Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Manila City Hall Security and the Assasination of Ex-Mayor Rey Yap

News flash reported on TV about the assasination of Rey Yap, former mayor of Sapang Dalaga in Misamis Occidental by a gunman who was able to evade security at Manila City Hall where the courts hold session.

Mayor Alfredo Lim admitted a security lapse in the city hall but all I can say is that like almost all trial courts in the country, the Manila City Hall is an open ground for there really is no security in it. I'm familiar with the labyrinthine walkways of the old building and there really is no security to speak of.

Cases of "smuggled" guns inside courtrooms are everywhere, Manila Regional Trial Court is no exception!

Nikon D60 DSLR Camera Specifications Released?

Been reading forums where specifications of Nikon D60 were leaked supposedly by an insider. According to the news "leak," the new Nikon D60 DSLR camera has:

3D Color Matrix Metering II
Dust reduction & Image Sensor Cleaning function
Retouch menu
Integrated Dust Reduction system
10.2 Megapixels
Integrated Dust Reduction System

no pictures yet. Can't wait to read the Nikon D60 reviews and field tests.

Would that be the replacement to the D90 where rumors still linger? I would love to know the release date and price of this new toy so I can decide to finally buy a new camera :P

UPDATE: April 5, 2008
Nikon D60 on Hidalgo price is P35k

Monday, January 28, 2008

Camote Tops: Cure for Dengue Hoax

I consider it a hoax, that email circulating in the Internet claiming boiled camote tops (sweet potato or talbos ng kamote) cured dengue for some Filipino dengue patients. The email is very similar to the email claiming juice of papaya cured the same disease in India.

Some officemates of mine said "nothing to lose" except my confidence and credibility for those advocating such unproven claims.

According to trustworthy medical websites and DOH, there really is no cure for dengue and alleged cures need further research for efficacy.

For now, consider it a hoax;
or like what most food supplements do it: No Approved Therapeutic Claim

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Paypal Philippines Bank Code List

The recent opening up of Paypal funds withdrawal on Philippine banks led to the questions of what bank codes to use when using the Paypal feature. Herewith is the Philippine Bank Code list for various banks in the Philippines participating in Paypal:

Allied Bank 010320013
Asia United Bank (AUB) 011020011
Australia New Zealand (ANZ) 010700015
Banco de Oro (BDO) 010530667
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) 010030015
Bank of China 011140014
Bank of Commerce 010440016
Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 010040018
Bank of Tokyo 010460012
China Bank 010100013
Chinatrust 010690015
Citibank N.A. 010070017
Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) 010590018
Deutsche Bank 010650013
East West Bank 010620014
Equitable PCI Bank (EPCIB) 010530667
Export and Industry Bank (Exportbank) 010860010
Fuji Bank 010640010
Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) 010060014
International Commercial Bank of China 010560019
International Exchange Bank (iBank) 010680012
JP Morgan Chase Bank 010720011
Korea Exchange Bank 010710018
International Nederland Bank 010660016
Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) 010350025
Maybank of the Philippines 010220016
Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) 010269996
Philippine Bank of Communication (PBCom) 010110016
Philippine Trust Company (Philtrust Bank) 010090039
Philippine NATIONAL BANK (PNB) 010080010
Prudential Bank 010150018
Philippine Veterans Bank 010330016
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) 010280014
Security Bank and Trust Company (Security Bank) 010140015
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) 010050011
United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) 010299995
Union Bank of the Philippines (Unionbank) 010419995
United Overseas Bank (UOB) 010270189

Transaction Charge in Paypal Withdrawal:

Free if amount is PhP7000 or more otherwise PhP50 fee for the transaction

Note: Bank codes are different from Bank Identification Numbers (BIN)used to route ATM transactions.

I will update this list once I get more from my banking industry contacts.



Related Post:

ATM transaction fees/charges in the Philippines

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The New Canon EOS 450D DSLR Camera

I was actually waiting for the press release of the upcoming Nikon upgrade to the popular D80 when news came out from Canon on their new EOS 450D DSLR

Features and Specifications:

The EOS 450D features:

* 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
* Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System
* 3.5 frames per second
* 3.0” LCD with Live View shooting
* 9-point wide-area AF system with f/2.8 cross-type centre point
* Picture Style image processing parameters
* DIGIC III image processor
* Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software1
* Compact and Lightweight body
* Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

Any takers on actual field test and reviews?


Philippines' Largest Banks in Terms of Asset

Largest Bank in terms of Asset:

the latest news about BDO overtaking Metrobank was revealed to me by my Metrobank contact last december last year:

1. Banco de Oro (BDO) (mostly due to the merger with Equitable PCI Bank)
2. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
3. Metrobank
4. Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank)
5. Philippine National Bank (PNB)
6. Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)

Other large Philippine Banks:
Chinabank, RCBC, Allied Bank, Union Bank, UCPB, Chinatrust Bank

Note: this does not take account the impending merger of PNB and Allied Bank and also of DBP and Landbank.

