Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Inland aquatic resources researchers named as UP scientists

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Three researchers from the inland aquatic sector were given the title of Scientist in a ceremony held on July 2016 at the UP NISMED Auditorium, Diliman, Quezon City.

Dr. Rex Ferdinand M. Traifalgar, Ph.D. Fisheries Science (Nutritional Immunology) graduate from Kagoshima University, Japan, and Associate Professor 4 at the University of the Philippines (UP) Visayas in Miagao, Iloilo, was conferred the title of Scientist I by the UP System.

Dr. Traifalgar has researched on the effects of immune compounds from brown algae in improving the growth and resistance to disease of cultured shrimps. He also analyzed how to optimize rearing of shrimp larvae, enriching their diet, reducing head deformities, and using aquatic plants as best feeds for shrimps and mud crabs.

Dr. Traifalgar did these researches in projects mostly funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

Dr. Traifalgar also spearheaded the research works on the classification and identification of bacterial species that cause off-flavor in milkfish, which will greatly benefit fishermen within the vicinity of Laguna Lake. He led the DOST-PCAARRD funded project, Evaluation of Culture Practices towards the Control of Off-flavor in Milkfish.

Dr. Liberato V. Laureta, Ph.D. Marine Biology graduate from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom and Professor 10 at the UP Visayas, Miagao, Iloilo, was also bestowed the title of Scientist I for the second time by the UP System.

Dr. Laureta has published numerous research articles in national and international refereed journals, and the book, Compendium of the Economically Important Seashells of Panay Island, Philippines, which was awarded as Outstanding Book in Natural Science by the National Academy of Science and Technology of the DOST (DOST-NAST) in 2012 and the Book Development Association of the Philippines and National Book Development Board in 2010.

Dr. Laureta is the Program Leader of the DOST-PCAARRD project, Enhancement of Hatchery and Nursery Practices for Reliable Supply of Quality Seeds for the Green-lipped Mussel (Perna viridis) Farming and Project Leader of Development of Remote Setting and Nursery Technologies for the Green Mussel.

Finally, Dr. Augusto E. Serrano, Jr., Ph.D. Fisheries Science graduate from Tokyo University of Fisheries, Japan and Professor 12 at the UP Visayas, Miagao, Iloilo, was given the title of Scientist III by the UP System. 

Dr. Serrano has received numerous awards for his achievements in fisheries research. He has also published about 86 technical papers in national and international refereed journals. He was the Program Leader of the DOST-PCAARRD National Aquafeeds R&D Program and Project Leader of Utilization of Seaweed/Seaweed by-products as Feed Ingredients for Milkfish, Tilapia and Shrimps.

Scientist titles were given to the three academicians for continuously providing first-rate contributions towards national progress through their discoveries published in reputable journals here and abroad.  The awards were for a period of three years and could be renewed for another term based on their scientific productivity during the period of the title.

The honorees are from member-institutions of the National Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Network (NAARRDN). They conduct research in select projects of the Inland Aquatic Resources Research Division (IARRD) of DOST-PCAARRD.

IARRD monitors and evaluates programs/projects in aquafeeds, milkfish, mussels, mudcrab, shrimps, and tilapia, which are being implemented by researchers from member institutions of the NAARRDN. These researchers are assessed based on their expertise and research experiences, among others.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Techblade.PH Has A New Publisher

Posted By: Tech Support - Monday, August 29, 2016
MANILA, Philippines - Techblade.ph, the Philippines' leading online news journal now has a new publisher at its helm in the person of Zeno Martinez.  Martinez, who has an extensive background in events management dating back to the early days of CITEM and the World Food Expo, was deemed the best choice to head up the science journal.

Techblade.ph, for those who have just come across the title is a news journal heavily steeped into Science, Technology, and Education.

"There is a lack of reporting on science and education news in the Philippines today", says Martinez.  "Most of the news reported on is all about politics, drugs, and lately, extra-judicial killing.  However, unknown to the many Pinoys worldwide, we are achieving great strides in science and technology too", Martinez says.

The difference also as Martinez pointed out is that when most publications or media report about science, the story is not reported properly simply because the reporter is not readily trained in science.  "The exception of course would be if Atom Araullo reports science related news because Atom is an alumnus of Philippine Science High School", adds Martinez.

Publishing Techblade.ph is more advocacy when one comes to think of it.  In the same manner wherein communist countries train their athletes to become olympians as early as 3 years old, Martinez believes that the Philippines should start inculcating a science and technology mindset as early as Grade 1 - not just when they attempt to enter a Science High School.

It becomes all the more relevant in view of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Martinez says. "We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. Filipinos have to be ready for it and the time to start is now".

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.  "Are we going to miss that boat?", Zeno Martinez asks rhetorically.

Zeno Martinez is an alumnus of the Philippine Science High School in Diliman, batch 1982.  He was also involved in magazine publishing before during the time of Flip Magazine.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Siquijor Creates ICT Council

Posted By: The Mail Man - Saturday, August 27, 2016
The Province of Siquijor embraced the prospects of the Information Age as local stakeholders from the public and private sector gathered together to create an information and communication technology (ICT) council last August 22.

Leading the initiative of Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa who hosted a capacity development training conducted by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) served as key resource person and facilitator while DICT program manager Emmy Lou Versoza-Delfin presented the different programs of DICT which are aimed to support ICT development especially in the countryside. Also present was Frederick Amores, head of DICT Visayas Cluster 1.

