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HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s biggest social network and gaming firm Tencent Holdings, which last week reported forecast-beating quarterly results, is close to making Malaysia the first foreign country to roll out its WeChat ecosystem, an executive told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Tencent’s booth is pictured at the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) 2017 in Beijing, China April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo
If you’re using a messaging app in China, chances are it’s owned by Tencent – a leading provider of web-based services in China that owns WeChat, as well as a whole host of social media platforms, entertainment subsidiaries and payment services. With an increasing amount of global brand awareness, the time had come for Tencent to expand its corporate typographic voice in line with its ambitions. The company approached Monotype to design a bespoke typeface, based on its existing logo, that could convey its vision of “innovation, responsibility and enablement”.

Tencent has made a “breakthrough” in gaining an e-payment license in Malaysia for local transactions, and plans a launch early next year, senior vice president S.Y. Lau said in an interview.

The move pits Shenzhen-based Tencent against rival Alibaba Group as they scramble for new growth opportunities outside China. Tencent this week became the first Asian firm to enter the club of companies worth more than $500 billion, and on Tuesday surpassed Facebook in market value.

“Malaysia is actually quite large in the sense that we have 20 million WeChat users, huge potential, and the market is quite warm towards internet products from China,” Lau said.

Southeast Asia, home to more than 600 million people and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, has been a key battleground for China’s tech titans fighting for deals. Ethnic Chinese make up more than a fifth of Malaysia’s population.

WeChat Pay and Alibaba’s Alipay, which dominate China’s digital payment market, have sought to expand their global footprint, although that push has so far been limited to payment services for Chinese outbound tourists. They can scan-and-pay for purchases in 34 countries or regions via Alipay and 13 via WeChat Pay, according to the companies.

Alipay’s parent company Ant Financial has joint ventures in seven markets for local digital payments services, which operate independently under the partnerships’ brand names.

Alibaba is looking to build a global payment system, while Tencent is more interested in generating traffic for WeChat – two different strategies, some bankers and investors say.

WeChat has more users, but Alipay’s aggregate transaction volume is higher, according to JP Morgan’s John Hall, though other investors note that WeChat Pay can also process large transactions if it’s used on e-commerce platforms.


One challenge for Tencent, say analysts, is that its success in China cannot be easily exported to other markets.

Tencent is “not in a hurry” to speed up its overseas expansion or increase the monetization rate of its digital assets, Lau said.

“We walk our own path at our own pace … and, to be honest, there is really quite a lot to do in China,” he said.

WeChat, which has ballooned from a messaging app to an all-in-one platform with 980 million monthly active users, could be the “killer product” to spearhead expansion abroad, Lau said, as its embedded payment function draws more services.

WeChat, with an open platform of mini-programs, was a key revenue contributor for Tencent in the third quarter. Social and other advertising revenue rose 63 percent, while payment and cloud helped “other business” post a 143 percent jump

“Honour of Kings”, Tencent’s top-grossing battle game that led an 84 percent increase in quarterly smartphone gaming revenue, also owes its success to the network help of WeChat, and is expected to find it tougher to crack Western markets, analysts say.

Tencent this month delayed the launch of the game’s U.S. edition, “Arena of Valor”, to next year to “further polish additional gameplay and social features”.

After games and social media, most of Tencent’s other businesses are in digital content, including Spotify equivalent Tencent Music and YouTube equivalent Tencent Video, which also makes its own dramas.


Lau said the ultimate aim was to export culture from China to the rest of the world, rather than the other way round, which he acknowledged was challenging.

“What we’re aiming to create is ‘super IPs’ (intellectual property) that leverage our different businesses from upstream to downstream,” Lau said, citing Disneyland and the James Bond movies as successful practices in the West.

A big business for Tencent’s recently listed publishing arm, China Literature, is to sell its popular novels and have them turned into dramas and video games by Tencent’s other business lines.

Tencent this month announced a plan involving 10 billion yuan ($1.51 billion) of investment to boost its creative content ecosystem, though it gave no time frame for the investment.

Company president Martin Lau – no relation to S.Y. – said on an earnings call last week that Tencent would keep investing in digital content, especially online video, to draw more time from more paying customers.


