Sun, Aug 24, 2014 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

TECHNOLOGY

India curbs Uber taxi app

Uber Technologies Inc, maker of the cab-hailing mobile application that has disrupted taxi networks around the world, may face a setback in India after the Reserve Bank of India closed a loophole that let the firm provide a simpler payment system compared with local rivals. All transactions involving credit cards issued in India for goods or services in the country must have an additional authentication system at each point of sale, the central bank said in a statement yesterday. Evasion of these rules by some companies has led to an outflow of foreign exchange, the monetary authority added.

TECHNOLOGY

Google tests ‘Matrix’ track

Google Inc has built a “Matrix-style” digital simulation of the entire Californian road system in which it is testing its self-driving cars, while lobbying the state’s regulators to certify the vehicles based on virtual rather than real driving. The extensive simulation — reminiscent of the virtual cities created for human captives in sci-fi blockbuster The Matrix — exists entirely inside computers at the company’s Mountain View location. The cars have so far virtually “driven” more than 6 million kilometers inside the simulation, facing challenges just like those in the real world, such as lane-weaving motorists, wobbly cyclists and unpredictable pedestrians. California’s regulations stipulate that autonomous vehicles must be tested under “controlled conditions” that mimic real-world driving as closely as possible, which has usually meant a private test track.

AUTOMAKERS

Hyundai workers strike

Hyundai Motor Co’s workers boycotted their extra weekend shifts yesterday after they failed to come to an agreement with management over wage demands for a third straight year. Workers at South Korea’s biggest carmaker have decided not to take part in any additional duties until a settlement is reached, company union spokesman Hwang Ki-tae said in a text message. The strike is estimated to cut sales by 70 billion won (US$69 million), the Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified company official. The union said it staged a partial strike on Friday as a “warning” and would boycott any extra shifts in the future, according to a posting on its Web site.

INTERNET

US warns firms on hacking

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target Corp. A hacker software weapon dubbed “Backoff” is “compromising a significant number” of businesses large and small, according to an advisory put out by the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team. The team urged those administering point-of-sale (POS) systems to check whether Backoff is mining information from transactions and to report any cases to the US Secret Service. “The impact of a compromised POS system can affect both the businesses and consumer by exposing customer data such as names, mailing addresses, credit/debit card numbers, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to criminal elements,” the team said in an advisory. “Consumers’ information can be used to make fraudulent purchases or risk compromise of bank accounts.”

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