Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Cebu City library gets free wifi in partnership with Smart

Shortly after expanding to 24-hour daily operations, the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center rolled out a carrier-grade wifi service for users in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. Students,…

Shortly after expanding to 24-hour daily operations, the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center rolled out a carrier-grade wifi service for users in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc.

Students, researchers, and other library patrons get their first 30 minutes of Smart Wifi access for free. They can extend access by buying credits via cellphone load.

A wifi connection is particularly useful for studying and research and would be a big help to library goers, said Ramon Isberto, concurrent Public Affairs Head of leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT and wireless subsidiary Smart.

Cebu City Library Smart Wifi

SMART WIFI. (From left) Smart Public Affairs AVP and Center Head Maria Jane C. Paredes, Mitch Roldan, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto, Cebu City Hall Assistant City Administrator Annabeth Cuizon, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, Cebu City Librarian Rosario Chua, and PLDT SME Nation AVP Jimmy Chua during the launching of the Smart Wi-Fi in the Cebu City Public Library.

“When you turn a library into a community hub, you make it more powerful and influential,” he added, citing that users get access not only to books housed there but to a global library through the Internet.

High-speed Internet

Jimmy Chua, AVP and Head CRM of PLDT SME Nation, said high-speed Internet is essential for going digital and that the provision of Smart Wifi at the library was only the beginning of the company’s collaboration with Cebu City.

Isberto and Chua attended the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize the provision of up to 30 minutes of free wifi at the city library last April 5, 2018.

Cebu City library Smart wifi

AGREEMENT. (From left) PLDT SME Nation AVP Jimmy Chua, PLDT and Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon Isberto, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña, and Cebu City Librarian Rosario Chua after the signing of the agreement.

Councilor Margot Osmeña said the City Government was more than willing to transform the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center into a daily 24-hour operation when student Mitch Roldan requested it.

“Whatever the City can do, we will do for you,” Osmeña, who represented the City Government at the signing, added.

Cebu City study centers

Cebu City plans to put up 24-hour study centers in selected barangays so students don’t need to go far to study. Osmeña said she hopes to get the support of PLDT and Smart for the other areas as well.

Cebu City public library Smart wifi

BIG HELP. A wifi connection is particularly useful for studying and research and would be a big help to library goers, said Ramon Isberto, concurrent Public Affairs Head of PLDT and Smart.

Aside from the city library, Smart Wifi is also available for students at Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu Technological University, University of Cebu Banilad in Cebu City, and in more school across Cebu Province.

Cebu City Hall was the first establishment in Cebu that offered public Smart Wifi. Other areas with Smart Wifi are the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Larsian Food Center, Cebu North and South Bus Terminals, Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3, Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3, and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Facebook Live broadcast of launch

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Slide to talk with the reloaded Nokia 8110 4G

Reloading the legendary Nokia 8110, this 4G feature phone comes complete with the elegantly curved slider design. Giving you the chance to switch off, have fun and relax with the…

Reloading the legendary Nokia 8110, this 4G feature phone comes complete with the elegantly curved slider design. Giving you the chance to switch off, have fun and relax with the knowledge that all your smartphone essentials are there when you need them.

Nokia 8110 4G

NOKIA 8110 4G. The iconic phone will be available in Black and “Banana” Yellow starting May 14 and will retail for P3,990.

With a familiar and easy to use interface, the Nokia 8110 features intuitive tactile mechanics, with slide to answer and end calls, as well as an addictive helicopter-style spin on its axis. The Nokia 8110 delivers crystal-clear VoLTE calling and is perfect for anyone who wants an iconic 4G feature phone or a companion phone. With access to an app store, for favorites like Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Search, Facebook and Twitter, send and receive emails or import your contacts and sync your calendar with Outlook and Gmail.

Nokia 8110 4G

PORTABLE HOTSPOT. You can turn the LTE-enabled Nokia 8110 into a portable hotspot to share your connection with other devices.

To keep it running flawlessly, the Nokia 8110 features the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform. With its Wi-Fi connection you can turn your Nokia 8110 into a portable hotspot to share your internet connection with other devices.

The Nokia 8110 4G will be available in Black and “Banana” Yellow starting May 14 and will retail for P3,990. (Press Release)

 

The Nokia 8110 4G

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PC still center of work: Dell EMC

Despite talks we are at the end of its era, studies show the PC still remains “the center of how work gets done,” said Dell EMC Country General Manager Ronnie…

Despite talks we are at the end of its era, studies show the PC still remains “the center of how work gets done,” said Dell EMC Country General Manager Ronnie Latinazo.

It is important for companies to get technology right because it underpins the modern office and impacts how work is done, he said during the launch last week of Dell EMC devices designed for the corporate market.

“We’ve heard people say the PC is dead, that it’s the end of the PC era but actually we’re seeing growth and if you look at the technology still coming out in the market, many of these center around the capabilities and technologies available on the PCs,” Latinazo said.

Ronnie Latinazo changing workforce

CHANGES IN THE WAY WE WORK. Dell EMC Country General Manager Ronnie Latinazo talks about the transformation of the workplace and employees caused by advances in technology.

Tech and work transformation

He said work has fundamentally changed because of advances in technology, which improves 10X every five years. With advances in tech, devices are getting faster, more powerful, and even smaller, he said.

“To a large extent, the definition of work has changed. In the past, work was a place, I’ll go to work, I’ll go to the office. After five o’clock, I go home, I switch off, its personal life. But that has really changed. The business hour is no longer 9 to 5, it’s as soon as you wake up and probably before you sleep,” he said.

Dell 7390 laptop

LATITUDE 7390 CLAMSHELL. Valerie Fontano, Dell Client Technologist, talks about the feature of the Latitude 7390 laptop, designed for the “mobile professional seeking power on the go.”

He said that data shows 60% of employees work even after business hours and 2/3 do some business at home.

Latinazo highlighted the importance of tech solutions for companies saying 42% of employees indicated they would quit a job with poor technology. It also has an impact on recruitment with 82% saying a company’s state of technology influences the job they take.

He said this trend will continue, as can be gleaned by the finding that 44% of millennials think their workspace isn’t smart enough.

Latitude 5290 2-in-1

MOBILE OFFICE. Martin Diez, Business Development Manager, talks about how the Latitude 5290 2-in-1 allows you to work from anywhere by offering the “power of a laptop and flexibility of a tablet.

Different personas in use of tech

He said Dell EMC studied how people worked and came up with seven different personas based on where and how they perform tasks. These personas were either desk-centric, remote workers, or always on the go.

Latinazo said they found that 52% of the workforce spends some if not all of their time working remotely. The company also found that 72 percent of employees see collaboration increase with “more grab and go technology.”” For on-the-go professionals, 39% of the group uses multiple devices while traveling for work.

Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1

BEAUTY, PRODUCTIVITY. Michelle Juliano, Field Marketing Manager, Client Solutions Group, talks about the features of the Latitude 7390 2-in-1. Dell said that in the device, “beauty and productivity intersect.”

“Only Dell has the right technology for every work style,” Latinazo said. “We would be in the best position to serve all the requirements of a workforce given the breadth of the products that we have, the technology that we bring to the market, and the innovations that we introduced.”

He said there is a need to transform the way companies deploy tech resources and look at the “whole lifecycle.”

Dell Latitude laptops launch

NEW DELL DEVICES. (From left) Valerie Fontano, Dell Client Technologist; Ronnie Latinazo, Country General Manager, Dell EMC Philippines; Martin Diez, Business Development Manager; and Michelle Juliano, Field Marketing Manager, Client Solutions Group during the launching of new devices meant to help employees in a workplace transformed by technology.

Launch of new Dell Latitude devices

“Dell can provide help in all the key phases in this life cycle – from planning to deployment to supporting and maintaining it and even to a large extent in helping them refresh it because best practice shows that the cost of ownership of these machines become much higher after three years,” he said.

During the event, Dell EMC highlighted the Latitude 7390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390, Vostro 5370, Latitude 5290, as well as various accessories to help improve the experience in using the devices at home, in the office, and on the road.

The devices come with top of the line specs and thin and light design to meet the requirements of the new workforce, company officials said during the event.

Latitude 7390

Latitude 7390. Impressive power in a premium design. A 13-inch business-class laptop built for business professionals who want power while staying mobile. Featuring Intel 7th and 8th Gen Core i processors.

 

Latitude 5290 2-in-1.

Latitude 5290 2-in-1. The device offers “security with style.” Dell describes it as “our most secure 2-in-1 detachable with the power of a laptop and flexibility of a tablet.”

 

Latitude 7390 2-in-1

Latitude 7390 2-in-1. “Work in luxury with this 13-inch 2-in-1 convertible featuring a superior display, Intel Core 8th Gen Processor, exceptional battery life and security keep you productive anywhere,” Dell says in its product page.

 

 

Dell launches new Latitude laptops

 

Facebook Live of launching

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Buy movie tickets using GCash Scan-to-pay at all Robinsons Movieworld branches nationwide

Moviegoers can now seamlessly purchase tickets for the latest movies in one of the biggest cinema chains in the country. This has been made easier thanks to a new partnership…

Moviegoers can now seamlessly purchase tickets for the latest movies in one of the biggest cinema chains in the country. This has been made easier thanks to a new partnership between Robinsons Movieworld (RMW) and the Philippine’s top mobile e-payment scheme, GCash Scan-to-Pay.

