A Life Less Analog

A Life Less Analog, Technology

Our world has changed forever. Live with it

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Months after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our way of life, forced most of us to stay home, and finally made more people embrace digital, many of us are still in denial. Our world has changed forever. Yet you still hear people talking about returning to normal.

Which is why I’m happy to talk to people who can see the big picture, like VMware COO Sanjay Poonen, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at VMworld, which, like many events, was held virtually this year. Someone who understands that our world has changed, because everyone and everything is connected. And that all these changes happening to the way we work will also have a profound impact on the way we live, transforming human society and changing the course of history for the years and maybe even decades to come.

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A Life Less Analog, Technology

Zoho offers tech to help schools embrace e-learning

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Technology has transformed the workplace, with the process accelerating in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So why not classrooms? This is why Zoho is offering its digital tools and expertise to help schools truly embrace e-learning.

“One methodology for education is providing online videos. Second is about making sure that the tools they use are familiar and intuitive. One of the problems with different solutions is the options in the tools may not be so intuitive. So it’s important to have the right intuitive tools and provide options. Some schools, some teachers, some students may not have a laptop, so make sure these tools are available on both the phone as well as on the laptop… One important thing to keep in mind is that unless we take that first step, students and teachers may not be able to solve the problem. My experience shows that within a few days, within a week, most of the children will pick it up and get onboarded online,” said Zoho Corporation VP and GM for Asia Pacific Gibu Mathew in response to my question at the virtual media session.

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A Life Less Analog, Geek Culture

Godzilla Day: 66 years of Gojira, King of the Monsters

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Nov. 3 is Godzilla Day. Believe it or not, it has been 66 years since Toho Studios released Honda Ishirō’s “Gojira” in Japan on Nov. 3, 1954.

“Gojira” was the first kaiju (“strange beast”) film, introducing a new subgenre under tokusatsu (“special filming”) entertainment. Kaiju films deal with giant monsters, while tokusatsu refers to Japanese live action movies or TV dramas that make heavy use of special effects, such as mecha (giant robots) and superhero shows. More important, this first Godzilla film was not only a cinematic classic, but also gave birth to an international pop culture icon and the longest continuously running film franchise, as officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

Asia is the revolution, and Filipinos should embrace it

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Asia is the revolution. Nowadays it’s most obvious in the music industry. As an Asian and a K-pop fan, I’m so happy and proud that K-pop has truly become global. That the biggest girl group in the world, BLACKPINK, and the biggest boy band in the world, BTS, are conquering the West.

This is all part of a cultural shift. Asia is not just a consumer of Western pop culture. Asia is creating global pop culture, and this is just the beginning. I’m looking forward to other Asian countries dominating global pop culture as well. In fact, even before the hallyu or Korean wave, Japan basically defined geek culture. Every otaku is grateful to Japan for blessing the world with manga, anime, video games, and cosplay. Japan even uses the Cool Japan (Kūru Japan) strategy as a form of soft power, just as South Korea does with hallyu.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

‘BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky’ review: You never know

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Even if you don’t know anything about BLACKPINK or K-pop, the Netflix documentary “BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky” would still be worth watching because it’s a well-made film about four articulate female artists with compelling stories to tell.

For those of us who are BLINKS, however, watching “BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky” is a very emotional experience. Even those who were BLACKPINK fans from the very beginning of their journey will still feel awed and grateful. Our idols truly opened up to Korean American documentary director Caroline Suh and made themselves vulnerable. Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa spoke with so much insight and candor because they wanted to tell their story to the whole world. And it turns out that what they said in their song was true: you never know.

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A Life Less Analog, Technology

Cobots at work: How robots will help humans survive

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I love robots. That’s been the case from the time I was a kid watching Voltes V, Mazinger Z, and other Japanese super robot cartoons (so long ago that we didn’t even call them anime yet). So it was pretty awesome to attend the first ever “Meet the Cobot Leaders” session in Asia Pacific organized by Universal Robots, the global leader in collaborative robots (cobots).

As I’ve previously written, unlike their heavy and large industrial robot cousins, cobots are nimbler and more user-friendly. Universal Robots designed cobots to be collaborative, working with humans instead of replacing them. Founded in 2005 by three university students in Denmark, Universal Robots was the first company to deliver commercially viable cobots. The company launched its first cobot in 2008. Being user-friendly is one of the most important reasons why their cobots have gained wide acceptance in different industries. After all, robots won’t become mainstream if you need to be a rocket scientist to operate them. To date, the company has sold more than 46,000 cobots around the world.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

SB19: Filipino idol group spreads P-pop and positivity

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I’m late to the party, but I’ve finally started listening to the songs and watching the music videos of SB19 on their YouTube channel. And now I understand why SB19 is winning hearts here and abroad and conquering the Billboard Social 50.

SB19 is composed of Sejun, Josh, Stell, Ken, and Justin. They have made history as the first Filipino act trained under the Korean Idol System to debut in the Philippines. For three years, ShowBT, a South Korean entertainment company that branched out into the Philippines, made them go through the same rigorous process that every trainee in South Korea undergoes to become a K-pop idol. And when SB19 finally debuted on October 26, 2018, they weren’t a K-pop idol group clone. SB19 was a proudly P-pop boy band spreading positivity all over the world.

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A Life Less Analog, Technology

Ensuring academic integrity in the age of remote learning

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Remote learning is the new normal. As the dad of a college freshman in UP Diliman, I can tell you that online learning is no joke. My daughter and her classmates are probably studying even harder — and longer — because of these virtual classes than if they were physically going to school. And since remote learning is here to stay, every school will have to deal with the challenge of ensuring academic integrity.

“Moving forward, online education will become much more ingrained throughout the world. We are seeing that online learning is becoming a linchpin of the education system in the Philippines because of the pandemic. Governments have recognized the need for an agile education system that will remain functional, even during crises,” Jack Brazel, Head of Business Partnerships for Southeast Asia of Turnitin, told me in an email interview.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment

Cookie Monster: C is for cookie, change, and creativity

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You know that All That Matters is a special event when the world-famous muppet Cookie Monster is one of the keynote speakers.

Branded is holding Asia’s leading entertainment industry conference 100 percent online this year from Sept. 14-18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All That Matters has turned this challenge into an opportunity to embrace change and display even more creativity. Going virtual has enabled All That Matters to bring together a diverse — and unconventional — lineup of speakers. These include Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster and Elmo, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, rapper Chuck D, and playwright David Mamet.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment, Technology

Netflix BLACKPINK documentary to ‘Light Up the Sky’

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BLACKPINK is the revolution. And the revolution is going global with the first Netflix K-pop original documentary, “BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky”.

This certainly has been a momentous year for the popular K-pop girl group, which has been making history time and again. Not only are they coming out with their first full album in South Korea on Oct. 2, but they also debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Ice Cream“, their collaboration with international pop star Selena Gomez. This is a career-best rank for BLACKPINK, and also makes them the first K-pop girl group to enter the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Now, they are making history again with the Netflix BLACKPINK documentary, which comes out on Oct. 14.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment, Technology

‘Ice Cream’ dance video, fansign event via ZEPETO app

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of “Ice Cream“, the highly anticipated collaboration between the popular K-pop girl group  BLACKPINK and international pop star Selena Gomez that was released on Aug. 28. BLACKPINK fans (more popularly known as BLINKS), however, were surprised when an “Ice Cream” dance performance video also came out after the music video.

This wasn’t the usual dance performance video K-pop fans are used to, however, but instead a virtual one created using the South Korean 3D avatar social network ZEPETO.

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