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LIST | Persons who can go out during mandatory COVID community quarantine

On Wednesday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases revealed a complete list of persons exempted f...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

TECH | 35 cool new inventions you would love to have

I got to check out this cool Youtube channel The Future Is Now which features so many up-and-coming and currently existing gadgets that are ready to take on the world. These devices will surely make you want to strive harder at work to get a piece of!

Take a glimpse of what the future holds for everyone of us! With the accelerating pace of technology, wondering what's yet to come is definitely something that goes beyond what the mind can take. Take this mind-blowing playlist of some of the things that we can get to try in life! Enjoy your weekend!

Videos Courtesy: Youtube channel The Future Is Now

Thursday, November 26, 2015

TECH | Bye Bye Wi-Fi, Hello Li-Fi! Downloading an HD film in a matter of seconds now achievable!

The development of the world wide web, together with the consequent fast-paced movement of invention and innovation from the smartphone and tablet predecessors to all-in-one, sleek, stylish, and minimalist gadgets, has in some ways opened doors to everyone from all walks of life granting them the opportunity to change and improve the way they think and learn and to understand just about anything in just a few types and clicks. 

Wi-Fi has continued to break the barrier that hindered anyone from getting access to trillions of information technically contributing to a raised awareness and enhanced knowledge of all things comprehensible. But while a lot thought Wi-Fi is one of the best things that have happened to humanity in the 21st century, a new method of data transmission that when commercially launched will enable anyone to download a high-definition (HD) film in seconds has been in the works!

Li-Fi is a superbly fast alternative to Wi-Fi. It's 100 times faster than current Wi-Fi technologies. The image below shows how Li-Fi (from visible light communication) works.

Image Courtesy: Boston University

A real-world pilot testing of Li-FI technology carried out by Estonian start-up Velmenni in offices and industrial environments in Tallinn, Estonia's capital, has revealed that Li-Fi is able to send data up to 1 GBps or 224 gigabits per second! I think the fastest download speed that money can buy in PH right now is 200 Mbps or 200 megabits per seconds. 

Meanwhile, Li-Fi tech can realistically reach speeds of up to 224,000 megabits per second which is more than 1,000 times that of what Sky Broadband provides for a price of around 35k Php per month!

As of this moment, Li-Fi is not yet being mass produced because techniques are still being developed on how to retrofit it to the devices that we have.

But imagine if we have LED bulbs that act as some form of router counterparts for Li-Fi? Or say, your smartphone's Flash or back light or wall lamps emitting Li-Fi? How about accessing your favorite websites and streaming online movies while inside the plane?

Li-Fi technology was developed in 2011 by Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh, who demonstrated that with a flickering light from a single LED, he can transmit more data than what a cellular tower can do. Check out his TED talk video below.

Video Courtesy: Youtube channel TED

Although this breakthrough technology will provide wider opportunities for everything that involves "data", it won't be as promising a catalyst here in the Philippines which needs massive infrastructure upgrades to cater to the still-growing BPO industry and other sectors that rely heavily on digital transmission.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

VIEW | Will people like me online? The role of social media as indicator of social acceptance at a glance.

The dominance of the digital age and the internet era has since spawn new waves of social norms and ways of thinking. And the existence of internet technology has broken physical divides and provided an avenue for people from all over the world to see various movements take shape and advocacies thrown under the spotlight.

For any marginalized individual, group, or sector of society, this means having a great opportunity to fight for equal representation and societal acceptance. The flexibility of Facebook and Twitter among social media websites, Tinder among dating apps, and Youtube among video streaming sites has then given the community (-ies) or individual a bigger voice to promote and support the issues and rights concerned.

However, an underlying question anyone will ask is: are you (am I) valid online? Am I likable? If you’ll take a look at the sites that you use, there are a number of ways to determine whether or not you and your posts and/or comments are socially acceptable and valid.

But, what makes an opinion or perspective acceptable and valid? Perhaps, having an opinion that does not hurt or barrage anyone? Or a view that does not cut through the general norms of society. Here is a list of criteria that can guide you in evaluating people’s perception of you online.

First, Facebook’s upgraded like button enables anyone to properly express how they feel about anything (e.g. your post). Aside from a like button, they can award you an angry smiley, a sad face, an excited and enthusiastic look, or a happy emoticon. This definitely makes you aware of how others feel about your thoughts and generates a negative impact as much as a positive impact could. It will either pull down your self-esteem or make you more confident. 

Another aspect to look at is the comments box, not only provided by Facebook, but also by Youtube, news agencies, and blog sites, that allows you to see how people respond to your posts. It also gives you a hint of how reactive people are in your online circle.

