Our Picks for News of the Week [Sept. 14, 2012]

techinasia news of the week

“We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.” So wrote the bard, and while I suspect he wasn’t trying to make reference to technology news several centuries in the future, it is true that time continues to tick. The news stories below are gone forever, now, but they live on in our archive, and in our hearts. Here’s what you missed this week, if you’re the sort of person who missed things this week.

Charlie’s pick: Oh, fine. Apple Launches iPhone 5

Despite the fact that I have complained about how there’s too much fuss about it, it’s hard to deny that the iPhone is what had everyone talking this week. The new model doesn’t pack much that’s special for Asia, but we expect it’ll sell like hotcakes here anyway. In fact, probably much better than hotcakes since I don’t even know what those are.

Steven’s pick: Google Weighs in on Acer China Phone Debacle, But is Google Being Anti-Competitive?

My favourite story of the week combines mystery, corporate in-fighting, and gadgets. You see, on Thursday, China’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba, was due to unveil a flagship phone running its own cloud-oriented Aliyun OS. It’s made by Acer. But the launch event was cancelled and the device seems to have been torpedoed. It wasn't until late Friday night (US time) that Google spoke.

Andrew’s pick: WeChat’s Simple Keys To Success: Hire Smart Folks, Work Bloody Hard

The story behind WeChat's success is simple and yet motivating. And it's very true that nothing can be accomplished without hard work. Don’t worry about the late nights and just focus on the product, that is probably the only way out. WeChat is much better compared to other messaging apps, and it will only probably get better.

Willis’ pick: WeChat Hits 200 Million Users

Tencent’s CEO and founder Pony Ma speech at the recent China Internet Conference at Beijing seems like just another speech until he dropped a bomb of WeChat having hit 200 million users. It’s a big number and achieved in six months since Ma last announced the 100 million user milestone through his weibo. All in all, WeChat has a shot to international fame. Folks who use both WeChat and Whatsapp know that the former is better and it’s an exciting period for Chinese internet history, I believe.

[UPDATED on September 16: Sorry, we forgot to delete the last template paragraph.]

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  • Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions
    Indonesia rebuffs last-ditch bids to delay drug-convict executions

    By Kanupriya Kapoor and Jane Wardell CILACAP, Indonesia/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indonesia said the execution of nine drug traffickers would go ahead this week, rebuffing last-minute appeals from Australia and the Philippines to spare their nationals and ignoring a decision by the Constitutional Court to hear a final challenge. Australia began the day with a plea for a stay in the execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, saying reports that their trial had been tainted by corruption needed to …

  • Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia
    Halt Indonesia drug executions until graft claims probed: Australia

    Australia urged Indonesia Monday to delay the execution of two men for drug offences until a corruption probe into their case is complete, after a report that judges sought tens of thousands of dollars in bribes. "Bali Nine" drug traffickers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan could face the firing squad within days, along with others from Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and an Indonesian prisoner. The Indonesian attorney-general's office said the executions would take place this week but did …

  • ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP
    ISIS has not penetrated Phl – AFP

    Security officials yesterday maintained that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has not penetrated the Philippines following an expert’s warning that the group poses a threat to the country. Abu Sayyaf, BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters), private armed groups to our knowledge are the people making problems down south,” Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. said. The BIFF and the Abu Sayyaf have pledged allegiance to the ISIS but it remains uncertain whether they are …

  • Cerbo named national police intel chief
    Cerbo named national police intel chief

    Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina yesterday ordered the appointment of PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. as chief of the Directorate for Intelligence. …

  • Pump prices up anew
    Pump prices up anew

    Oil companies announced yesterday another round of price hikes with independent oil firms among the first to issue their respective announcements. PTT Philippines, the local subsidiary of Thailand’s biggest oil firm, and Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, another independent oil company, were among the first to issue their respective advisories. Seaoil Philippines also issued its announcement. “PTT Philippines will increase pump prices of gasoline by P0.70 per liter and of diesel by P0.30 per …

  • PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing
    PNP to ease rules on gun permit processing

    The Philippine National Police will simplify requirements for getting a firearm’s permit under the new gun control law, PNP officer-in-charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina said yesterday. Espina said they are working to simplify the process to secure a license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF) amid complaints of excessive requirements from gun holders. Espina directed the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO) to make it easier for legitimate gun owners to comply with the …

  • Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals
    Mercy for Mary Jane: Pacman joins appeals

    World boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao took time out yesterday from final preparations for his $400-million megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. to plead for the life of a Filipina on death row in Indonesia. Pacquiao, a national hero in the Philippines, added his voice to a chorus of global opposition led by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the executions of a group of foreign drug convicts, including compatriot Mary Jane Veloso. The eight-division world champion, who will face …

  • Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700
    Phl condoles as Nepal death toll hits 3,700

    Foreign rescue teams equipped with heavy cutting gear and relief supplies were landing round the clock at Nepal’s only international airport on the outskirts of Kathmandu, which has been devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake. “We need more helicopters for our rescue operations in rural areas,” said Nepal Home Affairs spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. In a statement issued yesterday, Aquino said a team from the Philippine embassy in New Delhi, India would travel to Nepal to meet the needs …

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