Items filtered by date: Saturday, 07 October 2017

Who Is Laurene Powell Jobs? Apple Founder Steve Jobs’ Widow Set to Become NBA’s Newest Billionaire Owner

Laurene Powell Jobs at Pier 48, San Francisco, California, September 20. Steve Jennings/Getty


One of the wealthiest women in the world has reportedly become the newest owner of an NBA team. Laurene Powell Jobs, the billionaire philanthropist, has bought a stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment which controls the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Capitals, according to The Washington Post.

Her investment, said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, will see Powell Jobs own 20 percent of Monumental, the second largest stake after Ted Leonsis. Though the deal is yet to be approved by the NBA and NHL, Powell Jobs is set to become one of the most influential women in sports.

She would be only the fourth female NBA franchise owner, joining Jeanie Buss of the Lakers, Ann Walton Kroenke of the Nuggets, and Gail Miller of the Jazz.

On March 18, 1991, Laurene Powell’s surname got a little longer, adding what would become one of the world’s most well-known names: Jobs. She married Steve Jobs, the late chief executive and co-founder of Apple Inc. who died in 2011, and much of her $20 billion fortune comes from her stock in the company.

According to the Post’s report, Powell Jobs also owns four percent of the Walt Disney Company. This vast wealth has allowed her engage in philanthropic work. In 2004, she launched Emerson Collective, which is an organization “dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential.”

It focuses on education, immigration reform, environmental issues and social justice. Earlier this summer, Emerson Collective also bought a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine, sharing ownership with David Bradley. The name Emerson Collective, Powell Jobs says, was inspired by the co-founder of The Atlantic, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“What I loved about Laurene from the first is that her confidence was forged on a different coast,” Bradley said. “And, if anything, her ambition is greater than my own.”

Owning an NBA franchise has clearly been a target for Powell Jobs. A few years ago, she reportedly launched an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the L.A. Clippers and, according to NetsDaily, she was also interested in purchasing the Brooklyn Nets in 2015. Fortunately, for Powell Jobs, she looks to have been more successful this time round with the Wizards, valued at $1 billion in 2015 but likely to be worth more now.

Her desire to get involved in an NBA team is intended to help drive forward the Emerson Collective goal. “Laurene and Ted share the same commitment to a double bottom line, that the best companies are those that do good in their communities,” a source told the Post.

  • Published in Sports

5 smart technologies a Filipino driver could use right now

On a Friday payday, the worst thing that could happen is to get stuck in standstill traffic as the flash floods rise. One minute it’s gutter deep, the next minute, you’re panicking that water will get in your car's exhaust pipe. Don’t you wish your car can transform into a boat once it senses flash floods – like a flood-proof Autobot?

Let’s admit it. Driving in the Philippines is not the most pleasant experience for anyone. (Side note: right now, we’re bracing for the 3-month-long Christmas rush. Crazy, isn’t it?) If the technology gods are listening, here’s what a Pinoy driver’s early Christmas list looks like.

1) Amphibious cars, jeeps, and trikes

Many innovative Filipinos have tried introducing amphibious vehicles in the market, some with retractable wheels; some powered by adjustable outriggers like boats. Here's a few of them: CROC of OPCENTEC, to Salamander of H2O Technologies, and Batangas State University’s jeepney called TOAD. The idea is simple: we need vehicles that could navigate properly both on land and in water due to floods, disasters, and that we’re simply an archipelagic country.

As is always the case, these innovations need support and funding to be produced commercially. As of now, most of them are prototypes.

2) Anti-theft vehicle tracker that works even when the engine is off

The Philippine National Police reported that at least 6,500 cars were stolen between July 2016 and June 2017. It went down from the last period’s 10,000 carnapping incidents. Many after sales company offer GPS tracking devices that allow you to track your vehicle, especially for rented ones.

Some even allow owners to shut down the engine of the stolen car – that is if the carnapper doesn’t find out that your car has a tracking device installed first. What would be a helpful technology is an anti-theft system that allows you to track your car even when the engine is off without draining your vehicle’s battery.

3) Night vision

Not all roads in the Philippines are well-lit. It is especially tricky if you happen to pass by strips of rice paddies when you’re going out of town. Drivers at night could easily get startled when a pedestrian or an animal crosses the street.

