Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Crunch Time for BPO

In my last week's blog entry, I talked about the rise of the BPO industry in our country, the benefits that it brings, as well as its bad effects. I was browsing for news earlier when I came across a news article regarding the BPO industry. I was a bit surprised that this news article somehow confirmed my fears. If you would ask me why I was so fixated with this topic, it is because I was also BPO employee, although not as a call center agent, before I entered law school.

The government must really do something about this before it gets worse.

Below is the full text of the news article from that I am talking about:

‘Crunch taking toll on BPO workers’ health’

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:11:00 03/18/2009

MANILA, Philippines – A labor study group warned Wednesday that occupational health risks in the outsourcing industry are likely to increase after the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) said companies are scaling down growth targets and hiring of new personnel, if not already laying off some.

The Quezon City-based Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) said BPO firms that shed staff tend to overwork their remaining employees.

“It has come to our attention that some outsourcing companies are already employing reduced workforce[s] while encouraging multitasking and additional unpaid work hours, which will further distress the health of the employees,” EILER deputy executive director Anna Leah Escresa-Colina said in a statement sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of

She said last year, EILER undertook a research on call centers servicing the airline, railway, bus, cruise ship/ferry industries, and logistics, goods and transport industries.

The research, she said, found out that the occupational health risks from graveyard shifts, long working hours, very cool temperatures in work places, and high work stress due to high quotas are very serious and potentially life-threatening.

Most of the respondents, according to Colina, experienced sleeping problems, eye strain, overall fatigue, headaches, chest and back pains, voice problems and mental stress. Other health hazards were work stress, work time, and irrational behavior of customers.

“Despite such high occupational health risks in call centers, clinical services are found to be wanting especially during graveyard shifts,” she added, recalling that in 2007, a stress-induced death of a call center agent was reported in the media.

Colina also found fault in BPAP’s statement that it was still possible to earn $13 billion in revenues as indicated by the so-called BPO Roadmap 2010.

“But to be able to reach this revenue target, the right of BPO employees to organize will be effectively suppressed as only organized employees can comprehensively advance their concerns on health and safety, career paths and development, skills development, their social life, savings for their future and long-term occupation security,” she explained.

The EILER official said the BPO industry is virtually union-free because organizing in the sector is said to be covertly and overtly discouraged by the management.

EILER also said that the Department of Labor and Employment’s new Guidelines on Flexible Work Arrangements which encouraged establishments to impose forced leaves, overtime without pay, shift reduction, rotation, compressed work week and other practices could undermine the rights of workers of in other industries as well.

Raymond Roque

Monday, March 16, 2009


This is a take-home exam. You are free to discuss and/or confer among yourselves, but you must do your final submission yourself.

Please submit TWO COPIES of your final answers, which must be typewritten, using size 12 Times New Roman font, and double-spaced with 1-inch margin on all sides. The total number of pages of your entire submission should not exceed twelve (12) pages. Failure to comply with these restrictions will result in penalties on your grade.

You must submit your answers on or before 12:00 noon on March 20, Friday at the Dean’s office. One point will be deducted for each minute over this deadline.

I. (40%)

The success of Barack Obama in harnessing the Internet to propel himself to the White House has generated a lot of interest in replicating the same here in the Philippines. Can it be done here? Why or why not? How can you run an Internet campaign on the cheap in the Philippines?

II. (40%)

Find two recent news articles that illustrate the challenges posed by new technologies, particularly the Internet, to laws that currently govern intellectual property rights. Discuss in the context of the Philippines. Why are intellectual property rules/rights more difficult to enforce? Do we need new laws or rules to address these challenges? What are the policy implications?

III. (20%)

Write a short feature article on any other ICT-related policy topic (except intellectual property rights) that interests you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

E-ballota E-conomics

In businesses, using more capital means employing less labor. That is the usual trade-off. The question in changing the technology used in certain businesses is whether there would be less costs in employing more labor with less capital or the other way around.

According to Republic Act No. 8436 (R.A. No. 8436) as amended, the automated election system is a system using appropriate technology which has been demonstrated in the voting, counting, consolidating, canvassing, and transmission of election result, and other electoral process.

Assuming that government thinks like an ordinary business, this would probably mean that less man hours would be required in conducting an automated elections. However, this 2010 is too significant. Since the technology is new to the Philippines, what would be the chances that less people would actually be working on it? Probably less man hours would be required per individual, although I doubt that less people would be employed.

So many seem to scared of the system. After all, how sure are we that the data transmitted are going to be the same as the data received by the Comelec? We already know that they are crackable.

More capital and less labor? Probably not.

Giulia Pineda

ihacks going legit

Apple's iTunes App Store, the only Apple-approved source for iPhone applications, is getting some competition.
Jay Freeman, the developer behind the Cydia app that allows software not approved by Apple to be installed on the iPhone, has launched the Cydia Store, an unauthorized alternative online market for iPhone applications.
So what does this mean? Well expect a more adult oriented selection of third party applications that you would otherwise never see on your iphone.
The kinds of applications Apple is willing to approve for sale in its iTunes Store have been changing, perhaps due to pressure from dissident developers like Freeman. In December, Apple started allowing novelty applications, such as the Pull My Finger flatulence simulator, to be sold. It had previously rejected such apps citing their lack of utility.
Is Apple going to do anything about this? Well ,where there's money involved you bet it will.


I never print my e-ticket. It's electronic right? Why do I need to print it? Doesn't it defeat the very purpose for which it was invented? The guards at Ninoy Int'l always hassle me about this. "Hindi nyo pini-rint?" "Hindi po, e-ticket nga e." "Kailangan nyo i-print ma'am." "O sige, sige. Next time. Papasukin nyo na po ko, baka maiwan pa ko." "Sige pasok na po. Next time ma'am ha!"

Ha. Ha.

I was stuck in the San Francisco International Terminal for 24 hours.

I had a connecting flight from Boston Logan to San Francisco, so woke up esp. early so I would not miss it. I was checked in and ready to go 2 hours before my flight. If I had no printed copy of my ticket, how did I know my departure time? The hotel had free wi-fi. I checked on-line.

(I had a rem quiz you see, and I timed my flight so that I would be in at 5am the same day that my 7pm quiz would be held. I planned to study on the plane. Ha!)

