Sunday, October 9, 2011


This student has written a number of times for this last blog entry, only to highlight the same and paste it to her final paper instead. So, she is now left with nothing written and without a topic. In the websites she frequents in search of a topic, its technology parts are still flooded with entries pertaining to the genius that Steve Jobs was. Although this student has nothing against him, in fact she has developed a particular liking to the products that his company created, she simply does not want to write a farewell entry (pun intended) about him.

In the past entries, she has constantly pushed for legislation affording more protection to intellectual property owners, in view of a fast-evolving technology that easily antiquates existing laws on the matter. However, in drafting answers to the exam, she has come to the realization that more protection does not necessarily make it a better policy. A better one entails a balancing and consideration of competing interests such as, but not limited to, 1) first world creators vs third world users; 2) fair use vs property right; 3) free speech vs censorship.

Although this student feels for the struggling artists, inventors and the like, she similarly recognizes the plight of the Filipinos, who are most unfortunately the users (ie., the perpetrators of violations of intellectual property rights).

In spite of the desire to write more about the topic, her busy hands, which keep highlighting sentences written here, cutting and pasting the same in her exam, prevents her from doing so.

So, now the time has come for me to say my parting words. Goodbye Steve Jobs. Goodbye blog. ;)

Entry # 16 by D. Lauron


While I was researching for my ICT Final Paper I came across this page []. The Southern District Court of Ohio has an ELECTRONIC FILING of Pleadings (ie, Complaints, Answers, Position Papers etc.) I found it cute and depressing at the same time. In light of my OLA experience especially with regard to the filing of pleadings either by personal delivery or registered mail, this would just really save time, promote honesty in terms of filing dates. It would allow lawyers to file their pleadings in the luxury of their own offices without needing to go to the post office, it would likewise save on paper (less carbon foot print), and it would prompt honesty ---leaving no room for antedating of mails. It would allow easy retrieval of court files too. I was thinking, we should have been the ones who thought of it first. We need it, it’s a necessity in the current situation of our judiciary system. For a very creative bunch we should brush up on our inherent innovation skills. Think about it, the savings we could have on office supplies and time.

How to harass an ex

I've heard many stories of ex-boyfriends or girlfriends using the internet to harass their exes. A friend of mine had even asked my advice about what she should do about her ex-boyfriend who would e-mail her threats and censures. Sometimes he would even e-mail her friends and colleagues and sully her reputation. He used to stalk her on Facebook until the site allowed for stringent security measures regarding privacy. Indeed, the internet has become a useful tool for the stalkers and the bitter. I can only imagine how bad other people get it.

This woman in the UK, Luminita, was sent an email by her former husband, Josef Marin. When she clicked the attachment, however, the video attached turned out to be pretty gruesome, it was a video of a half-naked women being kicked by a group of men. Not long after, a man stood over her and dropped a concrete block on her head. The message that came with the attachment was to the effect that this was how the Old Testament recommended that adulterous women be treated. He also added 'Thank Jesus. He will destroy.' That's the way to go, if you're a total douche - quoting the Bible to strike fear into the heart of the 'erring' Christian.

Thankfully, he was sentenced to suspended nine-month jail sentence, a three-year restraining order and put on a three-month curfew. Now I wonder what a Filipino would get when he does something like this?

Taken from:

On the subject of penalties, the couple behind the infamous "crush videos" had been caught in La Union last August. Dorma "Chita" Ridon and Vicente Ridon is a Filipino couple who had been making "crush videos" - videos which featured young women mutilating and torturing animals to death. They cut off rabbits' ears, poked stiletto heels into dogs' eyes and cut off legs or crushed the heads of other animals. These videos were sold over the net for $80-200 per download to fetishists who got off seeing such cruelty.

They were charged with child abuse under RA 7610 and violations against the animal welfare act RA 8485 - BUT!! they were released on bail. Great.

Taken from:

The Super-Injunction.

