Smart Uniform

ByteDance is the world's most valuable startup by valuation ($75B). A sample of its products:
Bytedance will be giving a tech talk about its database next Thurs @ SG (see 'TikTok Database' in the listings below). Post video: one of the latest memes at Tiktok is 'change of work clothes' or alternatively, 'Smart | Serious | Pride in Uniform'.

Pick of Events (W1-Oct-2019)

Link Climate Lobby @ KL tix
Link Entrepreneur Influencer @ KL tix
Link Microsoft SME @ KL tix
Link Islamic Economy @ KL also
Link Digital Construction @ KL

Arts & Misc
Link Film Masterclass @ MK tix
Link AI Begetting AI @ KL
Link Foodware Exhibition @ KL also
Link Go Global @ KK 1 2
Link Design to Mfg @ MY tix

Around The Region
Link TikTok Database @ SG
Link Data Science Speed Date @ SG
Link Snapcart Algoritma @ JKT tix
Link Fintech Expo @ JKT
Link Sustainable Businesses @ HK tix

Offline Money

New developments in China's digital currency, variously named DCEP (Digital Currency Electronic Payments), CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) and digital yuan (as we speculate):
  • DCEP looks to be modelled closer to paper currency (rather than esoteric cryptocurrencies). The digital currency will allow the central bank to issue less notes and coins in favour of a greener, more resource efficient electronic equivalent.
  • Like cash, DCEP is to be usable without an internet connection (during power failure, loss of network, natural disasters) and without a user account.
  • Though radical from a crypto viewpoint, accountless, offline electronic money has been in use for over two decades via tap-and-pay cards from Mifare (TnG, Oyster, Opal, EasyCard) and FeliCa (Octopus, EzLink, DompetKu, Visa).
  • DCEP will not use a blockchain (though it is possible it might still use a distributed ledger) so as to handle a peak of 30,000 transactions per second (vs 92,000 tps peak during 'Singles Day', a big ecommerce sales day in CN, and 5,000-20,000 peak for Visa and Mastercard), and since it is to be operated by a central bank, it does not require distributed consensus.
  • Development of DCEP is by an elite Digital Currency Research Lab which has filed for 74 patents (not using blockchain allows DCEP to develop separately from and not run afoul of blockchain patents).
  • While DCEP by crypto standards might still be fiat (not backed by gold, silver etc) and centralised (though by being accessible and easy to use, it could turn out to be more 'decentralised' from a usage perspective), it certainly looks like DCEP is pushing the digital currency envelope. Over to Libra.

Multi-Modal Mobility

The Frankfurt Auto Show 2019 is happening over the weekend (12-22 Aug). The formal name of the show is IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung). During odd numbered years passenger vehicles are on show, even years, commercial vehicles. Show highlights: Lambo Sián, VW ID. Sample conference & trends topics:

Conference abbreviated titles
  • Mobility via Digitaliztion, Multimodality & Decarbonisation - VDA
  • Vehicle-to-Everything in 5G Standardization - Fraunhofer
  • The Future of Non Car Ownership - Oply
  • Tomorrow's Consumer: Gen Z - JUV Consulting
  • Save Money with New Mobility - Sixt SE
  • Autonomous Vehicles in a Cashless World - Visa
  • Regulations: Accelerator or Handbrake? - Qualcomm

Trends via

  • Dashboard The dashboard hasn't changed much in basic design (speedo, tacho, fuel etc) and size. This might be about to change with a 48-in wide dashboard from Byton (no more squinting at Waze from a tiny cellphone screen) and head-up displays frrom WayRay.
  • Registration Plate Important as they are, registration plates have pretty much been stamped, letter glued or painted since Henry Ford's days. Exceptions: Germany's tamper-proof stickers, India's security plate, US's liquid display Rplate, and Cayman Islands, Peru, Honduras and Philippines' RFID plates, which 'triple plate' a vehicle (physical plate, RFID plate & RFID windscreen).
  • Tyre Although they look unchanged, tyres have steadily evolved: from natural rubber to vulcanised, from cordless to steel corded, from bias to radial , from tubed to tubeless. Currently getting high tech attention: tweels, airless, self-sealing, flex-rims, dandelion rubber, sensors, spherical tyres.
  • Multimodal Transport Instead of choosing a vehicle to drive or ride, you choose the fastest, most cost-efficient and/or most pleasant mono or multi-modal transport using an app. Nascent inter/multi-modal platforms: Moovel, [post image] Qixxit, GoogleMaps, Uber, Didi.