Overseas acquisitions will remain a key way of enhancing Tencent’s global access and competitiveness, S.Y. Lau said.

Independent technology analyst Richard Windsor said Tencent’s 2016 acquisition of Supercell gave it a strong position in gaming, while the move to buy a stake in social media firm Snapchat is another piece in the jigsaw.

“It increasingly looks as if Tencent is embarking on a circumnavigation of the digital life pie in order to build an ecosystem to challenge the Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook dominance of consumer digital services,” he said, noting it’s at a “super early stage” in that process.

Tencent will likely seek more overseas acquisitions, Windsor added, which, beyond being expensive, could challenge Tencent in integrating all its digital assets at home and abroad.

Tencent has struggled to monetize its dominance over the Chinese digital life, he said, adding that’s why he sees more upside in Tencent’s market valuation, and prefers it to Alibaba.

Henry Sapiecha

As Facebook tries to conquer the workplace, it not only has to convince businesses that the new tool is worth paying for, but it’s also competing with similar services such as Slack and Microsoft’s Yammer. 

It looks similar to a person’s personal Facebook, but users aren’t browsing the social network for cat videos or engagement photos

ooofacebook-workplace-screen-pic image www.socialselect.net

Instead, they’re interacting with their co-workers or business partners eve hen they’re on the move.

“The workplace is about more than just communicating between desks within thatement.

The tech firm is charging companies a monthly fee per active user to use the product. Workplace, which is available on desktop and mobile, costs$US3 a user for the first 1000 monthly active users, $US2 a user for 1001 to 10,000 monthly active users and $US1 a user for more than 10,000 monthly active usrs.

As Facebook tries to conquer the workplace, it not only has to convince businesses that the new tool is worth paying for, but it’s also competing with similar services such as Slack and Microsoft’s Yammer.

While Facebook is charging a lower price than its competitors, it might still be tough sell to businesses who fear that social media could fuel more negativity in the workplace or make them more vulnerable to legal risks. But it could appeal to younger workers who are more used to communicating electronically than face to face.

For Facebook, Workplace also gives the tech firm a way to grow its revenue outside of mobile ads.

The tech firm has been testing the product, formerly known as Facebook at Work, globally for more than a year. More than 1000 organisations worldwide, including Starbucks, YES Bank of India and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore have been piloting Workplace.

It includes features such as live video, work chat, trending posts, analytics and other tools. Workplace also allows companies to create “Multi-company groups” so employees from different organisations can work together. Workplace is separated from an employee’s personal Facebook.

More than 100,000 groups have been created in Workplace and the tool has been the most popular in India, Norway, the United States, United Kingdom and France.


Henry Sapiecha


September 20th, 2016 TWEETS, TWITTER none Comments

Twitter has announced that, as of now, media extras such as photos, GIFs, and videos — along with quoted tweets and user polls — will no longer contribute to the 140-character limit per tweet.

While the change will no doubt be welcomed by users, it makes up only part of the improvement’s Twitter promised would be forthcoming in May

twitter-screen-pic image www.solcialselect.net

Twitter turns ten, are investors turning off?

Twitter celebrates its 10th birthday with a falling share price and stalled monthly active user growth.

Excluded from today’s update was the removal of counting usernames in a reply or mention toward the 140-character limit. A Twitter spokeswoman said the company is currently testing this feature and will be introducing it to a small group of users in the coming weeks before rolling it out to everyone. She did not confirm a specific date for the update.

In its May blog entry, Twitter said the new features would help users “do even more” with their tweets. “We’re exploring ways to make existing uses easier and enable new ones, all without compromising the unique brevity and speed that make Twitter the best place for live commentary, connections, and conversations,” the blog post states.

Images and other media no longer count towards the 140 character limit. 

In a demonstration video for how the replies function will soon look, “@username” is replaced with a thread line that shows different tweets in a conversation. The names of users involved in the conversation are displayed above the tweet after the text “replying to.”

Another feature in the May blog post missing from Monday’s rollout was the update that would make all replies appear on a user’s feed, making it unnecessary to use “.@” when trying to display replies to a user’s audience. Twitter did not confirm if this feature is being tested or when users can expect it in the future.

