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Singaporean photographer wins #ShotOniPhone challenge

One of ten total winners

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Throughout the years, Apple’s iPhone has been proven as one of the major leaders when it comes to mobile photography. As fans became so loyal to their iPhones, they’ve shown how happy they are with its image processing and quality by using the hashtag #ShotOniPhone, which has become rampant, especially when posting photos on Instagram.

For the same reason, Apple also announced their #ShotOniPhone contest that’s open for everyone. Fans all around the world have participated to submit the best shots they have in their camera roll. Out of all the entries from several countries, winners have been selected by 11 notable judges in the field of photography and photojournalism. Darren Soh, a Singaporean photographer focusing on architectural visuals, talks to GadgetMatch about how honored he is being triumphant in said photo-centric competition.


With him being a proud Singaporean, he loves to show what the country has to offer through concrete slabs and aging rocks. Singapore, believe it or not, has become one of the most popular Asian tourist destinations and for him, the essence of capturing known landmarks such as the Marina Bay Sands and showing it to people is nowhere near as unique and breathtaking as capturing the puddle reflection of a public housing in the heartlands of the city.

Getting specific about his winning entry, he told us the photograph took place in Potong Pasir, a public housing estate well known for its architectural landscape, including “ski-slope roofs” on top of its buildings. Right after the basketball court got cleaned up, the perfect combination of the puddle and the housing’s recognizable outer structure made him grab his phone, experiment with the angles, and shoot as many photos as he could.

In an instantaneous moment, a crow suddenly appeared on the upper-right part of the photograph. Out of all the shots he took, the crow only appeared on one image, making it a picture-perfect shot with great composition and timing. Fair enough, the photo was captured using the iPhone XS Max, which is considered today as one of the most popular camera smartphones for professional mobile photography. It may not be on par with most professional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, but it got the job done — a perfect fit for this year’s billboards and Apple store backdrops.

Behind his photo conveys a deeper message: “Singapore is a country that is changing so rapidly. We cannot save every old building but we can try our best to photograph them all,” Soh said.

With the continuous growth of the country, paired with the recent technological advancements and innovations, the cityscape and its cultural heritage are getting less preserved and appreciated. Soh’s appreciation for architecture through photographs is one clever way to preserve the time and overall look of Singapore’s dynamic growth and ever-changing skyline.

His entry, along with the other nine selected winners, will be featured on billboards in select cities, Apple retail stores, and across the web.

Enterprise

Huawei’s phones can’t use microSD cards anymore

Another casualty of the ban

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Everyone knows what happened to Huawei. As the week winds down, the Trump ban is dismantling the Chinese company piece by piece. Most notably, Google has stopped its business dealings with Huawei. Soon after, hardware company ARM ceased support for future Huawei chips. Huawei has lost considerable support on both hardware and software sides.

Now, the company has lost another major backer. Reported by Nikkei Asian Review, the SD Association has revoked Huawei’s membership status. As the name suggests, the trade group dictates the SD and microSD standards of the industry. The Chinese company cannot use the standard for future devices anymore. Fortunately, Huawei can still use the memory cards for existing phones.


However, the latest bridge-burning has drastically changed the company’s future. Given everything, Huawei’s future does not include Google, ARM, and microSD extensions, among others. All three components are major parts of today’s phones.

Fortunately, the loss of microSD support isn’t a deadly deal. Huawei can still use other standards for memory card extension. The company also has its own proprietary standard called the Nano Memory Card. Of course, proprietary hardware is almost always a turn-off. Despite cushioning the SD Association loss, the Nano Memory Card isn’t as appealing as the universally available microSD card.

In other news, Huawei has also “temporarily” lost access to the Wi-Fi Alliance. Much like the SD Association, the Wi-Fi Alliance dictates the connectivity standards of devices. Thankfully, Huawei can still use Wi-Fi in its devices. However, the company cannot participate in any discussions to shape Wi-Fi’s future.

Likewise, Huawei has voluntarily withdrawn from JEDEC, a trade group that defines semiconductor standards. As with the Wi-Fi Alliance, the company cannot contribute to any future discussions.

Fortunately, both restrictions don’t impact the company’s future as much. However, Huawei’s future is slowly moving away from industry standards. If the company hopes to survive, Huawei must develop its own proprietary hardware or find replacements elsewhere.

SEE ALSO: Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

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Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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IGTV adds support for horizontal video

No longer exclusive to vertical content

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When Instagram’s IGTV platform first launched, it was special for its focus on vertically oriented videos. The reasoning here is that this is how people naturally hold their smartphones, and vertical video recording has become a standard.

Unfortunately, IGTV didn’t exactly fly from the get-go. Even after certain adjustments, such as integrating its system into Instagram itself for better exposure, content creators and casual users couldn’t fully embrace the platform.


In yet another move — possibly the most drastic yet — IGTV will now support landscape videos. This comes as a response to both creators and viewers who want to upload and watch videos in “a more natural way.”

“Ultimately, our vision is to make IGTV a destination for great content no matter how it’s shot so creators can express themselves how they want,” wrote Instagram on its blog.

The blog reminds us that a similar change happened to Instagram in 2015, when you could start uploading photos in non-square formats. IGTV hopes that this transformation will have the same positive effect.

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