Friday, September 30, 2011


My brother was looking for jobs in the United States Embassy in Manila, when he encountered an opening and encouraged me to apply, which I'm just about to do...

It's really great to have online search engines specially for jobs! My brother, despite being a doctor, is eager to find out regarding the principle of extraterritoriality in the US Embassy, since the US Embassy is considered US territory, would employment there be equivalent to residence in the US?

What's law and information and communications technology in my blog, hmmmm... googling jobs and the question of the applicability of extraterritoriality in that situation? hehe

Still, I wouldn't know the answer until I ask them, but I wouldn't want to pre-empt the possibility of getting hired by asking a prejudicial question up front. 

Entry # 15

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Angry birds!

It's a phenomenon, Angry Birds have taken over the world.

Not a week goes by that I don't hear about, see something related to, read a post about Angry Birds.

Angry Birds is a game originally developed for Apple products in 2009 by a Finnish game developer. Over the months and years, it practically became viral, becoming available to more and more devices and different operating systems. As of this year, it has been downloaded roughly 350 million times - it is a craze that rivals (or maybe even surpasses) the Plants vs. Zombies disease that swept the entire globe a year or so ago.

You hear college-age students talking about it, see children as young as 5 playing it and see middle-aged office workers posting photos of it over their FB. It has transcended and bridged age gaps and made a lot of people very, very wealthy.

In fact, Angry Birds merchandise is everywhere. The most common Angry Birds merch is the balloon sold by the ambulant peddler for about 10-15 pesos, give or take a few. The shirts are also very popular as the wide Angry Birds baller bands which I've seen National Bookstore sell. A few days ago, however, we were at Divisoria for supplies for a certain project of ours. What we saw astounded us. There were mugs, stickers, fans, figurines, shirts, caps, keychains, cellphone accessories and casings, bikes, towels, dresses, even underwear!

The Chinese, apparently, are very fond of catapulting birds at pigs because they had the bright idea of selling totally unrelated items with the Angry Birds image. But boy, were they clever! The merchandise were selling like pancakes. Millions of dollars must have been earned illegally just by the use of the Angry Birds image. That's how popular they are.

They are so popular that they've spawned an entire faniverse with fan fiction and fiction games. People have theorized on the origin time and again and attempted to reconcile or compare and contrast with other similar games.

Today, I saw an image that gave me a start. I don't really know who the original creator of this image is, but it is hosted in a multitude of webpages and even shared several times on Facebook. If this is the real origin of Angry Birds, I am ready to believe it.

Image taken from

Now go buy yourself anything not angry or you might want to hit yourself. Your childhood memories down the drain.

'energy internet' for energy security

Our primary energy resources are finite. Despite a considerable increase of the share of renewable energy sources in our energy mix, coal and oil remain our major source of electricity and fuel. Further, the processes by which we use them contribute to global warming and the extreme weather we now experience.

Given the scarcity of these energy resources, many countries are now exploring how ICT can be used to make energy use more efficient. An example of a possible technological solution many countries are looking into is the smart grid. It operates like an energy internet, where people can monitor their energy consumption and choose where to source it from.

The European Union’s “Vision and Strategy for Europe’s Electricity Networks of the Future,” for instance, emphasizes the use of smart grids to modernize Europe’s electricity network, support open access and open up the electricity market, especially to renewable energy. China, Japan, Korea, and other countries in the region are also now investing in smart grid technologies.

There are current efforts to develop a smart grid in the Philippines. The potential of this technology to address our energy problems is tremendous. It can help facilitate net metering and maximize the potential of an open access regime, two key measures for stimulating the growth of renewable energy industries and deregulating our power sector.

This, coupled with efforts to maximize the Renewable Energy Law's Net-Metering, Feed In Tariffs and Green Option provisions, as well as to establish an open access regime under the EPIRA, would hopefully work to bring the prices of electricity down, and secure energy for the future.

-- Ixara Maroto, 15th post

Facebook Timeline!

I’m loving Facebook Timeline!!! I’ve never really thought this about Facebook before but, now, I can honestly say that it’s simply beautiful! Before, I’ve always thought about is as more efficient rather than aesthetic. I always used to think that what mattered most on profile pages were the content rather than the form. But Facebook Timeline has changed all that! Now, I make it a point to visit the timelines of my friends just to see their beautiful pages and how creative they’ve been with all the possibilities. I even visit my own timeline frequently now just to admire it! It’s vain, I know, but the Timeline is just so irresistible!

