Friday, July 29, 2011

Smart Bro Rocket Plug-It offers up to 12Mbps

Smart is set to publicly announce their new HSPA+ capable Plug-It and calls it Smart Bro Rocket with promised speeds of up to 12Mbps on their mobile network.

The Smart Bro Rocket uses a Huawei E353 HSPA+ USB dongle.

The new dongle is available for prepaid users with a retail price of Php3,995 (will be available by Friday next week).

The same Smart Bro loading system works and the same rates apply (Php10 per 30 minutes). Smart currently has 154 base stations capable of delivering HSPA+ speeds so it’s still limited to Metro Manila and key provincial cities like Cebu and Davao.

NESIC speed test shows Smart Bro bests Tattoo

A recent speed test conducted by an independent professional engineering service, NESIC, showed that Smart Bro got better results, over-all. See some of the findings of the tests below.

The tests were conducted from July 4 to 6, 2011 in 100 test locations nationwide.

The tool used to measure the data was and the text server is located in San Francisco, USA (SF Monkey Brains server). Average speed test is taken from a sample of 5 tests.

Here’s the summary of the test done by NESIC:

- Smart is faster in 99 of the 100 test locations.

- 2.66Mbps highest peak speed for SmartBro (tested in Plantation Bay Resort)

- 1.23Mbps peak speed average for Smart Bro vs. 0.23Mbps of Globe Tattoo

- Average of 1Mbps faster in 47 of 100 locations.

- Average of 1.5Mbps faster in locations.

- Cebu has highest average speed difference of 1.38Mbps vs. Globe Tattoo

- Tondo, Manila has highest average speed difference of 2.29Mbps vs. Globe Tattoo.

Globe actually beat Smart Bro in only 1 of the 100 test locations (that’s at the Matutina Restaurant in Dagupan).

Smart’s network has been upgraded to HSPA+ as well with 3,116 base stations on HSPA 7.2Mbps and 154 base stations on HSPA+ 21Mbps.

It is interesting to note that NESIC was also used by Globe Telecom to do a similar test last year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Google offers free SMS to Globe, Smart, Sun

Google announced Friday that it has launched Gmail-to-SMS, a free service wherein Filipinos can send and receive text messages from Gmail to Globe, Smart, and Sun subscribers.

“We are very excited to be launching SMS capabilities in Gmail Chat today,” said Myriam Boublil, Head of Communications and Public Affairs of Google Southeast Asia.

“SMS in Gmail Chat will bring a new level of flexibility and mobility to Gmail users in the Philippines. With more than 70 million mobile subscribers in the Philippines and the country being the SMS capital of the world, we think this service will allow for seamless integration between mobile and PC communication and make it more convenient for Pinoys to send each other messages,” he said.

Gmail users need only to send an instant message from the new SMS box in Gmail's chat window. Recipients can reply with a text message from their mobile phone (standard network charges will apply), which will appear on the sender's Gmail interface.

The text messages may also be archived like chat messages.

Initially, a user can send up to 50 messages continuously.

Smart, Globe and Sun Cellular welcomed the new service.

"We are constantly innovating and exploring new avenues of communication as part of our mission to put the power of the Internet into the hands of every Filipino. Our partnership with Google is proof of Smart’s commitment to continuously provide relevant services to Filipinos here and abroad," said Orlando Vea, Chief Wireless Advisor for Smart.

"Globe Telecom has always pursued new ways to delight our customers. With our partnership with Google, our subscribers can now enjoy sending text messages on their computers and laptops through their Gmail accounts," said Glenn Estrella, Head for Digital Media of Globe.

“Not only will it add to our robust suite of digital applications that allow our customers to communicate from PC to mobile phone, it will also make messaging from the computer more convenient with the accessibility of Gmail and without the need to install additional software.”

Francisco L. Arana III, Vice President of Product Development, International Services, VAS & Innovations of Sun Cellular, said, “We are pleased to be part of this partnership with Google for Gmail-to-SMS, which can help us provide our customers more ways to communicate and reach their families and contacts anywhere in the world. With Gmail-to-SMS, we can give our customers an innovative way to communicate by only using the Gmail account."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NTC issues circular putting minimum speed on broadband service

In what could be one of its most important issuances yet, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has formally released a new circular that orders Internet broadband providers to specify a minimum speed in their service offerings.

The memorandum order, which the powerful regulatory body formally issued on Monday, compels broadband service providers to specify the minimum Internet connection speed and service reliability, as well as service rates in their advertisements and service level agreements.

