Join the Philippine Blog Carnival: Manila, My Manila

Thanks to Grace of Filipina Soul, I was encouraged to revive a little known group-blogging project called the Philippine Blog Carnival.

It is a digest of blog posts by Pinoy bloggers blogging about anything that captures their interest be it a city in the Philippines, Pilipino culture and being Pinoy, common experiences, the stories of Juan dela Cruz among others. It is a demonstration of the diversity and energy of the Pinoy blogging community.

With this, and on behalf of Grace, we’re inviting you to join the upcoming edition of the Philippine Blog Carnival with the theme: “Manila, My Manila.”

All you have to do is tell your stories about the City of Manila; experiences, favorite places, food, people, anything about the city. Blog about it, use photos, make a short video or podcast. As long you are a Pinoy or Pinay who has a blog and have something to contribute, you’re very much welcome.

Simply visit the Philippine Blog Carnival page to learn more and if you’re ready, you can submit your entry using this link.

The deadline for submission is this Friday, June 27, 2008. The carnival, which is a super blog post containing a write-up about the contributions plus loads of link love to the respective bloggers will be posted on Saturday, June 28, 2008.

Want to host the Philippine Blog Carnival?

Which brings me to this point, if you’re willing to host the “Manila, My Manila” edition of the Phil. Blog Carnival on your own blog you’re free to do so. You don’t even have to write the super blog post itself, I’ll just e-mail you the draft post and all you have to do is to publish it on your blog. Soon enough, all those who joined will visit your blog to see how the carnival turned out and read all the other entries that made it into the carnival. Are you up for it? Just get in touch with me using this contact form.

Again, any entry be it a regular blog post, video post or podcast is welcome as long as it has something to do with the City of Manila. Of course, spam and off-topic entries will not be accepted.

To help you get started, here’s a great video documentary about Manila during 1938.

Much thanks to Philippine-American Commentary for sharing this gem.

Hope you’ll join or spread the word about the Philippine Blog Carnival, and I’m excited as how it will turn out.

Save on fuel with SEAOIL Price Lock Prepaid Fuel Card

When I learned from the news that the price of fuel may reach a staggering price of Php60.00 per liter next month, I said to my self; “That’s it! I’m going to get bicycle from now on.” If this ever comes true, which I hope not, things would definitely be harder for all of us. Especially those who have their own cars or drive public transportation vehicles, for them, this could be the end of it.

However, there is still hope as SEAOIL has come up with a scheme to help ease the burden of sky-rocketing fuel prices. It has has introduced an industry-first prepaid card that pegs a customer’s gasoline purchase at P53.50 per liter.

SEAOIL prepaid

the Price Lock Prepaid Fuel Card can be used to buy 20 liters of gasoline (G5 X-treme and Unleaded) from any SEAOIL participating stations. The selling period is from June 10-16 22, 2008. Each card costs P1,070 and is valid for 10 weeks (June 10 up to August 16, 2008).

Since the price has been fixed, cardholders will have an easier time budgeting their fuel expenses as they will be insulated from further spikes in gasoline costs during the promo period.

In the less likely event of a price rollback also during the period, i.e. the price goes down to less than P53.50 a liter, SEAOIL will refund unused (unscratched) fuel prepaid cards.

The Price Lock Prepaid Fuel Card will be made available at the following participating SEAOIL stations: EDSA, Imelda Avenue, Maybunga, P.Tuazon, Pasig Boulevard, Commonwealth, Malabon, Merville, Paco, E. Rodriguez, Paraluman, Mindanao Avenue, Panaderos, Tandang Sora and Buendia.

SEAOIL will also be selling the prepaid card in the following offsite points: Metrowalk and Tiendesitas in Pasig City, Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan and Shopwise in Cubao, Quezon City.

The card is valid for a single transaction only, which means customers should use up its entire 20-liter value since any unconsumed amount, such as a 19-liter purchase, will forfeit the remaining card value.

Only SEAOIL station attendants are authorized to scratch the silver coating of the prepaid card upon purchase and claim the same card after the customer fills up.

