Apple

New 9.7-inch iPad Features Stunning Retina Display & Incredible Performance

Apple;

Apple® today updated its most popular-sized iPad®, featuring a brighter 9.7-inch Retina® display and best-in-class performance at its most affordable price ever, starting at $329 (US). Designed for unmatched portability and ease of use, along with incredible performance and all-day battery life, iPad is the world’s most popular tablet and the primary computing device for millions of customers around the world. Through the more than 1.3 million apps designed specifically for iPad, customers can do even more, from learning to code with Swift Playgrounds™ and reading books on the large screen to boosting productivity through Microsoft Office and using multitasking features like Split Screen.

We will soon see or hear rumors of a different type of iPad specially before this year’s WWDC.

Apple

Apple Introduces Clips: The Fun, New Way to Create Expressive Videos on iOS

Apple;

Apple® today introduced Clips, a new app that makes it quick and fun for anyone to create expressive videos on iPhone® and iPad®. The app features a unique design for combining video clips, photos and music into great-looking videos to share with friends through the Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social networks.

Clips also introduces Live Titles™, a breakthrough feature that lets users create animated captions and titles using just their voice. Fun effects including comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters help bring out the personality in videos made with Clips.

Instagram

New: Save Your Live Video to Your Phone

Instagram;

Starting today, you’ll have the option to save your live video to your phone at the end of a broadcast. While live videos will continue to disappear from the app when you’re done, this update gives you the flexibility to hold onto your video and re-watch it later, especially if something exciting happens during your broadcast that you want to remember or share.

After your live broadcast ends, tap Save in the upper right corner. You’ll only be able to save your video — not the comments, likes, number of viewers or any live interactions. After saving, tap Done and your live video will be saved to your camera roll but will no longer be available in the app.

In order to save Instagram Live Video, you should be using Instagram 10.12 for both iOS and Android.

TechCrunch

Alibaba invests in WayRay, a maker of augmented-reality dashboards for smart cars

Catherine Shu, reporting for TechCrunch;

After launching its first car last year, Alibaba is digging deeper into the automobile industry. The Chinese Internet and e-commerce behemoth is the lead investor in smart car tech developer WayRay’s $18 million Series B round, the startup announced.

Founded in 2012, WayRay makes holographic navigation systems. According to its funding announcement, WayRay has already spent $10 million of its own capital, as well as previous venture funding, on the technology that underpins Navion, an augmented-reality dashboard that overlays directions and other information onto a driver’s view of the road. The company plans to launch a consumer version of Navion in 2017.

Tech in Asia

IFC injects $2m in SeedPlus to fund early stage startups in Asia

Nadine Freischlad, reporting for Tech in Asia;

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a US$2 million equity investment in SeedPlus, a seed stage venture fund based in Singapore, to support early stage technology entrepreneurship in Asia.

SeedPlus is a collaboration between four investment firms – Jungle Ventures, Infocomm Investments, Accel Partners, and RNT Associates.

Investor

SeedPlus

SeedPlus, a seed stage venture fund based in Singapore. The firm invests S$500k to 1M in early stage companies on market terms. Once the investment is in place, they’ll help you to grow to profit or the next round of funding through our network and our full­-time operating partners.

SeedPlus is a network of networks. Between Jungle Ventures, PwC, Google, Accel Partners and Infocomm Investments,

Philippine Daily Inquirer

MMDA: How about an Edsa fee?

Jovic Yee, reporting for Philippine Daily Inquirer;

Days after announcing that it would no longer implement the modified odd-even scheme, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it was studying the possibility of charging a fee for every private vehicle that will use Edsa.

The agency’s chief said the study was being conducted with the help of the government of Singapore, where “congestion pricing” has been in effect since the 1970s.

If implemented, this will technically turn EDSA into a tollway. I suspect people/car owners will still be paying to pass through EDSA, which will make little to no difference in the traffic condition of EDSA.

Unbox

NDRRMC and Smart Launch the Nationwide Emergency Cell Broadcast System

Camille Vidan, writing for Unbox Ph;

The NDRRMC will be in charge of ECBS advisories.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and Smart Communication rolled out on Tuesday the nationwide emergency cell broadcast system (ECBS) for quick dissemination of emergency and disaster alerts to mobile users.

