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Google Street View turns 15 with new camera, fresh features

May 27, 2022 5:18 p.m.

GOOGLE announced Street View’s newest camera and features in celebration of Street View’s 15th birthday to give people more ways to explore historical imagery and show how Street View is powering the future of Google Maps.

Here’s a quick look at Street View’s new camera system:

It weighs less than 15 pounds. This means it can be shipped anywhere. This is especially handy when Google works with partners around the world to capture imagery of traditionally under-mapped areas — like the Amazon jungle.

It’s incredibly customizable. Previously, an entirely new camera system was needed to collect different types of imagery.

But now, more can be added on to this modular camera with components like lidar — laser scanners — to collect imagery with even more details like lane markings or potholes. 

It can fit on any car. The new camera can be attached to any vehicle with a roof rack and operated right from a mobile device — no need for a specialized car or complex processing equipment.

This flexibility will make collections easier for partners all over the world, and allow Google to explore more sustainable solutions for its current fleet of cars — like plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles. People will start seeing the new camera in fun Google colors alongside our iconic Street View cars and trekkers next year.

Traveling back in time with Street View

Street View is all about capturing the world as it changes, and it’s also a powerful way to reminisce about the past. Starting today on Android and iOS globally, it’s now easier than ever to travel back in time using mobile phones. 

When viewing Street View imagery of a place, tap anywhere on the photo to see information about the location. Then tap “See more dates” to see the historical imagery of that place, dating back to when Street View launched in 2007.

Browse each of the images to see a digital time capsule that shows how a place has changed — like how the Vessel in New York City’s Hudson Yards grew from the ground up.

Building a more helpful, immersive map

Street View is also an essential part of how Google maps the world.

Here’s how it works:

Updates to business information that reflect our changing world. Google uses Street View imagery coupled with AI to make helpful updates to Google Maps — such as adding newly opened businesses, surfacing new hours at favorite restaurants and updating speed limit information.

In fact, over the last three years, AI has helped Google make over 25 billion updates to Maps to provide as fresh information as possible.

Easier than ever navigation, indoors and out.

Street View imagery powers popular features like Live View, which allows people to use their phone’s camera to overlay navigation instructions on top of the real world.

A more immersive experience.

Thanks to advances in computer vision and AI over the last several years, Google can fuse together billions of Street View and aerial images to create a rich, digital model of places around the world.

With the new immersive view launching later this year, people can easily glide down to street level on Maps and even check out the inside of a business as if they were walking around.

Google Street View is also celebrating its 15th birthday by looking back at some of its awesome collections through the years. Check them out on this blog post.

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A star is born: NU Lady Bulldog Belen makes history as UAAP’s 1st Rookie of Year/MVP

June 21, 2022 6:34 p.m.

Mhicaela Belen was hailed as the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player – making her the first-ever in the league’s long history.

National University’s Belen was just everywhere, leading the league in the service department at 0.47 per set, while also placing second in spiking with a 38.96 success rate, and third in scoring with 203 points in the elimination round.

With her outstanding all-around offensive prowess, she also bagged the 1st Best Outside Hitter as well.

Her defense was top-notch as well, going sixth in reception at a 40.85 efficiency rate while being eighth in digs at 2.38 per set.

Belen also knotted Dzi Gervacio’s record in most service aces in a single match with eighth. She did it against University of the Philippines last June 4.

The undefeated Lady Bulldogs dominated the other individual awards as well with Camilla Lamina and Jen Nierva copping Best Setter and Best Libero plums. Alyssa Solomon won the Best Opposite Spiker award.

Lamina tallied 5.81 excellent sets per set, while Nierva registered a 55.96 receiving percentage and 4.4 digs per set. Solomon had 145 spikes on a 38.98 percent success rate.

De La Salle University’s Thea Gagate emerged as this year’s 1st Best Middle Blocker with 0.6 blocks per set and 30 total blocks, while Lady Bulldog Sheena Toring got the 2nd Best Middle Blocker with an average of 0.47 per set and 22 total blocks.

Ateneo de Manila University’s Faith Nisperos nabbed the 2nd Best Outside Hitter trophy to round out the awardees, delivering 228 total spikes on a 34.86 percent success rate.

All of the student-athletes in the All-UAAP team are products of Nazareth School-National University.

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NBA to refurbish basketball court in Bulacan as part of league’s 75th anniversary celebration

June 17, 2022 8:10 p.m.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced it will dedicate a new NBA Cares Live, Learn or Play center in the Philippines with a basketball court refurbishment at the Enchanted Farm village of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, Inc. (GK), a local non-profit organization that aims to alleviate poverty through affordable housing and community development programs, in Angat, Bulacan.

The project, which is part of the leaguewide NBA 75th Live, Learn or Play initiative to create and dedicate more than 50 new NBA Cares Live, Learn or Play Centers during the 2021-22 season, will begin this month and the refurbished court will be presented to the GK community in August with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and youth basketball clinic.

“The NBA’s mission is to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball and create a lasting impact in the communities where we operate,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Ramez Sheikh. 

“The Philippines has been an integral part of the league’s 75-year history, and this initiative with Gawad Kalinga reinforces our commitment to bringing Filipinos together through their shared love of the game.”

NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the U.S. and around the world.  Internationally, NBA Cares has created more than 357 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play in 40 countries and territories. 

In July 2017, the NBA revamped an indoor court in Santa Mesa, Manila which was part of a regional NBA Cares initiative that refurbished courts across Southeast Asia.

For all the latest NBA news and updates, visit www.nba.com and follow NBA Philippines on Facebook and Twitter

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Newest Reveal in Pokémon series: Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet coming in November

June 4, 2022 7:02 p.m.

The Pokémon Company is pleased to announce the official release date of Nintendo Switch software titles Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet on Friday, November 18, 2022. The scheduled release will reveal a new cover art with the legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon!

