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2 Veco workers get award for tech innovation

TWO employees of the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) cobbled together off-the-shelf parts to devise an equipment to test power meters for a fraction of the cost of imported gadgets.

Technician Niceporo Salvaleon, Jr. and meter engineer Alvin Basubas built the power meter tester for about P25,000 to do the job previously done by a machine that costs about P1.9 million.

Salvaleon and Basubas work in Veco’s Power Metering Department. Among their tasks is to check so-called instrument-rated meters, which are typically used by large consumers. The company regularly checks meters to see whether these are still functioning correctly and to guard against pilferage.

Technician Niceporo Salvaleon, Jr. and meter engineer Alvin Basubas shows the power meter tester that they built for about P25,000 to do the job previously done by a machine that costs about P1.9 million.

Technician Niceporo Salvaleon, Jr. and meter engineer Alvin Basubas shows the power meter tester that they built for about P25,000 to do the job previously done by a machine that costs about P1.9 million. (Photo by Max Limpag)

 

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NEW WAY TO DELIVER NEWS. Wearable computing like Google Glass will allow us to have a data layer on real life. One of these layers can be news updates.

Life, augmented

Google Glass will be available to regular people starting this year for less than $1,500 or P61,000, various technology news websites reported the past few days.

Google Glass is an eyeglass computer that can take photos or videos or display information like weather data or your calendar items on a head-mounted display or take photos and videos. The device is controlled by voice – triggered by the phrase, “ok glass.”

When you say, “take a photo,” it takes a photo of whatever it is that you’re looking at. When you say “take a video,” it does that too. You can even livestream whatever you are seeing through the device and share it with friends.

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Student project that lets you monitor, control lights, appliances via phone wins SWEEP awards

A SYSTEM that allows homeowners to monitor and control lights and electrical appliances in their homes from anywhere via mobile technology won the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards last Thursday in Dusit Hotel in Makati City.

Colegio De San Juan Letran’s SMS.AWT: Switching and Monitoring System Using Android in Wireless Technology was picked the best among the 10 finalists that made it to the finals of the nationwide search for student applications with the theme “Technology in Nation-Building.”

The student team, led by 5th year computer engineering student Frances Marie Kagahastian, won P500,000 in cash and an equivalent amount in grants for the school. The team won an additional P50,000 for the Ericsson Networked Society Award.

Frances Marie Kagahastian of Colegio De San Juan Letran receives her award for winning the top prize in the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. With her are (from left) PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, her teacher-mentor, an official from the Department of Science and Technology, PLDT and Smart technology head Rolando Peña and technology group head Mar Tamayo. (Photo provided by Smart)

Frances Marie Kagahastian of Colegio De San Juan Letran receives her award for winning the top prize in the 9th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards. With her are (from left) PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon Isberto, PLDT president and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, PLDT and Smart chairman Manny Pangilinan, her teacher-mentor, an official from the Department of Science and Technology, PLDT and Smart technology head Rolando Peña and technology group head Mar Tamayo. (Photo provided by Smart)

Kagahastian, who said her dream was only to be featured in a tarpaulin banner in their school, said she was overwhelmed by the victory. It was the first time her school joined the contest.

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Stop paying for (or pirating) Microsoft Office, get LibreOffice

LibreOffice released version 4.0 of its office productivity suite a few days ago and early reviews and feedback point to a solid release.

LibreOffice is the free and open source equivalent to Microsoft Office. Unlike Microsoft Office, which costs as much as P10,995 for a single license under the Home and Small Business edition, LibreOffice is free.

It is, as advocates are wont to say, free as in beer and free as in speech, meaning it costs nothing and does not come with license restrictions.

The LibreOffice suite of applications includes Writer (for word processing, the equivalent of Word), Impress (for presentations, think PowerPoint), Calc (a spreadsheet program similar to Excel), Math (a program for dealing with mathematical formulas and causing nose bleed), Draw (a drawing and diagramming tool similar to Visio), and Base (a database program similar to Microsoft Access). Continue reading →