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Lenovo unveils world’s first smartphones powered by Virtual Reality (VR) technology

Lenovo has launched its VIBE X3 and VIBE K4 Note, the world’s first smartphones powered by Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

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Lenovo has launched its VIBE X3 and VIBE K4 Note, the world’s first smartphones powered by Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

The Lenovo VIBE X3 has the world’s first chambered front stereo speakers, providing users Dolby ATMOS audio experience. It has a 32-bit mobile audio DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) that ensures low distortion and audio clarity. It also has configured three-mic system and Wolfson audio codec.

The VIBE X3 is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor with 3GB of RAM, and runs on Android 5.1 operating system. It has a built-in storage of 32GB, which is expandable up to 160GB. The device has a 3600mAh battery. With a 1920 x 1080 resolution, the VIBE X3 also comes with a 5.5-inch full high-definition wide view display that has a 178-degree wide viewing angle and a high contrast level of 1500:1.

The VIBE X3 similarly has a 21MP PDAF rear camera with 4K Ultra HD video recording capabilities and 8MP front camera.

VIBE X3-2VIBE X3-3VIBE X3-4

Like VIBE X3, the Lenovo VIBE K4 Note also has a 5.5-inch full high-definition display with 178-degree viewing angle and 1080-pixel clarity. The VIBE K4 Note comes with an internal storage of 16GB, which is expandable up to 144GB. It also has security features including fingerprint and NFC sensors.

The device also has a configured three-mic system and Wolfson audio codec, and built with twin front ported stereo speakers that are enabled by Dolby ATMOS. It also has a 13MP PDAF rear camera and a 5MP fixed-focused selfie camera.

Powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor, VIBE K4 Note runs Android 5.1 operating system, has 3GB of RAM and a 3300mAh battery. Storage is at 16GB and can be expanded up to 144GB.

READ:  Latest and greatest, or tried and true? Upgrading to the newest devices

VIBE X3-5

The VIBE X3, which is available in Pearl White, can be acquired at P22,099; while the VIBE K4 Note, available in Matte White and Matte Black, is priced at P10,699. Both devices are bundled with a free VR headset, screen protector and a back cover.

Both models will be upgradeable to Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Art to push the curious to explore

Check out Copenhagen-based artist Spurv, whose erotic art pieces reached/touched others, particularly those “like me (who) have the curiosity to explore, and the people who are afraid to dare.”

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Sometime in 2015, Copenhagen-based artist Spurv started making erotic art pieces. It was, he said to Outrage Magazine, “somehow my personal journey through sex life where I explore my hidden sides, curiosities, fetishes, desires, limits, et cetera.

And so – in not so many words – Spurv said that without wanting to sound self-centered, he was “inspired by life itself – my life.”

Here’s the thing, though: although his artworks are “my story”, Spurv’s work eventually reached/touched other people, particularly those “like me (who) have the curiosity to explore, and the people who are afraid to dare.”

Spurv uses the old technique of gravure, this time on linoleum to create linocuts (block prints).

Linocut, a printmaking technique that is a variant of woodcut where a sheet of linoleum is used for a relief surface; the design is cut into the linoleum surface with a knife and the raised/uncarved areas represent a reversal/mirror image of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is then inked with a roller, and then impressed onto paper or fabric.

“I chose (this technique) because I find very appealing (in creating) the contrast between this technique and the depicted topic of gay fetish,” Spurv said.

His subjects are actually reminiscent of Tom of Finland, Hal Fischer, Jim Wigler, Rinaldo Hopf and Etienne (among others), adapting the same raw approach to (male-to-male) sex/sexuality. And yes, as he noted, the use of linocut – instead of sketching/drawing/painting/photography – differentiates Spurv’s works.

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Obviously, Spurv is cognizant of how – even if erotic art is now very pervasive – it continues to be frowned upon. But not wanting to go deeper into this topic, he said that appreciating this necessitates going deeper to see beyond the superficial perspectives/POVs/analyses.

With art, Spurv said that there is no need to compare oneself with others, particularly since “every artist depicts his own universe in his own way. This is not a competition.”

For up-and-coming artists, “I would always encourage people to know and then express themselves (since being able to) express themselves in an artistic way is a blessing,” Spurv said. So, just like the many males in his artworks, going about discovering their sexuality, “fear is not an option.”

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Apple blocks its LGBTQI Pride watch face in Russia

While Apple regularly brandishes its “unwavering commitment to equality and diversity” in highly-produced LGBTQI Pride videos, the company – apparently – has its limits, with its Pride Apple Watch face hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.

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In case anyone forgets: Pride support has its limits for businesses.

While Apple regularly brandishes its “unwavering commitment to equality and diversity” in highly-produced LGBTQI Pride videos, the company – apparently – has its limits, with its Pride Apple Watch face hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.

