Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Star Trek Technology for Today’s Vehicles

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 27, 2017

In Star Trek Next Generation, there is an android named Lt. Commander Data. This android answers all queries and is even capable of making decisions. Although we have not yet attained that level of technology, the time for that is getting near.

Today we use Waze to find ourselves around and to search for the optimal route to take complete with instructions.

The next level is just around the corner with the new Intelligent Personal Agent being developed by Korean car-maker Hyundai.

Hyundai is partnering with SoundHound, Inc. to develop the Intelligent Personal Assistant that is a voiced – enabled virtual assistant system. The next level is not only to give instructions on where to turn or advise on traffic but to provide the driver with real-time data but also to perform as a virtual assistant.

The voice recognition and enabled technology will not need touch screens, dials, and buttons but only the voice of the driver. This will give the driver the ability to provide reminders of appointments, meetings, road and traffic conditions and estimate departure and arrival times and make real-time adjustments in terms of departure times with traffic conditions factored in.

Also, it can send text messages, make phone calls, give weather updates and of course play music.

Hyundai will unveil its Intelligent  Personal   Agent in Las Vegas, January 2018.






GenSan’s Tranvia

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 27, 2017
GenSan's ERT. Photo courtesy of MindaNews


The Tranvia in Manila during the Pre-War period was run by the Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company (MERALCO). It was destroyed during World War II and was never revived. During that time, a railway system was being proposed in Mindanao by the Commonwealth government of President Quezon and it never came to fruition.

Today, General Santos City has unveiled its Electric Road Train (ERT), the first in Mindanao. The ERT was developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and serves as the centerpiece of the Local Government Unit (LGU of General Santos City.

This endeavor will also serve as a template for other LGUs. As per the LGU, this is in consonance with their effort to make GenSan a smart and green city.

The ERT uses hybrid technology that enables it to run on electric power with a complementing diesel engine. Each train has a capacity of 240 passengers.

Currently, GenSan is having problems with its smoke belching tricycles that number at 12,000 while according to studies, only 9,000 are needed. The reason for the preponderance of these tricycles is because many routes in the city is underserved by jeepneys.

This development will be the building blocks wherein clean and green transport will be further developed for the city. 






Top Robotics Stories of 2017

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Bicentennial Man, Android that was based on Isaac Asimov's I, Robot novel.

Robotics have been with us for more than 50 years starting with robot arms used in auto assembly lines in Japan. Although the earliest ones were for the fabrication of nuclear weapons in Oak Ridge Laboratories in the United States.

This goes to show that robots are here to stay and will form part of our civilization with utilizations ranging from auto factories all the way to the surgery room in hospitals.

Recently, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. This has generated morality issues reminiscent of the “I Robot” series by Isaac Asimov. The dichotomy between good and bad are but the two sides of the same coin.

This are exemplified by movies such as Bicentennial Man wherein a benign robot was presented as contrasted with “Terminator” that was shown in 1984 wherein an AI (Artificial Intelligence) entity called Skynet gained self-awareness.

This is more evident with the opposing sides having their champions with Elon Musk advocating a more conservative approach to AI and Mark Zuckerberg supporting pushing the boundaries as far and as fast as possible.

This year, Robotics has achieved the what other science fiction novels have not been able to conceptualize. These developments have been the most popular in the news in 2017. These are the following:

Dermal sensory for Robots:

Stanford University is currently developing artificial skin that is for the use in prosthetics but can also be utilized for robots. This artificial skin can enable robots to perform mundane to sensitive tasks. 

This makes interaction and interface with humans possible and scientists from the University of Washington and the University of California are endeavoring to achieve such I the very near future.

Human-like mobility and agility

 Boston Dynamics is currently at work with giving robots the ability to perform human movements that are more complicated than what the current robots have. This can also be applied in combination with “Origami-Muscles” wherein servos and pneumatics will be replaced with artificial muscles that can perform and achieve human – like movements.

Next – Level AI

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the shrines of modern technology is now developing through its CSAIL Department a robot that responds to human scolding by autocorrecting itself. This is the result of AI research achieving a faster pace with each new discovery or development.






Thursday, December 21, 2017

Philippines Shares ICT Council Model to Guatemalan Cities

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 21, 2017
Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, the Main Speaker at the 1st Annual Convention of the Contact Center and BPO Industry, Guatemala City

The steady creation of huge employment enabled by information and communications technology (ICT) in cities outside of Metro Manila has caught international attention recently as Philippine industry leaders were invited to speak in Guatemala.

Co-founder and former president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Jocelle Batapa-Sigue was invited as the main speaker during the 1st Annual Convention of the Contact Center and BPO Industry in Guatemala City on November 23, 2017. 

