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May 16, 2007

The BoB visits Yehey

Last night the Band of Bloggers were invited by Yehey to visit their office at Discovery Suites in Ortigas. At the same time, we were also able to do Episode 9 of the BoBCast there thoroughly discussing Yehey’s new payment system called Kaban.

Band of Bloggers at Yehey

My problem now is that during our recording session, Audacity hanged up on me. I had to force a reboot without saving the almost 1 hour recording. Now, whenever I fire up Audacity it says that there are files in the temp folder which wasn’t save from the previous session and gives me the option to delete it or not. Still, I can’t find those files in any temp folder anywhere. This is a disaster. I won’t use Audacity ever again, if I live to see those missing files.

And before I forget, no we didn’t skip Episode 8 of the BoBCast. We recorded it in La Union the other week with Lauren, Aileen and Sasha. Problem is, all the topics we they discussed in that podcast is all about relationships. I didn’t even host the show. But don’t worry, I’ll post that one BUT not here at YugaTech. Maybe somewhere else. Noemi has agreed to host that episode for us. :D

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May 16, 2007

Officially Supporting Auction.ph

Yesterday, I formally signed the contract with Auction.ph as one of their endorsers. I first met with them just over a week ago and discussed how they could improve the main site, Auction.ph, and their bloggers affiliate campaign which is AdAuction.

AdAuction
Continue Reading

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May 16, 2007

WordPress 2.2 Getz now out

WordPress.org has just rolled out the latest release of the CMS, version 2.2, codenamed Getz. Download it here. Several of the major improvements include:

* WordPress Widgets allow you to easily rearrange and customize areas of your weblog (usually sidebars) with drag-and-drop simplicity. This functionality was originally available as a plugin Widgets are now included by default in the core code, significantly cleaned up, and enabled for the default themes.

* Full Atom support, including updating our Atom feeds to use the 1.0 standard spec and including an implementation of the Atom Publishing API to complement our XML-RPC interface.

* A new Blogger importer that is able to handle the latest version of Google’s Blogger product and seamlessly import posts and comments without any user interaction beyond entering your login.

* Infinite comment stream, meaning that on your Edit Comments page when you delete or spam a comment using the AJAX links under each comment it will bring in another comment in the background so you always have 20 items on the page. (I know it sounds geeky, but try it!)

* Protection from activating a plugin or editing a file that will break your blog.

* Core plugin and filter speed optimizations should make everything feel a bit more snappy and lighter on your server.

* Added a hook for WYSIWYG support in a future version of Safari.

I’m off to upgrade a couple of blogs and see how this goes.

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May 15, 2007

On Filipinas Mag & Breaking a thousand

Allow me to go ego-tripping again. I’ve been closely watching my RSS feeds for weeks and just this afternoon, it broke 1,000 subscribers. The last time I blogged about this was exactly a month and a day ago.

Feedburner stats

As part of my previous entry about ways to check blog growth, a growing RSS subscriber is a strong indicative of active readership. That means in the last 5 months, this blog gets about 100 subscribers a month or 3 a day. In my 2007 blog goals, I was just aiming for 50 a month. Not bad at all.

On another note, just got my copy of the Filipinas Mag from the mail. There’s an article there about Ethics of Blogging (not the Code of Conduct) on page 14 (WebWatch: Behold, the Blogosphere by Yvette Tan).

Filipinas Magazine
Screen shot stolen from Wysgal

There, we discussed in some detail the practice of problogging, accepting advertisers and doing paid reviews. I’d always say I’m for disclosures. Grab a copy at Fully Booked to read the full story. Thanks for the complimentary copy Yvette. ;)

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May 15, 2007

Intel/AMD CPUs, DDR2 RAM prices drop

Was informed last week that there was an across the board price drop of all Intel and AMD CPUs. Just over a month ago, I bought a new desktop rig (AMD Athlon X2 3800 Dual Core) and comparing the prices I got then with the ones listed at PCX now, there’s a huge drop indeed.