The circular said that the acceptable minimum service reliability is 80 percent.

“The service offers shall specify the service rates for a minimum broadband/Internet connection speed and the service reliability. For example: a broadband service provider can offer P900.00/month for 512Kbps minimum connection speed and 80 percent service reliability, or P1,000.00/month for 512Kbps minimum connection speed and 85 percent service reliability, or P1,000/month for 1Mbps minimum connection speed and 80 percent reliability, etc.” the circular explained.

The NTC said it issued the circular to correct the practice of service providers who are specifying only the maximum speed in their broadband offerings.

The agency also said a minimum speed was necessary since various broadband wireless technologies differ in transmission characteristics, with mobile Internet access being the most vulnerable in signal fading more than fixed and fixed wireless Internet access.

The NTC order warned that failure on the part of a broadband service provider to comply is a ground for the filing of an administrative case.

The circular is expected to take effect 15 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Filipino inventions that 'wowed' the world!

No doubt, we Pinoys are born creative thinkers. Think of it, we can somehow get by and find ways to make life easier when we're low on moolah. Want a new cellphone? Trade-in your old one. Can't buy a car? Score a second-hand scooter. Dreaming of a 900-inch HDTV? Charge it on installment basis with your plastic cash.

You see, our ability to work around the problem is impressive. So in honor of the ingenious Pinoys, we introduce you to some of the world's best breakthrough inventions and innovations that are 100% made by our very own kababayans. Thumbs up to you, chong!

1.The water car

"Nothing is impossible" might be Filipino inventor Daniel Dingel's motto while he is creating his water-powered car back in 1969. How it works seems technical yet reading this might give you a pinch of idea. The vehicle uses regular fuel to start its engine. Afterwards, regular water will come rushing to the reactor which is split into two compartments. The mix will then result into combustion, propelling the car.
The invention was initially suspected to be a hoax. However, Mr. Dingle proved its capability as he drove from Manila to Cavite with 15 liters of water and only half a liter of gasoline. Officials of Department of Science and Technology later on dismissed accusations against Dingel's water-powered car. We bet Metro Manila the whole country will have much cleaner air once everyone hits this kind of car!

2. Lighting system that revives busted lamps

Got busted lamps? Don't throw it away yet! New World Technology, Inc. developed a system called Nutec Lighting System that can revive and prolong the life of busted fluorescent lamps for up to seven years. Filipino inventor and the company's President Eric Ngo and his partner invented a high-tech starter that can revive the busted lamps. The invention lets you save money and results in less waste since you don't have to replace your bulbs that often.

3. Videophone

We can't totally say but Skype might have a run for its money if it started in the 50s. A BatangueƱo and renowned Filipino engineer named Gregorio Zara actually invented the first-ever videophone or the two-way television telephone that he called the "photo phone signal separator network". This lets its users transmit video and audio between conversations real-time through a telephone back in 1955. We bet you didn't know that.

4. The artificial womb

Back when caesarian and painless deliveries aren't that prominent yet, an alumnae of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine and Harvard University School of Medicine's first Asian female student, Dr. Fe del Mundo, made remarkable studies that soon led to the invention of the incubator.

The incubator works by maintaining an environment like a mother's womb with the right temperature and comfort suitable for newborns. Other functions include oxygenation, protection, observation, nutrition, medication and maintenance. Think of it as an artificial womb, outside of mothers.

5. Antibiotic for penicillin allergies

No doubt, antibiotics make us feel better but what if you have an allergy to it? Good thing Filipino scientist Dr. Abelardo Aguilar was able to discover erythromycin, an antibiotic from the Aspergillus species of fungi in 1949. Erythromycin is used for patients who are allergic to penicillin and became its alternative. It was allegedly registered under the name of Iloson in honor of Iloilo where it was discovered and said to be the first successful macrolide antibiotic introduced in America.

6. The mole/wart remover

You know you will look more gwapo without that mole or wart yet you're low on cash for a surgery. No need to worry, dude! Filipino scientist Rolando dela Cruz's discovery will surely boost your pogi points. He formulated and enhanced a natural solution from the humble cashew nut (which is, by the way, abundant in our country) in 2000. This formula can eliminate deeply grown moles or warts leaving no marks and is said to be painless to the patients. Nice!