The cards will be available from July 5 to July 20, 2008 and are valid from July 5 to September 20, 2008. The prepaid card can be bought at P1,180 for 20 liters (P59.00 per liter).

This time all SEAOIL stations in Metro Manila and Rizal are included in the promo. Customers may buy and redeem cards at these stations:

1. A. Bonifacio
2. Binangonan
3. Buendia
4. Cainta
5. Commonwealth
6. Dagat-dagatan
7. Dimasalang
8. EDSA
9. E. Rodriguez
10. Gulod
11. Imalda Avenue
12. Karuhatan
13. Malabon
14. Marikina
15. Maybunga
16. Merville
17. Mindanao Ave.
18. Montalban
19. North Bay
20. P. Tuazon
21. Paco
22. Palatiw
23. Panaderos
24. Paraluman
25. Pasig
26. Payatas
27. Pritil
28. Retiro
29. San Juan
30. San Mateo
31. St. Dominic
32. Sucat
33. Tandang Sora
34. Taguig
Stations to open in July:
35. Arkong Bato
36. Sta. Cruz
37. Legarda
38. Del Monte

The resumption of the off-site selling in Greenhills Theatre Mall (in front of Starbucks), Greenhills V-Mall (in front of SM Appliance Center), Shopwise (2nd level parking) and Metrowalk (Activity Center near Starbucks). The schedules are:
Theatre Mall, V-Mall, Shopwise – July 4-6 and July 11-13 (Fridays-Sundays), 11am-6pm
Metrowalk – July 4-5 and July 11-12 (Fridays and Saturdays), 5pm-12mn

A clever way to help mitigate the effects of rising fuel prices and as mentioned, it’s an industry first. I have a feeling that this will catch on pretty well as Filipinos are known to be “practical” people, finding constant ways to get more value for their money.

The Banana Gangbang Rock Fest: Good beer, sweet place, awesome bands, face-melting music

Testing…testing. 1..2..3.

Finally my blog is live and fully functioning on its new host which means yes, I switched hosts again, I’ll blog about it later on but right now I’ll share my side of how The Man-Blog’s 1st Banana Gangbang Rock Fest like how I described it in this post’s title.

Good beer and sweet place

The BGRF took place at Bela Bar in Greenhills which we could’ve easily found if we didn’t take too much time talking to ladies stationed at every toll booth we passed along the way from Alabang down south. Actually we almost became lost because instead of taking the EDSA lane towards Cubao, we mysteriously took the one heading to Makati which was in the opposite direction of where we’re supposed to go. I remember the things I said to my self when I realized we were going in the wrong direction:

Wait a minute. If we’re going to Cubao/Greenhills, how come the buildings are steadily being replaced by trees? And where the hell is the MRT track that’s supposed to be on our left-hand side?! Of fuck we’re going the wrong way!

So a quick course correction and after arguing with Doms (bassist for Mannequin, and the one who told Bryan, their drummer and driver at that time, the wrong directions) we managed to get on the other side of EDSA and made our way to Bela Bar.

Early birds, I mean band

I thought we were already late thanks to our little rendezvous with the SLEX toll booth ladies, but we were actually the first band and guests to arrive at Bela Bar! Call time was 7:30 and we were there a few minutes after. Ade was there to greet us and I quickly introduced him to the members of Mannequin, the band I brought along to play in the BGRF, the band I so-called “manage” but I prefer to think of it as the band I fully-support-and-help-out-in-any-way-i-can because they are my good friends.

Acquaintances asides, we checked out the whole place and it was great. It’s not that big but it was a great place to have some good beer and hear music in the Metro. It’s really not hard to find for it is close to many familiar landmarks like Zirco bar and it’s a few blocks from Cardinal Santos Hospital.

Zoo

First to really perform was Zoo (Mannequin was the first one on stage but all they did was a soundcheck. Ade knows the whole story :P) This is Lauren Dado‘s band and I was dying to see and hear them perform.

