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I know no one cares, but I watched Kenny Loggins Live in Manila tonight.


My blurry video of Kenny Loggins performing House at Pooh corner (Live in Manila | May 22, 2011)

Just came back from the Kenny Loggins Live in Manila concert. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan. I think I’m the only one in my circle of friends who was excited to find out he was coming to Manila, almost a year in advance. So when Maan scored me tickets, I was more than happy (I would have bought my own of course, but super thanks to my boss at UNO since according to her words — I don’t know anyone else who would want to watch Kenny Loggins!).

I practically grew up listening to his music but the turning point of “casual listener” to “BIG FAN” came when Adel Gabot introduced me to his Outside: From the Redwoods Album and I was completely floored with his rapport and talent on stage. He’s an outstanding musician. Hands down one of the best musicians who can arrange something — and then rearrange it in a fashion where he .. well it’s like keeping it in 4/4 then stumping you for a bit then he goes back to the original meter. Many artists do that today, but he has a way of doing it that’s just uniquely him. And more than 20 years later, he still has it.

Oh and I used to write fan mail. He’d reply.


Kenny Loggins performs ‘What a Fool Believes’ with Michael McDonald from their Redwoods Concert. The venue of this concert was epic: the constructed a stage in the middle of the Redwood Forest.

It was a bit sad though that the bouncers who were hired by the production team drowned the spirits of a lot of the middle aged men and women who came. When Kenny started playing Footloose, a good number of the audience stood up and started dancing. The bouncers immediately got to work and told them to sit down. I mean, WTF — it’s a concert. Kenny Loggins took note of this and said “Hey if you want to dance on your seats that’s fine!” And so this time even more people started dancing. But the bouncers were at it again. What are you afraid of? That the lolos and lolas will start crowd surfing and a moshpit? Oh c’mon.

Department of Tourism budgets PHP 20,000,000 for Tourism Website

Invitation to Bid DOT

[Clearer PDF here]

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has released an invitation to bid for a PHP 20,000,000.00 contract for website to be used for promoting tourism in the Philippines.

Name of Project: Development, Maintenance, Online Marketing and Promotions of the Philippine Department of Tourism Website

Brief Description: To establish an interactive website designed to promote the Philippines as a prime destination that offers world-class tourist facilities and products.

I highly doubt the PHP 20,000,000 will go to the site alone as many of my peers have come up with amazing project proposals for much less. I think it includes the site promotion efforts as well. In any case, I hope the DOT will on board a lean and forward thinking group to do this. Sana wag din silang gumamit ng flash. Wow.

Here’s a tip for a component: A crowd-sourced SCUBA portal for the Philippines. Crowdsourcing guys. That’s the key to this!

I’m excited to see the shortlist!

Hands on with the Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc

Yes it may be made out of cheap plastic but that doesn’t mean this phone isn’t a looker. The XPERIA Arc from Sony Ericsson is one of the rare Android 2.3 Gingerbread-ready phones in the local market today (the other one being the HTC Desire S). This is an “Acceptance Unit” which simply means that it is, like us, waiting for someone to accept us for who we really are.

OK seriously, more photos after the jump.
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Unboxing The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings Premium Edition

The wait is over. I would have bought the regular “el cheapo” edition but Datablitz didn’t have it. They only had the Premium Edition on sale so what the heck.
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Hands on with the Dell Streak 5 inch hybrid

Guess what? I’m doing my very first hands on without actual photos. That’s because I came by the unit through means which I cannot disclose in public. No worries. I didn’t crash an event. I was quite surprised though to have met someone who actually had a unit on him. Old news na pala ito. So without “in the wild” pics, I’m going to give you my first impression of this new device. Trust me I’m a blogger.

The Dell Streak, although labeled as a Tablet by Dell, sits in between the 3 and 4 inch screen Android phones common to HTC, Samsung and Sony Ericsson and the 7 inch Android tablets and iPads. The Dell Streak is at the golden mean of 5 inches.

I was floored with the form factor. A 5 inch device CAN be a sweet spot between a regular phone and a tablet as I was able to hold the Streak up to my ear without looking silly and still have a tablet-like feel for browsing sites and playing games. It holds well on both hands — and even with one hand and provides, IMHO the best touch screen SMS-keyboard experience I have yet seen without sacrificing portability. Sure you can do the same thing on a Galaxy Tab or an iPad but you won’t have the gift of being able to slide the phone into your pocket. Because the Streak has a pretty huge screen, Dell bundles the device with its own neoprene carrying pouch.

The Dell Streak runs on Android 2.2 with support for a front face camera. In terms of performance, I found the UI to be a step less than fast but I’m, not sure if this has anything to do with the fact that the screen is huge. It is, at the end of the day, workable. I didn’t have time to run apps. Neither did I have time to road test the battery.