BOS to SFO: Check. I was on time and had a pleasant flight even if I was seated next to angry-sweaty- fat-guy-who-needed-a-seatbelt-extender. At least I had the aisle seat. He was stuck in the middle seat. Haha.

SFO to MNL: Not checked. I had about 10 hours fom the time I landed to the time my flight for Manila leaves. Or did I?

I met with a friend for coffee in the Financial District. (What about my luggage you ask? Tip: You can leave your luggage on the conveyer (don't touch it!) and just pick it up from the airline luggage office when you are ready.)

At around 7pm we parted ways as I wanted to go to my favorite San Francisco bookstore. I stood up at around 9pm, and went to the BART station which is connected to the airport.

I picked up my luggage from the airline office and walked languidly to PAL's check in counter. I was alarmed though. I did not see any balikbayan boxes. No Filipinos milling around. For a moment I thought I was in the wrong airport.

And then I saw the sign. My plane left at 9:05pm!!!


Lesson: Print the damn e-ticket.

You have died of dysentery.

Ah, the 8-bit goodness that was Oregon Trail---the classic pioneer trailblazing adventure game where no one ever really got to the beaver state. I usually preferred death by dysentery, while the wife and kids got pwned crossing the Big Blue River.

Soon, with's vision of bringing affordable computer learning to the fortuneless for $12 a pop, kids all over can experience firsthand the perils of hunting bunnies for rations by accidentally shooting themselves. The project heads figured that with 8-bit systems already being manufactured in the developing world on the cheap, that available (albeit somewhat archaic) technology should be exploited to help educate kids. Sure, a game where you can die of cholera probably isn't appropriate for a child living in an actual cholera-ridden village, but I digress. There's always Reader Rabbit.

The project's credo that fun is learning is much easier to take in than the preachy One Laptop Per Child. I can certainly stand by a cause that values fun. And the $100 laptop program just isn't feasible--but building around an affordable system already in the mainstream is.

Just a tip for the kids: never caulk the wagon and float it! Man up and ford the damned thing.

Googling my city

It began with an OLA case that needed to be archived. In a nutshell, I needed to go to a San Juan court to procure a copy of a court order circa 2003. I had no idea how to get there. Since San Juan is in Metro Manila, it should have a website, right? Wrong. When I clicked on the link to San Juan at, Eventually, I relied on my trusty road map to get there.

A few days ago, during one of my mindless surfing sessions, I went to the Philippine government site and clicked on the city that I've lived in my entire life, Quezon City. It has a website, with a smiling Mayor Belmonte on the top portion. It contained the standard details with regard to the city's offices and officials, programs and policies and awards garnered. But I did learn some new things, albeit trivial.
1. I did not know there was a public library inside the City Hall compound. It has wi-fi.
2. Mayor Belmonte's late wife, was the founder of the Philippine Star.
3. Amoranto, which I only knew as the name of the stadium with the huge swimming pool, was actually a former mayor of the city.

Next time, I'll search for my barangay.

Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Facebook recently took an about face regarding the controversial change to its term of service that grants Facebook the "perpetual worldwide license" to anything that is posted in the network. Amidst cries of violations of privacy and the claim of ownership, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg opted to revert to the old licensing agreement to re-examine and re-assess the controversial change.

With an estimated 175 million users using facebook, the terms of service that govern members as they routinely share comments, prictures and more online and website needs is a paramount concern since it serves as the governing document that all its members adhere to. As Zuckerberg reiterated, the terms "aren't just documents that protect our rights, it is the governing document for how the service is used by everyone across the world." With the advent of "cyber communities" that people now generally participate in, protection and ownership concerns over the information posted is now becoming more important. It is this challenge, together with the vast scope of such communities that need to be addressed not only by the makers but also the users.

I-Phone woes of Gerry Kaimo

The serious billing problems that iPhone users have been experiencing has been one of the hottest topics in recent weeks. Gerry Kaimo is just one of those users who are outraged by the astronomical amounts of bills that they've been getting from Globe (read: P27, 000 to P50,000) because of the default Internet settings of the phone which, incidentally, does not have a manual to begin with. So if you're not a techie, there is an even greater risk that you will incur the same amount for the "services" which you felt you weren't even using. The whole scenario seems so unfair to the users of the iPhone especially if one considers the fact that Globe even charges the users for the cost of the "workshop" that they can avail of just to themselves with enough information about your phone's internet settings - information which, in my opinion, should have been given for free. Well, Mr. Kaimo already wrote a letter to JAZA about it. We can only hope that something could be done about the whole problem. The details of the iPhone billing woes are written in this blog.

oh well...

i went to the OSG a couple of days ago for my internship interview

oddly, the interviewer went and asked about my undergrad thesis instead of how i am in lawschool...

so i explained to him what i did and my conclusion...he went and goes "parang si (insert uber popular PIL professor here) talking in the SC, did you understand her?" i felt helpless because i tried to use layman words and terms but it still seemed like i was talking greek.

in retrospect, i think i should have said that the competition in the mobile industry brought about by the promos that plagued the industry some 6 years ago should be regulated to ensure that the lines will not be congested. that's pretty simple right? but then, i think i could have also added that more lines should be laid in order to ensure that the increase in the volume of subscribers will not lead to congestion...

oh well...

Facebook's new look

Beginning this week, Facebook's new home page for personal profiles will let users easily filter content. Other changes that were made include letting public figures and companies such as CNN quickly blast information to users. Previously, those groups haven’t been able to send out information with Facebook’s news-feed feature, which people typically use to keep tabs on their friends. Now, they can take their interactions with people to the next level. It's a welcome development for politicians and candidates in the 2010 polls who would wish to reach out to more voters and supporters. Yup, in many ways Facebook is the poster child of the future of communications.

The Story of an Hour

Katipunan, Quezon City – It costs 100 pesos for an hour of internet at Starbucks, whereas a cup of coffee, which the drinker may extend for as long as she wants, costs about the same.

A few meters away from Starbucks, there are internet shops which offer each hour of internet for only 20 pesos. Or cross the street and there’s McDonald’s, which now also has a coffee shop, and free wifi (if the system is working).

It is unfathomable why still so many individuals buy that exorbitantly-priced internet hour at Starbucks when they could just buy a soy chai tea latte to go then trot off to the internet café with cheapo services, or skip to McDonald’s and get a Happy Meal toy instead. Is it because the cafés are populated with pimply teenagers screaming over DOTA? Is it because McDonald’s has Britney Spears wanting Baby to do it one more time, instead of The Ink Spots who don’t want to set the world on fire?