Robinsons Movieworld has now embraced the cashless payment system in all of its branches nationwide in order to bring added convenience to its moviegoers.

“The push for a cashless payment system is strongly supported by Robinsons Movieworld. With Robinsons Movieworld adapting the e-payment scheme, we are confident that our customers can fully experience convenience with this feature in all our cinema branches nationwide,” said Arlene Magtibay, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Robinsons Land Corporation’s Commercial Center Division.

GCash Scan To Pay Robinsons Movieworld

GCASH SCAN TO PAY. (From left) Robinsons Movieworld Senior Marketing Manager Michelle Araullo, Robinsons Land Corporation Senior Vice President & General Manager Commercial Center Division Arlene Magtibay, Mynt President and CEO Anthony Thomas and Robinsons Movieworld General Manager Jose Rodrigo Lim during an event to announce that moviegoers can now use GCAsh Scan To Pay to buy movie tickets at Robinsons Movieworld nationwide.

20% cashback promo

“The growing number of merchants is proof that GCash is moving towards fulfilling its vision for a cashless ecosystem in the country. With partners like Robinsons Movieworld on board, Filipinos are more empowered to maximize their connectivity and provide ease and security in various transactions,” says Anthony Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Mynt.

As part of the newly forged partnership, Robinsons Movieworld, together with GCash, will carry out more than the usual promos to its customers. Movie patrons who use GCash scan to pay to purchase their tickets will enjoy a 20% cashback up to 500 pesos daily from April 15 till May 31, 2018.

How to pay with GCash

To use the scan to pay GCash feature, a customer with an iPhone or an Android smartphone only needs to download and update to the latest version of the GCash App. They would need to register for an account and fund their GCash wallet in any of over 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide—which includes Robinsons Business Centers. Once funds are loaded in the GCash wallet, a customer can then swipe to the left or choose PayQR then Scan QR and point the smartphone’s camera to the RMW’s QR code to scan.

GCash is operated by Mynt, which is owned by Globe Telecom, Ant Financial and Ayala Corp. (Press Release)

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HMD Global launches new Nokia phones in Cebu

Durable and reliable. These are some of the words that come to people’s minds when Nokia is mentioned, said HMD Global Country Manager Shannon Mead. HMD Global is the one-year-old…

Durable and reliable. These are some of the words that come to people’s minds when Nokia is mentioned, said HMD Global Country Manager Shannon Mead.

HMD Global is the one-year-old Finnish startup behind the resurgence of Nokia mobile phones.

NOKIA PHONES. Shannon Mead, Philippines Country Manager of HMD Global, discusses with Cebu journalists and bloggers the lineup of Nokia phones now available in the market.

“Durable, reliable. They’re what comes to mind when consumers are asked what they think about when we say Nokia,” Mead said during the company’s launching of new devices in Cebu.

“We actually dusted off some old phones and they’re still working. So, I think that really brings to life the message of durability and reliability,” he said.

Nokia 7 plus Cebu launch

PRO CONTROLS. Shannon Meads shows the pro controls that come with the camera of the Nokia 7 plus.

Pure, up-to-date Android

A key component of the reliability is Nokia’s approach to Android, their phones’ operating system.

“A strategic part for us is our take on Android. When we introduced our product portfolio in early 2017 to the world, we talked about pure, secure and up-to-date Android. We made that a promise and we’ve kept that promise,” Mead said.

New Nokia phones launch in Cebu

CEBU LAUNCH. HMD Global Philippines Country Manager Shannon Mead and Head of Marketing Gibby Peñaflor launch the new Nokia phones in Cebu.

The Nokia 8, Nokia 6, and Nokia 5 are already on Android Oreo 8.1, which is the the latest release.

“For the Nokia 5 currently on promo at P8,990 to have Oreo 8.1 when some of our competitors are only getting Android 8 on their flagship devices – I think we’ve made that promise and we’ve been able to keep it,” he said.

Nokia 1

NOKIA 1. Shannon Mead talks about the Nokia 1, a 4G phone that comes with Android Oreo (Go edition), a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less. It retails for P4,290.

New Nokia phones

Apart from the OS upgrades, Mead said the monthly security updates that they send out are also important. With these updates, “you can always ensure that the device has got the latest version which optimizes your battery life but also ensures that any malware, any glitches that have come in in the previous month are resolved.”

Mead led the launching in Cebu of the Nokia 7 plus, Nokia 1, New Nokia 6, and Nokia 8110 4G.

Nokia mobile NewSeum

LOOKING BACK, AHEAD. Shannon Mead and Gibby Peñaflor open the Nokia mobile NewSeum exhibit in SM City Cebu. The exhibit takes Nokia fans back in time through old phones while displaying the innovations done by Nokia through the years with newer Nokia devices. The exhibit will run in SM City Cebu until April 30.

“HMD Global is proud to continue the story of Nokia mobile through the qualities that we first loved such as durability and innovation, designed to suit every need and style. As a key market, we are committed to building and strengthening our presence in Cebu,” Mead said in a statement.

“We are optimistic that with the new generation of Nokia Android smartphones and our classic but highly upgraded feature phone, the Cebuanos will get the best mobile experience across all price points,” he said.

Nokia 8110 4G

Year 1 achievements

Mead said that in HMD Global’s first year, they introduced 11 phones which he described as a “pretty amazing feat.” The company was also able to open an office in 80 countries.

“We’re able to be on sale in 170 different markets. For a brand-new company to have a presence in 170 markets and to introduce 11 new phones into the market is pretty great,” he said.

The company also made its mark when Nokia devices were able to enter the top 5 for smartphones in 15 markets.

“We are number one in value shipments when it comes to feature phones. We’re actually making a lot of headway when it comes to our overall ambition, which is to be a top 5 brand in the next 3 to 5 years when it comes to smartphones as well as extend our feature phone leadership and make it the largest brand,” he said.

Expansion outside Manila

This year, Mead said HMD will put more effort in expanding to areas outside Metro Manila.

“When we looked at success of our 3310 and the Nokia 6, Cebu was always at the top. We can’t ignore that. We need to go deeper in those markets and further out into provincial areas,” he said.

Nokia 7 plus

The flagship device combines beautiful design and manufacturing, powerful specs and great cameras, the company said. The phone comes with cameras with Carl Zeiss optics.

Nokia 7 Plus

Key specs

  • Precision machined from a single block of 6000 series aluminium with anodised edges for added style and strength where you need it most
  • Ceramic-feel coating brings a unique tactile feel and comfortable grip while elegantly hiding antenna lines
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform and 4 GB RAM for powerful performance and optimised power consumption and 2-day battery life
  • Rear dual camera with ZEISS optics – 12MP primary camera with large pixel size and wide aperture for great scenic photography, and secondary 13MP telephoto lens for 2X optical zoom
  • 16MP front camera with ZEISS optics and high-quality lowlight capability
  • New Pro Camera mode gives the ultimate intuitive manual control over camera settings for advanced users and shows the impact of your adjustments in real time

The Nokia 7 plus is available in Black/Copper and White/Copper and retails for P21,990.

Nokia 7 Plus

 

Nokia 1

The device is a “a 4G smartphone for every Juan.” The phone copmes with Android Oreo Go edition, a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less.

The Nokia 1 comes with interchangeable Xpress-on covers.

Nokia 1

Key specs

  • Familiar design and reassuring quality of a Nokia phone in our most affordable package yet
  • All the smartphone essentials – 4G LTE, quad core, rear camera with flash, front camera, dual SIM and voice control

Removable 2150mAh battery which lasts a full day with normal usage

The Nokia 1 is available in Warm Red and Dark Blue for P4,290.

Nokia 1 specs

 

New Nokia 6

The device is 60% faster than its predecessor and now comes with “enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, a more compact screen-to-body ratio, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.”

New Nokia 6

Key specs

  • Crafted from a single block of 6000 series aluminium finished with two-tone anodization to stand out from the crowd
  • Robust and made to take everyday knocks thanks to the seamless aluminium unibody and sculpted 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Bright 5.5” full HD IPS laminated display with great contrast in a more compact form
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform available with either 3GB or 4GB RAM (32GB/64GB ROM)
  • 16MP rear camera with ZEISS optics and dual-tone flash for crystal clear images. 8MP wide-angle front camera
  • Nokia spatial audio capture and playback technology
  • 3000mAh battery with USB type-C fast charging. Get 50% charge in just 30 minutes

The new Nokia 6 features two configurations of 4GB RAM / 64 GB ROM in Blue/Gold color blend for P15,990.

New Nokia 6

 

Nokia 8110 4G

The latest model out of the Originals family is the Nokia 8110, known both as The Matrix phone because it figured in the movie series and the banana phone.

Nokia 8110

The Nokia 8110 is a 4G phone that can serve as Wi-Fi hotspot.

The phone runs with KaiOS with a standby time of 17 days both using GSM and LTE.

Mead said the Nokia 8110 will be shipping in May. He said pricing will also be announced in the coming weeks.

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GCash, Alipay team up for single QR code payment solution

A new payment solution will allow merchants in the Philippines to accept payments from local users of GCash and Chinese visitors using Alipay through a single connection to the GCash…

A new payment solution will allow merchants in the Philippines to accept payments from local users of GCash and Chinese visitors using Alipay through a single connection to the GCash QR Code solution.

