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3/22/2023 5:11:14 AM Sign In

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  Tech in Asia Show All 
SG’s PayNow and India’s UPI link-up: a game changer or just hype?
In The Top Up this week, we examine the impact of SG-India payment system linkage on industry players and the implications of SVB’s collapse for SEA.

Series SEA: Who’s investing in the region’s SaaS startups?
We've compiled a list of investors that are pouring money into Southeast Asia’s software-as-a-service startups.

ID social ecommerce firm Avana struggles to pay staff
A source told Tech in Asia that Avana has conducted several rounds of layoffs since November 2022, including cutting 30 members from its Indonesia team.

A list of fundraising startups from Asia (Updated)
Fundraising is hard. To make things slightly easier, we've compiled this list of fundraising startups for our subscribers.

SG proptech Ohmyhome starts listing on Nasdaq
Shares of the Singapore-based proptech firm are currently being traded at US$4 apiece.

One Minute: Why Israel?
Jonathan Lim, general manager of the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD), shares why firms should consider expanding to Israel.

Winners and losers of SG and India’s novel PayNow-UPI linkage
The real-time linkage may increase the convenience of cross-border payments but it’s less revolutionary than you’d think.

Capital SEA: Southeast Asia’s funding landscape (updated 22 Mar 2023)
Who are the new active investors on the block? Which funding rounds look like outliers? This visual story answers all this and more.

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  POPSUGAR Tech Show All 
Transport Yourself to Hogwarts, Disney World, and Beyond With These Fun Zoom Backgrounds

While video chatting with friends, family, and coworkers is a great way to keep in touch, at times it can be challenging to make our calls creative. Once the basic catch-up questions are asked and you've touched upon the weather, it's easy to think: now what? Luckily, Zoom has found a way to make v-chats a million times more fun with the option to add a background, and the outcome is so cool!

You can officially Zoom coworkers and loved ones while "on a vacation in Paris," sitting at Leslie Knope's desk from Parks and Recreation, or in the comfort of "your high-end kitchen," while not lifting a finger besides clicking upload - not even cleaning your apartment! Follow the steps here to change your Zoom background and just make sure your picture's dimensions are 1,920 pixels by 1,080 pixels (or close to it). Check out a few of our favorites and download them for yourself - they're all free!

Nikon Is Offering Free Online Photography Classes, So Sign Us Up!

Unsplash/Silvio Bergamo

In today's news that we absolutely love: Nikon is offering free online classes right now to help amp up your picture-capturing game! Taught by a range of professional photographers, the diverse selection of courses available for streaming through the end of April are the perfect way to occupy your extra time. Whether starting a new hobby or advancing an old favorite, you can brush up on everything photo and video without even leaving your sofa. You had us at free, Nikon. (And sofa.)

For those looking to step up from smartphone snapping, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of these classes. Beginners can dive into Fundamentals of Photography to learn the basics like lighting, aperture, composition, and more. Photographing Children and Pets might be extra tricky, but this course will gift you the tips you'll need to start snagging memorable gems like a pro. Always wanted to make a music video? (Who hasn't, obviously.) The Art of Making Music Videos is a treasure that will gift you the basic knowledge you need to make the top 10 (get those backup dancers ready!). Heck, if Joe Exotic can do it, so can we.

Travel-lovers may want to dive into Exploring Dynamic Landscape Photography to learn all about the art of capturing gorgeous destination-inspired images. This one will have us fired up for planning future explorations with drool-worthy scenery to put our new skills to the test. If you already have a DSLR and working knowledge of your camera, there are some courses that push past the beginner level, like Beyond the Fundamentals of Photography, to really get a handle on the inner workings of your tool. There's even a class on Macro Photography for learning techniques to capture small objects like plants and insects. To take any of the classes, all you have to do is sign into Nikon's site with your name and email and you're good to go!

The photo and video challenges offer a fun social aspect for participants, too, and for a spin on "happy hour," Nikon has launched the clever #CreatorsHour on all media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Live chats are also available, where you can tap into Nikon Ambassador tips and tricks for creating epic content.