Luxury makers like Mercedes Benz, Aud, Cadillac, and BMW are equipped with passive night vision systems using advanced infrared sensors and smart algorithm able to detect and identify cars, humans, and even animals. These alert the driver ahead of time to avoid unfortunate accidents.

Ford is planning to introduce the technology in the next release of the Fiesta. Toyota, for its part, helped fund new research looking into improving night vision technology as inspired by nocturnal animals.

4) Car-to-car communication system

UV Express drivers in the city are like, “5-3 na dito. Copy?” “Dito naman sa 54, kilo na.” (Translation: “Traffic na dito.” “Dito naman sa EDSA okay na.”) They use this reliable radio communication system to inform other drivers in advance whether there’s a cop or a vehicular accident along their routes.

Wouldn’t it be better if vehicles are smart enough to communicate among themselves, sending data such as speed, location, brake and steering status, and direction via short-range radio? It’s like Waze but rather than crowdsourcing information, it’s automated. Many self-driving cars are already equipped with sensor systems that can send these types of information, but the range is limited.

5) An alternative to the traffic light system

Elsewhere in the globe, a yellow traffic light means you have to slow down and a red light means stop. In the Philippines, a yellow traffic light pushes the driver to cross the intersection faster, beating the red light most of the time. Just look at how many people die due to road crashes and reckless driving in the country. In 2014 alone, close to 9,000 were killed in road accidents, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers are studying an alternative: a slot-based system based on mathematical modeling that would make sure the vehicles can get to the intersection smoothly at exactly the time that they have a slot. The key here is to keep the vehicles moving, even at a slower pace. –

  • Published in Tech

New hairdos can't stop UP Fighting Maroons downward spiral

LOSING STREAK. The UP Fighting Maroons had fewer bright spots than Paul Desiderio's hair in their loss to the NU Bulldogs. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines - Three new hairstlyes couldn’t save them from losing 3 straight games.

From ranking as high as second place after beating champion DLSU, the UP Fighting Maroons now find themselves finishing sixth in the first round after a late collapse to the NU Bulldogs, 77-70.

Despite their new do’s, the now-blonde Paul Desiderio and Jun Manzo went bleach-white instead of red-hot, while the new braids of Javi Gomez de Liano didn’t help as he blanked all of his shots in the crucial 4th quarter. Bad times turned to worse as lead point guard Manzo suffered an ankle sprain early in the third frame and would not return.

Team captain Desiderio still led the Maroons’ charge with 15 points, although he also took 15 shots to get there. The injured Manzo abruptly finished the game with just 6 points and a lone assist in 17 minutes while older GDL brother ended with 10 points, 8 boards and a team-high 6 helpers.

Although Coach Bo Perasol refused to call the 3-4 stretch a slump for his team, he still expressed his disappointment with the team and his own performance. “We were all disappointed in the last 2 games. Di pwedeng “muntik na tayong manalo.” We just need to find a way to get through that hump.” (“We can’t accept just ‘we almost won.’”)

“It shouldn’t have been easy, but we could’ve been 5-2 right now instead of 3-4,” Perasol added. “The other one [against Adamson] was last 2 seconds, the other [against NU] was a minute and 30. It really hurts because I believe it could’ve gone either way.”

Perasol remains hopeful for the second round but also admits that getting 5 more wins would be a tough challenge. Manzo’s injury is just the icing on the rotten cake as the entire team was waiting for a return that never happened. Streaky reserve Diego Dario tried to make up for the loss with 11 points – his first double-digit game of the season – but it wasn’t enough.

Fortunately, Manzo’s sprain doesn’t appear to be serious, according to Perasol. “He’s hurting right now, but we’re hoping he’s going to play in the next games.”

Right now, UP still has Dario and Jarrell Lim manning the point. However, Coach Bo was split on who would get the keys to the offense that Manzo has temporarily dropped. “It should be both of them. They have to share.” –

  • Published in Sports

US rapper Nelly arrested over tour bus rape allegations

NOT TRUE. Rapper Nelly is accused by a woman of raping her inside a tour bus, which the rapper said was not true. Screengrab from Instagram/@derrtymo

LOS ANGELES, USA – Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly was arrested Saturday, October 7, after a woman accused him of raping her in his tour bus, police in the northwestern state of Washington said.

