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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Find Out if You are Internet Ignorant

Are you one of them?

Ipsos, a market research group, published that the Philippines, with 29% of its population being users of internet, are on the top 3 of the most innacurate users in the world of the 38 countries they bothered to learn about. Anyway, other posts claim about 60 million Filipinos use the internet, but mainly, or majority of them uses only social media, dominated probably by FaceBook (had Friendster been maintained fairly well, I doubt if FaceBook will be as popular as it is now).

There are no studies yet undertaken how to determine if a user is internet ignorant or not. However, there are already posts online that internet, or social media, is making (Filipino) users ignorant.  How can we know of this?

Answer the following questions with YES or NO to determine if you are internet ignorant or not:
1. "Search" in FaceBook is helpful to find factual information.
2. At least half (50%) of what friends share on social media are reliable or truth.
3. Wikipedia is a leak.
4. Rappler news are objective.
5. YouTube is all about funny videos.
6. 9gag is more reliable than Fox News.
7. Chrome is an advertising tool.
8. Google search used to be reliable. Not anymore.
9. FaceBook is an advertising tool.
10. Everything in this list is debatable.

Comment in this blog post your email and answers if you want to know whether or not you are internet ignorant. Thank you for taking the time to learn.

Friday, October 20, 2017

In Denial, and the Beholden Media

by M. Tadeja

Since President Rodrigo R. Duterte took office, or even before it, there had been a lot of naysayers, considering that information nowadays is cheap and fast. I was one of them. Was.

There are two things I noted for not trusting the presidency early on:
1. Constitutional bodies like COA, CSC, and COMELEC are ineffective, if not so corrupt.
2. Duterte pledged to wage war against criminality. So much like all other government agencies that hire and promote by virtue to nepotism, we have an inept police.

Nevertheless, the Constitution says we have a President. The least we can do is respect him and give him a chance. There was a one time that I voted for president, and I voted for her again the second time although I am fully aware she will not win this time. All else, I knew were useless and futile.

From the start, too, Duterte doubted he will ever work well with the Philippine media. Members of Philippine media have a somewhat distorted orientation about their freedoms and rights (if they are even aware of it at all), and a feigned ignorance of admiting they work for a business. (I am sour-graping, mainstream media never wanted me! I am a reject! Satisfied? Now, let's proceed.)

But to explain this anti-Duterte stance of mainstream Philippine media, let us disect the background of the mainstream Philippine media:
1. ABS-CBN is owned by the Lopezes. Formerly listed as owned by Benpress Holdings, it has a bleak history of massive debts and should be answerable to taxpayers of this country, and investors in other countries. And if you so care want some juicy conspiracy theory bits, here.

 2. Philippine Daily Inquirer. This is formerly a newspaper with fearless news and balanced views. It has turned into a social oligarch magazine, with news and some opinions on the side.
3. Rappler's Raissa Robles.  Robles will write as she sees fit, personal or otherwise. Pnoy has won her favor, and she won't admit it, but that is how I see it.
4. As for the rest, they are still wrapped up in their comfort zones, never heard "p#+@^&mo" in their short lives, and never been mentally challenged in their professional and personal relations, so, let the snowflakes cry.

As for the Dutertards, they plodReality is a war. We don't really know when we'll get hit.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Red Ribbon Mamon & Smart Perks

Let us set aside the seemingly highway robbery wireless / pocket wi-fi services we are currently experiencing at the moment and focus on "rewards".

Globe provides very timely rewards, in fact, you can get your SMS / call rewards even if you ran out of pre-paid loads.

Meanwhile at Smart...

I have several Smart numbers I use for wi-fi and phone services that at one time, I enrolled them to Smart perks. "Being Smart has its perks."

In February, I redeemed a Red Ribbon mamon (5 pieces) for - if I recall it right, 145 points. I received a message or a prompt that I will be updated of its status in the next 24 hours.

I never received the update.

In June 1, 2017. I called up the Smart hotline dedicatedly to inquire on this perks. I was able to talk to Deps. She checked on my record and while my account is open and I can see I've only got some 90 points left on my perks, she told me that she is sorry for the inconvenience or something like that. Gahd. You like the word: inconvenience. She told me that the points were returned. And lo! I have 200+ points back on my perks.