There must be a reason why people still buy the internet card at Starbucks, but this escapes me.

(My apologies to Kate Chopin for borrowing the title.)

Enemies of the Internet

In a study by Reporters Without Borders, 22 countries who censored Internet use and threatened online expression were branded as Enemies of the Internet. They are: Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. RWB accused them of transforming their Internet into an "Intranet" so that their citizens are denied access to "undesirable" online information. The means used by these countries vary from orchestrating the posting of comments on websites, to organizing hacker attacks. China, Vietnam and Iran currently detain the most cyber-dissidents.

I was surprised to see that the Philippines, for its history of human rights violations, is not on the list. At least the Internet is still a place for Filipinos to be free thinkers and strong activists.

Red Nose Campaign Goes Online!

Christmas Day of 1985, Comic Relief, a British charity organization was launched in BBC1's The Late, Late Breakfast Show, in order to raise money to support victims of a famine in Ethiopia. The Red Nose Day is the main way in which Comic Relief is able to raise money. Telethons and other money-raising activities are held on Red Nose Day. The day involves the wearing of plastic/foam red noses which are available in many shops in exchange for donations, to help increase awareness of the charity.

This year, the notable day is due to be held on 13 March 2009. And even before that day, the campaign already went digital, mostly through social networking sites. Social network users can buy virtual red noses and upload a photo with a red nose! Comic Relief was already able to launch their pages on MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter.

When Comic Relief first started on BBC One years ago, television was the most effective way of engaging and mobilising people around the country," said Chris Ward, creative director for Comic Relief. "Now in the multi-platform age not everyone is going to be sat watching TV at 7pm. This is about engaging a range of audiences," he said. Already the digital campaign has seen a 100% increase in traffic to the Red Nose homepage and 40,000 have so far logged on to Facebook's bespoke page. -BBC News

Cool. Social networking sites can actually extend the lives of charities! You can even donate through their website: At present, the Red Nose Day raises money to support long-term projects in several areas (Young People, Mental Health, Older People, Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Disadvantaged Communities, Domestic Violence, People Affected by HIV, Women and Girls, People Affected by Conflict, People Living in Urban Slums, Trade) which help people to help themselves across the UK and Africa.

It's good to see that noble causes make the most out of the technological advancements.

Beauty That's Sleeve Deep

In acquiring the latest technology, is it wise to let form trump function? There have been rumors that Apple will be coming up with a touch screen notebook soon and the news has elicited many a shrieking and daydreaming in people I know. I am friends with someone who wants to be on the waitlist for a Mac by Hello Kitty. Another person I know spent an unreasonable amount of money buying the Ferrari laptop by Acer even if at the time Acer wasn't exactly the best brand in the market (I base this on the fact that it's the school's official brand). The Macbook Air has been floating in my dreams for quite a while now although I am aware that there is a cheaper Macbook, which has a bigger memory, more than one usb port, and a cd drive. Sometimes it's easy to get lured into buying something so aesthetically admirable but soon enough when the flaws start to appear, its beauty ceases to matter or fades altogether, making you realize that ultimately it's the inside that counts.

Featured website -

It has been months since I last used my Friendster account. I may open it sometimes but it is only to check my Home page and see if some close friends added pictures. But other than that, it is of no use to me anymore as the majority of my “current” and forever friends are also in Multiply or Facebook.

It gives me a bad feeling whenever I see messages of friend request or comments which I failed to respond to for weeks or months already. The senders might construe it as snobbishness but really, I don’t use Friendster that often anymore and I also disabled the Friendster update function from gracing my yahoo mail account.

I am now thinking of deleting my Friendster account. But problem is some of my closest friends continue using Friendster and doesn’t have (as yet) Facebook account. Or they probably think Friendster is the Francis Magalona (bless his soul) of social network and wouldn’t dare switch.

But for those thinking of deleting social networks, blogging services, online retail accounts, etc., has featured steps in deleting these kinds of accounts. “How to delete accounts from any website” features details on how to leave 23 online services behind. The how-to is divided into 5 categories: (1) Social networks –, Facebook, Friendster, LinkedIn, MySpace,; (2) Online retailers –,, Blockbuster Online, eBay, iTunes, Netflix, PayPal; (3) Blog services – Blogger, Twitter; (4) Sharing services – Flickr, Photobucket, YouTube; and (5) Online services – AOL/AIM, Apple’s MobileMe, Google, Windows Live ID, Yahoo.

Visit for more details.
Maria Cristina Yambot

Hold on to your iButts, it’s iNot the iInternets

So I heard Microsoft will be borrowing a little concept from Macappletosh, and Gates and his homies will be setting up stylish, sexy boutiques for their products. They want to go the Apple way and sell an image, a hip proclamation of a lifestyle choice, along with a computer. Because, I guess, the first thoughts one associates with Bill Gates is “sexy”, and “hip”, so he just had to get that sexy hipness out there and translate it to a marketing concept. But seriously, I’m intrigued to see how Microsoft plans to replicate the iPhenomenon that is geeky minimalism, ironic, uncool coolness, and smug unsmugness. I might be typing on a Macappletosh right now, but outside circumstances dictate that. I’m not cool enough to have made that choice. Though I do appreciate the arrogance of simplicity, what with that single glowing orchard fruit and general better-than-you-ness. What’s Microsoft to offer, then? I say go the opposite direction and give us bigger, bolder, louder. Eschew the simple lines and the understatement of effort to be cool. Be harsh. Be brash. Be the 80’s. Go on, rock us like a hurricane. Microsoft, you deserve the dignity of contrast.

The Effect of Poverty on the Use of Technology (Part 4)

Our use of technology depends on the knowledge and information that we have about it and the skills that we subsequently develop due to such information. And as previously discussed, this information need not be based on the actual use of the technology involved but may be based on ones own personal idea of what the technology is all about. And for this idea to materialize, one does not need a high level of formal education.

In line with this, the environment that we see all around us has the effect on how we see this knowledge and its possible applications with technology. After all, each and every kind of technology has to be applied in society. In looking at the effect of poverty on the use of technology, we then have to see and incorporate the current practices of those under poverty that may be utilized to assist in the ease of access that would help in the incorporation of such relatively new technology into that kind of setting.

