Alibaba to bolster digitalization for more efficient, sustainable, inclusive Olympic Winter Games
February 22, 2022 5:44 p.m.
IN an effort to bolster the International Olympic Committee’s digitalization efforts, Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has successfully migrated its core games technology services to Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. The migration has occurred against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic, in order to create a safer, more efficient, sustainable and inclusive experience for participants and audiences from around the world.
“The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 will not just be remembered by the excitement and the phenomenal achievements brought by the athletes from across the world, but also for the new benchmarks it had set for driving a more efficient, sustainable and inclusive Olympic Games,” said Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
“We are proud to be supporting the digitalization of the Olympic Games, and we hope our experience in hosting Beijing 2022’s core operating systems on Alibaba Cloud will be passed on to future sporting events.”
Advanced cloud capability to boost organizer efficiency
The IOC and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games executed a master plan for the Olympic Winter Games. It includes the implementation of key operational systems delivered by the IOC’s Worldwide IT Partner Atos, such as the Games Management Systems, Olympics Management Systems and Olympics Distribution Systems. These have all been migrated to Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure.
The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has realized a further move to cloud-based services, further reducing the time and cost investment on IT infrastructure, hardware and associated management. With the advanced cloud-based capability to analyze real-time intelligence, the planning and management for Beijing 2022 was further streamlined and improved for more seamless user experience.
Taking advantage of the scalability, reliability and security features of the cloud infrastructure, event organizers like the IOC can reduce the complexity of the game planning based on intelligence-driven decisions; striking for the right balance between optimizing existing resources and creating new ones.
That way hosting cities can also reduce the time and costs associated with the legacy physical infrastructure investment upfront.
Cloud technology helps bring the world closer together
Beijing 2022 also showcased a series of technological innovations developed to bring more inclusive experiences for fans in multiple locations. Alibaba introduced Cloud ME, a cloud-powered realistic projection that facilitates remote social interactions. The technology defies distances by enabling people to meet and converse with each other’s life-sized, true-to-life persona projections.
In addition, Alibaba unveiled Dong Dong, a 22-year-old virtual influencer. Originating from Beijing, Dong Dong was created to interact with fans globally, sharing fun and informative Olympic-related facts.
Speaking in a natural-sounding human voice, she can convey a range of emotions. This has proven to be particularly efficient for engaging with the younger audience.
From February 4 to 20, Dong Dong’s livestreaming has been viewed by more than 2 million viewers with a fan base of more than 100,000.
To deliver the best Olympics content to a global audience, Alibaba’s cloud computing technology also powers the Olympic Channel Services, which brings high quality programs to fans around the world to engage with the Olympic Movement anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
Sustainable innovations for the future of Olympics
For the first time the distribution of live signals of the Olympic Games over the cloud has been implemented, providing Rights Holding Broadcasters with agile and cost-effective options. Through the Olympic Winter Games, 6,000 hours of footage were produced by the OBS and broadcasted to more than 220 countries and territories.
The OBS Video Server, which was fully hosted in the cloud, provides RHBs with efficient and scalable system while reducing onsite hardware investment. With Content+, RHBs could access all content produced during the Olympic Winter Games, including the live coverages, remotely with ease.
The implementation of OBS Live Cloud also provides an alternative to heavy investment for RHBs and the host cities, when the Olympic Games related contents can be transmitted over the public cloud, effectively reducing the carbon footprint of broadcasting related operations.
In addition, OBS also leveraged multi-camera replay videos with Alibaba, providing replays of competition highlights for curling and speed skating within seconds, bringing engaging and dynamic viewing experiences to audience around the world via RHBs on the cloud.
Ilario Corna, Chief Information Technology Officer, IOC said, “Beijing 2022 should champion innovation as well as sporting success. I am thrilled to see that the cloud-based technology in action at the Olympic Winter Games not only benefits athletes, fans and operating staff, but also helps us to honor our ambition to ensure the Olympic Games are at the forefront of sustainability.”
Atayde bats for moratorium on student loan payments during emergencies, calamities
March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.
STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).
The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.
He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.
It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.
“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”
“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.
The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.
“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”
The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.
“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.
ShopeePay now available as a payment method for App Store, other Apple services in PH
March 16, 2023 1:59 p.m.
Beginning today, ShopeePay, Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, is now available as a payment method for Apple services in the Philippines. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.
The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card and still allows for easy, secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and iPad, or on their Mac or PC.
Agatha Soh, Director at ShopeePay commented, “ShopeePay is committed to meeting the needs of users who are increasingly expecting seamless payments across all platforms. We are excited to offer ShopeePay as a convenient payment option for our customers, and expand access to digital payments, benefitting more users.”
For more information on how to add ShopeePay as a payment method, please visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201266 or https://shopee.ph/m/ShopeePay-Apple-ID-PH.
Be bolder, braver, more confident at SM Supermalls’ Women’s Month celebration!
March 8, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Ladies, take center stage as SM celebrates Women Power throughout the month of March. Lots of activities both online and on-ground are in store to empower women and girls all over the country.
Join the Future of Women Global Summit
SM Supermalls will be joining UN Women in kicking off the IWD 2023 celebration through a women’s summit on March 8, at the SM Aura Premier Samsung Hall. Focusing on the future of women in ICT, the two-part event will gather young women, country leaders, policy makers, and advocates together to share perspectives and affirm their commitment to supporting digital equality for women and girls.
Photo courtesy of SM City Lucena
Photo courtesy of SM City San Jose del Monte
Support your local Womenpreneurs
Great finds for ladies are on sale at the SM Womenpreneur Market! This pop-up of small and medium businesses owned by women for women will give you everything you need from food and beauty to wellness and fashion!
Wednesdays are for women!
Shopping on Wednesdays has become even more tempting because the Women’s Wednesday Sale is back! Achieve the glow-up you deserve with special discounts, deals, and promos on fashion, beauty, and fitness exclusively for women every Wednesday of March. So don’t hold back on your shopping; you deserve all these and more!
A beautiful treat of wellness all for you
Forda glow-up and pampering sesh tayo this month because lots of self-care deals are available at the Women’s Wellness Sale. Avail of great deals from wellness salons on facials, hair and body treatments, nail care, and massage from March 1 to March 31.
And more deals online!
Special deals are up for women via the SM Malls Online app. Get the best brand offerings every Wednesday from shoes and beauty and wellness to home and hobbies. Use the code WOMEN and get an extra 10% off, capped at 250. What’s great is that there’s no minimum purchase required!
Also, a collection of brand vouchers will be sent to all women SM Malls Online shoppers valid all month. Wait for your Beauty Pass and give yourself the retail therapy you deserve with tons of discounts, GWP deals, samplers, in-store pick up bonuses, and mystery boxes!
Plus, the SM Malls Online app will be hosting self-care sessions online. Follow SM Supermalls on social media to get a dose of starter packages, Get-Ready-With-Me routines, and beauty products that your favorite beauty experts swear by.
Photo courtesy of SM City East Ortigas
Photo courtesy of SM City Manila
Celebrate Women Power on IG!
Capture the beauty and power of women at the beautiful spots and installations all over SM. Be free to express your own uniqueness and creativity in the specially-designed selfie spaces in partnership with Selfie Studio. Don’t forget to tag us on IG!
We don’t know about you but exciting days await every SM woman. So be bolder, braver, and more confident! With these activities, you can confidently step forward in fashion, beauty, wellness, and express yourselves to make a positive impact.
Stay updated on all things women this IWD 2023 by visiting www.smsupermalls.com and following @smsupermalls on social media.