Opinions

Unifi Turbo upgrades: Good intentions flawed by poor execution?

UPDATE: TM has responded to our concerns. Find their full response below.

Malaysia has been through quite the fibre renaissance recently. Spearheaded by the nation’s largest fibre broadband provider — Telekom MalaysiaUnifi‘s Turbo initiative ushered in a new age of fibre for the country. Not only were ISPs across the board providing faster speeds than ever before, we’ve also seen a considerable reduction in price-per-Mbps so a high-speed fibre connection is now more affordable than ever too.

But, in the midst of this wonderful news, was fa big messy ball of yarn that was Unifi’s plan for rolling out the Unifi Turbo speed upgrades. At first, we were led to believe that this messy situation was inevitable, but subsequent fibre revamps by other ISPs like Maxis Fibre and TIME Fibre proved that this was a problem that was entirely avoidable. What went wrong?

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Palm’s big return isn’t about the Phone, it’s about an idea…and a lot of money

If you’re too young for the brand Palm to ring a bell, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I don’t particularly care for the brand either because it was one of those “before my time” companies that I never really built a connection with, and I thought that it would stay that way when Palm eventually died.

But as the vicious cycle of new becomes old, and old becomes new again proves, these legacy brands never truly die — especially when there’s money to be made. And Palm is the latest brand to join this trend with the introduction of the brand new Palm Phone.

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Here’s how Gobind can tackle the Streamyx problem

When Gobind Singh Deo took over as the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, he vowed to increase our broadband speeds while reducing subscription cost by half. In the past few months, we saw fibre broadband subscription rates getting slashed to an all time low. You can now get a fibre broadband plan from as low as RM79/month and 1Gbps can be enjoyed for as little as RM199/month which is a dream come true for most Malaysians.

As I’ve mentioned previously, cheap broadband isn’t going to solve our biggest problem. Fibre connections are limited to selected urban areas and this leaves many Malaysians stuck with slower and more expensive connections.

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My thoughts on Touch n Go’s RFID system

Touch ‘n Go’s radio-frequency identification (RFID) system has received a lot of mixed reactions so far. It’s never easy to completely revamp a system that a lot of people have been using, especially if it meant throwing out everything they already invested in to make a fresh switch.

But while it’s easy to be blinded by this, and internet rage, the thing I was more curious about was the technology. Does it work? Is it better than SmartTAG? Is this really our future? After testing it out, here’s what I think.

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Touch ‘n Go’s RFID system is not perfect, but I’m hopeful

This is it. The future of digital payments is finally here. Well, actually, the future of digital payments is still in the future, but the good news is that the pilot programme for the future of digital payments is finally here.

I am, of course, talking about the thing that’s on everyone’s lips these days when they talk about Touch ‘n Go (TNG): The RFID payment system. However, even though there’s so much chatter around this new toll payment system, there is just as much confusion surrounding it.

So, today, we’re going to try and cut through all that, and give you everything you need to know about TNG’s brand new RFID system.

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ASUS is doing crazy things with the laptop touchpad and I like it

I don’t know if you remember, but ASUS debuted something really interesting earlier this year when they launched the brand new ZenBook Pro. I mean, they put a 5.5-inch Full HD display right where the touchpad was and I really liked it. It certainly seemed like a more practical approach than something like TouchBar.

Still, I get that that might be a little over the top for some. But, I do think ASUS was onto something when they turned to the touchpad as their next point of innovation. And it looks like they did too, because they’ve started tweaking even the touchpads on their more consumer-friendly ZenBooks.

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The PROTON X70 raises a few questions

At a closed-door event yesterday, PROTON unveiled its first-ever SUV, the PROTON X70. The X70 also marks the end of PROTON’s long-standing tradition of naming its cars using proper nouns instead now all future PROTON models will adopt an alpha-numerical naming convention.

The move to change the way PROTON cars are named is sad for me. The names PROTON use during its early days were among the best names you could have for car. Names like “Saga”, “Wira”, “Satria”, “Putra”, “Perdana”, “Juara” are all unquestionably Malaysian.

Remember seeing a PROTON Wira when I was on holiday in the UK and when I was studying in Australia, I found out that there was a very active PROTON Satria GTI club there. This made me beam with pride. A name like the X70 doesn’t make me feel anything.

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POCOPHONE F1 hands-on: How have they done it?

It has come to a point where a flagship smartphone is never just a smartphone anymore. It’s your camera replacement, your home theater solution, your PC in a pocket and even your swim buddy. This desire to add more and more to a wafer thin handset has become a bit of a double edged sword. Yes, bold new ideas are a great way to push the industry forward, but many of them tend to become nothing more than a gimmick while also adding a significant price premium to your handset. That’s why it has become almost a norm for flagships to cost around RM4,000.

What happened to the good old flagship smartphone that’s only focused on giving you the best smartphone experience? Focused on giving you a smooth and snappy performance with a battery that can last? And most importantly, at a price that more people can afford.

Well, that’s where a brand like POCOPHONE comes in. This small, Xiaomi-backed team of individuals have set out — with laser focus — on doing one thing and one thing alone: To give people what they want. And their first product, the F1, is probably the most focused device I’ve seen launched in a while.

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Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition Malaysia: Is it worth double the price?

There’s no denying that Xiaomi’s Mi 8 is a killer proposition. It features awesome high-end specs, great build, improved features and — best of all — a tantalising price point. But, there is also no denying that the handset bears a striking resemblance to the iPhone X.

So, what if you’re someone who wants a Mi 8 that looks a little more special? Well, that’s where the Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes in, with all its transparent glory. The only problem is, this phone hasn’t officially left China so it’s really, really hard to get a hold of.

Thankfully, the folks over at DirectD have actually imported this phone and early this week they let us take a quick look at it.

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This new Grab competitor has a long road ahead of them

Diffride E-hailing service

UPDATE: Diffride is expected to start their service sometime in September.

Competition is always good. After Uber’s exit from the South East Asian market, Grab is currently the dominant player in the Malaysian market. Sure, there are other alternatives like MyCar at the moment but they are still not on par with the likes of Grab and Uber in terms of reliability and user experience.

Seen as an attempt to break Grab’s monopoly in ride-sharing, Diff Global Solutions Sdn Bhd has officially introduced diffride. It’s a new e-hailing service where you can get a ride in just a couple of taps on your smartphone. We’ve downloaded the app and from our first impressions, it looks like they still have a long way to go.

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