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Groundbreaking 'Flood Fighter' game launched

Software developer Opendream has joined hands with Unesco Bangkok to launch "Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter" game application, which is dedicated to teaching flood safety to youth.

The aim is to raise awareness around flood-safety issues following the 2011 deluge in Thailand, which resulted in scores of preventable deaths.

The game's story follows the adventures of a young boy on a journey to reunite with his mother during a flood disaster. Players learn flood-safety lessons as they encounter hazards, from live electrical current to dangerous wildlife.

Ichiro Miyazawa, programme specialist for Literacy and Lifelong Learning at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's Bangkok office, said gamification could engage young learners by speaking their language.

"We at Unesco Bangkok acknowledge the tremendous potential gamification has in delivering a meaningful education experience to learners. The crucial point is how to merge learning with the strong engagement of game playing," he said.

Opendream project manager Nathalie Sajda said the project answered the question: How do you capture the attention of today's youth, who demand high quality and are constantly shifting between trends?

"Sai Fah" balances the gaming elements that appeal to young people, such as a cute design and incentives through challenges, with an educational approach focused on teaching young people how to react before, during and after a flood disaster, she said.

The Thai version of the game was launched last month. Shortly after its debut, the game reached the No-1 position in the Game/Education category on the iOS platform in Thailand, and ranked among the top 70 overall apps in the country.

The English-language version became available last week.

Number of malicious Android apps hits 10 million

By late January, Kaspersky Lab had accumulated about 200,000 unique samples of mobile malware, up 34 per cent from November, when more than 148,000 samples had been recorded.

"Cyber-scammers are continuing to focus their attention on Android mobiles. Our report found that in January the number of malicious Android apps out there topped the 10-million mark. On January 30, the official Google Play market offered 1,103,104 applications. Alternative, unofficial stores have many more - and these are more likely to be malicious," the company said.

"Kaspersky Lab has now logged 10 million dubious apps, as cyber-criminals also use legitimate Android software to carry their malicious code," it added.

In most cases, malicious programs target the user's financial information.

To avoid malicious infection, users are advised to follow these expert recommendations: do not activate the "developer mode" on the device; do not activate the "install applications from third-party sources" option; only install applications from official channels; when installing new apps, carefully study which rights they request; and use protection software.

Slow growth likely in Web content security market

New research from Frost & Sullivan's "Analysis of the Global Web and E-mail Content Security Market" finds the market earned revenue of US$3.07 billion (Bt99 billion) last year, and estimates this to reach $3.35 billion in 2017.

Growth in the global market will be slow as fierce competition in the Web content security segment and integration with other network security platforms such as unified threat management, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and data loss prevention software inhibit the adoption of stand-alone solutions, according to the company.

Additionally, high-valued, advanced, persistent threat solutions such as sandboxing are often billed separately, further reducing the ability of vendors to command premium prices for stand-alone Web content security solutions.

The fragmented nature of the market is a challenge, as too many vendors possess appropriate intellectual property in the market place, leading to management complexity, said Frost & Sullivan.


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