5 Ways to Improve Your Online Security

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#Throwback Column: Titillating scandals of text

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Underwater Photography: Rhinopias, Mariona, and Pygmy Seahorse

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Spiffy’s Grove Cider Bar in El Grande, BF Homes

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I’m giving away 3 really epic bags from Crumpler. Join my contest!

First off, I’d like to thank Charlie for sponsoring this giveaway to the readers. Crumpler has been really generous — they’re giving away three quality bags courtesy of ABL. I’ve been a long time Crumpler user, owning an assortment of bags and accessories (like this branded Crumpler toilet paper). I can attest to Crumpler’s durability, especially during the rainy season. I once had a 12″ messenger bag from Crumpler for my iBook that survived rainfall and being dropped in the mud. True Story.

Before we go on to the contest rules, let me show you the prizes:

Oh Amazon, you’re the new Apple. Whatever distortion field you got active, it’s working.

In the beginning, Apple wooed the “misfits” into Macintosh by offering a culture that went against the very mainstream nature of the PC. Today, Amazon does exactly the same thing, streamlining the tablet by giving people an answer to the very mainstream nature of its competitors.

In next 10 years every home will have a 3D printer giving rise to modern day blacksmiths

I strongly feel that in more ways than one, humanity had been trained for over three decades in the art of the sandbox — designing their own little worlds in the confines of video games and editing tools on the computer. Call it divine preparation. Call it some sort of premonition of things to come. Even call it an accident. Whatever it may be, it is apparent that man will always long to expand the realm of his imagination into something more and more tangible.

So take for instance video games such as Little Big Planet, Minecraft, The Sims and The Incredible Machine that all allow you to create your own little worlds. From the virtual dollhouses of The Sims to the virtual cities of SIM City. From the text-based storytelling of Sierra to scripted cinematics found in the Half-Life series. This is man punching a hole through the roof to see the cosmos of progress.

I predict in the next 5-10 years that there will be a big shift in the consumer paradigm. Customer is king these days, but I’m talking about something totally different. I’m talking about the stuff only science fiction can bring to your doorstep, such as the replicators from Star Trek.

In the near future, every home will have a large format 3D printer. It will print tools. It will print furniture. It will even print your car. Every home will need to stock on a supply of raw material, resin perhaps for most but there will be a number of compounds (in powdered form) which homes can utilize for the creation of their little sandbox reality.

This eco-friendly car was printed using a 3D printer. At least most of it.

“Goodbye hardware store. I can print all my tools.”

In the same way that the Internet and social media gave rise to new jobs we’ve never heard of before, the large format 3D printing industry will give rise to new jobs in the creative sphere. Where before, creativity was mostly limited to the expression of art, this creativity found in the depths of Minecraft level designers and gaming engine moders can be directly applied to the real world. In printed form.

I see an economic shift as hardware stores may actually become a thing of the past and we will in some way go back to medieval times and have our wrench made from “Steve” three blocks away because he developed a really amazing schematic which he shares online. And he gets a cut whenever the schematic is downloaded.

They are our modern day blacksmiths, working not with their hands but with the machinations that occur in their minds. And the world will once again give rise to craftsmen and artisans.

So I hosted two events for Samsung in Manila and Cebu. T’was loads of fun.

Photo: Taking Marlon Rivera “off the hook” in post-event cocktails

I do my best to try something new every year, even if it’s just a one-off or a thing that eventually turns into a hobby. Well, I’d say this year I found myself in another comfortable position wearing the hat of an events host. The past two weeks had me hosting two gigs for Samsung. They were both selling events for their Samsung Smart TV line done at the Tower Club in Manila and at the Maya Bar in Cebu City. Manila had me in tandem with (the multitalented) Marlon Rivera, designer and director for Ang Babae sa Septic Tank. Marlon helped me demonstrate the Skype calling features present in their 55″ and 60″ models (the 40″ model also has it).

Cebu had me paired up with the charming Lani Osmena and we went through the main features including Search, Apps, and Social TV (access to Facebook and Twitter while watching your shows), and yes, Skype. It was great taking a non-geek approach to technology, something that I’ve always tried to be consistent in with my writing on this blog. I guess the biggest complement I’ve ever received is that the way I speak and the way I write seem to be fairly consistent and I do seem to project similar auras whether I’m writing or speaking. And I think that’s a good thing. Thanks!

