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Uber suspended in the Philippines for a month [Updated]

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The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board or LTFRB has suspended the operation of ride-sharing service Uber for one month in the Philippines. The suspension is due to the company’s failure to comply to an earlier mandate by the transportation regulating body.

A CNN Philippines report cites LTFRB spokesperson Aileen Lizada saying that Uber violated its July 26, 2017 order to stop accepting applications for accreditation. The spokesperson said Uber activated at least three vehicles the very next day.

In an August 1 statement, Uber clarified that they indeed accepted applications saying they are “optimistic that with the ongoing discussions with the LTFRB, ride-sharing has a path forward.” The company insists these applications were not processed.

The suspension order was issued 6PM of August 14, 2017. The LTFRB also “strongly recommends” that Uber provide its drivers financial assistance during the suspension period.

Uber Philippines has issued a statement on the morning of Tuesday, August 15, 2017 saying they will comply with the suspension order and that they are doing everything they can “to resolve the situation in the soonest possible time.”

LTFRB versus Uber and Grab

There is an ongoing discussion between the LTFRB and ride-sharing services Uber and Grab over how the two companies should be regulated in the Philippines. Grab is another service that operates in the Philippines and in nearby countries.

In July 2016, the LTFRB issued a memo to Uber and Grab to stop accepting and processing applications. The two companies defied the order citing public demand as the primary reason and has since paid PhP 5 million as fine for the violation.

Uber facing issues around the world

Uber is no stranger to facing difficulties against the government. The company has appeared in headlines all over the world for continuing to operate without securing proper permits from the respective countries they operate in. Uber previously faced suspensions and fines in countries like South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand among others over a similar issue.

The ride-sharing service has also faced opposition from local taxi drives worldwide. Cab drivers and operators in countries like Spain, Portugal, and many others said Uber is unfair competition.

Update (12:30PM, GMT+8 Manila Time)

It looks like Uber Philippines isn’t going to let their operations stall after all.

According to the company’s official Twitter account, a motion for reconsideration has been filed for the one-month suspension to be lifted. In the meantime, Uber will continue its services despite the LTFRB’s original orders.

In a report by ABS-CBN News LTFRB’s Lizada said the suspension “stands” despite Uber’s motion for reconsideration. The same report stated that Lizada sent a text message to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA saying, “Uber is online again. Let us apprehend them.”

Update (7:20PM, GMT+8 Manila Time)

The LTFRB has denied Uber Philippines’ motion for reconsideration to lift the month-long suspension. In a statement posted on its Twitter account, Uber said it will continue to work on resolving the matter urgently.

SEE ALSO: Grab will give you a free horse ride in Baguio

[irp posts=”1421″ name=”Grab will give you a free horse ride in Baguio”]

Enterprise

TikTok is suing Trump

Citing violation of free speech and due process

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Late last week, President Donald Trump issued a final directive against TikTok’s Chinese operations in the United States. Starting late Sunday, Apple and Google will forcibly pull the popular platform out of their respective app stores. TikTok doesn’t have much recourse. To stave off the potential shutdown, TikTok is suing Trump.

Reported by The Wall Street Journal, ByteDance filed an eleventh-hour lawsuit against the administration for violating the right to free speech. Further, the company claims the lack of due process in the impending ban.

Over the past two months, Trump fired off a vicious crusade against TikTok. Back in August, his administration issued a deadline for the platform to either leave the country or find an American buyer.

Since then, Oracle has emerged as the winner for TikTok’s US operations. Over the weekend, Trump has also “given the deal [his] blessing,” as reported by Reuters. With the deal, Oracle will create a new corporation, named TikTok Global, for the platform’s US operations. The upcoming company will recruit American directors and a security consultant on the board.

That said, TikTok’s fate is still up in the air. Whereas TikTok’s strategy will delay the ban, Trump’s erratic moves will force the platform to quickly shift to American control. More news will likely surface after the weekend.

SEE ALSO: China would rather shut TikTok down than sell it

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Samsung Galaxy M51 price and availability in the Philippines

Another monster battery phone!

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Samsung’s new beast — the Galaxy M51 — is finally making its way to the Philippines. With an official listed page on the Samsung Philippines website, the arrival of this monster battery phone is imminent.

The Galaxy M51 prides itself with a massive 7000mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. This new midrange phone sports a 6.67-inch Super AMOLED+ Infinity-O display. On its front, you can find an in-display fingerprint scanner and a punch-hole camera housing a 32-megapixel shooter.

It’s powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 730G processor, equipped with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. For extra storage, it comes with a MicroSD slot up to 512GB.

Meanwhile, its rear features a quad-camera setup: a 64-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro camera.

Regarding its ports, the Galaxy M51 uses a USB Type-C port and the well-loved 3.5mm audio jack. In line with all other Galaxy-branded phones, it’ll ship with OneUI out-of-the-box and Samsung Knox, Samsung’s multi-layered security feature.

Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy M51 will retail for PhP 19,990 and will come in two colors: Black and White. It will be exclusively available online starting September 25, 2020, at Samsung’s official online store, eCommerce partners such as Lazada, Shopee, Abenson, and MemoXpress, and telecom companies like Globe and Smart. Early birds can score up to PhP 2,098 worth of freebies from September 25-28, 2020.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy M31: How long does a 6000mAh battery last?

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Instagram is being sued for spying on a user’s camera

Accessed a camera without permission

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The world of social media is rapidly sinking into a period of reckoning. Earlier today, the Trump administration has announced a definitive takedown of TikTok and WeChat starting this Sunday. Apparently, American social media platforms can’t catch a break as well. In the United States, Instagram is being sued for spying on a user’s camera.

Reported by Bloomberg, a New Jersey Instagram user, Brittany Conditi, filed the complaint against the company in a San Francisco court. According to the lawsuit, Instagram accesses an iPhone’s camera even when the app isn’t currently active.

Conditi argues that the practice is deliberate and “lucrative” for the company. Instagram allegedly uses the obtained data for “valuable insights and market research.”

According to Facebook (who owns Instagram), the issue is a bug and does not indicate any deliberate attempts to spy on users. The company has also said that the bug is now patched in the latest version.

Regardless, Facebook and Apple have butted heads in the past. Since the introduction of iOS 14, Apple has upped its efforts to curb any untoward privacy violations from apps. Even without the current allegations, Facebook’s concern (or lack thereof) for privacy is well documented.

Currently, Facebook and Instagram are in a race to catch up with TikTok in the short-form video-sharing trend. Instagram, for one, recently launched Instagram Reels, its own take on TikTok.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is paying users to delete their accounts

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