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Thursday, December 14, 2017

25 Teams Advance to the Semifinals of the 4th Phil. Startup Challenge

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 14, 2017

The 2017 Edition of the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC 4) has reached its Semifinal Stage. Launched last August 1, 2017, at the Department of Information and Information Technology (DICT) head office, the PSC 4 is aimed at the Filipino youth to come up with innovative solutions to everyday problems of the Filipino. The 25 semifinalists came from a field of 202 initial participants.

The DICT with the PSC 4 as its main vehicle seeks to harness the Filipino youth’s resourcefulness, innovativeness, creativity, and genius due to their natural inclination in the use Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The challenge started with a Mentorship Bootcamp that tackled on the technical and business aspects of startups.

PSC 4 has been on a roadshow with the competition nationwide and had editions in the following localities:

1. Tacloban City
2. Naga City
3. Zamboanga City 
4. Manila

This year’s challenge focused on 25 local problems that need innovative solutions that will utilize ICT solutions ideated, designed and developed by competing teams composed of college students nationwide.  

The Philippine Startup Community assessed the concepts of the teams who in turn will undergo coaching for concept and idea development.

The semifinalists are as follows:

1. ARKILA (Team Arki Devs; Lorma Colleges) - Arkila is a ride-hailing and logistics services transport solution app that offers wide range of vehicle selection. 

2. BLOODPLUS (Team BloodPlus; University of San Jose – Recoletos) - BloodPlus is a web and mobile application where people can request for blood if they are urgently in need for blood and notifies eligible blood donors. 

3. BUHAY++ (Team Buhay; University of Cebu – Main) - Buhay++: An Online Platform for Ethical and Legal Organ Donations 

4. BUILD (Team Build; Bulacan State University) - BUILD is a web and mobile application wherein buyers (clients) and suppliers (bidders) from different areas can connect through one centralized electronic procurement system. 

5. CONVASS (Team Cord; University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines) – Convass is a website for online canvassing and purchasing of construction materials for government agencies whose budget is Php50, 000 below. 

6. E-PURSE (e-Pursuers; University of Southeastern Philippines) - e-Purse is mobile wallet application that digitally pays the items and also store changes up until the last cent.

7. FACE TRACK 2.0 (Team Trackers; Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology) - Face Track 2.0 was inspired by the slow inspection system in Iligan City that would take an hour for verification of each citizen and that disturbs the activities and appointments of each citizens and sometimes, unmonitored or lack of enforcement. 

8. GIMME SPOT (Team Gimme Spot; University of Southeastern Philippines) - Gimme Spot is a toilet finder for both public and private toilet. it will also let you host your own private toilet to be rented. 

9. IN-SHOE TRACKER (Team Wayfarer; Bulacan State University) – Wayfarer is a tracking device designed to track travelers by incorporating the device in the traveler’s shoes using piezoelectric transducer. 

10. JAC IN THE BOX (Team Eventrix; Bulacan State University) – Jac in the box is an application intended to provide convenience in organizing celebrations and surprises based on the customer's time and budget, delivering all services directly to them. 

11. LABADO (Team Rushmore; Saint Louis University) - Labado is a pickup, wash, and delivery service that provides transient students a convenient way to have their laundry done. 

12. LAUX (Team AQ; Ateneo de Davao University) - Laux is a service app primarily handling laundry services that focuses on cleaning, washing, and dry cleaning clothes. 

13. LINKMED (Team Nexus; Bulacan State University) - LinkMed aims to make the Philippines’ doctor services to become more flexible by reaching the distant patient and extending the hospital services by using technology. 

14. LINQUE (Team Linquers; University of Southeastern Philippines) – Linque is for all sari-sari store owners and company's sales workers who are experienced hassle delivery, inefficient and improper distribution of goods. 

15. LUGAN (Team The Boys; University of the Cordilleras) – Lugan is a shared ride service that picks up multiple passengers heading in the same direction and keeping rides affordable and easy. 

16. MOMENTS (Team Eksena; Polytechnic University of the Philippines) – Moments is a web-based platform as a service to be used by event organizers in finding event resources provided by legit businessmen. 

17. MYMDLAB (Team The Elaborators; Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation) - myMDLab is a mobile and digital application that lets the patient request for laboratory services at the comfort of his home. 

18. PARKinLOT (Team Accelerate; Saint Louis University) - ParkInLot, is a mobile-web application that will help lessen road obstruction by utilizing unused parking. 

19. PETPAL CO. (Team Bangan; Ateneo de Davao University) – Petpal Co. is an application that can help you find trusted pet sitters. 