These courses will have us ready to document and share our highly anticipated next adventures. So, get shootin' already!

Your Most-Asked Zoom Questions Answered - Useful Tips to Help You Navigate the App

As Zoom meetings, happy hours, and daily check-ins become the norm, learning how to properly use the app is one of the best ways to get the most out of your video calls. From hopping online to take a work call to enjoying some time with your friends from afar, Zoom has made us feel much more connected during this period of self-isolation.

If you're new to Zoom, we curated a list of the most-asked Zoom questions by users to help you understand the application. If changing your username is trickier than you thought or adding your favorite Snapchat filter to your call is all you want to do, we're here to answer those questions, as well as everything in between. Read some tips and tricks ahead, and see how to master Zoom now.

Related: 9 Tips For Having Successful First Dates on FaceTime

10 Bingeworthy Nintendo Switch Games For Adults

If you've had a Nintendo Switch ($300) for a while now, you know just how much fun it is. And if you're new to the gaming device, welcome! All of your free time is about to go right out the window. Whether you like to play solo, with family and friends, or online with thousands of other players, this compact system offers over 2,000 games to choose from. From decade-long cult classic sagas like Mortal Kombat to beautifully illustrated adventure games like Night in the Woods to recent favorites like Animal Crossing, the Nintendo Switch has every type of gamer covered. If you're needing some guidance into the thousands of options, don't worry - we compiled a list of our top 10 most binge-worthy games perfect for these long nights in.

Here's How to Use All Your Favorite Snapchat Lenses During Zoom Calls

As hilarious as it is to put a mustache on your dog and give yourself the most glamorous flower crown in the group chat, that isn't all Snapchat's lenses can do. The app's downloadable Snap Camera, which allows the full lens studio to be available during video chats, makes it so that your Zoom calls are just a little more fun to sit through with colorful backgrounds, special effects, and silly characters. So, to keep yourself from becoming the woman who turned herself into a potato during a conference call and couldn't change herself back, check out a few supereasy Snap Camera tips ahead.

Image Source: POPSUGAR / Tara Block

Here's How It Works

  1. To get started, download the Snap Camera app for your desktop device.
  2. Make sure you're logged into your Zoom account. Then go to settings, select Video, and select Camera. From there, you should be able to click on Snap Camera.
  3. The Snapchat lens features should then appear in your Zoom video while you're on a call.
  4. To turn Snap Camera off, go back to the Camera option in your Zoom Settings and click on your computer's default camera option, rather than Snap Camera.

Helpful Tips

  • You can only change your Snapchat filter within the Snap Camera app on your computer, not within the Zoom meeting - something to be aware of so you don't end up looking like a giant cat during your entire video call.
  • The app also works when chatting on Google Hangouts, Skype, OBS, Twitch or if you're filming YouTube videos, so you can have fun with all of your video calls from now on.

If you're looking to spice up your next game night with the gang or you have a virtual first date planned, download the app for your desktop, and check out these cool Zoom background images for some extra fun.

Amid Everything Happening in the World, I'm Really Grateful For Having Phone Calls Again

For my entire life, I've hated talking on the phone. I would dread having to call anyone and did everything in my power to either avoid making a call completely or get someone else to do it for me. I never thought I would get to the day where my phone is practically my lifeline and making calls has become the highlight of my day.

But here we are, in the middle of a pandemic. I haven't been outside my apartment in three weeks, and the only person I've actually seen is the guy who dropped off my groceries last week. I now spend at least an hour on the phone every single day, always with my parents, who are a few states away, and often with my friends as well.

In this weird time in the world when I don't know how soon I'll get to see my friends, I'm relying on the phone for that connection.

I would never have expected a global health crisis to be the turning point for going back to old-fashioned times when talking on the phone was a thing. I - as well as many people I know - have settled so firmly into texting and emailing, which cuts out virtually all of the personal aspect of communication, but it never bothered me, considering I still spent so much time around people. Now I don't see people, and all I have is my phone to connect me to them. Texting is no longer sufficient, because I actually miss speaking to my friends and hearing my dad's voice and making a friend laugh.

