Sunday, June 27, 2010

Riding the iPad wind

I was a rabid glam metal fan during college, and I ride almost every wind of Poison's hits back then. This time around, I am riding the wind with the hits in technology. Unlike C. C. DeVille, I don't rock around guitar but gadgets.

With the latest iPad to ride on, the wind this time is blustering. The height of the iPad is accompanied with the release of the Globe MicroSIM to maxmize its 3G use. More than just a pad of ebook(hundreds of it), more than just a handy preference for urgent browsing and email checking, this is a toy to covet.

Packed in a MacBook aluminum material, it is either a MacBook with less computing muscle and without keyboard or an iPod Touch in steroid. It's relatively fast for internet browsing, at least based on a public wifi at Burger King where the unboxing happened, it has been dubbed as a usurper to the netbook throne.

The iPad packs Apple's custom-design, PA Semi-designed 1GHz A4 system-on-a-chip -- a single Cortex A8 core coupled with a PowerVR SGX GPU. Also onboard is 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, a digital compass, an accelerometer, microphone, and ambient light sensor. The 3G model that ships at the end of the month will add UMTS / HSDPA data along with an AGPS chip. You can purchase the device in capacities of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB.

In between Apple iPad, Sony Ebook Reader and Amazon Kindle, I'd choose iPad. But in between an iPad and a netbook? I have to check first what brand of netbook that is. Brand conscious?

Linga Sharira

What so nice about being a bachelor is the vigor of vagabond that you get to go wherever you want to go and you get to taste the good food bustling inside it.

The uninviting thing is traveling alone and relying on your Filipino street skills in deciphering spoken tongue, street signs, and incomprehensible words of a foreign land.

Yes, they may have convenience marts as conveniently located every nook and corner a la our very own 7-11, but the merchandise are printed in their language.

And they may have variety of dishes, some are rarely delicious, some are just plain shabby and pricey, but the unsavory part is the ordering of the menu, perusing foreign name of dishes, and aligning your local taste bud to their offerings.

The most delightful part, and I'm sure most will pretty agree, is technology dive. Oh yes, you get to swim into the oceans of their technology rooted into their cultures and aiding into their daily lives. Unveiling right before your very eyes is an undulation that awaits to happen. Laptops, cellphones, communication technology, household automations, internet displays and new marketing channeling techniques, every state-of-the-art proliferation parading straight into your senses, and you'd marvel at how great this nation is, probably at par with the West. It's the linga sarira of power, I should say.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dipping into the Android shore

I should have been all set by now. All my luggages should be kept with clothes primed for my travel. But I still feel like an embryonic mite trying to get a whole out of me. So what's the missing link. Oh yes, the place enjoys the privilege of having no import tax and no VAT, that in itself adorned them as a shopping capital of Asia. It's not the rudimentary travelogue checklist, not the luggages or clothes, not toiletries and perfumes, nor corporate portfolio and business materials, but a long list of to-buy-items.

Number one on my list: Android Mobile Phone

Yes, it was my birthday last week, and annually I'm having a ceremonial rite of rewarding myself every birthday. Last year, I got myself an iPhone 3GS. This year, I am hunting for an Android prey. Why Android amidst the flurry of the iPhone 4G hype right now? It is because I am getting a bit bored of the iPhone interface. I have literally tasted all phone OS'es from WinMo to iPhone OS, Symbian to Brew, that I want to try another variant, and the one that I haven't tasted yet is the flavor that is an Android.
Here are what I have been teetering as my choices, with its accompanying grins and grimaces hoping that you can also help me in my buying decision.

HTC Legend:
What's hot: 1) made of unibody Aluminum material, same as that of MacBook Pro unibody 2) uses HTC Sense as an Android layer; What's not: 1) 400Mhz short of the 1Ghz Qualcomm power of HTC Desire 2) only 320x480 HVGA Resolution 3) its cuteness also brings cramped onscreen keyboard

HTC Desire:
What's hot: 1) 1GHz horsepower via Qualcomm 2) 480x800 WVGA Resolution 3) HTC Sense UI; What's not: 1) I am not appealed by the rounded corners 2) I don't like its hardware buttons, or its placement 3) battery life is tad too low

Google Nexus One:
What's hot: 1) It's Google, with no fancy UI at its layer, so it will most likely get updates ahead from those with UI due to customization adjustment; What's not:
1) I don't like the old Blackberry senseware navigation button because it accummulates dirt and will somehow stop working

I went to HTC Concept Shop at SM North Annex Cyberzone but reading the brochures and fiddling demo just doesn't cut it. Also, not in the picture were Motorola Milestone and Samsung Galaxy S. While Motorola Milestone has a slid-physical QWERTY/QWERTZ(depending on your region) keyboard, it has no HTC Sense UI which I really find handy and attractive. Samsung Galaxy S probably leads the band of Android brothers, by having a huge 4inch screen and a SuperduperAMOLED screen, its camera doesn't have a flash. And a camera is a necessity for me because I am a mobile photographer, I travel light and easy, but I write articles too which in most cases require photographs as unequivocal iota of proof.

