Entertainment, Geek Culture

‘WandaVision’ series finale: I got the magic in me

I just finished watching the "WandaVision" series finale on Disney+, and I'm still crying. It's hard to believe this brilliant series is over. Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

I just finished watching the “WandaVision” series finale on Disney+ and I’m still crying. It’s hard to believe this brilliant series is over.

Nine episodes. Just nine episodes. Most of which have a running time of barely more than 30 minutes — and that includes the lengthy credits. But with so much brilliance packed into each episode. And while the “WandaVision” series finale has the longest running time at 49 minutes, it’s still mindboggling how much happened in this final episode, which, by the way, includes not one, but two mid-credits scenes. Spoilers ahead, if you haven’t seen the “WandaVision” series finale yet.

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Entertainment

Netflix unveils expanding universe of Indian stories

Just two-and-a-half years after Netflix premiered its first Indian original series, "Sacred Games", the streaming giant is rolling out a massive lineup of 41 Indian titles.Image credit: Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

Just two-and-a-half years after Netflix premiered its first Indian original series, “Sacred Games“, the streaming giant is rolling out a massive lineup of 41 Indian titles.

“At Netflix, we love to tell stories that bring us together. Films and series told authentically by Indian creators you love as well as voices that are new. But how do we identify that one story that everyone will love? We don’t. Each and everyone of us have our own tastes and moods and all of us want to see our lives reflected on screen,” said Netflix VP of Content for India Monika Shergill in her blog post about See What’s Next India 2021.

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Technology

Twitter Spaces opens social audio party to Android users

The social audio app Clubhouse is a party pooper for Android users, but Twitter Spaces is now letting them become part of the conversation. Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash
Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash

The social audio app Clubhouse is a party pooper for Android users, but Twitter Spaces is now letting them become part of the conversation.

Spaces is Twitter’s contribution to the ongoing social audio revolution. It’s the popular social network’s own space where live audio conversations happen. Twitter started beta testing Spaces in December to a small group of users on iOS. Now it seems to have one-upped Clubhouse by rolling out Twitter Spaces to Android users ahead of the startup’s social audio app.

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A Life Less Analog, Gaming

Financial education is fun with BPI Foundation game

Technology column header

Who says financial education has to be boring? Adulting can be fun when you play BPI Foundation’s Breakthrough mobile game.

“One of the key advocacies of BPI Foundation is financial wellness, and a key component of financial wellness is education. This particular app provides greater access for financial education opportunities. Simply because around 70% of the population has a smartphone. It’s also aligned with BPI’s vision to create a more financially inclusive society, providing access to those underserved,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo in reply to my question at the virtual press briefing.

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Entertainment, Geek Culture

‘The Way of the Househusband’: Is this yakuza takusa?

Launching on April 8, the Netflix Original Anime Series "The Way of the Househusband" is an adaptation of the cozy gangster comedy manga. Image credit: Netflix
‘The Immortal Dragon’. Image credit: Netflix

Launching on April 8, the Netflix Original Anime Series “The Way of the Househusband” is an adaptation of the cozy gangster comedy manga.

Feared among the yakuza as “The Immortal Dragon”, Tatsu is a legend of the underworld with an impressive number of defeated rival gangs under his belt. However, hoping to wash his hands of his past, Tatsu gets married and devotes himself fully to “The Way of the Househusband”.

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Technology

Quest Ventures, ScaleUp Malaysia invest in 11 firms

Women founders took center stage as ScaleUp Malaysia and Quest Ventures announced the selection of the Top 11 companies in their second cohort. Image credit: Quest Ventures
ScaleUp Malaysia Managing Partner Tay Shan Li says it was a tough decision to pick the Top 11. Image credit: Quest Ventures

Women founders took center stage as ScaleUp Malaysia and Quest Ventures announced the selection of the Top 11 companies in their second cohort. Sixty-five percent of the scaleups selected consisted of women founders. Quest Ventures and ScaleUp Malaysia disbursed a total amount of RM2,750,000 (US$680,185) in investments for Cohort 2. These companies will receive an investment of RM250,000 (US$61,844) each to grow their business regionally in their #Quest2Scale.

“We had some amazing companies joining us as part of this cohort and we are proud of how far each of them has progressed in the program. This was a very difficult decision but ultimately, the investment committee selected the companies that they believed had the potential to grow their business regionally with the support of our partner, Quest Ventures,” said ScaleUp Malaysia Managing Partner Tay Shan Li in a press statement.

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Technology

Indonesian fintech Xendit raises US$64.6M Series B

Indonesian fintech Xendit, which recently launched its Philippine operations, has raised US$64.6 million in a Series B round led by Accel, with added support from YCombinator. Image credit: Screenshot of Xendit site
Image credit: Screenshot of Xendit site

Indonesian fintech Xendit, which recently launched its Philippine operations, has raised US$64.6 million in a Series B round led by Accel, with added support from Y Combinator. Xendit is the first Indonesian company to go through Y Combinator’s accelerator program and was named one of Y Combinator’s top 100 companies of 2021.