One of my friends commented, though, that this development was pretty scary because it confirms that Facebook archives all the content that you’ve uploaded (your Timeline goes as far back as your first post on Facebook). But it didn’t bother me all that much. For one thing, the beauty of the timeline, and the enjoyment I’m drawing from it, must be blinding me. More importantly, however, I always have the thought, at the back of my mind, that I have less expectation of privacy at the time that I chose publication over seclusion. Which is why, everytime I post something, I filter it carefully. So it doesn’t turn out to be information diarrhea which I’m posting, possibly eternally, on the web. Thus, I actually appreciate, rather than fear, that they archive all the things I thought were worth sharing. After all, I’ve only decided to post things after much consideration, thinking that I liked them enough to represent a bit of myself.

But, even then, I am a bit scared about the power that all this knowledge brings. It may be true that they’re only using it for better targeted advertising now. But you’ll never know what other extreme applications these may be used for. At least, I won’t have to worry about that right now. For now, the beauty of Facebook Timeline far outweighs the perceived repercussions.

Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #15.

Image Source:

What's In A Name

Have you ever tried googling your name in the internet? Not because you suffer from some delusional fantasy of having hoards of internet-based fan sites devoting their life to blogging about you on the net, but simply to appease your own sense of curiosity. Come on, admit it. I’m sure you must have done at some point in your life. Haven’t you been the least bit curious as to what the internet world has written about you? I have, and I was surprised and unbelievably frightened by the wealth of information I have discovered about myself just by typing my name in the google search box.

Not only did the internet reveal my profession, it also went on to recount my academic career from high school straight to law school. As I post this entry, google will automatically update the search results and reveal this blog entry as the latest link to the search of Diane Cecilia Yu.

Scary, huh? If information such as these is easy to obtain just by googling a person’s name, imagine the sort of sensitive information hackers could get if they really put their hearts into it! We cannot rely on the law to protect us should we ever find ourselves victimized of identity theft or internet fraud. Thus, protective measures must be undertaken to put our minds at ease.

Henceforth, for everyone’s peace of mind, I have taken the liberty of reposting Jim Sheng’s tips on protecting your net-related privacy. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

1. Keep anonymous online

Do not reveal personal information inadvertently

Most of the computer programs, like email handlers and browsers, have options that you can set to specify personal details, and many forums or websites ask personal information when you sign up. Leave them blank or if the system insists, then give a reasonable looking but fictitious name and a fake birth date as a precaution.

Don't log on to surf a site if you don't have to; If you are really eager to express your view, log in anonymously or use a nick name. Never use your real name as the display name.

While surfing the Internet you leave data traces that can reveal their surfing habits. This information can be gathered by the provider or by secretly observing third parties. You can avoid leaving some Internet traces such as your IP address by access through a proxy server or using an anonymous surfing software to hide your computer identity.

If for certain reasons (e.g. job hunting, conducting business) you don't want be completely invisible online, only publish information that is relevant to your purpose and keep sensitive data from the websites.

2. Use more than one email address so that one is reserved solely for your personal communication

Provide email addresses that do not identify you personally on Web sites that you don’t know or trust.

I always think that a person should have at least three email addresses: one for work-related correspondences, one for family and friends, and one for receiving junk mails and giving out when requested on the Internet. Use email address like'' instead of '' as your junk mail receiver.

3. Use anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software

and make sure it’s up-to-date.

4. Prevent web sites from tracking your activities

Configure your browser or operating system to manage pop-ups, cookies or block specific Web sites to prevent web sites from tracking your activities. Clean up your browser history, Temporary Internet files, cookies on a regular basis.

Use ClearAllHistory you can delete browser history, stored passwords, clear AutoComplete forms and address bar history, delete Temporary Internet Files (cache), delete cookies, empty Windows Temporary Folders (Temporary files directory), clear Clipboard, Recycle Bin content and Recent Documents list.

5. Change passwords on a regular basis

If you have to write down all your account names and passwords somewhere to help you memorize, write on a physical notebook instead of in a file on your computer.