They were great. Who ever said punk rock is dead? Zoo’s punk-influenced music is solid proof that it’s not. All of their four original songs were a healthy dose of good rock music that rightfully warmed up the audience and driving the anticipation for the other bands up high.

Mannequin

At first Ade thought I was part of the band, but I said “Nah, I just manage them, so to speak.” Mannequin is made up of 5 engineering students from De La Salle University – Dasmarinas and they are already quite well-known in campus. So I figured being able to perform in an event in Manila would be the next logical step. It would also do them good as they could learn a lot from the experience.

What better way to have their debut performance-in-the-metro than to have them play alongside the awesome TMB bands. At first the boys were nervous, that’s why they were reluctant and actually did something just so they wouldn’t be the first to perform that night. They wanted to get a feel of the audience first. So after a quick soundcheck they immediately handed over the stage to Zoo who had just arrived. Ade and I were surprised by this little change in the line-up but it cannot be helped. Boys will be boys.

When they did finally performed on stage, I was glad the audience cheered and applauded. Their hardcore rock covers of classic Freddie Aguilar hits like Anak never fails to reap awe and applause from the audience. Though there is still plenty of room for improvement, I’m proud that the boys made a good impression on Karla Redor, Bela bar’s manager, and Noisy, noisy man himself Ade. They also learned a few things, I guess the most important of all is to come up with more original compositions. And the boys are more motivated now than ever. So hopefully, in case they do get invited to the next BGRF or other events, they’d deliver and deliver good.

Marco Palinar of Sanity Kit

When I heard that Marco Palinar of Sanity Kit was the only one who’s going to perform I was a bit sad because I was looking forward to hear every TMB band play that night. However, things really turned around as Marco played a guitar solo. But it was 7 minutes of guitar awesomeness! Everyone at Bela Bar never took their eyes of him and listened to every note he played. I agree with Ade, you could never over use the word “awesome” to describe Marco’s performance. Now, I am more eager to see and hear him perform with the whole Sanity Kit band.

Tempestous

Next up was Mike Villar’s band, Tempestous. Though Mike turned down our requests for him to show us his titties, he made up for it by playing fucking good ROCK music. With “flu and all” according to him. No wonder he was just sitting there at their table when I saw him. Nonetheless, just like any true Man-blogger, he didn’t let pills, red horse, iced tea and a heap of cigarettes to get in his way of delivering fucking good ROCK music. Wait, I said that already. Anyways, their cover of Metallica’s Seek and Destroy proves that Mike Villar is not just a Rising Internet Star, but a Rising Internet Star who rocks.

Lose Your Beer Belly

Who else would’ve been the best choice to cap off the night? That’s right, it’s none other than Lose Your Beer Belly. If Ade was blown away by Mannequin, Mannequin and the rest of the audience were driven to a massive orgy thanks to their awesome blues rock music! Proof of this is that I was seen bobbin’ my head, drumming the table, screaming for more and emptying 6 bottles of Red Horse beer (on top of the 5 San Mig Light I already had earlier) during their performance. And you don’t see geeks like me do that every night. Like I said, good beer, cool crowd, awesome music. Three days after that damn good night, the boys of Mannequin are still talking about awesome that night was. And I share with them the wish for a BGRF 2.

There were a lot of bloggers who attended but I was stuck keeping an eye on my guests and the band I only had the chance to talk with Karla Redor that night. I even had this realization which I shared to her on that night and to Ade the day after via Gtalk:

it was, to my memory, the first event by bloggers that had nothing to do with blogging, seo, monetization, SERPs, google and all that [geeky, money-making] stuff lol

Big props to the following:

Poyt, Kring, Ria, Ale, Jen, Nick (thanks for the pictures, dude!), Tal, Randy, Perry, Sasha, Rico M, Rico S, Noemi Dado, Butch Dado, and Karla Redor.

On behalf of Mannequin, we thank Bela Bar and Joyce Ramos, for making the entire thing possible. It was a huge success, thanks to you guys, thank you Ade for having Mannequin play, thanks Karla for the photos, and to everyone else, we look forward to seeing you all in the next Banana Gangbang Rock fest!

More Pictures!

