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[EXCLUSIVE] ShopPay: Taking the online store to the social network

I was out for a few beers with Andrian Lee a few weeks ago. I remember that night clearly because it was then that we dreamt of how easy online transactions would become if PayPal had full support in the Philippines. “How we wish PayPal came soon.” When I got to the car to drive home, Mike Abundo texts me saying PayPal had arrived. Wow. Beers with Andrian equates to accelerating the seemingly impossible in eCommerce.

Anyway I digress. Between beers, we talked about his new widgetized online shop. Why not bring the shop to the online consumers in social networks rather than have them go to different sites? Andrian told me that this move will not only make merchants’ goods easier to access, but it will also give incentives for social network members to earn cash on the side through commissions.

You can see some samples of the online shop widgets in his Multiply page:

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Hellgate London Collectors Edition

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So dating hasn’t been stellar lately. I’ve decided to take up Lia’s advice and coop myself back into my geeky cave and engage in something unproductive yet fun. What timing too, because Bill Roper had also just released Hellgate London, the one and only game that is making me use my PC more often now. I’ve been waiting for this release for almost 2 years. Ack! I’m back to using Windows.

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Press Freedom in the Philippines is a huge joke

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You’ve probably heard about this from a few days back. But still.

A mural depicting the history of press freedom made by the Neo-Angono artists in the Philippines was censored by the National Press Club before it was presented to President GMA. How ironic that the NPC’s “press freedom” commission was censored by none other than themselves. Truth be told, the word is not “censorship.” It leans a little bit more closely to “defacement.”

The final mural, which was submitted to NPC on October 24, shows a man reading the latest news on journalists’ killings while press freedom icons from the past and present converge around him. In one scene, Marcelo H. del Pilar is seen with fellow editor Mariano Ponce while rooting for cigarette butts in a garbage can under the streetsign La Solidaridad. Near the two, Filipino revolutionary Emilio Jacinto sells copies of the newspaper “Ningning o Liwanag” whose headlines proclaim the declaration of martial law while an incensed Eggie Apostol walks past. Perhaps the most arresting image is that of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. talking to National Hero Jose Rizal while the latter reads a newspaper article on the disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of press freedom icon Joe Burgos.

“Isn’t it ironic that an institution such as the NPC would cause the censorship of a work that they themselves commissioned purportedly to promote press freedom? Isn’t the freedom of expression of the artist bound up with the very press freedom that they supposedly uphold? Aren’t these alterations a clear violation of the rights of authors/artists protected by the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines?” the group said in a statement.

[source]

I can’t believe it. More photos of the alterations here. Neal Cruz’s piece talks about it more here.

Nokia Fever: Nokia N95 8GB, Nokia E90, Nokia 7500 Prism

Nokia N95 8GB

I have some reviews of a couple of Nokia phones over at Cellphone9. If you’re interested, check out the following links:

On Friday, November 16 2007, Nokia will be holding the launch party for the Nokia 5310 at Makati Avenue. Sign up by clicking on the link above and place your first and last name on the comments section for the VIP room access.

Hush. Let’s watch the sunset.

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Sometimes, the best way to get the message across is to give them the silent treatment.

5:24 PM. It was a Sunday. And we watched the sunset. And it was beautiful.

Shot using a 350D and kit lens that has not failed me for the past 1 1/2 years. I had a mini tripod and a Cokin filter. Click on the image for a larger version. Click here to view a few more shots I took.

UPDATE: We have a YouTube video courtesy of Jay

Modify your Leopard Dock Skin

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Because of the new Fan and Grid feature of Leopard’s downloads folder, I can spend more time beautifying a less cluttered desktop. Now despite the eye candy of the new dock, a lot of users have complained about how they preferred the old dock in OS X Tiger because it was easier to tell whether an application was open or not via the reversed triangle visual aid. Leopard has replaced the default “triangle” with transparent lights which makes it harder for some people with vision problems to discern what application is open.