Villa encouraged all the participants to help the provincial government achieved its goal of elevating its status as a fifth class municipality, to at least third class, especially because the island province is now 5th tourist destination in the country.

The governor, now of his second term, stressed on the need for a reliable telecommunications infrastructure in Siquijor as a prerequisite to all ICT programs.

Both Villa and Siquijor Vice Governor Mei Ling Quezon challenged representatives from the academe, government and business sector to work together to address the issues and develop strategies for Siquijor to be a part of the ICT development in the Philippines.

Sigue shared the experience of other locations in ensuring that the four major considerations in the ICT industry are met, namely, talent development, business environment and risk management (BERM), costs if doing business and availability of infrastructure and utilities.  

Prior to the workshop, more than a hundred barangay officials and teachers also underwent a seminar in cyber-trafficking, online child pornography and cyber-bullying prevention under the Visayas Cluster 1 of DICT.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Smart cited in Fortune Magazine’s ‘Change the World’ list for social impact

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, August 25, 2016
For its efforts in empowering schools and students through the Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program (SWEEP), Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) has been recognized by top international business magazine Fortune in its “Change the World” list — a roster of 50 companies around the world that are creating “important social impact”.

For this year’s list, Smart has the distinction of being the only Philippine company and only telco in the roster, alongside other global business giants like GlaxoSmithKline, Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Unilever.

“We are honored to be included in this prestigious global list, and are happy that Fortune recognizes Filipinos’ efforts to use technology for development. We thank our partner-schools for working hand in hand with us to provide quality engineering and IT education to Filipino students. We hope that by doing so, we are encouraging and equipping them to create innovations that will improve the lives of our countrymen,” said Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

In assembling the “Change the World” list, Fortune partnered with consulting firm FSG, global organization platform Shared Value Initiative, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter to solicit and assess nominations. A team of journalists from Fortune then conducted an investigation of each candidate. The final 50 were selected and ranked by Fortune editors. The nominees were vetted and judged based on the following criteria – measurable social impact, business results, and degree of innovation.

“The best businesses, of course, have always put purpose at the center of their strategies. But members of this new group realize that restoring public trust is essential to their long-term success. Increasingly, they are building intentional efforts to address social problems into the core of their business plans. It is these efforts that we highlight in our second annual Change the World list,” said Fortune Editor Alan Murray.

Launched in 2003, SWEEP involves Smart’s partnership with colleges and universities to improve engineering and information technology education in the country. The program also aims to help schools produce industry-ready graduates and future technology entrepreneurs. Smart also provides schools with up-to-date telecommunications equipment, as well as hands-on trainings, seminars, and internships. Smart also sits in annual curriculum reviews to provide inputs on industry trends, helping schools ensure that their course offerings are relevant.

To date, more than 30,000 teachers and students from all over the Philippines have directly benefitted from trainings organized by Smart. About 1,000 students from partner-schools have been hired into Smart’s technology group.

The Fortune citation is not the first time for SWEEP to be recognized by an international organization. In December 2012, the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, published a case study citing SWEEP as an example of how operators could help address barriers in education.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Government Role in ICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, August 24, 2016
The important role that government plays in telecommunications development is undeniable.

Acting as a regulator, government can make or break private sector investment in telecommunications. Take the case of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and its insistence to review PLDT and Globe Telecom’s recent acquisition of San Miguel Corp.’s telecom assets despite the absence of legal basis to do so. Had the acquisition been considered “deemed approved” under the PCC interim rules, then PLDT and Globe should have been able to utilize the frequencies that used to be owned by SMC to benefit Filipino consumers.

What would happen if PCC disapproves the deal? PLDT and Globe cannot return the assets to SMC. Neither can the two utilize the valuable 700 MHz radio frequencies that form part of the acquired assets. Such a waste of limited resources.

Waiting for a third viable telecom player to arise is more like wishful thinking on the part of government. In the meantime, what government should do is invest in digital infrastructure, starting with a national broadband network (NBN) that would complement the existing telecoms backbone already set up by the private sector.

Studies have shown that increasing public spending in the telecoms sector would lead to a corresponding hike in the rate of economic growth. Every 10 percent increase in the number of broadband subscribers (broadband penetration) corresponds to a 1.23 percent rise in gross domestic product, while doubling data connection speeds increases the GDP by 0.3 percent.
As the economy expands and incomes rise, more and more people would be able to purchase smartphones and tablets to connect to the Internet, thus, further increasing the already huge demand for broadband services.

But aside from investing heavily in infrastructure to improve wireless connectivity, government should make it easy for telcos to secure the needed permits, encourage investments in the telecoms sector by relaxing the 40 percent foreign ownership limit in the Constitution, among others.

To encourage telcos to set up more cell sites, government agencies should cut red tape in the applications for permits. At least 25 government permits are needed to put up a single cell site, not to mention the fact that many private subdivisions refuse to host these cell sites.
Another measure that could improve telecommunications services in the country is the proposed lifting of the 40 percent foreign ownership limitation under the Constitution.

Foundation for Economic Freedom president Calixto Chikiamco noted in a media report the importance of relaxing the foreign ownership restrictions in attracting foreign investments in strategic industries, where they are now presently barred from entering and providing competition.