This leads me to the second effect of poverty on technology. This is that poverty somehow challenges developers of technology to create new kinds of technology that would be cheaper but could reach more people. This gives me the impression that even though poverty is by itself a terrible concept, it is nevertheless an opportunity.

This challenge likewise involves the development of technology keeping in mind what comes natural to all human beings, regardless of socio-economic status. Hence, it helps keep things simple, despite the seemingly complicated nature of technology.

Rivera, Jan Michael A.

Lese Majeste law and the Freedom of Speech in the Internet

The issue of freedom of speech and the open realm of the internet has been a constant topic of most Human Rights advocates since blogging has become a predominant activity of internet users. Content regulation v. freedom of expression: Where do we draw the line? Who determines when what has been posted is offensive? Is the freedom of expression absolute?
Here in the Philippines, I have yet to hear of a person imprisoned because of a blog. Unfortunately, in other countries there are laws which could land you in prison for what you’ve posted in your blog. Thai law (lese majeste)mandates a penalty of three to 15 years imprisonment for "whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir to the throne or the Regent." You might think that the law is no longer enforced, like our RPC provision against dueling, unfortunately you’d be wrong.
Last Jan. 19, 2009, Harry Nicolaides, an Australian author, was convicted on the basis of a 103 word paragraph about the alleged sexual peccadilloes of the royal family, particularly Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn in a novel he published in 2005 entitled Verisimilitude. Ironically the book only sold 7 copies. Nicolaides was given a royal pardoned a month after being sentenced (he was in jail for a total of 6 months).
While most of us take our right to post criticisms against politicians for granted, next time you contemplate posting one against the head of state of another country you might want to take a moment and check their laws. You may be free to post your views in one place but the moment you step into a different soil, you have already broken the law. The lesson to be learned? This summer before you decide on your vacation destination, look through all your blogs. Now limit your self to countries on which you’ve yet to post a negative comment.

Kaleidoscope World

You all probably have heard about the death of Francis M. last weekend unless you've been sleeping under a rock. I have been reading his blog ( since he got sick. While I'm not one of his avid fans, I got hooked reading his entries because despite his illness, he remained positive and even shared his experiences in the blog. While I was sweating the small stuff, here was a guy who was probably worrying about the future of his family but he was still all smiles. He approached the situation bravely. I guess I wasn't alone in thinking that way. There was an outpour of comments the day he died from other people, not just the fans but people he has touched through his blog. In an interview with his widow, Pia Magalona, she said that one of the things that keeps her strong was the words of encouragement by people from all parts of the world in Francis M.'s blog. In this age of technology, it's amazing how total strangers touch each other's lives and serve as inspirations to get through tough times.

too old at 24

i don't know how to use lex libris. there. i'm not sure if its sheer laziness to have to learn how to use that program or if its the masochist in me - but i really have no plans of learning how to use it anytime soon. google and mano-mano searching has done wonders for me anyway. maybe i'm just in denial. i think i'll have to learn how to use it once i enter the firm come december or january. anyway. i wonder if there will come a time that i will be "too old" to learn how to operate new programs. i'd like to think i'm relatively tech-savvy and that my learning curve is pretty okay but there are really just times when i feel that i'm too old to be learning how to work new programs. like the new version of limewire. my brother told me not to bother downloading it unless i have time to sit and learn how to use it. i also don't want to buy a full-on touch phone because it'll be hell learning how to text and learning how to work a new interface. its a bad attitude i know. one that will lead to stagnation. hence, i've decided to set it aside. from now on i'll approach new technology with eagerness and not fear. but only when i have free time. he he he.

60 years from now i'll be featured in some news program as the organizer of the senior citizen teleportation travel club or something. :) a good example that learning is all about an having open mind.

Computer Routine

1. Open the AVR of the computer server, router and internet adaptor
2. Open the UPS of my computer
3. Turn on my CPU and my monitor
4. While waiting for the CPU to boot up, open my printer and make sure it has scratch paper in the bin
5. When the computer is open, open the web browser and check if it has net connection
6. Go to Yahoo! Mail and check for new e-mails
7. Go to Facebook and check for new friend requests
8. Go to Mob Wars and do jobs
9. Go to Mafia Wars and do jobs.
10. When the energy runs out, stare at the screen until I have enough energy to do another job.
*Rinse, repeat as needed*

At Your Own Risk

TV Patrol featured yet another ill-fated victim of internet scams. This woman, an Overseas Filipino Worker based in the Middle East, received an online message from someone she thought to be her sister urging her to purchase cellcards she could sell. After sending almost a hundred thousand pesos through her cellphone, much to her horror, she later realized that she had been duped. In her words, "hanggang ngayon, pinagbabayaran ko pa rin ang katangahan ko." Yahoo! Philippines confirmed receiving many reports of online crimes such as this. While they admit that they are unable to regulate much of the activity that happens online, for which reason many scammers can swindle to their heart’s content, Yahoo! claims to be exerting efforts in educating people on how to protect one’s self from such incidents. In a nutshell, they said much of it is really just common sense.

To a certain extent, I would have to agree. To illustrate, one of my relatives from the province asked me what I thought of this “business proposal” she received through her e-mail which was basically soliciting funds for a start-up business with a supposedly assured and attractive rate of return. I was actually a bit saddened and in disbelief that she would have even, for a moment, considered it to be legitimate. Business proposals made by strangers through e-mail is already one big red flag by itself. Another example was my sister’s friend who had sent “load” to someone posing as my sister using another number. First of all, my sister’s cellphone is on a postpaid plan. Secondly, she has never, in their many years of knowing each other, asked for a similar favor from that friend, or even borrowed money, for that matter. We just found it a bit strange that someone like my sister’s friend, a savvy and sophisticated business person, could fall for such a crude old cellphone scam. While there are far more well-thought out and sophisticated online scams that exist, it’s rather alarming that the best of us can fall prey to the most obvious and dubious schemes.

Yahoo! created Yahoo! Safely, a website which gives advice on how a person can safeguard one’s self from becoming a victim of cybercrime. Basically, it’s nothing revolutionary and much of the tips are really just based on plain old common sense. Don’t get me wrong, though. I am far from saying that it’s always the victim’s fault. I concede that there are really some instances where not even the utmost diligence of very cautious persons could have saved us. But when we are in a position to help ourselves, then we ought to do so. For the most part, it pays to be a cynic.

