Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2nd Quarter Google PageRank (PR) Update

I just noticed today that my main blog Budget Travel Philippines got its much deserved PageRank after almost four months of waiting since it got a PR0 (from the old Tutubi Patrol blog) for no apparent reason (the time when a lot of blogs got punished due to paid links)

My main blog PR got PR4, the old pagerank of Tutubi Patrol before the PR slash. PR of this blog was reduced to PR3 from the previous PR4.

No more complaints. Even if Budget Travel Asia has a PR0, there's no noticeable loss in traffic, in fact, referrals from Google increased making the theory that the PR has nothing to do with SERP (search engine results pages)

Now i'm seeing the increase in my earnings :P

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chess Grandmasters of the Philippines (GM)

I used to be a chess addict. In fact, i even studied the game with lots of theories and openings in an old illustrated book and a one time dreamed of being a grandmaster.

That never materialized though as we all know :P

Q: How many chess grandmasters does the Philippines have?
A: 13

here's a list of Filipino GMs for your appreciation:

Wesley So, at 14 years old, is currently the world's youngest grandmaster and highest ranked Filipino GM

Eugene Torre - Asia's first grandmaster (1974) and friend of the late great Robert "Bobby" Fischer

Rosendo Balinas (deceased) the 2nd Filipino grandmaster 1976

Rogelio Antonio 1993

Nelson Mariano 2004

Mark Paragua 2005

Buenaventura “Bong” Villamayor 2000

Darwin Laylo 2007

Wesley So 2007

Jayson Gonzales 2008

John Paul Gomez 2008

Joseph Sanchez

Rogelio Barcenilla

Ronald Dableo 2009 (though he needs to increase his 2417 Fide Elo rating points to 2500 to be officially announced as one)

No information yet on current ELO ratings. PLease leave a comment if I missed anyone or wrong information as i'm already sleepy :P

Updated: August 30, 2009

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Movie Passes at MyCinema Greenbelt Makati

Gone were the days when I'm always updated on the latest Hollywood movies and occasional art films (e.g. Cineuropa and Eiga Sai) due to my friends' "addiction" to such flicks. Nowadays, I don't have time to watch movies, not even tv, except a few I ripped into my iPod for occasional viewing. I don't buy pirated DVDs like most people do.

The good part of being in the IT sector, particularly in the information security field, lots of vendors selling so many solutions call/visit me in the office asking for some time to discuss if I have some reuirements that they can fulfill. Numerous seminars and invitations I get from them to lure people like me to attend the events, most attendees were noticeably only after the raffle prizes and freebies.

Quite new, not totally new, is the marketing gimmick of some vendors to bundle free movie showings with their seminars to encourage target audience to attend since I noticed most events at hotels have very low attendance. Another free move showing is there with Iron Man bannered by a security solutions vendor to lure us information security officers out of our "bat caves." I've lost count of the movies I saw for free at myCinema but the free movies with free food and freebies besides the thrill of sometimes winning raffle prizes are too good to ignore.

The only thing that's making me think again is that I've attended so many seminars and yet I've never bought a single solution from the sponsors. Not my fault, I just don't have a business need for them but I was able to refer people in my network to them.

just in case you don't know how to get to Greenbelt in Makati, it's just walking distance from MRT Ayala station or ride the bus on EDSA with signboard LRT/Ayala then alight at Glorietta/Rustans. Ask around for directions so you won't get lost.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Windows Delayed Write Failed Error USB Drive

My external hard drive nowadays always gets that annoying "windows - delayed write failed" error after working for a while. When I plug it in to the USB port of my laptop computer, it takes a while for the indicator light to turn green, it's always amber or red indicating trouble.

I checked drivers of USB and my Windows setup but found none. Checking further, I replaced the USB cable and it's been working well after that.

If this did not do the trick, try opening up the hard disk enclosure and see of the hard disk is securely attached to the encloscure pin contacts. I've seen hard disks disconnected from the circuitry after dropping the hard disk.

I thought I'm losing my still quite new drive also acting as my backup drives of pictures, important files and other pdf documents.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Singapore's Mobile Number Portability

A reaction to a recent news bannered by the Inquirer where Singapore is going to implement portable mobile phone numbers so that switching from one cellular phone provider to another won't entail a number change thereby making "my phone number for life" possible.

It's a novel idea indeed for subscribers of Singapore's three mobile phone service providers: Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), StarHub and MobileOne.

I wonder if such scheme would be implemented here in the Philippines with Smart, Globe and Sun Cellular. I'm presently holding on to my cherished vanity number from Sun

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Check LTO Vehicle Registration via SMS

Here's a (quite) new and easy way to check registration of your car registration status at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) using just one text message:

to check with LTO, send a message like this : LTOspaceVEHICLEspaceABC123
to 2600


ABC123 is your vehicle's PLATE NUMBER
send to 2600 (all network i.e. Smart, Talk N Text, Globe, Sun Cellular)

a sample auto-generated response for my car reads:

"Plate no: XXX888/Make:toyota/Model:vios 1.5g a/t/Year:2006/Color;subtle gold/Registered last 07/21/2006, has no LTO apprehension, has no LTO alarm. P2/text"

This is a great innovation that saves time for car owners instead of going to the LTO office in Quezon City. I can use this later to check status once I register again my car whose license will expire in a few months.

