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Ed Uy

258 posts

Marites in the metaverse

DID you know that the term “metaverse” originated in the 1990s? The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans control programmable avatars to interact with each other and software agents in a three-dimensional virtual space.

Why ASUS new OLED laptop is ‘Lighter Than Air’

LAST week, SM Supermalls kicked off its 100 Days to Christmas countdown by creating a circle of happiness among its shoppers, marginalized communities of women, persons deprived of liberty, artisans, cause-oriented organizations, and select local government units.

Aging and its effects on facial recognition

AS the iPhone 14 launches this week, we take a look back at one of the innovations Apple introduced when it launched the iPhone X—Face ID. The facial recognition system that retired the beloved home button became the main biometric authentication for unlocking your device, making payments, accessing sensitive data, and providing detailed facial expression tracking for Animojis. Apple claimed the probability of someone else unlocking a phone with Face ID is 1 in 1,000,000 as opposed to Touch ID at 1 in 50,000. There were initial apprehensions but as expected, Android phones eventually followed suit, and now even cheaper devices flaunt Face recognition as a key feature.

Epson’s HyFlex learning might be the future normal

FOR the longest time, our educational system has remained basically the same since the time of our great grandfathers. Despite the use of new technologies and various reforms, students still followed the same routine: wake up in the early morning, head to school, sit in front of the teacher for the rest of the day, then go home to do more homework. Dress codes, school facilities, and technology may have changed but what students and teachers actually do has not.

Huawei P50: Save the best for last

TWENTY-SIXTEEN will forever be remembered as the year when Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar and Stranger Things introduced many of us to binge-watching (and gave us Winona Ryder back). That same year, we also found Dory, had an all-female Ghostbusters, and realized both Batman and Superman’s moms were named Martha.  Lastly, it was the year that got everyone out and walking about hunting for Pokemons. Oh, and we also got two Ds that were elected President—Donald and Duterte.

How c-commerce is shaping brand love

The ToysRUs community, for one, was a lot of help, as I could chat with them to ask if they still had stocks of some figure I was looking and they would point me to the nearest branch. I could then call the branch and arrange for pickup. I didn’t mind if it took a few hours for them to reply; after all, I’d rather wait for the next day’s reply on Viber than spend 10 minutes listening to hold music.

True colors: Why make the switch to a Zenbook OLED laptop

I WAS already in high school when I finally accepted that I badly needed eyeglasses after years of squinting and being in denial (that playing too much Family Computer was to blame).  I could still remember the first time I wore them and walked out of the optical shop—as if on cue, the song “True Colors” began to play in my head, because for the first time, the world I saw became clearer and more vibrant.

The Huaweiverse and league of super devices

POP culture was once dominated by wizards, vampires and zombies, but in the past decade there is no doubt that we have been fascinated with superheroes. From mainstream movies that bring to life the characters from Marvel and DC comics, to animated series, like Invincible and my current favorite. Amazon’s The Boys (it’s a bloody-gore watch) “supers” seem to be the key ingredient to success.

Sounds of streaming and podcasts

EARLIER this week, listeners could not access many of their favorite podcasts due to an outage on Megaphone, one of the more popular podcast hosting platforms on Spotify. The outage was due to the company’s failure to renew Megaphone’s security certificate—a simple mistake that cost podcasters thousands of lost downloads and ad revenue.

Smart homes are the new luxury 

WHEN the Covid-19 pandemic struck and the government implemented those repeated strict lockdowns, we were all forced to stay home—but not everyone spent those months just sitting on the couch watching Netflix.

Life in the 10,000Mbps fast lane

WHENEVER there was a demonstration of some smart home device or appliance or a demo for the Google Voice Assistant, I would often comment how my yaya was still faster than any of them. But last week, after visiting the especially-designed PLDT Home Fast Hub, I think my yaya (even after by two cups of coffee), has found her match—Google Voice backed by PLDT Home 10,000Mbps Internet speed.

Try crypto but make it social

IF it’s not about the election colors, or the recent “slapgate,” my feed is starting to get filled up with all sorts of information about crypto. I must admit that like a lot of people, I do have crypto FOMO (fear of missing out) especially when you hear about those very early retirement stories, but even the best digital currency evangelists admit that investing in bitcoin and its brethren remains a largely speculative bet on an unknown future.

Grassroots gaming

GROWING up in the 1990s, there was one summer activity that I never got to join—no, it is not the Santa Cruzan, but those Inter-Barangay Basketball tournaments. Most of my uncles were good basketball players, and they’d share stories of how they would go around challenging the neighboring barrios to make some money. I knew how to play, sure, but I didn’t have the speed or the stamina to play competitively.