More write-ups about BGRF from around the web:

Videos:

Photos are the properties of their respective owners.

The Banana Gangbang Rock Festival

If you had a blast at recently concluded iBlog 4 and the 88db.com Bloggers’ Night then this next event will complete your summer.

The awesome folks at The Man-Blog proudly presents:

Banana Gangbang rock fest

It features the bands of Mike “Fucking” Villar, Marco Palinar, Lauren Dado, and Ade Magnaye (who claims to be some hot Dominic Ochoa lookalike)

The TMB bands will also be joined in by more awesome bands like Drift and one of DLSU-D’s notable bands, Mannequin.

This not-to-miss rock fest will take place at Bela Bar, Greenhills this coming Saturday May 3, 2008. Entrance is just Php100.00 and is consumable. You could view the map here. Check out the Man-blog or visit the Noisy, Noisy Man for more info.

Where to download drivers for your printer

hpcdinstallerLet’s face it, updating printer drivers has been one of the least of our priorities in our usage of the computer. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of all printers come with their own driver softwares, the printer software itself and a few extras in one CD installer. In installing the new printer, we unbox it, plug in all the cables, pop in the CD installer, go through the monotonous installer wizard, reboot the computer and viola! The printer is good to go.

The thing is, these drivers and softwares are often not of the latest versions because they were sealed inside the CD months or even years before you bought the printer. So it’s a very good step to update your printer driver and other software via the internet once you’ve installed them. One could easily do this because the softwares have automated update functions, you just need an internet connection to pull it off.

Trouble is, sometimes the printer software doesn’t do this smoothly. For one reason or another, probably because it’s already out-of-date, it fails to complete the automatic update process. I often encounter this problem with my the HP printers I’ve used over the years. The HP printer software that comes with the Deskjet series can initiate the auto-update process but most of the time, it fails to complete it. I even had to kill the app via the three keys that made Windows so famous: Alt + Ctrl + Del

So I had to do it the geeky way: manually. Scary for the non-techie but it’s a worth while skill to learn because you’d never know when you have to install or update printer drivers manually. In Windows, it follows the basic process of uninstalling the old driver first, usually via the uninstaller that comes with it or through the Install/Uninstall Programs utility in the Control Panel, then installing the newer one. It’s that easy.

Download the newer driver first

Of course you need to download the updated version of your printer’s driver first before you could ever do this whole process. (Thank me for stating the obvious!) The installer CD that came with your printer is all but useless save for the one thing that’s printed on it’s label: the website address of your printer’s manufacturer.

It is the best option to download your printer’s driver from the website of its manufacturer. Duh! Because hey, no one else knows what’s the latest version of the driver and no one else has the most secure, stable and reliable copy of that driver than its manufacturer.

printerinfoPlus it has the official support people and mechanism to help you out in case have questions or when things go wrong. It may take some time and even cost a few bucks but it will be worth it because of the reasons I’ve said earlier. This information, such as exact model number, along with the other technical info can be found in your back, side or bottom side of your printer. This would come in handy in searching for the exact driver for your printer or when you ask for support from your printer manufacturer.

Third-party websites

A lot of websites, forums and blogs have been built around this topic. These are knowledgeable individuals who have banded together to provide any or combinations of the following:

Sources for official and up-to-date drivers

One such site is ComputerHope.com they provide an extensive list of printer manufacturers, some basic info about them and most of all links to their respective drivers pages.

Giving reviews, mods, hacks, and support/tutorials

Forums and communities are the staple for community-driven support. One could learn a wealth of knowledge, tips, how-tos and a bunch of other neat stuff from the experience and expertise of their members, mostly for free! Sometimes, it’s way better than receiving some useless, machine-generated mambo-jambo from them big corporations. One particular community site I’ve found to be great is DriverGuide.com’s community forums where one could request for the actual printer driver and it comes with some tips and background info.

Provide driver downloads for free

One reliable site I’ve found in this category is Driver Support Registry where they offer not only printer drivers but almost any kind of driver organized according to what kind of hardware and manufacturer all of which can be downloaded for free.

