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A Life Less Analog Technology

Gamers and Kpop fans already living in virtual world

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Gamers and Kpop fans have been living in the virtual world for many years now. Decades, in fact, in the case of gamers. Now it’s time for the rest of the world to catch up.

In last week’s column piece, I talked about how geeks are inheriting the earth. Today, I’m going to point out that this new world we’re inheriting is an increasingly virtual one. There is no going back to the pre-COVID world. The digital transformation of the world is here to stay, and this will have a profound impact on human society, changing the way we work and play.

The thing is, gamers and Kpop fans are already way ahead of most of humanity. Embracing virtual currency and purchasing virtual items is already second nature to them. Since I’m both a gamer and a Kpop fan — specifically a Blink (BLACKPINK fan) and Monbebe (MONSTA X fan) — I can attest that the virtual world is very real.

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Geek Culture

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire Ep 14 review

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire Ep 14

Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire
Season 1 Episode 14: “Iron Will”
By Lauren Beukes, Vita Ayala, Sam Beckbessinger, Zoe Quinn, and Elsa Sjunneson
Narrated by Fryda Wolff

This is hands down the most thrilling and action-packed episode of Marvel’s Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire to date.

Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Sam make a great superhero team.

And Sebastian Shaw makes a great supervillain.

We only have two episodes left of this Serial Box exclusive after this installment. And I’m truly sad this wonderful serial novel has to end.

Spoilers ahead.

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Technology

IZ*ONE to tap AR, XR for Sept. 13 online concert

IZ*ONE, the 12-member South Korean-Japanese girl group, will hold an online concert called “Oneiric Theater” on Sept. 13.

IZ*ONE, the 12-member South Korean-Japanese girl group, will hold an online concert called “Oneiric Theater” on Sept. 13 at 5 PM Korea Time (4 PM Philippine Time).

According to a report from Soompi, the IZ*ONE online concert will make use of AR (augmented reality) and XR (extended reality) to deliver a unique virtual experience.

The name of the online concert alludes to the girl group’s comeback mini-album “Oneiric Diary”. Released on June 15, “Oneiric Diary” features eight tracks, including the lead single “Secret Story of the Swan”.

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Technology

SYKES aims to bolster employee engagement via app

Multinational BPO pioneer SYKES Philippines is launching a faster and more optimized version of the SYKES PH Mobile App created exclusively for its employees.

Multinational BPO pioneer SYKES Philippines is launching a faster and more optimized version of the SYKES PH Mobile App created exclusively for its employees.

Version 2.0 of the app will feature a fresh and slick design, integrated with tools that employees often use and need, providing them a quick and easy way to access important updates and links.

“Communication is a core component of the success of our operations and with thousands of employees to manage, we really need to leverage on the modern capabilities of technology to keep in touch with all of them.We made improvements to our previous app to keep it fresh and responsive to current needs and for a better overall experience that will keep SYKESers entertained and connected to their colleagues,” said Lia Lynn Marcos, Human Resources, Senior Director, APAC of SYKES in a press statement.

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Technology

Cloud-first bank: Standard Chartered, Microsoft team up

Standard Chartered’s digital transformation into a cloud-first bank will enable it to offer new banking experiences.
Standard Chartered’s digital transformation into a cloud-first bank will enable it to offer new banking experiences.

Standard Chartered Bank and Microsoft have announced a three-year strategic partnership to accelerate the bank’s digital transformation through a cloud-first strategy. This will allow it to leverage Microsoft Azure in its bid to become a cloud-first bank.

This partnership marks a significant milestone for Standard Chartered in making its vision for virtual banking, next-generation payments, open banking, and banking-as-a-service a reality. Leveraging Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform, the companies will also co-innovate in open banking and real-time payments to help the bank unlock new banking experiences for clients. 

“Cloud is a cornerstone of Standard Chartered’s strategy to meet the present and future banking needs of our clients. Cloud providers have invested massively in the reliability and automation of infrastructure and platforms. Using cloud services improves our ability to be agile and innovative, while increasing our operational efficiency and resilience. As disruption in the financial industry continues, we can focus on client benefits by deploying our solutions quicker and allowing for faster integration of new business models and partners. To realize our digital ambitions, Standard Chartered has chosen Microsoft as a strategic partner and this partnership marks a major milestone for the bank in adopting a cloud-first approach,” said Standard Chartered Group Chief Information Officer Michael Gorriz in a press statement.

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Geek Culture

Comic Odyssey LIVE: MMA champ as Funko Pop fan

ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera will talk about his love for Funko Pops on Comic Odyssey LIVE.
ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera will talk about his love for Funko Pops on Comic Odyssey LIVE.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are very familiar with Filipino-American MMA fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is the reigning ONE Heavyweight Champion. Vera, however, will guest on Comic Odyssey LIVE on Aug. 14 at 3 PM (Philippine time) to share a different side of himself: his passion for Funko Pops.

Comic Odyssey launched its newest store officially on Aug. 10 on the Shopee e-commerce platform. Kicking off with a weeklong Grand Launch Sale featuring up to 60 percent off on selected items, Comic Odyssey surprised fans by announcing that Vera will guest on its official livestream show.

