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Yamato

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  1. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Technology/Japan-drone-maker-s-flying-motorcycle-to-hit-the-skies-next-year?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20211026190000&seq_num=17&si=44594 Japan drone maker's flying motorcycle to hit the skies next year A.L.I. Technologies starts taking orders for $682,000 Xturismo The Xturismo is the first 'hoverbike' to make its debut in Japan. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi) ERI SUGIURA, Nikkei staff writerOctober 26, 2021 16:16 JST OYAMA, Japan -- On a nearly empty racetrack in the foothills of Mt. Fuji, a Tokyo-based drone startup unveiled its vision for the future of transport: a flying motorcycle able to hit speeds of up to 100kph. In a scene straight out of a sci-fi film, the driver fired up the Xturismo, which rose several meters off the ground and cruised along the track for about a minute and a half. Reporters and guests -- all wearing earplugs against the deafening noise -- looked on. Developed by A.L.I. Technologies, the "hoverbike," as the company describes it, weighs 300 kg and is capable of carrying a single rider. According to the company, it can travel at its top speed for up to 40 minutes. A.L.I., which is backed by Kyocera and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital, started taking orders for the bike the same day it was unveiled and plans to deliver the limited-edition run of 200 vehicles to customers by the first half of next year. The price is set at 77.7 million yen ($682,000). Powered primarily by an internal combustion engine, Xturismo relies on two main propellers to stay aloft. The bike is equipped with the same altitude control technology A.L.I. uses in its drone products, allowing it to glide smoothly through the air. "We would like to propose a new lifestyle with this floating vehicle," CEO Daisuke Katano said at the unveiling ceremony. In addition to leisure, the bike could also be used to help rescue people from accidents on the water, said a member of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party who attended the ceremony. A.L.I.'s four-year achievement comes as the race to sell flying motorcycles heats up around the world. U.S.-based JetPack Aviation recently said it had succeeded in a flight test of a prototype of the Speeder, reportedly setting itself on course for a launch as early as 2023. Pre-orders start at $380,000. French startup Lazareth is also developing a flying motorcycle. 'We would like to propose a new lifestyle with this floating vehicle,' said Daisuke Katano, A.L.I. Technologies chief executive. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi) Investment has been pouring into flying cars, with Toyota Motor investing 43 billion yen in U.S.-based Jobby Aviation in January 2020. HT Aero, a flying car startup backed by Chinese electric vehicle company Xpeng, said last week it has raised over $500 million in its latest funding round. Honda Motor revealed last month that it has been developing a flying car as a part of its 5 trillion yen research and development over the next six years.
  2. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    COVID cases in Thailand today: Total New Cases 8,452 ( +746 ) Deaths 57 ( -9 )
  3. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    Had a wonderful Sunday lunch alone at my favourite Korean restaurant near home Side dishes with 3 salads Beautiful Bibimbap Beef for grilling My lunch, basically I ordered only 3 dishes - bibimbap, beef and seafood kimchi soup, the rest are side dishes
  4. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    COVID cases in Thailand today: Total New Cases 8,675 ( -676 ) Deaths 44 ( -12 )
  5. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    Weekend breakfast in local Thai market Half-boiled egg, black coffee and yew char kway Stir it and duck it
  6. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    COVID cases in Thailand today: Total New Cases 9,351 ( -391 ) Deaths 56 ( -18)
  7. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    COVID cases in Thailand today: Total New Cases 9,742 ( +68 ) Deaths 74 ( -+8)
  8. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    COVID cases in Thailand today: Total New Cases 9,810 ( +83 ) Deaths 66 ( -7 )
  9. https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/China-up-close/Analysis-Xi-Jinping-s-plan-to-rule-for-life-is-coming-together?utm_campaign=GL_china_up_close&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=9&pub_date=20211022000100&seq_num=2&si=44594 Who will lead China in 2035, when current President Xi Jinping says substantive progress toward correcting the country's income disparity will have been made? (Nikkei montage/Reuters/AP) Xi Jinping's plan to rule for life is coming together Third historical resolution and 2035 'common prosperity' target outline path forward KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writerOctober 21, 2021 04:25 JST Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff writer and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize. TOKYO -- In the span of a few days, two key developments have unfolded in China, both directly connected to the bid by Xi Jinping, the country's president and the party's general secretary, to become leader for life. One is what is called the "third historical resolution," whose content will be made public next month. The other is the emergence of a timetable for Xi's new political goal of "common prosperity." "As German philosophers Georg Hegel and Karl Marx said, history repeats itself," said a Chinese Communist Party source