Sunday, December 19, 2010

Unfamiliar Territory

I landed in LA around 5 days ago, because we were ahead by a week from my sisters arrival, we were out of plans and out of things to do. My sister normally does all the planning and moving from one place to another.. During the first days, me and my dad tried to catch up all the lost sleep we had from the plane and did some minor body clock adjustments. All the time doing nothing was kinda getting depressing. Its a good thing that I got to go out today and set out traveling around a place I don't know, alone.

I did my research beforehand and I think part of a decent survival kit (normally for first world countries) is first to know your way around. Back then, we get to go around using maps, but now I think we have Google to thank for Google Maps. The only problem is, you need consistent stream of data so you wont get lost.

With my laptop, I checked out a nice place to visit that is either walkable or accessible with just one bus ride probably a kilometer or two away from my place. There was a T-Mobile branch some walking distance + a bus ride away from our place. I headed there and got myself a sim with unlimited data.

Commute money is also an important aspect i've learned from my visits from different countries. Like particularly, the buses around LA doesn't give out change. You gotta pay the exact amount. Before setting off, I asked my dad for loose quarters to make commuting easier.

After getting my sim, I felt kinda ripped of having it cost around 65 bucks (2,900) pesos for unlimited text and unlimited data. The night before I had my eyes set on the prepaid with an unlimited data pass for a day which costs 1.50$ but the local T-Mob rep rebutted me that i'd be spending a lot on data if I go with the prepaid voice sim. Either that or I was just ripped off to take in a 65 bucks data plan for one month. Either way, I think those kind of things could be charged to experience. I wouldn't have loyalty to T-Mob forever, I linked my US number to my Google Voice number so that next year when I go back, I could grab another sim and register it to my GV number.

After which, I headed to the nearby Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for my usual dose of chai tea latte. It was 4 bucks (~170 pesos) which is not bad. My regular chai tea latte in the Philippines costs 130. Then I realized one of the cardinal rules of traveling. Do not convert.

Well, ripped off or not, sometimes you just gotta sit back and enjoy the view (despite being rainy and all)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Circles and Dunbar's Number

I honestly dont know how I reached 1000+ Facebook friends but if I would recount a previous conversation with a friend, I realized that I have been too involved with so much things in my life that eventually led me to have different circles of friends. The conversation was actually about how problematic a wedding would be if considering that one should invite different people from different circles.

I came studied gradeschool in San Beda Alabang (formerly known as St. Benedict College which was formerly known as Benedictine Abbey School --Hopefully thats the last name change they'd do) and then moved to Don Bosco Technical Institute Makati. I headed to De La Salle University (then Manila) for college and continued for graduate studies. I've been involved with several groups of people, like our local country club swimming team which really felt like a close knit family and there's also FORMDEV from college and the Nettrekker people whom I met during the times I was running a private game server. Meeting people feels great, its like starting to read a new book and you discover something great. But not all people are like that, some people are hard deal with, some people are really annoying and more often than not, it take great effort not to be rude to them by shutting them off completely.

In a discussion with Arun last night, he was saying that there was a study which said that a person cannot really have more than 150 real life friends (on an average) the type of friends who you feel comfortable with. He explained that those friends are the ones that you wouldn't be ashamed of talking to or catching up with, lets say, if you two meet in a foreign country. After Googling for several minutes and verifying sources, I came to know that it was called the Dunbar's Number. With my pending trip to LA this Christmas, my sister was really pushing me to go to San Francisco and just save the trip to the east coast next year. Mike was offering me to crash on their house in Tampa which I'm still considering though tickets from the west to the east is still a bit too steep for me. Dunbar's number came to mind.

As I got an email from my sister today that she was really rooting for me to head to San Francisco (because its cheap and its near), she suggested that I contact two people, old friends of ours and ask if I could crash a day or two. Ive thought of what Arun said last night and maybe my hesitation was because, even though I've spent time with those two, I feel like the closeness was more of being an acquaintance rather than being a close friend. Ironically, considering that the two are old friends I had compared to Mike who I knew for like what, hmmm 3 or 4 years? If I only had the funds I wouldn't have hesitated flying in to Tampa to visit a good friend and his dog. Come to think of it, he owes me tickets to the screening of Tron Legacy.

On a side note, I think it was my first experience to be unfriended by someone who I think is a really nice friend. You know, the type who you could have a nice conversation with and all. I actually don't know the reason why (though I think I might have an idea), I respect that persons decision even if it is unsaid. Sometimes we cant control people who walks into our lives and the ones that walks out. In the end, I think the most important thing to remember is the quality of the time spent with that person rather than the length of being friends.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Web Service Foul

To those who have been my friends since time immemorial, you would have realized that I have been blog hopping since the time I started writing. From my self made blog page back in 2003, to my LiveJournal account, to my scattered secret blogs, of blogs composed of letters to someone and of blogs dumped in Friendster and then everything dumped back into my again self made repository of writing. Everything from 2003 to 2006 has been archived there.

After a while, I then settled down to the then famous Multiply site where I had a bunch of pictures shared to friends and mostly blog posts both private and public. September 9, 2006 was my first ever entry in my Multiply site which overlaps with the Friendster blog which is already at my archive site. The last post there was dated October 18, 2006.

Before Google's minimalistic approach to things came into light, most web applications or most of the websites have one gauge in measuring effectivity: site traffic. Websites back then such as Yahoo pegs its high traffic from users who gets stuck in its endless maze of information shunned in front of your face as if a helpless baby fed a large piece of steak. Come on, look at it.. They say that everything is in your fingertips, but then again, those information are most of the time irrelevant and is just one big clutter.

These websites has this diabolical motto: keep the user in the website. Looking at it on a financial perspective, its a goldmine for advertisers. Helpless users stuck digging for useless search results, being fed with bits of teaser information, sports headlines which leads them to another site again, full of bits of information which leads you to things you never knew existed. This evil mantra of keeping users in the site led to more usability problems and more frustrated users.

Before I get back to my point, I will present to you one perfect example. Yahoo! Mail. Since the beginning of my internet days, i've been using Yahoo! Mail for my personal communications. I could recall that my oldest mail was from around 2002. In essence, I was stuck for years with the service and even if I wanted to move I couldn't back up my mail. Yahoo! was cunning enough to prevent people from using mail clients such as Outlook (at that time was the famous client) to download my mail using POP. You would have to pay for that additional service to use other mail clients. I assume for the simple reason that if people dont use their webmail client, who will view their lousy ass, huge and annoying ads? Less ad views, less profit. Simple math. Again, keep the users from opting out. Damn evil.