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I’ve managed to customize my dock’s skin using Leopard Docks. You will need to do some file replacing in the system folder. This is how you do it:

Go to Macintosh HD > /System/Library/Core Services/

Right-Click on “Dock” and select “Show Package Contents”

Go to /Contents/Resources/

Backup the files you are about to replace (Incase you did not listen, here they are)

Move those same original files to the trash

Move the files you downloaded to that folder

Open Terminal and type “killall Dock” (without the quotes)

View your nice new dock.
[How To]

This is a tip courtesy of Juan of The After Mac.

(And yes Riz and Lia, they have docks in pink too.)

PhotoBooth and iChat Hack: Uncover Star Wars Hologram Effect

Been fiddling around with Leopard for the past few hours. I have a lot of things to say in the pipeline but before that, I’d like to show you a little trick I picked up while browsing the forums. In the beta stages of Leopard, a PhotoBooth effect for the Star Wars hologram was excluded for final release. For us Star Wars fans, the effect simulates the holographic transmission effect used for communications.

Here is an example with me doing the Jedi:

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The effect has also become quite popular for Halloween:

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And yet another one …

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Listed below are the steps to do this hack.

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Uncategorized

Have you ever accepted work from Craigslist?

You know, one of my favorite blogs on the tech channel is The Craigslist’s Curmudgeon. The “Curmudgeon” exposes the @$$ side of Craigslist, a site dedicated to online work mostly related to copywriting. But really though, Craigslist can help you earn a few hundred bucks on the side if you’re a freelancer. As an alternative to blogging, Craigslist can become a good source of online income for us starving artists.

Have you ever browsed through Craigslist’s job board? Have you ever taken up any offers from there? What was it like?

Time Machine Makes Backing Up Fun

Here are some charts that show how often Macintosh users back up their data. 26% of all Macintosh users back up their systems regularly. However, only 4% make use of the auto back up feature:

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Hands down, the three most eyecatching experiences with Leopard are, in no order, the new iChat moving backgrounds, the new reflective effect of the dock, and Time Machine. Apple engineers intentionally made Time Machine look this good so that people will be encouraged to back up often in exchange for the eye candy.

It is advised to purchase a “time machine” (aka external drive) that is at least equal to the total hard drive space of your current Macintosh. It is advised to run Time Machine before you go to sleep so that when you wake up the next day, the backup process would have been completed.

Shai Come Home

Shai Coggins, one of the VP’s of b5media is coming home for the holidays. We are organizing a set of two meets for b5media bloggers as well as for the Filipino blogging community.

The schedule for the two meet ups are as follows:

The first one will be held on the 29th of November (Thursday PM), which is going to be a b5media meet-up. A chance to catch-up and meet some of our wonderful bloggers and Channel Editors who are based in the Philippines.

The second meet-up will be on the 30th of November (Friday PM), which is going to be a general meet-up of Bloggers in Manila. Yes, if you’re a blogger based in Manila (or willing to come and meet us), YOU’RE INVITED to the party.

For more details and updates on the venue, please read Shai’s entry.

Nokia Parteh: Bloggers get VIP

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UPDATE: VIP SECTION FULL

What: Nokia 5310 XpressMusic Phone Party
When: November 16 2007 | 8:00 PM
Where: A. Venue Hall, Makati Avenue, Makati City
Attire: Red and black club wear

Nokia Philippines is celebrating the launch of their new music phone, the ultra thin Nokia 5310. The launch parteh will be this November 16 2007. For free entrance to the VIP area, please leave a comment by November 14 2007.

ED Nevada/ TriboManila /Silverfilter /Couchlab/03
Lady Trinity/ DJ Patch/ Travis Monsod/ Eggboy
Suntheory/ Funkavy/ ScratchMedia
Adrian Cuenca /Rubber Inc./ Artstrong

With guest performances by:
Scarlett
Jun Lopito
Mike Grape
KrisGorra-Dancel
Girl Valencia

Let’s parteh!

Leopard Now.

