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Sony’s PSN woes aren’t over just yet. The company has temporarily stopped takingPlayStation promo codes following a surge in traffic on the gaming service; for the moment, money cards and game vouchers won’t work. There’s no estimate for when code redemption will return. It’s easy to see the potential causes, however. Between the weekend, the PlayStation 4’s European launch and a big discount on PlayStation Plus subscriptions at Amazon, there’s guaranteed to be a deluge of PSN activity — Sony may have unintentionally created a perfect storm.

Thousands of protesters from the Government Complex rally site marched to stage a symbolic siege of the Department of Special Investigation, the CAT Plc and TOT Plc Saturday.

They formed a procession and moved from the Government House Complex t at 10:45 am.

They staged a symbolic siege of the DSI at 11:33 am. They did not make attempts to get through padlocked glass doors but just waited outside and shouted for DSI Tarrit Pengdit to come out to meet them.

They blew whistles and shouted: “Where are you, Tarrit?

The protesters later moved on the CAT headquarters at 11:52 am and entered the compound briefly before heading to the TOT Plc headquarters.

They arrived at the TOT Plc headquarters at noon Saturday.

They were greeted and welcomed by TOT Senior Executive Vice President Wudthidanai Thitakasikorn in front of TOT building. The protesters gathered at its front yard. Some were singing and clapping.

Wudthidanai told the protesters that the TOT welcomed them because they are tax payers. He said the TOT prepared drinking water and restrooms to welcome them.

He asked them not to destroy the property and asked them to consider using TOT services when they need phone and Internet services.

Malaysia to hike electricity rates next year

Posted by Rattana_S On November - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Consumers in Malaysia should brace for a 10-20-per-cent hike in the electricity tariff next year.

“The quantum (of increase) is not finalised … but anything below 20 per cent is reasonable,” said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Maximus Ongkili.

The final decision on the increase has yet to be made by the cabinet, but the hike could happen anytime in 2014, he told reporters on Wednesday.

The move, he said, would be in line with the government’s plan to gradually cut subsidies.

It would also be in line with its efforts to boost efficiency and competitiveness in the power industry, as well as to ensure sufficient returns to capital for utility company Tenaga Nasional to cover its costs.

A tariff hike will see rates for both industry and households increase, but any hike for businesses will be mitigated against the need for them to remain competitive.

A home appliance rated at 1,000 watts, if left switched on for one hour, would use 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity.

A 10-20-per-cent hike would translate into an increase of 3.35-6.7 sen per kWh to 36.85-40.2.

This is based on the prevailing tariff rate of 33.5 sen per kWh, which is about 8.5 sen below the “true cost” of power at 42 sen per kWh.

In comparison, electricity tariffs in the Philippines and Thailand are 58 and 48 sen per kWh.

Ongkili said the government would implement a “stabilisation” programme to protect consumers, especially the low-income group, when the tariff hike takes effect.

Union slams management over Bt6.3-bn 9-month loss

Posted by Rattana_S On November - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The labour union of Thai Airways International has pleaded in writing to board chairman Ampon Kittiampon and president Sorajak Kasemsuvan that management come up with clear plans to improve the company’s financial performance after it incurred a loss of Bt6.3 billion in the first nine months of the year.

The union will also submit the issue to Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt next week for his consideration.

“The loss that occurred over the first nine months is against the expectations of THAI employees, especially me, an aircraft technician,” said Damrong Waikanee, president of the Thai Airways International Labour Union. “I have observed that over that period, every flight was almost full of passengers. However, the airline returned to loss amid claims by management that 17 aircraft had been delivered, resulting in a huge expenditure.

“The labour union takes the view that THAI’s management needs to have a clear plan for bringing new aircraft into its service portfolio. Lacking such a plan means that management works without responsibility,” he said.

Damrong said it should be observed that other airlines, such as Thai AirAsia and Nok Air, had achieved profits during this same period.

He added that the loss had damaged the morale of THAI employees, as they were concerned that it would mean no pay rises or bonuses for them despite their hard work.

“The employees have been seriously affected by the loss while the policy-makers, by which I mean the board of directors as well as management, which brings such policies into working procedures, have not suffered any impact,” Damrong said.

“Recently a picture of Sorajak together with Thaksin Shinawatra, the former prime minister, appeared in the newspapers, resulting in dissatisfaction among employees towards such behaviour by Sorajak. Previously, the labour union urged the political sector not to interfere with Thai Airways. However, with this picture, it cannot being denied that the THAI president has become involved with politics,” he said.

He added that what Sorajak needed to do during this time was to solve the internal problems of Thai Airways, not meet with such politicians.

Damrong said the union was concerned that listing Thai Smile on the Stock Exchange of Thailand to mobilise capital was like splitting THAI into many parts.

“If the government wants Thai Airways to have working flexibility, it should allow the airline to operate as a private enterprise,” he said.

In the third quarter, THAI reported Bt51.3 billion in revenues, with a net loss of Bt6.1 billion. That compares with net profit of Bt1.8 billion in the same quarter of last year.

For the first nine months of 2013, THAI posted Bt156.9 billion in revenues, with a net loss of Bt6.3 billion. It posted net profit of Bt5.6 billion in the first nine months of last year.

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