A Brief Summary Of PayPal Uncovered @Singapore

PayPal, a company that has undergone a dramatic corporate history from its IPO to eBay’s acquisition and spinoff to be run again as a separate listed company. Quite a bumpy ride for a company that is only 17 years old. Anyway, the spin-off is now completed and focus should be on the business itself.

Personally, I think the spin-off weighs more benefits for PayPal as a separate company. I am very glad that I have the opportunities to be invited to their “PayPal Uncovered” event at The Hub, Singapore hosted by Braintree, a payment processing company that PayPal acquired in 2013.

In conjunction to their Global Startup Blueprint program, Braintree aims to help Singapore entrepreneurs to run a mobile or web business. The event started with Mr Tyson Hackwood, Head of Asia, Braintree explaining the need of payment solutions and how startups could benefit from Braintree’s payment processing platform. This is followed by Mr Anupam Pahuja, General Manager, Technology, PayPal Asia Pacific who shared about how PayPal helps startups in developing business beyond payment.

Tyson Hackwood, Braintree
Tyson Hackwood, Braintree
Mr Anupam Pahuja, PayPal

I should not dwell into the details about the presentation. In anyway, payment itself is a complex business case and the problem is even more prevailing in developing countries where comprehensive network infrastructure is basically non-existence. I think that is precisely the positioning strategy of Braintree and PayPal. Leave the payment system to the specialist and focus on growing the business. Entrepreneurs could leverage on this program to kick-start their idea. Through the collaboration, startups receive mentorship from PayPal’s Startup Advisors, who have started a company or worked in an early-staged company before.

The event is followed by networking session with the participating business owners. I have listed some of them whom I have the chance to speak to during the event.

Airfrov

Launch in 2015, Airfrov is a Singapore-based peer to peer marketplace that pairs up frequent travellers who have a little extra luggage space to spare, with shoppers who want to buy specific products but do not have the luxury to travel for it. Through Airfrov, shoppers get to enjoy their favourite overseas products more frequently, while buyers het to make a little profit in exchange for filling the empty spaces in their luggage. The platform now has about 18,000 users on the system and boasts a 70% fulfilment rate for purchase requests within two weeks.

Andios

Andios Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based startup that is building the trusted online marketplace for pre-owned smartphones in South-East Asia. Andios is backed by Challenger Technologies Limited, a SGX-listed company (stock quote: 573.SI)

BoxGreen

Boxgreen is one of the fastest growing healthy snacks subscription companies in Asia, reinventing the way consumers snack by leveraging the power of technology to deliver a personalized box of healthy & delicious treats to your office desk or doorstep. Part of the proceeds from every snack sold also go to providing meals for the needy in Singapore

Cottony

Cottony aims to provide amazing print quality services on a variety of items such as t-shirts, hoodies, company polo shirts and baby wear. Using a different method called Direct-to-Garment or DTG. Cottony prints directly onto the fabrics using specialty water-based inks, giving wearers a more comfortable feel that last multiple washings.

Going beyond the usual personalized printing providers, Cottony also enables individuals to start their own label without any upfront costs.

Vanitee

Vanitee is the mobile booking destination for quality beauty services from sought-after independent and emerging beauty professionals. It wants to change the way people think about and book beauty services. The company has a simple mission – to champion small beauty businesses and to provide customers with a great experience every single time.

The Vanitee app lets customers schedule appointments or house calls for manicures and pedicures, makeup and hair styling services, lash extensions, brow grooming services and even massages. With over 500 beauty professionals on its platform, a rigorous 27-step vetting process for professionals, and robust user review system, Vanitee aims to be the Airbnb or Uber of the beauty industry.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Now In Singapore

Microsoft has announced the retail availability of Surface Pro 4 in Singapore. Customers can buy the Surface Pro 4 Intel Core m, Core i5, and Core i7 models at microsoftstore.com, Challenger, Courts, Harvery Norman and Newstead as well as authorised commercial resellers. Check up hashtag #DoGreatThings

https://youtu.be/6Gh4o9IqeEU

“Surface Pro 4 brings together the performance of a laptop and the full power of Windows 10 with the portability of tablet” said Arthur Huang, Director Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft Singapore. “Surface has transformed the category by focusing on productivity, creating a highly versatile device that people love to use”