Also, setting up its own digital backbone will not only provide the government with a secure network, but would also give private telcos a tough competitor that would prompt them to further improve their services.

Private telcos would be left with no choice but to pull down subscription costs and increase data connection speeds to be able to compete against a more affordable, government-subsidized broadband service.

Internet Society of the Philippines chair Winthrop Yu was quoted as saying that a national broadband network is critical, as it frees the government from dependence upon the telcos, and it opens the possibility of government as a third player.

Our regional neighbors have started establishing their respective NBNs. The Thailand government has invested $114 million to improve its Internet service and access, while Malaysia has spent $4.5 billion over a 10-year period to lay fiber-optic lines to service every home in the country’s urban areas. In Vietnam, two of the three largest telecom companies are owned by the government.

Yu said setting up an NBN in the Philippines does not require large upfront budgets because it is possible to build it via “short, even separated or redundant segments, then “tie it all together” later.

Thailand is expected to jack up its spending in information and communications technology (ICT) by $19.8 billion this year to fund its hard and soft infrastructure projects that would support its “digital economy” program.

Indonesia shelled out $22.1 billion through public-private partnerships to provide affordable Internet service to its people. Cambodia is also allocating $18 million to strengthen its digital infrastructure.

Singapore meanwhile is investing $530 million to provide at least 1 gbps speeds at only SGD$15 or a little over P500 a month for residential users and SGD$50 or less than P2,000 a month for business subscribers. It’s $7-million Digital Inclusion Fund stands to benefit 8,000 low-income households.

Other developing economies like Myanmar obtained a $31.5 million credit from the World Bank to fund its Telecom Sector Reform Project while Bangladesh borrowed $44 million from the Islamic Development Bank to help pay for its contribution to the construction of a submarine cable.

South Korea has invested $24 billion for its public Internet backbone and provided low-cost loans worth $1.7 billion to spur the construction by private companies of access networks for homes and businesses.

China is spending a staggering $190 billion for Internet service while Hong Kong invested $7.2 billion to provide free wireless internet access in 400 locations.

Aside from investing in infrastructure, other countries have also revised their foreign ownership schemes to bring in more capital to the telecoms industry.

Vietnam allows 100 percent foreign ownership in companies and plans to eliminate investment caps in many companies listed on its stock exchanges.

India has also given the go-signal to allow 100 percent foreign ownership in the mobile telecoms sector, which could bring in an additional $10 billion in investments.

Our government cannot be a mere regulator in an industry as important as ICT. It needs to beef up infrastructure for broadband, because faster Internet connection and speed is a social service that it cannot be left to the private sector to provide.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PUP Students Win at Energy Challenge in Singapore

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) students of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) won the gold medal at Singapore’s National Engineers Day 2016.

The Team CelHar of PUP won the competition via their entry that uses Lahar as a source of electricity in rural areas. 

The National Engineers Day 2016 was participated in by 19 other universities from Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia with other universities in the Philippines sending their respective teams also.

The Technological Institute of the Philippines came in second in the same category.

Indonesia and the Philippines have a a great amount of lahar since volcanic activity is prevalent in these countries. It should be noted that the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo deposited lahar in Central Luzon and uses for lahar ranged from construction materials and souvenirs in the said area.

This is the first time that the ubiquitous lahar has been made an alternative energy source.

The National Engineers Day in Singapore includes the Energy Innovation Challenge wherein universities in the region compete with each other with regards to alternative energy sources and other engineering and electronic disciplines.

Team CelHar of PUP was led by Dr. Ben Andres from the College of Engineering with members Sharmaine Rose Artigo, Jaimey Kathryne David, Paolo Angelo M. Gaton and Jennelyn S. Geronimo, and Mikee Salcedo.

Source: Readings from  http://www.goodnewspilipinas.com/pup-team-triumphs-energy-innovation-challenge/#sthash.VvGTqkui.EGSfLShA.dpuf

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Medix.PH Calls In An Advertising Professional for COO Duties

Posted By: Tech Support - Thursday, August 18, 2016
Lloyd Tronco (L) takes on COO duties alongside Marc Medina, Medix CEO

MAKATI, Philippines - Health tech startup Medix.ph has called in advertising executive, Lloyd Tronco, to pick up COO duties as the company forges into new prospects in the latter half of 2016.

Best known as the company which provides electronic medical records for dentists, Medix.PH goes beyond its comfort zone of serving only dentists by launching out into other medical practices. 

Tronco, whose career started out in various brick-and-mortar businesses including outdoor advertising, signage and billboards, and later on being employed as a Media Strategist at McCann-Erickson Philippines, has taken on the duties for operations in Medix beginning the second half of June 2016.  This will be an interim role as Medix seeks for a permanent operations head.

"Now is a really good time to step in and steer Medix through uncharted waters", said Tronco.  "There are a lot of similar tech companies who are also involved with electronic medical records and each one of us are finding our respective space within the health tech ecosystem.  What I bring to the table to complement Medix's foray into additional practices apart from dental is the insight of what doctors and medical professionals really want out of their EMR", continued Tronco.  In this endeavor, his previous experience as an ad professional comes in handy.

Medix is known as the company which provides the electronic record keeping for expansive multi-dentist clinics such as Gan Advanced Osseointegation Center (GAOC).  Last year, Medix also engineered the IT backbone of Ayala Health's Family Doc brand of community clinics.