She asked me if I would like to try redeeming another, and I said yes, and on her end, she assisted me to redeem - calls for 100 points.

I got an SMS telling me a manager or something similar in status, will approve of the redeemed perks and that I will be updated in a while. It is June 4 and I never got an update.

Smart, you are sooo smart.

You meter our wifi usage at sky-high rates without us having an idea how, as if people in the Philippines earn shrewdly as much as you people at Smart. Cruel, if you ask me. And you have these perks that is what we can aptly call "paasa."

You're soooo smart!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Invisible Force: A book review

I am not really into book reviews... first off, because someone (or a bunch) out there has already placed it in better words and perspective more than I could ever attempt, got the right platform or fund to promote, and back it up for a specific period of time. And I'd just be another second-third-rate ranter with nothing new to offer.

But I'll honestly review this out of a need and personal commitment, as objectively as possible.

The e-book is quite brief at just 112 pages, packed with lots of quirky quotes such as that of the opener from Why the LuckyStiff, some others, and pop-rock lyrics from the Boss, The Doors, Nirvana, to Lenka! There are allusions to Robert Ludlum beginning from the main character Alex Howell (combo of Alexander Conklin from the Bourne Trilogy and Peter Howell from the Covert One series) to the giant business greed, a secret agency within a secret agency and global hopping off of the agent/s. It was notable, too, that two of the leading characters were rockstar-wannabes, indicative of an era when every gasoline boy (who graduated in college), and office staff were into alternative rock band thing.
It also hit on the most active third world facebook users. Probably based on its clown senators that plagiarize.

The presentation of some of the main characters seem wanting - could be because succeeding parts will provide a deeper exploration of these characters? We can only speculate. But after a couple of chuckles, and the temporary satisfaction of good winning over evil in  the reality-based fiction (by the way, it presents factual natural calamities as a manipulation of MNCs), we hope with fingers crossed that it is just fiction and ask, when's that next series coming out?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Woe Smart!

So, I have an ongoing love-hate relationship with Smart Communications. For the longest period, I have used several of its services - longest mobile phone service, longest internet service, smart money card, and - here I am testing its capabilities again...

I have a Smart prepaid pocket wifi that I use in emergencies. Like during travel and I need to work or keep in touch for work reasons.

And now, I want to load my pocket wifi using online payment system (hey, the Smart money beats the rest of the communication companies on this!) - but BPI was the first to offer this.

And I get this error message. 

Take  closer look:
So, I click on the Help / Support.
Does not work either.

Product development is good and fast at Smart. But development does not sync with their web developers' capabilities...

Smart, you've been dumbed....

Monday, September 5, 2016

P#%^ng!na, OMG! and the other Exclamations

The "news" quoting the seemingly barbaric Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as saying "son of a bitch" to Obama is one of the biggest lies and a literal "out of context" reporting ever done most recently, this time by Associated Press writer Teresa Cerojano in Manila, Philippines.
I have never been a fan of PDut as the stand of this blog has always been the same - personal, and what is fair and just on the beholder. But there is a high probability that the reporter is a half-breed, non-Filipino in a sense that she cannot distinguish a so-called Pinoy expression from a true-blue cuss word. This is sad. We have for a time since the latest presidential campaigns of this country been hearing a lot of invectives, most of the time senseless, and foul words from Duterte, and we should be immune by the time he won. Sometimes, we give to a man because he won in an election fair and square (a rarity in this country managed by oligarchs and their minions at COMELEC), and this should be one of those times.

The bigger faults that I can see about the President or his leadership at the moment are:
1. the lack of simultaneous tracking of corruption in government (what's up with Napoles and her senators/congressmen minions?). And Napoles is only a choco chip at the top of the icing!
2. the lack of intensive training provided for the police and armed forces if they are expected to win the war against drugs (like I already pointed out in social media, they are not even aware of the Miranda warning).  We have nincompoops in the armed forces and they are NOT reliable enough to wage war against crime when the majority of Filipinos believe they - the police from top to bottom - are 90% involved in all those crimes from drugs to jueteng, illegal gambling, carnapping, robbery, and many others!
3. the lack of fair chance for better-qualified individuals to take a post in critical government jobs.

For the meantime , the media should stop altogether covering PDut if they cannot distinguish a mere side comment from official policy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dear Asus, Please hire a human common sense, thank you!