7. Vazbuilt’s instant abode

Want a house built in less than a month? Then better contact Edgardo "Kabahay" Vasquez! The World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Inventor of the Year in 1995 developed Vazbuilt, a modular housing system that makes building a house possible in lesser time and for a cheaper price. Its reported that this system uses prefabricated materials strong enough to endure storms, earthquakes, fire and even termites! And what's cooler is that it's made with lighter materials which means you can dismantle and reassemble your house if you want to redesign.

8. Single-chip graphical user interface accelerator

Pinoy engineer Diosdado Banatao introduced the first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator in the planet. His concept is responsible for bringing better speeds to our PCs. He also is instrumental in developing the Ethernet controller chip which made the Internet possible. Now we know why he's called the Bill Gates of the Philippines.

9. Wonder water

If there will be a liquid that can actually help students prep for an exam, it will definitely be sold out in an instant! And that can happen for the Department of Science and Technology's (DOST) "Tubig Talino". The special water is said to help cure goiter, mental and physical abnormalities and inborn illnesses. The wonder liquid is also rich in iodine. In fact, daily consumption will give an adult enough iodine for his/her daily needs. That definitely gets a thumbs up from us!

Globe and Smart offers unlimited text to all networks

Now this is competition at work. Both Globe and Smart offer its prepaid subscribers unlimited text for a day to all networks for only Php25! Here’s how you can register on whichever telco you’re on.

For just P25, you’ll get Unlimited SMS to any network (Globe, TM, Smart, Talk ‘n Text, Sun and Red Mobile) plus 1 hour of mobile internet valid for 1 day.

Check Globe’s website for complete details and FAQs.

Text UALL25 to 8888

P1 maintaining balance is required to continue using the service.

Smart LAHATxt Unli 25

For only P25, Smart Buddy subscribers can text as much as you want to any network (Smart, Talk ‘n Text, Red, Globe, Touch Mobile, Sun).

Text LTU25 to 2266

The subscriber needs to maintain at least P1.00 airtime in order to enjoy using the package.

Check Smart’s website for complete details.

So there you have it. Globe users has the advantage here with the 1-hour free internet but Smart is having the promo for a longer time. Now if only they can also offer this on a per-week basis. Then maybe call to all networks next time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Talk 'N Text Unlitext150

Unlitext150! Unlimited texts na pang-isang buwan sa halagang P150 lang! Limang piso lang kada araw, pwede ka nang mag-unlimited chikahan sa lahat ng mga naka-Talk 'N Text, Smart at red mobile!

P5 nalang ang unlitxt kada araw! Sa P150 mo, mayroon kang 30 days na unlimited text sa TNT/SMART/red! Para magregister sa UNLITXT150, i-text ang U150 sa 4545. Magmaintain ng P1 load. Available din sa eload.

Talk 'N Text Unlitxt 2All 20

Heto na! Talk 'N Text Unlitxt 2All 20! Unlimited texts sa TM, Globe, Sun, Smart at Talk 'N Text! Text UA20 to 4545!

Talk 'N Text Katok15

Sa Talk ‘N Text KATOK15, may 2-way unlimited tawagan na pang-tatluhan! Mag register via keyword. I-text ang KATOK15 at i-send sa 3533. Ang unang dalawang number na tatawagan mo gamit ng *3533+(11 digit number) ang iyong magiging automatic na ka-tok, may load man sila o wala!

Talk 'N Text Katok10

Sa Talk ‘N Text KATOK10, may 2-way unlimited tawagan na kayo ng iyong always ka-TOK! Mag register via keyword. I-text ang KATOK10 at i-send sa 3533. Ang unang number na tatawagan mo gamit ng *3533+(11 digit number) ang iyong magiging automatic na ka-tok, may load man sya o wala! Sa P10 lang, 2-way unli tok na, kahit wala pang load ang iyong registered na ka-tok! Valid for 1 day!

Smart LAHATxt Unli 25!

Here's what you've all been waiting for!
Only P25 for 1 day, unlimited texts to all networks!
Unlimited texts to ALL NETWORKS na may kakaibang lakas! Text LTU25 to 2266!

Smart has an Unli Call & Text postpaid plan too

First, the lowdown: Mobile phone owners, this is good news! Smart Communications is finally giving in to the unlimited call and text trend of postpaid subscribers, which was popularized by Sun Cellular. Amazingly, the network giant has managed to drop its prices too making it a masa-friendly option for hard working Pinoys.