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Smart Communications Calls on Technology and Engineering Students

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, August 18, 2016

PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart Communications is calling on technology and engineering students to come up with mobile and digital innovations and join the country’s biggest technology competition, the SWEEP (Smart Wireless Engineering Education Program) Innovation and Excellence Awards.

The winning team of the 13th SWEEP Awards – which has the theme “Changing Lives Through Mobile and Digital Innovations” – will get P300,000, while their school will get a P150,000 grant. The second placer will get P200,000, while the third placer will receive P100,000. Their respective schools will get a grant equivalent to half of their prizes.

Interested students aged 17 to 25 should form a team and come up with a wireless application under any of the following categories:

•    Consumer – innovations for personal use or for customers or buyers
•    Business to Business (B2B) – for government and business transactions
•    Social Innovations – covering the fields of education, environment, disaster preparedness and response, health, livelihood, or agriculture
•    Big Data – involving social media and web analytics
•    Machine to Machine (M2M) or Internet of Things (IoT) – involving intelligently connected devices and systems
Teams should come up with a video pitch and register online at www.smartsweep.ph starting August 1. The full mechanics can also be found on this site. The deadline for submission of entries is September 30.

The SWEEP Awards was launched in 2004 to provide college students with the platform to develop and create innovative applications that provide solutions to existing consumer pain points. It is an initiative under SWEEP, longest-running collaboration between the industry and academe aimed at raising the standards of engineering and information technology (IT) education in the country.

Source: http://technology.inquirer.net/51137/smart-invites-students-join-13th-sweep-innovation-awards#ixzz4HedJgu1F

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Philippine Math Wizards Win Medals

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Filipino students continued their winning streak abroad by bringing home medals from two of the toughest math contests in China.

The Philippine teams won one silver and 3 bronze medals at the 15th China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO) in Beijing, and one silver and 4 bronze medals at the China Southeast Mathematical Olympiad (CSMO) in Jiangxi.

In the CGMO, held from August 10 to 14, Tiffany Mae Ong, a Grade 11 student of British School Manila, won the country’s silver medal.

Bagging bronze medals are Grade 10 students Angelika Joie Tagupa of Philippine Science High School-Main, Natalia Beatrice Dy of St John’s Institute in Bacolod City, and Jinger Chong of St Jude Catholic School, according to Dr Isidro Aguilar of the Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines (MTG).

The students were accompanied by team leader Hazel Shi, and deputy team leader Sioc Bee Azajar, MTG Naga center coordinator and principal of Naga Hope Christian School.
Joining the contest were teams from the US, Russia, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and China.

Matthew Angelo Isidro of St Jude Catholic School took home a silver medal in the CSMO, said team leader James Kevin Martin.

Winning bronze medals are Vince Jan Torres, Sta. Rosa Science and Technology High School; Sean Anderson Ty, Zamboanga Chong Hua High School; Elijamin Wolfgang Claveria, Philippine Science High School-Main; and Vicente Raphael Chan, Zamboanga Chong Hua High School.

Countries and territories that competed in the contest were China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Mongolia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Source: Mathematics Trainers Guild-Philippines

Thursday, August 11, 2016

1921 Retro Tech. 9 Winged Transcontinental Plane

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, August 11, 2016

The dream of flight has always fascinated man. First time I heard of flight in history was about Icarus and his father Daedelus. Then it was the Wright Brothers and Kittyhawk where the first powered flight was successfully conducted. The Great War (1914 - 1918) initiated the first big leap of modern aviation because of the necessities imposed by the war. Aside from being instruments of war, the aeroplane (as it was called then) had to present its practicalities. The Ford Tri-Motor was an icon of that age in air transport. Then there was the Pan-Am China Clipper flying boat in the 1930s. But as early as 1913 Giovanni Battista Caproni, then aged 27, had said during an interview for the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that “aircraft with a capacity of one hundred and more passengers” would soon become a reality. It was after the war, however, that (besides converting some of his large wartime bombers into airliners) Caproni began designing a huge and ambitious passenger flying boat; he first took out a patent on a design of this kind on February 6, 1919.

The idea of a large multi-engined flying boat designed for carrying passengers on long-range flights was considered, at the time, rather eccentric. Caproni thought, however, that such an aircraft could allow the travel to remote areas more quickly than ground or water transport, and that investing in innovative aerial means would be a less expensive strategy than improving traditional thoroughfares. He affirmed that his large flying boat could be used on any route, within a nation or internationally, and he considered operating it in countries with large territories and poor transport infrastructures, such as China.

Caproni believed that, to attain these objectives, rearranging wartime aircraft would not be sufficient. On the contrary, he thought that a new generation of airliners (featuring extended range and increased payload capacity, the latter in turn allowing a reduction in cost per passenger) had to supersede the converted leftovers from the war.

The Transaereo or Capronio C.60 Noviplano was a large flying boat, whose main hull, which contained the cabin, hung below three sets of wings each composed of three superimposed aerodynamic surfaces: one set was located fore of the hull, one aft and one in the center (a little lower than the other two). The wingspan of each of the nine wings was 98 ft 5 in, and the total wing area was 8073 ft², the fuselage was 77 ft long and the whole structure, from the bottom of the hull to the top of the wings, was 30 ft high. The empty weight was 30,865 lb and the maximum takeoff weight was 57,320 lb.