familiar with the party's internal affairs, referring to the third resolution. "There is no doubt that President Xi is aiming to become leader for life, emulating the two figures who issued the first and second resolutions." The source was referring to Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, both of whom wielded power until the day they died. "The other side of the coin is the great political goal of common prosperity," the source said, "which will be pursued carefully over the next 10 or 15 years." Xi Jinping leads top officials in reciting vows, including the issuance of a "third historical resolution," during a gala ahead of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing on June 28. © Kyodo The party's Politburo on Monday decided to hold a key political meeting from Nov. 8 to Nov. 11. The sixth plenary session of the party's 19th Central Committee will deliberate on and adopt a "key resolution on the major achievements and historical experience of the Party's 100 years of endeavors," the Politburo said. This points to the third historical resolution. The party has adopted a resolution on history twice in the past, first in 1945 and again in 1981. The first document, which came four years before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, was drafted under Mao Zedong. The second was written under Deng Xiaoping, the father of the "reform and opening-up" policy. It denounces the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution under Mao but recognizes some of the leader's achievements. The third resolution on history has a weighty meaning. To put it simply, the new document indicates the possibility of Xi becoming the third great figure in the party's history. Importantly, Mao and Deng continued to be China's supreme leader until their dying breath. Mao temporarily lost power after serious economic mismanagement but made a comeback through the Cultural Revolution. Deng wielded enormous power even after retiring from official posts -- so much so that he could replace any of his successors with one order. Xi's role model is Mao, not Deng. Some party sources have pointed to the fact that after Mao assumed the party's helm at the Zunyi Conference in Guizhou Province in 1935, during the 1934-1936 Long March, he waited for as many as 10 years before issuing the first historical resolution to justify his basic policies, opening the way for him to become a person with absolute power. Writers of historical resolutions Mao Zedong, Xi Jinping and Deng Xiaoping. Mao and Deng wielded power until the day they died. (Source photos by AP and Xinhua/AP) Xi may be looking at a similar timeline. He came to power as the party's general secretary in the autumn of 2012, then assumed the post of Chinese president in the spring of 2013. A decade into his leadership, he is now looking to issue a historical resolution, emulating Mao. As a prelude to the 1945 resolution on history, Mao launched the first Rectification Movement in Yan'an, the party's revolutionary stronghold, in the first half of the 1940s to purge political opponents. In 1945, the same year as the adoption of the first historical resolution, Mao became party chairman, a newly created post and the party's highest. His status as party chairman remained unchanged until he died in 1976. In similar fashion to the Rectification Movement, Xi began a fierce anti-corruption campaign after ascending to power, driving out one foe after another. Xi's anti-corruption campaign is still alive and kicking; the latest takedown of an influential figure came earlier this month. If the current leader does stay on beyond next year's Communist Party National Congress, then "common prosperity" is set to be the era's defining phrase. The Oct. 16 edition of the Qiushi Journal, the party's theoretical publication, carried an August speech by Xi that outlined this new political goal. In it, he pledged to ensure substantive progress toward correcting the nation's income inequality, resulting in equal access to basic public services, by 2035. This marked the first time that a timeline for common prosperity was put forth. What is the significance? Such a grandiose goal cannot be expected to be met by 2027, the end of Xi's expected third term as the party's general secretary, the most powerful position in the country. Hence the buzz about a fourth term, from 2027 to 2032. Earlier this year, the party celebrated the 100th anniversary of its establishment, and Xi declared the completion of a "moderately prosperous society," the political goal dating back to the era of Deng Xiaoping. The new political goal of common prosperity is a successor. The headquarters of China Evergrande Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province. Will Evergrande become a necessary sacrifice in China's pursuit of common prosperity? © Reuters But what would a common prosperity world look like? So far, not pretty. Since the phrase emerged, the Chinese economy has suffered a significant downturn as investors fear what political moves await. Over the past year, several mysterious incidents have taken place in China. They include the postponement of Ant Group's listing, pressure on ride-hailing giant Didi, a ban on tutoring schools for children of compulsory school age, strict limits on children's online video game playing and the debt crisis of major property developer China Evergrande Group. The common thread that binds all of these developments is common prosperity. With the leader's goal set in stone, common prosperity must be realized at any cost. And if problems arise? Those will be treated as necessary sacrifices. This is just the beginning. Prepare for unprecedented developments as Xi extends his reign.
