Monday, April 15, 2019


Way back in the early weeks of January, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a legislation that could potentially add a significant change to the working landscape in the Philippines. This was the Telecommuting Law, better known as the “Work from Home” law. This is the first law in the country that would legally cover arrangements allowing certain company employees to do their work from home if possible, via internet and telecommunications connectivity. While signed already by the president. The Telecommuting Law still needs a body of implementing rules and regulations stating its scope, processes and limitations. Those rules and regulations have come at last.
GMA News Online reports that over three months following the signing of a national Work from Home bill into law, it has finally gotten its implementing rules and regulations. The IRR was released by the overseeing department of the new Telecommuting Law (Republic Act 11165), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This Monday, April 15, the rules and regulations were duly signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Following this, the IRR for RA 11165 will officially take effect upon its addition to the information on the official DOLE website, as well as publishing in a general circulation newspaper.
The official implementing rules and regulations for Telecommuting would give employers the power to offer a “work at home” option for employees, but only if they would volunteer or if presented to the company management via collective bargaining. Mutual consent of the employer and employee/s are needed. Bello adds that any telecommuting work agreement must not be considered as less than minimum standards according to labor laws. That means the home-working employee’s job is equal to his office-working co-employees, in terms of minimum working hours, overtime, rest days, fringe benefits, social welfare and tenure security.
Here are the arrangements to be enjoyed by all telecommuting employees in accordance to the implementing rules and regulations of the Work from Home law:
  1. Employees receive a rate of pay, including overtime and night shift differential, and other similar monetary benefits not lower than those provided in applicable laws, and collective bargaining agreements.
  2. Employees have a right to rest periods, regular holidays, and special non-working days.
  3. Employees must have equivalent workload and performance standards as those of comparable workers at the employer’s premises.
  4. Employees must have same access to training and career development opportunities as those of comparable workers at the employer’s premises, and be subject to the same appraisal policies covering these workers.
  5. Employees should receive appropriate training on the technical (telecommunications and internet) equipment at their disposal, and the characteristics and conditions of working from home.
  6. Employees shall have the same collective rights as the workers at the employer’s premises (office employees), and shall not be barred from communicating with workers’ representatives.
Image courtesy of OneMedia PH


In 1996, writer George R.R. Martin brought out the first book in a projected series in medieval fantasy: “A Game of Thrones,” part of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” It and the books that came after found a strong following, which gained greater momentum when HBO adapted the books as “Game of Thrones,” with the first season being aired in 2011. There has been seven seasons of that show since, compared to only five books by Martin with two yet to be published. Followers of the TV version will not have to wait long for the end, with the final season airing this Sunday.
While fans of the original books continue to wonder how the dynastic crisis and impending icy apocalypse will play out in “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring,” certain plot elements from these still-unpublished volumes have been provided by George R.R. Martin to “Game of Thrones” show-runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. These will come to light in the eighth and concluding season of the show, which will comprise only six episodes but will each run over an hour. The season premiere this April 14, “Winterfell,” confirms this by lasting 68 minutes total.
Variety notes such a running time is vital to quickly establish the current situation of the characters so close to impending doom. The ice-man White Walkers and their army of undead wights have breached the Wall and are marching upon Westeros. In the North, the absent King Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has returned to Winterfell castle with good and bad news. He has brought reinforcements for his people in the form of Queen Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) army and dragons, but has given up his kingship and taken her as lover.
Of course there would be trouble. Some of the Northern houses that acclaimed Jon as King in seasons past are disillusioned with his capitulation. Jon’s own surviving relatives in Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie) Stark do not necessarily trust the Targaryen Queen. What is worse, Jon’s friend Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) is upset at him allying with the executioner of his father and brother, despite their former abuse towards him. Sam has complicated things by blurting out Jon’s true parentage as a true son of Daenerys’ late brother Prince Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark rather than the bastard of his “father” Eddard Stark; thus a nephew to his “girlfriend” and more worthy heir to the Iron Throne than she is.
Elsewhere, the situation is just as grim. Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) cares nothing for the White Walker invasion, confident that she can withstand them with her new ally the monstrous Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), who is also her new paramour. Thus she has no need for her now-“imperfect” brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), plotting to murder him and her other brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) kept his promise to rescue his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) from Euron’s captivity, only to return to Winterfell when he was done.
And finally, the survivors from the collapse of the Wall discover a chilling message from the leader of the White Walkers, the Night King, for all of the living in the world. Winter has come.
The battle lines are being drawn. Alliances are being finalized with the choice of standing together or coming apart. Secrets are revealed at last as the paths of either ruling Westeros until the end or possibly dying to avert that end come close to fulfillment. The rest of the final season of “Game of Thrones” will air Sundays this April and May, only on HBO.
Image courtesy of CBS News

Friday, April 12, 2019

VIVO V15 PRO with POPUP CAMERA Selling Now in RP

With the integration of cameras to smartphones all those years ago, the age of the selfie was born. The ability to take pictures of oneself anytime and anywhere was just too good to pass up. It even influenced smartphone design with the introduction of front-facing cameras (to circumvent the awkwardness of posing for the initial rear-end cams). Some phone manufacturers have even dabbled on new stuff that their built-in cameras can do. Chinese smartphone-maker Vivo is now showcasing their new take on selfies with their latest V15 Pro. Launched in the Philippines last March 30, it is now on sale.
ABS-CBN News reports that the Vivo V15 Pro smartphone became available in the country on April 12, and phone-users (particularly selfie-bugs) are looking forward to trying out its standout camera feature. This was Vivo’s solution to the current smartphone dilemma of locating front-facing cameras when an edge-to-edge display is in the way. In the past manufacturers had to resort to either top notches or even pinhole cutouts to accommodate the front lenses, something that screen junkies find aesthetically lacking. To this Vivo employed a blatantly hi-tech looking solution. The selfie camera is on a frame tucked into the top edge of the V15 Pro. When needed, it slides up from the edge, and into position.
Vivo Philippines brand director Zeng Kai notes that the company is looking to the Filipinos, with their love of selfies, to try out the V15 Pro with its presumably effective camera placement. “We are confident that the V15 Pro can cater to different preferences of the market,” he says, “especially since we considered the fact that Filipinos love to take selfies and are attracted to mobile games and videos.” The pop-up seflie camera lens is at 32-megapixel resolution, and its mechanism thus leaves the edge-to-edge display a perfect round-corner rectangle, with a 91.64% screen-to-body ratio.
While the pop-up selfie cam is awesome enough, Vivo has not neglected the rear camera either. It boasts a main sensor good for 48-megapixels, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a depth sensor capable of 5-megapixels. All are managed by a phone AI, and its ability to combine 4 pixels into one makes it a handy camera even in dark environments with low ambient light. Camera-fiend Filipinos with lots of money to spare can have the Vivo V15 Pro for P23,999. About the only major brand whose latest release has a gimmick-equipped camera is the Samsung A80, with a top-located camera that rotates on its fixture to face front or back.
Image courtesy of NDTV Gadgets