20. SENTINEL (Team #Proud IIT; Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology) – Sentinel is a Smart Watch with GPS locator with a feature that, when activated, will locate the person in any place. 

21. S.M.S (Team Fibonacci; Gordon College) – S.M.S or Send me to school is a scholarship-matching application designed to ease the scholarship searching and application process. 

22. SWIFT (Team The Night’s Watch; Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion) - Swift lets you hire bike and motorcycle riders to deliver your documents from point A to point B securely, easily, and swiftly. 

23. TAP TRACK (Team TechnoGeeks; University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines) – Tap Track is a Portable RFID Based Attendance Management System with SMS Transmission for Field Workers. 

24. TRAVEL WATCH (Team Metanoia; Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology) – Travel watch is an IoT technology that helps the drivers to stay alert, secure and safe throughout the travel. 

25. VENTURE PAL (Team Rocket; University of Cebu – Main) - Venture Pal is an online investment pooling platform for Philippine Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The government, private companies, and organizations collaborated in this endeavor together with the Philippine Startup Community. Partnering with them are Huawei Technologies, Microsoft, Ideaspace, and Launchgarage.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Grant for Tarlac State University Team to Develop Solar Tricycle

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Concept Solar Powered Tricycle

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shall convey a grant to a team from a university based in Central Luzon to develop a solar powered engine system that can be converted into a tricycle.

The Tarlac State University team that designed and developed an affordable multi-voltage solar power system for ordinary homes is the recipient of the grant. This aims to find a viable, renewable energy powered transport that will replace the archetypal tricycle that is a source of air and noise pollution.

According to the DOST Region 3 director, Julius Caesar Sicat, the research and development grant will amount to Php600,000.00. This will be utilized to acquire three gold carts whose engines will be solar powered and then be converted to tricycles.

The target of the designed and developed solar-powered tricycles will be the government center of San Fernando, Pampanga. The three golf carts will be the starting point of the design and development process.

It is envisioned as a “people mover” that is an environmentally friendly as compared to the current 4 cycle engined tricycles being used.

The Tarlac State University Team has earned praises for designing and developing solar-powered electric systems that can be used in ordinary homes. This has spurred further interest and development of solar powered energy systems.

Ransomware: No Platform is Safe

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The WannaCry Ransomware created havoc in many systems globally this year. The systems in London hospitals and other hospitals and in healthcare systems in the UK was shut down and it went all the way to train systems in Europe and schools in the United States.

That was a wake-up call for all IT Security experts worldwide. 

The attacks involved systems that work on Windows Operating Systems. There is no reason for other users of different platforms to be complacent. According to Sophos that is among the world leaders in network and endpoint security, other platforms are also vulnerable to Ransomware.

A Report from Sophos that collated ransomware and other cybersecurity trends from April 1 to October 2017, platforms such as Android, Linux and MacOS are vulnerable just the same.

“Ransomware has become platform-agnostic. Ransomware mostly targets Windows computers, but this year, SophosLabs saw an increased amount of crypto-attacks on different devices and operating systems used by our customers worldwide,” said Dorka Palotay, SophosLabs security researcher and contributor to the ransomware analysis in the SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast.

This should be taken with great consideration by IT security experts and practitioners since the damage caused by Ransomware infestation would not only lead to millions of dollars in lost operations costs but also the credibility of corporations and institutions which are built on consumer confidence.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming Up

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 13, 2017
The Unioil Solar Hybrid charging station in Congressional Ave., Extension, Quezon City 

With the backdrop of Climate Change, the Philippines is finally catching up in the use of technologies that will further reduce its carbon footprint so as to do its part in reducing the increase of global temperature.

The use of electric vehicles will significantly reduce the carbon footprint created by the country since fossil fuels are the source of greenhouse gases. 

Currently, electric vehicles and hybrids are coming into the country and its use is spreading. Attendant to that is the need for refueling/recharging stations. This is already being addressed by an increasing number of participants. 

QEV  Philippines Electromobility Solutions and Consulting Group Inc., a Philippine startup has teamed up with SM Prime Holdings to provide recharging stations for electric vehicles. This is in line with QEV’s endeavor in advocating the use of electric jeepneys. A 15-minute recharge will enable the electric jeepneys to travel 150 kilometers. Other recharging stations will be located in SM Malls.

In another form of partnership, Meralco and Mitsubishi Motors Philippines will install recharging stations in the head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City, the head office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Makati City and 2 more at the regional offices of the DENR in Cebu and Davao.

