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YouTube Shorts now available in the Philippines

TikTok and Reels rival

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YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts — the company’s version of TikTok and Reels — is now available in the Philippines. It was first beta tested in India and recently released in the US to creators.

It was already previously available but only as viewable content. Now, YouTube is opening up content creation to its users. Much like the already available platforms today, YouTube Shorts allows users to make short videos overlaid with music. YouTube says the music library includes hundreds of thousands of available tracks for the newly created feature.

New features also include the ability to sample audio not only from other Shorts but also from the billions of videos available on YouTube. There’s also a multi-segment camera, allowing users to stitch multiple clips together. Users will also have access to playback speed and a timer/countdown for taking videos. Other features include:

  • Adding text to specific points in videos
  • Automatically adding captions to Shorts
  • Recording up to 60 seconds with the Shorts camera
  • Adding clips from a phone’s gallery to add to recordings made with the Shorts camera
  • Adding basic filters to color correct Shorts, with more effects to come in the future

YouTube promises access to a robust exposure algorithm where similar videos will appear in a new dedicated section on your YouTube feed. As of today, the YouTube Shorts player has surpassed 6.5 billion daily views globally.

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I’m missing the Olympics because I don’t have cable

And it sucks

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It’s 2021. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, is in full swing as of writing. However, as someone whose primary source of media entertainment all comes from streaming, there’s no easy and convenient way for me to watch the games. Major bummer.

I like to enjoy my media a certain way; I prefer to stream them on my TV. Which is why majority of the content I consume come from YouTube, Netflix, and the occasional Amazon Prime, HBO Go (Yep, not even HBO Max), and Apple TV.

I find it incredibly baffling that the stakeholders involved in bringing the games to the people failed to come to an agreement to make it easily accessible on the aforementioned platforms. It’s 2021. Why on earth am I not able to watch the greatest sporting event on the planet the way I want to?

Believe me, I hear the privilege in my words. Regardless, I still feel marginalized.

So how can you watch the Olympics right now?

I asked a friend who’s been covering the games. He watches through cable and had to pay a PhP 150 fee (around US$ 3/ SG$ 4) to avail of the Tokyo 2020 Premium from a particular cable provider.

Thing is, the whole Olympic coverage in the Philippines is locked to the MVP group of companies. You wanna follow the games, you’re gonna have to do it on one of their platforms.

Here’s an excerpt from their press release on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic coverage:

“Sports fans will have comprehensive access to the Olympic Games — from the Opening Ceremonies all the way to when the games conclude — on free to air via TV5 and One Sports. One Sports+ on Cignal TV will also dedicate a significant amount of their daily hours to broadcast the events, with Cignal also opening up two exclusive channels dedicated to broadcast the games 24/7. Cignal Play, in addition to live channels TV5, One Sports & One Sports+, will be offering exclusive channels broadcasting live updates to its subscribers, along with exclusive content not available on the TV broadcast. Cignal TV’s One News leads the group’s round-the-clock news coverage, featuring results, updates, and highlights.”

Comprehensive? Maybe. For platforms within the MVP group of companies. If you’re not subscribed to any of these, well, that’s just too bad. It’s good for business and I completely understand how the whole thing works. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The coverage also missed to televise or showcase Hidilyn Diaz’s historic gold medal win in the Weightlifting competition. If you’ve been following sports news, the Philippines was expected to get a medal in this event. Sadly, the moment was only known following updates from reporters on the ground.

How I wish it was handled

I’m sure there’s a lot more that goes into it in terms of TV and broadcasting rights, but we’re literally at an age where plenty of folks have decided to cut the cord and rely on streaming for content.

On YouTube, you can buy and/or rent movies and shows. The platform and structure exists for pay-to-watch content. They could have even made tiers or packages like charge a certain amount to gain access to all the games, a different and lower amount if you just want to follow a certain sport and/or a certain event.

Maybe the potential earnings to do so didn’t justify the costs to implement it. Whatever the case, it’s still incredibly frustrating.

Sure, I can go through the hoopla of setting up a VPN and look for streaming sites. But that’s more even more cumbersome. I don’t mind paying a convenience fee if it means that after a long day of work I can kick back, relax, and watch some damn sports.

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Cybersecurity updates for Google Chrome

Safety, speed, and security

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So much of our digital space’s safety relies on securing our privacy from privy eyes. This is why Google released updates for Chrome to easily navigate and control your privacy settings.

Per-site permissions

It can be disconcerting when certain websites require access to one’s microphone, location, and camera. But, with the updated site safety controls, it’s now easier to now keep track of which site has permission to specific information.

How-to

  1. Tap the lock icon on the left side to open the updated panel. There, you’ll find what permissions are granted for a particular site.
  2. From there, you will be able to easily toggle between sharing and not sharing access to important information for apps and sites.

In an upcoming release, an option will be added to delete a site from browsing history in Chrome.

Cybersafety and cybersecurity updates

Google is expanding its Site Isolation. If you haven’t kept up, this is Google’s security feature that protects people from malicious websites. It works by processing each site separately, so they can’t access data they’re not supposed to. Well with this update, Site Isolation will be covering a broader range of sites, as well as extensions.

With speed and security in mind, Google’s update has one more thing for us: phishing detection. With phishing continuing to be a leading threat on the web, Chrome has been improved with even better image processing in Chrome. Phishing detection is now 50 times faster.

Both site isolation and phishing detection updates have not only optimized safety but also, Chrome’s speed and battery use – keeping you safe and swift.

On the topic of speed,

Chrome Actions have made tasks easy and fast. From, typing “delete history” to “edit passwords,” Chrome Actions performs tasks at your beck and call. Since its introduction in November 2020, people have been using Chrome Actions millions of times. And now, there are even more tasks you can have Chrome do.

Try these out:

For example, typing in “safety check” allows security checks of passwords and scan for malicious extensions. And, typing “manage security settings” or “manage sync” enables quick access to relevant controls.

These new updates are coming to Chrome on Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS in the upcoming weeks.

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mWell: new health & wellness app for Filipinos

Because, really, we needed this.

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Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation (MPHTC) is looking to transform the digital health care ecosystem. With what, you ask? Well, with mWell. mWell is a health and wellness app made for every Filipino’s holistic well-being by providing you the medical aid you deserve through a secure digital space.

mWell has partnered with CareSpan, Philcare, Keralty Clinic, board-certified doctors and health practitioners. That way, they can give you access to the best digital medical aid.

For doctors, clinics, and hospitals

Doctors, clinics, and hospitals all over the country are welcome to sign up to mWell. With it, they can set up their own virtual clinic and virtual labs for free. From there, they’ll be able to easily book and manage digital appointments, access patients’ confidential medical records, and issue e-prescriptions.

If you’re a board-certified doctor who isn’t tech savvy, don’t worry. You’ll be given a quick and easy training to be able to access all of mWell’s services so you can immediately digitize your practice and reach more patients nationwide.

For the everyday Filipino

mWell provides everyday Filipinos access to professional consultations, wellness programs, products, and drug delivery services. With the partnership of Medicard, you can book COVID-19 testing services.

Starting August, mWell will let you access e-Pharmacies. From buying prescribed meds and getting them delivered to your doorstep, to buying PhilCare health insurance products for dengue, accidents, and emergencies, they’ve got you covered. They’re even launching nationwide virtual medical missions.

More coming

On September, mWell is partnering with Aktivolabs to let you monitor and track physical activities, sleep schedule, and stress so you can work on improving your health and wellness. And, for PLDT Home customers, you can avail free consultation with mWell doctors. The app is available for Android and iOS.

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