Multi-Modal Mobility
Say, you are to travel from Cyberjaya (suburb) to KLCC (city centre) to attend an event during evening peak. You fire up a mobility app, and it shows the following options (mode, travel time, cost, $=generic currency indicator=MYR):
  • Fastest: Air taxi: 30 mins @ $100
  • Cheapest: Ride hailing (to station), rail (MRT3 to KLCC): 1 hour @ $10
  • Wildest: Bike sharing (Harley): 1 hour @ $50
  • Poshest: Luxury car hailing (work in the car): 1.5 hours @ $70
  • Greenest: Bus (to station), rail (MRT3 to KLCC): 1.25 hours @ $0 
The greenest option is zero cost with the use of a public transport subscription card. Driving your own car will take 1.5 hours and cost $30 (toll, parking, mileage).

Latest Mobility Updates 

Pick of Events (W4-Sep-2019)

Link Green E-Business @ KL 1 2
Link Enter Indonesia @ KL tix also
Link Sustainable Cities @ KL tix also
Link Smart Manufacturing @ KL tix also
Link Chilli Hackathon @ KL also
Link MarTech Mashup @ KL tix
Link AI in Insurance @ KL tix also

Arts & Misc
Link Sustainability Design @ KL tix also
Link E-Commerce Shopify @ KL 1 2
Link Double Kucha @ KL 1 2
Link Google NewsTech @ KL tix
Link Four Rules One Law @ KL also
Link Digital Tax for Startups @ KL
Link Viola Masterclass @ KL

Around The Region
Link State of Global Economy @ HK
Link China Blockchain @ HK
Link China Ecosystem @ HK
Link Grab Kitchen @ JKT
Link Anomaly Mining @ JKT
Link Supply Chain Tech @ SG
Link IEEE Army Gaming @ SG

Movie Music

Film Score
An essential ingredient of a film is the score, the original music composition crafted to augment and enhance story telling. Find out more about movie scores this Saturday, 14-Sep-2019, 5:30pm-8:30pm @ JKT, or watch the seminal Raiders of The Lost Ark (1981) with live orchestra music next Saturday, 21-Sep-2019, 8:30pm-10:30pm @ KL.

Post Videos
The post videos are movie remixes with the original scores replaced by hit songs:
  • Jerry Maguire with Tom Cruise & Renée Zellweger (1996).
    Song: Hard to Say I'm Sorry by Chicago.
  • The Rum Diary with Johnny Depp & Amber Heard (2011).
    Song: Can't Help Falling in Love cover by Michael Buble.
  • Before We Go with Chris Evans & Alice Eve (2015).
    Song: That's Why (You Go Away) by Michael Learns To Rock.

Video Notes
  • The videos are soft cropped to highlight the relevant & nteresting portions.
  • Soft cropping may not work when the videos are viewed from mobile devices.
  • Some images might be SNSFW, viewer's discretion required.

Point of Sale

Device of Sale
The point of sale (PoS) is the place and time where a sales takes place, usually when goods are exchanged for cash, or in modern terms, the promise of delivery of goods in exchange for cash or cash equivalent (eg emoney). Methods of recording sales:
  • Ledger -Sales are recorded in pen and paper in a sales ledger
  • Register - Sales are rung on a cash register (mechanical, electronic, cloud)
  • App - Sales are transacted via an app from mobile or desktop devices

App-based PoS
Advantages of using app-based PoS in physical retail, with particular reference to F&B:

  • Green - Do you keep or throw a whole bunch of (pesky) paper receipts (many of which the ink fades in a couple of months)? It would be great if receipts can be issued and kept electronically. (This may take some time to realise because as of now, payment processors, including ewallets, are generally fire-walled from recording detailed receipts on the long-standing principle that such detailed data will give them too much data resolution and power.)
  • E-Ordering - This is just catching on. Instead of ordering from a menu via wait staff, order using an app from an electronic menu. The point of ordering could also be the point of payment and table reservation. (Food preparation should commence only when customers have arrived and are seated to avoid food waiting for customers, or customers rushing to the eatery thinking their food has been cooked).
  • New F&B Models - E-ordering could avail eateries to new business models: 1) order and pay early for discounts, ala budget airline style. 2) Insist e-ordering a week ahead, thus inventory can be just-in-time amd just-in-quantity 3) long lead e-ordering also allows dishes which take a day or more to prepare to be offered, for example, double-boiled herbal soups, rendang (slow-cooked, reduction curry) and biryani (overnight marinade and charcoal cookiing).