There's uncertainty on the 2nd and third largest banks due to lack of data but will be updated once information is available

UPDATED: February 2009

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

BIR eFPS Online Tax Payments System

There's an odd proposal from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to encourage corporate taxpayers to return to paying taxes over the counter and away from the fast, online payment using Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS) by offering longer float periods for Authorized Agent Banks (AAB) from 4 days to 10 days for over the counter while for online payments was shortened to two days.

The partner banks didn't like the idea naturally, recommended allegedly by Ateneo de Manila University-led Economic Policy Reform and Advocacy (EPRA). Such move will slash partner bank's earnings with the float greatly misunderstood by the recommenders of the move. It's a known fact that over the counter transactions are costly to banks and thus encourage shifting to electronic channels via ATMs and Internet.

Should it ever push through, banks may give up being AABs due to the back-to the-middle-ages proposal. The only ones who'll benefit from the project are BIR personnel who may have lost face-to-face contacts with taxpayers who can offer something "under the table."

the eFiling and Payment System are already pushed for the top 10000 corporations in the Philippines where the bulk of the money is from. Imagine the long lines the shift to the old, full of bureaucratic red tape process will show.

Tothe BIR people, better think of more ways to enhance tax collection and not a return to jurassic mode of paying taxes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Of Metric Prefixes: Pico,Nano, Micro, Milli, Centi, Deci, Deka, Hecto, Kilo, Mega, Giga, Exa, Peta

These aren't a game but the subject of this post simply are the metric unit prefixes we used to use way back in college studying engineering. It was triggered by a request for me to buy Premarin capsules at Mercury in 1.25 mg dosage but unfortunately they don't carry with many branches I inquired at. I settled to buying 625 microgram capsules to get the equivalent dosage recommended.

At South Star Drug, an inquiry by a friend from the pharmacist said taking two 625 microgram capsules is not the same as one capsule of 1.25 mg. Seems the pharmacist ain't sure what she's saying :(

well just to inform you 1000 micrograms is equal to 1 milligram (mg) and therefore the same dosage in two separate capsules. Premarin 1.25 mg has been out of stock lately.
Here is a link that explains in detail about these prefixes engineers and scientists are so well accustomed to.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Philippine Driver's License Renewal in Makati (MRT Ayala Station): Fees

I had my n-months expired LTO drivers license renewed at the LTO License Renewal Center at the 2nd level concourse MRT Ayala Station. The whole process took about two hours that include a drug test and medical check-up, with about half of it waiting for the card.

Regarding the required drug test and medical certificate, there's J n W Drug Testing Center beside the LTO center. All they asked from me was provide urine sample for drug test then a pseudo-medical check up where they took my weight and asked me to read a standard eye chart (they don't know I already memorized the chart's last two lines). My medical certificate was signed by the assistant in the name of Dr. Princy Goco with license # 0107810 and PTR 0120969 issued Mar 16, 2007. (Didn't get it back but I was able to log it in my cellphone.)

Cost of renewing Drivers License (non-professional):

LTO Drivers License Renewal cost updated October 26, 2010 (this time, JNW Drug Testing Center has a real doctor doing the medical exmination and not just a plain rubber stamp that costs PhP100.00)

PhP300.00 drug testing
PhP100.00 medical

PhP400.00 for license renewal
PhP75.00 penalty for late renewal (renewal on expiry date is already considered late)
PhP75.00 for revision of records (change of address)
PhP67.63 comp fee (computerization fee?)

Total amount paid was roughly P800.00 for about 2 hours, almost the same as the last time I applied for a drivers license 3 years ago at Land Transportation Office Makati near the old Makati City Hall on Pililla St. near J.P. Rizal St.

The center doesn't have the authority to add additional restrictions to my license since I need to drive an automatic clutch car (restriction 4). My current license is allowed only for motorcyles (restriction 1) and manual transmission up to 4500 kgs GVW (restriction 2)

The sad part about it is that they printed a wrong address that I noticed only later but it's a minor matter that I thought I should've never applied for a change of address.

This however is more convenient when i first applied for a drivers license in Las Pinas, then twice renewed at LTO Makati.

Other LTO Drivers Licence Renewal Centers:
SM City North EDSA, Guadalupe Commercial Center (near MRT Guadalupe station), Araneta Cubao, SM City Manila et al

Related Link:
How Apply for Replacement LTO Drivers License

LTO Student Drivers License Application
LTO Drivers License Restriction Codes
LTO Car Registration Schedule
UPDATED: April 2013

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Anti-Cyber-Trafficking Act of 2007: Cybersex Operators, Beware

I've always been monitoring news in Congress for new bills filed there by working congressment, unlike the two new senators who've nothing to show for bills principally authored, the latest of which is the new proposal called Anti-Cyber-Trafficking Act of 2007 to penalize operators of Cybersex dens and those exploitation of women on the Internet.