Just before 4 am local time (1100 GMT), a woman called the emergency 911 line "to report that she was sexually assaulted by a male, who is known as the rapper 'Nelly,'" police in Auburn, Washington said.

After police investigated the incident, "at 4:37 am Nelly was taken into custody and booked" at the local jail, the police statement read.

The alleged assault reportedly took place on the tour bus hours after Nelly had performed at the White River Amphitheater just east of Auburn.

A lawyer for Nelly vehemently denied the charges.

Nelly – born Cornell Haynes Jr – "is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation," his lawyer Scott Rosenblum told Agence France-Presse in a statement.

"Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness.

"I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges," he added.

According to TMZ, Nelly, whose schedule has him performing Saturday evening with country duo Florida Georgia Line in the city of Ridgefield, a two-hour drive to the south of Auburn, was booked on a charge of second-degree rape.

The 42-year-old has received 12 Grammy nominations and won 3 Grammy awards, including for best rap solo performance in 2003.

Following the report, his manager Juliette Harris told USA Today that Nelly will miss his show in Ridgefield and that he was released without being charged.

Nelly took to Twitter to speak out on the accusation.

"Let me say that I am beyond shocked that I have been targeted with this false allegation. I am completely innocent. I am confident that once the facts are looked at , it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation," he said.

"I do want to apologize to my loved ones for the embarrassment and for putting myself in a situation where I could be victimized by this false and defaming allegation.

"I also want to thank my fans for their unwavering support. They know me. I assure you I will be vindicated. And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim. Thank you.

"In other words y'all know damm well I ain't do no dumm S^*t like this..!! Love ..!!!!

"To be absolutely clear. I have not been charged with a crime therefore no bail was required. I was released , pending further investigation."

A native of Austin, Texas, he grew up in St Louis, Missouri. His first 3 albums, released between 2000 and 2004, were all US number ones. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/


SWS: Duterte’s satisfaction rating falls by 11 points

Reuters file photo of President Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA – The Third Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey, conducted from September 23-27, 2017, found gross satisfaction with President Rodrigo Duterte fell by 11 points from 78%, gross dissatisfaction rose by 7 points from 12%, and gross undecided rose by 4 points from 10%.

In terms of net satisfaction, the poll found 67% of adult Filipinos satisfied, 19% dissatisfied, and 14% undecided, yielding a net satisfaction rating of +48 (% satisfied minus % dissatisfied), classified by SWS as good – 18 points below the very good +66 (78% satisfied, 12% dissatisfied) in June 2017.


See also:
Third Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey: Pres. Duterte’s Net Satisfaction Rating falls to “Good” +48

Net trust declines to “Very Good” +60
The September 2017 survey also found 73% of Filipinos with much trust, 12% with little trust 15% undecided, and in Pres. Duterte.

This gives a net trust rating of +60 (% much trust minus % little trust, correctly rounded), classified by SWS as very good.

This is a 15-point decline, and one grade below, the excellent +75 (82% much trust, 7% little trust) in June 2017, according to SWS.

Pres. Duterte’s net trust rating was a moderate +16 when SWS first asked about it in December 2015. It stayed moderate from January 2016 to March 30-April 2, 2016, ranging from +13 to +29, before it went to a good +30 in April 18-20, 2016.

It went to a moderate +26 just before the May 9, 2016 elections, and rose to a personal record-high of excellent +79 just days before his inauguration in June 30, 2016. It stayed excellent for five consecutive quarters before declining by one grade to very good +60 in September 2017.

The SWS terminology for Net Satisfaction and Net Trust Ratings: +70 and above, “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”, +9 to -9, “neutral”; -10 to -29, “poor”; -30 to -49, “bad”; -50 to -69, “very bad”; -70 and below, “execrable”.

Relationship of satisfaction and trust ratings
The 18-point decline in Pres. Duterte’s net satisfaction rating amid the 15-point decline in his net trust rating, between June and September 2017, resulted from the declines in his net satisfaction ratings among both those with much trust and those with little trust in him.