Yugatech

Intel buys autonomous vehicle technology firm MobilEye

Daniel Morial, writing for Yugatech;

For $15.3B, Intel agreed to but Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm MobilEye on Monday to develop driverless systems for automakers. MobilEye is one of the largest players in autonomous vehicle tech and it recently teamed with Intel on BMW’s iNext self-driving platform.

Another major technology company pouring tons of money in autonomous vehicle technology.

Microsoft

So.cl is saying farewell as of March 15, 2017

So.cl Team on Microsoft’s Fuselabs;

Socl has been a wonderful outlet for creative expression, as well as a place to enjoy a supportive community of like-minded people, sharing and learning together. In supporting you, Socl’s unique community of creators, we have learned invaluable lessons in what it takes to establish and maintain community as well as introduce novel new ways to make, share and collect digital stuff we love. Through you we’ve been able to introduce many interesting ideas such as:

  • Collages; beautiful posts of content discovered through search and auto-assembled
  • Riffs; themed conversations based on community inspiration
  • Automatic Translation; seamlessly spanning languages and culture
  • Collections; telling your story through collections of posts
  • Picotales, Video Parties, Blinks, Kodu – new ways to create and share

From the very beginning, we’ve been amazed by your creativity, openness, and positivity. Thank you so very much for sharing your inspirations with us.

The So.cl Team

So.cl (pronounced “social”) is an experimental social media network by Microsoft’s Fuselabs.

Vulcan Post

I Run A Business, Here’s Why I Will Never Hire Anyone Religious

Guest Post at the Vulcan Post;

When I hire, my priorities are simple—work efficiency and the right fit for our company culture.

My company is constantly on the lookout for talent, so I review up to 20 applications a week. Out of these, perhaps about a third look suitable on paper.

So how do I filter them down, aside from the obvious basic qualifications and skills?

I look at religion, or to be clearer, religiousness. I’ll admit, if there is a person in a tudung, that’s a minus for me. It makes me think twice.

Tudung is the Malaysian equivalent of hijab.

The fact that the author did not include his name says a lot about the article and Vulcan Post, the website that published the article. It feels more of a click bait than anything else.

I understand where the author is going and coming from because at the end of the day, its his business and company, but the fact remain is that the author is scared of accountability, if he’s really firm in his belief he should have used his name and not hide in the shadows.

Vulcan Post’s response to the flak that they receive is not helping as well.

It’s also worth noting that Vulcan Post uses Facebook for your their commenting system that shows the full name of the person commenting.

Startups

iflix

iflix is a Malaysian subscription video-on-demand service owned by Iflix Sdn Bhd, which is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

e27

iflix raises over US$90M to be the Netflix of Asia, Middle East and Africa

Yon Heong Tung, reporting for E27;

Kuala Lumpur-based Internet TV service iflix has raised over US$90 million from Liberty Global, an international TV and broadband company; Zain, a Middle Eastern and Africa telco; and a private consumer business investment management firm in Africa.

iflix had partnered with Zain last month to launch ‘iflix Arabia’ in the MENA region.

iflix appears to be expanding to market where Netflix has little or no presence at all.

Startups

Fave Group

Fave is a marketplace for discounted offers on things to eat, do, see and experience in your city. Users can get up to 70% discount from restaurants, cafes, spas, salons, gyms, etc. There are currently more than hundreds of deals in listed in the service.

Fave is also available to all iOS and Android users. The Fave group was spun off from Malaysian fitness subscription service KFit.

Startups

KFIT

KFit app helps you to discover, plan and book fitness, beauty and wellness activities near you, today and for the whole week. Download our mobile app to access a huge variety of activities, whether you want to relax at a spa, pamper yourself with a new haircut or go for a workout at a studio or gym near you.

The KFIT app is available to both iOS and Android users.

Tech in Asia

The group formerly known as KFit has bought Groupon Singapore

Michael Tegos, reporting for Tech in Asia;

After nabbing Groupon Indonesia and Groupon Malaysia, the Fave group has come for the Singapore version of the daily deals site. Fave, which has a similar mandate, announced today it has acquired Groupon Singapore.

Details about the deal have not been disclosed.

The Fave group evolved out of Malaysian fitness subscription service KFit. While KFit is still available as a separate service and app, it’s now part of Fave along with Groupon Indonesia. Groupon Malaysia has been completely integrated into Fave, and Groupon Indonesia and Singapore will follow in 2017.