But then again, due to competition, Yahoo! was pressured to 'open up' a bit through the iPhone's add email functionality and now GMail allows importing mail from Yahoo! accounts.

This type of mentality harms the users. Web services should give the users the option to migrate or opt out of their service and rightfully keep their data. Now, this is my biggest problem. Multiply uses the same diabolically evil techniques to keep their cashflow cart running.

As of this writing, I currently have 503 blog posts in my Multiply account. Multiply, being really nice people doesnt offer any exporting function to save your blog to either text or XML. Blogger has that feature, WordPress has that feature, LJ has it.. Why cant Multiply have that damn export feature?

Their RSS feed is just a bunch of compilation of the first few statements of your post. None of it really wouldnt help that much.

And after looking for ideas or plug-ins to manage that. Some idiot just doesnt understand the difference between cross posting and exporting. Seriously, you dont need to parade that you could cross post your new entries to another blog. Some people just dont read.

So in essence. Thanks to Multiply and their foul play for its millions of users, you really cant leave.

Maybe Hotel California is a fitting song to a very nice service from our friends from Multiply.

"You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."

Cheers to copying and pasting old blog entries. Heck, maybe I would just code a decent parser for this stupid service.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Small Things

I've been having a lot of inflow of ideas recently. I'd also be helping a friend develop his existing system into a web based one. I think this is a good time for me to get back to coding and learning about new things since most of the ideas would require Facebook integration and Google APIs in development. Perhaps I could shoot in a little overview on the projects and track them from time to time and see which ideas are progressing.

Quotes - I have this thing for saving quotations and back then I had a local site which I store my favorite quotes but I think there's a better way of storing and sharing quotes. I've checked out some sites which does quote saving and sharing like but it lacks a certain function I need like importing quotes from e-readers like the Kindle or the iBooks app. They say that they have a plug-in for highlighting quotes and saving it but on my previous examination of the service it still lacks a lot of features. One annoying thing though is its banning of curse words. I often put to quote barkada conversations which, really has a lot of swear words. It also lacks privacy settings and the whole site assumes that all of your quotes are public. Quote saving using asks a lot of inputs but basically just needs two. UI design of that does not say that there are only required fields and others are optional. Persons quoted also doesn't appear as you type the author, I think that is really helpful to omit redundancies in spelling of the name and further on improve search since entries like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and A. Saint-Exupéry and Saint-Exupéry existing on the database all at the same time. Sign up could also be more convenient by integrating to other SSO services like FB. has a nice site which, in just one click, could sign you up to their service.

Gig Finder - Ever had that nights when you and some friends want to watch a gig of some band, lets say, Sugarfree and doesnt really know where they're playing? I had that problems. Ever asked yourself what local bars are in your area and want to check who's playing where? I had that problems. So, maybe this could at least help the local (and hopefully global) gig industry to provide a simple web (or mobile) application people could use to find gigs near their location or query the web on who's playing where. I think it would come in pretty handy for gig hoppers out there.

Enrollment Scheduler - A friend of mine did a nice little Java application which lets you schedule the classes you will take and the breaks you have and could cycle different sections depending on the professor or the schedule you like. Its a very promising app though it would be better if it was a web app. Maybe after we've discussed what needs to be done to convert it into a web app, we could polish it with a more intuitive GUI and make it more easier to use. More info regarding this project could be found at .. I really hope that this thing existed while I was in college. I kinda hated the thought of 3 or 4 hour breaks during my day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Value of an Idea

Several months ago, me and some friends were talking about Chatroulette and how frustrating it is that, we never thought about doing something so damn simple. A friend ranted that it was just some dumb randomizing algorithm then outputs two different people with their webcams on. Around that time, the founder of Chatroulette was already headed for New York to meet with investors or with people interested in buying his company.

Fast forward to several weeks back, I met with two other people who wanted to throw in some ideas at the table and start brainstorming and getting feedbacks from each other on how to proceed with the idea.. We all said our take regarding each others idea and decided on how we should proceed. Fast forward to today, I received an SMS from one of the two which reads that his idea was already launched by some local company. At first I shurgged the thought and told myself "Hey, whats the worse that could happen? They probably built some sucky product that would probably just wither and die after a few weeks." As I got to the office and checked my mail, I read something about that site and when I checked.. I clicked the link and at one glance.. My head was like.. "Oh shit."

Its not the first time these things happened to me, or my friends. We have these great ideas which eventually loses steam after encountering roadblocks or after consulting with other people who greatly discouraged our way of thinking about the project. Being in the field of I.T., these ideas, given the right people could be easily done by someone or a group with the right amount of motivation. At the end of the day, being at the losing end, I guess we could all say what my friend replied to my email awhile ago: "I feel agitated and amused all at the same time."

Perhaps, to those who have great ideas and wants to make it happen, I would like to share some thoughts which some might, or might not agree with. Having several of my ideas screwed over because I was too slow to act, maybe others would benefit from the things I'd share below.

Importance of your idea

Most of good ideas come from either a need or a want. You know those times when you come across those minor annoyances and thought to yourself, "Maybe theres a better way to do this" or "Probably if they changed that, they could get more people." If your suggestion or idea could be implemented with the right people, then pursue it quickly.

Gather up the people who you think could help you with your idea and once you get the thing running, even at the bare minimum, provide a disclosure with one of Google's favorite word: "Beta". But remember to keep building until its like what you've initially imagined (but don't stop there --read on below). Its really important to have the right people with the right attitude to work with you, getting the wrong people who lacks the drive or motivation to finish what your group has started will just drag your little project a bit longer. Dragging it longer means a bigger window for your competition to either get wind of your idea and launch a quick release and in the end, you just wasted time developing your idea.

Know when to reinvent the wheel

Competing with an existing product or service is not always a bad idea. When Google started, there was already Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Alta Vista, and all those other search engines. When Facebook started, there was Friendster, MySpace, Multiply and other social networking sites. Being innovative doesnt necessarilly mean being the first. Sergey and Larry knew that the old wheel (other search engines) lacked accuracy, slow, very much cluttered, and most of the time returned irrelevant results. Zuck knew that the old wheel (other social networking sites) lacked the ability to let other people know what you're currently doing, or share a cool site you came across. Case in point, they reinvented the wheel because the old wheels suck. The old wheel sucked bigtime.

Dont be afraid to take on existing products or services as long as you analyze who or what you're competing with. If you know that a certain product or service lacks the thing your product or service has, then its a good direction to take.