As its is, Apple support forum users have been questioning the lack of a Pride watch face in Russia. The company – helmed by an openly gay man himself, CEO Tim Cook – first introduced its Pride Apple Watch face during the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, drawing inspiration from the rainbow flag to celebrate LGBTQI Pride and stand against discrimination of LGBTQI people.

But tested on an iPhone running the latest iOS 12 beta, the Pride watch face simply disappears once a user switches to a Russian location.

In 2013, Russia implemented a “gay propaganda” law that – according to the European Court of Human Rights – reinforces prejudice and encourages homophobia. The law comes with the threat of jail time and fines for what Russia deems to be offensive speech.

With the non-appearance of the Pride-related product, Apple seems to be avoiding this particular legal quandary.

Apple sells a special Pride edition Apple Watch strap, donating a portion of the proceeds toward LGBTQI advocacy organizations. But the same product is also not available in Russia, one of the countries with worsening LGBTQI-related situations and where the support is most needed.

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With this, the company worth about $945 billion in June highlights many companies’ “we support you… but only to an extent” approach to LGBTQI Pride. Just this August, for instance, Unilever in the Philippines started to offer a 20-day paid leave for fathers, healthcare benefits for same-sex partners and paid absences for adoptive parents. But the company has also been accused of putting profit before the human rights of LGBTQIA people – e.g. Unilever North Africa Middle East has production facilities in countries such as Tunisia and Algeria, where – according to a 2015 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association – homosexual activity continues to be illegal.

Unilever starts offering 20-day paternity leave, same-sex partner benefits in Phl

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

The history of treasured traditions: The wedding ring

To give you an idea of how this common trend came about, this post will be exploring the historical origins of the wedding ring, while also helping you to find one which suits you.

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There are a lot of traditions which people follow in the modern world. From celebrating people’s birthdays to seeing in the year with fireworks, there are loads of different rituals which are performed for different ceremonies. Of course, as one of the biggest and most respected traditions, wedding rings play a huge role in a lot of people’s relationships. Where exactly does this come from, though?

To give you an idea of how this common trend came about, this post will be exploring the historical origins of the wedding ring, while also helping you to find one which suits you.

In Ancient Times: The earliest recorded examples of the use of wedding rings was in Ancient Egypt. In reality, though, these aren’t the sorts of rings which people use today, and the ritual you follow will be much closer to those carried out by Ancient Greek and Roman couples. In most cases, the couple will wear a ring each before they are married, swapping to something even fancier once the big day has passed. Sometimes, though, only the women will wear the ring before the big day.

Over time, the styles of rings being worn have changed significantly, though the gesture still means much the same thing. Wearing partner rings symbolizes a deep connection between you and your other half, showing the world that you are unified in love. Of course, though, as long as you like the ring you choose, it doesn’t matter what it is supposed to convey, as you wear them for each other, not the people seeing you day to day.

A Tradition Adapts: Like many traditions throughout history, wedding rings have slowly adapted into the objects you know today. Making their way from Greece and Rome into the rest of Europe was only possible thanks to the church. Having quickly adopting this tradition, it’s no wonder that most people assume Christianity was the mother of the wedding ring. In reality, though, they came long before this massive religion.

What We Have Today: Finally, as the last area to think about, the rings on offer today are much different to those found in the past. With companies like 77 Diamonds working tirelessly to create perfect pieces for weddings, it’s easy to find a ring which matches the way you feel about each other. In the past, people wouldn’t have this choice, often having to opt for the cheapest option around. Of course, though, as this ring is supposed to mean something, the price you pay shouldn’t matter, and this object will mean the world to you no matter what.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, you will be feeling ready to tackle the job of buying your wedding ring. A lot of people spend weeks or months looking for this part of their big day. In reality, though, this should be one of the easiest pieces to choose, especially once you have an idea of what they mean. This ring will be with you for the rest of your life.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Patient shopper, savvy saver

The good bit is that saving for a house doesn’t have to be a lengthy, stressful and drawn-out affair. You need a good strategy and a level of patience though. And if you’re a savvy shopper already, then you’re going to stand in good stead when it comes to getting that deposit.

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Everyone loves to shop, right? Well, the biggest purchase that most people will ever make in their lives is that of their house. Choosing to go shopping for a house is a big deal, and if you are fortunate enough to be in a position of lining up viewings to go and make the biggest decision you could make for your wallet, embrace it. It’s not a position everyone is lucky enough to be in, and if you love to shop, this is about to be the best shopping trip of your life. The only real downside? The cost. A house is an expensive venture and you can’t just pick one off the shelf. There are rules, deposits, fees, legal requirements – so many hoops to jump through for the purchase of a house, and it’s all on you to ensure that you jump those hoops and make it work.