Restaurant E-Ordering Apps sample
  • Menu - Dining experience redefined (US)
  • Netwaiter - Increasing your bottom line (US)
  • WeEat - Faster and smarter way to order (MY)
  • Aliments - Sit back and relax (MY)
  • CutQ - The ultimate order ahead (SG)
  • Waitrr - Order and pay faster (SG)
  • TabSquare - Seamless mobile ordering (SG)
  • QueQ - No more queues (TH)
  • Aigens - Kiosk, mobile, CRM (HK)
  • OrderUp - Advanced order tech (AU) image
  • Ritual - Make friends with food (CA)
  • Hungrrr - Your customers are hungrrry (UK)

Food Hackathon

Brinc is holding a food hackathon on 20-Sep-2018 @ HK as a lead-in to Food's Future Summit (11-12 Oct @ HK) and Brinc's foodtech accelerator program. The theme of the hackathon is 'new recipes'.

Urban Food
The hackathon's FB page is notably informative; from a quick read, here are some ideas to explore for food and/or the hackathon:
  • Breakfast is an important meal, but the usual morning fare (in some locales) isn't the most nutritious, though it might be tasty: jam & bread (high sugar content), mee goreng (high salt and oil content), dimsum (meaty) and roti prata/chanai (the original light, fluffy bread has turned oily and leathery). Can you design a breakfast meal that is delicious, fast-to-cook, pocket-light, not tummy-heavy, and easy to partake on-the-go?
  • Deep fried items are increasingly popular street food. Have you noticed food fried in black coloured oil? Black indicates the oil has been overheated/burnt, not filtered before reuse and/or reused too many times (for chicken frying, the oil shouldn't be reused more than 3 times). Is there a way for diners to tell if food has been fried in unhealthy oil?
  • Lunching at the cubicle to catch up on work? Wolfing down pungent vindaloo at the cubicle might be a distraction for colleagues. Can you craft a lunch snack that is delicious, nutritious, easy-to-buy, package and/or deliver, discreet to chomp on, and does not make a mess of the table?

Nasi Lemak
Continuing on the theme of 'new recipes', in KL, nasi lemak bungkus (rice cooked in coconut milk with a side of spicy condiments and sold in packets) is a popular breakfast. Here's a possible remake:
  • Use unpolished rice (extra fibre, vitamin B, folate, selenium) 1
  • Add tomato slices and pickled red onions (extra vitamins C & K, potassium, antioxidants) 2 3
  • Replace factory-produced, pre-fried anchovies and peanuts with fragrant, delicious, crunchy, freshly fried ones (extra protein). 4
  • Drop anchovies and onions from the sambal (the chilli paste condiment) to simplify cooking and reduce cost, and to allow the flavours of chillies and spices to come to the fore.
Like to explore more but can't make it to HK? Check out MaGIC's agritech and foodtech bootcamp happening November @ KL, applications close 23-Sep-2019.

Pick of Events (W3-Sep-2019) KL=GreaterKL

Link SEA Expansion AIG @ KL 1 2
Link Ignite Bootcamp @ KL tix also
Link Tech Meetups @ KL 1 2
Link SmartCity Datathon @ KL tix
Link Turkish Drones Trade @ KL 1 2

Link Sarong Party @ KL tix
Link WeWork Creators @ KL tix
Link Branding via TikTok @ KL
Link Deep Faking @ KL
Link Campers Meetup @ KL

Around The Region
Link Startup Winter @ BKK tix also
Link Odd-Even Traffic @ JKT
Link Energy Blockchain @ SG
Link Fintech Hackathon @ SG
Link 5G Hackathon @ HK

String Contentment

Songs often sound better with backing. It takes an a well crafted tune to come across well with little or no accompaniment, more so with a solo violin or viola (or the kalimba). Video: Julianne Choi (KR) plays Taiwan hit Contentment (2005).

AdTech vs MarTech

Advertising vs Marketing
In conventional sense, advertising is a subset of marketing. Companies have a marketing department and a head of marketing, and within that function, ads are produced. [Sales is the actual closing of a sale after marketing has done its job.]. In tech, advertising is distinct from marketing, as big tech started with ads first (Google ads etc). The table below attempts to differentiate AdTech and MarTech by (arbitrarily) distinguishing between advertising and marketing.

