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Showing posts from May, 2009

Thoughts on the Ramifications of Hayden Kho’s Case on the Philippine Free Internets

Yesterday’s public senate hearing was pretty much an exercise in futility. Some of the questions of the senators were misleading at best, and while I abhor Jamby Madrigal to hell and back, she probably asked some of the more decent questions. It was, at best, a media circus that pretty much reached its climax when the senators called in Kho, Belo’s representative, and Katrina Halili in for questioning.That was when an ex-policeman, in righteous indignation, dumped water on top of Hayden Kho. I don’t really care about the hearing itself. Kho could rot in jail for all I care, and I still think that Halili’s playing the damsel in distress role to the ground. But this stupid series of events is important in that it is a portent of how the Philippine government is finally going to react to Web 2.0 and the free flow of information in the modern world.See, the most basic problem here is that within weeks, the video of Kho was made accessible to millions of Pinoys throughout the world (not ju…

We are a Country of Ultranationalists Brimming with Righteous Indignation (II)

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned the Great Book Blockade of 2009. When I first read about this, I was just like everybody else in thinking that it was all about the government making another quick buck, except that this was money made from information that was supposedly an easily accessible commodity. Needless to say, I thought it was stupid, and proceeded to share it throughout the Internet community. This was during the early days of the book blockade. The only people who’ve made mention of it was the origin source and Manuel L. Quezon III. And then the news hit the fan, and Facebook and Twitter got into the picture.A disclaimer: I am not for the book blockade. I am also against any and all illegal forms of taxation. I believe that the government needs to make money, but the gargantuan amount of money involved in the salary of government heads is ridiculous. You want more money? Cut back on positional salaries, and spread out the corresponding backwash to the rest of the employee…

We are a Country of Ultranationalists Brimming with Righteous Indignation (1)

I was listening to the radio this morning, and these disk jockeys from DWRT were going through their usual morning yakkety yak. You know. Stuff you usually don’t listen to, stuff that becomes white noise. But when they started talking about the Hayden Kho stuff, it took all of my self-control to keep myself from tossing my laptop out of the window (yes, I was streaming from the ‘net).You know how it is – the reason people listen to the radio en route to work is to serve as background music. Sooner or later, you just let it stream through your senses. Just like the Hayden Kho scandal(s). The entire thing is just really absurd, and Nina pointed out that the only reason the press is cashing in on this is because unlike previous sex scandals, this involved a rather upstanding member of Philippine society. What I can’t get enough of, though, is the way everybody is handling the entire situation. The media’s trying to be as invasive as possible to get the “truth” out. En route to the studio…

The Way of the Newspaper

Firstly, let me make a point - I love books and newspapers, and I love the medium that they use. I love the smell of fresh newsprint, and there's something cool about reading the news over the dining table in the morning. And books without leaves will ever be a problem for me - it just wouldn't feel natural. That said, let me get to the real point of this post. The printing business may have been disastrous for the environment, but the real battle for the newspaper has only just recently reared its ugly head. The upheaval of how information is disseminated through the web has taken a bigger toll on the newspaper industry, so much so that we may be looking at the very last days of the traditional newspaper format. As of last week, several newspapers in the US have closed down due to insufficient revenues generated by a lack of interest in sales. If this trend continues, we could very well be looking at the total death of the newspaper industry the world over. We'll have to …

Let's Go Shopping

Or not. A couple of weeks ago, some aunts of mine were visiting from overseas, so one of the first things we decided to do for them was take them shopping. However, when you're in Manila, there are only two places to take a foreigner at times like these. These two places would be Greenhills' tiangges and 168's location of pure consumerism.Given that they were new (somewhat) to the scene, we decided to go the safe route and bring them to Greenhills.
This is Greenhills on a good day.So there we were, looking down the tight aisles that made up the front corridor of Shopesville's interior arcade. There were three things immediately available to the naked eye at a glance: knock-off watches, bags and Crocs. But you wouldn't believe the variety. The various kinds of Crocs you can find in two separate stands alone numbered in the hundreds. My aunt whispered that this was insane. This was, for us guys, comforting - we looked forward to a shopping spree that wouldn't last…

Stress!

Or the lack of it. The best thing about planning vacations is that it's an irony in itself since you stress yourself out planning on how you can beat stress.That said, I guess you guys read my short midweek report about Palm Beach, which is one of the most impressive resorts this side of the country. Every time I go there, I get fatter. It is unfortunate, but that is the reality.Anyway, midweek I thought of how people unwind from stress. And then I thought about how I unwind from stress. I figured since everybody's stressed nearly all of the time, we'll all have ways of cooling off - and some of these ways are similar to each other.First is the out of town trip. We leave the confines of what is recognizable in order to break the monotony of our days. You don't even have to leave your work behind - you can bring your work with you and actually be more productive so long as the environment is different. A change of pace, a change of atmosphere is all you need to break fr…

A Better Place

A couple of weeks ago, a friend showed me this video on TED.com, and I was very impressed by what Shai Agassi was saying all throughout his presentation - that all it takes to reduce car-related emissions to zero within the next decade is a bold step forward.You can watch the full video after the jump.What strikes me the most is that Agassi and A Better Place isn't trying to overcome the shortcomings of an automobile powered by something that doesn't respond from combustion. That's always been the biggest problem of electronic cars, from what I've heard my friends point out - just how will these perform when compared to what gasoline and diesel-powered cars are capable of today.Agassi says that the only way to find out is to take that big step forward, and that's exactly what he's doing. If you look at his business plan, it's economically viable - you replace one expendable source of energy with another, which means that on the most altruistic POV you help …

Like a Train Wreck

In my previous Manny Paqciao-related post, I featured a photograph of the train wreck that was Oscar de la Hoya. That was, for all intents and purposes, one of the most impressive boxing shots in the history of forever. That was, also, the real wake-up call of just how dangerous an opponent the Pacman was.Last Sunday's PPV match-up of Manny Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton only did what most people thought wasn't possible - cement Manny's reputation as a fighter at the top of his game even more. I mean, what the hell.Let's review the facts. On Hatton's camp, Floyd Mayweather Sr. was directing things from the background. This guy's one of the most capable trainers in the sport, and was partly responsible for the showstopper that is his son. If ever there was a guy you can pit against Freddie Roach in a battle of wits, Mayweather Sr. would be it.There's also the fact that Ricky Hatton is a brawler. I was looking forward to this match because I hoped for an impressiv…