Here's the deal: Smart pegged their Unli Call & Text promo at just P599 a month and that gives you a bundled Nokia C1-01 handset, too! Sweet. If you're more of a text buff than a call junkie, then opt for a cheaper plan deal. Get this, have unlimited text access for a month and score a free phone with this plan - a sleek Samsung E1080. They call it the Unli Text Plan 299. And as most unlimited promos go, it'll be limited only to Smart, Talk N Text, and Red Mobile’s networks. Yep, expected. Both plans are available until October 7 at selected Smart branches in the metro and in SM Cebu.

Now, onto the burning question: Taking notice of these sweet deals from PLDT's little brother kind of reminds you of something, like that popular claim-to-fame plan program of Sun Cellular (Digitel's baby) where you get unlimited call-and-text plus a phone of your choice for P350 a month. So, is this a subtle signal that the PLDT - Digitel merger is finally happening? Now that the NTC hearing on the controversial merger is running, we wouldn't be surprised if, anytime soon, the two network giants finally do a Voltes V and scream, "Let's volt in!"

Automated guideway transit prototype to be built in UP Diliman

The University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City will be the site of the first All-Filipino Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) system.

UP, Department of Science and Technology and Department of Transportation and Communication will sign a Memorandum of Agreement on July 18, 8:00 a.m. which will set the Diliman campus as the site of the prototype of the AGT.

Immediately following the signing of the agreement is a Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Emilio Jacinto corner Lakandula Streets of UP Diliman.

Expected to attend are Sen. Edgardo Angara, former UP President and Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology; Secretary Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology; and Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Transportation and Communication.

The Memorandum of Agreement and Groundbreaking Ceremony resulted from a Memorandum of Understanding signed last January between UP and DOST.

Under the MOU, the prototype will be composed of two 60-passenger coaches which will run in one track. According to the UP administration, the prototype will not only play an important role in the lives of UP community but also in the study of alternative mass transport systems which could be used by the DOST and other government agencies in the country’s urban centers.

In a press statement of Secretary Montejo last December, he said that the cost of studying and creating a local AGT system is only one-fifth of the cost of importing a unit from abroad. The prototype at UP will therefore not only serve as a means for UP faculty, students and staff as conveyance around the campus, but also as a view into the future of Filipino-made mass transport systems.

Globe Telecom rolls out its biggest prepaid offer

Globe Telecom is rolling out nationwide its biggest offer for its Globe prepaid subscribers that will give users the ultimate unrestricted experience in text messaging, while also providing them access to the internet on their cellphone.

Globe SUPERUNLIALLTXT25 is the premier unlimited text offer, empowering Globe prepaid users to stay connected with their friends subscribed to other networks anytime they want. The offer is available on a daily variant for only P25, while also including one hour of free mobile internet.

With Globe SUPERUNLIALLTXT25 subscribers no longer need an extra phone or SIM because they can now get in touch with all 85 million mobile subscribers nationwide through unlimited text messaging – either from Smart, Sun, Globe, TM, Talk ‘n Text or Red Mobile.

Globe has pioneered the introduction of unlimited all-network SMS. Since March Globe has offered, through its TM prepaid brand, unlimited all-network SMS to selected provinces. Globe is also the first to offer an unlimited text messaging service under our postpaid plan, and now “SUPERUNLIALLTXT25 continues Globe’s innovation, rolling out nationwide and extending the unlimited ‘fever’ to our Globe prepaid customers who make up majority of our subscriber base with Globe SUPERUNLIALLTXT25,” said Peter Bithos, Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business.

Added Mr. Bithos, “With this new offer, subscribers get more than what they pay for. Part of the offer is the free one hour mobile browsing for users to enjoy mobile data, which is also a priority business for Globe. Globe is known to introduce game-changing offers which gives consumers more value for their money than they ever thought possible and in doing so, allows them to live in the moment like never before.” This latest initiative continues a string of innovative and customer-focused offers that Globe has been pioneering since last year, for example with our launch of SuperAllText, SuperIDD, and others.

To register to Globe SUPERUNLIALLTXT25, subscribers must text UALL25 and send to 8888. The subscriber must maintain P1 balance to enjoy the service.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1 in 3 consumers in PH access the Internet

One in 3 consumers--or 33 percent--have been accessing the Internet in the country, a report by the global insights and measurement company Nielsen revealed Tuesday.

This is 5 percentage points below the regional average for Southeast Asia (38%).

The report, a pre-release of data from the company's Southeast Asia Digital Consumer Report, also noted that for the Philippines, younger people are more likely to go online rather than older ones.