Advertising Marketing
Audience Prospects Customers
Brand Building Consolidation
Impression Perception Intent
Resource Agencies Inhouse
Tech Ad networks CRM, Analytics
Platforms WPP, Adsense Brand Owners
Terms Programmatic, Reach Campaigns, Conversion
Manifest Media Ads, Billboards Content, Events

Find out more about MarTech from FinTech people (RazerPay, Boost) in a meetup tomorrow, 5-Aug-2019, 6pm-10pm @ KL. Other events happening this weekend: a) crowdfunded startups b) robot process automation c) fintech regulatory bootcamp d) community gamification e) intro to VR and AR f) gentlemen's e-racing.

Newest Capital: Kartanegara Paser

Indonesia has announced the capital of Indonesia will be moving from Jakarta to an area at the border of Kutai Kartanegara and Penajam Paser Utara in the island of Kalimantan starting 2024.

  • Jakarta might be the first city to move due to the prospect of rising seas.
  • Other factors: subsidence. stretched infra, congestion and volcanic risks.
  • Kutai Kartanegra is host to Indonesia's first smart city initiative, inspired by FujisawaSST.
  • Satellite photos of the border between Kutai and Penajam suggest that the area has already been mostly cleared (thus no new forests need to be fell).
  • Jakarta = Jaya Karta = 'peaceful success', what will the new capital be named?

  • Have a local or international competition for the city design.
  • Design from human scale up vs building scale down.
  • Make the city cosy and intimate, not too officious or aloof.
  • Leave natural vegetation be, do not convert into manicured lawns.
  • Grow the city organically in phases.

Bonus: Resilient City
The focus of cities has become less of IoT, self-driving and big data ('smart city') and more of sustainability, survivability and resilience.
  • Water - Multiple sources, dry spell resistant, clean rivers
  • Food - Self sustainable on local supplies or reserves
  • Power - Able to minimally function without electricity, internet, phones
  • Commerce - Able to survive on local commerce if global trade breaks down
  • Order - Contingency planning and drills, getting all stakeholders involved

The post title is a name play of Kutai and Penajam. Kartanegara Paser could be translated as 'a peaceful and focused country'.

Synthetic Hegemonic Currency

Hot on the heels of Libra, are SHC and DCEP:

Synthetic Hegemonic Currency (SHC)
This currency is proposed by the governor of the Bank of England. Like Libra, it is to be based on a basket of currencies, but unlike Libra, it is to be supported by central banks. The purpose of this new currency is to help smooth international trade. [glossary: hegemonic=dominant]

Digital Currency Electronic Payments (DCEP)
There is a report China (CN) could be close to releasing its Libra challenger: a yuan-based. CN-backed stablecoin. Since ewallets, eccommerce and electronic money reign in CN, why create a new digital currency? One possible reason is the said ewallets and emoney can only be used within CN, whereas a digital currency can be used anywhere (where it is accepted by users and exchanges).

Stablecoin Meet
True Digital Park is holding a talk on Libra vs DCEP vs Venus this Friday @ BKK. Venus is a stablecoin proposed by Binance, a cryptoexchange [caveat emptor]. Stablecoins are quietly on the go, for though mainstream coins get all the attention, it is stablecoins that are doing business.

Pick of Events (W2-Sep-2019)

Link AI Data Week @ KL also
Link Lifestyle Week @ KL also
Link Agro Festival @ KL also ex
Link Anthos Hybrid Cloud @ KL
Link Crossborder Shopify @ KL also

Link The Waltzing Cat @ v1 v2
Link Newbie Documentaries @ KL
Link Oboe Masterclass @ KL tix
Link Atila x BoBoiBoy @ CJ tix
Link Creative Conference @ CJ

Around The Region
Link Organic Curry @ SG
Link Science Festival @ SG
Link Cosmos Tendermint @ SG
Link Domain Driven Design @ JKT
Link Amadeus Travel Startups @ BKK