Know when NOT to reinvent the wheel

You know you're taking the wrong path when you realize that your idea is just like the other 1,000,000 other product or service you have seen. Trust me, I already encountered people who like, want to create an instant messaging client because the existing instant messaging clients has an ugly name. And sometimes, their idea is suckier than whats already in the market. We all have bad ideas, sometimes, it just takes common sense to know that its really bad.

Perhaps a good example on when NOT to reinvent the wheel is developing a blogsite. Back when I was in starting college, I wanted a blog site which I could fully customize. I know a bit of PHP and some HTML which I could use to create my own blogsite from scratch. Whats my premise in doing this? I was silly to think back then that (at that time the "in" thing was LiveJournal)  LiveJournal would just suddenly declare bankruptcy and close down along with all my memories (blog entries) with it. I was so paranoid that LJ would just pop out of existence after a decade or so, that I did create a blogsite from scratch. I was also worried about the time when internet was not available, that if I keep my own blog locally, I could update anytime and just upload when I have a connection. Boy I was DAMN WRONG. Right now, that self made blog has entries from the year 2003 to 2006 and I would take time to move the entries bit by bit to a new home in Blogger.

Another good example on how NOT to reinvent the wheel is with those quick and dirty website requirements which non-technical people could use. I've learned to appreciate those pre-packaged content management systems (CMS) available for download because of the work I've done years back. Back then, my boss would want a simple site which someone without programming background could update easily. I normally would say that I'd code a login page, an add news page, a page which displays the updates, setup a database, etc. and would take roughly two weeks addressing the need. I started to appreciate CMS when those 'microsite' requests got a bit more frequent, and when I mean frequent its in every month or so.

I always hated the thought of reading other people's code, but learning the back end of Joomla, even if the requirements for microsites pile up, I could easily mass deploy Joomla sites and just customize to fit the needs of the people who would use it. Sometimes, even the features they need comes in installable modules. Now, using those CMS, it doesnt break my heart to know that apparently the site they wanted didnt get as much hype as they expected. Imagine working your ass off for 2 or so weeks just to know that the site you made was never used. Ouch.

A good idea never finishes

Sometimes, being the cool one who gets your idea to the market and being used (or bought --for consumer goods) by lots of people doesnt mean you should sit idly with your laurels and all that. Always remember that a good idea never finishes, it grows. There is always room for improvement. Dont be afraid of competition, rather make it a drive to improve your idea.

Maybe looking at the other side of the fence, like Yahoo and Friendster we could learn from their mistakes that even the smallest idea from an unlikely competitor could steal your current glory. In this example, Sergey and Larry are just two insane graduate students who want to improve the quality of search. Mark Zuckerberg was just a college student who started a university wide social network. If I were Yahoo or Friendster, at that time, I would either buy what their developing or improve on my services that would trample their puny existence into oblivion. Look at Google and Facebook now, continually improving on their core competencies. Though Google had a different thing in mind, before something explodes into something big, they assimilate that company along with its idea.

Be careful who you trust

Having an idea in mind, one could get so excited that that person starts telling other people about his or her idea. Most of the times (my apologies for being so pessimistic), it does more harm than good. Its always good to have those people who could give you inputs about the ideas you have in mind, but you should keep in mind that these people could steal your ideas anytime. This is not uncommon in the tech industry. Remember when Steve Jobs was invited to Xerox PARC head quarters? He saw that the graphical user interface (GUI) was the next revolution in computing. Steve knew that the executive at Xerox PARC can't see the potential in the things being developed under their noses, so what did he do? He stole the idea and put it in his product. Bill Gates and his boys did not write DOS, they bought it from some poor dude for $50,000 in 1981 which was told that Bill and his boys would just 'play with it.' Probably in a more recent example, most of you probably watched Social Network,  and yes Zuck stole the idea. As Steve says: (as quoted from Picasso) "Good artists copy great artists steal."

Be careful kids, its a jungle out there. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jailbreak for 4.1 Finally Released

Finally, after the long, agitated wait for the jailbreak.. Its now released folks!

Important note though, there is no UNLOCK (Ultrasn0w) yet. Just wait for the new Pwnagetool so you could create IPSWs without the baseband updates.. Proceed with caution.

This will just jailbreak your 4.1 (and possibly beta 4.2) device. Ola!

From the Dev-Team blog: Dev-Team Blog - redsn0wier

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One of the Oldest Phishing Tricks

I got surprised when I saw this email. I didn't know that these tricks were still being used. Its a dangerous world out there people, be careful!
One of the oldest phishing trick.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Credit Card Phone Policies, Social Engineering and You

I called my credit card company earlier this evening to either have my credit card discontinued or have my annual fee waived. Due to the problems I had with that company, it was not really my loss if they didn't waive my annual fee. Everything went smoothly and as the transaction completed, got home, started browsing, I came across this very nice article about cyber security (ironically) courtesy of Microsoft and (more ironically) released for free. 12.3MB downloadable here.

Then I thought, I think there's a bit of a security hole in those companies policies. I remember Kevin Mitnick and his book, The Art of Deception.

You see, banks asks about details which identity thieves could easily obtain. Take for example, I was asked for my credit card number and my full name. Credit card numbers could be easily listed down by some employee of a merchant you bought some goods on, so is your full name (its on the card Sherlock). Even that 3 digit CVV2 code behind the card. So make sure that you keep an eye on the person whom you hand your credit card to. But sometimes this is hard, take restaurants for example. When you ask for your bill, you drop your card on that black sleeve and wait for it to come back. You don't normally follow the waiter around to the cashier just to make sure that they don't do something funky with your card details.

Second, the card company normally asks for your mother's maiden name, your cellphone number and/or your home phone, and your birthday. Your phone number and birthday? Check your Facebook profile, you've might have given it away there. Home phone number? You might want to un-list yourself in next years Yellow Pages. Mother's maiden name? Someone pretending to be from a certain company calling your mothers secretary at her office could easily pry that information from that unsuspecting secretary. Heck, maybe even Google Search has those information about you.

But if you're pretending to be somebody else, even with those information, they could still trace your number! Sherlock, there's a thing called a payphone.

I don't know up to what extent one could exercise phone banking powers, in my phone conversation a while ago, just by saying yes to discontinue my credit card they would immediately process it. Now, use your imagination. What if someone who has a grudge on you, pretends to be you and calls your credit card company and right then and there terminated your card? Isn't that a pain in the ass?

Or what if that person, asks the bank on what current promos or bundled insurances they have? Then you'd just be surprised when you find out that you're already being charged for insurance payments which you never actually approved. The possibilities are endless.

I think banks and credit card companies should improve their identification or authentication techniques. If you watched the video with Leo Laporte and Kevin Mitnick, you'll be surprised on how easy it is for people to do those things.

