Semi-Current Technology News 2017-11-06T12:22:43Z WordPress David Gonzales <![CDATA[Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie price drops to Php 12,995]]> 2017-11-06T12:22:43Z 2017-11-06T12:22:43Z
For this year’s holiday season, Asus has dropped prices on three of its most popular ZenFone series models. We’ve already covered the first two: the ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 and the ZenFone Live. But there’s a third, more premium handset that’s also getting a price cut. It’s none other than the ZenFone 4 Selfie, a phone with a dual-20MP camera setup on the front, allowing you to transcend being a mere selfie expert to become a full-blown selfie master.

The ZenFone 4 Selfie is a proper mid-range Android phone with 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. It features a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS touch panel with 10-point multi-touch support and 2.5D curved glass. It weighs 144 grams, measures 7.85mm thick, and holds a 3000mAh battery. All of this is to say that it’s a pretty powerful phone–it runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core CPU and Adreno 505 GPU–with a complete list of top smartphone features. Plus, its pre-installed OS is Nougat with Zen UI 4.0.

It’s very clearly aimed at those who care very much about two things: their precious photos for memories, and the South Korean actor Gong Yoo. You know, the loving dad from Train to Busan. Those who buy the ZenFone 4 Selfie can expect to get a free case plus a poster of the aforementioned celebrity. And the whole package costs only Php 12,995. If you’re a selfielord or Korean fanatic, you can thank Asus for this holiday price drop.

David Gonzales <![CDATA[Asus ZenFone Live now priced only Php 5,995 with freebies]]> 2017-11-06T12:09:12Z 2017-11-06T12:09:12Z
The ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 isn’t the only old phone in the Asus roster that’s getting a price cut this holiday season. The ZenFone Live is also getting a discount, and from now on will be priced only Php 5,995. It’s one of the most affordable ZenFone models to begin with, so this discount will only make it more appealing to prospective users. We’ll admit, we never saw much use for a dedicated phone for livestreaming, but we know that it’s a huge industry with many active participants right now. So a phone like the ZenFone Live will always have some utility, especially to those who like to broadcast their status 24/7. The ZenFone Live retail kit also includes a bunch of freebies, which we presume will help you kickstart your livestreaming career. If nothing else, at least you’ll have something to let your friends and family watch you with as you start to unbox your Christmas presents this year, or get drunk on champagne at Noche Buena. It’s your call.

David Gonzales <![CDATA[Asus ZenFone Max 3 5.5 gets price cut to Php 8,995]]> 2017-11-06T12:02:14Z 2017-11-06T12:01:55Z
Once a novelty, the smartphone with a larger-than-average battery is now nothing if not a necessity. One of the reasons why these kinds of phones became popular is because Asus made one: the Asus ZenFone Max. Now one of its latest iterations is getting a holiday season price cut. The Asus ZenFone 3 Max 5.5 is one of three different ZenFone models that are part of this year’s ZenFone Holiday Price Drop, and for the duration of the sale it’s going to be priced only Php 8,995. It’s one of the most complete Android phones with a big battery in tow, thanks to its use of a vibrant display, impressive camera optics, and Zen UI with Android Nougat. If your line of work requires you to have a smartphone that lasts for more than a day and then some, this could be right up your alley. A little extra charge after all that gramming, tweeting and facebooking never hurt nobody.

Semi-Current PR <![CDATA[#CreateCourage Star Wars: Rogue One Campaign Bags 8 Boomerang Awards]]> 2017-10-29T14:31:38Z 2017-10-29T14:31:38Z Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from Globe Telecom

Globe Hailed as Advertiser of the Year

Globe Telecom’s #CreateCourage campaign to promote its partnership with the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars, won numerous awards at the recent 2017 Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) Boomerang Awards, including the coveted Advertiser of the Year award.

