Globe’s TAWAD NA is back!

And just in time for the holidays, too! Prizes are probably going to be the same as the first TAWAD NA promo, since today’s prize is a Compaq Presario (sounds familiar, fellow Tawad na veterans?). As for the mechanics, a few things have changed. For one thing, bidding for one prize lasts for one whole week – a good idea for Globe since they get more texts for less prizes, and I believe it’s also a good thing for us texters because the playing field is fairer (ie. The winning tawad will probably be on higher values and one person will have a harder time texting all tawad combinations). Apart from that, you get an upgraded prize if you bid X times.

Am I going to join again this time around? You can bet your load, haha! As long as Globe has something juicy to offer as a prize, then I’m probably going to bite. How about you guys?

Posted in Buzz in the Philippines
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Mall Carpark Wars (G4, The Link, and last but definitely not the least – MOA)

Have you been parking in malls lately? Have you noticed the different high-tech gadgets they’ve been putting in? G4 Makati parking lots have the parking counter for every floor and the Link parking lot (the one near Anson Makati) has that camera that takes a picture of your plate number. Both are very useful, but nobody can top Mall of Asia’s latest gadget – the car vacancy sensors!

If you’ve ever parked in a mall carpark, and during peak hours at that, you’ve probably cursed a word or two, scouring through all the lots, and trying to look for an available slot. Sometimes, you encounter those parking oasis slots – it looks like a vacant slot from afar, then when you get near you realize that it’s really not. And the frustrating search continues on.

MOA has almost completely obliterated this problem. Each slot has a light above – red for occupied, green for vacant. So when you just get into that floor, you can immediately rush to the nearest green light you see! The sensor is simple – as long as an object is standing above this detector (sort of looks like a small smoke detector), the light turns red. My friends and I tried standing below these detectors, and the lights turned red.

Now if only every carpark adopted this handy gadget.

Posted in Buzz in the Philippines
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Manila to Osaka just got cheaper!

It really is time to fly with Cebu Pacific’s Manila to Osaka promo! It’s P1,999/flight but after all the taxes, you’ll end up spending around P15,000 for a round-trip flight. Still pretty cheap considering you’re going to JAPAN <drools>!

Of course, don’t forget to consider your food and lodging expenses and some extra moolah to buy yourself some unique trinkets, interesting outfits, a couple of Sanrio’s, and some steals at the 100 yen shop.

capsule hotelFor lodging, you might want to try sleeping at a capsule hotel, which will cost about P1500 a night. Not very cheap for a coffin-sized room! I checked out Yahoo Travel and there are P1500 a night hotel rooms out there too.

You’d probably spend around P1,200 to P3,000 a day for food. Hit the takoyaki stands, the street-side ramen houses, the Izakaya’s, and the convenience stores (instant ramen, anyone?) and you’ll save a lot on grubs. Of course, since you’re already in Japan, I’d suggest you spend a bit on a night at a sushi bar.
Happy travels to everyone who’s planning their trip as I type! I’m certainly green with envy :)

Posted in Buzz in the Philippines
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Ask PLDT, anyone?

Just recently, PLDT launched this novel concept called “Ask PLDT”, where users can call and ask anything from the latest showbiz scoop to a good recipe for the day just by dialing 101-811. When I got hold of the flyer, the first thing that popped in my head is “Ask Jeeves Telephone Version”. Which got me thinking – can I possibly call and ask a hilarious quesiton like “Do you think I’ll find my soulmate sometime soon?” or something as trivial as “What goes better with a pair of dark blue jeans? Mustard or red?”? So call I did.

Apparently, though, my excitement was doused when I realized that all the questions and answers were already programmed into the phone and there weren’t any real call center agents handling it. Of course, this made total sense on their end because PLDT successfully eliminates prank callers (one of which could have potentially been me haha) and increase their cost efficiency. It takes out a lot of the fun in it though.

Objectively speaking, minus my sudden prank-calling tendency, the facility is somewhat useful and fun. You can get the latest news articles, the weather forecast, currently showing movies, the day’s horoscope, etc. I say somewhat because:

1. You can get all these info on the net anyway.
2. Some of the questions and answers are half-baked. For instance, you get the list of movies showing today but you don’t know the time schedules for a particular cinema. Or you can get a suggested menu for the day, but not the recipe per se (the programmed voice just tells you you could cook pork binagoongan but if you haven’t cooked that dish before, then you still need to do number 1 above).
3. You can also get some of these info on TV, served to you in a more entertaining way.

