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Amazon offering loans to online sellers Inc is launching a new business offering loans to some of its online sellers, a move that could boost the growth of its Internet marketplace while exposing it to potential credit risks.

The new programme is called Amazon Lending and sellers on the company’s marketplace have been sent e-mail messages offering loans from Amazon Capital Services Inc, a unit of Amazon, according to a merchant who received such an e-mail from the company recently. The merchant did not want to be identified because Amazon has not announced the programme publicly.

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.

Getting into the lending business is a big step for Amazon that will expose it to more credit risk but may also fuel more sales by merchants on its marketplace. Amazon takes a cut of those sales, so revenue and profits could get a boost.

Some online merchants lack upfront cash to buy all the inventory they would like to sell on, especially heading into the crucial holiday season.

Banks and other sources of loans for merchants pulled back in the wake of the financial crisis, leaving an opening for alternative sources of financing. Factoring, a common source of financing in the retail business that is provided by lenders such as CIT Group and Wells Fargo, can be tough to tap for smaller merchants.


Copyright 1995-2012 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Affordable Androids

SONY Mobile Communications has introduced two budget friendly models – the Xperia miro and tipo dual.

The Xperia miro is a compact and stylish smartphone with comprehensive Facebook integration. You can share updates on the popular social network, including the pictures you have shot and the songs that you are listening to.

 Xperia tipo

Also, the phones’s lights can be customised to illuminate different colours when it receives new messages and social updates.

It also has a front-facing camera that allows users to make video calls.

And to keep users entertained on the go, the smartphone uses xLOUD audio technology for crisp and clear sound.

The phone runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and has 4GB of internal storage – more can be added via its microSD card slot.

The miro features a 3.5in screen with a resolution of 320 x 480-pixels and a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash.

The Xperia model is available in four colour variations: Black, white, black/pink and white/gold.

Meanwhile, the Xperia tipo dual is a dual SIM phone that allows users to switch between mobile operators at the press of a button.

The Android 4.0 smartphone features a 3.2in screen that is scratch-resistant and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The phone’s 1,500mAh battery is rated to last up to 24 hours.

The Xperia tipo is available in two colours – black and silver.

Both the Xperia miro and tipo dual will be available from Oct 7 for RM699 and RM559 respectively.

Copyright 1995-2012 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Asus google Nexus 7 review

GOOGLE has joined the tablet wars with its Nexus 7 which it designed in ­collaboration with Asus. It is no surprise that Google chose the 7in form factor, as it is becoming increasingly popular.

The build quality is great – the Nexus is compact, lightweight and comfortable to hold.

It is one of the first devices to run on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) which has a host of new features, but we’ll get to that a bit later.

The front is dominated by the slick 7in IPS display which has a resolution of 1,200 x 800-pixels. The higher resolution makes text ­legible even when they are small.

Also, the screen’s colours are bright and rich with good contrast. It is even viewable under direct sunlight thanks to a handy ­outdoor mode that brightens the screen ­significantly.

There’s also a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front for video calls. However, the Nexus doesn’t have a rear camera which is strange.

The built-in speaker on the back is ­serviceable but if you want to enjoy a YouTube video or two, we recommend a pair of good headphones.


The main advantage of getting a Google tablet is that it runs on the latest operating system.

Jelly Bean is full of fancy improvements and chief among them is Google Now, a powerful search tool that you can bring up at any time.

It looks like a series of cards and each one presents you with useful information like your next appointment in your calendar, the estimated travel time from your office to home and weather report.

Voice search is nothing new but Google Now does it well – you can ask it questions, directions to places you want to visit, and definitions of words. Not surprisingly, it has trouble understanding names of places like Seremban and Johor Baru.

As the Nexus is a WiFi-only device you won’t be able to use all of Google Now’s voice search feature if you are not connected to the Net. Luckily, it can still give you directions to your destination.

We also found the Current app handy as it condenses web content and packages it to look like a magazine.

It is a shame that the content we get here is limited and we won’t have access to TV shows, magazines and music.

Also, the Nexus’ quad-core nVidia Tegra 3 processor is more than powerful enough to handle the OS.

It handles everything from apps to video playback smoothly. We also tried graphics intensive games like Shadow Gunner, Dead Trigger and Asphalt 7, and all of them worked without a hitch. The Nexus is definitely a capable mobile gaming device.

Unlike other Android tablets, the Nexus does not offer its users the option to expand its memory via a microSD card. Instead, you will need to make do with the 16GB of onboard memory which isn’t too bad if you don’t plan to store a lot of movies.

It also supports NFC (near field ­communication) although its application is limited to beaming content like videos and ­pictures to another supported device for now.


Chrome comes pre-installed and is the default browser for the Nexus. It renders webpages fast and accurately.

However, it doesn’t support Flash. To make matters worse you ­cannot ­download the Flash app from Google Play, as the ­tablet is listed as an ­unsupported device.

Although the ­popularity of Flash is waning, many ­websites still use it and it’s ­annoying to see empty boxes when ­surfing to Flash sites.

For such a thin ­tablet, the Nexus’s battery has decent stamina. With normal usage it’ll last a day but heavy surfing or gaming will deplete the ­battery a lot faster.