AMD Athlon X2 3800 Dual Core – Php4,470 (about 9.8k at Villman)
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ AM2 – Php3,640
AMD Sempron 3200+ AM2 – Php2,130

Intel E6600 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo 4MB L2 – Php12,170 (still close to 19k at Villman)
Intel E4300 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo 2MB L2 – Php6,460
Intel 935 3.2GHz Dual Core 4MB L2 – Php4,780
Intel Celeron D 347 Single Core 3.06GHz – Php2,290

Prices of DDR2 RAM has also dropped by almost half.

Kingston/Corsair 1GB 667 DDR2 – Php2,440
Kingston/Corsair 1GB 533 DDR2 – Php2,390

SODIMM laptop memory also dropped to Php2,340 for 1GB.

However, RAM prices for the DDR almost remained the same with the 1GB PC400 DDR still at Php4,370. I am still checking some recent news on what caused these price drops.

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May 15, 2007

Unwiring the Desktop

The main trouble with having several desktop PCs spread on different rooms and floors is the messy wiring all over. On top of that, the CAT-5 wires snaking around would end up torn or cut apart by the bedroom doors.

Linksys USB LAN

The obvious solution was to un-wire the desktop and totally get rid of all the cables. First thing that comes to mind is a wireless PCI LAN card but the price is a bit on the expensive side — Php1,980. Actually, it’s hard to find anything cheaper than this, unless of course you chance upon one of those unknown brands from China (I’m sure they exist and being sold somewhere). Now, multiply that with the number of desktop PCs you intend to unwire and it could get really expensive.

USB Wireless Adaptor

So, instead of a wireless LAN card, I got a compact Wireless USB Network Adapter (Linksys WUSB54GC) instead. It’s smaller, less bulky, no need to crack open the PC case to plug it in and costs as much as the former. Just plug it in any of the available USB ports and you’re all set. That way, you can easily re-use it on other future desktops or even laptops.

Problem though is that like any regular wireless connectivity, you’re maxed out at 54Mbps. Kinda slow compared to 100Mbps over cable wires which you’ll really notice when moving gigabytes of media files across the network (I have 108GBs of DivX movies/tv series, 25GBs of high-res photos, and 18GB of mp3 files). Time to find a cheap NAS solution.

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May 14, 2007

Nokia N95′s Wireless Adventure

Got this from the guys over at Ogilvy some 3 weeks ago but forgot to post about it.

A new competition has just been launched in The Philippines- “Nokia N95′s Wireless Adventure” – The search for The Soul of the City! Prizes up for grabs include a Php50,000 cash, a Nokia N95 and trip to Amanpulo.

Nokia Philippines

The competition is more like an Amazing Race of sorts that will get you thru the busy streets of Metro Manila, paired with a celebrity and finding clues for each quests using the new Nokia N95. Now, that’s where you’ll be needing the phone’s GPS tracking system.

They have the same contest at Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. You will need to register first and pray hope you get selected on May 18, 2007. Race day will be on May 26 to 27, 2007.

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May 14, 2007

Playing Magic: The Gathering

The last time I played Magic: The Gathering was way back in college. I was also playing the PC version to practice using other colors I don’t normally use (Blue and White cards). I don’t have cards of my own so I usually borrow from friends or make up a deck from hand-me downs. Those cards were so expensive back then.

Magic the Gathering

That was almost a decade ago. Today, I found an old copy of the PC game from my old archives. Been playing all night.

On another note, check out BBN’s new blog, Vista Pinas, just hot off the press and authored by Eugene Villar (more familiar to us here as vaes). It’s practically the geek’s way to travel the Philippines.

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May 14, 2007

Is Yahoo! a good buy for Microsoft?

For a couple of weeks now, rumors of Microsoft having discussions to buy web portal Yahoo! for $50 Billion have been bubbling again. Apparently, this wasn’t the first time Microsoft trying to buy a stake at Yahoo! But this time around, the Redmond giant wants all of it.

Continue Reading

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May 13, 2007

Free Mobile Call Without SIM Card?

This video from Metacafe which shows you can make a phone call using your Nokia N95 even if it has no SIM card.

