Thursday, December 13, 2018
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IoT pegged to take centre stage in IT strategy

Posted by pakin On December - 19 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) platforms will dominate enterprise IT strategies in 2018, according to Hitachi Vantara.

Information technology will adopt IoT platforms to facilitate the application of IoT solutions, and must work closely with the operational side of businesses to focus on specific needs and define the scope of IoT projects, according to a company survey of 2018 IT trends.

“Building IoT solutions that provide real value can be difficult without a deep understanding of the business to properly simulate and digitalise operational entities and processes,” said Hubert Yoshida, chief technology officer of Hitachi Vantara, a subsidiary of Hitachi.

Russell Skingsley, chief technology officer at Hitachi Vantara’s Asia-Pacific division, said enterprises should find IoT platforms that offer open, flexible architecture, simplifying integration with complimentary technologies. The chosen platform should further provide an extensible “foundry” on which to build a variety of industry applications companies need to design, create, test and deploy quickly, with minimal hassle, he said.

For enterprises that started their digital transformation this year, the first problem they ran into was the ability to access their data. Data is often locked in isolated islands that make it costly to extract and use. These islands were not built to be shared, and many contain data that is duplicated, obsolete or no longer used because of changes in business processes or ownership.

“Data scientists tell us that 80% of the work involved in gaining analytical insight from data is the tedious work of acquiring and preparing it. The concept of a data lake is alluring, but you can’t just pour your data into one system, unless it has been properly cleansed, formatted and indexed or tagged with metadata so that the data lake is content-aware. Otherwise you end up with a data swamp,” said Mr Skingsley.

While object storage can take in massive amounts of unstructured data and provide metadata management and search capabilities, the capacity to be context-aware is missing. Object storage now has the capability to be “smart” with software that can search for and read content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyse it for cleansing, formatting and indexing.

Hitachi Vantara said this year would witness a growth in analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) across the board as companies see real returns on their investments. According to IDC, revenue growth from information-based products will double the rest of the product and services portfolios for a third of Fortune 500 companies by the end of 2017.

“AI became mainstream with consumer products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri,” said Mr Skingsley.

Video content analytics will be a “third eye” for greater insight, productivity and efficiency in a number of domains beyond public safety. Algorithms that automatically detect and determine temporal, spatial and relational events combined with other IoT information such as mobile phone GPS and social media feeds can be applied to a wide range of businesses like retail, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, education and entertainment.

Mr Yoshida said video can provide unique functions, like ego motion — 3D motion used in autonomous robot navigation — behaviour analysis and other forms of situational awareness.

“Retailers are using video to analyse customer navigation patterns and dwell time to position products and sales assistance to maximise sales. Video analytics relies on good video input so it requires video enhancement technologies like de-noising, image stabilisation, masking and super resolution. Video analytics may be the sleeper in terms of analytics for ease of use, ROI (return on investment) and generating actionable analytics,” said Mr Yoshida.

IT organisations have a legacy of siloed operations with server, network, storage, database, virtualisation and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. In fact, many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes than business outcomes.

“Even when data centres use technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross-functional teams using iterative agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business outcomes and deliver it more efficiently,” said Mr Skingsley.

 

Suthep law call angers Dem leader

Posted by pakin On December - 19 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva has slammed former protest leaders Suthep Thaugsuban and Paiboon Nititawan for their push for amendments to the organic law on political parties.

It is the first time Mr Abhisit has directly criticised Mr Suthep, a former Democrat secretary-general and powerful voice in the country’s oldest party, over his law amendment proposal which would bring about the “resetting” of all political parties.

Mr Abhisit said the calls to amend the law by the pair are in stark contrast to their gestures of constant support for those in power.

“I want to question the people who are calling for changes to the law. As you have constantly supported those in power [including the drafting of the law], I want to know what the differences are between those days and today and why [do you believe the law has problems today]?” Mr Abhisit said, without mentioning Mr Suthep or Mr Paiboon by name, although it was clear who he was referring to.

Mr Suthep, a former protest leader of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee and Mr Paiboon, head of the People’s Network for Reform, are thought to favour Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the military regime remaining in power beyond the 2018 election.

Mr Suthep has been questioned by some Democrat Party members over claims he has made an agreement with the regime to pave the way for a military party to be established in a way that would afford it advantages over existing parties.

Both Mr Suthep and Mr Paiboon have called on the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) to amend the organic law on political parties.

They said Section 140 and Section 141 of the law are unfair and should be amended to ensure fair treatment for new parties and new members.

The provisions deal with fees, membership and steps in forming new parties.

According to Mr Paiboon, the law exempts existing members from paying membership fees for four years while requiring members of new parties to pay at least 1,000 baht.

Unlike emerging parties, existing party members will be allowed to be registered despite not having paid fees.

Mr Abhisit said Monday that he felt the argument in support of the organic law on parties being amended to make it fairer does not hold water as the issue could be resolved with the partial removal of the political activities ban by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

Instead of changing the law, the NCPO should lift the political activities ban to prevent established parties having an advantage over new ones, he said.

