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Converge gears up its pure fiber internet service for nationwide rollout

Can Converge solve the Philippines’ internet problems?

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Converge has made their commitment to delivering better internet service to Filipinos. The company’s pure fiber internet services are already sought after since they offer faster speeds with cheaper monthly fees. But, their service area has been pretty limited in Central Luzon and Metro Manila. In the next five years though, that’ll change as Converge will soon go nationwide.

The internet service provider has made strategic partnerships will local and foreign companies such as Korea Telecoms, LSI-Fibernet Konstruk Corporation, and TE Connectivity Subcom to fast-track their network rollout in the Philippines.

The new partners will help build and deploy necessary infrastructures to provide pure end-to-end fiber internet connectivity at a nationwide scale. The goal is to create an advanced and reliable fiber optic backbone.

In a press briefing, Converge believes that their five-year nationwide rollout plan has the potential to reach more than 13 million of the 22 million households nationwide, particularly in the major islands situated in Visayas and Mindanao.

The network backbones are targeted to be completed by 2021 but would be operational through different phases to enable the project to become complete prior to 2021. To be exact, here are the network backbone completion dates shown during the briefing: South Luzon by January 2019, Visayas by July 2019, and Mindanao by February 2020.

When asked if Converge is set to become the Philippines’ third major telco, Converge President and CEO Dennis Uy responded that there are no current plans to become a wireless provider and their focus is on fixed broadband services, specifically FTTH (fiber to the home). He firmly stated that their game, for now, is to serve the public with faster broadband service. Government support also plays a key role in their future plans as Uy has concerns about existing telco measures such as availability of frequency, red tape, number portability, and interconnection fees.

SEE ALSO: Converge launches new FAST plans for businesses

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Waze now supports Apple Music

Link those accounts

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Music always goes well with driving. However, because driving demands both hands on the wheel, controlling music playback isn’t always the most seamless experiences. Thankfully, a lot of navigation apps are expanding their support towards the most popular music streaming platforms right now. Today, Waze has announced that the app now supports dual functionality with Apple Music.

Of course, Apple Music isn’t the most popular platform today. Still, expanding support is always a win. With the new update, Waze users can now control their Apple Music content straight from the navigation app.

It does need a bit of setup, of course. Users will have to link their Waze account to their Apple Music account through the Audio Player setting on the app. Besides Apple Music, Waze also supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Though the streaming platform is already a staple especially for Apple users, Apple Music is doing more to create a viable plan against other streaming giants today, including a cheaper Siri-only plan that rids the need for an app interface. The service also increased the price of its student plan in several countries recently.

Both Apple Music and Waze are available for download on the App Store and on the Play Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music increases subscription price for students

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Apple releases two new Apple Watch Pride Edition bands

For Pride Month 2022

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Show off your colors. June is once again Pride Month. To celebrate the occasion, Apple is releasing two new Pride Edition bands for the Apple Watch. It comes in two amazing flavors, giving users some options on how to express their identity. Starting today, Apple Watch users can customize their bands with the Pride Edition Sport Loop and the Pride Edition Nike Sports Loop.

First off, the Pride Edition Sport Loop is a white nylon band brandishing the combined power of several pride flags including transgender and gender-nonconforming identities. It also has colors for the Black and the Latinx community. Crossing each color in the rainbow, a stylized “pride” shines across the band, similar to the style of the classic Macintosh “hello.”

Further, with the new App Clip functionality, the band comes with its own dedicated watch face to match hardware with software.

Secondly, the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is a simpler black band with pride colors across its length. The main headline is the accompanying watch face, though. As part of Nike’s Be True collection, the watch face is a gradient depicting pride colors and representing the identity in sports.

Both bands are now available for order online for US$ 49. It will also come to Apple Store branches starting May 26.

Besides the two bands, Apple is also releasing a Shot on iPhone campaign during Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community.

SEE ALSO: GadgetMatch’s wallpaper ‘Fluid’ is a coming out story

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Google’s AI created these photos, and they look so real

From a new system called Imagen

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Have you ever seen art created by an AI? A few platforms today can generate amazing images based on a word prompt. Most of those are limited to more surreal images. You wouldn’t really mistake them for photos taken with a camera. However, Google, getting into the trend themselves, have a different goal in mind: photorealism.

It’s called Imagen, and Google just announced what it is and what it can do. Besides the more technical explanation, the announcement also revealed a few examples from the new text-to-image system.

While a few examples are still surreal (like an alien octopus reading a newspaper), quite a bit are uncannily real. One depicts a corgi riding on a bicycle while wearing shades. Another depicts a delectable chocolate dessert shaped like a bald eagle. If it weren’t for the “Imagen” logo at the bottom, these photos can likely fool anyone perusing the internet.

Google boasts that the new system can outclass the current leaders in text-to-image systems. Of course, the playing field is still a sparse one. AI isn’t taking over the world. Regardless, Google’s latest efforts are impressive.

Unfortunately, not everyone can test it out. Google is keeping the system away from the public for now. Given today’s susceptibility to false information, a well-made generated image (especially that of politicians or celebrities) can potentially disrupt news cycles.

Additionally, because of the sheer amount of data fed to the system, it is prone to using stereotypes for its images. For example, if you ask for an image depicting a CEO, it will likely churn out an image of a white male.

As such, Google wants to work on perfecting the system first before unleashing it to the world.

SEE ALSO: Sundar Pichai – Up Close & Personal at Google I/O 2022

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