What's new in business news: April 21, 2014 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: April 21, 2014

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Heartbleed: Need to update computer security, rise of Thailand's bicycle industry & rice scheme must go on hold, govt says. 

A cyclist using the The Bike Bogie, a special compartment for bicycles launched recently by the State Railway of Thailand. Kosol Nakachol

INTERNET & COMPUTER SECURITY 

Heartbleed: Need to update computer security 

Thousands of computers in Thailand have been left vulnerable to attack by the latest global computer security threat Heartbleed. Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest flaws in the history of the internet, affecting the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites. The new Heartbleed threat is part of a trend in which Hackers are trying to create new sources of vulnerability after Microsoft ended its Windows XP support. Web servers, network routers, smartphones and video surveillance are the most vulnerable targets. 

State agencies and companies handling sensitive personal or business data or records as well as e-commerce service providers and companies who use OpenSSL need to update their encryption software to the latest version with a security patch to prevent data leak.

Heartbleed is a computer programming bug that enables outsiders to read the memory of a targeted computer accessing secret keys used to identify service providers and for encrypting names and passwords of users. The bug allows attackers to eavesdrop on communications, steal data directly from services and users and to impersonate services and users. 

[From a technical perspective, the bug is a serious vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic software library which allows attackers to steal information protected by the SSL/TLS encryption. SSL/TLS provides communication security and privacy over the internet for applications such as web, email, instant messaging and some virtual private networks. Companies who use OpenSSL version below 1.01g need to update their software and tools to check if a websites is affected are available at  www.tisa.or.th. Consumers are urged to change their passwords annually and for Android devices changing to the 4.1.1 version is better.]

Read full story here 

BICYCLES 

Rise of Thailand's bicycle industry 

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Thailand and it is common now for affluent people to own two or three mountain bikes, road bikes, folding bikes, single speed bikes and/or children's bikes. The average price for regular bikes sold here is 8,000-20,000 baht, and the majority of people buy bikes in this price range. With a population of 64.8 million, Thailand sells between 1.3 and 1.5 million bicycles annually. There are several  major bicycle assembly companies in Thailand including LA Bicycle, Siam Cycle International (Turbo brand), Victory Cycle (Marawuti and Tiger brand), Thai Bicycle Industry (Pheasant), Raja Cycle (Meadow and Optima) and Siam Cycle Industrial. Bicycle imports have risen over the last four years from only 730 million baht in 2011 to 1.5 billion baht in 2013. For the first two months of this year, imports rose 114% to 400 billion baht. The domestic bicycle market is worth around 5 billion baht a year or 3 million units, with high-end bicycles accounting for 20% of the total market.

LA Bicycle, is the country's largest manufacturer with an annual production capacity of 1.5 million bikes. Founded in 2003, LA Bicycle is a unit of the Sampran Group, which has businesses ranging from food and textile to retail and property. LA Bicycle, which dominates the low-end segment under the LA brand, controls 65% of the overall market. All of its bikes are produced at its Nakhon Pathom facility. Besides the domestic market, the company also has distributors in Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. In a strategic move to tap the high-end market, LA Bike launched its Infinite brand in 2008 and opened its Culture Cycliste flagship store in 2010 which sells only high-end bicycles. To make Infinite better known, LA has formed a cycling team that joins race events nationwide

Last year, LA Bicycle reported sales of 1.4 billion baht, down 9% from a year before. Of total sales, domestic sales contributed 45%, and the rest came from exports to the US, Britain, the EU, India, Japan and neighbouring countries including Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Flat sales growth this year is likely due to weakened consumption, political instability and a sluggish economy. For investment overseas, a planned production facility in India has been dropped in favour of Myanmar which will be cheaper.

Read full story here and here for Bangkok Bike 2014 fair

AGRICULTURE

Rice scheme must go on hold, govt says

The caretaker government cannot continue its rice-pledging scheme in the main harvest 2013-2014, as it no longer has the authority to oversee the scheme, caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said. The minister on Friday testified as the last witness in a hearing before the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in Nonthaburi province. The chairman of the Thai Farmers Association has asked the government to withdraw an additional 40 billion baht from the central budget to cover farmers' overdue payments. Earlier, the Election Commission (EC) approved the withdrawal of at least 20 billion baht from the central budget to pay the farmers. The government has yet to acquire 90 billion baht in loans to pay farmers who sold their paddy between December 2013 and January 2014. 