Appearing in these new titles, the new legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon are on each cover. The title logos are embellished with foil stamp-like designs that include Legendary Pokémon motifs. The packages of these games look similar to old book covers that evoke anticipation that a new story lies before you that’s about to begin.

Legendary Pokémon Koraidon and Miraidon

Koraidon is a legendary Pokémon that you can meet in Pokémon Scarlet, while Miraidon is a legendary Pokémon you can meet in Pokémon Violet. These two Pokémon are said to have powers that far surpass those of other Pokémon, however, details about Koraidon and Miraidon are still shrouded in mystery.

The World of the Pokémon has Evolved

Pokémon is a game for all ages and Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet are the first open-world RPGs in the series. As you enjoy the hallmarks of the series—meeting, teaming up with, battling, training, and trading Pokémon—you’ll also be able to immerse yourself in a newly evolved adventure.

In an unbound adventure spread across an open world, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet offer you an open-world experience that only the Pokémon series can deliver—one that is welcoming even to newcomers to the series.

You can experience a new style of adventure in a world where you’re free to explore at your leisure, unhampered by following a story. You will, of course, have to embark on a journey to hone your skills as a Pokémon Trainer, but many more discoveries and stories await you. You will be able to meet a variety of people and Pokémon, and have new adventures in the world of Pokémon the way you want to.

For deeper experience with multiplayer gameplay, Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet allow multiplayer gameplay with up to four players. Along with series staples, such as trading and battling Pokémon, you will be able to explore the various locations of the region in these games with other players. You can discover new Pokémon and explore unfamiliar areas with your friends and family, opening the door to an adventure more precious and fun than ever!

New Pokémon and Characters to Meet

Three Pokémon from which you’ll choose your first partner have been revealed: Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxl.  With their unique personalities and abilities in battle, imagine how your own adventures with them might unfold!

Sprigatito is capricious and attention-seeking. It may sulk if it sees its Trainer giving attention to a Pokémon other than itself.

A Kneading Move That Releases a Sweet Aroma

When Sprigatito kneads and rubs with its forepaws, a sweet aroma is released that can mesmerize those around it. This aroma has therapeutic qualities and makes opponents lose their will to battle.

Fur with a Similar Composition to Plants

The composition of its fluffy fur is similar to that of plants, letting it create energy by absorbing sunlight. It adds moisture to its fur by grooming itself, which aids its ability to photosynthesize.

Fuecoco is laid-back and does things at its own pace. It loves to eat, and it will sprint toward any food it finds with a glint in its eye.

Scales That Absorb Heat

External heat is absorbed by the square scales on Fuecoco’s stomach and back, then converted into fire energy. These scales are always warm, and at times they can also grow very hot.

Overflowing Fire Energy

Flickering atop Fuecoco’s head is fire energy that is leaking out from inside the Pokémon’s body. When Fuecoco gets excited, its head spouts more flames.

Quaxly is a serious-mannered Pokémon that will follow in its Trainer’s wake. It’s tidy, and it especially dislikes getting its head dirty.

A Glossy Gel Protects Its Body

Its body is always glossy because the gel secreted by its feathers repels water and grime. The coif on its head is slicked back using a rich, moist cream, and it becomes unkempt when dry.

It Uses Its Strong Legs to Swim Freely

It has strong legs and is able to swim without difficulty even in places with strong currents. In battle, it kicks its opponents swiftly and repeatedly.

Two different professors—their appearance depends on the version of the game

For the first time in the series, one of two different professors will appear in your game depending on the version you choose to play.

In Pokémon Scarlet, you will meet Professor Sada, and in Pokémon Violet, you will meet Professor Turo. Each is carrying out research into certain lore passed down in the region.

Nemona, a powerful Pokémon Trainer

Your friend and rival, Nemona, has a sunny and energetic disposition, and she absolutely loves Pokémon battles. She’s an experienced Pokémon Trainer and serves as a reliable guide for you on your adventures. She has undisputed skill in battle—though it does also seem that she’s not the best at throwing Poké Balls.

In Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, Nemona uses three never-before-seen Pokémon waiting to meet you.

Pawmi has electricity-discharging organs on its forepaws. In addition to the electric sacs in its cheeks, Pawmi has electricity-discharging organs on its forepaws. It generates electricity by rubbing its cheeks, then it shocks its opponents by touching them with the pads on its forepaws.

Thick Fur That Stores Electricity

Not only is the fur that covers its body good insulation against the cold, but it also serves the purpose of storing electricity. When it feels uneasy, this cautious Pokémon will begin rubbing its cheeks, preparing itself to discharge an electric shock.

Lechonk is a gourmand with an excellent nose. It  uses its sense of smell to find and eat only the most fragrant wild grass and the richest Berries. As a result of its dining habits, it has come to radiate an aroma resembling herbs that bug Pokémon dislike.

Timid and Fainthearted—but Also Strong

If attacked by an opponent and startled, it will charge forward in a panic. It may appear fat at first glance, but in reality, the Pokémon’s body is mostly muscle built by constantly walking around in search of food.

Smoliv has oil so bitter and astringent it will make you flinch. The oil that comes out of its head has a very strong bitter taste, and it is not suitable for consumption. When startled or attacked, Smoliv will shoot this oil out, slowing its opponent down. It will then seize that moment to run away.

Fine without Eating or Drinking

In the fruit on its head, Smoliv stores oil made from nutrients it gathers through photosynthesis. As a result, it can go for a week without eating or drinking. It prefers dry and sunny climates, and it seems to spend its days sunbathing.

A Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet Double Pack is set for Release

Moreover, a Double Pack that includes a Pokémon Scarlet game and a Pokémon Violet game will be released on the same day as the individual games.

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