THE day after super typhoon Yolanda battered Cebu, developer Albert Padin of Sym.ph went to their office on Escario St. to play games and work on some personal projects. Saturdays, Padin said, are days when their team does hackathons on projects that do not involve their day-to-day jobs.
While combing through news and social network updates, Padin read a call on geekli.st for developers to pitch in coding skills to build a system to help in relief efforts. Since he already had a team that was ready to build things, Padin said they decided to hold a hackathon to build a website to help in relief efforts.
They started the hackathon at 2 p.m. on Saturday with the goal of wrapping up by 5 p.m. They finished at 10 p.m. instead because they worked on 2 things: 1) a system that can help track the search for missing persons and 2) a site that can centralize relief and rescue information in the different areas ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda.
They later closed the person finder service and redirected people to the Google People Finder website. Padin said the Google system was better and the people running it had experience using it in previous disasters. Continue reading
THE first thing that strikes you when you turn on the LG G2 is how beautiful the display is. It is sharp and vibrant and comes on such a big screen. It’s almost realistic you’d find yourself gingerly pressing the glass.
And as you start using what is currently LG’s flagship device, the next thing that will strike you is how responsive it is. Opening apps, switching between applications and moving between screens feel fluid and seamless.
And as the day wears on, you’d find the phone’s large battery capacity kicking in, allowing you to use the device for an entire day without having to recharge.
I tried the LG G2 for several weeks and found the phone, which comes with Android Jelly Bean, a joy to use. Continue reading
I’ve always wanted to learn and start using Markdown in writing. For some time, it hovered near the top of my to-do list but I never got around to actually starting to use it.
I use a Markdown-capable online writing tool – Editorially – but I never used it for that. I used it purely to manage articles and to allow me to work on a post in multiple workstations.
When I write, I compose only in plain text. As soon as I’d finish the article, I’d go over the post again and manually code the HTML tags for blog or website publishing.
IT used to be that you’d never find the words “Linux” and “easy to use” in the same sentence.
Linux, to the unfamiliar, is an operating system – the basic software that allows you to use your computer. It’s like Windows (although that comparison probably made a lot of its developers and users cringe).
The main difference between Linux and Windows is the way these are developed. Windows is a proprietary system built by a single company- Microsoft. Linux is built by a global community of users under an open source license – a framework that encourages sharing and collaboration.
Southeast Asia is the battleground for a bruising competition among a set of cute mobile phone applications: chat apps. Up north, the battle has largely been won in their home markets, with Line taking Japan, WeChat in China and KakaoTalk in South Korea.
In SouthEast Asia, however, there is no clear winner yet, said Junde Yu, the vice president for AsiaPacific of App Annie. Line, WeChat and KakaoTalk are battling each other across the region through TV ads, billboards and celebrity endorsements.
“We send our heartfelt condolences out to good old-fashioned SMS,” App Annie said in a blog post on the subject.
Yu said the fight is more than just about getting the top market share in social messaging. The apps are “entry points to dominate mobile.” Continue reading
“IN 200 meters,” the Waze app on the phone said, “turn right.”
We were headed to Marco Polo Plaza Cebu and were near the Banilad flyover on our way to the IT Park when Waze, the driving application I was running on my phone, gave the direction to turn right.
Waze had determined, by going through its database of roads in Cebu and reports of traffic conditions sent in by users, that the quickest route for us was to go to that neighborhood behind Gaisano Country Mall, pass through Camp Lapu-Lapu and a small side road and emerge on our way up to the hotel.
DAVAO CITY-After hitting LTE Advanced download speeds in excess of 200 megabits per second (Mbps) during tests in Manila, Smart Communications Inc. held another test in Davao City last Saturday.
PLDT and Smart Technology head Rolando Peña said he scheduled the test in Davao to show that the company’s network is able to deliver LTE Advanced throughout the country.
“I want to be able to tell my board of directors that I have personally tested the network up to Davao and that we are able to deliver the next generation LTE on a nationwide basis. To me Davao is the biggest challenge because it traverses several land-sea-land-sea type of combination,” Peña said during the test at the PLDT office in this city.
WERE you among the hundreds of people stranded in parts of Metro Cebu Saturday night? A strong and sudden downpour caused waist-deep flooding in several areas of the metro.
Flooding has now become all too common not just because of the sorry state of our drainage system and our explosive growth but also because of the weather. Climate change is upon us and its bringing disasters along with it.
One thing that empowers communities in dealing with disasters like widespread urban flooding is technology.
Before technologies like mobile phones came in, disaster preparation was a “failure,” said Dr. Cedric Daep, the head of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (Apsemo)
“Sometimes as a journalist,” Sun.Star Cebu reporter Bernadette Parco said during the payITfwd launch in Cebu, “you have to step out and do something for your community.”
For Parco, “doing something” is working with a friend, who is also a journalist, to hand out school bags to poor students to encourage them to continue going to school.
Parco was among 5 people invited to talk about their advocacies during the launch of the payITfwd program of Smart Communications Inc. in Cebu last July 5. The program is meant to support “social good” initiatives through technology.
I just completed a 30-day challenge to run at least 5 kilometers a day. I failed at my attempt to blog daily. One out of 2 isn’t bad for my first month.
The idea behind the 30-Day Challenge is that 30 days, according to Google engineer Matt Cutts, are “just about the right time to add a new habit or subtract a habit.” Cutts popularized the idea of taking on a 30-Day Challenge after he gave a TED talk on the topic.
For June, I decided to taken on 2 challenges: 1) run at least 5 kilometers a day and 2) blog daily. I completed the daily running part; I failed at the daily blogging right in the first week. Continue reading