Meanwhile,  farmers in the North are complaining about payments by the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC). The BACC has offered a six-month debt moratorium for farmers affected by delayed rice payments, but some northern farmers claim the bank has failed to abide by its offer. Instead of receiving 200,000-300,000 baht from selling rice to the scheme, some farmers were left with only a few thousand baht after the bank deducted their debts. Some farmers say the money they have left over is not enough for them to pay off the loans they took out from loan sharks. The six-month debt moratorium offered by the bank also can only be applied only to farmers who have not yet received any money under the scheme.  

Read full story here 

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

abide by: to follow a rule, law or instruction - ทำตามกฎหมาย

access: having the opportunity to have or use something - มีโอกาสในการใช้

acquire: to get; to obtain - ได้มาซึ่ง

additional: more; more than was first mentioned or is usual - ที่เพิ่มขึ้น

affluent: rich, wealthy, has a lot of money and valuable things - ร่ำรวย, มั่งคั่ง

allow: to let somebody/something do something; to let something happen or be done - อนุญาต, ยอมรับ

annual: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด, ประจำปี

annually: happening every year - ทุกๆปีด

apply: to concern or relate to somebody/something - ทำให้เกี่ยวข้องกับ, ทำให้มีผลต่อ

approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต

assembly: the process of putting together the parts of something such as a vehicle or piece of furniture - การประกอบ

authority: the power to make decisions or tell people what to do - อำนาจ, อำนาจในการสั่งการ

average: ordinary; not unusual or different in any way - ธรรมดา, ปกติ

brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ

budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ

capacity: the amount of something that can be produced or done - ความสามารถในการ (ระบาย, ผลิต etc.)

caretaker: in charge for a short time, until a new leader or government is chosen - รักษาการ

caretaker government: a temporary government that is in charge of a country until a new government is elected - รัฐบาลชั่วคราวที่ตั้งขึ้นเพื่อรอการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่

chairman: the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน

claim: saying that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it - ข้ออ้าง ข้อกล่าวหา

common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา

communications: the process of sending information through television, radio, and telephone signals - การสื่อสาร

complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์

consumption: the act of using energy, food or materials; the amount used - การบริโภคพลังงาน, การใช้หมดไป

cycle: riding on a bicycle -

data: facts or information, especially when examined and used to find out things or to make decisions - ข้อมูล, ตัวเลข, สถิติ

debt: an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน

debt moratorium: a period of time when borrowers don't have to make payments on money borrowed -

deduct: to take away an amount or part from a total - หักออก

deputy: a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

distributor: a person or company that supplies goods to shops/stores, etc - ผู้ค้าส่ง, ผู้แทนจำหน่าย, ผู้แจกจ่าย

domestic: inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ

dominate: to be in control - มีอำนาจเหนือ ครอบคลุม ควบคุม

drop: stop doing something; end an activity or programme -

due to: because of - เนื่องจาก

eavesdrop: to listen secretly to what other people are saying - ลอบฟัง, แอบฟัง

Election Commission: the independent government agency that oversees elections - คณะกรรมการเลือกตั้ง

enable: to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้

encrypt: to put information into a special code, especially in order to prevent people from looking at it without authority - เปลี่ยนข้อความให้เป็นรหัส

encryption: when messages sent between use a secret code so that others cannot read the message - เปลี่ยนข้อความให้เป็นรหัส, การนำข้อความมาทำให้เป็นรหัส

facility: a building, equipment, etc., used for a particular purpose - โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก

finance minister: the minister in charge of managing the country's money กระทรวงการคลัง - รัฐมนตรีกระทรวงการคลัง

flagship: the most important product, service, building, etc. that an organisation owns or produces - ผลิตภัณฑ์หรือบริการหลัก

found: to start an organization, company, political party etc - สร้าง, ก่อตั้ง, สถาปนา

harvest: the activity of collecting a crop, in this case a rice crop - การเก็บเกี่ยวผลผลิต

high-end: expensive and of high quality; having a lot of money to spend - มีคุณภาพ

