5 Ways to Improve Your Online Security

5 months ago

#Throwback Column: Titillating scandals of text

1 month ago

Underwater Dispatches: Sombrero Island in Wide Angle

2 weeks ago

#Throwback Column: Geek Life Unplugged: A New Year Resolution

2 weeks ago

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Top 5 Ways to Reduce Patient No-Shows in 2016

Patients cancelling appointments at the last moment, or giving you no notice at all, makes it very difficult for your office to run in a smooth manner. Not only is your scheduling coordinator tasked with finding another slot for those patients, but they must also see if they can fit someone else into the slot at the last moment. Sometimes they can get the job done, but schedulers cannot always find someone to take the timeslot in an appropriate time-frame. And having empty timeslots during the day means you are not being as productive as possible.
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#Throwback Column: Geek Life Unplugged: A New Year Resolution

*This column originally appeared in February 2007 for Mobile Philippines Magazine under Hinge Media Inc.

Column: The Prodigal Screen Protector and other Bedtime Stories

I found that the best way to measure your geek factor would be to turn off all the lights in your room and see how many blinking lights are left on. Upon last count, I had at least ten: speaker, keyboard, flashing monitor light, external HD, cellphone (ooh bright OLED screen), DSL modem, wireless router lights, iBook sleep light, power brick, and extension cord lights galore. I began my new year resolution early by making sure that the only lights I saw during the holidays were the Christmas lights from the tree and houses.

It’s pretty hard to detach oneself from the computer screen – closing Yahoo! Messenger, Friendster and ultimately the lid of the good ‘ol iBook. For someone who works from home, the temptation of staying in bed equals the freelancing spirit of going out to socialize and network. So I figured that it would make much more sense to merge that geek lifestyle with a little bit of fresh air – considering that most of the work gets done during the hours of the midnight oil. Here are some suggestions to keep busy while still keeping geeky:

Enroll in a gym
I was never the gym person because the gym, as I saw it, was more of a female watching spectator sport and I just got bored pushing and pulling weights. Not until I learned to schedule my podcast listening session during gym time. Not only do you stay healthy – but you’re up to date with the latest technology news. I try to work out at least 3x a week (yeah right!) so for the most part I schedule my three sessions into three podcast listening sessions: Leo Laporte’s TWiT, This Week in Media and The Cellphone Junkie. If I do decide to go the extra mile and work out longer, there are dozens of other obscure podcasts made available – you won’t run out! Hey, and if ever you do feel that urge to pull out your phone, there’s always a way to get on with mobile bingo — that way you’re entertained AND fit on the treadmill.

Join a geek community
As Jason de Villa, founder of MaPalad once said, it would be a little pathetic to lust over your gadgets, as there are other people who own the same stuff you have AND are much more interesting. Do you own a Windows Mobile Device? Pinoy Windows Mobile (pinoywindowsmobile.com) is for you. A Palm device you say? Then its MaPalad.org. Into photography? There’s always Photos.ph and if you’re into the lomo craze, lomomanila.ph. There’s PhilMUG.ph and Pinoy Mac for Mac users and yes – if you love to blog, there’s always the Pinoy group of bloggers (just do a Google keyword search for Philippine Blogcon 2007). As a member of several of these groups, I’ve managed to fill up my schedule with events and “wala lang” meets without me having to figure out what I should do for the week.

Write for a geek magazine
There’s nothing wrong with “monetizing your passion.” If you’re passionate about gadgets, you can always drop an email to the magazine of your choice. Now for the segue – we’re always on the lookout for passionate writers. If you think you have what it takes to review shiny shiny gadgets, don’t hesitate to drop an email at editors@m-ph.com.

You can read Jayvee over at his personal blog at www.abuggedlife.com.