The Washington Post


Henry Sapiecha

Mark Zuckerberg image www.socialselect.net

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg briefly found his Twitter account hijacked, as were at least two of his other social media accounts.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook account and password were not compromised, the company said in a statement; his account on Facebook-owned Instagram was also unaffected. Facebook Inc. said Monday morning that none of the company’s systems or accounts were accessed and that Zuckerberg’s affected accounts have since been re-secured.

A person close to the situation confirmed that Zuckerberg’s LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts also were affected. Officials for both of those social media networks didn’t immediate respond to requests for comment.

Screenshots preserved by the technology website Engadget showed someone with access to his largely dormant Twitter account using it to say Zuckerberg was “in the LinkedIn database” and inviting the social media mogul to get in touch. LinkedIn declined to comment.

It’s not yet clear how the hack happened, although a spate of massive data breaches at companies — along with recent news that a 2012 breach at LinkedIn Corp. was much bigger that previously disclosed — has recently given hackers a wealth of password data to work with. Several high profile Twitter users have also had their accounts hijacked in recent weeks.

Zuckerberg’s name is synonymous with Facebook, but the billionaire has several accounts on rival social networks, including one registered with Google Inc. None appear very active.


Henry Sapiecha

prison pic-bars image www.crimefiles (17)

Anastasia Bubeyeva shows a screenshot on her computer of a picture of a toothpaste tube with the words: “Squeeze Russia out of yourself!” For sharing this picture on a social media site with his 12 friends, her husband was sentenced this month to more than two years in prison.

As the Kremlin claims unequivocal support among Russians for its policies both at home and abroad, a crackdown is underway against ordinary social media users who post things that run against the official narrative. Here the Kremlin’s interests coincide with those of investigators, who are anxious to report high conviction rates for extremism. The Kremlin didn’t immediately comment on the issue.

At least 54 people were sent to prison for hate speech last year, most of them for sharing and posting things online, which is almost five times as many as five years ago, according to the Moscow-based Sova group, which studies human rights, nationalism and xenophobia in Russia. The overall number of convictions for hate speech in Russia increased to 233 last year from 92 in 2010.

A 2002 Russian law defines extremism as activities that aim to undermine the nation’s security or constitutional order, or glorify terrorism or racism, as well as calling for others to do so. The vagueness of the phrasing and the scope of offenses that fall under the extremism clause allow for the prosecution of a wide range of people, from those who set up an extremist cell or display Nazi symbols to anyone who writes something online that could be deemed a danger to the state. In the end, it’s up to the court to decide whether a social media post poses a danger to the nation or not.

In February 2014, when Ukraine was in the middle of a pro-European revolution, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill tightening penalties for non-violent extremist crimes such as hate speech. In July of that year, three months after Russia had annexed the Crimean Peninsula, he signed a bill making calls “to destroy” Russia’s territorial integrity a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison. The new amendment makes the denial of Russia’s claims on Crimea an even greater offense if the statement is made in the press or online, even on a private social media account.

Many of the shares that led to the recent rash of convictions were of things critical of Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.

This was true of the articles and images shared by Bubeyeva’s husband, a 40-year-old electrician from Tver, a sleepy provincial capital halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

“Andrei Bubeyev thinks that he was charged as an example so that other ordinary citizens would be discouraged from expressing their opinion,” said his lawyer, Svetlana Sidorkina.

Bubeyev spent a lot of time online, sharing links to various articles on his VKontakte page and engaging in political debates on local news websites, his wife says.

In spring 2015, he left town to work on a rural construction site. After investigators couldn’t get through to him on the phone, they put him on a wanted list as an extremism suspect. When Bubeyev stopped by to visit his wife and young son at their country cottage, a SWAT team stormed in and arrested him.

His wife now lives alone with their 4-year-old son in a sparsely furnished apartment on the ground floor of a drab Soviet-era apartment block. After her husband was arrested, Anastasia Bubeyeva, 23, dropped out of medical school because she couldn’t find affordable day care for her child, who still wears an eye patch for an injury he suffered when he bumped his head during the raid.