So, most likely, this service will be helpful to people with no access to the net (or no knowledge on surfing) and no access to a boob tube. Probably someone on the road, without a 3G phone. And this will just be a prerequisite to other things you need to do. Ex. You find out the the movies showing through Ask PLDT, now you have to actually go to a nearby cinema to see what the available time slots are (or use a certain SMS service).

Before I forget, you only have 30 free questions per month so don’t go on a question and answer spree.

One last suggestion I would give to make this service more user-friendly is to provide users with an accurate card that lists
the codes for each question. (ex. to get the weather forecast, press 1 then 2). That way, you don’t have to listen to the programmed voice over and over again, and use up all your time.

My bottomline is: Try the service out. You have some free question credits anyway.

Posted in Buzz in the Philippines
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Tags and the new post ad look

We introduce to you… <drum roll please>… keyword tags for your ad!

What’s it for? It will help improve the visibility of your ad. The rule is to place the most essential words to describe your ad – words that users will most likely search for. For instance, if you’re posting an ad on a condo for rent in Makati, it would make sense to place as your keywords the street where your condo unit is located in, if it’s fully furnished or not, etc.

Because of this new addition, we’ve revamped the whole post ad form to mostly fit everything in one look.

Hope this new feature benefits you all!

Posted in ClassifiedsPH Development
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Filipinos love Multiply

Philippine online shopping as we know today could not have been possible without Multiply. Thousands of Filipinos post photos of tops, jewelries, car parts, health products, etc. daily, and these posts reach hundreds of Filipino multiply users. It doesn’t come as a shock, therefore, that 39% of Multiply traffic comes from the Philippines. Of the 9 million registered users, a whopping 2.2 million are Filipinos, outnumbering the more largely populated countries like the US.

What made Multiply click, amongst 450 other social networking sites? I can only speculate. Being a Multiply user myself, I believe that the media-centric structure of Multiply makes it the easiest way to organize photos, and we know how much we Filipinos love kodakan. For sellers, the structure is also an easy way to catalog their items.

The budding entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipinos and our camera-hungry culture are probably the two major driving factors that have contributed to the incredible traffic Multiply is enjoying from us.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20080622-144061/Filipinos-are-prolific-go-and-Multiply

Posted in Buzz in the Philippines, Computers / Internet
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ClassifiedsPH Update: Location, location, location

We recently added a very important field to our ad post form: location. We’ve pretty much populated the location field with all the major cities in the Philippines, grouped by region. We’ve also added the option to specify that the ad’s location is outside the Philippines. In the very near future, we will allow you to filter ads based on the location, something that will be especially important for real estate ads.

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Cool Secret Google Search Functions

Google has tons of secret search functions that make your life easier. Here are some that you’ll probably use on a daily basis:

1. The Super converter

Whether you’re converting pounds to pesos, meters to inches, bits to gigabytes, all you need to do is head on over to google.com then type the following in the search box:

<VALUE> <ORIGINAL_UNIT> = ? <NEW_ UNIT>

Ex:
100 pounds = ? PHP (converts 100 pounds to Philippine Pesos)
1 GB = ? bits (converts 1 gigabyte to bits)

2. Universal Clock

Want to know what time it is in the US? In Japan? It’s simple, just type this in the search box of Google:

<COUNTRY> time

Ex:
Japan time (tells you what time it is in Japan now)
US time (tells you what time it is in some places in the US)

3. Dictionary

Want the definition of something? Type in define: <WORD> in the search box, press “Search”, and voila! Although, in my honest opinion, I would still opt to go to dictionary.com for my definitions.

Enjoy!

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My favorite ClassifiedsPH Posts

I always check out classifiedsph.com to see the latest posts and the posts that really put a smile on my face are pet classified ads! I mean seriously, there is no way, that you won’t not view the images!

My faves:

cutee-dog-2.jpgcutee-dog-1.jpg

http://www.classifiedsph.com/adid/2778/Shih-Tzu-Male-Pup-Cutie-Dog http://www.classifiedsph.com/adid/1003/Yorkie-Puppies-Need-A-new-Home

Hope those put a smile on your face ;)

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5 things a computer user must own/know for security

There are 2 (arguably) major technological innovations that we use most often to help make our lives easier – the USB and the Internet. Remember when we had to make do with diskettes or burning CDs to transfer files from one computer to another? Remember how slowly file transfer was then? The USB and the Internet revolutionized the way we work by providing us with faster and easier options. Aside from that, the Internet has also paved the way to a lot of new venues for meeting new people, selling products, advertising services, and broadening our mind.

