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Acer issues laptop recall

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By Cassandra Ho
October 13, 2009

50SINGAPORE – Acer has voluntarily issued a global safety recall for two of the notebooks from its Acer Aspire series, due to the possible overheating of these laptop units.

The microphone cable in affected notebooks may overheat if repeated pressure is applied to the left palm rest, which may result in the melting of the cable, deformation of the unit and malfunctioning of the system.

However, Florence Koh, Singapore’s spokesperson for Acer said that the problem “was not major”.

The affected models are AS3410, AS3810T, AS3810TG, AS3810TZ and AS3810TZG, and were manufactured before September 15, 2009.

Three out of these five models have been on sale in Singapore since May 2008, according to a Straits Times report.

Acer said that it would collect the laptops and replace the affected parts for free to “eliminate the risk of overheating”. Alternatively, users can drop their units off at the service centres.

The computer manufacturer also said that the safety recall program was voluntarily instituted after reports of overheating and not ordered by safety authorities.

51Owners of the listed models can check if their units are affected and eligible for the recall on the Acer Product Advisory page through the serial number or SNID on their machines.

Despite the recall, some consumers have voiced their reluctance to send in their laptops on online forums.

A forum user by the nick of “Jaybee83” posted on Notebook Review, “I cant afford to send my laptop in, i really need it for my studies at university. ive decided no to pursue this thing. since this is a voluntary callback by acer, it wouldnt affect the warranty if the laptop actually broke down from this malfunction! and since ive worked on it for around one and a half months now without any heat problems, ill just take my chances i guess”.

The recall has also caused a dip in local consumer confidence of the Acer brand and its products.

Forum user, “ArcticCheetah”, wrote on HardwareZone that he “won’t be sending it in because of past Acer tech screw ups” as he felt that he was unable to trust them anymore.

This is not the first time Acer is carrying out a recall. In March earlier this year, it recalled its Predator line of Desktops due to short-circuiting and overheating problems

Computer mechanic, Gary Ng, is not surprised at this drop in confidence.

“Consumers tend to tell their friends when they are affected by such problems and this causes everyone, not just Acer users, to have a lower view of the brand. The whole incident will just reflect badly on Acer,” he said.

The Taiwanese PC maker also saw confidence in its shares drop after the recall was issued.

Acer shares fell 1.71% to NT$80.6 in the Taipei trading market, but analysts expect the price to recover soon.

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Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Online News, Technology

Yahoo! re-connects users with new marketing campaign

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By: Tsang Chi Yin
13 October 2009

42

Click on Yahoo!’s latest marketing campaign logo. Alternatively, log on to http://www.youreka.com.sg or http://www.youreka.com.my to participate in the journey of discovery.

Singapore – Youreka!, the latest marketing campaign launched in Singapore and Malaysia by Yahoo! yesterday has taken the old idea of a treasure hunt with a new twist to engage its users.

The treasure hunters are taken on a journey around the Internet to find tickets seeded online in the Yahoo! sites via an integrated platform that combines online, offline and mobile channels at higher speeds.

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Outdoor advertisement posters promoting Youreka! like this above can be seen all across Singapore.

Winners of the hunt will also stand a chance to win two grand prizes in a lucky draw – a Honda Jazz car with Yahoo! designed bodywork and a full set of the home entertainment system.

Non-treasure hunters can also win shopping vouchers in the gaming contest at the Youreka! website.

Other various coloured tickets can also be downloaded to redeem giveaways such as sports accessories and movie screening tickets.

Hazel Ng, 25, an avid user of Yahoo! services said: “The campaign is simple yet refreshing. I look forward to participating in Youreka! and will ask my friends to join in as well.”

However, not all are excited about the latest marketing campaign by Yahoo!.

33 year-old Clarence Song, an IT executive who spends more than six hours on the Internet a day, said: “The prizes are not very attractive to start off with and there are too many procedures before I get to enjoy the perks. These were the two main reasons I didn’t sign up for the hunt.”

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This campaign was formulated by Yahoo! Southeast Asia to tap on the strength of the 14 million users in Singapore and Malaysia to expand its business explained Stephanie Chua, brand manager of Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

Ken Mandel, managing director of Yahoo!, said: “Through Youreka!, we can show rather than tell how closely Yahoo! connects to the lives of people and societies – and have a great time doing it.”

The draws will be held on 25 November at Capsquare in Kuala Lumpur and on 28 November at the Singapore Flyer in Singapore.

The Youreka! campaign is seen by industry players as part of  Yahoo!’s effort to re-establish its brand leadership position in the region.

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Click on the video to view the latest television commercial of Youreka! campaign.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Posted in Online News, Technology

Microsoft unveils Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace

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By: Wong Guan Jie Sidney

35Microsoft unveiled Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace during a three-day roadshow at Ion Orchard on Oct.16.

A live demonstration was hosted by Microsoft to introduce the new features of Windows Mobile 6.5. Microsoft specialists were presented on the ground to guide users who were unfamiliar with the new mobile platform.

The revamped user interface, bigger touch-friendly icons and a better web browser application were among the new features of Windows Mobile 6.5. It now has a “lost phone” application known as My Phone that allows easy backup and retrieval of important data such as contacts.

“The new interface looks better. The data backup service, My Phone, is easy to use too,” 19-year-old university student Audrey Mah said.

However, some onlookers at the roadshow felt that Windows Mobile 6.5 was a major letdown. They criticised Microsoft for its inability to keep up with the competition.

“The upgrades are just superficial. The interface and features of Windows Mobile 6.5 pale in comparison with that of iPhone or BlackBerry. It is disappointing,” 35-year-old accounting manager Marcus Ong said.

Microsoft also launched its application store, Windows Marketplace, which boasts more than 200 third party applications such as Facebook and weather forecast. Windows Mobile users can now browse and download these applications on their phones.

“I can customise my Windows Mobile phone with applications from Windows Marketplace,” 29-year-old teacher Dickson Koh said.

Lucky draws were organized during the Microsoft Mobile 6.5 three-day roadshow at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. offering attractive prizes such as Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphones and free lanyards.

In conjunction with Microsoft’s unveiling of its new mobile platform, HTC collaborated with SingTel, M1 and Starhub to launch the new HTC Touch2, the first retail smartphone to feature Windows Mobile 6.5.

36All three telecommunications companies had attractive deals for HTC Touch2 during the three -day roadshow. StarHub had a promotional deal, which allowed customers to get the HTC Touch2 for one dollar with a two-year contract. The SingTel booth was vacant by the second day of the roadshow due to overwhelming sales.

Industry experts regarded the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace as Microsoft’s answer to Apple iPhone and Apps Store. Microsoft lost significant ground in the increasingly competitive smartphone market populated by iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian and new entrant, Google Android.

For more information about the new features of Windows Mobile 6.5, click here.

Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Posted in Online News, Technology