  10. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/Surging-fuel-prices-shake-Singapore-s-electricity-market?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20211021190000&seq_num=11&si=44594 Surging fuel prices shake Singapore's electricity market Gas-reliant country urges power companies to 'at least meet' retail demand Singapore's heavy reliance on imported gas has left the city-state vulnerable to surging energy prices. © AP KENTARO IWAMOTO and DYLAN LOH, Nikkei staff writersOctober 21, 2021 14:34 JST SINGAPORE -- Singapore is taking "extraordinary" steps to secure energy supplies as rising fuel prices hit the import-reliant country's electricity market, with three retail suppliers in just over a week announcing they will halt services. While the government insists energy supplies remain sufficient, its moves come amid global concerns over tight electricity supplies that threaten both businesses and consumers. On Tuesday, Singapore's Energy Market Authority said it will make government fuel reserves available to power companies in the event gas supplies are affected or there is a need to ensure reliable electricity supply. It also asked the companies to secure enough fuel to "at least meet the demands of customers of their retail arms." "These pre-emptive measures are extraordinary but necessary to secure our fuel and electricity supply," the authority explained in a statement. While surging fuel prices have been seen worldwide, Singapore is in a unique position as about 95% of its electricity is generated from imported natural gas. This gas is delivered via pipeline from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia or shipped in liquefied form from other gas exporters. Over the past months, spot liquified natural gas prices rose sharply due to increased demand from China and elsewhere while gas and coal production dropped. Meanwhile, gas supplies via pipeline to Singapore have been affected by upstream production issues in an Indonesian gas field, the EMA said, with reduced output expected to last until the end of the year. Singapore generates nearly 95% of its electricity using imported gas. © Reuters "The Singapore power crunch is certainly alarming," said Ken Lee, a senior analyst at energy research company Wood Mackenzie, pointing out that wholesale power prices averaged $115 Singapore dollars ($85) per megawatt-hour from January to September, but shot up to SG$635 this month as of Oct. 19. Lee said that higher power demand has also contributed to the price spike, noting that Singapore consumed about 5% more electricity this year compared with the same period last year due to a rebound from slow economic activity last year. Disruption in the local market is forcing some electricity retailers that had offered cheaper plans for households to pull out. Earlier this week, Best Electricity Supply, which entered the market in 2015, announced it would exit the business on Thursday, citing "unexpected volatile conditions in the energy market." The company became the third retailer to pull out of the local electricity market in just over a week. "Retailers, especially independent retailers who do not own physical power plants, have suffered the most," Wood Mackenzie's Lee explained. "Such retailers were unable to manage power supply price risk as many of them have entered into fixed-price retail contracts with end-users." One longer-term question is how the power crunch might affect local businesses. Singapore's core manufacturing sectors include chemicals and electronics, both of which consume large amounts of electricity. "We have not heard anything with regards to industries and manufacturing being impacted. However, the industries that have not signed fixed-price retail contracts will very likely be impacted as they won't be shielded from the current price spikes," Lee said. Some businesses are already bracing for possible impacts. Since July, Singapore medical equipment maker Racer Technology has seen its power consumption expenses creep up. CEO Willy Koh told Nikkei Asia that electricity costs have increased by about 30% across the company's factories in the city-state amid the current energy crunch. "Right now we have a labor shortage, then we have power [costs] going up, so we are very worried in the manufacturing line," he said, referring to a shortage of workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cost of production is "getting higher and higher." Koh said he is looking to lock in energy contracts to secure power supplies at a fixed rate but only once electricity costs come down from their current highs. French energy technology provider Schneider Electric is advising its corporate clients in Singapore to use their power more efficiently. "Our customers are not spared the impact of the current energy crunch and their pain points are the potentially unstable supply, unpredictable [and] increasing energy costs, and how to increase their resiliency in case of a power outage or reduction," Yoon Young Kim, Schneider's regional president for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, told Nikkei. As far as households are concerned, electricity tariffs of state-owned Singapore Power are set at 24.11 Singapore cents per kilowatt-hour for the October-December quarter, up 12.5% from a year earlier. The government has urged residents to conserve electricity over the coming months, but electricity consumption is crucial for air conditioning in the tropical nation, especially with more people working from home. Higher utility bills could potentially cool consumption sentiment, which in turn would weigh on the economy as it begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  11. Yamato