However, the convenience of having almost everything available with a click of a mouse comes with the risk of also having viruses, spywares, and malwares infect your computer with a click of a mouse. And while the Internet provides a broad range of resources to help you tackle these problems, it’s very hard to sift through the information overload.

Here’s a bite-sized article on the 5 things that I believe (based on personal experience) every computer user must know/own. These tips and softwares will most likely relieve you of a lot of headache. And best of all, they are all free!

1. Install Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla Firefox is a relatively new freeware Internet Browser that many people are beginning to embrace. It is much better than Internet Explorer in so many ways. It allows you to create tabs in one window so you can go through several sites and have them contained in just one window. Aside from that, you can easily install add-ons to the browser to help you manage downloads, or give your browser a fresh new skin.

The most important reason to switch to Firefox, however, is that it helps you minimize the risks in the Internet. Since my switch to Firefox, the number of viruses/spywares/malwares I’ve gotten have decreased. Because of Firefox, I was saved from the headache of cleaning the coolpics virus that plagued the net a few months back. Plus, I don’t have to see those annoying pop-up ads. Firefox is amazing.

2. Install AVG Anti Virus
Tired of anti-virus programs that are bulky and expensive? AVG Anti Virus gives you all the salient features of the popular anti-virus programs minus the cost. It updates your anti-virus definitions automatically, making sure you are always protected, and the User Interface isn’t bombarded with functions that you don’t really need.

3. Install SUPERAntiSpyware
The SUPER in SUPERAntiSpyware is not an exaggeration. In fact, the major reason why I am writing this article is because I wish to tell everyone about this very very very cool freeware. Yes, this super software is being offered for free. I love it so much that I am probably going to donate to them for their super job.

A few days back, I encountered this very annoying virus involving exp1orer.exe. Basically, because of this virus/malware, I couldn’t double-click to open my drives. Nothing very damaging, but what if you get a worse virus in the future? I would say that I am pretty tech savvy, so I really tried to delete all the traces of the virus. But I just could not do it. AVG could not detect it either. I posted in Yahoo! Answers searching for enlightenment but it helped little. Anti-virus sites providing info on the malware were scarce, plus they didn’t point to the exact problem I was experiencing.

I finally found this software that is smart enough to detect similar patterns of malware. I scanned my computer with this program and it was able to clean everything just like that! And just like AVG, the UI is clean and it updates automatically.

Note that I recommend having at least 2 anti-virus/anti-malware programs hanging around in your PC for second opinions.

4. Disable AutoRun
A lot of viruses are being spread right now because by default, our computer opens the contents of any USB or CD you plug into the computer. This is a huge mistake on the part of Windows and must be immediately stopped.

To do so, follow these steps (for XP Pro users):

  1. Click Start and then click Run
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK
  3. The Group Policy window will open. In the left pane, double-click Administrative Templates
  4. In the right pane, double-click System
  5. Scroll down the list and double-click Turn Off Autoplay
  6. In the Turn Off Autoplay Properties window, select Enabled. From the dropdown next to Turn Off Autoplay on, select All drives and then click OK
  7. Exit Group Policy by selecting File, then choosing Exit from the menu.

For XP home users, go to this article:
http://antivirus.about.com/od/securitytips/ht/autorun.htm

By doing so, viruses that were lodged into your USB unknowingly won’t attack your PC just by plugging it in. Now, of course, you need to make it a point to scan any removable drive with AVG and SuperAntiSpyware prior to exploring its contents.

5. Do a full system scan in safe mode.
After you have installed AVG and SuperAntiSpyware, I suggest you run a full system scan in safe mode to make sure your PC is currently clean. To boot your PC in safe mode, follow these steps:
a. Shut down your PC
b. Wait a few minutes, then turn on your PC again
c. Once your PC starts, press F8 until a black text screen is shown – The Windows Advanced Options Menu
d. Select the Safe mode option and press enter.
e. The computer will now run in Safe mode. Normally, your desktop will look screwy, the icons will be big, and some of your running programs will not show.
f. Open AVG and do a full system scan.
g. Open SuperAntiSpyware and do a full system scan.
h. Once you’re done, you can restart in normal mode.

Posted in Computers / Internet
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