The Art of Deception is available for purchase from Amazon or you could have it imported through your local book vendor.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Duke Nukem Forever, Taking Forever

If you've been into computer games for several years now, you've probably heard about the Duke Nukem franchise. I remember playing the 2d Duke Nukem side scroller on my old 386 box and heard about the new FPS Duke Nukems though popular PC magazines. So if it was a popular franchise comparable to Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy and other games in that era, what the heck happened to it?

Image courtesy of Joystiq
 Much like software development, it deteriorated because of ambition and the ever changing technologies involved in software development. The development suffered a fatal blow shifting from one game engine to another. Its a bit tempting to use modern technology halfway through the development given the mindset that "hey the new engine would probably cut the development time into 1/4 so I don't mind sacrificing the time wasted developing with the old engine" But then again, the implications of such would be having to learn the new engine probably leaving your developers flying in blind. Not to mention that the workforce was slashed during 2009. Ouch.

Yes, a newer engine would probably yield better results, much like comparing the old Quake engine with the CS Source engine or what have you. The difference in the gaming experience would mean high sales or a flop. The problem with Duke Nukem was probably planning. If development were meticulously planned that despite improvements on gaming engines, despite delays in deliverables, that development using the previous engine would continue, then most probably even if its late.. They could have delivered.

It was announced on PAX that Duke Nukem Forever will be coming to the PC, PS3, XBOX 360 this 2011 thanks to the efforts of Gearbox.

Well, lets just wait and see.

More reading about this topic:
Joystiq - Duke Nukem Forever coming '2011' on XBOX 360, PS3 & PC, courtesy of Gearbox
Wikipedia - Duke Nukem Forever
The Duke Nukem Forever List

Thursday, September 2, 2010

YouTube Movies

I heard that Google is launching movies through YouTube but I didn't realize that it was already available.

Head on to: for your fix on documentaries, bunch of horror flicks, cartoons, Bollywood, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies.

Now, don't you think that those media boxes with YouTube support are now worth the investment?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vanity for Privacy

Before the location services of Facebook was launched, there was a neat little option in your Facebook app that could lookup your Facebook account and download and set photos of your friends on your phone.

Before Facebook had location services, this is an outright privacy concern.
At first I thought, "Hey, thats pretty neat!" then surprisingly as you switch on that Synching tab it will prompt another message regarding privacy concerns.

Clicking I Agree would send your whole contact list to Facebook. Scary.
This kinda creeped my out. All my contacts details are going to be sent to Facebook!? This is insane! All that information just to get my contacts corresponding Facebook picture? No thanks. I backed out when I saw this message but perhaps, people would just skip through this message and hit 'I Agree' immediately.

Looking at another perspective, Facebook could have done it in a less privacy invasive way. Instead of sending out your contacts information to their servers, why not download your contacts to your phone temporarily and look up if the phone number is existing.

For example, if John Doe is my friend, and he has a mobile number +63917 123 4567 stored on his Facebook profile the only thing I need to download is his current profile picture and the number associated with him. Or, a 2-tier query would be lighter instead of downloading all of your friends pictures and numbers. First step is to download all the numbers and compare it with the numbers stored on your phone, second step is to remove all numbers not present on your phone and send back the trimmed list to Facebook to retrieve the corresponding profile picture and store it on the phone.

So why did Facebook opt to pull data from your phone rather than doing it the other way around? We cant say for sure, but given the track record of Facebook when it comes to privacy, they'd probably want to keep a whole lot of phone numbers through this approach.

Despite my selection to disagree with Facebook's contact syncing, I really couldn't say if one of my friends already sent out his/her entire phonebook content to Facebook along with my number.

Privacy as a trade off for vanity? No thank you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Google Voice in Gmail

After the acquisition of Gizmo5 by Google, everybody knew what was about to happen. Google will expand to the realms of VOIP which is currently dominated by Skype. Its not about a question of if, it was a question of when. Finally, after the long wait, Google launches Call from Gmail.

From the comfort of your own Gmail account, you could call the US and Canada or free.

Hello there little Call Phone button!
By default, if you're not a Google Voice subscriber, your number will display as a generic number. But Google will offer you to upgrade your account to a Google Voice account for free and you get to pick your own number. But theres a catch, you need to have a US number.

I tried ringing my Google Voice number from my other account.
You will be offered a Google Voice number if you want to be reached easily.
I circumvented this problem by using our Magic Jack number so I could reserve a number with POGZ in it. Also, there is that error that says Google Voice is not available in your country. I remember I activated my account when I was in America a year ago but you could always use those free US proxies just to enable your account and to call dibs on the number you want.

You could select the option Forward to Google chat all calls from your Google Voice number.
Now since Google Voice has been integrated to Gmail, your Gmail account will ring if someone tries to call your Google Voice number. Pretty neat huh? :)

This is what it looks like when you're being called on your Gmail account.
Feel free to try it out for yourself! Log in to your Gmail account and click on the Call Phone button on your Google Chat box. As per Engadget's review of the call quality, Calling FROM Gmail surpasses the quality held by Skype but apparently, as they reported, Google still has work to do in improving its noise cancellation technology. If you want to read more about Engadget's article, click here.

The call rates for other areas of the world could be found here. And as Google said, its "Insanely Low" rates is in fact, really low compared to SIP services, Skype and Yahoo Messenger.

Apparently, after that net neutrality ruckus with Verizon, I think they're still wearing the smug launching this service. It kinda feels like they kicked the teleco companies in the nuts.

Good job Google! You've made the world a smaller place once more!

100826 9:38pm Edit:

Apparently, Lifehacker has compiled a nice guide on how to maximize your new and shiny Gmail communication tool. Click here for details:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Looking at the Other Side of the Coin

Seriously, people are looking at things at a single perspective. I really cant blame if thats their opinion on things but come on. Not just because you saw it on your friends Twitter page, your classmates Facebook status updates, your neighbors Tumblr account doesn't neccessarilly mean that it is the truth.

I love the commercial of Inquirer and motivates people to keep 'inquiring' and not just settle with whats spoon fed in your mouth by some convenient source. It just irks me so much that everything is spreading like wildfire.