Legally this is in the gray area as hosting and providing proprietary printer drivers from the big corporations on one’s server or website without proper licensing or authorization is sure ticket to disaster and a prison cell. But some sites in this field have managed stay online and trouble free one way or another and have provided direct downloads to the printer driver one has been searching the web for.

Be safe, use caution

I recommend visiting the official manufacturer website for your printer first before going to any other website or community whenever you need to download the latest version of your printer driver. Summarizing what I’ve said earlier; “nothing beats the original” or in this case, nothing beats the source. It may cost some time, money and add frustrations because of their crappy customer support but you’ll minimize the chances of voiding your printer’s warranty and in case things really go wrong, you could always sue!

When going for the third-party community support or websites, read a lot about the site, members or company behind it before jumping right in and taking their advice or downloading anything from them. They may be included in the first page of the search engine results but double-checking their credibility, reliability and legality would go a long way in keeping you trouble-free and your printer or computer problems minimal.

Back up your data before doing the driver upgrade, you never know when things will go wrong during the upgrade process itself so it’s better be safe than sorry.

If you have more resources or stories relevant to this topic please share them in the comments below. Readers would greatly appreciate them and thank you for it!

How to use Gmail with Yahoo! Groups

We all know that Yahoo! Mail is still the most popular web mail service around and even though thousands us have made the switched to Gmail, there would still come a time that we would a Yahoo! Account for some of the services we sign up or use.

Among this is that classic mail-list service called Yahoo! Groups. Almost any group or organization has used this service for their group communication and mail-subscription needs.

College students and their professors are some of the most regular users of this and since most are still With Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Groups becomes the default choice for a group mailing list service.

Gmail users like me, fret not. For there is a way to bridge the gap and let us join any Yahoo! Group; send and receive messages to and from the group using our beloved Gmail accounts.

Here’s how.

  1. When you receive the invitation to join a Yahoo! Group, simply click on the join button and you’d be taken to the Yahoo! Sign-in page. This is where you would need your old Yahoo! account ID and password. Of course if you don’t you could always sign-up for a new one, just for the purpose of joining this Yahoo! Group.
  2. Once you’ve logged into Yahoo! Groups using your Yahoo! account, you’ll be taken to the Edit Membership page. In step 1, find “Email Address” section and below your Yahoo! email address, there’s a link that says “Add new email address“. Click on it and you’ll proceed to the third step.
  3. GmailandYGroup_1

  4. Once inside the ‘Add Email Address‘ page, enter the Gmail account you want to use with this Yahoo! Account and Group. Once you’ve completed the form, an verification email will be sent to the Gmail account you’ve just entered in.
  5. Enter your email address

  6. Login to your Gmail account, look for the verification email from Yahoo! and complete the verification process by simply clicking the link provided in there.
  7. Once you’ve verified the Gmail address, you would again be taken back into the ‘Edit Membership‘ page inside the Yahoo! Groups section. You would then see that your Gmail address is among the addresses you could with this Yahoo! Group. Click on that and complete the rest of the process.
  8. Your gmail address is now added

  9. If all goes well, and it should, you would see a confirmation page that says you’ve become a member of that Yahoo! Group and you’re still going to use your awesome Gmail account.

You’ve done it!

This same process could be used if you want to again change the email address you’re going to use with this or any other Yahoo! Group. It would also come in handy if you decide to leave the group for whatever reasons, (usually when the spam has infested the group!) or use a non-Gmail address.

All in all, this gives you the best of both worlds, Yahoo! Groups and your beloved Gmail account.

My Christmas Wish: Justice for Sumilao Farmers

Sumilao FarmersFinally, the brave Sumilao farmers have arrived in our nation’s capital and have begun the second phase of their noble and epic struggle for justice. The return of the lands that was taken away from them by the greedy land-owning elite and capitalists in this country.

