Saved from a headline disaster

Last week I handled a page containing the story of how policemen were able to arrest a rape suspect after identifying him through documents found in a wallet he dropped at the crime scene.

I laid out the page and wrote this headline for the story:

Dropped wallet leads
cops to rape suspect

It was a good thing that our copy chief, Noel “Raskolnik the Lover Boy” Villaflor, has a sharp eye and a dirty mind. He immediately spotted the double meaning and we couldn’t stop laughing at the headline.

Still haven’t spotted the double meaning? Treat rape as a verb and suspect as the object of the action. Noel rewrote the headline to read:

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Changing the chat box

After trying out four tag board and chat scripts last night, I finally decided on using txtShout, a PHP tagboard and shoutbox system.

TxtShout is fairly easy to install and it doesnt need a database. The script shares the code used by my previous chatbox, Cbox.

Cbox, unlike txtShout, is remotely hosted. This means that the script connects to a server in order to retrieve the messages and store new ones. This arrangement has its advantages — for one you dont need to install any script, you just have to copy a piece of code and then paste this into your blogs template. But when the server is down, your chat box doesnt get displayed and loading is slowed because your website is trying to repeatedly retrieve data from the inaccessible server.

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Chat boxes and pop-up ads

I’ve been looking for a WordPress tagboard — the message board you see on the sidebar — since Friday. Cbox is great but it’s really annoying when their servers are down. When I read SepikMom‘s blog today, I found another reason to stop using Cbox — it generates pop-up ads. I never noticed this before because the popups never appear when I visit my blog since I always use Firefox as my browser.

Opening a site in less than a day

This is my fourth and final blog address. I started blogging last year when I wrote an article for Sun.Star Cybercafe on how you can build your own site using only free services and open source programs and script. Before I wrote the tutorial, I tested and installed Pivotlog, Nucleus CMS, Blog:CMs and Serendipity — thats why the site is named the Cybercafe Experiments.

I hosted the site on a free 100MB PHP and MySQL account from 100Webspace. After the article was published, I decided to continue posting entries on the blog.

Later, I transferred the Cybercafe Experiments to one of the Sun.Star servers, using Serendipity as a blog engine. I tried to upgrade the site and botched the process because I forgot the password I used to connect to the database. I started a new Cybercafe Experiments blog, still hosted in the Sun.Star servers, and made sure I listed the settings and kept the paper in a safe place.

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“Mac and Media” orientation



“Mac and Media” orientation, originally uploaded by maxlimpag.

The Mac mini: finally, a CPU that is possible to misplace. I’ve seen photos of the Mac mini and I’ve read specifications of its dimensions but I was shocked by how small it really is when i saw it. The Mac Mini is even smaller than the hardbound edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and to think that I misplaced that book. Its not as if youd be lugging the Mac Mini around, which you can, its that the computer is so small youd wonder at how Apple engineers managed to fit the parts in it. The Mac Mini has a DVD drive but it doesnt have a disk tray, just a disk slot.

Dreamtech Enterprises, an authorized Apple reseller and service center in Cebu, held an orientation for journalists and members of a photography group at the City Sports Club. I didnt finish the orientation because I had to catch a chat schedule for an online course Im taking. Im scheduled to interview Dreamtech owner Richard Lee, though, for a feature on the Mac Mini for Sun.Star Cebus Cybercafe section.

PCIJ shines through blog

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) is an institution in Philippine media. PCIJ writers have written some of the best investigative reports on social issues and governance in the country. Check out these stories: link 1, link 2 and link 3.

PCIJ has also been responsible for the training of scores of journalists, many of them from community publications. As far as I can recall (my memory is failing me) the first training on journalism I attended was done by PCIJ, with Howie Severino as lecturer.

Before starting their blog, PCIJ was largely left out of the day to day coverage of news events. You’d expect PCIJ’s take on a news event weeks after the story breaks and it would come in a multi-page and multi-part article that would thoroughly dissect the issue.

With its blog, however, PCIJ editors and writers have been able to write on breaking stories. I used to visit the PCIJ twice or thrice a week. This week, I visited it daily. The blog is an excellent source for updates, insights and background information on the latest scandal in government: the alleged wire-tapped conversation between President Arroyo and Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

You can download MP3 files of the alleged wire-tapped conversation at the PCIJ blog.

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