Small and emerging parties are having trouble recruiting members with the ban in place, and they must also present proof of membership payments to qualify them to contest the next general election, he added.

He said the lifting the ban could be done in stages so small and emerging parties will have a level playing field in preparing for the next poll.

Still, Mr Abhisit said he was confident his party would be able to meet the deadline to present its membership database for review on Jan 15.

Mr Paiboon rejected criticism that his proposals were a trick aimed at delaying the general election or advancing the interests of the military, which has been reluctant to let parties plan for the next poll.

He said enforcement of certain sections of the organic law on political parties should be suspended to ensure the general election takes place in November next year.

Undeterred by criticism he has a secret agenda to help the military remain in power, Mr Paiboon said he will submit his proposals to the prime minister this week.

Also Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam hinted Section 44 of the previous interim charter will be invoked to amend the organic law on political parties to extend the deadlines for them to complete the processes required by the law.

Mr Wissanu has previously said the organic law can be amended through the NCPO chief’s invocation of Section 44 of the previous interim charter, which has been carried over into the current constitution.

The other way to amend the law is through the normal legislative procedure via the NLA.

However, he said the NLA legislative procedure needs to follow Section 77 of the constitution that requires a public hearing as well as consultation with the Election Commission (EC) — a process which will take some time.

In light of this, the use of Section 44 would be the most viable option to expedite the amendment to the organic law, he said.

Even though the EC also has the power to extend the deadlines under the law, any move by the EC may be treated with suspicion should it appear to favour any particular party, so to ensure fairness Section 44 is the only option, Mr Wissanu said.

However, he admitted that any changes to the law would mean nothing if the ban on political activities is not lifted, adding it is up to the NCPO to decide when to lift the ban.

NLA chairman Pornpetch Wichitcholchai admitted that any amendments to the legislation will affect the time frame for the general election tentatively set for November 2018.

He said the NLA has not yet decided whether to amend Sections 140 and 141 of the organic law on political parties as proposed by Mr Suthep and Mr Paiboon.

An NLA committee led by NLA deputy chairman Surachai Liangboonlertchai has invited Mr Suthep and Mr Paiboon to discuss their proposals on Friday.

 

Celebrate the glory of Ayutthaya

Posted by pakin On December - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

 

Experience the glory of ancient Ayutthaya in this 10-day fair

The Glorious of Ayutthaya Fair 2017 is being organized from 15 to 24 December to celebrate the historical significance of the ancient Thai capital since the Ayutthaya Historical Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

This year, local and international tourists are encouraged to help preserve Thai culture by wearing traditional Thai outfits to join the event, which begins with a grand opening procession on 15 December, from 15.00 hrs.

Highlights of the 10-day event include a light-and-sound presentation at Wat Maha That that tells the story of the great kings and queens as well as the heroes and heroines of the former Siam. Scheduled every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there is one show on 15 December at 18.00 hrs. and two shows every evening on 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24 December at 18.00 and 20.00 hrs. The ticket price is 500 Baht with audio translation and 200 Baht for a regular seat.

To add to the memorable experience, there will be a True cinematic movie series Si Suriyothai and stage performances.

On the fun side, the event will also feature a ‘retro’ Ayutthaya-era market fair, a ‘noodle and prawn street’ selling dishes that contain noodles and prawns, a pedestrian shopping street, a cultural plaza displaying folk performances found in Ayutthaya, a motor show fair, and a Thai Red Cross fair.  Several beauty pageants, talent competitions, singing contests and other challenges will add to the colour of the fair.

For more information, contact: TAT Ayutthaya office, Tel: +66 (0) 3524 6076-7

 

EU suspends support for Cambodian election

Posted by pakin On December - 13 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

PHNOM PENH: The European Union announced on Tuesday that it is suspending funding for Cambodia’s general election next year over the forced dissolution of the country’s main opposition party.

“In view of the decision by the Cambodian Supreme Court on 16 November to order the dissolution of the Cambodian National Rescue Party, the European Commission has decided to suspend its assistance to the National Election Committee,” said a press statement issued by the EU delegation to Cambodia.

“An electoral process from which the main opposition party has been arbitrarily excluded cannot be seen as legitimate,” the statement said.

The decision to dissolve the CNRP, and the subsequent reallocation of its seats in the National Assembly to other parties, denies the choice of those who voted for the party, it added.

In the last general election in 2013, the CNRP won 55 seats in the 123-seat National Assembly, against 68 seats captured by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. The party was expected to do well in next year’s election.

Critics say the court’s verdict is only part of a wide-ranging crackdown on opposition politicians and independent media by Prime Minister Hun Sen for fear of losing the next election.

The EU’s move follows a similar suspension by the United States, which last month announced the termination of its support for the NEC.

NEC spokesman Sam Sorida told Kyodo News that the EU’s move will not affect the holding of the 2018 general election as the government has sufficient funds.

However, he acknowledged that any assistance would help reduce spending by the Cambodian government.

 

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