Evolving Methods of Investment
  • IPO (Initial Public Offering) A business invites the public to invest in it by buying shares with the prospect of sharing future profits via dividends. Such invitations (offerings) are vetted by regulators and underwriters (firms that help handhold the IPO process).
  • DLP (Direct Listing Process) A newer form of IPO does away with underwriters. It is still vetted by regulators but the company sells shares directly to the public. Doing away with the underwriter is like going for a hike without a guide. A guide is not needed if you just want to jog around the park.
  • ICO (Initial Coin Offering) This is a 'tech IPO' with no vetting by regulators or underwriters. As history has shown, this can be a magnet for dodgy offerings.
  • IEO (Initial Exchange Offering) - This is an ICO that is vetted by and offered through a crypto exchange (eg Coinbase). The exchange acts as an underwriter and promoter for the ICO. Not dissimilar to ECF (Equity Crowd Funding) platforms.
  • STO (Security Token Offering) - This is an ICO for security tokens and is (or should be) vetted by regulators. Security tokens are shares in assets or businesses (vs utility tokens such as game arcade tokens, which are meant to be utilised or consumed).
  • DSO (Digital Securities Offering). This is an STO for legacy assets (stocks, property, gold etc) whereby assets are tokenized for better liquidity.
  • SCO (Staked Coin Output) - The latest proposal is radically different. Instead of directly investing money, you are required to participate in the business. Like if your friend wants to open a burger joint, you are not to plonk down cash for a share in the business, instead you participate directly by, say, staking as the supplier of buns to the business. 1
[Image: StakeFish is a validator service for staked networks, used here as an illustration for staking, it is not directly related to the the staked coin output mentioned above.]

Top of The World

Parents are the greatest venture capitalists. They see in you a unicorn even if everyone else thinks you are a dunce. In the above video, Hong Kong youngster Celine Tam (whom we last featured in AGT2017 ) shares Carpenters' Top of The World with her father Steve Tam, who is a voice coach and who coached Celine. For more songs from Carpenters' era, check out Yesterday Once More happening this weekend @ KLPAC.

Pick of Events (W1-Sep-2019)

Link Modern Data Engineering @ PG tix
Link From Ideas to Results @ KK tix also
Link Ecommerce Meetups @ KL 1 2 3 4
Link BigQuery Chatbot @ KL also
Link EU in SEA @ KL

Link River Conservation @ KL also
Link Organic AgTech @ KL tix
Link Battling Super Bugs @ KL
Link Songwriters Night @ KL
Link Film Fest @ KK shows

Around The Region
Link The Invisible Scent @ HK
Link Data for Social Good @ SG
Link Startup Weekend @ SG
Link IoT Google @ SG
Link IoT Trends @ JKT also

Bootstrap Cinema

Want to try your hand at making movies (because you find current offerings too formula-driven)? Movies can cost over $100 million to make, what if you have only $ 10k? Filmmaker Rubidium of Crimson Engine tells how you could make movies with budgets of $10k, $100k and $1,000k in a (gripping) narrative.

Essentially, at $10k, it would be one location and one shoot, asking for favours (or callling on them) from cast and crew (if you have the network) and trading time for money (DIY tinkering and waiting for your contacts to be free to help). With bigger budgets, more money gives more options and more professional resources.

Ready to jump in? Find out how you can be a movie producer at the American Film Showcase happening next Tuesday Aug 27, 10am-10pm @ FINAS, PJ. Dwell further into acting on Saturday, Aug 31, 9am-9pm @ PJ. Explore what indie filmmakers are doing at a 10-minute-film festival [tix] happening Sep 6-7, 6pm-10pm @ KL. Get ideas for your script from social entrepreneurs [tix] this Sunday, Aug 25, 11am-1pm @ KL.

[Video glossary: SAG=Screen Actors Guild, DGA=Directors Guild of America]

YC S2019 Startups

Y Combinator's Summer 2019 batch is having its Demo Day (19-20 Aug @ SF | apply for Winter 2020 batch here). Among the notable grads are:

Mighty aims to dramatically speed up Chrome-based browsing and drastically reduce CPU and memory hogging. Not much details are available but we are guessing it is a Chrome extension that allows rendering of pages using cloud servers with the rendered pages streamed to the browser. This could be promising as, even as CPU and broadband speeds have increased, browsing seems to be getting slower, likely due to the rising use of javascripts, adware. trackers, pop-ups (sign ups, chatbots etc), videos and images. Cloud rendering could also potentially provide better security by blocking dodgy scripts and sites.