The third criterion that can be of help to you is the number of match you make on dating apps like Tinder. The other person’s swipe significantly tells you that someone’s interested in you. The more swipes you get, the more socially accepted you feel. This does have an effect on your morale and self-esteem. Getting no match is the worst that you can get.

The number of retweets and shares that you get---may it be in Twitter or Facebook respectively---with your post also helps you keep track of your influence. More than the number, it’s the sentiment, message, or post attached to its tweet or share that will give you an idea of how well-perceived you are online.

All of these criteria tell you where you are currently placed in the social acceptance spectrum.

But, perhaps the question of social validity and acceptance should need not be raised or overemphasized no longer, as in essence, acceptance does not need to come from others. It comes from within. Because no matter what happens, and no matter who you are, people will always have something to say.

Perhaps, the questions “Are you valid online?” or “Will people like me online?” are not necessarily what you should seek an answer for, regardless of your age, looks, and even sexual orientation. The more appropriate question might just be, do I need to be?

Someone once said, “Don’t lose yourself in the search for acceptance by others.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

TECH | Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to take two months of paternity leave

Looks like soon-to-be dad Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is so excited to take on the role of a parent to his wife Priscilla Chan's daughter. In fact, he'll take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his daughter.

Image Courtesy: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

In an announcement to his timeline, he said:
Priscilla and I are starting to get ready for our daughter's arrival. We've been picking out our favorite childhood books and toys. 
We've also been thinking about how we're going to take time off during the first months of her life. This is a very personal decision, and I've decided to take 2 months of paternity leave when our daughter arrives. 
Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. At Facebook we offer our US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.

Every day things are getting a little more real for us, and we're excited to start this next stage in our lives.

Facebook grants US employees up to four months of paid parental leave which could be used all at once or throughout the child's first year.

Zuckerberg, however, did not say who would be replacing him at the company.

SCIENCE | Audiology Updates for October and November 2015

Progress related to Audiology continues to run at a great pace. Developments over the past 30 days range from new research outcomes to breakthrough innovative products. Here are some recent updates on the study of hearing and balance.

One study has found out that fitting suitable hearing aids on children is associated with better levels of language development. Published in a supplement of the journal Ear and Hearing, an Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL) study involving children aged six months to 7 years old, showed that children with mid-to-severe hearing loss have poorer language development compared to hearing peers. Furthermore, it found out that a correlation exists between the extent of hearing loss and the impact on language development. The study provides solid proof that early, active intervention helps children with all degrees of hearing impairment catch up or significantly close the gaps with their hearing peers in terms of language development.

Young people have already experienced hearing problems due to exposure to loud sound or noise, this is what a study jointly conducted by French market research specialists Ipsos and the French Week of Sound association has found out. The “Youngsters and the world of sound” study worked on three different population groups: children aged 0 to 6 years old, children aged 7 to 12 years old, and adolescents aged 13 to 19 years old. The study results also showed that earphones or headphone usage when listening to music is common practice among all groups. Those from the adolescents group say they listen with earphones or headphones on for about two hours a day. 8% of 0-to-6-year-olds use earphones, and 16% headphones, for a daily listening average of 31 minutes. Alarmingly, one in every 10 0-to-2-year-olds falls asleep while wearing headphones or earphones.

Image Source: Kickstarter

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old has designed headphones made to protect your hearing which was pitched in Kickstarter and obtained four (4) times his target amount. Kingsley Cheng, together with his electronic industry-veteran dad and a serial entrepreneur Anthony Lye, co-founded AEGIS Acoustics to come up with designs that prevent further hearing loss among headphone-using kids. Their product line, the main product of which is their AEGIS Pro headphones, now includes a hard case and high performance drivers. Their AEGIS Pro utilizes protective hardware and software solutions including its LED lights that change color to notify the user that it’s time to stop listening as per WHO recommendation of a maximum 8 hours, and its digital decibel equalizer technology that normalizes the volume at a safe level (85 dB).

VIEW | Did the PH benefit more by hosting APEC activities?

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, also known as APEC, has been the key highlight of national media lately. This is due to the fact that world leaders from member economies of the APEC are converging at the Philippines to meet and collaborate on certain aspects ranging from specific agenda such as tackling women entrepreneurship and addressing corruption to broader topics like reducing trade and investment barriers and achieving inclusive and sustainable growth.

