On the road but still “in the cloud”

(This is my column for Sun.Star Cebu for tomorrow, Oct. 27)

Two days before I was to run in the Smart Subic International Marathon (SIM) 2009, I finally learned how to properly tie my shoes. It’s hilarious if it isn’t excruciating to have to bend to retie shoelaces that come undone after running several kilometers.

All my life, I have been apparently tying my shoelaces using a Granny Knot, which easily comes undone. I wouldn’t have known any better had I not started running. In longer runs, my shoelaces always come undone and I’d cringe in pain every time I had to bend and retie it.

It turned out that there’s a better way to tie your shoelaces to make sure that these do not come undone. The trick is to use a Reef Knot and a Runner’s World video shows you just how to do that.

Learning how to tie my shoes via a Runner's World video
TYING MY SHOE. Learning how to correctly tie my shoes using a Reef Knot, which doesn’t come undone, using a Runner’s World instructional video viewed through a Smart Bro USB modem connection.

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Smart unveils netbook with built-in Smart Bro connectivity

Smart Communications Inc. has launched the country’s first netbook with a built-in high-speed broadband connectivity through Smart Bro.

Smart , in a press statement, said Smart Bro wireless broadband modems now come embedded on certain units of the Asus Eee PC 904 GO. The built-in modem allows the Asus Eee PC 904 GO to access the Internet through Smart’s nationwide HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) network. The network offers speeds of up to 2 mbps in key cities in the country.

The device, the company said, will allow users “a complete, ready-to-run Internet experience in an all-in-one device, right out of the box.”

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Smart unveils USB modem for mobile Internet access anywhere

SMART Broadband, Inc. (SBI) has unveiled a USB modem that will allow users to access the Internet with speeds ranging from 384 kbps to 768 kbps anywhere where there is a Smart signal.

The device will be offered under SBI’s “Smart BRO Plan 799.? Under the plan, which costs P799 a month, subscribers have 60 hours of Internet usage per month and will be charged P10 for every 30-minute block in excess.

Smart BRO USB modem MOBILE INTERNET. The Smart BRO USB modem allows you to connect to the Internet anywhere where there is a Smart network coverage. The device is offered under a P799 monthly plan. Click on photo to enlarge.

When I first read the press release, I was immediately tempted to get one. But it’s not something I need just yet. I rarely go out right now and at any given hour I’m either at home or at the office or on my way to either place. Still, it’s certainly something I want.

People who are always on the go, however, will find the device useful, especially in areas with sparse Wi-Fi coverage.

The device is certainly a cheaper alternative to PLDT WeRoam and one that you can also use in a desktop PC. The device, according to a company press statement, is part of Smart’s “thrust of broadbanding the country, of making wireless broadband Internet services more accessible and more affordable.”

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Mapping Cebu’s Wi-Fi hotspots

I’ve been meaning to map Cebu’s Wi-Fi hotspots for more than a month now. It is a project that I’ve kept putting off, mainly because of work deadlines and other tasks.

For a while, I planned to set out–and was on the verge of doing so at least twice–and go through 4 or 5 coffee shops and restaurants in a day to find out 1.) whether they provide free Wi-Fi access and 2.) how good the connection is. I am a recidivist coffee drinker, having kicked it out of my system for a few weeks last year, but still, the prospect of a caffeine overdose (not to mention wrecking my poor excuse of a diet) kept stopping me from starting with the Wi-Fi mapping.

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