What's a super-injunction?


According to this article, a super-injunction "stops anyone publishing information about the applicant which is said to be confidential or private - but also prevents anyone from reporting that the injunction itself even exists."

As soon as I read that, I thought, that's so meta. [Although it can get more meta - but more on that later.]

Getting a super-injunction, which isn't exactly provided for by the English law, is apparently a remedy that judges of civil courts in England and Wales have derived from an "interpretation" of existing laws to protect an applicant's privacy.

How does it work? The same article illustrates:
"Taking a hypothetical case, a Premiership footballer asks the High Court to stop a kiss-and-tell story from appearing in next weekend's papers, saying that he is a victim of wrongdoing and blackmail by the other party.
If the judge agrees to a super-injunction, the newspaper cannot report the allegations - and it is also prevented from saying that the footballer went to court to gag the paper. If the newspaper breaks the injunction, the editor could be prosecuted for contempt of court."
Since the gag order seemed to apply only to newspapers and media outfits, people found a way around the whole thing and posted the information about these super-injunctions on non-UK hosted websites, including Twitter.


But Twitter Inc. was sued. Lawyers challenged Twitter in court to reveal the identities of Twitter users who violated super-injunctions. Tony Wang, the head of Twitter in Europe, said they were ready to "hand over user information to the authorities where they were 'legally required.'"


We don't have super-injunctions in the Philippines (yet?), and our privacy laws aren't as, well, complex, as those found elsewhere, but the idea is alarming. Users might now have to think about the extent of the relative freedom they have online (on Twitter especially) in a time when super-injunctions are possible, and social network platforms who are always "ready to cooperate."

This article looked into the future of injunctions and discusses the author's funny take on it:
"There is, of course, an obvious next step: the meta-injunction. This is a form of legal suppression so all-injuncting that it is illegal for me to tell you that there is such a thing. I have only just coined the term, and already I am risking jail. Whatever you do, don't call my lawyer."

#16 - Somayyah Abdullah
[Previous posts: 
#1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10#11#12#13#14, #15] 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Farewell Mr. Jobs

Yesterday while driving on my way to school, I was floored with the news of Steve Jobs’ passing. I don’t know the man personally and while I have owned and currently own a few Apple gadgets, I am by no means an Apple-head. I would have no problems living without them. In fact, in my more youthful (idealistic) days, I was mildly anti-consumerist which disposition would conflict with the ‘Apple-ization’ of this world. Thus, it is quite perplexing that the news had overwhelmed me: how could the death of a stranger unsettle me? Throughout the day, news of his death, commentaries and tributes filled traditional, internet, and social media sites. In an elevator, I overheard a conversation between two sanitary technicians (probably never owned a Mac or even an iPod). One of them said, expressing his grief, “nakakalungkot.” I think more than the gadgets he’d given us (which I no doubt acknowledge as cool), he’d given us a much greater gift. He’s shown us a level of inventiveness that can only be described as transcendent. In an age of conformity, he was unique. It wasn’t just the products that were different, it was his thinking. His brilliance while otherworldly was grounded in this reality – this, I conjecture, is what makes Apple so intimately relevant yet paradigmatically revolutionary. Though Apple may continue to produce successful iterations of their product line, they are precisely just that, just iterations of his genius. Rest in peace Mr. Steve Jobs.


Ferdinand Manebo

Not Meant to be a Crutch

For a medium that supposedly entails the least start-up costs, the internet sure is proliferated by numerous virtual monopolies. Take Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Amazon, for instance. I mean, the internet’s supposed to be this really cheap platform for different business enterprises or service providers. It make this inexpensiveness possible by the fact that cyberspace is a piece of realty which is practically free. There is no longer any need to establish a separate physical store for your business, which would have been a significant expense to consider. And, through one’s presence in cyberspace, theoretically everyone with access to the internet would have access to the business established virtually. But, despite the fact that entry costs have been greatly reduced and the fact that information about one’s business is made freely accessible to the public (which is almost free advertising) through this technological development, monopolies still seem to crop up, even among dotcom businesses, which thrive primarily in the internet.

