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Google shares fact-checking tools on COVID-19

Get your facts straight!

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There are a lot of misinformation going around about the Coronavirus or COVID-19. To protect people and the journalists reporting on the subject matter, Google shared the following tools to make sure the information we get are verified.

Below are also links to tools to also help us better understand what’s going on around the world in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic.

To understand what people are searching for:

you will find a dedicated page on COVID-19 Google searches, as well as local pages including the Philippines. All of the charts and visuals on the Google Trends site are embeddable and made to share and publish online. Signup for a daily newsletter on how the world is searching for Covid-19. If you need to learn more about how Google trends works, go here.

To make sense of data and visualize it:

Learn how to build your own data sets, clean them, and visualize them. You can also compare data through gifs with the data gif maker (learn more about the tool here).

To illustrate your stories:

Learn how to use a range of mapping tools to illustrate stories, from MyMaps, Google Earth and features like timelapse.

To review existing fact checks, and add a markup for your own:

Explore existing fact checks on the outbreak using the Fact Check Explorer and API.

If your team is working on debunking misinformation being circulated on this crisis, you can also add a Fact Check markup, which will label your article on Google properties as “Fact Check”.

To quickly find hard facts and expert opinion:

Google Scholar is a search tool that allows you to find and explore a wide array of scholarly literature. Accessible material includes articles, thesis, books and abstracts from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and websites. You might find it a useful way to contact academics and learn more about their work, as you research the coronavirus.

To take care of yourself while reporting:

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma is a resource centre and global network dedicated to improving media coverage of trauma, conflict and tragedy. This includes tips on covering disease, interviewing victims and survivors, and working with colleagues exposed to traumatic events.

Google shared the following just in time for International Fact-Checking Day (April 2, 2020). May these be useful in arming you, your family, and your friends with accurate and verified information when dealing with COVID-19.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s how Facebook is trying to fight coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Coronavirus: Where to donate

News

PLDT Home extends Speedboost and Double Data offers

Until June 30

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When people were forced to stay at and work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PLDT stepped in to make sure Internet access was sufficient (debatable, we know). The speedboost they promised for the duration of the lockdown has now been extended.

The nationwide speedboost supposedly gave everyone a minimum of 25 Mbps. If you felt this boost, congratulations! You get to experience it for a little while longer.

If you’d rather go prepaid that options is on offer as well. You can get the PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid at just PhP 995 which comes with free 10GB worth of data valid for seven days and enjoy twice more data for all sites and apps.

If that doesn’t quite cut it for you there are other PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid options:

  • FamLoad package: FamLoad 199 now has 24GB of data for seven days
  • FamLoad 599 comes with 80GB of data for 15 days
  • FamLoad 999 has 130GB of data for 30 days
  • FamLoad 1499 gives you a whopping 200GB of data for 30 days.

To find out more, you can always visit the PLDT Website. Just cross your fingers that it never gets hacked like their Twitter account.

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Apps

Nickelodeon Pixel Town: Another game to play while on lockdown

They’ve got adorable pixel art!

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Nickelodeon is serving up a new mobile game for us: Nickelodeon Pixel Town. A mobile game we can all sink our teeth into as we try to cope with everything that 2020 has been throwing at us so far.
So, what is it exactly? Nickelodeon Pixel Town is a city building game. The name of the game is building your own Nickelodeon city where you can collect characters, costumes, iconic buildings, and items from different Nickelodeon series. The most charming bit? It’s all drawn in highly stylistic retro pixel art.

For your city inhabitants, you get to collect characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, CatDog, The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, Rugrats, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold! and The Wild Thornberrys.

Honestly, if you don’t have a Switch and have been gritting your teeth through the lockdown while people have been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this is a decent mobile game to bring back some nostalgia. Because with all the hellish news lately, don’t we all just want to curl up into a ball and go back to a time when times seemed so much simpler? Not any better of a place and time perse, sure. But, just a time when we were too young to know any better.

Want to give this game a go?

Nickelodeon has an official launch celebration for the Pixel Town.  You can use the code PIXELTOWNHL to redeem 500 Gems for free! To redeem it, you can go to their website, click redemption, and fill up the necessary info.

If you want to build up a reason to disconnect and play like me, you can. The freebies are valid until 30 June 2020, 11:59PM (GMT+8). That’s a pretty good amount of time to be rally up enough pent up emotions to need some time away to hop back fiercer. Nickelodeon Pixel Town is available in Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia on Google Play and Apple App Store.

SEE ALSO: 10 offline free-to-play mobile games

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GrabPay Card launches for hassle-free online payments

In partnership with MasterCard

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The ongoing health crisis has made cashless payments a necessity. After expanding their payment portfolio, Grab is now launching GrabPay Card to offer even more ways to handle cashless transactions.

Grab partnered with MasterCard to make this happen. MasterCard’s research showed that in April 2020, 40% of Filipinos resorted to contactless payments. Hardly surprising given the health crisis, but important information to act on nevertheless.

Which brings us now to the GrabPay Card. So what exactly does it do? Its aim is simple: to bring financial inclusion to the millions of underbanked and unbanked in Southeast Asia.

What does it do?

  • Pay for everything online. The GrabPay digital card vastly expands Grab’s online merchant ecosystem, allowing users, regardless of whether they have a bank account, to transact securely and easily online at nearly 53 million merchants worldwide that accept Mastercard cards.
  • Safe and secure cashless payments. As a digital-first card, its details are stored securely within the Grab app. It has an in-app card lock function enabled by Face ID and fingerprint biometric security, and PIN-protection that allow users to instantly suspend payments in case of lost cards or suspicious transactions.
  • More ways to earn GrabRewards. Whether you are using it to purchase an item online, pay for digital subscriptions, or transact locally and globally, users can earn GrabRewards points for transactions made in millions of merchant-partners that accept Mastercard.
  • Unique benefits for users. GrabPay Card users get Mobile protection insurance allowing them to pay for mobile postpaid phone bills using the GrabPay Card and receive protection against accidental damage or theft. The card is also equipped with E-commerce protection that allows users to receive coverage for online transactions in the event that a wrong and/or defective item is delivered, and incomplete or non-delivery of the item.

Worried about security? GrabPay Card is regulated by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP. It comes with a 24/7 fraud detection engine so you can sleep soundly knowing your transactions are encrypted and protected.

How to get the Card

To use the GrabPay Card, you first need to upgrade the GrabPay wallet by following the in-app verification process. After verification, follow these steps:

    1. Tap ‘Payment’ icon at the bottom of your Grab homescreen
    2. Ensure you have activated and upgraded your GrabPay Wallet
    3. Tap ‘Get your GrabPay Card now’ to access your card details
    4. Enter your PIN to secure your card
    5. Start using your digital card details for your online transactions

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