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Mac OS X Leopard is officially in the Philippines.

If you bought a Macintosh anytime beginning October 1 2007 in the Philippines, you are entitled to an almost free upgrade to OS X Leopard for only PHP 527.00. All new Macs come pre-installed with Leopard.

On a side note, I’ve heard reports of retailers in the Philippines going out of stock for the MacBooks. This can only mean two things: (1) the new Macs are coming with Leopard, which is no surprise OR (2) the new version of the MacBooks may be due in the next few weeks.

One. Ultimate. Version.

Farhad Manjoo (Salon) makes a compelling case. “If we’re going just by what’s better—the ages-old Mac-vs.-PC debate is over. Long over. Yell it from the rooftops; The Mac has won.” Now’s the right time “to buy an Apple computer,” proclaims Manjoo. “Indeed, it’s been that time for the past five years.” After all, “its Macintosh business is now in league with that of the biggest PC companies in the world.” And “everyone who’s used it agrees that Leopard, the operating system that Apple released late last month, is to its chief rival, Microsoft’s Windows Vista, roughly as Richard Wagner is to Richard Marx.” Manjoo even takes the opportunity to “put to rest the myth that an Apple computer will set you back more than a Windows PC. In fact,” he says, “it’ll cost you less.” [Start]

Bored? Shoot Boke!

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“Amplifying Peace Across Borders” by Anne Elicano

Ladies and gents, I’m proud to share with you a piece written by a good friend – well she was more than just a good friend. Anne, my ex former girlfriend back in college (we agreed never to call each other “ex” because it didn’t sound right) had a huge achievement to share with me a few days ago. She was always a good writer and I knew she would go places in one way or another. She recently won the International Essay Contest for Young People (2007) on the topic of Amplifying Peace Across Borders. Her current line of work has something to do with human rights, governance and politics.

Ironically, Anne was also the reason why Yuga and I met for the first time. I was invited to give a talk on podcasting for the FNF, while Abe went on with the blogging seminars (the reason why Abe travels so much now – the lucky dog 🙂 ). Sadly, I was not able to make it for that stint.

This is not a political blog, but Anne shares a common thought that echoes in the minds of the technologically blessed. The Internet can really bring people closer together, or can be a tool for strife and controversies.

It is clear that, in this “information age”, peacemakers are not those who remain silent in the sidelines for the sake of harmony. Bono does it with his music and anonymous writers in Iran do it with their blogs. It is a relief to know that, with media and communication technologies, there are several platforms for peacemakers to speak out.

You can read the full essay here. Congratulations Anne! You really deserved it.

On another more personal note, how many of you can say that you’ve remained friends with your ex? I dunno. I still talk to my past girlfriends. Except one. Because she’s really crazy. 😛

A Kape Isla Invitation

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Props to the owners of Kape Isla, that little coffee shop at the entrance of Serendra, right across Market! Market! There’s more to the quaint coffee shop than meets the eye. In fact, some people may think that the establishment is a bit out of place compared to the other restaurants in the area. Truth be told, Kape Isla is a “coffee museum” that is supported by the Philippine Coffee Board. Yes, it is an NGO.

Kape Isla is the Philippine Coffee Board’s cooperative marketing program. The Board issues the Kape Isla name as a national umbrella label for coffee to signify that a coffee product uses Philippine-grown coffee beans. The label is used in tandem with existing brand names and blend trademarks as a complimenting label to signify its Philippine origin.

The marketing and events of the establishment is being handled by Rock Ed Philippines and Gang Badoy. I’m helping out as well promote the establishment as a truly Filipino coffee shop that’s geek friendly as well. The coffee is affordable, strong and can be accompanied with free wireless Internet (Serendra itself also has free WiFi but Kape Isla is a good alternative if you want to spend a few hours working on something on your laptop).

Blog and Soul will be doing a small event at Kape Isla sometime during the latter part of the month.

There’s a rumor that the Bayanihan Blog Network might be doing their official launch there very soon 😉

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