Gone mobile

News: from medium to platform

For the first time ever, US consumers spent more time on applications than watching TV, according to Flurry Analytics, a mobile analytics company owned by Yahoo.

“After putting the desktop web in their rear view mirror, apps now reign supreme as the top media channel in the United States, even without the help of the mobile browser,” said Simon Khalaf, Flurry senior vice president for Product & Engineering, Publisher Products.

Writing “The cable industry faces the perfect storm: apps, app stores and apple,” in the company’s blog last Sept. 10, Khalaf said “fears surrounding the long-term prospects of the cable industry were well warranted.”  Continue reading →

WordPress updates

Auto-update convenience: WordPress upgrades itself to fix critical vulnerability

After yesterday’s upgrading of key WordPress plugins to fix a cross site scripting vulnerability, the WordPress team released version 4.1.2, which it described as a critical security release.

“WordPress versions 4.1.1 and earlier are affected by a critical cross-site scripting vulnerability, which could enable anonymous users to compromise a site,” the WordPress team said in a blog post announcing the release. The release also fixed 3 other security issues including an SQL injection vulnerability in some plugins.

I got the notification of the new release at past midnight. Years back, that would have meant that I’d need to stay up very late, download the latest release, upload the files to the server and perform the upgrade for each of the site I’m running. Continue reading →

WordPress InfiniteWP

WordPress security alert: vulnerability in multiple plugins; time to update

Do you use WordPress to run your site or blog? You better head off to your dashboard to check for plugin updates. Now.

A cross site scripting vulnerability has been spotted in several WordPress plugins and themes, including popular ones like Jetpack, WordPress SEO, Google Analytics, All in one SEO, Gravity Forms, among others.

“The vulnerability Sucuri discovered would allow an attacker to send a WordPress user with administrative rights a link which could execute malicious JavaScript,” Jetpack said in a blog post announcing an update to its pluginContinue reading →

Alegria beach


WHILE testing Smart’s deployment of its high-speed packet access (HSPA) network in Siquijor in 2009, it occurred to me that with the connectivity, you could actually relocate there and run your business or work from its beautiful white sand beaches.

Six years later, connectivity and technology have improved exponentially. Today, HSPA is being supplanted by the higher speed LTE or long-term evolution. More and more services are now in the “cloud,” which lends well to remote work. Equipment has also improved, with mobile devices becoming more powerful. Businesses have also started to become more open to remote work or collaborating with remote workers. Financial services have become more widely available and mobile. Continue reading →

Governor Salceda

Facebook governor

AS SOON as Albay Gov. Joey Salceda wakes up in the morning, he greets his constituents on Facebook (“Good morning, Albay”) and cycles through the towns and component cities with a slew of hashtags promoting the province.

After the morning greeting, Salceda shares a “tigsik,” a short poem in Bikol, written by the province’s poet laureate Abdon Balde, Jr. The Palanca awardee posts the tigsik as early as 3 or 4 a.m. It covers anything Albay, from its beautiful vistas to its culinary wonders and cultural heritage.

Salceda will then post updates on the weather: key information for a province ravaged by typhoons and occasionally threatened by an eruption of Mayon Volcano. Continue reading →

Don't count Microsoft out just yet - the tech behemoth is reinventing itself. (Creative Commons Photo: Nils Geylen)

A different Microsoft

ABOUT two years back, someone reached out to me because of our digital tourism initiative. He introduced himself as the open source software specialist of Microsoft Philippines. I choked on my midnight coffee. Until recently, one does not find the phrase open source in the same sentence as Microsoft, unless in opposition.

Among the many things former Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer is known for was his statement on the open source license under which Linux is being developed.

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches,” Ballmer was quoted as saying in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. “The way the license is written, if you use any open-source software, you have to make the rest of your software open source.” Continue reading →

Asus ZenUI. The Zenfone 5 Lite comes with the Asus ZenUI, the company's custom skin for Android.

REVIEW: Asus Zenfone 5 Lite: big-screen smartphone for the budget-conscious

BUILDING on the success of Zenfone 5, Asus recently released a cheaper version of the handset in time for end-of-the-year upgrading – the Asus Zenfone 5 Lite.

The Zenfone 5 Lite has a dual core Intel Atom 1.2 Ghz processor with 1GB RAM and an 8GB internal memory that is expandable via microSD up to 64GB. The phone comes with a 5-inch qHD display of 960×540. It has an eight-megapixel rear camera with auto focus and LED flash. It comes with a .3-megapixel selfie or front camera. Continue reading →

The UP Mini (top) and UP Lite.

REVIEW: Starmobile UP Mini, UP Lite: good phones on a budget

Except for their prices, the Starmobile UP Mini and UP Lite don’t come off as cheap. Their build quality is excellent and the phones are very responsive.

Starmobile's UP Mini and UP Lite.

Starmobile’s UP Mini and UP Lite.

I passed the UP Mini around and asked friends and colleagues to feel its finish, check out the device’s responsiveness and guess its price: P15,000 said one, P13,000 said another. The lowest guess was P5,000 with most saying it’s price was higher than P8,000.

The UP Mini actually sells for P3,690 and what a device for such a price. It has a 1.3GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU with Android 4.4, a 4GB built-in storage expandable via micro SD, 8MP rear camera with Backside Illumination (BSI) and 1080P at 30FPS video capture. The device is dual SIM with dual 3G standby. Continue reading →

Unboxing Huawei Ascend Mate7

REVIEW: Huawei Mate7: This is the ‘droid you’re looking for

WHEN you first hold the Huawei Mate7 in your hand, what is immediately apparent is how sleek its design is. At 7.9 mm thin, the Mate7 is a well-built device with top-of-the-line specifications worthy of a flagship device.

I tested the phone for a few days this week and found the device a great option for those who prefer their phones with larger screens.

The Mate7’s 6-inch screen is bright and sharp. While it’s not quad HD, the difference isn’t by much, at least as far as I can see. I use an LG G3, which is a quad HD phone, and I didn’t see any glaring difference with the Mate 7’s display.

The phone packs a powerful octa-core CPU that’s more than up to the task of running any app or game. In my few days of using the device, I found it very responsive and quite zippy. I loved using it for work – managing emails with Mailbox, taking down and organizing notes using Google Keep and Evernote, working with interns in our startup via Slack, writing and editing using Google Docs, reading articles and keeping up with news updates via apps Flipboard, Pocket and Zite. Continue reading →

Agent Android

Tech and ambient information

WHEN are you due? I asked a PR professional last week, two months after she gave birth. In my defense, I was seated when she approached me and I looked up at her face, not at her tummy. She said it was obvious we haven’t seen each other for some time, while, involuntarily I think, patting her tummy.

A colleague looked horrified at the faux pas. Technology, I said to explain myself, failed me. I had emailed her just a few days earlier and got a vacation auto-reply about her being on maternity leave.

Had I been on Facebook, I would have known about her giving birth. But I have been mostly off the social network and didn’t know this. Continue reading →