This week’s ICYME brings you the hot topics you need to keep your eye on.
- Bye-bye Project Ara! It was a cool idea—hot-swappable smartphone components that got rid of the need to upgrade phones when you just want a specific upgrade. Alas, the idea didn’t seem viable enough for Google that they had to shelve it. However, Google is supposedly still open to working with other companies to license the technology. The idea also lives on in the likes of the LG G5 and the Moto Z and its Moto Mods.
- Ayala kicks off self-driving initiative. Ayala Corp. seems to be venturing into a new territory with its new venture: self-driving cars. The conglomerate hopes to invest as much as P4.7 billion to turn the country into a Southeast Asian hub for manufacturing self-driving cars. Ayala is supposedly in talks with “more than three” companies and they currently have interests in Isuzu, Honda, and Volkswagen car dealerships in the country. They hope to wrap-up negotiations soon and start the project within the next three years.
- Hooray for Stranger Things Season 2! When Millie Bobby Brown a.k.a. Eleven was in town for Asia Pop Comic Con, she wouldn’t say if season 2 was coming but a few days after that we get official word that it’s coming back with our favorite cast. As for Barb coming back? Well, we’re not so sure.
- Pray for Davao. Following the horrific bombing at a Davao City night market, it calls for us as a nation to rally together behind our leaders. The PNP officials are already eyeing three persons of interest related to the case. We send our prayers and love to our countrymen there. And with a declaration of a state of lawless violence or lawlessness in place and heightened alert of our officials, now is also the time you remember your rights, too, especially when it comes to proper conduct at checkpoints.
- Seven turns unlucky for Samsung. Despite earning stellar scores in reviews, including our own, the Samsung Galaxy Note7 runs into a big speedbump with its battery. Samsung says that a bunch of its users have reported exploding batteries in their new Note7. Not shying away from a critical issue, Samsung is issuing a global recall for its new phablet. Local telcos have already promised new S7 units as a temporary or permanent replacement for its Note7-endowed subscribers.
- Rest in peace, Gene Wilder! The veteran actor Gene Wilder has passed away at age 83 from complications with Alzheimer’s disease. Known mostly for his role as Willy Wonka, he has acted in known movies like The Producers and Blazing Saddles. Here’s some trivia: prior to shooting Willy Wonka, he arranged to not meet the movie’s child actors. Their awestruck looks when the gates of the Chocolate Factory were actually genuine as it was their first time meeting the superstar.
- Going cashless with BPI. beep™ cards have been in circulation for quite a while now. These cashless reloadable cards are turning into staples for a Filipino commuter’s repertoire. Now, BPI has partnered with beep™ and Gemalto to provide more cashless convenience for shoppers all around the city.
- Culture connoisseurs unite! If you’re an avid consumer of cuisine or literature, you might be delighted to know that big personalities like Nigella Lawson, Haruki Murakami, and Mario Vargas Llosa are set to visit our country in the near future.