The good bit is that saving for a house doesn’t have to be a lengthy, stressful and drawn-out affair. You need a good strategy and a level of patience though. And if you’re a savvy shopper already, then you’re going to stand in good stead when it comes to getting that deposit.

Saving for a house deposit is an insane task, so you can’t look at the whole amount and try to save that. A good bit of advice is to break down those savings into more manageable bites; smaller goals are always far easier to achieve. The best piece of advice you will ever find is that you should be a far savvier shopper to get where you want to go. The more time that you put into saving, the bigger the deposit you will have, meaning that you could have far more choice for the home that you want, or you could put on a smaller deposit and use the rest of the cash to furnish the place. In the meantime, though, you need to decide whether you have the patience and the grit about you to manage to make the savings that you need to make and change your life to, well, change your life. Below, we’ve put together some of our favorite savings ideas to help you get to your dream home.

Shop Smart. A big part of buying a house is dreaming up how to furnish and decorate it, right? Well, if you start shopping at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DealDash, you’re going to get some fantastic deals and you’re able to bid on the items that you want. You could furnish your entire property and find some excellent statement pieces to ensure that your house is stylish and as up to date as your budget allows you to be.

Shop Savvy. You know your incoming and your outgoing amounts of money, right? Well, it’s time to look at what you buy and make some savvy swaps. Do you love the branded cheese at the store that costs $10? Did you know you could pretty much get the same flavor of cheese for $4 less by choosing the store brand? That $4 may not seem like a lot, but when you buy cheese every week, you could move that little bit of cash into your savings account and boom, you’ve saved $200 in a year. Being smart about your swaps while you shop can really make a huge dent in your savings account, and you won’t be putting anything to waste while you do it. You have to still make yourself happy, though, so don’t swap to things that you genuinely don’t like.

Income Smart. When you get your paycheck, you’ve already divided it up to go where you need it to go to make ends meet. So, it’s time to take your savings out of your total amount before you’ve even got your check. Are you aiming to save $400 a month and you earn $2500? Well, from now on you only earn $2100. That additional chunk of cash cannot be touched, and you can set up an immediate payment on payday each month so that you’re not tempted to touch it. Don’t try to live first and save second, because you’ll never make those savings that you are so desperate to make.

Income Savvy. If you don’t feel like your full-time job makes you enough money to save, it’s time to get savvy with your income. Pick up a second job at a bar or pull extra freelance work from home. You need to savvy with your income so that you can continue to live at a rate that you are accustomed and yet make it work with your savings at the same time. Pulling a second job doesn’t have to mean you spend every spare hour working but imagine how much that you could bring in by doing two evenings a week as a delivery driver. Those shifts driving around can change your income dramatically.

Sell Smart. That car that you barely use? Sell it. Those electronics gathering dust in the garage? Sell those, too. You can look at your whole house and see a goldmine of cash just sat there waiting for you to capitalize on. If you are smart about where you sell things, you can ensure that you get the best prices for them, and really ramp up your house deposit amount.

Sell Savvy. Don’t get ripped off when selling your things. Sure, you’re looking to make some quick money, but not quick enough that you are underpaid for the things you’ve put cash into. Don’t be taken for a ride, and don’t settle for less than what you truly want for your items.

Getting that house deposit together is not going to take you forever and if you are committed, you can really see that savings account grow over time. Don’t waste any time, either. The whole property market can shift on a dime and you could lose all your plans. Make a plan, stick to it and be patient. You’ve got this.

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NEWSMAKERS

LGBTQI writers from VisMin to release anthology

Noting that queer identity in the Philippine literature in Binisaya remains underrepresented and almost invisible, LGBTQI writers from the Visayas and Mindanao are slated to release an anthology called Libulan.

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Noting that queer identity in the Philippine literature in Binisaya remains underrepresented and almost invisible, LGBTQI writers from the Visayas and Mindanao are slated to release an anthology called Libulan.

According to Alton Melvar Dapanas, one of the people behind Libulan, local literature (sometimes branded as ‘regional’ by those who subscribe to the center-periphery orientations in what is supposed to be a necessarily plural ‘national’ literatures) is part of the “critical and creative interests” of VisMin writers who write poetry, fiction, essay/creative nonfiction, and drama in the Binisaya language.

However, even if there are already numerous literary masters from these parts of the country, including the likes of “Vicente Vivencio Bandillo, Junne Canizares, Austrelgena Espina-Moore, Marcel Navarra, Arturo Peñaserada, Ester Tapia, Macario Tiu, Don Pagusara, and Gardiopatra Quijano whose aesthetics is now seen through the works of Cora Almerino, Richel Dorotan, Cindy Velasquez, CD Borden, Ton Daposala, and many others”, Dapanas said that “the queer identity in the Philippine literature in Binisaya remains underrepresented and almost invisible.”