6. Do not reveal personal information to strangers or just-met "friends" in chat rooms, message boards or newsgroups

7. Don't give out credit card numbers in a non-secure environment

If you're making a purchase through a web site, read the company's security policy before you buy. A secure web page will usually have a URL that begins "https" instead of "http", and most browsers will alert you to the fact that you are going to a secured (or unsecured) page. A secure server will show on your browser with a closed lock icon at the bottom in Windows, or at the top on Mac.

Avoid accessing personal or private information (e.g. your online banking account) from a computer that is shared at work, library, or webcafe because there is no guarantee that this information is not tracked.

8. If your child belongs to a social networking site

(MySpace, Facebook, Tagged), look closely at what information they have posted in their member profiles and blogs, including photos and videos. Predators, bullies, profanity and threats often occur in these types of sites.

Entry #15

The Kindle is on Fire!

I'm not into reading. Yes. This is something people often find weird since I am in law school and I have to read tons of material every single day. Well, not every law student enjoys having to read all those stuff every.. single.. day.. Well, growing up, I was just the type of kid who would rather go out and play basketball or active games with my friends rather than stay at home and huddle near a lamp and read books. I was bored with books that are "all-text." At least, the book has to have pictures in order for me to be interested in it. So I'll read magazines and comics, but not novels and hard-bound books, unless it is required of me in school.

So when Amazon first introduced Kindle in 2007, I was not really excited. Kindle is an electronic device that enables users to shop, download and store books, newspapers and magazines. What's unique about it is that the Kindle hardware device uses an "E-ink electronic paper" display that shows up to 16 shades of gray, minimizes power use and simulates reading on paper. I've seen my friends with a Kindle and they are really happy with this display, because it does not strain their eyes even after hours of reading. Imagine having all your books in one little device that you can bring anywhere. That's a dream for a bookworm. But not for me.

Early this week, Amazon unveiled their newest iteration of the Kindle and it has created a buzz all over the internet. They call it Kindle Fire. Basically, it has all the things that you want from a Kindle, only this time it is upgraded to tablet device with a color display. Now that's more interesting. You can still read books using the "E-ink electronic paper" display, but also have the full color display for your magazines and as you navigate through the device. That's a check for me.

What's more interesting is the price point of 8 gb Kindle Fire - it's suggested retail price is only $199. That's roughly around Php 10,000. Not bad. Not bad at all. That's like buying a Nokia phone with average level of features. The cheapest iPad 2, (16gb WiFi model) in the market right now sells at around $499, or roughly around Php 25,ooo. Aside from this, its going to be running on an Android operating system. Hence, you can download android apps, including games like Angry Birds and what have you. It is a tablet device so you browse online and also use the Amazon cloud storage, so the 8gb capacity wont be an issue. Downside is it doesn't have 3G, which has increasingly become a necessity for people on the go. You have to make do with using WiFi, after all, putting 3G in it will surely increase the price of the Kindle Fire.

So everyone's question is, is it an iPad killer? Looking at the specs, it really doesn't compete directly with the iPad 2. But that doesn't mean it won't affect the sales of the iPad 2. The Kindle Fire is priced so competitively that heads will surely turn. My eyes are all in with the Kindle Fire, all I want is to see one physically and check it for myself.

Now whoever said before that the Kindle is a boring device, can now shoot themselves in the head. Wait, that was me. Erase.

Entry #15

Mark Garrido

Pinoy in the Clouds

What is cloud computing, and why does it always come out when talking about information technology? What I get is that it should make life simpler. Instead of installing a suite of software for each computer, you'd only have to load one application. That application would allow workers to log into a Web-based service which hosts all the programs the user would need for his or her job. That service would then take care of everything.

A good example that everyone must have already experienced is a web-based e-mail service like Yahoo and Gmail. Instead of running a program on your computer, you log in to a web e-mail account remotely. The software and storage for your account exist on the service's computer cloud. Cloud computing addresses increasing demands in the use of information technology. It is a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software.

ABS-CBN news just featured in its Global Filipino section a guy named Winston Damarillo, a 41 yr old Flipino whose cloud computing software is recognized as a leader in his field. He is the Chief Executive Officer of g2ix. He is also the same guy who founded Gluecode which he sold to IBM in 2005.

For more on Mr. Damarillo, you can check:

James Anthony Mina #15


A few meetings back, VoIP was discussed in class. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that allows one to communicate via voice, fax, or text using an Internet connection instead of a regular telephone network. One of the many benefits of this type of service is that it can be used for free or for a minimal charge only.

