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Daily dose

Would Congress act fast enough to allow bike-hailing services?

#Savemotortaxi should now be the the new battle cry for the commuting public instead of just #SaveAngkas as the LTFRB’s Technical Working Group has recently announced that once their pilot study ends, the provisional permits for bike-hailing services like Angkas, JoyRide and Move It will end as well. It means after March 23, 2020, no more motorcycle taxis. Well, the ones you can book via an app that is. The only option left for commuters would be habal-habal, its illegal version.

Unless of course, Congress moves fast enough to amend Republic Act No. 4136 to legalize the bike-for-hire services, commuters would have to find other solutions to the terrible and worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila on their own.

At the moment legislation that legalizes motorycle taxis pending in Congress are as follows: HB 8959 which was passed by the Lower House last February 4, 2019 and is now pending with the Senate; Senate Bills: SBN-50, SBN-128, SBN-409 and SBN-1025.

Maybe the recent ruckus between Angkas and the LTFRB will be enough to get Congress’ attention to finally act on those pending bills.

Categories
Daily dose

New book: The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross

Sometime in 2007 or 2008, back in my blogging heyday, I stumbled on I Write Like. It’s a nifty website that checks ‘which famous writer you write like by analyzing your word choice and writing style‘. The first result back then was that I write like Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author and co-editor of the weblog Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow. Which was a delight because I enjoy his writing and we are both activists. Since then I’ve been following his blog and podcasts and finally, I got a hard copy of one of his books – The Rapture of the Nerds. Co-authored with Charles Stross.

The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

Before I wrote this post, I tried to run the analysis again and the results were the same. 🙂 Quite excited to get started on this book and pretty sure I’d be buying Cory’s other books in the months to come.

Hopefully, reading more and more would help me get back my blogging mojo and someday I’d be able to publish a book as well.

Categories
Daily dose

Snapchat Cameo: Star in your own video clips

Taking Bitmoji to the next level, Snapchat is working on an upcoming feature that lets users put their selfies into short clips that convey quick emotion, reaction, or silly situation in Snapchat messages.

It uses Deepfake tech to add your face into short video clips. It’s under limited testing in France as seen in a few tweets by French Snapchat users who have stumbled into it:

Snapchat has not yet confirmed when the feature will be available globally and you can be sure this will start a new trend among social messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber etc.

The concept has so many potentials, the applications actually scare me a bit. What do you think of Snapchat Cameo?

By the way, here’s a good explanation of what Deepfake is. You’d understand why the technology is quite scary.

Categories
Opinion

Peace talks in the Philippines: It’s a trap!

In a last-ditch effort, seemingly out of desperation as it’s just two years in power, to end the longest running insurgency in Asia the Duterte administration has offered to resume peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDFP. While it is without question that peace talks are the best way to end the fighting, the offer reeks of insincerity. Given what the government has done since the last rounds of the peace talks were terminated November last year, the communist rebels are right to reject the condition that it be done here in the Philippines.

Admiral Ackbar - It's a trap

Why is this offer of resuming the peace talks suspicious:

  • EO No 70 is still in effect this needs to be withdrawn first.
  • The red-tagging campaign against legitimate dissent, critics, activists and progressive peoples’ organizations is still ongoing.
  • Consultants of the NDFP that have been arrested on trumped up charges and despite the JASIG are still in jail.
  • The administration has firm control of the courts – there’s no shortage of judges willing to issue warrants of search and arrest on very questionable reasoning at the request of the police and military.

On these critical observations the writings on the wall are clear: the spider has invited the fly to his parlor. Until the government drops the pre-conditions to holding peace talks, the rebels will not come to the negotiating table. So the fighting will continue, not solely because the peace talks will not resume, but as long as the current conditions that have bred the rebellion continue to exist.