Friday, June 29, 2007

Video of the Week: Japanese Tetris Game

Japanese people are really funny! As much as we Filipinos try to emulate their reality game shows, they just take it to the next level most Filipinos can't even comprehend. Here is a video of the Human Tetris game show.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Do you want to work at Google?

There was supposedly a leaked internal memo by a Microsoftie that details life at Google. To read about it click here. It generally states the good and the bad side of working in Google and what Microsoft needs to adopt to improve. If you already read the article, it gave you an insight about the workplace demystification at Google. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE, who loves Google's products loves to work there. With the promise of liberal working area, liberal working schedules, be a colleague with some of the brightest mind in technology, and not to mention all the free foods, it will surely get you thinking on submitting a resume there. But alas not all companies are the same.

To Summarize
  1. the author praises Google for the free meals, dental, laundry, gym and free Google T-shirts every week.
  2. the author also took notice about the 80-20 in Google. Basically it means that you are allotted 20% of your time to do whatever you want to do as long as it is approved by your superiors. He said that this system is highly flawed and poorly implemented.
  3. the author pointed out that health care, the salary, the office space and career development path in Google is actually worse than Microsoft's situation.
  4. the author said Google likes to hire newly-grads and offer them cool perks, while if you're a mid-timer it provides job stability at the same time competition with the newly-grads and lastly those that enjoy the most benefits and perks are the old-timers.
  5. and lastly he offered things that Microsoft can adopt from Google and reiterate that Microsoft's condition is better than Google.

One unseen reason why this study was even conducted is that there are many high profile Microsoftie that defected to Google, and maybe Microsoft just wants to know why those people chose the latter. And it is good to hear that the company is actually listening to its employees.

Every company has there issues to deal with and it will be much better if those same company realizes its shortcomings and improve upon them. Always remember that people are the best asset that any company can have, and it is much more harder to recruit new people than to retain old ones.

So, if given a chance, do you want to to work at Google? Microsoft? or stick with your company?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Dunning-Kruger effect

I just came across this word in one of Digg's link. Basically the premise for that article was that digg users are typically a bunch of teenagers that think highly amongst themselves.

What is Dunning-Kruger effect?

From wikipedia, it is the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge. Accordingly these are the hypotheses presented by the two fellow who studied the effect,
  1. incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill,
  2. incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others,
  3. incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy,
  4. if they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.
Well these revelations are certainly an eye opener but not really a shocker. All throughout human history there have been people who think highly of themselves. There is a saying in India that states "a half-filled jug creates more noise than a full-filled one". Those who possesses little to no talent are the ones that are noisier compared to those who possesses more. Even the great Albert Einstein can reiterate on this. He was quoted as saying "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."

Dealing with it

It is already a fact of life that these effect has existed, is existing and will continue to exists. Learn to accept this fact and just let those intelligent fools make fool of themselves. There will come a time those people will learn the value of the saying "pretend to be silent and judge as unintelligent than speak up and lose credibility". Just think about this, even a bluff can win a poker but not all the time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Please Support Local Tourism

We all love to travel. Filipinos particularly love to travel. That's why our President wants to boost our local tourism industry by giving us longer vacations through legal-holidays and by initiating the RoRo (roll-on roll-off) for those who want to travel by land and sea. Not only that the airline industry such as Cebu Pacific Air offers peso fare for those who want to get discounted airfares. But the question is, our we supporting our government's initiative for local tourism?

There is a nice web-tool for us to determine how much of a local traveler we are. Please take a look at my local travel sheet and my grade - well I'm just a C class traveler.

My Lakbayan grade is C!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

As you can see, I have covered a lot of places in Mindanao (it's my hometown after-all), some places in Cebu region and a couple in Luzon area. As much as I want to encourage my officemates and some friends here in Manila to come and visit the beautiful Mindanao (shame plug-in) I'm having a hard time every now and then defending it. The misconception about the security in Mindanao is really very hard to quell. Another problem I have encountered is the perception that traveling abroad exceeds by a mile than traveling locally. How come? I won't be a hypocrite it's good to travel abroad (have never done it though) but it is - for me - much more worthy if one can visit and appreciate his own backyard first.

I just remembered a discussion I had with my brother. He bought Davao City shirts and I asked him, "Why did you buy those things? You're from Davao!". And he answered me, "Kayanga, taga-Davao ka nga wala ka namang t-shirt" (Thats the point, your from Davao and you don't even have a t-shirt). Good point.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Picture of the Week: Leopard demo wallpaper

This is one cool wallpaper (see below). Click the picture to view and download the large version (1600x1200). It is the desktop wallpaper for the new Apple Mac OS X Leopard demo. Click here to view the demo.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sexy Girl + Gadget = Profit?

