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DITO Telecom shares surge as Globe, PLDT earns PH President’s ire

Shares surge by up to 11%

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Photo by GadgetMatch

Last July 27, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivered the penultimate State of the Nation address which contains the usual threats and tirades against companies and individuals. Two of those that received the president’s ire are Globe and PLDT — the Philippines’ biggest telco players. One of the unintended effects of the call-out, it seems, is a surge in interest for DITO Telecom — an up-and-coming telco that has a controversial background.

DITO Telecom had its shares surge last July 28. This comes a day after President Duterte threatened to close down its biggest rivals, PLDT and Globe. The company surged to 11% while its rivals fell 3%.

The surge is a clear indication that companies are wary of the chilling effects that a single threat from the government can do. This month, ABS-CBN — one of the biggest broadcasting networks in the country — shut down operations as Congress refused to renew its license to broadcast. Before its shutdown, President Duterte made pronouncements that their license won’t be renewed.

With Globe and PLDT earning the ire of the president, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to think that the government may force its hand against these telcos. After all, it has demonstrated in the past that it has the resolve to make good of the president’s pronouncements. Congress may repeat its actions and investigate, or pass laws to the detriment of these two telcos.

Globe Telecom CEO Ernest Cu earlier responded to the Philippine President saying they understand the demand for better service and they are doing their part to deliver.

A telco with a controversial background

DITO Telecom getting a boost from the president’s threat is not surprising.  Last 2018, the Philippine government chose the company as the third provisional player. Back then, the company was known as Mislatel Communications. Many critics pointed out that there was a conflict of interest with the selection of the telco. After all, the current owner of the telecom — Dennis Uy — is the biggest contributor to the president’s campaign trail last 2016.

Critics also pointed out the telco’s link to state-run China Telecom. Allegations of a possible security risk popped up since state-run Chinese companies are known for colluding with the Chinese government.

Still, DITO Telecom is setting its sights for a nationwide launch this 2021. With or without the president’s threat, it is up to PLDT and Globe to improve their services. After all, the telecom promises a more affordable price for high-speed Internet.

Source: Reuters

Apps

Google is working on a snoring, coughing detector

Might show up for the Pixel first

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Snoring can be a curse for you and the people you sleep with. Unfortunately, outside of anecdotal evidence, it’s hard to pinpoint how bad snoring can get. Some devices have developed features to detect and measure snoring. Google, joining other companies with the feature, is reportedly developing snore and cough detection for the Pixel.

First reported by 9to5Google, Google Health Studies added a new study exclusive for Google employees. The study specifically revolves around collecting audio during sleep. Google also explains that the study will eventually help Android build features that can help users fix their sleep quality.

According to the source, the upcoming detector will be a “bedside feature” that will measure nocturnal snoring and coughing. However, despite recording audio, it still promises to have the user’s privacy in mind. It’s expected that the feature will drop for the Pixel first before moving on to other Android devices.

Snoring detection isn’t new, of course. In fact, Google is already familiar with the feature, since Fitbit, a company that Google owns, offers the feature for some of its smartwatches. In Fitbit’s case, the feature contributes to the wearable’s entire suite of wellness tracking.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. While the feature can be helpful, it’s also a massive battery drain, since it requires the device’s power the entire night. Hopefully, battery efficiency is a focus in Google’s eventual take on the feature.

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

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Gaming

PSVR2 is launching with over 20 major games

Horizon VR game still headlines

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Samsung had a lot to say during its latest investors meeting. Besides unveiling its general plans for the future, the company also teased the devices that are coming in the near future. For a while now, that future lineup includes the PSVR2. If you were thinking of buying the virtual reality wearable for yourself, Sony has good news for you. The PSVR2 will have over 20 major titles on launch.

Naturally, if you buy a pricey piece of hardware, you usually want it to come with a good set of ways to use it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case with new gaming devices. For example, the PlayStation 5, despite being out for almost two years, still doesn’t have the most expansive lineup of games that every gamer must play.

Thankfully, the PSVR2 won’t follow in the same, sparse footsteps of the gaming console. According to the meeting (via Video Games Chronicle), the wearable will launch with over 20 first- and third-party games. The headliner is still Call of the Mountain set in the Horizon universe, of course. Unfortunately, the presentation didn’t reveal any other games in the lineup.

If anything, virtual reality gaming has been growing for a while now. In recent history, the market has seen notable titles like Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Saber.

After facing a potential delay, the PSVR2 is expected to launch sometime next year.

SEE ALSO: PSVR2 might be delayed to next year, report says

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Foldable Pixel reportedly delayed to next year

Google isn’t happy

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For years, Samsung has been the most dominant force in the foldables market. Though other brands, especially Chinese ones, have brought their own devices to the table, Samsung’s lineup of foldables are undeniably strong, flaws and all. That said, other giants are working on their own entrants. However, it will take a lot longer before the crowd really fills up. According to reports, Google has postponed its own foldable Pixel for next year.

Reported by TheElec, Google has reportedly decided to delay the first foldable Pixel. The company was supposedly unhappy with the current iteration of its prototypes. The next target launch window is next spring. Notably, the device, which has been in development since last year, is sourcing its screen from Samsung Display.

Currently, not much is known about the foldable device yet. Previous reports have speculated on a 7.57-inch main screen (and a 5.78-inch screen when folded), though. A more recent one has also dropped “Pixel Notepad” as a potential name for the device.

Regardless of the status of its foldable Pixel, Google is enjoying a lot of success with its new lineup of smartphones. Last year, the Pixel 6 series refreshed the company’s slate of devices, bringing new hype for the company. This year, Google is continuing that trend with the Pixel 6a and the upcoming Pixel 7 series.

SEE ALSO: Upcoming Google foldable might be called Pixel Notepad

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