The announcement was jointly made by Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc, (Mynt), which operates GCash, the country’s largest mobile wallet, and Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial or Ant), which operates Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform.

Alipay and GCash will work together to promote the new QR code payment to enable local merchants to service an even bigger pool of consumers with seamless payment experiences. This service will be rolled out over the next few weeks across GCash’s merchant network.

Ant Financial earlier entered into a joint venture with Globe Telecom and the country’s oldest conglomerate Ayala Corporation to boost Mynt’s operations, parent company of GCash mobile wallet service. Under this strategic partnership, Ant Financial will partner with Mynt for merchant acquiring activities for Alipay across the Philippines.

GCash remains the only mobile wallet partner for Ant Financial in the Philippines, serving local users in their everyday mobile payment needs from buy load, movie tickets to microloans and other financial services.

“We have enjoyed a strong and trusting relationship with Mynt since 2017, as we witnessed GCash’s phenomenal growth to becoming a world-class online and offline payment provider well-loved by Filipinos. With the success GCash has demonstrated over the last twelve months, we are pleased to elevate this strategic partnership today by establishing GCash QR code as the common QR code for both local users and visiting Alipay users,” said Douglas Feagin, senior vice president of global business at Ant Financial.

“By jointly establishing this QR code with Alipay, all merchants working with GCash will be able to accept Alipay as a payment option for Chinese travelers in their stores, while also catering to the local user pool that have now grown to love our cashless lifestyle app. We are hopeful that our merchants can benefit from the increased footfall and revenue stream brought by the increasing number of Chinese tourists coming to the country,” said Anthony Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mynt.

Alipay is now accepted by brick-and-mortar merchants across 41 countries and regions. They connect with travelers via the Alipay’s in-app marketing platform and accept payments in stores and online.

According to a survey named “Outbound Chinese Tourism and Consumption Trends: 2017 Survey” conducted by research firm Nielsen, over 94% of Chinese tourists expect they will utilize mobile payment methods when travelling, bringing their cashless lifestyle overseas. A record-breaking number of Chinese tourists were seen visiting Philippines in the month of February 2018 according to the Philippines Department of Tourism. (Press Release)

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Smart, YouTube partnership offers free 1-hour daily access to video site

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is giving Smart, TNT, and Sun prepaid customers free access for one hour daily to YouTube and soon to other online video services…

PLDT wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) is giving Smart, TNT, and Sun prepaid customers free access for one hour daily to YouTube and soon to other online video services until July 15.

These subscribers can watch YouTube for one hour for free daily by simply registering to load packages like GigaSurf99, AllOutSurf99, GigaSurf 50, AllOutSurf 30, Panalo Data 30, Panalo Combo 30, Super Combo 20, and Big Time Data 70. They can enjoy this special offer for the duration of the packages that they buy.

“Through this path-breaking partnership, many more Filipinos can pursue their passions like music and entertainment, and learn a wide range of skills, hobbies, educational material, news and information through the massive library of video material of YouTube. This service is something every Filipino should have access to,” said Oscar A. Reyes, Jr., SVP of Consumer Business Market Development for PLDT and Smart.

Smart Free YouTube

YOUTUBE PARTNERSHIP. Filipino YouTube creators during the announcement of Smart’s partnership with the video platform. (Photo from Smart Newsroom)

Enhance digital lifestyle

“With this new offer, mobile phone users now have everyday access to the richest video library with content from every corner of the planet—for free,” Reyes said. He added that this special promo will soon be available to postpaid subscribers as well.

“We are proud to partner with YouTube to bring the service closer to our customers. This is just the start of a fruitful partnership, and we are working on a lot of other exciting initiatives that will enhance the digital lifestyle of Filipinos,” Reyes said.

Aside from YouTube, another video service is also set to be part of the offer. Access to Smart360, a web portal where Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers can access various digital content like live TV, movies, series, music and games, will soon be free for a limited time. Other video content providers are also eligible to be included in the offer, subject to mutually agreed terms with Smart.

Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers are now better able to enjoy video streaming services like YouTube as a result of Smart’s massive network investments over the past several years which has enabled the mobile phone carrier to provide high-speed mobile data services via its expanded LTE and 3G networks throughout the country.

Internet experience at par with the world

To provide customers with a better video and mobile internet experience, Smart is accelerating the deployment of LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) and carrier aggregation technology to more areas this year. Carrier Aggregation (CA), a feature of LTE-A, enables the combination of two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and much faster data speeds, which are crucial in providing the best video streaming experience to mobile phone users.

Smart has already rolled-out 3CC CA sites in cities across Metro Manila, as well as in major cities in other regions of the country, including Baguio, Calamba, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tagbilaran, Ormoc, Cagayan de Oro, Dipolog, Zamboanga, among others. In Metro Manila and areas where there is a concentration of capable devices, Smart is also deploying 4CC, starting with Marikina and Quezon City, where customers with 4CC CA-capable devices like the Samsung Galaxy S8 have reported enjoying data download speeds of over 200 Mbps.

Smart’s accelerated deployment of LTE-Advanced follows the stepped up roll out of its LTE network. It is also upping the ante by deploying another LTE-A based technology called 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), which raises the radio frequency efficiency by using multiple antennas for sending and receiving data.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. Capital expenditures reached P40 billion in 2017, of which about 67% was allotted for the mobile network. For 2018, PLDT capex is expected to reach P58 billion, which includes allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations. (Press Release)

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Dell EMC turns ocean plastic into packaging; recycles e-wastes into new components

When you unbox the highly-rated XPS 13 2-in-1 you will find packaging made of recycled ocean-bound plastics, the result of a key project that is part of the Dell EMC…

When you unbox the highly-rated XPS 13 2-in-1 you will find packaging made of recycled ocean-bound plastics, the result of a key project that is part of the Dell EMC Legacy of Good global corporate initiative.

Dell EMC collects plastics from beaches and waterways and recycles these into product packaging, which is a first for the industry, the company said.

Dell EMC will turn eight tons of ocean-bound plastic into packaging this year, with a goal of using 10 times that volume by 2025, said Elizabeth Pabunag of Dell EMC Corporate Communications. Pabunag gave a briefing on the company’s key corporate social responsibility program to journalists at their office in the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

Dell EMC recycled packaging.

RECYCLED PACKAGING. Elizabeth Pabunag of Dell EMC Corporate Communications shows the packaging tray made from recycled ocean-bound plastic (right). At left is the one made from bamboo.

Sustainability at every stage

In 2017, Dell EMC reported that its recycling program kept 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean. The plastic recovered from beaches and waterways are refined, mixed with recycled plastic bottles and food containers, and then molded into packaging trays for the company’s products.

Pabunag said Dell EMC takes a “lifecycle approach” on recycling that focuses on “sustainability at every stage.” She said 99% of the company’s manufacturing waste is diverted from landfills into the “world’s largest recycling program with services in 83 countries and territories.”

She said 22 million pounds of plastic parts have been created under this closed-loop plastics supply chain since May 2014.

Dell recycling program

RECYCLING PROGRAM. Dell EMC reported that by recycling plastic into packaging such as the one in the photo, they kept 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean.

E-waste into new components

Apart from plastics, Pabunag sa Dell EMC also recovers precious metals from electronic products and recycles them into components.

“Currently only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled into other products. As a result, it’s estimated that Americans throw away $60 million in gold and silver every year through unwanted phones alone,” Dell EMC said in a press statement.

Dell EMC Legacy of Good

TARGET. Dell EMC will turn eight tons of ocean-bound plastic into packaging this year, with a goal of using 10 times that volume by 2025, said Elizabeth Pabunag of Dell EMC Corporate Communications.

Pabunag said Dell EMC is the first to recycle gold from old computers into new motherboards. She said its supplier in Tawain was able to make connectors for 6 million new motherboards from 2.27 kilos of gold that the company recovered from discarded motherboards.

Less environmental damage

The process causes 99% less environmental damage and avoids $1.6 million in “natural capital costs.”

Pabunag also highlighted the company’s partnership with actress and entrepreneur Nikki Reed for the Circular Collection by Bayou with Love and Dell, a limited jewelry line made from gold recovered by Dell EMC’s recycling program.

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Here’s how to make your internet connection (a bit) faster, more private

When you connect to a website, the first thing that happens is that your device queries for the location of the servers that host the content. When you type an…

When you connect to a website, the first thing that happens is that your device queries for the location of the servers that host the content.

When you type an address like Facebook.com, for example, your system needs to find the numeric address or the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the server that hosts the site, such as 31.13.72.36. This arrangement, called Domain Name System (DNS), is analogous to a phonebook.

That process is what technology company Cloudflare wants to speed up with its recent announcement on the availability of the 1.1.1.1 DNS service. The service is run in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre or APNIC, the regional registry that manages the allocation of IP addresses.

Here’s an explainer video on DNS

“Unfortunately, by default, DNS is usually slow and insecure. Your ISP, and anyone else listening in on the Internet, can see every site you visit and every app you use — even if their content is encrypted. Creepily, some DNS providers sell data about your Internet activity or use it target you with ads,” Cloudflare said in announcing the free service.

By default, your connection uses the DNS settings of your Internet Service Providers or ISP such as PLDT Home. To use the services of 1.1.1.1, you just need to adjust settings in your router, computer, or phone.

Cloudflare 1.1.1.1

CHANGING ROUTER SETTING. To use the service, you need to change a setting in your router or device. The image shows the setting change for the PLDT DSL modem.

