Is it just my perception or is the fake news phenomenon not slowing down at all? When Facebook announced that it would weed out false reporting I was hopeful it would come to an end. Instead, the frequency of misleading sponsored posts on my timeline has increased and the phenomenon is getting deeper ingrained into our journalistic and even scientific culture. Let me tell you how.
To truly start understanding Thai society, keeping up with the news is essential. Expats and foreigners in general often regard Thai newspapers as inaccessible. The language barrier does not have to be a problem, though. Thailand has several English-language newspapers. In fact, Thailand’s oldest newspaper has always been exclusively available in English. Additionally, an increasing number of publications and periodicals have an English-language edition. Here is an overview of my favorite online news outlets. They feature news, analysis, opinion and op-ed pieces. Do post a comment if you spot another one.
Kind of a tech geek, my attention was drawn to this article in Business Insider today. Yes, I know, your wallet has been mobile all along. Mine too, but I was kind of hoping it was about hardware wallets. Turns out that mobile wallets are apps that store payment card information in your smartphone, allowing you to make in-store payments. Mastercard, heavily invested into the phenomenon with its Masterpass, did some market research about mobile wallets and came up with a conclusion that seems rather biassed. Mobile Wallets were mentioned In 75% (!) of 3.5 million social media conversations about new payment methods. Yet these apps are used in just 1% of retail sales. Their conclusion: mainstream breakthrough is hindered by too many available mobile wallet apps, lack of support for store loyalty cards and consumers waiting for wearable wallets. My two cents: with 75% awareness and 1% penetration, could it be that the public just isn’t interested? 🙂 My wallet contains all cards I need, is finished in premium leather and I do wear it … in my back pocket.
When my Mom recently needed emergency surgery to save her eye, she was racketeered by her physician to upgrade to a more expensive single-person room. The time-sensitive procedure would not be carried out, if she refused. You see, in Belgium MD’s are allowed to charge an elevated fee when a patient is staying in a private room. My parents alerted the media, resulting in a small media storm. Mom’s story was a headline on national TV news and in newspapers De Morgen, Gazet van Antwerpen, HLN and Het Nieuwsblad. My question is: whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath?
A video of a lady hitching a ride on (not in) the back of a taxi speeding down the highway started going viral in Thailand. Click here to have a look for yourself. Can’t tell you why she/how she got there or if the driver noticed. Crazy is an understatement.
With the #lewisgetsinked campaign, Epson has embarked upon the most rediculous cross-branding attempt ever. I actually double-double-checked this to make sure it wasn’t a parody, even the behind-the-scenes video did not convince me. That voice-over, the link between a budget-friendly printer and Mercedes-Benz-AMG-Petronas, those poses by Hamilton.
Looks like the current development of the city of Nakhon Ratchasima (short: Korat) is going to shift in an even higher gear. The city closest by my Thai residence already was in a growth spurt, with one mall drastically expanded, a second about to open and rumours about a third and a forth going ’round. A high-speed train connection between Bangkok and Korat has already been planned previously, now a second to Khon Kaen will be announced, as well as a nog highway to Bangkok. The local real estate market already grows about 10-15% every year, which will more than likely even accelerate. Impressive.
… and the prize for the strangest headline in the history of headlines goes to CNN.
*Update 23/10: all Mediahuis websites have returned to normal*
*Update 24/10: websites offline again*
*Update 24/10: downtime claimed by hackers*
Over twelve hours have passed since the websites of Belgian publisher Mediahuis went down and the issues haven’t been resolved yet. A report by Flemish national TV pointed towards a hardware problem, but was later edited to remove any mention of the hardware infrastructure supplier. The limited functionality that has been restored, seems nothing more than a WordPress installation that has been hastily set up, which is confirmed by the source code (illustration included, some specifics edited out). As the absence of a back-up procedure, emergency location and recovery plan is highly unlikely, I suspect something rather serious is going on. We wish all people involved the best of luck, and courage in these undoubtedly challenging and stressful times.