Asia in brief China’s Zhurong rover may have succumbed to dusty solar panels, but while the rover was operational it found potential evidence of water on Mars.
The newspaper Scientists progress last week published a paper detailing “crusts, fissures, aggregates and bright polygonal ridges on the surface of hydrated salt-rich dunes” visited by the rover.
The most likely cause of these characteristics is felt to be the product of “salt water from thawed frost/snow”.
The article notes that Zhurong visited very low latitudes on Mars, where temperatures could reach -5°C, allowing a very saline freeze to form and then melt in the dunes and cause the cracks and crusts observed by the rover.
It’s still a long way from finding water on Mars, but the article explains “This discovery sheds light on the wetter conditions of the modern Martian climate and provides critical clues for future exploration missions looking for signs life, especially at lower latitudes with relatively warmer and more acceptable surface temperatures.”
AWS adds support for Korean
Amazon Web Services began offering support in Korean last week.
The decision means that Korean language support is available via email, phone and live chat for people with support contracts.
“As the number of Korean-speaking customers increases, AWS Support is investing in providing the best support experience possible,” read a statement from AWS on the decision. This makes Korean the fourth language in which the cloud colossus offers support after English, Japanese, and Chinese.
Singtel Reorganization Creates Digital Infrastructure Group
Singaporean telecommunications company Singtel has restructured, with the most significant change being the creation of a stand-alone infrastructure unit called “Digital InfraCo” which will support regional data center, submarine cable and satellite carrier, as well as the Paragon 5G MEC and cloud orchestration platform.
The company has also consolidated its consumer and enterprise businesses in Singapore into a single operating company.
“Singtel has a large and unique portfolio of digital infrastructure assets across Asia, which is a key differentiator for the group,” said group CEO Mr. Yuen Kuan Moon. “Since COVID, accelerated digitization has transformed these assets, the passive backbone of our business, into an area of growth. Having invested heavily in these assets over the years, establishing them as a stand-alone business will allow us to capture new growth as their importance and appeal continues to increase.”
Postponement of the deadline for SIM card registration in the Philippines
The deadline for SIM card registration in the Philippines has been extended by 90 days after less than half of the country’s more than 150 million SIM cards were registered under the program.
High rates of spam and SMS scams have led the Philippines to require users to inform their carriers of their name, date of birth, gender and address, and share details of a national identity document.
The April 26 deadline came and went with less than half of registered users, leading to an expansion announcement last week.
The difficulty of registering users in remote areas was cited as the main reason for the extension.
China’s digital spending tops $2 trillion
Analyst firm IDC predicted last week that China’s ICT spending for developing and operating digital businesses will total more than $2 trillion over the next four years. “Regardless of the economy, companies will not reduce their investments in security, customer experience, systems integration services, workspace solutions, as well as infrastructure optimization and IT operations,” said Matthew Eastwood, IDC’s senior vice president, Enterprise Infrastructure and Datacenter Research. “We are in a period of transformation from multiplied innovation to intelligent automation, with future digital infrastructure deployments becoming increasingly fragmented and enterprises partnering more with multiple public cloud providers as the cloud becomes an operating model,” Eastwood added.
In other news
Our regional coverage last week included reports that the US Department of Homeland Security is planning a 90-day sprint to assess threats posed by China.
The Singapore government has advocated the use of ad blockers to prevent scams.
China said it was exploring 3D printing on the Moon using lunar soil as a means to build the structures needed to create a base on the natural satellite.
Singapore is bringing 5G internet to its southern islands – an area that includes what is arguably the city-state’s best beach as well as a key site for its massive maritime industry.
Both Samsung and SK hynix posted tough quarterly results as the semiconductor industry struggles to overcome a memory inventory glut.
The Chinese city of Changshu has announced that it will pay its employees’ salaries in digital yuan starting in May, as the country strives to boost the adoption of e-money.
British politicians and Big Tech are not very happy with India’s upcoming tech laws that tackle data localization.
South Korea has announced that it will sue Terraform Labs co-founder Daniel Shin and others for their role in the collapse of the Terra/Luna stablecoin.
Japanese tech giant NTT said Tokyo should use its millions of excess Wi-Fi hotspots to meet increased demand for wireless communications.
China has again signaled its desire to shape global IPv6 standards and has set a goal of 750 million users actively using IPv6 by the end of 2023. – With Laura Dobberstein ®
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