VoIP services have been around for quite some time now. A popular example would be Skype, which is a peer-to-peer VoIP system which allows users within it to call each other free of charge. Though it has been previously availed of through the use of computers, recent developments have made internet telephony available in mobile phones as well. iPhone, Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile are all VoIP capable already. It's about time for Blackberry to join in.

Yesterday, a friend told me to check out this new Blackberry application called TringMe. Touted as "the world's first true VoIP application for Blackberry", TringMe was designed by an Indian based communications company to enable peer-to-peer voice calls over Wi-Fi or 3G networks using a Blackberry phone. Calls to other TringMe users made through Wi-Fi are free no matter where you're at. This means you can make international calls using your Blackberry without worrying about having to deal with ridiculous rates. Cool eh? Reminds me of FaceTime minus the video.

This TringMe really did ring me. It sounds too good to be true! An application with such potential is surely worth a try. Now I'm downloading it and keeping my fingers crossed that it will work just as expected.

Entry #15

One Juan Time

The Filipino time, as we all know, is a matter of relativity. Work starts 8-ish and ends at sometimes 5. When we say the forum starts at 10, expect the welcome remarks at around 10:15. Having studied in UP for a long time, it’s very decent to come in at 9:15 for a 9 am class (well, Malcolm is a big exception). And that’s keeping with the tight schedule already, relatively.

The Filipino time is flexible indeed. It has a good grasp of the inner workings of our society. It understands the predicament of a stalled MRT, the fickle weather, EDSA per se, the sluggish ways of the citizens seemingly ingrained in the Filipino consciousness. The Filipino time is so flexible it makes everything else bendy at the cost of efficiency.

Blame it on history. The books tell us our former colonizers are to be blamed for embedding in our consciousness a skewed concept of time. Blame it on the public infrastructures, the generosity (read: laxity) of our people, and the rustic appeal of a slow-paced life. But the core problem was never identified as the unsynchronized clocks in our country. Until recently.

A simple synchronized clock can spell an enormous difference in an archipelagic country. Summing it up, in an ideal setup: no more delayed flights/trains, no extended lunch breaks in government offices (yey!), no late students/professors, overall general efficiency the corollary of which would be a more robust economy and a better country.

What most of us don’t know is that generations of government have been pushing for one Juan time. Since 1949, the weather bureau (as mandated by Batas Pambansa Blg. 8) had set up a Time Service Division (TSD) for this purpose. Its master clock then was a U. Nardin Marine Chronometer, which uses a pendulum regulator. Today, TSD’s successor, the Time Service Unit, uses a Rubidium/Global Positioning System Common View (Rb/GPSCV) Time Transfer System. The system automatically calculates its time difference with every satellite within its antenna’s field of view using a computer of course.

Yes, time can be very technical. This is why the DOST is pairing up with the technical expertise of PAG-ASA to implement the ‘Juan Time’ campaign. Even in this digital age when firms already have their own GPS time system, a Philippine Standard Time (PST) must be set by the Government. The firms turn off their GPS whenever they are not needed. If we rely on private efforts to keep our time for us, then might as well give the funding to them. But since an entire government division is being funded by the taxpayer’s money, the DOST and PAG-ASA is actually making good use of the public money (yey another!).

Simple projects like these are what a good policy makes. It is a good interplay of law and ICT. A synchronized time is more than a mere administrative matter. It is a reflection of professionalism, efficiency and a commendable effort towards better governance.

PS: Technical terms came from here. Also, the launch of the campaign is set on September 30. So come October 1, we finally have something which the other tiger economies and good governments in the pacific region have. Trumpets are in order.

ENTRY # 15. Regine Tenorio

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Citizen Science

Citizen science is the ‘democratization’ of science, where ordinary citizens (or more aptly, netizens) contribute to scientific endeavors. This emerging trend is unique in that the individuals do not have to be experts at what they do: participants can be ordinary citizens who aim to contribute something to the field of scientific research. Various projects can be found at the web, ranging from measuring the quality of freshwater, monitoring wildlife, season changes and earthquakes, or even unlocking the cure for AIDS (see related post on Foldit).

