Saturday, March 24, 2018
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Brian Acton, one of the co-founders of WhatsApp, which was bought by Facebook for $1.6 billion in 2014, has urged people delete their accounts from the social network.

“It’s time”, Acton wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, which included the hashtag #DeleteFacebook.

Acton’s remark comes in the wake of increasing public outrage from users around the world over the misuse of private data of as many as 50 million Facebook users by British firm Cambridge Analytica.

The news which broke over the weekend has now grown into a full blown crisis with lawmakers in the US, UK and Europe demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On Tuesday, the BBC reported that Zuckerberg, who at the time of writing was yet to officially comment on the scandal, has not even addressed Facebook staff since the news broke, with employees at its headquarters in California being spoken to by one of the company’s senior lawyers on Monday.

Investigations in the UK and US are now underway into Cambridge Analytica, which has claimed it helped Donald Trump win the White House. Cambridge Analytica accessed the private data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

They did this by creating a quiz that was taken by 270,000 Facebook users. The people who created the quiz passed the data to Cambridge Analytica, which is in breach of Facebook’s policy.

Facebook said it knew about the leak since 2015, but the incident only became public last weekend after reports by the New York Times and Guardian. Meanwhile, in the wake of the scandal, Cambridge Analytica confirmed it has suspend its CEO, Alexander Nix.


Philips senses opportunity in digital

Posted by pakin On February - 26 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Philips Thailand Co, a healthcare business arm of Royal Philips, the Dutch electronics company, plans to focus on digital healthcare this year to capitalise on the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.

Viroj Vithayaveroj, the company’s chairman, managing director and general manager of health systems, said Thailand’s 4.0 scheme persuaded the company to focus on selling more digital products this year. Connected healthcare is the forefront of Philips’s strategy for growing the business, he said.

Examples of connected healthcare include electronic toothbrushes such as Philips Sonicare, which can monitor a user’s oral health through a mobile app, and the Philips Air Purifier that captures 99.97% of particles and automatically purifies and visualises indoor air quality via numerical feedback, with the option to check the device’s status remotely on a smartphone.

These innovations reflect key global trends and the response to these products in Thailand has been better than expected, Mr Viroj said.

“People want to live longer and they are recognising the importance of taking a more active role in their own health,” he said. “With advances in personal technologies — like wearables and smartphones — they have the ability to do so. Prevention is more important than treatment.”

Mr Viroj said the company will also tap the hospitality industry to expand the health systems business beyond healthcare services, introducing the automated external defibrillator for international hotel brands.

Moreover, Philips plans to offer hospital design solutions in Thailand to differentiate itself from other healthcare companies. The company expects sales to better the industry’s this year but gave no further details.

Mr Viroj said Thailand’s healthcare industry has posted continuous growth of at least 10% over the last four years. The market value is now estimated at 30-40 billion baht.

“The healthcare business is not sensitive to any economic slowdown,” Mr Viroj said. “We believe the growing momentum of the healthcare business will continue this year because patient numbers should rise as a result of Thailand becoming an ageing society and the health-conscious trend.”

In addition, Asean economic integration has increased opportunities for Thai hospitals to welcome more patients with purchasing power from neighbouring countries, he said.

Philips founded its Thai operation in 1952. It makes healthcare, lifestyle and lighting products. The company started manufacturing in Thailand in 1960 with an incandescent lamp factory.


Former deputy national police chief Pol Gen Salang Bunnag died on Sunday after falling from the 7th floor of a shopping centre in Nonthaburi. He was 81.

His son, Pol Lt Col Hemmachak Bunnag, said Sunday that his father had suffered from depression for several years, a condition which may have contributed to his death.

Police have not officially concluded whether he had committed suicide or suffered a fatal accident. But a video clip released online showed him intentionally letting himself fall, and he left behind a lengthy note to family and the public.

The clip shows a man walking alone inside a shopping mall. He approaches a glass barrier and climbs over it before falling.

Pak Kret police were informed of a man plunging from the seventh floor at a shopping centre on Chaengwattana Road about 11am.

The man was later confirmed as Pol Gen Salang.

Pol Capt Thanawat Cheewitsophon, an officer at Pak Kret police station, said that police found several handwritten notes signed by Pol Gen Salang near the body.

The letter said he had less than two years to live and he wanted to offer society some benefit when he died.

He urged the public to oppose plans to build a double-track railway line with a track width of only one metre and elevated trains, but requested the public to push the construction of “autobahn” express highways.