Pros: Great screen, best form factor, fits in your pocket, “5 inch sweet spot”
Cons: Battery cover is hard to snap on and off

I’m not sure if the Dell Streak will be launched officially but if it does, the sweet spot form factor and screen size is sure to win the hearts of many LOLZ. I definitely would not mind owning one.

Breaking: Android Paid Apps now available in the Philippines via Mastercard and VISA

Exciting. This news is so exciting, I decided to post the full press release. Thanks to Aileen Apolo, Ms. Google Earth Philippines for sending this over. If you own an Android phone, this is all the more reason to keep it. I can finally buy the full license of ROBO DEFENSE!!!!

TL;DR: Paid Android apps can now be bought in the Philippines via VISA and Mastercard

FULL PRESS RELEASE:

Google expands support for paid Android apps to consumers in the Philippines

(Manila, Philippines, May 12, 2011) – Today Google announced that Android Market will increase consumer access and developer support for paid applications in several new countries, including the Philippines. Consumers from 99 new countries will be able to purchase apps from Android Market. This latest expansion of Android Market means more applications — including games, social, and productivity apps — for consumers.

The number of countries where Android users can purchase priced apps will increase to 131 including the addition of the Philippines. Consumers from these newly supported countries will now have access to over 200,000 free and paid apps in Android Market, which they can access directly from their Android-powered device. Apps will be priced in US Dollars, and can be bought through Google Checkout, which supports local Mastercard and Visa credit cards.

Android Market was launched to help developers distribute mobile applications on a level playing field, while enabling users to find and download apps that leverage the unique capabilities of the Android platform. Google is pleased to announce the expansion of Android Market’s offerings in these additional countries to deliver more apps for more people.

About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top Web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall Web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.ph.

SMART’s Postpaid Android Lineup

This is the current listing of SMART’s Android lineup for postpaid plans. If you’re interested, there’s also a Get Androidified booth this weekend at the Powerplant Mall. Also, they have a summer promo for the Galaxy Tab. Click on the image to enlarge.

Free at Plan 500
HUAWEI Ideos

Free at Plan 1200
Samsung Galaxy Mini
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X8

Free at Plan 1800
Samsung Galaxy Ace

Free at Plan 2500
Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc
HTC Desire S

Free at Data Plan 2000
Samsung Galaxy Tab

Angry Birds runs on Chrome — Ultimate Office Time Waster!



http://chrome.angrybirds.com

Simply put, it’s great marketing for Google Chrome. But on a completely different level it is also showing you what HTML5 can do. In case you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, HTML5 is the really the “new way” of doing things on your browser without the need to code in Flash. So the lesson here is quite simple. The next time your client tells you that he wants his site in flash, (1) give him a firm no because (a) flash is so 90’s, (b) a lot of people use flash blockers on their browsers, (c) it takes too long to load, (d) flash is not SEO-friendly (e) and finally flash won’t run on an iPad. You can then (2) suggest the site be coded in HTML5 instead because it’s the “cool new way” things are done without requiring a plugin.

As long as you have a browser that supports HTML5, you can run this. But of course, it’s still all about the branding!

Get Chrome now. And play Angry Birds while you’re at work. Oh and if you’re head of IT, please don’t block this site, k?

Inn at the Crossroads: My new favorite food blog


Quails drowned in butter

“This evening they had supped on oxtail soup, summer greens tossed with pecans, grapes, red fennel, and crumbled cheese, hot crab pie, spiced squash, and quails drowned in butter. Lord Janos allowed that he had never eaten half so well.” (II: 91) Photo c/o Inn at the Crossroads

I have a new favorite food blog and it has everything to do with its theme. Inn at the Crossroads is run by two women, Sarian and Chelsea. And like me, they’re huge fans of the Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin. If you haven’t heard of this yet, it is hands down an epic series which you must absolutely read before you expire. It’s so good, the first book, A Game of Thrones has been turned into an HBO series.

Sarian and Chelsea usually follow a formula with their posts — making both a Westeros and modern version of their dishes followed by a commentary on each dish — similarities and differences in preparation and plating. Their blog is truly a work of art.

Difference between HSPA+ and LTE

So over on Plurk I was trying to explain the difference between HSPA+ and LTE. There is a lot of confusion. Without naming who carries what, here’s a simple way of looking at it:

HSPA+ is built on existing 3G technology. LTE is built on an entirely new network. Your iPhone 4 will work on an HSPA+ network because it is 3G compatible. It won’t be able to access the higher speed LTE network. You will need LTE compatible devices to run on the LTE network. These are phones like the Motorola Atrix and the HTC Thunderbolt.