Who would have thought that this will be the killer combination to get geeks and non-geeks alike to buy a magazine. Just look at T3 magazines lately! All their covers feature sexy and pretty girls holding/promoting a gadget or two. So far, I do believe their magazine is selling well, judging by the loyalty of my housemate to purchase one of those every month.

Well, it's not bad that they illustrate these gorgeous girls as gadget lovers, sure there maybe some of them who really use these kind of stuffs but for the rest of them, hmmm, do they really tinker some of those gadgets? I'm hoping though that in the future they will feature a really technophile geek girl. There are a lot of those girls out there, just visit Macenstein to view their "real" Mac chicks. They should also feature a one-on-one interview (if they haven't done this) about how the technology affects them and if they really use those gadgets which they are flashing in the cover.

Would that idea sell well? I don't really know. Think about this, would you buy a magazine that features a geeky girl holding up an iPhone and telling the world how she loves it or would you rather see this in the front cover (see below)? Your answer is as good as mine.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Baby named Vista

Microsoft is not known for its fanboys but this is the most over-the-top fanboyism I have known. Bill Simser is a Solutions Architect and has named her daughter Vista Avalon Simser. Vista as we all know is the newest Microsoft Windows operating system and Avalon, well for the geeks is the former codename of Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (or WPF) - the graphical subsystem feature of the new .NET framework. And not only that he named his other child, a son, Dev Orion Simser (or DOS). Well I kinda like his son's name, sounds really cool, but with that initial, hmm I'll past.

Take a look at here for the Flickr photoset of Vista. And not only that, Vista is wearing an iPod shirt! *gasp* That goes to show you how popular the iPod is - compared to Zune - even to the Microsoft fanboys. Well that makes it the first Vista inside an iPod. Corny jokes aside, seriously? Why the Vista name? Maybe I should name my future child as applinuxsoft.

Vista Avalon

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Video of the Week: A Handy Ad

Every weekend I'm going to feature a video that is anything under the sun, as long as it's entertaining. So without further ado, here is the video of the week, a commercial from Volkswagen. Be entertained by the hands.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Of Our Hopeless Society and Generations today

Yesterday I had a very insightful lunch-talk with my good friend and artist Argie regarding the status of the our current society. Here is the excerpt of our conversation.

  • Argie: Man, our society now is hopeless.
  • Jan2x: How can you say that?
  • Argie: Look man, ten years ago, I was already here in Manila, people are not like this! You can still talked to them, greet them. You can still go to many places without fear.
  • Jan2x: So you mean you aren't keen of progress?
  • Argie: This is not an issue of progress, man. I don't have anything against progress, but I'd rather choose simplicity.
  • Jan2x: But you know what, humanity is more humane now compared to the Middle Ages. We don't cut anymore heads nowadays.
  • Argie: But that is what makes this society sick. We are full of pretenders. Why don't we go back to our primordial state? Let's unleash our animal instinct.
  • Jan2x: But why will you do that? Do you want to go back to being a stone man?
  • Argie: It's not really going back to being a stone man but rather going back to our culture. For example in the Middle East, some of them don't mind cutting the heads of another person because it's their culture. The problem with our country is that we have lost our culture a long time ago.
Silence... changed topic.
  • Jan2x: You know what, I read that generations today don't travel as much as we do in the past.
  • Argie: Yes man, when I was young I used to go to a lot of places.
  • Jan2x: Yeah, today parents are afraid that their children will be exposed to reality, be exposed to certain diseases, that's why they keep a very watchful eye on them afraid that they might wander off the streets.
End of lunch...

After that, I happened to remember a conversation I had with my fellow colleague. He said that Philippine society today is really hopeless. We are corrupt to the very core. He wished all the inhabitants in this country will disappear and new Filipinos will be born.

I say tough luck with that. But he did have a point. What do you think? Are we really that screwed?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Anti-Social Blog

Disclaimer: This is just a rant blog.