Each set of three wings was obtained by the direct reuse of the lifting surfaces of the triplane bomber Caproni Ca.4; after the end of the war several aircraft of this type were cannibalized in order to build the Transaereo.   The aircraft was powered by eight Liberty L-12 V12 engines built in the United States. Capable of producing 400 hp each, they were the most powerful engines produced during the First World War. They were arranged in two sets of four: one close to the foremost wing set (two engines were pulling and had a two-blade propeller, while the other two were located in a push-pull nacelle and had four-blade propellers) and one close to the aftmost wing set (two engines were pushing and had a two-blade propeller, while the other two were located in a push-pull nacelle and had four-blade propellers).

The passenger cabin was enclosed, and featured wide panoramic windows. Travelers were meant to sit in pairs on wooden benches that faced each other—two facing forward and two backwards. The open-air cockpit accommodated a pilot in command and a co-pilot side-by-side. Its floor was raised above the passenger cabin floor, so that the shoulders and heads of the pilots protruded through the roof. The flight deck could be reached from inside the fuselage by a ladder.

The Transaereo was taken out of its hangar for the first time on January 20, 1921, and on that day it was extensively photographed. On January 21, the aircraft was scheduled to be put in the water for the first time, and a cameraman had been hired to shoot some sequences of the aircraft floating on the lake. Because of the low level of the lake and of some difficulties related to the slipway that connected the hangar with the surface of the lake, the flying boat could not reach the water. After receiving De Siebert’s authorization, the slipway was lengthened on January 24, and then again on 28.

Operations were carried on among problems and obstacles until February 6, when Caproni was informed that 30 wing ribs had broken and needed to be repaired before the beginning of test flights. He was infuriated, and kept his employees awake through the night to allow the tests to begin on February 7. The ribs were fixed, but then astarter was found broken, causing Caproni’s frustration, so that the tests had to be postponed again.

On February 9, finally, the Transaereo was put in the water its engines running smoothly and it started taxiing on the surface of the lake. The pilot was Federico Semprini, a former military flight instructor who was known for having once looped a Caproni Ca.3 heavy bomber. He would be the test pilot in all the subsequent trials of the Transaereo; no tests were going to be performed with more than one pilot on board.

The second flight took place on March 4. Semprini (according to what he later recalled) accelerated the aircraft to 54–59 kn, 62–68 mph, pulling the yoke toward himself; suddenly the Transaereo took off and started climbing in a sharp nose-up attitude; the pilot reduced the throttle, but then the aircraft’s tail started falling and the aircraft lost altitude, out of control. The tail soon hit the water and was rapidly followed by the nose of the aircraft, which slammed into the surface, breaking the fore part of the hull. The fore wing set collapsed in the water together with the nose of the aircraft, while the central and the aft wing sets, together with the tail of the aircraft, kept floating. The pilot and the flight engineers escaped the wreck unscathed.

Most of the damaged structure of the wreck was lost after the Transaereo project was eventually abandoned. Caproni, however, was convinced of the importance of preserving and honoring the historical heritage related to the birth and early development of Italian aviation in general, and to the Caproni firm in particular; his historical sensibility meant that several parts of the Transaereo, retrospectively known as the Caproni Ca.60, survived: the two outriggers, the lower front section of the main hull, a control and communication panel and one of the Liberty engines were spared and, after following the Caproni Museum in all its whereabouts between its foundation in 1927 and its move to its current location in Trento in 1992, they were displayed together with the rest of the permanent collection in the main exhibition hall of the museum in 2010.

A section of one of the two triangular truss-booms also survived, as well as one of the hydrofoils that connected the main hull and the outriggers. These fragments are on display at the Volandia aviation museum, in the Province of Varese, hosted in the former industrial premises of the Caproni company at Vizzola Ticino.

Source: Readings from: http://www.aerotime.aero/en/did-you-know/47-caproni-ca-60-too-big-to-fly

Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry, IdeaSpace launch new startup innovation hub

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, August 11, 2016

August 9, 2016: The Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and local early stage technology incubator and accelerator IdeaSpace Foundation launched Monday a new startup innovation hub called the QBO Innovation Hub.

Pronounced as “kubo” referring to nipa hut or traditional Filipino home and community space, QBO was designed for Public-Private Partnership or PPP for the Philippine innovation ecosystem. IdeaSpace claimed QBO is a natural progression in their efforts to help promote startup technopreneurship in the country, aside from providing equity-free funding, incubi incubation and acceleration through its national startup competition held annually since 2012.

DTI and IdeaSpace signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment and launch of the QBO Innovation Hub at the DTI International Building in Makati City for startups and innovation entrepreneurs. Also Read: Philippines: IdeaSpace awards top 10 startups from 2016 acceleration program DTI-EMB director Senen Perlada said the QBO partnership is the department’s support to the startup community, particularly targeting those with viable business propositions.

The hub aims to link innovators, explorers, investors, academic institutions, start-up mentors, funders and enablers as well as a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders from both public and private sectors to convene in constructive interaction. “This initiative is DTI-EMB’s way of providing relational form of assistance that boosts the climate of collaboration within the startup community, private sector, the academe and the government,” Perlada said.

