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Archive for October, 2004

mPULSE CIO Summit 2004

Posted by rom on October 30, 2004

It is halloween once again and maybe this is my version of the halloween memo or something. Today I am writing about an event that I attended…

The two-day Microsoft sponsored CIO Summit was held at the Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City. I represented the University of the Philippines as part of the more than 70 CIOs from academe, government, telcos, call centers, semiconductor industry, etc.

The venue is very nice – just overlooks the Taal Volcano, which is at Alert Level 1. I admit that I was a bit worried because of the recent earthquake but hey, I made the most out of it and enjoyed my stay there. The room is very clean and large but the usual amenities that I look for in hotels are not available such as cotton buds, mouth wash, hand lotion, slippers, face towels and the most important of all, Internet connection. Internet connection is not available even in the lobby but I did not check the business center — I am sure that there is one there. The room also has a locked refrigerator (you need to pay a deposit to get the key) and a safe (which was locked and also required a deposit to have it unlocked).

Going to the mPULSE event — as expected in a company sponsored event, all presentations were riddled with Microsoft all over. Frankly, I enjoyed it even if most of the presentations are not applicable to my organization. What made it worth my while are the following:

1. Networking — I was able to network with the CIOs from different sectors. Networking with my colleagues from industry is a major achievement. It is very rare for us to meet and this venue proved to be a great vehicle for us to convene an academe-only event.

2. Microsoft Technology Overview — as one of the prime movers of technology in UP, it is crucial for me to know what technologies are available – either Open Source, which is preferred, or commercial software. There is only (or two) technologies from Microsoft that interest me — Virtual PC (which I am using) and Virtual Server (expected release in 2005). The other technologies are nice to have but really not applicable to us since there are Open Source alternatives available.

3. Cute Microsoft specialists — I will not name names but for sure, they made it easier for me to stay awake during the presentations. 🙂

4. WiFi in Seminar Room — PLDT provided the DSL which was shared by one of the Microsoft specialists. Good thing I was able to catch up with my email.

I am looking forward to the next CIO Summit. I hope that next time, I can bring my family with me and hopefully, the venue will have Internet connections in the rooms.

To Microsoft, thank you for inviting me!


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iPod Photo: First Details

Posted by rom on October 27, 2004

iPod Photo: First Details

From Gizmodo:

ipod_charles.jpg imageOkay, here’s the shortbread: it’s a 65k-color screen, 220 by 176 pixel resolution. Same click wheel as before. 15-hour battery life (rock!), iTunes is bumping up to version 4.7, iTunes will auto-sync album art so you can see that whiel playing. Store up to 25,000 photos transfered through iTunes (dunno about iPhoto support for Mac users iPhoto to organize, iTunes to sync. Got it.). Will support Adobe Album or Elements on the PC.

$500 for the 40GB version, $600 for the 60GB version (that’s too much, it makes me sad). Estimated shipping in 1-2 weeks.

There is a photo dock and an “AV cable.” More on that in a bit.

Also, you guys rock. I’ve gotten so many emails in the last 20 minutes I can’t even count them.

Press Release [Apple]

Looks like, eh? Well, I am sure that a lot of people will find it really a nifty gadget to go with their digital camera gears. Personally, I don’t think I’d bite the Apple with this one.

Don’t get me wrong, again, Apple made a great gadget. However, I am hoping that Apple will include video playback — not on its LCD screen but on its S-video out. It is already one step away from doing this and with Apple’s Quicktime technology, I am sure that Apple is working on this.

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Mac’s Opener Virus

Posted by rom on October 26, 2004

Opener Virus Not So Hot: “The new Opener virus (or “Malware”) does pose a threat, but that’s all it will ever pose. The script (as most educated users are calling it) disables OSX’s built-in Firewall, creates a backdoor, downloads a password cracker, and ships your cracked passwords out to a home base (I’m sure it sends out more, but that’s the most important item). However, like all scripts which modify system files, Opener must receive authorization from an administrator to run. Yes, this evil script will politely ask you for permission before ransacking your computer. The moral of the story is, don’t give access to unknown processes and don’t give your admin password to untrusted individuals.”

(Via MacMerc.)

This is one polite virus — asks the administrator/root if it can install itself and infect the system. Cool, huh? Well, with gates and windows securing one’s system, why is it so easy for trojans, virus and worms to infect that system as compared to open systems? Makes you wonder, huh?

I am just happy that I am using a system that based on open technology. No need for gates and windows.

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Palm One Treo 650

Posted by rom on October 25, 2004

PalmOne Treo 650 Announced: “

treo650_official.jpg imageGood morning, Team Internet. The Treo 650 webpage at PalmOne is live. See you back in a minute after we go read it, too.

