Manny Pacquiao tops RP searches in Google News

Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao hogged local searches in Google News, according to the Google Zeitgeist 2008, the latest of of the web giant’s annual report of popular search terms.

Pacquiao, who recently defeated Oscar de la Hoya, is on the top three search terms, including one that appeared to be a misspelling of his name, for Google News local searches in the Philippines: 1. manny pacquiao, 2. pacquaio marquez fight, and 3. pacquiao diaz fight.

The gruesome RCBC bank robbery ranked 4th while ABS-CBN broadcaster Ces Drilon, who was kidnapped in June, ranked 5th. The phrase “sona 2008” for President Arroyo’s state of the nation address ranked 6th.

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Sony Expo 2008 opens in Cebu City

THE worldwide financial crisis has not affected sales of Sony, the company’s president for the Philippines said yesterday.

Sony Philippines president and managing director Toshiya Kagita told reporters in Cebu on Friday that sales of the company’s products were good. He also said the company had no plans of laying off workers amid widespread reports of industry job losses.

Sony Expo 2008 VAIO. The VAIO booth in the Sony Expo 2008 in SM City Cebu. Click to view larger image.

The company’s personal computer product line, VAIO, reported a sales increase that was higher than the general product market’s growth, he said.

Kagita was in Cebu on Friday to open Sony Expo 2008 at the Cebu Trade Hall in SM City Cebu. The Cebu leg of the Sony Expo 2008 is the start of a series of 21 exhibits that will run all over the country until Jan. 18, 2009.

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Building with WordPress: From sketch to prototype to company website in 5 hours

Aside from being a good blogging tool, WordPress is also a lightweight content management system that can be used to run such diverse sites as news or magazine publications, personal and organizational websites.

I recently started accepting paid web development work and website management. Several weeks back, I bought a domain, Tugkaran.com (from the Bisaya word for staging ground), and created a static HTML page as placeholder because I did not have time to configure WordPress to run the site.

Building with WordPress FROM SKETCH TO WORDPRESS DESIGN. The steps I took from planning a site to deploying a custom WordPress theme for it using Yahoo UI Grids Builder, Aptana, and Bluefish.

But when one of my projects was about to go live, I needed to quickly build Tugkaran because I already placed a link to it in the footer. I spent whatever time I could spare from newsroom and web development work building Tugkaran, 30 minutes or so here, an hour there, a few minutes here.

It took me five hours to go from sketching the site on paper, protoyping the design in HTML, and setting up WordPress with the custom theme. The site was designed “live.” Developing it locally and then replicating the work in the server would take more time—which I didn’t have.

The Tugkaran website still needs a lot of work but it will do for now. I’ll polish it when I have more time. If you want to study the files I worked on, you can download it at the end of this post.

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Tweak Firefox, hack your mind

Do you believe binaural beats can influence the state of your mind in such a way that you are able to relax, focus, meditate, or boost your brain power?

I have a nagging suspicion this is a monumental joke worthy of Belbo, Diotallevi and Casaubon in Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum—that all these talks on the effect of binaural beats on the mind are as true as the existence of the Tres was to the Diabolicals.

Still, I’ve been getting by with two hours less of sleep since I started listening to it. I am able to sleep “on demand” by playing the relaxation mp3 clip in my player. I’ve been able to power-nap better by playing any of the mp3 clips while sitting on the newsroom lounge.

I’m not sure if it really works. Maybe the improvements I am experiencing right now are the result of the confluence of different life hacks: more time in the gym, better eating, less time in front of the TV etc. Or it could be the adrenalin rush unstopped by my being pumped up over projects I’m doing right now. But then again, maybe not.

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Davao, Cebu bloggers meet

A dozen or so Cebu-based bloggers met in Bo’s Coffee Club on Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City yesterday afternoon.

Winston organized the gathering by posting an invitation in his site for a meet-up. Winston and Blogie Robillo then shared with Cebu bloggers how they were able to organize the Davao blogging community.

DAVAO, CEBU BLOGGERS. Wilson Ng talks about plans for the coming Mandaue Business Month during the meet-up of Cebu-based bloggers. The business activity in August will have several tech-related events.

DAVAO, CEBU BLOGGERS. Wilson Ng talks about plans for the coming Mandaue Business Month during the meet-up of Cebu-based bloggers. The business activity in August will have several tech-related events.