I went about both events wearing two hats on “stage” — that of the host and the “demo guy” going through all the pertinent features for 15 minutes, answering questions and chit-chatting with people who had questions in between. It was these in-betweens that were more fun as I got to dialogue with Marlon and Chef Chris of Panizza fame (he provided the food for the night at the Tower Club) in Manila and Lani and some new friends in Cebu.

I’m really happy to have taken the stage for Samsung and even more satisfied that they were able to sell more than a dozen of these next generation TV’s. More than 3 million pesos worth of sales in two nights — congratulations Samsung! =)


The 60″ Samsung TV retails for PHP 319,000.00. That night, there was an exclusive discount (it rounded off to something like PHP 280,000 cash) + freebies. Get this. If you bought that night, not only do you get the TV, but a second 27″ LED, a Samsung Galaxy Tab WiFi, the BT remote keyboard, 3D glasses, HD webcam, the 3D Blu-ray player and the Samsung Blu-pass card for rentals.

Hello there. Are you looking for work?

Hello there. Are you looking for work? Are you looking forward to a career in a not-so-BPO setting?

Do you want to have a commanding view of the entire Fort Global City while you plot for world domination?

Do you want to work in an office that only uses Mac OS?

Do you want a competitive salary that’s higher than your typical BPO?

Also, do you want lampshades that look like dangling balls?

If so, why not check TxVia at the Fort Global City!

TxVia is a global company specializing in providing platforms for payment gateways. If, say, WordPress, Blogspot or Tumblr are platforms for sharing thoughts and photos, TxVia builds platforms for prepaid card systems for Visa, Mastercard and the like. The work is actually pretty interesting. Since they’re relatively new in the Philippines, it will be easy to forge a career path with them whether you’re from the BPO industry or a financial analyst.

They need everyone. BUT, If you’re a developer, they are actually looking for FRESH java developers who can be trained to use their proprietary language after 3 weeks of training.

You can leave your resume at:

Picadilly Star Building
Bonifacio Global City

or email them at:


Contest: McDonald’s 30th Anniversary ‘Then and Now’

WINNERS: Congratulations to Gherhald and Bea Alos for winning the McDonald’s 30th anniversary contest! Will get in touch with you two so you can claim your prizes.

Update: As requested, McDonald’s is increasing the rewards for the contest! Winners will receive P5,000 (1st place), P3,000 (2nd place), P2,000 (3rd place) respectively.

Hello children of the 80’s! Did you know that McDonald’s is celebrating its 30th anniversary in the Philippines? I was born 30 years ago so my existence on this planet is clearly defined by exactly how long McDonald’s has been in Manila. In fact there were four branches that served as the pillars of my childhood. These were: the branch in Makati Cinema Square as that was where my family would frequent when my parents would go to Mile Long, the branch in front of AIM because my dad was a graduate of that school, the branch in front of Alabang Town Center because they had the coin operated merry-go-round, and the one that used to be at the corner of President’s Avenue and Sucat but had been recently demolished to pave the way for a grocery store.

Hay, memories!

To commemorate 30 years of the Golden Arches, I’ll be running a NOSTALGIA TRIPPING contest for all my readers. The prizes are gift checks to any McDo branch in the country as well as limited edition Coca Cola can glasses!

Read on for the contest rules!

OMGeek.net — South East Asian PC Gaming Community

Nice to know there are more and more organized SEA based gaming communities sprouting up from the Interwebs. Despite whatever Internet connection you have at home, ping will always be an issue due to the locations of dedicated servers for gaming. For those who don’t understand, gamers like me are always on the lookout for “dedicated servers” — computers that have the sole purpose of hosting online game matches. If your game is being hosted on computers such as these, you won’t experience as much lag.

OMGeek has a bunch of dedicated servers and the group is dedicated to gaming in South East Asia, which means that you’ll always be in the same time zone when you come home from work to play. One of the biggest hurdles of gamers around the world is that coming home from work, you realize that everyone you play with is asleep because you’re on opposite sides of the world!

Right now OMGeek has two servers up for Red Orchestra and Terraria, with a Battlefield 3 server coming soon when the game launches this year!

How to troll the bots of Counterstrike: Source

Never knew you could do this. But it’s too hilarious especially with the added sound pack. And it’s really only going to work if you’re playing against bots.