Underwater Dispatches: Sombrero Island in Wide Angle

After five months of not getting my much needed #VitaminSEA, I was able to tag along with two friends on a day trip to Sombrero Island. We did a total of three dives on Saturday and although I’ve had the RX100 for more than two years, this was the first time I actually went all-out with wide angle photography. The previous dives always had some technical malfunction with the strobes and I wasn’t sure whether it had more to do with wrong prepping or actual hardware failure — my left strobe always had issues. As it turns out, the strobe wasn’t set to shoot as slave.
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Schmidt’s x Llucia: Serious Hotdogs and Churros

Address:
2nd Floor Robinson’s Madison Mall
Don Jesus Blvd (Alabang Hills)

Madison is a new community mall that popped up right across the new Hillsborough Church after the Alabang Hills exit. It’s a boon for people from Alabang Hills, Hillsborough and BF Homes who want to experience new places to eat without having to cross Alabang-Zapote to get to Alabang Town Center. Strategically, Madison’s line of restaurant offerings are fresh — the Japanese restaurant ABURI is a must-try, and I heard that Relish will be opening soon as well.
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3 reasons why your game app will never sell

Common mistakes of the novice app developer to avoid

If you are into gaming and technology, then the odds are that at one point or another you have contemplated making your own game app. They are popular, they are in demand, and what would be greater than having a game that actually provides you with revenue? You get the software, you develop your app, but the game does not do well. Why is this? Here are three common mistakes that the novice game app developer makes which keeps them from ever selling their game app.

1. Your game is like all the rest available
The number one thing that stops a game from being desirable is that it is too cliché. Regardless of whether or not the game is 2D or is based on 3D models, if it is too much like another game, people will simply go with the more popular option. Do you remember Flappy Birds? After its popularity there was an overabundance of games available which mimicked the game app. However, most of these games have fallen by the wayside.

Choose a game that has something unique and addictive to play. Yes, you can build upon something which has already been created so long as you do not infringe on copyright laws. As a matter of fact it is advised that you do so and add that unique twist. What you want to avoid is mirroring a game app. Most gaming platforms have a forum of some kind for their developers. Do not be afraid to use the forum to find out what gamers want. The phone gaming market is different from the traditional gamer market (such as PS4 and x-box). Where the traditional gamer wants the open world concepts and very high 3D interactivity, the phone market will want something engaging but not taxing on their data plan. Use the forums to find what people want, create a storyboard, and move forward.

2. You forgot to debug the program
An app has to work. Period. And although the program may function well, games which have long loading times may be perceived as faulty. This is the first area you need to check. Secondly, If you have a game application that only works on one platform but crashes on other programs, it will be a failure. Always test your game out on various platforms with various processing. Try if you can to test your program on 2G, 3G, and 4G phones both Android and iPhone to ensure that you maximize the amount of people who can use your app.
AKM model
In addition to you personally testing the game app, use an actual debugging program. There are several which are available. Of course, the more professional the software is, the finer tuned your program will be. Finally, do Alpha and Beta testing on your app so that real world users can notify you of any bugs. Once notified fix the problem quickly. Lags in development and fixes can quickly ruin your game app.

3. The content used for the development of the game has a high polygon count
If you think of your phone as a miniature computer (which in most cases it is) and you keep the processing and the storage in mind, it makes since that the game has to be optimized to the phone. Yet, in many cases the novice game developer will use the best looking 3D models but not the best suited models in their games. Unity and other game engines have reduced the probability of using objects which are too high poly for a phone.
As a game developer, choose low polygon models from the beginning. Most 3D CGI purchasing sites allow for you to specify that you want a game 3D model, character, tree, prop, or effect. The lower the poly count the quicker the game will perform. Remember, the more stuff that is in the game the slower the game will perform. The last thing that you want is for your game to be glitch, for the character to have unnatural movements, or for the phone to freeze up/lock up on the user.

The bottom line
The key to having your successful game is the same as any endeavor that you take on. Do it to the best of your ability. Plan what you want to produce, research to see if there are similar games on the market, think of a unique twist on the game which will make your game more desirable than that which is available, and develop it fully. If you are using a free game development software, take the time to understand how that program works and the requirements of the 3D models and assets so that your game is optimized for performance.