“Southeast Asia is a massively complex region, with Indonesia having 17,000 different islands alone — not to mention the region’s regulatory and technological challenges. Trying to build the businesses of tomorrow on yesterday’s infrastructure is holding Southeast Asia’s businesses back. This latest investment will enable Xendit to scale our digital payments infrastructure quickly and provide millions of small and medium-sized businesses across Southeast Asia with an on-ramp to the digital economy,” said Xendit CEO and Co-Founder Moses Lo in a press statement.

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Technology

UNO: AI-first digital bank eyes pilot launch in PH

An AI-first approach to digital banking is what UNO from Singapore-based DigiBankASIA is promising as it works with regulators for the pilot launch in the Philippines. Image credit: Screenshot of UNO site
Image credit: Screenshot of UNO site

An AI-first approach to digital banking is what UNO from Singapore-based DigiBankASIA is promising as it works with regulators for the pilot launch in the Philippines. The Singapore fintech has partnered with The Netherlands-headquartered IT consulting and digital technology company Xebia for the launch of what it touts as Asia’s first full-spectrum digital bank, with the brand names UNO and UNObank.

“We have found a high-tech engineering partner in Xebia whose approach aligns well with UNObank’s objective of a highly personalized, AI-first, fully composable, cloud-native, full stack digital bank,” said UNO CEO and Co-Founder Manish Bhai in a press statement.

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Entertainment, Gaming, Geek Culture

‘DOTA: Dragon’s Blood’ anime premieres March 25

Fans of the online game Dota 2 rejoice, because the highly anticipated anime series "DOTA: Dragon’s Blood" is coming to Netflix on March 25. Image credit: Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

Fans of the online game Dota 2 rejoice, because the highly anticipated anime series “DOTA: Dragon’s Blood” is coming to Netflix on March 25.

“DOTA: Dragon’s Blood” is a Netflix Original Anime Series based on the popular multiplayer online battle arena video game Dota 2 developed and published by Valve Corporation. Dota 2 is one of the leading online games in the world. It hosts millions of players daily and holds multiple records for top esports tournament prize earnings. Launched in 2011 by Valve, the annual The International (Dota 2 Championships) has paid over US$150 million to its winning teams.

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Entertainment

Rosé of BLACKPINK makes solo debut on March 12

The long wait is almost over for fans of BLACKPINK main vocalist Roseanne Park (Korean name: Park Chaeyoung), more popularly known as Rosé. Image credit: YG Entertainment
Image credit: YG Entertainment

The long wait is almost over for fans of BLACKPINK main vocalist Roseanne Park (Korean name: Park Chaeyoung), more popularly known as Rosé.

At 12 midnight Korean Standard Time on March 2 (11 PM Philippine Standard Time on March 1), YG Entertainment unveiled two teaser posters announcing the date of the long-awaited solo debut of Rosé: March 12. YG Entertainment also changed the covers of the official BLACKPINK social media accounts, including on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to promote Rosé’s solo debut.

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Gaming

OPPO enters mobile gaming, vows to support PH esports

The Philippine esports industry has received a major boost with the entry of global smart device brand OPPO into the mobile gaming space. Image credit: Mineski
Image credit: Mineski

The Philippine esports industry has received a major boost with the entry of global smart device brand OPPO into the mobile gaming space. As part of its initiatives for 2021, OPPO is supporting the biggest mobile gaming tournaments in the Philippines: the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League and the Philippine leg of the 2021 League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Icon Series.

“Gaming is a major source of leisure among younger Filipino consumers, with 74% of the country’s online population engaged in mobile gaming. OPPO is fully committed to support the growing esports industry by providing both pro gamers and amateur gamers with the best gaming platforms and mobile phones that can provide them an excellent mobile gaming experience,” said OPPO Philippines Marketing Director Raymond Xia in a press statement.

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Technology

Globe Business launches network virtualization platform

Globe Telecom -- through its enterprise arm Globe Business -- made a historic mark as the first telco to launch network virtualization in the Philippines. Image credit: Globe Telecom
Image credit: Globe Telecom

Globe Telecom — through its enterprise arm Globe Business — made a historic mark as the first telco to launch network virtualization in the Philippines. Using the telecom company’s Network Function Virtualization Orchestrator (NFVO), businesses across the country can now set up their Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) requirements virtually, along with a symphony of cybersecurity and communications applications.

“Before NFVO came to fruition, companies were required to install multiple hardware to get their network running seamlessly. With the limitations caused by COVID-19 and the ever-rising demand for internet connectivity, it became apparent that virtualization would be the next step to revolutionize networks,” said Senior Vice President for Globe Business Peter Maquera in a press statement.

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