WATCH this video interview with Miriam Quiambao done by online videographer Jan ie Octia. Quiambao shares her thoughtsÂ about blogging, Facebook, YouTube, and how she's using technology in her life. Quiambao was 1999 Ms. Universe first r unner up. She also recently p osed for Playboy Philippines.
August 2008 Archives
Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net PASAY CITY, Philippines â The province of Albay is using short messaging system (SMS) to monitor natural disasters and provide early warning issuances to cons tituents. The provincial government has partnered with service provider Smart, providing SIM (subscriber identification module) cards to some 15,000 local government of ficials. "If something is happening say a creek in a barangay is overflowing, authoritie s will be able to respond immediately," said Albay governor Joey Salceda who sp oke at the Energy, Climate and Food Security summit held at the Sofitel in Pasa y City. Salceda presented Albay as a case study on local government preparedness and re sponse to climate change. Albay is also tapping into natural resources building a geothermal plant and wind farms, Salceda added. Salceda said all 720 barangays in the province will also undergo technology tra ining by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) on earthquake and disa ster-readiness software. According to Salceda, all of these are part of "climate proofing" initiatives a imed at increasing readiness among municipalities and villages when disaster oc curs. "LGUs [local government units] are the leading agent for action when it comes t o climate change mitigation and adaptation because they have more funds to allo cate than the national government," Salceda noted. "We need to think global but act local," he said.
Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- The website of Ticketworld suffered a temporary hiccup Wednesday morning d ue to "too many concurrent users." While this was not directly attributed to traffic coming from queries for the m uch-anticipated August 30 Eraserheads reunion concert, the ticket seller said i t is getting ready to sell concert tickets for the Eraserheads Reunion concert within the day. Ticketworld Systems Administrator Brenda Abela said there has been a huge volum e of traffic in the past few days but she would not attribute it to online quer ies for the Eraserheads. "It may be small factor. We've been busy selling tickets for other shows," Abel a said in an interview. She added that they have already received around 600 Eraserheads concert ticket requests from individuals who also leave their telephone numbers. She said the company will be calling them up one by one regarding the tickets' availability. Abela did not confirm prices of the tickets yet. But information culled from lo cal mailing lists and Facebook indicate that the prices are P2,060 for VIP and P1,030 for back area. Rumors of the cancellation of the Eraserheads Reunion concert circulated for th e past days until former drummer Raimund Marasigan announced that it was pushin g through after major changes in how tickets will be sold and who will sponsor it. For the past days, fans have been ranting about the lack of details about the tickets following the changes. Originally, a ciga rette company was reportedly behind the organization of the concert. But after lobbying from anti-smoking advocates and pressures from the Department of Healt h, modifications were made. The concert would be held at the Fort Bonifacio open field in Global City in Ta guig. Ely Buendia, Raimund Marasigan, Marcus Adorno and Buddy Zabala formed the Erase rheads in the late 80s but gained prominence in the early 90s. They are conside red as the most successful Filipino rock band of the 90s, encouraging many simi lar alternative rock bands.
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philip pines -- Despite tightening budgets, Filipino buyers are becoming more selectiv e when buying electronic appliances. They want both a mix of function and desig n rolled into their equipment and some are willing to pay some extra. This was the principle behind Korean appliance maker LG's rebranding strategy i n the Philippines. The company launched its new set of "lifestyle appliances" a imed at choosy buyers. LG Electronics Philippines Head of Brand Marketing Raymond Hernandez said the c ompany has studied the Philippines market for electronics and noted a growing m arket of younger generation of users who want a balance of aesthetics and perfo rmance. "These are the 'premium seekers'. They are a new market that we're expecting to generate more income from for the company," Hernandez said. Nevertheless, Hernandez said the company is still sticking to their bread and b utter business, which is the mass market, commodity segment that is also cost c onscious. In the Philippines, the most popular gadgets for all market segments are LCD TV s, mobile phones, refrigerators and air conditioning units, he added. "We're not alienating the commodity segment because they are our biggest market . But we're seeing a shift from commodity to the new premium seekers in terms o f revenues and this will happen starting this year," Hernandez said. LG manufactures over a dozen product types from LCD TVs, home theater equipment , to vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, washing machines, microwaves, and refri gerators. The Korean firm has a division that makes mobile phones.
