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A Life Less Analog Gaming

Esports startup in SG gains advertising heavyweights

Technology column header

Esports is huge. But just how big is it? Well, big enough to convince two advertising veterans from the BBH Singapore leadership team to join esports startup yup.gg as C-level executives.

Embarking on an exciting new adventure in esports is BBH Singapore Managing Director David Webster, who is now the Chief Commercial Officer of yup.gg. Joining him is BBH Managing Partner and former Red Bull executive Tim Lindley as the esports startup’s Chief Experience Officer.

Singapore-based gaming and esports marketplace yup.gg connects brands with esports and gaming audiences in Asia Pacific and Latin America. The esports startup allows brands to easily reach millennials and Gen Z audiences, through partnerships with streamers, professional gaming teams, tournaments and events organizers, and game publishers.

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Technology

Insurtech ’20: Insurance firms must accelerate change

UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz at Insurtech '20
UnionBank Chairman Justo Ortiz emphasized the speed of disruption and innovation at Insurtech ’20

Insurtech involves not only using technology to innovate and survive amid disruption in the insurance industry. To effectively compete, companies must adopt a different mindset and embrace the speed of change.

“We are not just dealing with new ideas. We are dealing with the speed at which new ideas turn into old ideas,” said UnionBank of the Philippines​ and Fintech Philippines Association​ Chairman Justo Ortiz at Insurtech ‘20.

Financial institutions are risk-averse because they are in a highly-regulated industry. Since they are not used to speed, banks and insurance firms have to overcome a number of hurdles to innovation. Launching innovative projects could take six to nine months, Ortiz said. At which point, it may already be too late.

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Technology

Blockchain technology a force for good, says advocate

Blockchain advocate Myrtle Anne Ramos
Blockchain advocate Myrtle Anne Ramos

Blockchain technology will improve the lives of ordinary citizens by increasing transparency and freedom.

This is the fervent belief of Myrtle Anne Ramos, who is pushing for the widespread adoption of blockchain. Blockchain promises to decentralize and improve the efficiency of government services. How? By making records publicly yet securely available to every citizen. This will result in transparent citizen rights and the elimination of bureaucracy.

“We must seize the opportunity to shape technology as a force for good. Because technology in its basic form is almost always neutral–it is neither good nor bad,” Ramos said. 

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Entertainment Geek Culture

Netflix, I am definitely okay with ‘I Am Not Okay With This’

Netflix show "I Am Not Okay With This'

Netflix has another hit with “I Am Not Okay With This“, which I binge-watched yesterday. It helps that it only has seven episodes, all of which are just 28 minutes or less. But mainly because this series is really good.

It’s been described as a John Hughes superhero movie. Like “Pretty in Pink” meets the X-Men. Or “Carrie” meets “Stranger Things” (and yeah, it comes from the producers of “Stranger Things). Or “Stranger Things” meets “Sex Education”.

So, yeah, this Netflix adaptation of Charles Forsman’s graphic novel of the same name is being compared to a lot of things. And it does wear its influences on its sleeve, and pays homage to a number of films. But the series still manages to become the kickass coming-of-age comedy-drama that we never knew we needed.

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Science Technology

Solar power brings brighter future to Filipino communities

Brighter Communities Founder Luis Baring is spreading kindness through solar power
Brighter Communities Founder Luis Baring believes in spreading kindness

(Editor’s note: A different version of this article on solar power was originally published on TessDrive.com. Reposted with permission.)

Solar power can bring a brighter future, indeed.

In the Philippines, close to 2.4 million households still do not have access to electricity. This is based on data as of December 2017. Advocacy group Brighter Communities, however, is helping address this problem by donating portable solar kits to off-the-grid communities.

“They had no electricity and very limited access to a lot of things most of us take for granted,” Brighter Communities Founder Luis Baring said, recounting his visit to a poor community five years ago. “I felt that there were a lot of opportunities that the children were missing out on and that we are missing out on the biggest opportunity to help these children become future innovators and leaders.”

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A Life Less Analog Geek Culture Technology

Robot love: Human emotions, machine connections

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Robot love. Can humans fall in love with robots? And can robots fall in love with humans?

I love robots. I’m talking as a certified geek who grew up watching Japanese super robot cartoons. (We didn’t call them anime back then.) Voltes V is my favorite, followed closely by Mazinger Z.

While giant robots might take a while longer to become a reality, robots are becoming more mainstream. The robot revolution is happening, and, no, we’re not talking about Skynet.

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Gaming

Esports takes giant leap with PH interschool program

PCCL Chairman Rey Gamboa, PCCL Esports President Chot Reyes, and Mineski Global Founder and CEO Ronald Robins
L-R: PCCL Chairman Rey Gamboa, PCCL Esports President Chot Reyes, and Mineski Global Founder and CEO Ronald Robins

Esports pioneer Mineski Global and collegiate sports powerhouse the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) have joined forces to launch the National Interschool Cyber League (NICL) under their Youth Esports Program.

As part of the country’s largest esports program, the NICL will initially engage more than 1,000 teams from over 200 schools. This long-term project will build the country’s next generation of esports athletes.

“It’s all about responsible gaming and youth development,” said Mineski Global Founder and CEO Ronald Robins.

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Technology

Democracy and technology in the age of algorithms

Democracy newspaper burning
Photo by Bruno Moretti from Pexels

Is there a dysfunctional relationship between democracy and technology? Are social media algorithms to blame for misinformation and polarization?

Today, Feb. 25, the Philippines is celebrating the 34th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. This revolution toppled the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines.

Ironically, in 2016, the 30th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution, the Philippines elected Rodrigo Duterte as president in a landslide victory. A populist and Marcos admirer, Duterte’s election would presage the wave of voter anger across the world. This trend would bring anti-establishment and authoritarian leaders into power, most notably Donald Trump in the US.

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Gaming

Esports pioneer Mineski bets on SEA gaming boom

Mineski Global founder and CEO Ronald Robins and Coins.ph Head of Operations Thea Santos
Mineski Global founder and CEO Ronald Robins (extreme left) with Tekken 7 tournament winner Thea Santos of Coins.ph (second from left)

“This is why esports is inclusive. It’s not about brawn. Anyone can play. This is why esports is the future.”

Ronald Robins, founder and CEO of esports pioneer Mineski Global, proclaimed this while awarding Coins.ph Head of Operations Thea Santos on stage.

Santos, who said that she was not really a gamer, was crowned champion in a friendly Tekken 7 mini-tournament. Mineski held the tournament during the inauguration of its new global corporate headquarters in San Juan, Metro Manila, the Philippines.

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Technology

Lenovo ThinkBook: Office laptop for millennials, Gen Z?

Lenovo ThinkBook models
Say hello to the ThinkBook 14 and ThinkBook 15

The Lenovo ThinkBook is an office laptop that combines business performance with stylish design.

This is how Lenovo Philippines is pitching the ThinkBook 14 and ThinkBook 15. In particular, they are targeting startup founders and small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. Lenovo said the ThinkBook is perfect for the millennial and Gen Z employees that startups and SMBs want to attract and retain.

Millennials and Gen Z now make up almost 60 percent of the workforce. As such, business owners can’t afford to disregard their preference for stylish devices and a smartphone-like experience.