Archive

Archive for June, 2007

A superior Yahoo! Mail for mobiles

EARLY this morning, an entirely new interface greeted me when I checked my Yahoo! email account using my mobile phone.

Unable to get a high-res photo, I had to install this wmlbrowser extension for Firefox to reproduce how Y!Mail in beta now handles its email messages.

This means I can now access Y!Mail, and its unlimited storage, using the interface's superior layout. This puts Yahoo! a step ahead in terms of ease of use and accessibility, Neerav's Gmail-Mobile service notwithstanding.

An added bonus is its capability to store my login details, propelling me straight to my Inbox everytime I visit the site. Enabling me to skip the login page -- which can be quite cumbersome, especially with my LG KU250's rather tight keypad -- is a big relief.

This development fits in nicely with my approach to email management: Gmail remains my primary email address, but my Yahoo account, and its superior email interface, will be most convenient for my group emails.

More and more, I now access my emails using my mobile. In fact, my WAP usage for this month
(at P390) is already higher than my voice (at P330 for both local and NDD calls) and SMS. But I wonder when I will be able to do the same with my Hotmail account.
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

A superior Yahoo! Mail for mobiles

EARLY this morning, an entirely new interface greeted me when I checked my Yahoo! email account using my mobile phone.

Unable to get a high-res photo, I had to install this wmlbrowser extension for Firefox to reproduce how Y!Mail in beta now handles its email messages.

This means I can now access Y!Mail, and its unlimited storage, using the interface's superior layout. This puts Yahoo! a step ahead in terms of ease of use and accessibility, Neerav's Gmail-Mobile service notwithstanding.

An added bonus is its capability to store my login details, propelling me straight to my Inbox everytime I visit the site. Enabling me to skip the login page -- which can be quite cumbersome, especially with my LG KU250's rather tight keypad -- is a big relief.

This development fits in nicely with my approach to email management: Gmail remains my primary email address, but my Yahoo account, and its superior email interface, will be most convenient for my group emails.

More and more, I now access my emails using my mobile. In fact, my WAP usage for this month
(at P390) is already higher than my voice (at P330 for both local and NDD calls) and SMS. But I wonder when I will be able to do the same with my Hotmail account.
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

Vox Bikol and its online quiz

QUICK: What is the English word for "baligang," that dark violet bitter fruit that tastes better when shaken vigorously with salt?
  • plum
  • cherry
  • grape
If you answered "berry," you got it right, as I did when I took this Bikol quiz that forms part of the newly built online home of Vox Bikol. Vox is the weekly newspaper I used to edit and for which I now write a weekly column.

Unfortunately, that was one of the only four I got right out of 10, prompting me this terse message: "Kaipuhan po na mag-adal pa nin bikol." (You need to study Bikol more.)

The site is still work in progress, Julma Narvadez said, thanks to the effort of Fr. Tebelin and the Ina nin Bikol Foundation, Inc. which now publishes the paper. Julma's late father, Joe, used to be the Vox publisher when I was with the paper, until his untimely demise.

But I am very happy with this development, as I have been clamoring for Vox to make its long overdue online presence felt and fill the gap in cyberspace for news, opinion and information about Naga and the Bikol region.

Why don't you give that quiz a try and share your score with me?:)
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Mobile Passport Service


The City Government of Naga thru the City Civil RegistrarÂ’s Office headed by City Civil Registrar Alexander M. Cayetano recently concluded its monthly sponsored Mobile Passport Service (MPS) conducted by the Regional Consular Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) from Legaspi City. The activity is being held every 4th Tuesday of the month, in which case, the MPS was held last June 26, 2007 at the Civil Registry Office with a total of 230 passports issued.
Categories: Government, Pictures Tags:

Those Casureco II prepaid meters

My column for this week's issue of Vox Bikol.

IN THE raging controversy at the Casureco II over an alleged P300,000 illegal disbursement used in the recent partylist election, one item that captured my interest is the purchase of some 100 prepaid meters by the current management, to the tune of more than P2 million, two years back.

Up to now, they remain unused, allegedly because of a software glitch.

Are we missing the forest for the trees here?

For a mere software glitch, the Casureco II management is letting a substantial capital investment, one that can bring it to stronger financial stability, rot away. This, I think, is an act more criminal than the rest.