Police deputy spokesman Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen said national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda offered deep condolences to Pol Gen Salang’s family.

“He did many good things for the Royal Thai Police and his death is a great loss.”

That is not a universal view.

Pol Gen Salang had a history of dramatic and controversial actions. The self-styled “tough cop” was involved in bloody incidents that brought strong criticism.

  • In 1996, after police arrested “most wanted” narcotics kingpin Joe Danchang and five other drug suspects in Suphan Buri, Salang showed up at the scene.

He took all six suspects behind a house, out of the view of a large press group, and shots were fired. Gen Salang then emerged to announce that the six men had broken free from their handcuffs and tried to grab hidden guns, with the result that all the suspects were killed and all the police were unharmed.

The Suphan Buri district court accepted Salang’s claim and ruled on Oct 8, 1999, that Joe Danchang and the other suspects grabbed concealed weapons to fight with the police before being killed by the police in the ensuing gun battle.

The father of the Joe Danchang said he accepted the court ruling, which marked the end of the extra-judicial killing case.

  • Arguably his most-remembered moment of Salang’s career came on Oct 6, 1976. As a police lieutenant-colonel, he led the anti-riot police to attack and kill students at Thammasat University, along with paramilitary forces and so-called Village Scouts. The bloody government attack on Thais ended the three-year democratic revolution of Oct 14, 1973.
  • A strong supporter of Thaksin Shinawatra from the start of the mobile phone tycoon’s political rise in the late 1990s, Salang remained a red shirt supporter until the end. He was interrogated, but never charged, after red shirt violence at Songkran, 2010, in Bangkok, and was called in during other investigations into the financing of the red shirts.
  • In October, 2008, Salang claimed he would mount an independent effort to confront anti-government yellow shirt supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), and “retake Government House” as they protested against then-prime minister Somchai Wongsawat.

Salang’s alleged plan was to rally a group of other ex-policemen under his command, in order to besiege Government House and cut all food and water supplies to the protesters. Although Salang received much front-page publicity, his plan never got beyond the self-promotion and tough talk.

  • More bizarrely, Salang was a central figure in the promotion of a quack “cure” for HIV in 2000-2002. Sold or given as a marketing ploy to Aids and HIV victims, the V-1 Immunitor “medicine” was revealed by health authorities as ineffective, and the medicine was banned for promotion and sale.


THE GOVERNMENT will step up surveillance of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by requiring digital currency exchangers to report their transactions to the country’s anti-money laundering agency.

Pol Maj-General Romsit Viriyasan, the acting chief of the Anti-Money Laundering Organisation (AMLO), said the agency would amend its law to impose the requirement in order to suppress money-laundering activities using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as media of exchange.

Investing in digital currencies carries a high risk because Thai law does not recognise them as legal tender, so the public should exercise caution to avoid misleading and cheating tactics, he said.

Local and international criminal networks relied on digital currencies to hide ill-gotten gains, he added.

Moreover, the methods used to lure unsuspecting investors had become diverse and sophisticated, including the buying and selling of goods with the digital coins to conceal ill-gotten wealth, Romsit said.

In response, the AMLO needed to be empowered to investigate and pursue digital money trails, he added. Bitcoin and another cryptocurrency, ripple, are currently the two most popular units used by criminals to launder money in Thailand.

‘Ponzi schemes’

Even though digital currencies are not legal tender, they have market value and can be traded internationally on digital platforms in Thailand and overseas.

Romsit said the current AMLO law empowered the agency to investigate cases in which ill-gotten money, such as the proceeds of cheating and investment scams, was converted into other assets, while the planned amendment would relate to bitcoin and all other digital currencies.

If there is solid evidence, the agency will also be empowered to freeze all assets arising from illegal activity, pending further investment and prosecution. The AMLO will require people providing digital exchange services to file reports about transactions, with a special focus on people involved in suspicious activities that could be covering up money laundering.

Meanwhile, AMLO chairman Pol General Chaiya Siri-ampunkul said the public should be careful when investing in bitcoin and other digital currencies since they could be joining illegal Ponzi schemes using digital currencies.

Most of the schemes promised very high returns but payments were typically delivered for a short time only, after which they stopped and the schemes collapsed, Chaiya said.

He added that investors would not be able to contact criminal networks involved and could lose their investments.

The public should reach AMLO via its 1710 hotline for inquiries, he said.