I know this is only to be expected. After all, virtual presence is not the only thing to consider in any business model. You would never really be able to take away the need for a physical location, even if it isn’t really a separate physical store. The internet is only an avenue for availment of the services or the products. These services and products still have to be performed or delivered in the real world. And this also entails costs.

There are probably even other factors which explain the phenomenon of virtual monopolies. But one realization I’ve had is this: the internet does not solve all the problems. It’s not a panacea that instantly makes all the issues disappear. It was never meant to be a crutch which we were supposed to lean on. Instead, it was only supposed to be an added tool which makes things more convenient. As can be seen in the situation of monopolies, even this age and world of free information has not resulted in the free market envisioned by John Smith.

Still, I do not want to take away from the contributions that the internet has made. It has undeniably changed all our lives. But we can’t simply just rely on it completely. Time may come when we may be able to do that. But, for now, there are problems which we will have to solve for ourselves.

Aldous Benjamin Camiso, Blog Entry #16.

Image Source:

Gagging Italian bloggers = finito for Wikipedia Italiano?


Quite recently, transcripts of phone calls of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi were leaked. Leakages include his expression of contempt for his country and a desire to leave it; "a crude insult" at German leader Angela Merkel; and boasting of "'doing eight girls" in a night with a joke that with all his sexual activity, he was only prime minister 'in [his] spare time.'"


Deluged in so much leakages, Berlusconi and his government are now trying to restrict online publication of police wiretapping transcripts.

The remedy (to plug holes for further leakages) came in the form of bill: the "DDL intercettazioni" (Wiretapping Act). Section 29 of said Bill imposes "a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image." That or be fined with as much as a €12,000. Catch is, nothing in the proposal provides for a verification process of the accuracy of the corrections, much less a process of judicial review.

For the government and figures like Berlusconi, it is a remedy.

For the mass of bloggers, such is a legally-clothed anti-speech freedom move…even fascism, when nude. And it isn’t the first time the government threatened a strip off.*


With right to freedom of speech (Art.21 of Italy’s Constitution) as their battle cry, anti-gagging protests were launched all over Italy last week, in response to the government’s attempt to stifle blogging.

Wikipedia’s protest took the form of a statement, which replaced every Italian-language page, that a new law could possibly force the shutdown of the Italian edition of Wikipedia. Subsequently, Wiki posts in Italian articles were restored, albeit with banners protesting the threat of the new bill.

According to Wikipedia’s editor: “ [they] have always been available to review—and modify, if needed—any content deemed to be detrimental to anyone, without harm to the project's neutrality and independence." Further, they argued that the existing defamation law gives ample protection to Italian personalities unfairly maligned by online posts.


These days, such series of events on the other side of the globe (but still well within our virtual “world”) serve more of a caveat than a piece of news. Nothing new, but always a threat. Bloggers may speak all they want now, but the last say belongs to those who legislate. Once blogging is gagged, we may speak no more. Or maybe, just speak less. Less, but louder…stronger. In any case, I highly doubt that threats of suppression, Italian or not, could block a raging river from pouring out. Either water will find its way and seep through holes… or it will wear down the blockade slowly...or it will tear it down completely, violently. So when government threatens: bloggers beware. Bloggers retort: dare.

Crisela Bernardino, entry# 16

* sources:;

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

World Without Web

Our connection with PLDT has always been spotty and this week of all weeks is no exception. We had a dead phone line which I reported 4 days ago and they still have not gotten around to fixing it even though I have called them about three times a day everyday asking for updates. They say that they had to do a line test first then a technical dude would be dispatched only 24 to 48 hours later. Today is Thursday and we still don't have a phone line. Bummer.