    Chiwit Thai

    Nice read https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/Tea-Leaves/Back-on-the-beach-in-Thailand-s-model-sandbox?utm_campaign=GL_coronavirus_latest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=10&pub_date=20211020150000&seq_num=14&si=44594 Back on the beach in Thailand's model 'sandbox' Ring-fencing of resort island shows possible way forward for tourism Health workers wait to administer COVID-19 swab tests to travelers at the airport on the Thai resort island of Phuket on July 1. © Reuters SIMON LANDYOctober 20, 2021 11:16 JST With some 20% of its economy based on tourism, you would expect Thailand's marketing gurus to dream up innovative slogans. They have given us such enduring catch lines as "Amazing Thailand" and "Smooth as Silk" for Thai Airways International. The latest is "Phuket Sandbox" as a pillar for the country's post-COVID-19 tourism recovery program. Thais love a good pun -- and "Sandbox" isn't bad. It evokes both the beach resort's key attraction and the experimental ring-fencing of Phuket Island from the rest of Thailand. Neither Thai humor nor the subtleties of Thai marketing were uppermost in my mind when I stepped into the Phuket airport arrivals hall in mid-July, just two weeks into the Sandbox program. More pressing was the prospect of running the gauntlet of officials clad in top-to-toe personal protective equipment. Multiple documents had to be checked -- certificates of entry, proofs of vaccinations, bookings for COVID-19 tests, medical insurance and hotel reservation receipts -- an app had to be installed and a virus test taken on arrival at the airport. After an 11-hour flight from London, the process took nearly two hours. Despite the onerous procedures, the Phuket Sandbox was a success for us. The alternative -- 14 nights in quarantine in a Bangkok hotel room -- had deterred us from returning to Thailand earlier. In our mandatory 14-night stay in Phuket (now reduced to seven), we were free to roam and meet family from Bangkok who we had seen only on Zoom since March 2020. We shrugged off the inconveniences of arrival bureaucracy, recently imposed suspension of onward flights to Bangkok and an alcohol sales ban that started shortly after we landed. We even extended our stay to four weeks, eventually hiring a van for the 12-hour drive to Bangkok. But not everyone is as thrilled with the Sandbox. The Thai government trumpets its achievements, but others remain less convinced. Coming from the U.K., where around 106 doses had been administered per 100 people by mid-June, it was reassuring that Phuket had also achieved a high level of coverage (around 88 doses per 100 people). But prioritizing jabs for Phuket meant fewer for the rest of Thailand, which averaged only 10 doses per 100 at that time. While the Sandbox scheme allowed tourism to resume after being closed for much of 2020, arrival numbers have been modest. In the three months to Sept. 30, there were about 40,000 visitors, well below the 100,000 target and tiny compared with 1 million-plus Phuket arrivals in the same period in 2019. People enjoy some time on the beach on Phuket on Sept. 19. © Reuters The real significance of the Phuket scheme has been as a test run for Thailand's efforts to restart tourism for the end-of-year high season, so perhaps numbers are less important. But is it a good model? One concern is that many guests are returning residents, like my Anglo-Thai family. Most would have returned to Thailand anyway, but dreaded the prospect of Bangkok quarantine. We are all guilty of displacing revenues from Bangkok to Phuket. Our hotel estimated that 75% of its guests were returning residents, a calculation unscientifically borne out by the preponderance of children from Bangkok's international schools in the swimming pool. I did meet a family of real tourists from France. They had planned two weeks in the beach resort of Hua Hin, near Bangkok, after their Phuket sandbox stint. But when flights and the use of swimming pools in other resorts were outlawed, they decided to extend their stay in Phuket and then fly home. A more fundamental constraint is government policy. Some tourists who jumped through multiple hoops to play in the sandbox were upset at the tangle of red tape, and to find some conveniences such as onward flights and alcohol sales suspended. Even so, the Phuket Sandbox has attracted substantial interest, particularly from other key resort areas in Thailand that think they should have their own versions, although such aspirations may be modified if the government lifts quarantine for some vaccinated travelers on Nov. 1 as planned. Phuket's Sandbox would also become less relevant then -- perhaps proof that it has successfully forged a path for tourism's revival in the pandemic era. Other countries in the region are also watching closely. The islands of Bali, Bintan and Batam in Indonesia, Langkawi in Malaysia and Phu Quoc in Vietnam are all planning to open along Phuket Sandbox lines. Japan is contemplating something similar. Even if the Phuket Sandbox model cannot save Southeast Asian tourism, it has been inspirational for the industry and instrumental in reuniting families like mine. It is also proof that the Thai marketing elite can still do a great job by capturing a world of meaning in a grain of sand. Simon Landy is a longtime resident of Thailand