Hands on with the Samsung Smart TV

Just came from Samsung’s office. Doing a really cool speaking / presenting gig for them across some locations in the country. Sitting inside their offices were several new Smart TV’s. If you don’t know what these are, they’re basically the love child between a television and a smartphone. And they’re elegant. And epic.

We did some tests with Skype calls, app downloads, “Social TV” updating (that’s your Twitter, Google Chat and Facebook right beside your picture), web browsing and of course a lot of Blu-ray watching.

For this flat TV segment, connectivity is key. Apart from being able to connect to the Internet and do your standard browsing, you can also use your Android device or iPhone as a remote controller via Bluetooth. If you don’t own any of these, you can also buy a QWERTY remote controller that connects via Bluetooth. That means you can have a QWERTY / smartphone side by side your IrDA remote control.

Just like a smartphone, you will be required to create a Smart TV account using an email address and password. Afterwards, you will be able to link up Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Picasa (pre-Google+ days heh), and Google Chat. OF course, since this TV is pretty much a computer, automatic updates will be released in the future. Whenever you turn off your TV you will automatically be logged out. New sessions will require you to login to access web features but of course, the TV will work even without Internet. šŸ™‚

There are two current lines, the Series 7 and Series 8, differentiated mostly by the size of the screen and price. This is best in class. If you check retailers, they usually sell these about PHP 200,000.00. The one in the photo is a Series 8 60 inch Smart TV that retails for PHP 320K. Yes so it isn’t for everyone. Some would rather get a more affordable LED or Plasma and a computer.

The current promo includes a 3D Blu-ray player with a Blupass rental card, HD USB webcam for video calls and a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Paalam na, house (Tribute to AJ Matela 1982-2011)

AJ and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg at the back seat of my car. This was straight from Wordcamp 2010 in Manila.

Ang Buhay ni Boy by jayveef

I was listening to an old podcast I helped record back in 2007. It stars several friends from the Internet, with AJ taking center stage playing the role of “Boy” for this short radio play. I remember we all came together to Juned’s place to record this right after I told them I got a new podcast microphone. To fully appreciate this listen, you have to realize that everything spoken here was impromptu and I kept on rewinding AJ’s final lines as he closed the episode.

Pero marami din ako natutunan sa bahay na ito, pero kailangan ko nang umalis. Natutunan ko na kahit anong kailangan natin, kung paano tayo magmahal .. basta taos puso ang pagmamahal natin … yun ang importante. Tsaka natuto ko rin na hindi lahat ng … hindi mo naman kailangan maging beauty queen, hindi mo kailangan maging designer … hindi naman ganun ang lahat. Kung bakla ka, o bading ka hindi naman kailangan na tawagan kang i-stereotype. Hindi naman ganun lahat.


Natutunan ko lang basta taos sa puso ang pagmamahal mo mabubuhay ka ng maligaya. Aalis na ako. paalam na, house. — AJ Matela (September 10 1982- September 9 2011)


AJ’s family and friends need our help to raise funds for his hospital bills. Please head on over here for details.

Best “Unboxing” I’ve ever seen

Neil deGrasse Tyson unboxes a replica of the Saturn V Rocket (1967-1973), the same rocket that propelled astronauts into outer space to reach the moon. That whole thing is a fuel depot and the astronauts were sitting on the teeny bit on top. This replica was given to him by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville as a token for his efforts for pushing that the Saturn V Rocket be included in the list of 7 Wonders of America.

Every generation has its roster of dreamers. After Carl Sagan (bless his trans-dimensional soul) and Michio Kaku (biggest lobbyist for the existence of the multiverse we read about in DC Comics) we have this guy who attempts to explain the most amazing concepts of the universe and simplifies it for everyone to understand.

To help you understand what I’m saying, here’s a video of him talking about his encounter with James Cameron and his reaction to the movie Titanic — because Mr. Cameron “got the sky wrong.”

A Life Underwater

A rogue with an eye for salvage – and the ladies – Ray: A Life Underwater is an affectionate portrait of one man’s deep sea diving career, told through his extraordinary collection of marine artefacts.

Like a modern-day pirate, 75-year-old Ray Ives has been scouring the seabed for treasure his whole life.

The former commercial diver has plundered the deep for over fifty years, bringing to the surface anything that glittered — even gold.

