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Acer launches CloudProfessor Laboratory in Cebu

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Cloud Professor

Acer Philippines teamed up with the Asian College Technology (ACT) of Cebu to integrate basic IT skills and application to its curriculum with the launch of the country’s first CloudProfessor Laboratory.

Filipino viewers switch to digital television

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Digital TV box

Most Filipino homes in the country's capital have acquired flat television sets and switched to digital technology, according to surveys.

Starmobile offers free Internet

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Starmobile free internet

Star Telecom Alliance Resources, Inc., the Filipino manufacturer of Starmobile phones, has joined forces with Voyager Innovation to provide Starmobile users with free internet access out of the box by pre-loading freenet into their latest Android smartphones.

Mobile Internet speed in the Philippines improves

Average: 2 (1 vote)

Mobile broadband speed

The average download speed for mobile broadband improved 88.31 percent from 7.44 megabits per second (Mbps) in July 2016 to 14.01 Mbps in April 2018, according to Speedtest Global Index Report of Ookla.

Globe Telecom wants to spread acts of kindness

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Filipino volunteers

Globe Telecom asks various organizations and volunteers to join its nationwide volunteer program to promote sharing an act of kindness among Filipinos and collectively contribute to social development.

Fake airline promos proliferate online

Average: 4 (1 vote)

Kaspersky online scam

Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, has warned about the proliferation of fake airline promos during the summer holidays when most people’s penchant for travel heats up.

Amazon opens center in the Philippines

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Amazon customer service center Cebu

US technology giant Amazon.com Inc. has opened its first customer service center in Cebu City, Philippines with over 300 jobs that will increase by another 1,000 by the end of the year.

Globe Telecom empowers tourism businesses

Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Globe Business

Globe myBusiness, the enterprise group of Globe Telecom, says it is now empowering local business owners engaged in food, hospitality, and related services with information, tools, and opportunities to create perfect destinations.

Filipinos turn to social commerce

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Social media

A research by PayPal claims that social media channels are no longer just networking platforms but have become digital marketplaces, where merchants and consumers buy and sell goods and services.

Smart cameras could be used as surveillance tool

Average: 3 (4 votes)

KasperskyRussian researchers from Kaspersky Lab said they discovered multiple security vulnerabilities in popular smart cameras that

Superduo

Average: 3.2 (5 votes)

Globe Telecom has announced its latest product offering called SuperDuo, which is an upgrade to its Duo service.  In a text message from 8888, Globe said: "You can upgrade your Duo to SuperDuo to enjoy unlimited calls to any Globe or Touch Mobile nationwide, on top of your Duo subscription for only P499 for 30 days."

It said: "Just text DUO OFF to 8888 to deactivate your Duo and text SUPERDUO<area>ON to 8888 to register to SuperDuo. 

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Average: 4 (1 vote)

Globe Telecom and Research In Motion (RIM) launched in the Philippines the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone in the Philippines. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone will be available from Globe starting October 1, 2009.

The new BlackBerry Curve 8520 introduces an innovative touch-sensitive trackpad, which makes scrolling and selection smooth and easy for a great navigation experience. It is also the first BlackBerry® smartphone to feature dedicated media keys, smoothly integrated along the top of the handset, giving customers an easy, convenient way to control their music and videos. 

PLDT Watchpad

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Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. or PLDT has introduced a new technology that makes watching TV over the internet easier and more satisfying. Through PLDT Watchpad, myDSL subscribers can watch TV shows, films, and more over the internet. Available channels now include National Geographic, Cartoon Network, Pinoy Box Office, CNN, Animax Mobile, CNBC, and GMA 7, with more coming soon.

Best experienced starting with myDSL Plan 1299, Watchpad is available for free to all myDSL subscribers nationwide. Subscribers have to register at www.pldtwatchpad.com to get their username and password.

PLDT Customer Sales and Marketing Group Head Eric Alberto said PLDT Watchpad is a fitting demonstration of synergy in the PLDT Group made possible by a partnership with Mediascape, the media partner.

RFID system

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Despite the protests from several groups, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and its private sector partner Stradcom Corp. will proceed with the implementation of the radio frequency identification (RFID) project for vehicles this year.  "We are going to get the approval of the National Telecommunication Commission for the project," Mr. Vince Dizon, Stradcom vice president for public relations, said during a consultation with various transport groups at the main office of the LTO in Quezon City last week.

Before this, the NTC had threatened to confiscate the RFID units that the LTO plans to install on all vehicles in the country, saying these gadgets need to be approved by the government regulator.  The project involves the use of RFID tags or microchips that pick up and send signals as well as proximity readers that transmit signals to the tags.  LTO chief Arturo Lomibao said the project allows electronic verification of vehicle identity and data, which would enable the LTO to detect colorum and out of line  public utility vehicles.