Citizen science merges two powerful tools: machines (in this case, computers and the internet) and the human brain. One steps in where the other cannot. For instance, the project called GalaxyZoo allows people to classify whether galaxies are elliptical or spiral, a task which the human brain better accomplishes than a computer processor. It also changes the way of going through the scientific method, as well as ushering a way for a new kind of research, one where people collaborate though not in a personal and physical manner. The best part of citizen science is that it is based on a volunteer basis—“researchers” do not expect to be paid. The pursuit for scientific advancement is virtually obtained at less or no cost at all.

This brand of science does not only allow for public participation in an otherwise elite field, it is also an alternative source for scientific education because of faster and “citizen-friendly” exchange of information and ideas. It expands the opportunities for scientific research, in that they need not be confined to those which are funded and supported by the government. It helps in the development of policies, be they scientific or otherwise. Citizen science research for climate change monitoring, for example, can be utilized to influence and determine environmental policies. Another example is the UN project AfricaMap, in which volunteers are given satellite images of Africa where they can mark roads, villages, etc which will then be helpful in the delivery of aid for affected areas.

Undeniably, the internet has played a significant and critical role in this new form of research. People across the globe are cooperating through the use of online tools to help scientist conduct their studies. The interconnectivity provided by the internet allows people to share ideas as well as information more easily. It has opened a space where public participation has no place before. Citizens are not merely consumers, beneficiaries and audience of scientific advances. They have become creators and sources of knowledge, active participants in development.

Krystel Jehan M. Bautista, entry no. 15

Piracy for the Love of Fandom

Image Source:
A fansub (short for fan-subtitled) is a version of a foreign film or foreign television program which has been translated by fans and subtitled into a language other than that of the original. This is usually common with animes and asian dramas.  Most of these shows in order to get "dubbed" or "subbed" in another language, needs to be licensed in another country. This happens when the series has already finished airing in the home country. Also, when it takes a while for these shows to be officially released in DVDs. Fansubs, however, does it semi-real-time. When an episode is aired, give or take in less than a week, a fan sub will be out, thereby giving non-east asian speakers almost the same pace as their home country counterparts.

Scanlation on the other hand, is pretty much the same thing, although it involves comics, particularly manga. It involves scanning the pages and translating, hence the word. Again, fans do this because it takes ages for manga to be released and more often than not only those popular titles make their way into the English market.

While most of the fansubbers (the people who do the translation and the actual subs) and scanlators (for manga) do it for free and do not gain any profit whatsoever (except maybe the eternal gratitude of the fans), it cannot be denied that under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, such an act is illegal, to wit:
Authors of literary and artistic works protected by this Convention shall enjoy the exclusive right of making and of authorizing the translation of their works throughout the term of protection of their rights in the original works. (Article 8,  Right of Translation)
In the recent years, Japanese Copyright Holders have been aggressive in their fight against piracy, taking down streaming sites as well as actually arresting persons related to such offenses. What has been controversial about this is that minors are involved -since most of the people who do these works are below 20. In fact, just last year a 14-year old boy was arrested for leaking manga in Youtube. This reminds me of  Lawrence Lessig's lecture on Remix and how we need to change the current copyright rules in place. This only reiterates his claim that children are now being viewed as criminals.

Entry no. 15
Soleil Flores

Using technology to further implement the FOI Bill

Many sectors of our society are pushing for the Freedom of Information Bill. The FOI Bill basically aims to either give information to the people (active) or allow information access to citizens (passive). One of the basic driving forces behind it is that it is a right given by the Constitution. Information must be given to citizens because we are in a democracy. The theory behind this is that the people should be in the know in order to be empowered and to act accordingly.

Of course we may have the law but without actual effective way of giving the people the actual information, then it will be useless, as if we don’t have the law. We need to ensure that the avenues are open to actually have the information available.

Much of the discussion with regard to the FOI Bill will in no doubt involve the terms of information technology. As we are nearing the absolute paperless days, we start to realize that there is no other way but to use and utilize information technology properly.

If the FOI Bill is finally passed, the use of information technology will be indispensable. Before, we used to regard news in the newspaper as the latest available after radio broadcasting. Next thing we know is that we now use the internet to access the latest stories. Internet is fast becoming a necessary medium to communicate ideas. With it, we can inform the people real time. What I see here is that the FOI Bill coupled with advance technology will no doubt give the Philippine citizenry the information that we so ever want and need.