Blogging is now a global phenomenon. Everyone who is connected to the internet today blogs one way or another. With the advent of Google Ads and other online advertisements brought forth new way for bloggers to earn online. But there are really some bad bloggers around the blogosphere. In order to drive traffic, they create very sensational blogs and some other times they steal content from other websites. How do they do that? Take for example you have a website that featured the TOP 10 POLITICAL NEWS OF 2006, say you have conducted all the studies to draw to that conclusion, say you post it online hoping readers will view your site and hoping also that those readers will click on an ad posted in your site, a simple formula isn't it? Now imagine some blogger whose blog has many devoted readers. Imagine this guy who just keeps on copying and pasting your content to HIS blog. Still imagining? Well stop. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that that blogger is earning money for your hard-earned content.

There are many bloggers who are like that. They steal a content and just put a very small subtle link at the bottom of the page that whispers "click here to view the original article". I can create a blog that provides that kind of service, but I wont. I value my credentials even more than a few dollars of ad revenue. And I value those persons/companies that really did the survey/studies/stories. That is why my blog is not merely a news blog but a review blog as well.

That is why those copy blogs are anti-socials, they defy the norm of blogging, they have become the parasites of the internet, feeding on those stories they can't produce. Such a shame really.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Watching TV with Joost

We can't deny the fact that Filipinos love watching television shows, as a matter of fact millions and millions of pesos are being spent and harvested by local TV stations just to satisfy every Juan's desires. But for those people who don't have the time in catching up with their favorite local shows this is a bummer, the only solution i can think of is to watch it in YouTube, hoping that someone had those shows uploaded. Most of the time YouTube has it, but the only downside is that the flash video format is unbearable to watch. So what's left for some of us? Well if you have a cable then you can download the shows with your DVRs and/or Tivo, but unfortunately no one I know had use or even seen one. The only real solution for this kind of problem is to watch it using Joost. Unfortunately, no local TV stations have inked a deal with Joost to bring their content online.

What is Joost?

Joost is a new way to watching free, full-screen, high-quality TV on the internet. This is a product that was brought to you by the guys who created Kazaa and Skype. I have received an invitation to try the Joost beta software and I immediately signed up and downloaded the program, unfortunately for Linux and Mac users this is only a Windows application. Installation of the program was hassle free and I was greeted by a beautiful, full-screen internet TV. Joost controls are very easy to use and the video is just amazing, crisp and in high-quality. Here are the screenshots of Joost:

The main Joost application.

The main controls of Joost.

The channels in Joost.


I believe Joost will really change the future of TV. However before it can do that, internet connection should be amazingly fast. Even with my 750 kbps dsl connection I still experience video downtime and constant buffering.

I also hope that local TV networks will inked a deal with Joost to deliver their content online. I won't mind having to watch commercials just as long as I can view my favorite shows. Hopefully they will realize the value of internet TV, because there is now an increasing number of Filipinos especially the working teens that don't have time to watch TV shows but have plenty of time using their PCs and laptops. If mobile TV on-demand is an indication, local TV networks are not hesitant to adapt to change.

* I still have an invitation for Joost beta, if you're interested kindly comment with your email add.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Vista Charm

Yesterday I chatted with my girlfriend and she showed me a screenshot of her cousin's desktop that features Microsoft's new operating system, Windows Vista. Here is the excerpt of our conversation.

  • Chi: I wanna share a photo with your (using YM here).
  • Jan2x: Cool, what is that all about?
  • Chi: It's kuya ryan's new desktop, I love it! I wanna have Windows Vista!
  • Jan2x: Really? I thought you like Mac? Here go to and take a look at their new OS.
  • Chi: Wow! I also love Leopard, but I couldn't afford it, I can only afford Vista.
Well done Microsoft! This is not the first time I heard someone liking Windows Vista by its look alone, there are other of people who also wanted to have Vista and these people are the techie types. Aesthetically, Windows Vista is not the doom and gloom that many people wanted to portray, it actually looks good. From the new and improved Start button, to the Gadgets and to the glossy effects of Windows, people are liking it.

I have never tried full-time Windows Vista (my laptop only has the Windows XP MCE) but judging by the satisfaction of my housemate who uses Vista exclusively in his laptop - although there are minor driver issues - he feels that it is a better than Windows XP.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Apple releases Safari browser

Apple's MacOSX's default web browser is now availabe for download for Microsoft Windows OS. Click here to download it. This is a very exciting news for all web developers and web graphics designer out there. As it stands now there are 4 major web browsers in the market today, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Opera browser. This means that if you are creating your web application in Windows, you can simultaneously view your created web app using the 4 major browsers without the need to buy a Mac. You may ask why? Why do I need to view my webapp using Safari? Well as it stands now, any web customers that you deny access to your site is a loss revenue. With 5% usage share, that is still a lot of potential customers, approximately 18.5 million of them. 