Also invited as resource speaker was Jose Mari Mercado, former president of the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president and current national technology officer of Microsoft Philippines 

In their invitation to Batapa-Sigue, organizer BPO Guatemala said that “the creation of intermediate cities has become a country priority for Guatemala since 2016, with both government and private sector working together to create a new competitiveness agenda of the country. However, despite having a clear understanding on what the benefits and contributions of tier 2 cities are, there is a deep lack of knowledge on how to do it and what steps need to be taken, as to who are the main actors and key players are, and what actions each stakeholder must take”.

During the conference and a special workshop design for intermediate cities on November 24,  2017, Batapa-Sigue shared the ICT Council model of Bacolod and NICP in general. She highlighted the need for academe, government and private sector to generate jobs and investments and drive innovation to the countryside.

BPO Guatemala highlighted the organizational mission of NICP in “promoting foreign and local investment while pursuing balanced development, as well as transforming the Philippines into a customer-oriented and competitive provider for global services” as having very essential value to them. 

BPO Guatemala considered the inputs of Batapa-Sigue as a unique opportunity to benefit and learn from her experience in the evolution of Bacolod City as a “center of excellence” for information technology and business process management operations in 2013, as declared by the Department of Science and Technology, as well as making Bacolod part of the Tholons International Top 100 Cities in the World since 2010.  

Mercado highlighted how do the intermediate cities contribute to the development and competitiveness of a country and the role of the industry in helping drive jobs to the Tier 2 cities.

During the workshop attended by various cities in Guatemala, Batapa-Sigue outlined the benefits of all stakeholders doing their share in a spirit of collaboration, pointing out the main actors in the development of intermediate cities.

She commended the Philippine Next Wave Cities program of IBPAP and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which provided the intermediate cities criteria which are talent, costs, infrastructure and business environment for the cities to work on improving.






Philippines Shares ICT Council Model to Guatemalan Cities

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, December 21, 2017
Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, Main Speaker at the 1st Annual Convention of the Contact Center and BPO Industry, Guatemala City

The steady creation of huge employment enabled by information and communications technology (ICT) in cities outside of Metro Manila has caught international attention recently as Philippine industry leaders were invited to speak in Guatemala.

Co-founder and former president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines' (NICP) Jocelle Batapa-Sigue was invited as the main speaker during the 1st Annual Convention of the Contact Center and BPO Industry in Guatemala City on November 23, 2017. 

Also invited as resource speaker was Jose Mari Mercado, former president of the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president and current national technology officer of Microsoft Philippines 

In their invitation to Batapa-Sigue, organizer BPO Guatemala said that “the creation of intermediate cities has become a country priority for Guatemala since 2016, with both government and private sector working together to create a new competitiveness agenda of the country. However, despite having a clear understanding on what the benefits and contributions of tier 2 cities are, there is a deep lack of knowledge on how to do it and what steps need to be taken, as to who are the main actors and key players are, and what actions each stakeholder must take”.

During the conference and a special workshop designed for intermediate cities on November 24,  2017, Batapa-Sigue shared the ICT Council model of Bacolod and NICP in general. She highlighted the need for academe, government and private sector to generate jobs and investments and drive innovation to the countryside.

BPO Guatemala highlighted the organizational mission of NICP in “promoting foreign and local investment while pursuing balanced development, as well as transforming the Philippines into a customer-oriented and competitive provider for global services” as having very essential value to them. 

BPO Guatemala considered the inputs of Batapa-Sigue as a unique opportunity to benefit and learn from her experience in the evolution of Bacolod City as a “center of excellence” for information technology and business process management operations in 2013, as declared by the Department of Science and Technology, as well as making Bacolod part of the Tholons International Top 100 Cities in the World since 2010.  

Mercado highlighted how do the intermediate cities contribute to the development and competitiveness of a country and the role of the industry in helping drive jobs to the Tier 2 cities.

During the workshop attended by various cities in Guatemala, Batapa-Sigue outlined the benefits of all stakeholders doing their share in a spirit of collaboration, pointing out the main actors in the development of intermediate cities.

She commended the Philippine Next Wave Cities program of IBPAP and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which provided the intermediate cities criteria which are talent, costs, infrastructure and business environment for the cities to work on improving.

/JBS




Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Teleperformance receives National Outstanding Volunteer Award from NEDA

Posted By: The Mail Man - Wednesday, December 20, 2017
(L-R): National Volunteer Month Honorary Chair Ambassador Henrietta Tambunting de Villa, Teleperformance Philippines Managing Director Travis Coates, NEDA Undersecretary Jose Miguel de la Rosa, and PNVSCA Executive Director Joselito de Vera

Teleperformance, the world’s leading provider of outsourced customer experience management services, was presented the National Outstanding Volunteer Award by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In a heartfelt and inspiring ceremony held December 15, Teleperformance Philippines joined eight other awardees of the nationwide Search for Outstanding Volunteers 2017 that was conducted by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), an attached agency of NEDA.