According to Congress press release, "House Bill No. 3249 provides fine ranging from not less than P500,000 but not more than P1,000,000 or not less than two years but not more than five years imprisonment to curtail crimes of indecency"

This is rather late but really needed by our law enforcers. In my past coordination with the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Fraud and Computer Crimes Division (NBI-AFCCD) who's pursuing operators of those illegal establishments, the current law is too weak to pin violators and usually get away scot-free (if not a few thousand or millions of pesos less richer.

Let's just hope that COngress, usually busy with trivial things if not on a junket, pass the new bill.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

MyPhone S22 Duo Dual SIM Slider Phone

I just read on the newspaper an ad announcing the new Slyder phone featuring a sleek look at various colors. An officemate of mine's planning to buy one I'll ask for a review and feedback before I can recomment it if it's worth splurging again for I'm really hell bent on buying a new Nikon camera soon

features of the phone and picture:
The First Dual Active SIM Slider Phone


Network: GPRS/GSM 900/1800
Camera: 1.3 Megapixels CMOS
Display: 176 x 220 pixels, 2.0”, 262K colors TFT
Connectivity: USB
Memory: 800 entries Phonebook Memory
Expansion: Micro SD/T-flash memory card slot up to 1GB
Device Control: Alphanumeric keypad
MEssaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, E-mail
GPRS: Class 12, WAP 2.0 browser
Sound: 2 stereo speakers, 3D-surround effect
Multimedia: MP3/MP4 player/Video Recorder
Battery: 950 mAh
Dimension: 98 x 49 x 17.9mm
Weight: 102g

Standby time: 100 hrs.
Talk time: 120 mins.

Cost: P8000

The ad announced it's priced at less than P8000 (about US$195) already a steal if you you're maintaining two numbers with two phones but I'm more interested now in a 3G-capable phone and better camera of Sony-Ericsson. Unit is available at various dealers in the Philippines.

Update later...

Friday, January 04, 2008

DNS Poisoning/Redirection of ITECC, DOJ and CIDG Websites to Enchanted Kingdom

The Inquirer news report bannered a story of the websites of Department of Justice (DOJ), ITECC and PNP-CIDG were redirected to the website of Enchanted Kingdom, a theme park in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The report showed how people in the law enforcement and government admistering (in)justice can be so clueless what hit them. EK, as what Enchanted Kingdom is popularly known, is going to its site hosting for questions and guesses malice for the site redirection. No hint of the actual method was presented so the people doing the investigation on the matter still don't know what to do.

I can offer an explanation though and it involves a technique known as DNS poisoning or DNS cache poisoning, used in pharming where legitimate requests to victim websites are re-directed to bogus/spoofed ones inorder to trick visitors to divulge personal information such as username/passwords, PINS et al. This attack however merely re-directed government sites to a EK possibly by hackers to make fun of the government who still has to learn information security (there are only a few of us information security practitioners here in the Philippines and most of them in the private sector). The government and the military can't even keep their secrets to themselves so what do you expect?

I recommend checking your DNS servers for signs of cache poisoning and check/patch all vulnerabilities for this event not to happen again. Other causes of this problem may have been a misconfiguration of the webserver, network problem, load balancer (if there's one) or a compromised/misconfigured DNS (domain name server). The report claims the sites are hosted by PLDT so PLDT can give out explanations for these incidents (though I doubt if they'll release the true story of they're the ones to blame)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Gmail Phishing Email from Hotmail

I received the email below supposedly from customeraccountverticate101@gmail.com asking me to send my username and password to them as if I have a Hotmail account
and i'm that stupid to fall to their lame trick

If you received the same email, click "report as spam" so Gmail/Google can act on it immediately

from Customer Service
to customeraccountverticate101@gmail.com,
date Jan 3, 2008 12:21 PM
subject Verify Your Account (Case ID:- GMAIL554USER99886IKPPPPC)
mailed-by gmail.com

hide details 12:21 PM (55 minutes ago)


Dear Account User

This Email is from Hotmail Customer Care and we are sending it to every Gmail Email User Accounts Owner for safety. we are having congestions due to the anonymous registration of Gmail accounts so we are shutting down some Gmail accounts and your account was among those to be deleted.We are sending you this email to so that you can verify and let us know if you still want to use this account.If you are still interested please confirm your account by filling the space below.Your User name,password,date of bith and your country information would be needed to verify your account.

Due to the congestion in all Hotmail users and removal of all unused Gmail Accounts, Hotmail would be shutting down all unused Accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Information below after clicking the reply button, or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.

* Username: ..............................

* Password: ................................

* Date of Birth: ............................

* Country Or Territory: ................

After following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences.
Warning!!! Account owner that refuses to update his/her account after two weeks of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

, ,