But if anyone out there forgets to grab me a gift for my birthday, I can accept anything amongs the list. If you're constraints with shoe-stringed budget, an HTC Legend will suffice. Current SRP is Php31,900, but I think is just around Php22,000(peso equivalent) in HongKong. Now, I am already giving you a favor by giving away that price point, all you have to do is to swipe your credit card.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lunching at Pepper Lunch (Shangri-La Mall)

I have never been a stickler for Japanese restaurant primarily because I never had a grown afficionado for steamed meats, except for dumplings. But due to the incessant plea of my pals at Philmug, I tried out Pepper Lunch today out of my frustration to drive all the way to Maitre Chocolatier Boutique Cafe in Jupiter Street.

Pepper Lunch is positioned as a DIY Japanese resto. It not only appealed to my practical sense of mobility because of their wifi amenity, it also sashayed my gargantuan random gastric ramblings. And it has wifi too. It seems that one requisite feature for me to adore a restaurant would be the presence of a working wifi, although I am not a food blogger and a restaurant connoisseur. I am posting this blog as it happens, where it happens.

Today, I had a Beef Pepper rice and a soda and salad combo. Not bad for a Japanese-themed resto. It feels quasi Japanese as staff are also semi-talking Nihonggo.

Pepper Lunch is owned by a fellow Philmuger Jeroen, that same reason makes it one of our favorite tambay tidings.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Amenities of mobility

Just recently I was at a place where I disdained from being at. Neither because I earned bad memories of being subjected to doctors with similar mold as that of a science fiction's mad scientist nor am I afraid of needles, but because it is a place I don't want my dearest folks in the family yard to end up at. Had it not been for the first bundle of joy of friends Mike and Mayumi, I wouldn't have been in where am conspicuously brushing aside.

It came to a surprise to me that hospitals nowadays address the infallible need to get connected through the information superhighway called "world wide web."

I hope other service-oriented establishments like airline ticketing offices, LTO, Meralco, etc. will follow the lead, as chances are, if you're availing any of their services, you'd most likely have to wait eons of time before you get heeded. And either you have to kill your besetting boredom, or you have to convert wasted time of waiting to a productive mobile businesses.

Going back, I made my first hospital-based Facebook wall post inside the private room of St.Luke's. Not only do I find the internet speed to be relatively fast enough, but it was a well-kept room with up-to-date facilities.

The astronomer-side of me allegorically equate the feeling of my first Facebook post in a hospital be perhaps tantamount to man's first walk on the moon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Clinkers of Palm Proficiency

It has been almost 8years that this group once forge to create a community of gadget enthusiasts, particularly Palm PDA. It was wayback when PDAs are the ultimate iconography of mobility, having been able to bring the entire office with you at the palm of your hand, and with only a pocket as your carryall investment.

Palm although fizzled in the arena of handheld devices with only a handful of products that were able to make its way to the consumer market. But the group still stands, with solidarity fostered from technobabbles into life-changing talks.

This time however, gadget talks have become more heterogenous, from MacBook to netbooks, from iPhone to Blackberry, from WinMo to Android. Brand has never been group's restrain anymore, rather it has become a moving shore of open talks and democratic discourse.

Apart from the Music21(Timog) event that had the group rigged in spanking riots and endless laughter, this time we had it frolicking ourselves like kids out of rascal reserves, at McDonald's Green Meadows, where the spirit of youthfulness teemed with unadulterated fun. 

Yes, several years and counting and so much have changed, from the surnames to additional joys in the family. And change is what even cemented the group's friendship, transitioning from the kindred passion towards technology to a bond of life that goes beyond the changing of the season.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Astronomy: the why and wherefore of mobility

After having a sumptuous lunch at the Persian Grill, and drown myself with the metropolitan's tastiest Biryani and Lamb Keema, I headed off to Manila Planetarium(near Manila Hotel) to attend our monthly meeting. Oh, haven't I mentioned that I reprised my affinity and ardor towards hardcore science? Being an officer of an astronomy society in Cebu is my ticket to ride at the Philippine's premiere astronomy organization, ALP. 

While most people advocated charity outreach, I participated in educational programs. As an old adage says "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Heterogenous it may seem, we share common goal, to make astronomy reachable to all sectors of community, academic, commercial or recreational. Some colleagues have grad studies in MS Astronomy, some are astrophotographers since time immemorial, some are nature-trekkers who evangelized the socio-environmental significance by partaking astronomy in it, others are pure hobbyists. Asked about my fervent interest in astronomy, I'd say it is "astrophysics." It is in the dissection of the quantum components of celestial bodies that we will be able to understand our beginning and help determine our future as an intelligent race. The essence of our humanity is being able to steward our habitat and the symbiosis of life that comes along with it. While some ventured in the visual appreciation and practical side of astronomy and photography combined, I on the other hand, choose to thrive on the situational astronomy, the what-if's and how-come's, the logic of cosmic entropy.  

As my physics professor and astronomy mentor, Christopher Go, puts it, "let the meek inherit the Earth, the rest of us shall travel to the stars."

And speaking of Chris, I would like to take this chance in congratulating him for a yet another contribution in the science community, duly acknowledged by NASA, the recent Jupiter cosmic impact. 

Since this blog caters to mobility, I would probably be lodging some hot topics on mobile astronomy, or an astronomy that spans beyond terrestrially-fixated observatories. But still, as a technology writer, it will always be technology-centric. Besides, astronomy is essentially the why and wherefore of mobility as our galactic plane is constantly moving.  

In a country where education is largely left off in favor of entertainment and sports, I once and for all, took the road less traveled. 

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