Vera will appear on Comic Odyssey LIVE with regular hosts Aise Solis and Paul Chuapoco as the featured guest in a segment highlighting collectors from all walks of life. Currently in Guam for the birth of his first child, the reigning ONE Heavyweight Champion will join the program via video call to discuss his passion for Funko Pops, the vinyl figures that have taken the collecting world by storm.

When asked how his emotions compared between winning the World Heavyweight title and the birth of his son, an ecstatic Vera said, “It is the exact same and indescribable — something that you have to experience and go through to understand.”

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Technology

Fasset taps Ethereum to boost sustainable infrastructure

Fasset Founder and CEO Mohammad Raafi Hossain says they want to create a blockchain-based ecosystem for the efficient financing of sustainable infrastructure.
Fasset Founder and CEO Mohammad Raafi Hossain says they want to create a blockchain-based ecosystem for the efficient financing of sustainable infrastructure.

UK-headquartered fintech company Fasset has launched the world’s first comprehensive operating system dedicated to the ethical financing of sustainable infrastructure on the Ethereum blockchain.

Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Fasset hopes to expedite the construction of sustainable infrastructure while providing safe, secure, and yielding investments to a broader investor base. This is in response to increasingly pronounced climate degradation and a clear lack of capital entering the sustainable infrastructure sector — estimated by the World Economic Forum to be moving towards a US$15 trillion deficit by 2040. 

“With climate change expected to cost the world economy US$7.9 trillion by 2050, impacting lives and communities, the need for sustainable infrastructure has never been more urgent. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the global economy at a standstill with massive job losses and markets tumbling around the world. The most direct and effective way to accelerate the production of large-scale sustainable infrastructure projects — and, in turn, create sustainable jobs for the global economy — is through hard asset tokenization and the democratizing access to these investments. We believe that there is, today, an unprecedented opportunity to equalize the global economy while creating sustainable jobs and fighting climate change — and the time to seize it is now,” said Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Fasset Founder and CEO and former Technology Advisor to the United Arab Emirates Prime Minister’s Office, in a press statement.

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Gaming

League of Legends PCS Summer Split Week 7 results

The final week of the League of Legends Pacific Championship Series (PCS) 2020 Summer Split Regular Season delivered both thrills and heartbreak across the three days of competition, including the nerve-wrecking tiebreaker on Sunday.

The final week of the League of Legends Pacific Championship Series (PCS) 2020 Summer Split Regular Season delivered both thrills and heartbreak across the three days of competition, including the nerve-wrecking tiebreaker on Sunday.

At the start of the week, plenty of excitement grew around the possibility of an unprecedented, four-way tie among the top four teams: Taipei J team (JT), ahq eSports club (AHQ), PSG Talon (PSG), and Machi Esports (MCX). The stars seem to align as all four teams secured the necessary wins over the weekend, though it all came down to the crucial match between JT and MCX.

A win for MCX against JT would have guaranteed the four-way tie, while JT could have ended the Regular Season in first place with a win against the runner-up of the League of Legends PCS Spring Split. Fully aware of the risk posed by the four-way tie, JT was relentless in this match. They were able to secure Cloud Soul under 24 minutes and decimated MCX despite Mission having his pocket pick Azir, ending the match with 0 kills and 6 deaths. The first-place finish of JT is a vast improvement for a team that barely made it into the playoffs in Spring. This performance was their greatest show of intent to qualify for Worlds 2020.

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Technology

Lark Mail: Can this new tool disrupt traditional email?

Email unfortunately is still a siloed form of communication. Lark, however, aims to change this with the launch of its latest product offering, Lark Mail.

While email is still vital for enterprises, unfortunately it continues to be a siloed form of communication. It keeps information away from teams who primarily communicate using digital collaboration platforms. Lark, however, aims to change this with the launch of its latest product offering, Lark Mail.

Lark Mail, along with the rest of Lark’s suite of collaboration tools consisting of 200GB cloud storage, 500GB email storage and unlimited video call minutes, is available for free for businesses in the Philippines.

“Email remains a core component to the workflow of many organizations, but its separation from other collaborative tools such as messenger creates bottlenecks in productivity and makes it hard to stay on the same page,” said Joey Lim, Lark VP of Commercial, Asia, in a press statement.

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Gaming

Wartortoise: Meet Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa

Lenovo Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa a.k.a. Wartortoise is grateful for the many life skills he learned through gaming.
Lenovo Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa a.k.a. Wartortoise is grateful for the many life skills he learned through gaming.

Even as a kid, Lenovo Legion ambassador Paolo Umpa, better known online as Wartortoise, knew that gaming would help him catch ’em all and succeed in life. In fact, Umpa’s family introduced him to gaming, setting him on the path that would one day make him Wartortoise.

“I was given a Game Boy when I was in grade school, and Pokémon Crystal was the first game I ever played,” Umpa told Digital Life Asia.

According to Umpa, gaming isn’t just entertaining, but also educational.

“Gaming’s fun since I get to connect with different people. I played with an 11-year old, and he’s way better than me in League of Legends hahaha! It’s very cliché, but it’s still true — more than the pure excitement that you get from playing, it also teaches you camaraderie and teamwork. Growing up, video games taught me a lot and I’d say that it’s one of my main sources of learning English (other than TV). It also introduces you to many things. God of War: Chains of Olympus fueled my interest in Greek mythology, and Octopath Traveler opened me to different life perspectives,” he said.