Among consumers in the country in the 15-19 age bracket, about two-thirds (65%) use the Internet. Of those in their 20s, close to half of them (48%) go online.

Of those in their 30s, only 24% access the Internet; those in their 40s, 13%; while only 4% of consumers in their 50s go online.

Where they go online

The report also said that in most of Southeast Asia, consumers accessed the Internet from home more.

In the Philippines, however, 74% of the users in the 15-19 age bracket go online at Internet cafes.

For users aged 30 and above, they access the Internet from home more, with 86% of users in their 50s going online at home.

Fifty-two percent of Filipinos have high-speed Internet connection in their computers at home, said the report, which will be available on September 30.

Going mobile

Some 24% of Filipino Internet users are said to go online daily using their mobile phone, and 56% intend to do so in the next 12 months.

"The sophisticated capabilities, ease of use and overall user experience provided by smartphones like the iPhone and Blackberry is changing the patterns of behavior of digital consumers," observed Jay Bautista, Managing Director of Nielsen's media business in the Philippines.

"The anytime, anywhere access to digital media that smartphones and other Internet devices affords is stimulating online media consumption and will be a significant driving force for increased Internet usage in the future."

Social media and buying habits

Social media is huge among Filipino online users, the report noted.

"In the Philippines, communicating via social media has now overtaken email to become the most popular form of online communication--over two-thirds of Filipino digital consumers (67%) have visited social networking sites, compared to 40% who use email," Nielsen said in a statement.

Social media is also drawing Filipino consumers to interact with companies and brands.

Nielsen said the country emerged the 2nd highest (75% of Filipino users do) in the number of people who "liked" or followed a brand, company, or celebrity on social networking sites.

Most of them also trust consumer opinions posted online (61% of users, which is 7 points above the regional average).

In making purchasing decisions, Filipino consumers also trust online product reviews and discussion forums, next to recommendations made by family and friends. About two-thirds (64%) of Filipinos accessing the Internet turn to social media before making decisions to buy a product or service.

"The rise of social media platforms has facilitated more ways for word of mouth communication to take place and this presents both opportunities and challenges for companies," noted Bautista.

"Filipinos are increasingly looking to their fellow Internet users for opinions and information about products, services and brands, and engagement with online word of mouth communication is going to increase in coming years as social media plays an increasingly important role in consumer decision making."

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Albie's family welcomes DNA test

“We welcome a DNA test.”

This was the message of the family of young actor Albie CasiƱo, who is being suspected as the father of Andi Eigenmann’s child.

"Walang problema kung anak ko ang nakabuntis ke Andi, blessing yan. And we welcome DNA test,” said Albie’s mom, Rina, in a statement sent to entertainment columnist Ogie Diaz.

DNA Solutions Philippines said it is possible to conduct DNA testing while the baby is still inside the womb of the mother.

Mariele Concepcion said: “Posible ang DNA testing kahit buntis pa ang nanay… kumukuha sila ng amniotic fluid para ma-check ang DNA ng bata at ikukumpara sa alleged father. Ang isang bata nakukuha niya ang DNA niya, kalahati sa tatay, kalahati sa nanay niya.”

The Eigenmann’s family declined to comment on the issue, The Buzz reported.

Albie and Eigenmann used to be a couple before their bitter separation.

Eigenmann is 4 months pregnant, but her camp refuses to divulge the identity of her child's father.

More attacks on Philippine government websites possible, says Kaspersky Lab

If you’ve seen the movie “Hackers” (remember “Crash Override” and “Acid Burn” – that movie where Angelina Jolie met her first husband), you know that hacking is not something to take lightly. And in this day and age where most of our information (personal and professional) is stored online, hackers are having a field day scheming up ways to use all of this information against us. And who more to protect than our own government, as is with all matters of “national security.”

Costin Raiu, Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team Director, says the government must put in place their own defense strategies against attacks on government websites. They must also conduct security audits of their servers as soon as possible to identify potential vulnerabilities. “First of all, it’s important to have an anti-DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) plan – be it from increasing the internet bandwidth to purchasing a specific anti-DDoS service plan,” Raiu says. “Given the past incidents of this kind, it is expected that the attack will consist of a DDoS flood designed to bring down the server and make it unreachable. It’s possible the confidential information will be sought after, so the defense strategies would be multiple,” Raiu warns.

According to the Kaspersky expert, even with the best ways to protect websites, there could still be attacks that might get through. As such, Raiu says governments must have contingency plans in place to ensure continued operations of the websites.