Day: April 14, 2018

Samsung’s latest smartphone can’t connect to the internet. Like, at all.

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Well, here’s something you don’t see announced often (or ever, for that matter): A smartphone that can’t connect to the Internet.

That’s right, Samsung’s new Galaxy J2 Pro (it ain’t a “pro” anything if it can’t go online) is intentionally designed to have no way to go online. And nope, we haven’t slipped into a Tardis and time traveled into April Fool’s Day 2019.

Apparently made for students and senior citizens, the J2 Pro lacks any kind of cellular data connectivity. 

Samsung’s press release (Google translated) says the phone “blocks mobile data such as 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi” with the intent of helping students focus on learning (instead of, you know, getting distracted by Instagram and stuff). The phone’s also good for seniors who apparently have no interest in going online? 🤦‍ Read more…

More about Tech, Mobile, Gadgets, Samsung, and Smartphones

Meal Plan for April Week 3

Meal Plan for April Week 3

This month, Summer Miller is back, sharing her meal plans for April. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Here we are squarely in the latter half of April and ready to celebrate the best of spring.

We don’t think much about it anymore, but eggs are actually seasonal. Chickens are photosensitive, which means they lay more eggs as our days grow longer.

It’s also about this time of spring where cool nights followed by warm wet afternoons, and morel mushroom season begins.

Continue reading “Meal Plan for April Week 3” »

Singapore orders Grab to delay closing Uber app for an additional 3 weeks

Grab’s plan to shutter Uber’s app quickly following its merger deal in Southeast Asia has hit another snag in Singapore where the ride-hailing firm has been forced to delay closing its rival’s service until May 7.

This is the second time that Grab has pushed back the removal of Uber’s app in Singapore, which was initially scheduled for closure on April 8 but was given an additional week as part of an investigation from the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) which is assessing the merger deal. This new May 7 date is also down to the CCCS probe, with the commission issuing an ‘Interim Measures Directions’ (IMD) to Grab in order to “ensure that the market remains open and contestable.”

Those directives — which Grab said it has had a hand in formulating — include measures that prevent Grab from taking Uber’s operational data on customers and their trip history, prevent lock-in and exclusivity options for drivers that join Grab or move over from Uber’s Lion City Rental entity, and end any exclusive deals Grab has with Singapore taxi firms.

The CCCS has also ruled that Grab and the Uber service must maintain prices for passengers and drivers, and remind both that their migration to the Grab platform is optional.

The ruling impacts the Singapore market only, which is where Grab is registered. The Uber app has already been closed in six other markets where it operated in Southeast Asia, while the UberEats service will fold into GrabEats by the end of May. Elsewhere, Uber’s ride-hailing service is scheduled to be closed on April 16 in the Philippines where, like Singapore, the regulator had handed down a week-long extension while it looked into the merger deal.

In both extensions, Grab is the one footing the bill for the continued operation of Uber since the U.S. firm has already exited these markets, in terms of funding and staffing, Uber’s head of operations for Asia Pacific has said.

The CCCS previously said that it has “reasonable grounds” to suspect that the Grab-Uber deal may fall foul of section 54 of Singapore’s Competition Act. The Philippine Competition Commission is still looking into the and there’s no word on whether it will follow the CCCS’ lead and force Grab to keep the Uber app open for a longer period.

The Singapore ruling is a blow for Grab which set out an aggressive two-week timeframe for closing Uber in Southeast Asia, despite not contacting regulators in advance of the deal which sees it pick up a dominant slice of app-based taxi books across eight countries in Southeast Asia. The key question for regulators, however, appears to be whether app-based hailing is a market unto itself, or whether it is part of the wider taxi market.

If regulators chose the former option, then Uber-Grab almost certainly creates a monopoly, but since consumers can also hail apps in more traditional ways — e.g. on the street — or via taxi companies’ dedicated apps — as is the case in Singapore — then the deal hasn’t created a dominant player. It’s certainly a tricky one to assess.

Meanwhile, here is Grab’s statement on the Uber app extension and the IMD:

We appreciate that CCCS accepted our alternative interim measures. On CCCS’ request, we have agreed to extend the Uber app to 7 May to allow for a smoother transition time for riders and drivers. We trust that the CCCS’ review takes into account a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving, highly competitive, and being disrupted by technology and new services. The interim measures should not have the unintended effect of hampering competition and restricting businesses that have already been investing in the country over the years.

Grab notes the CCCS’ objective of giving drivers choice, and is fully supportive of extending our platform to all taxi drivers, including ComfortDelGro drivers who are still constrained from picking up JustGrab jobs. Grab entered Singapore five years ago with minimal resources and the goal of enabling all taxi drivers to earn a better living using our platform. We recognise CCCS’ commitment to preserving competition; all companies – no matter big or small, digital or traditional – are capable of innovation in a free market.

We’re proud to headquarter in Singapore, where the country’s free market economy and policies enable businesses to compete and innovate vigorously to solve customer needs. We trust the government will continue to be pro-business in providing a path for startups to flourish and become sustainable businesses. We will work within the set constraints and continue to focus on building better products to compete, ensuring fairness for passengers and drivers, and cultivating the local tech talent pool through our regional R&D centre in Singapore.

What’s in Season in April?

What's in Season in April, Seasonal Produce Guide

Welcome Spring, and welcome to month 4 of our Monthly Seasonal Produce Guides!

April is all about spring vegetables—asparagus and artichokes are at their peak, snap peas begin to make an appearance, as well as young carrots with their fern-like carrot tops, and fava beans. Spring garlic, spring onions, leeks and fennel are thriving, as are the first spring radishes.

Winter citrus are fading, and while we are seeing some early strawberries, the “fruit” of April isn’t really a fruit, but a vegetable that acts like one—rhubarb. Perfect for pies and cobblers.

What’s in season in April?

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The Walmart yodel boy actually performed at Coachella, and we can’t believe it either

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Hold up, everyone. The Walmart yodel boy actually performed at Coachella. 

Eric Curtin, purveyor of comedy Twitter account @dubstep4dads, tweeted a video of the performance on Friday. He said that after “yodel kid” followed him on Twitter, he reached out to get him to perform as Whethan’s guest on the first day of the festival.

“I love u mason and i love the internet,” he tweeted. 

after the yodel kid followed me i dmed him to try and get him to come out as whethans guest at coachella. and it happened. ur welcome everyone. i love u mason and i love the internet pic.twitter.com/VSjLjS9mU4

— eric turtle (@dubstep4dads) April 13, 2018 Read more…

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