  12. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Food-Beverage/Japan-s-Skylark-rolls-out-robo-waiters-for-contactless-dining?utm_campaign=GL_JP_update&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=4&pub_date=20211019090000&seq_num=20&si=44594 Japan's Skylark rolls out robo-waiters for contactless dining Restaurants seek solutions to labor shortages as restrictions are lifted Skylark has been testing the robot waiters at family restaurants in Tokyo. (Photo courtesy of Skylark) RISA KAWABA, Nikkei staff writerOctober 18, 2021 03:36 JST TOKYO -- Dinner will be served robot-style at 2,000 eateries run by Skylark Holdings, Japan's largest operator of family restaurants, by the end of next year. The robot waiters can ferry food for up to four people to a designated table, then bring dishes back once customers are done eating. In a trial that started in August in Tokyo, the robots cut the number of steps staff members took by half during busy periods. With authorities easing restrictions on dining out and other activities that had been curtailed over pandemic concerns, Skylark aims to compensate for the restaurant industry's chronic worker shortage without sacrificing service quality. Robot servers also reduce contact between customers and human staff, lowering the risk of virus transmission. The robots will be introduced by the end of April 2022 at 1,000 or so locations, including certain Gusto restaurants and all of the Syabuyo shabu-shabu Japanese-style hot-pot chain. By the end of that year, they will be at more than 60% of Skylark's roughly 3,000 restaurants across Japan. Funding for the robot servers will come from the 43 billion yen ($380 million) or so raised by Skylark in June, 6 billion yen of which has been earmarked for technology investment. Other recent tech moves by Skylark include the adoption of cashless payments in May 2019 and touch-screen menus in February 2020. The pandemic has spurred other Japanese restaurant companies to give robot workers a try. Saizeriya, an operator of Italian eateries, has been trying out robot servers since the spring of 2020, with tests of its third model starting this September. It plans to introduce them at busy locations once the results are in. Pub operator Watami now has robots serving dishes at 16 of its 26 Yakiniku no Watami barbecue restaurants in Japan.
  13. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Technology/Apple-speeds-transition-away-from-Intel-chips-with-new-Macs?utm_campaign=GL_indo_pacific&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=11&pub_date=20211020060000&seq_num=26&si=44594 Apple speeds transition away from Intel chips with new Macs U.S. tech leader's latest launch event showcases more powerful silicon The new Mac Pro is the latest addition to Apple's computer lineup with its in-house silicon. (Photo courtesy of Apple) YIFAN YU, Nikkei staff writerOctober 19, 2021 04:42 JST PALO ALTO, U.S.-- Apple announced a new Mac laptop powered by its latest-generation in-house chips, as the U.S. tech giant continues its two-year transition from Intel processors for its computer lineup. The new processors, the M1 Pro and M1 Max, are 70% faster than the M1, its original self-designed silicon for Macs, and are the "most powerful chips Apple has ever built," the company said. At its third launch event of 2021 on Monday, the company unveiled a new MacBook Pro. The 14-inch model will be powered by M1 Pro, which has a graphic processing unit that is two times faster than the original M1 and bigger memory bandwidth. Meanwhile, the new 16-inch MacBook Pro will be equipped with the M1 Max chip that features an even faster GPU and larger memory bandwidth. From Apple to Google to Tesla, tech companies are increasingly choosing to develop semiconductors in-house, giving them greater control over their supply chain and the ability to tailor chips for their specific products. Intel processors had been the "brain" of Mac for years, but it started replacing them with its own chips last November, beginning with the launch of the M1-powered MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. The company continued the transition by introducing a new iMac desktop with an M1 chip in April and said it would take two years to fully move from Intel chipsets to its own. Intel stock dipped 0.3% Monday afternoon. "The proprietary M1 Pro/Max processor is the foundational part of this MacBook, and ultimately we believe will be a game-changer that will convert 30%+ of current MacBook users to upgrade over the next year, catalyzing growth on this hardware segment," Dan Ives, managing director at Wedbush Securities, said in a note to clients on Monday. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip starts at $1,999, while the 16-inch model powered by the M1 Max starts at $2,499. Both will come in gray and silver and are available for order Monday. The new MacBook Pros will begin shipping on Oct. 26, signaling the recent easing of pressure on Apple's Mac supply chain. It took the company nearly a month to begin delivering the new iMac announced in April. Nikkei Asia previously reported that the next generation of M1 chips entered mass production in April. At Monday's event, Apple also unveiled new AirPods with more audio features, starting at $179. It also added more colors to its smart home device HomePod mini and introduced a new voice control feature for Apple Music. Apple shares moved up 0.7% on Monday afternoon.
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