QBO is also planned to serve as an avenue that urges more micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to collaborate and explore opportunities that disruptive technologies can offer. “We hope to open more opportunities for market access and capital, and mentorship for our startups, especially the growing number of young entrepreneurs,” Perlada added. Aside from DTI and IdeaSpace, the innovation hub was made possible with support from the Department of Science and Technology and JP Morgan Foundation.

It takes its cue from the rise of innovation districts around the world – the likes of Silicon Valley in the United States, Block 71 in Singapore and Tel Aviv, the center of “Startup Nation” in Israel.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, head of IdeaSpace, PLDT and First Pacific, said many other players have emerged to help build and grow startups since the launch of IdeaSpace in 2012. “As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. We note with appreciation that the government has shown a keen interest in collaborating with private sector partners to help raise the Philippine startup scene to global standards through the QBO Innovation Hub,” Pangilinan said.

IdeaSpace as a non-profit foundation is supported by First Pacific, Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), PLDT, Smart Communica Smart Communications Inc (Smart), Manila Electric Co (Meralco), Indofood, Philex Mining, Maynilad, MediaQuest, and TV5.

Source: http://www.dealstreetasia.com/stories/philippines-trade-department-ideaspace-launch-new-startup-innovation-hub-50070/

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Whats Next for IT-BPM Industry?

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, August 10, 2016
The  Philippines’ IT-Business Process Management (BPM) industry is the curious  outlier in the country’s business landscape – the family overachiever, who, in the last 20 years, has generated over a million direct jobs and sent over $20 billion in annual revenues pouring into the national coffers.

 Understandably, its various stakeholders have been constantly mapping its growth trajectory, always trying to figure out how to sustain the unbelievable momentum. But organizations and industries are complicated, and so are economies and technologies – twin forces that wrap this industry around in a fickle ecosystem that is constantly drawn and redrawn.

The current roadmap that has been guiding its path for the past six years is ending this year and a new framework has been crafted  for a new one.

 Benedict Hernandez, chairman, executive committee, Information and Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), said that when the first roadmap was crafted in 2005 (called Roadmap 2010), the ambition was to gain an “unfair” share of the world’s outsourcing market and to go from obscurity to becoming a globally recognized top destination for IT-BPO services.

 “We are obscure no more,” he said, adding that the succeeding roadmap (Roadmap 2016) has aimed for continued high market growth and spread the economic benefit to the countryside.
 In Roadmap 2022, he said the industry is aiming for a more diversified broad-based growth across services, market served and service delivery locations. More importantly, another one million higher value direct jobs over the next six years.

 It is, however, a very different landscape altogether. Lito Tayag, vice chair, IBPAP, said there will actually be five different roadmaps – each represented by the different sectors of the industry – contact centers, healthcare management, IT, animation and gaming, GICs and  – plus the bigger roadmap for the whole industry.

 All told, taking into consideration the intricate bits of the global digital economy packed by fragile nuances of technology shifts and a changing local landscape, it is an industry in search of the next value proposition.

The global opportunity

Nitin Bhat, partner at Frost & Sullivan for the Asia-Pacific Region and country head for Singapore, said that the global IT-BPM industry is still expected to grow at  a compound annual growth rate of six percent between 2015-2022. In the next six years, an additional $85 billion will be generated by the industry.

 The Philippines, he said, has been growing at 2.5 times the global growth rate during this period, but the nature of the IT-BPM industry is changing. The analyst said he sees the format of growth going to be different from what it was years back. 

“If the initial gain was driven cost arbitrage, the next gain would be driven by value-added, in terms of the how processes can be done better in the Philippines. What is the value that we can add as a country?” he asked.

The biggest challenge, according to Frost & Sullivan, is the impact of technology in the industry. Businesses are themselves transforming, driven by big data, analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and increasingly being driven by expanded computing power and storage capacity.

 “It means lots of business processes are getting digitized so there is an opportunity for the Philippines to participate in the digitization process both from an outsourcing perspective and actually digitizing process,” Bhat said.

 Technology shifts

 Automation and artificial intelligence loom in the horizon as probably the technologies that will have the most impact in the industry.

This year alone, the largest technology companies have announced in their respective developer and partner  conferences that they are betting big time on bots or internet robots. And there could be a compelling reason why.  In a world that is getting more virtual and augmented,  chat bots or computer programs that run automatically without human intervention, have the potential to converse or talk directly with thousands of consumers simultaneously.

 Understandably, the first companies that deployed the first chatbots are those involved in services. Now, you don’t have to call a number to book tickets, hotel rooms or to order food or flowers, and make routine inquiries.

 Bhat said the impact of technologies like this would be three-fold: automation of certain business processes could mean that some jobs may be automated;  robotics will have a greater impact on the industry than previously thought of; and more organizations will be exploring newer business models, including business process-as-a-service.

 Rather than get scared of the technology, he said the industry should embrace technology.
“The bigger task is to upskill the talent base of the current people employed in the industry as well as the people getting into the industry to ensure that the industry as whole will remain competitive,” he stressed.

 Government support

In the last two decades, the industry has always worked through a collaborative model, which means that it has worked closely with the academe, the government and the private sector to move things forward.

“Our strong community is a key competitive advantage and it has made us successful in attaining our success with our roadmaps in the past,” Hernandez said.