I switched our home connection for a couple of days now and there are discernible improvements in the speed of the loading of pages. Before 1.1.1.1, we used Google’s public DNS, which are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Before Google’s public DNS, we used for some time OpenDNS, which are 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220. OpenDNS has the added functionality of blocking harmful locations such as phishing sites and filtering porn content.

Cloudflare DNS

FAST. DNSPerf ranks 1.1.1.1 as fastest DNS service globally.

DNSPerf data back up the service’s claim to being the fastest. It ranked 1.1.1.1 at number 1 with a query speed of 13.67 ms. OpenDNS ranked 2nd with a speed of 20.69 ms. Google’s public DNS had a speed of 34.46 ms.

Cloudflare DNS 1.1.1.1

SPEED, PRIVACY. The new DNS service by Cloudflare and APNIC offers speed and guarantees privacy, according to its announcement.

But a key draw to the 1.1.1.1 service is its guarantee on privacy.

“Frankly, we don’t want to know what you do on the Internet—it’s none of our business—and we’ve taken the technical steps to ensure we can’t,” the service announcement said.

The partners said the “will never log your IP address (the way other companies identify you).” To back their claim, the partners said they signed up KPMG to audit their systems to make sure they are doing what they promised.

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Fujitsu PH expands array of cloud solutions, services in VisMin

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., a leading Information Technology (IT) systems integrator and solutions provider, is strengthening its array of cloud offerings in Visayas and Mindanao amid the growing market demands in…

Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., a leading Information Technology (IT) systems integrator and solutions provider, is strengthening its array of cloud offerings in Visayas and Mindanao amid the growing market demands in the region.

According to Raul “Cricket” Santiago III, president and CEO of Fujitsu Philippines, the VisMin markets sustained a stellar development, especially that their “next wave cities” like Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Davao offer the necessary infrastructure, security, labor pool, and government policies, that attract investors to grow their businesses in the region.

Cloud solutions

“As these markets continue to thrive, organizations of all sizes across all industry sectors are realizing the importance of moving to new cloud models,” added Santiago. To support the goals of these organizations, this year, Fujitsu Philippines sets to offer a more comprehensive range of trusted cloud solutions not just for its growing number of customers, but also for potential clients in the area.

Fujitsu cloud

CLOUD SOLUTIONS. Fujitsu Philippines Sales Director for Visayas-Mindanao Terry Ybanez, Managed Services and Cloud Mark Pandy, Marketing Director Marje Balbuena and Marketing Associate Erika Garcia.

“Our goal is really to bring our global cloud expertise closer to organizations in Visayas and Mindanao, which need a wide array of solutions and services for their IT requirements,” said Santiago. “We want to work with them, together with our systems integration partners, in ensuring the deployment of solutions that tackle their IT challenges and maximize their business potential.”

At present, Fujitsu Philippines has two cloud infrastructures present in the country, one in Metro Manila and the other in Metro Cebu, making it more reliable and compliant with industry standards.

Satellite offices

Aside from these data centers, the company also has a satellite office in Davao, which was opened last year, and in Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

Fujitsu Philippines offers public, private, and hybrid cloud offerings, geared towards helping companies achieve the success of their cloud adoption more rapidly, at lower costs, and with greater agility. It also extends standardized IT services, which can be used within a short lead time without having to deal with complex hardware and software.

For enterprises that need to implement their own cloud infrastructure, Fujitsu Philippines also offers pre-integrated and tested infrastructures for faster implementation and earlier savings with minimum cost outlay.

“With over 40 years of relevant experience in the local market, Fujitsu has already established positive results for our cloud customers nationwide. We want to continue shaping a better future in these emerging and markets by driving business agility, greatest cost-efficiencies, and rapid innovation for organizations, wherever they may be in their cloud adoption journey,” said Santiago.

Aside from cloud solutions and services, Fujitsu Philippines also provides businesses with cutting-edge IT solutions and services nationwide. It has also made Japanese IT design and technology available through its server, storage, and scanning hardware and solutions.

To know more about Fujitsu Philippines, Inc., visit the website at http://www.fujitsu.com/ph.

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Smart powers PH Red Cross-Nokia disaster response solution

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications will provide high-speed connectivity for a drone system that will help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross. The drone system, which…

PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications will provide high-speed connectivity for a drone system that will help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross.

The drone system, which will operate on Smart’s frequencies during times of emergency, is part of Nokia Saving Lives, a program that aims to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams.

The initiative was showcased in Barcelona, Spain, at the recent Mobile World Congress organized by GSMA, an organization of nearly 800 operators and more than 300 mobile companies all over the world.

Drone system

The system consists of drones, a portable data center, a mobile broadband network, and applications like video streaming, gas sensing, mapping, and analytics, which can help Red Cross responders assess current status of lifelines and analyze immediate needs and gaps. This will enable Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to communities in more timely, effective and efficient ways.

Using Smart’s high-speed LTE connectivity and Nokia’s portable Ultra Compact Network, the system can also create a secure communication between drones, other equipment, and rescue team members.

The drone can be equipped with different types of cameras, sensors and speakers, and can also be used to carry first aid kits. The portable data center, meanwhile, is a computing and storage unit that can be used for immediate data analysis.

Smart, Red Cross, Nokia

PARTNERSHIP. Representatives of Philippine Red Cross, Smart Communications and Nokia meet for the drone project. From left, PRC disaster response and chapter support unit head Archieval Molos, operations center manager May Carol Layugan, Finnish Red Cross country delegate Juan Daniel Reyes, Smart community partnerships’ Joyce Panaligan and Mary Jane Francisco, PRC disaster management services manager Resty Lou Talamayan, Smart community partnerships senior manager Nova Concepcion, Nokia Philippines chief technology officer Timothy Senathirajah, and Nokia Manila Technology Center’s Lawrence Madriaga and Kenneth Pingca.

Improve emergency response

Nicolas Bouverot, head of market unit Asia South, said: “Nokia is committed to using technology to make people’s lives better. With our Nokia Manila Technology Center, we’re honored to collaborate with Smart and the Philippine Red Cross in this disaster management enhancement project utilizing LTE connected drones in Philippines, helping the country improve emergency response, and save lives.”

“We are happy to be part of this project by providing vital communications support for the operations of the drones. This project is in line with our commitment to deploy tech innovations for the benefit of communities, particularly during times of disasters,” said PLDT and Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto.

Smart is one of the three founding signatories of GSMA’s Human Connectivity Charter. The HCC aims to provide increased access to communication and information of for those affected by calamities, helping reduce loss of lives and contribute to humanitarian response.

Since its launch in 2015, HCC has grown to include over 100 mobile operator members and six humanitarian partners across more than 75 countries.

HCC was launched to enable network operators and industry partners to formalize their commitments to enhance their capacity to mitigate, prepare for, and respond to disasters through mobile technology.

Smart, Red Cross, Nokia

Smart will provide connectivity support to Nokia drones, which will be used by the Philippine Red Cross for their humanitarian efforts.

Disaster preparedness programs

Smart’s disaster preparedness programs were cited in GSMA HCC’s annual report in 2016. These programs include Smart’s Emergency Cell Broadcast System (ECBS), which sends out location- and hazard-specific alerts; its ICT Bayanihan series of regional summits to institutionalize emergency telecommunications teams; and the Batingaw disaster management app, which has been replicated in the Horn of Africa. In 2017, the report said Smart had sent SMS and ECBS disaster alerts to 10 million people.

The company has also been a partner of the Philippine Red Cross for disaster response efforts and blood donation drives. Smart has extended support to Red Cross chapters all over the country on various occasions and in times of calamities by providing communications facilities and helping set up first-aid stations, among other activities.

Smart’s support to the Red Cross and commitment to HCC are part of the company’s #SafePH advocacy, which aims to help build resilient communities and reduce disaster-related casualties through technology. (Press Release)

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Smart donates digital learning packages for Basilan learners

Students in Basilan, particularly those under the Alternative Learning System (ALS), now have access to mobile tools and digital content that will help make learning more fun and effective for…

Students in Basilan, particularly those under the Alternative Learning System (ALS), now have access to mobile tools and digital content that will help make learning more fun and effective for them.

Smart Communications recently turned over two School-in-a-Bag units to the Department of Education-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, represented by Secretary Rasol Mitmug, in Lantawan town.

Each School-in-a-Bag contains a solar panel for recipients without access to electricity, tablets preloaded with fun educational content, and other devices. The donation package also includes training for teachers and yearlong monitoring.

School in a bag

TURNOVER. Smart public affairs senior manager Stephanie Orlino (standing third from right) turns over a School-in-a-Bag to Basilan teachers.

The two units will benefit students in Lantawan and Sumisip under the ALS, a learning option for those without access to formal education in schools.

“I am thankful that Smart is there to help the education sector, as its capabilities in delivering technology fit the needs of the next generation,” Mitmog said.

ALS coordinator Aurora Anamon said, “It is a big thing for learners to see videos on a screen. The visual learning approach helps a lot. There are adult learners who will benefit from this because they wish to learn through technology.”

ALS teacher Husaita Barillo-Pantao said the School-in-a-Bag would lighten the heavy load of teachers, particularly in terms of preparing visual aids.