Arthur Huang, Director of Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft Singapore at the launch of Surface Pro 4 – Source Instagram user @weewu
Technical Specification could be found at Microsoft site 
Pricing 
128GB 6th Generation Intel Core M3 with 4GB of Ram SGD1,399
128GB 6th Generation Intel Core i5 with 4GB of Ram SGD1,599
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i5 with 8GB of Ram SGD1,999
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 8GB of Ram SGD2,499
256GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of Ram SGD2,799
512GB 6th Generation Intel Core i7 with 16GB of Ram SGD3,399
Type Cover SGD199
Docking Station SGD314
Surface Pen SGD94

Land Yourself the “World’s Coolest Job” This Winter

 

  • Honestbee is hiring two candidates to shop and deliver groceries in Niseko, Japan for a month in
  • Contract comes with attractive salary of US$10,000 plus expenses, training, living cost, transport and exclusive activities

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SINGAPORE,  November 2015 – honestbee, a fast-growing on-demand grocery concierge and delivery service company based in Singapore, today announced the launch of the “World’s Coolest Job” campaign. Offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in Niseko, Japan, for a month from 4 to 31 January 2016, this position of a trained shopper and delivery bee comes with an attractive salary of US$10,000 plus expenses, training, living cost, transport and exclusive activities.

“This call for application seeks out the social media savvy, adventurous and spontaneous, giving them an experience they will never forget,” said Joel Sng, CEO, honestbee. “Winning candidates can expect to enjoy one of the best job perks available such as trying out the world-renowned onsens, as well as skiing and snowboarding down the powdery slopes of Niseko.”

“We are happy and excited to support honestbee for this campaign as it provides us with an additional avenue to showcase Niseko and our unique offerings to the world,” said Toshinori Shimada, Director of Marketing, Niseko Promotion Board (NPB). “As we seek the perfect candidates for this job in the weeks to come, you will see the unveiling of Japan’s much-loved mythical powder paradise.”

From now to 11:59pm GMT+8, 18 December 2015, interested parties aged 21 and above are invited to submit their applications via Instagram, highlighting why they will be great for the job. Honestbee will be hiring two candidates selected from this call for application, rewarding them with each a month of employment at Niseko, supported by NPB, Japan.

How to Submit

To those who are keen in applying for the “World’s Coolest Job”, all you have to do is to send in your submissions via Instagram:

  • Log on to your own Instagram account
  • Follow the @honestbeejp Instagram page
  • Create a 15-second video application in English telling us why you are the best person for the job
  • Upload the video on your Instagram account and use the hashtag #WorldsCoolestJob
  • Click Submit to share your submission with honestbee

 

Of course, do remember to share this with your friends and get them to take part too!

 

The top 10 submissions based on the number of likes on your post will be shortlisted for an interview with a panel of judges comprising honestbee executives. We will be selecting two winners, and they will be announced on 28 December 2015.

 

For more details on the official rules as well as teams and conditions, please visit http://bit.ly/worldscoolestjob. You can also visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/honestbeejp and our Instagram account @honestbeejp.

 

 

Senior leaders gather to discuss the changing face of education in Asia

  • Singapore hosts gathering of over 500 senior education leaders, experts and influencers from across the region
  • Focus on how disruptive technology will facilitate lifelong learning and the growth in personalised learning through analytics
  • Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and Singapore Workforce

    Development Agency (WDA) key partners

  • Bett’s worldwide partner Microsoft also a key supporter of the event

Singapore, Tuesday 17 November 2015 – Over 500 senior education and global technology leaders were gathered today at Bett Asia Leadership Summit 2015, a leading education technology conference, taking place from 17th – 18th November at Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore. Key themes that are being discussed at the two-day summit included the future of education in Asia Pacific, the importance of 21st century skills in teaching and learning, the growth of personalised learning powered by analytics, the growing importance of student-centric education, digital learning for developing Asia and revolutionising education with mobile.

The opening keynote talk was given by Ng Cher Pong, Chief Executive of Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) who spoke about ‘Transforming Lifelong Learning through Technology’. He commented on the fact that many jobs are at stake as a result of advances in technology, noting the fact that “no jobs will be spared, not even medical doctors” and that “machines will increasingly take over mid-level jobs” as jobs become increasingly more automated. As a result of this change, he emphasised the ever growing importance of lifelong learning, particularly as the retirement age in Singapore and across Asia increases. He noted that “Technology can be used to increase accessibility to learning… it bridges barriers to geography, cost and time”.