There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be stupidity not to be deceived by them. Charles Caleb Colton


Last week, I've changed my home page to, a site which aggregates news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs and does it beautifully. While it's great to have everything in one place sometimes it becomes overwhelming and instead of faclitating easy access to a lot of information I end up trying to take in as much possible that I suffer from information overload.
In the end, simplicity is king-always has, and always will be.

Criminalizing Mobile Phone Use While Driving

House Bill 1625 (“Cell Phone Safety Act”) and House Bill 4917 (“An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Reading, Composing and Sending Electronic Messages while Driving, and for Other Purposes”) have been filed in the House of Representatives. They aim to prevent accidents and protect lives by forbidding motorists from using their mobile phones while on board a moving vehicle.

Placing/receiving calls and sending/receiving text messages is sought to be criminalized for both private and public vehicle drivers.

Proposed penalties are imprisonment for up to 6 months and fines of P200 - P100,000. Ouch.

There are some exemptions though – using hands-free devices and speaker phone function to make/receive calls, law enforcers while performing official functions, authorized drivers of ambulances and rescue vehicles while on duty, persons responding to emergency cases or rendering public service, and TV and radio news reporters. Thinking of faking an emergency? Shame on you.

The Philippine Chamber of Telecommunication Operators (some members include - PLDT, Globe, Smart) is supporting these Bills. I wonder what they have to gain from this. Corporate responsibility? Wow, benevolent.

Did you know that driving while on the phone is just as dangerous as drunk driving? According to Mythbusters, anyway. Drive safe, everyone.

Privacy Problems Through Cellphones (My Blog just before the sem ends)----

I felt a bit nostalgic about the sem. I had fun with the class. Hmm.. But anyway....

We usually think that with the rise of websites showing our pictures, sharing messages, stories/blogs (i.e. photosharing/blogs via facebook, multiply, friendster, blogspot, etc.) we should be vigilant about being in those unwanted photos, messages, stories. You hanging out with your ex-, you looking really wasted, or you sticking your tongue on someone's throat (sorry graphic). But this makes us forget that cellphones are more likely to be used as privacy invasion tools. As was reported in Fox News last month, a reasonably knowledgeable person like your mom could fence their kids' cellphones, one's partner may peek at their partner's text messages or photos, or the government may track where a person is close to a few feet away.

A court ruling said that the government may track a person without any court ruling or warrant given that the ownership and use of the cellphone already creates an assumption of risk to be tracked. Now imagine if your weird ex-girlfriend/ overly protective parents/ stalker wants to track you? hunt you down? I tell you, one should worry about this.

Have you heard of Chaperone? A service offered by Verizon wherein they automatically tell parents that their kids are moving beyond the boundaries that they allow their kids to be in. If your mom or dad wants you to be moving from home to school only then this is a good way to make sure of that happening.

Then there is the Big Daddy software that allows someone to read compromised messages, phone contents like pictures, and even allows the person who installed it to listen to phone calls made using the phone. Now you don't need to be a spy to do this. If you have the money to buy the software then nothing is holding you back.

And have you seen Google Latitude? The Google program that tracks a person through their phone. If someone wants to know where you are then they would just install latitude on your phone. Or just sneak in a phone that has latitude on it and enable it.

Scary is it not? Well those things aren't available in the Philippines yet but who knows?
Cellphones are likely to be the most hated privacy invasion tool. Reminds me of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.

Every Move You Make
Every Step You Take
I'll Be Watching You.

Baguilat, Raymond Marvic C. "Ice"

protection from user generated content

A civil suit was filed against Craigslist by an Illinois Sheriff who says that the online classified ads site is the "single largest source of prostitution in the nation." The subject of the suit in particular is Craigslist's "erotic services" section where users can post ads anonymously much like one would place an ad for a party planning business or a used laptop for sale. The site, naturally, insists that it has actively been engaged in assisting law enforcers in apprehending those who utilize its services for illicit activities, which the plaintiff has dismissively tagged as a huge publicity stunt for even bigger tax breaks. Even the newly added requirement of paying a fee for posting on the "erotic services" section can be circumvented simply by using stolen cards. At the very least, those who seek to profit handsomely will surely find other ways to bypass such a simple requirement.

Craigslist is confident that it can successfully defend itself against this latest attack, and it's probably safe to assume that it can since it cannot possibly be held liable for user generated or uploaded content which it does not own. The site may possibly be a facilitator, but is certainly not the source. And basing its liability on the fact that its a medium for prostitution rings or drug traffickers means that the law will also have to punish print media, motels and nightclubs as well.


I was at the Supreme Court last Tuesday doing research for my SLR paper and I happen to chat with DCA Bernardo T. Ponferrada, the head of the Philippine Mediation Center. He started talking about the case for mediation in the Philippines and the leaps that court-annexed mediation has done for the management of case dockets in the judiciary. At one point, he mentioned that what he truly wanted was there to be video-conferencing for mediation. I immediately thought: "topic for ICT blog." True enough, here I am, writing about my experience last Tuesday.

The thing is, the different agencies of our Government has been pushing for technological advancement in their respective fields. During an interview we conducted two years ago with then LTO Chief Reynaldo Berroya, I was impressed to find out that they have purchased PDAs, which are tied in to their system, such that traffic enforcers can merely type in the license plates of cars, and out goes the entire history of that vehicle, violations and all. I know that that's normal for other countries but in the Philippines? They were actually pushing that a monitor be placed in the cars such that if there's a traffic violation the Traffic Enforcers can merely scan the car for the pertinent information and need not rush after them to get the license plate.

It seems like we're catching up.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New rules, Lots of Laws

Early this week, the BSP issued new guidelines on electronic money transactions. The new rules are deemed to be the first of its kind of electronic innovation in the world. Huh?

Under the new guidelines, e-money is not considered as deposits and therefore not covered by the deposit insurance of the PDIC.The new rules also placed e-money transactions as covered by the AMLA. Really? So?

My good eye glazed over in the next few paragraphs of the news report. I also have yet to read the actual BSP guidelines. Not with finals and paper deadlines looming over our heads, mine more precariously so.