Prepaid electricity is nothing new. Actually, it is a fact of life in such countries as Nigeria and South Africa. Tertia Albertyn, a 38-year old mom who won in the 2007 South African Blog Awards for the best writing, describes it for us:
“Pre-paid electricity…is a fairly new thing here, last 10 years or so, the older houses still have the system where you pay for your usage at the end of the month, but all the new houses have pre-paid boxes. The electricity people come and install a pre-paid meter in your house. You then buy virtual tokens for the meter, either by taking your electricity card (like a swipe credit card) to the local grocery store, or 7/11 etc, or via the internet, or via your cell phone. You decide how much you want to purchase. 10 bucks, 100 bucks, 500 bucks, whatever amount. You decide the amount and you will be issued with a 20-digit number (the virtual token) that you then have to enter into your meter. Once you hit enter on your meter (it is a small box, about A5 size, mine is in my garage), the box sends a signal via wireless radio transmission to a receiving beacon, the token is verified, and access to the purchased amount of electricity is returned to the meter. Voila! You have electricity. No mess, no fuss.�
And what are its advantages? The Tide, a Nigerian online publication, explains:
“Ordinarily, there are many reasons why a prepaid meter should be preferred. Apart from the fact that it takes away the burden of having to prepare monthly bills for consumers, the system compels consumers to develop a positive attitude towards payment. It also puts an end to the issues of over billing, wrong disconnection and reconnection fees usually associated with the current system. Prepaid system also enables consumers to imbibe a disciplined attitude towards energy consumption.

“People will no longer be careless leaving their electrical appliances on, even when they are not in use.�
The prestigious Wall Street Journal agrees in a recent article about a program pilot-testing pay-as-you-go (which is how Americans call “prepaid�) service that US utilities are experimenting on to encourage energy conservation. This only goes to show that in terms of innovations and their adoption, Americans are many times laggards than the developing world.

Actually, this concept needs no explaining, as the same principle governs prepaid cellular phone services. And here, Philippine telcos have been internationally recognized for their innovative load-sharing and mobile payment schemes: Smart’s PasaLoad and Globe’s G-Cash. And their prepaid subscribers market cannot be sneezed at: they account for 99% of PLDT’s and 95% of Globe’s mobile subscribers.

A financial manager worth his salt will see the advantages of a prepaid system a kilometer away: just imagine the cash flow benefits it brings, where payments for its service will be made up front, instead of being at the mercy of the traditional billings system. And we haven’t even considered the operational savings it will generate: from the manhours spent in printing the individual statements and distributing these to customers, to disconnecting lines when accounts are not paid by due date.

Given these realities, the people who should do a lot of explaining are the Casureco managers. What is holding them back from fixing that software glitch (assuming that indeed is the cause) and deploying these prepaid meters? Or is this continuing inability to shape up and improve efficiency part of a bigger scheme to set the coop up for eventual failure, paving the way for its sale to private interests?

Graphic nicked from WSJ.com.

Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

Those Casureco II prepaid meters

My column for this week's issue of Vox Bikol.

IN THE raging controversy at the Casureco II over an alleged P300,000 illegal disbursement used in the recent partylist election, one item that captured my interest is the purchase of some 100 prepaid meters by the current management, to the tune of more than P2 million, two years back.

Up to now, they remain unused, allegedly because of a software glitch.

Are we missing the forest for the trees here?

For a mere software glitch, the Casureco II management is letting a substantial capital investment, one that can bring it to stronger financial stability, rot away. This, I think, is an act more criminal than the rest.

Prepaid electricity is nothing new. Actually, it is a fact of life in such countries as Nigeria and South Africa. Tertia Albertyn, a 38-year old mom who won in the 2007 South African Blog Awards for the best writing, describes it for us:
“Pre-paid electricity…is a fairly new thing here, last 10 years or so, the older houses still have the system where you pay for your usage at the end of the month, but all the new houses have pre-paid boxes. The electricity people come and install a pre-paid meter in your house. You then buy virtual tokens for the meter, either by taking your electricity card (like a swipe credit card) to the local grocery store, or 7/11 etc, or via the internet, or via your cell phone. You decide how much you want to purchase. 10 bucks, 100 bucks, 500 bucks, whatever amount. You decide the amount and you will be issued with a 20-digit number (the virtual token) that you then have to enter into your meter. Once you hit enter on your meter (it is a small box, about A5 size, mine is in my garage), the box sends a signal via wireless radio transmission to a receiving beacon, the token is verified, and access to the purchased amount of electricity is returned to the meter. Voila! You have electricity. No mess, no fuss.�
And what are its advantages? The Tide, a Nigerian online publication, explains:
“Ordinarily, there are many reasons why a prepaid meter should be preferred. Apart from the fact that it takes away the burden of having to prepare monthly bills for consumers, the system compels consumers to develop a positive attitude towards payment. It also puts an end to the issues of over billing, wrong disconnection and reconnection fees usually associated with the current system. Prepaid system also enables consumers to imbibe a disciplined attitude towards energy consumption.