#Throwback Column: Titillating scandals of text

This piece originally appeared in March 2006 for MPH Magazine.

Column: The Prodigal Screen Protector and Other Bedtime Stories
Title: Titillating scandals of text
Subhead: There are those rare moments when the demo unit reveals all

There’s a reason why I love reviewing phones for m|ph. In the beginning I ‘d choose to review phones for the pure sake of gadget bliss. Lately however, I’ve wanted to get the last dib on mobile phones, from the long line of people from the press and the rest of the local tech community. You heard that right. I like being the last person to review a press unit. But why, pray tell am I so excited to get the tail end of this month’s tech?
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Spiffy’s Grove Cider Bar in El Grande, BF Homes

Aguirre Ave in BF Homes has garnered a reputation for being a food haven. Though not quite in Aquirre Avenue, El Grande, which runs perpendicular to BF Homes’ main road brings a similar charm of food real estate. For instance, Fat Butchick’s and Spin Cafe are some of the must-try places for any southern (or norther!) foodie. But this piece isn’t about these two. Today we’re here to talk about Spiffy’s Grove, BF Homes’ first cider bar.
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Luis, I’m listening!

This piece originally appeared in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on May 1 2016.

A short tribute to Luis Katigbak from his technology tech support

My relationship with Luis was one that was kept mostly at arms length. That is, an arm away from the computer screen. My time with Luis was professional at most, dappled with the brevity that would make me want to record all our conversations about the publishing industry, about writing, and about being a starving writer with a need to satiate gadget lust. I read his byline in the early 2000’s, as we were both contributing to a magazine known as The Reviewer which was then acquired by the Inquirer Group. We met again in 2006 – he, launching BURN Magazine with Kristine Fonacier and Zach Lucero, and me right across the room working on Mobile Philippines. By default as the guy who handled the magazine’s blog and reviewed gadgets for a living, I’d be (one of) his go-to tech support and technology consultant.
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Tokyo: Observations

A trip to Tokyo isn’t complete without diving into the Otaku culture. In my previous post, I mentioned that I didn’t have a lot of time to move around Tokyo during the day as I was busy with work-related endeavors, so it was only during the weekend where I really felt compelled to take the train two stops from Shimbashi Station down over to Akihabara. And all I have to say is that … OMG. JAPAN. SUCH CULTURE!
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Specialty Coffee in Ginza: Cafe De L’ambre

Wow it’s been ages since I wrote about my sojourns. Today it’s Tokyo. As a lover of all things specialty coffee, it comes as a surprise to me that in my latest trip abroad, coffee was last in my priorities. One week in Japan (spent for work) allowed me for relative freedom to explore Tokyo after attending various seminars, tours and workshops. Call it the initial shock therapy of a new country (it was my first trip to Japan) as the reason for not being able to focus on caffeine.
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3 Tips if You Want to Start Backpacking

When you decide you want to start a new adventure and travel new countries with your backpack, going out of you comfort zone, seeing new places, trying exotic food, and meeting local people is going to be on the agenda. If you have a budget, backpacking is the best option for traveling. If you like the idea of taking a trip and saving some money, here are three tips to help you enjoy the journey.
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Basic Steps Needed Fоr Obtaining a Cosmetic Loan Fоr Surgery in Philadelphia

At оnе time, cash wаѕ thе оnlу wау tо pay fоr cosmetic surgery, but аlоng thе wау mаnу оthеr methods оf payment hаvе соmе about. Onе оf thоѕе methods iѕ financing. However, cosmetic surgeons perform mоrе procedures thаn juѕt nose jobs аnd chin lifts. Sоmеtimеѕ, thеrе iѕ a medically viable rеаѕоn аѕ tо whу ѕоmеоnе nееdѕ cosmetic surgery. Thiѕ саn bе dental work, procedures tо remove scarring, оr thе nееd tо remove аn abnormality frоm thе face. Whаtеvеr thе reason, thеrе аrе companies offering loans fоr thоѕе wishing tо hаvе ѕоmе sort оf cosmetic surgery.