John Joseph S. Parco

The Art of "Research"

I must confess that I love to watch movies and tv series but I do all of those on my computer and not in front of the good ole' tv. Why? Well let me count the ways. 1. Money- It costs too much to watch just one movie about something with a plot that I would most probably forget about in a couple of weeks. I also have this feeling that not everything deserves a big screen+big bucks treatment because let's face it, most of the movies out there are just about as fresh as popcorn in 15 minutes. I could do so much more with my money like buying food. 2. Time- I like to be able to watch when I can because I can't go to the theater whenever I want to. They also have set times that you need to follow and they won't even let you stay for the next showing if you missed the first 15 minutes or whatever. 3. Comfort- I'd like to be able to watch something and it would be ok that I could pause it to go get something to eat or drink. I could also do a digest or two in between boring times. Multitasking is where it's at.

So, that brings me to the recent brouhaha over Netflix which split into Quikster and Netflix and now their customers are boycotting their new business models. My aunt has Netflix and I was surprised by it when I stayed with them because I didn't think that kind of business model would actually work. Well, if it was in the U.S. Yes, but totally not here. They send you DVDs over the mail (SNAIL MAIL-yes it still exists) and then you send it right back when your done. No late fees or anything, You just don't get the next movie in your queue until you return what you have. You can also watch stuff they have on demand in their website. All of these are legal. They actually pay for it. Incredible.

Now, their customers are at an uproar because of the separation of the DVD and on demand business. They have to pay two different accounts to get the different services they used to be able to enjoy with one account. I can understand their sentiment but DUDE! The Internet has this thing called Google and you can find t*****t or s*******g sites for free. Granted not everything is high quality but you get the picture. Now, I am not advocating any of this. (Really) but people need to chill. The tech is out there. Just be happy that SKYNET won't be taking it out down anytime soon.

Anyway, i guess it all comes down to money and their two business model is going to give them more profits that it did with their previous business model. How I wish I could think of some internet start-up and actually earn $$$$!

Entry 14

Social Engineering And Its Derivatives--The Underrated Threat

I've recently been chatted up on Facebook by someone using the username of a good friend of mine from my first year in law school. I was astonished to hear from him for two things: one he's a highly secretive person who has never used FB chat with me before, and two, I'd hadn't heard from him in a while.

Things got sketchy though when he started asking for money because he was mugged in London and his family could not get home. Immediately it became evident that he wasn't the friend I knew but some hacker that had compromised the account. One, this friend of mine was not stupid and well travelled, and had it truly been him, he would rush straight to the Philippine embassy instead of beg for money from someone halfway across the globe. Two, a traveller prioritizes his passport over his wallet, and this guy obviously was more intent on getting money from me. Three, this is the one of the most common spam messages I know of.

But I must admit, for a moment, I was worried the message might be genuine. Computer fraud is a growing problem, and now I see why people can easily fall for these things. In my case, the mixture of genuine concern and alarm at the purported mugging of a friend I hadn't talked to in months, coupled with generous helpings of Colt .45 and San Miguel Super Dry almost made me want to believe the scam. These messages tug at our heart strings and disturb us to the very core of our consciences, tempting us to bite. But this is precisely what we have to learn to resist. In Cyber Crime, one must defend not only against direct hacking and cracking attacks, but more importantly these so-called Social Engineering nad related attacks attacks--attacks which (according to Wikipedia) are calculated into making people unwittingly divulge confidential information, and this, not even the most secure firewalls can defend against. We must remember that one of the most successful hackers of all time, Kevin Mitnick, was not the best at compromising networks through direct attacks per se, but he was very adept at fooling people into giving him their passwords and sensitive info. Technically my experience is not really Social Engineering but fraud since the hacker was not after my passwords, but the techniques are similar, and the effect the same. Had the attacker succeeded, I would have given him money--which he would have done anyway had I give him, let's say, my bank account number. Good thing I was too smart to be fooled, and too drunk to get off the chair.

Miguel Tensuan
Entry 14

Monday, September 26, 2011

Much can be said.

It has been said that technological advancements have been at the center of biblical reformation. The invention of papyrus, paper, printing press, newspapers, magazines, radio, television…All these have been used to carry God’s words.

Now, we have internet, blogs, and even Facebook/Twitter/Google+. If we can spare time to blog about stuff as mundane as licking the best ice cream flavour ever concocted or going to a concert and going ga-ga over rock stars…why can’t we blog about going to church and being inspired by God’s message? If we have 140 characters to tweet that we like/love someone…why don’t we tweet how much we love God and being in His presence?