Smart developed the School-in-a-Bag after a study it had commissioned showed that the managed use of tablets in the classroom boosted learning and interest in lessons. While it has donated several units to schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, Smart is also calling on individuals and organizations who wish to bring digital learning to more areas in the country. Interested parties may email [email protected] for details.

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Twitter celebrates 12th birthday

What started out as a daylong brainstorming idea of Jack Dorsey (@Jack), Evan Williams (@Ev), and Biz Stone (@Biz) for a site inspired by SMS (short message service); Twitter has…

What started out as a daylong brainstorming idea of Jack Dorsey (@Jack), Evan Williams (@Ev), and Biz Stone (@Biz) for a site inspired by SMS (short message service); Twitter has definitely become the platform of choice for sharing thoughts and ideas in a short and concise manner in real time, specifically within its (then, 140-character rule) 280-character rule.

With a staggering 330 million monthly active users, including notable celebrities, fashion icons, and political figures; everybody goes to Twitter to see #whatshappening. Among the most Tweeted events are the #65thMissUniverse which generated over 34.6 million Tweets during its coronation last 30th of January 2017, and #AlDubEBTamangPanahon which was entered into the Guinness World Records as the most used hashtag in 24 hours during the television variety show “Eat Bulaga” charity concert in 2015 at the Philippine Arena.

The 2016 national elections in the Philippines also garnered over 35 million Tweets which include #PiliPinas2016, #PHVote, and even own hashtags and emojis of the candidates.

In line with Twitter’s 12th birthday, here’s a recap of the country’s 12 most followed personalities’ first Tweets which was no surprise from the entertainment industry.

1.) Jose Marie Viceral, or more popularly known as Vice Ganda, (@vicegandako) with over 10.6 million followers is one of the most sought-after and versatile comedians of his generation made popular by his hosting stint in ABS-CBN’s noontime show, “Showtime”. His first Tweet was posted back in 2010 to greet the energetic audience of the show who are affectionately referred to as the “Madlang Pipol.” Vice Ganda’s personality reflects on his consistent witty Tweets, sharing words of wisdom, opinions and comments to his fans.


2.) Starting out as a child star, Anne Curtis-Smith-Heusaff (@annecurtissmith) soon became one of the entertainment industry’s most bankable actresses, one of the top endorsers in the Philippines and now a showbiz entrepreneur. Today, 9 years and 10 million followers later, she still slays in the Twitter world, using the platform to connect with her fans and co-actors and actresses, being down to earth veering away from the glamour of being a celebrity.


3.) In her first Tweet, the timeless beauty and actress Angel Locsin (@143redangel) expressed her excitement being on Twitter. Thanks to her friend Dennis Ilagan (@denniscillin) for prompting her to sign up. Over the years, she has been active on Twitter, and brought to life a growing fanbase who continues to support her.


4.) The entertainment industry’s “Teen Queen”, Kathryn Bernardo’s (@bernardokath) first Tweet was posted on the 2nd of October 2010 was an expression of appreciation to her cousin, John Mav Bernardo (@MavHarnois). Her Tweets reflect how grateful she is to her fans, sharing also her milestones through her various endorsements.


5.) Yeng Constantino (@YengPLUGGEDin), the “Grand Star Dreamer” of the inaugural season of Pinoy Dream Academy, shared her fancy for the platform as her first Tweet in August 2009 and it enabled her to connect with her fans and made new friends. Constantino holds Twitter dear to her heart as it served as an avenue to connect with her long-time friend and now-husband Yan Asuncion (@the_boyscout).


6.) While the TV host, model, and mom, Bianca Gonzalez Intal (@iamsuperbianca)’s first Tweet was about Ashton Kutcher who challenged CNN to a popularity contest on Twitter, racing to get 1 million followers. Now, we could see Bianca’s wise adulting and parenting Tweets and has surpassed a million followers through dedication and hard work as she continued to inspire people through her tweets.


7.) The “Teen King”, Daniel Padilla (@imdanielpadilla), used Twitter a little later than everyone else among the top followed Twitter personalities in the Philippines. His charming looks and personality brought him a solid fanbase on Twitter who he keeps updated with the latest happenings of the KathNiel love team.


8.) Popular host and actor Luis Manzano (@luckymanzano), says he joined Twitter because of the constant prodding by television host and model Isabelle Daza (@isabelledaza) and bade the Twitter people a warm hello on his first Tweet. Actively sharing his passion in music, he captured the hearts of his followers in supporting Original Pinoy Music. Along with that, he also expressed his love for nature and environment through Retweeting advocacies on Twitter.


9.) Just like the other resident host of “Showtime”, the SupahPapalicious man, Vhong Navarro (@VhongX44)’s first Tweet was also for the audience who is very special to them up until today, the “Madlang People.” Although he started to create his Twitter account back in 2009, his first Tweet was dated January 2012, his popularity boosted his profile to gain almost 6 million followers today.


10.) Actress, host, and United Nations World Food Programme ambassador KC Concepcion (@itskcconcepcion), was curious how Twitter works when she made her first Tweet. She eventually gained a solid foundation through her Tweets by connecting to people in different walks of life and eventually discovering her place in the world of Twitter, beyond of what an influencer is all about.


11.) International singer, actress and Broadway star, Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) was exploring whether Twitter works better for her than Facebook. Enjoying getting into conversations with fans, family and friends alike her following have grown to almost 6 million.


12.) Enrique Gil (@itsenriquegil), one of “Bagani’s” leading actors, was watching the 2001 American comedy film by Ben Stiller, “Zoolander” which prompted his first ever Tweet. He leverages his reach on Twitter by promoting his endorsements and making sure that his fans are up to date with his whereabouts in the showbiz industry.


Twitter continues to be the platform of choice for Filipinos to have conversations and #seeeveryside of opinions and ideas, as well as to know #whatshappening locally and around the world as it happens. From simple greetings to video messages, and even live streaming, netizens will always have Twitter to connect and be heard – no matter where or who they are. (Press Release)

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Fitbit introduces Fitbit Versa, “the smartwatch for all”

Fitbit has introduced the Fitbit Versa, its lightest smartwatch that showcases a modern design and the health and fitness features you need with more than four days of battery life….

Fitbit has introduced the Fitbit Versa, its lightest smartwatch that showcases a modern design and the health and fitness features you need with more than four days of battery life.

In the Fitbit Versa, advanced health and fitness features like 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, and automatic sleep stages tracking meet smart features like quick replies on Android, wallet-free payments, and on-device music – all with 4+ days battery life.

Versa will be available in the Philippines in the second quarter of 2018, the company said in a press statement.

Fitbit’s lightest smartwatch offers a comfortable design and a new dashboard that simplifies how you access your health and fitness data.

Fitbit also announces new female health tracking to help women track their menstrual cycle, view holistic health data in one place, and better understand connections to their overall health. Female health tracking will be available on-device for Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic users, and to all Fitbit app users starting in May 2018.

“As the wearables category continues to grow, Fitbit Versa fills a critical need in the market by delivering a beautifully designed, full-featured smartwatch that is easy to use at a very competitive price,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “Versa brings consumers the advanced health and fitness features Fitbit is known for, along with broad compatibility across mobile platforms and 4+ days battery life to provide users with a better picture of their overall health, making it stand out from any smartwatch available today.”

Your all-day health, wellness and fitness companion

Versa launches with Fitbit OS 2.0 for the company’s smartwatches, including a new personalized dashboard that provides a more simplified, intuitive and holistic view of your health and fitness data, bringing the best of our mobile app to the wrist, including:

  • Stats at a glance: See your daily and weekly health and fitness stats, historical activity, heart rate, and exercise summaries, action-oriented motivational messages, tips and tricks, and daily guidance – all on your wrist.
  • More personalized over time: Reminders, celebrations, logging, insights, sleep summaries and social challenges, with prompts to take actions based on your data, coming later in 2018.

Versa also offers all the health and fitness features Fitbit users love most:

  • Personalized fitness guidance: Enhanced 24/7 PurePulse heart rate tracking, on-screen personal workouts from Fitbit Coach, 15+ Exercise Modes, Connected GPS, swim tracking with water resistance up to 50 meters, plus automatic activity and exercise tracking.
  • Take charge of your health and wellness: Use Sleep Stages and Insights to see how well you’re sleeping and set a restful sleep schedule, and Cardio Fitness Level to see how fit you are; move more throughout the day with Reminders to Move. A relative SpO2 sensor opens the potential to track important health indicators in the future, such as sleep apnea.

Optimize your health, fitness and family planning with female health tracking

Fitbit is also introducing female health tracking to help women understand how their menstrual cycle connects to their overall health. According to a recent Fitbit survey, 80% of women did not know how many phases are in a menstrual cycle and more than 70% were unable to correctly identify the average length of a cycle, demonstrating a lack of awareness about women’s health. Created for all Fitbit app users who identify themselves as female ages 13 and over, the feature lets you:

  • Stay on top of your cycle: Easily log your menstrual cycle data, and record symptoms like headaches, acne and cramps; helps you be more informed about your health and life planning, and, as needed, can help you show your doctor specific details for more personalized care.
  • Know what’s ahead: See dynamic cycle predictions for where you are in your cycle and when to expect your period using Fitbit’s new proprietary cycle algorithm that gets smarter over time the more you log; see where you are in your cycle at-a-glance on your wrist.
  • All of your data in one place: View holistic data in one place to reveal connections between your cycle and other stats in the Fitbit app, such as activity, sleep and weight trends to better manage your activity and sleep needs during certain times of the month.
  • Period 101: Learn more about the menstrual cycle, ovulation, fertility and common misconceptions with educational content on the Fitbit blog through the Fitbit app.
  • Connect with others: Join other women through Groups in the Community tab of the Fitbit app for support around key topics like periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause.
  • Personalized insights and guidance: In the future, as the database of female health metrics grows this data may help enable Fitbit to deliver even more insights, such as how your cycle impacts your activity, sleep, weight and nutrition, and potentially how these things can affect your cycle.