First point: Mendoza was the bad guy

Oh come on, cut the guy some slack. If you scavenged the web for more readings and asked yourself, "What made him tick?" You could have gotten a better answer. Take for example this article from Inquirer on how Mendoza was a good man, a decorated officer and probably just another policeman at the wrong place at the wrong time. Heck, he could even be someone who was 'crabbed' by other envious men in the force, you know how dirty things are.. When you're climbing up, people would pull you down.
“If he wanted to use his authority to earn easy money, he could have easily taken that money and leave the service for good. But he did not even think about it,” (in reference to the Marcos loot)
I believe that man is inherently good. Its how the world treats us that twists us into something ugly. Its how we get pounded over and over again until we break.
“My brother felt he was a victim of injustice. He was not given a fair chance to defend himself.” (accounts of Mendoza's brother)
Sadly, we'd have to deal with the ugly injustices we currently have. But that doesn't mean that we can't do anything about it. The movie "Law Abiding Citizen" kept swirling over my head. Good guy, pushed to his limits, crucified with the systems injustices, retaliates.. many people die.. You know, stuff like that. It happens, and as people would say: "Wag mong sagarin ang kabaitan ng isang taong mabait, dahil pag yan sumabog.. Magsisisi ka."

You cant blame the man for feeling agitated when he saw that his family is being mistreated by the people outside. If you were in his shoes and lets say, you're mother was being dragged around being shouted upon, what would you feel?

Second point: Irresponsible information dissemination

I just find it annoying how people keeps reposting information that is not even verified. Perhaps this is somewhat reminiscent of the 'chismis' culture which is inherently inside every one of us. "Uy, si ganito nag post ng ganito, na ganito daw.." .. Remember how information gets changed, some info gets lost, or some blatantly adds to the information as it gets passed around? That is exactly whats happening to our circle of social networks.

That letter, from the alleged survivor? Seriously, how hard is it for one to Google the name of the supposed writer, check the links, verify if it came from a credible such as foreign news websites or at the very least, local news websites. But then again, I come to my third point

Third point: Even the media makes mistakes

For one, they shouldn't be covering the whole thing. Its like they're vultures swarming over a dead carcass waiting for it to flinch. Lo and behold, the hostage taker was watching everything on the on board TV. (I know that Steph would react to this).. We all know the media is just doing their job, but sometimes, we bring more harm than good specially in delicate situations.

You wouldn't believe how many people retwitted this. Come to think of it, as the message got passed the speculation eventually borderlined truth. Or was everything just a misunderstanding?

Fourth point: Kulang sa training

Again, cut the force some slack. I hope that people would understand that policemen doesn't get paid that much.. Perhaps it more like a noble profession much like being a teacher. Not to mention that our arsenal is not that hi-tech compared to other countries.

Even the disputed Spratly Islands, the AFP admits, that we lack arms. I cant help but quote: "Wala naman tayong ipuputok" .. Its funny, but its the truth.

Fifth point: Dapat kasi (insert comment here)

Really? Throw flashbangs? Night vision goggles? Thermal goggles? Snipers? C4 explosives? Rappel down helicopters? Black ops mumbo jumbo?

I really cant believe how many people kept suggesting things that the SWAT should have done. This is not Counter Strike, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Half Life or even Mario.. Why couldn't people just sit back, let the experts do the rescuing and just STFU.

Quick reply: "Oo na sige na, KAYO NA ANG EXPERT"


I just hope that people consider looking at the other side of the coin. All that bickering, all that finger pointing is getting really annoying.

To those interested in further readings, check the links below:
From Decorated Police Officer to Hostage-Taker
Hong Kong angry, sad at handling of Manila siege
Survivors describe terrifying ordeal inside bus

Enough bickering. Lets just learn from our mistakes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Social Networks Deliver Breaking News

Even if I dont have access to the TV, I could get a clear picture on whats happening. You could check out the trending topics that we again are talked about on the intarrrwebz.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If You Like Dropbox, You'd Love Pogoplug

Ive seen Pogoplug for quite some time now but what discouraged me is at 100+ USD, the price is pretty steep. With this I've resulted to just tediously setting up my home server and/or avail of the limited space of Dropbox.

Courtesy of
Good news though, Pogoplug dropped its prices (perhaps in anticipation of a newer version) and is on sale at 48 USD. Well, the drive you put is not included but come on, how much is a flash drive at CDRking.

Check this link if you're interested to buy Pogoplug:

And check this link if you want to know about Pogoplug:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Globe iPhone Pre-Registration

Thanks to Butch for telling me this:

So wheres the price? Well, its not yet disclosed. What is this for? Probably Globe's way to estimate how much they'd import to the Philippines.

Image courtesy of Globe
At least they say that they'll contact those who pre-registered when the pre-ordering happens.

Yeah, whatever.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

HSBC's Branch Locator Using Google Maps API

Since my car is broken, ive been a bit lazy to go to Alabang at the usual branch where I pay my HSBC bills. I told myself that within this week, I'd find time to pay both my Globe and my HSBC bills since both are due some time next weekend.
HSBCs ATM Branch Service Locator
Surprisingly, I liked HSBC's branch locator website which uses Google Maps API to map out different branches, the services offered, banking hours and even a picture of the branch itself.

Its pretty great how companies takes advantage of Google Maps API.

Try it out for a spin! Click here to go to the website.

If you want to know more about Google Maps API, you could visit the link below:

Another website containing tutorials and examples could be found here:

Developing applications using Google Maps API is much simpler and you only need a bit of HTML, JavaScript and XML knowledge. Well, feel free to go wild in expanding its capabilities with your web development language of choice.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Paradigm Shift of Nicholas Sparks

Last night as I finished watching The Last Song, I noticed that Nicholas Sparks had a paradigm shift into something to older generations. I rummaged through my stuff and made an inventory of my books. I noticed how many Nicholas Sparks novels I still havent read but already bought. If you're interested in checking out books I currently have, feel free to visit this link.

Going back.. See, Nicholas Sparks has been those romance authors who tends to focus on teen relationships. It gives readers (and viewers, for the movie) a heart tugging experience which, somehow, if you've read a number of his books would probably find some sense of monotony and probably uniformity on his stories.

It seems like, hes not an avid fan of unhappy endings too. Save for A Walk to Remember, but it would probably be left in the decision of the reader/viewer to qualify on how they would take the ending. Its not as point blank trample your heart endings like the movie Prime, nor the anime 5cm per Second but what the heck, its his book, his story and we're just the audience.

Prior to watching the Last Song, ive watched Dear John months ago. I was surprised to see that Sparks changed his focus from being centered in the romantic endeavors of two individuals to something probably, well, unexpected for his caliber. Sparks shifted into giving importance to family. Perhaps it was a good decision to take in my opinion because aside from love of God and love of self, love for family encompasses all that romantic shenanigans you normally would see in teen-targeted novels and movies *cough*Twilight*cough* ..