Pres. Duterte’s net satisfaction rating fell by one grade from excellent to very good among those with much trust in him, at +69 in September 2017, down by 10 points from +79 in June 2017 [Chart 3].

It fell by one grade from neutral to poor among those with little trust in him, at -38 in September, down sharply by 41 points from +3 (correctly rounded) in June.

It stayed moderate among those undecided about their trust or distrust in him, at +14 in September, up by 4 points from +10 in June.

Net satisfaction Excellent in Mindanao, Good elsewhere
By area, the President’s net satisfaction rating from June 2017 to September 2017 fell by 30 points in the Visayas, 22 points in Balance Luzon, and 19 points in Metro Manila, while it stayed steady in Mindanao.

It stayed excellent in Mindanao, at +76 (82% satisfied, 6% dissatisfied) in September 2017, hardly moving from +75 (83% satisfied, 8% dissatisfied) in June 2017 [Chart 4].

However, it fell by two grades from excellent to good in the Visayas, at +43 (64% satisfied, 21% dissatisfied) in September 2017, down by 30 points from +73 (83% satisfied, 10% dissatisfied) in June 2017.

It fell by one grade from very good to good in Balance Luzon, at +36 (59% satisfied, 23% dissatisfied) in September, down by 22 points from +58 (73% satisfied, 15% dissatisfied) in June.

It also fell by one grade from very good to good in Metro Manila, at +44 (68% satisfied, 24% dissatisfied) in September, down by 19 points from +63 (77% satisfied, 13% dissatisfied, correctly rounded) in June.

The September 2017 Social Weather Survey was conducted from September 23-27, 2017 using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 600 in Balance Luzon, and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao).

The area estimates were weighted by Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2017 to obtain the national estimates.

The Social Weather Survey items on public satisfaction with, and public trust in, the President are non-commissioned. They are included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service.

SWS terminology for Net Satisfaction and Net Trust Ratings: +70 and above, “excellent”; +50 to +69, “very good”; +30 to +49, “good”; +10 to +29, “moderate”, +9 to –9, “neutral”; –10 to –29, “poor”; –30 to –49, “bad”; –50 to –69, “very bad”; –70 and below, “execrable.” SWS considers the movement from one classification to another as either an “upgrade” or “downgrade.”

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations.


Army seizes suspected shabu and IED from ISIS-inspired local terrorist group

A member of the explosives and ordnance division points to some of the IED components retrieved from the target site. HANDOUT PHOTO FROM PHIL. ARMY
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Combat strike operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines resulted in the arrest of 20 armed local terrorists and the seizure of suspected shabu and components of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the boundary of So. Simboloy, Brgy Kuden, Talitay and Brgy Brar, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, all of Maguindanao, on Saturday (October 07, 2017).

The combined troops of the 19th Infantry Battalion and 6th Infantry Battalion IB responded to a report on the presence of “ISIS-inspired” local terrorist group.

The successful operation was a result of the focused and intensified military operation against local terror groups in Central Mindanao and the campaign against illegal drugs, Major General Dela Vega, said.


Interagency council to review national broadband project

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar (photo by Richard V. Viñas)

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the “Information Technology Review Committee” is expected to present its recommendation on how to hasten the national broadband plan to President Duterte in 15 days.

“We have created an information technology council or committee within the Cabinet to review the national broadband project,” Andanar said in Filipino during a radio interview. “We will come up with a recommendation to the President on the best way to fast track the internet connection, establish connection in areas still without internet,” he added.

The five-man review committee would be headed by National Security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

Aside from Andanar, the heads of the Department of Information and Communication Technology and the Department of Science and Technology, and Presidential adviser for economic affairs Ramon Jacinto would be part of the group.

“We were instructed to move ASAP,” Andanar said in a text message.

“DICT is part of the council. No duplication because it’s just a review committee which will advise the President,” he added.

Under the NBP, the government aims to implement various interventions to ensure fast, reliable and affordable internet service to Filipinos amid a digital economy. It seeks to interconnect government offices, increase internet penetration especially in far-flung areas, and stimulate economic growth through the digital empowerment of the people.

The creation of the broadband review committee comes on the heels of the dismissal of DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima over his alleged bias toward a former telco employer.