Ever since I heard about their plight and their resolve in marching to Malacanang all the way from Sumilao, Bukidnon – some 1,700 km – on foot, I cannot help but feel the urge to call out in support and if only I can, join in their march as well. An alumni of De La Salle University – Dasmarinas and a good friend of mine, once sent me an SMS message last month that among the marching farmers is the father of a fellow DLSU-D Lasallian, which means there’s more than enough reason why we Lasallians from DLSU-D and the entire Lasallian Family in the Philippines for that matter, should do something to aid and support the oppressed yet fighting farmers from Sumilao.

Unfortunately, and please someone in the know correct me, I haven’t heard of a single word or effort from any sector of the Lasallian community that supports the Sumilao farmers in their struggle. Save perhaps the silent whispers and short mentions of this issue during the meetings of DLSU-D’s University Student Council, of which a planned advocacy activity is in place once the revision of the USC Constitution is done.

What’s even more surprising is that the other school, the one in Loyola Heights has taken concrete and meaningful steps in support of the Sumilao farmers last Wednesday, December 5 in which they welcomed the marching Sumilao farmers into the Loyola Schools campus, and celebrated Mass led by Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales in honor of them.

Ateneo President, Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ even led the Ateneo community in signing a petition in support and solidarity of the farmers from Sumilao. Such act of love, solidarity and justice is to be lauded and praised, and more so, should be emulated even expanded upon.

By now it is obvious that I have some complaints about the apparent silence or lack of action by Lasallians on this issue, especially in light of a little-known fact mentioned a while ago that there’s a direct link between the Sumilao farmers and the Lasallian community, DLSU-D in particular because one of the Sumilao farmers is the father of La Salle student.

With due respect and in the spirit of being fair, not to mention being called as more biased to the Ateneans, the Lasallian community has not been blind and silent when it comes to the recent developments in our social realities. In fact, the La Salle Provincialate, has released a statement with regards to the recent takeover of the Hotel Peninsula by Sen Trillanes that renews their calls to a changes in our government, public institutions and society it self.

Well and good.

However, I believe there are plenty more to be done. The struggle against the corrupt and oppressive Arroyo regime is a noble and an awesome task, more so it is a responsibility, but it is not the only struggle we Lasallians, and the Filipino people, must take up and fight till the end. There are many more struggles and issues that must be faced and addressed. The struggle of the Sumilao farmers is another that is more than worth the effort, time and resources to pursue and achieve victory for.

In less than three days, the world will once more commemorate the International Day of Human Rights, and in that occasion, the Sumilao farmers will march towards Malacanang and send a clear message to this government; “Let justice be served! Let our inalienable rights be protected and promoted! Return the lands to the Sumilao farmers!”

My wish, my prayer, my call is simple; that on International Human Rights day and the days after that, we move to do something profound, concrete, meaningful and effective that will support the cause of the Sumilao farmers. That after their cause has been won, we move on and help out the others who are crying, suffering and yearning for justice and the protection and promotion of their rights so that their lives will be lived with full meaning and fruition.

Fellow Lasallians, I only ask that we become true Lasallians, living out the Lasallian values that we cherish and value so much. Let us unite with others who join in this noble task regardless of school or color, for our cause is but one: that justice be served, peace be attained and our dear country move forward to sustainable growth and development.

We do this today, and our sons and daughters will be proud of us and of their race and identity. It will inspire them to emulate us and fight to preserve and develop what we will gain.

We do this, the whole world will once more look at us Filipinos and treat us as an equal in the family of nations.

We fail, we only have ourselves to blame, and brutal hell to pay for.

*Image by asianfarmers

Rules of capitalist exploitation

The image displayed below caught my attention. It’s a photo of a plaque inside the Physical Facilities Office (PFO) of De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. I saw it when I went there to have the Constitutional Convention tarpaulin checked and approved for posting. It’s the protocol here in the university. I never knew that the PFO has such protocols proclaimed and constantly reminded to them by this plaque.

Capitalist comandments

Work Rules

1 SICKNESS: No excuses will be acceptable. We will no longer accept your doctor’s statement as proof of illness as we believe that if you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

2 LEAVE OR ABSENCE FOR AN OPERATION: We are no longer allowing this practice. We wish to discourage any thoughts that you may not need all of whatever you have, and you should consider having anything removed. We hired you as you are, and to have anything removed certainly makes you less than we bargained for.

