WEAVING A PUSO. Marco Albeza learns how to weave a puso, a Cebuano favorite, as one of the tasks of the Gabii Sa Kabilin QR Code Hunt organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Smart Communications, Inc. and MyCebu.ph. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

Using technology to preserve, spread heritage

Gabii sa Kabilin or Night of Heritage offered Cebuanos last Friday the opportunity to visit museums and heritage areas until midnight. The yearly activity was started in 2006 by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (Rafi) and patterned after the Long Night of Museums in Germany.

This year, however, the event had a tech twist – Rafi, Smart Communications Inc. and MyCebu.ph staged a QR (quick response) code hunt that brought teams to the different heritage areas in the city. (Disclosure: My wife and I run MyCebu.ph and are deeply involved in all the projects mentioned in this article.)

The QR Code hunt gathered teams of journalists, bloggers, students, runners, police and tech workers. They had to scan QR codes to decipher tasks they were required to do in heritage areas – learn how to offer flowers to the Buddha, sing Matud Nila, weave puso, find a painting, among other things. They then had to perform the tasks and upload photos as well as post in social networking sites Facebook and Twitter.

WEAVING A PUSO. Marco Albeza learns how to weave a puso, a Cebuano favorite, as one of the tasks of the Gabii Sa Kabilin QR Code Hunt organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Smart Communications, Inc. and MyCebu.ph. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

WEAVING A PUSO. Marco Albeza learns how to weave a puso, a Cebuano favorite, as one of the tasks of the Gabii Sa Kabilin QR Code Hunt organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Smart Communications, Inc. and MyCebu.ph. Marco's team won third runner up and he and his teammate took home a Nokia Lumia. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

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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 →

Old computers cause stress, cost more: Intel

OLD computers not only cost companies more for maintenance and power bills, they also contribute to high levels of stress for users, officials of Intel Philippines said Thursday.

Intel partnered with Harris Interactive to conduct a survey on technology and stress and found that many users feel frustrated “waiting for technology to catch up with them,” said Randy Kanapi, marketing manager of Intel Philippines.

Kanapi said Intel coined the phrase “Hourglass Syndrome,” after that animated icon of a rotating hourglass that denotes a Windows computer is still processing a task, to describe the stress and frustration people have on technology.


JASON TY (right), Intel Philippines channel platform manager, demonstrates how two computers with different processor architecture but the same clock speed and running the same set of applications can have different utilization levels and power consumption. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

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Smart offers unlimited calling within its network nationwide with Smartalk

Smart Communications is offering its subscribers unlimited calling within its network through the Smartalk service, which will be available nationwide starting tomorrow, June 26.

Under the service, which was formally unveiled in Cebu yesterday, Smart subscribers can make unlimited calls to other users in its network using two subscription plans: Smartalk 100 and Smartalk 500.

Smartalk launch in Cebu
SMARTALK LAUNCH. (From left) Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, Smart public affairs manager for Visayas and Mindanao, Danilo Mojica, head of Smart’s wireless consumer division, and Annie Naval, marketing group head, answer questions of reporters from Cebu and Mindanao during the launch of Smartalk in Cebu City.

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DevCon Visayas to host hackathon, talks on software, web development

SOFTWARE engineers from all over the country are scheduled to meet in a conference in Cebu City on Friday, June 26, to talk about technical issues on software development.

DevCon Visayas offers free admissions to its technical sessions on such topics as cloud computing, social networking and content management systems through sponsors Oracle and G2iX. Organizers are asking those interested to join the conference to register online at http://www.devcon.ph/.

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Sony Ericsson shows off Cyber-shot phones in smiles campaign

Sony Ericsson is embarking on a national campaign to collect 1 million digital photos of people smiling andraise P1 million for the United Nations Children’s Fund or Unicef. For each smile Sony Ericsson photographs of people who visit their booths in SM malls all over the country, P1 will go to Unicef.

The campaign is done in partnership with nine SM Malls that will also be holding a contest among themselves on who could gather the most smiles. SM Prime Holdings vice president Marissa Fernan, who is a bit of a gadget nerd herself, is confident of Cebu’s chances to win the contest among SM Malls. You have until the end of this month to go to the Spread the Smiles booth in SM Cebu and have yourself photographed there.

If you give a P20 donation, you will be given a Digiprint photo printout, a spot on the Smile Wall and a raffle ticket to win a Sony Ericsson C510 Cyber-shot phone.

Vince dela Cruz demonstrates Smile Shutter
SMILE SHUTTER. Vince dela Cruz, Sony Ericsson product marketing manager, demonstrates how smiling can trigger the shutter of Sony Ericsson’s Cyber-shot phones during the launch of its Spread the Smiles campaign in Cebu.

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Microsoft launches Windows Server 2008 Foundation in Cebu

Microsoft Philippines launched this morning in Cebu the Windows Server 2008 Foundation, its server solution for small and medium businesses.

Microsoft Philippines Geo-Expansion Lead Boy Bawal said the product will help small companies grow their businesses and boost their competitiveness.

Windows Server 2008 Foundation is a server solution that allows a company with less than 15 computer users to set up a network with file and print sharing, remote access, security and other general server capabilities. It comes bundled with server hardware that can cost as low as P57,000. Bawal said this is the first time that a server software is offered at this price point.

The product, Microsoft officials say, is targeted at first time server users.

For the first time, Bawal said companies no longer have to pay client access license for each user of the system.

Boy Bawal of Microsoft Philippines
SERVER FOR SMALL COMPANIES. Boy Bawal of Microsoft Philippines says that Windows Server 2008 Foundation is the first time that a server software is offered as a hardware bundle for as low as P57,000. He said the product will help small companies grow their businesses and boost their competitiveness.

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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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BLOGGING MEET. Blogie Robillo (2nd from right) talks about his experience organizing events for Davao and Mindanao bloggers. With him are (from left) Kevin Ray Chua, Xerxes Bernadez, and Wilson Ng.

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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