Launched last December 2016 as part of the telco’s multi-year strategic partnership with entertainment giant Disney, #CreateCourage advocated for non-judgmental understanding and to celebrate bravery during struggle through a short film. The campaign also bagged several awards including Special Award for Best of Show, Special Award for Effectiveness, Gold Award for Campaign: Tech and Telecommunications, Silver Award for Campaign: Leisure, Wellness and Entertainment, Silver Award for Digital Craft: Visual and Audio Excellence, Silver Award for Effectiveness: Awareness and Bronze Award for Effectiveness: Engagement.

The film tells the story of a young Star Wars fan named Alex who wears her Stormtrooper helmet every day at home, in school, or out and about, piquing the curiosity of people around her. One day, she enters her classroom and is surprised that her whole class too was wearing the same helmets, showing her support. This then leads to the heartwarming reveal of the girl’s condition when she takes off her helmet to reveal the oxygen mask.

Wonderfully demonstrating a child’s resilience and triumph over challenges, the heart-tugging video went viral in a matter of days after its release by Globe, and soon received praise from all over the world, especially from Star Wars fans. It garnered over 45 million views and has been recognized by top online news channels such as CNN International, Mashable, Huffington Post, Upworthy. It also received international acclaim with the Best Short Form award at the 2017 Brand Film Festival New York.

The campaign sought to raise awareness for the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), which needed to raise funds for the rehabilitation of its pediatric oncology clinic. Globe enlisted the support of its millions of viewers to donate to the clinic, so that the hospital could make it a warmer, more cheerful environment conducive to the children’s recovery.

“Creating societal value is important to us in any campaign that we take on. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had very inspiring values that allowed us to come up with the story for the ad. We are honored by the recognition from IMMAP and grateful to have been given the chance to try and positively impact the real world,” said Albert de Larrazabal, Chief Commercial Officer, Globe Telecom.

The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines created The Boomerangs in 2008, recognizing innovation and excellence in digital marketing and advertising. This year’s awards received its highest turnout of 263 submissions.

Semi-Current PR <![CDATA[GCash leads future of payments in Philippines at Ayala Malls]]> 2017-10-26T16:43:49Z 2017-10-26T16:41:25Z Editor’s Note: The following is a press release from Globe Telecom

Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma graces opening of PH retail To e-payments
Alibaba Group Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma graces opening of PH retail To e-payments

GCash is poised to lead the future of payments in the Philippines following the recent joint venture of Ant Financial, Globe Telecom, and Ayala Corporation which is seen to speed up the country’s digitization to make the lives of Filipinos much easier.

This developed as Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group graced the opening of the Philippine retail industry to electronic payments through GCash. Ma was joined by Ant Financial Services Group CEO Eric Jing, Ayala Corporation President and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu, Ayala Land President and CEO Bobby Dy, and Mynt President and CEO Anthony Thomas.

“Imagine a day when you can shop and buy cinema, bus and train tickets with a simple scan of your personal GCash QR code in your smart phone. The convenient daily life of 520 million Alipay users are enjoying will soon be realized in the Philippines. In the past months, Ant Financial has worked closely with GCash product of Mynt, as we are dedicated to bringing digital financial services to our friends in the Philippines. Technology is helping more people to enjoy the benefits of digital financial services in a cost-effective, efficient and safe way. I hope we may share our technologies and experiences with our partner, helping them to better serve more local users,” said Jing.

“We are thrilled to mark this special milestone with Mr. Jack Ma, and Mr. Eric Jing of Ant Financial — it goes without saying that we are very pleased to partner with Ant Financial, given their level of experience and expertise in this field. We look forward to innovating and evolving with the Filipino consumer, together. This day marks a special moment in the history of technology and payments in the Philippines — this launches the first broad application of such technology, and marks GCash as the leader in this space,” said Zobel de Ayala said.

Ayala seeks to promote financial inclusion for the underserved Filipinos. In doing so, it continuously invests in creating new channels and access points that broaden payment and lending options for all. The partnership with Globe and Ant Financial Services Group, one of the world’s leading digital financial services providers and parent company of Alipay is aligned with Ayala’s recent strategic investments to meet the people’s changing needs, and accelerate the development of the Philippines’ digital economy.

