Tech today: A new PH esport league, Tesla 'dog mode,' Theranos documentary

The Nationals esport league begins in March

A new esports league, The Nationals, will be coming this March, featuring the games Dota 2, Tekken 7, and Mobile Legends.

Commissioner Ren Vitug said one of the league's goals is to make the whole affair more professional. “With the start of The Nationals, we are taking a significant step in achieving the maturity and accountability needed for our players to mature and be more competitive. The Nationals can provide stability, exposure, and opportunity for raw talents - of which we have aplenty – so that they can be harnessed to their full potential,” says Ren Vitug, the league's commissioner.

The Nationals kicks off on March 17. You can watch it on the EGG Channel on Cignal TV or on ESPN5.

Tesla cars' “dog mode” to roll out soon

Tesla cars will soon be able to detect if there’s a dog inside the car, and upon detection will keep the temperature cool and display a message on the screen that says that the dog is safe.  The feature was first brought up on October 2018. Months since then, Elon Musk tweeted that dog mode would roll out this week to Tesla cars. 

Sentry Mode (and Dog Mode) roll out next week — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2019


China’s dual personality on data privacy

China is a surveillance state with provisions in the law that allow the government to ask private tech companies to hand over data when needed. It’s among the primary points of contention of the US, some European countries, and other allies in blocking Huawei and ZTE equipment from telco infrastructure.

But while the government appears to have absolute power over the demand for user data, there’s also a movement that’s trying to protect people from having their data collected by private companies. There’s a framework in place with similarities to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – although China’s is still far less mature.

The ongoing duality has led to conflicting policies. Privacy laws state that e-commerce sites should immediately delete user data but another law mandates that user data must be retained so that the government can request. Their cybersecurity law limits data collection by requiring consent but also increases the power of the government to ask for more data.

It’s something to keep an eye on, especially as Huawei continues to be in global headlines.

Theranos documentary to debut on HBO

A documentary on Theranos, the disgraced US medical technology company which falsely claimed that they could do crucial blood tests with a very little amount of blood, is set to premiere on HBO in the US on March 18. Expect it to be available locally soon after.

Like Fyre Festival, the Theranos story runs on a similar thread: bold-talking CEO gathers huge money from investors to put into an amazing dream product that never really materializes.

Theranos is on a completely different scale money-wise though. Fyre Festival’s McFarland raised around $26 million for the festival; Theranos, before the technology was found to be fraudulent raised, around $724 million in its more than 10-year run.

PLDT, Globe expected to sell 16,000 towers for collective use

Makati City representative Luis Campos Jr, in an email on Sunday, February 10, expects both PLDT and Globe to sell a number of towers to 7 private firms permitted by the government to operate.

The firms will be building shared towers that can be used by any telco player as opposed to one tower being exclusive to one company. Having shared towers would allow a telco player to focus on expanding coverage area rather than building towers, with the hope that average internet speeds in the country improve.

The DICT believes that aside from these 16,000 towers, another 50,000 have to be built to improve speeds.

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.