By Agence France-Presse BEIJING, China -- Apple said Friday they were investigating why access to iTune s appeared to be blocked for users in China after a pro-Tibet album became a hi t on the online music store. The iTunes download site has been unavailable for many users within China in th e past week, but Appleâs Beijing-based spokeswoman Huang Yuna said she did not know why music fans were unable to log on. "Weâve noticed the problem. It's true that users may fail to log in to iTunes s tore right now," she told AFP. "We are still investigating," she said, but would not confirm if the company wa s in contact with Chinese authorities. The restrictions come after "Songs for Tibet", a pro-Tibet album featuring song s by artists such as Sting, was released on iTunes just before the Olympic Game s started on August 8. The album has been a popular download across the world, and has featured on the front pages of Apple's online store over the past few weeks. The review page of the album also became the site for a vicious exchange betwee n pro-Tibet netizens and Chinese nationalists. More than 400 posts were recorded on the page before it was taken down, with on e post saying: "The Tibetan culture has been massacred by the oppressive Chines e government." Huang declined to comment when asked if the comment board debate had sparked th e restrictions. The album, which also features songs from Dave Matthews, Moby and Alanis Moriss ette, was aimed at highlighting what activists see as the widespread repression of Tibet people in the Himalayan region. China has ruled Tibet since 1951, a year after sending troops in to "liberate" it. Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organizers said he did not know about the iTunes blockage. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman also declined t o comment. China's communist rulers regularly block access to Internet sites they deem sen sitive.
MAKATI CITY â Putting much hype into it down to the last minute, Globe officially launched the iPhone 3G Friday midnigh t. Hundreds --Â joined by Globe officials and a number of local celebrities -- flo cked to Ayala Stock Exchange at the heart of the Makati business district Thurs day night awaiting the official launch. The atmosphere was festive and mirrored New Yearâs Eve as people counted down t owards the midnight launch. Though unlike in other countries where Apple fanati cs lined up for days waiting, some had to line up nonetheless and waited for ho urs before being able to buy the reserved iPhone units. Nina Angela Sarmiento (shown in photo above) was the first person in line to bu y an iPhone, having waited since 3 oâclock in the afternoon of August 21. Gerry Ablaza Jr., Globeâs chief executive officer, also awarded an iPhone as a token to Ankush Raisinghani, human resources director for Procter and Gamble Ph ilippines, who has been a Globe Platinum subscriber since 1997. In May, Globe was among the first operators in Asia to carry the iPhone 3G alon g with Singaporeâs Singtel, Australiaâs Optus and Indiaâs Bharti Airtel. Early this month, Globe initially announced it will sell the device via prepaid at P41,899 and P48,899, for the 8 gigabyte and 16gigabyte models, respectively . Globe afterwards announced price rollbacks saying it will sell iPhone 3G prepai d kits starting at P37, 599 (8Gb) and P43, 799 (16 GB). Buyers can avail of zer o installments through local credit card partners. Globe's prepaid plans come with P1,000 load spread over five months, or P200 pe r month. Also, the first 1,000 phonekit purchases will get additional P1,000 di scount off the purchase price, Globe said in its previous announcement. The iPhone 3G is also available via postpaid subscriptions ranging from P1,599 to P4,999 monthly fees. Here's a video interview of Filipino celebrity Gary Valenciano talking about hi s fondness for the iPhone 3G. Here's also a video of the crowd lining up during the launch:
By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines âDays before the unveiling of the new Apple iPhone 3G in th e Philippines, the local online communities and blogs are abuzz with excited fa ns and curious tech users. The iPhone 3G is once again a hot topic in forums, such as the Philippine Macintosh Users Group ) and Peyups.com. Apple's new product is also getting a lot of attention from technology bloggers in the Philippines. The iPhone 3G will launch Thursday night in an elaborate ceremony in Makati Cit y. Globe Telecom has already activated a special iPhone site, where customers c ould get more information about the new device, particularly the paid plans tha t are available, as well as the methods for buying or reserving a unit. Philmug members have been telling their friends in the forum about their variou s experiences with reserving the iPhone from Globe service centers. Some have c omplained about the miscommunication between them and the Globe on whether thei r reservations were accepted or not through its hotline. Others have also complained about not getting the units they wanted, particular ly the 16 Gigabyte version, which costs P43,799 on prepaid. The 8 Gb version co sts P37,599 on a prepaid scheme. Bloggers were also recently discussing the iPhone 3G. These bloggers include Techathand, CNET blogger Sensible Netnonsense, Geek and M oney and TechBlog. Some of them find the iPhone's price too expensive. A reply to Techathand's ent ry on the iPhone showed that the device's pricing in the Philippine is about P5 ,000 (approximately 100 US dollars) more than that in the US. A blogger claiming to be a Filipino living abroad, Juanel, (www.juanel.com), wr ote a review of the iPhone that he acquired through the US AT&T. He said th e unit has many good points and a few bad points when used in the US. But he sa id that it may not be worth the price if it is used in the Philippines. "All the stuff that makes the iPhone worth its price has everything to do with connectivity. 3G is liveable and WiFi is great. Here, WiFi is everywhere -- peo ple just don't secure their routers here. In the Philippines, it's a different story. As far as I know, Globe has a crappy 3G network and unlimited data plan for globe has yet to surface," Juanel said. Regardless of the various comments the iPhone is getting in the Philippines, it is definitely the most talked about device in town and may be so for the next coming months or until a iPhone killer emerges.
