Google Docs on Android in Samsung Galaxy Tab

In the cloud? What if it goes up in smoke?

I wrote this column in Google Docs, the Internet search giant’s free online office suite. I thumb-typed a rough outline on an Android device—a Samsung Galaxy Tab—before I finished the first draft on my favorite desktop, which runs Ubuntu Linux, and edited the final piece in my office PC, which runs Windows XP.

All the time that I worked intermittently on this article during free time from desk work, I did not know precisely the physical location of this digital file nor the number of its copies and iterations. All I knew was that it was in Google’s data centers–precisely where I do not know nor care.

Saving digital office files in the correct location is among the first things you are required to learn on the job, whatever the industry or the size of the company. In our newsroom, file location is something seared into your brain the very first day on the job. Unless you saved your article in the designated folder, editors cannot access your story in the modern-day filing tray called The Local Network.

Google Docs on Android in Samsung Galaxy Tab
Writing using Google Docs on the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

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Start up, get ready to go

The excitement was palpable in last Thursday night’s meetup among Cebu startups at the office of the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedf-it). So was the sense of optimism.

Members of the TechTalks.ph community, which is hosted in an account with meetup.com, gathered to meet other members with the arrival in Cebu of organizer Tina (she requested that we identify her only by her first name).

Last Thursday’s event was the eighth meetup of the group. Previous meetups covered such topics as Google applications, business of software startups and challenges of building one, and how to set up a company.

The group previously had as speaker Eric Su, the founder of photo-sharing service PicLyf. Su said during his guesting that unlike Silicon Valley or other areas where startups have succeeded, the Philippines is a “harsh environment” for startups.

Still, local startups are undeterred. Those present last Thursday–web developers, hardcore programmers, site managers, service founders–were excitedly talking about projects they were doing or planning during the meet and in the after-event meal and drinks.

Members of local startups meet in the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) office at the Asiatown IT Park in Cebu City. (Photo by Honeylyn Balingcasag)
Members of local startups meet in the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) office at the Asiatown IT Park in Cebu City. (Photo by Honeylyn Balingcasag)

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Nokia launches 2 ‘feature-rich’ dual-SIM phones in Cebu

Nokia Philippines launched in Cebu yesterday the Nokia X1-01 and Nokia C2-00, two phones capable of working with two subscriber identity modules (SIM) cards at the same time.

Nokia Philippines corporate communications manager Nikka Abes said the two phones will likely be available in Cebu in June or July.

Abes said that while it may have taken Nokia some time to produce dual-SIM phones, the units they are launching come with the company’s seal of quality and durability as well as product support.

Abes said consumers want dual SIM phones for the convenience and cost savings. People who frequently travel also prefer dual-SIM phones to better manage roaming charges. In some instances, especially in poorer markets, dual-SIM phones also allow multiple users on the same device. Continue reading →

Showing Windows the door: the case for open source

THE warnings are ominous. The Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team (PAPT) is strengthening its campaign against pirated software and cautioning businesses that refuse to have their software inspected that they will “face legal sanctions unless they show proof that they are using licensed software.”

All Open Source. Editing my blog post in WordPress in my Linux work station.

ALL OPEN SOURCE. Editing my blog post on WordPress, a powerful open source content management system, in my Ubuntu Linux workstation.

The warnings come even as PAPT found rural banks, universities and hospitals using unlicensed software in a recent series of raids in Iloilo City. PAPT said they are set to hold more raids in other parts of the country.

In 2010, the Philippines’ PC software piracy rate stood at 69 percent, the fourth consecutive year that it stayed unchanged. The Business Software Alliance (BSA) pegged losses caused by software piracy in the Philippines at $278 million, a staggering amount from the $141.7 million recorded in 2007.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab gets updated to Gingerbread

I just upgraded my Samsung Galaxy Tab (Model GT-P1000) to Android 2.3.3 or Gingerbread. Ever since Samsung announced the tab was getting Gingerbread, I’ve been regularly checking whether the firmware was already available for the Philippines.

Gingerbread offers a streamlined user interface “for simplicity and speed.” Here’s a listing of the firmware’s improvements.

Samsung Galaxy Tab upgrade to Gingerbread from Froyo

GINGERBREAD UPDATE. The Galaxy Tab gets upgraded to Android 2.3.3 or Gingerbread, which offers improvements on the user interface, power management among a slew of other features. Click on photo to enlarge.

“The user interface is refined in many ways across the system, making it easier to learn, faster to use, and more power-efficient. A simplified visual theme of colors against black brings vividness and contrast to the notification bar, menus, and other parts of the UI. Changes in menus and settings make it easier for the user to navigate and control the features of the system and device.”

It also comes with a keyboard “redesigned and optimized for faster text input and editing” as well as improvements in copying and pasting text. Gingerbread also offers improved power management, built-in Internet calling, downloads management and offers “user access to multiple cameras on the device, including a front-facing camera, if available.”

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CSS cheat sheets as Android apps: stop taping printouts on your cubicle walls

I need to work with CSS/XHTML often enough that I’d need a reference but rarely enough to make me memorize the damned properties, selectors and syntax. I used to print out CSS/XHTML cheat sheets and tape these on my cubicle wall for easy reference whenever I was working on a website.

Just as I was about to print new cheat sheets to replace the torn and smudged copies that I had, I found handy and infinitely better references—two free Android apps.

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Poynter lists tips on how to build an engaged audience

Poynter associate editor Mallary Jean Tenore lists tips for online journalists to build an engaged audience online in her post “5 small steps journalists can take to build a bigger, more engaged audience.

The post provides great pieces of advice on getting the word out on your article like letting your news sources and people who may have a stake in your article know about the piece through the social networks. To be effective, Tenore suggests that you include their Twitter and Facebook names in the update so that they can be notified.

She also suggests linking to the work of other news sites and informing them about it.

Tenore also suggests engaging with others covering your beat and tweeting follow-ups “that help advance the discussion about your story.”

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