Teleperformance Philippines Managing Director Travis Coates expressed the company’s gratitude for the recognition of its employee-volunteers’ work and contribution to keeping the spirit of volunteerism alive and growing in the country.

“Our employee-volunteers’ generosity of spirit is both humbling and inspiring. People are going out of their way to be involved, contributing hard-earned money, and giving up their precious personal time to help complete strangers – all the while expecting nothing in return but the fulfillment of their personal mission of being of service to others.”

The Search for Outstanding Volunteers aims to highlight the exemplary performance and dedication to service of Filipino volunteers in helping people build strong communities and recognize the role of volunteerism in development and nation-building. Since 2001, over 130 volunteers and volunteer organizations have been recognized by the national government through the Search for Outstanding Volunteers.

“Volunteers play a crucial role in development,” said NEDA Undersecretary Jose Miguel de la Rosa in his message to the awardees. He asserted that volunteerism brings essential complementary social services which help the government bring about inclusive growth and a stronger social equation that leaves no one behind. USec. De la Rosa noted the many different initiatives of the nine awardees, applauding their “passion to serve others, and that inspires us in the government sector to work harder.”

Among the projects of Teleperformance employee-volunteers cited were the Teleperformance Gawad Kalinga Village in Tanay, its regular blood donation drives, initiatives for the elderly, the orphans and the sick children, tree-planting projects and participation in Brigada Eskwela.

Teleperformance Philippines was the sole recipient of the award in the Corporate Organization category. Other outstanding volunteers were similarly recognized in the Individual Youth Category, Individual Adult Category, Not-for-Profit Organization Category, and Special Citation in Volunteerism.

All the awardees shared their personal volunteer stories and insights during the event, showing how volunteer work is really difficult and demanding. At the same time, they said that volunteers are already rewarded by the joy of helping others and seeing how they touched lives. Volunteerism is a calling, they said, and a life’s choice to pay it forward.

Closing the event was National Volunteer Month Honorary Chair Amb. Henrietta Tambunting de Villa, who exhorted everyone to keep volunteering and demonstrate “love in action” and cura personalis because “our country needs the hearts of volunteers.”






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. 






Monday, December 11, 2017

DOST Encourages Youth to Go Into Space Science

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, December 11, 2017
Diwata - 1, the first Filipino Microsatellite launched and deployed last 2016

The Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST - SEI) firmly encourages the Filipino youth to take up the challenges of Space Science. 

In making the challenge, the DOST – SEI with activities through the activities of the Philippine Space Science Education Program (PSSEP) aims to harness and mold the youth in the field of space science.

Stating that a national space agency is a necessity and is inevitable since space science is already part of national security, development, and education. Space science is needed for agriculture, disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), urban planning, environmental and ecological monitoring, weather forecasting, spatial planning for human settlements, communications and of course, pure scientific research  

Space is not a luxury anymore. It is now a necessity for a country to dwell in space-related matters. Every nation benefits from space technologies that’s why the Philippines should inevitably pursue space efforts for its own development,” according to Dr. Rogel Mari Sese who heads the National Space Development Program (NSDP and the PSSEP.

PSSEP was started in 13 years ago with the objective of instilling awareness among the students and the youth to pursue careers in space science since the future will require skills and technical prowess in space science are created by the demands in national development which is leaning heavily on technology.

Activities such as the recently held Can Satellite Competition during the World Space Week is an effective method for creating awareness and interest in space science among the Filipino youth. 

Career opportunities in space science are thus presented to the youth and that this will form part of the core space science professionals in the future.

Currently, the country has 1 microsatellite Diwata – 1 that has been developed by Filipino engineers and scientists with assistance from Japanese Universities and deployed by NASA last 2016. Diwata – 2 with more capabilities than Diwata – 1 is scheduled for launch and deployment in 2018. These satellites will further boost capabilities with regards to weather monitoring, environmental sustainability and protection, agricultural mapping and military applications as well as communications. 






Filipino Inventor Develops Used Cooking Oil as Fuel Additive

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, December 11, 2017


The winner of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - National Invention Contest and Exhibit in 2014, has developed a fuel additive that rearranges the molecules of conventional fuels that makes it more efficient to burn and have less polluting properties.

Not only this, the utilization of used cooking oil will solve the problem of its disposal. Usually, used cooking oil is disposed of by pouring it into kitchen drains. Used cooking oil when continually utilized in cooking becomes toxic and would need disposal.

The used cooking oil then has detrimental environmental effects such as the clogging of drains, and most of the time, it finds itself into waterways, streams, rivers and eventually into the ocean. It is a contributor to the death of marine life and ecosystems.