‘Audio precio paradizo’

OF all the smartphones I’ve reviewed last year, I must have used the realme 8 Pro as my daily driver the longest. It was a pretty good all-around phone with a nice display, one of the best cameras (for its price), and that “Dare to Leap” branding emblazoned across the back pretty much described the brand’s bold ambition.

Vivo V23E 5G: Selfie love

THE influence of YouTubers, vloggers, and even TikTokers is at an all-time high, and there is no denying how YouTube has formed an important part of the appeal to children and young people. It’s also become quite a lucrative career that even famous celebrities have created their channels and have started vlogging.

Connected loyalty: Life within the Huawei ecosystem

WHEN we were having our house built, I remember my dad wanting our appliances to come from a single brand—from the TV, speakers, mini component, VCD player, or anything else that the brand offered. His reasoning, besides its popularity back then, was that he only needed to call one service center for everything. Call it brand loyalty as most of our appliances have always been from the same brand, but unknowingly he was also introducing us to what we now refer to as an ecosystem.

Life happens on livestream

Just when you thought we already have all sorts of influencers—from fashion, food, tech, fitness, travel, etc.—have you ever heard of sleep influencers?

Revamped tvN delivers more premium K-content

Since it launched in September, the Smart GigaPlay App has delivered some of the most exclusive sports and entertainment content for subscribers. Last month, it transported subscribers to New York City and Seoul, as I watched the iHeart Jingle Ball and the 2021 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) that featured Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, the Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, as well as K-pop stars ENHYPEN, TXT, aespa, ATEEZ, and many others via the live streaming app.

What are the ‘safest’ gadgets to gift this Christmas?

IN our last column, I started our traditional gift giving guide with a couple of budget smartphones: the realme 8i and infinix HOT 11s. To help you further with your gift choices, I talked with the big boss of Kimstore herself, Kim Lato, to ask for some tips and the best-selling devices during the holiday season. From its humble office in Tondo to its present-day Quezon City office and Valenzuela warehouse, Kimstore, after 15 years, remains as one of the most reliable and trusted online gadget stores in the country.

One-stop logistics app

AS we enter the busiest season of the year, expect to see the color yellow joining the orange, green, blue, and red fleet of couriers as they flash through traffic to deliver your latest budol.

From modules to tablets

IF there was one device that got a renewed lease on life because of the pandemic it’s the almost forgotten Android tablet. Offering a larger screen than a smartphone’s and a relatively cheaper price tag than a PC or laptop, tablets became the perfect device for students studying from home.

Huawei MatePad Pro 12.6: From discord comes Harmony

IN the first part of our review we talked about the build quality and the excellent display of Huawei’s most premium tablet. After using the Huawei Matepad Pro 12.6 for another week, let me share with you my thoughts on its audio quality, performance, cameras and, most importantly, the HarmonyOS experience.

Retail is not dead

EVEN before the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic crisis, offline retailers have already been engaged in an intense battle against e-commerce players. Those challenges have now accelerated at staggering speed and retailers need to stop expecting businesses to return to “normal.”

Poco X3 Pro: Hand of the king

IN the HBO series Game of Thrones, the Hand of the King (or Queen), is the most powerful appointed position in the Six Kingdoms, second only to the King in authority and responsibility. The Hand is the King’s closest advisor, appointed and authorized to make decisions in the King’s name. If you’ve watched the series, you know how crucial that character is.

A budget leap to 5G

WHEN realme contacted me about reviewing another phone, I thought it was going to be the realme 8i. Afterall, their number series always comes in threes and since the 8 and 8 Pro are out, all that’s left was the 8i.  So, I was quite surprised when I opened the package and saw the realme 8 5g instead.

Let there be light—in living color

IN the beginning, there was darkness—and then you’d start flicking the light switch again and again—as you head-bang, do air guitar riffs, or do the boogie as if you were on the disco floor. Too Boomer? Okay, raves and bars then.

Democratization of 5G smartphones

LAST April, as part of its big 5G push, Smart Communications introduced Unli 5G, its most aggressive offer for its fastest technology yet. The promo is initially available at strategic urban centers including Metro Manila, Angeles City, Baguio City, Cavite City, Cebu City, Clark City and Davao City.

Cleft care technology

According to statistics, it is estimated that worldwide a child is born with cleft every 3 minutes—or about one in every 500 to 750 births. Depending on the type and severity, a cleft can create serious health and social issues if not corrected early. Some could have difficulty with feeding that could lead to malnutrition, while others might experience recurring ear infections that could lead to hearing loss. Speech and language development can also be impaired making children more susceptible to bullying and social isolation.