Some say that cyberspace provides such a limited space to spell out God’s goodness. Interesting to note however that the early church managed to squeeze in God’s message in 5 characters – ICTUS – which was reduced further into a single symbol – the ictus symbol. There’s so much good that can be said.

How many facebook friends and twitter followers do we have? How many can we reach out to by just a few mouse clicks?

Bottomline is: Technological advancement can be used to advance the Kingdom of God.

Crisela Bernardino, entry#15

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the fad re: LED TVs

Before, LED became the fad for flashlights, light bulbs, etc. Salesmen in hardware stores would explain that LEDs consume less electricity than normal incandescent light bulbs and have a longer lifetime.

Now i see tvs for sale sporting "LED technology." So how does LED technology improve television anyway?

LED Technology in televisions are just LCD TVs using LEDs to illuminate the display.[1] The back of the screen is lit up using Light Emitting Diodes (LED) instead of Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (CCFL) used in the older LCD TV models[2].

Most advertised “LED TVs” only have LED backlight, and still use LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology.[3] True LED display TV. Displays such as OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) will self illuminate, utilizing an internal thin layer of LED for its display only.[4]

It results in improvements such as:  since LED consumes less power than conventional fluorescent lamps, it translates to savings in electricity bills (upto 35% less consumption[5]); since LED consumes less space provisions, tv using LED light can be made ultra thin compared to older LCD models; and LEDs provides a higher contrast ratio because of their ability to produce a more varied range of colors[6].

There are downsides still however, such as: the downsides attributed to LCD tvs before still exist, in comparison to Plasma TVs, the display of LED lit LCD TVs is still limited by viewing angles[7]; and LED lit TVs are prone to the poor uniformity of backlighting and as well as blooming effects when local dimming is employed.

No technology is perfect, besides, there’s still laser tv, 3D tv, HDTV, etc.  Well, at least I learned something new today.

Blog No. 14

[2] Id.

[3] Will Caulderwood. LED TV – Don’t Be Fooled, Understand the Technology First. Source:,-Understand-the-Technology-First&id=2614235

[4] Id.

[5] LED TV Technology. Source:

[6] Will Caulderwood. LED TV – Don’t Be Fooled, Understand the Technology First. Source:,-Understand-the-Technology-First&id=2614235

A "Secret World" of Private BitTorrent Trackers?

"Because you have shown a willingness to share, we are promoting you back to full membership."

Those were the words a friend of mine had been waiting to hear from the moderators of a site that runs a private BitTorrent tracker. Her label as a "leecher" had been removed and full download privileges restored. We were curious, and she explained that she had registered to become a member of an invitation-only private tracker, but was later denied access to the tracker because she hadn't been seeding enough.


The 2007 demise of OiNK, reportedly the biggest private music tracker on the web, is said to have spawned the rise of many other trackers that adopted the popular site's ratio guideline, which basically required members to upload as much as they downloaded, lest they be kicked off the site or labeled leechers, which was what happened to my friend.

Their world is not so much a secret as it is elite, with all the information that's practically out there, not excluding actual listings. But without having to go into piracy and copyright issues, it appears to be a pretty impressive setup that weeds out those wretched leechers and trolls. While it can be difficult to maintain ratios precisely because they're closed communities, I think that's a fair sacrifice for higher speeds and safe, high-quality downloads, both of which are tougher to come by - I've heard - when using public trackers.


#14 - Somayyah Abdullah
[Previous posts: #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12, #13]

Friday, September 23, 2011

hi-tech supervisors

Recently several steps have been taken by Philippine government agencies to provide better service by tapping new technology. Like the e-blotter developed by the police and the recent MMDA Navigator by the MMDA.

As I was researching for a topic to write about, I came across an article about the state of Albany being sued for using a GPS traking device to monitor the movements of its employee. The said employee was later fired for not being at work at the time he should be at work. A GPS device which was on 24/7, seven days a week was attached to the personal vehicle of Michael Cunnigham, a former state Department of Labor training manager. In the end Cunningham was fired from his job for filing imporper time sheets. This was proved when those written in his timesheets did not tally with the GPS device data. The NY Civil Liberties Union is now suing the state for invasion of privacy.