“Female health tracking will empower women with a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognize what are normal trends over time versus what could be an issue to share with their doctor,” said Dr. Katharine White, MD MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine and Fitbit Advisor.

“The nuances of the menstrual cycle have not been as widely studied across populations as have other areas in healthcare. This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women’s health with real world data,” White said.

Fitbit Versa

FITBIT VERSA. In the Fitbit Versa, advanced health and fitness features like 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, and automatic sleep stages tracking meet smart features like quick replies on Android, wallet-free payments, and on-device music – all with 4+ days battery life.

Lightweight and modern design for everyday life

Our lightest, most approachable watch yet, Versa is comfortable, durable and versatile enough for all-day and night wear. It features an ultra-thin, anodized aluminum case and is slightly tapered and angled in its design to fit small or large wrists. The rounded square silhouette display features a bright, colorful touchscreen and sharp graphics up to 1,000 nits, providing the ideal format to see all of your data on your wrist.

Versa offers a variety of stylish accessories so you can change your look based on your outfit or activity:

  • Classic accessories: Featuring new stain-resistant materials, these sleek, swim-ready bands are available in peach, gray, black, periwinkle and white.
  • Horween leather accessories: Using renowned and respected tannery Horween Leather, these hand-crafted bands offer a cool, casual look in cognac brown, midnight blue, lavender, and saddle with artisan-inspired tan stitching.
  • Stainless steel accessories: The stainless steel links and metal mesh bands give a polished look to elevate your style. Stainless steel links are available in black, silver or tapered silver; metal mesh bands are available in black or silver.
  • Designer collection: Fitbit and The Council of Fashion Designers of America invited select designers to submit accessory designs for Versa that showcased their vision for fashion wearables. Emerging designer PH5 was selected to create a new Versa accessory line, available exclusively at Fitbit.com later this year.
  • Fitbit Versa Special Edition: Offering two looks in one with exclusive woven bands inspired by athleisure trends in lavender with a rose gold aluminum case or charcoal with a graphite aluminum case, as well as a black Classic accessory band in box

Essential smart features that help you simplify your life

Versa offers a range of smart features to help you manage your day and quickly get the information you need most:

  • Notifications and quick replies: View app, call, calendar, and text notifications from your smartphone, right on your wrist. Android phone users can send quick pre-populated or customizable replies to text messages and messenger apps (coming soon).
  • Music on your device: Listen to phone-free music anywhere using Bluetooth headphones like Fitbit Flyer, including 300+ songs from your personal music collection and now your own or curated playlists as well as Flow from Deezer.
  • Pay from your wrist: Leave your wallet at home and easily pay in any store where contactless payments are accepted with Fitbit Pay, supported by nearly 40 banks in 14 countries including Australia and Singapore, through American Express, Mastercard and Visa networks, with more countries and banks rolling out in 2018.
  • Apps and clock faces you want: Personalize your device by choosing from a wide range of apps and clock faces in the Fitbit App Gallery, including those from Fitbit, Fitbit Labs, and popular apps like Strava and Weather. The Fitbit App Gallery has more than 550 apps and clock faces available today, many of which developers are working to make available to Versa users soon.
  • Fitbit Labs: An R&D initiative introduced last year focused on accelerating innovation and driving behavior change, Fitbit Labs is introducing a New Parent app to help parents more easily stay on top of their baby’s schedule. By logging their infant’s feedings, diaper changes and sleep, plus their own mood, all from their wrist, new parents can better understand the connections between their sleep and mood, and, over time, help build a healthy routine for themselves and their baby.
  • Broad compatibility: Versa is compatible across Android, iOS and Windows devices so you can use most smartphiones.

“We are thrilled to offer Fitbit’s global smartwatch community convenient and easy access to the music they want to help them stay motivated on their fitness journey,” said Riad Hawa, Global VP of Hardware Partnerships at Deezer. “With this partnership, we’ve made it easier to have relevant and fresh music on your wrist with Flow, a personalized soundtrack, and a wide selection of playlists – all without having to bring your phone when you’re exercising.”

Versa’s new software features are part of the latest Fitbit OS update, the operating system for Fitbit smartwatches. This software update will also be available for Ionic users.

Pricing and availability

Fitbit Versa will be available in the Philippines in the second quarter 2018 for P13,890 in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case. Fitbit Versa Special Edition will retail for P15,590; accessories ranging from P1,899 to P5,499. Versa will be available in across leading retail stores including Digital Walker, Globe, Liberty, Runnr and Lazada.

With the introduction of Versa, Fitbit expands its smartwatch offerings, providing consumers with greater choice across its product lineup of trackers and watches, and positioning the company to capture greater share of the overall wearables category. According to IDC, the worldwide wearables market is set to nearly double by 2021, with watches driving this growth in the long term. (Press Release)

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Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ ‘built for the way we communicate today’

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has introduced the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the smartphones that reimagine the way we communicate, share and experience the world. Made for the way we…

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. has introduced the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, the smartphones that reimagine the way we communicate, share and experience the world. Made for the way we increasingly communicate and express ourselves more with images, videos and emojis, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ drive innovation with Samsung’s most advanced camera ever.

Redesigned with a new dual aperture lens that powers an innovative low light camera, Super Slow-mo video capabilities and personalized AR Emoji, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ ensure you never miss a moment and make your everyday epic.

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

PREMIUM SOUND EXPERIENCE. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ have stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Whether users are watching their favorite movie or streaming their favorite artist’s latest album, sounds are clear, crisp and rich in quality. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also support Dolby Atmos, giving the effect of 360-degree sound.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ deliver an enhanced entertainment experience with powerful stereo speakers tuned by AKG, surround sound supported by Dolby Atmos and a refined edge-to-edge Infinity Display – a key staple in Samsung’s design heritage. In addition, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will come with the new SmartThings app, which unites Samsung’s existing IoT services into one single, smart experience.

“The way we use our smartphones has changed as communication and self-expression has evolved,” said DJ Koh, president and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “With the Galaxy S9 and S9+, we have reimagined the smartphone camera. Not only does the Galaxy S9 and S9+ enable consumers to shoot the best photos and videos anywhere, it’s a smartphone that’s designed to help them connect to others and express themselves in a way that’s unique and personal to them.”

Camera Reimagined

Today’s cameras are for more than taking pictures – they’re for connecting and communicating. Consumers want a smartphone camera with state-of-the-art technology so they can express themselves with high-quality images and tools to tell their own, unique story. The Galaxy S9 and S9+’s cameras are built with these consumers in mind, with a Super Speed Dual Pixel sensor with dedicated processing power and memory that can combine up to 12 frames into one amazing shot for the highest photo quality possible. The Galaxy S9 and S9+’s camera features include:

Super Slow-mo: Make every day moments epic with dynamic, slow-motion video that captures 960 frames per second. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also offers automatic Motion Detection, an intelligent feature that detects movement in the frame and automatically begins to record – all users have to do is set up the shot. After capturing the Super Slow-mo video, users can select background music from 35 different options or add a tune from their favorite playlist. Users can also easily create, edit and share GIF files with a simple tap in three playful styles of looping to watch the action over and over.

Low Light Camera: Good lighting is the secret to any great photo. But often, photos are taken in less-than-ideal lighting conditions and most smartphone cameras have a fixed aperture that can’t adjust to low or bright lighting environments resulting in grainy or washed out pictures. Similar to the way the iris of a human eye expands and contracts, Samsung’s Dual Aperture (F1.5 – F2.4) automatically lets in more light when it’s dark and less light when it’s too bright, taking photos that are crisp and clear anytime, anywhere.

AR Emoji: Samsung lets users create an emoji that looks, sounds and acts just like them. AR Emoji uses a data-based machine learning algorithm, which analyzes a 2D image of the user and maps out more than 100 facial features to create a 3D model that reflects and imitates expressions, like winks and nods, for true personalization. AR Emoji shares your real-life feelings not only in video but also with a range of stickers in uses a standard AGIF file format so users can share their emojis across most third-party messaging platforms.

Bixby: Samsung’s intelligence platform, integrated into the camera, uses augmented reality and deep learning technologies to provide helpful information about a user’s surroundings. With real-time object detection and recognition, Bixby instantly generates information directly on top of the image that the camera is pointing at. Users can translate foreign languages and currency in real time with Live Translation, learn about their surroundings.

Entertainment Reimagined

Smartphones are often our go-to choice for entertainment, which is why Samsung created a device that offers premium sound experiences with stereo speakers tuned by AKG. Whether users are watching their favorite movie or streaming their favorite artist’s latest album, sounds are clear, crisp and rich in quality. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also support Dolby Atmos, giving the effect of 360-degree sound.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ audio experience is complemented by Samsung’s revolutionary Infinity Display. First introduced on the Galaxy S8, the bold, bright Super AMOLED Infinity Display blends right into the phone with virtually no distracting bezels. With adaptive contrast enhancement, users can use their device even in direct sunlight.

