information, or they will be fined.

Google, however, is fighting back against the new regulations; as a search engine, Google has been targeted the most by this new legislature. Google sent a list of members of the Parliament (MEPs) to publishers that participate in the Digital News Initiative, telling them, “If you feel strongly about this, please consider contacting the MEPs.”

A public campaign to fight the new legislature, #SaveYourInternet, has gained traction and is backed by digital rights groups and non- profits all over the world.

The new EU copyright law is not finalized yet and could still be destroyed by the next vote in the European Parliament in early July, when every MEP will vote. As of current, the law has been approved by the legal affairs committee in the Parliament.

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