Mr Ng touched on WDA’s new ‘iN.LEARN 2020’ initiative, which will be focused on providing support to adult educators, providing new grants, piloting new online learning solutions and gathering intelligence on how we can best harness technology, for example leveraging on virtual headsets via stimulus learning, where students can undertake lectures, tutorials and even examinations using virtual headsets. He commented “By 2020, we will have a vibrant community to learn, supported by the widespread use of technology, with breakthrough achieved in pedagogy and instructional design….learning will be widely accessible to learners and learning will happen at anytime and anywhere, there will be multiple modes of learning available too.”

Adrian Lim, Director of Education for the Sectoral Innovation Group at Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) also gave a keynote talk at the Summit, noting at the start of his talk that “we need to prepare our kids for the future”. He emphasised the importance of personalised learning powered by analytics, commenting that “assessment analytics will uncover a wealth of insights previously unknown” and noting that “we have to let machines do their job and look at insights”. He also highlighted the importance of precision intervention, which will help educators to know a single child in his or her entirety. It is important to use analytics to inform how the teacher or school takes the next step.

IDA is currently working closely with the Singapore government to help encourage more kids to learn coding in schools. He commented “It is important to teach kids coding, they need to know it’s about solving a problem. We need to cultivate courage, curiosity and confidence”. IDA wants to challenge the paradigm of technology for kindergarten kids and recently announced the launch of the playmaker project which will be rolled out across 160 pre-schools in Singapore in 2016. This new initiative will introduce ‘age appropriate’ technology, such as technology enabled toys to make learning more fun, as Adrian Lim said “We are preparing Singapore for the road ahead”.

Forward thinking education visionary Marc Prensky also spoke about a new ‘Plan B’ education. ‘Plan B’ focuses on encouraging children to apply their passion to improve the world, by implementing realworld projects in schools and introducing a new, broader curriculum of Effective Thinking, Effective Action, Effective Relationships and Effective Accomplishment. Key skills that Prenksy believe need to be become an integral part of school curriculums include creative thinking, entrepreneurship, financial thinking, relationship building skills, leadership skills, innovation, improvisation and strategy & tactics, among many others. Prensky has also noted that technology is becoming the new underlying foundation and support for all our human skills — just as reading was the main support in the past.

Prensky said “Education is not just an academic process anymore. We need a new way to think about education. ‘Plan A’ education is obsolete. We need to be empowering kids to use their new abilities to add value and do it while they are still students. This needs to be done through real world accomplishments…. we have to help kids become ‘solutionaries’. What we need is a ‘Plan B’, that is improving our world where kids are becoming good, effective world improving people, that is the goal”.

Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Worldwide Education from Microsoft, who will be giving a keynote talk at the Summit tomorrow said “Microsoft was founded on the principle that people can do remarkable things when technology is within reach and that applies to education. With the right technology and training, educators around the world are finding inspiring new ways to transform teaching and learning that’s empowering their students to achieve more.”

Ms Grace Hardy, Head of Content for Bett Asia Leadership Summit commented: “We are delighted to welcome senior education figures and thought leaders from across the globe for this year’s Bett Asia Leadership Summit. The Summit provides a valuable platform for senior leaders and influencers to share insights, discuss new trends and debate their vision for the future of education in Asia.”

For more information on Bett Asia Leadership Summit, please visit: https://asia.bettshow.com/

Entrepreneur’s Insights: Interview with Mr Isaac Tay, Co-Founder of honestbee

honestbee isaacTime flies and without you knowing, it is about time to say good bye to 2015. It is also time to get busy with Christmas shopping! But, how are you going to bash through swarm of shoppers during this festive season especially in a shopping place like supermarket?

That’s market’s need that honestbee is trying to fulfil. Our latest episode of Entrepreneur’s Insight, we interviewed Mr Isaac Tay, Co-Founder of honestbee.

 

 

  1. honestbee has been receiving a lot of media attention ever since the receipt of USD 15M funding. However, many people know the name but might not exactly know what honestbee is doing. Do you mind give a short description of the company?

We are the first on-demand, concierge grocery delivery service that is able to deliver to your doorstep on the same day, typically within the hour following your order. Our goal is to get you what you need, when you need it. In-store concierge shoppers trained by honestbee make sure the items in your shopping cart, including meat and produce, are carefully handpicked for you with freshness guaranteed.