“People will no longer be careless leaving their electrical appliances on, even when they are not in use.�
The prestigious Wall Street Journal agrees in a recent article about a program pilot-testing pay-as-you-go (which is how Americans call “prepaid�) service that US utilities are experimenting on to encourage energy conservation. This only goes to show that in terms of innovations and their adoption, Americans are many times laggards than the developing world.

Actually, this concept needs no explaining, as the same principle governs prepaid cellular phone services. And here, Philippine telcos have been internationally recognized for their innovative load-sharing and mobile payment schemes: Smart’s PasaLoad and Globe’s G-Cash. And their prepaid subscribers market cannot be sneezed at: they account for 99% of PLDT’s and 95% of Globe’s mobile subscribers.

A financial manager worth his salt will see the advantages of a prepaid system a kilometer away: just imagine the cash flow benefits it brings, where payments for its service will be made up front, instead of being at the mercy of the traditional billings system. And we haven’t even considered the operational savings it will generate: from the manhours spent in printing the individual statements and distributing these to customers, to disconnecting lines when accounts are not paid by due date.

Given these realities, the people who should do a lot of explaining are the Casureco managers. What is holding them back from fixing that software glitch (assuming that indeed is the cause) and deploying these prepaid meters? Or is this continuing inability to shape up and improve efficiency part of a bigger scheme to set the coop up for eventual failure, paving the way for its sale to private interests?

Graphic nicked from WSJ.com.

Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

RASON O RELIHIYON


Sa kaenot-enoteng pangyayari nakadayon ako sa grupo kan mga paratukdo nin pilosopiya sa Ateneo kan nagkaigwa sinda kan inaapod na symposium. Yaon man duman an pirang nagtutukdo sa departamento nin teyolohiya nin huli ta a'ngay na pinag-ulayan an manunungod sa fides et ratio. Si Mon Palma an nagin tagapagtaram kan nasabing banggi. Dakul an nagin paghorop-horop, mga pangaran na sinambit, pagsalingoy sa mahahalagang kabtang kan istorya nin kinaban asin an pag-orolay mapapadapit sa dayalogo kan pilosopiya asin teyolohiya tanganing mas mapadali, mapararom, mapahiro an mga estudyante sa paagi nin paghiling sa dayupot na relasyon kan rason asin relihiyon na kun minsan pig-iisip kong duwang pidaso nin na rakdag na parte kan duwang magkaibang jigsaw puzzle na ngonyan pirit tang pig-bibilog.
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

Quick notes under the weather

THE ONSET of the wet season, bringing hot mornings until midday and rains in the afternoon, took a terrible toll on me and most of the kids. Poor me: young as they are, recovery for them came quite quickly while some stuff finally caught up with their old fogey.

Enough said.

1. The saga of Naga's persecuted policemen continues. The Inquirer carried their story yesterday, which is quite ironic once you posits them in this farewell message of Joachim von Amsberg, World Bank's outgoing country manager, before the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP).

This is how the country's true islands of good governance is being rewarded -- being singled out by a regional police leadership identified with Rep. Luis Villafuerte and his son Bong. No wonder jueteng is back with a vengeance.

2. Today is the final session of the 8th Sangguniang Panlungsod. One of the term-limited councilors who will bid the city government goodbye is Atty. Mila Raquid-Arroyo, chair of the Committee on Education, ex-oficio member of the Naga City School Board and a trustee of the Ateneo de Naga University, among others.

Miles will be a big loss to the city, but a big gain for the civil society, from which she came before running for the council in 1998. She will be greatly missed.

3. In reading through this alternative Harry Potter series ender, I was pleasantly introduced to the world of fan fiction, defined by Wikipedia as
a broadly-defined term for fiction about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creators. Fan fiction usually describes works which are uncommissioned by the owner of the work, and usually (but not always) works which are not professionally published.
But what if the fanfic, like Melindaleo's The Seventh Horcrux, erroneously labeled the fake Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, provides a better ending than the original?

4. How much is Manolo's link worth? As much as 50% of one's regular visitors, based on my recent experience. Over the last few days I did not write a post, yet my Sitemeter stats went up by as much.
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VforCE Statement on the Maguindanao Elections

June 28th, 2007 No comments
Volunteers for Clean Elections (VforCE)

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE MAGUINDANAO ELECTIONS
June 21, 2007


We believe there is enough evidence to show no elections were held or that there was a failure of elections in many, if not all, areas of Maguindanao.

During the supposed May 14 elections in Maguindanao, teachers who served as members of the Board of Election Inspectors have claimed they filled up ballots in favor of administration candidates. NAMFREL was not given its copy of election returns. And PPCRV and LENTE volunteers were refused access to many polling areas and canvassing centers.

