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Uber suspended in the Philippines for a month [Updated]

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The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board or LTFRB has suspended the operation of ride-sharing service Uber for one month in the Philippines. The suspension is due to the company’s failure to comply to an earlier mandate by the transportation regulating body.

A CNN Philippines report cites LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada saying that Uber violated its July 26, 2017 order to stop accepting applications for accreditation. The spokesperson said Uber activated at least three vehicles the very next day.

In an August 1 statement, Uber clarified that they indeed accepted applications saying they are “optimistic that with the ongoing discussions with the LTFRB, ride-sharing has a path forward.” The company insists these applications were not processed.

The suspension order was issued 6PM of August 14, 2017. The LTFRB also “strongly recommends” that Uber provide its drivers financial assistance during the suspension period.

Uber Philippines has issued a statement on the morning of Tuesday, August 15, 2017 saying they will comply with the suspension order and that they are doing everything they can “to resolve the situation in the soonest possible time.”

LTFRB versus Uber and Grab

There is an ongoing discussion between the LTFRB and ride-sharing services Uber and Grab over how the two companies should be regulated in the Philippines. Grab is another service that operates in the Philippines and in nearby countries.

In July 2016, the LTFRB issued a memo to Uber and Grab to stop accepting and processing applications. The two companies defied the order citing public demand as the primary reason and has since paid PhP 5 million as fine for the violation.

Uber facing issues around the world

Uber is no stranger to facing difficulties against the government. The company has appeared in headlines all over the world for continuing to operate without securing proper permits from the respective countries they operate in. Uber previously faced suspensions and fines in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand among others over a similar issue.

The ride-sharing service has also faced opposition from local taxi drives worldwide. Cab drivers and operators in countries like Spain, Portugal, and many others said Uber is unfair competition.

Update (12:30PM, GMT+8 Manila Time)

It looks like Uber Philippines isn’t going to let their operations stall after all.

According to the company’s official Twitter account, a motion for reconsideration has been filed for the one-month suspension to be lifted. In the meantime, Uber will continue its services despite the LTFRB’s original orders.

In a report by ABS-CBN News LTFRB’s Lizada said the suspension “stands” despite Uber’s motion for reconsideration. The same report stated that Lizada sent a text message to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA saying, “Uber is online again. Let us apprehend them.”

Update (7:20PM, GMT+8 Manila Time)

The LTFRB has denied Uber Philippines’ motion for reconsideration to lift the month-long suspension. In a statement posted on its Twitter account, Uber said it will continue to work on resolving the matter urgently.

SEE ALSO: Grab will give you a free horse ride in Baguio

Gaming

Nike, Paul George unveil PlayStation-themed shoes

Features extra goodies for PS4 owners

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Basketball shoes are a way for fans to show their love for the game. However, Nike’s new shoes show appreciation for a different kind of game — the video game.

Sporting a PlayStation logo and a load of other gamer goodies, the PG2 is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George’s latest collaboration with Nike. His second signature shoe with the sneaker company boasts both his twin loves — basketball and video games.

George, who previously played for the Indiana Pacers, is no stranger to collaborations with the gaming world. Last year, the star was featured on the cover of NBA 2K17, when he was still donning the blue and gold. In the same year, he also launched his first shoe, the PG1, which sported a cameo of his 2K17 render.

The PG2 shares a similar design with the PG1, particularly its traditional look compared to the standard bootie design today.

The shoe exudes a dark blue with black accents look. It shows off the PG brand and PlayStation logos on the right and left tongues, respectively. Mimicking the PS4’s DualShock controllers, both logos light up and pulse when activated by buttons. The lighting mechanism contains a 150-hour non-removable battery.

The shoe’s lace locks are painted red, green, blue, and pink to look like the iconic PlayStation symbols. The actual symbols themselves highlight the patented leather on the shoes’ sides.

Also, Sony lent its PlayStation Galaxy theme to the shoes’ sock liner and midsole. Splotches of red, purple, and blue accompany the Nike swoosh on the midsole. Meanwhile, the sock liner dons the stellar theme.

PlayStation gamers will also enjoy a digital goodie bag after purchasing the shoe. A PlayStation Network barcode on the right shoe unlocks access to a dynamic Paul George theme on the PS4. It will also unlock a surprise that George and designer Tony Hardman are keeping under wraps until its launch.

The PG2 PlayStation shoes will hit stores on February 10 at a modest US$ 110. Paul George himself debuted the shoes at the Thunder’s 24-point blowout win against the Cleveland Cavaliers last January 20.

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Automotive

Ford unveils revived Ranger pickup

A benched player returning back to the game

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Ford has previously announced that it’s once again introducing its Ranger pickup to the US market after its hiatus since 2011. The company has then unveiled the all-new truck at this year’s North American Auto Show (NAIAS) and fans of the vehicle seemed excited enough during the event.

The Ranger has the same body-on-frame construction which is supported by a high-strength steel frame backbone. Ford is also sticking with their standard steel bumpers for this one, folks. Overall, it has that assertive stance that Ranger fans have grown to love.

Under the hood, this midsize pickup truck is equipped with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and is mated to a 10-speed auto transmission. There will be 2WD and 4WD variants with an XL, XLT, and the Lariat trims with a choice of chrome, sport, or the FX Off-Road packages for the Supercab or SuperCrew models.

In-car tech comes standard and features blind spot warning system, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency brakes. Production will start later this year at Michigan with actual units for sale arriving in 2019.

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Cameras

Hasselblad’s new medium-format camera shoots 400MP photos

Each image file is 2.4GB!

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Did you ever feel like the resolution of your smartphone or camera’s pictures weren’t enough? Has the thought of needing 400 megapixels ever crossed your mind?

Unless your phone is from tech’s stone age or you’re a professional photographer (a really serious one), you’re likely to say no to both. Fortunately, Hasselblad doesn’t care what you, I, or other regular folks think, and has released a monstrous 400-megapixel medium-format camera.

You read that correctly: The H6D-400c MS is a real camera with an incredibly high resolution output and equally astounding price tag. This behemoth costs a whopping US$ 47,995 or EUR 39,999 (and that’s only for the body without any lenses).

See it from all angles in this official video:

You’ll notice that the 53.4 x 40mm image sensor (that’s much larger than the full-frame sensors we’re accustomed to) has only 100 megapixels on it, but the 400-megapixel outputs actually come from a technique called multi-shot.

The camera takes four 100-megapixel shots with slight shifts in pixels to produce one 23200 x 17400-pixel photo, which is equal to 400 megapixels. As you can imagine, the file size would be massive — a single TIFF image is 2.4GB! You could easily fill up a 1TB hard disk during a single photo shoot.

This clearly isn’t for regular consumers. Only pros who need to capture every single detail of a subject and post-process on a large monitor would be interested in such a camera.

If you’ve reached this point and are seriously considering one, pre-orders are already being accepted and shipping begins in March.

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