A student project that uses telecommunications technology to speed up the detection of dengue cases won the grand prize in last Wednesday’s 7th Smart Wireless Engineering and Education Program (Sweep) Innovation and Excellence Awards in the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia.
The student team from Bulacan State University (BSU) automated and sped up the detection of dengue through blood platelet counting using a portable capturing device that connected via mobile Internet to a digital analyzer machine.
HIDDEN SENSORS. PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno checks the sensors that detect chainsaw sounds and trigger an alert to forestry officials in the booth of University of San Carlos. Click on image to enlarge. (SMART PUBLIC AFFAIRS PHOTO)
The project, 3D: Dengue Detecting Device, won P500,000 in cash through Smart Money for the student team led by Donn Angelo Teodoro and another P500,000 in grants for the school.
Holy Cross of Davao College, meanwhile, got 2nd place for its system that automatically alerts maritime authorities in cases of overloading of vessels. The system uses sensors to detect overloading of ships and then automatically warns authorities through text messages. The student team led by Bobby Jay Carmelotes won P300,000 in cash through Smart Money and another P300,000 in grants for their school.
Third place went to Batangas State University for its drip irrigation system that used GSM technology and various sensors. The Smart Farmbihira system is capable of automatically watering and fertilizing a plantation at a set time or manually through a text message. The system also notifies the farmer on the condition of the soil and the harvest time of the crop. With the win, the student team led by Josephine Medina got P150,000 in cash through Smart Money while the school won P150,000 in grants.
Smart also handed out a special innovation award to a University of Baguio project that used the force of vehicles passing through a street to generate electricity to light up street lamps. A Smart official said they decided to hand out the special award because the project was “so far out and ahead of its time.”
The three winning projects bested seven other entries from Smart’s partner schools all over the country.
I attended the Cebu launch last May 24 of ümobile, the first advertising-funded mobile phone network in the country, and boy was it the loudest telecoms-related launch I’ve ever covered. It was the sexiest, too.
The launching was held in Club Vudu and by the time it ended, I knew more about what “Vudulicious” was than the details of ümobile that I had wanted to find out during the launch.
CHANGING YOUR MOBILE NUMBER. Ümobile allows its subscribers to change their mobile numbers by themselves in the company’s website. The first change of numbers is free, succeeding ones will be charged P50. Click on photo to view larger image.
The time indicated in the invitation—9 p.m.—and the venue told me it was going to be a launch party, with emphasis on the “party.” I was there at 9 p.m. and found Club Vudu still deserted but for ümobile staff doing last minute preparations. I asked one of them whether they would be holding a press briefing and was told none was scheduled. She did say one ümobile official would look for me later and answer my questions.
Fast forward one hour and a half.
UMOBILE PARTY. Vudulicious in Club Vudu. The umobile launch was the loudest telecoms-related launch I’ve ever attended. Click on photo to view an even larger image.
I finally got my Asus Eee PC last Wednesday. It has, since then, replaced my main writing gear: an MSI S260 laptop running on Ubuntu Linux.
Several reporters and editors in Sun.Star Cebu had wanted to purchase an Eee PC since the start of the year but we couldn’t get a supplier with enough stocks to provide the initial 10 purchases. Cebu shops, I was told repeatedly, had waiting lists for purchases.
TRULY MOBILE OFFICE. Trying to beat a column deadline using the Asus Eee PC in a beachsite resort in Argao. These are my mobile work tools: the Asus Eee PC, a Moleskine reporter’s notebook, and a Sony Ericsson P1i. Click on photo to enlarge.
The two boxes of Asus Eee PC arrived at the office last Wednesday. We got the 4G model. I chose the pearl white version but at the back of my mind, I was still thinking of the Lush Green version of the 2G model.
For such a small device, the Asus Eee PC packs a formidable arsenal: Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, 3 USB ports, a built-in webcam (4G and 8G models), a VGA port for external displays, built-in stereo speakers and a microphone, and a built-in MMC/SD card reader. Any more feature and it could probably write a story for you. But it’s best feature, I think, is that it runs on Linux.
Fire gutted the landmark Plaza Fair building early morning Tuesday. Reports say the fire caused P20 million in damages. The blaze broke out just as we were finalizing the day’s newspaper issue. We no longer had time to include the story in the issue.
But I admit it was tempting to copy Michael Keaton in The Paper-the whole “Stop the press!” bit. Of course you couldn’t do that in Sun.Star Cebu, our printing plant is kilometers away and if you needed to “stop the press” for a late breaker, you’d either have to call or text the plant manager. Somehow texting “stp d prs” isn’t as dramatic as barging into the plant and screaming the words.
The fire was visible from our office canteen, two blocks away (check photos and map below).
It was a picture of domestic bliss-a couple taking their child to a picnic in a public park in Cebu. The pair was laughing and appeared to enjoy an afternoon away from the demands of work and pressure of urban life.
The problem was the man wasn’t having a picnic with his legal family, he was spending time with his mistress. When his wife saw the photo in Sun.Star she had a heart attack (she’s okay or so the man says). The man called up the photographer to ask why he printed it when it was “obvious” that the woman was too young to be his wife. He also said he and his mistress had been able to hide the affair from the wife for so long “pwerte namong tago ani” (we really tried to keep this a secret).
The Cebu Yearbook 2006 is out. Here’s part of the unedited article I submitted for publication:
One municipal government’s website in Visayas is being maintained by its meat inspector.
Frederick Amores, Visayas group head of the National Computer Center (NCC) Field Operations Office, could barely contain his laughter as he said this in an interview. The NCC was conducting a seminar for IT workers of local government units (LGUs) and Amores was checking the background of the participants when he saw the meat inspector’s bio-data.