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Filipino students to join NASA’s annual global hackathon

Two teams with innovative solutions

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Pressing problems in the world require innovative solutions, like ocean waste and the spread of dengue. These two problems are the focus of two teams from De La Salle University – Manila who just won the NASA International Space Apps Challenge.

The NASA International Space Apps Challenge is a yearly hackathon where teams use NASA’s free and open data to address problems on Earth and in space. This year, two separate teams from La Salle won the challenge. They would also join the global hackathon awards where NASA would select the winners in January.

Project PaWiKAN by Ocean’s 4

The first of the two teams focused on the problem of ocean waste. Ocean waste remains the biggest threat to marine wildlife and to humans with more plastics ending up in the ocean every year. Thus, a team composed of Lasallian engineering students conceived Project PaWiKAN.

Project PaWiKAN uses NASA’s Ocean Surface Current Analysis Real-time (OSCAR) data to determine ocean waste patch locations. Then, it deploys dynamically reconfigurable boats capable of trapping and returning ocean waste back to land. The boats have different sensors for communication, and controlled through deployment stations.

The team behind the project, Ocean’s 4, also joined the challenge last year. They created a hyper-casual puzzle game utilizing images from the Hubble Space Telescope and intuitive physics concepts.

AEDES Project

The other winner for the challenge takes its name from the Aedes variety of mosquito, which is responsible for spreading dengue and malaria worldwide. In the Philippines, dengue is responsible for the deaths of many children every year.

A group of Lasallian students developed a forecast model of dengue cases using climate and digital data. This model can also pinpoint possible hot spots from satellite data. Along with other data from NASA and government agencies, potential dengue hot spots and mosquito breeding grounds is shown in a web interface accessible to everyone. This is handy for public health practitioners who can use the data to identify dengue outbreaks and plan according to it.

Global hackathon

Both winners will join teams around the world. NASA will evaluate and select top 30 projects as global finalists in December. They will announc the top six winners in January 2020. Winners will get a chance to visit NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Florida in 2020.

This is not the first time that a Filipino team won the NASA challenge. Last 2018, team iNON developed an application that communicate scientific data to fishermen even without internet. Their app — aptly named the ISDApp — made their team the first Filipino global winner for the challenge.

Participants of the 2019 NASA International Space Apps Challenge

This year’s Space Apps 2019 included over 29,000 participants at more than 230 events in 80 countries. The Philippine leg of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge happened last October 18-20 in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Animo Labs, PLDT, American Corner Manila, and the US government.

SEE ALSO: 17-year-old Filipino student creates a working life-size BB-8 from household materials

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Nokia embraces the banana-on-the-wall meme

#ArtBasel

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Even as the year winds down, the memes just don’t stop coming. Most recently, a gallery visitor ate one of the artworks at Art Basel Miami Beach. The US$ 120,000 artwork was a single banana taped on a wall. The eater was David Datuna, a literal and metaphorical hungry artist. Datuna consumed the display as a form of performance art.

Regardless of intent, Datuna’s hunger spawned a whole trend of memes and similar incidents all over the world. The meme has also found its way to the tech realm, including this one from renowned Korean artist Sam Sung.

However, there is only one true tech representative for the banana meme: Nokia’s own banana phone, the Nokia 8810 4G. True enough, the smartphone maker embraced the meme wholeheartedly. On Twitter, at least.

A few days ago, Nokia’s official Twitter account posted a photo of the Nokia 8810 4G taped to a white wall. Naturally, the phone’s yellow color emphasizes the banana similarities.

Unfortunately, the banana phone is inedible. There is no chance that a performance artist can come in and eat the Nokia 8810 4G.

Of course, the cheeky tweet is just goofing around on Nokia’s part. On a more serious note, Nokia is holding massive discounts for the Nokia 2.2, 2.1, and 1 this Christmas. The company has also announced development for Nokia-branded TVs in the future.

SEE ALSO: Nokia Philippines Smartphone Price List

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Twitter is cracking down on sexual and violent content

No more NSFW

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Times have changed ever since social media platforms started cracking down on adult content. Tumblr banned porn on its platform, and now Twitter is joining the squad. The micro-blogging platform silently updated its Terms of Service recently.

Starting January 1, 2020, content containing graphic violence will be removed — violent crimes, physical fights, serious physical harm, and bodily fluids. Yes, blood and semen are out of the equation. Additionally, adult content showing full (or partial) nudity, any form of sexual acts, and even hentai will be taken down.

Twitter is also enforcing its policies strictly when it comes to gratuitous gore and violent sexual conduct. The American company believes banning these content will prevent the normalization of rape and sexual assaults.

This recent move has alarmed sex workers and people with different fetishes. To them, Twitter is the only safe haven for their personal expressions.

However, Twitter isn’t as authoritarian as Facebook since the platform still allows NSFW content in two conditions.

First, your content shouldn’t promote hate, terrorism, or target an individual. Secondly, you can still share produced adult-content as long as it’s consensual and your tweets are marked sensitive. If it isn’t marked sensitive, Twitter may take it down manually.

To prevent this, navigate your safety settings and select the “Mark media you Tweet as containing material that may be sensitive” option. Violating the policy can get you punished by having your account temporarily locked or permanently suspended. To know more about the updated policy, read it here.

SEE ALSO: How to find porn on FacebookPornhub: Filipinos love ‘romantic’ pornGoogle, Facebook could be tracking your porn

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Pornhub: Filipinos love ‘romantic’ porn

Also spends second-longest time on site

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Move over, Top 10 Gadgets of 2019! The most important annual review is here!

For the seventh year in a row, Pornhub has released its analytics for 2019. As always, the review is a treasure trove of insights on the world’s thirstiest habits. The analytics go through literally everything under the sun. (Including the battle royale game that porn viewers searched for: Apex Legends vs. Fortnite. Spoiler: Fortnite claimed more consistent viewers, but Apex Legends peaked higher at 357,701 searches on February 18.)

Of course, the more interesting question is: how did the Philippines fair this time around?

Image source: Pornhub

Depending on how you look at it, the Philippines performed a lot better! On the global rankings, the country ranked up two spots from yesteryear, nabbing the no. 8 spot ahead of Australia and Mexico.

Image source: Pornhub

However, Filipinos are spending slightly less time on the platform compared to previous years. Per visit, researchers dive into the watery depths for an average of 11 minutes and 19 seconds — 22 seconds less than last year. Still not a bad dive! Only Thailand gets wet longer, spending 11 minutes and 21 seconds on average.

Image source: Pornhub

Another point of Pinoy pride: the Philippines practices more open-minded equality with porn viewing. The country has the highest proportion of women mastering the art of self-love. Of all Filipino Pornhub users, 39 percent of which are female, contrasted to 61 percent male.

Image source: Pornhub

Also, 91 percent of Filipinos view Pornhub on their phones. Helpful tip: disconnect your phones from your house’s Bluetooth speakers first! You wouldn’t want to broadcast your New Year’s fireworks to everyone, right?

Image source: Pornhub

Now, for the meaty bits! Filipinos love Asians! In 2019, the country’s top five search terms are Pinay, hentai, Japanese, Pinoy, and Korean. Additionally, the top five trending searches are reverse missionary, locker room, perfect body, Korean uncensored, and romantic love making.

Surprise! Despite the country’s dominance in the porn rankings, Filipinos love getting more intimate before doing the dirty. Well, the Philippines takes the second-most time on the site. Maybe, Filipinos spend a huge chunk of the time getting to know the performers first. We don’t judge!

SEE ALSO: Pornhub’s “Dirtiest Porn Ever” campaign tackles ocean pollution

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