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Grab, World Bank turn to traffic data to decongest Philippine roads

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The traffic situation in major metropolitan areas in the Philippines, particularly Metro Manila and Cebu City, could become more bearable in the future, thanks to a collaboration between the World Bank, the Philippine transportation authority, and Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing service.

The goal is to decongest Metro Manila and Cebu City and identify potential road hazards by analyzing real-time data mined from GPS activity from Grab vehicles.

OpenTraffic, as the pilot program is called, will allow government agencies to create better public-transportation routes, and determine the best locations for public infrastructures like bridges, highways, and railways, and optimize traffic signals in cities that have some of the densest urban populations in the country.

Metro Manila alone has an estimated population of 16.5 million people. To put that into perspective, it’s more than the combined population of Sweden and Denmark and nearly as many as the current number of refugees who have left their countries altogether.

In the future, information from OpenTraffic will be sent to another tool called DRIVER (Data for Road Incident Visualization, Evaluation, and Reporting), which was developed by the World Bank and designed to improve the management of accident-prone areas and promote faster emergency response. With DRIVER, concerned agencies will receive notifications of road incidents as they happen.

Back in March, the Philippines’ transport ministry and the World Bank worked to train hundreds of government staff, including police and traffic personnel, on how to use the OpenTraffic program.

And the Philippines is just the start, not the destination, for OpenTraffic — in the same way that OpenTraffic could be the grease that starts the conversation for holistic solutions to the worsening traffic problem in Metro Manila and Cebu City.

Grab and the World Bank say they want to continue working on the project in hopes of making it available to other countries in the region.

[irp posts=”7566" name=”Singapore, S. Korea dominate 4G LTE rankings, Philippines struggles”]

Source: e27

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Google Chrome will add ‘slow’ badges to shame slow websites

In an effort to optimize the internet

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Don’t you just hate slow websites? Unfortunately, despite the advance of technology, some sites are still stuck in the early 2000s. As if our data caps weren’t bad enough, some sites want to keep us waiting for ages.

To combat this inconvenience, Google is trying out a few new features for its browser, Google Chrome. One of these suggestions is a badge affixed to websites that load way too slowly.

Ideally, Google’s algorithm will aggregate a website’s loading times. If the said site doesn’t pass Google’s standards, Chrome will affix a “slow” badge displayed whenever users access the site. On the other hand, the browser might also stick “fast” badges to highly optimized sites. (Though, chances are, you probably won’t even see them before the site loads.)

Alternatively, Google might also change other indicators like the loading status bar. Regardless, the browser is toying with highly visual experiments to do the trick. Soon, it will be easier to finally see which websites will slow your device down by a few seconds.

Besides alerting users, Google’s new initiative is also meant for web developers. With a badge, development teams can see if their site is too slow for users. And, as is evident with Google’s blog post, Google is advertising their own developer tools for slow sites.

Regardless of who it’s actually for, Google’s initiative is helping optimize the internet for today’s time.

SEE ALSO: Google just launched a ‘phone’ made out of paper

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YouTube Music and YouTube Premium roll out in the Philippines

There are more options besides Spotify

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Music streaming just heated up in the Philippines — YouTube Music is now available in the country.

Google silently launched YouTube Music along with YouTube Premium. The former is a separate app from YouTube which functions exactly like its rivals Spotify and Apple Music. Its greatest strength is in its tight integration with the video streaming app itself. Listeners can watch music videos right from the app to complement their streams.

To subscribe, simply sign in with your Google account on music.youtube.com. For those who want more, YouTube Premium allows for ad-free and uninterrupted watching experience and offline watching. It comes at a monthly price of PhP 159. With this price, you’re getting more for what you’re paying with YouTube Premium + Music bundled all in.

Family subscription plans starts PhP 239 per month, for both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium for up to five family members. All plans come with a one-month free trial.

YouTube Music launched last year hoping to compete against heavy-hitters like Apple and Spotify. While it is a newcomer, it has already launched in many countries, including the Philippines.

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Adobe Photoshop Camera will do all the editing for you

Artificial Intelligence has you covered!

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Photoshop synonymously means “editing” in today’s world. The powerful software by Adobe has been a huge part of the industry due to its extensive editing tools and support from other apps like Illustrator. However, the smartphone game is different.

Which app do you use to edit your pictures on the go? There’s a possibility you’re thinking of Instagram or Snapchat with their built-in filters. There are also plenty of mobile photo editing apps, but Adobe wants to grab this chunk of the market and even though the Photoshop mobile app has been available for years, it never really took off. So the company is now taking a different approach.

Adobe’s Photoshop Camera is an AI-driven picture editing app for iOS and Android. All you need to do is take a picture and Photoshop Camera will instantaneously analyze it and offer up a drawer full of potential enhancements.

While looking through the viewfinder, Photoshop Camera will recognize what’s happening in the scene and highlight appropriate effects in a menu below the shutter button. Because Adobe’s AI can recognize what’s going on in the photo, it can apply separate lighting and color effects to different parts of the frame.

At the heart of the app is Adobe’s Sensei technology that deploys artificial intelligence to automatically enhance photo quality. There will be time-limited, branded camera lenses from the likes of Billie Eilish and other “well-known artists and influencers.” Of course, you’ll be able to share your photos to apps like Instagram from within Photoshop Camera.

Flagship phones like the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 series have drastically pushed the boundaries of onboard AI-processing and Adobe intends to leverage this hardware as much as possible.

The full version of the app won’t be available until early 2020, however, a preview is available that you can try out.

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