So now I make calls. Whether it's FaceTime or simply a phone call, I no longer hate it because it keeps me from sinking further into loneliness while I'm shut in my apartment until this pandemic has started to settle. I call my parents every day, which is the norm, but I value those calls more because I don't know the next time I'll get to see them in person. My dad beat cancer two years ago, and while he's technically in the clear now, I'm not about to bring any contamination from the sickest state in the country over to their house. So for now we talk on the phone every day.

Related: The 4 Best Online Hangout Apps For Keeping in Touch Without Going Out

It's not just my parents I'm calling, though. It's more friends than I've ever talked to on the phone in my life. I spent two hours on the phone with a friend in London I was supposed to visit last week. I spent another two hours on the phone with a childhood friend I haven't talked to in months. And even my friends who are local and who I see all the time have been getting calls from me, too. In this weird time in the world when I don't know how soon I'll get to see my friends, I'm relying on the phone for that connection.

It feels frivolous to say that I'm more grateful for my phone than anything right now, and yes, I know how fortunate I am that I'm healthy and my family and friends are healthy, but assuming that all remains the same (Team Stay at Home!), my phone is what will continue to connect me with them until we can all go outside again and go back to some semblance of normalcy. Who knows when that might be, so until then, I'll stick to phone calls, which really aren't so bad.

25 Cute PopSockets That Will Instantly Take Your Phone From Blah to B*tchin'

Avoiding the infamous "OMG, did the screen crack?!" fiasco after accidentally dropping your phone has never been easier, thanks to PopSockets. The must-have phone accessory has exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to the increasingly fragile style of phones being released. PopSockets are super easy to install, and with their strong adhesive grip, you can now take better selfies and securely text with one hand. And they aren't just for phones! They can work on other electronics like tablets, making it convenient to watch videos anywhere.

It can be a bit tricky picking out a PopSocket because there are so many to choose from, especially when you're on the hunt to find one that matches your phone case. Luckily, many PopSockets now offer swappable tops, so you can easily remove the top and find a new design that fits your current style without having to deal with the mess of taking off the whole thing. Keep reading to shop cute PopSockets that will help you avoid dropping your phone in a stylish manner.

Seeing Animal Crossing Everywhere? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Popular Game

It doesn't matter if you're an avid gamer or not, chances are you've heard of a little game called Animal Crossing, right? From listening to your friends talk about creating islands, picking fruit, and hanging out with their virtual friends to seeing images of the game online, you might be wondering what it is exactly and how you can play it, too. And we've got you covered! Animal Crossing is a Nintendo video game that lets you live out a virtual life in a colorful cartoon village, and once you start, it's hard to stop! Keep reading for everything you need to know about the game before you dive in yourself.

What Is Animal Crossing?

Animal Crossing is an open-ended social simulation game that was created by Nintendo back in 2001. New versions have launched throughout the years and the latest version, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, for the Nintendo Switch was just released in March.

Animal Crossing sets itself apart from other video games by having no objectives. There are no aliens to kill or princesses to save - instead, players are free to basically create their dream villages that are inhabited solely by animals. In the game, you can explore your villages, interact with other characters, increase the xxxx of their houses, and complete relaxing tasks like fitness classes and fishing tournaments. There is no end to the game that you must reach in order to win; it's just a continued place you can go back to to do more fun things.

How Does Animal Crossing Work?

You start by creating a customizable player, then you essentially build your own little life. The basic premise is that your character creates its own town or city or - in the case of the latest version - develops a community of anthropomorphic animals on a deserted island. Time is spent picking fruit, lying on the beach, growing plants, fishing, crafting items, decorating your house, and much more. The game progresses in real time, using the game console's internal clock, and it supports local and online co-op gameplay, meaning you can play it with friends and family at home or far away.

Where Do You Play Animal Crossing?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch, but there are a number of Animal Crossing versions you can play on different Nintendo game consoles, including the Nintendo 64, GameCube, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS.

Does Animal Crossing Cost Anything?

The latest version, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, retails for $60.

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