Kern proposes to store data in DNA. How compact is DNA storage? Currently an entry level thumb drive stores 32 GB, about 8 movies. A DNA thumb drive can store all of Google's data which is said to be around 10,000 petabytes (petabyte = 1,000,000 GB). More than its data density, since DNA is 'biological' but mostly inert in in itself, it can be inserted into food, liquids, streams. pharmaceuticals, textiles for labelling and identification.

Y Combinator Summer 2019 1 2 3 rest of the picks
  • Multis - Since crypto is decentralised and bank-free, the ewallet is the bank
  • Wren - Fund a project that offset your (or your company's) carbon footprint
  • Sable - Digital bank that is friendly to foreigners
  • Marble - Move over cash till, self-serve kiosks are the new point-of-sale
  • Lumineye - See behind walls for firefighters, police, and search and rescue
  • Node - Build a house like you would assemble IKEA furniture
  • Traces - Id via body shape, hairstyle etc, more accurate, less intrusive vs face
  • Tensil - Custom AI chips 2x smaller, 10x faster, 200x cooler than GPUs
  • Cuboh - Integrate DoorDash, GrubHub etc into one app for restaurants
  • Nomad - Driver keeps 100%, e-hailing firm collects $25 monthly subscription
  • TRM - Help banks deal with crypto and digital asset risks
  • Boost - The new chemistry: community of cooperative & diligent microbes
  • Lucid - Use drones rather than humans to clean high-rise windows, roofs vid
  • EarthAI - Use AI, drones and autonomous drills to prospect for minerals

Open Data

Open Data
Open data refers to a) data that might have been previously inaccessible but is now made available to the public b) data that can be readily reused or republished with few or no restrictions (that is, open as in open source and liberty, and to a lesser extent, as in free beer). A sample of notable open data projects:

  • FiveThirtyEight - ABC News shares the data behind its news, both as meticulously crafted, bird's-eye view graphs and as raw data. [Reading the graphs may require background knowledge of the subject matter. 538 is the number of electors in the US electoral college.]
  • DataGov - The US government's open data portal. An example of data made available is consumer complaints against financial services. It's a huge file (too big to be opened in Excel), in it is a gritty read of the struggles of ordinary folks (and vendors), far beyond the narratives of contemporary fintech.
  • ArrayOfThings - Chicago's array of street sensors that measure temperature, barometric pressure, light, vibration, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, ambient sound intensity, and pedestrian and vehicle traffic [EM levels would be useful too]. The data collected is made available to researchers, universities, local government and the public.

Open Data Hackathon
Join MAMPU's open data hackathon this 3rd to 12th of September 2019 @ Cyberjaya with the aim to create apps that address UN's SDGs, which are in summary are food, water, energy, health, jobs, accessibility, industry and sustainability. The primary data source is DataGovMY whose data sets include the list of MSC companies (tech firms that were accorded tax and other incentives). Looking at the list, the pioneers from 1997 were Intel, Skali, Telekom, NIIT, Measat, Iris, NTT, Fujitsu, Astro, DHL, and among the last entries (as at end of 2017) were:
  • EntityDigital - Digital branding (engagements include SoCar, Sony, Naza)
  • LANworks - Software developer (accounting, fixed assets, manpower)
  • WebMedic - Solve: many visitors to ecommerce site but they don't buy
  • iBanding - Insurance and takaful (shariah compliant insurance) comparison
  • FavorTech - Membership management system
  • ReSolutions - Software for property valuers
  • NightMorning - Game developer
  • SuriaLabs - Web and app developer (engagements include AirAsia, Mydin)
  • AcessMotion - Network shaping for data carriers
  • Pluto - Digital marketing agency (engagements include CIMB, Mamee)

a) Why share data, why not keep matters 'close to the chest'? The answer is left as an exercise for readers. b) Though open data is intended to be 'open', check the provider's terms and conditions for usage. c) Post image is of US energy production via Google Public Data Explorer.

