Poundit

Formerly known as YouPoundit, Poundit is an ecommerce site for electronics and accessories that has built partnerhips with about 50 tech brands and authorized distributors including Sony, GoPro, ASUS, JBL, Harman Kardon, and Otterbox.

LTFRB: Don’t pick a fight with errant taxi drivers

Jason Tulio, writing for Top Gear Ph;

The LTFRB chief also cited his own recent experience taking four taxis in Metro Manila. While three of them charged him the right amount, one attempted to overcharge him twice, but relented when Delgra insisted on sticking to the meter. He says that the LTFRB will impose stricter penalties on abusive taxi and PUV drivers, along with other initiatives in place to help solve the problem. Your complaints, Delgra says, aren’t falling on deaf ears.

Just “stricter penalties” and “other initiatives”? No suspension of franchise, no Php 5 million fines even after experiencing the problem personally?

If LTFRB slap a Php 1 million fines to the taxi operator, I bet these kind of behavior from taxi drivers will surely disappear, at least from the time being.

Samsung Bixby now available in the Philippines

Carl Lamiel, writing for Yugatech;

Samsung‘s own virtual assistant called Bixby and its voice capabilities are now available in more countries worldwide, including the Philippines.

The Korean tech giant has just rolled out its proprietary virtual assistant onto 200 more countries, including the UK and Australia. Before the worldwide rollout, Bixby is only available in two countries — the US and in their home turf of South Korea.

It’ll be interesting how many people will be talking to their Samsung smartphones calling it Bixby!

Two PH startups join Google accelerator program in US, get P2.5M each

Melvin G. Calimag, writing for NewsBytes Ph;

Two digital startups from the Philippines recently took part in Google’s Launchpad Accelerator in California, joining other startups from all over the world that were picked by the tech giant to undergo mentorship and receive $50,000 (about P2.5 million) in funding to speed up their product development.

The Filipino startups which carried the country’s flag are Honesty Apps, a do-it-yourself mobile app platform for Android and iOS, and Bloom Solutions, a fin-tech firm that aims to transform the remittance business with blockchain technology.

Congratulations to both Honesty Apps and Bloom Solutions!

MiCab

MiCab, a Cebu-based ride-sharing startup that, unlike Uber or Grab, “exclusively partner with taxi fleet companies who take pride in their service, putting the value of their vehicles and drivers top of the priority.”

MiCab is currently available in Visayas; Cebu City and Iloilo City, with plans to launch the service in Metro Manila and Davao City.

MiCab is one of the 20 Startup Finalist of IdeaSpace’s 2013 Startup Competition.

Smart the largest mobile operator in the Philippines in terms of subscribers

Joseph Waring, writing for Mobile World Live;

Smart, the mobile arm of PLDT, regained its spot as the largest mobile operator in the Philippines by subscribers in Q2, after Globe Telecom lost 3.1 million users since the beginning of the year.

According to GSMA Intelligence data, Smart had a 51.4 per cent market share in Q2, while Globe’s share dipped by nearly 2 percentage points from the end of 2016 to 48.2 per cent at end-June.

Do we really need to know which of the ONLY two mobile operator in the Philippines is the largest? It will be more interesting to know, which of the two (Smart or Globe) has the highest customer satisfaction rating.

GoSPCE

GoSPCE allows guests to rent traditional and unique spaces for work and play. It also enables an end-to-end marketing and operations solution for hosts.

In a nutshell, its a service that connects (co-working) space and retail owners to guest and/or renters.

You can download their app from Google Play Store.

Taxumo

Taxumo is the easiest way for small business owners, self-employed professionals, and freelancers in the Philippines to prepare, file and pay their taxes. All you need to do is track your income and expenses and Taxumo does the rest (from computing to filling up BIR or Bureau of Internal Revenue tax forms and paying taxes online). You can do all of these things through Taxumo!

Pangga, on-demand companionship app, is now looking for partners

Joey Maceda, writing for Yugatech;

Do you have what it takes to be a great companion? You now have the chance to put those skills to work. Pangga, a new on-demand companionship service is now looking for partners.

From their website, this is how they describe their service.

Pangga is an app-based technology platform that enables single millennials to avail a companionship service in order to build a healthy self-esteem in todays “Me Me Me Generation”.

The word Pangga is a Visayan language is an endearment word that is used to address someone whom you love. it’s close equivalent in english is “dear”, “honey”, “sweetheart” or yeah…. “love”.

Interesting concept to say the least and there are a lot of ways this app can be use for “other things” other than what the founder/developer intended it to do. The app/service is targeting a specific group of people like tourists and the Philippines being a tourist destination the service has a lot of potential.

If you are interested in trying out the service, you can send your request to download the app here.