I don't really get how a landline could get intermittent connection for a long time! I report it to PLDT every time and they say that they have already fixed it. Next month comes and we don't have internet for a night again. That is just wrong! They charge too much for the service they don't provide very well.

I usually check my mail and news at least once a day but I haven't been able to do that for a long time now. I feel like I am some sort of addict going cold turkey and the results are ridiculous. I try to tell myself that it is a good thing because I have to study for my exams but then a voice tells me "But you need to have a break too!." Ridiculous, really. At the very least, I got to read the coverage for my exam for 1 round.

I had a suspecting feeling that I was disconnected in more ways than one. Today, I got online here at school and the headline that stares me at the face is that Steve Jobs died. That was morbid. It seems that I always get to hear or see news of people who died early in the morning. Rest in peace Mr. Steve. The world is not the same without you.

Now that I've experienced my nth time without the web, I think that I have learned more out of this experience because of my time with ICT. I realized that I really need the Web but people there are others out there who really need it more than I do. I also realized that there is so much untapped potential out there to develop ICT in this country and that we don't have a well structured policy or legislation to support its use. Lastly, I think that I am going to miss this class and wish that I could take it in some for or another. Maybe ICT Part 2? Anyway, thanks for a fun semester and for all the new issues I've learned. Now, about the bar...

Entry 16

 #iSad

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Thank you, Steve Jobs. (1955-2011)

Internet Voting

My class in Public Officers and Election Law is coming to a close- we are now at election law. After spending some (read: a lot of) time reading the required material, we were told to disregard some of them because provisions have become obsolete due to the Automated Election System. Being the diligent student that I am (HAHA), I’ve since given up on reading the text and just settled for reading the law. At times like these (finals!!!!), practicality is the answer.

Speaking of practicality and the AES, the COMELEC has re-considered the idea of using the internet for overseas absentee voters (OAVs). Under RA 9189, absentee voters may cast their votes personally at embassies or via mail. This law would have to be amended if internet use is to be allowed. If internet voting is used, the problem of low turnout from OAVs would be addressed, since the main hindrance for their participation is inconvenience. With easy access, more Filipinos abroad would be encouraged to exercise their right to suffrage.

In class, the professor stated that much of the dangers that faced elections before like dagdag-bawas, turtle-paced canvassing, flying voters, etc. were answered by the computerization of elections. Given the possibility of the use of the internet, what new dangers can come up? The main and biggest concern of COMELEC is security. Votes can be hacked and tampered with, access to the voting site can be denied, voters can be lured to fake websites. If the COMELEC pushes through with this proposal, they would have to adopt a system that is safe and free from attacks. They would also need to secure public confidence in this system to ensure participation. Who knows, if this can be done successfully abroad, maybe someday, it can be adopted for domestic elections.

Krystel Jehan M. Bautista, entry no. 16


See previous entries: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

The "Informed" Cyberworld

We live in the age where the Internet is Big Brother –the all knowing and omnipresent. And it’s not just limited to Google. It's actually the social networking sites that feeds most of the netizens "information" at their clicking. In fact, according to Pew Research Center Facebook has become a driving force in the News arena - "Its role has evolved from a network for friends to share personal information to a way for people to share, recommend and link together all kinds of information, including news." The simple act of clicking "share" or "retweet" has made News into a social experience.

Image Source:
However, with this clicking, re-tweeting, sharing (which has somehow become an auto-response programmed in the body of netizens worldwide) comes the issue of truth and authenticity of the things we read online. In today's fact paced world, most of us have been spoon-fed with too much information. We want things concise, brief and easy to digest. Just look at Twitter's 140-character limit! And with this compression comes misinformation. In her article, Lian Nami Buan, talked about the problem of spreading unverified news and points to some examples. She also points out that it is not difficult at all to verify online information and suggests that "the first step to achieving a properly-informed cyber world: Read More."