Meanwhile, Cu noted that the partnership is now bearing fruit. “We are happy to share the initial successes that will disrupt payment methods in the Philippines. In this country, only 5% of the population have credit cards, leaving almost everybody to carry cash all the time to pay for something. Today, we are introducing the 3rd method of payment — GCash. We found the right partner and the right time to really scale up the business and change the way we use financial services.”

“Now that more people are using data on their smartphones, the time is ripe to enable digital payments using the smartphone and let this go mainstream. Our challenge today is to make digital payments the preferred choice among our customers instead of cash or credit cards,” he added.

Through GCash, particularly the scan to pay feature of the GCash App, Filipinos can now experience the convenient cashless lifestyle.

The new payment option is a game changer for both consumers and merchants. It allows customers to pay for goods and services by simply using their smartphones to scan QR codes displayed by merchants and establishments. On the other hand, business owners also benefit from not having to install expensive machines as they are provided with a QR code sticker which buyers can scan to pay. Customers pay the exact amount, removing the need for coins or change. GCash sees this solution working not just for organized trade but even for the ambulant vendors.

Joining GCash in showcasing the future of payments in the Philippines is Ayala Malls. Known as a retail innovator, Ayala Malls is a perfect catapult for GCash to reach thousands of consumers while also improving the customer experience for Ayala Malls shoppers. Glorietta is the first Ayala Mall to offer the GCash payment system in many of its shops and restaurants, as well as its cinemas. GCash will be rolled out very soon to other Ayala Malls such as Greenbelt, TriNoma, Market! Market!, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Bonifacio High Street, UP Town Center, Ayala Malls The 30th, Ayala Malls Vertis North, and Ayala Malls South Park. With the GCash scan to pay feature, Ayala Malls customers can catch up with the cashless experience of shoppers in other countries.

GCash is an internationally-acclaimed mobile wallet service of Mynt which can be used to buy load, pay bills, send money, and pay for goods and services whether online or offline.

David Gonzales <![CDATA[Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 dies a quiet death: Report]]> 2017-10-26T15:42:46Z 2017-10-26T15:42:46Z Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360
It’s been several years since the introduction of the Kinect for Xbox 360, and its game-changing features have been available for pretty much every user of any Xbox 360–or any one of those Just Dance areas in arcades in various malls across the country.

But the journey of the Kinect has now apparently come to a bittersweet end, as Microsoft has decided to stop manufacturing it as a clear sign of its discontinuity. Over the years, Microsoft has actually started to slow pull back on its emphasis on the Kinect, focusing more on other aspects or features of the Xbox gaming consoles to market it to prospective buyers.

So the writing was, in fact, already on the wall. The Kinect has a few interesting use cases but apparently none were enough to make it stick. You’ll find a eulogy of sorts written for the Kinect by Fast Company’s Co.Design, which broke the exclusive story of its unsurprising demise through the source link below.

Source Co.Design

David Gonzales <![CDATA[Razer Kiyo launched as streamer-centric webcam with built-in ring light]]> 2017-10-26T12:56:02Z 2017-10-26T12:56:02Z
Razer’s ploy to capture the hearts of online streamers from around the world doesn’t stop with its launch of the Razer Seiren X. Apparently, the company utilized the feedback it got from the world’s top streamers to create another product for streaming: the Razer Kiyo, a new desktop webcam with a built-in ring light.

The purpose of the ring light around the camera module on the Razer Kiyo is as simple as it is straightforward. Gaming rooms are often dimly lit, with the only source of light coming from the huge LCD monitors–RGB keyboard backlighting notwithstanding. With the Razer Kiyo, a streamer’s webcam will be able to supply its own lightning and shine it straight onto a user’s face. You can imagine that this would illuminate pretty much any subject perfectly.

While it probably might not be perfect, it should be far better than any ordinary webcam without a ring light. The Kiyo can capture 720p HD video at 60 FPS, so it should be good for most HD gaming streams. And just like the Seiren X, it’s going to be available in the Philippines soon if it isn’t already, for only Php 6,199. See the link below for details.

Source Razer