Call rates

Average: 3 (3 votes)

The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) has assured that it will begin implementing the new billing system for mobile voice calls by the first week of December, ahead of the Christmas season when the volume of communication usually doubles.  "This is expected to benefit the 75 million mobile phone subscribers during the Christmas season," NTC deputy commissioner Douglas Mallillin said.

Mallillin said that while the mobile phone operators were asking for another delay in the implementation of Memorandum Circular No. 05-07-2009 until January 31, 2010, he said the telecom providers have been given enough time to prepare for the switch in the billing system.  The circular set at six seconds per pulse the maximum unit of billing for the cellular phone calls of both postpaid or prepaid subscribers.  Currenctly, subscribers are charged P6.50 per minute of call.

Smart mobile banking

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Smart Communications has partnered with banks to offer various mobile banking services.  Recently, Smart launched with the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) a new service that will allow bank clients who are also Smart subscribers to do a wide range of bank transactions through their mobile phones.  The product called BPI-Smart Full-Mobile Banking is a huge upgrade for BPI clients who are Smart subscribers since balance inquiry transaction was previously the only function that can be used through the key-based mobile banking facilities. Now, they cannot only balance inquiry but also do fund transfers, bill payments, Smart prepaid airtime reloading and Smart Money reloading.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Smart president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno said they see bright prospects for mobile commerce in the Philippines.  “As the country’s leading telco, we have adopted the fundamental strategy of providing relevant communication solutions and mobile security infrastructure to our partner banks. We are confident that this partnership with BPI, the country’s pioneer in electronic banking, will result in an expanded, more secure, and more convenient mobile banking experience for millions of Smart and BPI customers,” Nazareno said.

SMS for emergency

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Thousands of mobile phone subscribers sent text messages asking for help at the height of flashfloods that submerged their homes on September 26, 2009, when telephone and power lines were cut off in many parts of Luzon.  Although help came a day or two days later, and for many, did not come at all, flashflood victims were able to send SOS through SMS to radio and television stations and the hotlines of government agencies during the time they needed help the most.

"Despite damages on our equipment, we were getting anecdotal evidence that we had signals in calamity areas," said Mr. Ramon Isberto, spokesman of Smart Communications and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. or PLDT.

"Even in areas that were flooded, we were able to provide coverage. That's why people were able to send text," said Isberto. "I personally handled three cases and attended to their problems through my cell phone."

Flashfloods hit Metro Manila

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Thousands of people fled from their homes in low lying areas in Metro Manila, which suffered the heaviest rainfall in four decades on 26th September, as a result of typhoon Ondoy (international code name Ketsana) that crossed Luzon from the Pacific Ocean.  Metro Manila and 23 provinces in Luzon were declared under state of calamity.

The typhoon also left more than 140 casualties and dozens more missing, because of the flash floods and landslines triggered by the heavy rains, measuring 341 millimeters in a six-hour period, which authorities said was nearly equivalent to a one-month of rain that the country received in the past month.  This surpassed the previous record for Metro Manila in 1967, according to the weather bureau.

“We were able to break that record in a span of six hours. Today, we really experienced an extreme weather event," said Mr. Nathaniel Cruz, weather services bureau head of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).  He said this was a proof that the country was affected by climate change.

Smart Hellow

Average: 3 (3 votes)

Smart Communications has launched a new card that allows its subscribers to make calls to their relatives in the United States for only P2.50 per minute.  Hellow is described as the first reloadable international direct dialing (IDD) card which can be used on any Smart or Talk 'N Text mobile phone to make calls to 17 destinations.

While the calls to US, Canada, Guam and Hawaii cost only P2.50 per minute, calls to Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Malaysia and Hong Kong cost P5. For calls to Japan, Australia, UK, Italy and Thailand, Hellow offers P8 per minute.  Calls to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates cost P10 per minute.  "Hellow rates vary depending on the rates of our partners.  Calls to the Middle East remain very expensive," Kathryn Carag, head of Smart's international services, said.

Tax on Text

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Smart Communications, Inc., the mobile phone unit of PLDT, and Globe Telecom have warned that the consolidated bill approved by the House of Representatives on September 3, 2009 imposing a 5 centavo tax on text and other services will hurt consumers, particularly low-income earners, who are heavy users of these services.  Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, himself, said he opposes the proposal by the House, because this would be passed on to consumers.

The House version contains: Section 4, which seeks to impose a P0.05 tax per SMS (short messaging service), MS (messaging service) and multi-media service (MMS); Section 5, which will imposed P0.05 tax per overseas dispatch, message or conversation transmitted from the Philippines; and Section 6, which orders the National Telecommunication Commission or NTC to acquire a metering device or portal which will interconnect the NTC, BIR and other concerned agencies with mobile phone service providers.

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