President Duterte earlier admitted he fired Salalima amid complaints he sat on proposals from foreign telcos while favoring Globe Telecom. Salalima used to be a chief legal counsel of Globe.


Iconic SyCip dies at 96, business mourns

Washington Sycip (photo by Manny Llanes)

The SGV & Co. took to Facebook to officially announce their founder’s passing.

“With deep sadness, the partners, principals and staff of SGV & Co. announce the passing of SGV Founder Washington SyCip on the 7th of October 2017. Mr. SyCip went quietly while on a flight to Vancouver from Manila. He was 96 years old. The SyCip family requests for some private time at this moment. Information on memorial service to follow. Please pray for the eternal repose of is soul,” SGV said.

Former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima also took to Twitter to announce his mentor’s demise.

“Today we mourn the profound loss of a dear boss, friend, and mentor. I owe much of who I am to the privilege of having been under his wing. Washington SyCip was a towering pillar of the Philippine economy. For decades, he stood as an exemplar of excellence and integrity while shining the light of his sage guidance on our business community. Wash lived a very full and meaningful life. I will miss you,” Purisima said.

Insurance Commissioner Rufino H. Abad took to his Facebook stating that SyCip’s remains will remain in a New York hospital while documents are being prepared.

“He was a true statesman and served our country well!! Rest in our Lord’s peace Mr. SyCip,” Abad mourned.

Business leaders, especially the accounting and auditing industry, mourned SyCip’s passing.

Teresita Sy Coson, chair of SM Investments shared her thought: “With sadness, we regret to inform that Mr. Washington SyCip passed away last night on his way to New York. He has been a highly valued adviser to the Board of Directors of BDO Unibank. We will always remember him for his guidance over the years.“

The auditing industry, who looked up to SyCip as the epitome of the profession, deeply mourned Sycip’s passing.

Former Bureau of Internal Revenue Kim Henares said, ”With his demise, we lost one of the great minds ever produced by the Philippines.”

“The auditing industry has a lot to thank him as he pioneered and saw the growth of the industry not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of Asia. But more importantly, he trained and was a great influence to a lot of the captains of industries.”

Marivic Espano, managing partner and CEO of P & A Grant Thornton, called Mr. SyCip “one of the great pillars of the profession and played a key role in shaping it. He built a strong firm that is acknowledged as a good training ground for CPAs. He is leader who believes in the goodness and talent of Filipinos.”

Business advisory firm Bower Group Asia also tweeted “RIP Mr. Washington SyCip. This great patriot & leader of the Philippines, we learned so much from him.”

The book “Wash, Only a Bookkeeper,” a biography of Washington Z. SyCip by Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. published on said that Mr. Sycip was born in Manila on June 30, 1921 to Albino and Helen Bau. Albino Z. SyCip was born in the Philippines in 1887; like many other Chinese immigrants, Albino had come over Fujian province in the late 19th century. Both come from well-off, progressive families.

The young SyCip would go on to become one of the foremost practitioners of accounting in the Philippines and Asia, as well as a prime advocate of closer cooperation between the Philippines, the United States, Europe and Asia.

He passed the examination for Certified Public Accountants at age 18, but was too young to receive a professional license to practice. The middle child in a brood of five decided instead to take his PhD in the United States at Columbia University. SyCip was working on his doctoral dissertation when Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base were bombed. He returned to Manila at the war’s end to be reunited with his family. Seeing great opportunities in the country’s postwar reconstruction, he set up his own accounting firm, W. SyCip & Co., in Binondo. As the business grew, SyCip with his longtime friend Alfredo M. Velayo, renamed the firm SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV).

After retiring from SGV in 1996, he continued to be active in business and civic endeavors, and sits on the board of many Philippine and international companies and foundations. His advocacies include the improvement of public education, micro finance and entrepreneurship, and public health. He is relentless in his pursuit to help alleviate poverty. A staunch believer in Filipino talent, SyCip is also an avatar of economic freedom, according to the book.

SyCip has been honored and his works recognized by various prestigious organizations and award-giving bodies.

The most recent was with the Edmonds Award for International Understanding by the New York-based International House. A philanthropist, SyCip was also conferred The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for his contribution in promoting stronger business ties between the Philippines and Japan by the Japanese government.

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