 

  1. Technology sector is growing exponentially in Southeast Asia region. Rising affluence, rapid urbanization and population growth pose opportunities for e-commerce, m-commerce or these days, people call it “social commerce”. What’s your view on this?

Southeast Asia is not the only part of the world where the technology sector is experiencing growth. In this market though, we see that different parts of Southeast Asia are progressing at varying speeds and in multiple directions. That said, there are two constant areas of growth – mobile and online shopping – in the world of e-Commerce.

 

Logistics and payments are two important aspects of e-commerce. In Asia, however, different countries have different methods and systems. For us to succeed in Southeast Asia, local knowledge and partners are very important, and this is something technology cannot replace.

 

The opportunity as an Asian company headquartered in Singapore is that we are well-positioned to learn what works in the Western innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley, then tailor it to the local context with our understanding of the social fabrics of the various Southeast Asian countries honestbee is in.

 

  1. There are other online grocery shopping sites in the market? How is honestbee different from other online platforms?

We aim to bring convenience with the best service to our customers so that they can spend more time on what matters most to them. This includes bring fresh produce to them, as if they are shopping at the stores for themselves.

 

Ordering via honestbee is simple:

  • Enter your address and start shopping online at any of honestbee’s partner stores.
  • Choose a 1 hour delivery window to have your groceries delivered.
  • Once the order is placed, an expert honestbee concierge shopper immediately starts picking out your selected items. (Do note that like shopping on your own, some products may invariably be unavailable. Customers are able to choose similar replacement products when ordering, making it both interactive and intuitive to your needs. Additionally, your shopper will call you if necessary to ensure you get what you want.)

 

  1. What are the challenges or opportunities for honestbee in the next 3 years?

Recruiting the brightest young talent is a major challenge as we are competing with more established brands for their attention. However, with our recent funding announcement that we are backed by world-class Silicon Valley investors, this will change.

 

  1. What is the expansion plan for honestbee?

We intend to expand our business across Asia. We recently just launched in Hong Kong and will be extending our services to Taiwan and other parts of Asia.

 

  1. What is your view on IoT? Do you see any unexplored market in this space for honestbee to fulfill?

We are in the very early days of IoT, so there is definitely a lot of room for growth – not just for honestbee, but for the other brands as well. When the technology catches up and becomes more accessible, it will make our life better and more efficient be it at work or at home.

 

Our mission is to create happy homes with delightful services and flexible jobs. IoT, with its promise of better sensors and data, will definitely provide opportunities to create new services that can improve homes.

 

  1. Our Singapore readers could be interested on honestbee’s plan in Singapore. With the fresh injection of fund, do you plan to expand your workforce here?

Singapore is our headquarters – our founders are Singaporeans and all of the people in our senior leadership team are Singaporeans. This is something we’re proud of as we all want to put Singapore on the world map as a place with strong start-ups. With the funding, we will expand our business and workforce locally and in Asia. We plan to attract back the best engineering talent who have been working in the top companies in Silicon Valley; this will facilitate knowledge transfer.

 

  1. Hiring and talent retention are one of the challenges that startup faces. How did you manage such issue?  

We are very humbled by our low attrition rate here at honestbee. We are also proud to say that there is a strong bond and camaraderie between everyone, where we work hard and play hard.

 

We will also regularly organise get-togethers for our team to catch up and get to know each other better. Just recently, we had a family Halloween event where everyone was dressed to the nines. One of the teams even came in as zombies from The Walking Dead.

 

The most important thing is to understand the aspirations of all the members in my team. I’ve aimed to recruit motivated people with a shared vision, and have constantly ensure that the company’s goals are aligned with their individual’s aspirations.

 

Alignment is something I take very seriously, and within three months of joining a company, every member of my team has had at least three ‘health checks’ with me. During these sessions, the members of my team are unreservedly candid, and we have made countless improvements from the feedback.

 

For example, we noticed engineers were being interrupted with questions and it was hard to get into a rhythm of coding. We instituted no-speaking hours between 2pm-4pm on Tuesday and Thursday. This has also created the side effect where folks make better use of meetings.

 

  1. What advices will you give for our budding entrepreneurs or people who want to start a business? 

I would say, if you dare to dream, then go ahead to aim and build. Don’t waste time thinking too much about it or you will never start. Of course, it is also important to build strong and meaningful relationships. You’ll be surprised how powerful this is.