This is, therefore, the intent of Libulan: “To offer writers (queer and straight allies alike) from Visayas and Mindanao a platform where being queer and being different is celebrated,” Dapanas said. “Through our literary anthology, we offer a venue for queer writers and queer characters and queer sensibilities. We queer a space where writers and their writings can experiment and test the limits of the genres and the language.”

“We do not claim for this work to be the definitive or to be the perfect representation of queer voices in the south. As seen in the fewer contributions from our lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brethren, more work still has to be done in reaching out to accommodate more voices in future collections. We hope that this will be a start,” Alton Melvar Dapanas said.

The editors of the anthology are poet-essayist Dapanas from Cagayan de Oro and fictionist-playwright R Joseph Dazo from Cebu. The two co-founded the Libulan Queer Collective, a queer writers’ bloc of poets, essayists, fictionists and playwrights from the southern Philippines who is behind “Payag Habagatan: New Writings from the South”, a digital literary journal of new Visayan and Mindanaoan literatures; the Cebu Young Writers’ Studio, a regional creative writing workshop in Central Visayas; and the Cagayan de Oro Young Writers’ Studio, its counterpart in Northern Mindanao.

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Queer studies scholar Miguel Antonio N. Lizada from Davao and a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University-Department of English will write the anthology’s introduction. While visual artist Armand Jake Dayoha is the layout editor.

Writers whose works will appear in the anthology include: Jaime An Lim, John Iremil Teodoro, Jerry B. Gracio, Jhoanna Lynn Cruz, Omad Khalid, Ian Rosales Casocot, Charlie Samuya Veric, Jack Alvarez, and Arnie Q. Mejia. Emerging voices like Jondy Arpilleda, Jessrel Gilbuena, Arian Tejano, Kei V Bughaw, EJ Villena, Christian S. Baldomero, Jae Mari Magdadaro, Richellet Chan, Romeo Bonsocan, Wilfreda V Cabusas, Efmer E Agustin, Elvin Ruiz, and Genory Vanz Alfasain will also be included.

All of the writers are born and/or based in the southern Philippines.

“We do not claim for this work to be the definitive or to be the perfect representation of queer voices in the south. As seen in the fewer contributions from our lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brethren, more work still has to be done in reaching out to accommodate more voices in future collections. We hope that this will be a start,” Dapanas said.

For more information, visit https://payaghabagatan.ph or Facebook page https://facebook.com/payaghabagatan. Inquiries may also be addressed to libulanqueercollective@gmail.com.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Moving home in the current state of the property market

There’s never a good or bad time to buy or sell. If you want to move home then you just need to be courageous enough to take the plunge.

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The property market may seem fragile and unappealing right now, but that’s the nature of the industry. House prices are always fluctuating on both a local and national level. There’s never a good or bad time to buy or sell. If you want to move home then you just need to be courageous enough to take the plunge. Of course, it’s all very well and good to say that, but getting started with the process of moving house is another thing.

Here are some suggestions for moving home in the current state of the property market.

Selling your old home.

The best place to begin is to focus on your current home. Yes, you’re in a rush to get moving, but this part of the process shouldn’t be rushed. If you’re worried about your finances then you should be aiming to make as much of a profit as possible from the sale of your existing property. Put yourself in the mindset of a property developer, in other words. Think about simple ways to increase the value of your home. As explained over at www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/, buyers want to see spaciousness, so you could move your belongings into storage in order to show off the potential for your property to become somebody else’s home.

Get rid of unwanted possessions.

A big part of moving house is moving all your worldly possessions. Yet, you’ve probably collected a mountain of belongings over the years, and you most likely don’t want to bring all of those things with you to your new home. You should be aiming to ensure that your new home isn’t cramped or cluttered. Look through your things and sell anything you no longer need (that extra money will help you in the costly moving process). Obviously, some of your long-forgotten belongings might be junk that needs to simply be thrown out.

Of course, no matter how much decluttering you do, you’ll struggle to move big things such as furnishings by yourself. You might want to head over to www.mybekins.com/location/el-cajon-ca-movers/ to find professionals who can help to make the process of moving house less stressful for you. Still, the important thing to remember is that your quote from the movers depends on how many belongings you need to be transported. The more decluttering you do, the more money you’ll save. That should be an incentive to get rid of unwanted possessions if you needed any more of a reason to do so.

Get your finances in order.

Moving home is costly, as has been discussed extensively throughout this article, so you need to get your finances in order. As mentioned over at www.beansouptimes.com/tips-for-buying-your-first-home/, buying a new home is a costly process in itself, but the costs are multiplied when you factor in the fact that you’re also moving your many things from your old home. For example, you might want to save money by canceling your service with your internet or cable provider before moving house so as to ensure that you’re not still paying for bills after leaving your current home (it can take a couple of weeks for those services to end).

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