Several months after his arrest, Bubeyev pleaded guilty to inciting hatred toward Russians and was sentenced to a year in prison. His offense was sharing articles, photos and videos from Ukrainian nationalist groups, including those of the volunteer Azov battalion fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Among them was an article about the graves of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and a video describing Russia as a “fascist aggressor” and showing Russian tanks purportedly crossing into Ukraine.

Less than two weeks after the verdict, Bubeyev was charged again. This time, he was accused of calling for “acts of extremism” and “actions undermining Russia’s territorial integrity.” He had shared the picture of a toothpaste tube and also an article under the headline “Crimea is Ukraine” by a controversial blogger, who is in jail now, calling for military aggression against Russia.

“He was interested in politics, read the news, shared things, but he did it for himself. It was like collecting newspaper clippings,” his wife said. “His page wasn’t popular — he only had 12 friends. He couldn’t have aimed to coerce anyone into anything.”

The new charges were soon followed by a damning report on local television station Tverskoi Prospekt. The program showed an anonymous blogger complaining about social media users who voiced their support for Ukrainian troops and were “ready to back a coup in Russia and take up arms and kill people as the Nazis did.” The television report claimed that the blogger’s complaint had prompted the prosecution of the electrician.

On May 6, Bubeyev was convicted and sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

Also this month, a court in the Caspian Sea city of Astrakhan sentenced a man to two years in prison for his social media posts urging Ukrainians to fight “Putin’s occupying forces.”

In December, a court in Siberia sentenced a man to five years in prison for “inciting hatred” toward residents of eastern Ukraine in his video posts. In October, a court in southern Russia sent a political activist to prison for two years for an unsanctioned picket and posts on social media criticizing Putin and calling for southern Russia to join Ukraine.

The articles, photos and videos that landed Bubeyev in prison were posted on his page on VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social media network with 270 million accounts.

VKontakte founder Pavel Durov sold the site and fled Russia in 2014, claiming that he had come under pressure from the security services for VKontakte to disclose personal data of the users of a group linked to a protest movement in Ukraine. The company is now controlled by the media holding of Kremlin-friendly billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

Alexander Verkhovsky, director of the Sova group, says roughly half of the convictions of hate speech online are about posts on VKontakte, which he said might be because its administration might be easier for the Russian police to deal with than that of foreign-owned social media.

Bubeyev’s defense claimed that the privacy settlings on his account made the articles he shared available only to him and his 12 friends. Sidorkina, his lawyer, said she has no explanation for how the security services found his posts unless they received the credentials to his account from VKontakte.

VKontakte declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

Russia faced a surge of racially motivated attacks against Central Asian migrant workers in the 2000s, but the crime rates dropped drastically after dozens of neo-Nazis got lengthy prison sentences for extremism.

Rights activists and lawyers who have worked on extremism cases say the drop in violent hate crimes sent police and investigators scrambling to prosecute people for non-violent offenses to show a solid record of tackling extremism.

The Moscow-based Center for Economic and Political Reform said in a 23-page report on extremism law released this month that most convictions for this type of crime resulted in fines or a few days in custody, with the aim of boosting the crime statistics.

But as tensions with neighboring Ukraine heated up, courts across Russia began to hand out more and more prison sentences for hate speech, the report said.

Many of the hate speech convictions do deal with dubious content, but the severity of the punishment doesn’t seem to correspond to the level of public danger posed, said Verkhovsky of Sova.

“These cases are very arbitrary because there are lots more people out there who have done the same thing. Such enforcement of the law does not address or combat radical activities,” he said. “No one knows where the red line is: It’s like roulette.”


Henry Sapiecha

OMG, Facebook adds reaction emojis

Facebook’s “like” button isn’t going away, but it’s about to get some company.

Facebook has now officially added a select group of emoticons to allow users to react to posts – without having to use anything as old fashioned as, you know, actual words.

The social network rolled out “Reactions” – an extension of the “Like” button – worldwide on Wednesday, allowing people to display quick reactions such as sadness, anger and love.

