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Why Blackout Tuesday matters and how you can help

What happened last Tuesday?

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I thought Instagram was glitching at first. At midnight on Tuesday, my Instagram feed started flooding with nondescript black squares. At first, none of the posts had any caption or any explanation whatsoever. I was confused. However, as the hour grew longer, the hashtag finally made its long-awaited debut: #BlackoutTuesday.

On every social media possible, everyone participated in the growing online trend. Celebrities. Personalities. Streamers. Creators. Organizations. Companies. African Americans. Asians. Caucasians. Everyone participated in Blackout Tuesday.

What is it? What did it mean? Was it a true way to support the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement? Or was it a PR move designed for those who don’t want to participate in demonstrations?

The black square

By now, the black square (or circle for Facebook) is no stranger to the online world. During tense political upheavals, the iconic image makes an appearance, heralding everyone’s support or opposition towards a specific political stance or event.

Remember the controversial Marcos burial a few years ago? Opposers posted black profile photos with the caption: Marcos is not a hero. It was also used to protest the cybercrime law years ago. Regardless of what it specifically protested, the black image is always a political statement.

In this case, the black square is a symbol of protest against the wrongful murder of George Floyd, an African American man, under the custody of a white police officer in Minnesota, sparking a new #BlackLivesMatter movement. Since the incident, peaceful protests and violent riots have erupted all over the US. In the online world, famous personalities with a platform have used their audiences to spread awareness on the issue. For days, social media was dominated by the #BlackLivesMatter conversation.

On Tuesday, social media took a different direction. Rather than spreading more awareness and furthering the conversation, everyone posted the black square, marking the return of the iconic image. However, this time, the image wasn’t just a political statement. Rather, the online activity had a deeper function.

After flooding social media with the nondescript black squares, the posters ceased all activity on social media for the day. The #BlackoutTuesday movement intended to allow more important voices to be heard. By silencing their voices, they allowed black people more control over the conversation for the day.

In similar fashion, some companies have postponed their long-awaited events to allow the protest to dominate social media. Music streaming services have also reduced their services in a similar #TheShowMustBePaused movement.

It was more than a political statement. It was a call for others to keep quiet and listen to those who had a stronger authority to speak on trauma, racism, and discrimination.

#BlackoutTuesday versus #BlackLivesMatter

Unfortunately, the movement had its drawbacks. At first, participants conjoined both #BlackoutTuesday and #BlackLivesMatter into the same post, creating a strange problem for the protest.

Now, hashtags aren’t just a clever way to add a quirky subtitle for a social media post. They can also help users follow a certain trend. When they search #BlackLivesMatter on Twitter, for example, they can see other posts with the same hashtag.

Naturally, when people searched for #BlackLivesMatter posts on Tuesday, they ran into a strange sight: an overwhelming wall of black. Ironically, in Blackout Tuesday’s attempt to silence all unimportant voices, it flooded social media in a downpour of posts without a voice. Others have also called it a desperate attempt at virtue signaling, a PR move.

Halfway through the day, #BlackLivesMatter protestors urged #BlackoutTuesday posters to stop incorporating both hashtags into the same post. However, it wasn’t to dissociate the movement from Blackout Tuesday, Rather, the guidance was to steer the movement in the right direction.

For all the good intentions that the black squares had, it was truly just a good-natured post. Besides telling posters to stop using both hashtags, Black Lives Matter supporters shared different ways to help the movement beyond the black square or the hashtag.

Beyond the hashtag

Blackout Tuesday is just one part of the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter protests. As the black squares end their one-day effectivity, the call for further action rises to the fore. How can we help the protests from miles away?

First of all, the easiest way is to keep the conversation alive. Blackout Tuesday (or even Black Lives Matter) is not just a one-day event. Neither is it just a purely American concern. The conversation will always be as relevant as it is today and as it is in the US. It is not just a racial war. Wherever discrimination is present, whether it’s race or class, the spirit of Black Lives Matter should always prevail.

Secondly, if you have means to do so, you can always donate to relevant, anti-discrimination foundations or funds. Naturally, donating to a cause in another continent might be too much to ask. However, discrimination happens everywhere. You can still donate or help various causes in your own backyard.

If you don’t have the money or would rather stay at home, YouTube creators have found a revolutionary way to help the cause from afar. Posted first by YouTuber Zoe Amira, these hour-long videos contain art and performances from black artists. However, rather than just an awareness tool, these videos are jampacked with ads. The creators will donate all of the ad revenue to Black Lives Matter funds and foundations. Of course, you’ll have to turn off ad blocker for the duration of the entire video. At the very least, you can mute the browser tab; however, be careful not to mute the YouTube player itself as it nullifies ad revenue.