Emiliano Quitiol started developing his product way back in 1993 with his inspiration of stopping or at least mitigating pollution. Currently, he has already perfected his fuel additive and it is called EFQ Bioforce.

“Fresh cooking oil, after several times of use, is considered a toxic substance and hazardous (to health),” Quitiol said.

“Used cooking oil as raw material for the production of EFQ Fuel and Oil Additive will pave the way in solving the proper disposal of used cooking oil and will assure the public health and safety,” Quitiol said.

The three products developed are  EFQ Bio Force Diesel Additive, EFQ Bio Speed Gasoline Additive, and EFQ BioPower Engine Oil Additive.

Quitiol availed of the Invention Based Enterprise Development (IBED) Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Technology Application and Promotions Institute. The IBED is a program intends to encourage and transform innovations into a technology enterprise. It includes the pilot production, field/market testing and formulation of systems and procedures in preparation for a larger production scale. This will build the capacity of inventors to be entrepreneurs with their inventions as their products.

The program also aims to build the capabilities of inventors to create businesses out of their inventions.






The Future: Digital Cities PH

Posted By: The Mail Man - Monday, December 11, 2017

The future has arrived in the Philippines with the launch of digitalcitiesPH. The aim of the program is to enhance and further expand the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Councils all throughout the country that will foster economic development particularly in the regions outside the National Capital Region (NCR).

The program is spearheaded by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) together with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), the umbrella organization of information and communications technology (ICT) Councils across the country, and the  Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP). 

It was launched last November 2017 at the 9th NICP ICT Summit held in Cagayan de Oro City. 

Before digitalcitiesPH, the then Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) vigorously pursued the Next Wave Cities Initiative wherein regional hubs were identified in expanding and stimulating the economic potentials of these cities in the regions. 

These cities were envisioned to be hubs that will be the business and innovation centers as well as investment targets outside the NCR. These hubs will, in turn, be the foci of economic development and opportunities in the countryside.

The digitalcitiesPH Program is the beefed up version of the New Wave Cities Initiative. The goals are based on the IT-BPM Roadmap and the Tholons 100 Services Globalization Index.      

“The digital landscape is fast changing. We see it as an opportunity to level up our programs that will ensure our country’s global competitiveness. We will continue to capacitate and empower every city through ICT to push our country forward,” according to Undersecretary Monchito B. Ibrahim.

Currently, five cities in the country are included in the Top 100 Supercities of the Tholons 100 Rankings. These are Manila, Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, and Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

Being a digitalcitiesPH means not only economic opportunities but also IT-enabled programs in infrastructure, governance, livelihood and education development for all cities in the country since it is intended for all cities and municipalities of the country.

The launch of digitalcitiesPH was participated in by  700 stakeholders and experts from the public and private sectors to share industry trends, developments, best practices, and identify challenges and ways to generate new investments, achieve digital transformation, spur innovations and create jobs especially in the countryside.






Saturday, December 9, 2017

Making Cyberspace Safe for Children

Posted By: The Mail Man - Saturday, December 09, 2017


Cyberscape stakeholders held a summit aiming to protect children from the dangers of cyberspace. The Child Online Protection Summit was held last November 2017 wherein the various government, private, industry, community and academic stakeholders discussed the hazards and dangers that children encounter while using the internet and formulating policies and guidelines to protect them

This was led by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Other agencies such as the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP) with other organizations endeavored to raise awareness on the dangers that can be encountered by children when using the internet. The most danger seen is the risk of online sexual exploitation. 

The summit’s theme was “Enabling Dynamic Partnerships: The Role of Everyone to Protect Children and Young People Safe and Secure Online,”

The discussions were participated in by national government agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs) academe, industry, and business sectors, international organizations and communities. Insights and best practices were shared so as to develop online safety standards and mechanisms that will conform to  Section 11 of the draft IRR of R.A. 10929, also known as The Free Internet in Public Places Act.

Assistant Secretary Alan Silor said I his presentation of the draft IRR that upon its approval, the DICT will craft a child online safeguarding policy within one year from the effectivity of the law.

The absence of Child Online Protection (COP) centers and the insufficient number of social workers to respond to the growing reported cases of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) are among the challenges hounding the current online safety landscape. 

According to Lotta Sylwander from UNICEF Philippines, “There needs to be an understanding of what online sexual abuse does to children. We need to change parents’ understanding of what happens to their children,” 

It was also stressed that while government and institutions must be aware and must provide protection to children with regards to online dangers, the families and communities will be the frontline against the hazards that children encounter while using the internet. 

DICT Director Maria Teresa Magno-Garcia of the National ICT Governance Service emphasized, “Our eyes have seen, our ears have heard the dark realities in the online world, and we must not stop at seeing and hearing, but we must start doing something about them both online and offline and, ultimately, we must start at Home.”

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