In a shipping container near the water, Ray tends his museum of cannon, bottles, bells, swords, portholes and diving gear.

He even still takes to the water in a 1900s diving suit.

Produced and Directed by Amanda Bluglass www.amandabluglass.co.uk
Editor and Director of Photography: Danny Cooke www.dannycooke.co.uk
Dive photography: Neil Hope www.divingimages.co.uk
Soundtrack: Tony Higgins www.tonyhiggins.org

The journey underwater reflects the awe of parallel worlds. When man looks to the stars, he sees a longing for his knowledge to fill the vacuum of space. If a man closes his eyes underwater, it is in all likelihood that this is the same feeling. Of weightlessness. Of conquering new frontiers. Of being where the human body was not built to be.

Indie Games from the Karlo Licudine aka The Accidental Rebel

Karlo Licudine used to do a lot of professional blogging before. Most of you may know him as Karlo “Pinoyblogero” while others may know him more as that young talented guy who creates great CSS templates for several companies. I’ve always been in touch with Karlo for various projects these past 2 years and on the side I’d visit his site to see what’s been up.

For those who don’t know, Karlo has shelved his “Pinoyblogero” persona and is now busy as the Accidental Rebel, developing local video games for the PC, Mac and Linux.

Check out RESCUE SUPPORT, a game he made for LudumDare #21. He made this game in 16 hours following this year’s theme of “ESCAPE.”

This game is my entry to Ludum Dare #21, a widely known rapid game making contest on the internet where participants need to create a game solo in 48 hours. The theme for this contest is “Escape”.

Play it here. I found it fascinatingly addicting and was amazed at what Karlo was able to do in less than a day. He’s planning on improving it of course but he’s got the core mechanics down — it got me hooked for more than 10 minutes.

Or check out this demo for a Jose Rizal themed mystery / adventure game done Phoenix Wright style. It’s called Detective Rizal and the Jaded Ruby.

This is a game I’m working on for the “Jose Rizal is in a Video Game” competition. It’s a tribute to the 150th year of Jose Rizal.

Detective Rizal and the Jaded Ruby is an adventure game with a mystery/detective concept inspired by the Phoenix Wright series and Detective Conan Anime.

In game music for trailer and game by Jerel Limayo.

There’s a demo which you can download as well.

In any case, I’d suggest browsing his site. He’s got other stuff including The Pacifist (platformer) and Trapped in Time (top down shooter). It’s good to know that we’ve got passionate local talent here trying to start something on their own. Supporting him is easy. Share his site. Play his games. Give great feedback and cheer him on!

Keep up the good work, Karlo!

Counterstrike: Global Offensive Video Preview

Devastating effects of the molotov!
Firebomb on the way!

The new Counterstrike is nearing its beta release this October. Scouring the Internet you will find more speculation that fact with regards to the changes to one of the world’s most popular LAN games. Counterstrike: Global Offensive or CS:GO isn’t a Counterstrike 2. In fact if you watch the video, it’s pretty similar to the game we’ve come to love in LAN parties with a number of changes that introduce new play styles.

For instance, the new Molotov Cocktail does damage over time (DOT) to anyone stepping on the flames. This is very strategic for blocking off choke points and key targets for a short period of time. The other addition would be small revamps to popular maps such as in de_dust where the underpass has been widened with a stairwell that leads up opposite the tunnel.

I’m excited! Especially since today, I don’t need to spend countless hours playing from an Internet cafe (while cutting class). The game will be available for download via Steam and will also be on the XBOX 360 and the Playstation 3.

SMART Netphone Pricing for Postpaid and Prepaid

Well here it is! The moment you’ve been waiting for — NETPHONE PRICING SCHEMES! The first Netphone will be available on both prepaid and postpaid plans. You can hop on to www.netphone.ph for all the details but to sum up everything:

This is the list of plans on postpaid. And here is the list of daily and monthly “bite sized” plans for data.

If you look closely, there is an obvious “sweet spot” in the pricing scheme under the “all-in” unlimited monthly data for PHP 999 a month as apart from unlimited IM and social stream usage (that’s SmartNet, Facebook and Twitter), you also get 3,500 SMS messages and 200 minutes of voice calls. Insane. I’d change my 8 year old plan if I could.

If you’ve all been curious as to what exactly the Netphone can do, there’s a guided tour on the Netphone site.

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