The government has been a close ally of the industry in crafting incentives to make it easier for BPO firms to set up shop in the country, providing tax and other financial incentives, and creating a conducive environment for business to thrive in the so-called “next wave cities” to promote inclusive growth.

 Catherine Ileto, IBPAP trustee,  said that as the industry sees it, the only genuine way to continue promoting inclusive growth in the next years is countryside development. A collaborative model — no red tape,  private sector involvement, LGU support, among others – is still going to be the best approach.

The IT-BPM Roadmap 2022 is now being crafted against a backdrop of a new political landscape – a new President has just been sworn into office, which also coincided with the creation of a new Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), which was given the mandate to craft plans and policies that would drive the national ICT development agenda.

“The task is daunting, it overwhelms,” said newly appointed DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima at the media launch of the roadmap, which was also his first public speaking engagement and first media interview since assumption into office on July 1.

In his short stint as a government official, Salalima has so far ordered government agencies to expedite processing of permits for telcos to operate in remote areas, the audit of used and unused radio frequencies and the possible reassigning of spectra to telcos with the capability to maximize their use, and the role of the government in establishing infrastructure or “infostructure’ in the countryside.

The goal is to immediately address the persistent problem of slow internet speed that has hounded not just the IT-BPM industry but practically all industries and all sectors of Philippine society.

The new DICT chief also sees the need to for inter- or intra- government connectivity for the fast and efficient exchange of data that could be very useful to all.

 “The role of government is to enable the growth of this sunshine industry and support the vision of Roadmap 2022. This is one industry that can truly promote inclusive growth across the nation, create a whole new middle class in the poorest of communities and generate jobs for millions of Filipinos,” he ended.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/technology/2016/07/25/1606319/whats-next-it-bpm-industry

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Concentrix strengthens PH presence with Tera Tower opening

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Globe Telecom, through its enterprise information and communications technology arm Globe Business, was tapped by Concentrix, a global business services company that offers enhanced capabilities in advanced analytics, enabling technologies, and non-voice services, to provide data and connectivity services for its new, state-of-the-art facility called the Tera Tower.

The Tera Tower will accommodate Concentrix’s growing number of employees. It is a part of a larger compound project called the Bridgetowne Campus, which will occupy a total of 57,000 square meters of property in Quezon City. This project currently complements the other campuses Concentrix currently operates in other parts of Metro Manila and provincial sites.

The Tera Tower is designed for Concentrix’s operations and back office work, as well as a dedicated recruitment hub on its ground floor. It aims to create a relaxed and convenient workspace with easy access to various transportation, residential, retail, dining, and entertainment areas. As a data and connectivity provider, Globe Business bolsters Concentrix employees’ productivity with fast, secure and dedicated access to Internet.

“We are committed to providing our staff and clients with the best resources and facilities,” said Concentrix President Chris Caldwell. “Our growth in the Philippines demonstrates the tremendous talent that’s here and our continued commitment to this region. We’d like to thank partners like Globe for enabling us to deliver a better customer experience and improved business outcomes for our clients.”

“Globe Business shows its passion by enabling our clients to do more of what they were meant for. Bringing in the right technology and know-how through our data and connectivity services allows Concentrix and their clients to improve work efficiency and productivity that will help them transform their business for the future,” said Globe Senior Advisor for Enterprise and IT-Enabled Services Group Mike Frausing.

Ensuring uninterrupted business for clients such as Concentrix, Globe is investing over $2.2 billion in network and IT infrastructure to enhance capacities of its data network and augment legacy-related investments. The bulk of its $750 million capex this year is allotted to the deployment of fiber optic cables in 20,000 barangays or about two million homes nationwide. This allows higher download and upload speeds, lower latency, and faster Internet browsing and streaming of high-definition multimedia content for higher bandwidth and better speeds for enterprises and subscribers.

Concentrix, a wholly owned subsidiary of SYNNEX, has operations across 25 countries, with approximately 90 delivery centers. It has more than 70,000 employees servicing more than 400 clients in more than 40 languages. The company has a large delivery footprint in India, the Philippines, Europe, Asia/Pacific, North America and South America.

Source: http://business.inquirer.net/213138/concentrix-strengthens-ph-presence-with-tera-tower-opening#ixzz4GiTGBc54

Modest National Broadband Plan by the new DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Tuesday, August 09, 2016
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will establish a scaled-down national broadband network that will prioritize far-flung and remote areas of the country. The DICT will not enter into the telco industry as a third player.

This will be included in the expected Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the DICT. Its intention is for the development of a broadband network in rural areas. These areas are currently unserved and underserved by the 2 major telcos. It will be an infrastructure that can be used by these 2 telcos in the future and government will then be payed for leasing such infrastructure.

This plan has a 1 year to be finalized and is included in the overall national broadband plan.

“The purpose of this is in effect to create infrastructure by government not necessarily for the government to compete with the telcos, because the government simply cannot,” DICT Secretary Salalima said during the July 29, 2016  public consultation exercise for its guidelines.

This plan can be the response to the current complaints against the 2 major telcos’ “slow and expensive” internet services. 

It could be remembered that a much bigger national broadband network was proposed during the Arroyo administration. The project that amounted to US$329 million was then derailed after it was mired in a controversial corruption issue.

Mindanao is one of the key areas to benefit from the current DICT plan according to National Telecommunications Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba. 

A national broadband plan was outlined in a policy brief February this year from the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines. The plan must include easier access to internet services and affordability.