I was just thingking and these are personal thoughts. Shouldn't Philippine public officials be tracked, to find out whether they are working the hours they are actually paid. I've had an experience with public employees that is both shocking and sad. I went to this agency, and at around 3 or 4 pm the employees were no longer at their desks doing what they were supopose to do but playing badminton inside the same building where they work. This did not happen once but everytime I came to that office. It seems they have taken upon themselves to reserve this hour for their badminton tournaments. I've been dealing with a lot of government agencies and this is not an isolated case. Absent the question of invasion of privacy since they will be tracked during office time (while they were paid). Shouldn't there be a device attached to these officers to determine whether they are working during work hours and are actually in the office during office hours?

Anti-Planking Act of 2011. #WTF

And so, we did it again.

The Philippines has created history by being the first country that proposed legislation specifically against planking. For those who are not familiar with it, "Planking" (or the "Lying Down Game") is an activity consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location. The hands must touch the sides of the body and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the internet is an integral part of the game. Players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to play. The term planking refers to mimicking a wooden plank.

The Anti-Planking Act of 2011 was filed early this week in Congress by Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo. This issue was actually trending worldwide on Twitter and has created a buzz all over the internet. The first time I saw the tweets from my friends, I thought that they were just making it up. Well I mean, seriously? A law against planking? To my horror, no one was joking after all.

Here’s a copy of the Anti-Planking Act of 2011:


September 20th, 2011

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. This Act shall be known as the “Anti-Planking Act of 2011”.

SEC. 2. A universal Code of Student Conduct is hereby prescribed where planking as a form of redress of grievance be strictly prohibited and appropriate sanctions be applied for violations thereof.

SEC. 3. Under this Act, planking is when a student or group of students lies face down in unusual locations especially in streets or other public places, keeping the hands along the body and the feet outstretched and especially where such act is meant as a form of redress of grievance against government.

SEC. 4 Every bonafide student from any school, college or university shall conduct himself with high degree of discipline and propriety.

SEC. 5. The Department of Education in the case of elementary and high school students and the Commission on Higher Education in the case of college students shall draft a universal Code of Student Conduct to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Further, DepEd and CHED, respectively shall issue appropriate rules and regulations to effectively carry out intent and purpose of this Act.

SEC. 6. This Act shall take effect ninety (90) days after its publication in the Official Gazette and in at least three (3) newspapers of general circulation."

Apparently, the bill was a reaction to the "planking sessions" staged by the League of Filipino students (LFS) during the transport strike last Monday along Espana road in Sampaloc, Manila, to show support for the protest against oil price hikes.

According to Rep. Winnie Castelo,

“Parents and teachers have reason to be alarmed if these similar protest actions will have as a scheme and scene otherwise warm and living bodies laid down across street highways as though they were offerings to the gods,”

“The parent in me tells me that this precedent in the case of the this massive transport strike where militant street protesters who are students of various schools have to lie down or serve as ‘planks’ across the road to disrupt what should be normal traffic could just be very dangerous in the future. Life and limb are pretty much at risks here were unbelieving bus drivers or law enforcement authorities might just ram through these warm and living bodies rolled out on highways” Castelo added.

First, I personally think that planking is pointless. Might as well do a real plank (the exercise). But I can't say for certain that I won't be trying it out soon. However, I see no harm in people doing it, so long as they do not affect other people, destroy the property of others, or harm anyone in the process, then plank all you want. Plank on your own risk.

Second, it is just plain absurd for our government to focus on such things, when there are so much more pressings issues that need attention. Like the reason why they are protesting in the first place? Why don't they focus on the budget cuts on education, rising oil prices, or fighting poverty? Plainly, this is a waste of time for Congress and a waste of taxpayer's money.

Third, if you read the contents of the law, what it says is that planking endangers the lives of people who do it during rallies and protest. I mean, seriously? What if they only protested without planking and instead lied down on the street. Isn't that equally dangerous? So now they can make an Anti-lying-down-on-the-road-while-protesting Act of 2011. I just don't get it why the issue is in the manner of protest, and why planking must be singled out.

Fourth, planking is a form of self-expression. The bill will therefore curtail the protesters right to freedom of expression safeguarded by no less that the Constitution. If protesters want to plank in order to air their grievances against the government, then let them. Not to mention that it also violates equal protection by singling out students. So if you are not a student, nothing precludes you from planking?

Thank you for giving another incentive for students to graduate.

Entry #14

Mark Garrido