Grab resumes GrabFood and GrabExpress services [Updated]

Transport services still suspended



UPDATE as of 2PM, Matrch 17, 2020: Grab has resumed its GrabFood and GrabExpress delivery services.

In a Facebook post, the company said, “Upon careful assessment of the on-ground situation and after discussions with regulators, we are resuming GrabFood and GrabExpress operations beginning March 17, with a skeletal fleet operating to match allowed restaurant schedules.”


All transport services remain suspended.

In an effort to contain COVID-19, the Philippine government on Wednesday, March 16, announced that the island group of Luzon will be put in total lockdown or what they want to call “enhanced community quarantine.” In compliance, Grab Philippines has decided to suspend all of their services.

The ride-hailing service made the announcement on their Facebook Page saying “To safeguard our communities from the threat of COVID-19, we are pausing our GrabCar, GrabFood, GrabExpress, and GrabTrike operations in Luzon from March 17 until further notice.”

The statement added: “We are one with the government in combating the viral spread, and are working with the different government agencies to find ways to continue serving the needs of Filipinos during these times.”

The latest bulletin by the Philippines’ Department of Health — posted on March 16 at 7PM, indicates the current total number of confirmed cases in the country is at 142, with total number of recovery at three.

Here are the guidelines of the “enhanced community quarantine” in Luzon:

1. Classes suspended until April 14.

2. Mass gatherings prohibited.

3. Strict home quarantine – movement limited to accessing basic necessities; provision of food and health services to be regulated

4. Government offices closed except for frontline health workers, security personnel, border control

5. Private establishments – only those providing food and medicine; banks, money transfer services, power, energy, water, telcos, shall be open

6. BPO’s and export-oriented industries to remain operational

7. Media allowed to travel but have to secure ID

8. Mass transport suspended

9. Land, air, sea travel restricted

10. Outbound international travel allowed in the next 72 hours

11. Inbound international travelers to be allowed entry subject to quarantine procedures if coming from previously restricted countries

12. Filipino citizens and their families to be allowed international entry

13. Movement of cargoes to be unhampered

14. Uniformed personnel on official business allowed to travel, especially those transporting medical supplies

15. Government to formulate programs and measures to help affected residents – may include delay on lease rentals, prorated 13th month pay, reprieve in utility bills, financial assistance for small businesses

16. DSWD to help provide food

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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


Twitter adds draft, schedule tweets on the web

Sending tweets just got more flexible



Photo by Yucel Moran on Unsplash

Sending tweets just got more flexible. Twitter is now adding an option for users to draft a tweet which they can continue later. Plus, there is now an option to schedule when a tweet should be posted.

Users don’t have to do anything to take advantage of these new features. Twitter has enabled these features just recently to everyone after experimenting with them in November.

For users who want to draft a tweet, they simply have to click “X” on the tweet window. A prompt to save the tweet will appear. Clicking “Save” will send the tweet to the “Unsent Tweet” where users can see a list of their drafted tweets.

It is important to note that drafted tweets will sync only on the web version of Twitter. There’s no option yet to see web version drafted tweets on the mobile app.

Meanwhile, those who wanted to schedule their tweets can do so by clicking on the new calendar icon on the bottom left of the tweet window. By doing so, a schedule option will appear, and users can change the date and time of the tweet’s post schedule.

Twitter Support prepared a little video for those who prefer to watch these new features in action:

These new features are surely a welcome addition to the platform. Perhaps, users who wanted to clarify their thoughts first before tweeting should greatly benefit from this feature. Now, if only Twitter would give its users an option to edit tweets. It’s still a pipe dream, but with new changes being introduced to the platform, it’s not impossible.

Source: The Verge

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Microsoft adds new spellcheck system for Chrome on Windows

Embracing an open-source ecosystem



There’s no error in the headline, Microsoft is indeed helping Google’s Chrome browser work better thanks to a new spellcheck system. This move will not just help Chrome though, it’ll also enable Edge browser with improved spellcheck. Getting too confusing? Here’s a simple explanation.

The Chromium project is a free and open-source repository, just like Android. Anyone can use it, edit it, or build upon it. Google’s Chrome browser is based on this project, and so is Microsoft’s Edge. Other browsers utilizing this backend technology are Torch, Brave, Amazon Silk, and many more.

How is Microsoft helping Google? It’s bringing a new spell checker on Windows 8.1 and newer for all Chromium browsers.  Until now, Chromium browsers were leveraging open-source proofing tools for spell checking. By collaborating directly with Google’s Chromium engineers, Microsoft has enabled Windows Spellcheck for all Chromium browsers.

The new Windows Spellcheck will support URLs, acronyms, email addresses, additional languages along with various dialects, and a shared custom dictionary. The new system replaces Microsoft’s Hunspell Spellcheck tool.

The update is among more than 1,900 such changes Microsoft has contributed to the browser’s project. The new spell checker is live on Edge with version 83.

While this announcement may not seem to be very exciting, it underlines an essential change in Microsoft’s strategy. The software company has a notorious reputation of being against open-source. However, it has radically changed its position in the last handful of years. After the fall of Windows Mobile, it was a clear lesson that the future is about embracing an open eco-system instead of a partial one.

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IGTV will soon have ads and share revenue with creators

Can it take on YouTube?



There’s some good news as well as bad news. How you perceive it, depends on your role. If you’re a content creator on IGTV, Instagram will share ad revenues with you. And, if you’re an IGTV viewer, the bad news is you’ll have to watch that ad, just like YouTube.

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced it’ll start serving IGTV with ads and share the revenue with influencers who create content for the platform. Instagram already has ads embedded while scrolling posts or sifting through stories. We expected the roll-out to happen in the near future considering Facebook’s reputation with ads and hunger for user data.

Instagram will share at least 55 percent of the revenue from these ads with creators. This should encourage users to upload more content on the platform and the strategy is a proven one today. Google’s YouTube has created a thriving community of YouTubers who’ve become a millionaire thanks to their regular content push and subscriber base.

It’s testing IGTV ads with a handful of U.S. based creators and advertisers and plans to expand that slowly in the coming months. Furthermore, creators can also charge for virtual badges that shall be visible during Instagram Live.

Currently, the most sought monetization method for influencers is to directly cut deals with brands. But this removes Instagram from the equation completely. Instead, it has already rolled out features like Shopping, and Live Shopping to keep the user within the app and complete the transaction.

IGTV was launched in June 2018 as a spinoff of Instagram where users can watch longer videos made for mobile devices. Viewers access IGTV videos directly through Instagram or the stand-alone IGTV app.

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