Update: Okay, giving it a quick once over, there’s not a whole lot we didn’t know: upgraded screen, “upgraded” camera (still VGA), only 23MB of on-board non-volatile memory (ack!), and Bluetooth. The big story already seems to be the news that Sprint will cripple its Bluetooth implementation to prevent the use of the Sprint Treo 650 as a modem for laptops and other devices. Marc Hedlund at O’Reilly already is making noise about how he’ll be leaving Sprint because of it, and I’ll just chime in and say that decision will prevent me from choosing Sprint as my 650 carrier, as well, although they were the front runner in my choice of new carriers. Hopefully, AT&T Wireless/Cingular won’t break the DUN profile on their phones, because otherwise I’m going to have to execute every last one of these money-grubbing telco executives.

650 Links a-go-go after the jump. Feel free to send any more stories and we’ll add them in.

(Via Gizmodo.)

Well, I am still trying to convince myself that I need a PDA/cellphone. However, after dumping my Sharp Zaurus (now being used by my brother) in favor of my powerbook, I still couldn’t find the reason for me to get a PDA. I admit that it is tempting – the Treo simply is great! Oh well. The gadget freak in me says “save up for this device” but with Christmas just around the corner, I will just wait for good deals to come up before spending those precious cash. Who knows? The dual-core G4 powerbooks might get released this February, after the MacWorld SF announcement. 🙂

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Posted by rom on October 24, 2004

Cubeblog is a mobile blogging site that is cell-network independent. I have used G-blogs but it is only for Globe users. The same can be said of the Smart blogging site.

Cubeblog looks promising but it is now offline. I guess their full-page advert on national dailies took its toll at its site. It is a good thing, at first, but with a full weekend being offline, it makes you wonder if you can rely on its services. Wait til it gets slashdotted, then I am very sure that the site will go down in a few seconds. 🙂

Anyway, hope that it gets back on its feet. I want to try the service and see if it is worth dumping G-Blogs.

No, I will not kill Geekspeak, this will always be the main blog site. 😛

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SunTech Days 2004

Posted by rom on October 24, 2004

Sun Microsystems USA brings SunTech Days to Manila. The two-day event will be held at the Makati Shangri-La hotel on November 4 and 5, 2004. The event caters for Java developers, programmers and architects as well as students and CIOs.

Register now and see you there. I’ll either be at the UP booth or roaming around the session floors. 🙂

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SMPTE’s WMV9 adoption problem

Posted by rom on October 24, 2004

SMPTE Adoption Of WMV9 Hits Some Snags: “SysKoll writes “EETimes is running an interesting story about the future of the video codecs for HD DVDs. The Redmond Beast convinced both the Blu-ray Disc Association and the DVD Forum to adopt its WMV9 video codec over MPEG4 for the upcoming VC-1 standard that is mandated for high-definition video devices. That was a huge coup for MS. Now it turns out that Microsoft cheated and lied: its code is not as good as MPEG 4, the WMV9 reference implementation is not available, and the WMV9 test suite does not exercise all the features. The SMPTE might drop WMV9 after all. Apparently, a highly technical standard body is harder to snowjob than the usual clueless consumers.””

(Via Slashdot.)

I just hope that WMV gets dumped immediately and replaced with more open standards. I simply cannot believe that WMV to be superior than the MPEG standards.

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The Case for Open Source

Posted by rom on October 23, 2004

The Philippine Government should follow the lead of Singapore in promoting the use of Open Source software to save on unnecessary cost of continuous software upgrade from proprietary software vendors. Purchasing software from commercial software vendors is not entirely incorrect but the government should require free and perpetual software updates – this is what kills the government.

The bald guy from Redmond is worried but just as any decent captain saving his ship would do, he still bats for his home team. I am wondering what Microsoft will do should the Philippine government publicly announces preference to Open Source for its IT infrastructure… but then again, it is me dreaming for it to happen. 🙂

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Myth: Windows is more secure

Posted by rom on October 23, 2004

Well, Microsoft’s Get the Facts campaign implies that Microsoft’s Server OS is more secure than Linux. The common arguments about user-base, open source code and quick vulnerability resolution were analyzed and dissected. The verdict? You guessed it — another FUD campaign!

Maybe someone can do the same thing for Mac OS X and Windows. 🙂

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Safari Vulnerability

Posted by rom on October 21, 2004

Secunia’s advisory for Safari users. I just tried it and the current version of Safari has the vulnerability.

Mac OS X users are not alone on this, however. Other popular browsers such as Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, Opera, and of course, Microsoft Internet Explorer, all has the vulnerability.

Question now is — who gets to issue first patch. 🙂

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