If you can’t do any of these, the least you can do is to just listen. Everyone has a responsibility to hear out and understand different voices in the racial debate. At this point, either from miles away or right on your backyard, listening is our only way to understand the plights of other people suffering worse things than us.

SEE ALSO: Facebook employees walk out to protest against Trump

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Globe has first-ever Eco-SIM in Asia

More sustainability

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Eco-SIM

Globe debuted the first-ever Eco-SIM cards in Asia for postpaid mobile customers made from recycled refrigerator waste.

The initiative is part of Globe’s contribution to environmental sustainability in time for January’s Zero Waste Month celebration.

The Eco-SIM card was first developed in 2020, in partnership with the Veolia company; it has a neutral carbon footprint.

100 percent recycled waste

The telecom provider partnered with Thales to employ the said Eco-SIM cards starting from November last year, made from 100 percent recycled materials.

The SIM cards are made from recycled polystyrene recovered from discarded refrigerator interiors.

Thales has a comprehensive carbon offset program that also ensures there is no further carbon footprint during the manufacturing process of the Eco-SIM cards.

SIM cards, while the smallest consumer items, equate to about 20,000 tons of plastic and other polymers as about 4.5 billion cards are manufactured every year.

A global leader in advanced technologies, Thales has presence in the Philippines since 2010.

The company has been a strategic partner for consumers in the civil aviation, defense, digital security, air traffic management, and ground transportation sectors.

From eSIMs to Eco-SIMs

In 2018, Globe was also the first in the country to introduce electronic SIMs or eSIM, as another alternative to the physical SIM cards.

They are basically digital SIMS embedded in compatible mobile phone models, allowing users to manage multiple mobile numbers on just one device.

The eSIM also allows gadgets like smartphones and smartwatches to be connected under one mobile number.

More sustainability

Back in 2019, Globe became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, committing to implement universal sustainability principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption in its operations.

While in January 2021, Globe also formally expressed its support to the globally-recognized Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), supporting the TCFD framework along with more than 1,800 companies worldwide.

Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 12, which highlights the roles of responsible consumption and production patterns.

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Enterprise

MediaTek hosts world’s first demo of Wi-Fi 7

Here’s what to expect

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We’ve come a long way from dial-up. Now, the name of the game is Wi-Fi 6. Amid the rise of 5G connectivity, the home internet sector is adopting the current standard for their devices. But, of course, the advance of technology is not stopping. As Wi-Fi 6 tries to take over the entire market, the industry is already working on Wi-Fi 7. With development well underway, what can you expect from the upcoming standard?

Naturally, better speeds. Recently, MediaTek showcased the world’s first live demo of the new technology. In an impressive show, the standard will reportedly achieve speeds 2.4 times faster than what Wi-Fi 6 can do. The technology can maximize uses for the current spectrums available for Wi-Fi at up to 6GHz. The technology can also reduce latency and interference using MLO and MRU features.

According to MediaTek, Wi-Fi 7 will support the ever-growing need for faster internet speeds brought on by emerging uses for online users. These needs include AR/VR applications, cloud gaming, 4K video calling, and 8K streaming. With technology advancing the way it is, high-speed internet — even faster than what’s available today — is turning into a necessity to cope with multi-user households.

MediaTek predicts that products that can support Wi-Fi 7 will start coming out in 2023.

SEE ALSO: Mediatek, AMD collaborate on new Wi-Fi 6E Modules

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Google is working on an AR headset called Project Iris

With its own processor and OS

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Understandably so, a good portion of the world is strongly resistant to Meta’s push for a metaverse based on virtual and augmented reality. However, though people are still hesitant to try on Facebook’s VR-tinted goggles, other companies are more than happy to take on the technology themselves. Google, joining Meta and Apple, is also working on its own AR headset called Project Iris.

According to sources from The Verge, Google is getting back into the augmented reality stage. The company is reportedly working on an AR headset with the current codename. The Project Iris headset is supposedly targeting a 2024 release date.

Inside the mysterious headset, the device will supposedly have its own processor and OS. Given Google’s feats recently, an in-house processor and operating system are within the realms of possibility. Google recently launched its first in-house chipset for smartphones, the Tensor chip. The company is, of course, still the thriving developers of Android, currently tailoring its latest Android version for different form factors.

Plus, it’s not Google’s first time with an augmented reality project. Remember the ill-fated Google Glass? The revolutionary wearable had all the potential but ultimately fizzled out into oblivion. At the time, analysts cited the device’s poor timing. Now, especially with other companies vying for dominance, Google does have more initiative to reestablish itself in the augmented reality market.

SEE ALSO: Facebook changes name to Meta

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