What does it mean to Read More? It's taking time to read the entire article rather than settling for more often than not hugely controversial headlines. It's learning the real issues and not getting caught up with hearsays of your social grapevine. It's being responsible in creating and sharing information on the web. 

Think before you click. Simple. Easy. Painless.

(You may read the complete article here:  Read More: Why you should really click this link )

Entry No. 16
Soleil Flores


First, there was the dubious news article regarding the attempt of now infamous legislator Winston Castelo to pass a bill seeking to limit the quantity of merchandise based on the Angry Birds franchise. Then, there was the much-lamented and oft-talked about DPWH fiasco depicting three public officers photoshopped to look as if they were standing on rocky ground “apparently looking for a lost cat that strayed from its owner during the devastation of typhoon Pedring.” It seems the internet world is never bereft of pranksters out to “punk” the rest of the netizens Ashton Kutcher-style.

But of course, the netizens certainly weren’t laughing when the news first came out. When word got out that Castelo (well-known for the Anti-Planking Bill) allegedly passed a bill aiming to monitor the quantity, quality and diversity of items bearing the angry birds likeness, people were outraged. In fact, the alleged bill even became a twitter trending sensation! Good thing for us though, that it was all just one big fat joke.

What is more distressing however, is the photoshopped DPWH picture showing three stooges standing right in the middle of the scene pretending to be seriously assessing the situation. Unfortunately, this one was indeed photoshopped as reported. According to the DPWH, an over-eager employee, in his misguided attempt to please his boss, took it upon himself to photoshop 3 DPWH officials on the picture and posted the same without any official clearance. Said over-eager employee is now fired for his “initiative.” While the picture may have originally been intended to fool the public, ultimately the prank fell flat on DPWH’s face. In the end, the joke was on DPWH who became a laughingstock not only of the Philippines, but of the entire world.

All these news articles can be found in the satirical news website “So, What’s News?” Perhaps a fan of “Yes Men,” the people behind the abovementioned fictitious news website must have gleaned inspiration from the producers of the film documentary showcasing the adventures of 2 well-meaning environment crusaders trekking all over the world disguised as spokespersons of big bad corporations.

In the spirit of fun and bursting with idealism, “So, What’s News” is reminiscent of the New York Times future edition published by the Yes Men reporting only the seemingly improbable and too-good-to-be-true news articles. The only difference between the Yes Men’s newspaper and “So, What’s News” however, is that the latter publishes news articles that are so completely stupid, it just had to be true! And to make things worse, people actually believe it!

What does that speak of the Filipino people? More importantly, what does that speak of our public officials and government authorities? There’s an old saying that goes: “there is a kernel of truth behind every joke.” I guess at this point, the question we should be asking ourselves is, “who’s laughing now?”

Entry #16

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Aakash, the world's cheapest tablet!

India has always been known for it’s amazing connectivity, beating out other giants such as China and Brazil. To complement this strength, they Indians will be pioneering the record cheapest tablet computer to date, costing an incredible $35. The AAKASH tablet computer will be making the most of the strong connectivity provided with India since it will also be featuring wi-fi technology. It will be launched by DataWind, a British company, with a 100,000 initial copies for students, with many more units to be released in the next few months. Before the AAKASH, the other serious competition was the Amazon’s KindleFIre which costs $199 as compared to Apple’s iPad.

This project is part of their nations new policy of bridging the public’s connectivity with technology with devices such as mobile phones and the internet. From 2000-2010, the number of connected individuals has increased 15 fold. However as of this date that number is only 8% of the population, as opposed to the 40% of China. The concentration of purchasers only belong to the wealthier sector, which is why even if India is the fastest growing market with 19 million subscribers every month, they are only concentrated on the upper section of the economic pyramid. The AAKASH will be using the Google Android functionality. Despite the promise of providing affordable technology over wider markets, critics are pessimistic claiming that the product will have a very mediocre touch screen and will be very slow. For $35 however, how can anyone complain?