Globe unveils new Globe Broadband Tattoo USB skins

GLOBE Broadband Tattoo has unveiled three new designs for its USB skin—Black Dragon, Purple Brushstrokes, and White Techie.

Globe is “the first to offer funky broadband-equipped USBs in the Philippines,” the company said in a press statement.

Globe Broadband Tattoo Black Dragon USB skin
BLACK DRAGON USB skin for Globe Broadband Tattoo.

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Globe offers unlimited calling to landlines with Globe DUO

Globe launched in Cebu last week its Globe DUO service, a combination mobile and landline service that gives subscribers two numbers—a mobile phone number and a portable landline number—using just one subscriber identification module (SIM).

With Globe DUO, consumers get to make and receive unlimited calls to and from any landline number within a certain coverage area. Globe DUO subscribers can also make unlimited calls to other subscribers of the service.

The service is initially available for pospaid Globe subscribers in Manila and Cebu. Today, May 25, Globe will open the service for the first time to prepaid users. Globe Telecom Consumer Wireless Business Group head Ferdinand dela Cruz said they chose Cebu for today’s introduction of the service to prepaid use.

Ferdinand dela Cruz talks about Globe DUO
LANDLINE AND MOBILE PHONE. Globe Telecom Consumer Wireless Business Group head Ferdinand dela Cruz talks about Globe DUO during its launch in Cebu.

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Globe denies throttling peer-to-peer traffic, works to normalize downloads

Globe has denied implementing any bandwidth capping for peer-to-peer downloads. The company said in a press statement that it is working to restore downloading through peer-to-peer applications in Globe Broadband. It also said, however, that the company will consider limiting bandwidth if it detects “abusive usage.”

“You may experience slow downloading using peer-to-peer applications. Restoration is currently ongoing. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Rest assured that steps are already being taken so that the service will normalize the soonest possible time. Thank you for bearing with us,” Globe said in a press statement.

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New Google Maps for Mobile tracks your position using cell phone towers

Google released last week a new version of its Google Maps for Mobile application. The release, as with many of Google’s products, is designated “beta,” a label used for software that is still being actively tested and not yet released to the public.

I’ve read about mobile maps applications before, including the earlier Google versions, but I never bothered trying it out because I don’t travel much. In fact my daily travel is such a routine I can tell you what size of potholes are located in which part of the highways in Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu Cities.

Google Maps for Mobile GOOGLE MAPS FOR MOBILE. A satellite photo of Fuente Osmena rotunda as seen through the Google Maps for mobile application running in my Sony Ericsson K750i. Click on photo to enlarge.

But what caught my interest in last week’s announcement is a new feature in Google Maps: it can now plot your location using the cellphone towers of your mobile network. The application then displays a blue dot showing a bigger light blue circle to display your approximate location. That feature is called My Location.

Previously, you can plot your locations in mapping applications if you have a GPS (global position system) device or module. With the new Google application, the software can plot your location via triangulation of your position using the cellphone towers that connect your phone to your mobile network.

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Upgrading to Sony Ericsson K800i

When my wife needed to upgrade her phone several weeks back, there was no question on which brand she’ll be getting. The question was which Sony Ericsson model best fits her needs and our budget.

I am a Sony Ericsson fan boy and my fanaticism must have rubbed off on my wife because she decided to dump Nokia. Not even a recent marketing fiasco by Sony Ericsson Philippines can dampen my Sony Ericsson fanaticism.

Sony Ericsson K800i A PHONE ANY BLOGGER WOULD LOVE. The Sony Ericsson K800i comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera, which makes it great for taking photos for websites and blogs. The 3G phone can also display RSS feeds. Click on photo to enlarge.

My wife chose the Sony Ericsson K800 or, as it is being marketed here in the Asia-Pacific region, K800i. The phone is part of the company’s Cyber-shot line, phone products with image taking qualities good enough to carry the Sony brand for standalone digital cameras.