Note this is also a great tool for traffic police (Traffic Management Group) to randomly check vehicles and catch carnapped vehicles and/or red-flagged ones if they're really serious with it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Police in Manila with GPS Devices?

I read the news lately with the Manila Police District being equipped with GPS devices for them to go to a crime scene aided with the satellite-guided device. It's a good move actually coupled with police visibility and camera surveillance but a GPS won't cut it of the police can't get to the scene on time.

Regarding policement, what irked me recently was just yesterday, Makati traffic police went up to a driver of an FX who apparently beat a red light on Paseo de Roxas. The driver argued with the traffic enforcer and later showed his ID declaring himself a policeman. The enforcer went away without saying a word or penalizing the "mamang pulis." Good thing for the policeman too since I wasn't able to see his plate number.

Policemen should be enforcers of the law and not lawbreakers. Those scums really think they're above the law.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OMB and K-Bank Merger

A few months back, I received news from insiders about an impending merger between the Antipolo-based rural bank, Opportunity Microfinance Bank (OMB) and Iloilo's Kauswagan Bank (K-Bank) where the latter is buying the former and will be headquartered in Iloilo including OMB's ATM infrastructure.

The surviving entity's name would be: OK Bank

Can't think of a better name, eh?

Metrobank Bank Code for Paypal

Required in order to withdraw Paypal funds in the Philippines to avoid pricey cash advance fees, you need to login to your Paypal account and enter the bank code of Metrobank

Metrobank Bank Code: 010269996

METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO is the largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets.

Note: Bank code is not the same as SWIFT code

related post: Philippine Bank Codes,

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chinabank ATM Downtime

Chinabank's ATMs are offline today with a handful of my officemates complaining since our payroll accounts are there. Chinabank Online is ok but session timeouts are making it a pain in the ...One of my officemates was transfering P20k to an account but due to the timeouts, had to repeat it twice not knowing the first two fund transfers were successful. Ended up transferring P60k, P40k more than the agreed amount.

No official word on the downtime is available as of this moment. Will try to ask my contacts there.

It seems Chinabank has been experiencing frequent downtimes lately.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Globe Mobile Internet Now at P5/15 Minutes!

Got great news from my Globe friends about the publishing of Globe's new Mobile Internet rates that gives their subscribers the option to choose between KB browsing rate to a time-based rate of P5/15 minutes. The new rate is comparable to Smart's P10/30 minutes cost but is cheaper in the long run if you experience frequent disconnections.

This is the scheme I've been telling my friends from Globe Marketing to adopt since they're losing up with Smart's time-based plan. This is available for HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access or the so called 3.5G), 3G, EDGE and GPRS (another sprinkling of techie acronyms)

How to shift to Globe's new TIME charging scheme: just text TIME to 1111 for free!

For the official Globe press release, click here

For now, I will look around for the cheapest 3G-capable phone out there and also wait for Sun Cellular to offer the same service at a lower price :P

Unethical BIR Employee and RA3019

Not my thing actually to eavedrop on other people's conversation but last weekend during our company outing's stopover at KFC on NLEX, we were seated next to a family loudly discussing about computers, laptops and Internet.

A big man, I presume was the father, talked about Globe's newest promo of a 2 year unlimited Internet connection costing P1599 that comes with a free 14" laptop.

One of my companions working at Globe Telecoms wanted to butt in since she knows the price is just P1495 and the laptop is only 7' and actually not free since you amortize for it during the two year lock in period.

The biggest disappointment was when the horizontally-challenged woman, the mother, bragged about not having to buy a laptop since she was given one by one of her taxpayers. Now, where do you expect to work with taxpayers and shower you gifts?

It's not just unethical to accept gifts from "clients" even if not explicitly asking for something in return, it's also illegal as prohibited under RA 3019, the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

No wonder tax collections are low in this part of the world!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Colorum Buses on EDSA and Organized Bus Route

It usually take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive from Quezon City to Makati via EDSA during morning rush hour. This morning there was a noticeable difference in the speed I was able to reach Makati in just about an hour. I noticed a great reduction in those unruly buses hogging the yellow lanes even swerving out of their designated lanes. The reduced number of buses must've been due to the recent crackdown by the MMDA of colorum buses in Metro Manila, particularly those plying EDSA.

You see, those buses, besides being unruly drivers, are too many for the few commuters making them compete with each other more. Even during rush hours, you seldom see those buses loaded with commuters except on short stretches like Buendia to Ayala Avenue in Makati.

The MMDA implemented a crackdown on those illegal buses even to the extent of spray painting violators that earned the ire of their operators.

What the MMDA wants to implement is an organized bus route (OBR) with "first on, first off" system of bus dispatching.

RFID (radio frequency identification) tags will also be distributed to legitimate buses to electronically identify licensed franchises and weed out colorum ones. RFID technology makes it possible to do this and makes it harder, not imposible, for h4ck3rs and miscreants to circumvent the system.

We've yet to see the full implementation of OBR but I'm giving the MMDA my full support on this project.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools Jokes and Hoaxes

April fools wasn't the same as before where I got many text messages. The only hoax I got was the joke of Yehey that it's merging with Yahoo!

In the office, I found our main door closed obstructed with two chairs and we're made to pass the longer route to the toilet via the pantry. The cynic in me approached an officemate if it's for real or just a practical joke; sadly, it's true so i walked a long route.

April Fools is over, at least no insane mind though of passing around news that the Pope is dead!