A little earlier, there were also reports of moves to again (!) automate the elections. Ho-hum! Anything new?

If in the US a glitch in the electronic voting system could inadvertently spell the loss of some thousands of crucial ballots, how much more in this country where electoral fraud has reached an unprecedented level of sophistication?

Only in the Philippines can someone like De Los Angeles actually hatch and execute his diabolical plans and go around our supposed secure banking and financial laws and bamboozle thousands who are suckers for all these get rich quick schemes.

Well, there are rules and there are rules. In our jurisdiction, we actually do not face a lack of laws. What is sorely lacking is the effective enforcement of these laws.

Doesn't say much for any branch of our purported government. Doesn't say much for many of us.

Deal with it

I was reading “The Constitutional Foundations of Privacy,” of Justice Cortes wherein she recognized that the use of computers poses new threats to privacy. She states that “it may interfere and ultimately deprive the individual of the right to control the flow of information about himself.” Basically this was because of the possibility of dissemination of information to an audience one didn’t intend to share the information with or by giving inaccurate information leading to a wrong impression about a person.

Which makes me wonder about those who arent very computer savy – how do they deal with the possibility of having their information shared with the world without their knowledge?

Information is constantly sent over the internet, through internet banking, buying on Amazon, etc. What if a phishing site was able to take his credit card number? Or was able to take their log-in information and impersonate them, causing all sorts of mayhem. Is there a way to absolutely protect ourselves from such situations? Or are we doomed to live in either ignorance or fear of the evils of technology? Yes, its difficult to imagine a life separate from something that has become a part of daily life. Guess we’ll just have to deal with it.

What a waste

Garbage disposal has been a persistent problem in the Philippines as with the rest of the world. Just recently, I saw a news report stating that waste from mobile phones (along with their attachments) and their batteries already consist 5% of the world’s total garbage output. However, the problem lies with the non-recyclability of certain items (such as a simple charger). Apparently, mobile phones and their accessories were not designed to be eco-friendly. This is actually alarming given the abundance of phones that are being produced to date.

That is why I would support the move that a universal charger be adopted. This plan basically encourages that all mobile phone manufacturers would agree to create one simple charger that would work for all type of phone. In addition, this model would be ecological meaning it can be easily recycled or reused. Mobile phone technology has indeed become more accessible and has not yet reached its full potential. Nonetheless, at this early stage, one should already be sure that the future of our environment will not be affected.

But the advocacy does not end here. Other technologies should take a look at the impact their products have affected the environment as well. All electronics manufacturers should be mindful of the goods that they produce and how they can contribute in eradicating the litter they help create.

Rejected by Seven Technologies Part II

Remember my last article about the theory that technology may make a hard life harder and a great life greater? Well, here is a touch of reality and let us not go far. Let us look at a plight of a poor law student.

A poor law student have to pay more for renting a computer which costs 20php per hour and for printing which costs 5php per page in order to submit a paper, than if the poor law student have to submit a handwritten paper (like in the 70’s).

A poor law student is less updated (having no cellphone, no personal computer and no internet access) when announcements by the dean, by professors and by the block president is communicated through this technologies. Especially if that announcement is “No Class Today!”

Thus, the hard life of a poor law student is made harder as the inventions on technologies progresses.

Thus, the poor law student must graduate from law school and pass the bar to be able to escape from this dilemma. Nice motivation.=)


The passage of the E-commerce Act in year 2000 marks the commencement of the meteoric rise in the Philippines of a major industry related to ICT. This is the Business Process Outsourcing industry comprises several “sub-industries” such as call centers, medical transcription, legal process outsourcing, web development and back-office outsourcing.

I remember during this time, many call center companies have sprouted in the business districts of Makati, Ortigas and Libis in QC which were renowned for massive recruitment of workers usually those who were fresh from college. Many workers were attracted to these jobs because of the highly competitive compensation package that awaits the successful applicant. Some call center companies even gave signing bonuses for the new hires. Moreover, most companies have very brief hiring procedures that take only a day or two, i.e., from the time the applicant submitted his/her resume up to the time that he/she signs the employment contract.

Be that as it may, there is also a bad side to this story. Even though these companies attracted workers by hordes, they also suffered high attrition rates. This fact may be attributed to the peculiar working schedules in these companies. Almost all call center companies operate 24/7 which means that some employees will be assigned to work from 10 o’ clock in the evening up to 6 o’ clock in the morning. This is necessary because they need to approximate the working hours in western countries particularly the US where most of their client companies are located. Many call center employees cannot stand the difficulty of working in the wee hours that some of them got burned out while other got hospitalized. These are some of the hidden risks that come with working in call center companies.

I know this for a fact because just last month, my 24-year old neighbor-friend was rushed to the hospital because she suffered a mild stroke while working at 2:30 in the morning. She was assigned in the 10pm-6am shift for 3 and a half months straight prior to the incident. Luckily, my friend was able to recover but the doctor strongly advised her not to work in evening shifts anymore. But how could she possibly do that? She could only heed that advice if either the company allows her to change shifts or find another job. The second option is next to impossible at this point in time when finding a decent job may be likened to finding a needle in a haystack.

Raymond Roque

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Of Reailty and Realizations - Part 6

Although that one meeting was never followed by another, a few phone calls kept the connection between Kuya and his biological father alive. It all hasn't been easy for either of them, but at the end of the day, one could say that much has been achieved.
Kuya is still now in the USA, working on some papers that will evidence his relationship with his biological father, en route to a grant of American citizenship. He's been there a few months now and obviously, he is missed here. Thankfully, technology has afforded us countless means of communication - e-mail, instant messaging, SMS, MMS and VoIP.
At the end of the day, when one looks at what has become of an almost hopeless situation, you realize that it's all worth it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Last week, my daughter and I went to have lunch at the TechnoHub and decided to try a restaurant that belonged to a chain of restaurants that were among our favorites.

Shortly after we ordered, the waiter ventured that they had free wifi and promptly gave me the password.

However, I had difficulty connecting after re-typing the password and changing the airport configuration countless times.

After we had our lunch, the waiter solicitously inquired if I already successfully connected. No, I said.

I tried again while waiting for dessert. Still no luck.

Dessert came and went but still no wifi. The bill came, and still nada.

So we just paid and left. And I thought that was that.

Days later, Dyosa and Masigasig narrated to me how they were duped into spending a considerable amount in exchange for non-existent wifi.

