Last week witnessed some interesting technology launches and some major news announcements in Turkey. Here is a list of some things that are worth a second look.
UberBOAT arrives on the Bosphorus
Celebrating its first anniversary in Istanbul, Uber has launched a new service called UberBOAT to give passengers more transport options on the Bosporus. Uber users can request an UberBOAT with their smartphones and enjoy the magnificent view of the Bosporus while they ride to their destination. Uber has partnered with the luxury sea transport company Navette to bring UberBOAT in Istanbul. When they are on the seafront, Uber users can see the UberBOAT option on the vehicle menu in the app. If there's an empty boat nearby, they can choose their pickup location and request an UberBOAT. UberBOATs are speed boats with a passenger capacity of six to eight people. Uber says fares are based on distance (sea miles) and time, and the user's credit card will automatically be charged at the end of a trip. If you take a trip from Bebek to Kandilli, UberBOAT will cost about TL 50 ($18.61) – TL 60 ($22.33). But if you need to take a longer trip, like from Kabataş to Ataköy, estimated fares are more than TL 400.
Turkey now has its own 4K 3-D Curved LED TV
Vestel is a Turkish TV maker and also an important player in Europe. Earlier this year, they exhibited a new curved TV model at the IFA Press Conference. Unlike the traditional flat TVs, the curved LED screen gives the same contrast rate at every angle to the audience for a better viewing experience. Made in Vestel's production facility in the southwestern Turkish province of Manisa, the new model also features 4K Ultra-HD and 3-D. The 4K Ultra-HD resolution produces images up to four times sharper and clearer than standard HDTVs.
Turkish vacationers spend more while on vacation than planned
A new study from the travel search engine Momondo revealed the habits of Turkish vacationers. According to the survey, 34 percent of Turkish people plan to spend TL 2,500 – TL 5,000 while vacationing. Of people surveyed in Turkey, 40 percent admitted that they spend more than planned and this rate is higher for women. Moreover, about 26 percent reserve TL 1,250 – TL 2,500 for a vacation. The study found that only 2 percent of participants can spend more than TL 25,000 on a summer vacation, while 19 percent of participants can only afford to spend TL 250 – TL 1,250 on a vacation. Another interesting finding is that most people who overspend money on a vacation (45 percent) are in the 56-65 age group, while only 12 percent of young people between the ages of 23 and 35 spend less money than they planned. In terms of global results, Russians do not like to spend much on vacations in contrast to the Chinese who have the biggest holiday budgets.
Half of Turkish Internet users do not trust online banking
Phishing, the fraud method where user's credentials are stolen via a fake email or a website that looks exactly like the real one, is still one of the most common and easy ways for cybercriminals to access user's personal info. And online banking is the main target for phishing and other cyberattacks. This is one of the reasons Turkish Internet users are afraid of online banking, according to a new survey from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International. As part of the "Consumer Security Risks Survey 2014," Kaspersky Lab asked Turkish Internet users their thoughts about online banking. According to the study, about half of those surveyed believe that over-the-counter-banking is safer than banking online. But it is interesting to note that while they have fears about it, people still engage in some online transactions. The real problem here is that many Internet users fail to take security measures, even basic ones, putting their money at risk. One-third of users admitted they don't take any necessary steps to protect their financial data online. The survey also found that 61 percent of users in Turkey feel vulnerable when completing online transactions, while 47 percent of users believe making payments offline is more reliable than online. The same goes for 55 percent, who said offline banking is more secure than online banking in general.
ATD BEST Award goes to Turkcell Academy
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a U.S.-based organization that supports the talent development profession internationally. Each year, the ATD gives the BEST Awards to recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development. This year, Turkcell Academy was awarded for its in-house talent development and performance efforts. Turkcell Academy is one of the first "Enterprise Universities" in Turkey, built on Turkcell's educational equity and "invest in people" vision. According to the jury, Turkcell Academy was awarded the BEST prize because its talent development and management assets involve all staff, their training activities influences company culture and senior management embraces the whole project.
Tamer Özmen will lead Microsoft Services UK
After five years working as the general manager at Microsoft Turkey, Tamer Özmen has been appointed as the new head of Microsoft Services U.K. Tamer Özmen took the reins after former Microsoft Turkey leader Çağlayan Arkan transferred to the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, in February 2010. With a 23 percent average annual growth for five years, Microsoft Turkey has become one of the fastest growing countries in the Microsoft ecosystem under Ozmen's leadership. His new role at Microsoft is overseeing a team of more than 500 services staff in the U.K., the company's second-biggest market after the U.S. Özmen's new assignment will be effective from Sept. 1, 2015.