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines â Globe Telecom announced it will sell the iPhone 3G via pr epaid at P37, 599 or around P4, 000 less than its initial introductory price, t he company said Friday. Globe said in a statement iPhone 3G prepaid kits will be available at P37, 599 and P43, 799 for the 8GB and 16GB, respectively. Globe said the new pricing will apply to all subscribers -- even to those who h ave made reservations. Globe earlier said Apple's latest iPhone device will be avail able starting August 22. The prepaid plans come with P1,000 load spread over 5 months, or P200 per month . Also, the first 1,000 phonekit purchases will get another P1,000 discounts of f the purchase price. Earlier this month, Globe said it will see the iPhone 3G via prepaid at P41,899 (8Gb) and P48, 899 (16Gb). The iPhone 3G is likewise available through postpai d plans ranging from P1,599 to P4,999 a month, inclusive of free WiFi via Globe Wiz. Globe added zero-interest purchase plans in partnership with local banks still apply. The Apple iPhone 3G, which operates on the third-generation (3G) mobile network , will also come with a built-in global positioning system (GPS) for location-b ased mobile services. The iPhone 2.0 software includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, apa rt from hundreds of third-party applications built with the recently released i Phone software development kit. Globe Telecom has more than 21 million mobile subscribers to date.
By Erika Tapalla INQUIRER.net MAKATI City, Philippines â It is light, supports 3G and comes with a touch-scre en. Sony Ericssonâs G700 belongs to the newest line of smartphones aimed at the mas s consumer. And although it costs less than the high-end mobile phones and pers onal digital assistants (PDAs), the G700 is built with most features found in m ost PDAs. Watch this quick tour of the phone's functions. So if you're looking for something more economical and savvy, the G700 would pr obably fit your standards. The smartphone is 4.2 inches long, 1.9 inches wide and about half an inch thick wide. It weighs 99 grams, making it easy to misplace or even drop since the ac tual casing of the phone is smooth. It sports a 2.4-inch touch-screen that works with you fingertips, stylus or eve n your fingernail. But because of the small screen, people with large fingers m ay find it difficult to use, probably the same reason why Sony Ericsson didn't remove the traditional keypad controls. The camera function of this phone would gain two plus points from me. It's equipped with a 3.2 mega-pixel camera with an image stabilizer, red-eye re duction, panorama stitching and four effects allowing you to take or edit photo s in black and white, sepia, solarized, and negative. After which, you can tag, create new albums, and select one of those built-in thematic slideshows comple te with sound and transitions for fun viewing. Another reason why I truly enjoyed the camera function was because of the photo light enabling anyone to take pictures and film at night. So, when using the ca mera on this phone, you're not dependent on the daylight or any available light for that matter. The processor is fairly fast and the overall operating system experience is smo oth, jumping right in to video and plays video with no major lagging. After whi ch, you can send photos and videos via Bluetooth, MMS or directly onto your blo g. The Sony Ericsson G700 has functions that allow you to configure your blog and use the phone to live blog when you're not in front of your PC or laptop. This is very smart considering people are becoming more and more mobile-oriented and gravitating towards social networking and personal blogging. Apart from the blogging feature, the G700 allows you to create word documents a nd presentations using QuickOffice, which you can send as an attachment via ema il you can set up or via Bluetooth. However, it does not have infrared or wireless fidelity support, but it allows you to browse the web and subscribe to RSS feeds from selected websites and blo gs. From what I gathered and experienced, the G700 phone is big on âorganizing your life.â The drop-down 'Today' menu on the homescreen is detailed from the calendar even ts you've placed, to the tasks you've written, and to the notes and alarm you'v e scheduled. The calendar doesn't merely indicate what you need to do and what time you need to do it. You can actually synchronize it with the alarm, your contacts, and t he notes function so that the phone can notify you about your meeting or appoin tment, give you a breakdown on the people attending, and remind you on little t hings you've jotted down on the notes. The notes function is also not the typical lined screen or blank screen like on most phones. The G700 boasts of a very elaborate notes function that allows yo u to scribble, type, or draw notes which is then displayed like little colored post-it. One thing I didn't enjoy with the G700 was the handwriting recognition software . Ideally, it's supposed