Whаt iѕ needed?

Bе ѕurе tо hаvе all the information you will need: whаt уоur total income is, whаt уоur expenses are, if уоu оwn оr rеnt уоur home, аnd whаt уоur credit rating is. Unfortunately, if уоu hаvе nо credit оr bad credit, qualifying fоr a cosmetic surgery loan might nоt happen. Mоѕt people nееd tо hаvе a credit score thаt iѕ bеttеr thаn 700 in order tо qualify аnd thеn thеrе аrе оthеr factors thаt саn hurt уоur chances оf acquiring thе loan.

Whеrе tо apply

Thеrе аrе mаnу financial institutions thаt offer financing fоr Philadelphia botox surgery. With cosmetic surgery bеing ѕо popular, mаnу оf thе lenders hаvе cashed in оn thе advantages bу offering financing, whiсh means thаt cosmetic surgery iѕ nо longer fоr thе rich аnd thе famous. Yоur friend dоwn thе street whо makes $45,000 a year аnd hаѕ аn excellent credit rating саn hаvе thаt bump оn hеr nose fixed оr gеt thе breast implants ѕhе’s аlwауѕ wanted. If уоu’vе еvеr looked аt ѕоmеоnе аnd asked, “How did thеу afford that?” Chances аrе it wаѕ bесаuѕе thеу financed thеir surgery. However, thеу hореfullу did thе research tо find thе right lender fоr them.

Evеrу lender iѕ diffеrеnt in terms of interest rates аnd other terms, ѕо it iѕ important tо find thе right оnе fоr you. Onсе уоu find thеm аnd аrе rеаdу tо fill оut thе application, уоu will notice thаt thе application process iѕ mоrе оr lеѕѕ likе аnу loan application. All уоu hаvе tо dо iѕ fill оut thаt application with thе information уоu gathered аbоut уоur income аnd expenses аѕ wеll аѕ basic information аbоut yourself, аnd thеn submit it tо thе lender.

Yоu will receive a decision back juѕt likе уоu dо with аnу loan. Yоu will еithеr bе approved оr denied. If denied, ѕоmе surgeons mау offer installment options. Thеn again, it iѕ important tо gо thrоugh thе research phase аgаin аnd ѕее if уоu саn find ѕоmе medical financing. Juѕt bесаuѕе оnе ѕауѕ nо dоеѕn’t mеаn thе nеxt оnе will.

New Advances in Microscopy

The world of science is always advancing and making new strides in research techniques. Often, this is how new discoveries are made, because the newer research techniques and equipment allow scientists to see things that were previously undetectable. Light sheet microscopy (LSM) is one such advanced technique. Another term is selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM), and it’s a technique that is ideal for studying living organisms.
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The best Android games of 2016 (so far!)

Every month, there are heaps of new games released, some good and some bad. But what are the best Android games of 2016 so far?

androidgames

Roll the Ball
Roll the Ball is one of the top games released this year. A slide puzzle game that requires you to use physics and engineering to win, it can keep you entertained for hours. And not only is it entertaining, but also intellectually stimulating, as the game requires planning and in turn, a decent amount of strategy. The aim of the game is to get the ball from the start to the ‘goal. To do so you must construct the tiles so the ball can move though a continuous tube. However, not all of the tiles can be moved, with some having to be screwed to the ‘wall’, and not all the tiles need moving, thus the game involves creativity.
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EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard – FREE tool to recover lost data

Have you ever regretted deleting something from your system? Admit it — it’s happened to the best of us, whenever a computer is involved. Be it (accidentally) installing something malicious, negotiating a virus or dealing with good ‘ol wear and tear, we’re always at risk of losing data.

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