Outblaze and FON have been partners since 2006, when Outblaze formally brought FON to Hong Kong and Outblaze CEO Yat Siu became the Fonero Leader for the entire Asia Pacific region. Now we are proud to announce that FON has struck a deal with Deutsche Telekom to provide over 2.5 million WiFi hotspots in Germany! As Techcrunch reported the joint FON-DT network will be called “WLAN TO GO”:
DT has 12 million broadband subscribers and more than 12,000 existing Wi-Fi hotspots across [Germany]. Commenting on the partnership in a statement, Rene Obermann, outgoing CEO of DT, said: ”By 2016, we want to provide nationwide WLAN TO GO at more than 2.5 million additional hotspots.”
It’s a great step forward for the Spanish crowd-sourced WiFi provider, which has been profitable for 3 years. If you’re still not familiar with FON, the concept is easy: you set up a nifty little FON WiFi router that shares a portion of your Internet bandwidth with other FON users (called Foneros). This allows FON members to use your hotspot and also gives you access to the almost 8 million and growing FON hotspots provided by other Foneros around the world. Add to that 2.5 million new hotspots in Germany and you have a powerful network of free Internet access – especially in Europe, where coverage is strongest.
Congratulations to FON and its dynamic leader, Martin Varsavsky!
Outblaze CEO and founder Yat Siu was invited to ‘Asia Edge’ on Bloomberg Television to discuss the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and how mobile development is changing the gaming market in radical ways. Watch this vivacious and entertaining interview below, or view it on Bloomberg Television:
The holidays are nearly upon us and that can only mean one thing: another legendary Outblaze Christmas party! In this case, an Outblaze Christmas Masque complete with Batman, samurai, men (and women) in black, pussycats, walking sushi, zombies, assorted psychos, Pokemon, Ben 10 characters, a kung fu master, masked killers, and more – much more.
Check out the entire Outblaze Christmas party album on Facebook for dozens of entertaining photos. We wish you all a great holiday!
ThinkBlaze is a project we’ve been working on the last few months; it is a research and idea generation organization backed by Outblaze – an Outblaze think tank, in other words. Today ThinkBlaze has issued its first work, a study titled “Does the Learning Medium Matter?” It looks at the impact of low-cost tablets on children in elementary school with some considerations about the very serious problem of the Digital Divide. You can get the entire report at the ThinkBlaze web site (it’s free and no registration is required).
The report is pretty long and attention spans are not, so here is the summary of findings from the introduction; we do recommend reading the paper as it provides some important information and background that are highly relevant to these results.
Reading comprehension: fourth-grade students scored higher when reading on paper than on tablet, whereas grade 6 students scored similarly on both media.
Perceived performance: fourth- and sixth-grade students who completed the reading comprehension tests reported their perceived performance. We found an interaction effect between “medium” and “gender” in the perceived performance of fourth-graders: boys reported higher perceived performance when reading on tablets, while girls reported higher perceived performance when reading on paper. Among the sixth-graders we found no statistically significant differences between paper and tablet use for perceived performance scores.
Memory retention: first-grade students who attempted to memorize a set of images presented on paper and on tablets obtained higher correct memory scores when they viewed the images on paper; however, their lower scores when using tablets could be explained by experimental procedure (see discussion).
Academic performance: the teachers of grades 1, 4 and 6 students participating in this study reported no effect on academic performance after one month of regular in-class tablet use, although we suspect that longer exposure is necessary to determine the impact of tablets on academic performance.
Outblaze and ThinkBlaze would love to receive your thoughts on this. We are still new to this area and have a lot to learn – please feel free to give us your opinion. Contact us about this project by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We leave you with an especially interesting bar chart showing the differences in performance and perceived performance between boys and girls who used tablets or paper to complete an assignment. You can find this and other graphics in the downloadable report (PDF).
Last week at Outblaze was so action-packed that writing about it has spilled over into this week. On Wednesday we had the Pumpkin Challenge, on Wednesday night we received an award as one of Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies, on Thursday we went hiking in the metropolis that inspired Blade Runner, and you’d think that would be enough for one week. But no. Here’s what happened before all that, on Tuesday…
Click an image to view it in full size. The company gathered for a surprise event:
The curiosity was plain to see on everyone’s face:
Suddenly, we all received a mysterious black sack nearly bursting with stuff. What could possibly be in there?
The first items to emerge are… videogames!
But there’s so much more! A T-shirt, a USB charging hub featuring all manner of plugs, a portable mobile battery, a hoodie, a set of coloured pencils, a beautiful sketchbook, a bag full of coloured building blocks, a large bouncy ball, a mousepad and more, all gloriously branded by Outblaze or our sister companies like Animoca and TurnOut Ventures.
Armed with these amazing toys, we all split up to participate in a game: each team had to build the most fantastic thing possible using only the contents of the sack they’d all received. Some frantic construction ensued.
Here are members of senior management attempting to build a racing car. The observant eye will quickly note that only two of the team members have succeeded in maintaining the required supervisory stance:
And here are the efforts of more talented block-builders:
Everyone is impressed with the results:
Outblaze CEO Yat Siu concludes the day of fun by declaring the winners:
And that was Tuesday. Little did we suspect that the next few days would unfold in a frenzy of pumpkins, awards, and insanely fun hiking trips. And that was our week of work @ Outblaze. Thanks for reading!
Receiving the award: Lobson Chan, Yat Siu, Ibrahim El-Mouelhy
In what turned out to be a pretty busy week, Outblaze was honoured as one of Hong Kong’s Most Valuable Companies at the Mediazone event of the same name. We’d like to thank the organizers of the event and especially all the amazingly talented and dedicated people who made this possible: our fellow Outblazers! The criteria for inclusion in this distinguished club included:
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Quality of training
- Track record
- Proven contributions to Hong Kong
- Proven management team
- Value-added components
- Recognition for best business practises
- Accolades and other merits from industry peers & organizations
A host of amazing pumpkin creations at Outblaze! It wouldn’t be Halloween without it. This year, we once again enjoyed a range of amazing vegetable productions for our Annual Pumpkin Challenge! Here are some of the finest handiwork. Congratulations to the winners!
Yat Siu, CEO and founder of Outblaze, is the special guest at the next Start Club, the event for entrepreneurs organized by StartUpsHK. Come by to hear Yat’s philosophy of entrepreneurship in Hong Kong and his thoughts on the theme of “starting local, going global”.
The event begins at 7:30 pm on October 29, 2012. The venue is Grappa’s Cellar located at Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central District.
There is no entry fee, but please register if you wish to attend. Find more information at the event web site, or see the Facebook event page.
Happy Mid Autumn Festival! This year to celebrate we organized a batch of Outblaze-branded mooncakes. The adorable Cuby of Pretty Pet Salon fame (created by our partner company Animoca) had to get in on the Mooncake munching action.