Source: Readings from :

Monday, August 8, 2016

Countryside ICT Gets Support from DICT

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, August 08, 2016
The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) composed of about fifty information and communications technology (ICT) councils all over the country was jubilant last week as ICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima expressed support to countryside ICT programs.

Wilfredo Sa-a, NICP President and Managing Director of the Cebu Educational Foundation for IT (CEDF-IT), in a statement to the press thanked the newly- created Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for positively considering the proposals of NICP for inclusion in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10844 or the law creating the DICT during a public consultation held last Friday, August 5.

Representing the NICP during the public consultation was former NICP president and trustee, lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Executive Director of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (BNEFIT), Michael Tiu Lin, president of the Zamboanga ICT Council, and Annie Tacazon, Executive Director of Cavite ICT Council. The consultation was attended by a wide spectrum of ICT stakeholders from private and public sectors.

Armed with a position paper, Batapa-Sigue presented on the floor inclusions under the powers and functions of the DICT in support of the policy of Republic Act No. 10844 policy to foster an ICT sector policy environment that will promote a broad market-led development of the ICT and ICT-enabled services (ICT-ES) sectors, a level playing field, partnership between the public and private sectors, strategic alliance with foreign investors and balanced investments between high-growth and economically-depressed areas.

Citing this policy as a countryside provision, NICP proposes for the DICT to formulate policies in consultation with local government units (LGU’s) and other local stakeholders and line agencies for the implementation of responsive, relevant and comprehensive ICT-related strategies to improve the competitiveness of provincial locations for ICT and ICT-enabled services (ICT-ES).

Another proposal is for the DICT to develop plans and programs in coordination with LGU’s and other local stakeholders to ensure that universal access to ICT services and infrastructure are effectively utilized to generate investments and opportunities in the rural areas or areas unserved by private sector.

NICP proposed for DICT to assist and support ICT-related activities and initiatives for countryside economic development such as development of local ICT content, applications and services, talent development, and strategic partnerships to support ICT-based start-up enterprises and rural ICT services. 

Also proposed as among DICT’s functions is to promote and assist LGU’s and local stakeholders in developing specialized ICT-enabled investment areas by providing technical and industry-calibrated assistance in the use of ICT for the enhancement of key public services, such as education, public health and safety, revenue generation, and socio-civic purposes; development and promotion of local arts and culture, and tourism, digital literacy, and talent development and to develop, conduct and assist in trainings and capacity-building workshops for front-liners involved in the implementation of laws against cybercrimes down to the barangay level.

To the proposals, Salalima acknowledged the contributions on NICP and assured the body that he will include a provision for countryside development in the proposed IRR since he believes that the direction of the current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is one for inclusive growth and countryside economic development as evidenced by his mandate for a national broadband plan.

NICP has committed to help the DICT in generating 1 million jobs and opportunities related to ICT in the countryside by 2022, from the estimated 300,000 jobs outside of Metro Manila today. 

Batapa-Sigue considers the pronouncement of Salalima as a clear support for all countryside ICT champions and hopes to see all the proposals in the final draft of the IRR of the DICT which is due on August 9 as provided in the law. 

To ensure that DICT evolves to be the most innovative government agency, being the newest agency created, Batapa-Sigue said the “countryside clause” under the Declaration of Policy in Section 2 of the IRR must be amplified in the Section 5 under Powers and Functions so in this way, the DICT shall ensure balanced investments throughout the country, making the new department a true champion for inclusive growth and development of a countrywide digital economy.
Source: JBSigue

Thursday, August 4, 2016

2 Year Tax Holiday for Startups

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, August 04, 2016
Senator Bam Aquino filed Senate Bill 2217 or the Start-Up Business Bill last August 1, 2016 that seeks to provide for a 2 year Tax Holiday on new businesses.

Such a law if passed and enacted will enable startups  to gain valuable time in setting up their enterprises and carving a niche in their target markets

"The intervention provides the opportunity for these start-ups to get organized, establish their business operations and market base," said Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

A 2 year tax exemption for new businesses that are not subsidiaries of an existing companies will allow them to re-invest revenues into expanding and tweaking their business models.

"They should have at least five percent share with no nominal stockholders and a in case of a corporation, a venture capitalist should only have up to fifteen percent of total outstanding shares," the senator disclosed.

Startups and MSMEs account for 96% of the Philippine economy and the model for tech startups have been proven to stimulate the economies of the US, Japan and South Korea. The existence of tech startups will not nly spur employment but will also supplement larger industries into subcontracting their manufacturing and processes to these smaller enterprises thus launching a top to bottom and bottom to top manufacturing industry.

Innovation will no longer be the monopoly of big corporations and it will harness the intellectual and creative potentials of those who do not belong to the big corporations.

Senator Aquiino stated  that "Start-ups have the potential to spur and spread such innovation. As these enterprises have likewise the appetite to take on more risks, they would fuel creativity and challenge existing ways of doing business,".

Filipinos are known to be creative evein with limited resources and that such talent and potential remains untapped. Such potential would need at least 2 years to grow and be financially stable and self-sufficient. Such a law will greatly help the nascent ideas to create for a more indigenous tech industry to grow.

Source: Readings from http://interaksyon.com/article/88150/bam-seeks-2-year-tax-exemption-for-start-ups

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