 

  1. It is said that every entrepreneur has their own set of checklist while evaluating a venture. As an entrepreneur, do you mind sharing with us yours?

For me, it’s two key points:

  • Will this improve people’s lives
  • Are there people willing to pay for this improvement to their lives

PlayStation®VR Makes Singapore Debut at GameStart Asia

 

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Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong Limited Singapore Branch (SCES) is proud to debut the PlayStation@VR – the virtual reality system for the PlayStation 4 gaming console – to members of the public in Singapore at GameStart Asia. This is also the first time that SCES is showcasing its PlayStation®VR at a public event in South-east Asia and the first time that the fans here can experience the next dimension of video gaming at a major public event here of this magnitude.

The GameStart Asia is happening at Suntec Convention Centre Hall 401 & 402 from 13-15 Nov 2015.

The launch date of Playstation@VR is not confirmed yet but according to Alphr, it is likely to happen in the first half of the 2016.

To read the full press release, please see below

[pdf-embedder url=”https://theneodimension.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Press-Release-PlayStation-VR-Makes-Singapore-Debut-at-Gamestart-Asia.pdf”]

@NatGeo and @Singtel ‘s #ProjectBreakThrough To Nurture Scientists of Tomorrow

Singapore,  27  October  2015  –National  Geographic  Channel  (NGC)  and  Singtel  TV  today  introduced  Project  Breakthrough,  a  new  learning  initiative  that  aims  to  spark  interest  and  passion  in  modern  science  and  technology  among  Singaporean  children  aged  9  to  11  years  old.

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“Singtel  TV  is  delighted  to  be  part  of  Project  Breakthrough  with  NGC.  Together,  we  can  go  beyond  empowering  children  with  knowledge  through  entertainment  and  give  them  first-‐hand  experience  of  the  exciting  world  of  science  and  technology.  We  hope  this  learning  initiative  will  encourage  them  to  seek  answers  through  innovation,  one  of  Singtel’s  core  values  and  the  cornerstone  of  Singapore’s  success”,  said  Mr  Goh  Seow  Eng,  MD,  Home,  Consumer  Singapore,  Singtel.

Developed  in  line  with  the  nation’s  call  for  self-‐directed  learners,  Project  Breakthrough  is  supported  by  Science  Centre  Singapore  (SCS),  Singapore  University  of  Technology  and  Design  (SUTD)  and  the  A*STAR’s  Institute  for  Infocomm  Research  (I2R).  These  learning  institutions  will  host  various  educational  sessions  and  facility  visits,  allowing  participants  to  delve  into  the  world  of  innovation  and  engage  with  scientists  and  experts  on  hot  topics  such  as  alternative  energy  and  assistive  robotics.

 

Future  innovators  who  present  the  best  five  ideas  in  various  fields  will  be  offered  an  opportunity  to  further  their  interest  through  attachments  at  local  research  institutions.

 

Project  Breakthrough  was  inspired  by  NGC’s  latest  production–  Breakthrough,  a  revolutionary  six-part  series  about  scientific  explorers  from  leading  universities  and  institutions,  and  how  their  cutting-edge  innovations  and  advancements  will  change  our  lives  in  extraordinary  ways.

 

Presented  by  National  Geographic  and  GE,  brands  well-‐known  for  their  dedication  to  innovation,  science  and  technology,  the  series  will  premiere  on  NGC  (Singtel  TV  Ch  201)  on  Saturday,  7  November.  Each  hour-‐long  episode  is  directed  by  Hollywood  visionaries  –  Ron  Howard,  Brett  Ratner,  Peter  Berg,  Angela  Bassett,  Akiva  Goldsman  and  Paul  Giamatti.

 

“NGC  has  a  reputation  for  high-‐quality  programming  that  consistently  resonates  with  audiences  across  the  world  and  we  aim  to  inspire  viewers  through  premium  programming.    This  initiative  provides  the  perfect  platform  for  us  to  identify  and  connect  with  the  best  in  the  field  of  innovation  in  Singapore,  thus  providing  a  strong  co-‐relation  between  the  content  and  knowledge  we  share  on-‐air  and  the  real  life  experiences  of  our  young  scientists-‐to-‐be”  says  Sun  Young  Moon,  Vice  President,  Programming,  National  Geographic  Channel.