The application being showed here is called fring which you can download and install to your phone. The software is limited Nokia 3G or Wi-Fi Symbian handset.

My N6233 is not yet supported but if any of you guys have an N70, N80, N90, N6600 and E60 series phone, you could try this.

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May 12, 2007

World of WarCraft Visa Credit Cards

Anybody wanna apply for a WOW Visa Card? If they were these cool, I would! *hehehe*

WOW Visa Card

WOW Visa Card

WOW Visa Card

WOW Visa Card

Yeah, this is serious. World of WarCraft Visa Credit Card allows you to earn game time (1%) for every $1 of purchase you make.

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May 11, 2007

Cheap iPod battery replacement at CDR King

Was looking for DVI/HDMI cables and adaptors last night and I thought CDR King might have them. They didn’t have them but I was surprised with the newer stock of gadget accessories they have — iPod replacement batteries.

iPod Battery

And they’re pretty cheap too — prices starts at Php350 for the iPod Shuffle to Php400 for the newer generation iPod Videos.

ipod batteries

I also checked their website and they got it on display. The prices are so low they’re almost as cheap as the other cellphone batteries along the sidewalks and half as much as generic batteries for my Canon dSLR.

Now, if I could get a cheap generic HDD for the iPod, I could revive my old 4th gen player altogether.

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May 11, 2007

5 Tips to get more TLA Ad Placements

As my way of thanking all my readers who signed up under my TLA Referral account, I’d like to share these 5 tips on how to get the most out of your Text Link Ads. These tips are more focused to those who have not had a single TLA ad placement since they signed up. There could be several reasons why no one has ordered a link ad on your site/blog so we’ll try to tackle all of them here.
Continue Reading

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May 10, 2007

A big Thank You to all my TLA referrals!

Of all the “making money online” lessons I’ve learned in the last two years of problogging, the affiliate marketing aspect is something that still escapes me. So, when Text Link Ads was launched last year, I thought I’d try their affiliate program since the product/service is very relevant to my niche and readership profile.

TLA ReferralsSince then, I’ve tried all other programs from Amazon Associates, Chitika to AdBrite without much success. Well, today, I can definitely say TLA tops them all.

I used to do a monthly post (with link loves) thanking each and every blogger who signed up under my TLA referral account. I wasn’t able to maintain that link love post but just now, when I realized I already had 40 successful referrals which amounted to $1,000, I’d like to thank everyone again. The number may not be much but the total amount it raked in is sizable enough (at least for me).

Again, a big Thank You! to all my TLA referrals.

P.S.
The TLA Referral report only shows the number of successful sign-ups with ad placements. That means, it will not show any other sign ups that have not had a TLA ad ordered thru them. I think there are more under my account but haven’t had any success in getting an ad placement. Watch out for the next post on tips on how to get TLA ad placements.

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May 10, 2007

Singapore: where to go & what to do?

Next week, I will be doing a week-long ICT Workshop in Penang, Malaysia for a youth group {related story here} from May 17th to the 22nd. This marks the first leg of my out-of-country travels for this calendar year and my first time to visit Malaysia.

Penang, Malaysia

During our return trip, I was told I can opt to stay in Singapore for a day or two. Of course, I will be the one spending for that side trip but it’s something I am heavily considering. Will an overnight stay suffice to check out the city? Where do I go? What’s the best thing to do while I’m there?

Changi Airport

The closest I got was at the Changi Airport last year so I thought it’d be nice to really get off the airport and see the city. I haven’t really decided yet. Any recommendations?

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May 09, 2007

Microsoft introduces the Windows Mobile oPhone

Answering to the latest product release of the Apple iPhone, Microsoft is playing catch by releasing their very own Microsoft oFone. See video of the product release below:

They say that everybody who saw the mobile phone will automatically say “O!”. Why don’t I hear they say “this will revolutionize the way people use their mobile phones“.

[tags]iphone, ophone, ofone, microsoft, apple[/tags]

P.S.
O, by the way, it’s a creative spoof hatched by the people from Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division. :D

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May 09, 2007

Hope the new Google Analytics will rock

The announcement inside my Google Analytics panel says…

We’re excited to announce the newly redesigned Google Analytics.