3 DEATH, OTHER THAN YOUR OWN: This is no excuse. If you can arrange for funeral services to be held late in the afternoon however, we can let you off an hour early, provided all your work is up to date.

4 DEATH, YOUR OWN: This will be accepted as an excuse, but we would like at least two weeks notice, as we feel it is your duty to teach someone else your job.

5 PERSONAL HYGIENE: Entirely too much time is being spent in the washrooms. In the future, you will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order, for instance, those surnames beginning with “A” will be allowed to go from 9 – 9:05, and so on. If you are unable to go at your appointed time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your time comes around again.

6 QUANTITY OF WORK: No matter how much you do, you’ll never do enough.

7 QUALITY OF WORK: The minimum acceptable level is perfection.

8 ADVICE FROM OWNER: Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing wosre will happen to you the rest of the day.

9 THE BOSS IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

10 WHEN THE BOSS IS WRONG, REFER TO RULE 9.

From a worker’s point of view, or any thinking person’s point of view; these rules are inhuman, cruel, downright dastardly and simply exploitative. The classical traits of capitalist exploitation. I wonder if these rules are really enforced? 😉

If so, then St. John Baptist De La Salle must be rolling in high heavens right now!

Your iPhone could be toxic?!

The iPhone craze has since toned down as Apple’s newest gadget has become a wordlwide phenomenon. Local techies and Apple afficionados have been itching to have one, be it shipped from some Pinoys overseas or not and hacked to work with the local mobile networks. It seems that almost everyone wants to have an iPhone. Do you?

However, behind the glitz and snazz, oohs and aahhs that has surrounded the iPhone a little known or atleast totally ignored piece of writing about Apple’s newest cash cow. It is this little known article about how ‘green’ or eco- and health-friendly the Apple iPhone is and yes your guess is right, it’s from Greenpeace International.

The article is entitled, Missed call: the iPhone’s hazardous chemicals (When will promises of a greener Apple bear fruit?)

And so let me quote:

Scientific tests, arranged by Greenpeace, reveal that Apple’s iPhone contains hazardous chemicals. The tests uncovered two types of hazardous substances, some of which have already been eliminated by other mobile phone makers.

In May, due to our successful Green my Apple campaign Steve Jobs, the boss of Apple, claimed: “Apple is ahead of, or will soon be ahead of, most of its competitors” on environmental issues.

We watched closely when the iPhone was launched in June for any mention of the green features of the phone from Apple. There was none.

OMG! The iPhone has hazardous chemicals in its components? Greenpeace’s scientists says so. They bought an iPhone, sent it to their lab in the United Kingdom, took it apart, piece by piece and subjected each component to tests that will determine what kind of toxic or hazardous chemicals and what amounts are in there to see whether Apple has lived up to its 2008 commitment of cleaner, safer and more eco-friendly Apple products, aptly named “Greener Apple“.

Greenpeace has released a document that details their scrutiny and analysis of how green the iPhone is, the gist of it can be viewed in this video:

Had enough? Convinced that your iPhone is not eco-friendly and could even be dangerous to your health? Hold on, I suggest giving that document a download and a few minutes of your time to read it. If you can’t find the time nor the will power to read 12 pages of scientific yet profound information, skim it quick but give ample time to read the executive summary which is in the first part and the summary which is of course at near the end of the paper.

Why bother to read that paper when it details how potentially unhealthy and nasty to the environment your iPhone could be? You’d be glad to know, surprised even that in the end, Greenpeace’s stand on the iPhone’s eco-friendliness is not that hard.

For in the conclusion part, they said:

Of the 18 different internal and external components and materials tested from an Apple iPhone purchased in the USA in June 2007, all would appear to be compliant with the requirements of the EU’s Directive on use of certain hazardous substances in electronics and electrical goods (the RoHS Directive). In particular:

  • no cadmium or mercury were detected;
  • lead and chromium were detected in a small proportion of samples and at relatively low concentrations;
  • there was no evidence for the presence of the toxic and regulated form of chromium, chromium (VI), in a range of other metal-plated components tested (primarily screw heads).

