SEC revokes Rappler’s registration

Carmela Fonbuena, writing for Rappler;

In a blow to press freedom in the Philippines, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the registration of news organization Rappler allegedly for violating the Constitution and the Anti-Dummy Law.

The SEC said Rappler violated constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities because of funds coming from Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar.

So it took SEC almost 3 years to come-up with a decision. I’m sure Rappler is not the only media company who uses PDRs to receive foreign investments.

Rappler’s followers can’t help but react to the news and use the hashtag #DefendPressFreedom;

Anyway, all is not lost, since Rappler will still operate as it “exhaust legal remedies”.

Rappler, however, will continue to operate as it files the necessary motions for reconsideration with the courts. It will continue to defend and uphold the freedom of the press, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Model Grab driver killed by thieves disguised as passengers

Lian Buan, writing for Rappler;

Grab Philippines said on Saturday, October 28, that one of their partner drivers was killed by unidentified suspects who also took the driver’s car.

The driver was Gerardo Amolato Maquidato Jr who was shot and killed evening of Thursday, October 26, by unidentified suspects who booked and rode as regular passengers.

A sad day for the ride-sharing community in the Philippines. Hopefully, whoever did this will be apprehended soon!

PH internet ‘no good’? Telcos, PCC react to Jack Ma

Jack Ma touched a very sensitive nerve and now both PLDT/Smart and Globe are on damage control.

Chrisee Dela Paz, reporting for Rappler;

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s telecommunications giants and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) vowed to do the best they can to improve the state of Philippine internet, after Jack Ma, the Chinese tycoon behind global tech giant Alibaba Group, shared what he thought about it.

What Jack Ma said is what consumer have been saying about the internet service for a long time now.

And this is where Globe and PLDT is passing the blame to the government;

Spokespersons of PLDT and Globe acknowledged that there’s still much to be done to improve internet services in the Philippines. But they also emphasized the need for the government’s involvement to turn slow, costly internet around.

At the end of the day, if telcos really want to provide fast internet, they WILL provide fast and reliable internet, with or without the government’s assistance.

PLDT to provide Wi-Fi to over 2,300 buses by end-2017

Chrisee Dela Paz, reporting for Rappler;

MANILA, Philippines – More than 2,300 public transport buses in the country are getting some technological upgrades: Wi-Fi connectivity, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and vehicle trackers.

PLDT Incorporated said in a statement on Sunday, October 1, that its corporate business unit PLDT Enterprise has partnered with the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) to provide these upgrades to the group’s members.

The article did not mention if the wifi access will be free to commuters.

And;

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade last month signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a P1.5-billion loan facility for PUV cooperatives with Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Chairman Alberto Romulo to jumpstart the PUV modernization program.

Since DBP will provide the P1.5-billion loan facility for PUV cooperatives for the installations of these technological upgrades, commuters will most likely shoulder bulk of the loan.

LTFRB fines Grab, Uber P5M each for permit violations

Rambo Talabong, reporting for Rappler;

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) imposed a fine of P5 million each on Uber and Grab on Tuesday, July 11, for letting some of their drivers operate without permits.

Not a good news for Grab and Uber drivers.

The LTFRB says the ride-hailing companies should have been closed down because of the violations, but the public interest ‘overrides’ this penalty.

How convenient for taxi operators!

Unless taxi change their attitude and stop being selective, Grab and Uber users will just continue to increase. When getting a taxi, I received at least 3 taxi refusal. Their reason(s) too traffic, too far and asking for a bigger flag-down rate.

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.

Internet-connected teddy bears leak over 2M voice messages

Victor Barreiro Jr., reporting for Rappler;

MANILA, Philippines – Spiral Toys, the maker of an internet-connected line of stuffed animals called CloudPets, sprung a massive leak of customer data, including more than two million voice messages from kids and their parents.

Aside from the voice messages, the email addresses and password information of more than 800,000 users were also made available because of the leak.

Be careful on the connected (IoT) toys that you’re buying your children.

Dating app Sapio aims to match you with ‘someone as smart’

Victor Barreiro Jr., reporting for Rappler;

Users of dating and hookup apps like Tinder and OKCupid may want to take their chances by investing time and honest answers in a new dating app called Sapio.

Sapio aims to match users or lead people to good matches by letting people look for others with a complementary personality.

Sapio does this at the onset by asking users to, over time, fill out 300 open-ended questions that help establish intelligence, conversational ability, and shared interests.

Do we need another dating app?

LTFRB rejects 15,000 Uber, Grab applications

Rappler.com;

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Thursday, January 5, said it dismissed nearly half of franchise applications – over 15,000 out of some 32,000 – for ride-hailing services Grab and Uber.

The article continued that the reason the applicants were rejected because they have incomplete requirements or they did not appear at hearings. Which is valid!

Razer introduces laptop with 3 built-in monitors

Gelo Gonzales, writing for Rappler;

This year at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017), they introduced something far cooler than the usual accessories: a laptop with 3 built-in monitors, the world’s first. Called Project Valerie, the laptop features 3 humongous 17.3-inch displays.

That’s one weird looking and powerful gaming laptop.