Over the next several weeks, we will be migrating all existing Analytics accounts to the new Google Analytics interface. You will be notified by email once your account has been migrated. For an entire month you will be able to access both the original interface and the new interface. During the migration, you should experience no interruption in service and you’ll be able to see all of your data regardless of which interface you use. For a sneak peek at the new Google Analytics, take a look at the following resources.

I looked for more hoping my account has already been upgraded but nothing except for a feature list and this video preview. From the looks of it, seems to be a really nice make-over to me. I got this screenshot below from Search Engine Land.

Google Analytics

It’s starting to look like MeasureMap (the one Google bought over a year ago). Now, it made sense why they bought it and then after 14 months, still has not relaunched it (which basically begs the question if they are indeed abandoning that project). Looks like they got it for the talented people behind it, not the product/service itself.

Update: See, Jeff Veen (the lead guy at MeasureMap) says he’s been busy with Google Analytics.

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May 08, 2007

Don’t think we’re cut for this.

When we were invited to join the Karavan ni Kiko, we specifically asked what was expected of us as bloggers. This was not the first time I was invited by their office to attend a prescon or meeting though it’s the first time I said yes. We were there as part of the media entourage that will cover the 3-day trip.

Kiko Prescon
From top left: Kiko Pangilinan Prescon, the BoB Girls at the same prescon, Kiko & Sharon at the tarmac, Rally at Laoag City

I was curious and at the same time excited that blogging is playing a somewhat active role, albeit how small others would think of it, in this year’s election.

We were amongst other giants in mainstream media — ABS CBN, GMA 7, Phil. Daily Inquirer among other scores of local print and broadcast journalist. It was a bit weird whenever one of the photographers or cameramen would ask me which station or TV network we belong and I’d answer “oh, we belong to a new local blog network”. And yes, we were treated like any other rep of a media outfit, getting full access to the personalities (politicians and showbiz alike) and the best seats to take photos and videos.

Kiko Karavan Rally
From top left: Wife Sharon Cuneta, Francis Pangilinan, Bongbong Marcos, Gary Valenciano, son Gabriel Valenciano, daughter Frankie Pangilinan (no KC Concepcion in sight)

This experience was an eye-opener to me as we get to see the news-gatherers in action — the exhausting travels and restless nights with early-morning press briefings, always on their feet and running, rushing meals and sometimes completely skipping it — no bones about it.

So dare I say, I don’t think we’re cut for this? Compared to what these guys are doing day-in and day-out, blogging seems to be a really easy task.

[tags]Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Kiko Pangilinan, Kasama si Kiko Karavan[/tags]

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May 08, 2007

TLA Post Level now running

Last month, Text Links Ads announced the TLA Post Level. By now, it should have been activated already and I see several local blogs already running it.

TLA Post Level

This is not a first for TLA as I heard campaigns like BlogstoProfit or V7N Contextual Links also do the same. The prices for each blog entry link is much lower but it allows for more ad inventory on your blog (which is always good IMO).

P.S.

So, what’s keeping Matt Cutts (of Google) from harvesting all those publisher URLs and spanking them with some PageRank penalties?

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May 07, 2007

Anybody up for this job?

Got this screenshot from an Inquirer.net page. I’m not sure how to make of it. Just look at the highlighted portion below.

Iraq Jobs

Pinoy jobs in Iraq for $9,000 a month? Must be adventurous and willing to face danger? Right on!

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May 07, 2007

Risking AdSense with Click-and-Miss

The Inside Adsense blog reminds us about implementing ad placements that could inflate the incidence of click and miss.

They suggest three possible scenarios:

  • In close proximity to Macromedia Flash games
  • Under pop-ups or download prompts
  • Near site navigation controls on your pages, such as drop-downs or menu links
  • The last bullet might cause some alarm so most AdSense Publishers as this seem to be a common practice in ad layouts. I earlier blogged about “Adsense over-optimization could lead to click fraud?” and this could be related to that incident.