 

“SCS  is  happy  to  partner  with  NGC  to  work  on  Project  Breakthrough,  targeting  our  efforts  specifically  on  an  impressionable  age  group  of  9  to  11.  At  this  age,  kids  are  brimming  with  curiosity  and  are  not  afraid  to  observe  and  ask  questions.  These  are  the  precursor  attributes  of  becoming  a  scientist.  We  hope  our  tinkering  and  educational  sessions  paired  with  the  airing  of  the  Breakthrough  series  will  spur  further  interest  in  science,”  says  Associate  Professor,  Lim  Tit  Meng,  Chief  Executive,  Science  Centre  Singapore

Young scientists-­‐in-­‐training  can sign up for the Project Breakthrough sessions by registering online at www.singteltv.com.sg/ngcbreakthrough from 28 October 2015.

Breakthrough will air on National Geographic Channel Singtel TV Ch 201 from Saturday 7 November 2015 at 10pm.  
 

Ruckus Wireless Acquires Cloudpath Networks to Simplify Wi-Fi Onboarding and Security

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. announced that it has acquired Cloudpath Networks, a privately held provider of secure Wi-Fi onboarding software, headquartered in Westminster, Colorado.

 

Cloudpath pioneered secure Wi-Fi onboarding in 2006 and has since become a leader in certificate-based Wi-Fi security with its automated, self-service software. Cloudpath’s software makes it easy for users to securely connect to wireless networks and for IT managers to manage ongoing Wi-Fi access in large environments, offering the following benefits:

  • A one-time enrollment process for the users, verifying the user and the device and automatically configuring the device with the appropriate wireless network and certificate for desired policy
  • Secure and automatic connection for returning users
  • A Set-It-And-Forget-It Wi-Fi experience for IT managers, enabling them to deploy IT security and BYOD policies in a scalable and user-friendly manner
  • Cost-effective and easy network management for IT managers through an Enrollment System which allows networks to simply and securely adopt certificate-based Wi-Fi

 

Ruckus will immediately include Cloudpath software with its Smart Wi-Fi portfolio for education, enterprise, retail and hospitality markets.

To read the full press releases, see below

[pdf-embedder url=”https://theneodimension.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ruckus-Acquires-Cloudpath.pdf”]

My Trip to Hokkaido – Review of Yokoso Sim

These days, 4G has become an inseparable part of our lives. Even when we go overseas, we will buy a pre-paid local sim card so that we can surf while sightseeing. In most countries, getting a pre-paid sim is easy. However, in Japan, as most of you know, it could be kind of tricky. If I didn’t remember wrongly, you can’t even get a call-only sim card in Japan under the country’s telco regulation.

Fortunately, there are many 3rd party distributors that sell pre-paid data-only sim outside Japan and Yokoso Sim is one of them.

Why did I choose Yokoso Sim in the first place?

Frankly, this was the first time I am trying out Japan’s 4G network and I chose Yokoso Sim based on my friend’s recommendations:

  • Yokoso Sim uses NTT Docomo ‘s network. (NTT is an incumbent telephone service provider in Japan just like Singtel is in Singapore.) Judging from the scale of the company, its coverage should quite extensive.
  • Local representatives in Singapore. I am not a patient shopper where I can wait for days for my item to arrive after I have made the purchase. On top of that, I prefer to speak to a person directly so that I could get my queries answered fast. So, having a local representative always appeal to me.
  • Unlimited usage. Fast 4G browsing is limited to the first 135MB per day. Once breached, the service continues but at a reduced speed of 200kps.
  • Reasonable pricing. The 7-day 4G card is selling at SGD35 which is very competitive among other distributors.

If you want to find out more about Yokoso Sim card, you may wish to drop a mail to Mr Shinji Matsudaira at  shinji.matsudaira@yokososim.com or visit the facebook page here

Experience with Yokoso Sim Activation

Unlike other pre-paid sim you get from some countries; you could do the activation yourself as long as you know the APN settings. I have listed it down below for your reference.

  • APN:             so-net.jp
  • Username:        nuro
  • Password:        nuro
  • Authentication:     PAP or CHAP

Note: If you are using Android phone, you would need to give a name for the APN. In this case, just give any name of your preference

I have been researching quite a bit on the phone compatibility with Japan networks. Generally, iPhone/iPad are not a problem. I have read on a Chinese site the limitations on activating on some phones. Basically, most smartphones are compatible except for HTC, Xiaomi, Mainland China-branded Phones, Blackberry and Windows Phone.