Its a bit refreshing as a reader or as a part of his audience to see this shift but I hope he really consider some diversity in his future novels.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Manually Setting Up a Static IP in Ubuntu

For some reason, Webmin doesnt work well with Ubuntu 10.04. Everytime I configure a static IP using Webmin, it throws an error at boot. Ive reinstalled several times hoping that it was just a glitch. Maybe for some reason, there was a misconfiguration in the network modules in the source code perhaps.

Anyway, getting around this, I decided to be a command line ninja once more. Logging in as root, edit the /etc/network/interfaces file an tweak as needed (I removed the last octet for security reasons, replaced with x and y).
# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

address 192.168.1.x
gateway 192.168.1.y



You could actually just copy some of the values when you're on DHCP by entering ifconfig -a as a sample, heres the data I got (I removed some values and replaced the last octet of the IP with x).
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr -- removed -- 
          inet addr:192.168.1.x  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: -- removed -- Scope:Link
          RX packets:5140320 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:1978783 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:946219572 (946.2 MB)  TX bytes:2233516408 (2.2 GB)

PHP Curl and You

I have 2 servers which I wanted to talk to each other, one is a web server running Ubuntu and the other a Windows Server 2008. My task was to be able to create Active Directory users using PHP and from what is available, I found a very neat library for PHP called adLDAP. It had all the necessary functions needed to manage your Active Directory save for the very troublesome fact that you need to use LDAP over SSL in order for the module to be able to create accounts and change passwords. Everything else works without LDAP over SSL.

At first I was trying my hand out in making it work without the LDAP over SSL. But after some research, I found out that it is required by Windows Server itself to accommodate account creation. Knowing a bit about certificates and on how modern browsers typically screws over displaying the page due to those 'certificates cannot be verified' errors, I had little choice in this matter.

At first I thought maybe that error prompt could be a minor nuisance but unfortunately, non technical people have certain difficulty in getting around that. I had to make a choice, usability or to create something not that elegant which works without any nuisance.

Being a code monkey, I decided to do the workaround.

At first I researched options on what other ways I could create an Active Directory account without using the Active Directory Users and Computers manager. Apparently, you could create users using the command prompt using the dsadd command. After some practice, I got the syntax I needed and the errors thrown if ever theres something wrong.

So I already have the command, how do I run it? Ive thought of just moving the user creation page to the Windows Server and opening it to the public, but as Ive told my friend, it would be like a sitting duck waiting to be shot down. I retained the approach to funnel all traffic to the web server and have the web server and the Active Directory server talk using the more secure local network.

But how the heck could I make an Ubuntu server and a Windows Server talk to each other? Well, Ive installed a web server in the Windows Server and made it run PHP. Now, the Ubuntu server, the Windows Server and myself could all talk and understand the same language: PHP.

It was something unelegant. Some problems are still there, like if my GUI is in the Ubuntu server, how can I invoke a POST to the Windows Server and get the output from that end. Upon researching POST and passing parameters, I discovered cURL. cURL is a client URL library, which in simple terms, is something that one could use to pass parameters to another URL and gets a return reply which could be used in the requesting machine. A simple diagram would be:

Ubuntu cURL -> Windows Server (regular form accepting POST values) -> Ubuntu cURL

Ive setup two pages, first the page in the Ubuntu web server which does the 'curling'. Second is the page that accepts and processes form submits, if you've coded dynamic web pages this would sound familiar. Its just a regular page where all your data goes to when you hit the submit button. Its normally in the action="thispage.php" parameter. Whatever the output of that page will be thrown back to the currently waiting page in the Ubuntu web server.

I had my fair share in minor troubles, one would be that my PHP installation is not compiled to support cURL.

I just invoked an install command using apt-get (logged in as root of course)
apt-get install php5-curl
after it got installed, I restarted my web server
service apache2 restart
After which, I fired up my code and see what result it throws me from the Windows end. After some minor tweaks, I got it correctly.

The important phases of using cURL in passing parameters to another page as I read through this helpful guide would be (4 steps):

1.  Prepare the data to be posted

$data = array();
$data['first_name'] = 'Jatinder';
$data['last_name'] = 'Thind';
$data['password'] = 'secret';
$data['email'] = '';
The upper part of this segment is plugging into an array the values you need to be passed. The lower half would be turning it into a single chunk of data which will be sent to the other end. In this example, the resulting $post_str would be “first_name=Jatinder&last_name=Thind&password=secret&” which is properly url encoded. 

$post_str = '';
foreach($data as $key=>$val) {
    $post_str .= $key.'='.urlencode($val).'&';
$post_str = substr($post_str, 0, -1);
2. Connect to the remote URL

This is the page where you will be sending in your data. In my case, instead of a public domain address, I used a local IP address. It would still be accessible since PHP is a server side language which executes the code on the server (which is also in the same local network)
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, '' );
3. Post (submit) the data 

curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, TRUE);
The first half is telling cURL that a POST method will be invoked. cURL handles a multitude of methods including support for proxies, GET, POST, HTTPS and all that sugary stuff. The code below tells cURL to send the $post_str we made earlier to the URL in step 2.
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $post_str);

4. Fetch response and display it to the user

 The last part waits for the output from the other end and displays it, hence the echo $result. This will output whatever is displayed on the other end as if you are browsing through the page. In my case, I coded the output on the Windows end to be as simple as possible: throwing a text saying that the command issued was successful or there was an error. Upon getting the output from the Windows end, I display it to the Ubuntu side by processing the $result. Use your imagination, feel free to use string manipulation functions to make the output compliant with the look and feel of your page.
$result = curl_exec($ch);
echo $result;
For more information about cURL, visit the ever helpful PHP API 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why The Kindle 3 Excites Me

For a week now, I've been going on and on about the Kindle 3. Amazon launched the new Kindle several days back which was available for pre-order. It wont be until next month 'til those who pre-ordered will get their hands on the new and shiny device.

The new Kindle 3. Image courtesy of
A 6" monochrome eBook reader? What about it?

People would say that the iPad would be a better option, but why do I want this piece of thin monochrome reader? Perhaps, the biggest selling point for me was Whispernet.

Whispernet is Amazon's free 3G internet spanning different countries which you could use (primarily) to download eBooks. But, Whispernet is not limited to just downloading eBooks. There is a small phrase somewhere in the product description of the Kindle which says:
New WebKit-Based Browser – Free 3G web browsing (experimental)
Coupled with something a bit on the upper part of the product page:
Includes free 3G wireless: No monthly payments, no annual contracts. Download books anywhere, anytime.
Free 3G. Browser. Do you get my drift? Even if its a half assed and ugly browser, it is a browser.. Running with the power of free 3G!