The Philippines, after tens of years of taking turns, has taken the responsibility to host this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting that’s about to end in several hours. One thing to remember is that with or without the APEC, the Philippines could still trade with members of the APEC. It’s not the only avenue to arrange and transact with nations from the Asia-Pacific region, but it provides opportunities to effectively come up with solutions as a lot more leaders and delegates come into economic play. This also gives the Philippines a chance to showcase what sets it apart from the rest.

Now, the question is, did the country benefit more from the APEC Meet?

Let’s take a look at the costs. A latest development in the PH aviation industry has probably sent jitters down some flyers’ and businessmen’s spines as over 1,000 flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been cancelled from November 16 to 20 to accommodate the arrival of world leaders and international delegates. In losses, that’s about $2 billion affecting local and foreign carriers, the hardest hit being the budget airlines which could not afford to rebook stranded passengers immediately or give them accommodations.

Do note, however, that despite these losses for the airlines industry, it doesn’t mean NAIA wasn’t used for profitable purposes. With the influx of thousands of delegates, the government could have earned even just some millions from it. Add to that the fact that the country, as host, has been given this opportunity to be known by citizens coming from the member-economies of APEC, that including citizens from USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

But it’s not just the aviation industry that got hit, there’s also the cost to laborers who were given a no-work-no-pay two-day holiday. There’s also the cost to the motoring public who got stuck in traffic and to the business owners who rely on these customers.

Apart from indirect costs, news agencies have reported that the direct cost to the government for hosting APEC members has been a hefty amount of 10 billion Php. However, it should be known that this amount has been allocated for all 47 APEC-related meetings conducted across the country. And that most of this amount was spent domestically or within the country which then goes through the pockets of entrepreneurs and workers who were tasked to each contribute the best effort they could for the success of the events. Just take a look at the Filipino products (giveaways) and services (catering, logistics, entertainment, etc.) applied in this event. This money surely, if corruption has not gotten into its way, benefitted a lot.

And don’t forget the exposure that micro-businesses, small start-ups and soon-to-be leaders have gotten which definitely equates to more future transactions and cooperation. It's like the events have served as an advertising ploy for the PH to showcase what it's got, and hopefully, by word of mouth (from the delegates themselves), the country has been seen as a great investment destination. And oh, each delegate paid approximately $4,000 or 180,000 Php to join the CEO Summit that coincided with the APEC leaders' meet.

Now, did the PH stand to benefit a lot from hosting APEC members? That’s a resounding yes!

But, could have the country done better than just allocating its resources for hosting the APEC community? What about forgoing it and redistributing the resources to education, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, and defense?

Meanwhile, here are the outcomes of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meting. Photo credits go to Rappler.com for covering the event.

Friday, November 20, 2015

VIEW | The Spoiling Dead Fans drops clues, answers, spoilers to some The Walking Dead questions

If there is one thing to know about The Spoiling Dead Fans, it's that what they almost spill (or spoil) about every season of The Walking Dead (TWD) mostly speaks of truth.

The Spoiling Dead Fans has recently released some answers, clues, and hints as to where season 6 of TWD is likely headed. Read on.

Here are the questions and answers released by The Spoiling Dead Fans in text and my views on it inside parentheses.

1. Do Sasha, Abe and Daryl make it back to Alexandria? No.

(Hopefully, it's not Daryl's demise that we're talking about here. :()

2. Do the others find out about the tied up wolf? What are their reactions and what do they decide to do with him? Yes. Denise and Carol. We don't see their reaction or any decision.

(Hmmm. This is pretty much interesting. Carol has been missing in action lately.)

3. Any sex in the episode? If so, who? No.

4. Does Abe break up with Rosita? No.

5. Does Maggie reveal her pregnancy to anyone else? No.

(Poor Maggie. Why'd she have to face it without Glenn?)

6. What causes the tower to fall? At what point in the episode does the herd make its way into the safe zone? It just collapses due to it being weakened by the truck from a few episodes back. The herd is still surrounding Alexandria.

7. Do we find out who said "Help" on the radio? If so, who? No.

(I have a bad feeling it's _____________.)

8. Does anyone go looking for Glenn? No.

(Well, didn't Maggie and Aaron attempt to look for him?)

9. How does Glenn escape? The old hide-under-the-dumpster trick. Cheap.(Glenn basically waits it out until the walkers leave. Enid spots Glenn first from a roof and throws him some water  down after he gets out.)

(Hurray! Glenn's alive [at least to TSDF]! I bet he's got more lives than cats have! Wait, how did Enid get there in the first place?)

10. Does Glenn make it back to Alexandria? Yes to the outskirts. (Glenn releases the balloons he had to signal he survived the mission.)

(Aww, at least it's great news for Maggie! Now, the question is, will they ever meet?)