The Nexus 7 has a great looking 7in display and powerful quad-core processor running on Jelly Bean. It’s great for browsing the Web, reading e-books, watching HD videos and playing games.

The addition of Google Now also makes it much easier to find relevant information.

However, the Nexus 7 lacks a number of features. It doesn’t have a microSD ­expansion slot which means you’ll just have to be happy with 16GB of storage.

And if you are the type that likes to shoot pictures you’ll be disappointed that it doesn’t have a rear camera.

Also, the review unit is a WiFi-only model. If you prefer to be connected at all times you should wait for the 3G model which Asus expects to ship in the near feature.

All in all, for RM999 you are getting a lot of features in a 7in form factor. It is also one of the best Android ­tablets we have used so far.

Pros: Affordable; compact; runs on the ­latest Android; has a fast ­processor.

Cons: No rear ­camera; lacks expansion slot.

Nexus 7
Android tablet
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
PROCESSOR: nVidia Tegra 3 T30L Quad-core 1.2GHz
DISPLAY: 7in LED-backlit IPS display (1,280 x 800-pixels)
CAMERA: 1.2-megapixel front camera
CONNECTIVITY: Bluetooth, Wireless 802.11 b/g/n, microUSB 2.0, NFC
MEMORY: 16GB internal memory, 1GB RAM
EXPANSION SLOT: None FEATURES: Accelerometer, GPS, magnetometer, gyroscope
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm
WEIGHT: 340g
Review unit courtesy of Asustek Computer (Malaysia) Bhd, (03) 2141-6650

Roam & Relax,Call Home With Easy CallBack !

For all Hajj pilgrims on Maxis, please note that you can call home at RM2.99/min with easy callback from Saudi Arabia during this period; 17 Sept-16 Oct. Local calls within Saudi Arabia will also only cost RM2.99/min.

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Asus to introduce Padfone 2 on October 16

Remember the convertible Padfone that is able to transform from a phone to a tablet? Asus will be unveiling its successor, the Padfone 2 on October 16 in a joint press event in Italy and Taiwan.

The leak from a Chinese forum said that the Padfone 2 or A68 has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a 2GB RAM, a 13-megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash, a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera and a 2140 mAh battery.

Nano SIM cards available to Maxis customers

PETALING JAYA: Maxis Bhd is the first cellular service provider in the country to introduce the new nano SIM for the iPhone 5.

Early adopters of iPhone 5 can get a nano SIM card for RM25 apiece, from Sept 24.

The SIM card will be available at selectedMaxis Centres in the Klang Valley, specifically at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Sunway Pyramid and The Gardens.

It will also be available at the Queensbay Mall in Penang and Danga Bay in Johor Baru. It will be made available at the other Maxis Centres nationwide by month end.

The nano SIM is 30% smaller and 15% thinner than the existing micro SIM. It measures 12.3 x 8.8mm in size and is 0.7mm thick; this frees up more space in the phone for other components, such as larger batteries.

It offers the same functionality as other SIM cards and is backward compatible with existing SIM card designs.

For more information on the nano SIM from Maxis, go to visit or call 1-800-82-1123.


Get the Note at a special price

Maxis One Club members can now purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 for as low as RM699.


The Note 10.1, an Android 4.0 tablet that runs on a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, has 2GB RAM, 16GB of storage, 10.1in (1280 x 800-pixels) screen, 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera, 1.9-megapixel front facing camera and a stylus called the S Pen.

Users will also get a free Loker account with 25GB of personal cloud storage, allowing them to seamlessly store and access all their digital content while on the go.

Maxis Bhd postpaid customers who have been with the company for more than a year with a minimum monthly commitment of RM150 and above are automatically upgraded to One Club member status.

To purchase the Note 10.1 at a discounted price, members will have to sign up for a 24-month plan. With the RM128 plan, members can purchase the Note 10.1 for RM699 and with the RM98 plan for RM999.

The offer is available at all Maxis Centres and participating Maxis Exclusive Partner stores nationwide, and is valid until Sept 30.


Copyright 1995-2012 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)

Facebook for Android updated with message thread

21 September 2012 – Facebook is looking to roll out Facebook Messenger for Android with exclusive features – threaded texts and Facebook messages on select phones. The Verge reports that “any text you receive gets delivered to Messeger in addition to your core SMS client”.

It is sort of a unified inbox for SMS, but Facebook promised that your normal texts won’t end up on the social network’s website or other platforms with Messenger.
The new app also has a slide-out pane to see who was last online, and a more conventional conversation view and a last active indicator to see when were your friends last available. There is also a favourite area to see which of your friends you chat with the most.

Apple new Maps app gets a bumpy start

21 September 2012 – Just less than 24 hours of the new iOS 6 release, the Apple new Maps application has become an overnight controversial issue as many users have reported their irks and frustrations about the app.

Apple new Maps app is used to replace the default Google Maps, as part Apple’s bigger plans on cutting off ties with Google. Apple has also removed the stock YouTube app in the iOS 6, which forces users to download the standalone YouTube app.