identify: to recognise something and understand what it is - ชี้ ระบตัวุ

impersonate: to pretend to be somebody/something in order to trick people or to entertain them - เลียนแบบ, แกล้งทำเป็น, ปลอมเป็น

import: to buy or bring in products from another country - นำเข้า

in favour of: preferring to choose someone or something that you believe is better -

instability: a situation that keeps changing, so that you are worried about what might happen - ความไม่มั่นคง

investment: the act of investing money in something - การลงทุน

latest: newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด

launch: an event held to start selling a new product or service to the public - การเริ่มวางขาย

leak: telling private or secret information to journalists or to the public - การเปิดเผยความลับ

left over: remain; to still be present after the other parts have been removed, used, etc; to continue to exist - ยังเหลืออยู่

loan: an amount of money that a person, business, or country borrows, especially from a bank - เงินกู้

loan shark: a person who charges very high interest rates for money borrowed - ผู้ปล่อยเงินกู้โดยคิดดอกเบี้ยสูงมาก

low-end: cheap goods or people buying cheap goods, people not spending a lot of money - low-end consumer goods, cheap consumer goods

major: very large or important - สำคัญมาก

majority: more than 50 percent of a group - เสียงส่วนใหญ่

manufacturer: a person or company that manufactures a product - ผู้ผลิต

minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี

move: action -

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC): An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)

nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ

outsider: someone who does not belong to a particular group or organization - บุคคลภายนอก

overall: total; including all the things or people that are involved in a particular situation; general - ทั้งหมด, โดยทั่วไป

overdue: of something that should have been done earlier, e.g., a payment that should have been paid before now - พ้นกำหนด, ที่เลยกำหนดเวลา

oversee: to watch or organise a job or an activity to make certain that it is being done correctly - คุมงาน,ควบคุม

paddy: rice as it comes from the field after harvest - ข้าวเปลือก

password: the secret word that you use to get entry into your computer account - รหัสผ่าน

patch: a small piece of code (= instructions that a computer can understand) which can be added to a computer program to improve it or to correct a fault - การเแก้ไข

popular: a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ

population: a particular group of people or animals living in a particular area - กลุ่มที่อาศัยอยู่ในที่เดียวกัน

prevent: to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, กัน, กีดขวาง

privacy: the freedom to do things without other people watching you or knowing what you are doing - ความเป็นส่วนตัว

production: the process of growing or making food, goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต

production: the process of making goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต

property: a building or buildings and the surrounding land - อสังหาริมทรัพย์

range: a number of different things that are of the same general type - ขอบข่าย

range: to have an upper and a lower limit in amount, number, etc - ผันแปรภายในขอบเขตหนึ่ง

regular: normal; following a pattern, especially with the same time and space in between each thing and the next - ปกติ, เป็นประจำ, เสมอๆ

retail: to sell directly to the public for their own use - ขายปลีก

rice-pledging scheme: a government programme in which farmers sell rice to the government at a particular price, with the right to reclaim the rice if the market price goes higher - โครงการจำนำข้าว

scheme: a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people - แผนการ โครงการ

security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย

segment: a part of something - ส่วน, ตอน

sluggish: slower than what it should be; not performing or reacting as well as usual - เฉื่อยชา

steal: to take something from a person, shop/store, etc. without permission and without intending to return it or pay for it - ขโมย

strategic: carefully planned in order to achieve a particular goal, especially in war, business, or politics - ทางยุทธศาสตร์

targeted: was intended to be attacked - ตกเป็นเป้า

testify: to make a statement about something that you saw, know, or experienced, usually in a court of law - ให้การเป็นพยาน

textile: involved in making woven or knitted cloth - สิ่งทอ, ผ้า

unit: a part of a company or organisation that carries out a particular function; a group of people who work or live together, especially for a particular purpose - หน่วย,กอง,กลุ่ม

updated: when something old is changed to make it newer, such as adding new features -

version: a particular form of something which varies slightly from other forms of the same thing - ชุด, เวอร์ชั่น

withdraw: to take money out of a bank account - ถอนเงินจากธนาคาร

withdrawal: taking money out of the bank - การถอนเงิน

witness: someone who tells a court or investigators what they know about a crime or other legal case. - พยาน

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