In a video accompanying a blog post, the five new buttons appear as animated emoticons that pop up when the “Like” button is held down on mobile devices. The buttons appear on desktops when users hover over the “Like” button.

reactions buttons facebook-image www.socialselect.net

The new emoji-like stickers Facebook users can press in addition to the ‘like’ button. Photo: Mary Altaffer

Facebook launched a pilot of “Reactions” – which allowed users to select from seven emotions including “Angry”, “Sad”, “Wow” and “Like” – in Ireland and Spain in October.

The “Yay” emoticon, which was present in the pilot launch, was not seen in Wednesday’s video.

The company will also use “Reactions” to track user behaviour and for ad delivery.

“We will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content,” Facebook said in separate blog post.

Facebook said that over time it hoped to learn how different “Reactions” should be weighted differently by the Facebook News Feed to customise it for individual users. Facebook said “Reactions” would have the same impact on ad delivery as “Likes”.

The feature received mixed reviews from users on social networking sites.

Many complained that they could not see the new emoticons, while some were unhappy that Facebook did not launch a “dislike” button. Others expressed concern that the feature would lead to diminished use of language and less interaction.

“Great, now you don’t even have to offer actual words, just a freaking emoji. What’s the point in learning a language at all then?,” Candice Johnson wrote on the social network.


Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line

February 2nd, 2016 ADVERTISING none Comments

stick men -forum sign image www.socialselect.net

Social media works but brands need to be bold if they want to stand out, according to Publicis Pusher’s MD, Kim Hopwood.

Social has come under fire at late with marketing professor Mark Ritson questioning the flood of ad dollars flowing to social, without being backed up by ROI.

Hopwood was speaking to AdNews following its recent social media campaign for the Australia Day Council of NSW, which is a “social media first” for the brand.

Publicis Pusher used its ‘Newsdesk’ tool – a real-time social media newsroom – for the Australia Day Council of NSW, to engage with people celebrating Australia Day.

The campaign had no paid media and according to preliminary tallies clocked up more than 400,000 conversations on the day and 8,000,000 impressions across social media.

“You need to be bold on social media, because it’s easy to be wallpaper,” Hopwood says.

“But the results of this are speaking for themselves. Newsdesk allows us to amplify things without media investment.”

The Newsdesk tool has been part of Publicis globally for more than 18 months but rolled out locally at the end of last year.

Publicis Pusher was created in November 2014 when Publicis acquired digital agency Pusher.

While Newsdesk is aimed primarily for mass-scale events, it can be also used for always-on marketing and even crisis management.

Hopwood says while it’s “early days” the tool has already proved popular with brands including Garnier, by tapping into marketer demand for real-time communications.

For the Australia Day campaign, a team of 12, including four community managers, two content producers, four creatives and two strategists, used a suite of tools to identify relevant conversations and respond at scale in real time.

In addition, content from the campaign engaged more than 110,000 people across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and engaged conversations with influencers including the President of India Pranab Mukherjee and singer Recce Mastin.

“The benefit is being able to respond to people and give a better customer experience on the day,” Hopwood says.

“When we’re talking about customers for Australia Day we’re talking about citizens. Australia Day is a celebration of our nation, the government invests a lot in making sure we get the most out of our day and we’re adding in a layer of customer service.”


Henry Sapiecha

dopey-email-address image www.socialselect.net

Whimsy and flamboyance is all well and good, but your choice of email address has the potential to hurt you professionally

My little sister used to have a ridiculous email address. I won’t tell you it exactly – I don’t want to flood her inbox – but it was something similar to “these_fish_have_bowties@example.com”. I asked her about it a few times, and she said it was an inside joke between her and her friends.

I see these kinds of email addresses all the time with my students. (Put your hand up if you have one too…)




Whimsy and flamboyance is all well and good, but your choice of email address has the potential to hurt you professionally. If you choose not to be serious, well – it shouldn’t be any surprise if people don’t take you seriously.

What I’m talking about is looking a little more professional for things like applying for a job. It’s fine if your friends know you as “ugly_terrano123@example.com”, but do you really want that as your first impression? It’s a bit like wearing thongs to a wedding.