The Comelec cannot and should not continue insisting that teacher-whistleblowers step forward to personally testify on election irregularities in the province; one has already been killed, two have disappeared, and many are in hiding. Without a climate of trust and security, which the Comelec should first seek to create, witnesses cannot reasonably be expected to expose themselves to great risks. If the Comelec seeks stronger evidence of election irregularities, it should simply open up the ballot boxes as suggested by the teachers themselves.

More significantly, crucial documents to show elections did take place in the province have mysteriously gone missing for over a month now. It has not helped that Team Unity has inexplicably failed to produce its own copy of election returns to support its claim of a 12-0 sweep in the senatorial contest. Even if the missing documents eventually show up, they will be highly suspect and therefore should not be considered at all, for doing so could likewise result in a disenfranchisement of Maguindanaoans.

We, however, reiterate that for any special elections in Maguindanao to be meaningful, truthful and free, the Comelec, the PNP/AFP and the government, as the case may be, must take the following steps:

cancel all gun permits and disarm paramilitary units in the province
deploy the Philippine Marines to ensure peace and order, including the safety of voters, election officers, and watchers
replace local Comelec officials with trusted Comelec personnel from other areas
count ballots in safe and secure areas
ensure the effective participation of watchdog groups and full media coverage, and
undertake voters education activities before the elections.
If special elections cannot be conducted under these circumstances, then no such special elections should be held anymore. In such a situation, we believe that it will be reasonable and acceptable to disregard the votes for senators in Maguindanao. For while it appears that local officials have been voted into office and have in fact already been proclaimed (after all, it takes only one vote for an unopposed candidate to win), the votes for the senatorial positions remain mysteriously unaccounted for. With over a month now since elections have been held, even if they should show up, they should be deemed spurious and should therefore disregarded.


(From Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO)2/F CCS, SDC, Ateneo de Manila UniversityLoyola Heights, Quezon City, PhilippinesTel. (632) 426.5938, 426.6001 local 4624/4625www.codengo.org)
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Wendy, maswerte lang talaga?

June 27th, 2007 No comments

PINOY DREAM ACADEMY

Napabilang sa 30ng star dreamer mula NCR at Mega Manila… 


…sa 12ng magpapatuloy sa launching ng PDA sa Cebu…

 …subalit, hindi sa 16 na PDA scholar…

 

…maging sa 4 na adisyunal iskolar… 

 

PINOY BIG BROTHER 

Napili bilang isa sa mga PBB hawsmeyt…

…subalit na-evict…

 …at nakabalik muli…

Nakaligtas sa ika-10ng Eviction Night…

 …maging sa ika-11ng Eviction Night…

…at makakapasok sa Big Four?

 

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Indian Summer

June 27th, 2007 No comments
Implicated in a journey of the history,
Listened not to the tales of horde.
Over a glass of Burgundy,
Vision was blurred with love and sword.
Exultation appeared beyond her reach,
Year has passed, she advanced an inch.
Odd was the order of the universe,
Ukulele played the music of curse.
Singing amidst darkness, under the moonlight,
The Angel’s voice gone with the wind.
Afar from heaven, hiding God’s sight,
Reflection of an Angel with a broken limb.
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Indian Summer

June 27th, 2007 No comments
Implicated in a journey of the history,Listened not to the tales of horde.Over a glass of Burgundy,Vision was blurred with love and sword.Exultation appeared beyond her reach,Year has passed, she advanced an inch.Odd was the order of the universe,Ukulele played the music of curse.Singing amidst darkness, under the moonlight,The Angel’s voice gone with the wind.Afar from heaven, hiding God’s sight,Reflection of an Angel with a broken limb.
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

3rd Bicol Business Week


During the opening ceremony of the 3rd Bicol Business Week held at LCC Mall last June 24, 2007.
Categories: Government, Pictures Tags:

Beyond Ibalon

Alecks Pabico of PCIJ has an interesting piece here.
Categories: Blogs, Personal Tags:

San Juan, Navotas, ika-15 at 16 na lungsod sa NCR

June 25th, 2007 No comments
Ganap nang syudad ang dalawa sa tatlong natitirang mga munisipalidad sa Metro Manila. June 16 nang niratifay ng mga taga-San Juan, at nitong June 24 naman ng mga taga-Navotas, ang konversyon ng kanilang munisipalidad sa isang "highly urbanized city". Naalala ko nung nasa Grade VI ako. "City ba ang Manila?", tanong nung titser ko sa HEKASI nung ipa-enyumereyt sa 'kin ang mga syudad sa NCR.  Apat pa lang ang syudad nun sa Metro Manila, Quezon, Caloocan, Pasay at Manila. "Quezon City, Caloocan City, Pasay City, asan ang 'city' sa Manila?!?"
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