Isuzu unveils latest D-Max in Middle East

Updated 09 January 2013
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Isuzu unveils latest D-Max in Middle East

ISUZU Motors International Operations Thailand Co. Ltd., recently hosted a two day event at the Bab Al Shams hotel in Dubai where they launched the latest model of their renowned pickup line, the D-Max. Held recently, the event was attended by numerous VIPs and associates of the brand who also got a chance to test drive the vehicle.
Now available in eight countries around the Middle East, the All New Isuzu D-Max is one of the most dependable pick-up trucks from the brand as it has been crafted after nearly 50 years of refinement and pioneering development. Ushering in a new era in pickup trucks and with almost a century of truck-manufacturing DNA, the All New Isuzu D-Max redefines the toughness and is an amalgamation of splendid design, excellent performance, durability, immense safety and resilience.
A plethora of novel and improved features are visible in the Isuzu D-Max. Some of the notable new features the brand possesses include the new 2.5 L diesel engine (4JK1)with common-rail engine designed with superior know-how that has seen over 23 million Isuzu diesel engines sold worldwide. This innovative engine has accomplished class leading fuel efficiency, power, torque and environmental friendliness all in the same time.
The fresh tough chassis means even better balance and performance whether loaded or not, delivering superior stability and road holding in all conditions. With, a larger and stronger rear cargo body and 4x4 electronic shift on-the-fly, there’s not much it cannot handle. An aggressive form exterior design with a perfect proportion seen in the All New D-MAX does not only end in design, but also accomplishes outstanding aerodynamics. Isuzu designers conducted extensive wind tunnel testing around the world, to ensure the aerodynamics to create a quieter and more economical pick-up truck. With longer, wider and taller body, All New ISUZU D-MAX realizes a spacious interior to maximize driver and passengers’ comfort.
The new interior delivers more than just space and comfort. At your finger tips you will find all the technology and modern conveniences you have come to expect in a new car. Electroluminescent instruments with Multi Information Display, climate-control air conditioner and keyless entry are all available.
The all-new Isuzu D-MAX reaps the benefits of Isuzu’s safety policy: “Safety is our priority”. There are dual front airbags with pre-tensioning seatbelts, an energy absorbing nose section, and side impact anti-intrusion bars.


Russian agency offers fake restaurant reviews ahead of World Cup

Updated 32 min 24 sec ago
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Russian agency offers fake restaurant reviews ahead of World Cup

MOSCOW: A Russian marketing agency has offered to help restaurants in cities hosting the football World Cup use fake reviews to bump up ratings on review site TripAdviser, the agency’s owner has confirmed.
Marketing company Bacon Agency says it can circumvent TripAdviser’s algorithm for detecting fraudulent posts and publish reviews in foreign languages ahead of an influx of fans from abroad.
“What can you do if no Serbs and no Swedes have ever been to your venue and left a review?” Bacon Agency asks, in a brochure received by a restaurant in Yekaterinburg, which hosts Egypt and Uruguay in their first-round matches.
“You write it yourself!” the agency says.
For 35,000 roubles ($570), the agency promises a spot in TripAdviser’s top 10 list. “We are offering to help tourists find you, and to leave their money specifically with you,” it writes.
“We oppose any attempt to manipulate a business’ ranking,” TripAdviser said. “Our dedicated investigations team is proactive and extremely effective at catching those trying to solicit fake reviews for money.”
Fake reviews are widespread, but it is unusual for a company involved in the practice to discuss it so openly, or to link it explicitly to a sports event.
The World Cup has created lucrative opportunities for businesses in the 12 host cities hoping to benefit from well-to-do foreign fans at a time when Russians are feeling the pinch from a fragile economy and Western sanctions.
Contacted by Reuters, Bacon Agency confirmed it had offered the service, but said it only wanted to act as the middleman between restaurants and freelancers posting fake reviews.
“We understand that all this is illegal in the sense that TripAdviser is against it,” said Bacon Agency’s owner Roman Baldanov.
“We were just testing this niche, because we see high demand. It’s not because we’re bad guys who came in and said, look, you’ve got to start swindling ... All restaurants know that reviews are ordered, and many use this service,” Baldanov said.
He said nobody had yet taken up his offer. “The response we got was: thanks, but we are already doing this ourselves.”
Reuters tracked restaurants in six World Cup host cities over two months, noting an uptick in suspicious-looking posts.
An event like the World Cup increases incentives to post such reviews, said Stanford University’s Jeff Hancock, an expert in detecting fake reviews.
“Any time you start seeing reviews come in all at once, look sort of similar, have the same kind of language, then alarm bells should start going off,” Hancock said.
At least six restaurants in the TripAdviser top 30 list for Kaliningrad, which will host Croatia and Nigeria, appeared to fit this description.
Peperonchino, a cafe serving Italian cuisine 20 minutes’ drive from the World Cup stadium, used to get around one review a week.
But two weeks ago, reviews began to flood in — 45 in total — the majority from accounts with stock photos, created this year, and rating the cafe five stars. Peperonchino rose from 28th place to 2nd on TripAdviser’s list.
Sister cafe Peperonchino 2 also received a flood of reviews in the past fortnight, also 45 in total, 32 from such accounts.
“All our reviews are real and are left by our customers,” Peperonchino said. “It’s just we have a big loyalty system, a mobile phone app, and so on.”
In a strategy document seen by Reuters, Bacon Agency explains how to avoid detection by TripAdviser.
“The issue is that TripAdviser has developed algorithms which monitor user activity and when they spot an attempt to manipulate the numbers, they sanction the venue,” the agency writes.
To trick the algorithm, fake reviews are published using different IP addresses, devices, browsers and operating systems. Each account has a “back story” of earlier posts.
The reviews will be “full of real details about the menu and decor, as well as ‘real’ photographs, which we will ask you to take.”