Infinity display.

Connected Lifestyle

As the first smartphone to support the new SmartThings app, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are the central hub to manage every facet of the connected lifestyle at home, at the office or on the go. The SmartThings app will be introduced with S9 and S9+, and will connect to other Samsung and non-Samsung devices.

For those constantly on the move, the next-generation Samsung DeX empowers a mobile lifestyle by bringing a large, full-screen experience to the mobile handset. With DeX Pad, a new docking system, users can easily connect the Galaxy S9 and S9+ to a larger monitor, keyboard and mouse to expand the mobile experience with enhanced document editing or even full-screen gaming. Users can also transform the Galaxy S9 and S9+ into a Touch Keyboard and Touch Pad with the DeX Pad.

Galaxy Foundation

Samsung sets the gold standard for smartphones including IP68 water and dust resistance, and fast wireless charging. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ go a step beyond. The devices now support expandable memory of up to 400GB and are equipped with the latest premium application processors offering powerful performance and sophisticated image processing.

In addition, the Galaxy S9 and S9+ give users the peace of mind knowing that their phone is protected by Knox 3.1, Samsung’s latest defense-grade security platform. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ support three different biometric authentication options – iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition – so users can choose the best way to protect their device and applications. The devices support Intelligent Scan, a new verification that intelligently uses the collective strength of iris scanning and facial recognition technology to quickly and conveniently unlock a user’s phone in any environment. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ also introduce Dedicated Fingerprint, giving users the option to use a different fingerprint to access Secure Folder than the one used to unlock the phone.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ takes health to the next level with an improved optical sensor built directly into the device, providing richer, more accurate information on user’s health status. This sensor allows the Galaxy S9 and S9+ to keep track of users’ Heart Load Factor, a new measurement of the real-time demand placed on your heart.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be available starting in March 16, 2018 and will be offered in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and a new hue, Lilac Purple.

Pre-order the Galaxy S9 and S9+ from February 27 to March 6, 2018 and get one exclusive gift of your choice along with complimentary bundles and discount on Samsung wearables. Visit your nearest Samsung experience store or select Abenson’s or SM Appliance stores nationwide. To know more about the newest Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+, visit samsung.com.ph or visit our Facebook page, facebook.com/SamsungPH. (Press Release)

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Motorola expands retail footprint in Visayas, Mindanao

Since its launch in 2016, Motorola Philippines has gone full throttle in making the Motorola experience more accessible to Filipinos nationwide. To support this vision, Motorola is further strengthening its…

Since its launch in 2016, Motorola Philippines has gone full throttle in making the Motorola experience more accessible to Filipinos nationwide. To support this vision, Motorola is further strengthening its presence in Visayas and Mindanao with new retail kiosks in Cebu and Davao.

Strategically located in the Cyberzone area of SM City Cebu and in Gaisano Mall Davao, the newly-opened Motorola experience kiosks bring the Motorola innovative technology closer to consumers. The new retail stores also kick-start Motorola’s expansion plans for 2018 aimed at showcasing its smartphone offerings catering to the different Filipino markets and the trademark lineup of modular accessories better known as the Moto Mods.

Motorola SM City Cebu

Motorola kiosk in SM City Cebu.

“We want to continually address the smartphone needs of Filipino consumers. Our expansion initiatives for 2018 focus on reaching more Filipinos, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao areas. Apart from our 10 Motorola experience stores, we are keen on amplifying our efforts to make the Motorola experience available to everyone as we become more visible in the market,” said Vincent dela Cruz, Marketing Manager of Lenovo Mobile Business Group Philippines.

Motorola will be opening six more stores in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao within the first quarter of 2018. The target locations are Alabang in Metro Manila, Luzon; Iloilo in Visayas; General Santos City, South Cotabato City, Cagayan De Oro City and Zamboanga City in Mindanao. The opening dates of the stores will be announced soon.

Motorola Gaisano Mall Davao.

Motorola in Gaisano Mall Davao.

Motorola experience stores are located in the Cyberzone areas of SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Batangas, Glorietta, SM Sta. Rosa, SM Dasmarinas, SM Calamba, SM Cebu and Gaisano Davao. All Motorola concept stores carry the Motorola smartphone lineup: the flagship line of the Moto Z, Moto Z Play, Moto Z2 Play and the Moto Mods; its premium midrange offerings, which include the Moto M and the latest additions to the Moto G family, the Moto g5S and Moto g5S Plus, and the entry-level lineup of the Moto C, Moto C Plus and Moto E4 Plus. (Press Release)

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Carousell app makes buying, selling as easy as taking pictures

Selling items online should be as easy as taking pictures. That is the key concept behind Carousell, an app-based online selling and classifieds platform that started in Singapore and is…

Selling items online should be as easy as taking pictures. That is the key concept behind Carousell, an app-based online selling and classifieds platform that started in Singapore and is now in Cebu.

“It started with three students from the National University of Singapore. Five years ago, buying and selling was difficult. There were a lot of steps, a lot of layers, and it was very inconvenient. They joined this hackathon in Singapore and that was the problem they were trying to solve, that selling should be as easy as taking a picture,” said Carousell marketing executive Marita Galvez.

Galvez said in an interview that the founders named the app after the Kodak carousel slide projector. She said they saw in the device the simplicity that they aspire for in their product.

Carousell app

BUY AND SELL ON MOBILE. Carousell marketing executive Marita Galvez demonstrates the app during an interview.

Strong Carousell growth in Philippines

Carousell started in Singapore and has branched out into 19 locations, including in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia. They expanded to Manila and Cebu only last year.

Galvez said growth as measured in the number of listings has been robust in the Philippines. In 6 months, Carousell had 500,000 listings in the Philippines. It took the company 2 years to gather that number of listings in Singapore.

Carousell app

CAROUSELL allows you to filter listings by location.

“People really wanted a platform to easily buy and sell items. We also have celebrities selling inside the app. Most of the listings are fashion,” Galvez said. “It’s like a high-end online ukay ukay of pre-loved items.”

Growth in Cebu has also been robust, with the province now logging 500,000 listings and recording a transaction every 5 minutes.

Quick posting

She said they found in the app that “there’s art culture here.” She said there are artists in Cebu who sell paintings in the app.

Top searches in the app are for items related to fashion and parents and babies. Electronics is a growing category within the app, she said.

Carousell.

COMMUNITY. The app allows users to join community groups based on location, interests or schools.

She said it takes 30 seconds or less to take a picture and then list it in the app. She said they allow sellers to list as many items as they want for free. Carousell does not take a cut from the sale nor impose charges.

“In the Philippines we’re not monetizing, maybe in a few years. Our focus is to grow. Countries like Singapore and Hong Kong we do already. An example of how we monetize is to do a bump, where you pay and the listing goes up,” she said.

Young market

Galvez said what differentiates them from other platforms is that their market is young, largely millennials, and very active.

“We have a lot of students because they want a sideline to earn money,” she said.

Carousell app

RESPONSIVE, QUICK. We tried searching for items in the Carousell app and found the experience very responsive. Posting an item for sale is just as quick.

Users also group themselves into various communities within the app. There are communities by locations, shared hobbies, and schools. You can only join school-based communities if you have an official email address.

Carousell held a meetup with “power-sellers” in Cebu yesterday. These are users who are able to sell 50 to a hundred items a week. Galvez said they asked for comments about the app – feedback that will be sent to the product development team to improve Carousell.

As part of their drive to spur growth, Carousell gives away items within the app. These prizes are those that are of interest to millennials like Starbucks cards. Their last major giveaway was a trip to Singapore.

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Get chance to win all-expense paid trip to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Maldives with PayMaya

Paying with PayMaya will take you places as the country’s pioneer and leader in digital payments once again rewards customers with a chance to experience global travel destinations in the…

Paying with PayMaya will take you places as the country’s pioneer and leader in digital payments once again rewards customers with a chance to experience global travel destinations in the PayMaya Travel Blowout, running from February 1 to May 31, 2018.

For each month from February to May, one lucky PayMaya account holder will win a 5-day trip for 2 to each of the featured destinations: Taiwan in February, South Korea in March, Japan in April, and Maldives in May.

The prize includes roundtrip airfare and accommodation for two, and P50,000 in PayMaya credits to shop, dine, and explore with the convenience of going cashless. Each trip is also complete with tours and a well-curated itinerary so winners can just pack their bags and enjoy the best of what the country has to offer.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Japan

How to join promo

There are many ways to join the promo. Account holders can do any of the following to earn one raffle entry: register a PayMaya account, purchase and activate a PayMaya physical card, have a PayMaya account upgraded, pay bills in full (minimum P300), or pay using PayMaya (minimum P1,000 single-receipt). Raffle items are cumulative until the end of the promo period.