The K800i is no longer the latest in its line. Sony Ericsson has already upgraded the line by launching the K810i and announcing the coming availability of the K850i.

What stands out in the K800 line is the ability to upgrade the firmware over the air. In previous Sony Ericsson versions, you need to attach your phone to your PC via a USB cable to upgrade your unit’s firmware. With the K800, you can upgrade your firmware from the phone itself.

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Turn your mobile phone into a document scanner with Scanr app

I would give anything to have had this Scanr tool a decade ago when, as a beat reporter, I had to frequently photocopy documents for news stories. When I was still covering the Cebu City Hall beat, I did a series of news reports that exposed illegal collection of fees and various other transactions disallowed by government auditors. These stories were from documents officials never intended to be released to the media.

Scanr mobile application STEP 1. Scan the document using your phone camera. Fill as much of the phone screen with the document you want processed. Click on photo to view larger image.

I had a City Hall source whom I befriended after weeks of offering free cigarettes (there, smoking can do something good) at the hallway. We became such good cigarette break friends that I started asking him for documents officials did not want released.

How to use scanr STEP 2. Start the application. It will open with an image gallery. Browse the photos and look for the images you want processed. Click on photo for larger image.

The source would alert me during our cigarette breaks whenever a document I requested was already available. I’d then go to the press room, get a brown envelope, go to the comfort room and get the documents from him. I’d then rush to the photocopier and, while chewing on my nails, wait for her to finish copying the papers. I’d then go back to the City Hall comfort room and then return the papers.

Using scanr to scan documents STEP 3. Click on a photo and mark whether it is a document, business card, or a whiteboard snapshot. Click on photo to view larger image.

In one of these exchanges, I panicked because the source said I should return the papers immediately but I wasn’t able to find a vacant copier near City Hall. I had to cross several blocks.

Looking back while playing with Scanr these past days made me think how easier things might have been for me using the service and its mobile application.

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15 days with the Treo 680 smartphone

I’ve been asked to review the Palm Treo 680. I got the unit yesterday from Microwarehouse and I’ll be testing it until I return the unit in the first week of February.

An official from Microwarehouse approached our executive editor weeks back asking her whether I would accept requests for reviews. Let me just spell it out here. I love trying gadgets and would be happy to review products provided that you give me enough time to tinker with it. Microwarehouse lent me the unit for 15 days.

Microwarehouse didn’t provide any restrictions. I asked whether I’d be allowed to install applications to really test the unit and they said yes. And what’s even better, Microwarehouse did not call me (we never even talked, they arranged it with my editor) to ask questions or offer “suggestions” about the article.

treo 680 TEST UNIT. The Palm Treo 680 I will be testing in the next 15 days. Click on photo to enlarge.

At the outset, let me just say that I am a Sony Ericsson fan boy. I’ve been using Sony Ericsson phones for years and love the way its units work and how you can use third party applications (even open source ones) with it. For me, mobility bliss is Sony Ericsson plus Float’s Mobile Agent-now there’s a lethal getting things done combination.

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My column has been republished by a sex site

I spotted this before but I just showed it to colleagues in the office and forgot about it. I got another email recently telling me that my column on porn in Globe’s mobile blogs had been reprinted by the Asian Sex Gazette.

Here’s the link (it’s not safe for work and may contain images some might consider offensive). When I first spotted it, I went around the newsroom to show to colleagues what I said was the new publication I’m writing for and everyone had a good laugh. It wasn’t the first time that a Sun.Star Cebu story got reprinted in the site.

The site had once reprinted this story (again not safe for work). When I showed it to the reporter, she blushed. The way the sites presented the stories, you’d think the reporter and I are their staff writers. You don’t see any hint it was lifted from Sun.Star Cebu.

I showed it to our editor-in-chief and the first thing he asked me was how I spotted it–“you mean you visit these sites?” I actually got it from an RSS alert on a search for Cebu. Maybe I should add porn site writer in my resume.