Apr 12, 2021

Target joins Open Compute Project to become platinum member

Sam Steers
2 min
Courtesy of Getty Images
U.S retailer Target will join the Open Compute Project as a platinum member, the first major U.S retailer to do so after seeing record growth last year...

U.S retail corporation Target will join the Open Compute Project (OCP) as a Platinum member following record growth for the company in 2020.

The announcement was made during an ICCON conference hosted by the U.S retailer last week, and the partnership aims to expand the development of edge computing use cases within the company. 

The retailer is the first major U.S retailer to become a platinum member, paving the way for others to join the partnership in the future. 

"We are very excited to join the OCP and partner with the community on new use cases for networking and edge computing," said Mike McNamara, Chief Information Officer of Target.

He added: "This type of open and increased collaboration will help us all create better technology that’s purpose-built for enterprise needs."

Target also has a distributed footprint, which McNamara says can influence new OCP use cases for networking and edge computing.

This news follows a rise in growth for the organisation in 2020, with customers shopping with the retailer and using their "same-day services."

The Open Compute Project claims that it allows Target to partner with industry leaders in cloud technology, as the majority of the retailer's success "is supported by underlying technology," says Target.

Bill Carter, CTO for the Open Compute Project Foundation, believes that joining the business is not a first for Target.

He said: “Working together and open sourcing is not new for Target. Many of the retailer’s engineers have already been involved in various OCP Projects and we’ve seen tremendous value from their participation.

"Today’s announcement further demonstrates Target’s long-term commitment to advance and contribute to the open source community for the benefit of all,” concluded Carter.

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Apr 7, 2021

Dr Wee Ka Siong criticised for Malaysia cabotage exemption

Sam Steers
2 min
Courtesy of Cn0ra on Getty Images
Malaysian Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong has received criticism for revoking the cabotage exemption: here is a break down of what has happened so fa...

In November of last year, foreign ministers criticised Malaysian Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong after he revoked the cabotage exemption agreement which would have allowed foreign ships to conduct undersea cable repairs in the country's waters.

The move to renounce the exemption came under fire due to the impact it will have on both internet quality and speed in Malaysia, with Dr Wee responding to questions from the former Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, sparking a debate in Parliament. 

Announced by the former Transport Minister in 2019, the exemption's purpose was to speed up undersea cable repairs in Malaysia waters after it was requested Telekom Malaysia and Time Dotcom.

The questions included how many businesses in Malaysia can carry out underseas cable works and how long they would take to complete. 

Several factors, according to Dr Siong, were taken into consideration when revoking the exemption, including the outflow of foreign money being reduced as well as the reduction of depedencies on foreign vessels by promoting the participation local shipping industries. 

Dr Siong argued at the time that taking back the exemption "will help increase Malaysia's domestic shipping capacityand capabilities," whilst also "developing local technical expertise to ensure the security and sovereignty of Malaysian waters."


                                        Dr Wee Ka Siong. Image: Dr Wee Ka Siong on Facebook

This news came before an announcement from social media conglomerate Facebook that it is installing "vital underseas cables" which will provide a connection between Singapore, Indonesia and North America, as part of its efforts to enable faster internet access. 

In light of this development, Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) is encouraging the Malaysian government to reconsider the cabotage exemption for foreign vessels or it may "risk losing out on more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to neighbouring countries.

Chairman of Malaysia Internet Exchange, Chiew Kok Hin, said that Facebook's undersea project would be a "big win" for Singapore and Indonesia" but that it would be a "loss" for Malaysia. 

Both Facebook and MyIX share their concerns over Dr Siong's decison on the exemption with other tech giants, Google and Microsoft, with it being introduced due to Malaysia not having the DP2 ships required to carry out cable repairs in its own waters. 

In response to MyIX's statement regarding Facebook's undersea cable project being "a loss" for Malaysia and the location of the data centre, Dr Wee Ka Siong said that the accusation "didn't provide a clear picture of the actual situation" and that the data centre was built in Singapore "because Malaysia doesn't have the data centre infrastructure."

The Malaysian Transport minister criticised the Pakatan Harapan government in a Facebook post about the location of the data centre on 5 April 2021. 

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