Turns out that they went to Starbucks, found out there was no wifi and transferred to the resto.

I agree with Dyosa that the food was over-priced considering it wasn’t exceptional, only served in huge plates to create the impression that servings were generous.

But what riles me the most is the blatant misrepresentation.

Shame on you, fakers!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rejected by Seven Technologies

“Rejected by seven technologies…” Drew wailed in the movie “He’s Not Just That Into You”. She further bemoaned and wished for such times when she only have to wait for a guy’s response on one phone, with one answering machine. Now, she complains, she has to check seven different technologies. If the guy does not respond anyway, she feels she has been rejected by seven technologies. We had a good laugh.

Technology moves progressively. It will never move regressively. That is like its Law of Order, like gravity. But come to think of it, does technology make a hard life harder to bear and on the flip side, a great life greater? Sounds much like, the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer as times go by.

I don’t know. I really don’t know.


Have you noticed it? It's very subtle.

I think Google has been customizing my search results based on what country I am at!!

This happens even if you do not select the "mga pahina mula sa pilipinas" option (who translated this into Filipino, Francisco Balagtas? and don't get me started on Facebook)

For example, I searched for "top ICT issues of the day" using google while in the Philippines and these top 3 search results come out:
ICT, Open Day, NUI Galway
- [ Isalin ang pahinang ito ]
17 Sep 2008 ... These companies will be coming along to the ICT Open Day to tell you more about ... on a number of key strategic issues, including competitiveness, ... Back to top of page. Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide ... - 24k - Naka-cache - Mga katulad na webpage
SANS Institute - SANS Security West 2009
- [ Isalin ang pahinang ito ]
Legal Issues in Information Technology and Information Security :: LEG-523 ... SANS instructors are top tier on all training classes. ... LEG 523 is a five-day package delivering the content of the following one-day courses: ... - 26k - Naka-cache - Mga katulad na webpage
Bremer TAFE teacher named top ICT specialist - TAFE Queensland
- [ Isalin ang pahinang ito ]
The day I can't find one is the day I retire." As well as the honour of being named TAFE Queensland's top ICT teacher, Ms Mair has won a prize package worth ... - 29k - Naka-cache - Mga katulad na webpage

I asked a friend in the US to do the same and these top 3 results come out for him:
# Issues in Teaching Using ICT (Issues in Subject ...
Join Amazon Prime and ship Two-Day for free and Overnight for $3.99. ... This text contains a range of issues relating to the use of ICT in the classroom. .... Find our top 100 editors' picks as well as customers' favorites in dozens of ... - 230k - Cached - Similar pages -
# Issues in Teaching Using ICT (Issues in Subject ...
Start reading Issues in Teaching Using ICT on your Kindle in under a minute. ... Order it in the next , and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. .... Find our top 100 editors' picks as well as customers' favorites in dozens of ... - 249k - Cached - Similar pages -
# » ICT issues
Filed Under (Education, ICT issues, educational technology, ... I was impressed that so many gave up a day of their Christmas holidays to attend this ... - 44k - Cached - Similar pages -


Facebook Democracy

In light of the recent public outrage at Facebook's change of terms of service, the online networking giant has decided to let the public decide the wording of the controversial terms of service. Users' pages are now stamped with a message linked to a blog post from founder Mark Zuckerberg announcing suggested changes to how Facebook may be governed in the future.

Two documents, called "Facebook Principles" and "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" have been posted for user review and comment. These will not go into effect until they have been voted upon and changed by the users. The comment period closes at 12:01 am Pacific Time on March 29.

So if you think the terms of service affect your interests in the Facebook community then go ahead and cast in your vote!

all hands on the poop deck

Swedish courts are likely to drop a deuce on The Pirate Bay's poop deck sometime in April.

The infamous bittorrenter has provided frugal media patrons with some 600,000 torrents since 2003, from remastered Perfect Strangers episodes to blockbusters months from their theatrical releases. Having just weathered raids by Scandinavian authorities, the site's operators were blindsided by recent charges of "facilitating copyright infringement" filed by several major American film studios, among them, Warner Brothers and MGM.

While the defendants intended the site to be something of a virtual speakeasy for file-swappers worldwide, they've since renounced their hippie culture-sharing angle in the face of a possible two years of imprisonment and millions in fines and damages.

Defendants claim that the site doesn't actually host any of the unauthorized media but simply directs its 22 million users to those files through torrent trackers. Defense furthers that since the accused merely operate the medium, they cannot be accomplices to particular acts of the site's users of which they are unaware (at least under Swedish law).

I still think the operators could have avoided this predicament had they the good sense not to christen their site an allusion to the illegal act they hoped to get away with.

VoIPfriend and Relationships

It used to be when your loved ones worked abroad you exchange letters and recorded tapes to communicate. Every few months, packets would be sent and received to exchange news. Phone calls were reserved for special occasion – birthdays, anniversary, and holidays – as it was too expensive. My parents had this relationship early in their marriage; my mother worked as a nurse Saudi Arabia while my father worked for NFA here in the Philippines. My mother still has her box of old letters and cassette tapes. Back then, only a smaller percentage of the population worked abroad, about 350,982 deployed in 1984 according to DOLE.

Twenty five years later, and the landscape has changed. There are currently more than eight million Filipinos working overseas. Remember the 6-degree of separation theory? Well, applying the concept, how many “steps” do you have to take to connect to an OFW? On my part, one step as my brother works abroad. If I start outside family relations, it’s still one step as my best friend is a nurse about to leave for Brunei. It’s no wonder VoIP has become a big industry in our country.

As communication is very important in any form of relationship, it maybe familial, friendship or l.o.v.e. kind, and usually it is the first aspect to suffer when people are separated by distance. It is that constant need to chat and tell our family and friends about the most mundane things that happen in our daily life that make us feel connected to each other. VoIP solved the void (pun unintended) in relationships created by the mass deployment of Filipinos overseas. VoIP makes these connections easier. I know of several couples who keep their long distance relationship going by simply talking once a week. Parents who work abroad are able to be “parents” to their kids, actively participating in decisions like curfews and punishments. All these at the fraction of the cost of a regular telephone call abroad.