Take some extra time to make a new email address today for all your formal, professional correspondence. A good bet is your firstname.middleinitial.lastname. If you have a common name, you might have to get creative, but again, don’t go overboard. Try different combinations of periods and underscores. For example Jon Smith could try:

  • JonSmith@example.com
  • Jon.Smith@example.com
  • Jonathan.Smith@example.com
  • Jonathan.R.Smith@example.com
  • Jonathan_Smith@example.com
  • Jon.Smith.Australia@example.com

A little creativity and a touch of perseverance and you’ll find one that’s available.

Use Gmail or Yahoo mail or Microsoft’s Outlook.com.  Avoid more exotic (and less professional looking) providers.

If you’re more technically minded, you might even consider getting your own domain. A domain (web address) is fairly cheap. If you shop around, a .com would cost you under $15 a year.

However, a .com.au has a few restrictions on it, most notably you need an ABN. An alternative would be an id.au. These domains are intended to be used by Australian individuals. Again, you should be able to get one for around $15 a year. I think “john@john.smith.id.au” looks much more professional that “that_smithy_boyee@example.com”.

Search for “gmail for your own domain” if you want to hook up your own custom email address to Gmail. It’s not too hard and you won’t have to pay extra for cloud storage of all those new emails you’ll be receiving.

My sister eventually gave up her fishy email address. It served her into university, but she was embarrassed filling out job applications after graduating. She found out that nobody would take “these_fish_have_bowties” seriously.

None of the addresses used in this article are the email addresses of real people.


Henry Sapiecha

Pakistani troops stand guard after the murder of Punjab's governor Salman Taseer, who criticised the country's blasphemy laws image www.socialselect.net

Pakistani troops stand guard after the murder of Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer, who criticised the country’s blasphemy laws. Photo: AP

​LAHORE, Pakistan: Late one night, the imam Shabir Ahmad looked up from prayers at his mosque to see a 15-year-old boy approaching with a plate in his outstretched left hand. On it was the boy’s freshly severed right hand.

Ahmad did not hesitate. He fled the mosque and left the village, in eastern Punjab province.

Earlier that night, January 10, he had denounced the boy as a blasphemer, an accusation that in Pakistan can get a person killed – even when the accusation is false, as it was in this case.

The boy, Anwar Ali, the devout son of a poor labourer, had been attending an evening prayer gathering at the mosque in the village of Khanqah when Ahmad asked for a show of hands of those who did not love the Prophet Muhammad. Thinking the cleric had asked for those who did love the prophet, Anwar’s hand shot up, according to witnesses and the boy’s family.

He realised his mistake when he saw that his was the only hand up, and he quickly put it down. But by then Ahmad was screaming “Blasphemer!” at him, along with many others in the crowd. “Don’t you love your prophet?” they called, as the boy fled in disgrace.

Anwar went home, found a sharp scythe and chopped off his right hand that same night. When he showed it to the cleric, he made clear it was an offering to absolve his perceived sin.

The police quickly caught the mullah and locked him up, but local religious leaders protested, and the authorities backed down and released him. After the international news media began picking up on the story over the weekend, the authorities rearrested Ahmad on Sunday, holding him on terrorism and other charges.

“There is no physical evidence against the cleric of involvement, but he has been charged for inciting and arousing the emotions of people to such a level that the boy did this act,” the district police chief, Faisal Rana, said.

The boy’s family, however, argues that the cleric did nothing wrong and should not be punished.

“We are lucky that we have this son who loves Prophet Muhammad that much,” Muhammad Ghafoor, Anwar’s father, said in a telephone interview. “We will be rewarded by God for this in the eternal world.”

Anwar, too, declined to make any charge against the mullah. “What I did was for love of the Prophet Muhammad,” he said.

Blasphemy is a toxic subject in Pakistan, where a confusing body of laws has enshrined it as a potentially capital offence but also makes it nearly impossible for the accused to defend themselves in court. Even publicly repeating details of the accusation is tantamount to blasphemy in its own right.

Such cases almost never make it to court, however. The merest accusation that blasphemy has occurred has the power to arouse lynching or mob violence.

The governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by his own bodyguard in 2011, after Taseer criticised the country’s blasphemy laws and defended a Christian woman who had been falsely accused under them. The assassin is a national hero to many devout Pakistanis: His jail cell has become a pilgrimage site, and a mosque was renamed to honour him.

On Monday, Pakistan lifted a three-year-old ban on YouTube, which it had shut down because of accusations of airing anti-Islamic videos. The government announced that Google, which owns YouTube, had agreed to give it the right to block objectionable content. The Pakistani government blocks thousands of web pages it considers offensive.

“We have become a society so intoxicated by negative things in the name of religion that parents feel proud of sending their children to jihad and to die in the name of such activities,” said I.A. Rehman, secretary-general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. “The government needs to do more to educate people and to speak out against extremism.”

Anwar Ali did not even go to a hospital after his amputation, but had his right arm’s stump bandaged at a village clinic and went home. Family members buried his hand in the village graveyard.

The New York Times


Henry Sapiecha

peaches social site logo image www.socialselect.net

The new Peach social network app lets friends share anything from doodles to animated GIFs to micro-blogs. Photo: Peach

Peach! It’s a new emoji-themed social network for iPhone that has probably already ridden its headline-driven hype wave to the ground. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting.

For real, I’m not even going to entertain the idea that Peach has a chance of taking off. It’s not particularly intuitive, it doesn’t offer a killer new feature that is easily explained, and social networks aren’t where the world is heading — messaging apps are. That’s why it was never actually downloaded by that many of us.

If a serious amount of people — more than say, Ello — are using it in six months, I will eat a newspaper.

Yet, even without users, Peach is worth looking at seriously. Indeed, I hope some of the people at Facebook Messenger — an app that does have serious numbers — are watching closely.

Some of the "magic words" you can use to post in Peach.Some of the “magic words” you can use to post in Peach.

Why? “Magic words”. Let me explain

Peach’s only real innovation is the use of certain trigger words which add content or context to your update. You type “song” and it listens to hear what music you’re listening to, then posts that. You type “weather” and it pulls in the weather with a nice little emoji. You type “battery” and it posts your battery percentage (again with an emoji). You type “draw” and it brings up a pad for you to draw on. You get it.

These magic words make use of all the ambient information your iPhone is already collecting on you — if you type “move” it will show how many kilometres or steps you have walked that day. The process of discovering what all the things you can type do is a lot of fun.

These kind of typed triggers are in no way new. As Brian Feldman writes in New York magazine, they actually harken back to the command line interfaces of old, which many programmers still swear by for productivity.

“The text field is key. It’s partly the solution to a problem that has long plagued mobile developers: Less screen real estate means less space to present interaction options to the users. But it’s also that, for the first time, engineers and developers are creating products for a population that’s truly digital native — for whom typing comes naturally and for whom digital actions don’t need to be metaphorised,” Feldman writes.

Essentially, we don’t need to be coddled by a world of icons and metaphors like we used to be. Typing out what we want is intuitive. It’s already how a lot of us get around our Macs (command-space-type-what-you-want), and has proven immensely popular on business-messaging platform Slack, where there are apps that let you order food by typing a number.

Facebook have been trying to make Messenger a “platform” for a long while, following the example of Chinese messaging giant WeChat. They’ve built in gifs, location sharing, and even Uber ordering. Yet these options are mostly hidden behind an ever increasing array of tiny tappable buttons — they’re not quite intuitive yet.

There’s a lot of ambient information your phone is already collecting.

You could type “location” to show someone where you are, “battery” to convey the urgency of a situation, and “weather” to make them jealous.

Contextual data is already used for “filters” on Snapchat. Why not add it in as typeable on Messenger?

There’s a very good chance Facebook are already well on the way to implementing this kind of thing themselves. Their AI service “M”,which should be able to do pretty much anything and everything for you, including book plane tickets, is interacted with by typing.

Bots have been taking over our interactions for a long while now, just as people have been predicting for years. Where they got it wrong is how we interact with them — using your voice is fun, but slow.

Typing is exact, quick, and takes far less power to process than voice. It makes sense to take advantage of that.



Henry Sapiecha

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