I guess for most people, this will not be a problem. If you are carrying your spare Chinese brand phones for your Japan trip which is not compatible with the NTT Docomo network, you might wish to try the following:

First, activate the sim card on a Apple device (refer to the manual that comes along with the sim card). During this trip, we brought an iPad Mini, Blackberry Passport, Blackberry Classic and OPPO Find 7. Yes, you are right! Most of our devices are not compatible according to the website. So what’s next for us? Since we have no choice (trust me! We tried to activate the service using non-Apple mobile devices. It does not work!), we activate the service using our iPad Mini (I believe any other Apple mobile devices could do) It does not come to us as a surprise that it works.

Next, take out the activated sim card and insert into your phone. You should have 4G connection**

**During our trip, we tried the same method for our OPPO Find 7 (a Chinese phone) and Blackberry phones. It works well.

Mobile Hotspot and Converge

Creating mobile hotspot is common when you are traveling in groups. However, this isn’t the case for our Hokkaido trip. We rely a lot on Google map for navigation and having a device with a bigger screen makes a lot of sense. As such, we dedicated the sim card to our iPad Mini. Then came another problem. We could not tether to our iPad Mini as NTT Docomo does not allow the creation of mobile hotspot. However, this restriction only seems to apply to Apple products. We tried tethering on our Blackberry and OPPO phones successfully. Point to note – don’t rely your iPad and iPhone for tethering.

According to NTT, below shows the coverage of 4G network in Hokkaido. Orange and Red refers to the coverage


If you understand Japanese, you may get more information from the website https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/support/area/hokkaido/index.html

Based on the above, most of the places I went to are covered. Google map worked extremely well when we were doing our nature tour. The signal strength and speed are generally good even at nature parks and mountains. In the cities, speed and accessibility are definitely better. However, I didn’t experience blazing fast 4G speed when comes to uploading and posting on Instagram and Facebook. Maybe I am a pampered Singaporean that has a certain expectation of what an actual 4G speed like. So far, Hoheikyo Dam is the only place that I did not have any signal.

Verdict

Activation process is straight forward if you are using an iPhone or iPad. If you are using other phones, you may run a risk of not able to activate the service. Although there is a work-around (which I have shared earlier), it makes the process less seamless and user-friendly.

If you plan to travel in large group, I will suggest that you obtain 4G router directly from the distributer. Price might be higher but it saves the hassle of having to activate the sim card and having to swap the sim card between devices.

Coverage wise, I think that Japan 4G coverage is far much better than most countries I’ve been to.

Tableau Launches Vizable, A Breakthrough Mobile App for Data Exploration

Free iPad App Makes Data Analytics Fun and Accessible to More People


Singapore – October 21, 2015
Tableau Software
(NYSE: DATA) today announced Vizable, an entirely new mobile application designed to help people see and understand data with just an iPad. Tableau Vice President of Mobile and Strategic Growth, Dave Story, unveiled the app at the 2015 Tableau Conference in Las Vegas.

With Vizable, Tableau brings fun and approachable data analysis to even more people. The free iPad app makes it possible to explore data by using gestures such as pinching, swiping and dragging, allowing people to sculpt data into visualizations in seconds.

Tableau has already put Vizable in the hands of a number of businesses and organizations who previously had data and questions, but no easy tool to answer those questions. They now find insights to drive and improve their business, even while they’re on the go.

“We started with a food truck, so the very nature of our business is mobile,” said Roz Edison, owner of Marination, a Hawaiian-Korean fusion cuisine business with one food truck and two restaurants in Seattle. “Since we’ve started using Vizable, if someone asks me how Marination is doing this week, I can pull out my iPad, start swiping and dragging my cash register data, and boom! It’s that easy.”

“There is no great app to see and understand a spreadsheet visually, using only a tablet,” said

Story. “This is an incredibly common scenario. Whether you’re a teacher with students’ test data, a small business with the day’s sales, a cyclist with ride stats, or an executive with the past hour’s web site traffic – Vizable brings analytics to more people by engaging them with their data like never before.”

Vizable is ideal for people with personal or business data they want to analyze. The first version works with data in CSV files and Excel (xls or xlsx) files. Visualizations created in Vizable can be shared with friends and colleagues through email, instant message, or social media.

Vizable is currently available worldwide in the Apple iTunes store in English. It supports data in many international formats today, and will be translated to other languages in the future.

Learn more about the app at vizable.tableau.com.