Of Reality and Realizations - Part 5

Kuya and his biological father’s first “meeting” took thirty-one years to happen. In their brief conversation, Kuya’s biological father “acknowledged” him, but seemed to end everything there. Kuya, however, had just begun. After some things were settled and others taken cared of, with the blessings and encouragement of the family, Kuya packed his bags and flew out to the United States of America, with one goal in mind: to meet his biological father face to face.

Some days after Kuya arrived in California, he got in his vehicle with a handheld GPS system in hand, and began the long drive to Georgia, where we had found his father to be residing prior to and since his stint in the Philippines. A few stops for food and gas later, Kuya found himself standing outside his biological father’s front door. He rang the bell and moments later, a woman came to the door. Kuya asked for his father by name, saying he was a friend and the woman replied that he was still not in and was probably just on his way home from work. She invited Kuya in, but Kuya declined politely, saying he would just be back the following morning.

To be continued.

YouTube links as evidence

A petition filed with the US Supreme Court last month cited a YouTube video link to show the facts behind the case involving alleged police brutality committed by Deputy Jonathan Rackard of the Washington County Florida against Jesse Buckley. In the petition, Buckley appealed his loss before the US Court of Appeals which voted 2-1 that the Eighth Amendment was not violated in the case, reversing a decision from the trial court that the video offered presumptive proof of a constitutional violation. Said video in Buckley v Haddock shows Buckley crying and failing to comply with Rackard’s orders to stand up and get into a cruiser. Despite the lack of violent behavior on his part, he is repeatedly tasered by Rackard as a punishment for failing to comply.

Whether or not the Supreme Court is ready for the YouTube era is currently a subject of debate in the US because it has the potential to unsettle the way judges do their work. Meantime, it doesn’t hurt to revisit our own Rules of Court and mull on the impact of technological advancements on law and order to make the rules more responsive to the demands of the times.

MagicJack, Anyone?

The previous presentation on VoIP and telecommunication services reminded me of this product called the MagicJack. It is similar to a USB flash disk device, but with a 4-pin telephone jack port at one end, where you can hook up any standard telephone handset. Just plug in the USB device into your PC with internet access, install the dialer program, and voila, you got yourself a US area code telephone number that allows you to call anybody in the US and Canada without having to pay on a per-minute metered basis. You can also call anyone in the world who also has the same MagicJack setup, as that person will also have a US area code number like you do. The MagicJack does not come free though, since it has an annual subscription of about 30 US dollars. The USB device comes free when you pay for the subscription fee. That’s less than PhP1,500.00 for one whole year of long distance calls. So aside from calling up your relatives in North America, you can actually call those 1-800 service hotline numbers in the US, or even vote for your favorite candidate on American Idol! How cool is that!

Front Running------

For the past week I have been busy researching and writing articles for Digital. It has been interesting so far but very taxing. I learned a lot about the importance of domain names, how it has turned into such an expensive commodity, as well as the abuses committed due to the demand for easy-to-recall domain names.

I came across a class law suit designated as McElroy v. Network Solution wherein, the plaintiff in behalf of himself and those similarly designated alleges that Network Solution Incorporated, a licensed registrar by ICANN, has been committing practices of front running. ICANN was also joined as a party.

Front running occurs when a prospective registrant (customer) searches the availability of a domain name (i.e. in the domain name registry through the registrar (i.e. Network Solution), if the prospective registrant does not register it immediately (even within minutes) the registrar takes the searched name and blocks it, it cannot be used by anyone except if the prospective buyer or anyone is willing to buy it at a more expensive price. In the complaint the price was increased at around 200%, from $9.99 to $39.99.

The lawsuit however is likely to be dismissed as the practice of front running is hard to prove. Even ICANN in its report (SAC 24) on front running has admitted that their has yet to be substantial evidence to prove the existence of front running. I however, do not want to preclude the court decision on the matter.

Anyway, earlier I have already finished writing the article on front running. Hopefully it's going be useful and informative. Indeed, there are so many things that one could learn and through Digital I was able to write and learn more about information technology.

Baguilat, Raymond Marvic "Ice" C.

please spare the telecom industry

My parents work for the biggest telecom company in the country.

I couldn’t imagine how hard it was for other people to get a land line because ever since I could remember, we always had one. It wasn’t until competition came in that I realized how disgruntled people are with the existing telecom services. Even if they say that in the long run, competition would still benefit the consumers, for all the selfish reasons, I would rather that this big company dominate and monopolize the system because it means my parents would keep their jobs…and the perks.

For the past couple of years, I saw my mom close down one “exchange” after the other because their services were no longer needed. Again, I would like for better services, but it wouldn’t hurt if these people can also keep their jobs. For them, the cost of improved services, advancement in technology, and wireless service are their jobs. In the bigger scope of things, it would be beneficial for the public if we have more competition…but of course, in the meantime, we have these casualties who are now part of the unemployed.

My dad told my mom a couple of months back that because of the rampant “skyping” and other similar services, her department is fast becoming obsolete. She then asked him what management is thinking, he said that management would milk her department for all its worth…and then, who knows, they might just have to close her department down. That’s around 300 more people jobless.

*sigh* I do wish technology could spare the landline industry.

News bits from CeBIT

CeBIT, the world’s largest tech fair which showcases digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments, is currently being held at Hanover, Germany.

One of the features of this year’s CeBIT is the “Green IT” concept. The Climate Savers Computing Initiative will feature a discussion of issues relating to “Green IT”. The Initiative aims to reduce the power consumption of computers, and therefore their carbon dioxide emissions, by 50% by the year 2010, or equivalent to the annual output of 11 million cars or 10-20 coal-fired power plants. This could be reached by using more efficient components and by increasing use of power management capabilities.

The Initiative is led by companies such as Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft and World Widelife Fund.

Back in 2005 when my editors went to Taipei to cover the Computex, I was left at the office to check on their updates and read their stories and download their pictures. Life is not fair. I made myself feel better by thinking that it was only the world’s second largest IT exhibit – it is not CeBIT. What a geek.


Maria Cristina Yambot


“It’s easy to feel invincible behind an LCD screen; it’s even easier if you’re behind an LCD screen in the Philippines where no has been convicted of any e-crime. Yet. It’s comforting to know that I could ‘hack’ my way out of criminal prosecution by beefing up the bank accounts of the right persons. It’s just a two-click affair. What provides the most comfort, however, is my La-Z-Boy.”