Articles

Nintendo Switch coming to Jarir

Yes, Nintendo’s latest handheld/gaming console will be coming to Jarir. No exact date was mention but from the looks of things, we can expect Nintendo Switch to be available this April.

TechCrunch

NASA released a ton of software for free and here’s some you should try

Devin Coldewey, reporting for TechCrunch;

NASA has just published its 2017-2018 software catalog, which lists the many apps, code libraries and tools that pretty much anyone can download and use. Of course, most of it is pretty closely tied to… you know, launching spacecraft and stuff, which most people don’t do. But here are a few items that might prove useful to tinkers and curious lay people alike.

NASA;

NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalog, which offers an extensive portfolio of software products for a wide variety of technical applications, all free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.

Available in both hard copy and online, this third edition of the publication has contributions from all the agency’s centers on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics. It includes many of the tools NASA uses to explore space and broaden our understanding of the universe. A number of software packages are being presented for release for the first time. Each catalog entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.

A quick browse of NASA’s software library, here are some of the noteworthy software and apps that can be use in the Philippines, most notably for the recently created Space Tech Program and with Project NOAH.

Earth-GRAM 2016;
Earth-GRAM 2016 is now available as an open-source C++ computer code that can run on a variety of platforms including PCs and UNIX stations. The software provides a model that offers values for atmospheric parameters such as density, temperature, winds, and constituents for any month and at any altitude and location within the Earth’s atmosphere.

Engineering DOUG Graphics for Exploration (EDGE)
EDGE is a real-time 3d graphics rendering package based on the Dynamic On-board Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) graphics engine. It combines key elements from graphics software tools developed for Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) programs and adapts them for integration with other engineering simulations and facilities. The tool allows drop-in integration with the NASA Trick Simulation Environment and provides a fusion of 3D graphics and simulation outputs.

Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP), Version 6.0
The Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP) is a general software tool that can perform complex fluid flow analysis in a wide variety of applications, including those related to chemical processing, gas processing, power plants, hydraulic control circuits, and various kinds of fluid distribution systems. The tool models liquid fuel phase changes that include compressibility and mixture thermodynamics and allows the user to apply and vary “what-if” effects of external influences.

CEOS Data Cube Platform version 2 (CEOS2)
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has long recognized a need for data processing infrastructure to support Earth science objectives in developing countries. Forest preservation initiatives, carbon measurement initiatives, water management and agricultural monitoring are just few examples of causes that can benefit greatly from remote sensing data. Currently, however, many developing nations lack the in-country expertise and computational infrastructure to utilize remote sensing data.

The CEOS Data Cube Platform version 2 (CEOS2) provides a flexible model to address these needs. The CEOS Data Cube Platform is a data processing platform for Earth science data, with a focus on remote-sensing data. The platform provides a data ingestion framework that includes support for automated ingestion of a wide variety of remote sensing data products. The data products are ingested into an N-dimensional data array that abstracts away management of distinct acquisitions. The platform has a tiered API for data processing and a data/application platform layer for higher-level access.

You can find more at http://software.nasa.gov and NASA’s Technology Transfer program, http://technology.nasa.gov

Rappler

Ateneo student’s life-saving health app earns global recognition

Enrico Belga Jr., writing for Rappler;

For many Filipino families, access to basic healthcare services remains to be a major burden. Public awareness of first aid techniques, for example, has not been given enough attention.

This gap inspired a 2nd year student of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) to design a life-saving mobile application to guide the public in administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Joel Alejandro created “Sali” save-a-life app, which aims to universalize CPR education and training. Alejandro aims to create a population capable of administering, and motivated to do CPR anywhere and anytime. The app also connects the user to a network of fellow life-savers who can provide auxiliary support.

You can go here to know more about the app and how you can support it.

Google

The Google Assistant is coming to more Android phones

Google;

Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes. Enter the Google Assistant, which is conversational, personal and helps you get things done—from telling you about your day to taking a selfie. The Assistant is already available on Pixel, Google Home, Google Allo and Android Wear. Now we’re bringing it to even more people. Starting this week, the Google Assistant is coming to smartphones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Yugatech

Grab launches GrabRewards in the Philippines

Daniel Morial, reporting for Yugatech;

GrabRewards lets you earn points for every ride you book may it be GrabTaxi, GrabCar or GrabShare. If you’ve accumulated a number of points, you may use it to redeem free rides, special discount codes, and promo deals.

Grab officially launches the GrabRewards service after 3 months of beta testing in the country.