I came into the meet-up from a meeting with Wilson Ng and Rio Calle on a web development project related to the Mandaue Business Month in August. During the meet-up, Wilson presented his plans for the Mandaue activity, which will include several technology-related events.

During the meeting, the bloggers agreed to meet regularly for coffee on certain weekends. Winston gathered contact details of those present and will be setting up a mailing list to centralize discussions related to Cebu blogging meetings and events.

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Cebu bloggers to meet tomorrow

Several Cebu-based bloggers are set to meet tomorrow
at 2 p.m. in Bo’s Coffee shop near Capitol and Cebu Doctor’s Hospital. The meet-up is being organized by Winston, the blogger at BatangYagit.com.

Quite a few Cebu-based bloggers have already confirmed their attendance. I’m also attending the event and, if I can remember to bring them, hand out the remaining Ubuntu CDs still not claimed by Sun.Star Cebu readers.

Many of those attending use WordPress to run their blogs. The meet, organized by Winston so that he can meet Cebuano bloggers, might be a great time to start a local WordPress users group, what with Blogie Robillo attending.

If you’re a Cebuano or a Cebu-based blogger, let’s meet tomorrow
at 2 p.m. Manny Pacquiao‘s gonna win anyway. If not, we can drown our collective sorrow on espresso.

Despite existence of open source products, many still use pirated software: CICT secretary

THE Philippines still lacks awareness of and support for free and open source software (FOSS), Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III said yesterday.

Chua, in his speech during the opening of the Philippine Open Source Summit at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) early today, said that despite the existence of FOSS products, many Filipinos still use pirated software.

Philippine Open Source Summit OPEN SOURCE SUMMIT. The Philippine Open Source Summit at the Cebu International Convention Center. Click on photo to enlarge image.

“Regrettably, however, the more common option for many users is the purchase of pirated copies of proprietary software. There is, therefore, a need to bring open source to the awareness of users as a legitimate option and to provide the required support for its implementation,” Chua said.

Open source software are those released under a license that legalizes sharing of the application and building up on it. It got its name from the requirement of making the source code available with the software.

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Philippine Open Source Summit opens

Blogger’s note: Hit refresh to read updates. I’m live-blogging event.

The Philippine Open Source Summit is now open at the Cebu International Convention Center in Mandaue City. The two-day summit is

Vice Mayor Michael Rama, speaking for Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, told the delegates that information and communications technology (ICT) should always be guided by the fact that technology is a human creation and should be usd for the betterment of humanity.

He said technology should be used as a tool for nation-building. He urged those in the ICT industry to use technology to be the answer “to what we call global misery.”

In giving an overview of the summit, Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedfit) executive director Bonifacio Belen talked about how open source has taken the world by storm.

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Get your ümobile invitations

ümobile is now offering invitations on its website. The advertising-funded service, which I wrote about earlier, is invitation-only. You can’t buy it’s subscriber identification module (SIM) pack in stores, you have to get invited to the service.

Ümobile, as I wrote earlier, gives you cellphone load for every mobile advertising message you get on your phone. To get your invitation, go to the ümobile website and click on the invite codes offer. As I write this, there are still 423 invite codes left.

Thank you, Bibbo for the update.

ümobile: ad-funded mobile network launches in Cebu

I attended the Cebu launch last May 24 of ümobile, the first advertising-funded mobile phone network in the country, and boy was it the loudest telecoms-related launch I’ve ever covered. It was the sexiest, too.

The launching was held in Club Vudu and by the time it ended, I knew more about what “Vudulicious” was than the details of ümobile that I had wanted to find out during the launch.

umobile change of numbersCHANGING YOUR MOBILE NUMBER. Ümobile allows its subscribers to change their mobile numbers by themselves in the company’s website. The first change of numbers is free, succeeding ones will be charged P50. Click on photo to view larger image.

The time indicated in the invitation—9 p.m.—and the venue told me it was going to be a launch party, with emphasis on the “party.” I was there at 9 p.m. and found Club Vudu still deserted but for ümobile staff doing last minute preparations. I asked one of them whether they would be holding a press briefing and was told none was scheduled. She did say one ümobile official would look for me later and answer my questions.

Fast forward one hour and a half.
umobile launch
UMOBILE PARTY. Vudulicious in Club Vudu. The umobile launch was the loudest telecoms-related launch I’ve ever attended. Click on photo to view an even larger image.

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