This Asus "In Search of the Incredible" K555L is my third Asus laptop. It was probably in 2006 when I first bought an Asus. I left it in my office, and was wet the following day as storm water splashed through the glass windows left partially open. I worried it would be the end of the gadget, but the office IT suggested I leave it under sun shine to dry. After a few hours, it is up and running. You've won a loyal customer.

I was even able to sell it 4 years later, still in good condition, as I bought another model at that time: Asus Power Gear 4.
It worked until it blacked out in February this year. When I went to the Metro (as I have become a rural resident since 2010), I was contemplating between a Macbook, and - yes - an Asus. The saleslady (this time I believe I did not use half of my common sense) vetoed my apple choice, and suggested Asus is better, with its 2-year parts and service warranty. I also saw a previous Asus advertisement - or I am not sure anymore but it was my son who showed the video to me- of how sturdy it is and all, the one which was thrown down from up above.

To make it short, I bought another Asus at Market Market!'s Abenson store. In the 31st of January, 2016.
By late May, the rotator portion (the middle bend) started misbehaving - it will not close properly. By June, it cracked. Then, it fell off eventually. With screws falling off also. I travelled 12 hours (daytime) by bus from Vigan to have it checked at Abenson's after they told me to bring it to their store as it was still covered with warranty. Then, when I brought it there, the sales person in-charge said I would need to bring it to MSI-ECS which was 2-commute-rides away from Market! Market!

I called the MSI number they gave and the staff who answered told me that indeed, the flex / rotator problem was still covered and will be repaired for free. In fact, he added that it was a common complaint from Asus K55L customers.

After I logged in the details of my product complaint and was talking to the MSI staff, I was informed by the male staff that it would take 3-4 days to diagnose the unit. I told them it does not need diagnosing, as the only problem I had was its rotator / flex cap, and showed them it was broken. It cannot be done without the total diagnosis, he replied. Then, he told me that it will probably take 3 weeks to have the material replaced.

I tried to absorb the information and told them, it was fine with me, I will just return when the replacement is already sent by Asus main. Then, they said I would need to leave to them my notebook... I explained my predicament, that my laptop is the gadget of my entire livelihood, and that I cannot do without it.

They said it was SOP. Standard operational procedure.

I suggested that they expplain it to their human counterparts at Asus. "I am sure you are dealing with humans."

"It cannot be," the female staff said. "They require that the unit be here when the replacement is requested."

"You can make the request now, that the unit is here," I said.

"No, the unit has to be here when the replacement is delivered," she replied.

"Are you trying to discourage me to avail of the free warranty?" I asked.

The lady just kept repeating it was the standard procedure.

"When I called, your staff said that this is already a common problem, I am sure that since you are dealing with digital technology, you have an idea of how many Asus K555L you were able to sell, and with the knowledge that this rotator cap is problematic, you should have at least made an estimate and requested for stock of that rotator cap in order to streamline your service. And now, you are telling me you have to detain my source of livelihood for 3 weeks? What am I supposed to do then during that 3 weeks? SUggest this to your boss, or the humans you deal with at Aus," I said.

She only gave me the Asus number. No human contacts, just a phone number. 

Ergo, will I have to repeat the same stories again and again? Humans - well, the ones with common sense intelligence, will know how to shorten and make things a lot easier than this. It's like calling any other customer service hotline of main brands. You get passed on to different robotic humans because AFTER they get your personal details, they'll only tell you the person in-charge is in another local number or different department, or any other different station in life that I need to be passed on, and on, and on.

I hate digital. We start to act like robots are our bosses. I hope I am wrong that the Asus manpower lacks human brains and human common sense. Otherwise, I would need to reconsider my laptop brand, very badly. Maybe, we need a NEW human relations, and customer service system.

Update: September 12, 2016

After contacting Asus through their website via email, I was able to present my case, and the CSR told me to go ahead and negotiate with the service center branch. The service center confirmed that instead of the 3 weeks time of detaining the unit, they now can "rush" diagnosis of the unit within one day, and they can now process ordering replacement of parts even if the unit will be brought out by the customer. I am then asked to simply return the unit once a replacement part has arrived. 
This is a lot of improvement.

Thank you, Asus for returning humans in your system.