2Go mulls e-commerce venture with SM Group

James A. Loyola, writing for Manila Bulletin;

Logistics 2Go Group, Inc., which has recently been taken over by Chelsea Logistics Corporation and the SM Group, is studying its possible entry into the e-commerce business on top of servicing the needs of its clients in the same industry.

This will be an interesting venture to say the least!

Flyspaces

FlySpaces empowers businesses as a digital marketplace that provides short-term work and meeting space solutions to entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and mobile professionals. Whether the need is for an hour, a day, a week or a few months – we have a network of hundreds of spaces to discover across key South East Asian cities.

McDo, Krispy Kreme PH Android apps embedded with ‘spying tools’ – researchers

Jing Garcia, reporting for InterAksyon;

A research team in Germany discovered technology that can be used as a spying tool using apps emitting ultrasonic tones on mobile devices without the knowledge of the user.

In a paper titled “Privacy Threats through Ultrasonic Side Channels on Mobile Devices”, which was sponsored by the German government, researchers from the Technische Universitat Braunschweig have found 234 Android apps, including app versions distributed by McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme in the Philippines, were embedded with ‘spying tools’ that could violate an individual’s privacy.

The whole article explained how the spying is done. The study did not mention if iOS Apps are affected as well.

Bloom

Bloom modernizes remittance businesses by combining cutting-edge technology like the blockchain, instant payments, and messenger bots with traditional tools like SWIFT and SMS.

Announcing the fourth class of Launchpad Accelerator featuring new countries!

Two startup from the Philippines have been accepted into the program;

  • BLOOM: Transforming remittance businesses with blockchain technology
  • Honesty Apps: A Do-it-yourself mobile application platform for both iOS and Android.

Google Developers Blog;

Launchpad Accelerator includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month program.

Class 4 kicks off July 17th, 2017 at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco and will include 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training.

Senate passes Philippine Innovation Act on final reading

Newsbytes Ph;

The Senate passed on Tuesday, May 2, a bill which seeks to adopt innovation as a vital component of the country’s development and use it to promote the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises, through programs and initiatives which include the creation of a new interagency national innovation council.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, principal author of Senate Bill No. 1355, otherwise known as the Philippine Innovation Act, said the measure seeks to make innovation a major driver of economic growth in accordance with the Ambisyon Natin 2040 long-term plan laid out by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

Spotify Premium for Students launches in 33 new countries

Spotify:

Today Spotify is pleased to announce the launch of Spotify Premium for Students in 33* new countries around the world. Spotify Premium for Students allows all registered students to enjoy Spotify Premium – and all of the many benefits that come with being a Premium subscriber – for around half the standard price.

Spotify Premium for Students is already available in United States United Kingdom and Germany. The 33 new countries are as follows;

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Latvia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

According to Yugatech, the price of Spotify Premium subscription was Php129/month but with the launching of Spotify Premium for Students it will just be Php65/month. To sign up for the Spotify Premium for Students, just go to http://www.spotify.com/student.

Scientists discover massive sulfur-eating hell-clams in the Philippines

Rachel Becker, reporting for The Verge;

Scientists have discovered a hellish, sulfur-eating, worm-like relative of clams living in a Philippines bay, a new study reports. At more than five feet long and two inches wide, these creatures are the longest members in this family of shellfish that exist today — and they look like massive, ink-black, alien boogers.

Interesting and judging from the source article, it looks like Filipino Scientist may (or are) not even aware of these massive mollusks, which is sad.

Introducing Pera Swipe

I’d like to tell you about this new reward rewards app for Android phones called Pera Swipe, developed by Mobino Inc.

Pera Swipe aims to bring added value to content and promotions by rewarding users with points that can be redeemed for prepaid mobile load and other prizes (more prizes in the future). Postpaid subscribers are very much welcome to use the app since the load prizes can be sent to others as a gift.

Pera Swipe displays various promotions and interesting articles offering different points on users’ lock screen. Users will be able to earn points by swiping left or right on their Pera Swipe lock screen. Swiping right allows the user to unlock their smartphone, while swiping left on special promotions will direct the user to the promoter’s website, social media page or other URLs.

To know more about the service, you cn visit their website at peraswipe.com or their facebook page. Pera Swipe is currently running an early bird promo where users can earn P10 Extra points if you sign up this April. Unfortunately, their app is not yet available for download.

Ayala buys 49% of Zalora PH

Doris Dumlao-Abadilla, reporting for the Philippine Daily Inquirer;

The Ayala group has entered the e-commerce business with a deal to acquire a 49 percent stake in BF Jade E-Service Philippines, which owns and operates Zalora Philippines.

Zalora Philippines is currently the country’s largest online fashion platform offering a wide range of fashion and lifestyle products.

51% of Zalora Ph is still owned by German startup factory Rocket Internet.