to make writing faster by transforming the configured scribble into its corresponding letter on the keyboard. But I found that I almo st had to relearn how I write letters in order for the phone to interpret what letter it is I was referring to. Going over to the media side of things, the G700 has a music player with superi or sound quality for such a small phone. It supports mp3, wma, wav, and aac fil es that can be organized and viewed in various categories, and created into pla ylists. It has an FM Radio player but your handset needs to be connected before you hea r anything since it serves as the antennae. You can set it to sleep mode and as an alarm so you get to wake up to your favorite radio station. But since it only works with the headset plugged in, you have to be careful whe n you use it while sleeping. You don't want to twist yourself all over the wire s or move too much that the earphones would come off and end up oversleeping. B ut thatâs just me. Nonetheless, the phone does have quite a handful of features for something so s mall and relatively inexpensive. But it does have hang-ups, literally. When you have too many programs running at the same time, the phone tends to fr eeze and you have to restart it by removing the battery. The battery is easily drained running on about a day and a half without chargin g when heavily used (including approximately a cumulative of two hours talk-tim e). It has low storage capacity of only 160MB and considering its multimedia capabi lities, 160 MB is too little. But since it has a slot for Sony's Memory Stick M icro memory card, which supports up to 8GB of storage space, you can opt to pur chase that memory card separately to truly enjoy the multimedia functions of th e G700. I also found that because of the small screen, composing documents, Internet br owsing, and note-creating difficult as it strained my eyes as I fumbled around the features. But, you can't have everything and for something light, economical. The G700 do es the trick.
MAKATI City, Philippines â Google is offering online tools to fans who want to follow news and medal tallies in the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Google said users of iGoogle, Googleâs personalized homepage, can add news feeds, games, and other content that match their interests. Google also offers tools to find out where events are happening and even tour t he stadiums virtually with 3D images on Google Earth. "We've always been interested in providing tools for people to find out about t he things they care about" said Derek Callow, Google marketing manager for Sout heast Asia, in a statement. "This set of tools provides a great way for fans to stay on top of everything that's going on in this year's summer games, from be ginning to end." Google also offers the same online tools in Filipino.
By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- The entry-level market currently make s up for a large portion of the mobile phone business in the Philippines. Phone brands must have a mass appeal to stay in the market that demands cheap phones that cost below P5,000 to P6,000. Motorola, however, has found a small but growing niche in the mass market segme nt that looks for more sophistication in their somewhat dull basic phones. Thes e types of users are starting to demand multimedia functionalities in their han dsets. (Photo shows from left to right the Moto A810, the black and white ZN200, the M OTOROKR EM60, and the Motorola W388). "People, even in a tight budget, still want their phones to be as functional as the more expensive phones that they wish they had. This is the market that we' re trying to address," Mari Litonjua, Motorola Philippines marketing director f or sub-regions, said. Speaking to local journalists during the launch of new handsets, Litonjua said consumers are bound to want phones that have multimedia functions, especially t hose that have radio and digital music playback capabilities, and if possible, basic photo functions. "Not only do they want their phones to perform well but they also want these to look good as well," Litonjua said. The company presented five new phones, all of which are entry-level models for different segments. These will be launched in the third quarter of the year at a starting price of P3,000. The latest entry-level music phone is the W388, which is an updated version of Motorola's successful W300 series. The phone can accommodate microSD cards of u p to 2 gigabytes in storage capacity. It also features an easy drag-and-drop fe ature allowing basic users to just copy music files into the phone from a compu ter. The W388 has an FM radio, speakerphone, and digital camera. The Motozine ZN5 and the ZN200 are Motorola's camera phones. The ZN200 is the b asic unit in the lineup. It has a 2-megapixel digital camera with 8x digital zo om. It can capture video in MPEG-4 format. It comes with 30 megabytes of intern al memory, but it can accommodate 2Gb microSD card. The Motorolla ZN5 is the top model in the Motozine series. It