Huawei FreeBuds 4i: ANC for less

IF we are to believe the rumors, June is going to be an exciting month for Huawei as the tech giant is expected to launch its very intriguing HarmonyOS (outside China) alongside two new tablets and smartwatches. The Android OS alternative will then appear on all Huawei products going forward including the long-awaited Huawei P50—and maybe even for other smartphone brands.

Investing in people-first start-ups

IN 1996, Renato and Babie Sio established Sanitary Care Products Asia Inc. (SCPA) with the noble goal of creating 10 jobs for 10 people. Fast-forward 25 years later, the Sio couple together with son Ven and daughter Lea now run an enterprise that has grown to over a thousand employees with 23 sales offices and seven plants nationwide.

One month after: Redmi Note 10

On the back, you’ll find a rectangular camera module that houses its quad-camera stack that’s tucked neatly on the upper left side.  The power and volume buttons are on the right side, with the former pulling double duty as the fingerprint scanner. The redesigned Arc fingerprint sensor sits flush against the side of the device, making it both seamlessly integrated and comfortable to use. It’s good that Xiaomi opted for the side-mounted fingerprint scanner as is faster and more reliable than those sluggish in-display ones which are gimmicky at best.

Setting a higher standard for value

TEN weeks—that’s the lifespan of the average iPhone before it gets damaged, according to a poll conducted by a United Kingdom-based research company. I’m not sure if Android phones enjoy a longer pristine lifespan before it gets maculated, but the most common phone mishaps surveyed are accidental drops (from your hand, pockets, or bags) water damage catastrophes (spills/submerged) and toddlers.

Your credit is good

DESPITE the economic devastation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippine smartphone market ended the year strong shipping 6.5 million units in the last quarter of 2020, recording a 19-percent growth quarter-on-quarter and a 6 percent year-on-year. This was according to a recent report from International Data Corp.’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The report also noted a 5-percent growth compared to last year with an accumulated a total of 18.9 million units for 2020.

Your credit is good

DESPITE the economic devastation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippine smartphone market ended the year strong shipping 6.5 million units in the last quarter of 2020, recording a 19-percent growth quarter-on-quarter and a 6 percent year-on-year. This was according to a recent report from International Data Corp.’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The report also noted a 5-percent growth compared to last year with an accumulated a total of 18.9 million units for 2020.

Fights, camera, action: Getting into the streaming game

THE other day, I somehow got redirected to the Facebook Gaming page. No, I wasn’t searching for “sando gamers” (a totally different topic I want to write about). And there on the screen was the description: “Pennywise vs Tito Ed Caluag”—15ft virtual versions of them on an NBA 2K court, teaming up with “Bossing” Vic Sotto, Vice Ganda, Jollibee, Ronald McDonald—and some other characters. It was weird until the next feed showed Gerald Anderson taking on Joshua Garcia in a wrestling ring.

In tech we trust

LAST week, the GSMA hosted the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, one of the first in-person technology trade shows since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The major has gone wireless

FROM Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Slash, Alice Cooper, Oasis and Gorillaz, to Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Lana Del Rey and many others, the world’s greatest bands and performers are able to share their excellent live music thanks to Jim Marshall OBE and his son Terry and their creation—the Marshall amplifiers.

Jobs on the rise

LAST year, about 4.5 million Filipinos became unemployed as the country suffered one of the worst job crisis because of the Covid-19 pandemic and extended lockdowns. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey (LFS), the unemployment rate jumped to 10.4 percent—the highest in 15 years, even reaching a high of 17.6 percent in April as business operations were forced to shutdown as various parts of the country were placed under quarantine.

Pictures and video speak more than words

IN 2021, pictures, video, and audio will speak more than words—this was one of the predictions shared by Amazon.com Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Werner Vogels in his article “8 Predictions on How Technology Will Impact Our Lives in the Coming Year.”

Rise of the pandemic babies

DURING the last 12.12 sale, Shopee sold a record-breaking 12 million items in the first 24 minutes and at its peak, 1 million items were bought in a single minute. Shopping activity surged at midnight on December 12, with four times more items sold in the first hour compared to 2019 with a recorded 450 million views on Shopee Live across the 12.12 sale.

Out of paper but never out of style

ONE of the first things I had to learn when I started out as an encoder for the editorial department of a newspaper was how to operate our gigantic printer—more specifically, how to fix a paper jam.

Speed of the future

IF you are in the market for a 5G phone, getting one on a postpaid plan is still the best way to enjoy 5G speeds, ensure compatibility with the local network and so that you’ll never unexpectedly run out of data.

Starting 2021 right

I ASKED my Facebook friends how they’d describe 2020 in one word, and the answers I got were: challenging, exhausting, surreal, stifling and hellacious. But my two favorites have to be “dumbsterfire” (the PH version of dumpsterfire) and “omnishambles,” which you only have to Google its short history to appreciate why.