Pick of Events (W4+Aug-2019)

Link Data Hackathon @ KL also
Link Entrepreneurs Start @ KL 1 2 3
Link Halal NanoTech @ KL tix also
Link Genting Stablecoin @ KL 1 2
Link Product Design @ KL also
Link Smart Airport @ CJ tix also

Link Nasi Lemak Merdeka @ KL also
Link Freelancers Teh Tarik @ KL tix
Link Aliens in Manhattan @ KL tix
Link Moonshot Education @ KL tix
Link Parable of The Sower @ BKK

Around The Region
Link Data Grab @ SG also
Link Bitcoin Burritos @ HK
Link Empower Each Other @ JKT 1 2 3 4
Link TW-TH Smart Manufacturing @ BKK

Nadi Nusantara

Malaysia National Anthem: Negaraku (My Country)

Indonesia National Anthem: Indonesia Raya (Magnificent Indonesia)

Singapore National Anthem: Majulah Singapura (Progress Singapore)

The three neighbours Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore celebrate their independence days in August, on the 31st, 17th and 9th respectively. The above renditions of their national anthems were selected for their fresh takes (vs the usual formal tone of national anthems), The producers were CrankyMusic, Gojek and TheApexProject. The post title Nadi Nusantara means 'The Pulse of Nusantara', Nusantara being an informal collective name of the three countries plus Philippines and Brunei.

Horizon Ventures | Forbes Next Billion

Horizon Ventures is a Hong Kong based venture capital firm closely associated with Lee Ka-Shing. The venture's exits include DeepMind, Facebook, Siri, Skype, Slack, Spotify and Waze. A sample of its current portfolio:

Horizon Ventures
  • PerfectDay - Instead of plants→cow→milk, go straight from plants→milk
  • Evolv - Do multivariate (ABCDEFG) instead of binary (AB) testing
  • Slice - Platform for insurers to offer app-first, on-demand, instant insurance
  • Divergent - Instead of giant car factories, decentralise car making by printing
  • SoulMachines - After chat bots. next up are digital humans
  • Windward - Maritime risk analytics (eg. is that ship carrying junk plastic?)
  • TIPA - Compostable: feels like plastic, looks like plastic but is not plastic
  • Corephotonics - Multi-aperture phone camera optics and processing
  • Cortica - Use AI to output insights from cameras instead of gigs of footage
  • Boabab - Producer of animated, immersive movies sample

Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2019 via sample
  • Verkada - Easy-to-use, enterprise security cameras
  • NEXT - Uber for goods transport (shippers, fleets, owner-operated trucks)
  • FourKites - Supply chain (ship, rail, truck, rail, lastmile) information system
  • Faire - Wholesaler for mom-and-pop stores, accepts returns of unsold goods
  • CyberReason - Infosec cyber security company of the year 2019
  • ChainAnalysis - KYT (know your transaction) for cryptocurrencies
  • Proxy - Phone-based, bluetooth acccess system (no passwords, no scans)

  • Horizon Ventures' portfolio leans towards early stage, cutting edge
  • Forbes' picks are later stage, with traction towards $1B valuation
  • Proxy uses tokens for authentication thus no user id is recorded at the edge
  • It could be using physical characteristics (walking speed etc) in lieu of scans
  • Thus if user and phone are together, access is auto and seamlessly granted

Urban Air Mobility

In the post below, we refer to electrically powered, flying vehicles as FEV (Flying Electric Vehicle) as an extension of the word EV. The industry term is UAM (Urban Air Mobility) among others.

FEV: Not For The Masses
  • Unless piloted autonomously, FEVs are unlikely vehicles for the masses.
  • FEVs can move forwards, backwards, let and right and up and down.
  • Drivers are used to 2D driving, 3D flying is a different ball game.
  • The gravity induced up and down part is risky, requires pilots not drivers.
  • No 'fast and furious' (street racing) among office towers on Saturday nights.

FEV: Posh Intracity
  • Rooftops of high rises (or houses) can be converted to FEV pads.
  • Flight path is over a series of pads; in emergencies, FEV tries for nearest pad.
  • Top floor penthouses can install and maintain a private, rooftop pad.
  • Thus, FEV can operate as posh, intracity mobility for the well heeled.
  • Other (non-posh) uses may include neighbourhood patrols, first responders.

FEV: Food Delivery
  • FEVs could also be reimagined as green, autonomous, logistics drones.
  • A party of 10 (visiting friends or family) requires 2 SUVs to go to an eatery.
  • That's approx 5,000 kg (2 SUV x 2,000 kg) + (10 pax x 80 kg) to haul.
  • A drone delivering 6 pizzas + 3 bottles of coke hauls approx 20 kg.
  • Furthermore, a drone might be able to deliver straight to the balcony.
  • Delivery drones are still new: DJI doesn't have one, Amazon is testing one.