This leads me to my second point: Google Reader.

The desktop version of Google Reader. Hey, the Kindle version is not as sexy, but it does the job. Image courtesy of
In a day, on an average, I consume around 300 articles ranging from Engadget, Gizmodo, Hackaday, Kotaku, Lifehacker posts to local news courtesy of Google News and some daily spiritual readings (which admittedly, I often just skim through) .. I don't read every bit of article I come across, reading through Google Reader is like reading a newspaper. You don't read articles which proves to be of little interest to you. I fully read about 20 or 30 or so articles a day which happens to be shared through this blog or to my Facebook account. New blog posts from friends also shows up in Google Reader, its like newspaper++.

Whispernet + Google Reader makes me feel like I could jam every information I would want into my head, anytime, anywhere.

Which then leads me to my third point: Other sites.

The simple but functional website which I use to update my status messages. Image courtesy of
Ive ranted about how I don't trust those SMS to social networking services because of their lack of security? Perhaps some of my friends heard me rant about how 1,200 is too much for an unlimited data plan from our dear telcos. I really wish that there was some way I could Ping (using my way to updating my status free of charge.. Seems like the Kindle is a good solution. Ping is a simple enough website which provides a simple thing, a box where you put your status message in.. and  updates the social networks you've added to your profile. Simple. Seems like Kindle could handle this simple task.

My final point would be aesthetics.

I wouldnt mind carrying something this thin and light everyday. Image courtesy of

Ive had the chance to fondle an iPad, carry it, feel how much it weighs, how feature rich it is and all that. Yes its a magical and revolutionary device BUT.. if you're looking at using it most of the time to read.. Or to absorb text based content.. Then the iPad would be overkill for that specific use. For eBook reading, yes iBooks is a whole new level in reading technology but its way too much for conventional reading. Reading a plain book in an iPad feels like killing a mosquito with a cannon. The iPad, as I see it, is more for the media consumption. Watching TV series, surfing the web, listening to podcasts, playing touch based games, those kinds of stuff. But for plain 'ol reading, a months worth of juice makes the Amazon more appealing to those who would just want to quietly read a book.

Its thin, lightweight built proves to be a good companion when you go about long trips (which you would like to spend reading). And as a commuter, I think the Kindle would be less appealing to muggers than an iPad. I think I'd be more confident to pull out a Kindle than an iPad on a bus ride home.

The price is still a bit too steep compared to something tangible that you'd be able to keep, hold, touch, feel, eat if you may, hard cover books. Image from
The downside though, Amazon is still selling eBooks at crazy prices. I still hope that the prices would go down to fair levels. Perhaps I would need to emphasize on 'fair levels' in the pricing of eBooks in one of my next posts. But as a workaround, you could have your pdfs converted to Kindle readable format.

Overall, the Kindle proves to be a good reading companion along with its free data services which provides other value added services to the device. Amazon will be rolling out an app store for the Kindle soon, so perhaps its just realistic to hope for a better Facebook layout for this monochrome device? Haha. That would be something to laugh about.

To those interested, full product detail could be found here: and it comes in 3 flavors, 6" WiFi only for $139 a 6" WiFi and 3G (the Whispernet baby) for $189 and a 9.7" Kindle DX with WiFi and 3G (also a Whispernet baby) for $379

iPhone 4 Carrier Unlock Finally Here

The wonderful people of iPhone-dev Team (or I think they're called just DevTeam now) has realeased their iPhone 4 carrier unlock.

What this means is you can unlock the iPhone 4s you've purchased from any locked countries like the U.S.(with baseband 1.59). iPhone 3G and 3Gs also benefits from this release which unlocks phones with basebands 04.26.08, 05.11.07, 05.12.01 and 05.13.04

As an excerpt from their blog post:
Version 1.0-1 of ultrasn0w works for:
iPhone4 baseband 01.59
3G/3GS basebands 04.26.08, 05.11.07, 05.12.01 and 05.13.04
(If ultrasn0w doesn’t show when you search Cydia, add the repo:
Quickest solution to unlock your phones is to visit which uses an exploit to jailbreak your device, and once you get the Cydia app, download (or add the repository if you havent) ultrasn0w. Restart and enjoy carrier freedom.

Perhaps another implication of this with the iPhone 4 market now is that those people selling iPhone 4s at outrageous prices would be compelled to drop their insane charges. Since people could get any iPhone 4 and have it unlocked, the only special purpose of a factory unlocked iPhone 4 would be that owners would not need to wait for the Dev Team to release a newer version of the unlocked (which they'd probably release a day after a new firmware/baseband update).

Update 1:

I was just checking how much an iPhone 4 currently costs in the black market. Seriously. 70k! This is insane!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Playstation Guy Copycat Incident Comes to a Close

Well, its good to hear that the incident regarding the imitation of Kevin Butlers (aka the vice president of everything) montage advertisment was settled through peaceful trash talking over the internet. At least Sony was a sport in responding to TV3 use of their montage concept advertisement without any bloodshed of cease-and-desist orders being issued.

They say imitation is the best form of flattery, Kevin Butler doesnt think so if they're not copying the thing correctly.

The original PS3 ad with Kevin Butler

The TV3 "Montage" copycat ad

Kevin Butler jokingly mocked the copycat advert in his blog though a series of 'constructive criticism' which pointed out the following:
1. No title for your guy? VP of Big Bigness? PS3 Commercial Tribute Manager? Details, folks.
2. The TV3 version was completely lacking in PS3 video game footage. Clips from Uncharted 2, MAG, God of War 3, or even clips of our upcoming releases Killzone3 and Twisted Metal would have really added some epicness to the spot.
3. The beard. I think it should have been longer.
4. I did like the slow motion effect at the end on the guitar solo. Way to plus it out.
5. Two-color mylar confetti > rainbow paper confetti. Just sayin.
And as payment for the offense of TV3, Butler demanded and said that "I’d like TV3’s support in making the PS3 the OFFICIAL GAME CONSOLE OF NEW ZEALAND." and "a box set of Flight of The Conchords sent to the fine creative team in our marketing organization."

In a post by Kotaku, apparently TV3 sent in some goodies to acknowledge Butlers demand. It came from the Twitter post by the man himself, Kevin Butler.

I didn't get why the heck would they send Milo packets
We could now happily move on along with this debacle without lawsuits flying around. You could find some hilarious videos with Kevin Butler in Playstations YouTube channel.

Wondering What to Eat?