Ya see? They tested how “green” the iPhone is in the context of Europe’s laws on the use of hazardous substances in electronics and electronic goods. Since they found out that the iPhone is, at the most, in compliance you could have some good sleep tonight.

However, Greenpeace does bring up an important point in reminding us, Steve Jobs and Apple that it’s not enough that we have the latest cutting-edge gadget, ergonomics, usability and fashion sense, we must also, and always think of our health and the environment. What good would an iPhone be if it affects our reproduction and poisons the environment right?

Apple, in particular iPhone fanboys may already be fuming at me, and true that I’ve never ever had an Apple product like an iPod, Mac, or even an iPhone, save for this Safari for Windows I’m currently using; I’m still glad that Sony Ericsson ranks higher in the eco-friendly mobile companies and my K800i is “greener’ than the iPhone.

But hey, I’m just being concerned for all of you. :mrgreen:

Expanding the memory of my SE K800i

Yesterday, I finally had enough money to do my K800i a favor by buying a 2GB Memory Stick Micro M2. Yes, that’s a whopping 2GB of storage space all packed within that tiny black chip which is almost the size of my thumb’s fingernail.

Aside from the awesome storage capacity, another mind-blowing attribute of this tiny storage media is its price tag. Most dealers I visited are selling the 2GB M2 at almost Php4,000!!

Even my friends and a fellow professor who also use Sony Ericsson phones where kept at bay and frustrated by the price tag. It finally made me realize that there’s really something unique to owning a Sony Ericsson phone, aside from the good quality of its Cyber-shot and Walkman phones, the price tags on its accessories do set SE users in a different class. A class that must really dig deep into their pockets if we want to ‘pimp’ our phones or extend and enhance its already cool features.(Curse Sony’s adherence to proprietary technologies and gadgets :P)

So after months of saving up on my earnings, I finally braved to scour the malls for a good bargain on the M2. My obsessive-compulsiveness didn’t help me much as I was hell-bent on getting the 2GB version of the M2 so that “it would be the last M2 I’d ever buy.”

3 Phone shops in SM City Dasmariñas offered the M2 on the same price range, which was the near dreaded Php4-k level. I was nearly heart-broken and was about to resign my self to getting the 1GB M2 which was offered at Php1,900 at CD-R King. Luckily, I had a last-minute change of mind and sudden renewal of hope. I went out again in search of store that had the 2GB M2 on price I could afford.

It seems the fates were on my side as I found my way into City Telecom and there it was, a 2GB M2 on sale!! From it’s original price of Php3,000 it was brought down to Php2,100 which was well within my budget. I wasted no more time as I told the saleslady that I was going to buy that M2.

Memory Stick Micro M2I left that store with a big smile on my face and a 2GB M2 in my pocket. I couldn’t wait to get home, plug it in my K800i and put all the photos, music, games and apps I’ve been saving up ever since I decided to upgrade my phone’s memory.

At the moment I have over 500MB worth of compressed music, 10MB worth of games and apps and almost 5MB of photos. Speaking of which, it is the desire to increase the number of photos I could take and store in my phone before it needs to be transferred or the bad ones deleted in order to make space for more photos that I was determined to get the 2GB M2. Just point-and-shoot the K800i now, delete the not-so-good shots later.

What’s the use of a 3.2 megapixel Cyber-shot phone if the number of photos one could take is quite limited right? Now that my phone’s memory has been greatly expanded, storage space or the lack thereof would no longer be an inhibition to my budding interest in digital-photography. (even though I only have 3.2 megapixel camera-phone to take photos with)

Aside from more photos, more music, more apps and games I could fit in my K800i, I’m beginning to like the idea of using the phone as my primary portable storage device, instead of my aging Creative MuVo thumb drive/mp3 player.

Oh my, I see techie experiments brewing in the horizon. I just hope my phone would not end up broken or screwed up.