Recently, Unioil Petroleum Philippines, Inc. (Unioil) opened its first charging station, the Unioil Solar Hybrid service station along Congressional Avenue Extension in Quezon City. This is in cooperation with Mitsubishi Motors Motor Phils., Inc. Two Mitsubishi vehicles, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV fully-electric vehicle and the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) were part of the demonstration during the opening.   

The charging station is equipped with the Smartflower TM Unit, one of the world’s leaders in smart solar energy solutions. The charging station is powered by solar panels.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation is also opening up its own charging stations in Metro Manila starting this December 2017. The initial number is 100 charging stations across Metro Manila. Pilipinas Shell projects that there will be 1 million electric vehicles across the country by 2020.

Googlification of Classrooms

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It began in the late 1980s when Apple brought out Macintosh that was to cater to schools and classrooms. It did not turn out as expected perhaps the market was not ready by then. But today, with technology being used in almost every facet of life, the time has indeed arrived for more computing power that can be used in classroom settings.

Google has already invested at least five years in making inroads in the educational system. In the US, Google’s Chromebook is now prevalent in schools with its connection to cloud-based content and services.

It is not only based on selling volumes of devices or computers to schools at affordable prices but it revolutionizes access to information and content that is easily utilized by students in the classroom setting. Chromebooks offer the students access to software for class-related activities, messaging and other services available in the internet cloud.

Google has a one-time charge of US$30.00 for each Chromebook and that explains its prevalence in US schools today.   The New York Times called it “The Googlification of Classrooms.”

Currently, in the Philippines, the use of devices that replace textbooks are being practiced by a growing number of schools. The next level is to have connectivity to cloud-based networks so as to have a quantum leap in information collation, computing power and enhanced communication for the students in relation to their studies. 

Also, Google has rolled out Android Oreo Go, it's latest Android operating system update that has an alternate version for devices with limited storage. 

This is to optimize memory of devices wherein Android Oreo Go occupies only have the space of a standard Android Operating System and makes more memory available for Third Party apps.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Facebook Launches Messenger App for Kids!

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The recently held Child Online Protection Summit spelled what is on the way. Technology like nature cannot be hidden, it need only be discovered. There is no preventing children from using technology since it is already part of the dynamics of everyday life.

From education to reading bedtime stories and ordering fast food home deliveries, technology is now being used. The dangers posed has already been discussed when content found on the internet can be damaging to children and the youth.

Smartphone usage in the country has been on the rise since 5 years ago. In a symposium, a question was asked if the attendants would rather lose their smartphones or not watch TV. The result was that a majority questioned would rather have their smartphones.

Facebook, the social media colossus acknowledges the use of such technologies and that a more apt messaging system for children is needed. The debut of Facebook’s Messenger app for children aged younger than 12 years old is an indication that the Facebook is concerned with the market.

It is no secret that many parents allow their children to have Facebook accounts and the dangers encountered have been prevalent. By having this specific messenger app, parents will be able to monitor their children’s contacts in social media since parental consent is a requirement in the app. Facebook also has more safeguard features included in the app. 

Facebook said the new app, with no ads or in-app purchases, is aimed at 6- to 12-year-olds and does not allow children to connect with anyone their parent does not approve.

“There’s a need for a messaging app that lets kids connect with people they love but also has the level of control parents want,” according to product manager Loren Cheng.

Facebook also recognize the pressure from parents who find it useful in communication with their children and has also been applied as a monitoring tool for parents, thereby necessitating the creation of such an app.

Computer Memory Capacity for Smartphones On the Way

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The new 512 GB eUFS chip.

Smartphone usage in the country has been on the rise since 5 years ago. In a symposium, a question was asked if the attendants would rather lose their smartphones or not watch TV. The result was that a majority questioned would rather have their smartphones.

The next level is to surpass the capacity of the 256-gigabyte chips being conventionally used in smartphones. A 512-gigabyte capacity would put smartphones on par with most PCs and laptops being used. This would enable better and more convenient data handling and functions, notwithstanding apps that can be run in smartphones that is now only available in PCs and laptops. 

Samsung has developed the flash storage chip that has a 512-gigabyte storage capacity which is called the Universal Flag Storage (eUFS) that utilizes a 64 – layer 512 – gigabit V-NAND chip.

The potential of this new chip is that storage of 130 10-minute long 4K HD resolution videos can be stored on a smartphone or mobile device. This will meet the demand for more storage and smartphones and mobile devices. Samsung stated that their 256-gigabyte V-NAND chips will also be continued in production to meet the said demand by the market for such capabilities.

This spells new development in apps that can be utilized with the increased storage capacity by the new eUFS chips. 



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