“Gone are the days when overseas travel is only for the carded few. With PayMaya, millennials can seize travel opportunities online, expand their worldview, and dive into exciting adventures even without a credit card. Every Filipino deserves to reach their must-visit travel destination and PayMaya is here to help them take the first step,” said Paolo Azzola, PayMaya Philippines COO and Managing Director.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Maldives

Ticket to best deals

“The Travel Blowout promo is our way of thanking our PayMaya customers, the #NowNation, and helping them pursue their love of travel. PayMaya is by far the fastest way to book a flight, even during a seat sale, for those who don’t have a credit card. It’s their ticket to enjoying the best deals and making the most of their lives, right here, right now.” said Raymund Villanueva, Head of PayMaya Issuing Business

PayMaya is a free and secure prepaid e-wallet that allows account holders to send and receive money, pay their bills, and shop anywhere online that accepts Visa or Mastercard payments. Account holders simply have to download the PayMaya app or activate an account via PayMaya in Messenger (@PayMayaOfficial), register, and load up in over 15,000 touch points nationwide including 7-Eleven branches, SM Business Centers, Robinsons Business Centers inside Department Stores, Touchpay Kiosks, UnionBank ATMs, Shopwise, Wellcome, 2Go, ExpressPay, Cebuana Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop branches, Smart Padala centers, and Metrobank Online.

PayMaya Travel Blowout South Korea

PayMaya physical card

PayMaya enables customers to book flights via seat sales, take advantage of travel promos online, book affordable accommodations via Airbnb and other providers, purchase travel essentials via Lazada and ZALORA, travel cashless via transportation apps like Uber and Grab, and tap-to-pay at toll gates in NLEX and CAVITEX.

Account holders may also opt to have a PayMaya physical card, which can be linked to their mobile wallet, so they can pay in groceries, malls, or any store that accepts card payments. Moreover, customers can instantly convert their PayMaya funds to foreign currency by withdrawing cash in ATM machines abroad. Physical cards can be ordered online at www.paymaya.com/shop.

PayMaya Travel Blowout Taiwan

PayMaya Philippines is the digital financial services arm of PLDT’s Voyager Innovations. To know more about PayMaya’s products and services for consumers and businesses, visit www.paymaya.com. Be the first to know PayMaya’s latest promos and announcements by following @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Press Release)

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Indigenous students to benefit from localized learning content

Imagine being a child from an indigenous tribe going to school for the first time and finding out that the lessons there are conveyed in languages and stories that are…

Imagine being a child from an indigenous tribe going to school for the first time and finding out that the lessons there are conveyed in languages and stories that are foreign to you.

It is a challenge faced by many IP (indigenous people) students, given the lack of teachers who hail from their own tribes or are knowledgeable of their language and culture.

To help address this, specifically for the benefit of young learners from the Blaan tribe in Sarangani, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications organized workshops for the creation of traditional and digital learning materials in the local language and incorporating local culture. One of the workshops, conducted in partnership with the PLDT-Smart Foundation, also introduced a learning method that would help IP educators effectively handle multiple grade levels at the same time.

Easier to learn

According to the Department of Education, there are 125 IP schools in Sarangani alone, catering mostly to Blaan students.

“It’s better to have stories about the children’s own community so they could relate to these. If you use stories like Rapunzel, they would not understand that. If you use local stories it would be easier for them to learn,” said IP teacher Edna Alicaba.

An elder of the Blaan tribe in Sarangani checks the accuracy of illustrations and learning content created by teachers for young Blaan learners.

She added, “It is so easy to impart knowledge if you use their language. You can’t keep speaking in English if your audience is composed of IP pupils.”

For five days in January, a team of teachers and illustrators learned scriptwriting and storyboarding so they could produce animated versions of Blaan stories and make lessons more fun and interactive. Smart will help put all the content in a mobile app especially made for Blaan learners. The plan is to include sections on Blaan prayers, songs, and greetings, on top of lessons on numbers and letters.

Digital tools

Smart is spearheading the development of learning apps in different languages because studies show that the managed use of digital tools can boost the literacy of young students and heighten their interest in learning. It is for the same reason that the company has donated mobile devices packed with learning content to underserved public schools.

“Nowadays, most of our learners are visual. When they see something, when the process of learning is interactive, it becomes easier for them to learn,” said teacher-illustrator Reynald Dapar.

A separate team of IP teachers were introduced to the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) created by Ramon Magsaysay awardees Dr. Christopher Bernido and Dr. Ma. Victoria Carpio-Bernido. Under this method, students learn independently in classrooms 80% of the time by working on activity sheets. The remaining 20% is when the teacher checks on their progress and helps them process what they already learned on their own. Schools implementing the DLP have reported better retention and mastery of concepts among students.

Activity sheets

During the workshop organized by Smart, the IP teachers created learning activity sheets (LAS) in the Blaan language. These activity sheets also featured local cultural elements, and can be used as a template for other learning communities.

Alicaba expressed optimism that the DLP would help teachers perform their duties better. “It is very nice because when you handle three different classes with different grade levels, you can handle them at the same time via parallel classes. While the two classes are working on their activity sheets, you can focus on the remaining class.”

A Blaan student shows off her answers to a learning activity sheet written in her mother tongue.

Battle discrimination

To make sure that the use of Blaan cultural elements and language was accurate, a tribal elder was invited to validate the LAS and illustrations created by the teachers. The materials will also be tested on students before full implementation.

The elder, Fulung Siamen Tumandan, expressed his appreciation for the effort. “It is a challenge to get Blaan children to be interested in studying. Many of them reach only grade school and stop because they want to get married. But slowly, more of them now understand that studying has a purpose and will help their future.”

“Education is very important for us because it will help us battle discrimination,” he added. (Press Release)

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AI to boost revenues, create more jobs: Accenture report

Rather than displace human workers, artificial intelligence or AI will create more jobs and boost company revenues, according to a report by Accenture. If businesses invest in AI and human-machine…

Rather than displace human workers, artificial intelligence or AI will create more jobs and boost company revenues, according to a report by Accenture.

If businesses invest in AI and human-machine collaboration, they could increase revenues by 38% by 2020 and raise employment levels by 10%, the report said. Globally, that increase could amount to $4.8 trillion.

Investing on new technology like AI and the training of employees for the new IT is already “urgent,” said Lito Tayag, Country Managing Director of Accenture in the Philippines.

Accenture

Augment workers

He said the survey, done on 14,078 workers and 1,201 business leaders across the world, showed that both business leaders and employees see the value of working with AI.

Tayag said in a tele-press conference with Manila and Cebu media yesterday that 74% of business leaders say they will “automate tasks and processes to a large/very large extent in the next 3 years.”

Of the number, 97% say “they will use it to augment worker capabilities,” the report pointed out.

“Often people only think of AI boosting growth by substituting humans. But actually, huge value is going to come from the new goods, services and innovations AI will enable,” the Accenture report quoted MIT Economics Professor David Autor as saying.

Lito Tayag Accenture

APPLIED INTELLIGENCE. Lito Tayag, Country Managing Director of Accenture in the Philippines, discusses the key findings and recommendations of the Future Workforce: Reworking the Revolution report in a press conference with Manila and Cebu journalists.

Urgency to invest in training, new IT

Tayag said the report found that workers “are impatient to work with AI,” with 67% saying it is important to develop skills to work with intelligent machines, 62% saying these technologies will have a positive impact on their work, and 45% believing AI will help them do their jobs more efficiently. He cited examples of how employees become more efficient by working with intelligent machines and AI. The openness to develop new skills to work with AI is supported not only by millennials, at 75%, but also baby boomers, at 56%, the report said.

When asked about the PwC Cebu 2017 CEO Survey that showed only 35 percent of Cebu business leaders look at how technology can help in the company’s overall strategic plan, Tayag said the gap “points more to the urgency.”

He said the CeO survey vis-a-vis the Accenture report “highlights the need to actually accelerate even just the basic acceptance of the reality” of what he described as the new IT like AI and machine learning.

“On one hand we are already looking at the implementation, in Cebu they are still looking at the acceptance that this is something important for them to do,” he said.

Tayag said AI and human-machine collaboration are business differentiators that can bolster companies in a disruptive business environment.

“Do you want to risk the disruption that will be brought about by others who are going to do this reworking of processes?” he said.

Accenture Reworking the Revolution

Key recommendations

Tayag said the study found business leaders “underinvesting in skills development” with only 3% of executives planning “to significantly increase investment in skills development in the next 3 years.” He said, however, this could also be the case of businesses already investing heavily in training and no longer planning to “significantly increase” efforts.

“To achieve higher rates of growth in the age of AI, companies need to invest more in equipping their people to work with machines in new ways,” said Mark Knickrehm, group chief executive, Accenture Strategy. “Increasingly, businesses will be judged on their commitment to what we call Applied Intelligence – the ability to rapidly implement intelligent technology and human ingenuity across all parts of their core business to secure this growth.”

Tayag said the report made 3 key recommendations on how leaders can “shape the future workforce in the age of AI.”

1. Reimagine Work by reconfiguring work from the bottom up. Assess tasks, not jobs; then allocate tasks to machines and people, balancing the need to automate work and to elevate people’s capabilities. Nearly half (46 percent) of business leaders agree that job descriptions are already obsolete; 29 percent say they have redesigned jobs extensively.

2. Pivot the Workforce to areas that unlock new forms of value. Go beyond process efficiencies and prepare the workforce to create new customer experiences. Fuel new growth models by reinvesting the savings derived from automation into the future workforce. Foster a new leadership DNA that underpins the mindset, acumen and agility required to seize longer-term, transformational opportunities.

3. Scale up “New Skilling.” Measure the workforce’s level of skills and willingness to learn to work with AI. Using digital platforms, target programs at these different segments of the workforce and personalize them to improve new skills adoption.

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