Grab

Grab intros GrabShuttle

GrabShuttle is a new service that allows passengers to pre-book a bus seat from a list of fixed routes. It is available via a separate GrabShuttle application.

Startups

Fastacash

Fastacash is a social payments platform that enables the transfer of any type of value across any social media network or messaging platform.

Headquartered in Singapore, Fastacash have international teams across the US, the UK, South East Asia and India.

e27

Myanmar’s MyPay in serious talks to acquire Singapore’s Fastacash; Co-founder rejoins board after absence

Kevin McSpadden, writing for E27;

Two Southeast Asian payment companies that specialise in using social media to facilitate money transfers are in serious acquisition talks and expect the deal to be done in the coming months.

The Singaporean online payment company fastacash has been approached with an acquisition offer from Myanmar’s MyPay and are moving forward with the deal, fastacash General Manager Mark Carter told e27.

The deal has been approved by Fastacash shareholders and is expected to be completed in the next 60-90 days.

TechCrunch

China’s taxi on-demand war reignited: Didi rival UCAR is raising $1 billion

Emma Lee, reporting for TechCrunch;

Didi Chuxing’s deal to acquire Uber China seemingly left the Chinese ride-hailing giant as the last man standing and therefore sole winner of China’s vast ride-sharing market. However, Didi’s success has also served to open new opportunities for other competitors. It would seem that there’s no way for a single company to gobble up the entire market as a whole, even if it’s Didi.

Blog Updates

Comments are back!

Since I relaunched the site, I’m also opening the site for other people to comment and discuss the topics that I’m posting here.

There’s nothing more engaging than a good discussion on a topic that you like, with that said I’m enabling the comment feature back on the site. You will however need to access the permalink of the article in order to post a comment.

Few rules for commenters;

  1. Be respectful. Your opinion may be different but don’t force other people to agree with you.
  2. This is the internet, never take it personally and whatever you put online will be available forever.
  3. No trolling, harassing and bashing of other people.
  4. No posting of personal information of others.
  5. Stick to the topic, if you can’t then use this page.
  6. More to come…
  7. I can and will delete any comment/s and ban any commenters that I find inappropriate.

Hint: Permalink = date.

Ciao!

Microsoft

Xbox Live Creators Program

Microsoft;

Xbox Live will soon be open to all developers via the Xbox Live Creators Program – no concept approval required! You will be able to rapidly publish your game to Xbox One or Windows 10 through a short and simplified certification process.

The Xbox Live Creators Program will let any game developer create and publish Xbox games. Indie or solo game developers can directly publish their games to the Xbox platform. There is a $19 USD to $99 USD one-time registration fee needed to enroll for the program.

If you’re an Apple Developer, the Xbox Live Creators Program looks very much like the Apple Developer Program.

Wall Street Journal

Snapchat Parent Snap Valued at $24 Billion After IPO Pricing

Corrie Driebusch and Maureen Farrell, reporting for Wall Street Journal;

Snap Inc. priced its initial public offering above expectations Wednesday, as investors clamored for a piece of the biggest technology IPO in the U.S. since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. made its debut in 2014.

Snap fetched $17 a share in its offering, the company said, confirming an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal. That gives the parent of popular disappearing-message app Snapchat a market value of nearly $24 billion. It was also above the $14 to $16 a share Snap had targeted, indicating strong demand for an IPO that has captivated investors and analysts since the company confidentially filed for the offering late last year.

Newsbytes

DOST forms space tech program with P258-M budget for 2017

Edd K. Usman, writing foe NewsBytes Ph;

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is intensifying its venture into space technology with the recent creation of a new program called Space Technology Development (STD) which has an allocated budget of P258 million.

Php 258 million or around $5.127 million (USD) is relatively small compare to the budget of neighboring countries with similar space program.

  • $2.4 billion for Japan
  • $500 million for China
  • $1.4 billion for India
  • $366 million for South Korea

Twitter

This is the Samsung Galaxy S8

This is pretty much the best way to be in the news, specially today is the last day of 2017 Mobile World Congress.

The image perfectly match the purported S8 phone in the leaked video the other day.

We still have 28 more days before the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 – Unbox Your Phone, which will be held in New York this 29th of March. By that time, the only thing that Samsung will need to do is to just make every leaked information about the phone official.

Bad Behavior has blocked 1522 access attempts in the last 7 days.