has a 5-megapixel digital camera with additional lighting adjustment functions, as well as captu re modes and photo editing effects. Kodak provided the Kodak Gallery software a nd image enhancement software engine for this phone. The ZN5 also supports a microSD card up to 4 Gb. It also has wireless fidelity (WiFi) connectivity, allowing the phone to connect to the Internet and to the K odak Gallery online service for quick uploading of photos. One of the two entry-level phones for the higher market segment is the Moto A81 0, which is a small touch-sensitive PDA phone. This model has a 2-megapixel cam era that can record photos and videos (in 3GPP and MPEG-4 formats). The phone s upports EDGE cellular wireless technology for browsing the Internet. The touch- screen of this unit is also one of the smallest in the market at 2.2-inches. Motorola finally introduced the Motorokr EM30, a basic ROKR phone. It is the se cond after the ROKR E8 to integrate the mode shift technology that turns the to uch-sensitive alphanumeric keypad into controls for a handheld music player. It also supports microSD cards of up to 8 Gb. The phones will be made available in the Philippines in the third quarter this year, Motorola Philippines said. Watch my video interview with Alvin Soh, Motorola product marketing manager for mobile devices, as he introduces the latest lineup of Motorola phones.
FINE arts students from the University of the Philippines bagged the top prize in a recent Sony Ericsson competition for the best viral video, beating contest ants from Thailand, India, Singapore, and Indonesia. A copy of the winning Filipino group's video is currently viewable on YouTube. The group's director, Jaime Quiano, gathered nine of his friends and classmates to compete in the local contest in which they had to present a storyboard idea to competition organizer Sony Ericsson. The other members are Clarence Santos, Lilli Beth Gelvezon, Cathlene Samiano, Pocholo De Villa, Marius Talampas, Emme nuel Carandang, Frank Magalona, and Joseph Torrijos. The studnets won $5,000 in cash for the competition. They had previously won an other $2,000 in December 2007 for a local competition that decided who would re present the Philippines at the Asia-wide level. The group shot their video at a dimly lit street in the Escolta district in dow ntown Manila. The clip involves a big, balding bully who forcibly takes a "Shake Pop" bottle from a child. Unfortunately, the bully shakes the bottle too much, causing it to burst and kn ocking him off his feet. The child then draws a chalk line around the knocked-d own bully before walking away.
By Alex Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines â âKodakan" is a Filipino slang for taking pictures. In the past, Kodak was the only brand that stuck to people when talking about photogr aphy. The brand has been very popular that we often refer to candid photo shots as "Kodak moments." Today, "Kodakan" is rarely used. In fact, the film-based photography business w here Kodak once dominated is slowly ebbing away, thanks to the availability of digital cameras and mobile phones with integrated camera functions. Couple that with the inexpensive photo printers that allowed people to print on ly the photos they wanted and not an entire roll of film. There are also online services that allowed users to upload their photos. Slowly, the photo-printing shops are finding it more difficult to sustain their business. Amid these developments, Kodak is not going away yet. It has in fact seen stron g business in the Philippines, as the company decided to adopt new digital prin ting technologies because of the expected increasing demand for shop-based phot o printing. Tech Trends Philippines President Raymond Albert said that with more Filipinos being able to purchase cheap digital cameras and camera-ready phones, the volum e of shop-based printing would increase. Even with home printers available and competition from Internet cafes that have offered photo-printing services, Albert said photo pri nting shops remained a viable business. "Not all people are familiar with the technology of digital printing, but they are familiar with bringing their rolls of film to photo printing shops. So they go there to print photos from their digital cameras or phones," Albert said. Kodak had distributed in the Philippines picture printing kiosks that allowed u sers to plug in their memory cards and have the digital shots printed out. For mobile phone owners, the picture kiosks provide wireless Bluetooth technology f or printing. Albert said that Kodak has invested in new technologies to remain competitive. Albert believed that people would still rely on professional photo printing ser vices despite having a choice to print from home. "Many people still want to keep their photos with them or have copies that they could share with friends or families. Most people don't want to be bothered wi th too much technology so they'd rather entrust their pictures to their friendl y neighborhood printer."