Safari is based on WebKit with KHTML as default HTML renderer. This is also a good news for web developers who wants consistency in all the web browsers. WebKit is open source and so does the Gecko engine of Firefox. 

Performance Testing

HTML Performance on Windows XP for Apple Safari is 2.2 seconds, Firefox comes in second with 3.7 and Internet Explorer comes in with 4.6. That's twice the speed to render HTML on Safari than on Firefox. I'm using Safari right now and it is indeed much faster in terms of HTML rendering. But I'm hoping they throw Opera in there.

Javascript Performance on Windows XP for Internet Explorer is 2.4 seconds, Firefox with 1.6 and Safari with .9 of a second. 


As I said earlier it is important to note that Safari and Firefox are based on open source technology and will implement open standards on the internet. This will ensure that no more special HTML, javascript, etc. hacks between different browsers. And so much more time devoted for developing and designing wonderful sites rather than debugging. 

I also found out that everything in Safari appears crispy, down to the graphics and texts. But as for now I will still be rooting for Mozilla Firefox because of its enormous library of plugins.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Apple iPhone TV Ads - anything special?

Well, THE Apple iPhone will be available in the USA in June 29, 2007. I cannot wait for the technical and unbiased review of possibly the most hyped thing for the past years. Will they exceed our expectations or will be crushed under its hyped weight? Two things are clear, many people are anticipating this product and many people wants to have this product. But before anything else let us watch and dissect without overanalyzing the iPhone TV Ads.

Never Been an iPod

It basically tells us that the iPhone is an iPod, a widescreen iPod video, an iPod photoviewer and on top of it a phone. Well from the looks of it Apple pretty much demonstrated what the iPhone is all about but it didn't feature exactly how many space it will hold, but hell yeah, the common masa doesn't want to get that intricate about hard disk spaces or if it's a hard disk or a flash drive as long as it can store movies and music. And from their point of view, well if it's an iPod then it must have large capacity!

How To

Basically it demonstrates the other functionalities of the iPhone and ending it up that iPhone is really a phone. Which is what the iPhone is all about.


Now this commercial shows us the beautiful integration of iPhone's features. Just amazing. From watching movies, to locating places with the Google map, to THE touch typing, and to calling the desired restaurant mapped by Google. And can we expect that cohesiveness here in our country? I think not, Google map can't yet provide much in-depth view of places here in the Philippines how much more locating food establishments, it's a long shot but Google can partner with a local firm to provide those functionalities.

Watered Down

Now this is what I am excited about. Have you tried surfing the net using a PDA? It sucks! With this it will bring the PC web experience on the palm of our hands. Very nice implementation.

Well, I hope iPhone will be successful and will be priced competitively here in our country. Asia-Pacific will have its iPhone by next year, so start saving your precious money. Here's hoping that Apple will reignite people's interest in smartphone, because even though I don't own one it will be the future of mobile devices.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Is Palm fooling us?

Palm just announced their new product, the Palm Foleo, a mobile companion. Looking by the specs of this thing, well it's a bit underpowered compared with the other subnotebooks out there in the market. Many tech sites already dissed Foleo, saying that Palm is out of ideas, that this will be the death nail of Palm's coffin, others are saying that everyone now has a laptop and with that what will Foleo significantly offer that a notebook cannot? Well, to be honest all of these criticism are true to some degree. It maybe true to Americans and possibly to Europeans but will the same apply to us Filipinos? In a way yes.

Now, you can shop for a PHP 20K - 30K 2nd hand desktop replacement laptop around which is the same price of Palm Foleo - $500. And also this is marketed as a mobile companion, but don't be fooled this machine packs a lot of functionality like access to emails, office files, and browse the web and only around 10" display. If you're an office worker or a student that doesn't need a high-end notebook then maybe you should take a look at this machine. Additionally it runs Linux which means that this thing will be hacked to death and possibly offers more and more added functionality in the future and at its current size this is really an ultraportable. 10" displays, 2nd hand or not, are priced around PHP 40K - 50K. Also there is an active Palm group in the country, the which promotes Palm usage.

We will have to wait what will happen to Palm Foleo but even though I was a bit surprised that a mobile firm will release a notebook it is a welcome addition. I'm a Palm customer, having owned a Palm TX, I was relieved when they announced that they are going with Linux with this one. Hoping for the best with that company.