Here’s an example. The BlackBerry 8520, one of the more recent devices being sold today cannot access 3G because it is limited to the 2G EDGE network. A lot of people don’t know this. Did they notice? Actually, no. This is because you don’t need really fast speeds to access email on a BlackBerry — which is what it is for.

Short chart:

2G
GSM –> GPRS –> EDGE

3G
3G –> 3.5G (that’s HSPA which is a combination of HSDPA and HSUPA. “D” and “U” stand for “Upload” and “Download”) –> HSPA+

The HSPA technology is a combination of HSDPA and HSUPA which. D and U stand for Downlink and Uplink which you can just translate to mean “download” and “upload.” SO HSUPA = uploading photos faster and sending email with bigger attachments faster.

When telcos here and abroad say that they have “4G” they are not referring to speeds. They are referring to “next gen” hardware. Based on the ITU standards, the real 4G is considered to be a technology called LTE Advanced, a small step above LTE (it’s like how 3G moves to 3.5G). LTE Advanced isn’t available yet anywhere around the world but rumors say by 2012.

LTE is the closest thing to what we call “4G speeds.” The truth is, the nomenclature doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.

“I changed my number. Please update your phonebooks.”

PROBLEM??!

It happens with some regularity where we have a friend who changes his or her mobile phone number and sends a big text blast to everyone on the list informing them to change this bit of information. More often than not, I forget to update and the past two days I’ve SMS-ed two friends who have apparently changed their numbers. So it was rather embarrassing (and annoying) to get a “HUS DIS” and a “sn0 p0h i2″ jeje-reply.

There is a way to avoid this though. If you (1) own a smartphone, and (2) make use of mobile Internet on your handset and (3) store your contacts using a sync with GMail, Yahoo! or Facebook you can easily inform your other friends who are also on smart phones that you changed your contact information. In fact, you don’t even need to inform anyone. Whenever you change the information on your Gmail vCard (or Facebook) the next time your contacts sync (which happens often when they’re doing over-the-air Internet), the update takes place. If you enter a new address book contact or make changes to your address book, the change reflects online as well.

So yeah you could say that owning an iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 7 device helps you really stay in touch with your friends not just with reading status updates, but with their contact information as well. Switch to a smartphone now and grab that data plan!

Have you ever wanted to learn how to SCUBA dive?


A pink skunk clownfish (Amphipirion perideraion) hovers above its host anemone while scouting its surroundings. Photo by Jayvee Fernandez

I’m taking a few friends out diving this weekend in Puerto Galera. We’re doing a DSD course, more commonly known as the Discover SCUBA Diving or “Introduction Dive.” It’s a short half-day course for those who are iffy about SCUBA diving. People have different reactions towards being submerged into the flora and fauna of the ocean; it is so much different from snorkeling. The course’s main objective is to help you become more comfortable underwater while breathing from a regulator. The course consists of a classroom lecture about SCUBA, familiarization with SCUBA equipment, a confined water session with exercises and finally, the most exciting part — the dive!

I think SCUBA diving is one of the best ways to get away from the heat of summer as you’re (1) already in the beach and (2) enjoying the warm tropical waters of the Philippines. Puerto Galera is one of the best places to dive as it is very close to Verde Island, one of the centers of biodiversity.

We’re staying at GULI Diving (Facebook) at White Beach over the weekend and I’d like to thank Gus and Lisa for hosting us.

Unboxing the Nokia E7 smartphone … and wow! Nice box!

The E7, you could say is the “E” successor to the N97. What this means is that they took the first iteration N97, which many people loved and converted it into a business phone.

Wow. No wonder it costs PHP32,000. The box is something you wouldn’t want to throw away. Pop it open and it’s almost like a box for your jewelry. it’s covered in felt.

To hold, the E7 feels very much like the N8 combined with the slider mechanism of the N97. The slider itself is a bit slippery to push out but well, this may be due to the fact that I haven’t spent a lot of time with it yet. The keypad is amazing though, almost like the felt finish of the box.

The Nokia E7 retails for P32,000.00. I asked their PR for information about current promos and what they told me is that this phone comes free with Plan 3000 on SMART.

Full review soon.

Enjoy our Tubbataha 2011 Video

Hi! This is a short, 3 minute video summarizing our 6 day, 15-dive trip to Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea. Mantas, eagle rays, turtles, schooling jacks and barracudas and a visit to the ranger station.

video by Chie Clemente
edited by Jayvee Fernandez
music “Summer” by “Ike as in Dwight”

Giant Manta in Tubbataha

A giant manta ray “flying” past our dive group from one of the walls in Tubbataha.

Video by Chie Clemente. Taken with the JVC FM1.

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