  • FEVs fill the niche between cars and helicopters.
  • Although there are autonomous FEV projects such as EHang, it could be some time before these are safe and reliable enough to ferry humans as even the 2D self-driving space is still work-in-progress. Human piloted VTOLs like Uber Elevate [post video] could be the first to launch.
  • Find out more about drones, policies, regulations and aerial work permits in an engineers' meetup on 7 Sep 2019 @ PJ.
  • And more about mobility in meets by Grab and APM (see below).

Pick of Events (W4-Aug-2019)

Link LegalTech Launch @ KL tix
Link Digital Commerce @ KL 1 2 also
Link Computational Physics @ KL 1 2
Link Startups Meetups @ KL 1 2 3
Link Economic Forums @ KL 1 2
Link Grab ETA Auto AI @ KL 1 2

Link Vocal Training @ KL vid
Link Story Telling Jam @ KL
Link My Teacher @ KL vid SNSFW
Link Splendid Romance @ KL tix
Link Postcards from Gypsyland @ HK

Around The Region
Link Data Lasso @ SG
Link State of AI @ HK
Link eBay x Walmart @ HK
Link US-CN Trade Tussle @ HK
Link PayFazz Advanced Jenkins @ JKT
Link Recruiting an Engineering Team @ JKT

The Mission

The instrument being played above is the oboe, which visually resembles the better known clarinet. Both are long, narrow, straight, windwood tubes ending with the characteristic 'bell bottom'. Its distant relatives from way back may include the serunai and nafiri (MY, ID), nadaswaram and shehnai (IN) and the suona (CN).

Watch as Spanish orchestra Voce Para La Paz (Voice of Peace) performs the theme from the movie The Mission. Coincidentally, our last two linked music clips [1 2] featured the oboe as well. MPO will be performing the Oboe Concerto in a forthcoming show, refer to 'Performances' in the listings below for more details.

Pick of Events (W3-Aug-2019)

Link Marketing Meet @ KL tix also
Link SME Conference @ KL tix
Link Beampreneurs @ KL tix also
Link Startup Dating @ KL 1 2
Link Exchange Traded ETF @ KL 1 2
Link Industry 4.0 Forum @ KC KK KL

Link Performances @ KL 1 2 3
Link Piano Music Trends @ KL tix
Link Tony Fernandes Comedy @ KL
Link Publika Jazz @ KL tix
Link Kirana Kay @ KL tix vid

Around The Region
Link Key Data @ JKT
Link Magic Data @ SG
Link SustainableTech @ SG
Link Startup vs Corporate @ SG
Link Smart Suburb Hackathon @ SG

Reviving a Mall

A smaller mall that we visit occasionally was in the doldrums. Only a fraction of its shop lots was tenanted and the tenanted ones were drab and dreary, contributing inevitably to low foot traffic. Remarkably, over the span of a couple of years, the owners managed to revive the mall. From our observations, this was achieved through a three step process: 1) food court 2) retail mix and 3) ambience, in that order. More details below, the above image is for illustration only.

The Food Court
  • In an inspired move, the mall managed to recruit cottage artisans to provide home-styled food.
  • These new stalls are run mainly by womenfolk and their family members.
  • By contrast, malls would usually define tenancies by rental and lease.
  • The pressure of both attracts businesses but not necessarily artisans.
  • The difference between artisanal food and commercial food is substantial.
  • The food court, which before had 'more flies than customers', is well patronized nowadays.
  • A triple win for artisans, good food and the mall.

Retail Mix & Ambience
  • Another notable step the mall made was to sign up Mr DIY, a chain which seems to thrive even at the sleepiest retail spaces.
  • Side note: In the DIY space, beyond Mr DIY, Daiso and Ace Hardware, there are a number of comparable players in terms of range and pricing, including two from Borneo: SuperSave and Ninso.
  • For the retail mix, unlike the artisanal thrust for the food court, the mall largely replaced unbranded retailers with branded ones.
  • Concurrently, the mall upgraded its UX: better air, temperature and olfactory conditioning, softer lighting, and a more upmarket interior design.

Footnote: What is 'Artisanal Food'?
  • In the context of this post, it refers to food that is more like home cooking:
  • Traditional dishes and recipes.
  • Menu that changes often, or no fixed menu.
  • Less, infrequent or no deep fried items.
  • More finesse and care with cooking (less pressured by commercial matters).
  • More use of fresh ingredients and less use of canned or packaged sauces etc.