A batchmate of mine has this awesome collection of food reviews in his tumblr account. He's been reviewing a whole lot of restaurants, though most of the time he gets his food from the delivery services around the vicinity of Taft. Hats off to Gelo Reyes for compiling a very good review for those people wondering what and where to eat.

Credits to Gelo Reyes and his tumblr blog
Come to think of it, its lunch and I haven't decided where to eat yet. If you have suggestions, drop him a line. He entertains your questions too, maybe you'd like to ask for a good date spot with good food.

Now I'm really hungry.

Unlocked iPhone 4 By Country

Heres a demographic on where you could get your factory unlocked iPhone 4 and at what price. HK seems to be the best option and the second placer is Singapore.

Waiting time to get a unit is around 3 weeks. And you need to have it shipped to someone who lives there.

Get it? Good.

Click for larger size

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pokemon Geeks and Dating

I feel like this is just both cute and stupid at the same time. Well, some girls really dig geeks you know. Whatta pick up line!

Elite Four huh?
Lifted from this Kotaku post.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why Bastardize an RX-7?

During my usual window shopping runs this evening, I was thinking about the idea of purchasing a project car me and my dad (since he's a mechanic) could work on during weekends. He knows a lot about automotive technology and I think that its a good practice to pass on the knowledge to the next generation.

The first car that popped into my head when I was thinking project car and cheap was the old Beetle. A lot of people were saying that its kind of a warrior car that, until now, is still a workhorse for the Filipinos. Then I thought to myself, "heck, I'm not going to look hip and young driving those clunkers." Though it just dawned on me just now that it might be a reasonable project car because of the widely available spare parts. Considering that, I still don't want it though. 

Vintage, but reflects the youthfulness and the rebel in our generation. It seems that thinking about that made me go back to the Devil Z. It's a Nissan Fairlady S30 Z  or sometimes known as the Datsun 240Z/260Z/280Z in other markets. So I Googled and found some interesting stuff like how one is overpriced to 540,000 pesos. Come on, seriously, dont make me laugh. From what i've Googled several months ago, I saw the same model selling at less than a 100,000. Well, checking from an old conversation with a friend, it was being sold at 60,000 but with a messed up interior and a beat down engine. It was a good project car for that price but I was hoping that the engine would at least still be running. As I checked again, it was already sold.

So, what else are my options? I was thinking that, if I was going to devote time on it why not pick one from my top 5. Well, or at least an older generation of whats in my top 5. Which brings me to the topic of this post. I present to you, an ad I saw at olx.. The bastardized RX7.

An RX-7 FC3S with a toyota engine
I didn't know if I was going to get so angry or I would cry manly tears for the blasphemous butchery that has befallen this poor thing. Why the frigging heck would you swap the bread and butter of the RX-7 family, the Wankel rotary engine, to a mere Toyota engine. (which is probably just those Japan surplus used to build owner type jeeps) Seriously, WHY?

I feel sad for the most likely under-appreciation of the technological superiority of the rotary engine.

But then again, maybe the original engine was already broken or the owner thought that parts of it are hard to come by. But still, its a depressing thought.

What a waste of a good RX-7 body. 

The Jailbreak One Stop Shop

The United States Library of Congress now allows jailbreaking (your iDevices) and rooting (your Android devices) and an added bonus, ripping your DVDs (for educational purposes of course). You may visit this site for more legal mumbo jumbo or head on to this Engadget post for a more humane translation of all those legal jargons you may come across reading the press release.

If you're one of those who asks, "I want to start jailbreaking, so where do I start?" Good question. Back then, it was way confusing even just to identify what iPhone you have or what iPod Touch you're holding. Thanks to this very helpful chart, all resources are now available in one page.

image from simplifies the identification tasks of knowing what device you have, what generation and what software to use to jailbreak. It also has a guide for you to follow on your jailbreaking escapades.

Thousand Miles of Fire

From up here the city lights burn like a thousand miles of fire.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chewy. Squirrel. Nazis

The verdict: DAMN AWESOME!

gamefan84 posted on his Deviantart account the most radical and awesome image ever. Chewbacca battling Nazis while riding a squirrel. 

Bumped on this through this post on Kotaku.

All You Need is Love

All you need is love. Vegas, will I see you again? <3

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vanille. Snow. Lightning.

I kinda miss playing FFXIII. Pipo still has my CD though, and I think I should worry about some important stuff first. I hope the next time we'd be able to go to that area (near Staples Center) again, we'd be able to watch some live Lakers game.

Starcraft 2 Campaign: 16 Hours

This guy, apparently finished the campaign of Starcraft 2 in 16 hours. Why hello there, didnt you sleep at all? Apparently, I guess most of my friends are really grinding it off in .. Get some sleep guys! Theres also a short read about this found at Kotaku

Starcraft II Pre-Order People

I think all of my friends who pre-ordered Starcraft II got their original copies. It seems that people nowadays are camping more at original retail stores than their trusty pirate stores. Aside from hiccups that the installation needs Windows SP3 updates and some game patches, I think that Facebook has really been quiet because people have started playing online.

Image courtesy of + Blizzard

Me? I skipped pre ordering or immediately buying the game since my PC and/or laptop is not capable of playing the game.

I hope everyone is enjoying!

For those who still havent got the hang of the new interface (or those who didnt get the chance to fondle the beauty of it during the beta) Kotaku has posted a squeaky nice article about navigating yourself through the new interface.

Monday, July 26, 2010

iPhone 4 Will Be Available in Canada Unlocked

CBC News reports that the new iPhone 4 will be sold in Canada unlocked. The price point is still pretty steep compared to the price subsidized iPhone 4 with a carrier plan.

Though no price is given yet on the Apple Store Canada website, CBC states the following prices (which is also converted to peso for your convenience)

iPhone 4 16GB - 659 CAD est. 29,434.95 PHP
iPhone 4 32GB - 779 CAD est. 34,794.88 PHP
iPhone 3GS 8GB - 549 CAD est. 24,521.68 PHP

Now, if you have relatives there going home soon, it might be a good idea to ask this sexy little item from them..

Apple Store Canada

Get Your Wallets Ready

An article by Gizmodo posts that the iPhone 4 will be reaching 17 more countries this Friday. Though there is still no news yet when it will arrive here in the Philippines through Apple's carrier partner Globe, snagging a unit in Hong Kong would be the best option for those who cant wait to get the newest iteration of the iPhone.

Image from

Hong Kong is one of those countries which sells the iPhone carrier free. You get the freedom to choose what carrier you would want to use with your new and shiny iPhone 4. Nothing really beats the feeling of an officially unlocked iPhone.

Friday. Yeah!