    I think the rule of thumb here is that if the ads are placed in a position that it could be likely clicked due to slight inaccuracies in mouse movements then it’s possible to get your account banned for it. Hat tip to Chino.

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    May 07, 2007

    WordPress.com Automattic Stats

    The existing stats tool being enjoyed by all WordPress.com users can now be used by hosted WordPress.org bloggers.

    Just download the simple WP plugin here, activate and enter your WordPress.com API key which is basically the same as your Akismet key (so no problem there).

    Stats tracking is done remotely by the Automattic servers so this additional analytics tool won’t add a blip of stress to your own server or web host. One drawback though is that the stats will be tied up to your WordPress.com account. So, clicking on the BlogStats link from your Dashboard will redirect you to your WordPress.com Dashboard.

    Not much of a hassle but I’d prefer it shown on my own Dashboard.

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    May 06, 2007

    BoB joins Kiko’s Karavan

    As mentioned earlier in our BoBCast, the Band of Bloggers have been invited to join Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan’s K Na Express tour of Northern and Central Luzon.

    Team Kiko cordially invites you to join us on the K Na Express, a journey of thanksgiving, renewal and expression of reforms across the country. Senator Kiko and Ms. Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan,will be joined by many special guests, friends, family, and supporters.

    Dubbed KKK or Kasama si Kiko Karavan, it will be led by a special “K Na Express” bus carrying Pangilinan and his family. It is slated from May 7 to 9, visiting key towns and cities from Ilocos, the Cordillera region, then down to Central Luzon before finally capping the trail in Metro Manila with a big concert-cum-rally. Gary Valenciano, Christian Bautista, Judy Ann Santos, JEANS or the Jericho Rosales Band, Kamikazee and Parokya ni Edgar will be among
    artists and bands expected to join Pangilinan and his wife Sharon at the different stops.

    Our 3-day itenerary from Monday to Wednesday will bring us from Laoag to La Union, Baguio City, Dagupan City, stops at Urdaneta City, Tarlac City, Olongapo City, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan ending in Quezon City.

    If any of you are from these cities and have time, maybe we could have some meet-up in the evenings, grab some coffee/beer and chat with the rest of the BoBs (and hopefully do a BoBCast!). :)

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    May 05, 2007

    12 Applicable US Laws for Bloggers

    Here are “12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know” you might be interested to read on and though it specific to the United States, some of them might actually apply to us here in the Philippines too, especially when your blog is hosted in one of the federal states there.

    Topics covered are:

    • Whether to Disclose Paid Posts
    • Is Deep Linking Legal
    • The Legal Use of Images and Thumbnails
    • Laws that Protect You From Stolen Content
    • Domain Name Trademark Issues
    • Handling Private Data About Your Readers
    • Who Owns User-Developed Content and Can You Delete It
    • The Duty to Monitor Your Blog Comments, and Liability
    • Basic Tax Law Issues in Blogging
    • Limited Liability Laws and Incorporating
    • Spam Laws and Which Unsolicited Emails are Legal
    • Are Bloggers Protected from Journalism Shield Laws

    An interesting read indeed. Hat tip to Zimm.

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    May 04, 2007

    Weird IDC AsiaPac Survey Interview

    About early last week, I got a phone call from a lady identifying herself as a researcher from IDC Asia-Pacific. She spoke in English but with a heavy Chinese accent so I instantly believed her. But the IDC, why? According to their website, IDC is…

    … the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company.

    The lady asked if I could answer some of her survey questions about Web 2.0 companies in Asia-Pacific, found out about PTB and thought we were a Web 2.0 start-up. So ok, I played along thinking we were just off-tangent at first but the questions already delved into the number of employees, the technology used, capitalization and annual revenue. That’s when I realized they got our group blog totally wrong and have mistaken us as a corporate entity.

    I told her that she could just email me any additional questions so I can give her a more accurate answer. I didn’t receive any so I thought she must have misspelled my email address altogether.

    Still, I can’t shake off the idea that such a reputable research organization could not spot the difference between a Web 2.0 product/service/website from a simple blog. I guess out Web2.0-ish design over at PTB gave them that impression.